ST Report: 8-Nov-96 #1245From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/16/96-11:20:54 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 8-Nov-96 #1245 Date: Sat Nov 16 23:20:54 1996 Silicon Times Report The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) November 08, 1996 No.1245 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 11/08/96 STR 1245 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine! - CPU Industry Report - Corel Draw 7 Ships - Acrobat a Winner! - Comdex Fall'96 - WEB TV Backers - Net Links Lenders, IRS - Tracking Smart Cash - Net Election Nite - FCC Rejects Telsat Bid - WugNet Highlights - People Talking - Dana's Tidbits Apple "Clarifies" New OS Reports Lexmark Debuts Low-Cost Printer Samsung Develops 1GB DRAM Chip 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: 11/02/96: 6 of 6 numbers, 5 three number matches >From the Editor's Desk... The Elections are over and now.. One thing that's good news though Al "The Mouth" D'Amato has closed, dropped or, otherwise abandoned his "probe" (witch hunt) of the White thing. They ought to find a way to investigate this guy. there are some lurid stories back in Queens County NY everyone would love reading. Back to computing news.. Comdex Fall '96 is creeping up on us once again with a veritable guarantee that this year's edition is bringing plenty of information about the Universal Serial Bus and the goodies designed for its use. Then comes the new software and software updates. Hardware is a whole `nother story. The big news these days are "NCs" Net Computers. About that spectre.. The Net Computer Craze.. As I see it; It's days are already numbered. (As in 666) Who. in heaven's name would want their applications remotely run from a central point?? This is, in our opinion, a ludicrous concept in two major ways. First, it plays right into the sticky hands of "controls freaks" the world over. and second, is there any one of us who can say, without hesitation, that the telephone connections available to most of us are all that reliable. In a quick but very blunt summary, the Net Computer is for the birds. Its fairly obvious the market its intended for is, sad to say, the "techno bimbos" of this world. Once they realize they spent good money on a dead end "gimmick Internet device". they will more than make themselves heard. Its sad to see a number of reputable companies getting involved in the "Net Computer" "Grab Bag." More on this pending debacle next week. Ralph.... Of Special Note: http//www.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB/NewsGroup/FTP Site and although its in its early stages of construction, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. So, as of October 01,1995, you'll be able to download STReport directly from our very own SERVER & WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR list. 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 Beginner's Section R.F. Mariano J. Deegan Lloyd E. Pulley Gaming & Entertainment Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson 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 WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Apple 'Clarifies' New OS Reports After grabbing headlines around the world yesterday with talk that it would create a new operating system written from scratch, Apple Computer Inc. now says the world must have misunderstood the comments of Chairman/CEO Gilbert Amelio. As reported last week, Amelio was said to have told investors at the American Electronics Association conference in Monterey, California, the new operating system would leapfrog Microsoft Corp.'s competing family of Windows software and be available as early as 1998, adding, "When you are the minority player in the marketplace, as we are, you need something other than market share to distinguish yourself." However, in a "clarification" released last night from Cupertino, California, Apple headquarters said Amelio actually "spoke about the general future of operating systems," adding, "Contrary to the claims made in several media reports, he did not announce a new operating system strategy for Apple, nor make any new statements about microprocessor or product line direction." Apple says, "At no point did Dr. Amelio signal a change in direction for Apple's Mac OS strategy." Adds the statement, "Apple did not announce a new operating system strategy. Apple has stated that it will release incremental upgrades to the Mac OS and is in the process of finalizing its long term operating system strategy and will announce this by early 1997." Last week's reports quoted the Apple chief as indicating the company would abandon the overhaul of its Macintosh operating system, an effort code-named "Copland." However, the later statement said, "Technologies previously worked on in the Copland project will be integrated into future releases of the Mac OS. It is wrong to characterize Apple's current OS development efforts as 'starting from scratch.'" High-Speed ISDN Modem Unveiled Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. says it plans to offer a new high-speed ISDN modem this December. The company, based in Norcross, Georgia, notes that its ACCURA ISDN unit features a maximum data throughput of 460K bps. According to Hayes, the ACCURA ISDN supports up to six external analog devices for sending data, fax or voice transmissions over a single ISDN line, eliminating the need for redundant analog service. The product also offers Windows 95 Plug & Play support and a Windows-based configuration utility. "We're delivering a product for the '90s and beyond that will satisfy any ISDN user's need for speed, functionality and ease-of-use," says Bob Meara, Hayes' senior product manager for ISDN. Hayes Ships Speedy PC Card Modem Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. has announced the availability of the OPTIMA 336 for PCMCIA, its new 33.6K bps PC Card modem. The unit is priced at $249. The Norcross, Georgia, modem maker has also cut the price of its OPTIMA 288 for PCMCIA with EZjack and OPTIMA 288 for PCMCIA with standard cable connector from $289 to $249. Additionally, current OPTIMA 288 for PCMCIA users can download a 33.6K bps upgrade from Hayes Web site (www.hayes.com) free of charge. Pathfinder Personal Edition Opens Time Inc. New Media says its Pathfinder Personal Edition Web service is available now to all CompuServe members. The service will become available to other Internet users starting Monday, November 18. For non-CompuServe members, Pathfinder will charge a $4.95 monthly or $29.95 yearly subscription fee for Pathfinder Personal Edition. As part of an exclusive licensing agreement announced earlier this year between Time Inc. New Media and CompuServe Inc., members of CompuServe's three branded services -- Csi (formerly the CompuServe Information Service), WOW! and Sprynet -- will be able to access Pathfinder Personal Edition at no additional charge. Pathfinder Personal Edition is a continually updated personalized online news and information service. It is the only site on the Web that includes material from Time Inc.'s magazines -- including TIME, Money, Sports Illustrated, People, Entertainment Weekly and Fortune -- as well as The Netly News and more than 30 newsfeeds, including the Associated Press, Reuters, S&P Comstock and SportsTicker. Users can create their own online custom editions tailored to their individual interests, or select from a series of Pathfinder Editors' Editions, which are produced daily. These Editors' Editions focus on topics of special interest, including news, sports, money and business, entertainment, health and technology. "What sets Pathfinder Personal Edition apart from other web sites and online news services is leading edge technology combined with the world's best editing and reporting," says Paul Sagan, President and Editor of New Media at Time Inc. "When we created Pathfinder just over two years ago we set out to find innovative ways of bringing news and information to an audience on the Internet. The launch of Personal Edition is the next step, because it brings users a personalized view of the world enriched by Time Inc.'s first- rate journalism." "Today's announcement clearly illustrates the advantage to consumers of being part of a commercial online service like CompuServe," says Denny Matteucci, CompuServe's president of interactive services. "Not only will we pay the subscription fee for our members to take advantage of Pathfinder Personal Edition, but we are also making it available to all of our members first -- an exclusive value that no one else can match." GO PATHFINDER [via CompuServe] for more information on Pathfinder Personal Edition. Internet Explorer for Mac Tested A beta test version of its Internet Explorer Version 3.0 Internet browser for the Apple Macintosh has been released by Microsoft Corp. It is available for free over the Internet. Apple Vice President Heidi Roizen of the computer maker's developer relations department told the Reuter News Service, "Roughly one out of four Internet users accesses the Internet from a (Macintosh-based) computer." The new Mac IE, which will be issued in a final form by year's end, can be downloaded from Microsoft's World Wide Web site http://www.microsoft.com/ie/). Microsoft released Internet Explorer 3.0 for its Windows 95 operating system in August, and a version for the older Windows 3.x was finalized last month. An earlier version of the Internet browser for the Macintosh system was released in April. New Keyboard Developed Darwin Keyboards Ltd. has developed a new keyboard that aims to simplify both Web surfing and using PC software applications. The LaunchBoard is a customizable keyboard that hot-links 15 function and DOS keys to specific Web sites and applications. With the LaunchBoard, a single keystroke lets users check out favorite Web sites and start or switch between applications. "While most users have a long list of bookmarked Web sites, they typically visit only five or six on a regular basis. In addition, most computers are loaded with dozens of applications, but only a few are used every day," says Allan Lichtenberg, co-founder of Darwin Keyboards, which is based in San Francisco. "By putting these frequently-used Web Sites and applications directly on the LaunchBoard, users can organize their cluttered computing environments." Besides logoed LaunchKeys, the LaunchBoard includes generic keys for a wide range of categories. These keys include: Word Processor, Web Sites, Spreadsheet, E-mail, Internet Service Provider, Personal Information Manager, Fax Software, Graphics Program, Games and Financial Software. The $69.95 LaunchBoard comes in Win 3.1 and Win 95 versions. A software-only version, priced at $39.95, turns an existing keyboard into a LaunchBoard. Darwin Keyboards' Web site is located at www.darwinkeyboards.com. Gateway Offers Office 97 Upgrade Gateway 2000 Inc. has begun offering coupons for no-charge upgrades to Microsoft Office 97 Professional Edition on CD to customers who buy a portable or desktop computer package that includes Microsoft Office 95 Professional Edition. The upgrade will be sent to customers at no charge following Microsoft's release of Office 97 Professional Edition. Microsoft Office 97 Professional Edition will include a suite of Microsoft business applications, a streamlined user interface and tools for creating links to the Internet. "This powerful 32-bit application suite is particularly well suited to our Pentium Pro systems," says Rob Cheng, Gateway's vice president of marketing. Rockwell to Work on Modem An alliance to develop a 56-kilobit-per-second modem has been firmed by industrial conglomerate Rockwell International Corp. and Ascend Communications Inc. Reporting from Seal Beach, California, United Press International notes Rockwell and modem industry leader U.S. Robotics have recently announced plans to ship the new devices, which carry nearly twice as much data as the current top-of-the-line 28.8-kilobit modems, in January. Also, AT&T spinoff Lucent Technologies has announced it will release a chip- set designed to power a 56-kbps modem. In the Rockwell deal, Ascend promises it will be the first remote access vendor to deliver on the promise of providing 56K bps technology. Said Ascend President Mory Ejabat, "We believe this technology can open the door for a new generation of high-performance Internet and remote-access applications, so our goal is to provide the most robust implementation and the earliest deployment." UPI says the companies pledge the Ascend/Rockwell modem will include a single-step conversion process of the analog signal to a digital format, making the transmission clearer and faster than other proposed 56K bps products. Fujitsu Plans DVD-Driven PC The world's first personal computer with an internal digital video-disk -or DVD -- drive is being launched by Japan's Fujitsu Ltd. Reporting from Tokyo, the Dow Jones news service says the new desktop computer model is one of several new additions to Fujitsu's FMV Deskpower series. "All the models," says DJ, "feature Pentium microprocessors made by Intel Corp., running at speeds of 133- to 200-megahertz, and feature multimedia capabilities." DVD is a next-generation storage medium with a capacity of up to 14 times that of compact disks, and is expected to eventually replace videotape as well as CDs. Iomega Readies Notebook Zip Drive Iomega Corp. wants to place its popular Zip drive inside notebook computers. The Roy, Utah, company says it's working on a new, slimmer Zip model. The device will be 12.7 millimeters thick, allowing it to fit inside most notebook computers replacing the traditional 1.44MB floppy drive. The Zip drive stores up to 100MB of information. Iomega says the new drive will be available to notebook computer makers by the second half of 1997. Samsung Develops 1GB DRAM Chip Samsung Electronics Co. say it has developed the world's first one gigabit dynamic random access memory (1G DRAM) chip. The South Korean company notes that it invested approximately $272 million to develop the ultra-small device, capable of storing information equivalent to over 8,000 newspaper pages or 400 still pictures. The 1G DRAM will be commercially available in 2002, with full scale production in 2005, says Samsung. "As the first to successfully develop a fully working die of 1G DRAM, Samsung expects to maintain our leadership position in the world memory product market until early in the next century," says Y.W. Lee, president of Samsung Semiconductor. "1G DRAM will play a key role in future generations of personal computers, HDTV and multimedia products." Lexmark Debuts Low-Cost Printer Lexmark International Inc. has introduced a new sub-$200 color ink-jet printer. The Lexmark 2030 Color Jetprinter, provides a sleek, futuristic design and no buttons, since it is automatically activated and operated entirely through interactive on- screen Windows displays. The $199 unit also offers a 600 by 300 dpi and dual color and black ink cartridges. It prints at up to three pages a minute in black draft and up to one page a minute in draft color. "The 2030 Color Jetprinter is the easiest color inkjet printer in the world to use, making it ideal for student and home applications," says Matt Zimmer, Lexmark's worldwide manager for product strategy. "Students can print out everything from homework assignments to color reports to t-shirts and greeting cards in the comfort of their home or dorm room and avoid the common frustration of having to trek to school computer centers and battle for a printer." The Lexmark 2030 Color Jetprinter is slated to become generally available next week. Web TV Backed by Six Firms Oracle Corp.'s technology will be used by at least six major consumer electronics firms in their appliances for tapping into the Internet from the home. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Don Clark says licensees of Oracle's Network Computer design include Thomson Consumer Electronics, which said it will sell a $300 device under the RCA brand by the spring of 1997 that will plug into televisions to let consumers cruise the World Wide Web. Also, Funai Electric Co., a major Japanese VCR maker, said it will sell a $500 device by December that will work in homes or offices. Analyst Josh Bernoff at Forrester Research notes there is still skepticism about living- room access to the Internet, telling Clark that hurdle includes low resolution of television screens and relatively slow communications connections. "Even Lawrence Ellison, chairman of Oracle," says Clark, "has publicly questioned how many people will want to view Web pages on TV screens and has recently stressed the use of network computers in business." Nonetheless, firms are rushing in to the Web TV market. WebTV Networks Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., already has developed set-top boxes being marketed by Sony Corp. and Philips Electronics NV. Amd Diba Inc. of nearby Menlo Park also has announced agreements to sell Internet appliances. Clark says Oracle's Network Computer Inc. subsidiary is betting on two major trends. "The popularity of electronic mail could justify purchasing an inexpensive piece of hardware," he writes. "Also, service companies increasingly will broadcast personalized news and other information over the Internet, so consumers won't have to try to find their way around the Web." Other Oracle licensees include Akai Digital, of Japan, that said it will ship a $349 device in the first quarter of 1997; Acorn Computer Group PLC, of Britain, which is shipping devices in Europe for the home and office; and Uniden Corp., which plans to introduce in 1997 a wireless device for tapping into the Internet. And, Proton Industrial Electronic Co., of Malaysia, said it will sell a $499 set-top device in 1997's first half, the Journal reports. U.S. Robotics to Cut Jobs "A couple of hundred" jobs will be eliminated by modem market leader U.S. Robotics Corp., though the spokeswoman confirming that report yesterday declined to specify the exact number or what areas of the company would be affected. "In terms of actual elimination of positions, it's a couple of hundred of people," spokeswoman Karen Novak of Skokie, Illinois, company told the Reuter News Service. "It's a process of managing our growth." Novak said the company also is laying off people for performance reasons, but those positions could be refilled. U.S. Robotics employs about 6,000 people and Novak said the number losing their jobs will not reach 600. "It's not more than single digit (percent) of overall headcount," she said. Analysts note the number of job cuts will be small compared with the 3,000 new jobs created at the company during the past year. Site With Parole Info Criticized Privacy issues are arising in New Jersey over a new Internet site that is supposed to help the state's crime victims keep tabs on convicts coming up for