ST Report: 23-Jan-98 #1403From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 02/20/98-05:44:30 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 23-Jan-98 #1403 Date: Fri Feb 20 17:44:30 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) January 23, 1998 No.1403 Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 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 Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.01? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-978-670-5896 01/23/98 STR 1403 "Often Imitated, But never Surpassed!" - CPU Industry Report - Linux Advocate - MS, EU Agree? - Nscape will be Free - RCN buys Erol's - Net Addiction? - DOJ & MS Settle - Jason's Jive - Lucient, 3Com Team - Online Groceries? - People Talking - Classics & Gaming AOL Sez it was TRICKED! Seagate to Layoff 10,000 FTC WARNS SONY! STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip 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 Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 01/17/98: three of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... A few weeks ago I made mention of the life threatening dangers posed by those fools who insist upon yapping on Cellphone while they are driving. Today while proceeding southbound on San Jose Avenue I saw the net result of these selfish inconsiderate cellphone yapping dolts. It took me almost three quarters of an hour to reach the accident site which was just before BayMeadows Road. I had just passed the junction of Old Saint Augustine road and San Jose. Friends, there were three automobiles involved. In my opinion all three were totaled. One car was sitting up on the right shoulder of the road resting on top of the privacy fence in someone's backyard, the rear was smashed, the from was hit so hard the bumper and nose assembly was laying in the road some twenty feet away from the car. Another car was literally "T-Boned" (nailed dead center on one side between the front and rear seats) This one was horrible looking. the third one had no rear end and no front end all there was to be clearly seen was the passenger compartment. The real shocker was the obvious. out in the middle of all this vehicular carnage in plain view laying in the road was one of those Cellphones! Now, I don't know if it was in use at the time of the collision. Nor do I know to what extend the occupants of the cars were injured. but I do know this much. On any given day one need only drive for about fifteen minutes and its certain you'll come across a "cellphone yapper." Yapping away completely oblivious to the fact they're obstructing the free flow of traffic or so distracted as to be a serious detriment to those around them. Please folks for your sake, mine and everyone else's make a PIA of yourself with your local political Rep. Please ask for legislation making it a ticketable offense with points assessed for operating a motor vehicle while using/talking on a cellphone. Who knows, the life you save may be one of your own family members, yourself or me! Help me with this one. It screams for immediate attention. Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.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 and NewsGroup Sites, 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 Help Wanted Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff 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 Microsoft Goes After Lessig An appeals court has been asked by Microsoft Corp. to suspend federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's use of Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig as a special adviser in the Justice Department's anti-trust suit against the software publisher. Reporting for the Reuter News Service, writer David Lawsky says Microsoft is calling Lessig's appointment "incompatible with basic principles of American jurisprudence." As reported earlier, Judge Jackson recently rejected Microsoft's bid to remove Lessig from the job, which requires him to collect evidence and report back to Jackson by the end of May, advising him on facts and the law. It is this courtroom defeat Microsoft is appealing. Jackson wants to use Lessig's advice to help him decide if Microsoft has violated a 1995 consent decree, as the Justice Department charges. That decree was supposed to help foster competition in the software industry. In its appeal, Microsoft says it objects to Lessig because: z He has sent an electronic mail message that "compares installing a Microsoft product on his computer to selling his 'soul.'" z Sent the messages to an employee of Netscape Communications, which the software giant described as "a fierce rival of Microsoft in developing and marketing Internet-related software." Microsoft also contends Jackson improperly delegated his authority to collect evidence to a private citizen. Justice Department Continues Quest In new written arguments, the Justice Department contends Microsoft Corp. bypassed a simple solution to Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's order on its Internet software, instead coming up with a "senseless result" that amounts to contempt of court. The Associated Press reports the motions, filed late yesterday in a Washington, D.C., court, "essentially sum up the arguments made by Justice in earlier written complaints, as well as in two days of hearings before a federal judge earlier this month." Microsoft also has filed a written brief stating its position. The government wants Microsoft held in contempt for how it reacted to the order last month in which Judge Jackson told Microsoft not to require computer makers to pre-install its Internet program as a condition of licensing Windows 95. The Justice Department argues Microsoft failed to seek clarification of Jackson's Dec. 11 order "before taking the extreme step" of offering a crippled version of Windows 95 to manufacturers. Microsoft also told computer makers it could install an older version of Windows 95 that lacked the Internet program. The government says Microsoft could have complied by simply telling computer makers to use a common Windows program to delete unwanted software. but since it offered a commercially unviable response, Microsoft is "for all practical purposes" continuing to require installation of Internet Explorer as a condition of licensing Windows 95. Adds the Justice Department motion, "Microsoft construed the preliminary injunction to require what it knew would be a senseless result." Meanwhile, in its own written summation, Microsoft contends it complied with the court's order and warned the Justice Department that its request to separate two highly integrated software programs -- Internet Explorer and Windows 95 -- would disable the Windows program, effectively crippling a PC. Also, says Microsoft, the government's expert witness "could not identify any other list of files that Microsoft could or should have given computer manufacturers the option of removing" in order to comply with the court order. If Microsoft is found in contempt, it could face a fine of $1 million per day for violations of a contempt order. Microsoft Settles Part of Suit In a surprise move, Microsoft Corp. today agreed to offer the latest version of its Windows 95 operating system without requiring easy access to its Internet Explorer software, thus avoiding contempt of court. Associated Press writer Rob Wells says the offer -- accepted by the U.S. Justice Department and by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson -- settles part of the larger antitrust suit accusing Microsoft of violating a Dec. 11 court order. That order requires the company not to force computer makers to install Internet Explorer software as a condition of licensing the Windows 95 operating system. Microsoft attorney Richard J. Urowsky told the wire service today's agreement leaves other issues in the larger case unresolved, including Microsoft's claim that it has the right to integrate its Internet software with its Windows 95 operating system. An April 21 hearing has been set on the company's appeal of Jackson's order to separate the two programs. Microsoft Vice President William H. Neukom said the publisher "will continue to defend the software industry's right to updates and enhance products without unnecessary government interference." Wells says Microsoft has agreed to let computer makers install Windows 95 but delete the Internet Explorer icons -- the graphical pictures that launch a program with a click of a computer mouse -- from the computer's desktop or opening screen. "That procedure," adds Wells, "leaves the bulk of the Internet Explorer program on the computer, but not visible to the average computer user. Internet Explorer files are integrated with Windows 95 to allow other programs, such as Intuit's Quicken personal financial software, to access the Internet. ... Computer makers will be able to delete the Internet Explorer files via the 'Add/Delete' program that comes with Windows 95." Joel Klein, assistant attorney general in charge of Justice's civil rights division, is claiming a victory, telling AP, "Microsoft has agreed to immediately make available the most up-to-date, fully functional version of Windows 95 without forcing computer manufacturers to take its browser as well. This will increase consumer choice and will also send precisely the right message to the market." Seagate to Cut Force by 10,000 Disk driver maker Seagate Technology Inc. plans to lay off about 10,000 workers -- 10 percent of its work force -- as it continues to experience stiff competition. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Don Clark says the cuts "form part of a broad restructuring that the company had already said would cause a $300 million charge in the fiscal second period, ended Jan. 2," adding, "Including operating losses and inventory charges, the disk-drive maker is expected to post a net loss of as much as $500 million for the quarter." This largest independent maker of disk drives has been "rocked," says Clark, by the effects of several large competitors rolling into a niche in high-end storage devices that it once had largely to itself. "The new competitors slashed prices to win contracts from computer makers, and churned out millions of drives that created a glut of inventory and production capacity," Clark adds. Look for the job cuts to fall largely in the Asian countries where it produces most of its products, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and China. About 1,400 of the job cuts will come as part of a previously announced plan to close a manufacturing plant in Clonmel, Ireland. Microsoft Cuts Sidewalk Group As it prepares to launch its Internet-based Sidewalk entertainment guides in 40 more cities this year, Microsoft Corp. is cutting about 30 to 40 jobs from the service or about one-fourth of its U.S. work force. Reporting from Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters, The Associated Press says the cuts involve mostly administrative positions, with few reductions on the editorial side. Many of the affected employees should find other jobs within the company, Microsoft says. With offerings include restaurant reviews and event listings, Sidewalk was launched last April in Seattle and has expanded to eight more U.S. cities since then and has staff in Chicago, though service hasn't begun there yet. Matt Kursh, business unit manager for Sidewalk, told the wire service Microsoft will cut three or four full-time employees in each of those 10 cities, plus some contract employees, leaving about 10 full-time people in each location. He added the company is pleased with Sidewalk's advertising sales and consumer response. However, analysts tell AP they think the jobs cuts suggest trouble for the service. Says Bill Bass of Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "If they're having to cut people back, the business model isn't working. My sense is that Sidewalk is going to get shut down." Analyst Gregory Wester of The Yankee Group added that one problem for services such as Sidewalk is that Internet users aren't numerous enough yet for them to make money, but they risk being locked out of the growing market if they don't invest now. NEC Delays 12-inch Wafer Chips Production of computer chips using 12-inch wafers has been postponed by Japan's NEC Corp. until at least 1999/2000 because of high costs and a need for further research. Reporting from Tokyo, the Reuter News Service notes NEC had planned to start trial production using 12-inch wafers, which can double the chip output of plants currently using eight-inch wafers, at its Sagamihara plant in Kanagawa Prefecture, outside Tokyo, in 1998/99. An NEC spokesman told the wire service his employer decided to postpone production for one year because the equipment needed to make 12-inch wafers was still too expensive and the company needed to improve its 12-inch wafer technology. "Using the larger wafers," says Reuters, "could cut chip-making costs by more than 30 percent from the current level -- but a plant capable of using 12-inch wafers for mass production could cost 150 billion yen or more." The wire service says the postponement means a one-year delay in the launch of mass production of chips using 12-inch wafers at an NEC plant in Kyushu, southern Japan. Netscape Will Offer Free Browser Netscape Communications Corp. says it will begin offering its Netscape Communicator and Navigator Internet client software at no cost. The Mountain View, California, company says its new "Unlimited Distribution" initiative will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Internet service providers (ISPs), telecommunications companies, Web content providers, information publishers and software developers to download and redistribute its software "no strings attached." In addition, the company is launching a promotion to encourage individual PC users to download Netscape Communicator or Navigator for free. "Now that we have taken the aggressive step of making our client software free, our goal is to add millions of new users to our current client installed base of 68 million," says Mike Homer, Netscape's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "The Unlimited Distribution program is aimed at doing just that -- making it easy for thousands of partners to freely distribute and millions of individuals to freely choose Netscape Navigator and Communicator. We have also just made it easier for our OEM partners to include Netscape Navigator and Communicator on both servers and desktop computers, so their customers no longer have to settle for anything less than the market-leading browser." Beginning January 23, Netscape's Web site, located at http://home.netscape.com. will feature a link to a page of instructions for enrolling in the online distribution program. WordCruncher 'Auctions' Technology A small Provo, Utah, software company wants to auction to the highest bidder a license for its search engine software, highly touted technology developed by Brigham Young University researchers for finding computer information. WordCruncher Publishing Technologies last week