ST Report: 23-Feb-96 #1208From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/28/96-07:47:59 AM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 23-Feb-96 #1208 Date: Wed Feb 28 07:47:59 1996 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) February 23, 1996 No. 1208 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 BRI 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 02/23/96 STR 1208 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Exploring ISDN - Micrografx News - Win95 Update - ULTRA EDIT32 - 120mb Floppy - Server Specs - Germans Want Laws - Acorn/Apple - Defender 2k - Flash II v3.01 - Jaguar NewsBits Sysop Makes 3,500-Mile Rescue Intruders Crack Los Alamos Sears Bailing Out of Prodigy 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 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 $15.00!! (normally 20.00). Please, 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, Amex, Discover & Visa ok, Please include Full Name, Address, home Number, Card type, number & expiration date when ordering. If by mail, please _sign_ your personal order. Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 2/17/96: 2 of 6 numbers with 1 match in 1 play >From the Editor's Desk... Its Friday again. (TGIF) All this week.. the weather has been simply grand. Warm, sunny and balmy. It gets quite difficult to spend a full day at the keyboard. Oh well, just a little rub for all the frostbitten snowbirds out there. Chin up folks, Spring is right around the corner. Ask anyone preparing for Spring Comdex '96. The big shtick this season is going to be telecommunications. ISDN, ultra high speed connections T1s, WANs and LANs all wanting to talk to each other at the speed of light. Then comes the Video Conferencing. Imagine, the Video Phone shown a decade ago is not only a reality, it can be done for a fraction of the cost often spoken about. Your computer is capable of so much these days its mind boggling. Spring Comdex is going herald the beginning of the Computer Communications Revolution. Most all the rules you are familiar with relative to telecommunications are, or have already changed. This couldn't be a better time to make the migration from a stagnant disappointing platform to the vibrant, very much alive, platform all this is happening in. The PC. For anyone wanting advice, about the hardware, software etc., drop us a line in email. We'll be glad to help in any way we can. Don't miss this opportunity, the next decade of computing is going to be, to say the least, thrilling. Stay tuned as we begin the presentation of things to come. March will begin the highlights of what to expect at Spring Comdex. 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 Donna Lines 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 STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Ruling May Affect Cyberporn A federal appeals court has ruled that every individual community can judge for itself the obscenity of material downloaded from computer bulletin board systems -- no matter where that board is based. "That opinion, unless overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, could have far-reaching effects on computer bulletin boards with sexually explicit pictures and words," reports Associated Press writer Woody Baird this morning. "Suddenly, bulletin board material which might have been at the far edge of acceptable in California or New York could be judged by the perhaps more conservative standards if downloaded in Tennessee or Iowa," says Baird. Officials with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a public interest group for computer users, are concerned. Says EFF spokesman Mike Godwin, "What happens is, the most conservative jurisdictions in the country can now dictate standards for the rest of the country." The issue centers on the case of Robert and Carleen Thomas, who were convicted in Memphis in 1994 because of explicit images of bestiality, sadomasochism and other fetishes on their Amateur Action Bulletin Board Service of Milpitas, California. In a ruling in Cincinnati, the 6th Circuit judges upheld the convictions. Notes Baird, "The couple was tried in Memphis because that's where an undercover postal inspector downloaded the explicit material." The 1973 Supreme Court ruling called Miller vs. California allowed for the regulation of obscenity based on the notion of "community standards," but, Baird observes, "until the Memphis trial, that rule had not been applied specifically to material on a computer bulletin board in the city it was received, rather than where it originated." The Thomases have argued unsuccessfully that computer technology has wiped out traditional ideas of "community," that a community of computer users should decide what is acceptable in cyberspace. Defense attorney Thomas Nolan told the wire service he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Memphis case and reconsider its community standards rule, adding that in a world where millions of people communicate via computer networks, that rule gives local prosecutors too much power over what everyone else can look at or read. Says Nolan, "It may well be that they bring these cases because the community wants them to or it could be they bring these cases because they have a personal belief in the impropriety of these materials." U.S. Judge Blocks Cyberporn Law A temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge in Philadelphia effectively has put on ice that controversial new law prohibiting transmission of "indecent" material to minors over the Internet and other computer networks. U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter has restricted the government from enforcing that portion of the nation's newest telecommunications law until the court has heard arguments on a lawsuit filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union and 19 other groups to block the new law. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporters John J. Keller and Jared Sandberg said the government, empowered by the new Communications Decency Act, "was poised to begin taking action against alleged violators" when Buckwalter's order came down late yesterday. After President Clinton signed the new telecommunications bill into law Feb. 8, the Justice Department said it would wait a week before prosecuting violators of the new decency act, "but," say Keller and Sandberg, "the agency seemed to be ready to begin gathering evidence." As reported, the Justice Department had just filed its written response to the civil liberties suit, saying criminal prosecutions are needed to stop a huge increase in the availability of pornography. The Journal notes the new law defines indecency as "any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image or other communication that, in context, depicts or describes in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs." In his ruling yesterday, Buckwalter: z Struck down one provision relating to minors that made it illegal to make "indecent" material available to minors over computer networks. (Conviction carried a fine of as much as $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations and a prison term of as long as two years.) z Let stand the second provision, which bars the transmission of "patently offensive" material to minors. The judge wrote in his opinion, "The undefined word `indecent' standing alone would leave reasonable people perplexed in evaluating what is or is not prohibited by the statute." On the significance of this, Associated Press writer Wayne Woolley commented this morning, "The federal government must explain what material it considers indecent before it can enforce (the) new law." He adds that Judge Buckwalter ruled the definition of "indecency" is so vague that people wouldn't know they were breaking the law until they were arrested. However, says Woolley, "the judge left the government free to prosecute those who make available to minors any online communication that 'in context, depicts or describes in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs.'" AP quotes the judge as saying, "While I do not believe the patently offensive provision quoted above is unconstitutionally vague, I do not see how that applies to the undefined use of the word `indecent.'" Woolley says that lawyers for both sides seemed confused by the court's action. David Sobel, a lawyer for Electronic Privacy Information Center, one of the plaintiffs, told the wire service, "The decision is very difficult to get a handle on. There is probably going to be a lot of disagreement about what this means in practical terms." In the Journal, Keller and Sandberg say that despite the court's unusual step of issuing a temporary restraining order against a congressional statute, civil libertarians were cautious in claiming victory. Ann Beeson, a co-counsel for the ACLU, told the paper, "It's a partial victory because the judge clearly respected and protected the First Amendment rights of online users by declaring the indecency provisions unconstitutional. However, he didn't go far enough." There are still restrictions, for example, on the online dissemination of abortion information, she said. Meanwhile, in Washington a group of lawmakers and business leaders have denounced the Net smut law. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, told United Press International, "Americans should be taking the high ground to protect the future of our home-grown Internet, and to fight these censorship efforts that are springing up around the globe. We all want to protect our children from offensive or indecent online materials, but we must be careful that the means we use to protect our children does not do more harm than good." As noted previously, Leahy and others are backing legislation that would strip the indecency clauses from the telecommunications bill. And industry leaders said already existing software is the best alternative to government regulations. Marketing director Susan Getgood of Microsystems Software notes her company's Cyber Patrol software has been licensed by CompuServe. The software, similar to parental controls implemented by other services such as America Online, allows parents to block out certain materials with preference controls. Says Getgood, "We developed Cyber Patrol on the belief that responsibility for content lies with the individual user, and that parents need to be actively involved in shaping the online experience for their children." Parental control programs block access to certain Web sites, either by descriptive content or by title. Parents have the option, for example, of blocking access to a web site run by an adult magazine. And Director Robert L. Smith of the Interactive Services Association in Silver Spring, Maryland, told the wire service the online industry prefers applying a standard of what is "harmful to children" when determining what material should be prohibited, as opposed to a vague "indecent" definition. Says Smith, "We certainly would support repealing the law, to substitute the standard of indecency to a standard of harmful to minors," adding the "indecency" standard is likely to be found unconstitutional. The government should be able to go after individuals who break the law by posting items such as child pornography, he said. "The laws need to punish those who are directly responsible for the objectionable content." Justice Dept. Answers ACLU Suit In its written response to a civil liberties lawsuit seeking to block the new computer "indecency" law, the U.S. Justice Department says criminal prosecutions are needed to stop a huge increase in the availability of pornography. Justice Department officials urge U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter not to grant the request from the American Civil Liberties Union and 19 other groups for a temporary restraining order against provisions that would make it a crime to send "indecent" and sexually explicit material to minors over the Internet and other computer networks. The brief is quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "Individuals undoubtedly have an important interest in being free of purposeful and direct intrusions on First Amendment freedoms, but the governmental interests at stake here in controlling access by minors in indecent sexually explicit materials is compelling." As reported earlier, the ACLU and others sought the temporary ban Feb. 8, the same day President Clinton signed into law the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that contains the controversial Communications Decency Act of 1996. Judge Buckwalter said then that he wanted to see a written response from prosecutors before issuing a ruling. Says AP, "A temporary restraining order should only be granted in extraordinary circumstances and if there are no other legal remedies available to plaintiffs. Meanwhile, the situation is dire, the government said." The government brief comments, "In the end, plaintiffs cannot dispute that a large and growing amount of pornography is presently available online and easily accessible to children in the home, far exceeding anything available prior to the advent of online computer services." ACLU Reaches Tentative Porn Pact Civil liberties attorneys have reached a tentative deal with government lawyers that could give online computerists at least a temporary reprieve from a new clampdown on racy Net transmissions mandated through the new federal telecommunications law. Attorney Stefan Presser of the American Civil Liberties Union told Associated Press writer Christopher McDougall that if the deal is approved by top U.S. Justice Department officials, no one would be prosecuted under terms of the new Communications Decency Act before the ACLU's challenge of the law goes to trial. As reported, the law signed by President Clinton Feb. 8 bans the transmission of "indecent" and sexually explicit material to minors over computer networks, such as the Internet. The ACLU and 19 other groups have challenged the law, contending it violates privacy rights and strangles free speech. The ACLU suit contends the cyberporn portions of the new telecommunications law authorize the government to prosecute people even for the private messages they send about AIDS, abortion, politics and science -- any subject involving sex. At issue is the act's defining indecency as "any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image or other communication that ... describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards, sexual or excretory activities or organs." As reported, a last-minute addition by Repinois Henry Hyde, R-Ill., also prohibits providing information over the computer about how to obtain an abortion. Last week, U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter in Philadelphia temporarily blocked the law's definition of "indecency," but left open the possibility of prosecution under its "patently offensive" category. Now, says AP, Justice Department lawyers have agreed to forgo prosecutions until the suit is settled in exchange for the ACLU's agreement to postpone a trial on the lawsuit until April. Says Presser, "As it stands now, if someone decides what you wrote is patently offensive, you go to jail. This agreement would halt those proceedings until the court has decided this suit." Justice Department attorneys haven't commented, but department spokesman Carl Stern noted the agency still is collecting indecency complaints. Most Newsgroup Access Reinstated CompuServe Inc. today reinstated access to all but five Internet newsgroups that were suspended six weeks ago under an investigation of online pornography by German authorities. The company also said it will offer a parental control program to all subscribers at home and abroad to restrict access to questionable newsgroups. As reported earlier, access was cut in December to 200 of the some 15,000 Net newsgroups after state prosecutors in Bavaria, Germany, notified CompuServe they were investigating distributors of sexually explicit material on the Internet. CompuServe said that since it did not have the technology to block access in a specific geographic location, access was suspended for all 4.7 million users worldwide. Of the new developments today, CompuServe President/CEO Bob Massey said in a statement, "Combining parental controls with lifting the newsgroup suspension reaffirms our commitment to online safety for families and our position that responsibility for Internet content lies with those who create it or put it on the Internet, not with the access provider." CompuServe spokesman Jeff Shafer told the Associated Press the five newsgroups that will remain inaccessible contain explicit child pornography material, adding he did not know how long the suspension would remain in effect. Noting the German government has been notified of CompuServe's decision, Shafer said, "We let them know what our position was going to be and we believe it will be received favorably by the prosecutor's office. In our discussions with them, they were very enthusiastic about the offer we were making." Meanwhile, Gerhard Zierl, spokesman for the Bavarian Justice Ministry in Munich, told the wire service the investigation is still open and prosecutors are waiting for a report from the state police before deciding whether to file charges. Shafer said the new Parental Controls Center, to be available without charge to all CompuServe members, is part of an alliance with Microsystems Software Inc., a content review company that developed the Cyber Patrol Internet filtering software. The center will allow users to restrict access to Internet services accessible through CompuServe, whose subscribers will have access to a frequently updated list of questionable Internet sites identified by Cyber Patrol, Shafer said. Germans Seek More Net Regulations Saying they are eager to rid the Internet of child pornography, German legislators are seeking clear international rules on regulators' powers to check what computer users do online. In Bonn, President Rita Suessmuth of the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, told the Express newspaper, "The information superhighway must not be allowed to become a forum for those who defile children. Freedom of expression reaches its limit when human dignity is violated and violence is promoted." According to the Reuter News Service, Suessmuth welcomed a catalog of proposals put forward by a Bundestag commission on Monday calling for international curbs on information now available on the global network that was considered harmful to children. She added, "The main thing is the need to develop international criminal norms. It seems just as important to me that online providers commit themselves to voluntary controls." Johannes Singhammer, head of the Bundestag's commission on children, said free speech could not be taken to extremes, noting that users can call up discussion groups and sites on the World Wide Web that has photographs such as people having sex with animals and children. Reuters comments, "Defenders of free speech in cyberspace note that other discussion groups offer a place on the Internet for gays and lesbians to talk privately for discussion of medical issues such as AIDS." And Andy Mueller- Maghun of Germany's Chaos Computer Club told German TV it is a waste of time to try to control the flow of information on the Internet, likening this to trying to control telephone conversations. Reuters says German parliamentarians are proposing "harmonizing national laws" on fighting child pornography "so that pornography peddlers could not operate from states with lenient legislation." "They also want online providers to give regulators and law enforcement agencies free access to the network to aid surveillance of activity considered illegal in Germany," the wire service says. Reuters says the panel proposed forming clear legal guidelines for what authorities are allowed to do and spelling out whether companies that link users with the Internet should be required to store records of how their customers interact with the system. This is the second time in a month that a European government has called for international laws on Net data. Late last month, Francois Fillon, France's minister for information technology, said his country is set to urge its European partners to start drafting international rules for global computer networks, saying that online data goes across borders in a legal vacuum. The French initiative is prompted in part by last month's Net posting of "Le Grand Secret" (The Big Secret), a banned book about Francois Mitterrand's battle with cancer, written by Claude Gubler, the late president's personal doctor. Novell Sues 17, Alleging Piracy Network software publisher Novell Inc. today filed federal suits against 17 California-based companies, alleging they were fraudulently obtaining Novell upgrades and/or counterfeiting NetWare boxes to give the appearance of new product. A statement from the company's Orem, Utah, headquarters says the complaints name Softcom Computers, Software Distribution Center, Patio Computer Sales, Allnet Computers, Advanced Digital Corp., Advanced Interlink Corp., Grand Software Corp., SAB Engineering, Digital Soft, Digital Soft Technologies Inc., Digidrive, Digidrive Inc., Softsel, Vandy Micro Corp., Accord Systems Inc., Jaco Electronics Inc., all of the Los Angeles/Orange County area, as well as Micro Supply Inc. in the Silicon Valley. Novell's statement says the suits followed the firm's "discovery that the altered upgrade product was being sold worldwide," adding, "Novell investigators have obtained the product from several different areas including Indonesia, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, as well as the United States." Manager Ed Morin of Novell's anti-piracy program said in the statement, "Novell maintains a sophisticated product tracking system which has allowed us to trace this product and prove that the defendants have defrauded Novell intentionally." Intruders Crack Los Alamos Lab Los Alamos National Laboratory is upgrading its security today following news that digital intruders, armed with free "robot" software downloaded from the Internet, cracked the lab's computer system last week. In The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Joan E. Rigdon writes the invaders didn't steal or destroy any sensitive documents, which are kept on a stand-alone network, but they "did breeze past the lab's 'firewall' software," designed to keep online intruders out. The Journal notes companies doing business on the Internet rely in similar firewall software to protect information such as customer lists, billing and payroll records. Lab physicist Brosl Hasslacher told the paper the invaders "walked through our firewalls like they weren't there," adding Los Alamos still is trying to figure out how they did it. Once over the firewall, the invaders stole a password that gave them access to several computers at the New Mexico lab, best known for helping develop the atomic bomb. The Journal says that since the attack, the lab has changed its system to use constantly changing passwords and encryption to stave off similar attacks in the future. But the invaders "were able to use the Los Alamos system as a launching pad to attack the San Diego Supercomputer Center, where they destroyed some electronic mail and other unessential files," the Journal says. "They also tried unsuccessfully to break into the computer of security expert Tsutomu Shimomura." The intruders identified themselves as "The Kevin Mitnick Liberation Front," indicating they want to free the famed computerist convicted last year of stealing 20,000 credit card numbers over the Internet. (Shimomura was a key figure in tracking down Mitnick, and Hasslacher was quoted in Shimomura's book on the case.) In an Internet report on the break-in, Shimomura wrote off the invaders as unskilled "ankle-biters," but that