parole, a simple list with names and sentences. Critics question whether it goes too far to bring online information about inmates trying to rehabilitate their lives. In Newark, Lenora Lapidus of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey told Associated Press writer David Wilkison, "There are concerns about the broad scope of the dissemination and the ease with which this information can be obtained." Still, says AP, the ACLU isn't expected to challenge the World Wide Web site (http://www.state.nj.us/parole) in court. "There is no apparent violation of inmates' constitutional rights -- the information is public and doesn't include an address or other personal information," says the wire service. Industry groups said they knew of no other states posting similar information on the Internet. Jim Turpin of the Lanham, Maryland-based American Correctional Association said, "The public has a right to know and be protected, but the person also has a right to rehabilitate his life. The question is, where do you draw that line? How do you balance that?" The state Parole Board created the site in May to provide victims, advocacy groups and anyone else with the inmate's name, crime and sentence, where he is being held and who sentenced him. German Firm Closed by Junk E-Mail An unusual increase in the amount of junk e-mail has brought a German online service to its knees. Reporting from Bonn, the Reuter News Service says customers of Deutsche Telekom's online service T-Online complained over the weekend of a blackout in the company's mail services. Some T-Online users said they had not been able to send or receive e-mail for the past three days. Says Reuters, "The increasing use of e-mail by a broad public has given rise to companies that offer to send unsolicited electronic advertising via e- mail to millions of unsuspecting Internet surfers. A highly improper activity in the world of Internet ethics, such 'spamming' of cybernauts is frowned upon. Corel Corporation Ships CorelDRAWT 7 ! For Immediate Release OTTAWA, Canada - November 4, 1996 - Corelr Corporation and its subsidiaries today began shipping CorelDRAWT 7 . Designed for Windowsr 95 and Windows NTT 4.0, the latest version of Corel's award-winning graphics package is feature-enriched and optimized for productivity, power and precision. The three main applications - CorelDRAWT, Corel PHOTO-PAINTT and CorelDREAM 3D - all rank in the top of their categories and together make a complete graphics solution. CorelDRAW 7 carries a suggested list price of $695 US, with an upgrade price of $249 US for users of any version of CorelDRAW from either the Windows or Macintosh platform. Corel VENTURAT and Corelr Office Professional 7 users will also be able to take advantage of this upgrade price. "The graphics package that everyone has been anticipating is now shipping - and right on time," said Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive officer of Corel Corporation. "Beta testers have heaped praise on CorelDRAW 7 for months and now its everyone's chance to get a first hand look." "By creating a revolutionary user interface that provides intuitive access to unparalleled power, along with improved memory handling and faster file open, save, import and redraw, the development team has produced an elite package for any discerning graphic designer," added Dr. Cowpland. "I'm normally one to be a bit cautious with any new software release, but CorelDRAW 7 is different. By the fourth beta, I had already removed CorelDRAW 6 from my system - that's how stable and robust I have found the new release to be," said Rick Altman, host of the International CorelDRAW User Conference and editor-at-large for Corel Magazine. "I created a blueprint of our conference ballrooms - 20 feet by 60 feet - and did the whole thing in about one hour, all the way down to the 1 centimeter pin configurations of our video cables. Screen redraw and general performance was to die for." Corel Corporation Incorporated in 1985, Corel Corporation is recognized internationally as an award-winning developer and marketer of productivity applications, graphics and multimedia software. Corel's product line includes CorelDRAWT, Corelr WordPerfectr Suite 7, Corelr Office Professional, CorelCADT, CorelVIDEOT and over 30 multimedia software titles. Corel's products run on most operating systems, including: Windows, Macintoshr, UNIX, MS-DOS and OS/2 and are consistently rated among the strongest in the industry. The company ships its products in over 17 languages through a network of more than 160 distributors in 70 countries world-wide. Corel is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: COS) and on NASDAQ-National Market System (symbol:COSFF). For more information visit Corel's home page on the Internet at http://www.corel.com. Corel and WordPerfect are registered trademarks and CorelDRAW, CorelVIDEO, Corel VENTURA and CorelCAD are trademarks of Corel Corporation or Corel Corporation Limited. All products mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. COMDEX DIRCTORY STR Infofile S&S Public Relations Listing To: Comdex Attendees From: Melissa Rabin/Lauren Finkelman S&S Public Relations, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org Fall Comdex is fast approaching once again, and S&S is working to bring you some of the hottest product introductions at the show! We've enclosed summaries from a variety of our clients that highlight what they have in store for you. We look forward to seeing you in Vegas! COMDEX FALL'96 LAS VEGAS Alphabetical Listings ADI Systems, Inc. Booth L216 (LVCC) Best Data Products Booth S4073 (Sands Convention Center) DriveSavers, Inc. Booth S5741 (Sands Convention Center) Guillemot International Booth S2681 (Sands Convention Center) Logicraft Information Systems, Inc Booth M6445 (Sands Convention Center) MIDI Land, Inc. Booth S3650 (Sands Convention Center) NetPhonic Communications Booth H265 (Hilton) PictureTalk, Inc Booth P5336 (Internet Innovators Pavilion) Raritan Computer, Inc. Booth L5000 (LVCC) Sejin America Booth S4447 (Sands Convention Center) Convention Center Listings Las Vegas Convention Center ADI Systems, Inc. Booth L216 Raritan Computer, Inc. Booth L5000 Sands Convention Center Best Data Products Booth S4073 DriveSavers, Inc. Booth S5741 Guillemot International Booth S2681 Logicraft Information Systems, Inc. Booth M6445 MIDI Land, Inc. Booth M3650 Sejin America Booth S4447 Hilton NetPhonic Communications Booth H265 Internet Innovators Pavilion (located across from the LVCC and Hilton) PictureTalk, Inc. Booth P5336 Product Category Listings Hardware ADI Systems, Inc. Booth L216 (LVCC) Best Data Products Booth S4073 (Sands Convention Center) DriveSavers, Inc. Booth S5741 (Sands Convention Center) Guillemot International Booth S2681 (Sands Convention Center) Raritan Computer, Inc. Booth L5000 (LVCC) Software Guillemot International Booth S2681 (Sands Convention Center) Logicraft Information Systems, Inc. Booth M6445 (Sands Convention Center) NetPhonic Communications Booth H265 (Hilton) PictureTalk, Inc Booth P5336 (Internet Innovators Pavilion) Multimedia ADI Systems, Inc. Booth L216 (LVCC) Best Data Products Booth S4073 (Sands Convention Center) Guillemot International Booth S2681 (Sands Convention Center) Peripherals ADI Systems, Inc. Booth L216 (LVCC) Best Data Products Booth S4073 (Sands Convention Center) MIDI Land, Inc. Booth S3650 (Sands Convention Center) Raritan Computer, Inc. Booth L5000 (LVCC) Sejin America Booth S4447 (Sands Convention Center) ADI Systems, Inc. Booth L216 (Las Vegas Convention Center) ADI Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of Taiwan-based ADI Corporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of display monitors and terminals. Last year, ADI introduced the exciting MicroScan 17X, a unique 17-inch pivoting monitor that allows users to pivot the monitor between portrait and landscape mode to view documents full screen. This year ADI will introduce another innovative monitor, the Duo. DUO is a new, space age looking 17-inch multimedia monitor that looks as good as it performs. The DUO is the first multimedia monitor for the PC that offers a built-in surround sound system. It's ultra-high resolution features a VESA display of 1024x768 at an exceptional 85 Hz. And, the DUO comes with a matching Windows 95 keyboard and mouse as well as changeable color giving the monitor an overall look of art for the desktop. Best Data Products Booth S4073 (Sands Convention Center) Best Data Products is unveiling their new Smart One Personal Video Conferencing Kit, a 33.6 Kbps modem with video conferencing software and a video camera -- the Smart One Digital Color Camera, video conferencing software and a camera -- the Smart One TA-128, a new ISDN terminal adapter -- and a variety of other products, including new 56Kbps modems, that are sold under the company's Smart One brand name. The Smart One Personal Video Conferencing Kit includes all of the hardware and software needed to transform a Windows PC into a total desktop video-conferencing workstation. The kit provides affordable, color video conferencing for the small office/home office, small business, and today's scattered families. At only $299, the kit is within the budget of virtually all computer owners. The kit includes the Smart One Digital Color Camera, a full 24-bit digital color video camera that plugs right into the parallel port of a personal computer; the Smart One 336SP, a Plug-N-Play Internal Data/Fax/Voice Speakerphone modem; microphone; all necessary hardware; and a comprehensive suite of video and communications software including H.324 compatible video conferencing, multimedia photo, and movie creation software The Smart One Digital Color Camera is a full 24-bit digital color video camera that plugs right into the parallel port of a personal computer. At $199 MSRP including software, the Smart One Camera is the most affordable color digital camera available. The Smart One Digital Color Camera installs easily through the parallel port of the computer, without any special hardware and is bundled with H.324 compatible video conferencing, multimedia photo and movie creation software. The TA128 ISDN Terminal Adapter is a full-featured, low cost TA128 is ideal for web surfers and Internet professionals seeking to take advantage of ISDN capability at an affordable ($195 MSRP) price. Bundled with the TA128 is a comprehensive suite of Internet, Communications, Mail, videoconferencing, and utility software that allows buyers to fully capitalize on the power of the ISDN terminal adapter. The TA128 is compatible with standard BRI ISDN lines, which provide two 64 Kbps "B" channels. The sophisticated software included with the TA128 enables users to assign each channel to be used separately, or to be combined to achieve 128 Kbps throughput with multi-link PPP. The TA128 includes V.42 compression to permit even faster data transmission up to 512Kbps! DriveSavers, Inc Booth S5741 (Sands Convention Center) Come see the company known as the "super heroes" of the digital world! DriveSavers, the data recovery experts, is the "ER" for damaged and battered computers. DriveSavers has had extraordinary successes in recovering data from drives which have been burnt, crushed, smashed and drowned. You can see the entire "Museum of Disk-asters" showcasing the blackened, charred, mangled and barely recognizable remains of computers from which they have retrieved data. You can also see the Gallery of Famous Celebrities who were rescued by DriveSavers! DriveSavers is an extremely reputable company who can recover data from all major operating systems oftentimes within 24 to 48 hours!!! This is a great opportunity to meet the DriveSavers engineers and to see the computers they've brought back from the dead! For the more technically-oriented, DriveSavers will be introducing revolutionary, new MicroTrac data recovery processes that can be used to recover information from 50 and 100 gig drives. As drives become smaller in physical size and larger in capacity, the new magneto resistive heads are reading information off of more dense track patterns. These 50 and 100 gig drives have extremely tight density patterns which makes the data more difficult to retrieve should anything happen to disable the drive. DriveSavers has been developing and perfecting a whole new set of skills/specialized proprietary tools and techniques to recover data from these massive hard drives. DriveSavers engineers will be available to answer questions about this cutting-edge technology! Guillemot International Booth S2681 (Sands Convention Center) Guillemot International is debuting the latest generation of sound cards that will turn computers into home theaters and computer users into sound engineers. The two cards, the MAXI Sound 64 and the MAXI Sound 64 Home Studio, provide the latest PC sound technology for gamers, desktop musicians and recording artists. Both the MAXI Sound 64 and MAXI Sound 64 Home Studio provide wavetable synthesis with 64 voice polyphony. 425 actual instrument and 128 MIDI sounds are stored in the 4 MB ROM along with 97 variation sounds and 200 drum sounds for the highest quality sound generation available from any sound card today. Listeners may adjust the effective position of the quadraphonic sound in all directions to obtain the ultimate "3D" effect from the 4-channel surround sound. Also being shown in the Guillemot International booth are a variety of titles from Ubi Soft Entertainment including: Ubi Soft's POD is blazing new trails with Intel's MMX technology. The new sci-fi racing game for PC CD-ROM incorporates Intel's ground breaking new MMX technology and sets a new standard for speed, responsiveness and on-line multi-player gaming possibilities. Featuring trailblazing graphics and special effects, customizable cars and the option to link up to eight simultaneous players over the Internet, or intranet, POD is one of the first games developed with the new Intel protocol. One key benefit of the MMX technology is the ability to eliminate system sluggishness when a multitude of variables are on screen, offering faster game action than ever possible before. The use of MMX technology also allows the game's real-time, 3D- generated images to achieve unparalleled acceleration in graphics, video, picture processing and sound. The results include skid marks that remain after you make them, clouds that cast shadows on the ground and "smoking" tires from skids and fast turns. The skies change according to the weather and time of day, and the skies, vehicles and buildings all look as other- worldly as if they came straight out of science fiction. Come by to get the inside scoop on why POD and MMX Technology are driving the future of gaming! Knowledge is power--even for a super hero! That's what kids will find in Amazing Learning Games with Rayman as they take on the role of Rayman, a lovable goofball who must read, count and spell as he battles his way through mind bending landscapes on his way to rescue the Magic Book of Knowledge from the evil Mr. Dark. This new PC CD-ROM for ages 6 to 10 marries the wacky world of the blockbuster action/adventure game Rayman with 1,800 math and grammar exercises that are seamlessly woven into the game play. The program offers such exciting challenges, involving adventures and intense action that children hardly even realize that they're learning as they play. Get ready to rock and roll with Classic Rock Guitar, Volume 1, a dynamic CD- ROM guitar instruction program that teaches intermediate playing skills through songs by all-time rock greats like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Designed to give guitarists the individual instruction they need to move past basic playing and onto a performance level, the program features eight classic songs that went either platinum or gold, including "Hey Joe", "Dust In The Wind", "Blackbird", "Sweet Home Alabama", "Wild World", "Life By The Drop", "Blowin' In The Wind" and "No Woman No Cry." Logicraft Information Systems, Inc. Booth M6445 (Sands Convention Center) Logicraft is a worldwide developer, integrator, and manufacturer of complete CD-ROM networking and optical storage management solutions for the DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows NT and Mac environments. Logicraft will be exhibiting a number of new technologies, including: CDexecutive 2.0 (exhibited in NSM Booth S4567 Sands Convention Center) is an advanced CD-ROM networking software that enables shared CD-ROM access from Windows NT servers. This re-engineered version enables information and system administrators to group individual platters or collections of CD-ROMs as consolidated file shares under a single drive letter on Windows NT servers, over-coming the 26-drive letter limitation and greatly expanding the sharing capability of NT. The version also adds jukebox support to permit sharing of a virtually unlimited number of CD-ROMs, has the ability to run CD-ROM volumes off SCSI hard drives for faster data access, shares CD-ROM applications over mixed networks and includes other new features that expand on the cataloging and automating volume swapping offered in the original release. In addition, the product adds NFS support for UNIX clients. CD-hfs for NT (exhibited in the Microsoft Pavilion Booth V1 LVCC) is the first third party file system supported by Microsoft to provide the Macintosh user with the ability to access native HFS and ISSO 9660 apple extended CD-ROMs via Windows NT servers. Inherent in the design of the product is the ability to coexist with Microsoft's standard CDFS file system. It allows PC and Mac users to share CD-ROM databases each in their own native format without any hardware modifications or configuration hassles. CDcentral (exhibited in the Microsoft Pavilion Booth V1 LVCC) is a remote access solution for Logicraft's LanCD networking software that enables remote users to access centralized CD-ROM applications from any desktop. The product consists of LanCD servers networked to WinFrame servers running Citrix WinFrame remote control software and LanCD's WinFrame client software. The remote user connects to the central system via modem, low speed WAN or over the Internet to access a desired CD-ROM application. CDcentral enables organizations to consolidate CD-ROM resources from several divisions into one central CD-ROM library. Virtual CD-ROM (exhibited in the Logicraft Booth M6445 Sands Convention Center) is an innovative CD-ROM emulation software product that makes it possible to run any Window 3.1, Windows 95 or Windows NT CD-ROM application directly off a hard disk, even without a CD-ROM drive. Virtual CD-ROM enables users to build identical images of CD-ROMs into hard disks and subsequently access these "virtual CD-ROMs" to run their applications. The product is ideal for laptop and notebook users who want the ability to take