faxed what reporter Mark Boslet of the Dow Jones news service describes as "rather breathless bulletins, without the company's name attached, to the chief executives of 41 prominent technology firms, including Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Internet navigation market leader Yahoo Inc." These faxes, to be followed this week by a more detailed mailing that will identify the company and include a software sample, "made the claim that come Groundhog Day, the day of the auction, all other Web search technology will become obsolete." Adds Boslet, "It's no surprise that industry executives find the assertion hard to believe." Still, the wire service notes Mark Cannon, a former project manager at General Electric Co.'s Schenectady, New York, research center, was sent by GE to examine WordCruncher, and came away impressed. Cannon, who now runs a small business in Utah, told Boslet, "Nobody has done what they've done. They've still got a couple years lead" on other search technologies. Says Boslet, "Any advantage would clearly be valuable to Internet surfers, increasingly frustrated by the hundreds, and many times thousands, of responses they get to Web queries." Cannon told him the software stands out for its ability to search in numerous languages. "Beyond English," says Dow Jones, "it understands Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Eastern European languages and many other tongues." PacBell Promotes Net Safety A public service campaign to provide parents with information about Internet safety issues is being launched by California's Pacific Bell Internet Services. Reporting from San Francisco, United Press International says the phone company's Safety Net provides advice on keeping children from accessing inappropriate materials, online crime, chat room interactions and secure business transactions. President/CEO Steven Hubbard of Pacific Bell Internet Services told the wire service that with public attention focused on problem areas, parents can forget that the Internet is a gateway to education and entertainment opportunities, adding, "Our goal is to make it easy for every Internet user or potential user to access the information they need to safely use the information superhighway." Pacific Bell recommends parents: z Instruct children not to pursue face-to-face meetings with strangers and to reveal immediately if someone asks for a meeting. z Make the Internet a family activity rather than rely on filtering software. z Tell the family to avoid any web site claiming to offer prizes but requiring an up-front fee should be avoided, as well as sites that seek unusual amounts of personal information. UPI notes Safety Net can be accessed online at http://www.pacbell.net. Study Warns of Net Addiction A new study warns Internet addiction is a rapidly growing epidemic on college campuses. Reporting from Larchmont, New York, United Press International cites an article in a new journal called CyberPsychology and Behavior, in which researchers point to: z A University of Michigan study that shows freshmen and sophomores average 10 hours per week online, with 18 percent on the Internet at least 20 hours per week. z Alfred University administrators discovering a relationship between high Internet use and a more than doubled rate of academic dismissals. UPI says some schools are taking action to combat Internet addiction. For instance, the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Texas at Austin, Marquette University and several others have established counseling centers, while the University of Washington now limits the amount of Internet time available to students. The wire service notes article's author, Jonathan Kandell, also runs the University of Maryland's counseling center. Congress Eyes Net School Regulation A plan now being talked up on Capitol Hill would require schools with subsidized Internet access to restrict students from cruising the seedy sections of cyberspace. A bill to make this happen is being drawn up by Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the Senate Commerce Committee chairman whom Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa calls "an ardent critic of the Federal Communications Commission's Internet subsidy program." The subsidies in question come from payments imposed on telephone companies and some of their customers and provide schools, libraries and rural health care specialists with discounted hookups to the Internet. Aversa notes the Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FCC, is to hold a Feb. 10 hearing on indecency and pornography on the Internet. McCain said in a statement outlining his legislative agenda for this year that his bill will ensure that schools and libraries most in need of federal subsidies get them first. He did not say how this would be accomplished. Meanwhile, telecommunications lobbyists and Democratic aides in the Senate, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, told Aversa they doubted McCain's proposal could pass Congress or win the support of the Clinton administration. As reported, when Congress tried to restrict children's access to smutty materials on the Internet as part of its 1996 telecommunications law, the Supreme Court threw the provisions out as unconstitutional. Since then, the administration has been pushing the online industry to take actions voluntarily to shield youngsters from such sections of the Web. Among the possibilities are giving parents greater access to software that screens out potentially objectionable material. "Under pressure from Republicans in Congress and telephone companies," says AP, "the FCC agreed Dec. 16 to slow the phase-in of its Internet subsidy program. The FCC agreed to provide $625 million in subsidies to schools and libraries and $50 million to rural health care providers for the first half of 1998. The FCC will consider later what to do for the second half of 1998." In May, the FCC said it would give schools and libraries a maximum of $2.25 billion a year in subsidies and rural health care providers up to $400 million a year. Editor Note: How about that folks?? The bux have YET to make it to the schools and the Congressional Censorship Control Freaks are already hard at work wanting to make certain THEY tell the recipient schools what they can and cannot do on the Net. This is the CRIME of the Congressional CON Game! Our tax dollars coming back at us with razor blades between the fingers. Please Mr. Congress Critter don't pat us on the back anymore. We've had enough over the last three decades. Congress should provide the money for Net Access to Schools without any insidious STRINGS ATTACHED! School Personnel, Principals, Teachers, Professors etc., are quite capable of both monitoring Net Activity and offering guidance as to what is or is not acceptable use of the Net. These Congressional Censorship Control Freaks area ROYAL PIA! Let them find other ways to immortalize their lackluster activities and names. If they have to have strings attached to the money, let `em keep it! Each University, State Colleges, Graduate Schools and School Districts are capable of drumming up their own support for Net Access. If Congress want to control it .forget it! We all know what that will lead to... Big Brother Personified! Case Questions ATM Security Security of automated teller machine cards has been called into question in Germany by a case in which a computer intruder drained about 500,000 marks from a small Nuremberg bank. Reporting from Frankfurt, the Reuter News Service notes that while bank industry groups maintain the cards and four-digit codes are secure, the break-in at Noris Verbraucherbank has set off complaints from consumer groups. Spokeswoman Helga Kuhn with the AgV federation of consumer groups told a news conference today, "It's too easy to decode the security codes," adding the group also criticizes banks for moving too quickly to adopt computerized payment systems. In a statement, AgV said, "Electronic payment methods are being constantly pushed by the banks in order to save costs. They should carry the responsibility for system failures." However, Reuters notes, banks maintain their systems are sufficient. "Our security barriers are up to date," said Wolf Schoede, a spokesman for the DSGV association of German savings and credit banks. The wire service says that last month Noris discovered that hundreds of thousands of marks had been shifted from 208 private bank accounts, and changed security codes to prevent additional manipulations. Last week, an unidentified blackmailer contacted the bank, saying he had access to customer data and demanding one million marks. "Police suspect the account manipulations and blackmail demand are related," Reuters says. "They also have a photograph of a possible suspect. A security camera at a Noris branch office in Duesseldorf recorded a withdrawal later proved to be illegal." Web Site Contents Leads to Firing A consultant brought in to teach computer technology at a marketing company has been fired because the violent, sexually-orient content of the Web site he suggested his trainees visit apparently shocked and offended some workers. "I said, `If you're interested, you may go read it,'" Cameron Barrett told The Associated Press regarding the site on the Internet's World Wide Web that contained some of his own fictional writings. "But at no time did I make it part of their training, and I only said it once. Do you think Stephen King is going around his neighborhood killing people because that's what he writes about?" AP writer John Flesher, reporting from Traverse City, Michigan, notes that while the First Amendment prevents the government from stifling speech, private employers are under no such constraints. Adds Flesher, "Companies can fire people for comments deemed inappropriate, and experts warn that personal Web sites, even if done at home, are public venues that employers can use to determine who is suitable for the company." Some experts have argued Web sites should be considered private, like the books and magazines read at home, "but," says Flesher, "a lot may depend on whether the employee erases the line between personal and professional." In this case, says University of Michigan law professor Deborah Malamud, Barrett "essentially invited people to look at a Web page. There's a real difference between that and being held liable for having a copy of Playboy in your home." Nonetheless, the 24-year-old Barrett says he thinks it is unfair he was fired by Knorr Marketing in Traverse City because two members of the all-female staff he was teaching "were uncomfortable working with me after seeing my fiction." However, Vice President Jim McIntyre told the wire service, "There's no doubt in my mind" Barrett wanted the women to read the fiction, adding, "On several occasions he said, `I urge you to look up my own home Web page.'" Flesher says such firings may become more common, as "businesses, especially those leery of sexual harassment lawsuits, will use the Internet to check on employees and prospective hires, they say. Said professor Daniel Kruger of industrial relations at Michigan State University, "Increasingly our employers are looking at our off-duty conduct in terms of how it can affect them." Navy Delays McVeigh Dismissal The U.S. Navy is delaying the planned discharge of a sailor it believes is homosexual because he listed "gay" in a user profile stored online. Reporting from Washington, the Reuter News Service says the Navy released a brief statement issued late yesterday saying its action came as a result of a lawsuit filed by the sailor in U.S. District Court and was aimed at giving the Justice Department time to develop a response to the lawsuit. As reported earlier, the Navy says it will dismiss Senior Petty Officer Timothy McVeigh (who is not related to the convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh) on the grounds that he breached the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuality by listing in his America Online online user profile that he is gay. Christopher Wolf, the sailor's Washington lawyer, tells Reuters the postponement will put off the dismissal until at least Wednesday so a court can weigh the sailor's claims that his rights were violated during a Navy investigation. McVeigh filed suit yesterday alleging the Navy violated the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act by requesting and receiving confidential subscriber information from AOL. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. Wolf told Reuters, "We can't let the government use the fruit of that poisonous tree to discharge a decorated sailor." McVeigh, 36, is a 17-year Navy veteran stationed in Hawaii. Reuters notes his AOL profile did not identify him by name or indicate he was in the Navy. Meanwhile, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which monitors civil liberties issues on the Internet, told the wire service McVeigh's suit is the first to challenge governmental access to sensitive subscriber information maintained by an online service. AOL Says It Was Tricked by Navy America Online alleges the U.S. Navy duped it into disclosing data about a subscriber who now is at the center of a wide-reaching privacy lawsuit. The Dulles, Virginia, online service says in a statement the Navy "deliberately ignored both federal law and well-established procedures for handling government inquiries" and used trickery instead in the case of Senior Chief Petty Officer Timothy McVeigh. As reported, the 36-year-old McVeigh (who is not related to the convicted Oklahoma City bomber of the same name) is suing the Navy and the Defense Department for allegedly unlawfully obtaining confidential subscriber data without a court order. Writing for the Reuter News Service, reporter Jim Wolf notes the Navy on Jan. 5 ordered McVeigh's discharge for allegedly violating the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars U.S. military personnel from declaring themselves to be homosexual. (McVeigh never publicly discussed his sexual orientation, but he reportedly had listed himself as "gay" in the marital status section of an AOL online user profile.) Reporting on the results of an internal investigation, AOL says a Navy investigator fooled a customer service representative by posing as "a friend or acquaintance" of McVeigh to confirm information the Navy had gathered elsewhere. Says AOL's statement, "Our member services representative did confirm information presented to him by the Navy. This clearly should not have happened and we regret it." Meanwhile, Navy officials last night told Reuters it had gathered enough evidence to begin McVeigh's discharge on homosexuality grounds even without the AOL-provided information. A Navy statement added, "There was no intentional violations of any federal laws or regulations by Department of the Navy personnel." Last week government lawyers agreed to delay the planned administrative discharge of McVeigh until at least Friday, giving Judge Stanley Sporkin time to rule on McVeigh's emergency injunction motions seeking to prevent his discharge. McVeigh