ST Report: 22-Dec-95 #1151From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 12/23/95-08:56:54 AM Z
- Next message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "ST Report: 29-Dec-95 #1152"
- Previous message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "ST Report: 15-Dec-95 #1150"
- Return to Index: Sort by: [ date ] [ author ] [ thread ] [ subject ]
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 22-Dec-95 #1151 Date: Sat Dec 23 08:56:54 1995 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) December 22, 1995 No.1151 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 STR Electronic Publishing Inc. A subsidiary of STR Worldwide CompNews Inc. R.F. Mariano, Editor Featured in ITCNet's ITC_STREPORT Echo Voice: 1-904-268-3815 10am-4pm EST STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing Support BBS THE BOUNTY INTERNATIONAL BBS Featuring: * 5.0GB * of File Libraries Mustang Software's WILDCAT! BBS v4.11 Fully Networked within the following Nets: ITCNet 85:881/250 JAX HUB FIDO Net 1:112/35 ~ Prowl ~ USPOLNet ~ FNET 350 ~ Nest 90:301/3 Delivered via Subscriber List through Internet 904-268-2237 MULTI-NODE 24hrs-7 days ISDN Access 904-268-4116 2400-115.2 bps V. 120 -32-34 v.42 bis USRobotics D/S Data/Fax 28.8 V.34 Everything ISDN USRobotics I-MODEM FAX: 904-292-9222 24hrs The Bounty STReport Support Central 1-904-268-2237 FNET. 620 : Leif's World 1-904-573-0734 FNET. 690 : PASTE BBS 1-206-284-8493 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS 1-908-920-7981 MNET - Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 12/22/95 STR 1151 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Apple TakeOvers - Genie Dreams - Father's Note to Santa - Trekkie Xmas - SoftRAM95 Recalled - Atari Karts Review - PSX Tekkin FAQ - ARCsolo Win95 - HMI Y/N? - People Talking - Jaguar NewsBits Judge Rules Against Prodigy Intel "AT IT" Again? Apple Woes Raise CEO Doubts 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: 12/16/95: 3 matches in 3 plays >From the Editor's Desk... Christmas is almost here. It gives every indication of being a "White Christmas" and the "technological sales" for Christmas are doing much better than expected. One thing is obvious though, the consumers are clobbering their charge cards and credit limits.. Check writing hasn't been as low in the last few years. So. the entire Christmas "economy" is seemingly based on plastic. Could this possibly be an indication of "things to come"? Plastic money, both types; backed by deposits and backed by credit is the mode of tomorrow. I believe tomorrow is here already. I also believe we shall all being using this mode of transaction within five years. Christmas has, in recent decades, become more and more materialistic. This is sad. After all, shouldn't we and our Children rejoice in the glow of faith, good morals and hope in a bright future? What better time to do so than Christmas. If one considers for a moment, this short story. it all makes good sense. "A very long time ago, an account of an incident that happened then.. sounds so much like today. A man and a woman pregnant with child are virtually homeless, they're forced to take shelter from the cold in an old animal shelter. After a few hours of painful labor endured by the woman a boy child is born. The unwed mother, the man and the child are fine. To me,this account accurately describes the plight of many young, homeless couples in many cities across this nation. Yet it truly is an account of the humble birthing of the Christ Child. This year. while you are enjoying the company of your family, think of the homeless in your area. Do something kind for them. Make your Christmas Holiday that much richer." Merry Christmas to one and All! Ralph. 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 Kid's Computing Corner Marty Mankins Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael Arthur John Deegan Brad Martin John Szczepanik Paul Guillot Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Guillaume Brasseur Melanie Bell Jay Levy Jeff Kovach Marty Mankins Carl Prehn Paul Charchian Vincent P. O'Hara Contributing Correspondents Dominick J. Fontana Norman Boucher Clemens Chin Eric Jerue Angelo Marasco Mike Barnwell Ed Westhusing Glenwood Drake Vernon W.Smith Bruno Puglia Paul Haris Kevin Miller Craig Harris Allen Chang Tim Holt Patrick Hudlow Leonard Worzala Tom Sherwin Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: CompuServe 70007,4454 Prodigy CZGJ44A Delphi RMARIANO GEnie ST.REPORT BIX RMARIANO FIDONET 1:112/35 ITC NET 85:881/253 AOL STReport Internet firstname.lastname@example.org Internet CZGJ44A@prodigy.com Internet RMARIANO@delphi.com Internet 70007.4454.compuserve.com Internet STReport@AOL.Com WORLD WIDE WEB http://www.streport.com IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any PAID advertising, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Staff & Editors SYSOP NEWS & CYBERWORLD REPORT "The Leading Hard Copy News Source in the BBS & Online Telecommunications World" Your own personal copy mailed to your home every month; STReport's special offer! Annual Subscription Rate of $15.95!! (normally 20.95). Include the STR offer number (STR-21) for your discount. Send your subscription to: BBS Press Services, Inc. 8125 S.W. 21st Street Topeka, KS 66615 Or, to order by phone, Please Call: 1-913-478-3157 (Voice) 1-913-478-9239 (Data) 1-913-478-1189 (FAX) Checks, Mastercard & Visa ok, Please include Full Name, Address, home Number, Card type, number & expiration date when ordering. If by mail, please _sign_ your personal order. STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Judge Rules Against Prodigy The judge in a much-watched libel case has refused to vacate his earlier decision holding Prodigy Services Co. responsible for messages its subscribers post. As reported earlier, a $200 million libel suit against Prodigy by Stratton Oakmont Inc. of Lake Success, New York, after one of the online service's subscribers posted a message accusing the brokerage firm of fraud. Last May Judge Stuart L. Ain of the New York Supreme Court ruled Prodigy could be held liable for damages because it exercised editorial control over posted messages. In October, Stratton Oakmont dropped the case, agreeing to forgo opposing Prodigy's challenge of the ruling in exchange for an apology from Prodigy. Stratton later set up a restitution fund of at least $1 million to handle investor claims against the firm. However, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, now Judge Ain has refused to vacate that earlier ruling, in part because "there is a real need for some precedent" for "this developing area of the law." Furthermore, the judge noted Prodigy failed to explain why it hadn't included important facts in its original case. Martin Garbus, an attorney for Prodigy, told the paper he will fight, adding, "We will get the reversal -- if not from Judge Ain, then from an appellate court." Judge Denies AOL Injunction An advertising agency's motion for a preliminary injunction to block America Online from proceeding with a marketing program has been denied by a federal judge in New York. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning Judge Deborah A. Batts denied the motion yesterday because the plaintiff -- advertising agency Mezzina/Brown Inc. -- failed to demonstrate evidence of irreparable injury and didn't meet standards showing likelihood of success on the merits. Meanwhile, an AOL spokeswoman told the paper the ad agency's claims are "frivolous." The Journal reports AOL is being sued by Mezzina/Brown for alleged breach of contract and unfair competition. In court documents filed in the federal court for the Southern district of New York, Mezzina/Brown, which had been in discussions with America Online to initiate a joint marketing program, asserted that AOL "has misappropriated Mezzina/Brown's confidential and valuable intellectual property and breached its contract." The suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages. Microsoft, NBC in Joint Venture Microsoft Corp. has agreed to pay $220 million over the next five years for a 50 percent interest in MSNBC Cable, a new 24-hour news service it is forming with NBC. The companies also expect to invest approximately $200 million over five years to fund the operation's cable and online services. Microsoft and NBC say MSNBC Cable will be developed from the outset to integrate news delivery across broadcast, cable, and Internet platforms. MSNBC Cable will feature NBC News correspondents, live coverage of world events, news analysis and a multimedia presence. It will also include local news coverage from NBC affiliates for both television and online media, offering viewers the ability to watch local events as they unfold. In the evening, the service will offer a "dynamic prime-time schedule," say the companies. "Microsoft will contribute on the technology side -- in understanding software platforms and the need for new graphical interfaces and tools," says Bill Gates, Microsoft's CEO. "Advances in digital technology will give people new control over news and information. They will be able to call up news on demand, at their convenience. They will be able to customize their news service. They will be able to watch breaking news on TV and then be able to get more in-depth information on things of interest to them online. We will be working with NBC to create innovative interactive news content and an integrated media experience." NBC CEO Bob Wright adds, "By linking the local, national and international newsgathering capability of NBC and its affiliates, as well as NBC News archives, with Microsoft's technological leadership in software development and commitment to Internet online services, MSNBC will create a continuum of news delivery that meets viewer needs at all levels." The service is scheduled to make its debut in mid- 1996 on NBC's America's Talking cable channel. Online Super Bowl Site in Works An Internet site available to football fans for the month leading up to the Super Bowl game is being created by NBC and the National Football League with the help of Microsoft Corp. A Super Bowl preview show being created by NBC and the NFL will be shaped in part by suggestions made via the Internet site, according to the Associated Press. The wire service says the Net site will open later this month and will remain in operation at least a week after Super Bowl XXX is played and broadcast live Jan. 28 on the NBC network. "The service will feature advertising along with coverage of news conferences and opportunities to exchange views with principals in the battle for the NFL championship," AP says. "On game day, NBC will offer analysis of the game as it is played for computer users who can tear themselves away from the television set." Site visitors will be able to suggest topics to be included in the one- hour TV special on behind-the-scene game preparations, which will be aired the night before the Super Bowl. AP says Microsoft will help create and manage the service. As noted earlier, Microsoft last week announced it was investing in a new 24-hour cable news network and online news service that NBC hopes to launch next summer. Both NBC and the NFL are selling advertising packages that include slots on the online service. Ann Kirschner, an executive for NFL Enterprises, said the online ads were going for about $100,000, and said at least seven slots were available. Meanwhile, Microsoft plans to distribute a CD-ROM and seat cushions to the 80,000 people who attend the game in Tempe, Arizona. Net Rating System Nearly Done A system to let information on the Internet's World Wide Web be rated like movies or video games is nearly done, but attenders of a conference this week about the Web say important questions remain about its use. Reporting from the Boston site of the Fourth International World Wide Web Conference, business writer Evan Ramstad of the Associated Press says the technique was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium, a group of more than 90 companies and universities. Ramstad reports a draft has been available on the Web for public comment since last month (found at Web address http://www.w3.org/PICS), adding that the consortium committee responsible for the technique will close the comment period next month and may make some changes before declaring it available for use. As noted, the effort began in late summer in response to congressional pressure about "obscene" material on the Net, but the consortium is interested only in providing a method for rating, not determining how content is rated. Says Paul Resnick, director of the public policy office at the AT&T Research Laboratories and a developer of the technique, "With the right tools, we don't need so many rules." AP says the consortium will encourage producers of Web content to rate themselves and other groups to develop rating standards. In addition, software needs to be developed to filter out material based on its rating. "Consumers are not going to be confronted by the familiar G, PG, PG-13, R, X and NC ratings," says Ramstad. "Instead, many different ratings methods are likely." Different values can be represented by different ratings. On this, Resnick commented, "I'd like to see lots of rating services and many choices of selection software." But at the Boston gather, several Web site creators complained they may ultimately be forced to spend more time working with various rating groups than creating information. They said filtering software may come along that doesn't allow access to any material that is unrated, a development that would harm the reach of the Web. Nielsen Net Study Challenged A key adviser is criticizing results of Nielsen Media Research's recent study that said 24 million people in North America use the Internet. Donna Hoffman, a business professor at Vanderbilt University, charged the study "isn't representative of the population, and therefore the projections are flawed" and possibly inflated. According to The Wall Street Journal this morning, Hoffman contends the study "is skewed toward people more likely to be on the Internet, so that makes the estimates inflated," particularly in respect to household income and education level. She called the Nielsen survey "basically useless" unless mistakes are corrected. Nielsen, a unit of Dun & Bradstreet Corp., which conducted what was billed as the most comprehensive, random-sample survey of Internet usage, stood by its work, which also found that 18 million people over age 16 in North America use the Internet's multimedia World Wide Web. Vice President David Harkness told the paper, "We are looking at all of the issues being raised, but we haven't found anything yet that would change the results in a substantial way." The Journal commented the