ST Report: 6-Sep-96 #1236From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/07/96-06:31:41 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 6-Sep-96 #1236 Date: Sat Sep 7 18:31:41 1996 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) September 06, 1996 No.1236 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 Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm 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! Client/Server BBS Version 5 95/NT Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR through Internet MULTI-NODE Operation 24hrs-7 days Analog & ISDN BRI Access 904-268-4116 2400-128000 bps V. 120-32-34 v.42 bis ISDN V.34 USRobotics Courier Internal I-MODEM FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs BCS - Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 09/06/96 STR 1236 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Adaptec FireWire - Stop NET Censors - Kid's Computing Corner - ADSL SHOWN - Palm Pilot - Young ..Novell Boss - ATM IP Switching - YAHOO! Suit - New Atari Scheme? - People Talking - Jagwire CHINA CENSORS "SPIRITUAL POLLUTION" Online Advertising Up 83 % US Robotics Enhances Courier Modems 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 International BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the provision and distribution of STReport for their members. You may call The STReport Home BBS, The Bounty @ 1- 904-268-4116. Or obtain the latest issue from our WebSite. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. 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 ~ AOL IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, 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 Publisher, Staff & Editors Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 8/24/96: 4 of 6 numbers, three 2 number matches >From the Editor's Desk... Whew! Fran whizzed right on by us .not even so much as a shower. Charmed, that's all Charmed. Our fair city is charmed. Not much doing in a short week but I can tell you this much AOL "TRIED" to stop mass mailers from accessing its users via electronic mail and was promptly slapped down. Something about that first amendment and the Bill of Rights. The country's Founding Fathers were O.K. in my book. They managed, in their own wisdom, to make all the little "control freaks" that continually jump up.. get promptly slapped back down again to remain right where they belong . learning about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness according the Constitution of the United States of America. Obviously, the top dogs at AOL have fallen into the old "I got the Gold so I can make the rules" trap and were nailed as if it were a Bear Trap. One can only hope the other Online Services learn from this belligerent attempt at trampling the basic rights of the members of AOL and everyone else in this country. 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. 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 Portables & Gaming 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 Victor Mariano Melanie Bell Jay Levy Jeff Kovach Marty Mankins Carl Prehn Paul Charchian Vincent P. O'Hara Contributing Correspondents Dominick J. Fontana Norman Boucher Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Ed Westhusing Glenwood Drake Vernon W.Smith Bruno Puglia Paul Haris Kevin Miller Craig Harris Allen Chang Tim Holt Ron Satchwill 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 AOL STReport Internet email@example.com Internet CZGJ44A@prodigy.com Internet RMARIANO@delphi.com Internet 70007.4454.compuserve.com Internet STReport@AOL.Com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Child Advocates Praise Cybercop Officials at an international child sex conference are praising establishment of a "Cybercop" to patrol the Internet seeking out child pornography. Speaking in Stockholm at the first World Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Trond Waage, Norway's ombudsman for children, said to date there was very little action that could be taken to stop the distribution of child pornography on the Internet. However, he said, establishment last week of an international body to monitor child pornography on the Net, a task taken on by the Norwegian branch of Save the Children, was firm action against pedophiles. "We need some visible cops on the Net," Waage told Belinda Goldsmith of the Reuter News Service. "If you undertake these kinds of criminal activities someone will monitor you." Waage said Save the Children will look out for anything suspicious on the Internet and encourage other users to contact the group's site if they came across child pornography on the Net. "All information will be handed over to the police and Save the Children would work closely with the international police authority, Interpol, to track the sources down," Goldsmith said. Save the Children program coordinator Markus Aksland told the wire service his group had engaged a team of computer experts over the past month to see what they could find and affirm whether or not child porn was a problem on the Internet. "Even now," he said, "they still found a lot of sites with very suggestive names like 'Barely Legal.' But the important thing is not to get hysterical and censor the net. The Internet is also open to a lot of good possibilities." Waage said the past month's search found child porn on three levels on the Internet: by going into pornography shops and finding the child section, tapping into pedophile networks, and by contacting people in chat forums. Official Urges No Net Censorship Asian nations have been urged by a U.S. official to resist the temptation to try to censor th Internet, telling authorities gathered at a conference in Singapore that overregulation would ruin the worldwide computer network's massive potential. Said Larry Irving, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, "Censoring the Net is one of the worst things you can do. You run the risk of slowing down the development of technology because the capacity for computer power within a country will be used trying to censor." As reported earlier, delegates from Southeast Asian governments met this week to discuss methods of regulating content on the worldwide computer network. Singapore, which bills itself as an information technology hub for the Asian region, launched wide-ranging regulations earlier this year aimed at cracking down on unauthorized political and religious discussion on the Internet. United Press International says Irving suggested governments could "drown out" criticism by posting their own arguments on the network rather than trying to stifle the free flow of information. He said, "When you have darkness you can either bemoan the dark or light a candle. The best defense against bad information is good information." UPI notes government leaders from Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian nations often have angrily denounced the U.S. "for trying to force its brand of democracy and freedom of speech on other countries, but Irving insisted he was only offering advice." Said the commerce official, "This is our opinion as a nation. We are not trying to dictate. We respect the sovereign rights of sovereign nations to do what they think is appropriate for their citizens." John Young to Head Novell Former Hewlett-Packard Co. President/CEO John A. Young has been chosen to lead Novell Inc. for the time being, following yesterday's resignation of Robert Frankenberg as chairman, president and CEO. As reported earlier, Frankenberg stepped down after two years of trying to turn around the slumping business of the famed Provo, Utah, networking company. The 64-year-old Young, who hs been a Novell board member since 1995, also will help with day-to-day management chores, while the job of president goes to Joseph A. Marengi, 43, formerly in charge of Novell's worldwide sales. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Lee Gomes says that while a search is under way for a new CEO, people close to the company said Marengi will be evaluated as a possible full successor to Frankenberg. "It is also possible that an outsider will be brought in to fill all three of the company's top jobs," Gomes added. Adds the Journal, "Mr. Frankenberg is invariably praised as a thoughtful, gentlemanly manager. But several people inside and outside Novell said that his low-key, consensus style, which was so successful in Mr. Frankenberg's 25-year career at H-P, didn't help him after he joined Novell in 1994." One Novell insider told the paper Frankenberg's performance had been a concern to the board for many months, that in fact, in recent weeks, a special subcommittee of three board members had regular telephone conferences with him to discuss his progress. Ultimately, though, the Novell board "concluded he's just not doing the job," the source said, that Novell "needs someone with vision and a street-fighter mentality, since this a tough business. Bob had a hell of a job to do, and he worked very hard at it. But he just wasn't the right match for the company." Sierra Leaving Modem Chip Business Sierra Semiconductor Corp. is abandoning its modem chipset business due to rough conditions in the sector. The San Jose, California, firm says it instead will focus on its other semiconductor businesses. According to United Press International, Sierra is putting the product line up for sale and plans to take a one-time charge to earnings of approximately $50 million to $80 million. The modem chipsets consist of three to five semiconductors used to operate a modem. The operations generate about 30 percent of Sierra's $200 million in annual sales and employ about 150 of Sierra's 500 employees. Sierra Chairman/CEO James V. Diller told the wire service, "The decision to no longer participate in modem chipset products is based on the status of the PC Modem business today, as well as Sierra's long term goals as a company. As we have stated in the past, competition in the modem chip business is increasing, placing pressure on prices and margins." He said the overall market conditions for modem chipsets has deteriorated significantly in recent months, adding, "We continue to see excess inventory in the distribution channel and excess capacity in the supply base. This is resulting in rapidly declining prices and corresponding declines in margins." Diller said he does not see evidence that these trends will reverse and it is in the company's best interest to get out of the business. Sierra also announced ichard J. Koeltl will leave his posts as president/chief operating officer, with Diller assuming his duties. 36 Firms Form Chip Alliance An alliance meant to speed development of so-called systems on a chip - advanced semiconductors that can do jobs now done by a dozen chips in an entire computer -- has been formed by 36 companies. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Dean Takahashi calls the alliance formation a sign of the growing complexity and cost of semiconductor design, adding, "Such chips could greatly simplify computing and lead to new generations of advanced video games, cellular phones and other devices." The Journal says the alliance includes makers of software tools for chip design, such as Cadence Design Systems Inc., Mentor Graphics Corp. and Synopsys Inc.; chip manufacturers such as Cirrus Logic Inc. and VLSI Technology Inc.; and systems heavyweights such as Sun Microsystems Inc., Silicon Graphics Inc., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. "Those companies and several others have agreed to invest millions of dollars in the project," Takahashi reports. Steven Glaser, director of market development at chip-design tool company Cadence Design in San Jose, California, told the paper, "We're building an infrastructure so that we can quickly mix and match designs and enable the system-on-a-chip industry to grow much faster." Takahashi says the alliance will enable the companies "to share designs and research that are usually zealously guarded secrets." The paper adds, "The idea is to create compatible designs so that each company's chip components can be mixed and matched with others. The need for such an arrangement reflects the numbing complexity of modern chip design, which increasingly is becoming too much for an individual company to handle on its own." Merisel Sells Foreign Operations Computer products distributor Merisel Inc. says it is selling its European, Latin American and Mexican operations to CHS Electronics Inc. or about $160 million. The operations employ aproximately 1,000 people and are expected to generate revenue of approximately $1.5 billion in 1996, says Merisel. "We expect to use the proceeds from the sale to repay existing debt as well as fund our remaining North American businesses," says Dwight A. Steffensen, Merisel's chairman and CEO. "With these asset sales behind us, we can focus on returning to profitability." "This purchase will be a major step forward in CHS Electronics' continuing growth," states Claudio Osorio, CHS Electronics' chairman and CEO. "It essentially doubles the size of CHS Electronics and significantly strengthens our position in Western Europe and Latin America. We believe with this acquisition, we will become the second largest distributor in Western Europe and will have sales in South America approaching $1 billion in 1997. It also gives us a substantial presence in Mexico, which is an important market where we have not yet been active." Merisel's remaining operations are its U.S. and Canadian distribution businesses, and its ComputerLand franchise and Datago aggregation businesses. These units produced $4.6 billion in revenue in 1995. After the sale, Merisel's only remaining investment in Europe will be a minority interest in a distribution business in Russia. NEC Electronics Opens New HQ NEC Electronics Inc. has opened its new corporate headquarters. Located in Santa Clara, California, the new facility measures approximately 200,000 square feet on 17 acres and houses the firm's corporate offices, as well as its engineering, marketing, sales and U.S. design teams. The company relocated from Mountain View, Calif., where various business units