they were armed with a sophisticated "robot" program that is available for free on the Net. Says Hasslacher, "The sophistication of the stuff out there is truly awesome." Rigdon writes that among other things, the intruders' robot exploited a known security hole in a UNIX e-mail program. "Most people program their firewalls to accept e-mail from the outside, which would allow such an attack. One way to prevent that is to set up another firewall that screens mail sent from the server computer to individuals' desktops." She says companies also can use encryption, or scrambling of sensitive information, to protect themselves, "but companies say that the government has tied their hands in this area, because it restricts the use of super- powerful encryption technologies, fearing that spies or others will use the technology to plot crimes." Sears Bailing Out of Prodigy Confirming long-standing rumors of a coming split, retail giant Sears, Roebuck and Co. says it will sell its 50 percent stake in Prodigy, the online service it launched in the mid-1980s with IBM. During a New York meeting yesterday with analysts, Sears Chairman Arthur Martinez confirmed the company has decided to divest its stake in order to focus on retailing and expansion, plowing proceeds of the sale into building market share through acquisitions and store openings. Reporter Melissa George of the Reuter News Service quotes Martinez as saying, "We have concluded this investment does not represent an asset that should be part of our portfolio long term." However, Martinez says the company will keep Advantis, a networking technology company it also owns jointly with IBM. George says industry sources believe Sears has offered its stake in Prodigy to IBM, but the computer company apparently turned the offer down. Sears declined to comment on potential bidders, saying only that IBM still could be a buyer. Says Martinez, "A sale of our interest certainly is possible either to our partner or third parties. And there are other ways to generate value." Reuters says IBM officials "are mulling options for their half of Prodigy," adding, "Analysts have said IBM could be considering a sale, but company spokeswoman Tara Sexton said IBM's ownership position has not changed." Analyst Peter Krasilovsky of Arlen Communications told the wire service, "I think (Sears) has approached everyone conceivable who might be interested in a share of Prodigy" but failed to get a deal. Meanwhile, business writer Evan Ramstad of the Associated Press notes this morning that Prodigy adapted to the Internet faster than competitors. For instance, a year ago this month, it became the first to provide subscribers with Web "browsing" software. It later changed its main connection software to work just like the Web does. Nonetheless, says Maureen Fleming, president of Digital Information Group, "Despite the success with their browser and innovations, they haven't gotten a bump in subscribers. Prodigy is stuck with a non-glamorous reputation going into a tight market." Product Merges Real, Virtual Worlds Corel Corp. is joining forces with a new media company to launch a hybrid World Wide Web/CD-ROM product that aims to blend reality and virtual reality. Club Mode, which Corel is developing with Animatics Multimedia Corp., marries a physical meeting place in the Ottawa-based Globe Bistro and Wine Bar with a virtual meeting place in cyberspace. The interactive social drama will feature a Web site offering users the opportunity to participate in soap-opera-like adventures with up to ten characters per week, download audio files, chat with stars, purchase Club Mode paraphernalia and enter contests. Corel will deliver Club Mode from its own server and Animatics will provide the interactive content. "This dual product launch represents a totally new form of consumer recreation," says Michael Cowpland, Corel's president and CEO. "Club Mode will bring the interactive drama form on the Internet from infancy to adolescence." "The impetus for Club Mode came from our realization that Internet users were looking for new, interactive experiences on the Web," adds Alfredo Coppola, president of Animatics. Club Mode is set to make its debut in May. Corel and Animatics are both based in Ottawa. Compaq Readies 120MB Floppy Drive Word from Texas is Compaq Computer Corp. is set next month to roll out the new 120MB 3.5-inch floppy disk drive it commissioned last year. PC Week reports Compaq will add 150MHz and 166MHz Pentium-based ProLinea and Deskpro systems with the new floppy disk unit, and also a keyboard with a built-in scanner and an erasable optical drive that also reads CD-ROM disks. Computergram International reports this morning the drive is expected to cost $200. Compaq commissioned 3M Co. to do the disks and Quantum Corp.'s manufacturing partner Matsushita-Kotobuki Electronics Industries Ltd. to do drives, which read current 1.44MB disks. CI adds, "The erasable phase-dual compact disk drive takes both standard CD-ROMs and 650MB erasable optical platters for archiving, using the same heads to read both types of disk. It is expected to go for $600 as an add-on." IDG Launching Java 'Webzine' Magazine publisher International Data Group says it will launch JavaWorld Magazine on the World Wide Web on February 15. The "webzine" will be linked from the Java home page (http://java.sun.com) and will also be accessible directly at http://www.javaworld.com. Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems Inc., with features especially suitable for cross-platform, distributed computing via the World Wide Web. Java is widely considered one of the hottest new products in the exploding Web development market. Microsoft, among others, have licensed Java as part of its emerging Internet strategy. Boston-based IDG says JavaWorld will feature hands-on tutorials for both novice and advanced Java programmers, profiles of businesses that use Java for key applications, and coverage of Java-related news and events. JavaWorld also will focus on the business-related information needs of the Java community. "Since we're a Web-based magazine, we'll be able to include in JavaWorld plenty of code samples and demo applets to clearly illustrate programming tips and techniques," says Editor Michael O'Connell. "For example, in our first issue, noted Java guru Arthur van Hoff will demonstrate how to do animation with Java, using live Java code that allows the reader to see, in real time, how changes in code affect the movement of the animated characters." This is IDG's second Web-only periodical: SunWorld Online was launched last July. GM Launches Huge New Web Site General Motors Corp., the world's largest auto maker, is launching a huge new site on the Internet's World Wide Web, with more than 16,000 pages and 98,000 links that take browsers from one place to another. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning GM's goal "is to become the automotive leader in reaching customers online, in part by challenging them technologically ... to take advantage of the audio, video and 'virtual reality' features." The home page (which can be reached at Web address http://www.gm.com) links to pages of GM divisions that are developing different features that eventually will be in place for all of them. "Buick's site allows customers to configure and price a new car," says the Journal. "Cadillac's links to the sites of local dealers. Chevrolet's Web site is the pilot point for calculating loan and lease payments with General Motors Acceptance Corp., GM's finance company. Saturn's Internet site soon will allow shoppers to electronically browse the used-car inventory at local dealerships." Grolier Changing Names Multimedia content developer Grolier Electronic Publishing Inc. says it is changing its name to Grolier Interactive Inc. The Danbury, Connecticut, company says the move is designed to reflect an increased global presence through its merger with European sister company, Matra Hachette Multimedia. "With this name change, Grolier formally acknowledges its expansion from solely publishing reference material to publishing high-quality game and entertainment titles on CD- ROM," says David Arganbright, president of Grolier Interactive. "Grolier has been a publisher of CD-ROM reference products for over ten years and will continue to develop innovative and comprehensive reference titles across a broad spectrum of topics." Arganbright notes that the name change, and a corresponding new logo, also updates the company's image to reflect Grolier Interactive's offerings online. Available online since 1982, The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia offers a gateway with more than 12,000 direct links between Grolier and CompuServe. Sysop Makes 3,500-Mile Rescue A minister from Scotland says sysop Dick Eastman and others in CompuServe's Genealogy Forum may have saved his life this week, effecting a rescue from 3,500 miles away. It all started when the "Roots" forum regulars were settling into their weekly real-time conference Tuesday night and Eastman noticed one of the chatters, the Rev. Kenneth J. Walker of Arbroath, Scotland, was having trouble typing. "He said he wasn't feeling well," Eastman later told Associated Press writer Jose Martinez, "and that he thought he was having a stroke." One member turned out to be a nurse from New York who asked the suddenly incoherent Walker through the computer if he was losing feeling in his hands, or if he could see out both eyes. Walker didn't type a response. Someone else online mentioned that Walker -- known only as "Ken" to the group -- lived alone and had been sick lately. Eastman asked Walker for his telephone number. "It took a while, but he typed it out," Eastman says. "I have two phone lines so I called him. The phone was busy, which made sense since he was online." The sysop then contacted an overseas operator, who gave him Walker's address in the seaside town of Arbroath, between Aberdeen and Dundee on the North Sea. She also connected Eastman to the town's police. "The police and an ambulance were in his house about two minutes later," Eastman says. The 38- year-old Walker spent several hours in the hospital before being released. Doctors weren't sure what happened, but the minister told Martinez he occasionally has "episodes" that can be life threatening. "All I remember," says Walker, "is I thought my keyboard was melting. I thought I was going to die." AP says Walker apparently did not have a stroke, but he may have had an epileptic seizure. The minister, who is on leave from his Church of Scotland parish, says he does not even remember going online, just how the computer became his lifeline. "I thought as long I just stayed on the system ... I was OK," he told the wire service. He sent Eastman e-mail when he got home from the hospital, thanking him and others in the forum. He called Eastman a hero. Says Walker, "The communication highway gets a lot of bad press, but this is one case that proves the people online are a community -- a cyber community." The Genealogy Forum (GO ROOTS) hosts real-time conferences every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, hosted by Eastman, who manages the forum from his Billerica, Massachusetts, home north of Boston. Secure Credit Card Standard Offered MasterCard International and Visa International have joined together to announce a technical standard for safeguarding credit card purchases made over the Internet. Previously, Visa and MasterCard were pursuing separate specifications. The new specification, called Secure Electronic Transactions (SET), is designed to allow consumers and merchants to conduct credit card transactions in cyberspace as securely and easily as they do in retail stores today. MasterCard and Visa expect to publish SET on their World Wide Web sites in mid-February. Following a comment period, the joint specification is scheduled to be ready for testing this spring. Visa and MasterCard expect that banks will be able to offer secure credit card services via the Internet to their cardholders by the end of the year. "This is the first step in making cyberspace an attractive venture for banks and merchants. A single standard limits unnecessary costs and builds the business case for doing business on the Internet," says Edmund Jensen, president and CEO of Visa International. "MasterCard has viewed one standard for secure card purchases on the Internet as a critical catalyst for electronic commerce because it bolsters consumer confidence in the security of the electronic marketplace," adds H. Eugene Lockhart, MasterCard's CEO. "A single standard has always been our objective because it is in the best interests of not only consumers, but also merchants and financial institutions worldwide." Online Newspapers Triple in 1995 The number of newspapers available online tripled last year, reports the Newspaper Association of America, which predicts that the current number will double by the end of 1996. According to the Reston, Virginia-based trade group, approximately 175 daily newspapers in North America are currently available on the World Wide Web, via commercial online services or through local bulletin board services. Worldwide, the number of print publications with online services is about 775. "Newspapers' move into cyberspace eclipses that of other mainstream media and is dramatic evidence that the industry recognizes the need to provide news, information and advertising to readers in a new form," says John F. Sturm, president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America. "The result is that newspapers have carved a unique electronic niche that allows them to supplement their core, print product and better serve their readers and advertisers." Online newspapers include national journals such as The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal; and smaller market papers such the Winona (Minnesota) Daily News and the Los Alamos (New Mexico) Monitor. Readers may also access NAA's Web page at http://www.infi.net/naa to hyperlink to the majority of all electronic U.S. newspapers on the Web, as well as international newspapers and media organizations. H&R Block to Spin Off CompuServe H&R Block Inc.'s board of directors has unanimously approved a plan that will spin off CompuServe Inc. into an independent, publicly-traded company. The plan entails an initial public offering this April of less than 20 percent of CompuServe. H&R Block intends to complete the separation of the companies through a tax-free spin-off or split-off within approximately 12 months. The distribution will be subject to receiving a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service or an opinion of counsel regarding the tax-free nature of the transaction, certain other conditions and the absence of any change in market conditions or circumstances that causes the board to conclude that the distribution is not in the best interest of H&R Block shareholders. "This decision reflects our commitment to maximize shareholder value," says Richard H. Brown, president and CEO of H&R Block. "The separation of CompuServe will unlock the value we have created through both of these strong franchises and will better position each entity to aggressively pursue the significant growth opportunities in their respective markets." A registration statement for the initial public offering has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Goldman, Sachs & Co. has been selected to lead the offering, with Merrill Lynch & Co. and George K. Baum & Company acting as co-managers. "This is a bold step for H&R Block and the result of extensive study by the Board of Directors and the management team," notes Brown. "We are convinced this move will foster better market appreciation of the value of each business and will contribute to the continued long-term success of both companies." Brown adds, "CompuServe will benefit from enhanced access to equity capital to support its rapid growth and increased opportunities for forging strategic alliances, and will be better able to provide incentives to attract and retain critical management talent. H&R Block will benefit from greater management focus and additional resources to capitalize upon its extraordinary tax franchise and growing financial services business unit." Telecom Bill Could Spark Ad War The recently passed telecommunications bill will not only open the floodgates to new services, but to a deluge of advertising as well, claims an industry newsletter. Companies such as AT&T, MCI, Sprint and the seven regional Bell operating companies could increase their advertising budgets in response to the new legislation, says Telecom Advertising Report. "Heightened competition among local telephone service providers, long distance carriers and cable TV companies could provoke advertising battles to rival the national wars of established long distance giants AT&T, MCI and Sprint," notes the publication. "The frenzy surrounding the passage of the bill has already sparked full-page ads from AT&T and MCI in major daily newspapers," says senior managing editor Linda Kopp. "Every one of the seven Baby Bells has announced plans to enter the long distance market, and those moves will be undoubtedly followed by massive promotional campaigns." Advertising and promotion spending by telecom companies is forecast to increase roughly 12 percent to $5.35 billion in 1996, notes the publication. "Ad spending grew more than 60 percent from 1991 to 1995, and the largest increases are yet to come," adds Telecom Advertising Report Editor Peter Breen. "Creating a national brand awareness will be among the top priorities of most large telecom companies now that the market's been opened up to competition." Micrografx Newsline STR Infofile Micrografx and American Greetings Sign Agreement to Deliver Interactive Greeting Card Products Leading Graphics Technology Publisher and Innovative Greeting Card Company Advance Social Expression In the Information Age Richardson, Texas (February 13, 1996) - MicrografxO, Inc. (NASDAQ: MGXI), a leading graphics software developer, today announced it has signed a long- term agreement with American GreetingsO Corp. (NASDAQ: AGREA), the renowned greeting-card company recognized for its technology innovation, to develop social expression products and services utilizing PC and Internet technologies. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will leverage their distinctive strengths to develop and market a full range of social expression products for the information age, including home print software and electronic greetings. Aimed primarily for personal use, the products will offer new ways to create and send sentiments electronically. "We're extremely pleased to be working with American Greetings, the pioneer of electronic greeting cards who recognized the importance of technology in the greeting card industry," said J. Paul Grayson, Micrografx chairman and CEO. "As partners, Micrografx and American Greetings are ideally suited. American Greetings brings extensive creative content and enthusiasm for new mediums, a perfect complement to Micrografx's innovative technology and keen understanding of people who use home PCs and the Internet." "The synergy we found with Micrografx is uncommon and exciting," said Morry Weiss, American Greetings chairman and CEO. "We first recognized technology as an exciting enabler for human expression with our CreataCard kiosks and online products. We expect to grow and expand this new interactive expression method working with Micrografx. The technical expertise Micrografx brings to the table is only surpassed by their understanding and commitment to empowering creative expression with desktop and online innovations." The companies plan to unveil their first jointly developed products and services in the second half of 1996. American Greetings, who operates thousands of CreataCard kiosks that let customers create their own personalized greeting cards, understands the dynamics of electronic publishing. The company's wealth of original electronic content will be leveraged during product development with Micrografx. Micrografx, which began developing home creativity software in the early '90s, publishes the No. 1 greeting card software with more than one million copies sold. Both companies are retail distribution experts. American Greetings is the greeting card leader in mass retail chain distribution, and Micrografx recently announced a record-setting 6,000 outlets - from Media Play to CompUSA - carry its software. The combined retail expertise of American Greetings and Micrografx ensures wide distribution of its products. Founded in 1906, American Greetings is the world's largest publicly owned creator, manufacturer and distributor of greeting cards and social expression products, with operations and subsidiaries in more than 75 countries. Micrografx is the global leader in developing and marketing graphics software which enhances visual communication and empowers creative expression. Founded in 1982, Micrografx has become a leading software publisher by responding quickly to customer and worldwide market needs. The company's U.S. operations are based in Richardson, Texas with a development office located in San Francisco. International subsidiaries are located in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan. UltraEdit/UltraEdit32 STR InfoFile "It Doesn't get any Better than this!" STReport Editor's Choice! UltraEdit-32 v3.10 The editor for all your editing needs. (Designed for Windows NT and Windows 95. Do not use with Windows 3.1 /Win 32s - Use UltraEdit). UltraEdit-32 is an excellent replacement for NOTEPAD and a lot more, with support for unlimited file sizes, 100,000 word spelling checker, full HEX editing capabilities, configurable syntax highlighting for programmers, column editing. UltraEdit has all the features you will need. UltraEdit handles multiple files at once, even if they are multi-megabyte files. It is Disk based and only requires a small amount of memory, even for very large files. UltraEdit also available for Windows .3x with no additional fee. Standard Features: z - Disk based text editing z - No limit on file size, minimum RAM used even for multi-megabyte files z - Multiple files open and displayed at the same time z - Column mode editing!!!, Insert columns/ delete/ cut/ add sequential numbers z - 100,000 word spell checker z - Syntax highlighting - configurable, pre configured for C/C++ and VB z - Automatic word wrap at specified column with hard return z - Insert file into an existing document at cursor position z - Drag and Drop support from the file manager z - Insert and overstrike modes for editing z - Multi-level undo and redo z - UltraEdit-32 is Windows 3.x CUA compliant z - Find and Replace - Also allows selection of text between caret and find target when shift key is pressed z - Goto Line Number/Page Break z - Font Selection for display and printer. (Supports all fonts installed including TRUE-TYPE fonts) z - Print support with headers, footers, margins and page breaks. z - Automatic Line Indentation z - Tab Settings z - Word Wrap Support z - Hexadecimal Editor - Allows editing of any binary file - HEX Cut, copy and paste support z - HEX Insert and Delete of characters z - HEX Find, Replace and Replace All z - Bookmarks - Unlimited number of Bookmarks z - Multiple Windows of the same file z - Comprehensive macro support, including saving and loading z - Context Sensitive Help z - Automatic backup file generated with (.BAK) extension in the directory of the original file z - UltraEdit-32 retains its screen position each time it is used z - Line & column number display (line number display may be disabled) z - Pop-up menus with right mouse button. z - Text conversion to lower or upper case and capitalization. z - Unix/Mac to DOS Conversion z - DOS to Unix conversion z - Auto detect UNIX/Mac files z - Convert Word Wrap to CR/LF's allowing word