ST Report: 18-Apr-97 #1316From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 18-Apr-97 #1316 Date: Tue Apr 22 16:55:45 1997 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent OnLine Magazine" (Since 1987) April 18, 1997 No.1316 Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Under Construction) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer? Internet Explorer is STReport's Official Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 7 & Adobe Acrobat Pro Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STR Via Email Through The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-617-567-8642 04/18/97 STR 1316 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-97! - CPU Industry Report - STR Mail Bag - Shareware Listings - Gigabit Chip, VLSI - 24x CDRom Debut - 1 in 5, SPEED on NET - MoneyClip Banking - Color of Money - Compaq buys Microcom - Privacy Legislation - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Virus Rate Nearly Triples In Year! Apple Loss Raises TakeoverThreat Germany Charges CIS Whig! 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 Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. 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. 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 Celebrating Our Tenth Anniversary 1987-1997 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 04/12/97: four of six numbers with one 3 number match >From the Editor's Desk... This week, a test is taking place. A test of practicality as far as STReport is concerned. You see, we are in the midst of comparing Word Perfect v7.02.19 and MS Word 7. Try as we have, its been difficult to find many major professional offices not using Word Perfect in one version or another. The mere mention of changing Word Processors or Office Applications usually throws the entire office into a panic and then, open revolt. In all fairness to Word Perfect, I must admit it was the WP of choice for STR for many years. Only in the last two and half years have we used Word. So far, I have yet to wean myself from wanting a "Reveal Codes" in MS Word to be at my beck and call along with many of the other familiar, very practical and highly useful features of Word Perfect. One very ugly thing has popped up though, it seems Word Perfect does not like having Adobe Acrobat as a printer. It religiously errors out every time its called. Of course for us this is a very serious problem. I called Word Perfect Support two days ago and was promised a return call. Here it is Friday and still no return call about the Acrobat 3.0 and Word Perfect collision course. So. we are still working with "old faithful" Word 7. Mind you now, Word 7 has its warts too. One in particular, that really frosts my jewels is the goofy way it saves files especially if one wishes to save to another WP's format. RTF??? Who is kidding who here? This is a comfy dodge. The RTF file is a huge highly bloated candidate for a sewage treatment plant. Let's get back to the real deal folks. the save files. regardless of in which format should be faithful to the program and program version not some slide by RTF nonsense. Next, comes the LACK of a Reveal Codes like Word Perfect has had for years and years! Yes, you are 100% right. I did mention Reveal Codes thrice in this column. Maybe, just maybe the code cruncher responsible at MS for adding desirable features will get the message. Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.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/FTP Site, 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. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Allen Harkleroad Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondents Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet email@example.com STR FTP ftp.streport.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 PC Magazine Praises CompuServe CompuServe has been rated the best online service by the venerable PCMagazine. Awarding the Columbus, Ohio, online service its Editors' Choice award, the magazine says in its May 6 issue CompuServe is "providing the best of both worlds" in that it "delivers what we have come to expect from an online service while giving us complete and easy access to the Internet." Comparing online services, PC Magazine commended CompuServe for refocusing on the fundamentals of what makes a strong online service instead of providing "splashy graphics and television metaphors." Strengths cited by PC Magazine include reliable connectivity, discussion forums, extensive file download libraries, a flexible and powerful electronic mail service, an improved user interface and a fully functional version of Internet Explorer 3.0. And praising the system's "solid roster of content and stellar databases of periodicals," the magazine said, "CSi offers the greatest depth of content in the online world." Germans Charge CompuServe Chief In what may be a test case to see how far authorities can go in trying to police cyberspace, German prosecutors have charged CompuServe's German chief with being an accessory to the dissemination of pornography. Reporting from Bonn, writer William Boston of the Reuter News Service notes the charges actually date back to an investigation begun at the end of 1995, "when Bavarian authorities sparked an outcry among cyber-liberty advocates by forcing CompuServe to close down access to over 200 sex-related Internet news groups." While the prosecutors did not name the accused, CompuServe officials confirmed the charges were filed against Felix Somm, managing director of its operations in Germany and Central Europe. Munich prosecutors said in a statement, "He is accused in numerous instances in 1995 and 1996 of knowingly allowing images of child pornography, violent sex and sex with animals from newsgroups from the so-called Internet to be accessible to customers of CompuServe Germany." The prosecutors also said that certain computer games available to CompuServe members in Germany violated laws against "glorifying violence" and contained outlawed pictures of Adolf Hitler and Nazi symbols such as swastikas. Specifically, Somm is charged with "assisting in the distribution of pornographic materials as well as premeditated and negligent violation of laws concerning writings that are dangerous to youths." >From its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters, CompuServe released a statement late yesterday saying it "believes that the accusation against Mr. Somm is entirely groundless and that he will ultimately be vindicated," adding, "We plan to vigorously oppose this action against Mr. Somm, and to fully support him through this personally trying period." The company also said it "has repeatedly stated that it cannot control Internet newsgroup content, which comprises thousands of 'discussion threads' participated in by countless individuals worldwide (only some of whom may be CompuServe Incorporated members). Internet newsgroup content changes constantly and cannot be monitored in advance in any meaningful way." As for its own news servers, CompuServe said it "does not carry on those computer newsgroups that have been validly reported to CompuServe Inc. as containing child pornographic or bestiality material and which CompuServe Inc. has been able to verify through the assistance of third parties. Furthermore, all newsgroup access through CompuServe Inc. facilities can be blocked at the customer level by using software tools provided by CompuServe Incorporated to all of its members worldwide." Reuters says the indictment -- issued on Feb. 26 but not made public until yesterday -- is the first of its kind in Germany and is bound to spark renewed debate about how far the long arm of the law can reach into cyberspace. Adds the wire service, "Despite a raging dispute over the liability of online services for what users do over their networks, German prosecutors believe such services are responsible when writings or images outlawed in Germany but on computers somewhere else in the world are made accessible to Germans over the Internet." Noting German prosecutors have been frustrated in efforts to break child pornography and prostitution rings that use the Internet to reach their customers or neo-Nazis who use it to spread hate diatribes that would be outlawed in Germany, Reuters says, "Bonn's draft multimedia law makes an effort to protect internet service providers against undo prosecution, but appears to leave a loop-hole that would allow police to make providers and online service responsible in the end." Harald Summa, head of the Internet Media Council, a lobby group for Internet service providers, told the wire service, "The multimedia law states that a provider must use reasonable technical measures to control the content on their networks." Writing for Reuters, reporter Boston comments, "It appears that the Munich prosecutors want to set a precedent and prove that Somm did not do what was technically possible to stop the transmission of cybersmut to Germans." In Germany, conviction for distribution of child pornography carries a sentence of up to a year in prison. 1-in-5 Want High-Speed Net Access A new survey finds that one-in-five U.S. homes would subscribe to a high-speed Internet service for at least $40 a month when it becomes available. "Over 40 percent of current online users will pay $40 a month for high-speed Internet access, while most non-online homes will wait for prices to decline and for more compelling content to emerge," says Samuel Book, president of consumer research at The Strategis Group, which conducted the survey of 500 U.S. households. The study also finds that residential online/Internet subscribers spend about six hours per week on the Internet, including four hours a week on the World Wide Web and online information services. The typical online household sends and receives nine e-mail messages a week. According to the Washington-based market researcher, U.S. online households have mushroomed from under five million two years ago to over 17 million today. But it notes that higher speed is needed for mass market usage, and the next stage of Internet evolution depends on high speed broadband networks. AMA Warns of 'Snake Oil' Online Many of the thousands of health-oriented pages on the Internet's World Wide Web are incomplete, misleading or inaccurate, says the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. In an editorial published yesterday, Dr. George Lundberg says science and snake oil look a lot alike on the Internet, suggesting an AMA online "seal of approval" to help people sort out the quacks from the quality information. According to United Press International, Lundberg likens some information found on the Internet to a conversation overheard at a cocktail party, rather than effective health care information and expresses his concern that companies that sell health-care products may be paying Web site authors to provide links to their sales-oriented sites. While there are thousands of medically oriented Web sites, the key to safety is finding a site run by a medical school or moderated by a physician or health-care professional, said Lundberg, adding reliable sites should include: z A clear and precise identification of the site's author and any affiliation the author or experts mentioned on the site may have. z Information that can be verified. z Disclosure of any consumer ties. z A clear way to tell how current the information is. Net Could Mean More Downsizing As companies move to cyberspace-based automation methods to cut payrolls and other costs, a new era of corporate downsizing could be brought by the Internet, say industry executives. "While the widespread layoffs of recent years continue to spawn job insecurity in the workplace," observes reporter David Morgan of the Reuter News Service, "the computer industry has begun pushing new Web-based software products that allow companies to make some traditional office jobs obsolete." Specifically, Morgan cites: z The "Intranet" technology, which allows companies to set up internal Web sites where employees can find up-to-date information about topics such as health and pension plans. z And "Extranet" products that can be used to create external Internet-links between companies for the purpose of executing routine business transactions otherwise carried out by paper-based purchase and shipment order systems. Speaking at the Internet Commerce Expo in Atlanta this week, Microsoft Corp. Chief Operating Officer Bob Herbold said, "You can literally remove the people who have been answering the phone in the past. All those phone calls, all those human beings involved, all the paperwork involved can disappear." In other developments, Reuters quotes a senior IBM executive as saying the government of Singapore reduced manpower 45 percent and slashed costs 62 percent in some departments after moving suppliers into just such a system. And computer executives say a cadre of corporations ranging from airlines and automotive companies to consumer product makers and railroads are moving steadily to take advantage of the potential benefits. Says Chairman Shikhar Ghosh of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based software company Open Market Inc., "Just as the Industrial Revolution changed manufacturing capacity, the Internet will change distribution. Middle men and middle-level companies will be eliminated and most companies in an industrial economy are middle-level." And while some warn the Net could lead to a new period of economic dislocation, others say economic growth resulting from the new efficiency of electronic dealing would more than make up for initial job losses. "It's less an issue of eliminating jobs than it is an issue of making people more effective," said President Randall Whiting of the Internet industry association, CommerceNet. "There would be so many more business opportunities that overall, net employment would rise." MSN Shuts Down E-Mail Service The Microsoft Network has shut down its worldwide electronic mail service. "Service should be restored midday (Pacific time) Friday, April 18. When the servers are back online, you should receive all email that was sent to you during the upgrade. Delivery of delayed email should be complete by Sunday, April 20," notes a statement issued by the Redmond. Washington-based online service. MSN, with approximately 2.2 million subscribers, took the e-mail servers offline for unexpected maintenance work, notes the Reuter News Service, which adds that no prior announcement was made of the interruption in service, which could inconvenience many of the network's customers who rely on e-mail for business communications. Study: Intranet Info Sales to Soar Riding the continuing wave of intranet installations across corporate America, intranet/Internet information sales will represent 20 percent--or $5.4 billion --of all business/professional online information sales by 2000, according to a new study from Cowles/Simba Information of Stamford, Connecticut. "The explosion of Internet access at businesses in combination with the rising penetration of intranet installations in large corporations will significantly boost intranet/Internet information sales over the next three years," says Ben de la Cruz, the report's author. The report estimates that the number of Internet users at work reached 12.0 million in 1996, a 50 percent jump over 8.0 million in 1995. "Corporate intranet sales still represent a small part of online business information sales, but changing information buying habits at Fortune 500 companies will propel sales over the next several years," de la Cruz adds. "The adoption of intranet technology is serving as a catalyst for expanding the distribution of information services from high-level executives and middle managers to all employees across the corporate enterprise for the first time." Graphics Improve Net Commerce? Those attending Atlanta's Internet Commerce Expo were told developments in online graphics and real-time video will offer consumers a tailored shopping experience, advancing the Internet commerce to the next level. William Kelly, general counsel for Silicon Graphics, said in a keynote address that video "does a much better job of grabbing your attention and certainly conveys an awful lot more information in 15 seconds than you're going to get with a banner ad that blinks at you." The Reuter News Service quotes Kelly as saying Internet sales offer the opportunity for one-to-one, personalized service and marketing, adding, "The best people in this business are using sound marketing practices and extending them to the Web, using the Web as an extension of their existing businesses." He said businesses trying to reach consumers through the Internet should drive customers to their site and engage them once they are there and advised that businesses should gather customer information when consumers use a Web site and provide a safe and secure environment for commerce. In addition, Kelly said: z People buying products through the Internet should be allowed to interact with other customers to foster a sense of community. z The World Wide Web should allow purchases and returns to be made as easily as possible. Ohio Library Filters Net Sites A public library in Westerville, Ohio, has become the first in the state to use software to limit access to certain controversial Internet sites. According to United Press International, 20 Ohio libraries