alleges Navy investigator Joseph Kaiser and his supervisor, Lt. Karen Morean, breached his rights under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which bars Internet service providers from knowingly releasing confidential information gathered online to law enforcement officers without a court order. Wolf adds, "McVeigh's lawsuit was the first to challenge government access to sensitive information maintained by an online service, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based group that monitors civil liberties issues on the Internet." Meanwhile, AOL says it its statement it is "instituting additional measures" to "reinforce our privacy policies and procedures" to employees who handle its more than 1 million subscriber calls a week. Unified Messaging on the Way Unified messaging is moving from dream to practical reality, finds a new report from market research firm Ovum. According to the report, unified messaging -- a system that allows users access all of their messages, regardless of location, communication device or type of connection used -- will grow strongly and eventually replace separate e-mail, voice mail and fax systems. But the report also concludes that existing unified messaging products are still relatively immature and users are confused about exactly what unified messaging is. "Vendors are using a variety of different names for the same functionality or conversely claiming their messaging system is 'unified' when it clearly is far away from being unified," David Bradshaw, a senior consultant at Burlington, Massachusetts-based Ovum and the report's lead author. "This confusion is unnecessary and sends the wrong message to prospective adopters." Ovum's report predicts that unified messaging mailboxes will grow from around 200,000 worldwide at the end 1997 to more than 110 million by 2003. Growth will initially be strongest in North America, but it will catch-up in Europe. Asia-Pacific will remain a distant third market, although certain countries in the region will grow strongly. A free white paper on unified messaging is available from Ovum's Web site, http://www.ovum.com/news/ums/umswp.html. Computer Art Called New Career Will computer animation be the "career of the millennium?" That is the conclusion of Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., which has issued a study reporting a multitude of employment opportunities with high starting salaries in the field of computer animation. According to United Press International, the study cites U.S. Department of Commerce figures saying colleges are enrolling only a quarter of the technology-trained workers that employers need each year. "A survey of art institutes that train computer animators," says the wire service, "found that graduates of the top schools practically find a job the day they receive their diploma." For instance, Pratt Institute's Dina Slothower told the firm that many students at the New York City school have landed jobs before they graduate. And administrators at the Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, said entry-level salaries range from about $30,000 to $50,000, with the exceptionally talented starting at twice that. John Challenger, vice president of the firm, said new technology may put an end to the "starving artist" stereotype, adding parents should start nourishing the artistic side of children and stop looking at medicine and law as the most lucrative professions. Ringling officials said the film and television industries, corporations and interactive software developers are some of the top employers of computer animators. Intel Pushes Slower Web? Online publishers are angry over an unusual plan chipmaker Intel Corp. is promoting that they say could slow down the World Wide Web for most users. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, reporter Thomas E. Weber says Intel has persuaded major Web sites -- including those of CNN and computer publisher Ziff-Davis -- to add features that slow down all but the newest and most expensive machines with the latest Intel chips. These sites are being asked to identify themselves by running a notice that says, "Content on this page benefits from the performance of the Intel Pentium II processor." "In other words," says Weber, "if that Web page seems too slow, it's time to buy a new Intel-based personal computer. Intel is backing up the unusual request with a promise to pay bigger subsidies to advertisers who place 'Intel Inside' ads on these sites." Dubbed "Optimized Content," the program is roiling some big Web publishers, who are outraged at the notion of making their sites less friendly to the vast majority of their readers. President Kelly Conlin of International Data Group Inc., which publishes PC World and other computer magazines along with some 200 associated Web sites, calls this "unusual and untenable," adding, "There is a line that we cannot and will not cross in regard to respecting the interests of our readers." In addition, since Intel's program requires these power-hungry features to be part of a site's editorial content -- not its ads -- some publishers complain it is an encroachment on their editorial independence. "It's like requiring TV producers to have programming that only looks good on a 35-inch set," says Philip Lemmons, editorial director of PC World, who told Weber he wants no part of it. For its part, Intel says it is simply trying to encourage the adoption of features and technologies that users will find exciting, such as three-dimensional "virtual reality" scenes. And the company disputes the notion that its program impinges on the editorial freedom of Web publishers. Says Intel Vice President Jami Dover, director of the company's cooperative marketing program, "We're not asking them to adjust at all. If there are sites that are interested in working with us and expanding the types of compelling information they can deliver, that certainly fits with our marketing interests." She says sites that decline to participate continue to benefit from the basic 50 percent subsidy. Intel Promises to Speed the Web A system called Quick Web Technology, aimed at speeding up navigation for millions of Internet users, is being unveiled today as an extra-cost service by chipmaker Intel Corp. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Lisa Bransten says QWT allows Internet service providers to speed up their customers' access to Web pages containing graphics, adding, "The technology compresses some of the information from graphics so that there is less data to transmit. The result is lower quality graphics, but served at a higher speed." Also, the technology offers Internet services a way to cache (that is, store) copies of Web pages downloaded by their users, another way to achieve a speedier response. "When users request such pages again," says Bransten, "they can be delivered directly from the Internet-service provider, rather than the Web site that produced it." Already, two Internet-service providers -- Erols Internet Inc. and Netcom On-Line Communication Services Inc. -- have agreed to offer the product, as has GlobalCenter Inc., the data-distribution company and Internet-service provider that agreed last week to be acquired by Frontier Corp. Look for the service to be available to consumer as early as today at about $5 more in monthly charges. Intel officials told the paper they expect 10 percent to 20 percent of Web users might be willing to pay for the service. QTW coincides with a controversy over an Intel advertising-subsidy program that rewards Web publishers for producing content that looks best on computers using Intel's latest Pentium II chip. As reported earlier, some publishers objected to the program on grounds that it could slow some Web pages for consumers with older machines. Venture Seeks New, Faster Modem Three giants of the computer industry and most local telephone companies are working on a venture to develop a new type of modem to access World Wide Web pages at speeds 30 times faster than the usual several seconds to minutes it now takes. The New York Times today quotes executives at Intel Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. as saying the product would plug into normal phone lines, which would remain connected to the outside world. "Consequently," adds The Associated Press, "users would not need to dial a service and could conduct normal voice conversations over the same line." The planned technology is called a "a digital subscriber line," or DSL. The Times notes it has been in development in the telecommunications industry for years, but a lack of agreement on technical standards has held it back. The newspaper said further details will be announced next week at a Washington communications conference. AP observes, "To date, such speedy access has only been available to users whose PCs -- usually in the workplace -- are connected to cable modems. The phone-based competitors could be on the shelves by Christmas." Managing director Howard Anderson of Boston's Yankee Group consulting firm told the Times, "Once you get this stuff, you will sell your first-born before you go back to a normal modem. It's such a better service." AP characterizes the three-company consortium as "a first-strike in what promises to be a long battle between telephone and cable companies for bringing high-speed Internet access to consumers," adding, "Such access likely will broaden Internet commerce because of the wider array of services -- such as television-quality video -- that is offered." While Bell Atlantic is keeping its distance from the group (it apparently leans toward a different DSL standard), most phone companies, including U S West, already have deployed DSL in limited areas around the country. The installation fee for service in the Phoenix area costs $200 and a monthly subscriber fee starting at $40. Lucent, 3Com Test Modems A new technology that unifies incompatible standards for high-speed modems is being tested by 3Com Corp. and Lucent Technologies Inc. From Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, the Reuter News Service terms the new standard a compromise that combines technology from 3Com's x2 standard and K56flex, a rival modem standard developed by Rockwell International Corp. and Lucent. These standards control the functions of 56-kilobit modems. "For the past year," notes Reuters writer Kourosh Karimkhany, "modem makers have had dismal sales because of a standards war. One camp, led by Santa Clara, California-based 3Com had backed x2 while another, led by Rockwell and Lucent, backed K56flex. Until now, computers equipped with x2 modems could not communicate with K56flex modems. Consumers had put off purchases of high-speed modems until the industry could come up with a unified standard." The new tests are steps toward establishing a new unified standard, called V.pcm. The International Telecommunications Union, a standards-setting body, will study the new standard at a plenary meeting in Geneva early next month. Reuters says 3Com and Lucent expect to have V.pcm modems on the market shortly after the meeting. Modem manufacturers have said owners of current high-speed modems can upgrade to the new standard with a simple software upgrade. IBM Targets Automated Homes IBM Corp. has unveiled Home Director Professional, a product line that's designed to help new home builders construct automated homes. Home Director Professional will allow homeowners to remotely monitor and control security, electrical and heating/cooling systems via the Internet. IBM notes that Home Director Professional's open architecture can provide the foundation for future capabilities, such as distributed home entertainment systems, PC local area network connectivity and real-time energy management. IBM is working with several new home builders on test projects. The company plans to make Home Director Professional solution generally available by this summer. "Prior to Home Director Professional, consumers could spend over $25,000 for a custom-configured home automation solution," says Rick Thompson, director of IBM's consumer options and solutions unit. "With Home Director Professional, IBM will offer new home builders a functional, easy-to-use, high-tech home of the future for a substantially lower cost." IBM says Home Director Professional represents a critical next step toward its vision of a networked home. Through the integration of a central appliance and structured wiring, a network of home entertainment appliances, PCs, security systems and lights can be created by the homeowner. "IBM started talking about the possibilities of home networking several years ago," says Jim Firestone, general manager of IBM's consumer division. "Home Director Professional is our first evolutionary step in delivering this capability to consumers. By leveraging IBM's networking heritage, we are better positioned than any other company to deliver a system that is functional, flexible and easy to use." More information about IBM Home Director Professional is available on the Web at firstname.lastname@example.org">http://email@example.com. Online Grocery Shopping Studied The number of U.S. households using online services to buy food and other household goods and services is expected to grow from fewer than 200,000 now to 15 to 20 million by 2007, according to a new study released by Andersen Consulting. These households will represent a wide range of demographics and will spend as much as $85 billion on groceries and related purchases through online services, also known as consumer direct services. The rapid expansion of on-line grocery shopping portends dramatic market changes for traditional retailers and manufacturers, who must develop new strategies immediately to be prepared, notes the study. "Consumers across the country have made it clear that they're ready for online grocery shopping. They see it as a way to save time and simplify their lives," says Vic Orler, a partner with Andersen Consulting and the study's lead author. "Consumer direct services are about to become big business, and companies need to start thinking now about how to take advantage of this imminent boom, or else they'll be left behind." The study identifies six major groups of potential online grocery shoppers, based upon survey respondents' attitudes toward time, shopping and technology: z Shopping Avoiders, who dislike grocery shopping. z Necessity Users, who are limited in their ability to go to the store for some reason. z New Technologists, who are typically young and comfortable with technology. z Time Starved, who are insensitive to price and will pay extra to free up time on their schedules. z Responsibles, who have available time and who get an enhanced sense of self-worth from shopping. z Traditional Shoppers, who are older, avoid technology and genuinely enjoy shopping in a store. "All except the 'Traditional Shoppers' group showed at least some willingness to use on-line grocery shopping services, and most of the groups showed strong interest," says Orler. "It's also important to note that these groups cut across all income