ST Report: 27-Mar-98 #1412From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 04/14/98-09:03:27 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 27-Mar-98 #1412 Date: Tue Apr 14 21:03:27 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) March 27, 1998 No.1412 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 14gb * 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 4.01 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office Pro 97, FrontPage 98, Homesite 3.0 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 03/27/98 STR 1412 "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!" CPU Industry ReportCeBIT Show CoverageWin98 PreOrders Start NEW LSI G12 CHIPIMATEC SUES APPLEShareholders SUE ALTRIS HP to do own JavaLesson fromWindows Past Digital Loyal to Alpha Once Upon AtariPeople TalkingClassics & Gaming Congress Divided On Internet Tax Plan Intel Shows Merced, New Chips At CeBIT Appellate Court Judge Withdraws from Microsoft Case 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 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Or, read STReport Online in HTML at our Website. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. 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: 03/21/98: four of six numbers with 3/3 number matches From the Editor's Desk... Jonesboro Arkansas and the rest of the Nation will long remember what happened there this past week. Lord knows, I was just writing about how we, as educators, politicians, professionals etc., set the examples for the nation's youngsters to live with and mature with. As stated in Frank's comments about this tragedy, the current crop of adults in this nation will be very busy trying to "pass the buck" in trying to place the blame on what caused this horrible incident. There is no single area to fix the blame on except all of us and in particular, the Nation's Politicians from the city councils to the federal levels. Granted, there are many good career politicians out there but. Sad to say; it appears the punko politicos far outnumber the good ones. There isn't a day that goes by where we don't hear about another politician resigning, indicted, convicted, caught, or simply getting nailed because of any number of criminal infractions. Take the recent joke of a Mayor The City of Miami had the clown and his lackies falsified the the write-in ballots to force their win. He's out now but incredibly, even after an audit he's still trying to cry foul. Every kid in the State of Florida watched that story unfold on an almost daily basis. How many times have we said to ourselves how long is that crooked (enter your politician's name) going to keep getting away with it? Or, if it had been you or I who did that, they'd put us away forever. Yet, these politicians seemingly take care of each other. Look at Newt... he gets caught for hustling his book on taxpayer time and money... was he forced to resign? Did anyone holler impeach? No, not a peep from any of his cronies in fact one LOANED him the money (over three hundred thousand) to pay his fine. The guy who loaned Newt the bux was none other than Bob Dole. Who is now working in the private sector. Wanna bet he's involved in something that will, sooner or later, come back to haunt him in the "conflict of interest" area? After all, he holds a pretty hefty note on Newt and although its not likely but Newt is in the succession line to be President if some should happen to those before him. Can you imagine Newt as President? Now, there's a real tragedy. This and a great deal more is all going on now. Its in the newspapers, on TV, Radio and spoken about almost anywhere a youngster might go. How can we expect these kids to do the right thing when many of the leaders of our cities, States and Nation are not. The schools across the nation are not "lily white" either. Just yesterday, at high school in Georgia, there was some sort of "Coca Cola sponsored day" going on. One of the students wore a Pepsi T Shirt instead of the Coke T shirt that was distributed. The goofy principal booted the student out of school and a possible suspension is in the works for the student being disrespectful of the Coke Day. Sad to see the school's authorities force feed Coca Cola's commercial efforts upon its students. Again how can we expect the kids to do the right thing when the adults "in charge" fail to do so. The control freaks in our school systems across the nation need to be weeded out. These schools need to get off the track they are on now and get back to basics like education. It seems to be taking a back seat to conduct enforcement to the point were students and parents alike are losing respect for the schools leaders and starting to actually resent the current crop of people in school boards in most every city. I can tell you our school board, in Jacksonville Florida is a comedy act. Many folks here watch it in session on TV to get a few laughs. I don't think many in this city take the school board seriously any longer. Its proven itself to be incompetent far too many times. Its been investigated by the FBI with indictments and arrests. Segregation is still haunting this system. Once again, how can we expect the kids to do the right thing when those "in charge" seemingly cannot? The schools must get back to teaching! Not feeding their egos by running dictatorships within the schools. Its bad enough that many parents are fed-up but when the kids begin to take matters to utmost limits something is radically wrong. http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com ICQ#:1170279 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 Graphics Rich HTML. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC SectionMac SectionShareware Listings R.F. MarianoHelp WantedHelp Wanted Classics & GamingKid's Computing Corner Dana P. JacobsonFrank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. BurkleyJoseph MirandoVictor Mariano Vincent P. O'HaraGlenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff Jason SerenoJeremy SerenoDavid H. MannAngelo Marasco Donna LinesBrian BoucherLeonard WorzalaScott Dowdle Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Appellate Court Judge Withdraws from Microsoft Case WASHINGTON - U.S. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman removed himself from a Microsoft Corp. case, saying in a letter that his participation had violated ethical standards. Silberman said in the letter to attorneys in the case, which was seen by Reuters, that he recused himself because he is a trustee of a trust that holds Microsoft stock. He was replaced by another member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge Patricia Wald. Wald will hear oral arguments in the case April 21, along with Judges A. Raymond Randolph and Stephen Williams. Silberman said that while teaching at Harvard Law School last week he was "reminded of the basic proposition of trust law, that the trustee holds legal title to trust property." After consulting colleagues who advise judges on their ethical duties, Silberman said, he concluded he has a "financial interest" in the case and "therefore, my participation in the case has been in violation." In the case, Microsoft has asked the appellate court to throw out a preliminary injunction against it granted last December by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. Microsoft had also asked the court to halt Jackson's use of a special master to advise him on the facts and law of the case. The three-judge panel, with Silberman as a member, granted that request temporarily. The case arose because the Justice Department sued the giant software company, arguing that Microsoft was violating a 1995 consent decree aimed at expanding competition in the software industry. Judge Orders Microsoft to Remove Java Logo for Now A federal judge ordered Microsoft Corp. Tuesday to remove the "Java compatible" logo from two of its software products, pending the final outcome of a lawsuit brought by rival Sun Microsystems Inc. The preliminary injunction, issued by Judge Ronald Whyte, hands Sun a major victory in its effort to stop Microsoft, its biggest rival, from fragmenting its Java computer programming technology, Sun executives said. Under the ruling, Microsoft would have to remove the Java logo from its Internet Explorer 4.0 browser and the Java software developers kit, a set of computer programs that help programmers write software in Java. U.S. Lawmaker, Governors Agree on Internet Tax Bill WASHINGTON, March 19 - U.S. Rep. Christopher Cox said today he has reached agreement with state leaders on a revised Internet tax bill that will enable the measure to clear the House before Congress adjourns for Easter. The pact, which is opposed by a key Senate sponsor of Internet tax legislation, would mandate a three-year "time out" on state and local taxes that target the Internet and electronic commerce. This is a "major victory for taxpayers," said Cox, a Republican from California who originally called for a six-year moratorium on Internet taxes. But in response to concerns raised by the National Governors' Association and other state and local groups, he narrowed the moratorium to three years and made other revisions, all opposed by Senate bill sponsor Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat. The bill would ban for three years taxes on Internet access and online services, bit and bandwidth taxes, and any multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. Congress Divided On Internet Tax Plan WASHINGTON - A revised Internet taxation bill may have overcome a major hurdle in the U.S. House, but the compromise is not getting the same reception in the Senate, a Capitol Hill aide said. The aide to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sponsor of a leading Senate bill on the issue, said his boss was "consulted" on the new House language, which is backed by U.S. governors, but does not support it. "Wyden continues to support the legislation as passed by the Senate Commerce Committee," the aide said. "He thinks we have a good bill and we can get it passed." Wyden's bill would set a five-year moratorium on state and local taxation of Internet transactions. The House compromise would curb state and local taxation of Internet services and sales, but only for three years, USA Today reported. Also, state and local governments could keep any taxes on Internet or on-line services already in effect March 1, the paper said. And the bill would impanel a congressional commission to study the whole issue of Internet taxation, the paper said. Earlier this month, Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott said the Senate will not take action on pending Internet tax legislation until state and local leaders are "comfortable" with the measure. Lott aides were unavailable for comment. U.S. Lawmakers, Governors Propose Timeout on Internet Tax Congressional lawmakers and state governors announced Thursday they had reached a new compromise over legislation to impose a "time out" on taxes targeting Internet commerce. The revised Internet Tax Freedom Act would bar states and localities from levying new taxes on Internet access and online services for three years. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Cox, a Calif. Republican, would also set up a 29-member commission to study how to proceed with a fair Internet tax system once the moratorium ends. Firms Get Down To Internet Business At CeBIT Fair HANOVER - From the titans of technology to hundreds of mid-size firms hoping to ride the Internet wave, business leaders on Wednesday will use the CeBIT trade fair as a venue to promote conducting commerce in cyberspace. IBM chief executive Lou Gerstner will kick off the annual information technology mecca as keynote speaker at the official opening ceremony in the evening, sharing the stage with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Gerstner's speech is expected to focus on "e-commerce", as IBM calls trading goods and services online, and seek to convince European enterprises wary of doing business on the Internet to waste no time entering the new frontier. Around 600,000 visitors are expected to attend the fair and 10,000 journalists will be on hand as nearly 7,300 companies display mobile phones, computers, and networking equipment from March 19-25 at the world's largest information technology fair. Deutsche Telekom, Europe's biggest telecommunications group, gave an inkling of what could be expected at its news conference on Tuesday, when it announced plans for a broad launch later this year of Internet telephony services. Several of Telekom's main rivals will take the stage on Wednesday. Viag Interkom, a joint venture of German utility Viag, British Telecom and Norway's Telenor, are expected to announce the launch date for their new mobile phone network in eight German cities. Jozef Cornu, a senior executive at Alcatel Alsthom, the French industrial giant, will outline the company's strategy for the broadband networks needed for multimedia services. German media conglomerate Bertelsmann will discuss the fast-growing online service market and its European joint venture with America Online, the world's biggest online service. There is also room for a few political surprises to emerge from beneath the din of multimedia presentations. Kohl will make his first public appearance with his Social Democrat rival Gerhard Schroeder, as Lower Saxony state premier host of the CeBIT fair, during a tour of the fair grounds on Thursday morning. Later in the day Kohl will also meet Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for talks that the Bonn government press office said will range from Asia's financial crisis to Malaysia's efforts to attract high-tech investment. Finnish telecommunications group Nokia announced on Tuesday that it has applied to join Malaysia's high-technology Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) zone. The MSC, a 15-by-50 km (nine-by-30 mile) zone south of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, is being proposed as a testbed for developing multimedia products and services. Malaysia hopes the corridor will become an Asian Silicon Valley. Companies with MSC status are provided benefits including unfettered foreign worker hiring, intellectual property protection and tax breaks. Malaysia will be promoting the project at the CeBIT trade fair. Kohl, Gerstner Sing Internet Praises At CeBIT Fair HANOVER - IBM chief executive Louis Gerstner, opening the CeBIT information technology fair, predicted the market for Internet commerce would hit $200 billion a year by the end of the century. "I believe that's a conservative forecast," said Gerstner, keynote speaker at the world's largest technology trade show. "It's not hyperbole to say that the 'network' is quickly emerging as the largest, most dynamic, restless, sleepless marketplace of goods, services and ideas the world has ever seen." German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, sharing the platform with Gerstner, also sang the praises of the Internet as the engine for new jobs and a vast global marketplace that never sleeps. Kohl said Germany was rushing into the information age and that the booming sector would create thousands of jobs. "Over the past two years 100,000 jobs were created in the information industry. This year alone another 90,000 new jobs are expected," said Kohl according to the summary of his speech. A few hours earlier, the fair's organizers were embarrassed by the crash of a key communications network which put on hold the work of thousands of reporters, business executives and assembly workers. "These are complicated networks and these things happen," said Peter Mihatsch, board member for telecommunications at German industry group Mannesmann, whose firm installed the network. He blamed the problem on the failure of a fiber optic cable. Around 600,000 visitors are expected to attend the fair and 10,000 journalists will be on hand as nearly 7,300 companies display mobile phones, computers, and networking equipment from March 19-25 at the annual information technology fair. Gerstner praised Internet companies like book seller Amazon.com as pioneers that were reshaping business practices, predicting huge consequences for public policy. He urged governments to ensure that people have cheap access to the Internet and warned against discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce and that privacy be protected by allowing encryption of private and business documents. "Governments have to encourage competition and end monopoly structures," he said. "The news from across Europe is starting to be encouraging here." That reference to the explosion of competition in the European telecommunications industry since the market was opened in January was clearly demonstrated at the trade fair, where new phone companies held a beauty contest to show off their services and lure customers. German telecoms newcomer Viag Interkom said it would revise its business expectations sharply higher because of the strong public response to new phone services. "The entire market has been underestimated," Martin Furuseth, Viag Interkom board member, told a news conference. "We will probably raise our estimates for customer numbers twice as high as previously seen in our business plan. There could be 100,000 to 300,000 customers this year." Viag Interkom, a joint venture between German utility Viag, British Telecom and Norway's Telenor, said it would launch public phone services in May. Commenting on the boom in mobile communications, Nokia senior vice president Anssi Vanjoki said worldwide sales of mobile phones would continue to accelerate, hitting 470 million units by the end of 2000 from just over 100 million in 1996. Jozef Cornu, president and chief operating officer at French telecommunications group Alcatel Alsthom, took the wraps off new network technology that he said would enable Internet access 100 times faster than today's networks. "Internet business will increase exponentially, with 10 percent traffic growth monthly and the number of users worldwide doubling each year," he said. The prospects for doing business increase as the networks get better, faster and cheaper to use. "When I see all the developments in bandwidth on the Internet, I see huge opportunities for electronic commerce," said Hans-Juergen Mammitysch, general manager of the German subsidiary of Dell Computer. Dell currently generates $4 million in turnover worldwide each day through personal computer sales over the Internet. In Germany, the company's Internet sales total around $1 million a week. Klaus Eierhoff, multimedia chief at Bertelsmann, Europe's biggest media group, said German companies were more reluctant to embrace Internet commerce, but that the times were changing. "Electronic commerce is not the distant future for us, but already reality," he said. "But we are at the beginning. We're at the place where the U.S. was two or three years ago." Intel Shows Merced, New Chips At CeBIT HANOVER, Germany - Intel today presented a simulation of its next-generation "Merced" processor and demonstrated an array of computer chips due for release later this year. The demonstration took place at the CeBIT trade fair. The Merced simulation showed the technology that Intel is counting on to keep chip performance on pace to double about every 18 months well into the next decade. "This will be a pretty significant change," Intel senior vice president Albert Yu told Reuters in an interview before a news conference. Intel plans to produce the chip on a 0.18-micron process, the next step beyond the 0.25-micron process it began using in the fall, he said. "Next year we are going to go to 0.18 and we already have early silicon in 0.13-microns," he said. The 0.25 micron process etches wires in silicon that are about 400 times thinner than a human hair, and is being ramped up to make this year's new chips for portable and high- performance computers. They reportedly include a 400-megaherz Pentium II chip for high-powered desktops and a 266-megaherz Pentium II chip for mobile PCs. By the end of the year, Intel should have high-end chips at 450 megaherz and portable PC chips at 333 megaherz. Its current speed king is a 333-megaherz Pentium II processor. Its fastest mobile chip is a Pentium multimedia chip running at 266 megaherz. Merced, a collaboration with Hewlett-Packard Co, is expected to run at 600 megaherz or more, industry reports said. Also at CeBIT, Intel demonstrated the Celeron chips it plans to release in the next two months for PCs priced under $1,000. They will reportedly run at 266 megaherz. Wired World Edges Nearer At Germany's CeBIT Fair HANOVER - If the world's leading technology companies attending Germany's CeBIT trade fair are right, it won't be long before the vision of a wired economy is a daily reality. In Europe, where high-tech firms have long been frustrated by slow growth and trailing the United States, executives see signs of a coming boom that could help close the gap. During the first days of the fair that runs to March 25, one trend became clear: companies are increasingly turning to the Internet to do business and liberalization of European telecoms is creating a competitive force driving down prices and forcing carriers to provide fast, innovative networks. An International Data Corp. survey, presented at a news conference by U.S. chip maker Intel, found that 18 percent of companies in eight major west European nations were trying to sell products over the Internet last year and 39 percent planned to get into cyberspace this year. The volume of goods and services purchased online in Europe would surge to $26 billion in 2001 from $3 billion this year. U. S. e-commerce would total $22 billion this year and top $155 billion in 2001. Worldwide, the total would hit $28 billion this year and $223 billion in 2001. "A year ago, we were describing a technology deficit. Europe was well behind North America," said Intel Europe chief Rob Eckelmann. "That is rapidly changing, the gap is closing." One example is Schuhhaus Eduard Meier, a German shoe retailer that lets customers view video clips of how it makes shoes by hand and see available models in 3-D images that can be turned and seen from all angles. Another is Rombach und Haas, a German maker of cuckoo clocks, who turned to the Internet to boost sales. Shoppers around the world can use its website to view its clocks from all angles and hear their distinctive chimes before pointing and clicking their way to an online order. Like Intel, Compaq Computer used CeBIT as a venue to outline its strategy to tap small and medium-sized businesses. It says this segment of the PC market is growing by 18 percent annually and will represent more than half of the total PC market by 2000. Intel, maker of the engines driving the technology railway, displayed dizzying gains in computing power that also would open up the market for home and small-office computers priced under $1,000. Intel demonstrated a PC with a Pentium II running at 700 megahertz - more than twice the rate of today's speed king, a 333-megahertz model. Such leaps in processing power would help to spark a boom on the Internet and a rise in the world's PC population to more than one billion in the next few years, from 200 million now. The cost of going online has been a huge barrier to the Internet for many Europeans. But fierce competition since markets were opened in January is driving down prices. Germany's new phone companies announced price cuts for long-distance and mobile phone services and seemed surprised by the strong consumer response to new services. "The acceptance on the part of our customers is enormous," said Harald Stober, chief executive officer of Mannesmann Arcor & Co., the main rival of dominant carrier Deutsche Telekom. "We are handling five million call minutes every working day," Stober said. Each of the three leading rivals of carrier Deutsche Telekom unveiled plans to start national Internet access services. Telekom responded by slashing charges at its online service T-Online and unveiling plans for a massive launch of Internet telephony services in the autumn, one of the first of the world's major carriers to do so. LSI Logic to Introduce New Chip Technology LSI Logic Corp. said it plans to introduce a new chip technology Monday that will combine onto one chip all the system functions needed to create future communications, computer and consumer products. The technology, called G12, was to be unveiled Monday by the Milpitas, Calif.-based chip maker. LSI said the G12 technology will have 223 million transistors on a single chip, and will include functions such as mixed signal, logic, embedded memory and radio frequency components on a single chip. Prototype designs of the G12 technology will be produced in the fourth quarter of 1998, the company said, and initial production will start in the second quarter of 1999. Applied Voice to Buy Voice It HOUSTON - Software developer Applied Voice Recognition said it would buy consumer electronics company Voice It Worldwide Inc. in a stock swap that values Voice It at $1.50 a share. Under the agreement, which is subject to both companies' shareholder approval, Voice It shareholders will receive 0.6 Applied Voice shares for each share they hold. The deal is valued at about $7.5 million, or $1.50 per Voice It share, based on Applied Voice shares' closing price of 2-1/2 Wednesday and Voice It's 5 million shares oustanding. Applied voice expected to close the deal in the third quarter. The companies previously agreed for Voice It to license a minimum of 50,000 units in 1998 of AVRI's VoiceCOMMANDER speech-to-text dictation software. Applied Voice develops voice recognition products and software while Voice It develops consumer electronics products. Source Says EU Approves Digital Acquisition BRUSSELS - The European Commission has granted regulatory approval to the acquisition of Digital Equipment by Compaq Computer, a source at Digital in Brussels told Reuters today. "The Commission has granted clearance," the source said. The Commission had no immediate reaction, but a formal announcement was expected later on Monday or Tuesday. Compaq, the world's largest supplier of personal computers, announced in January it was buying Digital Equipment, which also makes computers and commercial data processing hardware, in a deal then valued at $9.6 billion. The acquisition required approval in the European Union because the companies, although both located in the United States, do substantial business in the 15-nation bloc. The Commission had until Monday to clear the deal or deepen its probe, after the companies filed their plans for EU approval on February 20. If also approved in the U.S., the deal would create one of the world's largest computer powerhouses, rivaling Hewlett-Packard, but still small compared with giant firm IBM. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently sought additional information on the Compaq/Digital deal, effectively delaying a final decision by a few months. Network Associates To Buy Magic Solutions Network Associates said it agreed to buy Magic Solutions in a cash deal valued at about $110 million. The company said the deal, which is expected to close in its second quarter, will establish it as the world's largest provider of internal help desk applications for the Microsoft NT operating environment, and the second-largest provider of client/server service desk solutions over all. The company said the acquisition would not affect its first-quarter results but would result in a "significant charge" of about 80 percent, or $90 million, of the purchase price in its second quarter. It said that during its second quarter it would also take a write-off for its recent acquisition of Trusted Information Systems The total charges could be as much as $190 million, the company said. "It will be a significant charge in the second quarter," Chief Financial Officer Probhet Goyal said. "It could be pretty significant, over $100 million definitely but (likely) in the $180 million to $190 million range." Chairman William Larson said the acquisition would not change earnings, adding that he is "very comfortable with analysts' estimates for earnings. We have no change in guidance for the quarter." Analysts expect the company to report first-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share, according to First Call. Paramus, N.J.-based Magic Solutions pioneered the internal support market with the introduction of the industry's first packaged support application in 1988. Under the terms of the deal, Network Associates will pay to Magic Solutions' stock and option holders about $110 million in cash. Both boards of directors have approved the merger, which will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Network Associates was formed by the merger of McAfee Associates and Network General. Microsoft Launching British Test of WebTV Service SEATTLE - Microsoft's WebTV Networks will launch a test of its hybrid television and Internet service in Britain this month, company executives said. The test, which initially will involve less than 100 selected households, is aimed at at determining the market and technical feasibility of offering the service nationwide. WebTV, which Microsoft acquired last year for $425 million, currently had 300,000 customers in the United States, up from 250,000 at the end of last year, a company spokesman said. WebTV also was launched in Japan last fall, but subscription figures for the Japanese market were not available. The service allows customers to surf the Internet and send and receive electronic mail using a standard television set equipped with a special remote control and set-top box. Users can roam the Internet using part of their television screen even while watching a show using the provided "picture picture" technology. The British trial is being done in conjunction with British Telecommunications Plc's BT Internet service, with set-top boxes provided by Pace Micro Technology Plc and Philips Consumer Electronics. After the initial limited trial with friends and family members of Microsoft and BT employees, the test will be expanded to several hundred customers nationwide. Company executives would not say when or whether the service will be launched commercially in Britain, saying that depended on results of the market test. Microsoft Windows 98 Pre-Ordering Starts NEW YORK - The release date is still three months away, but Microsoft's much-awaited Windows 98 took a step closer to market after an Internet-based reseller started taking orders for the new version of the operating system. Official pricing for the software has yet to be announced by Microsoft, but at Chumbo -- a reseller located on the World Wide Web at http://www.chumbo.com customers could "pre-order" Windows 98 for expected delivery on June 25, 1998. The price: $94.99 for the upgrade version and $179.99 for the full version. Microsoft had said Windows 98 would be available at prices similar to those for Windows 95, which is currently available at about $90 to $95 per copy in the upgrade version. For customers who pre-order, the software will not be available any quicker. Chumbo founder and Chief Executive David Prais said the company would ship copies of the software the night before the official release date for delivery on whatever morning retail outlets are due to offer copies. Customers who opt to pre-order online will not be charged until the product is shipped, he said. A Microsoft spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the pricing levels or confirm whether the company had begun issuing firm dates and prices to resellers. OzEmail Completes Global Web Phone Test OzEmail Interline Pty said it now has the technical ability to deliver Internet phone calls to more than 200 countries, positioning it to become a global telecoms player. Interline, established in July, is owned 48% by OzEmail Ltd, 40% by German-Swiss retail group Metro Holding AG, Europe's largest retail distribution company, and 12% by Ideata. Interline said it has completed testing of the central computer hub that will route its international Internet phone traffic to places where the Interline network does not have a local gateway link. Interline Phone comprises voice digitization and compression and Internet transmission technology. Sun Microsystems Faces Tough Task With Java SAN FRANCISCO - Sun Microsystems faces a tough task at its Java One conference next week, as it seeks to keep control of a programming language it conceived as a universal way for computers to communicate but is now dividing the industry into separate camps. On Friday, Hewlett-Packard said that it was creating its own version of the Java for small consumer devices. It also announced that Microsoft, Sun's biggest foe in the industry, will be its first licensee, as H-P's Java can run the Windows CE operating system for small handheld devices. The new strain of Java by H-P will compete directly with a new version of Java that Sun plans to release next week, targeted to the so-called embedded market, called the embedded Java API. After a public review of the specifications, the product will then be available later this year, Sun said. Java, developed over two years ago by Sun, has been touted as a "write once, run anywhere" programming language, which lets applications written in Java run on diverse computers. It has become popular in developing software for the Internet and for networked computers and is starting to be used in smaller devices. Sun signed a deal with TCI to use Java in set top boxes and Motorola will use Java in products ranging from cellular phones to other devices like pagers. "This is not a circumstance where they are going to control and dictate the market for embedded systems," Harry Fenik, an analyst at Zona Research in Redwood City, Calif., said. "It's a problem for Sun ... it signals a very large partner of theirs deciding to step away from Sun's supposed standard, which we all know is a proprietary product," he said. Analysts said that they expect more companies to follow H-P's footsteps and begin developing their own strains or versions of Java with their own capabilities. H-P does not have a license for the "light" version of Sun's Java due next week, and it said it independently developed its own version. "They said they are building a clone, "said Jon Kannegaard, a Sun Microsystems vice president of software products. "I intend to beat them. It means that Java will be everywhere. I don't mind playing Intel if they want to play AMD." H-P said that it decided to develop its own version for several reasons, including its own expertise in embedded systems such as printers, and because Sun's licensing terms were unattractive. Spyglass Launches Java Consulting Unit Spyglass said it established a Java Consulting Practice to work with clients interested in adding Sun Microsystems' Java and PeronalJava technology to their products. Spyglass, which provides software enabling everyday devices like wireless phones and consumer electronics to work with the World Wide Web, is also cooperating with Sun on developing Personal WebAccess, a compact Web browser based on Sun's HotJava technology, the company said. "The demand for Java and PersonalJava applications exceeds the supply of proven, expert services," Mike Tyrrell, executive vice president of Spyglass, said in a statement. "Device makers and others are seriously considering Java technology and they absolutely want a choice when it come to applications, but they are hard pressed to get the integration done. That's where we can help." Spyglass already provides consulting services for other operating systems and technologies. Altris Software Named in Shareholder Suit NEW YORK - A federal lawsuit has been filed against Altris Software Inc., alleging the company concealed accounting irregularities and overstated earnings, causing the stock price to be artificially inflated, attorneys for the plaintiffs said. A statement by the attorneys said the lawsuit was filed against the company and "certain individuals employed by the company," on behalf of shareholders from April 18, 1996, through March 11, 1998. The lawsuit also alleges that defendants continuously disseminated false and misleading statements regarding the company's financial performance and business prospects. No one at the company was immediately available to comment. Altris recently said it is reviewing results from 1996 and 1997 to see if generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) were followed. Altris said last week that the review likely will result in "downward restatement" of revenues. The lawsuit was filed by the law firm Weiss & Yourman in U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Imatec Sues Apple Over Patents Image technology developer Imatec said today it has filed suit against Apple Computer alleging infringement of three patents and seeking $1.1 billion in damages. The suit alleges Apple infringed Imatec patents "by its making, using, and/or selling its 'Color Sync' color management systems and inducing others to do so," Imatec said in a press release. Imatec is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against Apple, the release said. Apple officials were not immediately available for comment. Imatec said it filed the suit in U.S. District Court, Southern District, New York. The patents in question were issued to Imatec President Hanoch Shalit, who granted exclusive licenses to his company, Imatec said. "We have formally served Apple Computer with our complaint, " Shalit said in the statement. "We are confident that the patents will be upheld in court." The company said it seeks a jury trail. EU Formally Criticizes Internet Address Plan BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union has formally criticized a U.S. plan for reforming the Internet's address system in comments that will be submitted to Washington in the next few days, EU officials said. The text, drawn up on behalf of the EU's executive commission and the 15 EU countries, complains that the Commerce Department's proposals would give Americans too much control over the global computer network. "The proposals appear not to recognize the need to implement an international approach," the text said. The response is virtually identical to a draft drawn up by the commission last month and forwarded to EU governments for approval, the officials said. It expresses concern that the initiative would consolidate U.S. jurisdiction over the Internet, including trademark disputes involving address names. The U.S. proposal would phase out the American government's management of the address system for Internet locations such as World Wide Web and electronic mail sites and end the monopoly of U.S.