have purchased the "Library Channel" software, developed by vImpact of Columbus to give patrons a simple way to get on the World Wide Web, but providing the library with the means of limiting that access. Another 30 to 40 libraries are expected to go online in the summer. Director Don Barlow of Westerville Library says the Library Channel can block access to sexually explicit and other potentially offensives sites. The software gives access only to sites previously examined by librarians. He compared the software to the catalogs libraries have maintained for centuries, adding, "The whole idea was to develop something like a book collection, but, instead, create an Internet collection." The issue of library's filtering the Net has been controversial in other areas of the country. For instance, as reported earlier, the American Civil Liberties Union has considered filing file suit in Orlando, Florida, over the Orange County Public Library's policy to block sexually explicit Internet sites on public access computers. The Ohio library is beginning with 1,000 sites on arts and entertainment, history, travel, business and community news. A committee of librarians from central Ohio are finding more sites, with the goal of up to 50,000 sites by midsummer. vImpact President Jim Zimmerman told the wire service the software costs $5,000 to $30,000 depending on the size of the library and how many options it selects. Apple Loss Raises TakeoverThreat Analysts say Apple Computer Inc. fears it now is more likely to be target to a hostile takeover attempt because of its report of a huge quarterly loss -- $708 million on a 27 percent decline in sales. The San Jose, Calif., Mercury News has reported Apple Chairman Gilbert Amelio is struggling to turn the company around before the start of such an attempting, noting that Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison has indicated an interest in buying controlling interest in Apple. Nonetheless, business writer Catalina Ortiz of The Associated Press today characterizes Amelio as being "in an upbeat mood," because he thinks the worst of the company's troubles are over now that it's paid the huge bills for a sweeping reorganization and its purchase of Next Software Inc. "A painful period, but it's behind us," Amelio said Wednesday, after the company posted its second-worst quarterly performance ever. Apple lost $708 million -- $5.64 a share -- for its second fiscal quarter ended March 28, including $530 million in special charges. A year ago, the company lost $740 million, or $5.99 a share, when it took an even bigger charge to pay for an earlier attempt at renewal. Revenue for the quarter dropped 27 percent to $1.6 billion from $2.2 billion. In a conference call with analysts and reporters, Amelio called the results disappointing, but he said was confident that his strategy for turning Apple around was working. During the quarter, he said, Apple became more focused, cut expenses and introduced "dazzling" new computers. "Actually, I feel very good," he said. "I feel with the quarter behind us we can get down to doing what we've always done, which is make great products, build some excitement up." Micron Weighs Compaq Deal Boise, Idaho, chipmaker Micron Technology Inc. acknowledges it has held talks to sell its personal computer subsidiary to Compaq Computer Corp., but says it is no longer engaged in "active" discussions and that a firm offer was never made. According to The Associated Press, the statements came after J.R. Simplot, the largest individual shareholder and a board member of Micron Technology, told a Boise television station that Compaq was interested in buying the company's Micron Electronics unit, a $1.8 billion maker of laptops, personal computers and other high-tech gear. Said Simplot, "If we want to sell, I think we have the opportunity." Adds AP, "Industry insiders have speculated in recent days about the prospect of a Micron Electronics purchase by Compaq, which could benefit from the Boise-based company's distribution network." As reported earlier, Compaq this week claimed a larger share of the expanding market for Internet equipment by agreeing to pay $280 million for networking company Microcom Inc. Samsung Nears AST Buyout Samsung Electronics Co.'s offer to buy troubled computer maker AST Research Inc. has been approved by the AST board, but at a higher price than initially proposed. Reporting from Los Angeles, The Associated Press quotes the companies as saying Samsung Electronics will buy the half of AST it does not already own for $170 million, or $5.40 per share. That's about 6 percent more than the $5.10 per share Samsung offered in January. Samsung also is assuming $307 million in AST debt, AP notes. Samsung Electronics, the flagship of the $87 billion Samsung Group in South Korea, already had bought 49 percent of AST through a series of bailouts that started with a $378 million cash infusion in 1995. The wire service notes a special committee comprised of AST's three outside directors unanimously recommended the deal to the full board, which also approved the deal unanimously. Shareholders must still give their approval. "But the acquisition price," says AP, "apparently assuaged shareholders who had sued following the January proposal, saying the proposal was too cheap and that Samsung executives were partly to blame for AST's recent problems. The companies said they had settled the suits, subject to Delaware Chancery Court approval." Apple, Clone Makers Near Pact Word is a settlement is in sight in a dispute over how much Apple Computer Inc. can charge Macintosh clone makers for selling computers based on the Mac operating system. Business writer David E. Kalish of The Associated Press says Apple had wanted to sharply boost the fees to the licensees, which include IBM, Motorola Inc. and Power Computing Corp., noting Apple "has grown concerned that the increasing popularity of the inexpensive clones is stealing from its own Macintosh sales." Says Kalish, "Apple's hardline stance raised fears that it was trying to shut out the clone makers' business, which depends on selling cheap machines. But the company now appears to be moderating its position, according to industry sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity." One executive following the negotiations told the wire service, "We are finding a middle ground." Macintoshes from Apple as well as the clone makers use Power PC microprocessor chips made by Motorola and IBM, as well as the software that runs the basic functions of the Macintosh computer. "The licensing negotiations," AP comments, "spotlight the bind confronting Apple as it struggles to protect the most profitable parts of its business from competitors. Under attack from cheaper rival machines using Intel chips and Microsoft software, Apple's sales have dropped precipitously." VLSI Unveils Gigabit Chip The industry's first commercially available gigabit Ethernet-class silicon for high-speed data networking applications is being introduced by VLSI Technology Inc. Reporting from San Jose, California, the Reuter News Service quotes a VLSI spokeswoman as saying the Ethernet integrated circuit, to be demonstrated at the Networld+Interop trade show in Las Vegas in early May, can be used to relieve networking traffic bottlenecks on corporate networks. Dubbed the VNS67500, the chip moves information over networks at the speed of one gigabit, or one billion bits per second, which is 100 times faster than Ethernet and 10 times faster than so-called Fast Ethernet devices. Says Reuters, "VLSI said it had beat out rivals such as Texas Instruments Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Lucent Technologies, although analysts expect the market to gather momentum quickly." The chip also uses the Media Access Controller technology from Packet Engines Inc., which is a leading platform for controlling how computers communicate over an Ethernet link, Reuters notes, adding prototypes of the chip are available now in 0.5 micron complex metal oxide semiconductor technology priced at $60 each for small production quantities. Boca Resumes 56K Modem Shipments Boca Research Inc. says it has resumed shipping its Boca 56K Internet Modem. Shipments were temporarily halted in mid-March due to performance problems in the modem's Rockwell chipset. "We have worked with Rockwell's team of developmental engineers to improve their chipset performance," says Tony Zalenski, president and CEO of the Boca Raton, Florida-based modem maker. "We have exhaustively tested the code in-house and are confident that the previously detected performance issues are corrected. We are pleased with Rockwell's K56flex technology. Zalenski notes that only limited quantities of the modem had been shipped to identifiable locations at the time the problem was discovered. He adds that the products were "returned without any potential for customer dissatisfaction." The Boca 56K Internet Modem has a street price in the $149 to $169 range. Motorola Ships 56K Modems Again Motorola Inc. has become the second company to announce that it has resumed shipping 56K bps modems using Rockwell's K56flex chipset technology. Motorola uses the Rockwell chipset in its SURFR modems. On Monday, Boca Research Inc. announced it is again shipping its K56flex-based modem line. Shipments were temporarily halted in mid-March due to network performance problems in the modem's Rockwell chipset. "After a brief shipping delay, Motorola and Rockwell engineers have improved the algorithm in the chipset to optimize the modems' performance in all network configurations," says a statement from Motorola's transmission products division, based in Huntsville, Alabama. 24x CD-ROM Drives Make Debut The CD-ROM drive speed bar has been raised to 24x with new products from Panasonic and Pioneer. Secaucus, New Jersey-based Panasonic says it expects to begin shipping internal and external 24x models in May. The units will be priced at $109 and $209, respectively. Pioneer is also set to begin shipping internal and external 24x CD-ROM drives in May. The Long Beach, California-based company hasn't yet announced prices. "Now that we've achieved a 24x spin rate, users can experience the data transfer performance necessary for today's data-intensive applications. And, they can get it for about the same price as a slower 16x drive," says Douglas Feldner, a product manager in Panasonic's multimedia systems division. "Pioneer is excited to provide its OEM partners with a high-speed, high-quality drive that can deliver in all areas of speed, performance and durability," notes Paul Dempsey, senior vice president of marketing for Pioneer New Media Technologies. Cheap PCs Revitalize Market Low-end PCs priced as low as $800 have stimulated a new wave of growth in the U.S. retail PC market, finds research from Computer Intelligence. The La Jolla, California, market research firm notes that the U.S. retail segment experienced three straight months of year-to-year declines until the February arrival of sub- $1,000 PCs from Packard Bell NEC, Monorail and Compaq, which spurred a 6 percent increase over February 1996. "Reacting to the distressing year-to-year decline in retail sales, many were speculating that with the high levels of PC ownership found in higher-income households, the growth in the home PC market would stop," says Matt Sargent, a Computer Intelligence analyst. "We were looking for MMX-equipped machines to kick in demand, but in reality it is the sub-$1,000s that have done the trick." CI's research shows that one key to the success of the sub-$1,000 market has been channel selection. Previously, PC makers had focused on consumer electronic stores and mass merchants to sell sub-$1,000 PCs. With consumers shifting their attention to PC superstores, several PC makers placed low-cost models there as well, with immediate success. The top-selling model in February in PC superstores was the Packard Bell C115, which boosted Packard Bell NEC's market share in the PC Superstores, an area previously dominated by Compaq and one where Packard Bell NEC had experienced problems. "Packard Bell NEC appeared to be having problems in late 1996, with the declines in consumer electronic stores sales and Compaq's dominance in PC Superstores. However, sales of the new models seem to show that Packard Bell NEC has capitalized on a significant shift in demand for low-cost product within Compaq's previous stronghold, PC superstores," says Sargent. Yellow Pages Get Internet Guide Bell Atlantic is binding an Internet Guide into its Yellow Pages phone directories for the Washington, D.C., suburbs. The Baby Bell notes that the Internet Guide is a primer for novices written in easy-to-understand language. It provides an overview and simple step-by-step instructions for getting started on the Internet and the World Wide Web. The Internet Guide also has a Web site at www.iosg.com. "With the rapid growth of the Internet and the shift from 'techie' to mainstream usage, we believe that consumers will benefit from a how-to guide," says Greg Hanifee, Bell Atlantic's Internet Guide product manager. "It is a natural fit to incorporate useful, basic information on the Internet in the Yellow Pages." Over the next two years, Bell Atlantic plans to add the Internet Guide to all of its Yellow Pages directories. Netscape Pushes 'Push' Release Still trying to stave off Microsoft Corp.'s aggressive courting of the Internet, Netscape Communications Corp. is speeding up release of a key feature in the new version of its web browser. Netscape told The Associated Press a test version of the firm's upcoming Communicator browser will incorporate so-called "push" technology in a feature called Netscape Netcaster. "Touted as a hot new Internet trend," notes AP, "the delivery method sends online information directly to one's desktop, so that users don't have to laboriously search for what they need. The Netscape Netcaster will enable 'viewers' to receive channels of news, sports and other information contributed by online news services from media companies ranging from Walt Disney's ABC to Time Warner's CNN." Look for the test version of Communicator to be available through Netscape's Web site in 30 days, with a final version to go on sale by June 30, costing $59.95, AP says. Previously, Netscape's "push" technology wasn't expected until later this year. Netscape Marketing Vice President Bob Lisbonne called this "really exciting news for end-users," adding, "Netscape delivering push technology means this will be the end of the `World Wide wait.'" AP comments the early release may give Netscape "an at-least temporary edge over far larger rival Microsoft," noting Microsoft has said it will incorporate push features into a test version of its Internet Explorer 4.0 within the next two months, with the final release is due later in the summer. Meanwhile, both Netscape and Microsoft browsers also are to turn the computer screen into a viewfinder for both the Internet and information stored in a user's personal computer. "Icons for everything from desktop files to far-flung Web pages are given the same prominence on the screen, blurring today's distinction between the Internet and a user's desktop PC," the wire service observes. Virus Rate Nearly Triples In Year The rate of computer virus infection in corporate America nearly tripled in the past year, despite a significant increase in the usage of anti-virus products, finds a new survey from the National Computer Security Association. The survey also finds that electronic mail is now one of the leading methods of transmitting viruses. According to the survey, virtually all medium and large organizations in North America have experienced at least one computer virus infection first-hand, and approximately 40 percent of all computers used in the surveyed companies would experience a virus infection within a year. Macro viruses carried in common word processing documents and spreadsheets are the biggest problem, representing 80 percent of all infections, compared to 49 percent a year ago. The survey finds that the instances of macro virus infection have doubled about every four months over the past year. Of the 300 survey respondents -- representing more than 700,000 desktop computers and 24,000 servers -- the infection rate was found to be about 33 of 1,000 machines infected in any given month, and 406 of 1,000 machines infected in a given year. This is a significant increase from 1996, when the chance of experiencing a computer virus was about 10 out of every 1,000 PCs per month. 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 very best yet in its price range. 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 printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S 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 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. 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 Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature "The Latest & Greatest" Shareware Treasure Chest By Lloyd E. Pulley firstname.lastname@example.org Name/Version Release Date Size Price LifeSaver 3.20 4/17/97 1,490kb Freeware A Windows 95 configuration file backup and restore utility which can be used to recover from problems due to corrupt configuration files or changes to configuration files which can not be undone. The Standard features provide a fully functional copy of LifeSaver which never expires and is free. There is a 30-day trial period for Additional features, which require registering to use after 30 days. Home Page Site - http://members.aol.com/aeroblade/index.