and educational levels, age groups and locations. In other words, the appeal of consumer direct services is broad-based and by no means limited to Gen-Xers and dual income households." As consumers grow accustomed to using online services for ordering groceries and related purchases, traditional retailers and manufacturers will face pressure to adapt to changing consumer demands, notes the study. One advantage for retailers that the study reveals is consumers' desire for their current, primary grocery stores to also be their consumer direct providers -- simply because they prefer a name they know and trust. This advantage will not last long, however, as today's emerging consumer direct providers become more established. "Executives should not allow themselves to be lulled into complacency merely because the online industry is still evolving," warns Orler. "Navigating this new market is and will be an extremely complex challenge. Our research indicates that executives have decisions to make now to position their companies for success." Microsoft, EU Eye Compromise An official with the European Union says Microsoft Corp. now seems ready to change contracts with European Internet service providers. Reporting from Brussels, the Reuter News Service quotes European Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert as saying, "Microsoft seems to be prepared to offer in due time remedies so that the Commission does not necessarily need to bring the case to a final decision." Van Miert told a news conference today the case had to do with "contracts related to service providers (containing) clauses which are flying in the face of competition." Reuters says EU sources later confirmed Van Miert was talking about an EU investigation into contracts between Microsoft and 24 European Internet service providers. The sources said the clauses at stake related to the "bundling" of Microsoft's Internet browser with other programs. "This differs from a U.S. investigation into Microsoft's alleged practice of forcing computer manufacturers to include the Explorer browser with the firm's Windows 95 operating system," Reuters adds. Outlook 98 to Get Fax Support Microsoft Corp. and Symantec Corp. have announced a strategic relationship to bring integrated fax technology capabilities to the Microsoft Outlook 98 messaging and collaboration client. The agreement also outlines a broader working relationship to enhance and augment each company's communication and information management solutions. The companies' first joint project will be the inclusion of WinFax Starter Edition in Microsoft Outlook 98. The product will provide integrated fax capabilities for Internet e-mail users. The companies promise that the tool will be simple enough for use even by people who are unfamiliar with faxing directly from a computer. The software provides an easy upgrade path to the full version of Symantec WinFax PRO. "We are excited about working with Microsoft to provide customers with software features that enhance and define the way they do business," says Christopher Calisi, vice president of Symantec's remote productivity solutions business unit. "The combination of Symantec's commitment to quality software products and Microsoft's outstanding products provides customers with the most powerful messaging and collaboration solutions on the market today. The synergy between Symantec and Microsoft products will provide customers with new levels of connectivity, increased compatibility and seamless integration." "We believe that offering an integrated fax solution based on WinFax will greatly benefit our customers of Outlook 98 and Microsoft Office," says Jon DeVaan, vice president, desktop applications division, at Microsoft. "We look forward to working with Symantec on a range of projects aimed at providing the best communication and information management solutions to our mutual customers." Ballpark Construction on WebCam Beginning today and for the next 120 weeks, online baseball fans can witness the construction of the San Francisco Giants PacBell Ball Park from the comfort of their own computer screen with live 24 hour, 7-days-a-week video-capture at The camera, provided by Basic Telepresence, gives Web surfers the ability to watch live feeds over the Web using different camera angles, including pan, tilt and zoom. The WebCam is set up in the office window of Kenwood Group, a San Francisco based industrial multimedia company. The office overlooks the baseball stadium with an expansive, unobstructed view of the construction area. "We're happy to provide the vantage point in documenting this historic event. Now everyone on the Web can share our bird's eye view of the ballpark's progress. It's an exciting, albeit noisy, time of rebirth and renewal for this part of San Francisco. Go Giants!" says Gary Goodman, a Kenwood Group spokesman. Nicotine Levels Posted Online Nicotine levels in cigarettes for the first time are being made available on the Internet. Reporting from Framingham, Massachusetts, United Press International says the information is required under Massachusetts' new, first-in-the-nation law that orders tobacco companies to disclose all the ingredients in their products. State health officials and representatives of the American Cancer Society told a news conference yesterday the World Wide Web site (http://www.cancer.org) will give consumers their first opportunity to see the true nicotine yield of the top 85 cigarette brands. And some will be surprised, the officials said, because the data shows very little difference between the nicotine levels of "regular" and "light" cigarettes, and that even supposedly "low-yield" smokes contain "moderate to high doses" of the drug. Those levels, they said, are "sufficient to cause and maintain heavy dependence" on smoking. Divorce Clinic Comes to the Web They call it "DivorceNet.com," an Internet-based divorce clinic at which two Los Angeles area law firms field online questions. Right now, the site serves only Californians, but the no-charge service soon may be available to United States as a whole. "The public seems mystified by divorce law," says Steven L. Fuchs, co-founder of DivorceNet.com. "We're lucky to have lawyers like Glen Rabenn and Jim Reape take an interest in pro bono work." In a statement from L.A., Rabenn added, "Since public resources are scarce, we are providing people with a much-needed service. At no cost, people with family law-related questions can 'chat' with a family law specialist and get answers quickly." Reape said the electronic bulletin board is the perfect forum for responding to individuals' concerns, noting, "Lack of information increases the anxiety level of couples going through the process." The site is accessible at http://www.divorcenet.com. 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 The Linux Advocate Column #5 by Scott Dowdle firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle LOGIN: Welcome again to the Linux Advocate. I've decided to start numbering these and this would be column number 5. I wonder how high I'll get up to?!? :) Linux News News item #1: Caldera updated their WWW site with open letters to Microsoft and SCO. It seems that Caldera has the idea that Linux, properly tooled, can beat anything those two companies throw at it. Hmmmm... and they don't think DOS is dead... and they have added new functionality to their OpenDOS product such as a graphical WWW browser, PPP support, networking, JAVA, multitasking, etc. They have decided to change the name from OpenDOS to Open DR-DOS. For more info, visit their homepage at: http://www.caldera.com News item #2: Check out http://www.seul.org ...that's the homepage of the Simple End User Linux project. In a nutshell, SEUL thinks that the world needs an alternative to Microsoft operating systems and believes that Linux is the way to go... although t hey readily admit that Linux, to truly be an alternative to MS Windows for non-computer literates, needs quite a bit of work on application development and user friendly issues. It is this lacking of Linux for non-computer literates that the SEUL project is attempting to address with various projects. Pretty interesting homepage although a certain segment of the Linux community hates the idea of what they consider to be a "dumbing down" of Linux for the "home (l)user." News item #3: A wonderful online essay has been written about the open development method which was pioneered by the Linux community. It's a very well written paper so check it out if interested. It can be found at the following URL: http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/lsf.html Linux Myth Dispelling As admitted many times before, I'm borrowing completely from the Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage for this section of the column. Check out the Myth Dispeller Homepage at the following URL: http://www.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index.html This installment's topic myth is: "Linux multitasks only as well as Windows or Mac." [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage on] Microsoft, and Apple would have you believe that their operating systems multitask (run more than one program at once). Using the term loosely, they do. Using the term strictly, they task switch only. Although more than one program maybe opened, you may notice that sometimes the system stops responding. Perhaps while mounting (detecting) a CD, or scanning a floppy drive. That's because of cooperative multitasking, as opposed to Linux's preemptive multitasking. A cooperative multitasker (such as Mac System or Windows) will give a program control of the system until the program chooses to give it back. Therefor, when a program is taking a while on a specific procedure, it can hang up the system, and deny other programs operating time. In a preemptive multitasker, a program is given a set number of clock cycles, then it is preemptive, and another program has the system for a set number of clock cycles. Linux is preemptive through and through. Mac System has absolutely nothing preemptive about it (although Apple claims the new OS will be partially preemptive). Windows 3.1 has a preemptive mouse only. Windows 95 is partially preemptive. Between Apple, and Microsoft, their only fully preemptive multitasker is Windows NT. [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage off] Linux Distribution Spotlight A very popular Linux distribution coming out of Germany is SuSE, currently at release 5.1. While the official SuSE development team is located in Germany (http://www.suse.de), there is distributor and support for SuSE in the U.S.A. (http://www.suse.com). While I've not yet gotten hold of this distribution, I hear it is quite good and have taken the liberty of lifting a description from their homepage. New in S.u.S.E. Linux 5.1 (compared to S.u.S.E. Linux 5.0) Kernel 2.0.33 with Pentium F00F- and Teardrop-Bugfix XFree86(TM) 3.3.1 (X11R6.3 "Broadway") with Matrox Millennium II support XSuSE X Server (XSuSE_Elsa_GLoria, XSuSE_AT3D, XSuSE_NVidia, XSuSE_Tseng) Fax Server Hylafax, with X-Frontend (susefax0.7v2) Adabas D Personal Edition (Database) Applixware 4.3 Demo Version (English, German, and French) New functions in YaST: Update via ftp Source packages in srpm-format Revised manual JDK 1.1.3v2 New packages: KDE - K Desktop Environment svgalib 1.2.12 sendmail 8.8.8 Xclass (Win95-looking GUI toolkit) Xirc 2.0 - IRC client for X qt 1.31 Apache 1.2.4 apassl - SSL and PHP/FI module for apache samba 1.9.17p2 (Security Fix) netatalk - Linux as file and print server for Apple Macintosh bash 2.01.1 mc (Midnight Commander) 4.1.4 xephem 3.0 (astronomy program) nedit 5.0 (Editor) sgml Tools: linuxdoc (minimum SGML system) docbk30 (DocBook: DTD and DSSSL-files) gf, jade_dsl (formatter) ... Features Menu-driven installation in English or German Free choice of installation size susewm: tool that generates and updates menus, based on currently installed program packages, for the most important window managers (including KDE's kwm!) YaST: rpm-format text search in package descriptions and contents package contents listing optional centralized verification of permissions and ownerships administration of groups configuration of network printers configuration of the security-level Extensive hypertext help system: S.u.S.E. support database with keyword search documentation for all packages uses HTML, the language of the World Wide Web (WWW) 600 MB live file system Graphical interface XFree86TM 3.3.1 (X11R6.3 "Broadway"), comfortable configuration with XF86Setup Booting directly from CD-ROM (if the Bios supports this) - an additional boot diskette is then no longer needed All tools needed to connect the system to the Internet (mail, news, WWW) Complete source code Emulators for: DOS, Atari ST, Amiga, C64, C128, VIC20, PET, ZX Spectrum, Gameboy, Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari VCS2600, Coleco Vision, ZX81 ... and much more Ok, that's the end of the lifted description. As you can see, SuSE is rather extensive in the amount of preconfigured software included... and very comparable to Red Hat and Debian in that regard. SuSE also has adopted Red Hat's rpm package manager for their software packaging so that's a plus. One thing that SuSE does excel in though, a place where it stands out from the other Linux distributions, is in the fact that they are actively aiding in the development of XFree86 for new video cards. SuSE has several custom X servers based on XFree86 that they are providing to the Linux user community for free (and you can use their packages on any virtually any up-to-date Linux installation). The enhancements that SuSE makes in their XFree86 based servers a re handed over to the XFree86 people (http://www.xfree86.org) for inclusion in their updates. The point here is that SuSE seems to produce support for newer video hardware in a considerably shorter time than it takes the XFree86 organization to release official updates and SuSE should be commended for that. Like virtually all Linux distribution makers, the SuSE development team has also had their hand in the development of the Linux kernel by providing a bug fix here or there... and Linus has acknowledged their help on at least one occasion. In any event, even though I've not personally test driven a SuSE Linux distribution yet, I feel confident in recommending it to anyone looking for a quality Linux distribution. As with all distributions, CD-ROM is the preferred method of installation and an official CD-ROM set with printed manual (see above) can be purchased online via www.suse.com. The price is US$49.95 / DM 89. To the best of my knowledge, none of the cheap CD-ROM duplicators have picked up SuSE yet so you won't find it for $1.99 from Cheap*Bytes (http://www.cheapbytes.com) quite yet... BUT I believe, if one really MUST go the cheap route, the entire distribution may be ftp'ed from ftp.suse.com... although given the size of it all, I'd say that a non-CD-ROM based installation would be very time consuming and perhaps somewhat prohibitive. Linux Application Spotlight Desktop Metaphor... ah, that