and operations were spread over several buildings. NEC Electronics employs more than 2,800 people in the U.S. in its corporate headquarters, its semiconductor manufacturing facility in Roseville, California and through a national network of sales offices and design facilities. "We are honored to join the many other high technology companies based in Santa Clara and look forward to becoming a member of this new community," says President and CEO, Shigeki Matsue. "We also believe that moving to a single building will enhance our ability to serve our many customers throughout North America while increasing the services and improving the general work environment for our employees." NEC Electronics is an affiliate of NEC Corp., a $41 billion international manufacturer of computer, communications and semiconductor products. WebTV Prepares Launch This Month In Palo Alto, California, officials with WebTV Networks Inc. expect to launch an online service this month that will deliver Internet services through digital terminals hooked to TVs at $19.95 a month for unlimited access. According to The Associaed Press, WebTV will start offering its service through boxes that will be sold by Sony Electronics Inc. and Philips Consumer Electronics Co. The devices are expected to cost several hundred dollars. The company, founded 14 months ago, told the wire service the WebTV device, which comes with software already installed, plugs into both a phone jack and the cable input of a television or VCR and is operated by a remote control. "WebTV's service charge includes e-mail service for up to five separate accounts per household," says AP. "It also includes software that lets parents filter out e-mail and Internet material they deem inappropriate for their children. The box also comes with built-in 'smart cards' letting subscribers bank or make purchases online." Wireless Environment Unveiled Motorola Inc. has unveiled a new open operating environment for wireless communications devices. The company says its Memos platform includes a client/server operating system, development tools and applications. Motorola notes that Memos is designed to allow economical, efficient, personalized and non-intrusive communications for a broad range of users. The platform is the result of a software initiative created to address end-users needs for connectivity and personalization in their communication devices. Memos will be incorporated into products developed by Motorola and offered to the communications industry-at-large. "As a leading device manufacturer in the wireless communications industry, Motorola believes the establishment of standard software platforms will further expand the market, which is beneficial to the industry-at-large," says Doug Kraul, vice president and general manager of Motorola's platform software division. "Memos is one such key enabler and represents a new opportunity for participation in messaging by other large and small companies including the independent software vendor community." Robotics Enhances Courier Modems The Courier line of modems has been enhanced by U.S. Robotics Corp., which also has made some available in packages developed specifically for Apple Macintosh computers. Reporting from Chicago, the Reuter News Service says the enhancements include caller I.D., carrier loss redial, distinctive ring and Microsoft Plug and Play. Current users of Courier V.Everything and Courier V.34 modems can download the features from U.S. Robotics' Internet site, the company adds, The enhancements also were added to the modems for use with Macintosh computers. "U.S. Robotics said the Courier I-Modem with ISDN/V.34 and the Courier V.Everything will now be available in packages developed specifically for Macs," Reuters writes. "The packages include software, cables and manuals for Mac users." Videoconferencing Technology Shown A new technology that delivers television-quality videoconferencing over ordinary telephone lines has been unveiled by 8x8 Inc. of Santa Clara, California and San Jose, California-based Amati Communications. At the DVC '96 East trade show in Boston, the companies demonstrated H.323 video communication over ordinary phone lines using 8x8's DVC6 Video Codec Reference Design and the Overture 8 ADSL modem from Amati. The recently approved H.323 international standard allows video communication over corporate LANs, the Internet and otherpacket-based networks. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is an emerging telephone technology that's designed to bring high-speed communications into the home. "ADSL finally breaks the bandwidth bottleneck that has limited the delivery of high-quality video to the small office or home," says Kevin Deierling, director of marketing for 8x8. "The 384Kbps back-channel provides TV quality videoconferencing capabilities and, using the high bandwidth downstream channel, the same system can decode theater quality movies in the home." "Integrating the capabilities of 8x8's videoconferencing technology and the Overture 8 to achieve H.323-standard video communication over copper wires is quite significant, since all major web browsers have announced support for H.323 as the only international standard supporting real time multimedia," says Benjamin Berry, Amati's vice president of marketing. High-Speed Telecom Test Set Ameritech Corp. and IBM Corp. next month will begin a Chicago-area trial of a new high-speed telecommunications technology. Based on Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) technology, the trial will involve approximately 200 Ameritech and IBM Global Network customers. ADSL technology will allow users to interact with data networks and the Internet at speeds more than 50 times faster than an ordinary telephone line. Since the technology utilizes a portion of a customer's existing phone line, there is no requirement for a telephone number change. Customers will also be able to use the data portion of the line and talk on the voice portion of the line simultaneously. During the six-month initial trial, customers will be provided a data access service that will allow them to receive or download information at speeds of up to 1.5 megabits per second. "Feedback from our customers will go a long way to determining the viability of ADSL technology and how we turn this technology into actual services that meet consumer and business needs," says Tom Reiman, president of product management for Ameriech. "The growth in telecommuting, Internet use by professionals and new collaborative computing applications are all driving customer demand for economic, high speed data networking," adds Roger L. Dudley, general manager of marketing and service management for IBM Global Network. "We are excited about working with Ameritech to explore the potential of ADSL as a means to better serve our customers." YA-HOO! Takes Yahoo! to Court Who can be "yahoo?" That's the question for a federal court in Texas. In Dallas, Miss King's Kitchens Inc., maker of "The Original Texas YA-HOO! Cake," has asked a federal judge to require Yahoo! Inc. -- the Internet search engine that has gained enormous attention on Wall Street and in cyberspace -- to stop using the word. U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater is not expected to rule for a couple of months, according to Associated Press writer Jaime Aron, who notes Miss King's Kitchens last April sued Yahoo for trademark infringement. That suit has not yet gone to trial. Miss King attorney Roger Mandel told the wire service, "The intent of filing for the injunction isn't to get them to pay a lot of money, but to get them to stop using our trademark." However, Yahoo CEO Tim Koogle said his Internet company has no plans to stop using its logo. Notes AP, "The bakery registered its trademark in 1989, while Yahoo got its trademark in 1995. Trademark laws typically allow the same word to be used for products and services that don't compete." Japanese Fight Computer Vandals A special unit aimed at stemming a spread of computer viruses and other attacks by computer vandals has been established in Tokyo by Japanese police. The Reuter News Service quotes officials at the National Police Agency as saying funds for the new unit were requested as part of a new $2.34 billion budget for fiscal 1997/98. The new "Security Systems Countermeasures Team" is proposed to be created in the next fiscal year beginning April 1997, a spokesman for the agency told the wire service. Japanese Chipmakers Downsizing >From Tokyo comes word Japanese chip manufacturers are set to slim their workforce in the wake of falling prices of computer chips. Business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun says: z Oki Electric Industry Co. will shed 20 of its employees at a memory factory and move them to a telecommunication plant by the end of this month. z The VLSI Technology K.K., a Japanese arm of the U.S. VLSI Technology Inc., is reported to be considering putting off until at least next year a plan to increase its workforce. z The Japanese subsidiary of the Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in the U.S. will put on hold recruitment until the end of the year while the Nippon Motorola Ltd., a Japanese unit of the Motorola Inc.in the United States, has curtailed the number of its contract workers or specialists. The Xinhua Chinese news service says that also Motorola and National Semiconductor Corp. have announced payroll cuts of 145 and 500 respectively, adding, "Payroll-trimming among Japanese chip makers is largely limited to fine-tuning for the time being." Net Remailer Shutting Down A major Internet remailer is going out of business. The Reuter news service reports that Johan Helsingius, whose anonymous forwarding system is one of the largest in the world, is closing the service while rejecting allegations it was being used as a conduit for child pornography. Helsingius said in a statement that the remailer, with over half a million users, was closing because the legal issues governing the Internet in Finland are unclear. "The legal protection of users needs to be clarified. At the moment the privacy of Internet messages is judicially unclear," stated Helsingius, who added that he created and operated the remailer in his spare time partly as an way to help abused children. Reuters explains that Internet remailers are computers that receive and forward messages with a pseudonym or anonymous source. "There are about five large ones in the world, and they exist to enable anonymous discussion of sensitive subjects -- for instance by victims of child abuse, potential suicides or people in politically repressed societies." Printers Seen as Educational Key A new survey sponsored by printer maker Lexmark International Inc. finds that 43 percent of U.S. PC users with children believe that printers improve grades. The survey also finds that more than 70 percent of teachers prefer assignments completed on computers with the final output prepared by a printer. Additionally, over half (57 percent) of the teachers said that assignments printed on printers generally receive higher grades than those typed or handwritten. "While many parents look carefully at the selection of personal computers available before purchase, they oten pay less attention to computer printers. Buying a printer is perhaps more important than buying a PC," says Matt Zimmer, worldwide product marketing and strategy manager for Lexmark's personal printing division. "After all, teachers see the printed product, not the PC. Plus, the quality of printers has improved dramatically, and they are easier to use than ever. Now a consumer can purchase laser quality output at more affordable ink-jet prices and get brilliant color as a bonus." The survey was conducted for Lexmark by Roper Starch Worldwide. CEOs Hail Information Technology CEOs of America's fastest growing companies are touting information technology's positive effect on their businesses -- and are allocating an ever-greater portion of their operating budgets for computers, software, networking systems and other information technology (IT) essentials -- finds a new survey from Coopers & Lybrand. According to the consulting giant's "Trendsetter Barometer" survey, 96 percent of the CEOs feel that computers and IT were important to their profitable growth over the last two years, and 93 percent say IT has met their expectations for increased corporate productivity. Additionally, 71 percent of the CEOs say IT will add more value to their operations over the next 12 months, well above the 62 percent expressing such confidence two years ago. The survey also finds that product sector growth firms are more convinced of IT's value than their service sector counterparts: three in four product firms (76 percent) expect an increase in value derived from IT, compared to 69 percent of service firms. "Clearly, CEOs' expectations of the business value derived from computers and IT have risen significantly in recent years, as illustrated by greater levels of spending," says Don Warren, national director of Coopers & Lybrand's computer assurance services unit. "In the last several years, growth firms in the service sector have reported spending more -- and benefiting more -- from IT than have their product sector counterparts. Today, our findings show a surge in business value expectations from the product side, where applications are sometimes more complex." Coopers & Lybrand interviewd CEOs of 434 product and service companies identified in the media as the fastest growing U.S. businesses over the last 5 years. The surveyed companies range in size from approximately $1 million to $50 million in revenue/sales. Etak Offers Maps for Web Sites Computer mapping specialist Etak has announced a suite of Internet mapping products and services for Web site developers. The Menlo Park, California-based company says its suite will allow Web publishers to easily and affordably incorporate color maps and provide online answers to such location-related questions as "Where is the nearest...?" and "How do I get there from here?" Etak's Internet products include E-Map View, E-Map Route and E-Map Locate. E-Map View generates a