controversy "underscores the difficulty in producing reliable data on the usage of the Internet," adding that critics say too often "surveys are based on the biased audience of online users, which inflates the numbers of users and time spent online." House, Senate Near Net Smut Bill An agreement reached last night by key House and Senate negotiators would outlaw smutty materials transmitted to minors over computer networks. The pact reconciles House- and Senate-passed bills to overhaul telecommunications laws. Rep. Rick White, R-Washington, one of the primary negotiators working on a final anti-smut provisions, told associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa, "I do believe we have an agreement." And Sen. J. James Exon, D-Nebraska, the other major negotiator, released a statement, saying, "An agreement has been reached that I am very pleased with on the computer pornography provisions." Aversa says the measure: z Makes it a federal crime for providers -- such as a publisher of an online magazine -- to transmit sexually explicit and other "indecent" materials to minors under 18 years of age. z Would not hold liable companies that provide access to computer networks, such as CompuServe or America Online. z Calls for violators to be sentenced up to two years in prison and fined up to $100,000. z Defines indecency as "any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image or other communications, that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs." Aversa notes that definition "closely tracks the legal standard now used to determine what is indecent on television and radio." Officials of the conservative Family Research Council and the Christian Coalition praise the compromise, saying the measure will help parents keep their children away from sexually explicit materials. However, opponents call it an unconstitutional government restriction on legal speech. At the Center for Democracy and Technology Policy, a group representing computer users, Director Jerry Berman promises to challenge the measure in court if it becomes law, adding the provisions would outlaw electronic transmission of novels such as "Catcher in the Rye" and rap lyrics. Meanwhile, protests against the pending legislation took place in San Francisco, Seattle and New York City yesterday. For instance, Linda Dailey Paulson of United Press International says about 500 people gathered at San Francisco's South Park, holding up signs with slogans such as "Save the First Amendment" and "No Legislation Without Representation." Two people, one wearing a rubber mask of Vice President Al Gore, the other in a Newt Gingrich mask, burned a sign reading "First Amendment" at the start of the event. Some wore T-shirts saying, "USA out of my URL," which refers to the location of a website. Organizer Todd Lappin, an editor at Wired magazine, quipped to UPI that if need be, the online community would hold a "Million Geek March" in support of the First Amendment. "This single spark has ignited a prairie fire," he added. Paulson called the speaker roster at that rally a Who's Who of cyber rights, including Mike Godwin, legal counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation; John Gilmore, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Jim Warren, online activist; Howard Rheingold, author of numerous books including, "The Virtual Community"; Audrie Krause, executive director of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility; and Michael Goldberg, publisher of the Internet music magazine Addicted To Noise. "If you really want to protect our children, find a better way to do it than to force all of us who engage in public speech and expression to speak at the level of children," Godwin said. "There are laws already on the books that prevent the exposure to children of obscene speech, and that prohibit child abuse. Before you start passing new laws, make sure you understand what the old laws do. It may be that no new legislation is required at all." Paulson said speakers were especially critical of Rep. Pat Schroeder, D- Colorado, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, saying they were disappointed such liberal Democrats did not support their views. Said UPI, "The issue has centered around children's exposure to so-called 'indecent' materials on the Internet. Parents present at the rally said the responsibility for protecting their children lies with them, not Congress." Lab Workers Punished Over Net Sex About 100 workers at the federally funded Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, are being disciplined for using their work computers to access sexually explicit Internet sites. According to the Associated Press, the lab has suspended the 21 workers who used the sites most frequently. Another 77 workers will receive written reprimands. The suspensions begin tomorrow and last as long as two weeks. "Most of the scanning of adult bulletin boards occurred on workers' own time," says AP, "but still violated company policy against using work computers for personal business." Lab spokesman Greg Koller told the wire service the usage was discovered when Battelle Memorial Institute, which operates the lab, was trying to determine its Internet capacity for a new building. The sexually explicit addresses showed up on Internet records. He did not have exact figures on the usage. The lab on the Hanford nuclear reservation operates under a contract with the Energy Department and has about 3,700 employees. Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, does a variety of research at Hanford, much of it on how to clean up the nation's most polluted nuclear site, AP notes. Cyber Speech Protests Continue Organizers in Austin, Texas, say their community will join the spreading protest aimed at prodding Congress into dropping efforts to regulate "indecent" speech in cyberspace as part of a telecommunications reform bill. As reported earlier, protests against the pending legislation took place Friday in San Francisco's South Park, the Seattle Public Library and New York City's Cyber-Cafe. Now Linda Dailey Paulson of United Press International says a protest is slated for Tuesday in Austin, part of what activist groups is a growing nationwide movement. Todd Lappin, organizer of the San Francisco protest, told the wire service, "The feelings of the online community have registered in Washington. The Internet community is now mobilized and aware they have to take action." At issue, as noted, is an agreement reached Thursday night by key House and Senate negotiators that would outlaw "indecent" materials transmitted to minors over computer networks. The pact reconciles House-and Senate-passed bills to overhaul telecommunications laws. Paulson says Voter's Telecommunications Watch, a New York-based watchdog group that monitors telecommunications and civil liberties legislation, attempted to track telephone traffic into legislative offices as the week unfolded. Board member Steven Cherry told UPI, "The message count peaked in the late afternoon Tuesday at over 70 per minute. Many of those were from people who called several offices. ... By Wednesday morning, the count was over 18,000. ...So all told, our very rough guess is there were well over 50,000 phone calls and faxes made on the one day." UPI says some of those calls came in on toll free lines established by the Christian Coalition, which is pushing the issue based on protecting children from pornography. Parents supporting the First Amendment say they should screen material for their children rather than allow the government to regulate it. Some aren't optimistic about the protests' potential for swaying Congress. "It looks like this legislation is going to go in and no one's going to contest it," says President Henri Poole of Vivid Studios, a San Francisco web site developer. "I'm going to continue to make calls. I'm going to let the politicians hear that this issue is extremely important to me." Paulson says that as the debate continues, several organizations with World Wide Web sites have posted information about the pending censorship legislation, including American Civil Liberties Union (ftp://ftp.aclu. org/aclu/); Electronic Frontier Foundation (http://www.eff.org/); Electronic Privacy Information Center (http://www.epic.org/); and Voters Telecommunications Watch (http://www.vtw.org/). Also other websites contain reports on the San Francisco First Amendment rally, among them MediaCast (http://www.mediacast.com/); and Vivid Studios (http://www.vivid.com/). Hayes Tries to Block Diamond In an effort to thwart Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc.'s unsolicited merger proposal, modem maker Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. is seeking to dilute the influence of a key shareholder. Mark Boslet of the Dow Jones News Service says Hayes has filed documents with the Atlanta Federal Bankruptcy Court saying it would offer the stockholder more for her shares than the $10 million offered by Diamond Multimedia. "In the filing," says Boslet, "the modem maker said it will offer the shareholder, Melita E. Hayes, a minimum of $11 million for her 9.4 percent holding in the company. The company reserved the right to increase the offer to a maximum of $20 million should competing offers for the company climb." This is just the latest in the hotly contested battle for Hayes. Modem industry leader U.S. Robotics Corp. also has made an offer to buy the company, though both it and Diamond are being spurned by Hayes Microcomputer, which has sought financing to get itself out of bankruptcy court on its own. Apple Woes Raise CEO Doubts Yesterday's warning from Apple Computer Inc. that it may report another quarter of disappointing earnings sent the computer maker's shares down $3 and prompted analysts to raise doubts about Apple CEO Michael Spindler's future. As reported yesterday, Apple says it expects to post a loss for the final three months of 1995, despite recent price cuts that have resulted in higher sales and shipments. The news pushed Apple shares down three points to 35-1/4. Also, the Reuter News Service quotes analysts as saying Apple officials are considering several restructuring steps aimed at shoring up first- quarter profitability including layoffs and outsourcing of some jobs. And the company is considering narrowing its sales focus to target key business geographies, in a strategy similar to a recently implemented plan aimed at key segments such as education and high-end publishing, analysts said. Since taking over for former Apple CEO John Sculley in 1993, Spindler has tried to revamp Apple's operations and improve profitability. "A combination of factors," says Reuters, "including stiff competition from less expensive rivals like Compaq Computer Corp. and Packard Bell and nagging production problems has hampered Spindler's efforts and stirred doubts about his survival." In fact, says consultant Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies, "it does challenge Spindler's past performance. It means he has to get this thing back in order if he wants to stay with the company." He added, "My understanding is that everything is under review, including cutting costs in manufacturing, staff, and R&D." Analysts also told the wire service that executives are investigating a plan to focus business operations in core geographies. Sales and marketing functions in certain other locations would be significantly reduced or outsourced, Reuters said. Apple Takeover Rumors Thrive While Apple Computer Inc. struggles through a surprisingly poor Christmas sales season, analysts say renewed speculation about takeover of the computer maker may keep its stock from falling farther than the $3 dive it took on Friday. As reported earlier, Apple announced Friday it expects to post a loss for the final three months of 1995, despite recent price cuts that have resulted in higher sales and shipments. That news pushed Apple shares down three points to 35.25. Reporter Eric Auchard of the Reuter News Service this morning notes Friday's closing price was just shy of Apple's low for the year of $33.625, which came after the company cautioned that unit shipments, revenues, and gross profit margins may slip below internal goals for the fiscal first quarter ending in December. But securities analysts are saying the stock price might have tumbled into the $20s range if not for the takeover sentiment. Said analyst William Milton of Brown Brothers, "The lower the price goes, the more likely a takeover is. That's going to keep a floor on the price." He predicts the stock will remain above $30, barring new disappointments. Of late, Apple has been mentioned frequently as a potential takeover target, and the general and computer media have named a number of suitors from Canon Inc. of Japan to IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Oracle Corp. Reports have indicated a buyer might be willing to pay up to $55 to $60 per Apple share. Milton says industry analysts, who had expected a profit for the first quarter ending this month, are preparing to chop earnings estimates for not just the first period but the fiscal year, adding, "This is the big quarter of the year, so if we are seeing a loss I wonder if we will see any profit at all for the year." Meanwhile, says Auchard, "to dispel a perception that Macintosh system computers have become lame ducks compared to low-cost PCs running the Windows 95 system on Pentium chips," Apple has been forced to slash prices to gain retail shelf space and consumer dollars. On this point, analyst Richard Zwetchkenbaum of International Data Corp. says, "They have had to be very sensitive to the lingering perception that you have to pay a premium for Apple products." He added, "If Apple wants to continue to participate in the hardware end of the business -- not just license its Macintosh operating system to other players -- I don't see any way it can avoid getting leaner and meaner and having to be more effective at execution, time-to-market and forecasting." Taligent to Become IBM Subsidiary Apple Computer Inc. and IBM Corp. have confirmed recent press reports that their Taligent venture will be folded into IBM. About 200 jobs will be lost in the process. The Taligent Object Technology Development Center will continue the development of Taligent technologies and accelerate their integration into IBM products. IBM will assume responsibility for marketing and distribution of all future Taligent products. Taligent was formed in 1992 by Apple and IBM to develop a new application system based on object-oriented technology. Hewlett-Packard Co. became the third investor in 1994. "Taligent's pioneering technology is an important element in our object-oriented software strategy for enterprise- wide distributed computing," says Steve Mills, general manager of IBM's software solutions division. "Today's announcement will allow us to accelerate delivery to our customers. It reinforces our aggressive drive to provide software developers with powerful, cross-platform, object-oriented software that adheres to industry standards and meets enterprise needs." The new technology center will be located at Taligent's headquarters in Cupertino, California. Electronics Employment Rises The American Electronics Association is reporting that electronics employment at the end of September 1995 was 2.543 million, the highest monthly total in almost five years. The figure marks an increase of 134,000, or 5.6 percent, over the 2.409 million people who held electronics-based jobs in September 1994. Employment in the industry's software sector increased by almost 60,000 from September 1994 to September 1995, notes the AEA. Defense/commercial guidance systems was the only industry segment that failed to improve in the period, falling 9.1 percent. "The dynamism and robust health of U.S. high technology is creating high quality American jobs at a rapid rate," says William T. Archey, the AEA's president and CEO. "Current employment in our industry is more than 10 times that of the basic steel industry and three times that of the automotive industry. We expect this trend to continue into next year." The AEA's employment estimates are based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to later revision. The AEA, a high-tech trade group, represents more than 3,000 U.S.