wrap to be written to file with hard returns z - Convert CR/LF's to Word Wrap (removes CR/LF's from file) z - Template Support z - More ... Also: - UltraEdit accepts a command line input and so can be used to replace NOTEPAD or other editors that are called up from a file manager by clicking on a file. Registration You are limited to 45 Days of use for an unregistered version. UltraEdit-32 is a shareware program. If you find it useful and continue to use it you are obligated to register it with the author by sending $30.00 (Ohio Residents add $1.65 Sales Tax) to: Ian D. Mead 8209 Chestnut Hill Ct. West Chester, OH 45069 USA VISA/MASTERCARD Accepted For VISA/MasterCard orders, include: 1) Name of card holder 2) Address of card holder 3) Name and address of user if different from card holder 4) Expiration date of card 5) Card #. Credit card orders may be faxed or telephoned to (513) 779 8549, or sent to my E-Mail address (see below). Compuserve Registration UltraEdit-32 may also be registered online on CompuServe by typing GO SWREG and following instructions for registering using ID 4017. This will entitle you to an authorization code, the latest registered version, and technical support. For CompuServe registrations, a newer version is not sent out if the latest version is available on CompuServe. E-Mail Address Internet: IDM@iglou.com CompuServe: 71613,2654 Return Policy No refunds are issued after an authorization code has been issued. Exchanges are allowed if appropriate. This program may be freely distributed provided it is unmodified, no charge is made for the software, and all of the following files are included: 1) UEDIT32I.EXE or UEDIT32.ZIP - Self extracting file Latest Version The latest version of UltraEdit/UltraEdit-32 may be found in several places: In the WINUSER Forum on CompuServe, an official distribution and support online resource for future updates. Search for ULTRAEDIT.ZIP, and UEDIT32.ZIP. The Windows Users Group Network (WUGNET), operators of the oldest and largest independent support resource forum (WINUSER) for Windows Users on CIS with nearly 1,000,000 active members is recognized in the press, user groups, developers, and Microsoft as the foremost resource for shareware publishers on CompuServe and the Internet. On the Internet on several sites, including CICA and other sites. Additionally, on the WWW on the following page: http://members.aol.com:/idmcompsrv/index.htm (This WWW page may be replaced. If you do not find it, send E-Mail to email@example.com and you will be provided with a new WWW page address). History // History - Purged changes prior to v2.00 v2.00 z - Add Column editing!! Enhance selection features in HEX mode, add "^s", "^c" syntax for macro find/replace of selected text and clipboard contents. Switch to/from hex mode and cursor position is maintained. Macros now support next/previous window. Other minor enhancements and fixes. v2.01 z - Added column insert/delete/cut. Added sequentail number insertion for each row. Added multi-level undo. v2.01a z - Fixed word wrap problem where a single space between words may appear on the beginning of the line after the wrap. v2.01b z - Added "Tool Tips" for the toolbar. v2.10 z - Added "Find In Files", Select Line, Select All, Configurable file types, other configurable options, and bug fixes. v2.11 z - Added Goto page break, DOS to UNIX conversion, (UNIX/MAC to DOS already existed as "Fixup CR/LF" but is renamed). Fixes for right mouse button menu. Added option to reload an already open file. Now, authorization codes for 32-Bit and 16-Bit are compatible. Improved handling of "wide" files. v3.00 z - Added - Configurable Syntax Highlighting, pre-configured for C/C++ and VB (see option menu) z - 100,000 Word Spelling checker z - Automatic word wrap at column number, with hard returns (see option menu) z - Window updates with vertical scroll bar z - Other minor enhancements v3.01 z - Added - Template support z - Enhancements for column wrap z - Reformat Paragraph z - File Editing without temp file option z - Macro load/execute command line support z - Minor fixes v3.10 z - Enhanced macro support for file loading, saving closing, HEX editing and mode switching z - see help for full set of features. z - Allow multiple macros, with configurable HOT KEYs z - Allow nested macros z - Added support for upto 6 languages for syntax highlighting z - Allow configurable block comments with syntax highlighting z - Spawn a DOS command and capture output - run a compiler z - Start a Windows Program z - Auto detect UNIX or Binary/Hex files when loaded z - Added regular expression support z - Added literal character insertion to insert control codes - CTRL+I z - Added find matching brace z - Other minor changes and fixes Windows is a registered Trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Win95 Update STR Focus WIN95 SERVICE PACK No. One CHANGES OLE32 Update The Windows 95 OLE 32 update addresses file-management behavior in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPointr for Windows 95. Because of the way these applications use OLE for file storage, files created by these applications might contain extraneous data from previously deleted files. This data is not visible while you use the applications. However, when such a document file is viewed by using Windows Notepad (for example), it might be possible to see pieces of information from the previously deleted files. This could pose information security or privacy concerns if you distribute electronic versions of files created using these applications. The OLE 32 update addresses this problem. Although the problem is known to occur only in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint for Windows 95, the OLE 32 update is designed to prevent any application from potentially causing the same problem. Notes 1. If you use Microsoft Office with Windows NTT, this problem does not affect you, because the operating system initializes (clears) any disk space used by deleted files. 2. If you use Microsoft Word 6.0, Microsoft Excel 5.0, or Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0 with Windows version 3.1 or on an Appler Macintoshr computer, contact Microsoft Customer Services to obtain the "C" maintenance releases of these products. Early releases of these versions are known to have a similar extraneous-data problem, which is fixed in the "C" releases. If you use Microsoft Word 6.0, Microsoft Excel 5.0, or Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0 with Windows 95, you should also obtain the "C" releases of these products. 2.Microsoft Windows 95 Shell Update This update to Shell32.dll makes it possible to browse NetWarer Directory Service printers from the Add Printer wizard. The Add Printer Wizard is found in the Printers folder. This change is applicable to you if you have installed Service for NetWare Directory Services. This update to the Windows 95 Shell32.dll file also fixes a problem in which files copied onto themselves can be truncated to a zero-byte file size. This occurs only in the following circumstances: z When you copy a file onto itself using two different views of the same network resource (these can be different mapped drive letters or UNC connections to a network resource). z When you copy a file onto itself using a drive that was created by the SUBST command. 3.Windows 95 Common Dialog Update for Windows 3.1 Legacy Printer Drivers In Windows 95, when 32-bit applications print using Windows 3.1 monolithic drivers or the Windows 3.1 Pscript.drv / Unidrv.dll driver, the applications sometimes fail. This update addresses that problem. 4.Vserver Update: File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks This update is for a problem with File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks and a certain UNIXr network client (Samba's SMBCLIENT). The update corrects a problem with share-level security documented in the Microsoft Knowledge Base on October 9, 1995. The update also includes a correction for a similar problem with user-level security that Microsoft recently discovered as part of its internal testing of the new driver. Note The phrase "Microsoft Networks" refers to Microsoft's networking software, not MSNT (The Microsoft Network online service). Windows 95 enables users of the Samba SMBCLIENT to gain unauthorized access to the drive on which sharing is enabled by accepting certain specific networking commands. The Samba client is the only known SMB client that sends such networking commands. SMBCLIENT users do not automatically have access to the Windows 95 drive, and must know the exact steps to send these commands. The updated driver prevents Windows 95 from accepting these commands, preventing SMBCLIENT users from accessing the drive on which sharing is enabled. With the updated driver, an SMBCLIENT user will have access only to those shared folders that a Windows 95 user has designated. 5.NWServer Update: File and Printer Sharing for NetWare Networks This update is for a problem with File and Printer Sharing for NetWare Networks which might affect data security for corporate users. If your computer is configured for file and printer sharing and Remote Administration is enabled, another user on the network might gain read-only access to your computer after the administrator has logged off the computer and before you have restarted your computer. To correct this problem, Microsoft has issued an updated driver for File and Printer Sharing for NetWare Networks. The updated driver ensures that only valid administrators have access to the computer's drive. 6.Vredir Update The Vredir Update fixes a problem that affects only Windows 95 users who use Samba UNIX servers. The problem arises from the basic Windows 95 and UNIX filename formats. UNIX allows filenames that include the backslash (\) and asterisk (*) characters, but in Windows 95, these are wildcard characters. Suppose that a Samba server contains a file named \\server\share\*.*, a legal UNIX filename. If a Windows 95 user connects to that server and tries to delete the *.* file by using Windows Explorer, all the files on \\server\share are deleted instead. This updated version of Vredir prevents this from happening by rejecting filenames that contain the \ or * characters. 7.Windows 95 Password List Update The Windows 95 Password List Update protects your password file against potential security violations. When you connect to a password-protected resource, such as a network drive, you can choose to save that password. Windows then stores the password in an encrypted file on your hard disk. An algorithm was posted on the Internet for decrypting this file. If someone has access to your password file and knows the decryption algorithm, they may be able to decrypt it and the passwords it contains-and then gain access to the password-protected resources. The Password List Update provides vastly improved encryption that is 2^96 (2 to the 96th power) harder to decrypt than the previous encryption method. 8.Microsoft Plus! Update (System Agent Update) The Microsoft Plus! Update provides an updated version of Sage.dll to fix a minor problem with System Agent: When version 1.0 System Agent is running, programs that perform floating-point calculations might be slightly off in precision. This problem does not occur if System Agent is turned off. Note If you do not have Microsoft Plus! installed on your computer, this update will have no effect on your system. If you install Microsoft Plus! at a later date (after the Microsoft Plus! Update has been installed), Microsoft Plus! Setup will leave the updated version of Sage.dll file on your system. 9.Printer Port (Lpt.vxd) Update This Lpt.vxd Update adds support for ECP (Enhanced Communication Parallel) port bi-directional communications used with certain printers (such as the Hewlett-Packardr LaserJet Series 4 and 5 printers, some Lexmark LaserPrinters, and possibly others). It may prevent timeout errors when printing. Note The Lpt.vxd Update was also included in the Drivers\Printer\LPT folder on the Windows 95 CD-ROM; however, it was not installed by default during setup. ISDN Series STR Focus "Fully Understanding ISDN" Article Two Base Graphic by 102714,3461 ctsy CompuServe's Computer Graphics Forum by R. F. Mariano ISDN, is the coming thing.. This week we carry the second preliminary article about ISDN. You can be certain that this magazine was uploaded to the Internet at 128000 bps and CompuServe at 64000 bps V 1.20 via ISDN. It is fast. In fact, the average around the world is 128000 bps. ISDN has been "in the wings" so to speak, for quite some time. AT&T, the Baby Bells and the FCC have been so busy having a good "go at each other" that this mode of telecommunications was virtually lost in the shuffle. Even at this time, the confusion and bad information coming from the Baby Bells themselves is unbelievable. Hopefully, over the next few months, we shall be able to clear things up a great deal and at the same time, make your decision to move to ISDN in your Home/Business an easy decision to make. There are quite a few hardware configurations available to you. We will look at them all. And.. explain them in everyday language. Most of the "gurus" have a tendency to talk to you in the language of techno-noise and acronyms. What with SPIDS, NT1s, 5ESS and on and on ad infinatum, one can only stop them cold and have them talk in clear, concise language we all grew up understanding. Unless of course, they don't want us to really understand?? Nah. that would never be the case. Keep the faith. by the time this series is done, you'll be quite able to keep up with the best of them when "speaking acronyms" or, ISDN lingo. Last week and this week, we presented an average picture of what to expect when first wanting to know "about" ISDN. Please read last weeks article and this week's then. if you have any questions. send them to me via Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or, the US Snail. All our addresses are in every issue. Beginning next week, we shall begin "looking" at the various hardware options available to the consumer from the casual home user all the way to the corporate giant. Once we are done "looking" then the fun begins. By the way, we will be happy to act a "go between" for you if you find yourself between a rock and a hard place with your local ISDN Bell Group. Some are called Special Services other are called .. Well, you get the picture. Many old, familiar names are getting involved in the hardware end. Don't be surprised if you recognize a number of brand names. BELL ATLANTIC CONNECTS SMALL BUSINESSES TO INFORMATION AGE WITH NEW ISDN WORLD WIDE WEB PAGE Arlington, VA -- Bell Atlantic has unveiled a new World Wide Web page to help small businesses "connect to the information age" with ISDN -- Integrated Services Digital Network. The Bell Atlantic Small Business ISDN Home Page provides useful information about a service that will help small businesses become more efficient. It can be accessed at http://www.bell-atl.com/isdn/sbs. ISDN is a high-speed, all digital network that combines voice, data and video signals on a single standard phone line. The network supports applications, such as high-speed Internet access, teleworking, desktop video conferencing, collaborative computing and remote local area network (LAN) access and interconnection. "There's no more appropriate place to let small businesses know how ISDN can help them than on the World Wide Web," said Mark Kutner, president of Bell Atlantic Small Business Services. "ISDN brings the power of the Internet and high-speed communications within the reach of any small or home-based business. We want to help small businesses take advantage of this power to become more productive and more competitive." Bell Atlantic's Small Business ISDN Home Page is dedicated to small business concerns, applications and case studies that explain how many small businesses are using the technology today. It also provides a technological overview and includes detailed pricing and deployment information so users can determine whether or not ISDN is available to them and at what cost. The main benefit of ISDN is speed. ISDN transmits voice, data and video signals at speeds up to 128 kilobits per second (kbps) or as high as 500 kbps with compression techniques available in some ISDN-capable equipment that allows computers to receive and transmit data at higher speeds than with currently available analog modems. "ISDN leaves today's analog modems in the dust," said Diane Brown, ISDN product manager for Bell Atlantic Small Business Services. "When compared to a standard modem at 14.4 kilobits per second, the increase in speed can be almost ten fold with ISDN Basic Rate Interface (BRI)." As a special feature, the ISDN Home Page gives small business customers the opportunity to download an interactive multimedia presentation which demonstrates how ISDN can increase productivity for small businesses. The interactive presentation provides an example of ISDN's speed and ease of use. With a standard 14.4 kilobits per second modem, downloading the presentation would take approximately 13 minutes. With ISDN-BRI at 128 kilobits per second, the download takes 93 seconds -- almost 10 times faster. "The speed and capacity of ISDN can help small businesses increase productivity and reduce costs by cutting the time it takes to send or receive information over the telephone line," added Brown. "It provides small businesses with the same speed and ease of transmission that large businesses have benefited from for years, and does so at affordable rates." The Bell Atlantic ISDN Home Page provides links to other ISDN resources and information where Bell Atlantic will be showcasing ISDN technology in the coming months. Small businesses also may send a formal inquiry over the Internet to get a price quote for the service. Bell Atlantic is the largest supplier of local ISDN access lines in the US with about 145,000 installed ISDN lines in its operating region, and it is adding about 6,000 ISDN lines per month. The Bell Atlantic ISDN Sales and Technology Center provides small businesses with one-stop shopping for ISDN from the initial service order through installation. Customers who order ISDN service will need ISDN-capable equipment that allows their computers to receive data at higher speeds. Bell Atlantic TeleProducts, a fully owned subsidiary of Bell Atlantic Corp., provides ISDN equipment from today's leading manufacturers. ISDN terminal adapters, bridges, routers, telephones and NT1's are examples of ISDN equipment that can be purchased at competitive prices from Teleproducts. Customers can call Bell Atlantic TeleProducts at 1-800-221-0845 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. In addition, Bell Atlantic can install certain types of ISDN equipment in parts of the Bell Atlantic service area. To get more information about Bell Atlantic's business ISDN service or to place an order, customers can call the Bell Atlantic ISDN Sales and Technology Center at 1-800-570-ISDN (4736) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers also can send an e-mail message to business.isdn@bell- atl.com. Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the largest investors in the high- growth wireless communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and international business opportunities in all phases of the industry. BELL ATLANTIC AND DSC COMMUNICATIONS CHARGE AT&T WITH MONOPOLIZING TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT MARKET Nation's Largest Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturer Defendant in Federal Antitrust Suit Texarkana, TX -- Charging that AT&T designs its telecommunications switches specifically to prevent the interconnection of other manufacturer's equipment, Bell Atlantic and DSC Communications filed a lawsuit to recover nearly $3.5 billion in damages from the telecommunications giant. AT&T has monopolized the market for both equipment and software, as well as the market for Caller ID services, according to an antitrust suit filed yesterday by the two companies. "AT&T has Bell Atlantic over a barrel. Though we own a lot of AT&T equipment, we cannot use it in the way that lets us provide the best services to our customers. We just don't have a true choice," said James R. Young, Bell Atlantic vice president and general counsel. "DSC Communications provides aftermarket equipment and software with superior features and functionality. If our customers use AT&T central office equipment, they are unable to take full advantage of our equipment's capabilities because of AT&T's monopolistic practices," said George Brunt, DSC Communications' vice president and general counsel. According to papers filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, "AT&T is purposely delaying and preventing the utilization of interconnecting plugs needed by vendors like DSC." This practice by AT&T is the continuation of a "long history of resisting other vendors' attempts to plug their equipment into AT&T's," the suit says. The suit gives specific instances of AT&T keeping others out of the market in this way. For example, in 1986, the telecommunications industry agreed on an interface standard to connect other manufacturers' equipment to telephone switches. Though the standard was adopted by other switch makers, AT&T delayed and sabotaged the idea for years and still today has not fully incorporated this standard. The lack of this standard has delayed services like ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) which could have been provided more cost-effectively had AT&T embraced this standard in 1986. The lawsuit also charges AT&T has crippled the "Caller ID" service that shows subscribers the number -- or name -- of the person who is calling. Because AT&T sells a competing service, the suit claims, AT&T intentionally blocked Caller ID information on most long distance calls for years. The Federal Communications Commission last year reviewed this issue and ordered AT&T to stop blocking Caller ID information. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for the period when AT&T was engaged in this illegal practice. Under the provisions of the antitrust laws, AT&T is liable for damages and injunctive relief to compensate Bell Atlantic and DSC Communications for lost profits and increased operating costs. DSC Communications Corporation is a leading designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of digital switching, transmission, access and private network system products for the worldwide telecommunications marketplace. Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the largest investors in the high- growth wireless communication marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and international business opportunities in all phases of the industry. ISDN Individual Line Residential Service Pricing BellSouth Tariff Summary For ISDN Capability Packages The following ISDN pricing information is illustrative and provided for planning purposes only. To order ISDN Individual Line Service please call one of the following phone numbers: 1-(800)-858-9413 Introduction The National ISDN Users Forum (NIUF), to simplify ISDN ordering and provisioning, has established a set of capability packages for ISDN individual line service. A brief outline of the NIUF packages and pricing for each package is included below. For each Capability Package the NIUF specified: The number of Directory Numbers (DNs) assigned The number of terminal-controlled DN appearances assigned The number of switch-controlled Call Appearances (for CACH EKTS) assigned The number of Terminal Endpoint Identifiers assigned The feature identifier values assigned to the features in the Capability Package Capability Package z Capability Package N (2B+D)-----includes alternate voice/circuit- switched data on one B-channel, circuit-switched data on the other B-channel and basic D-channel packet. This package provides non-EKTS voice features, including Flexible Calling, Additional Call Offering and Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package O (2B+D)-----is equivalent to Capability Package N with the change that CACH-EKTS service is used for the voice service. Please note that Additional Call Offering functionality is incorporated in the EKTS service. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package P (2B+D)-----includes alternate voice/circuit- switched data on two B-channels and basic D-channel packet. This package provides non-EKTS voice features including Flexible Calling, Additional Call Offering and Calling Number Identification. Data capabiliites include Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package Q (2B+D)-----is equivalent to Capability Package P with the change that CACH-EKTS service is used for the voice service. Please note that Additional Call Offering functionality is incorporated in the EKTS service. ISDN Rates for all states NOTES: z In BellSouth, ALL ISDN Individual Line Residence Service is provided fully configured as 2B + D, therefore only Capability Packages N, O, P and Q are shown as packages. Other Capability Packages, features and options may actually be ordered (turned on) even though service is based on a 2B + D configuration. z Charges shown are flat rate for B-channel Circuit Switched Voice (CSV) and/or Circuit Switched Data (CSD) and also flat rate D-channel Packet Switched Data (PSD). z Charges shown below include ALL features, End User Common Line Charge (EUCL), Subscriber Line Charge (SLC), and ALL service order, line connection and other associated installation charges except where a special jack/wiring installation is requested. Before firm rates for specific service can be quoted, a loop qualification must be processed to ensure that service to a specific site can be provided without additional charges. ISDN Individual Line Rates for Capability Package N STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 221.75 $ 72.35 Florida $ 211.00 $ 60.65 Georgia $ 202.50 $ 66.90 Kentucky $ 254.10 $ 64.55 Louisiana $ 267.10 $ 75.00 Mississippi $ 238.75 $ 70.01 N Carolina $ 241.75 $ 79.51 S. Carolina $ 230.50 $ 66.90 Tennessee $ 24.40 $ 33.00 ISDN Individual Line Rates for Capability Package O STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 223.75 $ 74.10 Florida $ 213.00 $ 62.40 Georgia $ 204.50 $ 68.65 Kentucky $ 256.10 $ 66.30 Louisiana $ 269.11 $ 76.75 Mississippi $ 240.75 $ 71.76 N Carolina $ 243.75 $ 81.26 S. Carolina $ 232.50 $ 68.65 Tennessee $ 26.40 $ 34.75 ISDN Individual Line Rates for Capability Package P STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 224.75 $ 75.85 Florida $ 214.00 $ 64.15 Georgia $ 205.50 $ 70.40 Kentucky $ 257.10 $ 68.05 Louisiana $ 270.11 $ 78.50 Mississippi $ 241.75 $ 73.51 N Carolina $ 244.75 $ 83.01 S. Carolina $ 233.50 $ 70.40 Tennessee $ 27.40 $ 36.50 ISDN Individual Line Rates for Capability Package Q STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 228.75 $ 79.35 Florida $ 218.00 $ 67.65 Georgia $ 209.50 $ 73.90 Kentucky $ 261.10 $ 71.55 Louisiana $ 274.11 $ 82.00 Mississippi $ 245.75 $ 77.01 N Carolina $ 248.75 $ 86.51 S. Carolina $ 237.50 $ 73.90 Tennessee $ 31.40 $ 40.00 ISDN Individual Line Business Service Pricing BellSouth Tariff Summary For ISDN Capability Packages The following ISDN pricing information is illustrative and provided for planning purposes only. To order ISDN Individual Line Service please call one of the following phone numbers: 1-(800)-858-9413 Introduction The National ISDN Users Forum (NIUF), to simplify ISDN ordering and provisioning, has established a set of capability packages for ISDN individual line service. A brief outline of the NIUF packages and pricing for each package is included below. For each Capability Package the NIUF specified: The number of Directory Numbers (DNs) assigned The number of terminal-controlled DN appearances assigned The number of switch-controlled Call Appearances (for CACH EKTS) assigned The number of Terminal Endpoint Identifiers assigned The feature identifier values assigned to the features in the Capability Package Capability Packages z Capability Package A (0B+D)-----includes basic D-channel packet. No voice capabilities are provided. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package B (1B)-----includes circuit switched data on one B- channel. Data capabilities include Calling Number Identification. No voice capabilities are provided. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package C (1B)-----includes alternate voice/circuit-swicthed data on one B-channel. Data and voice capabilities include Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package D (1B+D)-----Includes voice on one B-channel and basic D-channel packet. Only basic voice capabilities are provided, with no features. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package E (1B+D)-----Includes voice on one B-channel and basic D-channel. This package provides non-electronic key telephone set (EKTS) voice features, including Flexible Calling, Additional Call Offering, and Calling Number identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package F (1B+D)-----is equivalent to Capability Package E with the change that Call Appearance Handling (CACH) EKTS is used for the voice service. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package G (2B)-----includes voice on one B-channel and circuit-switched data on the other B-channel. This packgae provides non-EKTS voice features including Flexible Calling, Additional Call Offering, and Calling Number Identification. Data capabilities include Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package H (2B)----is equivalent to Capability Package G, with the change that CACH EKTS is used for the voice services. Please note that Additional Call Offering is included in EKTS service. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package I (2B)-----includes circuit-switched data on two B- channels. Data capabilities include Calling Number Identification. No voice capabilities are provided. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package J (2B)----includes alternate voice/circuit-switched data on one B-channel and circuit switched data on the other B-channel. Only basic voice capabilities are provided, with no features except Calling Number Identification. Data capabilities include Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package K (2B)-----includes alternate voice/circuit-switched data on one B-channel and circuit switched data on the other B-channel. This package also provides non-EKTS voice features including Flexible Calling, Additional Call Offering, and Calling Number Identification. Data capabilities include Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package L (2B)-----is equivalent to Capability Package K, with the change that CACH EKTS service is used for the voice service. Please note that Additional Call Offering functionality is incorporated in the EKTS service. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package M (2B)-----includes alternate voice/circuit-switched data on two B-channels. Data and voice capabilities include Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package N (2B+D)-----includes alternate voice/circuit- switched data on one B-channel, circuit-switched data on the other B-channel and basic D-channel packet. This package provides non-EKTS voice features, including Flexible Calling, Additional Call Offering and Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package O (2B+D)-----is equivalent to Capability Package N with the change that CACH-EKTS service is used for the voice service. Please note that Additional Call Offering functionality is incorporated in the EKTS service. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package P (2B+D)-----includes alternate voice/circuit- switched data on two B-channels and basic D-channel packet. This package provides non-EKTS voice features including Flexible Calling, Additional Call Offering and Calling Number Identification. Data capabilities include Calling Number Identification. ISDN Rates for all states z Capability Package Q (2B+D)-----is equivalent to Capability Package P with the change that CACH-EKTS service is used for the voice service. Please note that Additional Call Offering functionality is incorporated in the EKTS service. ISDN Rates for all states NOTES: z Charges shown are flat rate for B-channel Circuit Switched Voice (CSV) and/or Circuit Switched Data (CWD) and flat rate for D-channel Switched Packet Data (PSD) z Charges shown in the following sections include ALL feature, End User Common Line Charges (EUCL), Subscriber Line Charges(SLC) and ALL service order, line connection and other associated installation charges except where special jack/wiring installation is requested. (This assumes only one business line per premises.) z Charges DO NOT INCLUDE the customer provided ISDN terminal equipment. z Calling Line Identification (CLID) is provided at no additional charge on ALL ISDN individual Line Business lines in BellSouth. ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package A STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 214.00 $ 73.50 Florida $ 201.00 $ 68.50 Georgia $ 203.25 $ 68.50 Kentucky $ 218.00 $ 68.50 Louisiana $ 230.00 $ 68.50 Mississippi $ 212.00 $ 68.50 N Carolina $ 207.50 $ 67.50 S. Carolina $ 227.50 $ 68.50 Tennessee $ 58.50 $ 68.50 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package B STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 209.00 $ 77.25 Florida $ 196.00 $ 74.75 Georgia $ 198.25 $ 74.75 Kentucky $ 213.00 $ 74.75 Louisiana $ 225.00 $ 75.75 Mississippi $ 207.00 $ 75.75 N Carolina $ 202.50 $ 74.75 S. Carolina $ 222.50 $ 74.75 Tennessee $ 58.50 $ 74.75 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package C STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 209.00 $ 77.25 Florida $ 196.00 $ 74.75 Georgia $ 198.25 $ 74.75 Kentucky $ 213.00 $ 74.75 Louisiana $ 225.00 $ 75.75 Mississippi $ 207.00 $ 75.75 N Carolina $ 202.50 $ 74.75 S. Carolina $ 222.50 $ 74.75 Tennessee $ 58.50 $ 74.75 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package D STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 224.00 $ 90.75 Florida $ 211.00 $ 88.25 Georgia $ 213.25 $ 88.25 Kentucky $ 228.00 $ 88.25 Louisiana $ 240.00 $ 89.25 Mississippi $ 222.00 $ 89.25 N Carolina $ 217.50 $ 86.75 S. Carolina $ 237.50 $ 88.25 Tennessee $ 58.50 $ 88.25 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package E STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 230.00 $ 97.75 Florida $ 217.00 $ 95.25 Georgia $ 219.25 $ 95.25 Kentucky $ 234.00 $ 95.25 Louisiana $ 246.00 $ 96.25 Mississippi $ 228.00 $ 96.25 N Carolina $ 223.50 $ 93.75 S. Carolina $ 243.50 $ 95.25 Tennessee $ 64.50 $ 95.25 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package F STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 234.00 $ 101.25 Florida $ 221.00 $ 98.75 Georgia $ 223.25 $ 98.75 Kentucky $ 238.00 $ 98.75 Louisiana $ 250.00 $ 99.75 Mississippi $ 232.00 $ 99.75 N Carolina $ 227.50 $ 97.25 S. Carolina $ 247.50 $ 98.75 Tennessee $ 68.50 $ 98.75 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package G STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 223.00 $ 95.00 Florida $ 210.00 $ 95.00 Georgia $ 212.25 $ 95.00 Kentucky $ 227.00 $ 95.00 Louisiana $ 239.00 $ 96.00 Mississippi $ 221.00 $ 96.00 N Carolina $ 216.50 $ 95.00 S. Carolina $ 236.50 $ 95.00 Tennessee $ 62.50 $ 95.00 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package H STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 227.00 $ 98.50 Florida $ 214.00 $ 98.50 Georgia $ 216.25 $ 98.50 Kentucky $ 231.00 $ 98.50 Louisiana $ 243.00 $ 99.50 Mississippi $ 225.00 $ 99.50 N Carolina $ 220.50 $ 98.50 S. Carolina $ 240.50 $ 98.50 Tennessee $ 66.50 $ 98.50 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package I STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 219.00 $ 91.00 Florida $ 206.00 $ 91.00 Georgia $ 208.25 $ 91.00 Kentucky $ 223.00 $ 91.00 Louisiana $ 235.00 $ 92.00 Mississippi $ 217.00 $ 92.00 N Carolina $ 212.50 $ 91.00 S. Carolina $ 232.50 $ 91.00 Tennessee $ 58.50 $ 91.00 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package J STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 219.00 $ 91.00 Florida $ 206.00 $ 91.00 Georgia $ 208.25 $ 91.00 Kentucky $ 223.00 $ 91.00 Louisiana $ 235.00 $ 92.00 Mississippi $ 217.00 $ 92.00 N Carolina $ 212.50 $ 91.00 S. Carolina $ 232.50 $ 91.00 Tennessee $ 58.50 ! $ 91.00 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package K STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 225.00 $ 98.00 Florida $ 212.00 $ 98.00 Georgia $ 214.25 $ 98.00 Kentucky $ 229.00 $ 98.00 Louisiana $ 241.00 $ 99.00 Mississippi $ 223.00 $ 99.00 N Carolina $ 218.50 $ 98.00 S. Carolina $ 238.50 $ 98.00 Tennessee $ 64.50 $ 98.00 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package L STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 231.00 $ 104.50 Florida $ 218.00 $ 104.50 Georgia $ 220.25 $ 104.50 Kentucky $ 235.00 $ 104.50 Louisiana $ 247.00 $ 105.50 Mississippi $ 229.00 $ 105.50 N Carolina $ 224.50 $ 104.50 S. Carolina $ 244.50 $ 104.50 Tennessee $ 70.50 $ 104.50 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package M STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 219.00 $ 91.00 Florida $ 206.00 $ 91.00 Georgia $ 208.25 $ 91.00 Kentucky $ 223.00 $ 91.00 Louisiana $ 235.00 $ 92.00 Mississippi $ 217.00 $ 92.00 N Carolina $ 212.50 $ 91.00 S. Carolina $ 232.50 $ 91.00 Tennessee $ 58.50 $ 91.00 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package N STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 240.00 $ 111.50 Florida $ 227.00 $ 111.50 Georgia $ 229.25 $ 111.50 Kentucky $ 244.00 $ 111.50 Louisiana $ 256.00 $ 112.50 Mississippi $ 238.00 $ 112.50 N Carolina $ 233.50 $ 110.00 S. Carolina $ 253.50 $ 111.50 Tennessee $ 64.50 $ 111.50 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package O STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 244.00 $ 115.00 Florida $ 231.00 $ 115.00 Georgia $ 233.25 $ 115.00 Kentucky $ 248.00 $ 115.00 Louisiana $ 260.00 $ 116.00 Mississippi $ 242.00 $ 116.00 N Carolina $ 237.50 $ 113.50 S. Carolina $ 257.50 $ 115.00 Tennessee $ 68.50 $ 115.00 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package P STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 246.00 $ 118.50 Florida $ 233.00 $ 118.50 Georgia $ 235.25 $ 118.50 Kentucky $ 250.00 $ 118.50 Louisiana $ 262.00 $ 119.50 Mississippi $ 244.00 $ 119.50 N Carolina $ 239.50 $ 117.00 S. Carolina $ 259.50 $ 118.50 Tennessee $ 70.50 $ 118.50 ISDN Individual Business Line Rates for Capability Package Q STATE Installation Charge Recurring Monthly Charge Alabama $ 254.00 $ 125.50 Florida $ 241.00 $ 125.50 Georgia $ 243.25 $ 125.50 Kentucky $ 258.00 $ 125.50 Louisiana $ 270.00 $ 126.50 Mississippi $ 252.00 $ 126.50 N Carolina $ 247.50 $ 124.00 S. Carolina $ 267.50 $ 125.50 Tennessee $ 78.50 $ 125.50 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 Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format Requirements for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 7.0.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at eleven points. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No underlining! z Column Format shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Do NOT use the space bar. z No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z Please use a single font only in an article. TTF CG Times 11pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor STReport International Online Magazine Server Benchmarks STR InfoFile H A Y N E S & C O M P A N Y SHILOH CONSULTING Performance Benchmark Tests of Microsoft and NetScape Web Servers Responding to HTML, API, and CGI Requests and Running on Windows NT February 1996 Version 1.0 This document summarizes tests conducted by Shiloh Consulting and Haynes & Company to measure the throughput, connections per second, response time, and error rate of two Web servers processing client requests for HTML, proprietary APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and standard CGI (Common Gateway Interface). The tests were run at Shiloh Consulting between January 24 and February 5, 1996 Executive Summary This testing demonstrates that the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) overwhelmingly outperforms the Windows NT version of the NetScape NetSite server when both are running straight HTML. The Internet Information Server substantially outperforms the NetScape server when each server is running its respective proprietary API. (See Figures 1 and 2 below for comparisons of throughput and connections per second.) The Microsoft performance advantage increases consistently as the number of clients making requests increases. As should be expected, server performance is virtually equal when 100% of requests are for standard CGI. In the case of 100% CGI, both servers are spending the majority of their time running the identical CGI code. The Internet Information Server proprietary API (ISAPI) is roughly five times as fast as CGI while the NetSite API (NSAPI) is roughly twice as fast as CGI. Figure 1 Figure 2 Even when the Internet Information Server is handling many more requests than NetSite, the Average Response Time for IIS to handle each request is approximately one quarter that of NetSite for straight HTML and one third as great for 100% API requests. Figure 3 The error rates for both servers were zero in all straight HTML and proprietary API tests. NetScape had errors in some CGI tests while Microsoft had no errors. The network did not constrain performance in any of the tests. The tests were run over a 100 megabit network and the NT Performance Monitor reported that network utilization never exceeded 16%. Where Web site managers running Windows NT wish to minimize hardware costs, allow a comfortable margin for peak loads, and provide the maximum room for growth, they will find the Microsoft Internet Information Server superior to the NetScape NetSite server in achieving these goals. Test Philosophy and Methodology The benchmark tests used the WebStone release version 1.1 server benchmark to measure the differences in Web server software performance across workloads that exercised HTML, CGI, and API scripts on the servers. The tests used WebStone to measure throughput, connections per second, error rate, and response time (also referred to as latency). CPU utilization and network utilization were simultaneously measured for the same test runs using the Windows NT Performance Monitor. WebStone is widely recognized to be the current industry standard for measuring Web server performance. It runs exclusively on clients, makes all measurements from the point of view of the clients, and is independent of the server software. Thus WebStone is suitable for testing the performance of any and all Web servers, regardless of architecture, and for testing all combinations of Web server, operating system, network operating system, and hardware. It was developed by Silicon Graphics and is freely available to anyone on the SGI Web server. The WebStone software, controlled by a program called WebMASTER, runs on one of the client workstations but uses no test network or server resources while the test is running and places only a minimal burden on each client. Each WebStone client is able to launch a number of children (called "Webchildren"), depending on how the system load is configured. Each of the Webchildren simulates a Web client and requests information from the server based on a configured file load. The tests conducted for this report used four workstations to run the client software. Each workstation simulated the same number of clients with an identical set of requests coming from each workstation. The tests for straight HTML performance were all run using the same request load (100% identical requests for a small HTML file) and using eight different client loads (16, 32, 48, 64, 80, 96, 112, and 128 clients). The requests were generated from the filelist.ss file which is incorporated within WebStone. The API and CGI tests were run at three request loads (light, medium, and heavy) for each of the eight client configurations. The load points mixed the proportion of client requests between dynamic HTML requests (requiring a call to a CGI or API routine) and static requests for a HTML document as shown in the table that is shown below: Proportion of Client Requests HTML CGI or NSAPI Light 75% 25% Medium 58% 42% Heavy 0% 100% The files which generate these proportions of static and dynamic requests are incorporated into the WebStone release 1.1 software under the following names: filelist.dynamic-light filelist dynamic-medium filelist.dynamic-heavy In some cases it was necessary to make minor modifications to the files to accommodate the proprietary nature of the APIs but the contents of the files (the requests themselves) were the same for all servers. WebStone was set up to run all tests for a given server at a given load point back-to-back, without human intervention. WebStone stepped the number of clients through the eight pre-set levels, running the test at each level for five minutes and reporting the results of each test to a file at the end of the test run. Selected tests run with heavy request loads and 128 clients were run three times to assure the reproducibility of the results. Results of these repeated tests varied by no more than a few percent. Log files were cleared and the Web server that was under test at that time was restarted after each test as each request load level was completed. Test Configuration The Web servers tested were the Microsoft Internet Information Server Version 3.51 release candidate and the NetScape NetSite Communications Server 1.12. All Web servers tested were run on the same identically configured: Hewlett-Packard NetServer LS servers: z Intel Pentium CPU running at 133 MHz z 1 megabyte L2 Cache z 32 megabytes of RAM z Two 1 gigabyte Hard disk drives z Digital Tulip 100 megabit Ethernet Card z Windows NT Server, version 3.51, with Service Pack 3 installed At Microsoft's direction, the Listen Backlog parameter in Windows NT was changed to 150 from the default of 16 when run in conjunction with the Internet Information Server. We understand that this parameter has no relevance to NetSite. Based on earlier discussions with NetScape the minimum number of processes in Windows NT was changed from 16 to 32 and the maximum was changed from 32 to 64 to optimize performance. Since all Web servers accessed the same test files and the files were cached in memory, possible fragmentation of the files on the server disk was not a factor in the results. WebStone clients ran on four Silicon Graphics (SGI) Indy workstations with 32 megabytes of RAM running SGI IRIX Release 5.3. The workstations ran on a MIPS R4600 processor at 100 MHz. Each workstation was connected to a WaveSwitch 100 Fast Ethernet switch using the workstation's internal 10Base-T adapter. The server was connected to the switch using a DEC PCI Fast Ethernet adapter running at 100 megabits per second. (See Figure 4.) Figure 4 Test LAN WebMASTER communicated over the same test network but carried no traffic during the test runs. A Domain Name Service (DNS) was installed on Web client #1 and was accessed once at the beginning of each test run. Test Results Each of the following tables presents the results of testing HTML, CGI, or API requests at a specific load point (light, medium, or heavy) and shows how the measurement varied with the number of clients. Table 1A Average Throughput (Megabits/Sec) for HTML and CGI Request 100% HTML Light CGI Medium Heavy Load CGI CGI Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 11.6 1.90 4.0 2.07 2.3 1.83 1.0 1.0 8 8 3 7 32 13.0 3.35 3.9 2.08 2.2 1.70 0.9 1.0 1 3 0 6 6 48 13.2 3.26 3.9 2.10 2.2 1.72 0.9 1.0 9 7 0 8 7 64 13.4 3.25 3.8 2.17 2.3 1.78 0.9 1.1 8 1 0 9 0 80 13.3 3.11 4.0 2.13 2.3 1.63 0.9 1.0 8 7 0 8 8 96 13.6 3.22 3.9 2.19 2.3 1.65 1.0 1.0 5 7 1 1 2 112 13.5 3.09 3.9 2.16 2.3 1.64 0.9 1.0 2 8 6 7 4 128 13.6 3.28 3.9 2.16 2.4 1.77 1.0 1.0 0 0 6 1 6 Table 1B Average Throughput (Megabits/Sec) for Proprietary APIs Request Light Medium Heavy API Load API API Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 10. 