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price MidiMaster 32-bit 7.0 beta 3 4/15/97 1.00mb Shareware $20 MidiMaster is a multimedia player for Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 that supports MID, RMI, AVI, QuickTime and WAV formats. It is not only a media player but also a media file organizer. It is specially designed for those who like a desktop media player which brings convenience whenever they play and manage their beloved media files. MidiMaster runs on both Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 as it provides specific Windows 95 GUI features. Also, users can either minimize MidiMaster to taskbar or shrink it to the TaskTray of Windows 95. MidiMaster also provides library functions for managing or categorizing media files. It has many extensive functions which make media files playing extremely simple and controllable. There are many more functions available to make your life of playing media files easier. Home Page Site - http://www.cs.ust.hk/~paul/mm/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Netopia Virtual Office 1.0 4/10/97 4,800kb Shareware $49.95 A revolutionary new way to communicate and collaborate with anyone who has a Web browser. Netopia Virtual Office instantly transforms your PC into a collaborative Web office where you can work with others in real-time and exchange information. After collecting what is needed Virtual Office creates a Webpage with the users name. When visiting the Webpage you can transfer files to an inbox, pick up files in an outbox, chat, or voice conference and even control the other's computer. Supports Netscape and Internet Explorer. Home Page Site - http://www.farallon.com/product/nvo/nvowinover.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Printer's Apprentice 6.5 4/10/97 1,602kb Shareware $25.00 Acclaimed font manager for TrueType and Adobe Type 1 fonts, exclusively for Windows 95. This is a highly professional application with a sharp interface. Prints and views uninstalled fonts, installs and uninstalls font files from your system. Includes six font catalog styles, four sample sheets, two ANSI charts and a keyboard layout. All catalogs and sample sheets can be changed with extenstive customization features. Our three column catalog can print up to 75 fonts per page. Fonts are easily previewed fonts before installing or printing! Excellent companion for font CD-ROMS, application suites, and desktop publishing. Includes full online help, setup and uninstall. Requires the VB 4.0 Runtimes. Home Page Site - http://www.igi.net/~btkinkel/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price BusinessCards/32 4.14 4/10/97 350kb Shareware $29.95 Extremely intuitive and easy to use freeform organizer, an ultimate Cardfile replacement. Award winning software - COMPACT, FAST and FLEXIBLE. Fully Internet enabled, packed with lots of advanced features. Home Page Site - http://www.midstream.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price PhoneFree 32-bit 1.1k plug-in 4/13/97 .19mb Freeware PhoneFree is the first Internet Telephony application to cut through the Tower of Babel and offer compatibility where it counts: *PhoneFree is an intergrated Netscape and Internet Explorer Plugin Module, no need to learn a new and confusing interface... just click on someone's name to call them! *PhoneFree is compatible with Vocaltec's Internet Phone(TM) and Netscape's Cool Talk(TM), offering you the ability to place calls to more people then any other product. *PhoneFree features integrated Voice Mail to any user with an email address... and they don't need any special software to retrieve their messages! Home Page Site - http://www.phonefree.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price TextPad 32-bit 3.0 beta 3 4/13/97 1.10mb Shareware $27 DescriptionAn easy to use powerfull text editor. It has many nice features such as: In addition to the usual cut, copy and paste capabilities, selected text can be case shifted and block indented, and characters, words and lines can be transposed. Cut and copied text can be appended to the clipboard, as well as replacing its contents, OLE2 drag and drop editing for copying and moving text between documents, and A powerful search/replace engine using UNIX-style regular expressions, with the power of editor macros. Sets of files in a directory tree can be searched, and text can be replaced in all open documents at once. Home Page Site - http://www.textpad.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Microsoft Internet Explorer 32-bit 4.0 Beta 1 4/07/97 500kb Freeware Microsoft is pleased to introduce the Platform Preview test release of Internet Explorer 4.0-an open, integrated suite of Internet software that includes the industry's premier Internet client and basic collaboration solution for end users, IT managers, and developers. Internet Explorer 4.0 expands on the innovation introduced in version 3.0 to achieve Microsoft's vision: complete integration of the Internet and the PC. The end result is a dramatically easier and more personalized way for people to get the most out of the Internet. This is the first release of MSIE 4.0. This is a VERY early release and still has bugs in it. It is not meant to be run on primary machines. Only for the brave of heart. Home Page Site - http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ie40/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Big 8 Solitaire 3.0 4/11/97 800kb Shareware Eight of the greatest solitaire games of all time with full computer play. Includes Auld Lang Syne, Canfield, Flower Garden, Grannies Clock, Klondike, Little Spider, Magic Carpet and Osmosis. Home Page Site - http://www.wingames.com/wingames/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price WinFonty 1 4/07/97 397kb Shareware A program that allows you to see all fonts which are installed on your system and to try them with a chosen text, a chosen size and a chosen style. Home Page Site - http://www.mygale.org/02/jump/winfonty.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price MicroChart/32 7-02 3/31/97 374kb Shareware $99.00 A marching band drill design charting system. Create simple to complex designs with powerful graphic charting tools including point, line, block, parallelogram, arc, circle, and freeform bezier curves. Select from various symbols and colors to represent your winds, drumline, or color guard positions. Edit tools include move, copy, delete, mirror, scale, rotate, and join. True Perspective viewing mode displays your drills from the press box or visitors side using selectable heights and distances. Print with options to select paper size, orientation, grid spacing, hash marks, and yardlines. Home Page Site - http://www.aloha.net/~khigaki/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price PNG Live 32-bit 2.0 plug-in 4/16/97 .85mb Freeware PNG Live is a plugin that allows you to see PNG (Portable Network Graphics) images directly in your web browser. The PNG image format represents the next generation of image standards. Better compression, higher resolution, and multiple layers of transparency are just some of its benefits Note: Only works with the newest version of Netscape Communicator. Home Page Site - http://speedy.siegelgale.com/solutions/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Championship Spades for 95 2.2 4/07/97 1,195kb Shareware $39.00 Provides a polished Spades card game for serious players. Features good layout, fast game play,rich sounds, extensive options, and good help and tutorials. Specializing in multiple, editable, computer personalities for very challenging play. Spades is more interesting than Hearts, but not quite as complex to learn as Bridge. Home Page Site - http://www.dq.com/spades.htp ** Five new board game collections from WinGames.Inc ** Name/Version Release Date Size Price Board Games For 2 4.0 4/11/97 781kb Shareware Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Goban, Pipes, Race Chase, Flag Ship and Fox & Hounds. Play with a friend on the same machine, on any network or using a modem. Game Chest 3.0 4/11/97 885kb Shareware A challenging collection of games including Backgammon, Yatze, and Rummy to be played with two players or against the computer. Two versions of mind numbing Solitaire as well, Queen's Audience and Fortune's Favor. Penny's Arcade 3.0 4/11/97 1,124kb Shareware Try your hand at a shooting gallery with a full range of skill levels and configuration options. For one to four players, a carnival of prize winning fun! Pro Backgammon 2.0 4/11/97 995kb Shareware The first in our InterSoft series, Pro Backgammon has two player capability, three levels of computer play and will support the following remote play options: Internet, Lan, Modem and Serial. Great for tournament play with five different match types. Board Design let's you choose your favorite colors and patterns to constuct a custom board. And a 'can't make a wrong move' interface allows you to move backwards or forwards moves, you could even replay the whole game! Sound and Music. Total Recall 3.0 4/11/97 946kb Shareware Follow the sights and sounds without being dazzled. A quick paced game to challenge your memory and reaction time. Not a simple simon. Home Page Site - http://www.wingames.com/wingames/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price PhoneBook95 1.4 4/11/97 1,272kb Shareware $20.00 A powerful yet easy to use 32-bit Phone/Address Book Management Application. Organize all your phone #'s, addresses, e-mail addresses etc. with ease. Includes search and dialing capability. Also comes with an install wizard for easy installation. Home Page Site - http://members.aol.com/lwsoftware/index.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price DayCare 3.0 beta 4/08/97 5,100kb Shareware $39.95 A complete home daycare management system. Tracks children, Guardians, doctors, shot information, daily schedules, expenses, activities, Journal functions for keeping a diary of daily events and is super intuitive and easy to use, compare to Daycare systems costing hundreds of dollars. Beta. users can give inputs and feedback to make the product even cooler. Home Page Site - http://www.boundarylight.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Book Librarian 95 3.0 3/06/97 1605kb Shareware $32.00 A multi-feature book cataloging database that allows you to organize and manage your books and other publications. There are fields for a title, author, co-author, subjects, edition, catalog number, book number, borrower, due date, a 64k memo field and more. Other features include a robust report/preview system with an easy to use query system. Imports/Exports data in dBase and ASCII format. Also includes a backup/restore module. Home Page Site - http://www.turbosystems.com/blw31.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price FaceIt PC 2.5 4/11/97 5.0mb Demo $59.95 Face recognition software that runs on any Pentium-based PC connected to a video or digital camera.It uses your face as your visual password to control access to your computer. FaceIt automatically locks your computer when it detects that you are not in front of it. To gain access when you return you simply look into the camera and FaceIt does the rest. It detects your presence, locates your head, extracts your face, matches it to its database of trusted users, and grants you access by unlocking the screen. All hands-off and all in a fraction of a second. In addition FaceIt captures and stores the face of any individual who attempts to gain access unsuccessfully. The version offered from the website is fully functional 30 day evaluation copy. Home Page Site - http://www.faceit.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price NeuroStock 1.7 4/10/97 748kb Shareware $50.00 A Neural Based Stock Trading Expert System. It learns a stock trading pattern from historical data, learns the relations between the stock and other stocks of the same industry, and gives buy/hold/sell advice. Home Page Site - http://nethomes.com/neurostock/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Wireless Secretary and Pager Wizard 1.00.00 4/11/97 518kb Shareware $45.00 A pair of Windows 32 bit executable programs which optionally interface with Microsoft Schedule+ 7.0, Microsoft Exchange and your alphanumeric pager. These programs install on your Windows 95 or Microsoft NT computer and work together to turn your standard alphanumeric pager into a Personal Digital Assistant which interfaces with your computer. It does not matter if you do not have Microsoft Schedule+ 7.0 Wireless Secretary will remind you of appointments, events and tasks you enter into it. Also, if you do not have Microsoft Exchange, Wireless Secretary can not send email to your pager, but this will not hamper it's other features. Home Page Site - http://www.nmia.com/~jtech/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price MIDIMaster 7.0 beta 2 4/11/97 1,061kb Shareware $20.00 MIDI player that enables users to organize their MIDI files in libraries, arrange them in a multifunctional Play List. MidiMaster can also play any MIDI files in ZIP archives using its internal UNZIP capabilities. Its enhanced user interface also makes your MIDI resources substantially available. MidiMaster is often said as the best Midi player on this planet! Other media file playing like WAV, AVI, Quicktime and RMI are also supported. Home Page Site - http://www.cs.ust.hk/~paul/mm/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price SAMcal 2.0b 4.1 4/08/97 1,004kb Shareware $10.00 A daily calendar/reminder program designed to be small, highly configurable, and easy to use. Features include multiple recurring event types, application launch events, and a very customizable appearance. Home Page Site - http://web.wt.net/~mccluney/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Beatnik 32-bit 1.0 plug-in 4/15/97 2.40mb Free The Beatnik Plug-in is a driver which manages the playback of RMF and other audio files within web browsers. It can be downloaded for free and installed as a plug-in. The greatest strengths of the Beatnik Plug-in are its high fidelity and its potential for interactivity. The sound quality is comparable to high-end PC wavetable sound cards even though the processing is entirely software-based. The potential for interactivity results from Beatnik's support of a comprehensive set of Java-callable functions which allow for a richer and more personalized musical experience than other multimedia delivery solutions. Beatnik allows a web site to play music not only upon the opening of a web page, but also on a event such as a "mouse click" or "mouse over." These events can also trigger individual notes, sampled voices, or sound effects; start or stop music; and change tempo, volume, pitch, or mix. Home Page Site - http://www.headspace.com/beatnik/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Net.Medic 32-bit 1.0 4/15/97 N/A Shareware $39.95 Net.Medic is a browser companion, it works with your Internet browser to monitor, isolate, diagnose, and correct problems that affect your Internet experience. Now you can identify the source of your network bottleneck: your PC, modem, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the Internet backbone, or remote Web site server. Net.Medic identifies problems in split seconds, offers you recommendations for solving them, and in certain cases, automatically fixes them for you. Net.Medic is the personal Internet utility you've been waiting for, giving you actionable information that can measurably improve your personal online experience. Before Net.Medic, you could only talk about your frustration. Now you can do something about it. Home Page Site - http://www.vitalsigns.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price MultiNet 32-bit 1.5 beta 3 4/15/97 1.00mb Free MultiNet is a small program that sit on your Win95 System Tray (Beside the taskbar clock) and background check your mail account for new messages, detetect your 'Net connection and then launch your favorites apps or adjust your PC clock using a Time Server! It also run as an Identification Server(IdentD). It can even Copy your IP Address to clipboard at connect. Home Page Site - http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lakes/4937/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price ToolBar for Windows 95/NT 3.2 4/10/97 144kb Freeware A small freeware utility that lets you launch your favorite programs from the Windows 95/NT desktop. Click the left mouse button to launch an application or the right button to define a new ToolBar button. You can also drag and drop a file's icon or shortcut directly onto the ToolBar to quickly define a new button. ToolBar lets you organize your programs and utilities into eight button groups. Press the arrow buttons at the bottom of the toolbar to switch between these groups, or use the arrow keys on the keyboard to quickly cycle through your button groups. Home Page Site - http://www.execpc.com/~sbd/ToolBar.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Disk CleanUp for Windows 95/NT 2.4 4/13/97 67kb Freeware A freeware disk utility designed to clear previously deleted files. Deleting a file will normally just remove the file's directory entry, but the data itself still remains on the disk. CleanUp will completely eliminate the contents of your deleted files. Disk CleanUp provides options to specify an NSA approved disk erasure method and background execution priority. Disk CleanUp for Windows. Home Page Site - http://www.execpc.com/~sbd/CleanUp.