-based Network Solutions Inc., which registers all name addresses ending in ".com," ".org" and ".net." It would create up to five new domains to supplement those three, and companies would compete to register new addresses. But the EU said the U.S. proposals "appear not to go far enough to ensure a level playing field and fair competition." The EU faulted the plan for failing to mention a competing proposal for managing Internet domain names drawn up by a global coalition of companies and organizations, which has already set up a Council of Registrars (CORE) in Geneva. It also complained it ignored efforts to set up Internet dispute resolution procedures within the World Intellectual Property Organization. The Commerce Department has given interested parties until March 23 to comment. U.S. officials have said they were likely to modify the plan to take the replies into account. Americas Block Negotiators Seek Cybertrade Advice Trade ministers from across the Americas agreed Thursday they could not ignore cyber-commerce in negotiations to create a hemisphere-wide free-trade block. The ministers from 34 countries in the Americas agreed to set up a special group to study how to regulate trade over the Internet as countries negotiate the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, due to come into effect within seven years. Trade ministers from the FTAA countries met in San Jose Wednesday and Thursday and devised a calendar for formal free-trade negotiations scheduled to start at a presidential summit in Santiago, Chile, in April. WTO Sees Challenge, Benefits in Internet Trade The World Trade Organization said Friday the rapid advance of electronic commerce should bring major benefits to rich and poor countries and give an extra boost to the global economy. But in a detailed study on the growing sector, it warned bringing electronic commerce under the WTO's open trading rules would present a major challenge to the organization and its 132 member countries. The blossoming of so-called e-commerce, the study said, "is likely to result in many valuable and new opportunities for beneficial economic transactions and international trade, and ultimately for people to better their lives." U.S. Ready to Open Up New Internet Oversight Board The U.S. is ready to include Internet specialists from around the world in a planned panel to oversee the further development of the global computer network, a senior White House official said Thursday. Ira Magaziner, President Clinton's top Internet adviser, said Washington wanted a broadly-based supervision board to replace a U.S. monopoly over the system for managing Internet addresses. He spoke to journalists in Paris after meeting French Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn and an aide to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to discuss his recent proposals for reforming the system. Network Associates Ducks Encryption Rules Network Associates said it will skirt U.S. export restrictions on encryption technology by channeling products aimed at overseas buyers through a unit in the Netherlands, the Wall Street Journal said Friday. The move is likely to draw close government scrutiny, but the company could have shipments en route as early as Friday, the Journal said. Company executives said they developed the plan to meet demands from global customers to protect the confidentiality of e-mail without providing law-enforcement agencies with the means to monitor the communications, the paper said. New Microsoft Database Virus Found LOS ANGELES - A company that makes software to protect computers from viruses said it had discovered a new virus capable of spreading through Microsoft Access databases, the first ever to invade that product since its introduction in 1992. Trend Micro heard of the virus from users of the Microsoft database, but said it has not been found to be "in the wild," or widely circulated. The virus is capable of spreading to other files, but not of destroying files. However, an analyst for Trend Micro said there was concern about the potential of this new strain. Microsoft Access is an application contained in the popular Microsoft Office software. Microsoft said it was looking closely at the new virus but noted its Office software has built-in protections that alert users to potentially malicious code and allow them to disable it. It also said the likelihood of contracting a virus aimed at a database was pretty low, since databases were not typically circulated around the Internet. Man Admits Blocking International Internet Users A man trying to set up an alternative to the government-sanctioned Internet naming service pleaded guilty Thursday to preventing tens of thousands of users from reaching his competitor. Eugene Kashpureff, 33, of Belfair, Wash., and owner of AlterNIC, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to one count of computer fraud and faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. According to a complaint, Kashpureff designed a software system that allowed him to block Internet users worldwide from reaching the Web site for InterNIC, which administers Internet addresses under a government contract. Another Form of Computer Hacking - 'Ethical' Hacking The once-lumbering computer giant International Business Machines Corp. has again ventured into territory previously deemed unthinkable for the formerly staid, buttoned-down company - hacking. But this group of IBMers, based in its Research Division in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., call themselves "ethical hackers." They are a team of about 10 elite security specialists that make up IBM's Global Security Analysis Lab, with half in New York and the rest working in Zurich, Switzerland. They break into corporate computer systems and networks, with a company's permission of course. Well, maybe one or two executives know. But the point of trying to break into a company's system is to test its security, see how a company responds and make recommendations to fix the problem. Insurers Say Year 2000 Bug Won't Ground Planes LONDON - Fears that the world's airlines will grind to a halt on January 1, 2000 because of the Millennium bug are exaggerated, aviation insurers said today. "Responsible carriers are very safety conscious. They are not going to put their crews, their passengers or their assets into dangerous circumstances," insurer Tony Medniuk told an insurance industry news conference. The Aviation Insurance Officers' Association has made good progress with Lloyd's insurers on preparing for 2000, when doom- mongers warn of catastrophic consequences if computer systems do not recognize the date change. Aircraft insurers are developing an exclusion clause for the risk and a questionnaire to help them assess an airline's preparedness for the event, AIOA chairman Keith Selby said. Aviation insurers, like most in the industry, classify the Millennium bug as a known event for which blanket coverage will not be available. However, Medniuk, managing director of British Aviation Insurance Group, said the aim was to achieve clarity so that insurers could "provide sensible coverage on an agreed basis where possible." Airlines were taking their own precautions, which could include not flying to some destinations on or around January 1, 2000. "Carriers are not keen on some destinations, but you'll have to ask them about that," he added. Don't Create Panic Over Year 2000 -- Clinton Aide Regulators must not create panic as they push banks, securities firms and others to prepare their computers for the next century, a Clinton Administration aide told lawmakers. "While it is important to increase world-wide attention to the urgent necessity of solving this problem, we need to avoid creating panic and precipitous, counterproductive activity," John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion told members of the House Banking Committee. The turn of the century is expected to be problematic for computers and other systems that normally use only two digits to denote the year. Koskinen noted that while federal agencies are making progress they need to pick up their pace because there remains only 647 days until Jan. 1, 2000. "No problem facing us is more pressing, especially since, unlike other Washington problems, neither the President nor Congress can push the deadline back," he said. The so-called Year 2000 problem is rooted in the way dates are recorded and computed. Some older systems have typically used two digits to represent the year, in order to conserve memory. With this two-digit format, however, the year 2000 is indistinguishable from 1900, or 2001 from 1901. As a result, system or application programs that use dates to perform calculations comparisons or sorting may generate incorrect results, or not function at all. That means automatic teller machines, wire transfer systems, check clearing, security vaults and even telephone systems may not work on Jan. 1, 2000. Koskinen said that while the President's Council needs to be aware of the progress with federal regulators, state and local government and leaders in other countries, it should not directly manage those efforts. "While the Council will have a global perspective, I would like to emphasize that it will not be a centralized body that will relieve the agencies and others of their individual responsibilities to actually do the work necessary to fix the year 2000 problem," he said. "Not only would this require an extremely large staff, it would be a misguided effort." Apple Stock Up on Hopes Jobs Will Keep Job Apple Computer stock jumped on investors' hopes that Apple co-founder and interim Chief Executive Steve Jobs would take the CEO job on a permanent basis. Press reports in recent days have said Apple's board was meeting Tuesday in the hopes of pressuring Jobs to take the CEO post on a permanent basis, offering him a lucrative package of stock options and restricted stock that would give him more than 5 percent of the company. An Apple spokeswoman in Cupertino, Calif. declined to comment on the agenda, location, time or other details of the company's board meeting. We consider this confidential to the company," an Apple spokeswoman said. However, the office of Ed Woolard, the former chairman and chief executive of DuPont Co., who is an Apple board member, confirmed he was in California, attending an all-day board meeting at Apple. Woolard himself was not available. "The stock was up on this," said Lou Mazzucchelli, an analyst with Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co., adding that investors were hoping Apple would make an announcement after the market closed Tuesday. Apple executives have said they have tried to persuade Jobs to take the post on a permanent basis. He has been interim CEO since September, after the board ousted Gil Amelio last July. Jobs is reportedly torn between his duties at Apple and his role as chairman at Pixar Animation Studios Inc. and wanting to spend more time with his family. Executives at Pixar, based in Richmond, Calif., did not return calls. The spokeswoman for Cupertino-based Apple said the company's search for a CEO was continuing. "We will make the announcement of the CEO when the CEO is actually hired and we will do so on a timely basis," the spokeswoman said. The once-struggling computer maker is expected to post a profit in its second quarter, and analysts say expectations for continued profits and Jobs' possible return have helped rekindle interest in the stock. Analysts said they expect the board to put serious pressure on Jobs to take the post or at least give a definitive response to the reported offers. "I don't think they will let him walk out of there without making a decision," Mazzucchelli said. Analysts also said Jobs was under more pressure to accept the job, because Apple is finally turning around, spurred by strong sales of its G3 Macintosh and other recent actions by Jobs and his management team. "Short of putting a gun to his head, I think the board will apply a considerable amount of pressure to get him to stay," said Daniel Kunstler, a J.P. Morgan & Co. analyst. "Unless they had somebody else (in the wings to take the job), you would send the wrong message about the company. Apple is on a bit of a roll right now." 