-based technology companies. Company Recalls "Memory" Program SoftRAM95, a Syncronys Softcorp program designed to mimic the benefits of having more memory chips, is being recalled in the wake of a federal government inquiry into claims the software doesn't work as promised. The Associated Press says the software works as advertised for Windows 3.1, but is ineffective with the newer Windows 95 operating system. "The company said in November it would put stickers on its packages warning customers that SoftRAM95 would work only for Windows 3.1," AP reports. "The company issued the recall because stickers didn't make it onto all the packages." The wire service says SoftRAM95 has been one of the biggest-selling for PCs in the U.S. this fall, capitalizing on Windows 95's need for additional memory to run effectively. Officials with the Culver City, Calif., firm told the wire service the New York office of the Federal Trade Commission has started an inquiry into SoftRAM and that the company is cooperating. Also, two lawsuits have been filed against the company over the problem. Meanwhile, Syncronys officials say the firm is developing a version of the program that will work with Windows 95 and plans to ship the revised version to registered users and make a program that repairs the original's trouble available through online services. Mattel Eyes Software Titles A line of software built around toy giant Mattel's best-known brand names -- including Barbie, Match Box cars and Cabbage Patch dolls - is to be introduced sometime next year. Mattel spokesman Glenn Bozarth told United Press International, "We've been working on interactive applications for more than a year," adding the company will disclose its exact strategy at the New York Toy Fair in February. Look for the software to be in stores in time for Christmas next year, according to Doug Glen, president of newly named Mattel Media, who told Computer Retail Week his company has an advantage over other children's software companies because it owns characters and brands that children recognize. Says UPI, "One of the planned software titles is Barbie Fashion Designer, which will allow users to design a wardrobe for the doll on the computer, then print the pattern on sticky-backed fabric using a personal computer printer." Home Page Wizard Goes With the Flow Steve Lohr writes for this week's New York Times that the World Wide Web "has helped bring the Internet to the masses...Without the Web, there would be no Internet craze. No Wall Street fixation with Internet stocks or instant Internet millionaires." The Times edition featuring Lohr's piece contained no less than three Web-headlined articles and two additional Internet features. CompuServe members are clearly a part of this major trend, and the service is responding daily. The Internet Publishing Forum has recently opened a new section, "CIS HPWiz & PubWiz," focusing on resources for use with the new Home Page Wizard and Publishing Wizard. Home Page Wizard allows any CompuServe member to build a personal World Wide Web Home Page. There is no charge for Home Page Wizard, and it may be downloaded with no CompuServe connect-time charges incurred, although communications surcharges may apply. The download time does not count toward a member's monthly five hours on CompuServe. Internet Publishing Forum's Terry Cotant asks, "What's the difference between the HPWIZ and the Publishing Wizard Program?" Christina Gibbs replies, "HPWIZ is the name of the downloadable program. When you execute it, it creates a number of programs and files. HpWiz is the Home Page Wizard, which is an HTML editor. Publishing Wizard is the part that publishes the pages by putting them on CIS's Web server for you." GO INTERNET to access CompuServe's basic and constantly updated Internet services. Check out the Internet Publishing Forum's Message Section 20, "CIS HPWiz & PubWiz," "CompuServe Home Page Wiz," and other helpful message sections and libraries for instructions on producing your own Home Page. GO HPWIZ when you're ready to download. Once you're on the Web, find the home pages of other CompuServe members by directing your search to the Web site "Our World," http://ourworld.compuserve.com. CHRISTMAS! STR FOCUS .......A familiar tale, with a new twist! The Night Before Christmas 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ship Not a circuit was buzzing, not one microchip; The phasers were hung in the armory securely, In hopes that no aliens would get up that early. The crewmen were nestled all snug in their bunks (Except for the few who were partying drunks); And Picard in his nightshirt and Bev in her lace, Had just settled down for a neat face-to-face... When out in the halls there arose such a racket, That we leapt from our beds, pulling on pants and jacket. Away to the lifts we all shot like a gun, Leapt into the cars and yelled loudly, "Deck One!" The bridge Red-Alert lights, which flashed through the din, Gave a lustre of Hades to objects within. When, what, on the viewscreen, should our eyes behold, But a weird kind of sleigh, and some guy who looked old. But the glint in his eyes was so strange and askew That we knew in a moment it had to be Q. His sleigh grew much larger as closer he came. Then he zapped on the bridge and addressed us by name: "It's Riker! It's Data! It's Worf and Jean-Luc! It's Geordi! And Wesley, the genetic fluke! To the top of the bridge, to the top of the hall! Now float away! Float away! Float away all!" As leaves in the autumn are whisked off the street, So the floor of the bridge came away from our feet, And up to the ceiling our bodies they flew, As the captain called out, "What the hell is this, Q?!" The prankster just laughed and expanded his grin, And, snapping his fingers, he vanished again. As we took in our plight and were looking around, The spell was removed, and we crashed to the ground. Then Q, dressed in fur from his head to his toe, Appeared once again, to continue the show. "That's enough!" cried the captain, "You'll stop this at once!" And Riker said, "Worf! Take aim at this dunce!" "I'm deeply offended, Jean-Luc," replied Q, "I just want to celebrate Christmas with you." As we scoffed at his words, he produced a large sack. He dumped out the contents and took a step back. "I've brought gifts," he said, "just to show I'm sincere. There's something delightful for everyone here." He sat on the floor and dug into his pile, And handed out gifts with his most charming smile: "For Counsellor Troi, there's no need to explain. Here's Tylenol-Beta for all of your pain. For Worf I've some mints as his breath's not too great, And for Geordi LaForge, an inflatable date. For Wesley, some hormones, and Clearasil-Plus; For Data, a joke book; for Riker, a truss. For Beverly Crusher, there's sleek lingerie, And for Jean-Luc, the thrill of just seeing her that way." Then he sprang to his feet with that grin on his face And, clapping his hands, disappeared into space. But we heard him exclaim as he dwindled from sight, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!" Based on "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore Adaptation Copyright 1990, Eric R. Rountree ARCsolo TBU STR Focus The "Rolls Royce" of Tape Back- up Software SCSI Tape Back Up Software that WORKS! ARCsolo for Windows 95 From; Cheyenne Software Inc. by Ralph F. Mariano part one Every once in a while, a "Masterwork" in software comes along. This software package is a top notch "event" in the lines of software released in support of Windows 95. After having gone through the "Death Valley" gauntlet with the wanna be TBU software that has been impersonating Windows 95 support software, "ARCsolo 95 is a breath of fresh air." One must see this powerful scsi tape backup ensemble to fully appreciate its thoughtful, in-depth design. Truly, "ARCsolo is the backup software package designed by computerists for computerists of every level from beginner to advanced systems engineers." Its been a full week since I installed ARCsolo 95, it has done everything claimed it could do with no difficulties at all. I purposely created a disaster situation. actually, my Registry File did what it does so well. It corrupted itself again. I felt it was a wonderful time to check the disaster recovery feature of ARCsolo 95. What's to say other than it worked as described and I was back up and running in no time at all. Among the TBU software generally available. ARCsolo is by far, the very best SCSI Tape Backup Software package on the market.. Partial List of Features z Full backup of Windows 95 ARCsolo backs up all Windows 95 files, including long file names, file creation date and times and access dates. " Fully protects Windows 95. Also protects important configuration information. z Multiple Backup Options ARCsolo provides several backup options: Full (with or without clearing the archive bit), Incremental and Differential " Network Administrator can customize his backup strategy balancing the window with his own disaster recovery requirements. z Multiple Verification Methods ARCsolo provides for two methods of backup verification. Scanning the file headers or the more complete byte for byte comparison. " This ensures integrity of data after it has been placed on the tape. Scanning provides a faster check, byte for byte provides an exact check. z Filter Options Filter options provide another level of user configuration for backup, restore and copy. Filename, directory, date created/accessed/modified and file extensions are among the available filter options. " Allows customized strategy to include or exclude specific information. For example, an executable application need not be backed up everytime a full backup is performed. These can be selectively filtered by file extension. z Open/Skipped File Handling Options Multiple options for handling open files: skip, retry, deny none, deny write and lock modes are among the available choices. " User may choose how ARCsolo handles open files thus ensuring the backup is handled according to his own priorities. ARCsolo will backup open files as they appear on the disk at the time of the backup. z Tape Password Security Each session is secured by user defined passwords. " Passwords prevent unauthorized users from accessing and restoring critical data. z File Grooming Transfer older, seldom or unused files to tape for safekeeping. " Frees important hard disk space for current information by archiving older files on tape. Using the database, files on tape can be located and restored quickly when needed. z Preferred Shares List Allows the Administrator to create a list of preferred or commonly used points which will be stored in the browser. " Allows preferred share points to be easily located and selected without having to browse through the Network provider tree to find them. This feature is essentially a convenience for users who routinely select the same files and directories for backup. z Flexible Scheduling Options Backup and or restore jobs can be scheduled by various criteria includng day/date, time and or repeat intervals. " Backup and Restore can be scheduled to occur at the most appropriate times which will accommodate each user's data protection strategy. z InocuLAN AntiVirus Scanning Allows file to be scanned during backup, copy and count operations. If a virus is detected, predetermined actions can be automatically executed. Including; skipping, renaming or deleting infected files. " Data is scanned for viruses immediately before backup, copy and count operations. This virus scan provides an extra measure of security even if regular virus scanning is employed. If the full InocuLAN for Windows 95 product is also installed on the server, ARCsolo intelligently uses the most current virus scan engine and latest signature file kept in the InocuLAN home directory otherwise, it uses a local copy of these InocuLAN modules. Note; This feature does not serve as an alternative or replacement for InocuLAN for Windows 95. It does provide a last minute check of files that have been selected for backup as an extra precaution against putting a virus on your backup tape. z Intelligent Restore/Multiple Recovery Options The Database may be viewed in several ways; 1. server file directory tree 2. tape directory tree 3. direct query Recovery from a specific tape without using the database is also supported. " User can easily locate and select data for restores even to the dated version of a selected file. The file versioning even shows the tape to mount for the specific version required. More next week... ARCsolo is this Editor's Choice! Once you use it for the first time, it will be your choice too. Want more Info?? Call Cheyenne Software Inc., at 1-516-484-5110 ask for Paul Clapman he's a great guy. . Let `em know you "discovered" ARCsolo here. ANOTHER INTEL FOOTSHOT? STR Spotlight WHO is running things out there?? IS INTEL "AT IT" AGAIN?? ABOUT THOSE MYSTERIOUS "BUS MASTERING" TRITON DRIVERS by Ralph F. Mariano After some good old fashioned hunting and digging around the edges of a "missing driver" story. This Reporter discovered that there is indeed fire where there is even the slightest wisp of smoke. The Triton Chipset, a widely used really quite good PCI component, has been getting a bad if not ugly