term/phrase is considered to be of crucial importance for any operating system these days. Seeing that our beloved Linux (as well as all Unix and Unix-like systems) is perceived by many as lacking in the user-friendly qualities one finds on the Apple Macintosh and the Microsoft Windows environments, the application I've chosen to discuss for this installment of the LA column is TkDesk by Christian Bolik who just happens to be yet another German. Complete propaganda for TkDesk may be found on the official TkDesk homepage at the following URL: http://people.mainz.netsurf.de/~bolik/tkdesk/ First let me note that I don't want to delve into the intricacies that are the X Window System other than to say that the X Window System is the standard GUI environment for Linux and virtually all of the Unix community. For specific information on the X Window System please visit the following URL: http://www.camb.opengroup.org/tech/desktop/x/ XFree86 is the extremely popular, freely distributable X Window System implementation available for many platforms including Linux. For information on XFree86 you may visit the following URL: http://www.xfree86.org Finally onto TkDesk... to borrow a description from the TkDesk homepage: TkDesk is a graphical desktop and file manager for several brands of UNIX (such as Linux) and the X Window System. It offers a very rich set of file operations and services, and gives the user the ability to configure most aspects of TkDesk in a powerful way. What does all that mean? Well, seeing as how TkDesk is a VERY FRIENDLY and POWERFUL application, a brief rundown of some of its basic features with accompanying screenshots should provide the answer. TkDesk has four basic components: 1) File Browser, 2) Application Bar, 3) a full featured Text Editor/Viewer, 4) a complete, hypertext based Help System. Provided are screenshots of each basic component as well as a discussion of each. If for some r eason, the screenshots mentioned here aren't included for you, feel free to visit my Linux Advocate archive for this installment of the column at the following URL: http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle/LA/LA-5.html ...where you can find all of the screenshots intact. :) Oh, one comment is needed about the screenshots --- the computer I use is a Toshiba Satellite 105CS laptop and the display is very limited due to the physical display of the laptop, 640x480 resolution at 256 colors. Please take that into consideration an d don't think that the screenshots demonstrate some limitation of TkDesk or X or Linux. It just demonstrates a limitation of my particular laptop... 'nuff said. In the above full screen shot you can see the File Browser window on the left and the Application Bar on the right. All of the stuff at the bottom of the screen (the task bar, load monitor, desk window pager) are part of my window manger configuration... which happens to be the default configuration provided by Red Hat Linux using fvwm2-95 window manager which is designed to look-and-feel like MS Windows 95. As one would expect, the File Browser window and the Application Bar aren't stuck in the position you see them in the screenshot, and are windowed objects with the standard window controls (where applicable)... and their placement and contents in the screenshot are not indicative of TkDesk's defaults. Let's look at the above capture of the File Browser window. While it may appear on the surface to be similar to various file manager products found elsewhere (like Windows 95's File Explorer or Windows 3.x's file manager), trust me, there are tons of sub tle features that a screenshot can't even hint at. Notice how the file/directory listing in the file browser is colorized. TkDesk recognizes various file types and is pre-configured to associate certain applications with them. TkDesk makes extensive us e or the mouse and often there is a difference between left clicking and right clicking on a window object. For example, if one were to double left-click on file-browser.gif file shown, TkDesk would automatically launch xv... which is basically the standard graphic file viewer for X. Single right-clicking on a file in the display will cause a pop-up specific to that file type to come up. I must admit that I'm not that familiar with my screen capture program (the standard xwd command that comes with X) and am not sure how to capture pop-ups nor drop-down menus so my poor descriptions will have to suffice. Just what options are available for various file types and the events that accompany mouse actions are completely configurable... not just for the File Browser, but for the entire program, but more on that later. TkDesk keeps a complete history of all of the files and applications accessed and most previous actions are easily repeatable. As one has come accustomed to with more modern GUI application s, automatic, bubble pop-up help is available and can be toggled on/off as desired. If you don't recognize the term "bubble pop-up help," it's what I call those little help messages that automatically appear when you leave or move the mouse pointer on to p of an icon or screen object for a second. TkDesk is EXTREMELY FRIENDLY, although, like I said earlier, a lot of functions are kind of subtle... only because there are so many and the user interface has been designed to balance features and user-friendl iness without all of the clutter. I couldn't gloss over a tenth of the features of the file browser window if I spent a thousand words trying. Let it be known that clicking on the directory buttons above the listing presents an extensive dropdown specific to that directory. Multiple file browser windows may be opened and the number of directory panes displayed in the browser is user definable. If the number of directory panes desired exceeds the screen display area for the file browser window, a scroll bar appears so you don't loose anything. A special, one-pane-only browser window comes up when one double left-clicks on a directory with the control key pressed. That might sound like a complex action, Control + double left-clicking but it is a really quick and easy way to open multiple views. One neat feature of the file browser is that you can drag files and directories onto the desktop background to create something similar to the shortcuts of Windows 95. These shortcuts are automatically saved with TkDesk's configuration and are user unique... which is to say that since TkDesk is running in a multi-user environment, every user on the system has their own TkDesk configuration saved in their home directory as well as there being a default global configuration. Unique user configuration real ly isn't a specific feature to TkDesk as virtually every program stores its specific user unique configuration file(s) in the user's home directory. Now, onto the Applications Bar or app-bar for short, which you can see above. The app-bar concept is borrowed from the NeXTStep environment. If you left-click on an icon, a default action/application is launched. If you right-click on an icon, a pop-up menu is displayed of related actions or applications. For example, left-clicking on the icon of the monitor and desktop case will launch an xterm program (command line in a window) and right-clicking will present a menu similar to the Programs pop-up in Windows 95's Start menu. Giving an explanation of the icons presented and what pop-ups accompany them would only explain how I have it configured and as stated earlier, everything in TkDesk is completely customizable and the icons presented, default act ions, pop-ups, and pop-up events are completely configurable. TkDesk does come with a rather extensive default/global configuration but on my limited computer display, there were too many icons to fit nicely on a single screen... and since I've been using it for a while, and have done some customizing, I didn't want to revert back to the defaults just to be able to write about them for this spotlight. Suffice to say, what you seen in the pictures is a slightly modified sub-set of the default configuration. One of the applications TkDesk is very aware of is Xemacs and I don't happen to use Xemacs nor do I have it installed so one of the first things I changed on the app-bar was my default editor. TkDesk is also very aware of Netscape thus the Netscape-ish icon. The bottom icon is the recycle symbol and as you might guess, it is equivalent to the trash can on Windows and the Mac. This recycle feature is very nicely done and totally customizable and (thank goodness) the delete file/directory option has a "delete permanently" toggle button so deleting something doesn't have to be a two step operation... ie, 1) move to recycle bin and 2) empty from recycle bin. TkDesk comes with a built-in, full featured, text editor/reader. The editor doesn't include context sensitive display attributes, like those offered by programmer oriented editors that display program source code syntax with color-coded tags... but besides that, the term full-featured still seems appropriate. I won't go into an details on the editor but it has all of the standard features in a quick and user-friendly environment... and you aren't limited to any preset file size like with some editors on other platforms. One of the major elements that can make or break any application program is the quality of the online help system. After using many X based programs that offer online help, I'd have to say that TkDesk's online help system/manual is one of the best I've seen anywhere. It doesn't offer a tutorial system but given the completeness of the help system and the user-friendliness of the whole TkDesk package, a tutorial system would be a complete waste of time. TkDesk Summary Although I've not really covered any specific functions of the program and concentrated on the basic operation of the four main program elements (file browser, app-bar, editor and help system), it should be pointed out that TkDesk is full of features. It has every file operation you could imagine and then some. One of the most exciting things about the design of TkDesk is the fact that it is totally customizable and is very aware of the environment it is running in... a multi-user, multi-tasking system. .. ie, just because you have the file find feature/dialog scanning the hard drive for matches doesn't mean the rest of TkDesk is tied up. Quite the opposite. TkDesk even has a task manager of its own although I've not found it very useful as I don't usually do more than one or two things at a time within TkDesk. TkDesk even has a Periodic Execute feature where it will run a specified program/command line at your bidding. I've included a picture of the Periodic Execution window showing the "who" command set to run once a minute which would let me know who has logged in or off of the system in a timely fashion. This is only an small example of what could be constructed with periodic execution and it offers advantages over the Linux/Unix standard "cron" and "at" programs since it displays the program output and is totally interactive. In closing it must be emphasized again that TkDesk is COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZABLE. Unlike most all software that thinks it knows all of the features you want, TkDesk was designed from the beginning to be aware of the environment it is running in and to be to tally customizable to that environment. If you have sound support on your system, sounds may be associated with various events. The contents of dropdowns, pop-ups and the actions associated with mouse actions is totally customizable. How is the customization done? By editing the various configuration files associated with the system, easily accessed from the configuration popout of the TkDesk dropdown menu of the file browser. The configuration files might be intimidating to those not the least bit f amiliar with a scripting language, but enough examples are given within the files such that cutting, pasting and mild editing are all that is usually necessary. I've done a lot of customization on TkDesk without learning anything about the provided scripting language, ie... the monkey see, monkey do approach facilitated with copy/cut/paste in the built-in editor have gotten me far. Given the lego block command approach of Linux/Unix, virtually every program execution can be automated in a friendly way. You may associate files/file types with whatever programs you prefer and pass along command line options if needed. For those who feel extremely comfortable with the prompt of a command line, TkDesk might not seem that attractive as it is often quicker to type a single command line and hit enter than it is to open up a few windows and navigate through GUI objects BUT given the configuration and customization of TkDesk I think it still has something to offer. For those who are less familiar with Linux/Unix and who might be migrating from another platform, even the default configuration of TkDesk is very usable and a go dsend. For those users who like a GUI environment but aren't overly intimidated by a command line and who grasp at least the basics of the copy/cut/paste, monkey see monkey do approach of the customization, TkDesk is more than an application, it's an ex tension of the whole GUI environment. In any event, I consider TkDesk a must try which will often turn into a must have for those who have given it a try. Hmmm, I wonder if TkDesk has been ported and is available for MS Windows and the MacOS? :) hahahaaa Linux History A very brief entry for Linux History this time... since I took up so much room with the rest of the column. As of this writing, the Linux kernel is up to the following versions: [linux.kernel.org] The latest stable version of the Linux kernel is: 2.0.33 (Dec 16th, 1998) The latest *beta* version of the Linux kernel is: 2.1.80 (Jan 21st, 1998) The version number output was provided by fingering email@example.com. Cool, huh? LOGOUT: Thanks for reading and feel free to drop me an email or visit my homepage. Feedback is hereby solicited! :) Oh, btw... I've noticed that some of the URLs listed in previous columns have been moved and are therefore broken... but they were correct at the time of writing. On the Linux Advocate Archive page, I continue to do my best to keep the links up to date even in previous columns. If you run into a broken URL in a column, try the updated columns provided in html format. This page may be found at the following URL: http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle/LA/ Scott Dowdle - January 22nd, 1998 EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Administration To Spend $28 Million On Tech Training Educom Offers To Manage ".Edu" Addresses States Likely To Target Internet In '98 Legislation Court Advisor Again Accused Of Anti- Microsoft Bias E-Mail Use On The Rise Sun Set To Debut Lower Cost Workstations S&P Unveils Online Investment- Advisory Service Yahoo!, MCI Team Up On New Online Service "Dirty Secrets" Of Chip Industry SAFE Act Still In Danger California State Postpones Industry Partnership Microsoft Loses Bid To Dump Special Master Slate