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A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N ** A T T E N T I O N EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Chadwyck-Healey Tries Database FundraiserHP Breaks Ranks On JavaBe Unveils Intel Operating System House To Consider 3-Yr Moratorium On Net TaxesNetwork Associates Will Sell Security Through SubCourt Sides With Student Who Used Web To Criticize Teacher Apache Offers Free Web Server AlternativeMore Small Businesses Use ComputersHP Chief Has Concerns About The Net Tapscott Book Climbs To Top PositionGroup Blasts U.S. Plan For Domain NamesNew Java Licenses For Use In Consumer Products Computer Security Down Losses UpApple Demos 400Mhz MacNew Data Storage For Small Computers Online Voting In Skating CompetitionMicrosoft Creates Software Group In IndiaOn The Uses Of Supercomputers New Multimedia Web Browser From MicrosoftAnother Online Bookstore In The WorksWorried About Y2K? Now There's D10K Singapore May Let Net Stock Trades sans BrokersDigital Stays Loyal To AlphaFCC Backs Away From Its Plan For Free Air Time Latest Wireless Auction Nets Over $830 MillionOnly The Paranoid Stay On When They ResignWell Okay Then How About "Cappuccino"? CHADWYCK-HEALEY TRIES DATABASE FUNDRAISER Publisher Chadwyck-Healey is trying a new approach to marketing its ArchivesUSA database -- a fund-raising drive. The company has promised to make the database free to users in the U.S. and Canada if it can raise $400,000 through library donations by the end of April. ArchivesUSA contains a searchable Web index of documents, manuscripts and other artifacts found in 4,400 libraries and 100,000 special collections in the U.S. The novel campaign has netted the company $125,000 so far, with an additional $50,000 pledged. Some librarians have criticized Chadwyck-Healey for taking a nonprofit approach to a for-profit business, but the company's president replies: "Such skepticism is entirely appropriate. But I don't know of another for-profit company that is saying publicly what amount of revenue they'd like to bring in. This is an experiment, but one that I think is generally worthwhile." (Chronicle of Higher Education 20 Mar 98) HP BREAKS RANKS ON JAVA Hewlett-Packard will develop its own version of Java run time that enables it to sidestep Sun Microsystems' licensing fees and technology implementation requirements. To avoid infringing on the Java trademark, HP will term its Java version "Java compatible" or a "Java VM" clone. Sources say the company plans to market its Java at a fraction of the cost of Sun's officially sanctioned version. "People that are getting bled by Sun have an alternative now that is potentially much lower cost from HP," says one analyst. Industry observers say HP's move could open the floodgates for a wave of non-sanctioned Java run-time implementations: "It's not unlike when Compaq and Phoenix first cloned IBM's PC ROM BIOS in the early 1980s," says the president of NC.Focus. "That sparked the PC clone revolution. IBM couldn't stop it, and there's probably nothing Sun can do to stop this." (InformationWeek 20 Mar 98) BE UNVEILS INTEL OPERATING SYSTEM Be Inc. has announced a new version of its BeOS software, designed to work with Intel-based machines. Release 3 for Intel is still primarily for programmers and enthusiasts, says the company's VP for engineering, but a Release 4 version for general consumers is scheduled for a September rollout. The BeOS is built from the ground up to be a multimedia system, with streaming audio and video support designed into the kernel. Be's goal is to capture 25% of the multimedia publishing market. (TechWeb 19 Mar 98) HOUSE TO CONSIDER 3-YEAR MORATORIUM ON INTERNET TAXES The National Governors Association, which had opposed legislation providing for a six-year moratorium on taxing goods sold over the Internet, has agreed to support a House bill that reduces the moratorium to three years and that, in addition, sets up a special commission to study the issues and propose a new system of levying state sales taxes on Internet and mail-order products. Local governments say that they are being deprived of important tax revenues on goods sold via the Net, whereas industry groups say that taxes on Internet transactions will slow the growth of electronic commerce. (Washington Post 20 Mar 98) NETWORK ASSOCIATES WILL SELL SECURITY THROUGH SUBSIDIARY Network Associates says it will use its wholly-owned Dutch subsidiary to market its Pretty Good Privacy data-security software to European and Asian clients. A company VP says Network Associates can avoid the need for an export license because its U.S. parent will not be providing technical assistance to the unit selling the software. All the information the subsidiary needed has already been published in a book by Philip Zimmermann, the developer of Pretty Good Privacy. Unlike computer code, books are protected under First Amendment rules and aren't subject to the Commerce Department export rules on encryption software. Network Associates acquired Pretty Good Privacy in December. (Wall Street Journal 20 Mar 98) COURT SIDES WITH STUDENT WHO USED WEB TO CRITICIZE TEACHER A federal judge in Cleveland, Ohio, has issued a temporary order reinstating a student who had been suspended from school because his Web site included criticisms of his band teacher, calling the teacher "an overweight middle aged man who doesn't like to get haircuts." School officials contend they have the right to discipline the student, whereas a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union argued that "the school cannot control the communication off the school grounds." A full hearing is scheduled for April 3rd. (AP 19 Mar 98) APACHE OFFERS FREE WEB SERVER ALTERNATIVE Web server software companies are losing business to a rival product few people have ever heard of -- Apache. The software -- offered at no cost -- is the loving labor of a loose confederation of programmers who, working in their spare time over gin and tonics at home and collaborating on the Internet, wanted to build a better way to serve up Web pages to the millions of people who want to see them. Once they completed the software three years ago, they released all of the technical details on the Internet, allowing any Web site to use it gratis. Apache server software is used by an impressive range of companies and organizations to run their Web sites, including Kimberly-Clark Corp., McDonald's Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc., as well as the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves. (Ottawa Citizen 20 Mar 98) MORE SMALL BUSINESSES USE COMPUTERS An International Data Corp. poll indicates the number of small businesses that use PCs rose to 78% in 1997, up from 73% in 1996. The increase ends several years of flat or minimal growth. IDC tied the rise to lower PC prices, easier-to-use software and a new crop of computer-literate business owners. (Investor's Business Daily 20 Mar 98) HP CHIEF HAS CONCERNS ABOUT THE NET Hewlett-Packard chairman Lewis E. Platt has some worries about the way the Internet may be developing: "Technology has made our society a little less personal, and this trend will only increase as more and more interactions move into the electronic world" and, like television, begin to "dull our senses, reduce our attention spans, convert intellectual conversations into sound bites." The Internet "could change the way that we educate and learn. It could eliminate the boundaries of time and space, and it could bring our world together. But as the Internet becomes more pervasive, as it becomes more commercial, it runs the risk of making our world worse, instead of better." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 22 Mar 98) TAPSCOTT BOOK CLIMBS TO TOP POSITION Don Tapscott's new book "Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation" has become the No. 1 best-selling hardcover nonfiction book, according to amazon.com. Tapscott has appeared several times in Educom Review and has been a keynote speaker at the Educom conference. GROUP BLASTS U.S. PLAN FOR DOMAIN NAME DISTRIBUTION The Internet Council of Engineers, a Geneva-based group of Internet experts, has filed formal criticism of the U.S. government's proposal for changing the way Internet addresses are registered. "The Internet doesn't need a plan for the U.S. government to get out of domain name oversight... It just needs the U.S. government to quietly step aside," says the chairman of the group's executive committee. "The government is asserting itself over a process they really shouldn't have addressed." Yesterday was the deadline for filing comments on the plan with the Commerce Department. (Wall Street Journal 24 Mar 98) NEW JAVA LICENSES FOR USE IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS Sun is working on several new deals to license its Java programming language for use in consumer products from Sony, Ericsson, and IBM; it already has 150 licensees for the language, including Motorola and Nokia. However, some of these companies are also in talks with Microsoft, whose Windows CE operating system competes with Java for use in such consumer devices as phones, stereos, and set-top cable boxes. (New York Times 24 Mar 98) COMPUTER SECURITY DOWN, LOSSES UP Two recently conducted studies report that losses experienced by Fortune 1000 companies as a result of computer break-ins were higher last year than ever before, despite increased spending on computer security measures. A study by the Computer Security Institute and the FBI estimates 1997 losses from computer crime at $136 million, up 36% from 1996. About half the respondents cited the Internet as a frequent point-of-attack, with the remainder citing internal corporate networks as the favored break-in point. Meanwhile, a study by WarRoom Research LLC found that a large majority of Fortune 1000 companies have experienced a break-in by an outsider in the past 12 months, with more than half reporting more than 30 security breaches during that time period. Nearly 60% reported losses of $200,000 or more for each intrusion. Mitch Kabay, director of education at the International Computer Security Association, notes that even these figures may be understating the problem: "It's not possible to have truly accurate information on break-ins, because you can't know how many of them went completely undetected and you can't be sure how many of them are not reported." One former cracker, who recently completed a prison sentence for his activities, says networks are getting more vulnerable, not less: "You don't need even a basic skill level to get in." (Internet Week 23 Mar 98) APPLE DEMOS 400Mhz MAC Apple Computer interim CEO Steve Jobs last week demonstrated a Macintosh running on a 400Mhz copper-based chip, based on technology developed by IBM last fall. The new microprocessor, which will be produced under joint arrangement by IBM and Motorola, will be available for Macs in early 1999, says Jobs. (St. Petersburg Times 23 Mar 98) Meanwhile, analysts are predicting a new inexpensive, high-powered Apple laptop by the end of May. The G3/233 will sell for less than $2,000 and will feature Apple's new PowerPC 750 233Mhz processor. (Tampa Tribune 23 Mar 98) NEW DATA STORAGE FOR SMALL COMPUTERS Ioptics Inc., developer of the technology behind compact disks, has come up with a new data storage system for portable computers. The company, which has financial backing from Microsoft, is marketing a palm-sized optical reader that can transfer up to 128 megabytes of data from a storage card smaller than a credit card. Ioptics hopes the device will become an integral part of the next generation of small, portable computers, but faces stiff competition from Zip drive-maker Iomega and from Sony Corp. (Wall Street Journal 23 Mar 98) ONLINE VOTING IN SKATING COMPETITION Visitors to the Excite Web site this Friday will be able to register their own opinions about who should win a live ice-skating competition broadcast on CBS. The final standings will be determined by Web site voters. Participating in the show will be Olympic veterans Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Katerina Witt and many others. The show's live audience will be given handheld computers so that they can vote along with the home viewers. "Excite is about personalization and giving people individual experiences on the Web," says the company's executive VP for marketing. "For the first time ever on the Internet, we are giving the online community a voice to affect the outcome of a live television show." (Net Insider 23 Mar 98) MICROSOFT CREATES SOFTWARE GROUP IN INDIA Microsoft is opening a 25-person software development group in Hyderabad, India, focused on creating new business software and components of the Windows NT operating system. The Redmond, Washington-based company has for the past seven years operated a similar center in Haifa, Israel. A Microsoft executive explained: "At some point we realized we might not be able to get all the talent we want to move to Redmond." (USA Today 24 Mar 98) ON THE USES OF SUPERCOMPUTERS Although, following the end of the Cold War, the U.S. government placed civilian and military scientists roughly at parity when