reputation lately. It seems that no matter what users do and no matter which operating system they're using on their PC, Win95, Win3.1, OS/2 etc., they're experiencing unexplainable I/O errors, corrupted files and other related nastiness. In digging deeper, it became obvious that there were definite answers as to WHY these errors were appearing. After a week and a half and almost exhausting my extensive sources of information a number of things became rather obvious. The Triton Chipset was causing the problems but only in an indirect manner. The drivers that were in use on the various platforms were the culprits. The story then began to get interesting. It seems that whoever was directly dependent upon INTEL was extremely reluctant to talk about this matter. Claiming everything from ignorance to lockjaw. Truth is, they were obviously afraid of losing their sources of income. But as always, with diligent digging, a few well informed and highly respected individuals who shall remain unnamed. Volunteered the right combinations to gain access to what we wanted to know. It all led back to INTEL. Once contacted, the folks at Intel while very polite and professional proved to provide exactly what this reporter was looking for. Verification that newer and better drivers existed and that they were NOT being made directly available to the end user. They (Intel's SUITS) really feel that if they give.... GIVE the drivers to the OEM's of the motherboards... they've met their responsibility to the end user. Think about that for moment or two.... How many consultants who are assembling and selling machines are there in North America alone?? Is the motherboard maker going to track down each and every end user?? Not on your life! Is each and every consultant still in business who was at this time last year?? I doubt it. (Deaths etc..) The motherboard makers want nothing to do with the end users, the distributors want nothing to do with the end users. And.... apparently, INTEL wants nothing to do with the end users!!! They also say that since they're giving .. GIVING the driver to MS.... They say.. MS will have it in their next Windows 95 update. Will that update be FREE??? I think not. As usual, the user is getting set up to take it on the chin AGAIN at the hands of the bright minds at INTEL. The Triton Chipset has been around how long now??? How many more will be in use the day AFTER Christmas??? Or, is this INTEL's method of paving the way for Triton II?? Must Microsoft and Windows 95 take the "black-eye" for Intel?? People all over the world are experiencing weird problems using motherboards equipped with a Triton Chipset because of the anemic drivers available at this time for the Triton Chipset. Ask any Win95 user about the notice in Device Manager about "Bus Mastering NOT enabled" ?? Why wasn't the "almighty" INTEL ready with the right drivers for August 24th?? Better yet, why didn't they provide the correct drivers WITH the CHIPSETS to begin with? The first (beta Triones) set of drivers were available in July 1995.... then usually another each month thereafter. I have a number of them at this time. To be honest the use of the Bus Mastering Driver, the latest I have, has dramatically enhanced the performance of both my of P133 PCI Triton systems. Can you get them?? Where are they?? GOD only knows... According to Intel's "informed people" ..the existence of such is a secret!! WHY? Perhaps. Because Intel does not want to spend the money to provide the tech support for something they created and sold ...the Triton Chipset!! Can you imagine that??? INTEL suffering from a serious case of the CHEAPS!! I don't care to believe this is the case, but every indicator points in that direction. One can only imagine what will occur when the "Top Bananas" at INTEL learn of this fiasco. In my conversation with Pat Correia, I insisted all they had to do was make the drivers they had ready for Windows 95, OS2 etc.. available on their Website and it would alleviate many, many problems. I also assured them that the various groups providing support for the different platforms would only be TOO GLAD to help in the area of support. Deaf ears... it all fell on deaf ears. They are going to supply the new Triton drivers to the motherboard manufacturers and leave the "detective" work up to the end user. How very original.... what the end user doesn't know won't hurt him type of thinking. Its time, once again as far as Intel is concerned, that the end user got a little help in KNOWING what is happening, why the write problems, the corrupted files etc.. INTEL is sidestepping and skirting the real issue here SUPPORT! Intel can more than afford to do the right thing. Even if "somebody" neglected to PUT support into the budget for Triton Chipsets and DRIVERS. (there are never any "atta-boys" for this kind of cost cutting as it always comes back to haunt the goofy bean counters who encourage the sort of thing) These corporate whigs... they all think basically alike, they think THEY know what the users want and how they want it. Trouble is ...they simply do not ask the users. They rely upon a demographic poltergeist and then swear by what they're told. Its no wonder we see seemingly strong companies go right down the tubes. These corporate geeks have got to get out in the real world, bump elbows, scuff their shoes as they hit the bricks and begin to listen to the real people who, by the way, are PAYING the BILLS .. None other than the Consumers themselves! Until they do... they'll continue to dance the dance and trot the prance of the "demographic smoke and mirrors" shell game. A game where the end user is a guaranteed loser and the corporate zombie who followed the demographic poltergeist will "enjoy" a dramatic career change. How grotesquely arrogant or, is that perhaps ignorant ...can one company's leadership at whatever level be?? After the recent "Pentium that couldn't multiply" disaster.... they're _very_ sensitive. But obviously some at INTEL didn't learn a thing from the jolting experience. UPI, API and Reuters would LOVE to play with this story so soon on the heels of the Pentium zinger... Want results?? Bring THIS story to the very same group that EXPOSED the Pentium screw-up "wall of silence" cover-up. "They (Intel) had better become more sensitive to the needs of the end users. after all, with the US Government (taxpayers = end users) now having INTEL design the finest for Government use.. " said an unnamed local elected official. The official expressed a desire to "give Intel an opportunity to correct this annoyance". Thus, I agreed to withhold the identity of said official. It is the Holiday Season. so Intel, do the right thing.. take care of your consumers ..the real ones. The End Users! They really are bungling this driver and support thing rather well. I did raise a serious fuss with them and I am certain, as an "appeasement", after I threatened them with exposure, they sent me their "latest" driver dated 11/17/95 ... of course I had been informed prior to this by one of my very reliable sources that a 12/06/95 final beta driver existed. (Recent Folsom Conference) Who are INTEL's pinstriped whigs trying to "kid"?? Wanna bet they sent a "November" driver in hopes it would "show up" somewhere it wasn't supposed to. Cute, real cute. All they've managed to do at this point is thoroughly offend me!! Besides, this reporter is NOT, under any circumstances, for sale! Diana Wilson (PR Person) at 916-356-8064 or, Pat A. Correia at 916-356-5114 (he seems to be calling the shots) E-Mail : Diana_T_Wilson@ccm.fm.intel.com & Pat_A_Correia@ccm.fm.intel.com Folks, you have my permission to reprint this article anywhere you wish.... especially the desktops of API, UPI, Reuters etc.. 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 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed TOP STORIES Viable, Meaningful, Fungible Disputes QVC On The Web Quark For Multimedia Untangling The Web Apple Hints At Layoffs Congress & President Agree On Major Telecom Bill Bell Atlantic, Nynex Flirt With Merger Dreaming Of GEnie Digital Develops "Super Spider" Seasonal Shopping Cheers Computer Makers You'd Better Watch Out -- For Crackers Europe Online, Sort Of CNNfn's "Virtual Newsroom" ALSO Visible Woman On The Web Ottawa Surfs The Net Banks' Grip On ATMs Broken More Internet Statistics For Divorce, Press One... Net Santas More Suitors For Apple? Calculators Banned In British Testing Profile Of Web Users PCS Licenses Granted New High-Tech Fund Stalled E-Zine Listing Funding For Rural Internet And Montreal Free-Net Pay Till It Hurts VIABLE, MEANINGFUL, FUNGIBLE DISPUTES The House-Senate conference committee working on the telecommunications bill is struggling to express the conditions under which the Bell operating companies could compete against AT&T, MCI, and other companies in the long- distance market. The long-distance companies say that until the Bells face real competition in their own local markets they should not be allowed to provide long-distance services. How to describe "real" competition? The long-distance companies are lobbying hard for descriptors such as "meaningful" or "viable" or "fungible." Another dispute needing resolution focuses on media-ownership restrictions in the bill. Democrats have refused to accept Republican proposals to substantially increase the number of cable operations a single company could own. (New York Times 15 Dec C1, 16 Dec p17) QVC ON THE WEB QVC has taken its home shopping business online, setting up shop on the Microsoft Network. QVC initially will offer computers and other home office products, as well as jewelry and kitchen wares. The deal will give Microsoft an unspecified percentage of total sales, and will allow QVC to migrate to other online services if it so chooses. Broadcasting & Cable 11 Dec 95 p94) QUARK FOR MULTIMEDIA Quark Inc., maker of publishing software QuarkXPress, has developed a program targeting Internet and multimedia publishers called QuarkImmedia. Due out next spring, QuarkImmedia is expected to "do for multimedia authoring and Internet publishing what QuarkXPress has done for publishing on paper," says the company. The software allows publishers to assemble interactive documents that include pictures, text, sound, video, scripts and linked text, but doesn't use HTML -- Web users will need to use a special viewer available free from Quark to see pages created in QuarkImmedia. (Information Week 18 Dec 95 p107) UNTANGLING THE WEB A new system for labeling Internet content, developed originally to provide a standard format for identifying objectionable material, could ultimately provide a way to sort Internet content according to topical categories, creating a sort of cyber Dewey Decimal system. The Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS), a product of the MIT-based World Wide Web consortium, would enable organizations to easily add descriptive or judgmental labels to newsgroups and Web pages, providing guideposts for surfers who want to steer clear of superfluous or objectionable information. PICS itself is value-neutral, says the project's spokesman, but it will provide a standard for others to use in developing their own rating schemes. "Ideally, the system will encourage rating not just by large-scale commercial services, but also by individuals, school boards, political organizations, and others," says Esther Dyson. (Technology Review Jan 95 p11) APPLE HINTS AT LAYOFFS After posting a loss for the fiscal first-quarter ending December 31st (usually the strongest quarter of the year), Apple hints at cost-cutting layoffs. CEO Michael Spindler, whose job has been under pressure for some months, said: "We are currently engaged in an intensive review of all aspects of our business, including the factors contributing to our first- quarter results, and will take appropriate actions to address the challenges." (New York Times 16 Dec 95 p17) VISIBLE WOMAN ON THE WEB Last year was the Visible Man -- soon there will be a Visible Woman on the Web, courtesy of the National Library of Medicine. The body was scanned by magnetic-resonance imaging and computed-tomography systems and then shaved into 5,200 cross-sections that were photographed and compiled into a huge database. The 39-billion-byte database will be online at <http://www.nlm.nih.gov >. (Business Week 18 Dec 95 p94) OTTAWA SURFS THE NET The Canadian government launched its long-awaited primary Internet site as the electronic gateway to more than 40 departments and agencies: <http://canada.gc.ca >. (Toronto Globe & Mail 15 Dec 95 A1) BANKS' GRIP ON ATMs BROKEN Breaking the tight grasp held by chartered banks on the "Interac" electronic banking network, Canada's Bureau of Competition policy ruled that other companies offering new services, such as insurance companies and retailers, will be allowed full access to the system that runs the country's bank machines and controls the direct-payment debit-card system. (Toronto Financial Post 15 Dec 95 p1) MORE INTERNET STATISTICS A report from Insight New Media says that there are now about 27 million Internet users in North America and quotes surveys indicating that almost half of online users have an undergraduate degree and 20% have a post- graduate degree and that the average Internet user has an above-average income. (Internet Facts 1995 p29; email@example.com) FOR DIVORCE, PRESS ONE... The info-highway is making it easier for you to tell your spouse to hit the road: a Canadian entrepreneur is selling kiosks that make getting a divorce almost as easy as getting cash from a banking machine. Called "QuickCourt," the new kiosks -- complete with video instructions and touch- screen buttons -- make breaking up easier on the wallet since lawyers are cut out of the picture in undisputed divorces. (Toronto Star 13 Dec 95 A1) NET SANTAS Here are some "Santa" web sites : <http://www.santaclaus.com> <http://north.pole.org> <http://santaland.northpole.qnet.com > <http://www.netsurf.com/12sites.html> <http://www.metaviolet.com/ xmas> <http://yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au/mist/Smackerels/ SantaClaus.html> (Toronto Globe & Mail 16 Dec 95 B19) CONGRESS & PRESIDENT AGREE ON MAJOR TELECOM BILL With the White House giving enthusiastic support to the final version of major telecommunications legislation worked out by a House-Senate negotiation committee, the bill is certain to become law. The legislation will remove regulatory barriers that now separate the information industry into protected components (i.e., local phone, long-distance phone, and cable TV segments); the result will be vastly increased competition across current boundaries, along with new mergers and strategic partnerships. In the final bill, the Justice Department has been given a partial role in deciding when a Bell operating company