essential CD-ROM applications on the road without a CD-ROM drive. It allows users to run multiple CD-ROMs of their local hard drive as well as to access applications up to 3 times faster than from a 4X CD-ROM drive. MIDI Land, Inc., Booth S3650 (Sands Convention Center) MIDI Land, Inc. is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of high- performance multimedia speakers, microphones, headphones and other accessories. MIDI Land, Inc. will introduce a new three-way multimedia speaker system that provides a truly exceptional listening experience. Utilizing QSOUND to deliver dynamic multidimensional audio, 55 watts of output power, and a separate tweeter, midrange and woofer, the new speaker system, Mli-370Q, provides outstanding sound quality. The QSOUND Virtual Audio circuitry processes the sound, removing the artificial restrictions normally associated with two speakers. QSOUND dynamically expands the listener's perception, immersing the listener in a realistic totally three-dimensional environment. MIDI Land will also debut the Mli-S25 Plus, a new multimedia satellite speaker system that provides an extra-wide frequency response and stunning sound from two full-range stereo satellite speakers and an extended-base subwoofer. The impressive solid bass is enhanced by ducted dual air ports in the subwoofer enclosure. Mli-S25 Plus provides 18 watts of power from the satellites and a full 25 watts form the sub-woofer for 43 watts of total output power. Magnetic shielding in the satellite speakers protects computers, disk drives, and monitors from electromagnetic interference, allowing the speakers to be mounted anywhere without concern. NetPhonic Communications Booth H265 (Hilton) NetPhonic Communications' Web-On-Call Voice Browser opens the Web to phones (even cellular phones) and fax machines and allows access to internal and external Web sites by anyone, anytime, WITHOUT a computer! Installed on a Web server, Web-On-Call reads Web pages over the phone and provides several document retrieval options including fax and e-mail, giving callers up-to-the-minute information access. With Web-On-Call, web servers become the common delivery platform for all information fulfillment needs, including IVR (Interactive Voice Response), web browsing, and faxback. Web-On-Call Voice Browser is the only software that joins Internet and telephony networks to provide universal access to information residing on Web sites. All you need to access a Web-On-Call site is to make a simple telephone call from a touch-tone phone, cellular phone or a fax machine. Currently available for the Sun Microsystems SPARC computers, at Comdex NetPhonic will be announcing the SGI and Windows NT versions of Web-On-Call. PictureTalk, Inc Booth P5336 (Internet Innovators Pavilion) PictureTalk , Inc. is dedicated to providing practical, affordable software to improve the way people communicate. PictureTalk software allows a user on a PC or Macintosh to present whatever is on his or her desktop to other users on PCs or Macintoshes over the Internet or corporate Intranets. The software conveys desktop imagery in real time, continuously adapting compression rates and transcoding algorithms to suit the performance of each system and the network. PictureTalk software offers a convenient way to provide lossless imagery of any desktop data--text documents, graphics, slides, animation--to other users on TCP/IP networks in real-time. PictureTalk will make significant announcements at the show including: A JAVA client--which expands supported PictureTalk client platforms to include NCs (such as JavaStation), Unix WorkStations (thru X11-Windows support), game stations, PDAs, set top boxes, etc. The JAVA client adds to PictureTalk's position of supporting the broadest array of end-point devices with the most flexible, cross-platform communication solution in the industry. The new PictureTalk 1.3 version release adds meeting moderator controls for better management, scalability and security for very large meetings such as corporate broadcasts, training, and events. It allows for control using a multi-tiered set of passwords so the user can present, chat, point or see other profiles. The 1.3 version also adds audit trail capabilities for better resource management. The Server-Server Software will allow the PictureTalk software to uniquely scale to thousands of users by providing intelligent servers within corporate network infrastructures that can assist in communication. (PictureTalk will provide additional information on Server-Server at the show.) Raritan Computer, Inc. Booth L5000 (LVCC) Raritan Computer, Inc., founded in 1985, designs, manufacturers and distributes high quality KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switch and related products that provide connectivity and central control of multiple computer systems. Raritan will be unveiling the following products at Comdex: CompuSwitch provides low-cost, reliable control of up to 4 PCs, any combination of PS/2 and AT systems, from a single keyboard, monitor and mouse. CompuSwitch uses Raritan's proprietary emulation technology, which dedicates individual keyboard and mouse emulators to each PC. Every connected PC "sees" its own keyboard and mouse all the time to preserve flawless system booting and operation. CompuSwitch allows small to medium-sized businesses to manage their network servers, internet servers, multiple workstations, bulletin board system, and computer test benches. MasterView is an on-screen menu that simplifies the identification of the multiple computers managed under the company's MasterConsole KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) switch. MasterView is an add-on hardware that allows users to assign identifying names to each computer connected to the MasterConsole and then to select the computer to be worked with from a pop-up menu on the controlling monitor. Previously, connected computers could only be identified by a number with a digital LED display that appeared on the MasterConsole front panel. MasterConsole is a high-end KVM switch that control any mix of two to 64 PCs, Macs, and Suns from one keyboard, monitor and mouse. Sejin America Booth S4447 (Sands Convention Center) Sejin America, a leading worldwide supplier of keyboards, mice, and keyswitches, is announcing the FreeBoard Beamer, their latest plug-and-play wireless keyboard for Windows 95. The new keyboard emits a broad infrared beam to the front and both sides to ensure reliable operation no matter what direction the keyboard is facing. Designed for extra-comfortable use both on desktops and in the lap, the keyboard is ideal for normal keyboarding, business presentations, SOHO, PC/TV, training and education. The keyboard utilizes Sejin's FreeBoard technology for reliable, error-free operation and long battery life. The embedded numeric key pad, inverted-T cursor arrows, separate insert and delete keys, and 12 function keys provide a full 104 key functions with only eighty-six full-sized keys, saving valuable space. The keyboard also provides a trackball and associated mouse-click buttons. The carefully "human engineered" keyboard design maximizes productivity by minimizing operator fatigue and discomfort. Palm rests under the trackball and mouse-click buttons allow the user's hands to be fully relaxed when "mousing," whether the keyboard is on the desktop or in the lap. The FreeBoard technology offers "fool-proof" operation when the keyboard is moved and even momentarily blocked during operation. The FreeBoard protocol ensures that no character can be omitted or unintentionally repeated when the infrared signal is blocked and prevents freeze ups or loss of synchronization with the system. Great for surfing the web at home on the sofa or playing games from the comfort of your favorite chair in your living room -- the keyboard uses state-of-the-art infrared technology, operates as well as standard cabled keyboards and mice and opens up the world of computing to a whole new "wireless" world. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format Requirements for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 7.0.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at eleven points. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmickery" z No underlining! z Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, column format in Word 6-7 Do NOT use the space bar. z No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z Please use a single font only in an article. TTF CG Times 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. 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 Acrobat a Winner STR Focus Adobe Acrobat Reader Software Passes the 10 Million Mark Customer Downloads From Adobe Web Site Exceeding 20,000 a Day SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) announced today that its Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Reader software has exceeded distribution of 10 million copies worldwide as the result of strong demand on the World Wide Web. Bundled with products from leading industry vendors including Apple Computer, Inc., CompuServe, IBM, Lotus Development Corp., Netcom On-Line Communications Services Inc., Silicon Graphics, Inc., and Sun Microsystems Inc., Adobe Acrobat Reader software is widely used by businesses to easily and effectively distribute documents electronically. Vendors bundling Acrobat Reader join the increasing number of companies using Acrobat software to deliver final form electronic documents on the Internet, corporate networks, CD-ROM and other digital media. On the World Wide Web alone, the growing popularity of Acrobat software has resulted in excess of 20,000 downloads a day of Acrobat Reader from AdobeUs Web site. Acrobat software can help customers save time and money by enabling them to quickly and efficiently share documents over the World Wide Web, corporate Intranets, CD-ROM, e-mail and other media, without having to learn new authoring tools or reauthor existing information into other formats. Through support of the Netscape(TM) Plug-In API and Microsoft(R) ActiveX(TM) controls, Acrobat Reader 3.0 provides seamless integration with popular Web browsers, enabling customers to access and view PDF files directly within their browser window. "Using Adobe Acrobat to publish our publicly available financial documents on the Internet has reduced the document delivery process from days to minutes. We can do this with virtually no cost of reauthoring to deliver documents in a globally accepted format, PDF," said Gregory Smith, director of Corporate Finance and Systems at Sallie Mae. "We have improved the quality of our service by making these documents available almost immediately to anyone on the Internet, anywhere in the world. In addition, we are reducing the time and money spent responding to inquiries and mailing documents around the country and the world." "Acrobat is the only solution that allows Fidelity to electronically deliver documents that retain the look and feel of our printed materials which extends our brand awareness and recognition on the Internet," said John Noble, senior marketing manager, Fidelity Investments Electronic Channel Development Group. "Acrobat documents are as robust as paper delivery, but offer a substantial cost advantage in areas like printing, storage and mailing costs with electronic distribution versus traditional media." Acrobat Reader software allows customers to view, navigate and print electronic documents in the Portable Document Format (PDF), an open file format that preserves the fidelity of documents across all major computer platforms and printers. Supporting Windows(R) 3.1, Windows NT(R) and Windows 95, Macintosh(R), SunOS,(TM) Sun(TM) Solaris(R), HP-UX, Silicon Graphics(R) IRIX(TM), AIX(R), OS/2(R), LINUX and MS-DOS(R) systems, Acrobat Reader is widely available for free through the Internet or bundled with products and services from a variety of software and hardware vendors. Based in San Jose, Calif., Adobe Systems Incorporated develops and supports products to help people express and use information in more imaginative and meaningful ways, across all print and electronic media. Founded in 1982, Adobe helped launch the desktop publishing revolution. Today, the company offers a market-leading line of application software and type products for creating and distributing visually rich communication materials; licenses its industry-standard technologies to major hardware manufacturers, software developers, and service providers; and offers integrated software solutions to businesses of all sizes. For more information, see AdobeUs home page at http://www.adobe.com on the World Wide Web. NOTE: Adobe and Acrobat are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. ActiveX and Windows NT are trademarks and MS-DOS, Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft in the U.S. and other countries. Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. Sun and SunOS are trademarks and Solaris is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. IRIX is a trademark and Silicon Graphics is a registered trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc. AIX and OS/2 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the best yet. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (please, allow at least a two week turn-around). If you would like a sample 8+x11 printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and offer superb quality and originality. We obtained a copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S ADVERTISING YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (covers expenses only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; RFM. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents "Another Global Gorilla": BT To Buy MCI Apple Targets New Price Cuts At Business Users New System Links Lenders, IRS Tracking Smart Cash Western Governors University: "Same Impact As GI Bill" DoubleClick Is Watching Young Adults See The Net As Passthrough FCC Rejects Telesat Bid Will Surfing Cure Children Of Excessive Attention Spans? Court Says AOL Has Right To Restrict Unsolicited E-Mail Apple Says It's Sticking With Mac OS And PowerPC Surge In Online Users Predicted IBM, Intel Team Up On High Power NCs NUMA Boasts "Quantum" Performance Compaq Counts Your Options Campus Computer Leasing Gains In Popularity Oracle Sees Its Developer/2000 As Key To NC Success Scottish Courts Tackle Hyperlink Issue Apple Operating System Set For A Makeover Internet On Election Night Tera Technology Challenges Supercomputer Industry Computer Crackers Adopt New Strategy For Break-Ins Judge Stops N.Y. From Letting Fox Use City Cable Station Alarm Guard For Laptops "ANOTHER GLOBAL GORILLA": BT TO BUY MCI British Telecommunications is about to buy MCI Communications for as much as $21 billion. The combined companies will have an annual revenue of $35 billion and operations in 70 countries. Industry analyst Gary Miller says: "You really only have had one internationally recognized global player and that's been AT&T. Now you have another global gorilla." MCI will continue to operate under its present name. (Washington Post 2 Nov 96) APPLE TARGETS NEW PRICE CUTS AT BUSINESS USERS For the second time in two weeks, Apple Computer has cut prices on one of its major product lines, announcing reductions of between 9% and 30% on its Power Macintosh business machines. Last month, Apple slashed prices by 20% on some of its home-oriented Performa computers. The new prices will make the Apple products more competitive with those based on the Wintel architecture. "Apple is getting a little more realistic with its prices," says an International Data Corp. analyst. (Wall Street Journal 1 Nov 96 B3) Meanwhile, the operating system that Apple is targeting for a 1998 release will run on a variety of chips and will be far less complex than its current systems. Chairman Gil Amelio says the new OS will run some older applications but will have a totally new core of software code. (Investor's Business Daily 1 Nov 96 A6) NEW SYSTEM LINKS LENDERS, IRS The Internal Revenue Service is developing an electronic program to link mortgage lenders with the IRS, allowing them to exchange e-mail comparing stated earnings on the mortgage application with actual tax return information for the previous couple of years. If the cross-check turns up a more than $10,000 discrepancy between the earnings claimed on the application and those declared for tax purposes, the IRS has the option of pursuing the loan applicant via an audit. IRS has targeted the system at self-employed borrowers, who often declare high earnings in order to qualify for a larger loan, but lower earnings when it comes to paying taxes. "Who knows what their real incomes are?" asks one mortgage broker. (St. Petersburg Times 2 Nov 96 D5) TRACKING SMART CASH A senior Justice Department official has urged makers of smart carts to include a mechanism for tracking transactions over a certain dollar amount. Assistant Attorney General Robert Litt also called for "sensible limits" on how much value can be stored or transferred on a single card or PC. The government hopes it can Work with industry without stifling smart card development, and without compromising individual rights. "We don't want to dictate how these features are designed, but there are certain reasonable parameters that industry should build into their systems," says Litt. (BNA Daily Report for Executives 29 Oct 96 A24) WESTERN GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY: "SAME IMPACT AS GI BILL" Educom Vice President Carol Twigg says that "the impact of the Western Governors University is being compared to the impact of the GI Bill after World War II. The ideas being advanced are having that kind of impact on traditional universities." Western Governors University is a "virtual university" project formed by a coalition of thirteen states in the West. The leaders of the effort have been Governors Roy Rohmer of Colorado and Mike Leavitt of Utah. (Chicago Tribune 28 Oct 96) DOUBLECLICK IS WATCHING New York-based DoubleClick enables advertisers to target their sales efforts very narrowly, based on information derived from Web surfers who visit the 60-some sites participating in DoubleClick's venture, including Quicken, Travelocity, Virtual Comics and Books That Work. To do this, DoubleClick exploits "cookie" technology -- a file created each time an Internet user visits a Web site. If that Web site is one of DoubleClick's affiliates, the cookie also contains an ID used to create certain profiles, which can then be used for marketing other products. In the future, DoubleClick anticipates taking this technology a step further by offering cross- matching services that could identify, say, visitors to an opera page who've also visited a hi-fi page, providing a great marketing list for a seller of a surround sound CD of "The