supercomputer time is distributed, the distribution in 1996 was a 2-to-1 ratio in favor of the military, and will become a 5-to-1 ratio by 1999. Civilian research using supercomputers is funded by the National Science Foundation, whereas the military side is funded by the Department of Energy. Larry Smarr, director of the NSF-funded National Center for Supercomputer Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says: "Unless something is done, this is bound to pull more academic scientific researchers toward the Department of Energy supercomputers. Where does that leave basic scientific research?" David Cooper, associate director of the DOE-funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says: "I don't think this is an either-or situation. I have some sympathy with their situation, and I'm concerned about the prospect of the NSF centers falling behind." (New York Times 23 Mar 98) NEW MULTIMEDIA WEB BROWSER FROM MICROSOFT Microsoft has developed a Web browser code-named Chrome and designed to deliver TV-quality 3-D animation and high-fidelity sound at dramatically improved download times. Chrome, which will be an option on Windows 98, will work only on high-end Windows-based computers not generally available at the present time. It will send Web pages in "skinny" text instructions that will be interpreted for optimum display. (AP 26 Mar 98) ANOTHER ONLINE BOOKSTORE IN THE WORKS Bertelsmann AG, the German media giant that is currently in the news for its purchase of American publishing company Random House, is planning to develop an interactive Web site to sell all books (not just its own) on the Internet. It will be a serious competitor to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Borders. Cowles/Simba Information says that Amazon now has 50% of the market and Barnes & Noble 6%. The Borders and Bertelsmann online sites will not be in operation until later this year. (USA Today 25 Mar 98) WORRIED ABOUT Y2K? NOW THERE'S D10K Experts predict financial software may go haywire if the Dow Jones Industrial Average tops 10,000. Many software programs are designed to handle only four-digit Dows, says one software designer, who says that concern over the D10K problem soon "will spawn the usual parade of opportunists" to fix the bug. (Wall Street Journal 26 Mar 98) SINGAPORE MAY LET INTERNET STOCK TRADES WITHOUT BROKERS Singapore's stock exchange is considering allowing small investors to trade directly on the Internet without having to have their orders routed to online brokerage services for execution. The Internet trades would be limited to about $30,000 (US) a day. Brokers expressed displeasure with the idea. (AP 25 Mar 98) DIGITAL STAYS LOYAL TO ALPHA Digital Equipment says it's not giving up on Alpha; to the contrary, the deal it recently struck with Intel giving Intel ownership of the Alpha chipmaking plant will strengthen its commitment to the high-performance microprocessor. "There are concerns about Digital giving up control of Alpha. But in fact, we did not give up control of Alpha. The concerns are a result of people misinterpreting the deal," says a Digital VP. Digital retains the rights to the 64-bit Alpha design, and will have a contractual relationship with Intel requiring Intel to keep supplying Digital with chips. Beginning in late 1999, Alpha will share the same 0.18-micron process fabs as Intel's 64-bit Merced chip, enabling the two chips to continue developing in tandem. (InternetWeek 25 Mar 98) FCC BACKS AWAY FROM ITS PLAN FOR FREE AIR TIME FOR CANDIDATES In the face of strong political opposition, Federal Communications Commission chairman William Kennard says he will not try to move ahead now with his proposed rules requiring broadcasters to give free air time to candidates for federal office. "It is clear we need some time to develop a consensus for doing something before we proceed. That's what the reaction certainly taught me. We've got to move the debate from the very abstract to the more specific so members of Congress and others can see what's within the realm of the possible." (New York Times 26 Mar 98) LATEST WIRELESS AUCTION NETS OVER $830 MILLION The latest round of spectrum auctions took in more than $830 in gross revenue, which analysts say is in line with expectations. After discounts, the government will net $578.6 million. The licenses auctioned are for local multipoint distribution service, which will compete with local telephone and cable services, enabling customers to receive telephone, data or television service via a small antenna mounted on a windowsill. (Wall Street Journal 26 Mar 98) ONLY THE PARANOID GET TO STAY ON WHEN THEY RESIGN Andrew Grove -- Intel chief executive, Time's 1997 "Man of the Year," and author of the book "Only The Paranoid Survive" -- is resigning as Intel CEO, to be replaced by Craig Barrett, who has been the company's president and chief operating officer. Grove will remain with Intel as its Chairman of the Board. (AP 26 Mar 98) WELL, OKAY, THEN HOW ABOUT "CAPPUCCINO"? Noting that Microsoft doesn't have Sun's approval to produce a modified version of Java, the software language developed by Sun, a federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that Microsoft must stop using the Java logo of a coffee cup with steam rising it from it. (AP 25 Mar 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. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. 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Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view From Frank's Fingers I'll start this weekly little snippet of personal news and opinion with a bit of levity. I've changed the name of my column's opening salvo to something a bit more alliterative. Hopefully what appears started first in my noggin before being relayed to my fingers and then saved in this file, but sometimes words have a way of writing themselves. Now I have to get serious. Once again, armed violence has occurred at a school. I wish to express my condolences to the people of Jonesboro, Arkansas for the tremendous tragedy that took place. The loss of those sweet lives is inestimable. Numerous experts are debating the causes of this murderous behavior. I'm sure that many will blame the motion picture and entertainment industries, others will blame the easy access that children have to guns. Some will lay the blame on the school system for not recognizing the warning signs that they feel must have been evident. Legions will heap blame upon the parents of the accused. I don't think there are any easy answers and I am sure that there are many contributing factors to this act. It seems as if we are losing our children. So many are jaded, dissatisfied and disrespectful. We have to find a way to connect with our youngsters, to give back to them the innocence and joy for living that we remember having in our own childhoods. If we fail to save this generation, then our future will be very bleak. May the violence end and understanding begin. Featured Review I'm still working on the research for my next reviews. Next week I hope to review Fisher-Price Ready for School 1st Grade from Davidson and Collier Encyclopedia from Sierra On-line. Let me give a brief look at each program now. Ready for School 1st Grade is a well-rounded program offering a wide assortment of activities suitable for children ages 5 to 7. While it has great content, I feel it lacks the appeal to keep youngsters coming back for repeat play. With Davidson's 30-day moneyback guarantee, there is little risk in trying the program and it is certainly affordable at $29.95, but I'm not sure that it will be every child's cup of tea. Sierra's Collier Encyclopedia has all the multimedia bells and whistle. It encompasses three CD-ROMs. Unfortunately, it's slow as old dog hobbling on three legs. Even when running on a Pentium II with a 24-speed CD-ROM drive and a fast video card, the program crawls. Combine that with constant disc changes and you get a very unsatisfactory experience. Perhaps it was a mistake to use Netscape Communicator as the interface. It makes me wonder if maybe the browsers are what slow down the Web rather than bandwidth problems. Until next week, best wishes! "It doesn't get any better" Adobe Retail Promotion Offers Free Self-Paced Training Guide with Purchase San Jose, Calif., (March 23, 1998) - Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) today launched a retail promotion to help new users master Adobe software quickly and easily. With the purchase of a full, retail version of Adobe Acrobat, After Effects, FrameMaker, Illustrator, PageMaker, Photoshop, or Adobe Premiere software customers will receive a free corresponding book by mail from the best-selling Classroom in a Book training series. The promotion is in effect in the United States and Canada between March 15 and June 30, 1998, or while supplies last. The retail value of the books ranges between $40-50. More information about the promotion can be found on the Web at http://www.adobe.com/freebook. The promotion is intended to introduce the Adobe brand to a new set of customers who recognize the need to cut through the clutter with breakthrough communication materials. These customers include: a small business owner who wants to create marketing materials that are as professional as its competition; a finance professional who needs to deliver reports with impact; an administrative assistant who adds clip art or logos to an executive presentation; or a corporate marketing professional who delivers cutting-edge, animated digital presentations. Adobe provides a full range of applications that work together seamlessly. "As the population of people using software to create visually rich communication materials continues to grow, it needs to be supported by self-paced training materials that are focused and designed to fit into busy schedules," said Robert Roblin, executive vice president of marketing for Adobe. "This giveaway demonstrates our commitment to helping our customers get the most out of their purchases of Adobe software." Classroom in a Book, produced by Adobe and published by Macmillan Computer Publishing USA, is a best-selling series of hands-on software training workbooks that teach according to the way users learn and retain knowledge. Lessons are short, focused and completely controlled by the user. The compact book size enhances portability, and the design makes information easily accessible. The scope of each book includes both intermediate and advanced techniques. The lessons contain both Windows and Macintosh instructions for seamless dual-platform learning and the enclosed hybrid CD-ROM runs on either operating system. "Macmillan's Classroom in a Book series is one of the most successful in the computer book industry," said Richard Swadley, senior vice president of publishing for Macmillan Computer Publishing USA. "Launched in 1993, more than one million Classroom in a Book volumes have been sold worldwide in English and 10 other languages. These titles set the standard by which other books are judged. There is no better resource for people who want to learn how to unleash the power of Adobe's software." Availability This promotional offer is valid at Adobe Authorized Resellers, mail order catalogs, or wherever Adobe software is sold in the United States and Canada. To obtain a free book, customers will need to mail in the proof of purchase and the Classroom in a Book offer sticker from the Adobe software product box. Offer does not include upgrades, educational, or not-for-resale versions, or products acquired in conjunction with the purchase of computer hardware (bundled product). Other restrictions apply. See official terms and conditions on the redemption coupon or visit http://www.adobe.com/freebook About Macmillan Computer Publishing USA As the world's largest computer book publisher, Macmillan Computer Publishing USA (MCP) is the industry's premier information and reference innovator. Macmillan's computer book imprints include: QUE, Sams Publishing, New Riders, Ziff-Davis Press, Hayden Books, Waite Group Press, Macmillan Technical Publishing, Que Education & Training, Lycos Press, Adobe Press, Borland Press, Cisco Press, EarthWeb Press and Red Hat Press. With more than 600 computer titles published annually, MCP is the only publisher producing materials on all major computing and communications topic. MCP is a unit of Macmillan Publishing USA. Macmillan is the reference division of Simon & Schuster, the publishing operation of Viacom Inc. (AMEX: VIA, VIAB). For the latest news and information about Macmillan, visit its Web site at http://www.mcp.com. About Adobe Systems Incorporated Based in San Jose, Calif., Adobe Systems Incorporated develops and supports products to help people express and use information in more imaginative and meaningful ways, across all print and electronic media. Founded in 1982, Adobe helped launch the desktop publishing revolution. Today, the company offers a market-leading line of application software and type products for creating and distributing visually rich communication materials; licenses its industry-standard technologies to major hardware manufacturers, software developers, and service providers; and offers integrated software solutions to businesses of all sizes. For more information, see Adobe's home page at http://www.adobe.com on the World Wide Web. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, Caflisch Script, Giddyup, Image Club, Mezz, Minion, Myriad, PageMill, Penumbra, WebMorsels and WebType are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Apple, Macintosh, Macintosh Quadra and Power Macintosh are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. registered in the United States and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) points. No Indenting on any paragraphs!! No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmicks" No underlining! Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. Most of all. PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!! There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately Please use a single font in an article. TTF Times New Roman 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note the ASCII version of STReport has reached the "end of the line" As the major Online Services moved away from ASCII. So has STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for HTML as opposed to our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 11 to 1 over the PDF edition. Cited are size, graphic quality and speed of download. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber PDF. So it too, like ascii, is gone. HTML is now a reality. On our web download page is a selection for HTML (Read or Download). As you can see, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation 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!" Sorry about last week's issue; it originally wasn't as "short" as seemed. It's ironic, but the more I hear about how "modern" technologically-wonderful today's PCs are, I have to chuckle. The simplest tasks on an Atari seem to be major projects on a PC. I won't go into detail, but our illustrious neighbor on the "south-40" ran into some problems using our simple ASCII text last week. Bells and whistles? We don't need no steenkin' bells and whistles! <rbg> We've got a great issue this week! It's perhaps the largest column we've had in many months. We've got more Hasbro/Atari coverage this week, plenty of gaming news, and even some Atari computer-related news. It must be Spring! So let's celebrate the new season, and get right into the heart of all things Atari - we're still havin' some fun! Until next time... Electronic Cow releases new software From: < email@example.com > Electronic Cow is pleased to announce the release of two new music software packages for the Atari! Scribble Synth (Price 16.00 UK pounds plus postage) The first program, Scribble Synth is another software-based sound synthesizer, in the same vein as Elctronic Cow's previous release Snippit Synth. However, the synthesis model used in Scribble Synth is completely different: it's a true additive synthesizer, but with a difference! You actually draw in frequency envelopes with the mouse! How it works: These mouse 'scribbles' (of which there can be up to five per sound) are transformed into 2D frequency spectrum plots by the software automatically. Both low and high frequency bandwidths can be defined, and up to twenty bands can be comprised in one 'scribble'. These plots are then placed in the time domain, and Scribble Synth interpolates individual envelope shapes for each frequency band! The results are quite amazing! Strange sci-fi warbles, time-based pitch and filtering effects, plus frequency modulated sounds are all possible with Scribble Synth, as well as some REALLY deep bass sounds!!! Sounds can then be exported to tracker programs, direct-to-disk sequencers/recorders, and sample editors in either AIFF, AVR or SPL formats. Both eight and 16-bit formats are supported, and ANY frequency between 8 and 50KHz! Scribble Synth will also allow you to dump the sounds via MIDI to an MSDS-compatible sampler, or the Akai S900/950... Scribble Synth's main features include: AVR/AIFF/SPL 8/16 bit sample export at any frequency (up to 50KHz) Digital audio playback of sounds on the Falcon and STE/TT MIDI sample dump for Akai S900/S950 and all sample dump standard samplers On-line help utilising ST-Guide, plus an eight-page CD-booklet manual Scribble Synth requires at least one megabyte of memory and a 640 x 400 display to run. Because of hardware limitations, no audio playback is available on the STFM, but you can still generate samples! EC-909 (Price 25.00 UK pounds plus postage and packing) Tired of the ridiculous prices for second-hand analogue drum machines? Wish you had Re-Birth on the Atari? EC-909 is an analogue drum machine emulator for the Atari STE/TT or Falcon. It features sixteen original TR-909 sounds (including bass, snare, toms, rim, clap, and cymbals), with various controls (pitch tuning, volume attenuation, and attack shape), and an interface everyone will have seen somewhere before!!! EC-909 can create single bar patterns (in real-time on the Falcon), and then export them into your direct-to-disk recorder or sample editor as AIFF or AVR format samples. Both 8 and 16-bit formats are supported, as well as mono or stereo options. The program will also allow you to export the pattern as a standard MIDI file for loading into your MIDI sequencer! Other features include: MIDI triggering, tempo and bar length controls, and Undo! EC-909' s main features include: * AVR/AIFF 8/16 bit sample export, either mono or stereo * 16 unique TR909 style drum sounds * Tempo and bar length controls * MIDI triggering for drums and pattern playing * Exports patterns as type 1 MIDI files * On-line help utilising ST-Guide, plus an eight-page CD-booklet manual There are two versions of EC-909; one for e STE and TT, and one for the Falcon. EC-909 requires at least one megabyte of memory (4Mbytes on the Falcon) and a 640 x 400 display. EC-909 won't run on the STFM because of the lack of digital audio hardware. For more information, visit our WWW page at: http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/electronic_cow/cownet.shtml Or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Or why not give us a telephone call: 0411 533133 (UK Calls) Hi all! Now with the latest release of STinG dialer (v1.15) and the StinG TCP-module I have a fast PPP TCP/IP connection to Internet (using k56flex/HS-Modem) and a constant non-interupted data-flow. So, I'm back, with MyMail again. MyMail Now when Erik Hall got his Hades back, he managed to release a new version of MyMail after only (two days). Latest version is 0.55 beta and is available to download from either: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r/mymail/english.html (My webpage) or http://www2.tripnet.se/~erikhall There are new functions added for the in-built editor and pop-up menu entries for mark all as read, mark all read as deleted, mark all as deleted, go to next new mail. Don't be to confused where and what URL I have for my Atari-related webpages, I will explain this at the end of this mail. MyMail is a STinG/STiK compatible e-mail app. I use MyMail to distribute this mailing list. Updated STinG modules Some of the STinG extension modules are updated (Mars 10), you will find them in the MODULE.LZH archive at: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r/sting/english.html The archive CORETOOL.LZH for STinG is also updated (Mars 10), the archive with the STinG IP kernel (core) and the STinG tools, such as PING and Traceroute. STinG by Peter Rottengatter is the app that gives your computer a serial SLIP/PPP connection with TCP/IP and also have the power to connect your Atari computer with others (Atari, IBM PC and Mac) in a Ethernet Network. TelSTar by Peter Rottengatter TelSTar is a Telnet client made by the author of STinG. It's aimed to be VT100-compatible. You will find this first version 1.0 at my TelSTar support page, located at: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r/sting/telstar.html This page also describes what you can do with a Telnet-client on the Net. Network clients and servers There's a plethora of new apps to use with STinG. The network Clients and servers download bay at Peter Rottengatter's homepage is filled with new apps, such as the CAB Overlay module, FTP-server by Vassili Papathanassiou, TelSTar, HTTP-server by Olivier Booklage and a Network game by Mario Becroft called Manoeuvre. You will find links to Peter's homepage, STinG download bay and this clients & servers download bay at my support page: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r/sting/english.html QED Most of my webpages are handmade, by QED. There's an active QED download button in some of them, they point you to the official webpage by Christian Felsch. If you activate the button you will find the brand new QED v4.10 version. QED is PD editor by Christian Felsch (Tom Quellenberg) Infitra Infitra is the latest internet application of Merciful from the Netherlands and is the latest in 'state of the art' programs for the Atari and compatibles range of computers. It gives the user a fully featured and professional email tool until now only found on WINDOWS (c), UNIX, NOVELL (c) and APPLE (c) platforms. You can download the limited demo version from *their* website, click on the 'DEMO' button of the left menu to get it! The demo version will send your mail, but will have a fixed signature file attached to all mail you send. The signature file is a blunt advertisement for Infitra and cannot be switched off. The other limitations are that the program won't send attachments and won't list on server. Infitra is to be found at: http://www.worldaccess.nl/~koenrad9/index.htm My own Infitra support page is located at: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r/infitra Infitra is a commercial STinG/STiK-compatible e-mail app. My webpage The exact URL for my Atari-related homepage is: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r You can use the symbolic link: http://surf.to/atari or the mirror http://hem1.passagen.se/atari My Atari-related e-mail address is: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for personal mails Mille (also) goes to Germany You can also visit my German ATARI homepage at: http://www.atari-computer.de/mille and use the e-mail address email@example.com Software downloads The exact location of the software download page is: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r/apps and the ASH download page at: http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r/ash/download.html They contains swedish versions of CAB, Fiffi and Emailer with HTML-docs along with multilingual CAB 2.6 versions, CAB 2.0 Demo, CAB 1.5 Freeware, CAB OVL module etc. Best Regards Mille Babic firstname.lastname@example.org http://user.tninet.se/~gcc561r (http://surf.to/atari) The 9th Adventurers Convention From: Larry Horsfield Alaric@larryhorsfield.demon.co.uk Hello all in C.S.A.St. If you haven't already heard about it, you may be interested to hear about the 1998 Adventurers Convention, which is being held in Birmingham (UK) this coming October, as it has been for the last 8 years. The Convention is being held on Saturday, 24th October 1998, in the Ariel Suite of the Royal Angus Thistle Hotel, St. Chad`s, Birmingham B4, which at the end of the A38M and easy to get to from all parts of the country. It runs from 9am to around 6pm and covers all formats from Spectrums to PC's, including Atari St's. Tables are available if you wish to bring along your own computer(s) and we actively encourage this as we depend on those attending to bring their computers, so the more the merrier! If you wish to bring hardware and/or software to sell you are more than welcome to, but no pirated software please! The event attracts adventure enthusiasts from all over the UK, including Northern Ireland, and the atmosphere is very friendly and informal. Many of us staa overnight at the hotel and the evenings can be just as lively and interesting as the convention itself! During the day we have the popular "Megapoints" competition running. In this the contestants get 20 minutes playing time at a specially written Spectrum text adventure, with the object of scoring as many points as possible in the alloted time. There are usually cash prizes and special certificates for the 3 highest scores. The adventure this year is being written by Ulsterman Jon Scott, author of various Spectrum text adventures published by Zenobi Software. Tickets are available now aad cost 6 ukp per person if you buy yours before 30th June, 1998. Thereafter, or