detailed, scalable map of an area specified by the Web site publisher. Another product, E-Map Route, adds routing capability to a customer's Web page, provides features needed to generate directions between two points. E-Map Locate is a geocoding server that assigns latitude and longitude coordinates to addresses, intersections or cities. The coordinates (geocodes) are then used to generate and locate an address on a map or plan a route. Etak is also offering EZ Maps, a subscription-based service that adds maps providing geographic locating and displaying features to a Web site. EZ Maps can be customized to match the customer's Web site -- including icons and frames. Etak is also introducing EZ Locate, a geocoding service that offers online interactive services, batch geocoding services and online batch geocoding. Etak's Web page is located at http://www.etak.com. Firm Launches New Web Angle A Los Altos, California, firm thinks it has come up with a new angle on the Internet called, well, "The Angle," a system that promises to changethe World Wide Web from a hit-or-miss quest into a targeted personal service that changes to suit the user's mood. Writer Samuel Perry of the Reuter News Service says the site (reached at http://www.theangle.com) showcases BroadVision Inc.'s Oe-to-One technology for personalizing the Web. "The technology enables a person to set up an individual profile, or 'angle,' combining their interests and preferred style to customize the look and feel of the Web service," Perry writes. "They can also choose from several 'personalities' to try out different ways of viewing information on the Internet, or choose different profiles for different moods -- such as one for the business day and another for use at home." Use of the site is free and requires no registration. Profiling information is stored only for the benefit of users, the company said in a statement, to ensure privacy and enable them to change their profiles at any time. BroadVision President/CEO Pehong Chen says the technology would serve not only as a showcase, but would enable large organizations to develop co-branded sites based on the BroadVision product, adding, "People can choose a personality, somebody they can relate to, or disguise themselves as sombody else. ... This makes it fun and easy to understand." Chen is targeting a Global 1000 list of large companies for developing both co-branded services and for using the technology internally in private networks known as intranets to communicate with individual employees. "It has already begun collaborating with Web partners, and formed a new division, the Content Services Group, to provide software products, consulting services and original content for both consumers and consumer-oriented businesses," Reuters says. Web Beauty Contest Nears A Budapest computerist is operating what he says is the first beauty contest on the Internet. To enter "Miss Cyberspace Hungary," candidates send in three photographs that are then scanned and put out on the World Wide Web. Laszlo Bodor, who launched the contest, told the French Agence France-Press International News Service, "The competition for Miss Cyberspace will take place in virtual reality." The public will be the judges. Visitors to the page (http://www.datanet.hu/artnet/beauty) click to see the photographs, together with the contestant's age, vital statistics and profession. Winners will go through to the final, scheduled for December. "We are not offering a lot of money to the winners -- only the cost of registering which is about $10 plus the possibility of being discovered by an agency," Bodor said. Bodor, who runs a computer company, is considering organizing contests in other countries with the ultimate goal of staging Miss World Cyberspace. Computer Salaries Up A new survey suggests most computer professionals have drawn bigger salaries in 1996, with largest increases going to top positions in information systems. In a statement from its Framingham, Massachusetts, headquarters, Computerworld magazine, which conducted a nationwide survey of more than 1,100 IS managers, found computer professionals in the hardware and software industries experienced the greatest salary increase this year at plus 10.65 percent, followed by: z The banking industry with 6.31 percent. z The transportation industry at 6.23 percent. z Business services at 5.93 percent. z Industrial equipment at 4.50 percent. z The media at 4.40 percent. Computerworld says its survey also revealed that pay for computer professionals varies greatly according to industry. "For instance," says the statement, "a chief information officer (CIOs)/vice president of IS working within business services can earn an average of $178,192 annually. Meanwhile, a CIO/VP of IS within the education industry earns $101,000 less, at an annual salary of $76,919." The publication says lower-level computer professionals such as LAN managers can earn an average of $55,989 yearly in the insurance field while that same position within the non-profit sector earns $36,091. The survey "further found that the gap is widening between the bonuses being given to top-level professionals and those bonuses handed out to lower-level computer professionals," says the statement. It found: z At the top of the scale are CIOs/vice presidents of IS who are earning bonuses averaging $11,061 annually. z In contrast, lower-level positions like micro managers/end-user computing managers are earning about $2,349 in bonuses. Electronic Commerce Still Elusive Internet electronic commerce hasn't yet lived up to its potential, finds a new report from Arthur D. Little, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, technology consulting firm. The company, along with market researcher Giga Information Group, recently conducted an online survey to gauge the effects of electronic commerce on business. While over 30 percent of the respondents ranked electronic marketing/advertising and electronic catalogs as the top activities currently being conducted or planned to be conducted in the next 18 months by their organizations, performing consumer transactions in real time and completing pre-sale to post sale activities were each ranked as top activities by less than 10 percent of the respondents. "Converting today's paper business proceses into electronic form is a good first step," says Stuart Lipoff, vice president of Arthur D. Little and director of its communications and information technology business. "However, companies must think beyond narrowly defined stovepipes. How they do marketing today, how they do fulfillment, how they attract new customers -- these activities must change in order to fully leverage the power of electronic commerce." Allen Creates Frat House of Future Billionaire Paul Allen has spent $3.1 million to build a new house for the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity at Washington State University in southeastern Washington, where he was a member in the early 1970s. Associated Press writer Nicholas K. Geranios, reporting from Pullman, Washington, characterizes it as the frat house of the future, "without a single toga in sight. Instead, it's rife with high-speed computers, cyberspace jacks and bedrooms with individual climate controls." AP adds that the four-story, red-brick house, with white trim, large windows and a white cupola on the roof, "evokes college buildings of the past, but inside it is strictly the future." For instance, each double bedroom has built-in jacks to transmit voice, data and cable television and link its occupants to all of cyberspace and telephone system that includes an intercom. The house's computer center contains six Gateway 2000 Pentium computers, available on a first-come basis. The 17,500-square-foot house, with a big-screen television and a pool table, will house 52 people in rooms twice as large as those in other WSU fraternity houses, "but the monthly room and board of $425 is lower than most because Allen donated the building and there is no mortgage to pay," AP adds. CD-ROM Trading Cards Released Topps Co. Inc., best known for its sports trading cards, has introduced a lines of CD-ROM cards. The New York-based company describes its NFL CybrCard line as a collectible series of 28 CD-ROM trading cards featuring 28 National Football League stars. Retailing for approximately $19.95 apiece, each NFL CybrCard contains approximately 90 full-motion, full sound video clips of the featured player's highlights from the 1995 season, as well as the most unforgettable plays of his career. The players included in the first NFL CybrCard collection include Brett Favre and Reggie White of the Green Bay Packers; Steve Young and Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers; Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders of the Dallas Cowboys; and Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills. Online Advertising Up 83 Percent Revenues from advertising on the Internet's World Wide Web soared 83 percent in the first half of the year, says a research report that adds the Net is on track to become a $5 billion-a-year commercial medium by the year 2000. Jupiter Communications reports ad income reached $71.7 million in the first half of the year, and is project to blossom to $312 million for the year as a whole. Jupiter also estimates near-triple-digit annual growth for 1996. But, says reporter Dick Satran of the Reuter News Service, the survey also showed that despite the optimistic growth in spending, "a majority of advertisers were still high-tech companies advertising on each other's sites." Noting the consumer product companies that are the biggest advertisers for national magazines and broadcasters continued to tread cautiously on the Internet, Jupiter analyst Peter Storck told the wire service, "When those companies get going, that will be the trumpet call that Internet advertising has really arrived. But that's only going to happen gradually." Jupiter says the biggest advertiser on the Web right now is -- surprise! -- Microsoft Corp., which shifted its corporate strategy heavily toward the Internet this year. "It forked out $2.9 million in the first half as it promoted its Web browser, the software it hopes will become the standard for navigating through the new medium," Satran reports. "Its arch rival Netscape, whose browser software was virtually unchallenged before Microsoft's arrival, remained king of the hill in getting advertising revenue. Its $9.7 million accounted for about 13 percent of the total, while search engines Infoseek ($5.8 million), Yahoo ($5.7 million), Lycos ($4.1 million) and Excite ($3.6 million) rounded out the top five." Jupiter says the search engines, which flash advertising banners to users seeking information on the Internet, have dominated the medium since the beginning. Adds Reutrs, "Traditional publishers -- those that create and sell content -- have been slower to find a place in the new order. ESPN Sports Zone, a sports information service related to cable giant ESPN, and ZD Net, created from Ziff Davis's computer magazines, were the only traditional media to crack Jupiter's advertising top 10. Publishers like Time Warner Pathfinder and the New York Times which have created Web products were lower on the list." Storck predicts the 80 percent plus growth will continue in the second half of the year, adding consumer product companies could begin to take up a larger share of the advertising total from the high-tech companies. David Bowie Releases Single on Net Rocker David Bowie is set to release his latest single, "Telling Lies," next week exclusively on the Internet. His record company has told the Reuter News Service the song will be available Sept. 11 on Bowie's official Internet site (http:/www.davidbowie.com), and may be heard on the site or downloaded in compact disc quality, but will not be sold in stores or heard on the radio. Virgin Records says Bowie is the first time a major artist has released a full song on the Internet, the worldwide computer network. Fans will be able to download, for free, three different versions of the song, which was recorded in New York, where Bowie is working on his next album. Adaptec Adds Fuel to IP Switching Firestorm Milpitas, Calif, -- September 3, 1996 -- Adaptec, Inc. announced today it will add driver support that will allow its existing ATM products to incorporate IP switching over ATM. Simply put, IP switching is a networking technology that combines the flexibility and control of IP routing with the speed and scalability of ATM to deliver large IP throughput to intranet and Internet environments. Since its introduction in April 1996, IP switching has gained widespread industry support and is poised to exploit the simplified, cost-effective benefits of ATM switching. Adaptec views IP switching as a significant ATM advancement. "IP switching over ATM and Ipsilon have already begun to revolutionize the networking industry, and Adaptec will be a large player in that revolution," said Gary Law, vice president of marketing for Adaptec's Network Products Group. "As customers demand increasingly simple and increasingly powerful networking technologies, IP switching over ATM shows abundant promise. Adaptec will support its customers with products that take advantage of IP switching's ease and ATM's high bandwidth and quality of service." "Ipsilon and Adaptec are working together to bring IP switching to customers today," said Larry Blair, vice president of marketing at Ipsilon. "In fact, Ipsilon uses Adaptec ATM adapters in its product family. The combination of Ipsilon's switching expertise and Adaptec's NIC expertise gives customers robust performance and broad interoperability. " Adaptec plans to have IP switching support fully integrated into its ATM drivers in early 1997. IP switching complements Adaptec's support for LAN Emulation (LANE), Classical IP (CIP), and native ATM drivers WinSock 2 and Mac OS with XTI extensions. This support gives Adaptec customers a broad array of options to integrate ATM into existing networks. New Adaptec Ultra Kit Offers Plug-and-Play 20MB/sec SCSI Transfer Rates Milpitas, Calif, - August 1996 - Adaptec has begun shipping the AHA-2940 Ultra Kit, the latest addition to the company's line of PCI-to-UltraSCSI host adapters. The new AHA-2940 Ultra host adapter doubles the current AHA-2940 burst rate of 10 MB/sec to 20 MB/sec. The resulting increase in input/output (I/O) speed improves the performance of Pentium and Pentium Pro systems, especially when coupled with multitasking OSs such as Windows NT, Windows 95 and OS/2. The AHA-2940 Ultra Kit has been developed for "power" desktop users who are looking for high-performance, multitasking capabilities. The AHA-2940 Ultra host adapter is certified under Windows NT and Windows 95. The Kit includes the PCI-to-UltraSCSI host adapter, Adaptec EZ-SCSI software on CD-ROM, an internal cable, software drivers and complete documentation and has an SRP of $325. Adaptec's AHA-2940 family also includes the AHA-2940 Ultra Wide Kit, which transfers data up to 40 MB/sec and is designed for professionals who require a performance SCSI connection to high-end workstations and entry- level servers. "Demands on personal computers are increasing, and it is clear that faster CPUs alone cannot address the data bottleneck that occurs as files are transferred between systems and peripherals. The AHA-2940 Ultra is part of Adaptec's solution to this problem. In order to make maximum use of powerful desktop platforms such as Windows NT workstation and OS/2, today's PC's need improved I/O performance. For these reasons, we expect to see SCSI become more popular than ever on the desktop and the Ultra Kits will help meet these needs," says Marc Lowe, general manager for the Desktop Products Group. About Adaptec Adaptec provides bandwidth management technologies for organizations building the global information infrastructure. Its high-performance I/O, connectivity, and network products are incorporated into the systems and products of major computer and peripheral manufacturers. Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., Adaptec (NASDAQ:ADPT) employs 2500 people worldwide in design, manufacturing, sales, service and distribution. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Computers Asked To Identify Suspicious Baggage Alliance Targets "Systems On A Chip" Sun Offers Trade-In On Rival Systems Sports Leagues Vs. Online Media Wired At Albany Intel Inside Kiosks Microsoft Sets Sights On Starsight Anonymous E-Mail Service Shut Down AOL Blocks Junk Mail Sites China Screens Out "Spiritual Pollution" On The Net Governmental Incentives To Buy A Computer Cisco To Buy Granite Systems Palm's Pilot Is Popular PDA Boston College Eyes NCs For Students IBM To Sell PCs Made By Acer Ya-Hoo! Cake Company Wants Yahoo! To Change Its Name! Intuit And America Online Offer Banking Software Packard Bell Settles With Feds COMPUTERS ASKED TO IDENTIFY SUSPICIOUS BAGGAGE Officials working on an aviation commission headed by Vice President Gore and formed after the TWA Flight 008 crash are recommending that computerized background checks of passengers should be made to determine which customer luggage to search. Names, addresses, phone numbers, travel histories and billing records of passengers would be examined to look for irregularities that would suggest the possibility of terrorist activity. Civil libertarians are expected to object to the plan as an invasion of privacy. (New York Times 1 Sep 96 p17) ALLIANCE TARGETS "SYSTEMS ON A CHIP" Thirty-six high-tech companies are joining forces to develop advanced semiconductors that single-handedly can manage jobs currently processed by up to a dozen different chips. These "systems-on-a-chip" could greatly simplify computing and lead to new generations of advanced video games, cell phones and other electronic devices. The alliance, which includes such companies as Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, Synopsys Inc., Cirrus Logic, VLSI Technology, Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics and Toshiba, will focus on creating compatible designs so that each company's components can be mixed and matched with others. "The system-on-a-chip era will change the way all electronic systems are designed," says a Dataquest analyst. "It will make possible all kinds of electronic gadgets we never dreamed up before." (Wall Street Journal 3 Sep 96 B6) SUN OFFERS TRADE-IN ON RIVAL SYSTEMS Sun Microsystems is offering discounts up to 40% off of its new Ultra Enterprise workstation to customers who opt to trade in Hewlett-Packard or IBM systems equipped with EMC Corp. storage systems. The trade-in units must be no more than five years old. "We want to hurt HP and IBM - and impact their market share and their ability to compete," says a Sun marketing director. HP and IBM each hold about 30% of the workstation market, while Sun's is only about 15%, according to the Meta Group. (Investor's Business Daily 3 Sep 96 A25) SPORTS LEAGUES VS. ONLINE MEDIA The National Basketball Association's lawsuit against America Online for its practice of reporting real-time game developments online is testing the proposition that sports news is proprietary data owned by the professional league involved, and aims to set a new precedent for a new medium. "The effort to protect the facts so you can sell them is anathema to First Amendment principles," says a New York attorney who filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of AOL. "This is part of the mad scramble to redefine intellectual property," says the VP for NFL Enterprises, the NFL's new media unit. "Just as we control the rights for the game in television and in radio, we intend to control the way the game appears on the Internet." (Wall Street Journal 30 Aug 96 B1) WIRED AT ALBANY Approximately 3,000 residential students at the University of Albany will enjoy dedicated access to library and central computing services as well as Web-based course materials, as part of the network services provided to the school's residence halls. In conjunction with this ResNet effort, the university has hired students to help faculty prepare and mount course materials such as class notes and outlines, images, and lectures. \ <http://www.albany.edu > (Heller Report Sep 96) INTEL INSIDE KIOSKS Intel Corp. is deploying 1,000 demonstration kiosks in big-name computer retail stores, offering curious customers a chance to log on and check out the Internet in an effort to convince them to shell out $2,000 or so for an Intel-powered PC. "It's one of the largest retail and advertising programs that Intel has rolled out," says an Intel marketing manager. The kiosks will also demonstrate video phone capability, using Intel's Proshare software. An additional 2,500 to 3,000 stores will run simulations of Internet connections, flashing a series of canned Web site images to attract buyers. "The Net is hard to understand for most people, and this helps make it real," says the president of market research firm Creative Strategies. "Intel is beginning to understand what product evangelism means. They're about to introduce some new multimedia technology and the only way to explain it is to show it." (Wall Street Journal 30 Aug 96 B2) MICROSOFT SETS SIGHTS ON STARSIGHT Microsoft has inked a $20 million deal with Starsight Telecast to use intellectual property connected to Starsight's electronic program guide. The implication is that Microsoft will use Starsight's property to create a navigation platform that will serve as a hybrid medium for its PCTV service. "Starsight has some unique capabilities. We're in the business of building great platforms," says a Microsoft senior VP. "We see this as leading the way to some exciting products that will open the industry." The pact is non- exclusive on either side, leaving Microsoft free to pursue deals with other electronic program guide creators and Starsight free to peddle its technology to other software makers. (Broadcasting & Cable 26 Aug 96 p53) ANONYMOUS E-MAIL SERVICE SHUT DOWN The world's largest anonymous e-mail service has shut down following a local court order requiring the operator to identify one of the system's users. The service, located in Finland and serving approximately 100,000 users, was linked to promotions of child-sex tourism. (Wall Street Journal 3 Sep 96 A11B) AOL BLOCKS JUNK MAIL SITES America Online is blocking all electronic mail sent from five Internet sites that have been used to send hundreds of thousands of unsolicited messages to AOL customers. In turn, Cyber Promotions Inc., which is associated with three of the sites, has accused America Online of hypocrisy for "censoring" commercial messages sent from other sites but allowing AOL itself to sponsor commercial promotions. AOL dismisses the charge as an "apples and oranges comparison." (New York Times 5 Sep 96 C2) CHINA SCREENS OUT "SPIRITUAL POLLUTION" ON THE NET The Beijing government has begun blocking as many as 100 Internet sites that offer material the government deems unsuitable for its citizens - including dissident viewpoints from Hong Kong and Taiwan, sites sponsored by U.S. major media organizations such as CNN and the Washington Post, and sexually explicit sites such as Playboy and Penthouse. An official described the blocked sites as suspected purveyors of "spiritual pollution." (Wall Street Journal 5 Sep 96 B12) GOV'T. INCENTIVES TO BUY A COMPUTER The New Brunswick government is offering an "unusual" sales tax rebate of up to $250 for anyone buying a computer before the end of the year. The program is part of an effort to accelerate the province's information highway. Two major private sector businesses have joined the initiative with additional incentives for computer buyers: a bank will offer special low- interest terms to anyone wanting to finance their computers, and the local phone company will add three months of free Internet access for new buyers. (Toronto Globe & Mail 4 Sep 96 B1) CISCO TO BUY GRANITE SYSTEMS As part of its continuing strategy to purchase companies whose businesses complement its growing networking empire, Cisco Systems has agreed to acquire Granite Systems, a leader in advanced high-speed switching technology. Granite's "Gigabit Ethernet" technology, which is expected to hit the market next year, can move data at speeds up to one gigabit per second and is expected to compete head-to-head with the ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) technology already in use in many networks. Cisco will pay $220 million for Granite Systems. (Wall Street Journal 4 Sep 96 B9) PALM'S PILOT IS POPULAR PDA The much-maligned PDA (personal digital assistant) market may be poised for a turn-around say industry analysts, who note that while Palm Computing's $299 Pilot PDA doesn't do everything, its strength lies in its limitations. The sleek, 5.7-ounce gadget is marketed as a "PC accessory" (rather than a portable, stripped- down laptop like Apple's Newton) and is used primarily by traveling businessmen who need an easy way to update the kind of information generally kept in an organizer -- names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. -- making sure it's in synch with the corresponding entries in desktop machines and corporate databases. Palm plans to add more features gradually, such as an attachable telephone modem for making phone calls. (Business Week 9 Sep 96 p111) BOSTON COLLEGE EYES NCs FOR STUDENTS Boston College is testing the network computer concept this year, doling out about 500 Internet Client Stations to college service employees for accessing personnel data on an intranet. If the trial goes well, BC wants to make NCs available for lease to its 6,700 students. The Internet Client Station, made by Mass.-based Idea, sells for about $500 and uses a 40-MHz RISC CPU. (Information Week 26 Aug 96 p22) IBM TO SELL PCs MADE BY ACER Under a new $2 billion agreement, IBM will send under its brand name more than a million desktop PCs produced by Acer, the world's 7th-largest PC manufacturer. (USA Today 5 Sep 96 1B) YA-HOO! CAKE COMPANY SAYS YAHOO! MUST CHANGE ITS NAME Miss King's Kitchen, a Dallas, Tex., company that has been selling cakes called YA-HOO! since 1980, has filed a lawsuit against Yahoo! to make the search company change its logo and stop using the name on the Internet. (Computerworld 2 Sep 96 p118) INTUIT AND AMERICA ONLINE OFFER BANKING SOFTWARE Intuit's new software called BankNow will allow the customers of 22 banks to manage their bank accounts from home even if they don't use home-finance software such as Quicken or similar programs. America Online subscribers can download the software free of charge. (USA Today 5 Sep 96 B1) PACKARD BELL SETTLES WITH FEDS Packard Bell will pay more than $5 million to settle federal government charges alleging that the company sold as "new" computers that contained recycled parts. (San Jose Mercury News 5 Sep 96) Edupage is written by John Gehl (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Suzanne Douglas (email@example.com). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of North Carolina. EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading. 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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. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate networks as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor STReport International Online Magazine Memory Lane Last Week's picture was of John Kennedy a volunteer GEnie sysop. Professionally speaking; He is an FAA Flight Controller and one of the nicest folks you'll ever meet. He was correctly identified by Lloyd E. Pulley of Arizona. z Each week, we'll present a different new photo for our readers to identify. z Tell us who or what is in the photo.. then send us your answer to; email@example.com z The first correct entry will be published in the following week's issue along with the new photo to be identified. STReport Confidential News, Tips, Rumors, Exposs1, Predictions Columbus, OH BIG DOIN'S AT COMPUSERVE Super Snoop has found that CIS eliminated approximately 150 management positions in the past few weeks. Someone (or more) in top management at CIS obviously haven't a clue. The new NISA software doesn't work correctly and the new WOW service has been on the brink of complete failure for quite some time. Snoop sez he has no idea what was going in the minds of the Whigs at CIS.. Who ever heard launching an online service exclusively for one operating system, Windows 95!! It is absolutely ridiculous. Talk about giving away marketshare. Even more ridiculous is the fact that they developed forum software that doesn't work well at all and then incredibly, placed it online and in live areas! It's no wonder they've lost $30 million so far and have a rapidly declining membership rate. Obviously, the Piper has arrived at CIS with his collection basket in full view. New York City, NY ACCESS SOFTWARE HAS THE BEST GOLF SIM: LINKS LS Access' Links LS is indeed gorgeous. It has terrific playability, beautiful graphics, excellent audio, super smooth animations and the look and feel of top drawer, high dollar software quality. It is by far, the very best golf simulation on the market today. ...and its not expensive! Links LS, for those interested, BURIES EA's PGA 96 for the PC! PGA 96 for the PC is really a terrible loser. New York City, NY NINTENDO CUTS N64 MSRP! This is an interview between Next Generation and NOA's Howard Lincoln on the drop in N64's price to $199.00 from $249.00 "Lincoln and Nintendo had been extremely quiet about the price drop, and the reasons behind that decision. In this extract from the interview, he explains Nintendo's thinking at the time. Lincoln goes on to regret the manner of the 'announcement' and reveals that the decision to drop was taken as early as July. NG: Firstly, I guess the big news; why the sudden drop to $199? Howard: "Quite frankly, if I had it to do again I think I probably would have handled it a little bit differently. What actually happened, was that we made a decision in July for a number of reasons that I'll mention in a second, to reduce the hardware price from $249 to $199. "Our plan had been to make this announcement a little bit later in August - the latest we could for competitive reasons. We had some pretty good ideas about how we would make the announcement. But, we realized that we had to alert our key retailers to what was going. Well, What we did in very early August was to inform our retail partners and give them the information and ask them to keep it confidential. "Our plan had been that we would ultimately come out (we had a pretty good idea of how we would do that) but before I knew it, word was out. You guys do an even better job than I give you credit for. We ultimately concluded that there was no way that we were going be making the big announcement and so we simply confirmed the rumors that were rampant out there. "Having said all of that, let me explain why we did what we did. We really did it for a couple of reasons. First of all, we did it because we have been the leader in the video game business for many years, in the US, despite the ups and downs of the market share of one platform or the other. But, in terms of making money and in terms of total installed base, and in terms of where you end up at the end of the day. "We want to maintain that leadership and certainly, that depends on a very competitive price point and a point that we think that we would have ultimately gone to anyway. "Second, by going to the $199 price point now it really does enable more people to get into the category, and more people to play Super Mario 64, and quite frankly, that was in our thinking. I guess the flip side of that is I just really uncomfortable about gouging people, or let me put it this way: having people think that they have been gouged. "They pay a lot for a hardware system and the next day it starts dropping in price? You know, you leave a bad taste in consumers' mouths. So it really was that reason as well." The US market was to receive a million units between September and March. That figure has been increased to anything up to 1.4 million. Some industry watchers believe that slowing sales in Japan have freed up hardware for the US. They also believe that it was this which forced Nintendo to drop the price to $199. Lincoln, and Nintendo deny both charges strenuously. In the second installment of Next Generation's interview with Lincoln he talks about the predicted shortages. Next Generation asked about the damaging rumors of slow sales and the increased allocation... "That's as a result not only of increased manufacturing capability, but of our begging, screaming, and yelling and pleading. I can tell you that the demand will far exceed the supply in the United States. There is absolutely no basis to these rumors [disappointing Japanese sales] and the only thing I can say is; see what happens on September 29th. "If you want to be the consumer that waits and says 'well, there's really not going to be a shortage, this is not a cabbage patch season again' be my guest. But I think you're going to be walking around empty-handed. The people at Toys-R-Us, as an example, from the CEO on down, are begging and pleading for more products. They can read their numbers probably better than we can read ours. And they know the explosive demand in the United States. "We know from what's going on in Japan that we will, without question, make the total numbers [of sales] that we had said and those numbers are going to be phenomenal. I guess, we ultimately are going to prove the fact that this story and all of these rumors are false by the software that we put out. When you see Wave Race, Shadows of the Empire, and Killer Instinct you're going to say to yourself 'here we go again, they are talking with software'. That speaks for itself." Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News SoftKey Expands Availability of Premium Bundles SoftKey International and The Learning Company are making two premium bundles available to all retailers after extended trials in Sam's Club and PriceCostco. Each bundle includes three complete CD-ROM programs. Super Solvers Super Learning Collection features "Super Solvers Midnight Rescue!", "Super Solvers Outnumbered!" and "Super Solvers Spellbound!" These programs are designed for children ages 7 to 12 and teach reading, writing and spelling skills. The Treasure Trio is designed for children ages 5 to 9. It consists of "Treasure Mountain", an exploration game that increases children's reading and thinking skills; "Treasure Galaxy" is a math adventure covering topics such as geometric shapes, fractions and more; and "Treasure Cove", an undersea exploration game that builds reading, thinking and math skills. Each bundle has a suggested price of $89.00 and has estimated street prices of $69.99 to $79.99. These bundles will only be available for a limited time. Virgil Reality to Debut 7th Level has announced the imminent release of The Universe According to Virgil Reality. This multimedia offering combines a comedic science professor with the content of The Columbia Encyclopedia to create a rich, entertaining learning environment. An icon-driven interface makes the program easy to operate for children ages 8 and up. Children can access hundred of photos and video clips or they can play fun activities. They can print activity sheets and experiments. Professor Reality is portrayed by Charles Fleischer, the vocal gymnast who brought Roger Rabbit to life. 7th Level claims Fleischer is "like a combination of Albert Einstein meets Robin Williams. His uncommon knowledge of science couple with his comedic talents and desire to motivate children about science made him our obvious choice as the voice of Virgil Reality." New Website Provides a Television Guide to Educational Programming Cable in the Classroom, a public service effort of 33 national cable networks and more than 8500 local cable companies, has opened a new website. Cable in the Classroom Online (http://www.ciconline.com) provides a searchable database of commercial-free educational software for teachers and parents. Searches can be done based on topic, air date, close-captioning availability, age group and taping rights. More than 540 hours of programming is broadcast monthly by this coalition. The site also includes links to cable networks that provide the programming and a database listing the more than 8500 participating cable companies so local schools can join the program. This site should help teachers and parents to find enriching programming for students of all ages. Knowledge Adventure Soon to Release JumpStart Pre-K Knowledge Adventure will be releasing a new addition to its JumpStart series at the end of this month. JumpStart Pre-K is aimed at children ages 3 to 5. It will teach the alphabet, counting, sequencing, early phonics and more. The program's interface is based on lively village inhabited by friendly, engaging characters. The program is filled with songs and fun activities to encourage your child's participation. He will be rewarded with animations that he can use to create his own customized Parkland next to the town. Knowledge Adventure has an award winning website located at http://www.adventure.com. Microsoft Creates Online Adventure Magazine As of September 5th, Microsoft has made available more Web content. Mungo Park Online Adventure Magazine (http://mungopark.msn.com) will feature interactive expeditions, multimedia content and exhilarating adventure. The first expedition will be a descent of the Tekeze River in Ethiopia. The adventure will be broadcast live on the Internet by satellite communications and digital photography. Some of this area has never been explored. Danger and fantastic discoveries await. The online magazine will feature exciting stories, a library of graphics and videos of past expeditions, sightseeing recommendations and more. To access Mungo Park, you must have Internet Explorer 3.0 or greater, or Netscape Navigator 2.0 or greater. Living Books Now on the Web Living Books has just launched an interactive Website at http://www.livingbooks.com. The site features Macromedia's ShockWave technology for an animated interactive world that will delight children and adults alike. Living Books' Corner of the Universe includes three distinct planets for exploration. Kids' Planet features an online coloring book and fun surprises. In the future, the site will allow the posting of artwork and stories, go on scavenger hunts, learn about current events and share ideas in the club house. Grown-Ups' Planet contains interactive demos of actual Living Books story pages. Using a new Internet streaming technology developed by Narrative Communications, EnlivenT will allow the loading and playback of a story page in less than a minute. This planet will be the location for special events, chats, forums, and promotions. Finally, Corporate Planet features company info, press releases, a guest book and more. It even includes a classified section for available positions with Living Books. Children's Bible Stories Hybrid-format CD-ROM Ages 3 to 8 suggested retail $39.95 Compton's New Media 6943 Kaiser Drive Fremont, CA 94555 1-800-227-5609 Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7.0 CPU: 486DX/50 CPU: Performa 500/PowerPC 6100 HD Space: 6 MB HD Space: ? Memory: 8 MB Memory: 4 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse Reviewed by Angelo Marasco You know, it's tough for us Christian parents to keep our kids interested in God these days when entertainment is so plentiful and easy to come by. I find myself losing my kids constantly to many things that I don't want them to see or hear. Maybe it's because for them God just isn't as entertaining as what they can find on TV, radio or CD-ROM. So, it was a delight to be given the assignment to review Children's Bible Stories by Compton's New Media. I really wanted to do this one, just to see if Christians can present God's Word to kids in a way that will hold their attention without demeaning it. Children's Bible Stories does an excellent job of presenting the best known stories in the Bible in a loving and respectful way that is greatly entertaining. This CD quickly became the favorite in the collection for my two young boys ages 8 and 10. I've gotten to know the theme song very well because I've heard it quite often over the past several weeks. This program is extremely attractive. The colors are bright and alive, the sounds are interesting, the music is cheery and the voices are both interesting and obviously interested in their work. The opening screen shows a bright and colorful picture of Noah in his ark along with the animals that will join you on the journey through the stories of the Bible. Four selections are available: Begin, Tutorial, Introduction and Quit. Begin leads to the Old Testament stories screen. From here you can choose to play the Lost Scrolls game, listen to one of the twelve Old Testament stories or go to the New Testament stories screen. There you can choose from among twelve New Testament stories or again go to the game. The tutorial shows you how to use the control items on the screens by a little angel. Introduction leads to a screen where all the animals gather and sing the words to the theme song. The theme song plays anytime you are on the opening screen, so you'll get used to hearing it. However, it takes on a new, and pleasant, dimension when you hear the words to it being sung by the animals to full instrumentation. I played it several times over just because I enjoyed it so much. I think younger children will like it even more than I did. The stories Children's Bible Stories tells are among the best known and loved from the Old and New Testament. For the sake of brevity I won't list all the stories. The Old Testament stories include the creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, a couple about Moses and the Israelites, David and Goliath, and Jonah and the whale. The New Testament stories are all Gospel stories: the events leading up to the nativity, events in the life of Jesus and some parables. Choose a story and the storytellers take over. The words to the story appear on a scroll that acts as a movie screen. As the storyteller speaks, the program highlights the words. This enables those children who interested in reading along. The scroll is surrounded by Noah's animals. Click on one of them and they make remarks