Magic Flute." It also envisions a time when its information would be used to filter out advertising banners for Web visitors who don't opt to click on them after three or so visits. "After the thirdtime you're wasting your money," says DoubleClick's cofounder. "It's banner burnout." (Forbes 4 Nov 96 p342) YOUNG ADULTS SEE THE NET AS PASSTHROUGH A recent Forrester Research report estimates that there are 5 million Internet users in the 18- to 24-year-old range, logging on primarily to exchange e-mail, surf the Web and do school work. Of least interest to this age group are online banking, news gathering, and Web-site building. The report notes that young adults "lack the zeal" of older Internet users and warns that this demographic group could become quickly bored with online activities: "As soon as the hoi polloi arrive online, cutting-edge young adults will flee in search of the next big thing." (Chronicle of Higher Education 1 Nov 96 A25) FCC REJECTS TELESAT BID The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has rejected a $1.2-billion bid by Telesat Canada and American partners to use satellites in Canadian orbital slots to relay broadcast signals to both countries. Telesat 's president says the FCC move will not deter Telesat from bringing direct-to- home TV to Canada. (Toronto Globe & Mail 30 Oct 96 B6) WILL SURFING CURE CHILDREN OF EXCESSIVE ATTENTION SPANS? Yale computer scientist and author David Gelerntner says "it is ludicrous to suppose that Internet access will fix or even address" the main problems of education. "Everyone knows what you do with the Web: You surf, sliding from site to site at the click of a mouse button. Exactly which problem will Web-surfing attack? Our children's insufficient shallowness? Excessive attention spans? Unhealthy fixation on in-depth analysis? Stubborn unwillingness to push on to the next topic until they mastered the last? We need less surfing in the schools, not more. The Web is a great source of pictures -- are we trying to cure our children of excessive interest in the written word? Depraved indifference to glitz and snazzy graphics?" (Weekly Standard 4 Nov 96 p14) COURT SAYS AOL HAS RIGHT TO RESTRICT UNSOLICITED E-MAIL A federal district judge in Philadephia has ruled that America Online may block mass marketing firms from sending unsolicited mail to AOL subscribers. Rejecting arguments that America Online is a public forum, Judge Charles R. Weiner said that mass mailer Cyber Promotions Inc. "has no right under the First Amendment" to reach AOL subscribers with e-mail advertisements sent over the Internet. An America Online attorney says the ruling that AOL is not a public forum means that the company may enforce its own restrictions on speech and behavior when people are communicating over its computer network. (Washington Post 5 Nov 96 C01) APPLE SAYS IT IS STICKING WITH MAC OS AND POWER PC Apple says that some informal "general statements" made by CEO Gil Amelio "about what an operating system in 1998 should have" were misunderstood by observers who incorrectly concluded that the company as abandoning the Macintosh operating system in favor of a new operating system. Not true, says Apple -- which has been fighting hard to fight misperceptions by the media and "industry observers." (The company gained $25 million in the last quarter even though Wall Street had predicted a loss of $37 million.) An Apple spokesman said: "We are not abandoning the Mac OS and we remain committed to the PowerPC platform." (Computerworld 4 Nov 96 p2) SURGE IN ONLINE USERS PREDICTED A new study by Inteco Corp. predicts that 13.5 million new households will sign up for online services within the next year, with 42% of those households still needing to buy their first computer. The poll of 2,660 households also yielded a surprise finding -- online usage among households with income above $25,000 has declined, from 9.8 million earlier five months ago, to 8.7 million now. The total number of online households in the U.S. is pegged at 15.2 million. (Investor's Business Daily 4 Nov 96 A6) IBM, INTEL TEAM UP ON HIGH POWER NCs IBM and Intel are working to put their own spin on the network computer concept, claiming that their Advanced Manageability Alliance will produce low-cost computers that can link users in companies to corporate networks. At the same time, IBM and Intel stress that their brand of NC will be no less powerful than today's PCs -- still allowing users to store data on hard drives, load software and perform a variety of individual functions. (St. Petersburg Times 4 Nov 96 p15) NUMA BOASTS "QUANTUM" PERFORMANCE Sequent Computer Systems' new NUMA-based computers can crunch numbers at six times the speed of Sequent's current generation of machines, says the company's CEO. NUMA (nonuniform memory access) technology enables microprocessors to access memory much faster than other approaches that link numerous microprocessors, such as massively parallel processing. One result is that Sequent's NUMA machine can combine up to 252 Pentium Pro processors, whereas most high-end multiple processor computers cobble together only 16 to 30 microprocessors. The Sequent machines initially will be priced around $250,000 -- far less than the mainframes that they could replace. An information services manager at Unocal describes the new machines' performance as "quantum... phenomenal." (Wall Street Journal 4 Nov 96 B6) COMPAQ COUNTS YOUR OPTIONS A key component of Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer's strategy when he took over the company in 1991 was to make the most of its "options" business -- peripherals such as the 17-inch monitors that many computer users are now demanding, as well as networking cards and modems. The strategy has enabled Compaq to keep its profits up in a business where the margins on PCs have shrunk to bare bones minimums. Profits on peripherals are roughly double those of basic PCs. "We're an options company attached to a computer company," says the head of Compaq's commercial PC options division, which boasts its own engineering, marketing and manufacturing staff. (Forbes 4 Nov 96 p352) CAMPUS COMPUTER LEASING GAINS IN POPULARITY As colleges and universities attempt to cope with the short life-span of "state-of-the-art" technology before it's ruled hopelessly obsolete by students and professors, some are turning to computer leasing as a way to stay current while being flexible with respect to changing technology needs. "Institutions are realizing that technology changes so fast that leasing may be a tool to manage that change," says a computer administrator at UNC-Chapel Hill. While businesses have exploited the advantages of operating leases for years, enabling them to write off the payments as business expenses, many educational institutions prefer "capital leases," where the equipment is financed at much lower interest rates and then acquired at the end for practically nothing. (Chronicle of Higher Education 8 Nov 96 A23) ORACLE SEES ITS DEVELOPER/2000 AS KEY TO NC SUCCESS Oracle has developed a new software tool to stimulate sales of its low-cost network computers. Developer/2000 for the Web is designed to perform the difficult task of converting companies' existing software into Java code automatically -- a feature that industry experts say could have a big impact on the popularity of NCs. "If it's true, it's fascinating," says an analyst at Summit Strategies. "But it's a little too close to magic for me." The software is expected to be available in February. (Wall Street Journal 4 Nov 96 B6) SCOTTISH COURTS TACKLE HYPERLINK ISSUE The Shetland Times, one of two online newspapers that cater to the 24,000 residents of the Shetland Isles off the coast of Scotland, has filed a summons in Scotland's supreme civil court, preventing its competitor, the Shetland News, from using hyperlinks to jump from its Web site over to the Shetland Times' site. On Oct. 24, the court granted a temporary judgment requiring the Shetland News to remove all links to the Shetland Times Web site. "This is an argument over whether a publisher on the Internet retains copyright in any material once it goes `online.' My view is that by incorporating our copyright material into his news service he infringes on our copyright. The technical process by which this is achieved is irrelevant," says the editor of the Shetland Times. "I think the Times will have a difficult job persuading the court of copyright violations," says a London-based attorney, who predicts that if the court rules in favor of the Times, it will have a global impact on the free flow of information over the Internet. (BNA Daily Report for Executives 1 Nov 96 A13) APPLE OPERATING SYSTEM SET FOR A MAKEOVER Apple Computer is hinting that it's considering a major shift in its operating system strategy, possibly as a result of its negotiations to acquire Be Inc., which has developed its own powerful new operating system. Be's founder is a former Apple research director. Although no announcement has been made, Apple CEO Gil Amelio has said that "there are things we can learn" from Be's work, and that "in that spirit, we would be delighted to work with them in any way we can." Apple emphasizes that whatever it decides to do, a primary consideration will be to provide "continuity" for current Macintosh users. (Wall Street Journal 7 Nov 96 B6) INTERNET ON ELECTION NIGHT Most of the World Wide Web sites reporting the results of Tuesday's U.S. elections experienced a total usage only slightly higher than normal weeknight traffic levels, and up-to-the-minute results were usually obtained more easily through TV or radio than over the Net. One Internet service provider executive said that "as a source of information for the election, I'd say the Web has a ways to go," but added that "the Web idea is great because you can home in on a specific race and you don't have to wait for the television newscasters to get around to it." (New York Times 7 Nov 96 A12) TERA TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES SUPERCOMPUTER INDUSTRY Tera Computer Co. has worked for the last nine years on developing a new design for future generations of supercomputers based on a proprietary microprocessor that the company claims could turn massively parallel processing on its head. Tera's system design enables its computers to run at their peak speed about 95% of the time, as opposed to the typical supercomputer that cranks up to top speed only 10% to 15% of the time. While conventional supercomputers rely on chips to handle no more than a handful of instructions, or threads, at a time, Tera's chips can juggle 128 threads simultaneously: "Our machine doesn't sit and wait around for any data," says a Tera VP. And Tera's systems do not suffer from the law of diminishing returns that other massively parallel systems do -- while other computer makers must add more chips to achieve faster speeds, the added complexity of coordinating all those operations results in decreased performance per chip. Tera claims that its chips are impervious to this degradation -- if one of its chipsets can do one billion floating-point operations per second, 256 can do 256 gigaflops. (Business Week 11 Nov 96 p73) COMPUTER CRACKERS ADOPT NEW STRATEGY FOR BREAK-INS Recent attacks on computer systems have adopted a new strategy for cracking security codes, exploiting the way that imperfect computers implement encryption systems in the real world. Scientists at Princeton University and Bellcore have been working together to discover how they can force a computer or encoding chip to err in its calculations while encrypting a message and, at the same time, leak information about the message being encrypted. One way they found to do this is by irradiating the chip, and then by comparing a number of error-ridden encryptions with a single flawless one, they discovered they were able to crack virtually any public- key system. Their technique was carried a step further by researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, allowing them to decipher the secret key from a 56-bit Data Encryption Standard algorithm with little trouble, using "differential fault analysis." This doesn't mean that encryption doesn't work, says Richard DeMillo, a member of the Bellcore team. "It's a matter of recognizing vulnerability," and doing something about it. (Science Magazine 1 Nov 96 p716) JUDGE STOPS N.Y. FROM LETTING FOX USE CITY CABLE STATION A U.S. district judge in Manhattan has issued a ruling preventing New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani from giving one of the city's cable channels over to the use of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel, despite the wishes of cable operator Time Warner, which prefers the Fox rival news service (and Time Warner subsidiary) CNN. Judge Denise Cote said that "the city's purpose in acting to compel Time Warner to give Fox one of its commercial channels was to reward a friend and to further a particular [politically conservative] viewpoint." Giuliani, who plans to appeal the ruling, says that the judge "temporarily makes Ted Turner [CNN founder and No. 2 executive at Time Warner] the czar of programming and says nothing can be done about it. He decides what news programming is on. He pretty much has limited it to his own news programming, trying to eliminate all competitors." (New York Times 7 Nov 96 B15) ALARM GUARD FOR LAPTOPS Innovative Security Products has come out with a $50 Alarm Guard that works in much the same way that parent-child beeper systems do -- if the paging device in your pocket and the other one on your laptop get too far apart, both pieces start shrieking bloody murder until you deactivate the system. (Chronicle of Higher Education 8 Nov 96 A1) Edupage is written by John Gehl (email@example.com) & Suzanne Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Voice: 404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057. Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology, University of North Carolina. 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This technology can take advantage of compression schemes such as V.42 bis, to further increase throughput. This paper explains x2 in detail. U.S. Robotics x2 technology allows modems to receive data at up to 56 Kbps over the standard, public switched telephone network (PSTN). x2 overcomes the theoretical limitations imposed on standard, analog modems by exploiting the digital connections that most Internet and online service providers use at their end to connect to the PSTN. Typically, the only analog portion of the phone network is the phone line that connects your home to the telephone company's central office (CO). Over the past two decades the telephone companies have been replacing portions of their original analog networks with digital circuits. But the slowest portion of the network to change has been the connection from your home to the CO. That connection will likely be analog for some years to come. x2 requires no changes to the wiring and equipment that are already in place. All that's required to convert a service provider's U.S. Robotics Total Control digital modems, NETServer I- modems or MP I-modems is a software upgrade. U.S. Robotics calls the modems that have a direct digital connection to the PSTN x2 server modems. Likewise, converting a Courier V.Everything analog modem to an x2 client modem is as simple as downloading new software. (In addition, some Sportster modems can be upgraded to x2 by swapping a memory chip.) Why V.34 Wasn't the Final Word In Throughput V.34 modems are optimized for the situation where both ends connect by analog lines to the PSTN. But today it makes sense to assume that service providers have digital connections to the PSTN. The PSTN's Optimization for Voice Hinders Data Communications The PSTN was designed for voice communications. By artificially limiting the sound spectrum to just those frequencies relevant to human speech, network engineers found they could reduce the bandwidth needed per call, increasing the number of potential simultaneous calls. While this works well for voice, it imposes limits on data communications. Remember that the PSTN was optimized for voice traffic. V.34 Modems Are Optimized for End-to-End Analog Connections Even though most of the network is digital, V.34 modems treat it as if it were entirely analog. V.34 modems are incredibly robust, but they cannot make the most of the bandwidth that becomes available when one end of the connection is completely digital. V.34 was built on the assumption that both ends of the connection suffer impairment due to quantization noise introduced by analog- to-digital converters (ADCs). Anatomy of a V.34 Connection Noise Introduced by Quantization of Analog Signals Analog information must be transformed to binary digits in order to be sent over the PSTN. The incoming analog waveform is sampled 8,000 times per second, and each time its amplitude is recorded as a PCM code. The sampling system uses 256 discrete 8-bit PCM codes. Because analog waveforms are continuous and binary numbers are discrete, the digits that are sent across the PSTN and reconstructed at the other end approximate the original analog waveform. The difference between the original waveform and the reconstructed quantized waveform is called quantization noise, which limits modem speed. Quantization noise limits the communications channel to about 35 Kbps. But quantization noise affects only analog-to-digital conversion -- not digital-to-analog. This is the key to x2: If there are no analog-to-digital conversions between the x2 server modem and the PSTN, and if this digitally connected transmitter uses only the 255 discrete signal levels available on the digital portion of the phone network, then this exact digital information reaches the client modem's receiver, and no information is lost in conversion processes. Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure of link performance arrived at by dividing signal power by noise power. The higher the ratio, the clearer the connection, and the more data can be passed across it. Even under the best conditions, when a signal undergoes analog-to- digital conversion, there's a 38 to 39 dB signal-to-noise ratio (the "noise floor") that limits practical V.34 speeds to 33.6 Kbps. Let's spell this out step by step: 1. The server connects, in effect, digitally to the telephone company trunk. 2. The server signaling is such that the encoding process uses only the 256 PCM codes used in the digital portion of the phone network. In other words, there is no quantization noise associated with converting analog-type signals to discrete valued PCM codes. 3. These PCM codes are converted to corresponding discrete analog voltages and sent to the client modem via an analog loop circuit - there is no information loss (see the graphic, "An x2 Connection" below). 