1.9 8.1 2.00 4.96 1.9 10 7 5 9 32 10. 3.1 8.5 2.26 4.95 2.1 80 1 3 6 48 10. 2.7 8.5 1.73 4.89 1.7 83 2 2 0 64 10. 2.5 8.5 1.50 4.95 1.5 80 0 2 4 80 10. 2.3 8.3 1.43 4.91 2.0 92 7 3 5 96 10. 2.1 8.2 1.46 4.93 1.7 85 8 8 8 112 10. 2.2 8.4 1.37 4.95 1.6 84 7 1 4 128 11. 2.1 8.3 1.40 5.04 1.5 00 1 9 8 (The content of the following tables will be added before the final draft of the report.) Table 2A & 2B Connections per Second Table 2A Average Connections per Second for HTML and CGI Request 100% HTML Light CGI Medium Heavy Load CGI CGI Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 216 36 77 38 45 33 22 21 32 244 64 74 42 44 32 21 20 48 249 62 74 40 44 33 21 20 64 253 59 75 40 44 32 21 20 80 253 59 76 40 45 31 21 21 96 255 59 76 40 46 31 21 20 112 254 58 75 41 46 32 21 20 128 255 59 74 40 47 33 21 19 Table 2B Connections per Second for Proprietary APIs Request Light Medium Heavy API Load API API Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 187 36 154 36 95 36 32 202 58 159 42 93 40 48 203 50 159 32 95 34 64 203 47 159 30 94 31 80 203 45 159 28 95 38 96 203 43 158 28 94 34 112 203 41 158 27 94 31 128 203 41 157 27 91 29 Table 3A & 3B Errors per Second Table 3A Average Response Time for HTML and CGI (Seconds) Request 100% HTML Light CGI Medium Heavy Load CGI CGI Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 .07 .45 .21 .42 .35 .48 .73 .77 32 .13 .50 .43 .77 .72 1.01 1.5 1.5 1 8 48 .19 .77 .65 1.19 1.0 1.45 2.3 2.3 8 0 7 64 .25 1.08 .85 1.59 1.4 2.00 3.0 3.1 4 3 1 80 .31 1.36 1.0 1.98 1.7 2.56 3.7 3.8 6 8 5 6 96 .38 1.62 1.2 2.38 2.1 3.08 4.5 4.8 7 2 7 6 112 .44 1.90 1.5 2.75 2.4 3.50 5.2 5.5 0 3 0 5 128 .50 2.16 1.7 3.16 2.7 3.80 6.0 6.5 3 2 4 2 Table 3B Average Response Time for Proprietary APIs (Seconds) Request Light Medium Heavy API Load API API Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 .09 .44 .10 .44 .17 .44 32 .16 .55 .20 .76 .34 .79 48 .24 .97 .30 1.50 .50 1.4 3 64 .31 1.3 .40 2.14 .68 2.0 6 9 80 .39 1.7 .50 2.83 .84 2.0 8 8 96 .47 2.2 .61 3.42 1.02 2.8 2 0 112 .55 2.7 .71 4.10 1.19 3.5 0 8 128 .63 3.1 .81 4.77 1.40 4.5 2 1 Table 4 Response Time Table 4 Error Rate for CGI (Errors per Second) Request Light CGI Medium Heavy Load CGI CGI Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 .00 .000 .00 .003 .00 .00 0 0 0 7 32 .00 .003 .00 .000 .00 .00 0 0 0 7 48 .00 .000 .00 .017 .00 .00 0 0 0 0 64 .00 .000 .00 .003 .00 .00 0 0 0 0 80 .00 .000 .00 .003 .00 .00 0 0 0 0 96 .00 .000 .00 .000 .00 .00 0 0 0 0 112 .00 .000 .00 .007 .00 .00 0 0 0 0 128 .00 .000 .00 .007 .00 .00 0 0 0 0 (No errors were reported for either server while running HTML or proprietary APIs.) Table 5A & 5B CPU Utilization Table 5A CPU Utilization for HTML and CGI (Percent) Request 100% HTML Light CGI Medium Heavy Load CGI CGI Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 80 30 100 68 100 91 100 100 32 92 86 100 100 100 100 100 100 48 95 98 100 100 100 100 100 100 64 96 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 80 96 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 96 96 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 112 98 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 128 98 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 Table 5B CPU Utilization for Proprietary APIs (Percent) Request Light Medium Heavy API Load API API Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 93 37 100 66 100 65 32 97 90 100 95 100 99 48 100 100 100 98 100 100 64 100 100 100 97 100 100 80 100 100 100 95 100 100 96 100 100 100 94 100 100 112 100 100 100 96 100 100 128 100 100 100 95 100 100 Table 6A & 6B Network Utilization Table 6A Network Utilization for HTML and CGI (Percent) Request 100% HTML Light CGI Medium Heavy Load CGI CGI Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 14 2 5 2 2 2 1 1 32 15 4 5 3 2 2 1 1 48 15 4 5 3 2 2 1 1 64 16 4 5 3 3 2 1 1 80 16 4 5 3 3 2 1 1 96 16 4 5 3 3 2 1 1 112 16 4 5 3 3 2 1 1 128 16 4 5 3 3 2 1 1 Table 6B Network Utilization for Proprietary APIs (Percent) Request Light Medium Heavy API Load API API Clients IIS NS IIS NS IIS NS 16 12 3 10 2 6 2 32 12 3 10 3 6 3 48 13 3 10 2 6 2 64 13 3 10 2 6 2 80 13 3 10 2 6 3 96 13 3 10 2 6 2 112 13 3 10 2 6 2 128 13 3 10 2 6 2 Testing and Report Certification This report is written by Shiloh Consulting and Haynes & Company based upon testing which they conducted between January 24 and February 6, 1996 at the offices of Shiloh Consulting. The testers believe that the relative performance of the tested Web servers is projectable to real world environments-where the specific client requests made, the demand on the server and the network, and the number of clients vary over time. Shiloh Consulting is an independent network consulting company. Shiloh is led by Robert Buchanan who has over twenty years experience in product development and testing for ROLM Corporation and 3Com Corporation. From 1990 to 1994, Mr. Buchanan ran the testing and operations of LANQuest, a leading network product testing laboratory. Recently he completed a new book, The Art- of-Testing Network Systems, which will be published by John Wiley & Sons in April, 1996. Haynes & Company (http://www.haynes.com) provides business planning and program management for high tech companies. Past clients include Oracle, Qualcomm, 3Com, Interlink Computer Sciences, Artisoft, and NetScape. Ted Haynes of Haynes & Company was a contemporary of Bob Buchanan at both ROLM and 3Com. He is the author of The Electronic Commerce Dictionary and has spoken on commerce over the Internet at the RSA Data Security Conference. Every effort has been made to insure that the results described are fair and accurate. This report may be reproduced and distributed, as long as no part of this report is omitted or altered. All trademarks in this report are the property of their respective companies. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage DEEP BLUE FALLS TO KASPAROV World chess champion Garry Kasparov has won the six-game match against the IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue. Counting tie games as a half point each, the final score was Kasparov 4, Deep Blue 2. Kasparov will receive $400,000 for winning the match; the IBM team representing Deep Blue says it will put its $100,000 loser's award into more research. (Atlanta Journal- Constitution 18 Feb 96 A1) CLINTON CHAMPIONS COMPUTERS IN THE CLASSROOM President Clinton has proposed a $2 billion federal matching-grant program to help local communities put computers in their classrooms. The "challenge grants" would hinge on communities' ability to enlist the support of local businesses in the venture. Meanwhile, Microsoft and MCI Communications have said they would work together to help K-12 schools set up Web sites and advertise them in conjunction with Microsoft's Global Schoolhouse. (Wall Street Journal 16 Feb 96 B2) INJUNCTION BLOCKING INTERNET "INDECENCY" LAW Federal Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter has temporarily blocked enforcement of the new Communications Decency Act, which makes it a felony to use computer networks accessible by minors to transmit "indecent" material. His ruling stated that the term "indecent" was unconstitutionally vague and would "leave reasonable people perplexed in evaluating what is or what is not prohibited in this statute." A three-judge federal panel will now review the constitutionality of the Act, and any subsequent appeals will be placed on a fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court. (New York Times 16 Feb 96 A1) For the text of the decision see: www.epic.org/free_speech/censorship/lawsuit/ HIGHER ED GROUPS EYE ELECTRONIC COPYRIGHT BILL Representatives from higher education associations testified last week before a House subcommittee, urging lawmakers not to pass new electronic copyright rules before their impact on colleges and universities can be assessed. At issue is a revised definition of "fair use" of copyrighted digital materials that threatens to eliminate or severely restrict online interlibrary loans, and would also prevent professors from using such materials as part of their courses. (Chronicle of Higher Education 16 Feb 96 A26) SEGA WILL ADD BROWSER TO GAMING EQUIPMENT Sega Enterprises plans to add equipment to its Saturn video game console that will enable consumers to browse the Internet on their TV set. The entire package would cost between $100 and $150 more than the current $299 Saturn price tag. (Investor's Business Daily 16 Feb 96 A30) INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT CONFERENCE Under the auspices of the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization, a conference will be held next December to initial an agreement that would extend copyright protection under the Berne convention to material transmitted over the Internet and other computer networks. One European negotiator in preliminary discussions on the issues says: "The development of the global information superhighway depends on film companies, directors, authors and performers being willing to put their work into the system. They need sufficient protection and sufficient rights to get a sufficient return, and some guarantees that there aren't great leaks in the pipe." (Financial Times 14 Feb 96 p7) DVD PROPONENTS MEET THE CD-ROM FACTOR While video entertainment companies are hashing out the details of the digital videodisc technology, computer makers are marshaling forces to make their wishes known before it's too late. The two competing video camps agreed in December on a "Digital Versatile Disc" format that incorporates aspects of both the Sony-Philips and the Toshiba-Time Warner designs. A "technical working group" that includes big names such as Apple, IBM, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft now wants to ensure that any future DVD format will also be compatible with a new generation of high- capacity CD-ROM discs and drives. They're proposing a tentative DVD-ROM format that would accommodate the content of multiple CD-ROM discs on one silver platter. (Popular Science Feb 96 p58) FUJITSU SINKS $50 MILLION IN U.S. PC OPERATION Fujitsu Ltd., Japan's biggest computer maker and second in the world behind IBM, has invested $50 million to create a U.S. operation for making and marketing PCs. Based in Milpitas, Calif., Fujitsu PC Corp. will focus initially on high- end laptops with communications features geared toward traveling executives. (Investor's Business Daily 16 Feb 96 A30) APPLE WON'T HAVE HUGE LAYOFFS Reiterating that Apple is no longer in merger talks with other corporations, new CEO Gil Amelio says his company will straighten its business strategy quickly and without having to make the huge layoffs that industry analysts had forecast. (New York Times 17 Feb 96 p23) EDUCATION IS KEY TO HOME PC MARKET An American Learning Household Survey says that over 80% of intended family household PC buyers in its study cited children's education as the primary reason for purchase, relegating work-at-home and home financial applications to a distant 40% level. The survey also found that children's use of the PC is shifting away from games and toward more complex uses of the computer as an information access tool. Info: email@example.com. (The Red Herring Dec 95) HOW WILL THE COOKIE CRUMBLE? In our issue of 15 Feb 96 we cited a story from Wall Street Journal about a Netscape feature called Cookies, which allows merchants to track what customers do in their online storefronts and how much time they spend there. Financial Times columnist Tim Jackson tells Edupage: "The Journal story is wrong, according to Netscape. They maintain that they have made no firm decision to insert a feature allowing users to disable cookies if they wish; they will only do so, they say, if their customers demand it. But since Netscape have taken no steps to correct the Journal story, and no steps to publicize the issue, it seems that they're happy for the misunderstanding to continue because that will then allow them to make no changes." (Personal Correspondence 18 Feb 96) APPLE SAYS IT HAS A COMPUTER FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD New Apple CEO Gil Amelio says the company is now targeting parts of the world that have not yet entered the computer age: "The battle has just begun. We live in a world where only about half the people alive today have ever used a telephone let alone used a computer. There is an enormous untapped market." As part of the strategy Apple is licensing its Mac/OS operating system to Motorola, which will be allowed to sublicense the system and to market a Mac- based system in China, through a joint venture between a Motorola subsidiary in China and the Panda Electronics Group in that country. (New York Times 20 Feb 96 C2) IBM SERVES UP AN INTERNET STRATEGY IBM has developed new software that will transform its mainframe, minicomputers and computer workstations into Web servers, allowing large companies that have mountains of data stored on corporate mainframes the option of making that information directly accessible to customers on the Web. The move also eliminates the difficulties of bridging incompatible systems, making the Web a common platform for information transfer. "It breaks down all the complex barriers that existed in the computing world," says the president of a computer consulting company. (Wall Street Journal 20 Feb 96 A3) MICROSOFT REORGANIZATION EMPHASIZES INTERACTIVITY Microsoft is reorganizing to create an Interactive Media Division to concentrate both on the Internet market and the market for interactive multimedia products designed for the new digital video disk systems, which will include interactive full-motion video. The division will include Microsoft Network, games, children's products, and Microsoft's information businesses. (New York Times 20 Feb 96 C1) CREDIT CARD SCARE TACTICS Sending your credit card information over the Internet is really no big deal, says Simson Garfinkel, author of a book on Pretty Good Privacy encryption software. "The whole thing about encryption over the Internet is that it's not to protect the customer -- it's to protect the credit-card companies. By law, if there is no signature, the customer is liable for nothing. If there's a signature, they're liable for $50. The reason the credit-card companies want cryptography is to limit their own liability. It has nothing to do with protecting the consumer." And although Netscape Navigator sends a stern message each time a user attempts to send information over the Web, Garfinkel labels the warning just another scare tactic: "Netscape Navigator is printing those messages because they're trying to sell encrypted servers. It's an ad. It doesn't look like an ad, but it is." (Tampa Tribune 19 Feb 96 B&F3) BANYAN SPONSORS E-MAIL SWITCHBOARD Banyan Systems is offering a new service on the Web -- a directory of e-mail addresses and other information for 93 million people and 11 million businesses worldwide. Switchboard includes a feature similar to Caller ID, that alerts a listed person whenever someone asks for that person's address, and allows them to decide whether to allow that information to be given out. The service also features public key certificates for secure communications between users. < http://www.switchboard.com > (Information Week 12 Feb 96 p24) INTERNET APPLIANCE DEBUTS IN U.K. Philips Electronics NV already has a cheap Internet appliance on the shelves in the U.K. Its CD-Online device consists of a disc, cable and modem that work with Philips' CD player to link to the Internet via a Philips online service. Philips plans to roll out the service in the U.S. this year, and Europe sometime thereafter. (Investor's Business Daily 20 Feb 96 A12) JUSTICE ASKED TO LOOK INTO MICROSOFT GIVEAWAY Internet Factory Inc., a small California software company that markets an Internet server program, has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Microsoft's plans to give away its new Internet Information Server software as part of its Windows NT program. Sales apparently "went dead" for Internet Factory after Microsoft announced its bundling strategy. (Wall Street Journal 20 Feb 96 A4) ONLINE SERVICES TO PEAK IN TWO YEARS? A new study by Forrester Research predicts that the popularity of commercial online services such as America Online and CompuServe will peak by 1998, with a total of 16 million subscribers. That number will drop to about 15 million the following year, and will continue to fall as more businesses migrate to the Internet. Companies that pursue the strategy of offering Internet services directly, such as AT&T, MCI and Microsoft, will likely reap the benefits. (Investor's Business Daily 20 Feb 96 A13) EUROPE BACKS V-CHIP The European Parliament has followed the lead of the United States in supporting the use of Canadian-developed V-chip technology that allows parents to screen violent or adult content from their televisions. (Montreal Gazette 20 Feb 96 C7) DEBIT-CARDS AND SMART CARDS The number of debit card transactions in Canada more than doubled in 1995 from 1994, according to electronic banking network Interac. Last year, there were 390-million purchases made with the cards, compared with 185- million a year earlier. (Toronto Financial Post 16 Feb 96 p7) In Atlanta, BellSouth says that prior to this year's Summer Olympics it will install 200 phones that accept "smart cards" that store monetary values from which the cost of telephone calls can be automatically deducted. Someday soon, consumers will be able to use the phones like an automated teller machine -- withdrawing money from a bank or credit card account and storing it on a smart card. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 20 Feb 96 E1) PROGRAMMERS NEEDED The Software Human Resources Council says Canada faces a disturbing shortage of programmers and predicts an overall shortage of 20,000 workers by 1999. (Ottawa Citizen 20 Feb 96 C1) "ESCAPE VELOCITY" OF CYBERCULTURE The New York Times says that Mark Dery's new book "Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century" is written with considerable knowledge and authority about such bizarre subcultures as the avant-garde roboticists, cyberpunk novelists, virtual reality designers, "body art" performance artists, "cyber hippies" and "technopagans." Although the book uses the critical theories of Bataille, Foucault, Baudrillard and McLuhan, the newspaper describes the author's writing style as "happily, sometimes even exuberantly nonpedantic." Dery has appeared several times in the pages of Educom Review. (New York Times 20 Feb 96 B2) COMPAQ PLANS TO PARE DOWN APPLE'S SLICE OF ED MARKET Compaq Computer is going after the education market, targeting an area dominated for years by Apple Computer, and has hired a former Apple manager to help it. Currently, about 7% of schools surveyed by Quality Education Data say they plan to buy Compaqs, while 61% say they intend to buy computers from Apple. Many schools are gearing up to replace older Apple models, and Compaq thinks it has a good chance of garnering some of those sales, building on its strong sales of servers to schools that are networking their computers and buildings. (Wall Street Journal 21 Feb 96 B6) MICROSOFT SHIFTS SOFTWARE FOCUS The management structure of its software operations, which had previously been organized by customer grouping (Business, Consumer, Personal Systems, and Developers), is being reorganized into three industry-specific divisions: Desktop & Business Systems Division; Internet Platform & Tools Division; and Consumer Platforms Division. (New York Times 21 Feb 96 C3) TCI ZEROES IN ON THE INTERNET Tele-Communications Inc. has created TCI Internet Services to better capitalize on online business opportunities. The company is currently testing its @Home high-speed Internet access service using cable modems, and the latest move underscores TCI's interest in online activities by boosting the Internet division to an autonomous unit. "We expect high- speed Internet services delivered over our cable systems to be a very significant new business for TCI," says the company's president/CEO. (Broadcasting & Cable 19 Feb 96 p60) H&R BLOCK AND SEARS END THEIR INTERNET LOVE AFFAIRS H&R Block, the tax-preparation company, is spinning off its online subsidiary, CompuServe as a new public company, saying: "The separation of CompuServe will unlock the value we have created through both of these strong franchises and will better position each entity to growth opportunities in their respective markets." (New York Times 21 Feb 96) ...Meanwhile, Sears Roebuck & Co. will sell its 50% stake in Prodigy, which it owns in partnership with IBM. "We have concluded that this investment does not represent an asset that should be part of our portfolio over the long term," says Sears' CEO. IBM is considering whether to buy Sears' 50% or divest its own share of the venture. (Wall Street Journal 22 Feb 96 A3) CUC ACQUIRING DAVIDSON AND SIERRA ON-LINE CUC International Inc., a technology-based retail and membership services company, is spending $1.7 billion to purchase consumer software makers Davidson & Associates and Sierra On-Line Inc. "Our goal is to be the nation's leader in content across all areas of consumer spending in the electronic marketplace," says CUC's CEO. (Investor's Business Daily 21 Feb 96 A5) ELECTRONIC WALLET FROM ORACLE AND VERIFONE Oracle, which specializes in database software, and Verifone, which specializes in credit card verification systems, have formed an alliance that will allow customers using "electronic wallets" built into Internet browser software to access a full range of financial transaction methods, including credit and debit cards, smart cards and electronic cash. The companies call it an "end-to-end" system for secure electronic commerce on the Internet. (Financial Times 22 Feb 96 p16) FCC PONDERS ENHANCED 911 SERVICE The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association and public safety groups are asking the FCC to approve Enhanced 911 service for cell phones that would allow operators to quickly pinpoint the origin of the call and send help. In its initial stages, the system would identify only the caller's cell site, but in five years specific locations would traceable. Two-thirds of cellular users say safety is one of the reasons they bought their phones. (Investor's Business Daily 21 Feb 96 A4) TAX REVOLT ON THE INFO HIGHWAYWhen officials in Spokane, Wash. thought they could wring some extra revenue via a 6% tax on Internet providers, they were inundated with e-mail and phone calls protesting the action. One firm even set up a Web site for users to vent their opposition. The result was the city council decided to delay the tax pending further study, but the Spokane experience is likely to be played out in cities across the country as local governments look for new sources of cash. (Information Week 12 Feb 96 p10) HOT TECHNOLOGIES FOR '96 First Albany-Meta Technology has drawn up its own list of hot technologies for the coming year: data warehousing and online analytical processing software; business process reengineering software, client-server network management software; object-oriented programming tools; frame relay, asynchronous transfer mode, and integrated services digital network technologies; and of course, anything to do with the Internet. (Investor's Business Daily 22 Feb 96 A8) ACORN/APPLE GRAFTING Acorn and Apple are forming a 50-50 joint venture to supply the U.K. education market, and will offer Risc OS and Apple's Mac OS on the same machines, which will be designed to the Common Hardware Reference Platform specification agreed on last year by Apple, IBM and Motorola. Risc OS is used in education, he says, in TV set-top boxes, and in the forthcoming Internet- oriented "network computers" that Acorn is designing for Oracle. 