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Dice Roller! 1.19 4/12/97 104kb Shareware $5.00 The features are you can roll between 1 and 10 dice, and you can roll the following amounts of size on the dice: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, 30, 100. You can also add a modifier of a plus or a negative ten, or you can also choose to let you roll negative numbers or not roll negative numbers. Home Page Site - http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/8679/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price VuePrint Pro 5.1 4/16/97 421kb Shareware $40.00 One of the better image viewers, dispalys every file type you can think of, even uuencoded images (from newsgroups). Home Page Site - http://www.hamrick.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Reminders for Windows 95/NT 2.5 4/10/97 96kb Freeware A freeware utility that provides a simple means of creating on-screen reminders for important events. Event reminders are triggered when the specified time and date occurs. Reminders can be created to trigger messages on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. Reminders can also be used to launch programs at a scheduled time. Sound files (WAVs) can be assigned to reminder messages and scheduled program launches to give an audible warning when events occur. Reminders for Windows 95/NT can be configured to optionally place it's program icon in the taskbar notification tray. Home Page Site - http://www.execpc.com/~sbd/Remind.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price MailThing 1.2 4/14/97 1,416kb Shareware $22.95 An E-Mail checker/notifier which will monitor up to 8 POP3 mailboxes. In addition to informing you about messages stored on servers, MT allows you to preview, save delete and print messages in any monitored mailbox. You can also associate an external mail client for every mailbox for easy access. However cool E-Mail client you are running Mail-Thing will be a great compliment of it. Home Page Site - http://www.webster-image.com/MailThing/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price FoolProof 95 3.0 4/14/97 1,588kb Demo Ensures that your computers stay set up correctly. With FoolProof forWindows95 you can protect My Computer and The Explorer,block access to dangerous commands and preventdragging or deleting of files. Control internet accessby limiting access to Netscape Navigator or any other program. Home Page Site - http://www.smartstuff.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price WinDownload 32-bit 3.21 4/16/97 1.20mb Shareware $10 WinDownload is a great utility that lets you schedule the download of selected files. WinDownload is a 32 bit, multi-thread application which can maximize bandwidth on any size pipe. Drag and drop a shortcut from Internet Explorer or Netscape and keep browsing. You can download the files on demand or schedule them to download anytime you want. Copy and paste a valid URL from any file or copy shortcut from your browser or add a new URL manually. Home Page Site - http://mason.gmu.edu/~rmcclana/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price TeleVox 32-bit 2.5 beta 3 4/16/97 1.10mb Free beta TeleVox provides real-time, high-quality voice connections between one or more users over IP networks such as the Internet. You can place calls, conduct conferences of up to five users, or send voice messages to any TeleVox user in the world for the price of a local Internet connection. TeleVox 2.5 is in full compliance with the ITU's H.323 standard for call establishment and data transport, eventually allowing TeleVox to communicate seamlessly with any H.323 phone. Home Page Site - http://www.voxware.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price SchizoSigz! .30 4/16/97 1,022kb Freeware An e-mail signature generator. This version adds: 1. SchizoManager! - A nice and easy way to edit all files associated with SchizoSigz! 2. Added a few options.SchizoSigz! will generate an ascii e-mail signature file to be utilized with Eudora, Internet Mail and News, Outlook Express, Netscape, Forte Agent, Newsreader, and more! SchizoSigz! will automatically add a tagline, quote, or whatever at a specified interval. It resides in the system tray for the duration of it's run time. Home Page Site - http://www.surfline.ne.jp/alt-fx/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Smart Address 3.2 4/17/97 1,058kb Shareware $39.00 A sophisticated Windows address management system. For each contact create as many customized address pages with page tabs as needed (e.g. a page for personal contacts, a page for business contacts or even a page just for extra telephone numbers). Organize contacts with index keys, and group them into an unlimited number of categories. Associate an unlimited number of documents with any contact; simply click the required document to view, edit or print it. Or associate Internet URLs. Support for E-Mail addreses with direct links to an E-Mail client. Create reminders with alarms to remind you of approaching events (birthdays, invoices due), and attach notes. Print a variety of listings and reports, plus envelopes, address labels, and more. Export and import entries to and from text files. Use the Calendar View, to consolidate reminders from all opened Address Books and events from all opened Diaries. Also features powerful search capabilities, automatic dialing of telephone numbers (via TAPI), mail-merge data file creation for MS-Word, support for multiple Address Books and Diaries open at any one time, and much more. Home Page Site - http://www.smartcode.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Cyber Thrill Casino 2.1 4/16/97 2,714KB Freeware Exciting multi-media Internet Casino with roulette, slot machines, etc. Play for FREE or for REAL money online. Win big $$$ in thrilling casino action! Home Page Site - http://www.cyberthrill.com/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Speed up the Net 1.00.1 4/15/97 5K Freeware The easy way to speed up your internet connection. Stop your PC from making IP lookups for every site that you visit. Home Page Site - http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Park/6168/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Registry Search & Replace 2.10 4/15/97 650kb Shareware $20.00 A great registry editor whose features include search profiles, value searching, Win95 and WinNT 4.0 shell integration, remote registry support, prompted or specified replacement, improved speed and accuracy, enhanced user interface, and more! Home Page Site - http://www.iserv.net/~sjhswdev/ Name/Version Release Date Size Price Crescendo Plug-in 2.32b 4/15/97 1,192kb Freeware Quite simply, it is a Plug-in for Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator browsers that lets you listen to background music as you browse a Web site. This version is needed for the new Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.02 and IE 4.0 betas. Home Page Site - http://www.liveupdate.com/crescendo.htm Name/Version Release Date Size Price X-COM III: Apocalpyse 4/17/97 36.00mb Commercial Demo X-COM: Apocalypse is the ultimate strategy combat game, featuring challenging , captivating strategy gameplay and real-time or turn-based tactical combat. The game is a substantial upgrade from the previous two X- COM games , featuring superb SVGA graphics, more strategic gameplay , more realistic tactical squad combat, and significantly more action in the optional real-time combat mode. In X-COM: Apocalypse, you command the elite X-COM troops as they strive to investigate and repel an alien invasion of Earth. By hiring scientists and engineers , you can research and manufacture new weapons, vehicles, and armor so that your X-COM soldiers have the best equipment available during combat with the aliens. Through research and combat, you must discover the source of the alien invasion , penetrate the alien world and destroy the alien control center to prevent further invasions! Home Page Site - http://www.microprose.com/gamesdesign/xcomap/xcomap.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Gravity 32-bit 1.1 Official Release 4/17/97 .99mb Shareware $29.95 Gravity is a new rules-based USENET newsreader. What's that you may be asking, well a rules-based newsreader allows you to construct rules that automate the sometimes overwhelming task of sifting through the newsgroups you would like to read. When combined with display filtering, rules allow you to quickly focus on the articles that are important to you. Home Page Site - http://www.anawave.com/gravity/gravity.html Name/Version Release Date Size Price Pronto 97 32-bit 4.01 4/17/97 2.50mb Shareware $69.95 Another good all around e-mail program. It features: Exchange voice messages easily and inexpensively, Automatic highlighting of Internet and e- mail addresses, Multi-lingual spell-checker, Multiple address-book support, Powerful search engines and filters find messages fast, Powerful rules automate and expedite message traffic, Synchronize multiple PCs with multiple TCP/IP hosts and more. Home Page Site - http://www.commtouch.com/ EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Internet IPO Washout? More Price Cuts From Intel You're Not As Secure As You Think You Are The Color Of Money Bill Gates Says "Next Target Is Simplicity" Community Networks Targets Smaller Cable Systems Compaq Buys Microcom Don't Ask Research People Why Net Was Successful Ellison Says Apple Bid Has "Very High Possibility" Of Success New IBM Arrangement Offers New PCs Every 2 Years Internet 2 Backers Brief Congress Avant Charged With Trade Secret Theft Netscape Begins Pushing Netcaster Net Gives Hong Kong Insurance On Freedom Of Expression Xerox Announces Digital-Copier Line MoneyClip Does Online Banking Viruses Spreading Despite Increased Efforts To Combat Them Home PCs Are Big On Consumers' Wish List Kodak Digital Camera For Under $1,000 Head Of CompuServe's German Unit Faces Porn Charges Ohio Library Network To Filter The Net Year 2000 Cost Estimates Rise Microsoft Invades TV Land Speed Isn't Everything When It Comes To CD-ROMs Berkeley Creates "Distilling" Process For Web Apple Posts Loss, Amelio Says Worst Is Over Privacy Legislation China Jails Execs For Copyright Piracy And Pornography INTERNET IPO WASHOUT? Barron's reports that of 35 Internet-related initial public offerings made between 1995 and 1997, only three of the companies' shares are selling above the initial offering price -- the lucky three are Netscape, Yahoo! AndC/Net. (Telecommunications Policy Review 6 Apr 97) MORE PRICE CUTS FROM INTEL Spurred by competition from Advanced Micro Devices and Cyrix, Intel is expected to cut prices on its microprocessors even more than usual, as much as 25% to 30% off on its popular Pentium chips. The company had cut its prices only 10% to 20% last quarter, and not at all in the fourth quarter of '96. AMD last week announced its K6 chip, which is nearly as fast as Intel's Pentium II, fits into current Pentium system boards, and is priced 25% lower than the Pentium II. Cyrix is expected to announce a comparable chip called the M2 in June. (Wall Street Journal 11 Apr 97) YOU'RE NOT AS SECURE AS YOU THINK YOU ARE Platinum Technology CEO Andrew Filipowski doesn't think much of current efforts to secure corporate networks: "Today, the entire scheme of security can be characterized by two things: either you're making it a hassle to get into your network so a thief will go over and steal from someone else; and/or you just hope somebody has something more worthy to be stolen than you do. Only stupid people are kept out of networks. There's plenty of them, so that's the good news.... A firewall is a pretty crude, fundamentally stupid idea. It often puts things that you would prefer get stolen on one side and things you'd prefer not get stolen on the other side -- with no real assurances that sensitive material is being protected.... The problem, in a nutshell, is there's no unified security scheme produced by anyone that can cover all the holes simultaneously to present an impenetrable barrier." (Investor's Business Daily 10 Apr 97) THE COLOR OF MONEY Singapore has banned Hewlett-Packard's OfficeJet Pro 1150C printer because it doesn't conform to new regulations designed to thwart counterfeiters -- as of next month all color photocopiers sold in Singapore must be fitted with a counterfeit-prevention system, which HP has determined is too expensive, considering the OfficeJet Pro's modest price tag. HP says the next version of OfficeJet Pro probably will incorporate the system. Owners of color photocopiers in Singapore must have a permit to do so, which requires submitting a list of all users, keeping the machine locked up, notifying authorities within a week if it's moved, and keeping a log detailing what is copied, when it was copied, who copied it, etc. (Wall Street Journal 11 Apr 97) BILL GATES SAYS "NEXT TARGET IS SIMPLICITY" Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, who wants the PC to take its place in the living room as part of an all-digital home entertainment system admits that the PC must become easier to use and promises: "I think people are going to be pretty stunned. They saw how quickly we adapted the PC to Internet standards. The next target is simplicity." (Financial Times 11 Apr 97) COMMUNITY NETWORKS TARGETS SMALLER CABLE SYSTEMS Community Networks Inc. is offering broadband Internet services to smaller independent cable systems that lack the deep pockets of the larger companies such as TCI and Time Warner, but still want to offer their subscribers Internet access. "We were trying to decide what to do with our extra channels," says the VP of Cablevision of Loudon County, Va., a CNI customer. "We are taking a different approach and offering high- speed Internet access." Cablevision of Loudon is testing CNI's system and hopes to attract 10% of its 30,000 subscribers to sign up for the online service. CNI says its specialty is flexibility, and that it can accommodate a smaller cable system that wants to include local content in its Internet offerings. (Broadcasting & Cable 7 Apr 97) COMPAQ BUYS MICROCOM Compaq is paying $280 million to buy Norwood, Massachusetts-based Microcom, a company that manufacturers modems and software used for management of remote access to networks. The acquisition, together with a Compaq's arrangement allowing it to resell under its own name the router products of networking leader Cisco Systems, will further Compaq's goal of being a full- range computer systems company with its own network products. (New York Times 11 Apr 97) DON'T ASK RESEARCH PEOPLE WHY NET WAS SUCCESSFUL Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold says the development of Mosaic and similar Web-oriented products were social and commercial breakthroughs (and "fine work"), but not technological breakthroughs. "If you'd said up front, 'My research program is that I'm going to allow bitmaps to get transferred over this simple protocol,' people would have said, 'That isn't research.' It isn't!" And so what, exactly, has happened? "It turned out that a low-tech social phenomenon called the Internet has suddenly arisen and surprised people. But it's like asking people in plastics research why the hula hoop was successful." (Upside Apr 97) ELLISON SAYS APPLE BID HAS "VERY HIGH POSSIBILITY" OF SUCCESS Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison says he thinks his bid to take over Apple Computer could very well succeed, and if so, there's a good chance he'll end up being chairman. "Within several weeks the final decision will be made and I think there is a very high possibility that the acquisition will succeed," he told Japan's leading business daily newspaper this morning. "It is important to understand that it is not Oracle but me that will make the Acquisition... We will ask the current management to leave. I will remain CEO of Oracle but there is a possibility I will become chairman of Apple." Ellison plans to keep the Apple name but "smoothly transfer" Apple into a network computer maker: "If the acquisition succeeds we can position Apple as our production base for the NC." (InfoWorld Electric 15 Apr 97) NEW IBM ARRANGEMENT OFFERS NEW PCs EVERY 2 YEARS A new IBM leasing program called IBM SystemCare allows companies to lease PCs for a flat monthly fee and trade in their old models for new every two years. In addition to PCs, the SystemCare program will offer PC servers and network computers. The company plans to refurbish the machines that are returned and resell them to customers who don't require the latest technology. (Wall Street Journal 14 Apr 97) INTERNET 2 BACKERS BRIEF CONGRESS Backers of the Internet 2 project promised "killer applications" that will benefit researchers throughout academe if Congress decides to go ahead with President Clinton's plan to spend $100 million on the next-generation computer network. Only $30 million of that will be spent directly on university networking, pointed out Pennsylvania State University Graham Spanier in congressional testimony last week. The rest will go toward upgrading the networks of several government agencies. "Some fear that the Internet 2 might simply be an effort on the part of the most prestigious higher-education institutions to create their own private network - to serve their own needs to the exclusion of others. Our goals are to rapidly deploy our success to benefit others in the educational community and beyond -- K-12, libraries, and institutions other than those top 100 or so, who can't afford to take this first step." Educom VP Mike Roberts emphasized that the Internet 2 project is just as much about applications and exploring new ways to use networks in research and teaching as it is about hardware acquisition. See http://www.internet2.edu for more information. (Chronicle of Higher Education 18 Apr 97) AVANT CHARGED WITH TRADE SECRET THEFT Following a 30-month investigation, employees at Avant! Corp. and its President have been charged with stealing computer code from Cadence Design Systems and using it in Avant's competing products. Six of the defendants are former employees of Cadence, a rival in the chip-software design business. Avant's chief financial officer says the charges "are unfounded. We're going to fight them, and we're confident we will be exonerated." (Wall Street Journal 15 Apr 97) NETSCAPE BEGINS PUSHING NETCASTER Netscape Communications today is demonstrating its new push technology called Netcaster (formerly called Constellation), which will allow news, sports, stock prices and other information to be displayed on a computer user's screen. Two pre-set packages of 10 channels -- one designed for the home user and one for businesses -- will include material major news and entertainment providers, but Netcaster users will be able to add other sources of their own choosing (such as Edupage!). The Netcaster software will be available in the next experimental version of the Netscape Communicator browser software. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 15 Apr 97) NET GIVES HONG KONG INSURANCE ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Fearing that freedom of the press will be curtailed after it is transferred from British to Chinese rule on July 1st, Hong Kong is moving rapidly to sign on to the Internet, which is expected to remain a source of uncensored exchanges of news and views. In the past year, the number of Hong Kong companies with Web pages has more than tripled. Dr G. S. Rao, of the University of Brunei, Darussalam, says: "Tightening the Net is difficult because the information flows like an unstoppable wind. Once you try to block people, they try to get in another way. The Net is unpoliceable." (Financial Times 14 Apr 97) XEROX ANNOUNCES DIGITAL-COPIER LINE Xerox has developed a new line of digital copiers that can be upgraded to fax machines and printers for personal computers. With these products, Xerox will be increasingly in direct competition with Hewlett- Packard, which currently dominates the digital-printer market. (New York Times 15 Apr 97) MONEYCLIP DOES ONLINE BANKING A group of companies has developed a device that turns almost any PC into an automatic teller machine. The MoneyClip, which is a diskette that incorporates a smart card and access software, enables users "to perform virtually any ATM transaction from the comfort of their homes," says the CEO of the Home Financial Network, one of the four developers. In order to use the MoneyClip, a PC has to already be loaded with online banking software and the owner has to have an account at a bank that offers online banking. (Tampa Tribune 14 Apr 97) VIRUSES SPREADING DESPITE INCREASED EFFORTS TO COMBAT THEM The National Computer Security Association reports that the number of North American businesses infected by computer viruses tripled in the past year despite increased use of anti-virus products. Survey results indicate that e-mail is one of the main culprits in spreading the viruses. Macro viruses in common word processing documents and spreadsheets were the biggest problem. (Investor's Business Daily 15 Apr 97) HOME PCs ARE BIG ON CONSUMERS' WISH LIST In a Wall Street Journal analysis of consumer spending trends since 1989, home computers now represent a much large portion of the total spending picture -- 1.3% of total consumer spending, or about 12 times the percentage spent seven years ago. And while seven years ago, consumers were obsessed with acquiring the biggest RAM on the block, now they're more concerned with using their PCs as information-gathering tools. "The person who's made it nowadays is the one with the most knowledge," says a researcher at Yankelovich Partners. The increase in home PC spending represents the largest jump in any consumer spending category. (Wall Street Journal 14 Apr 97) KODAK DIGITAL CAMERA FOR UNDER $1,000 At a price of less than $1,000, Kodak's new digital camera, which delivers 1.2 pixels of information (or 1,280 by 960 dots on the screen) costs less than one-fourth of what cameras with similar capabilities have been selling for until now. Although the price is still thought to be too high to attract casual photographers, the camera is expected to appeal strongly to hobbyists and to professionals in real estate and other businesses. Digital cameras use a photosensitive chip (called a charged-coupled device) that resolves an image into pixels that can be transferred to a computer and transmitted over the Internet. (New York Times 15 Apr 97) HEAD OF COMPUSERVE'S GERMAN UNIT FACES PORN CHARGES Felix Somm, the head of CompuServe Corp.'s German unit, has been charged by Bavarian prosecutors with "knowingly allowing images of child pornography, violent sex and sex with animals" to be available on the commercial service via Internet newsgroups. Officials at CompuServe's Ohio headquarters are calling the charges "entirely groundless" and say they'll "vigorously oppose" the action. The indictment was filed in February, but disclosed only yesterday. CompuServe itself is not named in the action; under German law, criminal charges cannot be brought against a corporation. The Bavarian government's action stems from a raid on CompuServe's Munich office in December 1995, which resulted in the commercial service temporarily blocking access to some 200 Internet newsgroups that featured sexually explicit material. Access to all but the most obscene groups was reinstated, but with filters that parents could use to keep their children from accessing undesireable material. (Wall Street Journal 17 Apr 97) OHIO LIBRARY NETWORK TO FILTER THE NET Administrators at the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), a state agency that provides Internet access to Ohio's 700 public libraries, have decided to use filtering software to keep children from accessing Internet sites that may be considered obscene, saying that "the resolution approved by the OPLIN board strikes a balance between the need to provide access to these resources and our desire to protect children from potentially harmful material.'' The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says it will go to court to challenge the decision because "there is no software on market that can target pornography and leave legitimate material alone.'' The controversy began when six boys at one county library were found looking at pornographic images found on the Internet. (Associated Press 16 Apr 97) YEAR 2000 COST ESTIMATES RISE Labor costs for Year-2000 projects have risen 30% since last year, when they averaged $60 an hour, and they're still climbing, says an analyst at the Gartner Group. The revised labor cost works out to about $1.50 per line of code, up from $1.10, causing Gartner to up its widely cited estimate of $300 billion to $600 billion for all corporate Year 2000 projects. A study released by Morgan Stanley & Co. last week suggests that companies could save some money by replacing some code with packaged software and discarding some of the 35 million lines of code that are typical for a large company's computer system. Meanwhile, a study of 24 federal agencies by Federal Sources Inc. estimates that it will cost about $5.6 billion for the federal government to rewrite all of its code to be Year-2000-compliant. That's about 2-1/2 times higher than an estimate submitted to Congress in February by the Office of Management and Budget. (Information Week 7 April 97) MICROSOFT INVADES TV LAND Microsoft has seen the future and it is digital TV. The computer giant has been making deals with TV producers to launch proof-of-concept shows that ncorporate Web-based features, and so far it's lined up gigs with Spelling Entertainment Group's "Moesha," and the USA Network's "Pacific Blue," "Silk Stalkings," and "Big Easy." In the new version, the original show appears as a window that fills about two-thirds of the screen, while a Web page wrapped around the left and bottom edges beckons with icons that promise more information on the actors' careers or outtakes from the show's production. Initially, viewers with intercasting capability will be able to watch these shows on their PCs, but Microsoft's real goal is to provide a reason for consumers to purchase WebTVs -- a company Microsoft bought last week for $425 million. (Wall Street Journal 16 Apr 97) SPEED ISN'T EVERYTHING WHEN IT COMES TO CD-ROMs CD-ROM drives are getting faster, but industry analysts say consumers should beware of marketing hype: "The speed race that is going on between the CD-ROM drive vendors is more for the benefit of the PC makers," says a Disk/Trend Inc. researcher. "They need some way of differentiating their product... Beyond (8x), from a user point of view, there is almost imperceptible improvement." With an 8x drive transferring data about 1,200 kilobytes per second, most experts say that's plenty, even for video playback. "In the home or SOHO (small office-home office) environment, there is very little to be gained by moving to leading-edge CD-ROM drives," says an analyst with Freeman Associations Inc. (Investor's Business Daily 17 Apr 97) BERKELEY CREATES "DISTILLING" PROCESS FOR WEB Students and faculty members at the University of California at Berkeley have developed a "distillation" process that shrinks Web images, lowers their resolution and displays them in fewer colors, enabling users to load pages 3 to 10 times faster than they would using conventional technology. Users will be able to dictate the clarity and size of the distilled images, balancing individual need for speed against readability. They can then click on the distilled images and view them in their original format. The process is currently being tested and researchers say it should greatly improve the efficiency of the entire campus network. (Chronicle of Higher Education 18 Apr 97) APPLE POSTS LOSS, AMELIO SAYS WORST IS OVER Apple chief executive Gil Amelio says the $708 million loss posted by the company for the quarter just ending is an indication that the worst is over and that Apple will regain profitability within six months, as it receives the benefit of exciting new products and a saving from recent reorganizations. Commenting on the possibility of a hostile takeover by Oracle's Larry Ellison, who has said he would turn the company into a manufacturer of network computers, Amelio said: `We have a different idea -- we want to make products that people want to buy. At this point in time, there isn't a market for NCs of any substance, and there is a market for the product we're making today.'' Mr. Amelio placed the blame on Apple's current predicament on negative press coverage: "There is something holding back the consumers. That's the press, how we're covered, the negative emphasis." (San Jose Mercury News 17 Apr 97) PRIVACY LEGISLATION Senators Dianne Feinstein (D, California) and Charles Grassley (R, Iowa) have introduced legislation that would bar commercial use of Social Security numbers and make it illegal for credit bureaus to disseminate Social Security numbers, unlisted phone numbers, birthdates, or individuals' mothers' maiden names. In the House of Representatives, Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (D, Pennsylvania.) submitted legislation that would create a Commission on Privacy of Government Records and ban Social Security or Internal Revenue Service records from being posted on the Internet without an individual's written permission. (Washington Post 17 Apr 97) CHINA JAILS EXECS FOR COPYRIGHT PIRACY AND PORNOGRAPHY Giving new evidence of a desire to crack down on the country's widespread practice of pirating music, movie, and other copyrighted material, Chinese authorities have announced stiff prison penalties for two factory manufacturers who were found guilty of large-scale illegal copying of audio and video CDs, including 130,000 pornographic videos. The severity of the sentences contrasted sharply with the minor fines assessed in the past for such crimes, and is due to a vigorous new domestic political campaign aimed at fighting pornography and improving "spiritual civilization." (New York Times 17 Apr 97) 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. EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading. To subscribe to Edupage: send a message to: email@example.com and in the body of the message type: subscribe edupage Marvin Minsky (assuming that your name is Marvin Minsky; if it's not, substitute your own name). ... To cancel, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org and in the body of the message type: unsubscribe edupage... Subscription problems: email@example.com. EDUCOM REVIEW is our bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications, and information technology. Subscriptions are $18 a year in the U.S.; send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. When you do, we'll ring a little bell, because we'll be so happy! Choice of bell is yours: a small dome with a button, like the one on the counter at the dry cleaners with the sign "Ring bell for service"; or a small hand bell; or a cathedral bell; or a door bell; or a chime; or a glockenspiel. Your choice. But ring it! EDUCOM UPDATE is our twice-a-month electronic summary of organizational news and events. 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Educom -- Transforming Education Through Information Technology Nowhere Else on Earth .Can you get all this: Disk Duplication CD-ROM Replication CD-R Replication Six Color Printing Six Color + UV Label Printing Product Design Consulting Market Channel Consulting Die Cutting Direct Market Packaging Tuck Tab Box Folding and Gluing Assembly Warehousing Fulfillment Electronic Pre-Press / Film and Proofs Bulk Mail Services .All Under One Roof! Vertical Development Corporation Software Manufacturing and Commercial Printing One Vertical Drive Canonsburg, PA 15317 Phone: 1-412-746-4247 Toll Free: 1-800-222-DISK Fax: 1-412-746-3566 Vertical's Internet Resources email@example.com http://www.vdev.com Now... with Offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois and California! STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Online Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. 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(STR, STReport, CPU Report); z maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. z offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. z presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. z is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! Eighth Page - $200 per month Quarter Page - $400.00 per month Half Page - $800.00 per month Full Page - $1500.00 per month Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 Take Control!! STR Focus Politics as Usual or a Sinister Warning? CONTROL FREAKS ON THE RISE HEAVEN HELP US ALL By R. F. Mariano Control Freaks!! They're multiplying! All of us have come across one a time or two. They usually look like you or I but you can tell the moment they open their mouth that they are Control Freak. There are many types of Control Freaks. There's the Regimentation Type: Everything they have to say about any topic has only one definitive end .its good if it fits the rules. They constantly spout off about how the rules (what ever) are "perfect", need no revisions and if you don't like it . its too bad. Another type is the "pseudo-religious" cleanser bot . no matter where you go you'll find one yapping about how we must stop the putrefaction of our young people's minds. How we must not allow them to see, feel or hear about sex, shock entertainment, whacky music (M.Manson comes to mind), the way things are done in other countries and read about History the way other nations see it. I could go on and on but what's the use?? You all get the picture. How many of you went through a sheltered childhood and found that. once you hit the "streets" you weren't running. You were not able to do so! In fact, you were slowly crawling because you were stunned at how different the real world was compared to what you were so innocently led to believe. Or, how many of you watched a friend or acquaintance literally go hog wild promiscuous once they found out what they were "missing" for so long? It's a sad story that far too often forcefully repeats itself. It could be avoided if the Adults of this world would stand up and accept the responsibilities of raising their children instead of simply allowing the various governments of the world to do so. In this issue of STReport, we find the German Government trying to rekindle an effort to "Control" the Internet in what can only be termed overly coercive efforts through the use of their Court System. They are trying to prosecute a CompuServe Executive for what they term pornographic material. It seems certain of the old repeatedly defeated Prussian Nationalistic Attitudes of "what's good for us is good for the world" need to be defeated again. History repeating itself? Probably. A worthwhile effort? Only in Bavaria. Its amazing how the Germans, The French and at times The British conveniently forget about how different the outcome of WW II would have been without the USA. Yet the French have no problem insulting, defying and trying constantly to be as uncooperative as they can possibly be. Maybe DeGaulle never should've been allowed to march into Paris first. He didn't win a thing, (anybody remember Marshal Petain?) was a constant PIA to the other Allies and the moment he was "in charge" he literally spat on the US Flag for the Allies having bombed France in driving the Germans out. Then comes the Brits.. they've openly admitted their dislike of the Yanks. All very humorously as they have said many times about the Yanks in the UK during the war. They are; "too loud, too many and over here." One can only wonder where the UK would be had the Yanks not been "over there". Remember many a truth was and is said in jest. To this day, we find many indications that the Allies are not so allied after all. You may ask, what does all of this have to do with Germany trying to prosecute a CompuServe Executive? Easy.. Germany itself, while trying to offer the representation of being fully Democratic, is still very high on the list of vigorous, to the point of zealous, nationalists. Now, with their ongoing attempts at asserting themselves in control of the `Net.