4. The client receiver reconstructs the discrete network PCM codes from the analog signals it received, decoding what the transmitter sent. Upstream and Downstream Channels: Asymmetric Operation x2 connections employ one bidirectional channel, upstream and downstream. The x2 client modem's downstream (receive) channel is capable of higher speeds because no information is lost in the digital-to-analog conversion. The x2 client modem's upstream (send) channel goes through an analog-to-digital conversion, which limits it to V.34 speeds. x2 Encoding in More Detail As discussed above, data is sent from the x2 server modem over the PSTN as binary numbers. But to meet the conditions of point two above, the x2 server modem transmits data (eight bits at a time) to the client's ADC at the same rate as the telephone network (8,000 Hz). This means the modem's symbol rate must equal the phone network's sample rate. An x2 Connection x2 Modem Connections During the training sequence, x2 modems probe the line to determine whether any downstream analog-to-digital conversions have taken place. If the x2 modems detect any analog-to-digital conversions, they will simply connect as V.34. The x2 client modem also attempts a V.34 connection if the remote modem does not support x2. The x2 client modem's task is to discriminate among the 256 potential voltages, to recover 8,000 PCM codes per second. If it could do this, then the download speed would be nearly 64 Kbps (8,000 x 8 bits per code). But, it turns out, several problems slow things down slightly. First, even though the network quantization noise floor problem is removed, a second, much lower noise floor is imposed by the network DAC equipment and the local loop service to the client's premises. This noise arises from various nonlinear distortions and circuit crosstalk. Second, network DACs are not linear converters, but follow a conversion rule (-law in North America and A-law in many other places). As a result, network PCM codes representing small voltages produce very small DAC output voltage steps whereas codes representing large voltages produce large voltage steps. These two problems make it impractical to use all 256 discrete codes, because the corresponding DAC output voltage levels near zero are just too closely spaced to accurately represent data on a noisy loop. (Note: Each network PCM code corresponds to a DAC voltage level.) Therefore, the x2 encoder uses various subsets of the 256 codes that eliminate DAC output signals most susceptible to noise. For example, the most robust 128 levels are used for 56 Kbps; 92 levels to send 52 Kbps, etc. Using fewer levels provides more robust operation, but at a lower data rate. Requirements x2 requires the following: 1. Digital at one end. One end of an x2 connection must terminate at a digital circuit, meaning a "trunk-side" channelized T1, ISDN PRI, or ISDN BRI. Line-side T1 will not work because additional analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversions are added. In a trunk-side configuration, once the user's analog call is converted to digital and sent through the carrier network, the call stays digital until it reaches a U.S. Robotics server modem through a T1, PRI or BRI circuit. 2. x2 support at both ends. x2 must be supported on both ends of the connection, by the client modem as well as by the remote access server or modem pool at the host end. Typically, the remote user will be using a U.S. Robotics Sportster, Courier, or Megahertz modem dialing into a U.S. Robotics MP I-modem, NETServer I-modem, Courier I-modem, or Total Control Enterprise Network Hub. 3. One Analog-to-Digital conversion. There can only be one analog-to-digital conversion in the phone network along the path of the call between the x2 server modem and the client modem. If the line is a channelized T1, it must be "trunk-side" and not "line-side." With line-side service from the phone company, there typically is an additional analog-to-digital conversion (this limitation is described below). U.S. Robotics Advantages U.S. Robotics Equipment Already Deployed Allows Digital Connections Digital modems, such as those in the Total Control Enterprise Network Hub, already process digital signals straight from digital lines. x2 drops cleanly into this configuration. U.S. Robotics server equipment can be software upgraded to x2. Companies that do not currently manufacture digital modems will need to invest considerable time and effort to develop them. U.S. Robotics Modems Being Shipped Today Are Upgradeable to x2 All U.S. Robotics products that currently support software downloads can be easily upgraded to x2. U.S. Robotics designs its own high-performance modem data pumps, using digital signal processors (DSPs). x2 upgrades are seamlessly integrated into these designs. Glossary amplitude A measure of the distance between the high and low points of a waveform. analog-to-digital A device that samples incoming converter (ADC) analog voltage waveforms, rendering them as sequences of binary digital numbers. Passing waveforms through an ADC introduces quantization noise. basic rate An ISDN line that provides up to interface (BRI) two 64-Kbps B-channels and one 16- Kbps D-channel over an ordinary two- wire telephone line. B-channels carry circuit-oriented data or voice traffic while D-channels carry call-control signals. call-control Operations associated with signaling establishing and tearing down virtual circuits through a network. For example, dialing. central office The facility at which individual (CO) telephone lines in a limited geographic area are connected to the public telephone network. digital-to-analog A device that reconstructs analog converter (DAC) voltage waveforms from an incoming sequence of binary digits. Does not in itself introduce noise. digital signal A processor that is optimized for processor (DSP) performing the complex mathematical calculations inherent in processing digital signals. A discrete DSP may be reprogrammed. A DSP integrated in a chipset typically contains its own ROM and cannot be reprogrammed. line-side T1 A T1 that undergoes at least one analog-to-digital conversion in the path between the x2 server modem and the PSTN. primary rate A four-wire ISDN line (or "trunk") interface (PRI) with the same capacity as a T1, 1.544 Mbps. PRIs contain 23 64-Kbps B-channels and one 64-Kbps D- channel. The D-channel carries call- control signaling for all the B- channels. pulse code A technique for converting an modulation (PCM) analog signal with an infinite number of possible values into discrete binary digital words that have a finite number of values. The waveform is sampled, then the sample is quantized into PCM codes. quantization The process of representing a voltage with a discrete binary digital number. Approximating an infinite valued signal with a finite number system introduces an error called quantization error. signal-to-noise A measure of link performance ratio (SNR) arrived at by dividing signal power by noise power. Typically measured in decibels. The higher the ratio, the clearer the connection. T1 A four-wire digital line (or "trunk") with the same capacity as a PRI line, 1.544 Mbps. T1s contain 24 DS0s, each of which carries 56 Kbps (call-control signaling is carried within the DS0). trunk-side T1 A T1 line that has a direct digital connection to the phone network, and therefore undergoes no analog conversions in the path between the x2 server modem and the PSTN. x2 client modem A modem equipped with x2 software that is attached to a standard analog telephone line. In order to connect at x2 speeds (32-56 Kbps), the device at the other end of the connection must be an x2 server modem that is attached to a trunk- side T1, BRI, or PRI line. x2 server modem A digital modem equipped with x2 software that is attached to a trunk-side T1, BRI, or PRI line. Client modems must be equipped with x2 software in order to connect at x2 speeds (32-56 Kbps). Current products that can act as x2 servers include the Total Control Enterprise Network Hub, NETServer I-modem, MP I-modem and Courier I- modem. WUGNET Highlights STR Focus News from WUGNET... from PRNewswire... z Photodex Announces Public Beta for Award Winning Multimedia CompuPic32 Viewer - 32 Bit edition. Global Beta Support on WUGNET's WINUSER FORUM z WEBMASTER FORUM LAUNCHED ON COMPUSERVE WUGNET Offers the First Web- based IRC Server ConferenceRoom to CompuServe Members z WinZip 6.2 Zip Utility Released on CompuServe Award Winning Zip Utility Now Supports Additional Internet File Formats and Includes WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition Photodex Announces.. Public Beta for Award Winning Multimedia CompuPic32 Viewer - 32 Bit edition Exclusive Beta available on CompuServe in WUGNET Windows Users Forum MEDIA, Pa., WUGNET, the Windows Users Group Network, and Photodex Corporation today announced the exclusive open beta of CompuPic32 (CPIC32), the powerful graphics viewer that offers powerful image optimization for graphic professionals or novice users, from Photodex Corporation. The beta, available exclusively on WUGNET's Windows Users Forum (GO WINUSER), offers use of CompuPic32 prior to public release, and prizes for the best feedback suggestions. CompuPic32 brings intuitive, optimized and multi-tasking image viewing and editing capabilities to the desktop of any user, regardless of their experience with images and graphics -- There is nothing to learn, just click and view! Whether you need to view a graphic file, play a sound or video file, visually browse thumbnails of your files, enhance that old family photo, organize pictures into a picture index or cut & paste all or part of a graphic into another Windows application -- CompuPic32 is the only tool you will need. CompuPic32's exclusive multi-tasking capability fully exploits the power of Windows 95/NT. Now users can generate thumbnails, create picture indexes, print or copy/move files in the background -- all while continuing to view, browse, edit and convert their graphic/multimedia files. In summary, NO MORE WAITING! CompuPic32 will be made available to WUGNET members in CompuServe's Windows Users Forum (GO WINUSER). The Windows Users Forum is a global online resource for CompuServe's Windows users, offering exclusive files, beta test opportunities, featured discussions with book authors, journalists, and vendors. In addition, the forum features an exchange of news and opinions covering all Windows environments, including Microsoft @ Deadline, Internet Gizmos, Windows @ Deadline, Windustry Trends, Industry Roadkill and a special new section covering Microsoft's new hand held Windows operating system CE, code named Pegasus. The WINUSER Forum is currently offering several open public beta test programs including Quarterdeck's WebCompass 2.0. "The Photodex development team did an incredible job in bringing their Windows 16 bit edition to the Windows 32 bit platform. The increased performance and newly added features will make CompuPic32 an essential tool for every Windows NT and Windows 95 desktop user," says Joel Diamond, Technical Director of WUGNET. "WUGNET is pleased to host Photodex's CompuPic32 beta on WINUSER because their product represents state of the art 32 bit image viewing and features. Members who participate in the beta will benefit from the excellent technical support provided by our online staff." "We are very pleased to be working with WUGNET exclusively on the first open public beta for CompuPic32, especially as CompuServe users move into the 32- bit world with CompuServe 3.0." said Scott Schinlever, President of Photodex. "CompuPic32 will be the standard in graphics viewing and file management. Once you use CompuPic32, with its exclusive multitasking capability and the fastest jpeg reader available, it is difficult to go back to other graphic utilities that make you wait." The full product will be available for purchase directly from Photodex for $39.95. Focused on "try before you buy" software sales, Photodex offers an unlimited risk-free trial period, where CompuPic32 is fully functional. CompuPic32's small download size allows for a fast and efficient download, and is one-half to one-third the size of similar programs. Installation occurs in under one minute, and the built in help gets users up and running instantly. Registered CompuPic users don't have to hassle with getting updates. With the one year free upgrade policy, users can download updates of CompuPic32 from the Internet or major on-line systems and install them instantly, without having to contact Photodex. Registered users don't even have to re- enter their passwords, it's all automatic. About Photodex Corporation. Photodex, founded in 1987, develops innovative imaging and multimedia applications that help users around the world use their media files effectively and creatively. The company's award-winning products include CompuPic Viewer/Multimedia File Manager, Picture Factory, Graphics Display System and a wide variety of products and utilities licensed to publishers such as Broderbund, Expert Software, IBM, Maxis and T/Maker. For more information point your browser to http://www.photodex.com. WEBMASTER FORUM LAUNCHED ON COMPUSERVE WUGNET Offers the First Web-based IRC Server ConferenceRoom to CompuServe Members Media, PA., --WUGNET, the Windows User Group Network, announces the launch of their WEBMASTER Forum and the availability of WebMaster Inc.'s Internet Relay Chat (IRC) chat server, ConferenceRoom from CompuServe. The WEBMASTER Forum is CompuServe's newest technical special interest group for Windows professionals operating a Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 95 web environment and related compatible 32-bit add-on technologies, such as VRML, NEWS, Database, and Chat. One of the first technologies to be showcased on the WEBMASTER FORUM is ConferenceRoom, the first fully functional IRC server for Windows NT and Windows 95 that differentiates itself from other web-based chat systems by allowing the seamless addition of real-time chat into web pages. ConferenceRoom is a cost- effective and easy-to-use business solution for distance learning, virtual meetings, and client support. It is also an ideal environment to chat with other professionals and friends. ConferenceRoom will be made available to CompuServe members via a file available from the WEBMASTER Forum's file library download area. The fully functional 45-day test-drive version of ConferenceRoom will allow CompuServe members to thoroughly evaluate the product, receive expert technical support, and discuss the product with WUGNET's online staff and Forum members. "The WEBMASTER Forum provides an opportunity for end-users to get a leg up on the latest and greatest technology," said Howard Sobel, WUGNET's Executive Director. "ConferenceRoom is a great example of a technology that empowers end-users and corporations alike through the integration of web and chat." "We are very pleased to be working with WUGNET to offer CompuServe members their favorite application: chat," said Mark Owen, chief technology officer for WebMaster Inc. "ConferenceRoom is the application to bring chat functionality to the Web." The full product will be available for purchase directly from WUGNET. About WebMaster Inc. WebMaster Inc. is a privately-held, Santa Clara, California based software company specializing in Windows NT-based Internet server solutions. The company's products set a new standard for functionality, price/performance and ease-of-use. WebMaster Inc.'s software is distributed through OEM's, web site/software developers and direct sales. WebMaster Inc. provides a cost-effective suite of web server products for web site development and administration. Products include solutions for network news, Internet Relay chat and Internet commerce. For more information please contact WebMaster Inc., 1601 Civic Center Drive, Suite 200, Santa Clara, CA 95050, or point your browser to http://www.webmaster.com/. WinZip 6.2 Zip Utility Released on CompuServe Award Winning Zip Utility Now Supports Additional Internet File Formats and Includes WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition BRISTOL, CT -- WinZip(R) 6.2, the leading Windows Zip utility, is now available to CompuServe's global Windows community in the Windows Users Group Network (WUGNET) Windows Utility Forum (GO WINUTIL). The Windows Utility Forum is the official support area for WinZip on CompuServe. WinZip 6.2 now supports the UUencode, BinHex, and MIME formats frequently used for Internet email. These formats allow users to send and receive any format file (games and other programs, application data, video, audio, etc.) by Internet mail. Among the other new features is WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition, which simplifies file distribution by allowing users to create executable files that unzip themselves. WinZip's new "Favorite Zip Folders" facility organizes downloads and all other Zip files into one convenient list that is sorted by date, making it easier to locate all Zip files, regardless of where they came from or where they are stored. "Nico Mak Computing continues to pack more power and utility into this package with every upgrade. Their attention to the needs of the online community makes this product a continuing hit with CompuServe and Internet users," said Howard Sobel, Executive Director, WUGNET. "Most of the new features in WinZip were designed with the growing audience of Internet and email users in mind," said developer Nico Mak. "Many email users have been confused by UUencoded, BinHex, and MIME files, and WinZip 6.2 makes it easy to decode these formats. In addition, the new Favorite Zip Folders feature simplifies management of Internet downloads." Key product features include: z Built-in support for many file formats, including ZIP, TAR, gzip, Unix compress, UUencode, XXencode, BinHex, and MIME. z Windows 95 features, including long filename support and shell integration. (All other features work on Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows NT.) z An optional Wizard interface that steps the user through the process of unzipping and/or installing software distributed in Zip files. z Support for self-extracting files, which are ideal for sending Zip files to users who may not have an unzip utility. About WinZip Best known for providing a familiar Windows interface for ZIP files, WinZip allows users to manipulate ZIP files and other popular archival/compression formats without a complex command line interface. The first Windows 95 version was released in August, 1995; the first Windows 3.x version was released in 1991. Recent WinZip awards include: z 1996 PC Magazine "Best Utility" Shareware Award z 1996 Windows Magazine "Win100" Award z 1996 PC Computing "Best of the Internet" Award for compression z 1996 Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine "Readers Choice Award" In