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Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor The Kids' Computing Corner Imagination Express: Destination Ocean Dual-format CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh for ages 6 to 12 price about $40 from Edmark Corporation P.O. Box 97021 Redmond, WA 98073-9721 206-556-8484 Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7 CPU: 386/25 CPU: Color Macintosh HD Space: 4 MB HD Space: 4 MB Memory: 8 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended CD-ROM: Double-speed recommended Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: printer, microphone, mouse Other: printer, microphone review by Frank Sereno Imagination Express is a wonderful program that encourages children to express themselves through pictures, words and sounds. They will construct fascinating electronic books using colorful backgrounds and then positioning animated stickers on the page. Additionally, children can add their own narration, include prerecorded sounds or make their own, and place text on the page. Younger children can create beautiful picture books while older children can use the advanced tools to make multimedia masterpieces. Imagination Express has four different themed Destinations. The original Destination was Neighborhood which allowed children to write about familiar people and places. The next Destination was Castle. This theme encouraged fantasy and imagination with tales of knights and dragons. The third Destination was Rain Forest which enabled children to learn and write about people from other cultures and to learn about a new ecosystem. The latest addition is Ocean. Again children have the opportunity to learn about new ecosystems and to discover a wide array of plants and animals. Each Destination comes complete with the authoring and playback programs so each can be used independently of the others. Children can pick from many backgrounds for each page. Then they can choose from a stunning variety of "stickers" for placement on the background. Some stickers are animated and some even include audio. As an added feature to Ocean, some stickers can be recorded in motion around the screen. Our young film director simply clicks on the movie camera icon, clicks on the sticker he wishes to film and then moves the icon about the scene until he is done. Special editing tools allow him to correct mistakes or change the movie. In addition, he can add prerecorded sounds or create his own for the movie. Text can be added to pages also. In a new feature added to Imagination Express, text can now be placed anywhere on the page. Previous versions of the program limited text to certain locations on the page. When Oceans is installed, this feature will be available for all Destinations. Completed masterpieces can be saved as files, printed in color or grayscale (depending on your printer's capabilities), or can be viewed on screen. Naturally, if the multimedia features are used, the only way to get the full effect is to view it within Imagination Express. Files can be copied to floppy to share with friends, but they must have the same Destination that was used to produce the story. The size of stories is limited only by the storage space on your hard disk. But the learning and fun doesn't stop there! Imagination Express includes a Fact Book with each Destination. The Ocean Fact Book is a narrated illustrated repository of fascinating information about the ocean environment, marine life and the effects of pollution. It is really a small encyclopedia. The program also includes Story Ideas. Your child's peers will offer suggestions for stories and different writing techniques. This will spark his imagination on those days when he is dry for story ideas. An example E- Book is also included for inspiration on how to use the program's many features. Also included is a Dear Parents section. This guide from Edmark executive and developer Donna Stanger includes important information about the writing process and suggestions on encouraging and teaching your children to write. This will help parents get the most value from the software. Imagination Express features attractive, colorful graphics. Backgrounds have a 3-D appearance and in many instances stickers can be moved behind or between images on the screen. Even more impressive, the stickers autosize. They become smaller as they are moved to the rear of the scene and become larger as they are dragged to the forefront. This adds to the illusion of depth perception. The animations are not very smooth, but they are acceptable. The sound portion of the program is first-rate. The sound effects are very realistic. Children will often choose to create their own sound effects as well. The program has a straightforward interface which is very intuitive. Younger children may need assistance until they learn the finer points of the editing system because no audible help or text files are provided in the program. A very thorough manual is included which is very helpful. A smaller, quick- start manual is included with the CD-ROM's jewel case. Imagination Express is a very entertaining program. It has a myriad of features which will be discovered and exploited through hours of play. The Fact Book is entertaining and informative. Educational value is outstanding. This program will enhance your child's interest in writing and develop his creativity. Just be prepared for the expense of replacing printer perishables! Edmark products are always exceptional values. Each program is backed by a 30-day moneyback guarantee. Edmark exploits the best teaching methods to impart knowledge and enhance skills in each child. Additionally, Edmark is offering a $5 rebate through March 31 on Imagination Express: Destination Ocean. This title is also available as a free selection in the Strategy Games of the World offer. Imagination Express: Destination Ocean is a terrific program for inspiring the creative writer in your child! Ratings Graphics . . . . . . . . . 9.5 Sound . . . . . . . . . . . 9.5 Interface . . . . . . . . . 9.0 Play Value . . . . . . . . 9.0 Educational Value . . . 10.0 Bang for the Buck . . . 9.5 Average . . . . . . . . . . 9.42 # # # World's Easiest Announcements & World's Easiest Invitations T/Maker Company 1390 Villa Street Mountain View, CA, USA 94041 (800) 730 EASY (3279) System Requirements: 386 or higher CPU Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 3 MB RAM 5MB-7MB Free Hard Disk Space VGA/SVGA Monitor & Graphics Card Review by Donna Lines These products are as easy to use as the name implies. With just a few mouse clicks you can create attractive announcements and invitations appropriate for every occasion. You can print your creations on your personal printer or send the file via modem or diskette to T/Maker's World's Easiest Print Center for professional printing. For a truly professional look right from your own printer, you can print your creations on the included samples of preprinted cards from Paper Direct. World's Easiest Software was designed with the novice computer user in mind. The installation directions for new computer users assume that the reader may never have used a computer before. Step 3 reads "Insert the installation disk or CD into a drive. (The disk should pop in easily, metal side first; if it doesn't, try turning the disk around.)" Five fonts are included on the CD-ROM: Alor Normal, Amaze Normal, Dolphin Wide Normal, Luciano Wide Normal, and Vive Normal. The clipart (referred to as logos) is very limited, however you can import your own graphics in several file formats (tiff, bmp, wmf or eps). The images will display in low resolution. However, they will print O.K. The World's Easiest Print Center cannot print gray-scale, color or wmf images. If you will be sending your design to the Print Center include only black and white graphics (preferably outlined) in your designs. During the ordering process you are given the printing costs based on the print options that you select (prices valid through Dec. 31, 1996). You can cancel the order anytime during the ordering process. I could not successfully connect to The World's Easiest Print Center even after several attempts. Pros: z The software is very straightforward and easy to use. z You can create a card and then endlessly edit the size, the style of text and the borders without reentering your data. z You can import your own graphics in several file formats. z Once you have created your design you can preview the design on plain paper or on the Paper Direct preprinted design papers. Cons: z You can only have one "logo" per announcement or invitation and there are few logos included z The program is self-limiting and the average user will quickly outgrow it. z The Win `95 task bar is hidden from view while using World's Easiest. It cannot be accessed without quitting the program (you cannot minimize the program), even when ALT TAB is used to access another program the task bar is hidden from view from that program as well. If it's pure simplicity that you're looking for, then these software programs were designed with you in mind. World's Easiest Announcements & World's Easiest Invitations provide a quick, easy way to create all the invitations or announcements that your family will ever need. Portable Computers Section Marty Mankins, Editor EDITOR'S NOTES - February 23, 1995 The end of another year is now past. Way past for this person, who has been out of commission for the last few weeks. Actually, make that the last two months. Between being out of town, holidays and taking care of family issues, not to mention getting pretty sick in between all of these events, I am now back every week. For this weeks report, it is mostly a catch up of what's been going on these past 8-10 weeks. Starting next week, we'll have several new items like PlayStation game reviews, our plans to add coverage for the Nintendo Ultra 64 and more on using portable computers. KUDOS I need to make this separate note to personally thank our fine editor-in- chief Ralph Mariano for his efforts in making sure this section was covered during my absence. His work has made it possible for you, the reader, to get the information covered in the entertainment and portable computing arenas. Now that I am back, I've got a lot to live up to, on top of all the catch up information that I've collected. UPDATE!! After many phone calls and many nights of using a friend's PlayStation, I was able to get a PlayStation on permanent loan from a local store who was grateful to me and my expertise in computing and networking and getting his system up and running (without too much trouble). As is the policy of STReport, we do not do reviews on equipment and software that we must buy. In all fairness, this is one reason why there were not as many PlayStation reviews since September. Around the middle of December, most of my phone calls paid off and I started getting PlayStation titles to review. It was amazing! I was planning on waiting until after the first of the year to start calling people again, but now that effort will be spent on getting more games from the many new third-party developers that are coming into the market. My local Software Etc. (nestled nicely inside a huge Barnes & Noble superstore) just recently took out all of their 3DO games and sent them back to the distributor. It turns out they are simply not moving. They even dropped the price of Crash 'n' Burn down to $6.99!! With four copies of it in stock, they still couldn't move them. They also dropped the Goldstar 3DO system down to $199 (as a side note, they may drop the system to $149 if it still doesn't move - if it drops to $99, I may just pick it up - too good to pass up). And their Sega Saturn titles have all been reduced to a single shelf. As a comparison, all PlayStation titles have been moved to their own wall and there is room for another 15-20 titles (there are currently more than 50 in stock at all times, with maybe 1-2 duplicates). So it appears PlayStation has won the video game battle. Now let's see if it can keep it up when Nintendo comes out with Ultra 64 here in the next few months. We are still looking at the 32-bit and 64-bit video game wars and what to cover. While we mentioned back last year about the support of Sega Saturn, it's future doesn't look so strong. And there is talk of the new M2 for the 3DO, but no ship dates are known. It's a 64-bit system and could give the PlayStation a run for it's money, but I can tell you this that the thing that matters most to consumers is games, more games and lots of games. And Sony is laying their card right with this battle. Over the course of the next 6 months, it's going to look pretty interesting with all of the new systems and upgrade. My first guess is that the PlayStation will drop in price to $149 when the Nintendo Ultra 64 is released (or soon after). After that, there will be at least 120 games out for the PlayStation, if not more. Just watch our list that we have here. As always, if there are any questions or comments or suggestions, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. Until next week, I wish everyone good health (I know appreciate having that benefit) and the best of fun. -- Marty -- [Personal Info on Marty: owner of InfoStream, a company dedicated to providing information to the mainstream. Editor of Portability!, a magazine covering the portable consumer electronic industry. Visit our home page at: http://www.info-stream.com] Atari Interactive - software/Jaguar/Computer Section Dana Jacobson, Editor >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" If you're planning to attend this weekend's HACE show in Houston, be sure to check the news of the last minute site change below! Our U.K. correspondents are still working on a number of articles. I did have one article regarding CAB/STiK, but it's being reworked to provide as much info as possible. Look for it shortly, as well as other topics. Still in the process of setting up a new RATSoft BBS, after almost nine years of running MichTron software. The more I work with RATSoft, the more I enjoy it! We went to pick up some donated hardware from the Boston Computer Society's Atari group, but we picked the wrong office site! Since we were running around in the most recent New England nor'easter, we decided not to attempt driving to the other office. We hope to have the donated Falcon and other peripherals any day, however. Then, we're waiting for a large hard drive and CDcROM and we should be ready to switch over to the new software. Then again, we may not wait for the new storage items and just use the current drives. It should be a lot of fun, regardless. If you're in the habit of ordering Atari computer equipment directly from Atari because you don't have a local dealer, that will be almost impossible now. With Atari's pending headquarters move, most if not all remaining computer related stock has been sold. We've learned that longtime "parts specialists" Best Electronics has obtained the majority of the remaining stock; but we also learned that some of the dealers have also been able to purchase some of the hardware. So, support your dealers even if you have to do so via mail order c you'll have no choice these days. If you happen to drop by the Houston Atari show this weekend, drop us a line with your reports of the show. I wish that I could join you down there in sunny and warm Texas, but it's just a tad too far for this Bostonian! We, at STReport, wish the show sponsors and attendees the best of luck and fun! Until next time... Houston Atari Safari '96 Update! STR ShowNews Show Moved to New Site! The Houston Atari Safari Computer Show will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton, at 7611 Katy Freeway (I-10 at Silber Rd) on February 24th 1996, 10 am to 6 pm. This show includes software (and hardware) for all Atari systems including Jaguar (even Door Prizes of Jaguar software). The show has been advertised as being at the Ramada Hotel, but due to remodeling Ramada has advised HACE they have had to make arrangements for the show at the Four Points by Sheraton, just a block down the street. So nothing has changed (time or date wise), just the address. Dealers who will be at the show include: z Computer Direct (Edmonton Alberta Canada) z Systems for Tomorrow (Independence Missouri) z Toad Computers (Saverna Park Maryland) Developers (ST) at the show z Binary Sounds (Houston) z ChroMagic Software Innovations (Joplin, Missouri) z Crawly Crypt Corporation (somewhere in Missouri) z Gribnif (somewhere in Massachussetts) z Branch Always Software (Redmond Washington) z Trace Technologies (Houston) There will be plenty of new software and upgrades from those folks. Also used systems and software from local vendors at the show. Safari '96 the biggest Atari show in Texas, Feb 24th, 1996 Mission Software Updates STR InfoFile FLASH II Now shipping version 3.01! Missionware Software is pleased to announce the release of version 3.01 of Flash II. This is our ninth update and is our all-new multitasking version! Flash II originally went up for sale in April of 1992. Version 3.01 adds a number of new features, as highlighted below. Flash II is the update to the most popular Atari ST telecommunications program ever! It's available exclusively from Missionware Software and at an affordable price! Flash II is completely rewritten by Paul Nicholls of Australia. It's easy and fast to use for the telecommunications beginner or pro! What's so new and good about Flash II version 3.01? The following list highlights a few of the many changes that will make your on line time even better: z Flash II is now fully multitasking capable. The program easily multitasks under such operating systems as MultiTOS? (trademark of Atari Corporation) and Geneva? (trademark of Gribnif Software). z All elements of the program are now contained within GEM windows including both editors and the terminal. That means that Flash II can, by itself, do all file transfers in the background. z A new Auto Learn DO function is included that makes making logon and other navigation scripts easy and automatic. z A new menu structure is used in version 3.01 that confirms more rigidly to the official Atari standard. z Version 3.01 includes 2 editors! One editor is specifically designed to be used as a capture buffer (just like the old editor) while the other is designed to be used as a type ahead window or command window (or both). While these editor functions are dedicated to a specific use while online, you can use them as separate editors while off line for any text editing purpose you desire. z The Atari standard clipboard is now supported in 3.01 meaning that you can easily cut and paste text between both windows or between Flash II and other applications. z A new Edit menu replaces the old Block menu and includes all standard editing functions, such as Cut, Copy and Paste. z A new Window menu permits easy control over access to the windows. z Default transfer paths can now be saved! z Automatic saving of capture after logoff is now included. z A mini-BBS function is now included! There are many more new features to Flash II version 3.01 too. Other features of Flash II include: z Fully Falcon030 compatible! z Enhanced DEC VT Terminal emulations including the ability to swap the functions of the Delete and Backspace keys for conformance to standard DEC terminals. z Enhanced ANSI terminal and graphics. Blinking characters are now supported in version 3.01. z Full support for all Atari serial ports on TT030 and MegaSTe as well as baud rates up to 153600. z Terminal mode now displays either the real time clock or a timer. z DO script files compatible with older versions of Flash! z All macros use the familiar Flash DO script format! z Easily setup the parameters for each BBS you call...this includes everything from ASCII upload/download options to baud rate! z You can program up to 20 individual and separate macros for each BBS plus an additional 10 global macros ! z Displays RLE & GIF pictures either on or off line! You can also save or load these pictures for later review! z Supports the following terminal types: TTY, VIDTEX, VT52, ANSI, VT100, VT101, VT102, VT200, VT300 & PRESTEL. z Includes full support for RTS/CTS. This mode can now be turned on and off by the user. z Includes Automatic Answer mode! z Includes Auto Boards mode - Preselect the board(s) you wish to dial and when Flash II is launched either manually from the desktop by you, or automatically by some other program launcher, Flash II will wakeup and dial the board(s) you've got selected. It will also wait for the proper time to dial these boards. z Supports the ST, IBM and DEC character sets, including IBM/ANSI graphics characters! z Supports the following upload/download protocols: ASCII, Xmodem, Ymodem, Ymodem-G, Zmodem, Modem7, Xmodem, CIS B, Kermit and SEAlink! And all of these protocols are built into the program...no external modules required!!! z Zmodem supports the selection of AutoStart and Streaming options for both upload and downloads. If you prefer to use in external Zmodem protocol with Flash II, you can now force Flash II's Zmodem autostart mode to off. For BBS' that don't support "streaming", this too can now be turned off. z Logs all on line time and calculates your approximate costs for you! z New version written in assembler! Fast! z Runs on all ST, STe, TT030 and Falcon computers! z Supports "Install Application". You can create a DO script that can be used to launch Flash II from the desktop and force it to dial up and go online for you, all automatically! z Now includes "Edit Boards", a brand new program which lets you edit, cut, copy, paste and sort your board slots outside of Flash II. Missionware Software's upgrade policy remains the same for the new Version 3.01! We will continue to upgrade any old version of Flash! (copyright Antic Software) for just $35 US, plus $4 shipping and handling (US and Canada), $8 worldwide. Or, you can purchase Flash II, version 3.01 outright, for only $59.95 US plus the shipping and handling charges applicable to your area. You can also upgrade any old version of Flash II to our new version 3.01. We're offering an "Easy Budget" upgrade which includes a new program disk and a short 40+ page manual. This manual describes the new features found in 3.01. (Your old Flash II manual suffices for all other program information.) The cost of this upgrade is $15 plus $3 shipping and handling ($6 worldwide). For those of you that want or need our all-new, fully updated, 3.01 manual, you can purchase our "Full Upgrade" which includes the new 250 page manual and program disk. The cost of this upgrade is $30 plus $4 shipping and handling ($8 worldwide). To order and/or for more information, please contact: Missionware Software 354 N. Winston Drive Palatine, IL 60067-4132 United States of America phone 847-359-9565 Jaguar Section Defender 2000! Don Thomas' CatNips! Fever Pitch Soccer review! More JTS News! New Atari Gaming 'Zine! And more...! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Last week we reported the latest bombshell from Atari, the merger between Atari and JTS. In that issue, specifically my editorial, I mentioned that I was going to do a more in depth editorial/story regarding the merger, the future of Atari, its affect on the current userbase, etc. In fact, a lot of that article was done last week. However, over the next few days after last week's issue came out, I reviewed what I had written so far and apathy just crept in and I zapped the article. A rare occurrence for me to do something like that! Thinking about it, I believe that the apathy resulted from going over Atari's history and seeing a lot of terrific hardware come out and the subsequent failures related to them, for whatever reason. It was getting to the point, while reading this stuff, that I really couldn't understand the point of re-hashing it all again. Adding the Jaguar to the list only lengthened the list of failures; it didn't explain anything differently from the past. The single difference that's significant is the fact that Atari has merged with JTS and focusing on a new endeavor. It's not Atari Corporation anymore, it's JTS Corporation. The product is hard drives, not computers or games. Atari as we knew it, is essentially dead. Many have predicted a number of "final" demises of Atari over the years. Personally, I didn't think that there would be a time in the foreseeable future that we would see the Atari name only in retrospect. It seems very strange that this has occurred. People will continue to debate the issue of Atari's "death". Atari states that the Jaguar division and the Atari Interactive division will continue to be supported. I believe that. However, my definition of "continued support" will likely differ from those who believe that Atari is still in it for the long haul. It's just not going to happen. While I will continue to believe that Atari will release more games for the Jaguar, I do not see any new development. Perhaps some licenses of titles will generate a few new games, they'll likely be few. It's also reported that Atari Interactive will see some new games; it's quite possible. However, for both Atari divisions, I don't see much happening after 1996, if not sooner. Atari will release games currently finished, or near completion, in a staggered fashion to drag out the inevitable. The only redeeming hope is that Atari licenses out the Jaguar, or sells the rights to it outright. But, we've been there in the past. It might be too little, too late. Atari did license the Falcon technology to Europe's C-LAB. New Falcon clones are out and selling. Licensing the Jaguar may prove to have better sales potential than the Falcon clones. Who knows. The bottom line is that we've been there, we've seen it before. Only this time, Atari is essentially a thing of the past. I've received a number of e-mails and private messages asking what will happen to the Atari coverage in STReport for the future .. will it remain or fold. The answer is that we will continue to support the Atari line of products, computer and gaming, until there's no interest any longer. How long that interest lasts, for you or myself, is anyone's guess at this point. And of course, this is certainly dependent on the views of our publisher! In the meantime, we have an issue to get back to. 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 $19.87 Atari Corp. J9005 Raiden $19.87 FABTEK, Inc/Atari Corp. J9001 Trevor McFur/ Crescent Galaxy $19.87 Atari Corp. J9010 Tempest 2000 $32.87 Llamasoft/Atari Corp. J9028 Wolfenstein 3D $26.87 id/Atari Corp. JA100 Brutal Sports FootBall $39.99 Telegames J9008 Alien vs. Predator $42.87 Rebellion/Atari Corp. J9029 Doom $42.87 id/Atari Corp. J9036 Dragon: Bruce Lee $19.87 Atari Corp. J9003 Club Drive $19.87 Atari Corp. J9007 Checkered Flag $19.87 Atari Corp. J9012 Kasumi Ninja $19.87 Atari Corp. J9042 Zool 2 $19.87 Atari Corp J9020 Bubsy $19.87 Atari Corp J9026 Iron Soldier $19.87 Atari Corp J9060 Val D'Isere Skiing $26.87 Atari Corp. Cannon Fodder $29.95 Virgin/C-West Syndicate $44.99 Ocean Troy Aikman Football $64.99 Williams Theme Park $44.99 Ocean Sensible Soccer Telegames Double Dragon V $54.99 Williams J9009E Hover Strike $30.72 Atari Corp. J0144E Pinball Fantasies $42.50 C-West J9052E Super Burnout $42.87 Atari Corp. J9070 White Men Can't Jump $32.87 Atari Corp. Flashback $54.99 U.S. Gold J9078E VidGrid (CD) Atari Corp J9016E Blue Lightning (CD) $59.99 Atari Corp J9040 Flip-Out $32.87 Atari Corp J9082 Ultra Vortek $42.87 Atari Corp C3669T Rayman $59.99 Ubi Soft Power Drive Rally $59.99 TWI J9101 Pitfall $42.87 Atari Corp. J9086E Hover Strike CD $49.99 Atari Corp. J9031E Highlander I (CD) $49.99 Atari Corp. J9061E Ruiner Pinball $42.87 Atari Corp. Dragon's Lair $49.99 Readysoft J9097E Missile Command 3D $49.00 Atari Corp. J9091E Atari Karts $49.99 Atari Corp. J9044E Supercross 3D $49.99 Atari Corp. J9106E Fever Pitch Soccer $49.99 Atari Corp. J9043E I-War $49.99 Atari Corp. J9069 Myst (CD) $49.99 Atari Corp. Primal Rage $59.99 Time Warner Battlemorph $49.99 Atari Corp. J9055 Baldies $49.99 Atari Corp. J9089 NBA Jam TE $57.99 Atari Corp. Zoop $42.99 Atari Corp. Space Ace $52.99 Readysoft Defender 2000 $59.99 Atari Corp. Available Soon CAT # TITLE MSRP DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER Braindead 13 TBA Readysoft Fight For Life $59.99 Atari Corp. ...Mutant Penguins $49.99 Atari Corp. World Tour Racing TBA Atari Corp Breakout 2000 $42.50 Atari Corp. Max Force $59.99 Atari Corp. J9021 Brett Hull Hockey $59.99 Atari Corp. 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 $26.76 Atari Corp. J8910 Team Tap 4-Player Adapter) $26.76 Atari Corp. J8907 Jaguar ProController $27.87 Atari Corp. J8911 Memory Track $26.76 Atari Corp. J8909 Tempest 2000: The Soundtrack $12.99 Atari Corp. Jaguar Game Title STR Review - "Fever Pitch Soccer" "Fever Pitch Soccer" Available Now by Frank Sereno Developed by: Distinctive Developments Licensed from U.S. Gold Published by: Atari Corp. Price: $59.99 Number of Players: 1 or 2 Rating Code: KA (ages 6+) Are you ready for some football? No, not American football. Not even Canadian or Australian rules football. I'm talking about the world's most popular sport, known in American parlance as soccer. Atari has released a new, action-packed arcade soccer game which is sure to quicken the pulse of many gamers. Fever Pitch allows players to compete head-to-head or against the computer in exhibition mode. An excellent feature of the game is that you can handicap an experienced player by having him play a low-rated team. Against the computer, the computer can be assigned a low-rated team too. Better teams are signified by the number of star players. Brazil and Germany have eleven star players each while Iran and Kuwait have none. The more experienced gamer can chose a team with no or few stars while allowing his opponent to play with a team full of stars. Star players tend to run quicker, kick farther and have better artifical intelligence. In addition, each has a special move which is activated by the C button. Some moves include flaming power kicks, wickedly-curving kicks and hop passes. Fever Pitch also has a tournament mode for single players. You must defeat all the teams (more than fifty) to win the championship. After each victory you will be given a password so you can quit at that point and then enter it later to begin play at the same point. You can chose any team, but it will have no star players. You can earn star players by winning games. If your victories are more impressive, you will gain more points to purchase better players. As you move through the schedule, the teams get better and difficulty increases. You look down on the field from an angled diagonal perspective. This makes control a little tricky because to run straight at the goal you must run on a diagonal. Joypads are better made for left/right and up/down movements. You can see about one-eighth of the field. While on offense, the B button is used to shoot the ball while the A button is used for passing. On shots, the ball can be swerved with pushing left or right on the joypad and the ball height can be increased by holding the joypad down. On defense you can steal the ball with a slide tackle by pressing A and kick it with the B button. If the ball is in the air, you can head it by pressing B. For star players, C initiates their special move. By pressing A and B (X on the ProController), he will do a back heel. The B and C combo (Z on the ProController) causes a cross. Throw-ins are done by moving a target to the desired location on the field and then pressing A. The goalie is controlled by the computer for blocking shots. This helps to equalize competition between players of different abilities. Another reason that this is good is if you are running your defender toward a striker, you don't always want the goalie moving in that direction too. Since player control is automatically shifted to the player nearest the ball, you would not have time to change the goalie to the proper direction to stop a shot. Unfortunately, the goalies tend to play erractically. The best defense is to keep the ball upfield on offense. The players do get control of the goalies in two situations, a caught shot and a goal kick. After a catch, the goalie can make a throw by pressing the A button or a kick by pressing B. The direction is set by the joypad. This a very weak portion of the game. You usually cannot see any other players, friend or foe. Many times if you try a throw, it goes directly to an opponent in excellent scoring position. If you kick it, you cannot set the length of the kick. If you kick towards the sidelines, it most often goes over the sideline giving the opponent a throw-in. Kicking the ball straight up the field is not exactly great strategy either, but it is the lesser of two evils. Goal kicks use the target system. Move the target downfield, then press A for a short kick and B for a long kick. Gameplay is fairly straightforward. A person can play this game without reading the manual at all. However, the Fever Pitch Soccer manual is one of the better Jaguar manuals to date. It completely explains all the game elements, describes the options and includes hints on better play. The most aggravating part of the game design is the poor officiating and rough play. Fouls are rarely called and yellow cards are almost never issued against the computer. These calls are made against human players with two to three times the frequency. To give you an idea of how rough play is, one of the tips is to knock down an opposing player when trying to receive a goal kick. This type of play is not a good influence on youth soccer players. Aside from the shortcomings, Fever Pitch has a lot of depth and is very challenging. Winning in tournament mode is a monumental task. Enough options are included to keep the game varied and interesting for a long time. Players can also learn applicable soccer strategy from the game. The most important part of the game is advancing the ball quickly by passing to teammates. Graphically, Fever Pitch breaks no new ground. It looks just the like the Sega Genesis version of the game. The animations are not the smoothest nor are the movements very lifelike. When the players are waiting for a kick- off, they look they are hyperventilating because they are moving so much and heaving their chests. The players are very small and difficult to discern. A neat feature is the instant replays of all goals. You can wind the replay back and forward, reverse the angle or view it in slow-motion. It's a thrill watching a fireball hit the back of the net again and again. On the whole though, this is another of those Jaguar games that can be best described as "having graphics that aren't great but the gameplay is good." Control is accurate but it takes practice to get it down pat. Running on diagonals takes practice on a joypad. Maybe Mattel had it right all those years ago with the Intellivison control disc (not to mention it worked in sixteen directions instead of only eight on today's game consoles). The controls for the goalie could have been better, but the way they were done was probably exactly as the game was designed for other platforms. I doubt if Atari had the liberty to improve upon a licensed design. Crowd noise, player grunts and the announcer's calls were all expertly digitized. The game sounds like a European football match. The program didn't use much music except for the intro ditty. Fever Pitch comes with one of the better Jaguar manuals. It is concise, but it is also full of facts and tips along with some dry humor. If you like soccer, Fever Pitch is a great game with lots replay value. The handicapping options allow for games between players of all ages and experience levels. That is a definite plus for a family with young children. If soccer isn't your thing, I doubt if Fever Pitch would change your mind. It is a good sports game and a welcome addition to the Jaguar library. + Excellent handicapping features allowing younger players equal chance at victory + Plenty of options to prolong gaming fun and challenge + An excellent (for Atari) manual + Computer-controlled goalie makes blocking shots much easier + An almost endless array of players and special moves + Can teach good soccer fundamentals + Replays are fun to watch and a good learning tool - Graphics are average at best - Play is much too rough, almost like American Gladiators with a soccer ball - The officiating is terrible and skews the game in favor of the computer - Goalie controls are less than adequate Graphics: 5.0 Sound FX/Music: 7.5 Control: 6.5 Manual: 8.0 Entertainment: 7.5 (If you like soccer) Reviewer's Overall: 6.9 Jaguar Cheats, & Hints STR InfoFile - Solving Those Riddles! >From CompuServe's Atari Gaming Forum comes this unconfirmed Easter Egg forDefender 2000: Sb: defender pong game Fm: ANDREW RUTH 76511,455 To: all You can play Pong on defender!!! While playing defender classic, at the game over screen when you can enter your name, enter the name NOLAN and then the sp for spaces so that just NOLAN is on the screen. when you go back to the selection where you can choose the games you want to play just cycle through the game and you will come to the pong game. this game will stay on the selection even when you turn off the game and turn it on later. thanks for the free game jeff!!! andy Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! For immediate release: PROWLER "The Atari Console Disk Magazine" Worcs, UK, 3/02/96 --- Announcing Prowler, a new PD disk magazine featuring all aspects of Atari games consoles including Jaguar, Lynx and 8 bits. The magazine will be released bi-monthly via Internet, bulletin boards and PD libraries and will be compiled in HTML format to allow for greater ease of use, better presentation, screenshots and cross platform compatibility. An HTML compatible reader will be supplied with the magazine to ensure that you can access the magazine with the maximum of ease. The planned release date for issue one is March 1st, but it may be sooner depending on the response to this press release. Between each issue the internet will be dredged for all important information relating to Atari consoles. This will include the latest news from the gaming industry and press releases direct from Atari themselves, reviews and previews from experts in the field, cheats and tips, and ideas for hardware modifications to ensure that you use your Atari games console to its full potential. What we need is *YOUR* input! We would be greatful for any of the following: - reviews of games, including ratings out of ten for each aspect of the game such as sound, graphics, playability etc. - cheats and tips. - hardware modifications that you have experimented with and found to work. - requests for help. - views on the future of the Atari console scene. - address's and telephone numbers of shops that stock Atari games consoles and/or games for Atari consoles. - items wanted and items for sale which relate to Atari games consoles. - show reports. - letters. - anything else that you feel a like minded Atari console enthusiast would be interested in. It would be appreciated if any material sent is in ASCII format, but printed documents will also be accepted. Addresses for material to be sent follow: Alastair Shortland 18 Penny Lane Guarlford Malvern Worcs United Kingdom WR13 6PG e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org or : email@example.com Fidonet : 2:254/108.22 NeST : 90:102/150 Turbonet: 100:1011/22 Atarinet: 51:502/100.22 Mercury : 240:102/4.22 We can also be contacted via netmail and e-mail at the following bulletin board system: The Tavern BBS London United Kingdom +44-0181-445-6514 Many thanks for your interest, Alastair Shortland - Editor. ATB.../|\L ~:-) The Tavern BBS 300-32600 MNP5 V42Bis 44-(0)181-445-6514 24 Hours Ideals and wording in this message are not necessarily those of the Sysop of the Tavern BBS CATnips... Jaguar tidbits from Don Thomas (96.02.18) Amidst all the rumors, there's a lot of REAL good news for Jaguar owners. The biggest piece of great news I'm hearing from people is their excitement over Atari's latest releases... like "Defender 2000"... Frans Keylard of Atari Explorer Online has hardly been able to keep up with praise for this product. He's been sending me a lot of the comments from the Internet. "Defender 2000" seems to be another one of those titles that is so good, people want to pay the low $99 price for a Jaguar system to play it. Most of you know we insiders refer to that as a "system seller". Here are some of the unsolicited messages off the Internet praising "Defender 2000"... In rec.games.video.atari,firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Divine) wrote: First of all, this is s great game. It is hard to believe, but it's just as intense as Tempest 2k. The music, too, is very good. Some of the tracks are better than T2k's but a couple are a little worse. Classic Defender is a very good conversion, but I don't seem to remember the explosions being quite so dramatic in the original... Oh well. It's a heckava lot of fun to play. Defender Plus is way cool... The plasma effects alone make it worthwhile. I thought it would have been nice to give it exactly the same gameplay as Defender Classic and just improve the graphics and sound, but this way is cool too. Defender 2000 is great... everybody probably knows the good things about it so I'm going to be a poop and say what I dislike about it. A couple of things... I think the background art is great, but it isn't visible enough. Most of the screen is usually taken up by a simple shaded sky. If the background graphics occupied more of the screen this game would be mind- blowing instead of simply stunning. Second, I think the top speed of the ship is just a little too fast. If the ship moved more slowly I'd feel more in control of it. That's it... I only wish that maybe Yak would give us a Tempest 3000 or Defender 3000 someday... but it doesn't seem that's going to happen. Life goes on. --Jim Divine email@example.com In rec.games.video.atari, firstname.lastname@example.org (Sal Manfredonia) wrote: Listen up, humanoids: Defender 2000 for the Jaguar is in the house! It's got nasty aliens--HUNDREDS OF THEM--gunning for YOUR keister. It's got the firepower to take care of them all. It's got some of the hottest graphics you've seen, with slick, workstation-rendered sprites and an obscene amount of parallax scrolling. It's got the best musical soundtrack in any game since Tempest 2000. It's got the fastest action of any shooter on the market right now. It's time for you to whip out your wallets. Don't even think twice, just slap the dead Presidents on the counter and walk off with your own box. Bring it home, unwrap it, slide the cartridge into your Big Black Cat's cartridge slot, and party on! --Sal Manfredonia (email@example.com) Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 20:34:01 -0500 From: Sean McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Multiple recipients <email@example.com> Subject: Defender 2000 review Okay guys, here's a quick review of D2K. My opinions are based on about two hours of playing time, so take this review with a grain of salt if need be... Classic: People have complained that it is not an exact port of the arcade original, citing control nuances and laser decay rate, but it's pretty d@$# close! Now I may not have the best memory (ask my wife <g>), but differences cited are not noticeable enough to readily discern Classic from the arcade version. Sound FX and control-wise, it is virtually identical to the original. There is a ProController option so you can get control exactly as it was in the original (separate thrust and directional movement). Luckily, you don't have to use this option, because it reminded me how frustrating this type of control was for me as a kid when playing the original... Plus: A souped up version of Classic mode with nice touches such as Aurora FX in the landscape. To me, this version is the closest equivalent to T2K's 2000 mode in style. You have the same enemies as usual, although they look different than the original (as do the humanoids). Also, you have larger, new enemies, like the floating space stations (?) in level 3. The ship and droids are rendered. Unlike Classic mode, the laser can be fired continuously by holding down the fire button. The Lightning Laser is kinda cool, although it has only limited use (i.e., you can only use it a certain amount and then its gone)... You can play the game with two droids or with none (I didn't see the option to play with just one droid). There are warp boxes (ala Stargate) that take you to other places where the action is, but be careful in using them - you often get warped right into enemies, leading to a lot of cheap hits. 2000: Completely graphically different. No more line/ray based graphics (sorry, cannot for the life of me think of the term for the type of graphics used in the original - so sue me...). All graphics appear to be rendered graphics including backgrounds, with include landscapes such as desert, city, and industrial. Game play is similar to the original, although now you have powerups a'la T2K (droids, shield, lightning laser, etc.). Also, if you catch humanoids (who appear to be digitized people, although not sure) in air, they hang underneath you ship and fire as well, creating a wall of attack. If you are lucky enough to pick up a couple of powerups early, as well as a couple of humanoids, it becomes very difficult to die (read, "it becomes kinda easy."). Enemies tend to be destroyed as soon as they appear on screen... I used this tactics early, and got to level 16 and scored 640,000 in only my second time playing 2000 mode... Graphically, with so much going on, (your fire, enemies, background graphics, etc.) you tend up playing a lot by simply watching the radar screen - otherwise it is occasionally hard to see what to shoot and what not to shoot... Sound FX: These consist of a good mixture of original sound fx, with a few new twists (my favorite is hearing humanoids scream as you shoot them <g>). Overall, sound FX are _excellent_ providing both the throwback sounds taking me back to the early 80's and these new (sadistic) new ones.... Music: The music is good, but in my opinion not near as good as T2K's. I mean, with T2K, I'd find myself jumping around to the music as I played, "becoming an extension of the music" as I played, almost seeing through the screen as if the name were playing itself - truly a transcendental experience... <g> But with D2K I found myself saying, "man good music," and then pushing it to the background of my consciousness the way you do with most video game music.... Also, and I know this is cart music, but it sounds even more staticy than T2K's music. Let's hope Yak put in that CD hook code somewhere...) Nitpicks: Even though D2K was long in development, I feel a few things are missing: (1) more options - you can only control the music volume, not the sound FX volume (2) customizeable button configurations (3) apparently the music is only available in 2000 mode, not in Plus mode (4) maybe I just haven't gotten far enough (although I've gotten to level 16 of 2000 mode), but where are the "big bosses that fill the screen" that we heard about? are they in Plus mode (I only got to level 4 there...)