(in addition to world money markets, high technology markets and precious jewel markets), it becomes painfully clear that certain of is government people never really learned a thing as a result of WWI & II except perhaps "how not to lose again". Do the research. check and see which nations have sold more nuclear weapons, facilities, high tech weapons, chemical and biological weapons than France and Germany. Which nations have refused cooperation with US peace enforcement efforts more than France. Watching the arrogance and nationalistic attitudes, its easy to shudder while thinking, "are we damned to see history repeat itself?" Is this the way the ultimate control freaks are going to bring down the explosive population growth of the world? That's my opinion, I could be wrong. What's yours? STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" Editor's MailBag Messages * NOT EDITED * for content BUYER BEWARE Dear Editor: I have it in writing that Packard Bell (PB) will not ensure that Office 97 will install and execute under Windows 95. Further, PB will not give you your money back in exchange for the return of their machine. They may, out of the goodness of hearts, help you or they may not. How many people would but a PB machine if they knew Office 97 may not install and then they would be stuck. In June 1996 I purchased a PB system with a 133 MHz pentium, 32 mbs and much more from Computer City (who turns out to be owned by Tandy, as is Radio Shack) in San Diego. In January 1997 I purchased Office 97. Every attempt to install Office 97 produces a page fault in a kernel module. Computer City said I must speak with Microsoft or PB. In four calls to PB in Utah (all at my expense) PB told me it was not their problem but Microsoft's since the problem was in Windows 95, finally telling to not to call them anymore about this problem. Microsoft in seven telephone calls (five at my expense) to Washington (state) tried to install about a dozen times in various ways over a one week period. Microsoft told me several times that the problem was really PB's, because the OEM version of Windows 95 was different for each OEM. Finally Microsoft told me that Office 97 would not install on my machine. Since I believe that under California law I am entitled to my money back if Office 97 will not install, I wrote a letter under my legal letterhead to PB, Microsoft and Computer City. Only PB responded, telling me orally and subsequently in writing that PB does not guarantee that Office 97 will install or execute on their machines. Because (and only because) I had written a letter PB was willing to help me in installing Office 97, but would not give me my money back under any circumstances. I believe PB must accept the machine and return my money under California law. Since I was no longer interested in retaining the PB system, I have filed suit against PB, Microsoft and Tandy (doing business as Computer City). The court date is May 12, 1997. Would the results be interesting? I believe all potential buyers of computer systems have a right to know that PB will not ensure that Office 97 will will install and execute on a properly configured machine. Thank you for your attention. Sincerely, David B. Himelstein Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News A New Software Give-Away As promised, The Kids' Computing Corner and the Silicon Times Report are sponsoring another software give-away promotion. Thanks to the fine people at MECC, I have a copy of Storybook Weaver Deluxe to give a lucky reader. This excellent program encourages children to develop their writing skills and to express their creativity with words and pictures. It's recommended for children ages 6 and up, and the software comes on a hybrid format CD- ROM for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The rules are very simple. Send an entry by e-mail to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org using the title Storybook. Please include your correct e-mail address. Entries must be received by 12:01am, Thursday May 8, 1997. The winner will be announced in the May 9th edition of the magazine. Winners of any contests held within the last 60 days are ineligible. Taxes, if any, are the responsibility of the winner. So flood my mailbox, gang! Compton's Interactive Bible - New International VersionWindows CD-ROMRetail Price $50Compton's NewMedia, Inc. One Athenaeum Street Cambridge, MA 02142 Program Requirements OS: Windows 3.1 CPU: 486DX/66 HD Space: 70k Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit sound card Optional: printer Review by Angelo Marasco (email@example.com)Occasionally I get the opportunity to review a piece of software that technically isn't children's software but which is educational nonetheless. Compton's Interactive Bible falls into that category. So your first question for me is probably, "How can a Bible program be educational?" Well, my answer is that I think it's quite tough to do. For a Christian, the Bible is always educational. As Saint Paul wrote, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 4:16-17) However, the fact that the Bible is educational does not necessarily make Bible software educational. Anyone can present the Bible. The key is in the way that it is presented. Display is one aspect of presentation. Let's look at the display first. Compton's uses a "tableau" to display the Bible. Three viewers display various types of information, depending on which resources you have used recently. The text viewer always displays a scripture selection. The media viewer displays pictures and movies and plays audio. The find viewer usually shows the find engine that helps you to locate information. Along the left side of the screen runs the path bar which gives you push-button access to most of the features of Compton's Interactive Bible. Personally, I love the tableau layout. It fits my style of research. I like to have access to a lot of information right at my fingertips. However, I suspect that for some people the tableau layout may be just a bit too busy. It can get overwhelming when nearly every option available in the software is in your face all at the same time. Compton's does have a "Preferences" option in the menu that allows you to alter the tableau layout. One option allows you to display two viewers instead of the standard three. Still, this doesn't clear up the screen all that much. Another aspect of presentation is the accompanying resources. What does the program offer to help you study the Bible and to understand it so that you get more out of it? Compton's Interactive Bible contains a concordance, a Topical Bible, expert texts, inspirational texts, a Bible dictionary, a timeline, an atlas and multimedia. A Bible concordance is a list of every word in the Bible with the book, chapter and verse of each occurrence of the word. Having the concordance built into the program is really nice because all you have to do is click on a hyper-linked verse and the Bible text pops up with the word you're researching highlighted. This cuts research time considerably. The Topical Bible works in a manner similar to the concordance. Enter a word and the Topical Bible will present a list of topics in which the word appears. Select a topic and you receive a definition and hyper-linked passages that deal with this topic. Expert and inspirational introductions precede every book of the Bible. The expert texts provide technical information on the books such as author, date of writing, background, literary style, cross-references, outline, etc. The inspirational texts read like a teaching by a pastor or priest. They provide an in-depth look at the message behind the book. They also provide suggestions on how to read the book and what to think about or meditate on. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the inspirational texts. To me they are a highlight of this software. The Bible dictionary is pretty much self-explanatory. However, the definitions it gives aren't the standard, short definitions you might expect. What you get are a very thorough description and background of the word you entered. The definitions also include hyper-linked references to Bible passages. The timeline shows in a colorful and graphical way the time relationship between different events in Judeo-Christian history. It is divided into Old Testament and New Testament periods. These are further subdivided to show different relationships and events. For instance, the Old Testament has timelines on the patriarchs, the united kingdom of Israel, the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judea, the prophets and the exile and restoration. The New Testament contains timelines on the life of Jesus and the early Church. Click on any item in the timelines and the program will present you with texts from the Bible or one of the other resources that will give you an in-depth look at this event. The atlas presents you with fourteen maps which, like the timeline, are related to different events and periods in Judeo-Christian history. Among these are maps of the land of the patriarchs, the kingdom of David and Solomon, the Roman Empire, Jesus' ministry, Paul's missions and Jerusalem in Jesus' time. Some maps allow you to zoom into certain important areas. If you pass the cursor arrow over a city's name and it lights up you can click on that name and a dictionary entry with hyper-linked scripture references pops up giving you in-depth information on that city. The atlas is a highly valuable feature and the maps are great, but I sure would like to see some kind of legend showing distance scales and explanations for some map region colors. Finally, Compton's Interactive Bible contains plenty of multimedia offerings. There are many beautiful, crisp and clear photographs of art, locations and nature. Sounds include narrated introductions to every book of the Bible, selected verse narrations and music. The voices used to do the narrations are beautiful and inspiring. I'm sure that Compton's must have used the finest voices available for narration because every one of them is a pleasure to listen to. The music is varied and interesting. It ranges from instrumental music of various ethnic backgrounds to spirituals to choir music to acapella pieces. One particularly inspiring piece that I found and fell in love with is He Is Lord sung by the African Children's Choir. Over a year ago, I reviewed a piece of software that included Compton's Concise Encyclopedia in it. At that time, my major complaint was the poor quality music that was used. Many, if not most, of the music selections were played with a midi device but sounded like a cheap electronic organ. What a pleasure and a huge improvement over the encyclopedia's music the music in Compton's Interactive Bible is. Every music selection is a live recording. Most are so long that they include the entire song! Compton's deserves recognition for the excellent work done in this area. Also included in the multimedia are videos and narrated slide shows. Both cover various subjects such as Jerusalem, Abraham, Jesus, etc. Again, the voices used are wonderful to listen to. The subjects covered are interesting. I was pleased to find that you can vary the playback size of the videos and slides. Three other features included in Compton's Interactive Bible are a journal, a reading plan and a presentation maker. The journal is a toned-down version of a word processor that allows you to cut and paste verses from the Bible and record your own comments and feelings. The reading planner really impressed me. Scripture study is very important. For Christians, it is the spiritual food that keeps our faith alive. The reading planner contains fifteen reading plans, thirteen of them two-week plans. The two-week plans cover such subjects as the life and teachings of Jesus, the life and teachings of Paul, women in the Bible and becoming a Christian. One remaining plan is a six-month plan that gives a general overview of all the books of the Bible, while the other is a three-year plan to read every word of the Bible. Choose a reading plan and you are presented with all the readings in that plan hyper-linked so that you can simply click on each to access it in the Bible. Boxes are provided where you can cross off each reading after you have read it. In addition, you can personalize your reading history with your name and save it so that you always know what you've covered. I was really impressed with the reading planner. However, I was disappointed with the lack of reading plans. The Bible contains so much richness of history and faith. I would really appreciate having another fifteen or twenty reading plans. The last feature is the multimedia presentation maker. You use the presentation maker to produce slide shows with multimedia materials contained in Compton's Interactive Bible. Use the title editor to make title frames. Bookmark and import photographs and text selections from the Bible. Play video clips. Adjust the playback timings. What you end up with is a presentation that reflects your style and knowledge. At first, the multimedia presentation maker was extremely confusing. A lot is going on here! However, after a while I got the hang of it and was able to make a presentation that was reasonably understandable and actually made a point. It may take the kids quite a while to figure out this feature, if they decide to use it at all. Adults, on the other hand, especially those involved in a ministry, can find the presentation maker a valuable and often used feature. I think we've covered graphics, sounds, interface and educational value pretty well. In my opinion, they all rank highly. But what about play value? Can a Bible program possibly have any play value? Of course, it can! I'd consider the play value good when I look forward to opening a program just to browse through the features it contains, for no other reason than to browse. Compton's Interactive Bible isn't a game, though; it's a tool. However, using it is fun. I have to give Compton's Interactive Bible a perfect bang for the buck rating. $50 is not a bad price to pay for so many features and so much material. It's a wonder that Compton's can fit this much material on a CD- ROM. For a limited time, Compton's NewMedia is including a copy of its Children's Bible Stories title along with Compton's Interactive Bible - New International Version. In September, I reviewed Children's Bible Stories for this column. I found it to be a wonderful program, educational, full of activities, colorful and faithful to the Bible. Including it makes that $50 price tag for Compton's Interactive Bible even more attractive. Compton's Interactive Bible is well worth adding to your reference software collection. Microsoftr Home Essentials 97 Windows CD-ROM Street price around $100 Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com Program Requirements OS: Windows 95 CPU: 486/66 HD Space: 99 to 140 MB Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 x 480, 256 colors CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit sound card Optional: modem, printer Review by Frank Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) This software suite isn't necessarily essential for home computing use, but this assortment of home productivity titles certainly adds versatility and great value to your system. Microsoft Home Essentials 97 covers the gamut from gaming to reference to productivity and offers more than a little something for everyone. Let's start with the crowning glory of the package, Word 97. This powerful program is more than a word processor; it's a document publisher of the highest degree. You can easily produce newsletters, faxes, brochures and more with Word 97's wizards and templates. You can even create HTML documents, import graphics and do so much more. The many tools and online documentation make creating the perfect document just a snap and a few mouse clicks away. The next most essential of this suite's programs is the Encarta encyclopedia. Microsoft only includes the "lite" version of the program on a single CD-ROM. While it doesn't have all the multimedia flare of the deluxe version, it still offers an almost endless fountain of information. The material is suitable for users of all ages. Great graphics, fine illustrations and concise, informative text make Encarta a pleasure to use. Educate with Encarta. Next, we take a peek at Microsoft Greetings Workshop. This handy program includes dozens of easily customizable cards that are suitable for all occasions. You can produce professional-quality greeting cards in only minutes. The interface for producing projects from scratch could use some refinement, but most users will quickly learn the ropes. The program provides a cornucopia of images that will delight the eye or tickle your funny bone. Get creative with Microsoft Greetings Workshop. Microsoft Works 4.0 provides an excellent software suite. It would not be unreasonable to expect to pay the price of Home Essentials 97 for just the word processor, database and spreadsheet programs included in Works. This mini-suite of powerful applications will meet the needs of most home users and many small business users as well. Not only can you educate and create with Home Essentials 97, but you can also recreate with the addition of Microsoft Arcade. Five classic games are available for play on your Windows system. Choose from Tempest, Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede and Missile Command. These time-tested games launched today's multi-billion dollar game industry. These games are faithfully reproduced including the fun factor. Microsoft also includes Internet Explorer software and a free trial on the Microsoft Network. It's also backed by Microsoft's 30-Day satisfaction guarantee. Home Essentials 97 is an upgrade program meaning that you must own one of a large number of products both from Microsoft and its competitors. It's hard to imagine a computer that wouldn't qualify this product. The price is extremely modest when you consider the value of all the included software. Word 97 alone costs as much as this entire package. This bundle lets the user educate, create and recreate. Home Essentials 97 is a great value and should be welcome in any home software library. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format 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 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) 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, columns in Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. z Most of all.. PLEASE! 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 New Times Roman 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 Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Alright, since there's not much brewing in the Atari world, let's finish up our sample website and tutorial. If you recall from last week, we added some background graphics, links, and other enhancements. This week, we'll put the finishing touches on our page by adding a couple of pictures. After all, if we're going to be discussing our fine-feathered friend, Beau-Coo, why not provide our visitors with a picture or two! Here's what we ended up with last week: <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF> <BODY> <H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2> <P> This is some text to describe what an African Grey is, how I first "met" Beau-Coo, and how it came about that we adopted him. </P> <HR SIZE=1> <H3><img src=r_ball.gif width=15 height=15> Parrot Links</H3> <BR> <li><a href="http://www.parrots.com/greys.htm">African Greys!</a> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.net/parrots.htm">Parrot Lovers!</a> <br> <ADRESS><AU>Dana P. Jacobson</AU><BR> E-Mail: <A HREF="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a> </ADRESS><P> Copyright © 1997 Dana P. Jacobson<BR> <I>Created on April 09, 1997 at 21:00</I><BR> <HR SIZE=1> </BODY> </HTML> What we want to do is allow our visitors to see pictures of Beau-Coo early on in the page. In this fashion, they'll be able to see "who" we're talking about - our subject - right off of the bat. So, we'll want to add the appropriate HTML code. I've found that will work well is to code the pictures right after the background and text color commands. Also, we'll place one picture on the left side of the page, and the other on the right - with our title between the two. So, let's do it. From our original code, add the following lines: <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF> <IMG SRC="beaucoo1.gif" ALIGN=left HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200> <IMG SRC="beaucoo2.gif" ALIGN=right HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200> <H1 ALIGN=CENTER>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</H1> The picture "beaucoo1.gif" will be on the left and "beaucoo2.gif" will be on the right, with "Beau-Coo, An African Grey" centered between the two pictures. He's now a star! Let's put it all together! <HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY BACKGROUND="footprnt.gif" text=#0000FF link=#C00000 vlink=#FF00FF> <IMG SRC="beaucoo1.gif" ALIGN=left HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200> <IMG SRC="beaucoo2.gif" ALIGN=right HEIGHT= 200 WIDTH= 200> <H1 ALIGN=CENTER>"Beau-Coo", An African Grey</H1> <BODY> <H2>How Beau-Coo Gets Adopted!</H2> <P> This is some text to describe what an African Grey is, how I first "met" Beau-Coo, and how it came about that we adopted him. </P> <HR SIZE=1> <H3><img src=r_ball.gif width=15 height=15> Parrot Links</H3> <BR> <li><a href="http://www.parrots.com/greys.htm">African Greys!</a> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.net/parrots.htm">Parrot Lovers!</a> <br> <ADRESS><AU>Dana P. Jacobson</AU><BR> E-Mail: <A HREF="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a> </ADRESS><P> Copyright © 1997 Dana P. Jacobson<BR> <I>Created on April 09, 1997 at 21:00</I><BR> <HR SIZE=1> </BODY> </HTML> In the coming weeks, we'll provide a listing of HTML commands and a variety of other helpful tips and tools. Have fun writing your own web pages! Drop me a line with your website address when you have your page up; I'd like to see how you did! Until next time... STR Nostalgia Newsbytes NewsReel - 12 Years Ago This Week MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S.A., 1997 APR 16 (Newsbytes) -- By Nick Gorski. Twelve years ago these Newsbytes stories were filed: Jackintosh Countdown; PC 2 News; Digital Bites the Mac; and News From Japan! These stories were taken from the extensive archives at the Newsbytes Website at http://www.newsbytes.com. Jackintosh Countdown Do we have liftoff? Maybe yes, maybe no. From week to week, the planned release date of the Jackintosh (Atari ST) changes. Now it turns out that we won't see it in stores (unspecified stores, that is) until at least July 1. Only selected users groups will see it before then. Atari will be sending STs for final debugging to the support channels. Are we holding our breath? No. Meanwhile, Atari has officially announced it is building a manufacturing facility in the Carson City area of Nevada and will eventually move its headquarters there from Sunnyvale, California. PC 2 News According to the California Technology Stock Letter, the PC 2 "will conform to the Apple standard in every way." If true, IBM's newest member will look like an Apple Macintosh with "small footprint, windows, icons, pull-down menus, and a mouse." No word on when the PC 2 will be unveiled at this writing, but sometime before the year 2001 would be a sure bet. Digital Bites the Mac Digital Research plans to make its GEM operating system available to PC owners starting April 15. The $49.95 package enables users to see a "directory" similar to Macintosh's icons, but once a specific software package is booted from the system, the icons disappear. And From Japan Newly privatized Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) has started extending its reach to the personal computer field. NTT's new hybrid PC, called Comexel, includes a telephone, 8088 central processing unit (CPU) and runs under MS-DOS version 2.01. The features include Telephone Directory, Electronic Mailing with graphic and kanji, Multiple Mailing (sending a message to multiple numbers of users simultaneously), and Personal Scheduler. The Drawing Pad with handwriting features (letters and pictures) is an optional feature. The list price is 870,000 yen (US$3,346). Gaming Section Iron Soldier 2 Ready! VR Sports! PSX Down Under! Deadlock 2! And more! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! Well, it appears that Iron Soldier 2 for the Jaguar is just about ready to be released, according to an announcement found on Telegames' website (see below). Problems with encryption and reproduction seem to have been the cause for the delay. The announcement mentions that the game will be produced on CDRs (recordable CD). It's our understanding that using CDRs, as opposed to normal CDs, may present a problem for users in the not-too- distant future. I'm looking into this possibility and hope to learn more to report next week. If I understand correctly, the quality of CDRs degrade over time and could be unusable after a few years - perhaps even faster with extended use. As I said, I hope to learn more about this type of media and will report next week. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Sony Receives Complaint About Game Advert APR 14, 1997, M2 Communications - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has received a complaint concerning its advertisement for a Sony Playstation game which featured photographs of a boy with body tattoos pinned to the wall. Around the photographs was graffiti designed to resemble insane ravings written in blood. The complainant said that the advertisement was violent, masochistic and unsuitable in a magazine read by children. Sony claimed that the advertisement for the computer game Tekken 2 -- which is based on a martial arts competition -- was crucial for consumers to understand the plot of the game. The ASA decided that the advertisement was violent and unacceptable. Australia - PlayStation Gaming Gets Deadly Serious SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 1997 APR 16 (Newsbytes) -- By Stuart Kennedy, Computer Daily News. Sony is getting serious about moving PlayStation kits into Australia in large numbers. The company has spun off a full-blown subsidiary called Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCEA) to distribute PlayStation boxes, software and add ons. Michael Ephraim, as SCEA managing director, will manage a staff of 26 at digs in Sydney's inner-city Surry Hills. The PlayStation recently took an Australian price hack to A$299 in order to better combat the new Nintendo 64 game box and Ephraim will no doubt be needing to surmount some sturdy sales targets. Sony says it sold 113,000 PlayStation units in Australia in 1996-97. Prepare to Join the Survivors of Gallius IV SAN JOSE, CALIF. (April 15) BUSINESS WIRE -April 15, 1997--One of the top selling turn-based PC strategy games of last year, Deadlock(TM), prepares its return in Accolade's Deadlock 2(TM). "Deadlock was one of our best selling titles last year," said Jim Barnett, president and CEO of Accolade Inc. "Our customers asked us to deliver a sequel that was even bigger and better. As a result, we created Deadlock 2." In the first edition of Deadlock, the player's goal was to conquer Gallius IV. Deadlock 2 takes place in the aftermath of the Gallius IV struggle. During the resulting settlement of Gallius IV by the victor, many alien shrines were discovered -- created by a mysterious race known as the Ancients. These shrines hold the secret to the location of the Ancient's homeworld. In Deadlock 2, players must prepare to risk all as they play a linked campaign taking them from planet to planet through the galaxy on a quest to find this valuable homeworld. Deadlock 2 will feature all new campaign play with 42 scenarios including hidden maps, separate campaign goals for different races, two new types of victory conditions, including alliances between players or a win-by-combat mode, greatly enhanced combat featuring nine new types of combat units, including submarines, surface vessels, and air units, a fully featured map editor, revised streamlined interface, and enhanced alien characters, graphics, and cinematics. The game will also feature 14 new types of buildings, a completely revised technology tree with 13 new types of technologies, and vastly improved AI. Also returning to the Deadlock series will be the challenging multiplayer capabilities that made the original game such a success. Deadlock 2 will be playable via LAN, modem and Internet. Deadlock 2 will be available this holiday season for personal computers running Windows 95. VR Sports Granted NHL(R) And NHLPA(R) Licenses VR Hockey '98(TM) Set for Next Season IRVINE, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- VR Sports, the sports division of Interplay Productions, announced today that the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association have awarded VR Sports official licenses to develop interactive hockey simulations for personal computers and console systems. VR Sports is one of the select few who have both the NHL and NHLPA licenses for its VR Hockey '98(TM). The game is scheduled to be released during the 1997-1998 NHL season. "VR Sports is proud to continue their successful penetration of the sports video game category with two more professional sports licenses," said Paul Sackman, director of sports marketing for VR Sports. "The NHL and the NHL Player's popularity is rapidly growing each year and we promise a few surprises with VR Hockey '98." VR Sports just released VR Baseball '97(TM) which has the complete license from both Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association. The game utilizes Virtual FieldVision(TM): an unlimited, real-time, 360 degree, 3D world that lets players view the action from any perspective, even first-person, and is currently available for PlayStation with the Win'95(TM) version releasing in July of 1997. Virgin Interactive Announces More Than 25 Games IRVINE, CALIF. (April 16) BUSINESS WIRE -April 16, 1997--Virgin Interactive (VI), one of the world's leading interactive entertainment publishers, today announced that it has more than 25 console and computer game titles currently in development for release in 1997 and 1998. The company will showcase many of these titles including NHL POWERPLAY '98 (Sony PlayStation, PC), HELLRACER (Sony PlayStation, PC) and SABRE ACE (PC) at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Atlanta this June. "Virgin Interactive has a very solid, high quality line-up of titles for all the major gaming platforms in 1997 and 1998," said Martin Alper, chairman of Virgin Interactive. "The streamlined product slate that we will showcase at E3 will clearly illustrate our very real, company-wide charter to deliver only AA games for every viable platform." VI has recently begun implementing one of the interactive entertainment industry's most demanding quality control programs for video and computer game software. The company's review board, comprised of its top international executives in both product development and marketing, closely monitors each product throughout the development cycle to ensure that it will meet the tough demands of its gamer audience. The product review board evaluates products for release both domestically and in Europe, where VI is one of the continent's most successful publishers. The 25 plus games currently on VI's production slate span across multiple genres, including racing, flight simulation, sports, action and role playing. Game development is handled through external developers, the company's Las Vegas-based Westwood Studios and in-house at Virgin's Irvine headquarters. At this years E3, VI's product line up will include, among others: Sabre Ace: Conflict Over Korea SABRE ACE: CONFLICT OVER KOREA delivers the ultimate combination of realistic flight simulation and immersive combat missions. Players can fly five different aircraft used in the Korean War, aiming to advance their U.S. or Soviet air force careers by successfully completing a series of compelling missions. The games advanced artificial intelligence enables the player to interact simultaneously with up to 16 planes, all of which react realistically and strategically correct, creating an unpredictable experience during each gameplay session. NHL Powerplay '98 NHL POWERPLAY '98, the sequel to the critically acclaimed NHL POWERPLAY '96 game, will be available at the start of this year's season in September. Gamers will step into the skates of the NHL's greatest talents -- skating, fighting and hooking their way down the ice toward the goal. Once in scoring position, players go head-to-head with goalies who take on the characteristics of their real-life counterparts to ward off every attempted fake-shot, stumble pass and dump-in. On-the-fly 3D environments and motion-captured 3D animated players are featured on both platforms. Gamers can track stats over a season, create and trade players and live the ultimate hockey fantasy in