about the Bible stories. The Lost Scrolls game is an added treat. Up to four children can play. The Lost Scrolls is a board game that is faintly reminiscent of Trivial Pursuit. In this game you spin an arrow and move to a space to answer a New Testament or Old Testament question, listen to a piece of Bible trivia or spin again. Get all four of the scrolls and you win the game. The playing pieces are Noah's animals. They make sounds as they move around the board. The Lost Scrolls game was the most popular part of the software for my two boys. For a couple of weeks, every time they were at the computer it was guaranteed that they were playing The Lost Scrolls. Now for the ratings. Graphics gets a high score. The entire program is very colorful and attractive. Graphics are done in an unusual cartoon style that is attractive to young children. The pictures that accompany the stories are more like mini-movies. While the movements of the characters aren't very detailed, the pictures are definitely attractive and interesting to children. Sounds also gets a high score. Children's Bible Stories uses several different voices. A pleasant woman's voice narrates the stories while several different voices are used for the characters in the stories, all of whom have their own distinct and interesting voices. The voice that does The Lost Scrolls game is exciting, reminding you of an old TV game show host. That theme song keeps coming to mind as I write this review. I really like it! Believable background noises accompany the stories. The only hit the sounds rating takes is for the aggravating repetitive sounds the playing pieces in the Lost Scrolls game make as they move around the board. Interface is excellent. Installation is quick and easy. Children's Bible Stories includes an uninstall feature that completely removes the program and all the changes it makes to your computer. How many computer programs surgically remove themselves when you're done with them? I really appreciate this thoughtful feature. You will too. It's easy to navigate through the program. One click of the mouse, which is easier to manage for young hands, is all that's needed to tell it what you intend to do. You will probably want to slow the mouse cursor down a bit for those little hands, but it isn't absolutely necessary. Anything you choose to click on is large and easy to target. Play value gets a perfect rating. As I wrote earlier, this program is extremely popular with my ten-year-old as well as my eight-year-old, though it is rated for children three to eight. The bright colors, attractive visuals and cheery voices keep their attention. The Lost Scrolls game keeps them coming back. My children continue to have a blast with this program. Educational value took a little hit. On the package, Compton's promises a parent's guide which "highlights the values found in each story and offers questions for discussion." These are very valuable to Christian parents who want their kids to learn God's Word and the message of salvation behind all these stories. Yet, I couldn't find the parent's guide anywhere! I hope that Compton's plans on doing something to correct this oversight. Nevertheless, I feel that this program has a great deal of educational value. Only Christians can understand the value of their children learning Scripture from an early age. These stories are simplified for young children and help to nurture a curiosity about the Bible. They will definitely generate questions for you to field. My eight-year-old had several for me. The suggested retail price is $39.95 and the street price should be in the $30 to $35 range. That fits within my price comfort level. Since Children's Bible Stories is such an attractive package, any price around $30 makes it a good addition to a software collection and an excellent addition to your Christian software collection. Ratings Graphics 9.5 Sound 9.5 Interface 10.0 Play Value 10.0 Educational Value 9.0 Bang for the Buck 9.0 Average 9.5 Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About 1394 FireWire But Were Afraid To Ask The IEEE-1394 High Performance Serial Bus is on its way to becoming the standard method of connecting digital audio and video electronic devices to personal computers. IEEE-1394 is the industry-standard implementation of Apple Computer, Inc.'s FireWire digital I/O system. IEEE-1394 provides wide- bandwidth delivery of high-quality video and DAT-grade audio via simple, low- cost cables. There's no question that IEEE-1394 makes a fat pipe out of a thin wire. Sony's new Digital Video (DV) camcorders are the forerunners of a whole new breed of video and audio systems that bridge the gap between professional and consumer electronic gear. More than 50 manufacturers of broadcast and consumer video equipment have adopted the DV format, which incorporates IEEE- 1394 as the standard digital audio/video interface for all DV gear. Adaptec's FireWire pages bring you up-to-date information on every aspect of IEEE-1394, ranging from consumer applications to professional non-linear, all- digital video editing technology. Click the hyperlinks below to learn more about the technology and the present and future status of the IEEE-1394 standard and developments leading to widespread adoption of FireWire technology. z What Is 1394 FireWire? z How Does It Work? z Applications z Adaptec's Role What Is 1394? The IEEE-1394 High Performance Serial Bus is a versatile, high-speed, and low- cost method of interconnecting a variety of personal computer peripherals and consumer electronics devices. The IEEE-1394 bus began life in 1986 as Apple Computer's alternative to the tangle of cables required to connect printers, modems, external fixed-disk drives, scanners, and other peripherals to PCs. The proposed standard (P1394) derived from Apple's original FireWire design, was accepted as an industry standard at the December 12, 1995 meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standards Board. The official name is IEEE 1394-1995 Standard for a High Performance Serial Bus. The 1394 Trade Association was formed in 1994 to accelerate adoption of the Bus by personal computer and consumer electronic manufacturers. The 1394 Trade association has dubbed IEEE-1394 the MultiMedia Connection. Adaptec has licensed Apple's FireWire technology, trademark, and logo; FireWire is used interchangeably with IEEE-1394 in these pages. The primary advantages of FireWire over other current and proposed serial buses are: z Versatility: FireWire provides a direct digital link between up to 63 devices without the need for additional hardware, such as hubs. Digital Video (DV) camcorders, scanners, printers, videoconferencing cameras, and fixed- disk drives all share a common bus connection not only to an optional PC, but to each other as well. FireWire is a candidate for the "Home Network" standard initiated by VESA (Video Electronic Standards Association) and other industry associations. z High speed: The present implementation of IEEE-1394 delivers 100 Mbps (Megabits per second) or 200 Mbps of data (payload) and control signals (overhead). Future versions that support 400 Mbps are in the development stage, and a 1.2 Gbps (Gigabits per second) version of IEEE-1394 has been proposed. Isochronous data transmission lets even the lowest-speed implementation support two simultaneous channels of full-motion (30-frame-per- second), "broadcast quality" video and CD-grade stereo audio. z Low cost: The cost of the integrated circuits and connectors to implement FireWire is often less than the cost of the connectors and circuitry it replaces. FireWire uses a flexible, six-conductor cable and connectors derived from Nintendo's Gameboy to interconnect devices. (A four- conductor version of the standard cable is used to interconnect consumer audio/video components.) Use of FireWire for consumer electronics gear, such as camcorders and VCRs, will provide the high-volume market needed to achieve low-cost implementation of FireWire on PCI adapter cards and PC motherboards. z Ease of installation and use: FireWire extends Plug and Play features far beyond the confines of the personal computer. When you add a new device, FireWire automatically recognizes the device; similarly, on disconnect FireWire automatically reconfigures itself. The standard FireWire cable provides up to 1.5 amps of DC power to keep remote devices "alive" even when they're powered down. You don't need a computer to take advantage of FireWire; as an example, a VCR can act as a FireWire controller for camcorders, TV sets, receiver/amplifiers, and other home theater components. Sony Corporation was the first to commercialize IEEE-1394 with its highly- successful Digital Video Handycam products, the DCR-VX1000 and DCR-VX700 camcorders, introduced to the North American market in Fall 1995. Sony also produces a high-performance IEEE-1394 video camera, the CCM-DS250, for use in videoconferencing and similar applications. On January 8, 1996, Microsoft, in conjunction with Sony, Adaptec, and other major manufacturers, issued a press release announcing Microsoft's intention to support the IEEE-1394 High Performance Serial Bus in future versions of Windows. Without question, 1996 will be the "Year of FireWire." How Does FireWire Work? The IEEE-1394 High Performance Serial Bus is a remarkable engineering feat that has occupied many highly-creative digital circuit designers and software programmers for the past 10 years. FireWire is a very complex serial bus protocol, as evidenced by the hundreds of pages that comprise its standard specification. The following list, with links to pages providing more detailed information, is a very simplified description of the external and internal workings of the FireWire bus: z Standard cables and connectors replace the myriad of I/O connectors employed by consumer electronics equipment and PCs. FireWire multiplexes a variety of different types of digital signals, such as compressed video, digitized audio, MIDI, and device control commands, on two twisted-pair conductors. Multiplexing is used in virtually all analog and digital networking systems, but usually only a single type of signal is involved. As an example, Ethernet multiplexes digital data streams from workstations and servers over one (10Base2, "Thin" Ethernet) or two (10BaseT, 100BaseT) pairs of conductors. (FireWire cabling is quite similar to that of 10BaseT Ethernet.) Sending real-time, high-quality audio and video data over Ethernet, however, requires special protocols presently implemented only by proprietary multimedia networking systems. FireWire is much more flexible in its accommodation of different data types and topologies than alternative networking systems. FireWire uses a "fairness" arbitration approach to assure that all nodes having information to transmit get a chance to use the bus; standard Ethernet does not provide this type of arbitration. To implement home FireWire networks, bridges isolate local traffic on individual groups of nodes. z Special integrated circuit chips implement the FireWire protocol. Like Ethernet and other high-speed digital data transmission systems, FireWire is a layered transport system. The IEEE-1394 standard defines three layers: Physical, Link, and Transaction. The Physical layer provides the signals required by the FireWire bus. The Link layer takes the raw data from the Physical layer and formats it into recognizable 1394 packets. The Transaction layer takes the packets from the Link layer and presents them to the application. Link chips provide all link functions as well as a limited number of transaction functions. The remainder of the transaction functions are performed in software. z Consumer audio/video applications use logical "plugs and sockets," which are analagous to the physical RCA phono jacks and mini-DIN S-video connectors used by TV sets, VCRs, camcorders, receivers, amplifiers, and other audio/visual components. A "plug" corresponds to an audio or video output and a "socket" represents an input connector. The implementation of logical plugs and sockets is defined by the pending Digital Interface for Consumer Electronic Audio/Video Equipment specification, an extension to the IEEE-1394 standard proposed by members of the Japanese Digital Video Consortium (DVC), which is responsible for establishing the consumer DV standard. The Digital Interface specification has been prepared by the DVC for submission to ISO/IEC (International Standards Organization/International Electrotechnical Committee), rather than the IEEE. Applications for FireWire There are an extraordinary number of applications for FireWire-compliant devices because FireWire is an extraordinarily versatile I/O subsystem. Following is a list of some of the important applications for new FireWire- compliant devices, classified by their distribution channels, with links to pages with additional information for each category: z Consumer electronic devices and future home networking systems provide the impetus for development of FireWire interfaces for personal computers. Apple, Compaq and Texas Instruments each have announced the intention to produce PCs with built-in IEEE-1394 connectivity. Virtually all press coverage today concentrates on FireWire as facilitating the convergence of computers and consumer electronic devices. Consumer audio/video gear in the under-$1,000 price range provides the sales volume needed to bring FireWire integrated circuits into the "commodity chip" class. Initial applications for PCs with on-the-motherboard, general-purpose FireWire I/O connectors are likely to be limited to audio and video signal routing, plus programmed remote control functions that presently are handled by handheld infrared units. Video gaming devices, such as Sony's PlayStation, are candidates to sprout FireWire connectors for PC and TV-set connectivity. On-board FireWire I/O also is likely to be aimed at connecting conventional PC peripherals, such as fixed disk drives (using SCSI's Serial Bus Protocol, SBP), printers, and scanners. Home networks using low-cost FireWire cables and connectors look like a good bet for 1997. Second-generation DVD drives, third-generation