previous years WinZip was a finalist for the PC Computing 1995 MVP Award, and was voted "Best Utility" at the 1994 annual Shareware Industry Awards, and won the Windows Magazine Win100 Award in 1993. Requirements The 32-bit version of WinZip requires Windows 95 or Windows NT 3.51 or later; the 16-bit version requires Windows 3.1 or Windows for Workgroups. While no other programs are required for operations involving ZIP, gzip, TAR, Unix compress, UUencode, XXencode, BinHex, and MIME files, some optional features (e.g. virus scanning) require one or more external programs Details are included in WinZip's on-line help. Pricing and Availability WinZip 6.2 is now shipping. Individual copies are priced at $29, including postage and handling. Both the Windows 95/NT and Windows 3.1 versions are shipped on the same disk and are covered by the same license agreement. For credit card orders, visit the WinZip home page (www.winzip.com) or call the Public Software Library at 800-242-4775. Quantity discounts and site licensing are available. Fully functional evaluation copies can be downloaded from the WinZip home page (www.winzip.com), the WinZip BBS on Microsoft Network, or from the Windows Utility Forum (GO WINUTIL) on CompuServe. For further information about WinZip, contact Nico Mak Computing, Inc. at P.O. Box 919, Bristol, CT 06011, send Internet mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the WinZip home page: http://www.winzip.com WinZip is a registered trademark of Nico Mak Computing, Inc. Other product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. CONTACT: Joel Diamond of WUGNET, 610-565-1864 or fax, 610-565-7106, email@example.com, or Nico Mak Computing, firstname.lastname@example.org. CONTACT: Howard Sobel of WUGNET, 610-539-6160, or fax, 610-565-7106, email@example.com, or Scott Schinlever of Photodex Corp., 512-406-3027, or fax, 512-452-6825, or firstname.lastname@example.org About WUGNET Launched officially on CompuServe in 1989, the organization provides technical support through over 40 Windows-centric online forums with special interest areas in operating systems, the web, shareware, games, international, and software development. For more information point your browser to http://www.wugnet.com. WUGNET works closely with the commercial and shareware software development community to raise awareness for best of breed innovative software within its online Windows communities. WUGNET selects a shareware pick of the week featured on the Microsoft and WUGNET Shareware Pick of the Week at www.microsoft.com/windows. Windows NT and Windows 95 software vendors are invited to contact WUGNET to participate in public and secure private beta test programs with CompuServe's Windows 95 and Windows NT members. Contact Larrym@wugnet.com or 804-671-1782. Additional Windows software support resources include the electronic edition of Microsoft's Windows 3.x Resource Kits and the System Engineer configuration management tool. WUGNET's books, published by IDG Books Worldwide, are comprehensive practical reference resources designed to help users in all advanced topics of Windows configuration, communications, networking and the Internet. The titles include: Windows 3.1 Connectivity Secrets (ISBN:1-56884-030-6), Windows 3.1 Configuration Secrets (ISBN:1- 56884-026-8) and Internet Gizmos for Windows (ISBN:1-56884-451-4). All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Dvorak Passes the Flame. STR Infofile NavCIS and OUI now brought to you by Peak To Peak Services & Development, Inc. !!! On November 4, 1996, Peak To Peak Services & Development, Inc. acquired NavCIS and OUI from Dvorak Development. Peak To Peak <P2P> will be continuing the development and upgrading of NavCIS and OUI to keep current with the ever-changing challenges of CompuServe and the Internet USENET newsgroups. We bring much experience to the field of online navigation. Our company, while still small, has a core group of people who have been associated with NavCIS and OUI since the products' beginnings. We are very interested in hearing from you! We want suggestions, ideas for new features, input and anything that you think might help us to craft superior products for CompuServe and USENET newsgroups. In that light, please submit suggestions and input to SECtion 8 <Suggestions> on the Peak To Peak forum <GO FRM-240>. We will closely track your input and, in time, have a suggestion list in LIBrary 8 so that you can see what others have suggested. We will also have an Internet email address for input. Keep an eye on the forum's NewsFlash for the address when it becomes available. For the time being, we are not set up to handle telephone technical support. We appreciate your patience in this area as we anticipate telephone support capabilities shortly. We will announce the availability of phone support as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, please feel free to post messages to the Peak To Peak forum or to Navcis@dvorak.com or Oui@dvorak.com. These will be forwarded to the support folks at P2P and the addresses will be replaced with direct access within two weeks <mid- November>. Watch the forum's NewsFlash for details! For now, our Technical Support policies are: 1 day per week forum support <GO FRM-240>. We strive to answer questions on the same day posted. 2 Fax to 303.604.9498. This will be monitored 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to midnight. It is imperative that you include your email address on all faxes as we will first try to resolve your problem via email. We will need to know the version of NavCIS or OUI that you are using, a detailed explanation of the problem that you are encountering and what operating system you are running under. Most support problems can easily be solved in email or on the forum. Faxes received without email return addresses cannot be responded to. 3 Our new Dedicated email support request UID, 72662,736. This UID will be monitored 7 days a week between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Mountain Time. We reserve the right to move messages posted to this UID onto the Peak To Peak forum so that other users may benefit from the answer. Thank you for your ongoing support and we look forward to a great future together! Copyright by Peak To Peak Services & Development, Inc. 5 November 1996 Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor Skill Traps Memorex Entertainment Series Ages: Kids to Adults $14.95 N-TK (Entertainment Technology), Inc. Cerritos, CA 90670 Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 386 HD Space: ? Memory: 4 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: Windows-compatible sound card Other: mouse review by Angelo Marasco Skill Traps, part of the Memorex Entertainment Series produced by N-TK, is a collection of four challenging strategy and logic games. It is rated for kids to adults and I've found that it satisfies both. The four games are interesting, challenging and fun, in varying degrees of course. They include Beetle Run, Quarry, Ronnie's Resort and Wordmix. Each was a real mind bender in its own right. For me, Ronnie's Resort is the most challenging game in the collection. Your goal is to help Ronnie get to the beach for a swim. First, though, Ronnie needs his inner tube. This isn't nearly as easy as it sounds. The path to the inner tube and beach is a grid pattern. It consists of rock walls, beach balls, streams, shuffle boards, bridges, trellises and lawn chairs to block the way. You must figure out how to use the moveable items to make a path through the stream or around the beach balls to the inner tube then to the beach. Although my kids claimed that they solved all thirty of the puzzles, I strongly suspect that they relied heavily on the "solution" button. I couldn't solve any! Thank goodness that there is an easily accessible "reset" button, too. One wrong move and you lock a key item into a position where it is immovable. This happened to me plenty of times. Ronnie's Resort is guaranteed to be many, many months of fun for anyone in your family. Have you ever wanted to know more about beetles but just could not find the time to do the research? Not with all that time you have to spend at the computer (playing computer games of course)? Well, thanks to Beetle Run you can have your cake and eat it too! Beetle Run is played on a board of blocks that you spin into any of four positions with the mouse. Each block has a little piece of the beetle's path in it. At the beginning of each level the game gives you information about beetles. Then you have six seconds to prepare for some great fun. The object of the game is to move the blocks around to create a continuous path for the beetle to follow. You receive points for each block that the beetle successfully passes through. Some blocks give you bonus points and you can double your point accumulation by pressing the "fast" button. As the beetle passes through a block, that block turns off and can't be used again until the beetle passes off the board. At successive levels you lose the use of some blocks that adds to the challenge. I spent a lot of time with Beetle Run because I thought that it was the most fun of the four games. Quarry is a game where you move blocks to make spaces for your miners to move across the mine to the elevator. You can move any column of blocks in which you have a miner present. Watch out, though. When moving blocks to open a path, you may also open a path for some of the computer's miners and allow them to get closer to their goal. This isn't a really big thinking game but playing it is fun. Quarry isn't nearly as challenging as Ronnie's Resort or Beetle Run. Wordmix is the computer version of an age-old game. You choose the word you want to play with and then try to make as many words as possible out of the letters available in the word you've chosen. The neat thing is that the game tells you how many words it is possible to make from your original word. However, some words that the program lists are so obscure and unfamiliar that it was actually frustrating to play. Wordmix is not one of my favorite games. I really thought that it was boring, on top of being frustrating and I couldn't wait to close it out after only a few minutes of play. The graphics in Skill Traps are good but not spectacular. I wasn't happy with the fact that the view in Ronnie's Resort is all from overhead, although I really can't think of any other way to do it. Quarry's graphics reminded me of any number of old EGA computer games. I feel that N-TK could do a lot better with the graphics here. The sounds in this entire program were strange and not very attractive. Usually a CD-ROM game has lots of quality sound to offer because of all the space available on it. Not so here. The sounds don't seem to have anything to do with the games. It's almost as if most of them were thrown in as an afterthought. The interface in Skill Traps is good. Navigating through the program is easy. There are lots of options and all are available with just one click of the mouse. Two things did bother me in Ronnie's Resort, though. First, you can only move Ronnie around by using the cursor arrows on the keyboard. I prefer to use the mouse for things like this, but that option is not available. Second, there were some very disconcerting delays in the game that affected the playing of the game. Several times during each game there were delays in the game's response to the cursor arrow keys. Consequently I tended to hit the key one or two times too many. Only one wrong move can ruin an entire puzzle for you and force you to start from the beginning, which happened to me several times. Considering that the minimum system requirement is a 386 processor with 8MB of RAM and I tested this software on a 486 with 8MB, I feel that these delays are uncalled for. The play value of Skill Traps is extremely high. I keep coming back to it to play Ronnie's Resort and Beetle Run because of the level of challenge in these games. My kids keep returning to it too, despite their claims of having conquered Ronnie's Resort. At a retail price of $14.99 the bang for the buck of Skill Traps is extremely high. Yes, it does have some problems. No, it's not perfect. However, with fun and challenging games like Ronnie's Resort and Beetle Run on it and even mediocre games like Quarry and Wordmix, it is still a bargain. If you and your children are looking for some good brain teasing games then you should definitely add Skill Traps to your software collection. Leonardo The Inventor 2.0 For Windows 3.1 and 95, and Mac about $30 For Ages 8 to Adult SoftKey One Athenaeum Street Cambridge, MA 02142 Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 486/25 HD Space: 1 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 16-bit sound card Other: mouse reviewed by David H. Mann Leonardo The Inventor chronicles the life, works and inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci during the Renaissance period. It tells of the artist's associations, thoughts, and influence on his time and ours. It also tells an uncolored story of a sometimes troubled, sometimes brash, but always inquisitive Renaissance man. The program is complete in its execution and makes an excellent reference piece for any collection. The program has nine sections and includes an extensive introduction as well as games and animations of some of the pictures and inventions. The sections are hyperlinked to pictures, video, animation and text on related subjects. Add sound, narration, and beautiful classical background music and you have a multimedia package that the whole family can enjoy. The Introduction gives you a fifteen page annotated history of Leonardo Da Vinci. Inventions shows the practical and impractical inventions and drawings that Leonard created. The program shows some in 3D graphics that allow 360 degree rotation while other images are in 2D animation. The Gallery is a collection of the actual drawings of Leonardo's invention with his own notes on how to implement them. Biography gives an outline of Leonardo's birth, life, works, associations and death. The Database uses hypertext links to join everything together. You can click on a subject and get it instantly. The Timeline associates his birth, inventions, paintings, sculptures and death to other important events occurring at that time. Works shows photos and/or names of artistic pictures and drawings. It lists where they are located in the world today or when they may have been destroyed or stolen. Bibliography is a list of books used as sources to compile Leonardo The Inventor. The games include Icarus which is a flying game where the player uses one of the inventions to dodge obstacles. A second game is Treasure Hunt. This game tests your knowledge of Leonardo's life and works. It rewards correct answers with treasure animations. The last game is Flee The Fortress. You have to use clues and your wits to escape a 3D fortress designed by Leonardo. The games are all challenging and fun. Leonardo The Inventor also includes a whimsical interactive animation of the Mona Lisa that you have to see to believe. Leonardo The Inventor is an excellent program that includes all of the aspects that a multimedia package should contain. It's fun, educational, informative and gives an excellent insight to one of the greatest geniuses in history. Gaming & Entertainment Section with Atari User Support Editor Dana P. Jacobson >From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" I don't have much to say this week. IN the "real" world, it's been a hectic and interesting week. The elections took over the headlines for most of the week and most everything else was on a back burner, if appearing at all. We have some interesting update news from Missionware Software regarding Flash II. Some JTS updates, reader feedback and Atari Computing magazine news, and user group news. A nice assortment for everyone this week. Let's get to the news this week; hopefully the coming week's "real world" activity will slow a bit so I can put some provocative comments together for you. <g> Until next time... Atari Classic's Jim Hood Passes Away Fm: Bob Woolley 75126,3446 To: All I regret to inform the Atari community that Jim Hood, a principle in the current Atari Classics, a charter member of the San Leandro Computer Club, and a great friend, passed away on Friday, November 2nd from respiratory failure as a result of complications encountered in his battle with cancer. He leaves a wife, Cindy, and a grown son, Nathan. A talented wit and a joy to be around, we will miss him terribly. Bob Woolley FLASH II v3.02 STR Infofile Now shipping version 3.02! FROM: MISSIONWARE SOFTWARE 354 N. Winston Drive Palatine, Illinois 60067-4132 United States of America phone 847-359-9565 Missionware Software is pleased to announce the release of version 3.02 of Flash II. This is our tenth update! Flash II originally went up for sale in April of 1992. Version 3.02 adds a number of new features, as highlighted below. Flash II is the update to the most popular Atari ST telecommunications program ever! It's available exclusively from Missionware Software and at an affordable price! Flash II is completely rewritten by Paul Nicholls of Australia. It's easy and fast to use for the telecommunications beginner or pro! What's so new and good about Flash II version 3.02? The following list highlights a few of the many changes that will make your on line time even better: z Flash II is fully multitasking capable. The program easily multitasks under such operating systems as MultiTOS? (trademark of Atari Corporation), Geneva? (trademark of Gribnif Software) and MagiC?. z All elements of the program are contained within GEM windows including both editors and the terminal. That means that Flash II can, by itself, do all file transfers in the background. z A new Auto Learn DO function is included that makes making logon and other navigation scripts easy and automatic. z A new menu structure is used in version 3.02 that confirms more rigidly to the official Atari standard. z Version 3.02 includes 2 editors! One editor is specifically designed to be used as a capture buffer (just like the old editor) while the other is designed to be used as a type ahead window or command window (or both). While these editor functions are dedicated to a specific use while online, you can use them as separate editors while off line for any text editing purpose you desire. z The Atari standard clipboard is now supported in 3.02 meaning that you can easily cut and paste text between both windows or between Flash II and other applications. z A new Edit menu replaces the old Block menu and includes all standard editing functions, such as Cut, Copy and Paste. z A new Window menu permits easy control over access to the windows. z Default transfer paths can now be saved! z Automatic saving of capture after logoff is now included. z A mini-BBS function is now included! z There are many more new features to Flash II version 3.02 too. Other features of Flash II include: z Fully Falcon030 compatible! z Fully DirecT40/60 compatible! z Enhanced DEC VT Terminal emulations including the ability to swap the functions of the Delete and Backspace keys for conformance to standard DEC terminals. z Full support for text-based Internet access using shell programs such as telnet, NN, tin, ftp, gopher, archie, lynx, etc. z Enhanced ANSI terminal and graphics. Blinking characters are now supported in version 3.02. z Full support for all Atari serial ports on TT030 and MegaSTe as well as baud rates up to 153600. Terminal mode now displays either the real time clock or a timer. 