faces enough local competition to justify allowing it to compete in the long-distance market. The bill contains provisions for fines and imprisonment of persons who make "indecent" material available to minors over computer networks - provisions distressing to civil liberties groups, which say that "indecent" is too vague a concept and that the legislation will violate the First Amendment right to free speech. (New York Times 21 Dec 95 A1) BELL ATLANTIC, NYNEX FLIRT WITH MERGER Officials at Bell Atlantic and Nynex are exploring the possibility of merging their companies into the second largest phone company, after AT&T. The new entity would have more than $27 billion in annual revenue and $3 billion in profits, giving it a powerful head start in tackling the long distance business. Approximately one-third of all U.S. long-distance calls either originate in or connect to one of their combined regions. The two sides are still "a long, long way off from signing legal documents. Right now, they are just trying to figure out if this makes any sense," says one executive familiar with the situation. (Wall Street Journal 18 Dec 95 A3) DREAMING OF GENIE GEnie, General Electric's online service, has been for sale since Nov. 13, and now it may have a buyer. Ed Perrone, who writes daily horoscopes for the network, is working with about 40 other providers to raise capital from investors for the service. Analysts estimate he'll need about $35 million for the purchase. (Business Week Dec 25 95 p6) DIGITAL DEVELOPS "SUPER SPIDER" A prototype of Digital's new Alta Vista high-speed search engine for finding information on the Internet scans not only Web sites but also Usenet discussion groups. The program works by creating complete indexes of every word on every Web page or Usenet news group it encounters when it sends out "a brood of spiders" (also called "threads") to scan the Internet, enabling it to conduct very precise searches. < http://www.altavista.digital.com > (New York Times 18 Dec 95 C2) SEASONAL SHOPPING CHEERS COMPUTER MAKERS Computer sales have picked up dramatically in the past couple of weeks, but analysts disagree on whether this year can come close to the phenomenal 1994 Christmas sales, which surged 40% above the previous year's. While International Data Corp. and Dataquest were predicting increases of 20% to 23% over last year's figures, a Link Resources analyst who tracks the home PC market for the IDC division, believes a 30% growth rate is still attainable. Many households are acquiring additional PCs, and "the demand for high-performance systems is very strong," he says, adding that some PC makers misjudged the consumer appeal of raw computing power. (Houston Chronicle 19 Dec 95 C1) YOU'D BETTER WATCH OUT -- FOR CRACKERS The Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie Mellon is warning that "hundreds of sites have been attacked" in recent days by computer hackers and crackers, noting there's been a 75% annual increase in reported incidents in recent years. "This is a great time for machines to sit idle for a week -- which is a hacker's playground. These people are Scrooges," says a Bell Labs security researcher. CERT declined to specify how much damage has occurred or who's been affected by the break-ins. (Wall Street Journal 20 Dec 95 B2) EUROPE ONLINE, SORT OF Europe Online made its debut last Friday, but most customers aren't Net surfing yet. Although the company promised service would be up and running Dec. 15, would-be subscribers who called the toll-free number were told they'd have to wait three weeks to sign on. The company also announced a potential hook-up with Deutsche Telekom's T-Online service, the largest PC- based online service in Europe. That alliance would be a blow to America Online, which is putting a deal together with Bertelsmann AG and, it thought, Deutsche Telekom, to offer an online service in Germany. (Wall Street Journal 18 Dec 95 B9B) CNNfn's "VIRTUAL NEWSROOM" CNN will use Intel's Pro-Share videoconferencing software and an ATM network to produce real-time interviews online for its CNNfn financial network. Dubbed "inter.face," the computer link will allow CNNfn journalists to interview financial experts live on camera from their place of work. "It gives us the ability to get reaction to breaking financial news immediately," says the VP for CNN Business News. (Broadcasting & Cable 18 Dec 95 p80) MORE SUITORS FOR APPLE? After spurning IBM's offer last year of $40 a share, Apple Computer now apparently has more potential suitors waiting in the wings. Rumors are circulating that Motorola, Oracle, Sony and Hewlett-Packard all are considering a possible merger, but "The question for Apple now is who would want to buy it," says an analyst at ChicagoCorp. (Wall Street Journal 18 Dec 95 A3) CALCULATORS BANNED IN BRITISH TESTING The British School Curriculum and Assessment Authority will ban calculators from use during one of two math exams to be administered to 11-year-olds next year, and is urging the country's Education Secretary to introduce a similar ban for 14-year-olds by 1997. The Authority cited widespread confusion over decimal places and a lack of competence with fractions, and raised fears that overuse of calculators in the classroom has eroded schools' ability to teach basic mathematical concepts. The move was applauded by the London Mathematical Society, which, in a report last month, had charged schools with failure to teach the basics and leaving universities to provide remedial training. (The Times [London] 7 Dec 95 A1) PROFILE OF WEB USERS A new study of WWW users finds that the typical user has changed "from the elite enthusiast to the skeptical shopper"; that women in general are less likely to buy online, even in some categories where they generally buy more than men; that concern for security of online transactions is currently an important reason for their not making online purchases; and that commercial WWW sources have moved up to second place (behind only newspapers/magazines) as sources For information. < www.umich.edu/~sgupta/hermes/ > PCS LICENSES GRANTED Industry Canada granted four companies licenses to offer consumers personal communications services across the country as a cheaper and more portable alternative to cellular phones. The first PCS networks are expected to begin operation in Canada's largest centers within the next two years. (Toronto Star 19 Dec 95 D1) NEW HIGH-TECH FUND STALLED A proposal to launch a new fund to encourage investment in new technology is being debated by Canada's Cabinet after months of difficult planning. The fund is a difficult sell since it needs between $150- and $300-million to start and most government departments are struggling to preserve existing programs rather than financing new ones. (Toronto Financial Post 20 Dec 95 p5) E-ZINE LISTING The URL < http://www.merak.com/~tkuipers/elists/elists.htm > has recently been updated to point to most of the principal online newsletters (including Edupage & STReport). FUNDING FOR RURAL INTERNET AND MONTREAL FREE-NET Canada's government granted $6-million in grants to 271 communities for the development of free, community-based Internet service providers that will assure universal and affordable access in rural areas. (Toronto Globe & Mail 20 Dec 95 B2) .... The Libertel Free-Net, with a grant from the Quebec government, will launch a toll-free Internet access service for Montrealers. Montreal joins a community of 20 other Free-Nets across Canada. (Montreal Gazette 18 Dec 95 A5) PAY TILL IT HURTS Sun Microsystems' John Gage wants Microsoft to feel his pain: "We want them to pay enough money [to license Java] that it hurts a little bit. It has to be something that you take seriously. For a company like Microsoft, you charge them a couple of hundred thousand dollars, they don't even notice. They blow that much on the fruit for one of their press events." (Investor's Business Daily 20 Dec 95 A6) The next Edupage will be dated 26 December 1995 Happy Holidays! Edupage is written by John Gehl (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Suzanne Douglas (email@example.com). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of North Carolina. EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading. To subscribe to Edupage: send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: subscribe edupage Marvin Minsky (assuming that your name is Marvin Minsky; if it's not, substitute your own name). ... To cancel, send a message to: email@example.com and in the body of the message type: unsubscribe edupage... Subscription problems: firstname.lastname@example.org. EDUCOM REVIEW is our bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications, and information technology. Subscriptions are $18 a year in the U.S.; send mail to email@example.com. When you do, we'll ring a little bell, because we'll be so happy! Choice of bell is yours: a small dome with a button, like the one on the counter at the dry cleaners with the sign "Ring bell for service"; or a small hand bell; or a cathedral bell; or a door bell; or a chime; or a glockenspiel. Your choice. But ring it! EDUCOM UPDATE is our twice-a-month electronic summary of organizational news and events. To subscribe to the Update: send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: subscribe update John McCarthy (assuming that your name is John McCarthy; if it's not, substitute your own name). INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE The CAUSE organization's annual conference on information technology in higher education is scheduled for the end of this month in New Orleans. The conference will bring together administrators, academicians and other managers of information resources. For full conference information check out <http://cause-www.colorado.edu > or send e-mail to email@example.com. ARCHIVES & TRANSLATIONS. For archive copies of Edupage or Update, ftp or gopher to educom.edu or see URL: < http://www.educom.edu/>. For the French edition of Edupage, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "subscribe"; or see < http://www.ijs.com >. For the Hebrew edition, send mail to email@example.com containing : SUBSCRIBE Leketnet-Word6 <name> or see < http://www.kinetica.co.il/ newsletters/leketnet/ >. For the Hungarian edition, send mail to: send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. An Italian edition is available on Agora' Telematica; connection and/or free subscription via BT-Tymnet and Sprint (login: <agora) or via telnet <agora.stm.it; mail: <email@example.com for info. For the Portuguese edition, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the message SUB EDUPAGE-P Seu Primeiro Nome Seu Sobrenome. For the Spanish edition, send mail edunews@nc- rj.rnp.br with the message SUB EDUPAGE-E Su Primer Nombre, Su Apellido. Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor A Father's Note to Santa by John Mackowick 74242,2411 Dear Santa: My six-year-old boy scribbled out his Christmas list. It's here by the fireplace. The Coke and M&M's are from him, in case you're hungry. You know six-year-olds these days. By the way, the Cheezits are from me. Santa, if you don't mind, I thought I'd go ahead and leave my list, too. It's long, but please, do what you can. It's all I want for Christmas. A Christmas List From His Father: Santa, let my little boy grow up still believing he has the funniest Dad in the neighborhood. Give him many close friends, both boys and girls. May they fill his days with adventure, security, and dirty fingernails. Leave his Mom and me some magic dust that will keep him just the size he is now. We'd just as soon he stayed six years old and three feet, nine inches. If he must grow up, please make sure he still wants to sit on my lap at bedtime and read "The Frog and the Toad." If you can help it, Santa, never let him be sent into war. His mother and I love our country, but we love our six-year-old boy more. While you're at it, send our world leaders a copy of "The Killer Angels," Michael Shaara's retelling of the Battle of Gettysburg. May it remind them that too many moms and dads have wept at Christmas for soldiers who have died in battles that needn't have been fought. Let our house always be filled with slamming doors and toilet seats, which are the official sounds of little boys. Break it to him gently, Santa, that his Dad won't always be able to carry him to bed at night or brush his teeth for him. Teach him courage in the face of such change. Let him understand that no matter how nice you are to everyone, the world will sometimes break your heart. As you know, Santa, a child's feelings are fragile as moth wings. Let him become a piano player, a soccer star, or a priest. Or all three. Anything but a tax and spend politician. Give him a hunger for books, music, and geography. May he be the first kid in school to be able to find Madagascar on a map. The kid's a born artist, Santa, so send more crayons. May our kitchen window and refrigerator doors ever be plastered with his sketches of surreal rainbows and horses with big ears. Through the years, steer him oh so carefully to that little girl destined to be his bride. Let his mother and me still be around when he walks her down the aisle. If there's a just God, let her daddy be obscenely rich. Grant him a heart that will cherish what his parents did right and forgive us for the mistakes we surely will have made over a lifetime of raising him. Let him not hold it against us that he was born with my chin and his mothers ears. Time will teach him that these are God's way of girding him for life's adversities. Hold him steady on the day that he learns the truth about you and the Easter Bunny. May he take the news better than I did. While you're flying around the heavens, Santa, make sure God has heard our prayer for this child: Lead my little boy not into temptation; deliver him from evil. Be careful out there, Santa. And please, close the flue on your way up. Portable Computers & Entertainment Section Marty Mankins, Editor Tekken Mini FAQ Sony PlayStation STR Focus Tekken Galaga Mini-FAQ v0.1 by $k@$ght INTRODUCTION: People have been having trouble enabling Devil Kazuya as a playable character, which can only be done by beating the Galaga "Challenging Stage" load-up game. The game consists of 8 stages, which are straight from the old 80's Galaga arcade game. You need to beat all 8 without using more than one continue. Of course this is easier said than done, thus this FAQ to help people who've been having alot of trouble. GENERAL TECHINIQUE: The only basic advice for beating Galaga is PRACTICE PRACTICE. You need to know the patterns, and be ready to shoot the fighters where they appear. The BEST way I know, is to practice with the "dual-ships code," which gives you double fighters from the beginning. Now this disables