Tries Subscription Model High-Tech Dream House Retailers Happy With Online Sales Forget Push Technology -- Now It's "Pull-Casting" Women Like Books, Men Like Sports AOL Admits Mistake In Revealing Subscriber Information Microsoft Avoids Contempt Citation Prodigy Gets Out Of The Content Business RCN Buys Erol's Microsoft Browser Strategy In Europe Microsoft's Dominance Lawyers Expecting To Profit From Year 2000 Problem Sun Exec Rewarded With Promotion After Rejecting Apple's Courtship ADMINISTRATION TO SPEND $28 MILLION ON TECH TRAINING The U.S. Labor Department will offer $3 million in grants to schools, businesses and local governments to retrain laid-off workers as programmers, and an additional $8 million to construct a World Wide Web site to facilitate job searches. In addition, the Commerce Department has allocated $17 million to train poor people and give them access to technology resources. (Washington Post 12 Jan 98) EDUCOM OFFERS TO MANAGE ".EDU" ADDRESSES Educom has offered to assume responsibility for overseeing all ".edu" e- mail addresses -- a task currently erformed by Network Solutions Inc. under contract to the National Science Foundation. That contract will expire this March and a number of companies are vying for the opportunity to assign Internet addresses. If its proposal is approved, Educom would appoint a "blue-ribbon panel" of college presidents and information officers to determine whether applicants qualify for the .edu designation. Network Solutions recently made a statement to the effect that its system currently is self-policing and that generally, anyone who applies for an .edu address receives one -- a situation that has led to increased fraud on the Internet as fly-by-night operations attempt to lure students for worthless diploma programs. (Chronicle of Higher Education 16 Jan 98) STATES LIKELY TO TARGET INTERNET IN '98 LEGISLATION Lawmakers and Internet lobbyists are predicting that 1998 will be a big year for Internet legislation, with a revisiting of online pornography and privacy issues, as well as Net taxes and access. According to the head of the United States Internet Council, "consumer protection" issues such as privacy, content regulation and Net fraud will dominate the agenda - more than 100 bills on these topics were held over from last year's sessions, and more are being introduced this month. Fueling the surge is realization among legislators that the Internet not only is increasingly important to their constituencies, but also that it is a potential source of revenue. Ohio Governor George Voinovich is leading the charge with a bill that would impose the first tax on Net access, while others are holding off, or declaring their states "Internet tax-free zones" in the hopes of luring more Internet-based businesses. (Net Insider 12 Jan 98) COURT ADVISOR AGAIN ACCUSED OF ANTI-MICROSOFT BIAS Microsoft offered a federal judge "new evidence" of bias in Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, the court- appointed "special master" asked to review the technical issues involved in the Justice Department's antitrust suit against Microsoft. Previously, the company had introduced an e-mail message in which Lessig used the expression "sold my soul" in explaining his decision to use Microsoft's Explorer software. Yesterday, Microsoft told Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Lessig had asked a Netscape lawyer "what sort of solution he would like to see embodied in a decree against Microsoft." Lessig denies being biased against Microsoft, and refuses to withdraw from the case. (New York Times 13 Jan 98) E-MAIL USE ON THE RISE A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that 86% of the 757 human resource professionals polled now use e-mail, but 49% of their companies don't train employees in the proper use of electronic messaging and 48% don't have written e-mail policies. Sixty-three percent say their firms do not officially allow personal use of the company e-mail system, but do not monitor messages. Six percent had been asked to produce copies of e-mail messages as evidence for lawsuits. (Miami Herald 12 Jan 98) SUN SET TO DEBUT LOWER COST WORKSTATIONS Sun Microsystems is offering businesses a new line of low-end workstations -- the Darwin Ultra 5 and the Darwin Ultra 10, priced at less than $5,000 and less than $10,000 respectively. The machines are based on the high- speed UltraSparc IIi chip, and are aimed stemming the migration of low-end users to Windows NT. (Information Week 10 Jan 98) S&P UNVEILS ONLINE INVESTMENT-ADVISORY SERVICE Standard & Poor's, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. known for its stock index and debt-rating business, is venturing into a new field -- online advice targeted toward individual investors. S&P Personal Wealth, the initial offering of S&P's newly formed Investment Advisory Services unit, contains customized investment-management features, original editorial content, market commentary, analysis and research. "We're in the age of the self- reliant investor where, by virtue of self-directed pension plans and 401(k) plans, we're all being called on to take much more responsibility for our financial futures," says the president of S&P's Consumer Markets. http://www.personalwealth.com (Wall Street Journal 12 Jan 98) YAHOO!, MCI TEAM UP ON NEW ONLINE SERVICE Yahoo! and MCI are developing a new Yahoo Online service, geared toward home PC users. The service will offer Yahoo!'s existing e-mail, chat and other communications functions through its Web site, and will carry the tag line "powered by MCI Internet." The collaboration will enable Yahoo!, which started out as an Internet search engine, to compete more effectively against services such as America Online and CNET's Snap!. (Wall Street Journal 13 Jan 98) "DIRTY SECRETS" OF CHIP INDUSTRY A six-month investigation by USA Today has concluded that the microchip industry commonly endangers workers, many of them women and minorities, by failing to fully train them about the hazardous, sometimes deadly, chemicals with which they work. It also charges the industry with various other infractions of environmental health regulations. (USA Today 13 Jan 98) SAFE ACT STILL IN DANGER The Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) is intended to protect citizens' right to use and sell strong encryption products, and prohibits the U.S. government from requiring citizens to give their private encryption keys to a third party. The bill, originally introduced in 1996 and modified last year, is still under attack from the FBI and national security lobbyists, who maintain that even with the modifications the bill could undermine law enforcement efforts. Goodlatte, who oints out that the bill had about 250 cosponsors at last count, says: "Anytime we're dealing with anybody who claims that legislation threatens national security or law enforcement, we have to take that seriously. But we have nothing to apologize for. This is a pro-law enforcement measure." (Net Insider 13 Jan 98) CALIFORNIA STATE POSTPONES INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP California State University System officials have put a controversial partnership deal on hold until spring, citing a longer-than-expected negotiation process and a need to give incoming chancellor Charles Reed more time to acquaint himself with the details. The California Education Technology Initiative would affiliate the system with four corporate partners -- Fujitsu, GTE, Hughes Electronics and Microsoft -- who would contribute some $300 million in funds for upgrading computers, network equipment and support services in exchange for a role in overseeing the system's software and hardware purchases. The plan, which has met with opposition from some students, faculty and consumer groups, also calls for selling some excess Internet capacity to off-cam pus customers. (Chronicle of Higher Education 16 Jan 98) MICROSOFT LOSES BID TO DUMP SPECIAL MASTER U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has refused Microsoft's request to remove Lawrence Lessig, an expert on Internet law from Harvard University. Microsoft had charged that Lessig was biased against the company, but Jackson's written remarks called those charges "defamatory." A Microsoft spokesman said the company was disappointed, but "will continue to work with Prof. Lessig as we have." In further developments, a Microsoft witness said the company's response to a December order -- to remove all Internet Explorer files from Windows operating software, thereby disabling the program -- was devised by a small group of lawyers and software developers, along with Chairman Bill Gates. That's not unusual, according to Microsoft's chief operating officer: "Bill makes all the important decisions here." (Wall Street Journal 15 Jan 98) SLATE TRIES SUBSCRIPTION MODEL Slate, Microsoft's online periodical, is planning a move to a subscription- based business model, at somewhere between $20 to $30 a pop. "We don't believe that the advertising-only approach is sustainable for us," says Slate's publisher. Slate joins a growing number of publications that have found it impossible to generate enough revenue through Web-based advertising alone -- the Wall Street Journal is the most successful of the bunch, largely on the strength of its print reputation and the content differentiation available in the online version. "If you have something that isn't available somewhere else, that's how you assign value," says a Time New Media spokesman. Slate's original plan was to charge $19.95 a year for the weekly e-publication, but its publisher now says the price could be a bit higher, based on the number of top-notch writers it hopes to hire. Other publications experimenting with subscription pricing include The Economist, Business Week and Money.com. The New York Times has been charging overseas users for access to its electronic version, and eventually plans to charge everyone for online access. (Broadcasting & Cable 5 Jan 98) HIGH-TECH DREAM HOUSE Microsoft, Intel, Softbank Holdings and a venture-capital fund started by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen are backing a small start-up company that's developing wireless technology to coordinate various household functions and appliances. ShareWare's system uses wireless radio with a common PC as the hub. The system would enable the homeowner to access the Internet from anywhere in the house using a handheld PC, and enable seamless transition from conventional television to program-related Web sites, all on the same appliance. (Business Week 19 Jan 98) RETAILERS HAPPY WITH ONLINE SALES Cyberstores racked up record sales over the holidays, with $800 million worth of goods sold to consumers over the Web between Thanksgiving Day and New Year's, says the Yankee Group. That figure is more than double the $300 million sold during the same period in '96. "People don't have to deal with parking or going to a mall," says a Forrester Research analyst. And you never get put on hold. (Investor's Business Daily 14 Jan 98) FORGET PUSH TECHNOLOGY -- NOW IT'S "PULL-CASTING" Advertisers are still debating over how to make the maximum impact on the Web -- banner ads have fallen out of favor because they are too easy for the reader to skip over, and cookie technology, which was touted as the ultimate Web surfer tracking device, can't tell "whether one person requests a page five times or five people request it one time." Meanwhile, a former IBM advertising executive says online advertising will require an entirely marketing approach: "The consumer will be in total control. We're moving from the era when the advertiser controlled everything through broadcasting to what I call 'pull-casting' -- where the consumer decides what he wants to see and when he wants to see it." (Los Angeles Times 15 Jan 98) WOMEN LIKE BOOKS, MEN LIKE SPORTS A survey by Relevant Knowledge Inc. shows that one in five homes surfed the Web in December, with search engines being the most popular destination for all users aged 12 and over. When the results were tabulated by gender, and restricted to users aged 18-48, the top three sites visited by women were barnesandnoble.com, warnerbros.com, and switchboard.com, and the corresponding sites for men were espnsportszone.com, dejanews.com, and flashnet.com. (Investor's Business Daily 15 Jan 98) AOL ADMITS MISTAKE IN REVEALING SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION America Online has said it should not have revealed subscriber information to a U.S. Navy investigator had not obtained a subpoena in his investigation of a sailor (and AOL subscriber) charged with violating the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule governing gays in the service (see Edupage 18 Jan 98). AOL also accuses the Navy of deliberately violating Federal law and misleading the AOL employee who tried to cooperate with it. (New York Times 22 Jan 98) MICROSOFT AVOIDS CONTEMPT CITATION Microsoft has agreed to offer PC manufacturers the latest version of its Windows 95 software without requiring them also to install the company's Internet Explorer software for browsing the Internet. This action settles one part of a larger antitrust suit brought against Microsoft by the U.S. Justice Department, and lets the company avoid a contempt of court citation from U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. (AP 22 Jan 98) PRODIGY GETS OUT OF THE CONTENT BUSINESS Prodigy has decided to terminate the activities of 50 staffers that develop "content" for its information service, and instead to link its users to the content of Excite, a Web directory and search engine. Prodigy will now become more a pure Internet Service Provider, offering connections to the Internet. (Wall Street Journal 22 Jan 98) RCN BUYS EROL'S Princeton, N.J.