? Overall: Personally, I like the game very much, even with it's few shortcomings. I think that the 3 modes offer something for everyone's tastes. If you're strictly a retro gamer, then Classic is for you. If you like Classic but want a souped up version similar to T2K, and can live with no in-game music, then Plus mode is yours. And if you want the Defender concept with all-new graphics and powerups, and can live with the sometimes overly cluttered screen and occasional easiness (due to too many powerups) then 2000 mode is yours for the taking... Graphics: 8 Classic (virtually) spot on, Plus reminiscent of T2K, 2000 has great rendered graphics, but cluttered tendency can be a problem and reduced the score. Sound FX: 10 All the great originals, plus a few new twists. Music: 7 Good, but not as rockin' and T2K's and quality (static) hurt the score. Control: 8 Tight, although quirky at times (slow change of direction, must completely stop in 2000 mode to change`direction, with option of arcade control in Classic mode with ProController (although I personally don't like it). Fun Factor: 9 Great fun! And different modes offer something for everyone! Overall: 8 Only the inevitable comparisons to T2K are what hurt D2K's score. If T2K didn't exist (perish the thought!) D2K would easily scare a 9, possibly a 10. --Sean McKay <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 12:53:51 -0500 From: "Mike St. Clair" <email@example.com> To: Multiple recipients <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Defender Review Reviewlet: Defender "Classic" Defender "Classic" is, to date, the most accurate port of the original Defender arcade game, excepting the emulated version for personal computers. Experts will note several differences. I noted thicker mountain lines, slower laser decay rate, more spectacular shattering, and at least a half dozen other differences. Most significant is the adjusted difficulty level. Any player who has mastered the fundamentals of the arcade game should find themselves getting through two or three times as many levels as usual. Purists may want a difficulty level more geared toward quarter-sucking, but I welcomed the change (pun intended). I also welcomed the rest of the changes, as they were simply subtle visual enhancements, and did not affect gameplay. Sound is 100% accurate, being sampled from the original arcade board. Control is smooth and responsive, and uses the same single pad (or stick) piloting implementation used in dozens of home conversions and knock-offs over the years. An alternate control mode, available if you use a six-button pad or stick, decouples the thrust and reverse functions from the altitude control - just like the original arcade machine. It adds challenge and authenticity, but "hyperspace" users be warned - a control bug is present in this mode. If you enter hyperspace, and re-enter facing the opposite direction, the thrust button will now push you backwards, not forwards. Since true experts never rely on hyperspace, this may not pose a problem for some players. The ability to completely reconfigure controller buttons is missing; you may only specify whether you have a three-button or six-button controller. Graphics: 9 Almost identical to the original arcade, but with some aesthetic enhancement. Sound: 10 100% faithful. Control: 8 One control bug in "decoupled" mode; additional configuration flexibility would be nice. Gameplay: 10 Better tuned for home play than the original. Should be infinitely replayable, like all good classics. The most accurate Jaguar classic conversion yet. All categories graded on a scale of 1 to 10. From Prodigy comes this comment... Board: VIDEO GAMES BB Topic: ATARI JAGUAR Subject: DEFENDER To: DONALD THOMAS JR (EUKG11A) From: JAMES VERNON (VFGV49A) Time: 02/13 8:05 PM I got Defender 2000 today from Game Express. I ordered last night and it was sent overnight. This is by far the best the Jag has had. Atari has done a great job on this game. The graphics are top notch and the game play couldn't be better. It sure brings back alot of good memories. If you don't have a Jag go buy one for this game alone however there are many great games for this system like Battlemorph CD and several others. My hats off to Atari! --JIM V. Kim Trampus sent me some comments from the Internet also... This article submitted by Craig () on 2/4/96. My vote goes to.......... BATTLE MORPH! What a great game this is! The graphics are Awesome. And the whole game is innovative in my opinion. Like shooting a building and then a hole opens up in the ground and you fly down to it and there is a little water area! I love it. I am on the second cluster and the 2nd planet. Or the 2nd planet after you beat the BEE GUY. I haven't really found any New weapons yet, I hope I didn't miss any. :( I really can't stop playing this game it's so fun and Deep that you can't help but play it for hours! I think this is a MUST OWN Jag game. And maybe reason enough to own a JAG! IF you don't have BattleMorph please try to get it as soon as possible! :) Later.... By the way, Missile Command comes close behind as my favorite Jag game. This response submitted by email@example.com on 2/4/96. I agree Craig! Battlemorph is simply GRRRRREAT!!!!! I beat it and now I'm playing it again on medium difficulty. What a great game! So what do people think of Missile Command 3D? Subject: MC3D To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Thu, 1 Feb 1996 11:40:45 -0800 (PST) From: "Michael S. Smith" <email@example.com> After pickup up Missile Command 3D yesterday and playing it for several hours, I must say that this is one of the best Jaguar titles to date. The game play is extremely addictive and the graphics and sound are great. This is a worthy addition to my game library. Congratulations on another excellent game. --Michael S. Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) Here's a comment from CATscan (209/239-1552) for Primal Rage from Time Warner Interactive... Message: = Open Discussion = #211 of 247 [9 Lines] Sent On: January 11, 1996 at 8:48am Sent By: Brian Mccleary - Loyal Jaguarian Sent To: All Subject: Primal Rage After fully reviewing both the Playstation and the Jaguar version of this game, it is unanimous, that the Jag version is better. Although, the Sony version has bigger dinosaurs and a little better color, the advantages stop there. On the Sony, your configurations and high scores cannot be saved booo! So much for the memory card, also the fatality timing seems a bit off and much harder to perform. The Sony version has a nice FMV intro that the Jag Doesn't but the Jaguar has a better looking and working menu system. Plus Stats! The Sony has none. My bet is on the Jag version!! Good job Atari! Here's a comment from CATscan (209/239-1552) for Supercross 3D from Atari... Message: = Open Discussion = #212 of 247 [15 Lines] Sent On: January 12, 1996 at 11:55am Sent By: Brian Mccleary - Loyal Jaguarian Sent To: All Subject: Supercross 3-D Finally received my copy of Supercross, and I am very impressed with the "Fun Factor" of this game. I can tell right now I will never get sick of this one. As a big fan of real Moto-Cross and Dirt Track Racing, and I own a 32x with two games Virtua Racing and Motocross Championship, which in all honestly does not compare. I noticed the only thing the magazines could find to knock on this one was the frame rate, because of their lack of knowledge in that department I'm sure they assumed it was due to lack of processing power, I honestly don't know why, but I will say if it was any faster It would be too hard to drive your bike in this game. The frame rate keeps the realism involved in centering your front tire to enter the jumps and whoops, and enough time to gauge the gas around each corner, and you don't noticed much difference between one bike, or eight on the track, the music isn't that great, but you have to turn it off to hear your RPM's within the game anyway. I would enjoy this game if it wasn't Atari, but I sure am glad it is!! A+ Thank you, Theron, for this praise... From: Theron Eduardo Ross, INTERNET:ba186@freenet.Buffalo.EDU TO: Don Thomas, 75300,1267 DATE: 1/22/96 7:39 AM RE: NBA Jam T.E.... Excellent! Dear Mr. Don Thomas, I recently wrote you with praise for what was my two latest Jaguar game purchases: Supercross 3D and Atari Karts. Now I have to praise you for the latest Jaguar release: NBA Jam T.E. I just got it Friday and only put the game down to do life's necessities (along with a few games of Supercross 3D and Atari Karts). As I'm playing NBA Jam T.E., I cannot believe I'm playing such a great conversion at home in my room; that's how good this game is. I know there is a lot of turmoil going on at Atari lately (at least as on-line would have it), but I do hope Atari continues to support the Jaguar and efforts like these from High Voltage Software. Even if it is just through the year, I will be playing games like these for a long time to come. Now, I'm looking forward to picking up Primal Rage, Baldies and BattleMorph sometime this week (isn't post Christmas money a wonderful thing?? :) Thanks, Theron >From CompuServe's Atari Gaming Forums, this mini-review of Defender 2000 Fm: Randy Baer 75442,3453 To: All Title: Defender 2000 Publisher: Llamasoft System: Jaguar (Cart) Reviewer: Randy Baer I remember the old days when loyal Jaguar owners would wait months for a new game, then be "rewarded" with classics like Double Dragon V. Lately, this has not been the case, as we have been bombarded by great titles like Missle Command 3D, Atari Karts, and Battlemorph. And just as the fat lady may be warming up for the Jag's demise, Jeff Minter (he's a genius!) and Atari counter with perhaps the best game to yet hit the Jag, Defender 2000. The Story: "Humanoid in Trouble!" The manual, which by almost all accounts is abysmal (it fails to list, for example, the ability to jump to hyperspace via the 3 key in Classic mode), gives a page or two to an "Obligatory Story". I shan't waste your time with such fluff. If you've played Defender in the arcade, you know what to expect from the Classic. If you've played other Jeff Minter games, you know what to expect from the Plus mode. And mere words can't prepare you for the onslaught that is 2000. Gameplay: "Cheers, Mate!" Classic is the arcade game. The mutants move a little faster than in the arcade, but this just adds a bit of challenge to the game. It may, however, bother some purists. Plus is a derivative of the Classic, and plays more like the arcade game than 2000 does. It also features the Stargate. Collect four humanoids, hit the stargate, and you warp ahead a few levels. Overall, I didn't enjoy this mode as much as the others. 2000 mode is where the game truly shines. Powerups a plenty! Humanoids hang from the bottom of your ship and blast enemies, the llightning laser zaps the aliens in a heartbeat, and you can warp! Oh my! And did Imention that the playfield is now 2 screens high? The warp plays almost exactly like the second warp of Tempest 2000; however, various shapes and perfect music make up for any disappointment this may cause. The first time I sat down to play 2000, I absolutely hated it. The thing moved WAY WAY too fast. It made Tempest 2000 look like it was running in slow motion. But then I played again about an hour after originally playing, and I got "in the zone". I adjusted to the speed, and got used to playing almost entirely by radar. While some would complain about this, I won't. The game is so fast, so intense, that you'll not even notice the graphics. If I want to look at the pretty graphics, I can slow down and take a view. But to get anywhere in the game, get used to playing by radar. Graphics: "It's a jungle, brother!" The classic mode treats the player to a near exact replica of the arcade machine. In fact, save for the volcano which was available only on Stargate (Defender 2), I could spot no graphical differences. The Plus mode sports psychadelic graphics, with lots of colors everywhere. The graphics are bigger here, and this leads to a bit of slowdown. A floating, rotating block is used for the stargate. Collect 4 or more humanoids, hit the stargate, and voila, you warp ahead a few levels. The 2000 mode sports various terrain, and some incredibly imaginative graphics. For example, when your humanoids get abducted, they grab their heads as though they are in great pain! When the abduction is complete and the lander turns into a mutant, the bottom half of the ship remains the same, while the top shows your trapped humanoid, waving his armswildly! In addition, if your humanoid gets abducted, look out for the gigantic headstones that fall from the sky. Amazingly, even with all this going on, there is absolutely NO slowdown on screen. 64-bits, indeed! Sound: "It's a Dream" The sound effects are dead on to the arcade original. Every laser sounds exactly the same as the arcade. My only disappointment was in the lack of music in the PLUS mode. However, the sound effects in both Classic and Plus are nothing short of perfect. The sound in 2000 mode is something else entirely. The background techno music is seriously thumping, and the first track (levels 1-5) is easily the best music I have ever heard off a cart. It may be the best I've heard in ANY video game, home or arcade. It is fast, intense and fits the game perfectly. The third (levels 11-15)and fourth (levels 16-20) are almost equally impressive, especially the girl moaning "Oh no" in track four. The second track, however, doesn't fit the mood. It is far too slow. I found myself wanting to warp through these levels at my earliest convenience. The warp music, a blatant ripoff of the old disco mix of Beethoven's Fifth, is excellent. There are also incredible samples. When you grab a humanoid, he'll respond, "Cheers, Mate!" Let the humanoid be destroyed, however, and you'll hear a blood curdling scream! I started to feel really bad when I couldn't save the humanoids, hearing them scream like that. Sounds corny, but it really puts you 'in the game'. Overall: "Almighty!" It seems sad that a game of this caliber would hit at what most industry 'experts' would call the Jag's deathbed. With a few more titles like this (as well as the upcoming Breakout 2000 and Battlesphere) early in it's lifespan, the Jag may well have been the number one console on the market today. Like Tempest 2000, this game takes a bit of getting used to. At first, you'll detest the speed at which it moves. Hang in there for that hour or so it takes to "zone in", and odds are you'll love it. I did. In fact, this game is now taking up every minute of my spare time. Perhaps it's time to cancel that Las Vegas vacation I've been planning... Randy's "Real Deal" Ratings: Graphics: ****1/2 - Moves at light speed! The humanoids look to be in REAL pain as they are abducted! Sound: ****1/2 - Best music I've heard from a cart, but second level music doesn't fit the game. Gameplay: ***** - Insanely intense! The world looks like it's in slow mo after playing this. Overall: ***** - Better than Tempest 2000! Fm: Richard Turner 100771,2457 To: Dana P. Jacobson 71051,3327 (X) Hi. I may have some information of slight interest to you regarding JTS. A friend of mine works for a company in the UK which is one of Seagate/Conner's largest UK distributors, and they have recently started dealing also with JTS. The drives, 3", are about the same performance as competing drives, but are about 1/2 the height of the competing equipment, making them superb for portables. Sales of their drives into the portable market are apparently rocketing, but the company concerned are also selling JTS drives very successfully due to their cost. (It seems being Indian made, the drives are quite ridiculously cheap - they do not, however, have the same range of drives as their competitors- 3 sizes only I think, the largest being a 1.2Gb drive, one an 850Mb and I can't recall the other.) I understand from my friend that he asked about the JTS/Atari merger and was told that JTS said nothing would change at their end, but as they had successful DYNAMIC management the Tramiels thought they'd get the JTS'ers to fix Atari, plus of course they'd be getting a good investment, and JTS needed investment. This is verifiable information I'm sure. Richard. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe compiled by Joe Mirando 73637,2262 Hidi ho folks. I'll tell you right off the bat that this is going to be a short column. It seems that interest in our favorite computer is dwindling down to only the "diehardest" of the diehards. When it was announced that Atari was merging with JTS, I thought that maybe we could ride a surge of interest from people who had forgotten about the Atari ST long ago. Alas, it seems that they haven't forgotten, just moved on. When those folks heard that Atari was merging with JTS they said "Gee, that's too bad. The ST used to be a good computer." To which my stock reply is "Hey, the ST is STILL a good computer!" I mean, sure, it doesn't have gigabytes or reams of disk-loaded, redundant, self-nullifying code, but it does what I need it to do and that is the bottom line for anyone who isn't trying to keep up with the Jones's. I'm sure that we all know that sooner or later we're going to have to pop for new machines and that's... okay. Heck, I started out with a Timex/Sinclair XZ81. When I outgrew that I picked up a Commodore 64. When I outgrew that I got a 1040 ST and then moved up to my Mega STE. Once I've outgrown that, I'll move on. I'm sure you will too. But until that time comes, let's enjoy our machines. There are those who will tell you (and a great length) that you should sell your ST while you can still get a few bucks for it. But the sad truth is that you can't get much for an ST right now. Even a four meg Mega STE with a hard drive and a monitor can be had for around $450.00 in the "For Sale" categories on any of the online services that you can access with an ST. If you had to take that money and buy a PC, what do you think you'd get? Get my point? Now that we've been all through this, let's take a look at the news from CompuServe. >From the Atari Computing Forums Terry Cano posts: "I've been hearing....seeing...on the "net" that Atari was up forsale and bought by JST? That the plan was to re-enter the computer market? Any truth to this? BTW, the post comp.sys.atari.st news group." Sysop Jim Ness tells Terry: "Atari and JTS have merged. JTS is a mfg of small hard drives. Atari says it will continue to sell Jaguar products for a while yet - there is still quite a bit of inventory. Aside from the temporary Jaguar situation, the reality is that the Tramiel family is dumping Atari and investing in a new technology and a new future. Atari stockholders get 60% of the new company (Tramiel family stake will be 26%), and JTS gets some much-needed cash ($25M) from Atari's hoard. It's good for Atari stockholders, good for the owner(s) of JTS, not good for anyone interested in Atari's past and present products." Terry asks Jim: "Could it be they (JTS) want an inexpensive computer to sell as a "net" machine? I heard Sun has a Under $500 mach. intended for "net" use running JAVA and or Unix?" Jim replies: "It IS good for Atari, the publicly held company. As you've seen the stock is performing very well. It's not good for Atari users because the company we know and love will soon cease to exist, in favor of a company named JTS who make hard drives." But Terry still isn't sure: "What are JTS plans for Atari? Sell off inventory? Produce computers? help me here....fill in the blanks." Jim replies: "They plan to sell off what they can, while actively looking to license the Atari name, patents, trademarks, etc. In fact, at least one paper publication has said they've been trying to do the above for several months now. If they can't license everything, they say they'll "make a decision" sometime in the future about what to do. Realistically, JTS has no interest whatsoever in Atari, except for the cash part of the merger deal. Trying to read between the lines, I believe that Jack Tramiel is ready to move on and put Atari behind him, too. He ends up on the board of directors of JTS, with an interesting new market opportunity in front of him. Not that it's any of my business, but I wonder what Jack's sons will do for a living, once Atari is completely put aside. I don't see a glowing resume in the bunch." Kris Gasteiger adds his own thoughts: "Hmm, Much as I hate to admit it, I've figured that us Atari users were written off over a year ago when Atari stopped making computers. But then, there are the Atari clones, and while the T's are gone, maybe someone else has the marketing skills they lacked. Not bloody likely I know, but one can dream. It looks like we're all going to be forced to use WINTEL computers if we want to compute. Even Apple is a sinking ship. I HATE this lowest common denominator stuff! and it all comes down to marketing. Some have it, and some don't. Grumble, grumble , grumble..." Terry Cano strikes up a conversation with Kris: "You know, there was a little "blurb" in Keyboard magazine.... a few months back. That quoted a Rand study that said, "by the year????? There will only be one computer platform....IBM" I don't remember the year but it wasn't far off..... somewhere in the next ten I believe. Now when you consider that Bill Gates has control over that IBM market, it's a pretty scary thought. Yes, we are moving to a "one world" society....with the one world money going into his pocket!!! You know he's trying to purchase hardware companies now........Atari was and still is a great computer....as is Mac and as is Amiga or and was Amiga. I don't have anything against IBM/DOC/WINDOWS I just don't like not having a choice." Actually, the fear that the future of computing will be dominated by one company or one man for ever and ever is a bit of a stretch. What will probably happen (and you can quote me on this) is that someone will come along with a ground- breaking new angle on hardware or software (my bet is on _both_) and the current darlings, the "old guard" by the time this comes about, will be too old and set in their ways to do anything other than play catch-up. Anyway, Mark Gardiner asks: "A contact asked ifI new how to get apps working with TOS 2.x which earlier worked on TOS 1.2-4 on his ST. Any ideas anyone?" My pal Brian Gockley of The A-CT Atari Group tells Mark: "There is a program called Backwards that is for sale, though it might just be for the Falcon. You can often have good luck just turning off the cache, the blitter and putting the machine at 8MHz. Use the control panel to do these things." John Woods asks for info on running his ST programs on a PC: "Is there a emulator program I can run on my Ibm system which will allow me to run old st programs -such as shareware. If there how do I find it here. if not here where can I find it." Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells John: "There is a product called GEMulator which runs ST software on the PC. I have not used it myself however." Yves Debilloez tells John: "But you will need at least a 486. Compare this to an ST emulating an IBM." Franz Dampf asks: "Has anyone a solution for integrating a TT into a Windows NT network?" Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Franz: "There was a product from Germany that allowed one to use an Atari in a Novell Netware environment. I believe the cost was around $1000 ... I have never used or seen it. A few people who had used it posted in this forum about it." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING WEB SITE Offer STR Infofile Computer Manufacturer and Publisher Listings The STReport Web Site is administered to and maintained exclusively by STR Publishing, Inc.. The Listings and Web Pages spotlighting Computer Hardware Manufacturers, Hardware & Software Developers, Book Publishers & Software Publishers who will soon appear here, help support STReport International Online Magazine's WEB Site. 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