the "Devil Kazuya" option, so beating Galaga with the code is only good for practice. (The code is: hold UP, L1, X, and Triangle on Controller #2 at startup) You can "earn" double ships by beating level 1 under something like 18.3 or 18.5 seconds. You can also "continue" by pressing select at the end of a stage. Basic Strategy: Use double-ships, and the "turbo-fire" button (the triangle button). Each wave of enemies are basically similar in "attack formation." z Wave 1 : Fighters coming from directly above, generally straight down. z Wave 2 : Fighters and Galagas (which need two shots to kill) from the left-hand side. z Wave 3 : Fighters from the right-hand side. z Wave 4 : Fighters from above, same as Wave 1. z Wave 5 : Fighters from above, but "mirroring" Wave 1/4. This is a general overview, and not all stages can be beat the same way. Here are the stages: z STAGE 1 : Yellow bees (easy) z STAGE 2 : Red Wasps (proabably the easiest) z STAGE 3 : Blue Dragonflies (can be tricky) z STAGE 4 : Scorpions (loopy, pretty easy) z STAGE 5 : Red things (loopy, pretty easy too.) z STAGE 6 : Green ships (easy) z STAGE 7 : Galaxians (easiest when you know how) z STAGE 8 : Blue ships (can be tricky) STRATEGY BY STAGE: Each of these strategies is for dual-ships, except where noted. STAGE 1 : Yellow Bees Anyone who's played Galaga in the arcade has probably gotten to, or at least seen this stage before. z Wave 1 - Line up off-center to the right (just a tad). Fighters come down from just off to the right, from above, to the center, then loop around and off-screen. Get them as quickly as possible. z Wave 2 - Bees and Galagas this time, from the left, just above your "plane-of-existance." Move to the left, and be ready for them. With turbo on, they should be no problem. If you miss any, don't panic, but quickly move to the spot for wave 1, because they loop around and come down there before going off-screen. z Wave 3 - Bees from the right, opposite Wave 2. Same strategy, just flipped horizontally. z Wave 4 - Same as Wave 1. z Wave 5 - Same as Wave 4, just flipped horizontally. STAGE 1 - SINGLE SHIP You need to be able to beat stage 1 without the Dual-Ship code if you want to utilize Devil Kazuya. It's tough, but it can be done. You need to be able to do it under 18.5 seconds, so you may need to start shooting before the bees get on screen: learn the timings, they're critical! z Wave 1 - Same as dual-ship strategy, but again, start shooting before they come on screen to win under 18.5 seconds. z Wave 2 - This is the hard one. Line up about a ship's-width-and-a-half from the left, and turbo-fire, beginning with the 1st ship of the wave. If you get them right, you should be left with only purple motherships, which you can get when they loop around. This is the wave that'll drive you crazy. z Wave 3 - Same as dual-ship, but watch-out. You need to get them as soon as they come on screen, or you won't get it under the time limit. z Wave 4 - Same as #1. z Wave 5 - You know. This is the tough part of getting to Devil Kazuya, but if you don't get it, don't push reset. Just play the stage again. You'll get it with ease if you practice. STAGE 2 - Red wasps z Wave 1 - These come down from above, off a-little to the left, stop in the center, spin around 180-degrees, and go back the way they came. Line up and fire away, and you should have no problem. z Wave 2 - Galagas from the left, wasps from the right. They travel straight across right in front of you, loop around the screen, and come again for another pass. Line up a 1/4 of the way from the left side of the screen, and get the Galagas first, and then the wasps when they reach you. You can move right while firing to get some extra shots at them. If you miss any, don't fret. You can try to get them again at the top of the screen, and again when they come around to the bottom. z Wave 3 - Same as Wave 2, but with wasps in the place of Galagas. z Wave 4&5 Same as Wave 1. STAGE 3 - Blue flies z Wave 1 - They'll come down much like the wasps in Stage 2, and these flies also go up the way they came, but in a more "evasive formation." They sometimes outrun your missles. Just start firing before, or just as they come on screen, and you should have no more than 1 or 2 stragglers that you can blast away. z Wave 2 - At first, they appear much like Stage 2 Wasps & Galagas, but they'll spin around at about the 1/4 and 3/4 marks, and loop from there. Line up at the 1/4 mark, and get the Galagas as they spin. The remainder will loop around the screen and come straight down from the top in a straight line. Blast the flies then. z Wave 3 - Same as 2. z Wave 4&5 Don't miss! STAGE 4 - Scorpions z Wave 1 - These loop around each other, in a criss-cross pattern coming down from above, alittle off to the left, get to the bottom, and loop back up the same way. The best place to line up is dead center. They spend half their time on that side of their loop, rather than about 1/5 in the center of their loop. Blast away. z Wave 2 - Galagas and scorpions from the left, looping about three times and then going off screen to the top-left. Get some good shots in at the left side, and then plug away as they loop. They should spend enough time on-screen for you to get them all without problem. z Wave 3 - Same as 2, try to get them all as they appear. z Wave 4&5 Just sit in the center and fire away. STAGE 5 - Red things. z Wave 1 - They appear at the top, loop around the screen counter- clockwise, and go off screen. Line up along the left side and get them as they fly down. z Wave 2 - Similar to Stage 4-Wave 2, but they loop in bigger circles and less amount of times. z Wave 3 - Same as 2. z Wave 4&5 Should be no problem. STAGE 6 - Green ships. z Wave 1 - These emerge from the top (a bit to the left), come straight down, go right, go down, go right, and then down and off-screen. Line up at the "coming down" points. The easiest place to get them is right before they go off screen, along the right side. z Wave 2 - These won't stick around very long, so get them as quickly as you can. z Wave 3 - Same as 2. z Wave 4&5 Boy, these green things are dumb. STAGE 7 - Galaxians z Wave 1 - Don't be intimidated: this is the easiest stage, especially with dual-ships. Go to the right edge. The ships will emerge from the top, move straight across to the left, move diagonally to where you'll be waiting, before they try to move left off-screen. If you line up anywhere near the right edge, you'll get them all no-problemo (remember to use turbo- fire!) z Wave 2 - DON'T MOVE! Stay about a 1/2 ship's width from the right edge. The Galaxians and Galagas will loop around quickly, but come straight down where you'll be waiting. Turbo-fire them into oblivion. z Wave 3 - As soon as wave 2 is done, move to the left edge, and do the same thing. z Wave 4 - Same as Wave 1, but DON'T MOVE! These'll come to the left side, so stay where you are. z Wave 5 - Move to the right side, and get 'em. STAGE 8 - Blue Ships z Wave 1 - You'll be tempted to line up in the center, but you'll be better off lining a ships-width to the left or right. These blue ships will come down 2-by-2, loop around to the outside, cross at the center, and loop around to the outside and then off screen. Line up to one side, as if you only care about getting the ones on that side. Get the 1st 4 ships, and WAIT until the 2nd 4 cross over to where you'll be waiting to blast them away. z Wave 2 - This is the hardest wave in the game. They only loop once before going off screen, so it's important that you get them as soon as possible. When they've looped, any ships you've missed so far are more-or- less home free. z Wave 3 - Same as 2. Get 'em... QUICK! z Wave 4&5 Same as 1. Hopefully by then, you'll have done it without using more than one continue. REMEMBER! YOU CAN USE ONE CONTINUE. I can't tell you how many times I forgot that I can use one continue, and pushed reset before remembering. It will say "Congratulations," and pressing start on Kazuya should give you Devil Kazuya. Have fun, and Happy Tekkening! P.S. There could be mistakes here. Please let me know of any mistakes or suggestions. I don't think that there need to be any more versions unless there are alot of mistakes. Written by $k@$ght, by request from members of Video Games Forum of the CompuServe Information Service. Any portion of this document used without permission is fine by me. I just hope this wasn't a TOTAL waste of time! Atari Jaguar/Computer Section Dana Jacobson, Editor >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is! It's not difficult to believe that winter has arrived here in the northeast. The past couple of weeks have been typically New England-ish with a number of snowstorms already under our belts. We've had more snow this month than all of last year's winter! I'm really starting to get sick of it already. Bring back childhood when lots of snow meant a lot of great winter fun, and school cancellations! With the recent spate of winter "fun", I've spent more time dealing with the snow rather than checking out the latest Atari CDs that have been received. With the holidays almost here, things will slow down and providing more time to really dive into these CDs and report back. On a good note, while speaking with our illustrious "People Are Talking" columnist and all around nice guy, Joe Mirando during one of our typical "let's compare notes" phone discussions, I learned that we may be seeing an Atari CIM like navigator for CompuServe use. It's still very early and only in the "discussion" stage right now, but Missionware Software's John Trautschold happened to mention it to Joe earlier this week. Missionware, best known for the Flash II telecommunications software, would be an ideal candidate for such a project. Hopefully, this project will take off and Atari users will be able to take advantage of the new graphics environment that CompuServe will be moving to in the months ahead. Also, and if successful, perhaps Delphi Atari users can benefit from a similar project [hint]! Christmas is rapidly approaching. We, at STReport International Online Magazine, would like to extend our warmest holiday greetings. Please remember to not drink and drive; we want to see you around for years to come. Until next time... C-LAB Falcon! STR NewsFile! C-LAB Falcon MK-X ANNOUNCED!! C-Lab of Germany announced the new Falcon MK-X at the ProTOS show held in Bonn on November 25 & 26. The Falcon MK-X is the same basic Falcon MK-I/II to which we have become accustomed, but in a new, sleek and expandable case. Based on the successful FALCON MK-I specification and complete with the audio quality improvements which distinguish C-LAB's machines from the Atari original, C-LAB's latest machine is supplied in a new attractive desktop housing which gives plenty of room for various important internal expansion options. The MK X (signifying expandability) is controlled using a PC-AT style keyboard and Atari- compatible mouse. The MK X features the same basic connectivity as a standard FALCON with the exception of the stereo mini-jacks for audio in and out which have each been replaced by two standard size mono jack sockets. This gives a better connection for the professional musician, as well as compatibility with standard audio patch cables. The price for the MK-X machines has not yet been announced, but it will be only a bit higher than comparable MK-I/MK-II machines. Falcon MK-X machines will begin shipping sometime in January 1996. INTERNAL DRIVE OPTIONS The MK X can be purchased with an optional internal SCSI bus (like the MK II) which can accommodate various 3.5" hard drives (up to 4GB), or alternatively a SyQuest removable drive. Different aluminum blanking plates can be fitted to the front panel depending on the chosen media. DIGITAL INTERFACE OPTION Along with the existing RAM and hard disk options, an optional internal digital (DAT SPDIF) interface is available. Pricing has not yet been announced. All Falcons (Atari, MK-I/II/X) are compatible with external SPDIF interfaces from SoundPool and BlowUp. UPGRADING TO MK-X C-LAB Falcon MK-I/II owners can upgrade their computer to the MK X configuration for just the cost of the new case. This is handled directly by Toad Computers. This recasing might be a good time to add other hardware upgrades like RAM, hard disks, or digital interface as well. Atari FALCON030 owners can also take advantage of this upgrade, depending on the exact model of their motherboard. The C-LAB audio modifications would be a necessary part of this upgrade. Prices for this upgrade will be made available soon. WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE? Pictures of the new case are available on our web site at http://www.toad.net/atari/c-lab, the new Official C-Lab Falcon Home Page. We have also uploaded these pictures to Genie (TOADMKX.ZIP). The new case design is sleek and supports many of the expansions Falcon owners want most -- including the new BlowUP FX Board!! Keep reading!! CHRISTMAS SPECIAL -- SAVE $200 ON THE FALCON MK-II!! The Falcon MK II -- the top of the line in the C-Lab series -- started out at $2495 for a machine with these features. Now, thanks to the success of the product and economies of scale, you can take advantage of this HOT NEW PRICE -- for a limited time! Falcon MK II, 4MB RAM, 530MB SCSI Internal 2.5" HD........$1299.00 Current Note Lives! STR Focus CURRENT NOTES MAGAZINE PRESS RELEASE To: ALL ATARI/TOS/GEM USERS!! Re: CURRENT NOTES IS BETTER THAN EVER!! NEW SUBSCRIBERS PRIZE DRAW!! From: Current Notes Magazine The Jan/Feb 1996(!) issue of Current Notes Magazine will be available shortly, following hot on the heels of our big Nov/Dec issue! Look for the Nov/Dec issue in your mailbox (if you're a subscriber), or on your favorite Atari Dealer's newsstand. If there's a dealer in your area who can't find the NEW CURRENT NOTES, let 'em know we can be reached anytime at: Current Notes Magazine #2-559 Birchmount Rd. Scarborough, ON Canada M1K 1P8 E-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com GEnie : R.Boardman Phone: 416-752-2744 416-261-5997 FEATURES! FEATURES! FEATURES! FEATURES! The Jan/Feb issue will be PACKED with the very latest Reviews, News, Dealer Specials, and Technical Support. Look for these Features too: .........NeoDesk 4, CalAppt, Keyboard Gizmo, and Formatter Reviews! .........The cutting edge of Desktop Publishing from DMC/MGI Calamus! .........Getting the most for your TOS/GEM/Atari buck! .........The State-of-the-Art in Telecommunications! .........Using TOS, GEM, Geneva, NeoDesk, MagiC, and Ease for Business and Pleasure! .........The latest news from the UFO scene! Errol Bruce-Knapp explores and asks a lot of tough questions! .........The best in-depth series you'll find on setting up a Home Office! CURRENT NOTES SUBSCRIPTIONS: Current Notes Magazine is in its 15th great year! It is published bi-monthly in Toronto Canada, and produced entirely in Calamus SL. U.S. Subscribers 1 year/$25us 2 year/$46us Canadian Subscribers 1 year/$35cdn 2 year/$65cdn Foreign Subscribers 1 year/$48us 2 year/$90us Send your subscription requests along with payment, to: Current Notes Magazine #2-559 Birchmount Rd. Scarborough, ON Canada M1K 1P8 Please make all payments to: "urrent Notes" U.S. & Canadian Subscribers may pay via check, money order or bank draft. Foreign Subscribers should pay via bank money order or bank draft, drawn in U.S. funds. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org GEnie : R.Boardman Phone: 416-752-2744 416-261-5997 WE'RE HAVING A NEW SUBSCRIBER'S SUPER PRIZE DRAW!!!! We've got one prize only - and it's a great one! On June 1st 1996 some lucky new Current Notes subscriber's name will be drawn from all those who took out a new or renewal subscription postmarked sometime between January 1st 1996 and April 1st 1996. The draw will be completely random, and Current Notes employees, contributors, staff, advertisers and volunteers are not eligible. The Super Prize consists of the following: Outline Art 3, Calamus SL, the entire series of SARA CD-ROM software drivers, SpeedoGDOS 5, tbxCAD, First Graph, K-Spread 4 Lite, 1 year Membership in the Toronto Atari Federation (includes subscription to the Phoenix Newsletter!), Atari Joystick, CyberSculpt, and the Skyline CD (100's of megabytes of Shareware, Freeware, and Public Domain software). It's truly a great lineup of software and hardware - a $700 value! All you have to do is subscribe to Current Notes sometime between January 1st 1996 and April 1st 1996, for a chance to win! We'll be adding more prizes to the 'pot'! LETTERS, PRESS RELEASES, INFORMATION REQUESTS, Letters to the Editor Speak out, let us know what you want and need. Express yourself! Got a problem with your computer? Got a problem with your software? Let us know about it! Send e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or regular mail to: Current Notes Magazine #2-559 Birchmount Rd. Scarborough, ON Canada M1K 1P8 Press/New Product Releases New Software? New hardware? Telecommunications, the 'Net, the 'Web, industry developments? We want to know what you're up to, and so do our readers. Send all announcements and information to: email@example.com Information and Advertising Requests Send mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or the address above! Phone us! We'll e-mail, fax or mail you our latest Rate Card. SEND IN YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TODAY! Current Notes is the best way to "keep up"! We make it easy! RELEASE ANNOUNCE : CLAv3 ANNOUNCING.....the availability of CLA Digital Developer Version 3. A complete re-write of the CLA digital electronic design and simulation system, providing improvements to every aspect of the design process, wrapped up in a GUI to die for.... Here's a few features: z Fully GEM'ed, MultiTOS compatible, colour icons, windowed dialogs, multiple design views. z Hierarchical design (block structuring) - CA always had it, now it has a new Hierarchy Navigator as well. z New Simulator, with scrolling Logic Analyser & Word generator windows (multitasks simulation even under single TOS). z GDOS support - printing & metafiles, Speedo Compatible. z VHDL compiler included. z New FSMsynth PAL synthesis program. z Graphical Finite State Machine designer. z Context sensitive help. z Drag & Drop module library. z Encapsulation (re-partition existing designs into blocks) z Group operations, all new schematic editor that's loads easier to use. z Faster Delete & Move operations. z NVDI / EdDI off-screen bitmap support to speed up re-draws. z Falcon, TT, ST & MagicMac compatible. z Auto-routing of wires (only useful on a fast machine). z Full color schematics (CLA2 was black on white only). there's loads more....check it out. Where is it? ftp.uni-kl.de /pub/atari/incoming ftp.cnam.fr /pub/Atari/incoming Craig. (author) Iomega Drives! STR NewsFile! Iomega Ships First Jaz Drives Iomega Corp. says it has begun shipping its 1GB removable disk Jaz drive. The company, based in Roy, Utah, notes that limited quantities of the internal version are being provided "to key partners within the professional audio and video industries." Iomega adds that it expects to begin shipments of internal and external Jaz drives to retailers and others in the first quarter of 1996. Recent press reports indicated that Iomega might be forced to delay Jaz shipments. The company has experienced serious backorder problems for several months on the parallel port version of Zip, its 100MB removable disk drive. Jaguar Section More Games Out! Battlesphere Update! Jaguar Now $99! Atari Karts! And More... >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Well, Christmas is upon us. The Jaguar library consists of 44 games as of this writing and the price is currently at $99. I can't say that this holiday season was a success for Atari. I haven't seen any advertising blitz to make the public aware of the Jaguar, although I have been told that ads have been appearing on cable television. The best thing that Atari did was to lower the price of the Jaguar; it can only help to sell more machines. likely as after Christmas sales. The games have been coming out on a fairly regular basis, with more coming shortly. Who knows what lies for Atari and the Jaguar for 1996... If you're lucky, you'll find some new (old?) Jaguar games under the tree on Monday morning. I know my wife usually hides a few gifts from me so there will be a few surprises for the holidays, but I don't know if she got me anything for the Jaguar. I'll soon know! We'll keep this week's comments short this week. It's Hanukkah and Christmas time; everything is hectic these last few days before the holiday. We all hope that you all have a great holiday and we'll see you back here next week for our final issue for 1995. 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 $19.99 Atari Corp. J9005 Raiden $29.99 FABTEK, Inc/Atari Corp. J9001 T McFur/Crescent Galaxy $19.99 Atari Corp. J9010 Tempest 2000 $39.95 Llamasoft/Atari Corp. J9028 Wolfenstein 3D $29.95 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 $29.99 Atari Corp. J9003 Club Drive $29.99 Atari Corp. J9007 Checkered Flag $19.99 Atari Corp. J9012 Kasumi Ninja $29.99 Atari Corp. J9042 Zool 2 $19.99 Atari Corp J9020 Bubsy $19.99 Atari Corp J9026 Iron Soldier $29.99 Atari Corp J9060 Val D'Isere Skiing $39.99 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 $39.99 Atari Corp. J0144E Pinball Fantasies $59.99 C-West J9052E Super Burnout $59.99 Atari Corp. J9070 White Men Can't Jump $49.99 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 J9097E Missile Command 3D $59.99 Atari Corp. J9091 Atari Karts $59.99 Atari Corp. Supercross 3D $59.99 Atari Corp. Fever Pitch Soccer $59.99 Atari Corp. I-War $59.99 Atari Corp. Available Soon CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER J9069 Myst (CD) $59.99 Atari Corp. Mutant Penguins $59.99 Atari Corp. Battlemorph $59.99 Atari Corp. Breakout 2000 $49.99 Atari Corp. Max Force $59.99 Atari Corp. J9089 NBA Jam TE $69.99 Atari Corp. J9021 Brett Hull Hockey $69.99 Atari Corp. J9055 Baldies $59.99 Atari Corp. Primal Rage $59.99 Time Warner Hardware and Peripherals CAT # TITLE MSRP MANUFACTURER J8001 Jaguar (no cart) $99.99 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! CONTACT: Beth Whyte or Jennifer Hansen Shandwick U.S.A. 800/444-6663 or 310/479-4997 Atari Corporation's Jaguar 64 Hits Mass Market Price In Time for Holiday Sales, Jaguar now $99 SUNNYVALE, CA (December 15, 1995) -- In a bold retailing move to increase its share in the interactive home entertainment market, Atari Corporation announced that the Jaguar 64 system will be priced at $99. A premier gaming platform launched nationally in 1994, the Jaguar is a power home video game system designed to provide game enthusiasts with top-quality entertainment products. Atari has developed an extensive software library to support the Jaguar system, and is committed to aggressively expanding its list of exclusive titles throughout 1996. Four new Atari titles have been released this week alone for the Jaguar 64: "Atari Karts", "I-War", "Fever Pitch Soccer" and "Supercross 3D". The new games will be available at retail stores before Christmas. As Ted Hoff, Atari's President of North American Operations explained, "Atari is proud of the depth and breadth of current Jaguar platform software titles, and we're committed to enhancing this already impressive collection. Offering the Jaguar 64 at $99 will allow us to reach more consumers nationwide with top-quality games." Hoff indicated the Jaguar 64 systems will be offered at their new price in retail outlets across the country effective Saturday, December 16. That means there's still time for Christmas shoppers to benefit from the $99 price tag. With its aggressive new pricing, Atari Corporation is offering consumers a high-end home video game system at a mass market price. The action reinforces Atari's commitment to the Jaguar gaming platform, as well as providing consumers with superior and affordable interactive products. For more than twenty years, Atari Corporation has provided consumers with high quality value-priced entertainment. Atari Corporation markets Jaguar, the only American-made, advanced 64-bit entertainment system and is located in Sunnyvale, California. Atari and Jaguar are registered trademarks of Atari Corporation. All rights reserved. CONTACT: Tracy Egan Public Relations Manager of Time Warner Interactive 408- 232-3213 TIME WARNER INTERACTIVE'S 'PRIMAL RAGE' DOMINATES ... MILPITAS, Calif., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- "Primal Rage(TM)," the hit video- game featuring seven pre-historic creatures in a battle for earthly supremacy, now sets out to conquer the Sony PlayStation(TM). Time Warner (TWi) today announced that the new PlayStation version is available at retail locations around the world. Video-gamers can expect an earth- shaking, head-to-head battle with arcade-perfect graphics and game-play. "Primal Rage" on the PlayStation promises to be one of the most exciting versions yet, retaining all the characters, moves, and impact of the original arcade game while offering home features such as three-dimensional cinematics and new "Endurance" and "Tug-O'-War" game play modes. "Primal Rage" is now available at retail stores nationwide for the Sony PlayStation at an estimated street price of $59.95, and will be shipping on December 21 for the Atari(R) Jaguar(TM) CD. "Primal Rage" was a number one hit at the arcades last year and TWi developed a two-tiered launch to bring the title to home video-game and computer systems in the second half of 1995. August 25 marked the launch of the 16-bit, hand-held, and PC CD-ROM versions which zoomed to the number one and top-ten positions on various U.S. retail charts, and achieved the 1 best-seller position in Europe's Gallup poll in September. Media coverage has been plentiful including all major video-game publications, major dailies such as USA Today, consumer magazines such as TIME, televised video- game shows, and even elicited a comment from President Clinton acknowledging the popularity of the product among children in his address to California in September. The "Primal Rage" line is being supported with an $8 million A-level marketing and sales program. Media buys include two flights of TV ads on network, syndication, and cable channels; top 15 metro market radio promotions and contests; four-color half-page spread, and full-page print ad campaigns breaking in all major video and personal computer publications; and consumer promotions such as in-pack discount coupons, player strategy guides, demo discs, and trading cards. Time Warner Interactive is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), and is the oldest and largest software development operation within the Time Warner family. All product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! BattleSphere Update 1995 4Play, all rights reserved Work progresses on that long awaited 64-bitty title from the 4Play Team, known as BattleSphere(tm). You will be happy to hear that work is progressing on the long overdue weapons indicators on the HUD. Bandwidth problems forced the re-re-writing of the 4Play sound engine, to ease DSP accesses and allow the network code to have more time on the bus. Folks at the recent Toadfest were treated to an incredible demo of what happens when you don't give sufficient DSP bandwidth and then burn the uncorrected version into demo ROMS. :-) Work is also progressing on the ship-selector/ship customization screen. This is where you get to pick your ship and then upgrade it's systems after battles. The graphics are done, and a good part of the code is written. So far, it looks nice and 64-bitty, with cool background artwork. Also, recent work has eliminated an incompatibility problem discovered with Jaguars containing the Motorola Chipset. It's amazing what testers turn up. The game is pretty bulletproof. Key routines have been optimized, and bandwidth has been re-allocated. Our memory layout has been 'tweaked' as well. The result is a 5% gain in framerate overall. This is pretty smooth. Yes, you _can_ get it to slow down by playing wiseguy in network mode and bunching 8 ships together filling 100% of the viewing area... no system can possibly draw that many pixels at any better speed... Steph continues to crank out more tuneage. Scott, Steph, and Doug are meeting over the holidays for a massive code-o-graphic-o- music-o-rama and hope to have more good news soon... modem code will be a priority (local phone calls RULE!) Until next time!!! __________________ \hunderbird Atari Karts Sb: Atari Karts Opinion Fm: Larry Tipton 74127,601 To: All Game Title: Atari Karts Publisher: Atari Corporation Developer: Miracle Designs Format: Cartridge System: Atari Jaguar 64 # Players: One and Two Player Options Review By: Larry Tipton Atari Karts, a new racing game from the folks at Atari is, in a word, WILD! The game features a weird cast of kart drivers, a crow, skeleton, sea creature, bear, space alien, and several others forms of "life." Make no mistake about it, this is a REAL arcade racing game. Each kart racer has its own special strength and weakness -- What this really means is that each kart has different handling characteristics. There are a total of 10 worlds, each world having several different tracks. There are dirt, asphalt, sand, cobblestone, snow and other types of tracks. One really cool feature of this game is the ability to play the tracks flat or with slight hills. The hill option makes a great game even better. Some of the tracks are fast, others require precision control do to