1. DO script files compatible with older versions of Flash! 2. All macros use the familiar Flash DO script format! 3. Easily setup the parameters for each BBS you call...this includes 4. everything from ASCII upload/download options to baud rate! You can program up to 20 individual and separate macros for each BBS plus an additional 10 global macros ! Displays RLE & GIF pictures either on or off line! You can also save or load these pictures for later review! Supports the following terminal types: TTY, VIDTEX, VT52, ANSI, VT100, VT101, VT102, VT200, VT300 & PRESTEL. Includes full support for RTS/CTS. This mode can now be turned on and off by the user. Includes Automatic Answer mode! Includes Auto Boards mode - Preselect the board(s) you wish to dial and when Flash II is launched either manually from the desktop by you, or automatically by some other program launcher, Flash II will wakeup and dial the board(s) you've got selected. It will also wait for the proper time to dial these boards. Supports the ST, IBM and DEC character sets, including IBM/ANSI graphics characters! Supports the following upload/download protocols: ASCII, Xmodem, Ymodem, Ymodem-G, Zmodem, Modem7, WXmodem, CIS B, Kermit and SEAlink! And all of these protocols are built into the program...no external modules required!!! Zmodem supports the selection of AutoStart and Streaming options for both upload and downloads. If you prefer to use an external Zmodem protocol with Flash II, you can now force Flash II's Zmodem autostart mode to off. For BBS' that don't support "streaming", this too can now be turned off. z Logs all on line time and calculates your approximate costs for you! z New version written in assembler! Fast! z Runs on all ST, STe, TT030 and Falcon computers! z Supports "Install Application". You can create a DO script that z can be used to launch Flash II from the desktop and force it to z dial up and go online for you, all automatically! z Now includes "Edit Boards", a brand new program which lets you edit, cut, copy, paste and sort your board slots outside of Flash II. Missionware Software's upgrade policy remains the same for the new Version 3.02! We will continue to upgrade any old version of Flash! (copyright Antic Software) for just $35 US, plus $4 shipping and handling (US and Canada), $8 worldwide. Or, you can purchase Flash II, version 3.02 outright, for only $59.95 US plus the shipping and handling charges applicable to your area. You can also upgrade any old version of Flash II (pre-3.00 release) to our new version 3.02. We're offering an "Easy Budget" upgrade which includes a new program disk and a short 40+ page manual. This manual describes the new features found in 3.02. (Your old Flash II manual suffices for all other program information.) The cost of this upgrade is $15 plus $3 shipping and handling ($6 worldwide). For those of you that want or need our all-new, fully updated, 3.02 manual, you can purchase our "Full Upgrade" which includes the new 250 page manual and program disk. The cost of this upgrade is $30 plus $4 shipping and handling ($8 worldwide). To order, or for more information, contact: Missionware Software 354 N. Winston Drive Palatine, IL 60067-4132 United States of America phone 847-359-9565 This is an open letter to Atari Users Groups, their officers, and all past and current Atari users. Admittedly my mail list is old, so please forward this on to others who might be interested. I have re-sent this to my old mailing list due to the responses from my previous mailings. My apologies if you have already received this mailing. AUNT(Atari Users of North Texas) is now releasing a monthly disk/html combination newsletter/disk of the month(ADOM-AUNT Disk Of the Month). We started in September and this has been an idea that is growing in strength and popularity. Following our show we realized that ADOM can be much better if we open it to others to use, contribute to, and distribute. What we are envisioning is a collaborative effort, each group contributing material in the form of articles of topical interest, software reviews, and other technological commentaries. There's no box here. If it's interesting we will run with it. ADOM currently has regularly showings of z feature articles z beginners page z web site picks and reviews z Atari web sites z software reviews - Atari PD programs z Windows PD programs z bi-monthly Astronomy piece We want to at the very lest capture regional interest. The September ADOM took 3 High Density disks(it was big), but usually is a one or two disk affair in HTML format. The audience is Atari users that also use Windows and Macs at work who share technological interests. We have offered the disk to members at $5.00/month in addition to a regular paper newsletter(this may change). My suggestion to contributing groups is to do something similar to bolster their treasuries. AUNT will not charge a dime to contributing user groups for the content distributed over the internet. Please respond with ideas and thoughts. The October ADOM and AUNT Newsgroup is available for public comment at http://www.startext.net/homes/aunt). Please feel free to send people our way, but please do not re-distribute ADOM w/o getting permission from AUNT first (which is only a matter of tracking). lwebb@FastLane.NET Lonnie Webb http://www.FastLane.NET/~lwebb Another Atari Magazine STR Infofile This one looks good Hi Dana !! I thought you and the readers of the Atari section of STR would like to hear about the news from the UK surrounding the Atari scene. It was great reading through the letter you printed from Don Thomas in STR 1242. What was also interesting was the feedback from people, especially one guy who wrote that he used to subscribe to ST Format, the UK's Atari magazine from Future Publishing, which has now gone to that great magazine rack in the sky. Atari Computing is a new printed magazine that is published by Mike Kerslake, who has nothing whatsoever to do with Future Publishing. At the recent Atari shows, copies of the mag sold very fast, with an automatic sell- out by early afternoon. We're still on the lookout for more readers from overseas - and remember, Atari Computing is a much better magazine than ST Format ever could be. We're onto a winner here ....... and we know it !! Here's the press release ... Press release October 1996 Mike Kerslake, a magazine publisher with over fifteen years experience has teamed up with Joe Connor, ex Reader Disk/Public Arena editor for Atari World to create a NEW printed Atari magazine called Atari Computing. The first issue was launched at the recent Atari shows in London and Birmingham and completely sold out both days! Delighted by the response we've reprinted Issue 1 so if you want to get your hands on this collectors item and join the queue for Issue 2 you need to move fast. Issue 1 featured contributions from respected and well known Atarians including Graeme Rutt, Jon Ellis, Nial Grimes, Mark Baines, Denesh Bhabuta, Kev Beardsworth, Colin Fisher-McAllum, Harry Sideras, Howard Carson, Xav, Carl Lufgren, Thomas Binder, Al Goold, Chris Good, Ed McGlone, Roy Goring, Neil Martin, Richard Spowart, Chris Holland and Steve Llewellyn. We've also signed a deal with the two leading disk based magazines, AtariPhile and Maggie to publish regular sections within the magazine. If you've never seen a disk magazine before we think you'll be amazed to find out how much you've been missing! The Atari Computing launch issue included: News and gossip put together by Graeme Rutt. Reviews: z HD-Driver - by Jon Ellis z Deadlands - by Nial Grimes z Kandinsky v2.5 preview - by Kev Beardsworth z E-Copy - by Colin Fisher-McAllum z CoSTa - by Neil Martin z MagiC v4 - by Kev Beardsworth z MagiC v5 preview - by Thomas Binder z PD/Shareware reviews of AudioCreate, CPU MOD, Pysgham, Start Me Up!, ST-Guide, The filler, CoMa, AppLine, Graph, STD Codes, Maggie 20, Croft Soft Newsletter, 7up, Warp, Maggie 20 and INcontrol reviewed by Joe Connor, Denesh Bhabuta, Carl L$fgren and other reviewers. Features: z Music and MIDI primer - by Ed McGlone z RSC file editing - by Mark Baines z NeST primer - by Harry Sideras z BBS primer - Colin Fisher-McAllum z DIY project to add joypad to STe - by Xav z Hard disk primer - by Howard Carson z User group reports co-ordinated by Al Goold z Guest sections: z AtariPhile z Maggie z Calamus User z Reader disk including ST-Guide, MagiC utilities and GEMTrek Letters, obituaries for Atari, ST Format and Atari World Q&A section, our team of experts are kept busy! And there's more! Background Following the closure of Atari World earlier this year it was announced ST Format, the last surviving UK newsstand publication, has also closed. It's the end of an era in the UK which for the first time since 1987 has no Atari newsstand presence. The men in grey suits are telling us to move onto other platforms but hang on a minute, let's take stock of the situation... z Atari machines can be purchased and repaired on a shoestring z Atari machines can produce superb printed output z Atari machines can surf the Internet and run BBSs z Atari machines can form the nucleus of a digital music studio z New software of better quality than ever before is still being released! That doesn't sound like a dead platform! The Atari platform has been emulated by just about every other platform, we're owners of cult machines! Have you ever noticed ex-Atarians animatedly talking about the 'Good old days' it's a feel good factor missing from all the current machines. We don't need a new platform but we do need information and a printed magazine is undoubtedly the best way to ensure we see in the millennium! Apart from a darn good read the other thing most of us like is some new software to play with. The Reader Disk concept offers all readers the chance to get their hands on the hottest new software around along with exclusive versions not available anywhere else. We intend to offer one Reader Disk to accompany each issue, buy it or not, the choice is yours! What we need, now more than ever before, is your support. It's going to be tough to keep going so we're initially planning bi-monthly releases, but this could change, it's really up to you! Instead of wishing us luck post a cheque to order your copy today! Ordering As we're sure you'll appreciate launching a new magazine is a risky business and our print run will be conservative - we don't expect to keep a stock of back issues for long. We're not a newsstand publication so don't bother looking in the shops. The Atari platform needs this magazine and we need your subscription so do yourself and us a favor, take out a subscription or order an evaluation copy today! Subscriptions Many of you (and most of us) lost money following the Atari World debacle and we're determined not to make the same mistake. Atari Computing subscriptions are refundable at any time. Cancel your subscription in writing and we'll return any outstanding credit to you, minus a deduction to cover our costs. United Kingdom Send cheque/PO made payable to the 'Atari Computing Group' to: Atari Computing Subscriptions 73 Bentinck Drive TROON Ayrshire KA10 6HZ Scotland Here's the subscription details: All prices in UK Sterling where $ = British Pounds z (one time only) z Evaluation Copy UK * Europe * Other z Magazine only $ 3.00 $ 3.50 $ 5.00 z With Reader Disk $ 5.00 $ 5.50 $ 7.00 z Three issue z Subscription UK * Europe * Other z Magazine only $ 9.00 $11.50 $13.00 z With Reader Disk $15.00 $17.50 $19.00 Local distributors have been appointed in many countries. Please contact your local distributor directly if listed below and let us know if you experience any problems. 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Regards The Atari Computing Group ACG --- ScanMail 0.70 * Origin: STAG on 42BBS (90:100/315) -- Richard Spowart email@example.com JTS Offers Cost-effective 2GB Hard Disk Drive New Offerings Extend The JTS Line of HDD Products Beyond The Well Accepted 1.2 Gigabyte Palladium JTS Corp. (AMEX:JTS), a world leader in the development of ultra-slim hard drives and portable storage solutions, on Monday announced the availability of the Champ C2000-3AF, a competitive 2GB hard disk drive targeted toward the burgeoning desktop market. The high-capacity Champ is now shipping through JTS' worldwide network of distributors and is currently under qualification at several desktop PC OEMs. The company also is producing a 1.6GB version, the C1600-3AF. "With our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Madras, India, we are extremely well positioned to meet the market needs for 2GB hard disk drives," said Tom Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of JTS Corp. "Our facilities offer high quality volume manufacturing capabilities at a low cost of production." "JTS' focus on the mainstream desktop PC market in conjunction with its low-cost manufacturing capabilities in India should establish the company as a viable supplier to the desktop market," said John Donovan, general manager and storage industry analyst for TRENDFOCUS Inc. The new Champ series offers average seek times of less than 14msec, disk rotation speed of 4500RPM, a 128K multi-segmented cache buffer, DMA Mode 2, Fast-ATA-3 and PIO Mode 4 interface for transfer rates of up to 16.6MB/sec. Industry-leading triple burst on-the-fly ECC (Error Correction Code) increases data integrity at high throughput rates. Embedded servo [sic] eliminates the need for thermal recalibration and provides for continuous throughput of data making these drives ideal for multimedia applications, while the low acoustics provide whisper-quiet operation. The Champ hard disk is encapsulated to lock in quality, protect against handling and ESD damage, improve drive reliability and provide for easier installation. By encapsulating the drive, the installer is able to handle the unit on all surfaces without touching the PCBA. This technology also reduces electromagnetic radiation interference to and from the unit. The MTBF is an industry-leading 500,000 hours and the Champ series is backed by a three year warranty. JTS Corp., with headquarters in San Jose, was founded in 1994 to design, manufacture and supply enhanced- capacity hard disk drives for the notebook and desktop personal computer market. JTS offers an innovative line of ultra-slim 3.0-inch disk drives that provide higher capacity and lower cost per megabyte than competing drives in the portable computer market. JTS Corporation Completes 15 Million Private Financing SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- JTS Corporation (AMEX: JTS) today announced the completion of a $15 million private financing involving the sale of its Series B Convertible Preferred Stock. The Series B Preferred shares are non-voting. They are convertible into JTS's common stock at the current market price or a discount from the market price at the time of conversion and have an annual dividend rate of five percent. Tom Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer of JTS Corporation (the "Company") commented on the financing, "The completion of this financing provides us with adequate working capital to reach our targeted production schedules for the remainder of this fiscal year. I'm pleased to report that we met our production plans for the third quarter of this year. We shipped 221,000 units this quarter, up from 118,000 drives, or approximately 8,000 drives per week, in the second quarter of this year. The Company commenced production of our 3.5 inch hard drives for desktop computers in our factory in Madras, India in October of 1995. We are currently manufacturing up to 25,000 drives per week and expect to reach weekly shipments of 40,000 units by the end of the calendar year and 50,000 units by the end of our fiscal year ending 2/02/97. During the quarter JTS introduced three new 3.0 inch hard drives for the portable market place -- including the industry's first ultra slim 1GB hard disk drive. The Company also began shipping new 1.4GB and 1.6GB, 3.0 inch drives." "We expect to announce our second quarter results in more detail in approximately two weeks, however, I am pleased to report that we met our sales target of $30 million, up from $16 million in the second quarter of this fiscal year. We still expect that our sales in the fourth quarter of this year will more than double the sales that we will report for the third quarter of this year. The Company anticipates revisiting the capital market later this year or early next year, and assuming a successful completion of another financing of similar size, we expect that in the first quarter of fiscal 1998, ending April 30, 1997, we will ship over $100 million in hard drives," added Mitchell. JTS Corporation was founded in 1994 to design, manufacture, and supply enhanced capacity hard disk drives for the notebook and desktop personal computer market. The president and chief executive officer of JTS, Tom Mitchell, is formerly the president and chief operating officer of Conner Peripherals and co-founder, president and chief operating officer of Seagate Technology. JTS merged with the Atari Corporation on July 30, 1996. Except for the historical information contained herein the discussion in this press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those discussed here. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, the Company's limited operating history; the need for additional financing; the uncertainty of market acceptance; the highly competitive market; the Company's ability to achieve initial volume shipments of a 1 gigabyte 3-inch drive; the Company's dependence on its relationship with Compaq Computer; its dependence on a single manufacturing facility and those risk factors discussed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including but not limited to the Company's Registration Statement on Form S-4 (333-06643), in addition to those discussed elsewhere in this press release. SOURCE JTS Corporation >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! As earlier, I have little new to say personally this week. It was an unusually hectic week and I haven't been able to put anything together. I will say that it's been fairly quiet on the console gaming front. Still no word from Telegames regarding the pending new games, other than nothing has changed with regard to dates * the games are still due to arrive. I hope to have more definitive news by next week. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! PlayStation Worldwide Shipments Hit 9 million Units Monthly Production to Reach One Million Units in November & December TOKYO, October 31, 1996 -- Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that, as a result of continued strong consumer demand, shipments of its consumer game console, PlayStation, have reached nine million units worldwide (as of 31 October 1996). To meet this rapidly growing global market demand, SCEI will increase PlayStation hardware production at its manufacturing facilities in Japan to one million units per month in November and December. Following is a breakdown of the number of units shipped, as of October 31, by region: z JAPAN; Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. - 4 million units shipped z NORTH AMERICA; Sony Computer Entertainment America - 2.8 million units shipped z EUROPE; Sony Computer Entertainment Europe - 2.2 million units shipped STATEMENT FROM KAZ HIRAI, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA REGARDING INCREASED WORLDWIDE PLAYSTATION PRODUCTION "One year after the North American launch, consumer and retailer demand for the PlayStation has never been higher. In fact, monthly sales in the U.S. for PlayStation hardware and software have doubled since the recent launch of Nintendo 64 (TM). With accumulative North American PlayStation hardware shipments of 2.8 million units, and the announcement that worldwide production will increase to one million units monthly to meet the tremendous global demand, we're very well positioned to maintain our two-thirds share of the North American next generation video game marketplace." Sony Computer Entertainment INC. Announces New PlayStation Model for Japan SCPH-5500 To Be Available From November 15 At Suggested Retail Price Of 19,800 Yen. Console Packaged With One Game Controller, New AV Cable and Power Cable TOKYO, October 31, 1996 -- To further expedite the increased production of PlayStation hardware, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today the November 15, 1996, introduction of a new PlayStation consumer game console, SCPH-5500. The new console, to be introduced to the Japanese market, will carry a suggested retail price of 19,800 yen (consumption tax not included). The new model has been designed for manufacture with a reduced number of parts as compared to earlier models, in order to achieve mass scale production. The simplified internal design of the new model, including the unification of video connection output terminals into a single AV multi-output jack, will result in a 30 percent increase in manufacturing productivity. This new configuration will facilitate SCEIs increased production demands towards year-end, as well as any future requirements. SCEI will also introduce, as part of a special sales campaign, a new memory card triple pack, SCPH-1170. The pack will include three memory cards for use with PlayStation, and will go on sale on November 15, 1996, at a suggested retail price of 4,000 yen (consumption tax not included). The single memory card pack, SCPH-1020, will continue to be available at the suggested retail price of 2,000 yen (consumption tax not included). With the continual introduction of new and exciting PlayStation software, the total number of PlayStation titles in Japan is expected to exceed 600 by year-end, with a number of new role playing games as well. The new memory card triple pack is yet another illustration of SCEIs commitment to making PlayStation THE game console for the entire family to enjoy. Psygnosis' Destruction Derby 2 Crashes Its Way FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Nov. 6) BUSINESS WIRE -Nov. 6, 1996--Psygnosis announces the release of Destruction Derby(tm) 2, the sequel to the company's wildly successful Destruction Derby(tm) title for the Sony PlayStation(tm) game console. Resprayed, rebuilt and retuned, Destruction Derby 2 features a whole new helter-skelter collision course of crumple zones and advanced 3D graphics that will provide driving game fans with a new dose of unlimited thrills, excitement and adrenaline-pumped action. Joining the spectacular smashes, crashes and open-arena demolition action that made the original Destruction Derby one of the best-selling racing games for the PlayStation in 1995, will be seven longer, wider and more intense race tracks, flying shrapnel, an improved 3D racing model, new banking sections on the open arena "Bowl" and the ultimate in destruction, the "Death" bowl. "Destruction Derby 2 clearly illustrates Psygnosis' capability to deliver some of the best racing action ever seen on the PlayStation game console," said Mark Beaumont, senior vice president, Psygnosis, Inc. "The game will be supported by a comprehensive print and broadcast media program including national in-theater advertising via ScreenVision in December, and a solid radio campaign on the Howard Stern show at launch. It's the type of title that can boost hardware sales for the holiday season." In addition to longer, wider and hillier new tracks, Destruction Derby 2 will feature spectacular 3D crash sequences, where cars will actually flip, roll and cartwheel in real-time before biting the dirt. Upon impact, gamers will see dramatic new special effects, including shooting flames, flying sparks and huge vehicle parts propelling through the air. Destruction Derby 2 also includes a pit area where drivers can repair damaged vehicles and get back on track. Players can choose from four racing styles -- Wreckin' Racing, Stock Car Racing, Destruction Derby and Time Trials. They can also join the Championship League and battle it out over a full racing season or pick from other tactical options, such as Tag Racing, MultiPlayer, Duel or Team Pairs. Psygnosis' Destruction Derby won rave reviews year-round from the gaming press, including "Best 32-Bit Racing Game" in GamePro magazine's 1996 reader's choice awards. Now, gamers can get behind the reckless wheel again in Destruction Derby 2. Nintendo Wins Reversal A $253 million patent infringement verdict against Japan's Nintendo Co. Ltd. has been overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals. Reporting from Redmond, Washington, the Reuter News Service notes Alpex Computer Corp. maintained Nintendo and its unit Nintendo of America Inc. violated a patent Alpex held since 1977 by selling the Nintendo Entertainment System, a home video game system, in the United States. However, the appeals court has unanimously decided Nintendo's patented technology was different substantially from the technology covered by Alpex's patent. Reacting, Chairman Howard Lincoln of Nintendo of America Inc. said that with interest, the judgment would have been worth close to $300 million had the company been forced to pay. "It's a complete victory," he said. "I think our nightmare with these folks is over." Alpex sued in 1986, alleging the Nintendo Entertainment System game device used a patented "bitmapping" display technology patented by two Alpex engineers. In 1994, a U.S. District Court jury agreed and ordered Nintendo to pay a 6 percent royalty on each of the more that 35 million game units sold in the United States. However, now a three-judge panel of the appeals court in Washington, which handles patent cases, says in a 16-page decision it found a "lack of substantial evidence to support a finding of infringement either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents." Reuters' Martin Wolk notes Alpex patented its technology in the 1970s and it was used in early-generation video games made by Mattel, Atari and Coleco. The company later won patent infringement settlements from Sega Enterprises Ltd. and others. 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. I had thought of using this column as a soapbox for talking about what's gone on during the election but I'll bet you're as fed up with it as I am. One thing I cannot go without saying is how disappointed I am in David Brinkley. He has, in a span of minutes, destroyed what has taken him fifty years to build. I don't care whether he thought the camera was on of off, or if he had finally had enough and decided that the american people were as sick and tired of it all as he was and that we should hear his actual thoughts. Do any of us actually care that Bill Clinton is a bore or why this is so? Does it actually tarnish the presidency more than sanctioning break-ins or illegally supplying arms to rebels? We've had three presidents in the past twenty years that have done much worse than just bore us but David, the elder statesman of television journalism, has saved his private thoughts on them for his memoirs. Everything from "I'm not a crook" to "There was no guns for hostages deal" to "Read my lips" has numbed us into an apathetic haze and a simple lack of creativity incenses Mr. Brinkley? It really is a shame all around. Well, enough about that. Another week has sped by already in our little neighborhood and it's time again to check out what's going on in the Atari area on CompuServe. While the level of activity is higher than it has been the past several weeks, it's still not what it once was. Of course, that's understandable. Atari hasn't made a computer in several years. It stands to reason that if there are no new users coming into the market and there are folks moving on to other platforms either because they need the speed and all of those pretty bells and whistles or because they want to stay at the 'cutting edge' of technology, then the userbase is going to shrink and developers are going to find it harder to develop for this platform and still make money. This is the first curve in a vicious cycle that simply spirals down into obscurity. The second curve is when prospective new users get a chance to buy a used Atari computer and don't because there is no new software being written for it. Let's face it, other than MagiC and a few other programs enjoying a relatively minor success, there isn't much on our platform to crow about. Not much to crow about at all... except for the users, that is. I can honestly say that past and current users of TOS are a special breed for some reason. It's true that users of other platforms like the Amiga also display this 'specialness' from time to time, but the difference is 'once an ST user, always an ST user'. I was on another service <gasp> the other day and ran into a few folks that were at one time ST users along with several 'reformed' Mac user and a couple of former Amiga users. We got to talking about computers from the good old days, and before anyone was able to mention which machine they used to use, I had picked all of the former ST users out simply by noticing their attitude. While they fondly remembered their STs, the former Mac and Amiga users had the "boy, I'm glad I don't use THAT machine anymore" attitude and it showed in the memories of their early days of computing. Why is it that the ST market was blessed with these hearty souls? I haven't a clue. But they are the major reason that I'm still here. They are also the reason that the remaining developers are still here too. While none of these developers has any realistic hope of becoming rich by selling ST software, they stay because there are still folks who appreciate their efforts and see the value and utility in their products. There are those who have recently asked if we have 'said good bye' to Atari and have asked us to write in to news shows asking for a segment on the history of Atari. I'm sorry, but Atari said good bye to us quite a while ago. And I don't remember them writing in to news shows and asking for a segment on the users that made their fortunes for them and put them on the cover of every computer magazine available in those early days. This is the company that took a great idea for a computer and proceeded to literally kill it through neglect and subtle abuse. They then did the same thing with its younger siblings, the Lynx and the Jaguar. So go ahead and write to that news show and ask for a segment. But ask for a segment on why, several years after this company has stopped manufacturing computers, there are so many talented and intelligent folks still using them. Or about why the SEC was never able to find the time to adequately examine accusations of stock manipulation and 'stock surfing'. I have immense respect for the individual that originally asked us to write in, but I can't bring myself to agree on this one. It's just wrong. Well, I've had my say. Now let's see what others are saying on CompuServe. >From the Atari Computing Forums On the subject of CompuServe's name change Albert Dayes asks: "...When did the name change from CIS to CSi?" Sysop Jim Ness tell Albert: "About a month ago, CompuServe (the online service, as opposed to the corporation that owns CSi, WOW, and Sprynet) announced that from now on they were calling themselves "CompuServe Interactive", or CSi. I guess that was because "CompuServe Information Service" was no longer a good descriptive name." Sysop Ron Luks tells Sysop Jim: "My personal prediction is that they will drop the names WOW!, CSi, and Sprynet in a couple of weeks and go back to using "CompuServe" for everything. Any takers? [grin]" James Spielman tells Jim Ness: "I think that's the point; CI$ sold out to Micro$oft and anybody that isn't "M$-compliant" is considered not worthy of respect. Yes, I received the CD thingy, but I'm using CIM for OS/2 on my PC! CI$ dumped further development of _that_ as well." Jim tells James: "I think I saw something that said OS/2 development was going to continue. Maybe I'm thinking of the navigator program that logs in automatically and gathers messages. It's called "Golden Compass."" James replies: "Yes, I've seen/read other talk along that line also. What I've heard is CSi (so I use that, now?) is actually _working with_ (!) the Golden Compass people at Creative Systems. If true, I'm sure they can do a better job than CSi, assuming CSi gives them the info they need! I'm not sure of current situation, though. (I've downloaded the GCP demo, and it is powerful. I plan on purchasing the full prod. when I get a bit of spare change!)" Sysop Jim adds: "CompuServe dropped its own "offline reader" program, in favor of a handful of third party products such as Golden Compass. In fact, Csi paid those developers to make sure they included certain sysop capabilities. It's worked out well for everyone." Jerry Coppess asks for help with a file that he downloaded: "I have downloaded the file MPLYR216.ZIP three times and STZIP has told me three times to "keep cool". I do not ususally have problems with downloads and I am getting the correct number of bytes. Could someone check it out?" Joe Villarreal tells Jerry: "Use a disk/file editor and remove the Windows95/MSDOS garbage at the beginning of the file. "PK" should be the begining of the file. Make sure it's an editor that handles binary files; a pure ASCII editor won't work." John Trautschold of Missionware Software posts this tidbit: "Missionware Software is releasing an upgrade to Flash II - our current version is now 3.02 and works with all versions of the MagiC operating system. You'll soon be able to find the following files in the library: F302_PR.TXT Press release for 3.02. FLS302D.LZH Demo version of 3.02 F302UP.LZH Upgrade program to upgrade v3.00 or 3.01 to 3.02." John and company are one shining example of the developers I mentioned earlier. If you are in need of a terminal program, these are the folks to talk to. Meanwhile, Alvin Baligad asks for help with his new Syquest removable hard drive: "Anyone using a SyQuest135 EZDrive, I just got an EZDrive for my Falcon030, but it isn't recognized at boot up. The terminator plug for being the last machine on the SCSI chain is not plugged in, but I didn't use one for the HD I had before getting the EZDrive, and I never had a problem with it." Frank Heller tells Alvin to simply... "Put the terminator plug back in." George Iken adds: "In most cases, the termination isn't really that critical, but when it is .. things just don't work the way they ought to without that terminator. Try that with the terminator plugged in. What utilities are you using. ICD lets you use any SCSI ID and it can find it even if there is a gap. Say you have the EZ135 set at ID 2, no problem. But the Atari Hard Drive Utilities want to find ID's in a sequence and won't read beyond a gap, so if 2 is the only device connected, it won't find it. Set the device to 0 and it's ok." Dan Parrish comes at the problem from a different angle: "You will need a newer version of your Hard Drive utility. I think the latest version from ICD will read the EZDrive. Supposedly HDUtility from Germany will read the EZDrive. I would suggest contacting Toad Computing to find out the best way to connect your EZDrive." Mario Perdue posts this for... "...anyone who's interested. I checked with Telegames and they confirmed that Breakout 2000 was still on schedule for an early December release. If you'd like a little more information, go to Telegame's web site at www.telegames.com The Breakout 2000 page on the Telegames site is the only site that I know of posting screen shots from the final version of the game. Check it out if you're interested." On the subject of video game consoles, Dana Jacobson posts: "And not only is it too late to make X-mas sales (jaguar of yesteryear!), but you can bet that Sony and Sega will be offering sales prices and other promotions to further attract users. Nintendo, like the Jaguar back when, will be surprised that lack of product will be a major factor in disappointing sales and additional success for the other players." Well folks, that's 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 Good night, David EDITORIAL QUICKIES Useful Acronyms PCMCIA People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms ISDN It Still Does Nothing APPLE Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity SCSI System Can't See It DOS Defunct Operating System BASIC Bill's Attempt to Seize Industry Control IBM I Blame Microsoft DEC Do Expect Cuts CD-ROM Consumer Device, Rendered Obsolete in Months OS/2 Obsolete Soon, Too. MACINTOSH Most Applications Crash; If Not, The Operating System Hangs STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE through OVER 200,000 PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International OnLine Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STR OnLine! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" November 08, 1996 Since 1987 Copyrightc1996 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1245
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