DTH (direct-to-home) satellite receivers, cable modems, and future electronic musical instruments also are sure to include a FireWire connector. Manufacturers can maintain market segmentation by limiting the consumer implementation of the FireWire bus to S100 (100 Mbps) speed. z Prosumer electronic components that bridge the gap between low-end consumer audio/visual systems and high-priced industrial and broadcast video components are likely to generate the first major market for FireWire adapter cards that plug into the PCI bus of Wintel PCs and PowerMacs. Although Sony markets its Digital Video (DV) Handycam camcorders through its consumer electronics distribution channels, the $2,500 to $4,000 street price of the DCR-VX700 and DCR-VX1000 camcorders places them in the prosumer category. Sony's forthcoming DVCR has a front-panel FireWire connector (consumer-type, four-wire) and may include a couple of additional FireWire connectors on the back panel. (The first Sony DVCR is likely to be priced at $2,000 or above, putting it in the prosumer, rather than the consumer class.) The first PC adapter cards for FireWire devices, expected in Fall, 1996, probably will be destined for prosumer-grade non-linear video editing applications with the Sony DCR-VX-series camcorders. Although the battery-operated Sony DV camcorders run at S100 speed, most AC-powered prosumer FireWire devices will be capable of handling S200 (200 Mbps) data rates. Another potential prosumer application is multichannel digital audio mixing and digital special effects systems. In the music industry, FireWire is likely to make its first appearance on high-end keyboard synthesizers, sound modules, and samplers. z Professional and industrial markets offer a substantial potential for FireWire I/O at the high-end of the price spectrum. Panasonic announced in late February, 1996 that their DVCPRO product line, designed for TV broadcast applications, will support IEEE-1394, either as an option or a standard feature. High-end DV-over-FireWire adapter cards will provide professional component (YCrCb) analog outputs, plus parallel (ITU-R-601, formerly CCIR- 601) and serial (SMPTE 259M) digital video, along with AES/EBU serial audio data streams. S400 (400 Mbps) FireWire can support transmission of 10-bit uncompressed digital video and several simultaneous channels of 16-bit, 48- kHz stereo digital audio. Another potential application for FireWire is as a substitute for the 8-bit parallel bus of the IEEE-488 Standard Digital Interface for Programmable Instrumentation, which connects programmable electronic instruments to PCs. Whether your interest lies in automating or expanding the capabilities of your home theater system, desktop video editing, composing MIDI music, or taking advantage of the new DV camcorders for broadcast electronic newsgathering (ENG) operations, you'll find the FireWire bus to be an indispensable addition to your Wintel or Macintosh PC. Adaptec's Role in 1394 Adaptec's business is all about making the movement of data between computers and the world as fast and easy as possible. Our expertise in creating high- performance I/O systems for personal computers -- from SCSI to IR to ATM -- places us at the forefront of developments in new high-speed serial technology. As a leader in high performance I/O and connectivity products and as an active member of the 1394 Trade Association, Adaptec is playing a leading role in the commercialization of FireWire, and will be introducing 1394 host connection products in 1996. We are spreading the word, not only in these Web pages, but in the consumer and trade press. Just as Adaptec was instrumental in bringing high performance I/O and connectivity technology to the personal computer (like SCSI, IR, ATM), so we will work to make 1394 easy to integrate into the PC environment. Read Adam Silver's (Adaptec Senior Product Manager) article "FireWire: The New Serial Bus That Drives Digital Video to the Desktop," from the February 1996 issue of Camcorder magazine. Atari User Support Jaguar/Computer Section Dana Jacobson, Editor >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Okay, things are finally starting to get back to normal. School must be in session - the Usenet is booming with a new class of "brats" already. Hurricane Edouard passed us by last week and we escaped the onslaught by a few miles, in the Boston area. Here comes Fran and it doesn't appear as the east coast will get away so easily this time around. Batten down the hatches! Anyway, let's forget the brats and the weather for now... We're getting closer to providing more original articles and bringing online some names that you've grown to respect. More on that at another time! It's quiet this week, especially while we spend some more time to getting better organized. Promised articles from weeks (months?) past are coming, finally. In the meantime, sit back and relax, and enjoy another issue. Until next time... Fall Atari Shows Start Up Again! Dallas - October 12th 1996 The Atari Users of North Texas (AUNT) are sponsoring the DEUCE II show at the Dallas InfoMart, 1950 Stemmons Fwy (I-35 at Oak Lawn). DEUCE II is held in conjunction with the DFW Xchange Super Saturday user group and computer vendor area at the InfoMart. Several hundred vendors will be in attendance at Super Saturday, including many of the remaining Atari vendors in the Texas area. Houston - February 22nd, 1997 The Houston Atari Computer Enthusiasts (HACE) are sponsoring the 7th annual Houston Atari Safari show at the Four Points Hotel, 7611 Katy Freeway (Interstate 10 on the west side of Houston). Safari '97 will be held from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday (Feb 22nd) only. Vendors signed up to date include ChroMagic Software Innovations, Crawly Crypt Corporation, Systems For Tomorrow, Toad Computers, Trace Technologies, and several local user tables. Tables are available for $20. Write to HACE (PO Box 820335, Houston TX 77282-0335) or call (713) 493-0122 (George Iken) for more information. George Iken Houston Atari Computer Enthusiasts Branch Always Software - Gemulator News Update! First of all, Branch Always Software now has a new name: EMULATORS, INC! We also have a new web page at: http://www.emulators.com/ But don't worry, we're still the developers of Gemulator, the de facto Atari ST emulator for PCs that a few people have unsuccessfully tried to clone lately. Well, I'm happy to announce that earlier this summer we released Gemulator 96 version 4.15M and next week, by popular demand, we'll be making available the first ever demo version of Gemulator and releasing the Gemulator 96 version 4.50 upgrade. So don't miss it! The place to be is www.emulators.com and the date is Sep. 3. In a nutshell, Gemulator 96 does everything the Magic PC and TOSWIN emulators are desperately trying to do: z Runs on Windows 3.1, Windows For Workgroups, Windows 95 and Windows NT. You won't need to change emulators when you change operating systems. Our competitors either don't support Windows 3.1 or they don't support NT. z Runs in both hardware and software modes. Gemulator 96 still supports TOS 1.0, 1.2, 1.4, 1.65, and TOS 2.06 ROMs on a card, allowing you to emulate any model of Atari ST. Gemulator now also runs on notebook computers using the software based MagiC operating system. Both MagiC 2 and MagiC 4 are now supported. z Super fast speed. Gemulator 96 has been optimized even more to the point where a 75 Mhz Pentium now matches the full speed of a 32 MHz Atari TT. Our competitors barely match the speed of an 8 MHz ST. (Our competitors fix their emulators to give bogus benchmark results to make it look like they run faster. But if you do a side-by-side comparison with a real Atari computer, you'll see the trick). z Full screen support. Gemulator 96 can run either in a windows or full screen, just like the DOS version of Gemulator, only faster. And the best part, PRICE: while our competitors continue to charge from between $200 to $500 for their emulators, complete ready to run Gemulator packages cost about $120 to $150 So go ahead and try the others, then on September 3 come try Gemulator 96. By the way, does anyone know what the status is of the So. California show that was scheduled for Sep. 21? I'd love to come down and demo the new products but I haven't heard anything first about that show or any other show coming up. If you have any info about upcoming shows send me an email. - Darek @ Emulators, Inc. Darek Mihocka. Worldwide distributors of Gemulator and Xformer. Emulators, Inc., 14150 N.E. 20th St. #302, Bellevue, WA 98007 phone:206-236-0540 fax:206-236-0257 http://www.emulators.com/ Jaguar Section Doom Networking To Be Fixed? "You Don't Know Jack", TV Show Pffft? And more... >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Not much happening on the Atari front these days. The same with JTS. Most everything, as little as it is, is happening on an independent focus these days. Still no definitive word from Peter Curry of Computer West. We did learn that he's received about 100 independent Atari/Jaguar dealer names from his recent inquiry. My guess is that Peter is trying to gauge what's left out there for Jaguar support/interest to see if there's some benefit to publishing some of those games waiting to see the light of day. With the Nintendo 64's release in the States imminent, it may be too late to generate interest in a few more games for the Jaguar. However, if there's a possibility that more games will appear, my hat's off to him for the attempt. The latest word from Telegames is that Towers II will be out before Christmas. We're trying to learn more and see if we can tell you something more definitive in that regard. Nothing else brewing relative to other potential/ongoing titles. Until next time... Publisher Opinion & Comment.... I do not agree with Dana... Peter Curry's seemingly recent games playing with the remainder of the Atari Userbase is contemptable. After the manner in which the Atari userbase was "hosed" by the Tramiels, the very least this guy could do is be straight forward with them. If Curry is planning on doing something positive with and for the userbase for profit, he could do one of two things; do the ground work himself with the help of his co-planners (One of which probably has one of the largest Atari related dealer lists in the world) or if he is going to recruit the users themselves to do his "dealer list development" he would be well advised to inform the userbase of his plan even if quite vague. To offer an "untold secret" to the users as a reward for doing his bidding is outrageous. Further, repeated efforts to reach Peter Curry of Pacific Software, Computer West etc., have proven to be more difficult than trying to talk to Bill Gates personally. He has not returned calls or replied to repeated attempts at asking about the "secret whatevers" both telephonically and through the use of Email. Ralph.. Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! CD-ROM-Inspired TV Show in Trouble The first CD-ROM game to be transformed in a TV game show may never reach viewers. Variety reports that development snags are plaguing the TV version of "You Don't Know Jack," the pop-culture trivia game. According to the trade journal, the show's TV production staff in Chicago has been dismissed, and "there's a chance it will not go forward as planned in 1997." Sources told Variety that initial show run-throughs and audience tests failed to impress Time Warner and production partner Jellyvision. The problems centered mainly on translating the computer game to a TV format. Variety notes that while there are plans to re-tool the show, it's unclear when a new staff will be hired and a pilot produced. Time Warner had no comment. SPECTRUM HOLOBYTE, INC. APPOINTS DEREK W. MCLEISH ... Videogame and PC Industry Veteran Brings 14 Years Experience to Company ALAMEDA, Calif., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. (Nasdaq National Market: SBYT), a worldwide interactive entertainment company, today announced the appointment of Derek W. McLeish to the position of senior vice president, marketing. McLeish comes from Xatrix Entertainment Inc., where he was president and chief executive officer, responsible for the launch of Cyberia and Cyberia2 which totaled sales of over one million units. Previously, in the same position at Velocity Development Corporation, McLeish was successful in raising capital for the company, building value for the shareholders culminating in a significant offer to merge the company. McLeish's 14 years in the entertainment and software industries have included marketing positions at Amaze Inc., Panavision International, Nucleus International, Monogram and Atari Inc. McLeish served ten years at The Gillette Company prior to entering the entertainment software industry. McLeish's responsibilities at Spectrum HoloByte include providing leadership for domestic product marketing and product public relations, in-bound and out-bound licensing and worldwide corporate communications. In other company news, Gregory Kennedy was promoted from vice president, general counsel to senior vice president of legal and business affairs. Stephen M. Race, chief executive officer for Spectrum HoloByte, said, "I am very pleased to continue building the company's senior management team. Derek has significant experience in the video game business, starting back in his Atari days. He has a combination of hardware and software experience. He has depth of experience in both traditional video games as well as PC entertainmet software. He will be an invaluable addition to our management team. Additionally, I am pleased to announce Greg Kennedy's promotion. His contribution to the company has been significant." Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for use on CD-ROM based personal computer systems. The company is also developing software for use on next generation console machines. The company's five development studios are located in Alameda, California; Hunt Valley, Maryland; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Austin, Texas and Chipping Sodbury, England. Products are available nationally and internationally under the MicroProse brand and are sold through major distributors, retailers and mass merchants. Product information is available for download from the MicroProse World Wide Web site at http:1/41/4www.microprose.com. CONTACT: Holly Hartz, VP, Corporate Communications of Spectrum HoloByte, Inc., 510-522-3584 Jaguar Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr! STReport's "Kid's Corner" Editor Frank Sereno passed this info along to me regarding a potential project to patch/fix the Doom networking problem: The following was culled from the Jaguar Interactive message center: Wish me luck. My first project is going to be to decompile and rewrite the networking code for DOOM so that it does not hang up as frequently. I'll probably have to make some sort of small EPROM attachment that is dedicated to network synchronization. If I can get the price down low enough I may be able to sell it to those interested as a sort of shareware patch for $9.99. My biggest problem is finding a large supply of Atari MegaBus connections. If you have any information on where I might be able to come across such a motley collection of creatures without having to destroy any existing cartridges please e-mail me at Stephen.Finton@MCI.com. Again: Wish me luck. Here's the e-mail exchange I've had to date with Steve Finton who is hoping to write a shareware patch for the networking code for Jag Doom. First is my letter to him, then attached should be his reply. Subject: Networking Doom Code Date: Sat, 31 Aug 1996 07:34:27 -0700 From: Frank Sereno <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Stephen.Finton@MCI.com I admire your tenacity in supporting the Jaguar. Fixing the networking problems with Doom would be terrific. I have a question though. Are your intended actions legal? If you use any of id Software's code in making your patch, couldn't that be considered piracy? I guess I have more questions. Who is going to be able to use the patch? What hardware will people need to add to their Jags to load the patch? Who will be selling it? How large will the market be? I have sent your post from Jaguar Interactive along to Dana Jacobson so he may be contacting you as well. We both write for STReport and I think Dana would be interested in covering your efforts. Thank you for your time and consideration, Frank Sereno, STReport Legal? If something does not work to begin with how can it be considered a threat to copyright. I live practically right next door to id, so it should not be a problem contacting them on that matter. Pride would be the only reason that I could see them forbidding me adding my two cents to their program, so I plan on stressing the point that they were probably rushed at the time and that is why they did not have the time to polish their code. At least I could cut out some of the sound info being transferred in the game. That seems to be one of the major problems with their code; keeping track of events. I don't think that the machines go out of synch per se. At worst, with less sound, you could sneak up silently on the veteran players that are good at remembering where certain doors and lifts are by listening to the sound. BRAINSTORM: Perhaps the machines hang up because they are layering sound code. Every sound info packet that is shipped down the link should be the code that is responsible for creating the sound that shows up on the other machine and vice versa. I think that the machines are producing twice as many sounds when an event happens. I've got to keep linked information original and disallow the machines any use of their own resources when it comes to positioning information. That should be the serial link's job. Sorry about the strange bantering. I hope you follow. I have a tendency to be vague when under the influence of coffee. My thoughts seem to out-distance my means to express them. Especially when I am trying to type........ Feel free to edit and distribute any bit of this message as you see fit. Everyone needs a little gratuity every once in a while. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe compiled by Joe Mirando CIS ID: 73637,2262 Hidi ho friends and neighbors. It's been a slow week here on CompuServe. After the flood of posts directed to former Atari employee Don Thomas and the secondary messages that folks left about things Atari while they were wishing Don well. The long and short of it is that things are slow. Well, I guess that it's to be expected. I mean after all, Atari hasn't made a computer in several years. There are, of course, other companies making 'clones', but they won't ever become "mainstream". So what we're left with is a close group of folks who don't need the glitz and glamor of the latest Intel-based machine and are happy with their current computers. I don't know about you, but that description fits me quite well. Let's take a look at how other folks feel... >From the Atari Computing Forums Phillip Lamarche asks for help with viewing GIF picture files from FLASH II: "So far I have not been successful in viewing " gifs " although they seem to download allright. I don't have Compuserve B on my transfer menu. I do have CIS B +, but I,m not sure if it is operational because when I click on it and then click on the window that it evokes, there is no check mark beside it in the menu, , although, the check mark remains on other itemson the pull down menu when I click on them. Maybe as Jim Ness suggests, Flash does not correspond to the type of GIF that I'm trying to view." Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Phillip: "[It] That might be true about Flash II not supporting Gif89a format compared to the earlier format. I have never used that feature so I will have to test it to see how the feature works." My pal John Trautschold of Missionware Software, the FLASH II folks, tells Phillip: "Flash II does *not* support GIF89a format. It was something we wanted to add, but with all of the problems surrounding rights to the GIF format, we decided not to." So then Phillip asks: "I would like to know what books might be recommended for a better understanding of the St 1040. I have a copy of " The Atari St Book" by Turner but it is pretty old. I might be interested in Assembly programming . I hope to find the kind of interesting publications that I found when I originally started computing with an early Radio Shack model one computer." Sysop Bob Retelle tells Phillip: "Unfortunately Atari ST books are a bit difficult to come by these days. There used to be a variety of books on a wide range of topics available, but in recent years they're harder and harder to find. You might want to try calling a store like Toad Computers (410) 544-6943 to see if they have anything still in stock, or every now and then someone will post a list of books they're selling here in our message base." Albert Dayes adds: "You might try Technical book stores also. For assembly language programming the best supported assembler currently is HiSoft DevPak 3.x. You might try to find a Motorola 68000 book for a reference. Other books include the Atari Compendium, 1st Revision around $50 if you can find it new. Another good 68K book is "The Concise Atari ST 68000 Programmer's Reference Guide", by Katherine Peel, ISBN: 1- 85181-178-8 (the latest revision for this book is January 1988). This book also includes a list of most if not all Motorola 68000 instructions." 'John' asks for help with a telecom package: "What software does everyone use for accessing CIS with their Atari? I have an Atari Falcon030 &I'm I'm using QUICKCIS but it seems to be a little out of date as far as automatic messaging & mail goes." Sysop Bob Retelle tells John: "Unfortunately there really aren't very many updated telecommunications applications available for STs and Falcons... QuickCIS hasn't been updated in some time, and new features on CompuServe can be a little tricky to "work around" even with the most recent version in our libraries. As for regular telecom software, as Albert mentioned, Flash II is still being supported by Missionware Software, and is updated occasionally." 'Thomas' tells John: "I am using a program called Taz. It is okay, but it doesn't support the protocol necessary to download programs. I have to use ST-Talk II. And it is a difficult program to use unless you have been working with it for a while. So, i am getting myself Flash II Version 3.01 to use and I hear it is a great program to use. But I still have not found a program than will do the graphic support for atari machines. I guess I'll have to update and get what I don't want. An....an....an...an...an..ibm." Jeez, another person with just one name... where are we? The MTV music awards?? <grin> Meanwhile, Carl Katz asks: "Does anyone know if it's possible to Email a MIDI file through Compuserve. I'm using FLASH V1.6 and it doesn't seem possible. Any info would be appreciated." Sysop Jim Ness tells Carl: "Yes, you can send binary files through CIS Mail to other CIS members. At the Mail menu, choose Upload to upload the file. You'll be prompted for everything that's needed from there." Good old, knowledgeable, Albert Dayes tells Carl: "The easiest method is to the ZIP the midi file and then send it as a binary file." Bob at Printline Graphics asks for help with contacting a developer: "I am having a hard time getting any response from Derek at Branch Always Software. Purchased his PC xformer 3.1 and was told I would receive my first upgrade FREE. All I received was a card to upgrade to CD for $30 US. Sent him a disk with a file that gave problems, but received not a word. Faxed him 5 times in last year ---Nothing. Received glossy new product flyer. I tried a message on internet, tried an upgrade order, left phone#, email and mail addresses. Blank response. How is this OUTFIT??" Richard Heldmann tells Bob: "I got one response in one year. "I will add it in the next release later this month." I have sent several other messages, all UNANSWERED. The homepage is not frequently updated. If you check out the homepage, it suggests you contact them again on August 5. That of course has passed. I also bought version 3.1, and then bought 3.5(CD). Free upgrade? My opinion of emulators is, they have not reached the level of the real thing. But I guess something is better than nothing. One good thing about the CD was the umich archived files. PCXformer itself is faster than other emulators, but has no Spartados support, limited sound, won't load MOST commercial software(i.e. via APE .PRO format files), and the PC Xformer cable only supports one printer port." Bob replies to Richard: "Thank you for your response. I spent $55 talking to Derek when I orginally purchased the program and he told me it would run 90% of the software available. He then told me on one contact that the com port wasn't working with BobTerm too well. I sent him a disk with a file that wouldn't work after transferring it by modem, also by disk. Never got any kind of response." Brendan Owens posts: "I'm new to compuserve and I was wondering if anyone on the Atari forum would have news of how to get hold of a half way decent PCB designer (not just an art package though) for the Atari ST. I have an old version of CLA with bugs to drive you insane. Also it only prints to a dot matrix double size. I have a dot matrix but I would prefer to print it to my hp850 for better definition. Maybe you know of one or better still, hove one I could use. I am also looking out for information on a modular flat screen display. The kind I mean is the sort you just supply the voltage, send ascii to and it has it's own chips to drive the screen. I'm hoping to build my own upgrade of a sort of Alesis Datadisk with hard disk and screen display. The software is mostly done I'm just trying to get info on the hardware available." Albert Dayes of... oh, the heck with it... Albert Dayes tells Brendan: "I recall there was a program called PC Board Designer by Abacus Software for around $200. This was back in 1987 so I do not know the status of the product. There was another program but more logic oriented called CircuitMaker by a company in Utah. That company sent me a fly several months ago to annouce a windows version. You might contact Toad Computers and see if they have any suggestions for software." Richard Rives tells Brendan: "I don't know what version of CLA you have, but I think its beyond version 2.0. Look in the Hensa Libs for a later version." David James adds: "I recently read a magazine review about a program call Platon for PCB design. It requires a minimum of 2 meg, ST high-res and 12 meg of disk- space according to the review. It seems to support a large range of printers. The manufacturer is VHF softwarewho can be contacted on 00 49 7031 750190 from England. The program documentation is in German but all the screens are English. The price mentioned in the magazine was DM 490 to DM 980, don't know what the difference is." Henrik Zawischa asks: "Does anybody know a way to read Signum! files (*.sdo) on a PC, preferrably with WinWord? My Atari is not running any longer and I'd really like to get my texts restored." Albert Dayes tells Henrik: "Not that I know of. The two methods that work well for transfering files are ascii and RTF formats." Henrik tells Albert: "Hm, that does not help me, as I have only the Signum!-format files." Albert replies: "You might try to get someone else to perform the conversion or export to ascii on the Atari for you. That is probably the easiest method since I do not know of any word processing conversion program on the PC that supports Signum format." Carsten Baron tells Henrik to... "...buy an Atari-Emululator for your PC. It quite excellent. And about the clipboard you should convert it to WinWord." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Online Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. 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STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STR OnLine! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" September 06, 1996 Since 1987 Copyrightc1996 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1236
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