the constant twists and turns. Atari Karts includes four levels of play. Beginner, Warrior, Miracle and Jaguar Aces. Initially, Beginner is the only level you have access too. Each level has 3 circuits. A circuit is composed of 6 tracks. In order to advance to the next level you must place first overall in each of the three circuits in that level. The names of the circuits are Borregas, Carlton and Tempest. You can race them in any order. Once you have successfully placed first in each of the circuits you get to race on a track from an all new world called the Miracle Race. This new world will be featured in the next level. This is equivalent to and end boss. You race against one CPU controlled player. If you beat the end boss character, that character is added to the available kart personalities at your disposal. There are 4 boss characters: Haratari - Beginner Level Pum King - Warrior Level Fire Bug - Miracle Level Miracle Man - Jaguar Aces Level Each have progressively better racing specifications. In order to advance you must earn race points. Only the top four seeds earn points. If you place less than 4th, you must race again. You also lose a car. You begin with 3. This game is a great one player game. The two player option makes this a must buy. Go head to head against a friend. But its not just the two of you. You have to compete against the rest of the Atari Kart racers. The framerate is lightning fast in two player mode too! Atari Karts graphics are outstanding. There are at least 3 levels of background scrolling. The frame rate is FAST. The tracks are detailed. Dirt looks like dirt, asphalt looks like asphalt. The Karts scale in and out nicely, they are also animated quite well. The music is very good. It fits nicely with the game. The sound effects are also good. Its too bad that you cant hear the engine sounds of the CPU controlled cars. The game control is outstanding. I highly recommend the Pro-Controller for this game. The left/right buttons are used to make sharp turns. I played the game with the regular controller too. It too is very responsive. What's an arcade style race game these days without bonuses and hazards? Well, Atari Karts has em! Bonuses include: Rabbit - Long speed burst Speed Arrow - Slingshot burst of speed Wheel - No friction Steer - No skids Heart - Extra car Ramp - Jump over terrain that may slow you down Hazards: Turtle - Slow down Red Arrows - Reverses you pad controls (I hate this one!) Green - Reverses your opponents controls (two player only) There are other hazards like trees, snowmen, snowmobiles, barrels, oil slicks, water, craters, ice, moguls, gongs, life guard towers, and other obstacles scattered across the tracks. The game starts off pretty easy, especially for a video racing game veteran like me. <g> The Warrior level is a bit more challenging. I'm currently playing the Miracle level. This one is a lot tougher. The CPU Kart drivers are more aggressive. There are also more obstacles. The autosave feature built into the game is a nice touch. There are no passwords to remember. OK, Game Rating on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest obtainable score: Game Graphics 9 Control 9 Sound F/X 8 Music 8 Fun Factor 10 Replay Value 9 Overall Score 9 Thats all for now, Larry Tipton 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. Another week has come and gone and Christmas is upon us. Time to trim the tree... shop for gifts, shovel the walk, shop for gifts, put up the wreath, shop for gifts, watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas, shop of gifts... well, you get the idea. I remember how it was back in "the good old days" when there were lots of us with Ataris. Friends of mine used to pick up programs for me for Christmas... it was easy back then. Almost every computer store had a decent selection of Atari stuff. I could pick things up for them as well and not have to worry about mail-order, shipping charges, disk format, or memory requirements. But alas, those days are gone and now we even have to fight to remain here on CompuServe. As you may know, CompuServe will be going to a specialized format which is not available for ST computers. This means that the areas of CompuServe that will use only this new format, known as HMI (Host/Micro Interface), will be unavailable to those of us who use our Atari STs to get online. And as time goes on, more and more of CompuServe will be unavailable to those of us who are, as the politically correct would say, HMI-deficient. But it looks as if there just might be a light at the end of the tunnel. It has been said (although not confirmed by CIS) that the policy of not releasing the source code for HMI is being relaxed. What this means is that it _may_ be possible to get a version for the ST. As a matter of fact, there are one or two developers already checking on the possibility. I'll keep you posted as the saga unfolds. Meanwhile, let's get on with the good part of this column (no, not the end, smartguy), all the news, hints tips, and info available every week right here on CompuServe. >From the Atari Computing Forum On the key-note subject of HMI and CIM, Henry Hahlbolm posts: "I have not tried to obtain the information on the HMI requirements myself. But, I have seen messages on several forums that the information is readily available. Several commercial programs have announced that they will support the HMI standard. TAPCIS and GOLDEN COMPASS got the information from CIS so why can't you." I replied to Henry: "Because CIS will not release the source code, only the compiled version... and the compiled version is only available for DOS, Windows, and MAC. There is no "Atari source" for HMI and there aren't enough of us here on CIS (or in the world, I'd wager) to to make it worth what CIS would have to expend in terms of money or time to compile one and support it with the initial release, upgrades, and customer support. There is also a concern that the "lowly" ST wouldn't be able to keep up with the demands that HMI would place on the user's computer. CIS now feels that 256 colors and something like 600 X 800 res is what is necessary for accessing an online service. While I agree that the eye candy is is a nice addition, I'd hardly call it necessary. I for one would be perfectly happy with a program that used the ST's system patterns instead of the multitude of colors that don't add to the "value" of the messages I read, the mail I get, or the files I download. The Sysops here are the best I've ever encountered, as are the folks who use the service. CIS has been my online home for so long that I don't even remember what year I signed up. I'll be very sad to loose access to CompuServe when the last of the forums stops supporting ASCII, although Ron has said that he'll keep ASCII as long as they let him, if the only service we can access on CIS is the Atari forum, most of us will go elsewhere, hastening the forum's demise. There is still a chance (about the same as that proverbial snowball) that something can be done for we "orphans", but I'm not holding my breath. I'd recommend (as I have in the past) that you write to Feedback (GO FEEDBACK). There is power, as well as safety, in numbers and the more folks write, the more aware CIS will be aware of us... even if we comprise such a small percentage of the membership. Gee, I didn't expect to be so long- winded (although I should have learned by now). But in a nutshell, we're not a big enough faction for CIS to worry about while they're trying to accommodate the majority." Dennis Bishop asks about CompuServe's announcement about dropping ASCII support: "I just read a notice that CIS is going to a Graphics interface format, and that ASCII users will no longer have access. Does anyone have any ideas on if there will be a graphics term set up for use with CIS for me to use on my Atari Mega ST4?" Head Sysop Ron Luks tells Dennis: "Yes, its true that CompuServe is moving to a new software standard as they upgrade their system. The change wont happen overnight but all new software will be written only for the new HMI (host micro interface) protocol. CIS has support for DOS, Windows 3x, Windows95, Macintosh, and OS/2, but they are not developing software for the Atari. We will keep running the Atari Computing Forum under the old system software for as long as possible (perhaps years) in order to accommodate the existing Atari userbase." Dennis replies: "In their notice it said ALL areas, so I think unless ALL of the Atari people go scream at them, our days here will be numbered and I will not join GEnie again, and none of the others have local node numbers here in Hawaii. Can you say ... CIS-AOL?" Stefan Daystrom tells Dennis: "I'm not sure which notice you saw, but if you GO NEWFORUM you will see a notice where they make explicit mention of the exception for forums used a lot by Unix, Amiga, and/or Atari users. Of course, it still remains a question how they'll interpret _which_ forums need to stay with the old forum software. Yes, ATARI C is obvious, but there are others that are less obvious but still needed. For example, there are vendors who support Atari products (in a few cases exclusively, in other cases non-exclusively) or products usable with Ataris (like external modems) who are in scattered non-computer-specific vendor forums all around CompuServe. (I represent one of those on CIS; Binary Sounds in MIDI A Vendor Forum.) What Atari users need to alert CIS about is _which_ forums (in addition to ATARIC) they feel should stay with the old forum software (because of use by Atari-only users)." Ass't Sysop, Jim Ness tells us: "They ask the forum administrator. No forum is converted without permission. In some cases, an administrator will want a delay, in others a permanent pass." Michael Robillard asks Head Sysop Ron Luks: "Seeing that we won't be able to access all of CompuServe will we receive a lower rate.(ha ha).It looks like us Atari owners aren't wanted. Shouldn't we just leave? I thought Atari computers were big in Europe doesn't Compuserve function in Europe also you would think with a chance to expand their market to other platforms that their competition doesn't support would be welcomed." Since I feel strongly about this subject, I tell Mike: "CIS' new low price takes for granted that we'll be using some form of CIM. CIM cuts down on the amount of work that CompuServe's host has to do, thereby working more efficiently and cost-effectively. I'm afraid that, by using ASCII, we are getting more processing time than those who use HMI programs, even though we don't benefit by it. I don't really think that it's a case of not being wanted here... simply a case of economics. If CIS has to dump ASCII (and almost 10% of its userbase) to be able to compete with that young upstart AOL, it's something that they've got to at least consider. With the fact that a majority of "orphan" users also have "acceptable" computers to use, they must hope that a large percentage of us will simply switch to that Windows/DOS/OS2/System7 thing and use CIM. I for one don't own any of those machines, so I've been screaming bloody murder at feedback. What I'd like to see CIS do is to charge not for connect time, but for processor time. That would remove the HMI vs ASCII price argument, although it would still leave the fact that many of the new features cannot be implemented in ASCII (for whatever reason), only in HMI. And yes, the ST is more popular in Europe than it is here in the states, but it's still a minor portion of the userbase. And NO, we shouldn't leave! If most (or even many) of us leave, that will only hasten the forum's demise. CIS might only allow Ron and company to keep ASCII accessibility as long as there is a certain level of activity here." Sysop Ron Luks tells Mike: "Atari computers are not 'big' in Europe or anywhere. Atari discontinued their entire computer line and attempts to have 3rd party companies make Atari-clones appear to have fizzled. Can you blame an information service for not investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in supporting a computer when the company that made the computer has officially abandoned it?" It might just be me, but I feel that there is too much emphasis put on supporting computers, and too little on supporting users. At any rate, Benjamin Eby asks Ron: "Since when have the C-Lab Falcons Fizzled? (and they are not clones, they are a fully licensed compatible) C-Lab just announced another model, too. That doesn't sound like a fizzle to me. It sounds to me that you are just angry at Atari for some reason. C-Lab makes the computer now, not Atari. As far as the computer goes, just forget Atari, okay? We don't need negativism right now. We need to all pull together." Ron tells Benjamin: "Since when have the C-Lab Falcons fizzled? Well, perhaps you could consider them a success in a niche market, but what type of sales numbers do you think they can report? 50,000 units? 20,000 units? even 10,000 units? I'm not a mainstream musician by any means, but the ones I've talked to (I also now manage the Rolling Stone Forum) don't seem to put a lot of faith behind the Atari-based SW or HW marketplace, regardless of who is making the units. And by the way, I'm one of the few people who is NOT angry at Atari Corp, in any way, for any reason. I like Atari and most of the folks that work there and I still use an Atari computer for some limited tasks. In fact, I'm typing this message on one right now. However, I'm also a realist and don't see any future for this platform except as a hobbyist collectors item. Its not mainstream computing or even substantial off-mainstream computing." Benjamin looks around CIS, comes back and posts: "Hey Guys! I was just over in the Amiga forum, and a developer is already gearing up to design a new program for Compuserve using the HMI protocols that CompuServe has given him. Now I say that it is time for us to get off our backsides and do something about this situation. I will commit right now to saying that I will gladly pay $30.00 dollars for a similar program for the Atari. Will SOME developer take this on? If I knew how to do it, I would, just because I love my Atari, and want to keep using it as much as possible. Citizens of AtariLand UNITE!!!" Well folks, that's about it for this week. Please have a safe and happy holiday... you deserve it! Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Please. Keep Christ in Christmas 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 22, 1995 Since 1987 Copyrightc1995 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1151
- Next message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "ST Report: 29-Dec-95 #1152"
- Previous message by date: Bruce D. Nelson: "ST Report: 15-Dec-95 #1150"
----------------------------------------- Return to message index