NHL POWERPLAY '98. HellRacer Gamers will strap themselves into the cockpit of a lightning-fast, ground-skimming custom ship in HELLRACER, the only true free-environment 3D racing game for the PlayStation. Players can blaze their own trails through five planets and 23 race circuits while battling up to 15 other drivers and a variety of police ships. With multiple terrains and challenging environments, gamers experience the white-knuckle thrill of tearing through a scorching hot molten lava world, of navigating through a rough and rocky mountain course and ripping through the narrow, winding desert canyon environment at speeds in excess of 800 mph. The first racer to cross the finish line is rewarded through HellRacer's unprecedented upgrading system, which allows racers to invest in speed-altering engine power-ups, hard-hitting weaponry and to enter HellRacer's amazing bonus arenas. "Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror" (Working Title) Embark on an international adventure in BROKEN SWORD: THE SMOKING MIRROR. Gamers will unravel a tightly spun web of danger and deception in this suspense-laden adventure, which features superb graphics, an engrossing storyline and stunning backgrounds. In BROKEN SWORD: THE SMOKING MIRROR, players must solve a multitude of intriguing puzzles to propel them through exotic locales and ultimately back more than one thousand years to uncover a great Mayan struggle for power and riches. Virgin Interactive will also be showcasing hot new titles from Westwood Studios including LANDS OF LORE II: GUARDIANS OF DESTINY and BLADE RUNNER. THQ Scores Knockout With "K-1 The Arena Fighters" CALABASAS, CALIF. (April 17) BUSINESS WIRE -April 17, 1997-- Game features ability to train and fight combatants, signature moves from star athletes of kickboxing, karate, kung fu, kempo. THQ Inc. (Nasdaq/NM:THQI) is jumping into the martial-arts ring to deliver the fiercest fighting game for the Sony PlayStation with "K-1 The Arena Fighters," available now. The title, which uses motion-capture technology, combines high-impact, fast-action martial arts and kickboxing to create the most realistic fighting game available for 32-bit systems. "K-1 The Arena Fighters," developed by XING Entertainment of Japan, is based on the K-1 Grand Prix competition sponsored by K-1, the official international governing body for matches involving various martial-arts styles, including kickboxing, karate, kung fu and kempo. The video game utilizes the official K-1 fighting rules and techniques throughout the game. "By incorporating an innovative AI feature that allows players to train and challenge their own fighter, and the official rules and regulations of K-1, gamers, as well as fans of kickboxing, can get down and dirty with one of the most real-to-life martial-arts games available," said Germaine Gioia, vice president, marketing, THQ. Featuring eight actual martial-arts fighters, including Andy Hug, Chang Puek Kiatsongrit, Ernesto Hoost, Jerome Le Banner, Mike Bernardo, Musashi, Peter Aerts and Sam Greco, enthusiasts can slug it out as their favorite player, employing each fighter's own style and signature moves. "We developed 'K-1 The Arena Fighters' with the intention of taking the top athletes of kickboxing, karate and kung fu and including each fighter's own signature move so players would be able to recognize and play each character as if they were watching a real match," said Yoshio Kimura, vice president, entertainment division, XING of Japan. Players have a choice of backgrounds, including 2-D or 3-D arenas. An intelligent 360-degree roving camera gives constantly changing multiple viewpoints to catch every angle of the fight. Additionally, an instant-replay feature relives the highlights of each match. Fans can choose from four fighting modes of play: "One Player," which allows a player to box against computer-controlled opponents; "VS," which lets enthusiasts face off against a friend; "Tournament, " which pits matchups between up to eight players; and "Team Battle Mode," where players can choose three of their favorite athletes to take on three opponents. The first team to win two matches is champion. A unique AI feature gives players the ability to customize and train their own fighter. By setting the learning level of their fighter on one of eight different categories, fans can train him to respond to certain attacks in specific ways, challenging their friends' best prospects or battling him themselves for the ultimate fighting experience. Enthusiasts can then pit their fighter against both computer-controlled and human-controlled opponents. A skilled human opponent may have a lot more to teach. Matches will be scored by punches, kicks, knees and trick moves and will score points only if they cause damage to the opponent. Defense will never earn points. A fighter will be knocked out when he receives a blow that brings his life gauge, the fighter's physical-strength level, below zero. He'll lose by technical knockout if he is knocked down three times during one round. The Options screen gives players the chance to alter official rules and set different parameters for the K-1 matches. They will be able to set the difficulty level of their opponents, choose the number of rounds in each match, set the number of knockouts in one round that will result in a TKO, set the length of each round and have matches judged by physical-strength level or by points. "K-1 The Arena Fighters" is available in all major retail outlets for a suggested retail price of $49.95. Jaguar Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr! >From Telegames [www.telegames.com] via CIS' Atari Gaming Forum's Larry Tipton: Iron Soldier 2 Resolved The projected release date of Iron Soldier 2 (CD) for Jaguar had been delayed due to a CD replication problem. Although Atari's "officially" licensed replicator has had the gold masters of IS2 since February 20th, they have been unable to create problem free glass masters that are required for mass production. Their problems are partly related to the sophisticated security encryption on the Jag CDs. We have come to the conclusion that the only way to make Iron Soldier 2 available is to program the product on CD-R media rather than mass replicate CDs. We have already undertaken this expensive and time consuming solution and project that sufficient quantities should be available for release by April 29th. Since this method of production costs even more than cartridge manufacturing, we are only making a quantity that is estimated to cover initial demand. Accordingly, we would encourage you to order your copy from your local Atari dealer, or Electronics Boutique, or directly from Telegames as soon as possible to ensure that you are able to get the best product ever released for Jaguar. We thank you for your patience and continued support of Jaguar. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING On CompuServe Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi Ho friends and neighbors. Well, I had a bit of a false alarm this week. I thought that I had finally nailed down the problem that I've been having with using MiNTnet to get a PPP connection so that I could access the Web via CompuServe. I thought that the problem was that MiNT just doesn't like large partitions. You see, when my MiNT/PPP/CAB partition had become so corrupted that I could no longer straighten it out, I decided to reformat the hard drive that it was on and start over. On a whim I formatted the drive into three partitions which were all below the maximum GEM size limit. I re-loaded the programs and configurations and, ba-da- bing, it worked like a charm. I surfed the net from right here on CompuServe for several days without a single incident. Life was good and I was ready to send copies of my setup to one or two of my good online friends who had asked me to do so. Then a terrible thing happened. My first bad FAT. Then a second. Then a bad file copy. Then another bad FAT. I'm sorry folks, but I just can't nail this puppy down to where I can say "Go ahead and use it! It works without any problems at all". My best advice to anyone who wants to take a swing at this is to have a separate hard drive to use PPPKIT on. When it works, it DOES work. I'm quite happy with it when it's doing what its supposed to. I've conversed with the author of PPPKIT, who set it up for use on his Falcon030, and he can't figure it out either. I _will_ keep working on it because I think that it is quite an achievement and deserves a fair shake. If there are folks out there who would rather muck about in all of these scripts, configurations, and MiNT programs than send away for a package that promises "no-brainer" installation, this is the way to go. There are plenty of things in PPPKIT that you can configure and modify, but none of them require that special kind of arcane knowledge that comes only with years of programming for MiNT. You simply need to read the documentation quite carefully and go from there. If you'd like to try messing around with MiNTnet and PPP connections but can't find PPPKIT anywhere, drop me some email and when I get finished writing my own mini-documentation for the installation I'll send you a copy of both the original PPPKIT archive and my install docs. Well, let's take a look at what's going on over at CompuServe. From the Atari Forums on CompuServe Last week Stefan Szelecsenyi asked if it was possible to run a PC program on an Atari ST simply by changing the file type from EXE to PRG. This week Sysop Bob Retelle tells Stefan: "Files that have the filename extension of .EXE are IBM files and will *ONLY* run on an IBM. Likewise, files with the .PRG extension are Atari files and will only run on an Atari. You shouldn't change the name (by renaming the file or downloading with a different filename) because the file still won't run on the other kind of computer, and it will just confuse the system. Almost all of the files we have in the software libraries here in the Atari Forums are for Atari computers, so you can download them with an IBM system (but keep the Atari filename the same as it is in the library), then transfer the files to your Atari on a floppy disk." Actually, there are instances when Atari programs will have EXE extensions (NeoDesk is an example), but they are exceptions and have been specially configured. The are NOT PC programs running on an ST, they are special ST programs. Gunter Zerweck asks: "Does CIS offer the option for Atari users (who can't make use of Compuserve's homepage wizard) to upload a homepage via a CIS FTP server?" Gee, I guess Gunter doesn't read this column, does he? <grin> I made mention of this little fact several weeks ago. Sysop Jim Ness _might_ read this column, because he tells Gunter: "Sorry, no, the only way to upload a member page is to use the Home Page Wizard software." Dennis Larson tells us a bit about Outburst and Jetspeed: "These are two commercially available programs which are designed to greatly improve printing speed, especially with inkjet/bubblejet and laser printers (although there may be some improvement with dot matrix as well). The newer high speed printers can accept data much faster than sent by the TOS printer driver (which came in ROM) of the ST. This becomes significant with graphic dumps to the printer (much moreso than ascii dumps, with use the printer's internal fonts). I don't know anything about stylus printers, so I'm can say about thosed. Author's speed improvement claims for full page graphics: for Pagestream "printing page" time (sec): PRINTER TOS OutburST! HP Lasetjet 4 323 10 HP LaserJet IIIP 323 13 Deskjet 500 323 28 Canon BJ200 207 44 for various applications with HP 4 printer (typical, in secs): Application TOS OutburST! Calamus SL 232 136 AtariWorks 371 111 Calamus 1.09 245 116 Papyrus 423 237 I have only used AtariWorks (with an Epson ActionLaser 1500 in HPIIIsi emulation mode) and can vouch for a _dramatic_ improvement in printing speed - enough to actually make AtariWorks usuable! OutburST! 3.3 printout accelerator (about $35.?) JetSpeed (aobut $20.?) - custom GDOS printer driver for use with GDOS and SpeedoGDOS programs, replaces regular driver for improved print speed and resolution. Can be used with or without OutBurST! (most effective with). Both are compatible with NVDI and Warp9, and written by Frank Pawlowski at: Straight Edge Software PO Box 6407 Nashua, NH 03063 PH. 603-672-8150 GENIE: F.PAWLOWSKI Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org I got mine through TOAD Computers, and received my last upgrade from Frank in 1995, so I'm not sure the address/phone info above is still valid - give it a try. All you ever wanted to know, and more! <grin>" Mark Showalter asks: "Can anyone tell me how to use the Clipboard? I have two different prg's, a SHOWCLIP.ACC, & CLIPBOARD.prg & CLIP.prg, & some others like: CLIP H & CLIP C. How do these things work? I've printed out the doc's, but I just don't seem to be getting it. I have a 1040 Ste w/ 2.06 & 4 meg. I'm also trying to use XCONTROL: I notice there's a CPX called Clipboard Manager. Must this be used also?" Joe Villarreal tells Mark: "Since you are using TOS 2.06, you can just create a folder called CLIPBRD and then configure the Clipboard CPX to this folder and whether you want the clipboard file deleted on bootup. Some programs use the clipboard; a file called SCRAP.TXT will be created which you can use later from the program. You shouldn't need the other clipboard programs." A few weeks ago Gary Partington asked about his keyboard, which was giving off an annoying "sizzling" sound. This isn't really the kind of thing you take for granted, so Simon Churchill gave him a few tips and pointers. Gary now tells Simon: "I didn't have any luck with the keyboard but as I had a spare I am using it. The repaired power supply has been installed and the 'sizzling' noise has stopped! The 'beep-beep' noise on power up has also stopped but not when the power supply was swapped, just after a few weeks of normal use! So - it looks like everything is working at the moment but who knows for how long!! I now have a copy of Pagestream and Timeworks but no manuals - I don't suppose you might know where I could get some literature on either of these DTP's?" Simon tells Gary: "Glad to hear your ST is back on it's feet. As for literature for the two DTP's, no I can't think of anywhere where you might get any. Timework's has it's own online help, it's not much but it's a start. It's also quite easy to use once setup, I have V2.04 and no manual's and have no problem's working it. As for Pagestream, it's not a package I have, you will have to give a general post and see if any Pagestream user's can help you... I've been on the web for the last hour, found a few thing's atari and have found the following. You can get a program called Page Assistant, it's for pagestream and gives you an online help system. Toad sell it as well as Version 2.2 of pagestream. It will cost $40's-ish. If you can get on the web go to: www.ataricentral.com It's a good place to visit, Toad seem's to run it/back it and you can order online. Hope this is of interest." When James DeVoge asks about where to get a replacement mouse for his ST, Sysop Bob Retelle tells him: "I have a "Best Mouse" on my STe that I got from Best Electronics.. (408) 243-6950 I'm not sure if they're still selling them or not, but it's one of the best mice I've ever used (no pun intended..! :) If you'd like to try using a standard IBM style mouse, we have some text files in our software library here which detail some members' experiences.. just search using IBM and MOUSE as keywords. I believe there are files showing how to modify an IBM "bus mouse" to work on the Atari mouse port, and how to use an unmodified IBM serial mouse on the ST serial port (which requires a software driver)." Yes folks, Best Electronics does still sell the BEST mouse, as well as my personal favorite, the BEST TrackBall. If you need a part or add-on for your ST, give BEST a call. It's the _best_ place to start looking. Kevin Tekel asks: "Whatever happened to the Atari 130ST? Was it just a prototype for the 520ST? (With 128 Kb of RAM, I presume?) Or was it actually sold? I remember seeing an article on it in a 1985 issue of Creative Computing magazine. Also: I'm looking for a good Atari-brand monitor for my 520ST. What was the best one they made? The SC1224?" Albert Dayes tells Kevin: "The 130ST never came out. Both the 520ST and the 130ST were supposed to come out. I assume they figured the price of the 130ST would not be that much different than the 520ST from a manufacturing point of view. As for Atari monitors ... I believe the best color monitor was the original 1224 color monitors (JVC models I think). You can probably contact an Atari dealer like Toad Computers to see what is available. You might also look around for a used monitor also." Well folks, that's it for this week. Keep those (email) cards and letters coming. And be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Ve get too soon uld.. Und too late schmart! STReport International OnLine Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM AVAILABLE through the Internet and OVER 250,000 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. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" April 18, 1997 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1316
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