-based RCN Corporation, a phone and cable company, is purchasing Erol's Internet Inc., the largest provider of Internet service to subscribers in the Washington, D.C., area, for $83.5 million in stock and cash. Acquisition of Erol's 300,000 customers will help RCN in its plan to wire homes from Boston to Washington for alternative phone, cable and Internet service. (Washington Post 22 Jan 98) MICROSOFT BROWSER STRATEGY IN EUROPE Deflating the antitrust inquiry begun by the European Commission, Microsoft has announced that contracts with European providers of Internet services will be revised to drop Microsoft's requirements that the service providers offer their customers the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser as a condition for being listed in the Windows 95 operating system. Microsoft claims that the action is an independent business decision, unrelated to the EC's antitrust inquiry. (New York Times 22 Jan 98) MICROSOFT'S DOMINANCE A new survey of 300 corporate executives by Olsten Staffing Service shows the extent of Microsoft's expanding dominance in the software business. Since 1995, the percentage of survey respondents who used Microsoft Word has grown from 43% to 80%, whereas the percentage using rival product WordPerfect dropped from 61% to 21%. During the same period, comparable statistics for spreadsheet, groupware, and presentation graphics software were: Microsoft Excel rose from 44% to 79%, in contrast to Lotus 1-2-3's fall from 65% to 27%; Microsoft Exchange rose from 19% to 32%, in contrast to the fall of Lotus Notes from 49% to 31%; and Microsoft Powerpoint rose from 18% to 86%, in contrast to Harvard Graphics' fall from 27% to 3%. Microsoft attributes its success to its "consistency of delivering better products in the marketplace," whereas critics of the company attribute it to the power of "bundling" - packaging separate products into the software suite called Microsoft Office. (USA Today 22 Jan 98) LAWYERS EXPECTING TO PROFIT FROM YEAR 2000 PROBLEM New Orleans attorney Peter Butler Jr., who specializes in year 2000 computer problems (arising from the inability of old software to know which century a two-digit date code designates), says: "If there is a problem caused to a business, somebody is going to be responsible for that." But Heidi Hooper, an executive at the Information Technology Association of America, says: "Obviously, when there is a hint of anything, the lawyers come out. Why worry about suing now instead of fixing the problem? People need to ask the questions and find out whether they have a problem." (Washington Post 21 Jan 98) SUN EXEC REWARDED WITH PROMOTION AFTER REJECTING APPLE'S COURTSHIP Apparently as a reward for his decision not to pursue Apple's interest in considering him for the position of permanent CEO, Sun executive Edward J. Zander has been promoted to the position of Sun's chief operating officer at Sun, where he will run the company's daily operations and participate in the executive committee that develops strategic planning for the company. (Wall Street Journal 22 Jan 98) STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. 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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 - $50.00 Quarter Page - $100.00 per issue per issue Half Page - $200.00 per Full Page - $400.00 per issue issue 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 20% Discount for Advance Q2 ads. Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff firstname.lastname@example.org G Police PC CD-ROM Street Price: $49.99 Action Adventure for all ages Psygnosis 989 East Hillsdale Boulevard Foster City, CA 94404 (650) 287-6500 (tel) (650) 287-6601 (fax) www.psygnosis.com G Police from Psygnosis is a pretty wild 3D shooter. This simulation puts the player inside of a futuristic helicopter while patrolling the streets of a disheartening future in 2097. Loads of weapons, tactics, and opposition highlight this game. A 3D accelerator is recommended and most likely required to truly enjoy this sim. I strongly endorse G Police because it is a very fun and exciting 3D adventure. G Police takes place in a bleak future one hundred years from now. The independent nations of the past are no more. After a world war, all weapons have been destroyed and now only the G Police are left to serve and protect the entire Earth. Instead of nations controlling the world, powerful corporation have been developed which lead to espionage and murders of all sorts. You play the game as Jeff Slater. He is the brother of a former female G Police officer. Jeff is searching for answers about his sister's alleged suicide. He believes that someone in the G Police had something to do with her demise so he decides to infiltrate the Police force to find the answers he is looking for. Once the simulation begins, the action never stops. Enemies of all sorts from the ground and the air try their best to destroy your havoc jet helicopter. They are equipped with an interesting artificial intelligence that allows them to outmaneuver or ambush you at the right moment. They may also try to discourage you when you try to complete your other objectives during your missions. Disabling destructive mining vehicles, safely guiding a ground unit of police cars, searching cargo trucks for illegal firearms, and deactivating out of control shuttle buses are just a few examples of the mission objectives you will encounter during gameplay. To combat the wide array of adversaries, the G Police has equipped all of their combatants with the latest in peace making products. Unguided weapons that are at your disposal are the basic cannon and laser-type projectiles. However, there is a large selection of heat seeking, and other forms of missles. Also available are large 500kg and 1000kg bombs. These explosives are more difficult to use because of a somewhat awkward targeting system. G Police does offer a pretty wide selection of weapons that can be exploited at opportune times. Some are only given out during certain missions. A reloading station is also in the game next to the G Police headquarters that can be used one time only during gameplay if you happen to run out of ammunition. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the game is the unique city landscapes. Buildings and structures of all shapes and sizes are located in these technologically advanced cities. The architecture is very ahead of its time but still carries the dark feeling of this futuristic earth. It really adds dimension to the game. The only downside about the stellar landscapes is the obvious speed problems some people might have. To be honest, I don't see how anyone could play this game without a 3D accelerator. The speedy graphics, violent explosions, and consequential fast frame rates really require you to use a 3D card. This is proof again that more and more, 3D accelerators are a becoming a need as opposed to a want in the PC gaming industry. G Police is a very solid adventure simulation. I would really recommend it to intermediate and advanced sim fans. The high flying action and graphics are very fun to watch. I have to stress again that although a 3D accelerator is not required, it will prove to be very useful while you play. G Police is a solid buy and should definitely be considered the next time you take a trip to your local PC game retailer. See you all next week! Jason Program Requirements Pentium 133, 16 Mb RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, Windows 95, DirectSound 16 or compatible sound card. 3D accelerator recommended 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. 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On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. 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!" Well, last week's storm essentially missed us here, but we're expecting another today. Never gets boring, weather-wise. Lots of "weird" news in the computing and online world these days. Bill Gates' Microsoft is starting to feel the heat from the public, as well as the Justice Department. Interesting articles in recent issues of the USA Today as well as local newspapers with national newsfeeds. It appears that many people aren't too sympathetic to Microsoft's problems. And what about AOL's bout with lack of confidentiality with regard to its members? It seems that the U.S. Navy wants to discharge a gay sailor after it underhandedly found out the man's "secret". Whatever happened to "don't ask, don't tell" and contractual ethics? AOL is going to feel the heat over this for quite some time. And there's more - be sure to read this week's industry news - lots of interesting articles. Until next time... Possible AC UK Atari Show in Summer '98 From: <email@example.com> Possible UK Atari Show: Atari Computing magazine may be in a position to organize some form of Atari Show/Convention in early Summer of this year. Obviously such a show takes a lot of organizing and is also very expensive. Therefore it is not something we could afford to waste time and money on if it wasn't going to be well-supported. My view is that we could only go-ahead with such a Show/Convention if we sold enough tickets in advance to cover the costs. To just hope that enough people will turn up on the day is a non-starter TBH. Anyway, I'd like to get some ideas and thoughts coming back to me, so I'll ask a few questions and ask everyone that is interested to comment, but please send actual question responses to me via email. , When is your preferred weekend & month; June/July/Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov (please give exact dates if possible , Preferred day; Saturday/Sunday , Preferred location; Birmingham/London , Method of transport; Car/Bus/Train , What sort of admission price would you pay? (3.00/4.00/5.00 ukp) , What would you like to see at the Show in order of preference? (demos/tutorials/sales stands/anything else? , What is your main interest; DTP/Music/graphics/? , Where will you be travelling from? , Further ideas/comments Many thanks to all that respond. I'll post a summary of what is sent to me in due course. Basically, unless we do get a reasonable level of prior support AC will be unable to organize an event, so this is everyone's chance to ensure that there will be a show this year in the UK! Best regards Mike Kerslake The Publishing House Magazine Production - Typesetting Services - Audio Productions firstname.lastname@example.org - WWW: http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/publish/ Atari Computing Magazine info: email@example.com STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" Editor's MailBag Message Content * NOT EDITED * STReport Atari Mailbag! Hello Dana! Just wanted to drop you a note and say a big THANK YOU for the nice write up you gave myself and The Computer Dungeon in the latest issue of STReport. It was very much appreciated. It was also a surprise as I didn't even know that STR covered anything Atari anymore (see what being away from the Atari scene for 15 months will do to a person...grin). But now that I know they do, I'll make sure and download each and every issue. Again, Thanks for the write up and if there is anything I can ever do to help you out, please don't hesitate to call upon me. Al Horton The Computer Dungeon Hello! Thank for the Email and kind words, Dana. And no problem with you quoting my Email or whatever. Things are picking up here as I'm getting permission from Shareware authors in Europe to distribute full versions of their titles here in the U.S. Right now its Shareware games, but if sales and customers request them I'll try to handle as many overseas programs as necessary. With commercial support almost non-existent, we Atari users have to rely on each other to write the programs we want/need for our machines and the Shareware method of paying for these programs. And many, many of these Shareware programs are as good, IF NOT BETTER, than many of the big commercial company offerings we've Atarians have had. I've found that many U.S. Atari users are interested in programs from overseas but are reluctant to purchase and/or register these programs because of the hassle of trying to find a cheap/effective way of paying for them when the use of a credit card is impossible. I hope I can get the rights to distribute as many of these programs as possible and North American Atari users can enjoy these GREAT programs without having to send for them overseas. We need to support one another and the best way of doing so is to register your Shareware programs. If Shareware authors do not receive compensation for their hard word (even if that compensation is nothing but an Email saying "Thanks for the nice program and supporting the Atari platform) then they will have no incentive to continue writing the programs that we Atari users NEED to keep our systems alive and up to date. Hopefully, by making the process of purchasing/registering Shareware programs as easy as possible then everyone will benefit: Atari users who will get tremendous programs and the program authors will get the compensation they deserve to keep them supporting the Atari platform. The Computer Dungeon has registered EVERY program that we use in running the business. Okay... time to get off my soapbox and back to work. Keep up the good work you've been doing, Dana, and Thanks to you for supporting the Atari platform. Al Horton The Computer Dungeon Gaming Section FTC Warns Sony! PSX Predicts: Green Bay over Denver! "GEX" is Back! Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! FTC Warns Sony Computer Entertainment Over Price-fixing TOKYO, Jan. 20 (Kyodo) -- The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday warned Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. about price-fixing of its PlayStation video game software and urged it to stop the practice which it said violates fair trade rules. The nation's fair trade watchdog takes issue with the company's requirements that retailers sell PlayStation software at suggested retail prices, refrain from selling used video game software and from distributing PlayStation software to other retailers. The FTC said Sony Computer Entertainment imposed these requirements so as to keep prices of its video game software from falling when it signed retail contracts with retailers since June 1994. It also said the company has ordered retailers to sell its new video game software at suggested retail prices within two months after its release since April 1996, when an increase in video game software products left some products unsold. Sony Computer Entertainment, a unit of consumer electronics giant Sony Corp., canceled contracts with retailers when they failed to stick to these requirements, the FTC said. A spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment said the company has not committed any wrongdoing. "We are confident that there have been no illegalities and it is regrettable that our marketing policy is not understood," the spokesman said. Everyone's Favorite Wisecracking Gecko Is Back MENLO PARK, CALIF. (Jan. 21) BUSINESS WIRE - Jan. 21, 1998 - "GEX" Sequel, Distributed by Midway Home Entertainment, Sets New Standard for Humor, Amazing Graphics and Challenging 3-D Gameplay on the PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and PC He's back... GEX, star of the self-named, 32-bit classic, has returned to play the lead role in its sequel -- "GEX: Enter the Gecko." "GEX" pushes the limits of 3-D technology with beautifully rendered environments, awesome enemies, special effects and free-roaming 3-D gameplay, as well as the sarcastic humor gamers have come to expect from the quick-witted gecko. Published by Crystal Dynamics and distributed by Midway Home Entertainment, "GEX" is appearing on PlayStations everywhere in February. In his latest platform adventure, Maui's main Gecko must once again battle his archnemesis, Rez, this time in a 360-degree, free-roaming 3-D environment. Reluctantly recruited by secret government agents to protect the world's television broadcasts from Rez's powerful clutches, the hysterically witty GEX is thrust into the bizarre Media Dimension, filled with enemies and worlds that parody some of film and television's most popular characters and personalities from the past. GEX will stop at nothing to foil Rez's sinister plan. Armed with his razor-sharp tongue, whip-cracking tail and suction-cup paws, GEX must battle his way through numerous media-themed levels of gameplay. Along the way, he encounters his worst media nightmares in levels such as The Rocket Channel, Toon TV and Kung-Fu Theater, among others. "GEX: Enter the Gecko" does traditional 3-D games one better with the addition of an entirely new dimension to the experience -- wall climbing. With his inherent ability to stick to any surface, GEX can "go where none have gone before," including climbing on ceilings and walls. In addition, "GEX: Enter the Gecko" features an intuitive in-game camera that will raise the watermark by which future games are measured. The camera will provide the standard chase view but will not limit players to a set of predetermined vantage points; rather, the camera will allow the player to look anywhere within each vast 3-D world. Co-star of the NBC comedy "Working" and HBO comedian Dana Gould once again provides the voice of GEX, which is actually lip-synced during gameplay. Gould also is in large part responsible for the wisecracking gecko's in-game personality, which takes clever jabs at the entertainment industry. "GEX: Enter the Gecko" will also be available for PC CD-ROM in spring 1998 and for the Nintendo 64 in early summer 1998. PlayStation Picks: Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl! NFL GameDay '98, the number one football videogame by Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. -- exclusive for the PlayStation(TM) -- was played to predict the Green Bay Packers winning back-to-back Super Bowls. NFL GameDay '98 is built with all the real teams and players. Players aren't just represented in the game by a jersey number, but are rated and designed to play to their actual ability making "PlayStation Picks" worth paying attention to. PlayStations NFL GameDay '98 Super Bowl XXXII Highlights 1st Q: - Dorsey Levens rushing TD -- Brett Favre TD pass to Antonio Freeman 2nd Q: -- Favre TD pass to Mark Chmura - Terrell Davis rushing TD 3rd Q: -- Davis fumble -- Eugene Robinson interception 4th Q: -- John Elway TD pass to Rod Smith -- Reggie White sacks Elway Final: 31-17. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors. We've got some interesting stuff to talk about this week, but first I want to brag a little bit about some of the additions I've made to my TT this week. First off, I got tired of looking around for the seemingly very rare 30 pin SIMMs needed for upgrading the TT's memory with the standard Atari TT-RAM board. Since these SIMMs have not been state-of-the-art for many years now, they have become much harder to find and more expensive per megabyte than their younger brethren... if you can find them. The TT-RAM board that came in my TT can be upgraded to 16 Megabytes by using four 4 Meg SIMMS, but they must be 30 pin SIMMs, they must support "nybble mode", and they must be no faster than 70 nanoseconds. These things, all put together, make the SIMMs hard to find. While leafing through the Best Electronics Catalog (a must-have, by the way) I found an entry for a "64MEG FASTRAM Board". According to the description, it would use one or two 72 pin SIMMs of up to 32 Megabytes each, giving a maximum of 64 Megabytes. Since the price did not seem to be excessive I ordered the board and patiently waited for it to arrive while I searched for the best prices on 72 pin SIMMs. Once the board arrived, I found the instruction sheet (which I had been told was entirely in german), looking for any diagrams or tell-tale descriptions of what type of SIMMs I would need. When I found none, I painstakingly typed the instructions into a text editor and used Ruftrade to translate them from german into english. Since the sentence structures of these two languages are somewhat different the translation was less than perfect. I found that the passages pertaining to they type of SIMM needed were either vague or so jumbled by the translation that they made no sense. I decided to take the plunge anyway and buy two 32 Meg SIMMs. I decided the safest course would be to buy non-parity memory, since that is the most common. I was quite surprised by the price of memory today. Each of these 32 Meg SIMMs cost me less than the SIMMs I used to upgrade my first STE to 2 Meg. As a matter of fact, if you add the cost of the two SIMMS and the price of the memory board, it still cost me less to upgrade my TT to 64 Megs of RAM than it did to upgrade my STE to 2 Megs. Incredible, huh? The installation was simple... just pop the old board out and the new one in, install the SIMMs, and turn the computer back on. It worked without a hitch the first time. The computer recognized all 64 Meg of memory and booted normally without so much as a hiccup. I ran a benchmark program and checked the statistics on the memory. According to GemBench the new memory is about 36% faster than "TT normal". I'm not quite sure of exactly what this is based on, since my "TT normal" memory had tested out at 105%. At any rate, this new board is faster... Faster is better. <grin> I have no idea of what I might ever use all of this memory for, but this pretty much puts an end to upgrading memory for me. 64 Meg of TT RAM and 10 Meg of ST RAM is more than even most PCs with Windows95 use. And I don't even need any of it for the operating system, so unless Microsoft moves into the Atari arena with Windows98, I'm safe. Needless to say, I'm quite happy with the new board, new memory, and the looks on the faces of the people who ask me how much memory my "little Atari" has in it when I answer them. So if you have a TT and yearn for an obscene amount of memory, call Brad at Best Electronics and tell him that you want "One of those 64 Meg FASTRAM boards like Joe Mirando bought". I'm sure he'll be more than happy to sell you one. Okay, let's get to the good STuff... From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup Our old friend Greg Evans asks for help using HDDriver, the outstanding Hard Drive Software by Uwe Seimet: "I just partitioned a new drive with HDDRiver 6.0 . I created partitions which are 514 mb on my TOS 4.04 Falcon and used the minimum sector size option. The problem is Diamond Edge and Knife ST don't seem to like the new partitions. Knife crashes and halts the drive when I try to search a file. Diamond Edge finds a bad cluster. Noedesk also is confused about cluster size, reporting it as 16384-32767 (on 2 lines). My question is, is the problem the partitions > 512 mb or the minimum sector size or both. I can begin experimenting but restoring the partitions from backup is slow work." The author of the program himself, Dr. Uwe Seimet, tells Greg: "The problems seem to be Diamond Edge and Knife ST. The maximum allowed cluster size is 32768 bytes. Partitions > 512 MByte are perfectly legal on TOS 4.04." David Snowdon adds: "I found that ST-Tools also has problems on my Falcon and SyJet 1.5 Gig drive. So I guess we now need a volunteer to create a new version of ST-Tools, since I doubt we'll see an updated version of Diamond Edge." Claes Holmerup tells Greg: "The problem is that Diamond Edge can't handle larger partitions than 512MB (which comes to 8kB sector size when you use the "minimum sector size" option). If you make larger partitions, the sector size becomes 16kB, which can't be handled by Diamond Edge (or Cubase Audio for that matter). If you use HDX for your partitioning, you can't even use larger partitions than 256MB if you want to keep the sector size to 8kB, since you can't choose "minimum sector size" like in HDDriver. If you need to defragment larger partitions, use the old CHKDSK3 instead - I know several people who use it on their Cubase Audio systems all the time without any problems." Terry May throws a bit of a monkey wrench into that thought: "Of course, CHKDSK3 only defragments your free space; it doesn't defrag your files (i.e. put them in contiguous order)." Greg gives us an update on his progress: "I repartitioned the drive into 441 mb partitions and the Diamond Edge problem went away. Knife ST doesn't bomb any longer but it has problems finding the end of a file. I switched to using DADE, which I've had for years but avoided. My cluster size is now 32767. What would choosing the "minimum sector size" option have done? I'll be upgrading to HDD 7.12 wehn Systems for Tomorrow gets it in. Is that fully Afterburner compatible?" Uwe tells Greg: "...These programs obviously don't support partitions larger than 512 MByte. 32767 is impossible because cluster sizes are alwasy a power of 2. So 32768 is likely. With minimum sector size you get half this size. Yes, I think [this version is Afterburner compatible], because I know Afterburner users running this version. Note, however, that the Afterburner will always be a potential problem because of its wrong processor cache handling during the boot phase." Douglas Zander asks for information about ST users: "I have three separate questions I am curious about. I would like to write some software and release it as shareware or freeware. Please give me your best estimate concerning the following questions. 1) How many users of AtariST computers are there who have Internet access? (at least email access) 2) How many additional people exist who own AtariST computers but do not have access to the Internet? (do not have email access) 3) How practical is it to release a software as shareware; what percentage of users pay the shareware fee?" Tony Greenwood, a damned fine programmer in his own right tells Douglas: "1) World wide ?...Sorry too difficult to answer for anyone. 2) In the UK more people do not have Internet acces than do. 3) This realy depends on what you are thinking of making?, Games? applications?, Internet software? what?, no one could answer this without knowing the type of software, Will your software be something new that we don't already have, remember we have been around for longer than most and just about everything has been made, although always looking for new stuff if thats what you have ?, If its something we already have then is yours going to be better, in fact so much beter that we dump the tried and tested stuff in favour of yours? there are opening and space out there if you have something the ATARIan wants, so don't let me put you off, but to answer your question 3 (the important one) then we realy would need more info. In my humble opinion, the ATARI is a Hobbyist platform and not the place to make your fortune. <grin>" Ben Hall asks for help getting his ST to talk to his new ZIP drive: "So after a story too long and frustrating to relate here (let's just say I'm never buying anything from PC World again), I finally have my Zip Plus connected to my ST, but nothing works yet :( My system: Atari --> Link 2 --> SystemSolutions MiniS -->Zip Plus (via "autodetect" cable and an Iomega 25-to-50 adapter from Maplins) With the Zip Plus plugged in to the MiniS (even with the Zip not turned on), the ICD driver software doesn't even register the Link as connected, and neither drives work. Unplug the Zip, and the Link/MiniS works fine. (MiniS SCSI ID 1, Zip ID 5) Now I'm pretty sure I ordered a Link2 - anyone who has one, does it say "The Link2" on it, or just "The Link"? Mine says the latter, which made me think that maybe I have the first one, which doesn't support parity, and can't be used with the Zip. (When I originally ordered the Link+MiniS drive I had to wait about three months because SysSol didn't have any Link's left, and I was told that the ones that were coming in were Link 2's, and that I would get one of those with my drive.) The ICD floppies (v6.5.5) have "The Link, The Link2" written on it, and HOST.TOS registers the host adapter thusly: ICD Determine Host Adapter Type Version 2.08 Copyright 1994 ICD Inc. ID Drive Type Adapter Type 1 MAXTOR 7213-SCSI Link/AdSCSI/AdSCSI Micro The Zip Plus (apparently) sets it's own termination automatically, so I dunno how I can access and therefore test this. The MiniS has no termination settings on the back panel, and I've never figured how to open it up to see whether there's any jumpers in side, so that draws a blank too. I don't have the necessary leads to connect the Zip directly to the Link and bypass the MiniS, so I can't try that either. Leaving aside defective equipment, I can only think that it could be the Link or the MiniS termination settings causing the problem. So, anyone got any ideas..?" David Knight tells Ben: "When I added a normal zip drive to my falcon at the end of the scsi chain I had problems. I don't know if this is correct but in my case it seemed the termination on the zip didn't work (even with the switch set to on). The solution was to swap my cd drive and zip drive over so the termination was on the cd drive." Claes Holmerup tells Ben: "I believe you have a problem with the TERMPWR (termination power), which isn't supplied by the Zip (which is normal). The last unit on the SCSI-chain has to supply TERMPWR to get power to the Link and that's probably why it fails when you have the Zip connected. I believe it would work if you connect the Zip closest to the interface and the harddisk as the last unit on the chain, with a termination plug connected. Otherwise you should get it working if you make a cable that takes the +5V from a port on the computer and supplies it to the TERMPWR pin in the Zip's second SCSI-connector. Naturally, the Zip must be terminated in the normal way with the switch on the back too." Terry Ross asks for help with hooking up a 33,600 baud modem: "I just went out and bought a 33.6 modem. But SERIAL.CPX won't let me select a speed higher than 19.2 - what do I need to reconfigure to allow me to use 28.8 or 33.6? HSMODEM? anything in my DIAL.SCR or DEFAULT.CFG? I've tried changing HSMODEM, but it's telling me that it's an invalid baud rate (I've tried 38400 and 57600)." Steve Hammond tells Terry: "If you are using Modem 1 then all you can get is 19200. See if you can change Modem 2 to 38400 or Ser.2/LAN to 57600 or 115200 with the SERIAL.CPX. If you can't change either of these it means that something is not configured correctly with HSModem or incorrect modules are loaded. FastSerial v096 also works fine - it is a lot easier to set up but will not give you 230400 bps on Ser.2/LAN. E mail me if you have further questions." Well folks, that's it for this installment. Tune in again next week, same time, same channel, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Count your blessings instead of your crosses; Count your gains instead of your losses. Count your joys instead of your woes; Count your friends instead of your foes. Count your smiles instead of your tears; Count your courage instead of your fears. Count your full years instead of your lean; Count your kind deeds instead of your mean. Count your health instead of your wealth; Count on God instead of yourself. -- Author Unknown STReport International Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers 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 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" January 23, 1998 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1403
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