if you pay on the door on the day, the price will be 7 ukp per person. Tickets may be purchased from: Vicky Jackson, 128 Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 3PZ Please make cheques/PO's payable to V. Jackson HOTEL ACCOMMODATION: The Royal Angus Thistle Hotel has special room rates for those attending the Convention. These include full English breakfast and are as follows: Single Room: 37.50 ukp per night. Double/Twin: 32.50 per person, per night. Please contact the hotel to book your accommodation, NOT the convention organisers. The address and phone number are: Royal Angus Thistle Hotel St.Chad`s, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6HY Telephone: 0121-236-4211 Don't forget to inform the hotel you are attending the Adventurers Convention, otherwise you will be charged the normal room rates! NOTE: The Convention is on the weekend before the start of the Birmingham Motor Show at the NEC. Whilst the hotel have promised to reserve a number of rooms for us, you are strongly advised to book your accommodation AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE to avoid disappointment. If you have any queries about the Convention, or would like to reserve tables for your hard/software, please contact me at the email address below. Hope to see you in Brum in October! Larry Horsfield email@example.com NextGen reviews Once Upon ATARI video From: < firstname.lastname@example.org > This is the unedited review of the video documentary "Once Upon Atari" in Next Generation magazine (April 98 issue, page 20). You can also check out the website for this video (and it's creator) at: http://www.netcom.com/~hsw/ouatari.html or http://www.netcom.com/~hsw Here it is: Once Upon Atari: The Agony and the Ecstasy video review The culture at Atari's console division in the glory days of 1979-1982 has always had a mystique about it. It was the seminal videogame development "scene," and many myths and legends grew out of that time. During last June's Electronicon, a Philadelphia fan convention, Howard Scott Warshaw, creator of E.T. and Yars Revenge, premiered a new documentary, Once Upon Atari: The Agony and the Ecstasy. It is actually the final installment of a planned four-part series that explores those days by interviewing the programmers who created some of console gaming's best-loved (and most hated) titles. While the video quality sometimes leaves a lot to be desired (the introduction is almost unbearably cheesy), the interviews are amazing. Warshaw has tracked down almost everyone who did anything of significance in Atari's home division, including the people involved in some of the most criticized events in Atari's history, like Pac-Man for Atari 2600 (see "What the Hell Happened?" page 38). The interviews are seamlessly edited together with very little narration, which is good if you are familiar with Atari's history - for those who don't already know most of these names, though, the video may be a bit confusing. This episode tries to capture the spirit of what it was like to actually work at Atari, an environment that was both a product of the times - the free-wheeling '70s - and the need to hire anyone who could program the 2600, a feat that ranged from difficult to impossible. This quote from Todd (Pac-Man) Frye is typical: "They were having a problem getting a programmer to do the Atari 2600 Xevious. Xevious was a very graphically active game in the arcades, and the Atari 2600 was not really a very graphically active machine. So I went home - I smoked this joint, with a little psilocybin and a little cocaine in it - and all of a sudden it sprang full forth in my mind exactly how to do it. And that was the moment of inspiration." Other installments will include Nolan Bushnell, Larry Kaplan (Activision, Kaboom!), Rob Fulop (Missile Command), and others, disclosing their personal feelings and stories about everything from the creation of Activision to some of the pretty outrageous sexual (mis)conduct that went on between employees. The remainder of the series will be released later this year. The first episode will cover what it was like to actually work at Atari, the second will deal with the legendary three M's of Atari (marketing, management, and money), and finally the third - and possibly the most exciting - will detail the game design process at Atari. The highly in-depth nature of the documentary offers a refreshing contrast to other efforts, like Leonard Herman's Phoenix (see review NG 37), which, in their attempts to cover a broader subject matter, are necessarily more impersonal. Is this video essential viewing? If you're simply interested in the broad history of the industry, probably not. But if the word "Atari" still can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, send in your money ASAP - you won't be disappointed. Available in NTSC or PAL. Running time: 28 minutes. To order, send $29.95 (postpaid) to: SCOTT WEST PRODUCTIONS PO Box 610787 San Jose, CA 95161 Or call with credit card: 1-800-711-3627 More information can be found at http://www.netcom.com/~hsw Or http://www.netcom.com/~hsw/ouatari.html Check it out! Gaming Section Activision News! 'Quake' on N64! 'Resident Evil 2' New Record! Accolade! More Hasbro News! And much more! From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! With all of the gaming news coming in, I'm sort of jealous that I'm not able to partake in all of the new game offerings, or the ones coming down the pike. Then again, who has the time to try them all? Where do you people find the time - especially those of you with multiple systems? And now there's the potential for yet another console system near the end of the year: Project X! It should be an interesting holiday season this year; wait and see how this story turns out! Well, we have an unusually large gaming section this week. Perhaps the game company PR people are getting out everything before the nice weather really starts working itself in and the typical spring/summer slowdown begins anew. Anyway, let's enjoy it while we can. We've got "classics" and new games to round out this week's issue. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Hasbro Expects First Quarter To Be Below Expectations PAWTUCKET, R.I. (March 24) BUSINESS WIRE - March 24, 1998 - Hasbro Inc. today announced that first quarter results will be below expectations, primarily due to the impact of recent changes in inventory flow policies at Toys 'R Us, a key customer. However, the company still expects to achieve double-digit growth in full-year 1998 earnings per share. "We have consistently stated that we expect difficult comparisons in the first half of 1998, which is proving to be the case and has been compounded by the actions of Toys 'R Us," said Alan G. Hassenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer. "However, we remain on track for the full year," Hassenfeld added. "Last year, our first half results were boosted by the timing of movie releases of three of our major entertainment properties: Star Wars(TM), Jurassic Park(R) and Batman(TM). This year, the new inventory flow policies of Toys 'R Us are having a greater relative impact on our first quarter because our sales to Toys 'R Us are expected to become more seasonal, like sales to most of our other customers," Hassenfeld explained. "We believe this retail inventory reduction trend will continue into the second quarter, making the second half of the year, which is already so important, even more significant. However, in the long run, we believe a stronger Toys 'R Us will be good for our business." The new inventory policies being implemented by Toys 'R Us include a significant reduction in the absolute level of inventories and a change in seasonal purchasing patterns. Primarily as a result of the impact of these changes, Hasbro's revenues in the first quarter could be approximately 15% below the $555.8 million reported in the first quarter of 1997. The Company said a decrease in revenues of this magnitude, in this seasonally low-revenue quarter, has a disproportionate impact on quarterly earnings as fixed costs continue to be incurred. Consequently, the Company anticipates earnings per share could be as low as $0.05 compared to $0.20 a year ago. "Looking ahead to the second half of 1998, we will continue to build sales and earnings momentum," Hassenfeld continued. "The cost savings anticipated from the Global Integration and Profit Enhancement program are on track. In addition, we look forward to the debut of Teletubbies(TM) on PBS in April, the summer movie release of DreamWorks' 'Small Soldiers', and the fall release of Centipede(R) - the first of our newly-acquired Atari game properties. We also expect to close our acquisition of Tiger Electronics early in the second quarter," Hassenfeld added. "We continue working hard to deliver our plan for this year, and believe it is achievable under current market conditions. Certain statements contained in this release contain "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are inherently subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. The company's actual actions or results may differ materially from those expected or anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Specific factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, the timely manufacture and shipping by the company of new and continuing products and their acceptance by customers and consumers in a competitive product environment; economic conditions and currency fluctuations in the various markets in which the company operates throughout the world; the continuing trend of increased concentration of the company's revenues in the second half and fourth quarter of the year, together with increased reliance by retailers on quick response inventory management techniques, which increases the risk of underproduction of popular items, overproduction of less popular items and failure to achieve tight and compressed shipping schedules; the impact of competition on revenues, margins and other aspects of the company's business; third party actions or approvals that could delay, modify or increase the cost of implementation of the company's Global Integration and Profit Enhancement program; and the risk that anticipated benefits of acquisitions may not occur or be delayed or reduced in their realization. The company undertakes no obligation to make any revisions to the forward-looking statements contained in this release or to update them to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this release. HASBRO INTERACTIVE: Hasbro Grabs Gaming Legends MAR 24, 1998, M2 Communications - Leading interactive games publisher Hasbro Interactive has announced this week that a subsidiary has acquired copyrights, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property assets of the Atari Division of JTS Corporation. This acquisition gives Hasbro Interactive rights to some of the greatest video games and play patterns ever created for multimedia entertainment. Atari's properties and assets include more than 75 game properties, including the legendary Centipede, Missile Command, Pong, Breakout and Tempest. Hasbro Interactive plans to release its first Atari title, Centipede, on both PC and Sony PlayStation formats in the third quarter of 1998. "We are thrilled that these classic Atari game properties will now be a part of the Hasbro family," says Tom Dusenberry, President of Hasbro Interactive. "These ground-breaking games helped to pioneer the video game industry. We intend to bring these classics back to life by updating them with the latest technology and interactive game design, while preserving their heart and spirit." Hasbro Interactive has proven its ability to bring arcade classics back to life, with the huge commercial success enjoyed by its 1997 launch of Frogger for both the PC and PlayStation games console. "We plan to implement the same aggressive strategy we used with Frogger, in bringing back the Atari classics," adds Dusenberry. "We will develop games that appeal to the players who loved the titles as kids, while attracting a whole new generation by bringing the games up to today's highest standards. Of course, like all Hasbro Interactive titles, they will be backed by major marketing and merchandising programs." With the acquisition of Atari's extensive library of game properties, Hasbro Interactive seeks to strengthen its position in the action game category. Hasbro Interactive intends to develop various titles for all viable and available gaming platforms; PC CD-ROM, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 game consoles, among others. Midway Home Entertainment Announces N64 Version of Quake The Ninetendo 64 Version of the PC Mega-Hit Features Two-Player Death Match Midway Home Entertainment announced today that the company's eagerly awaited Nintendo 64 video game translation of QUAKE(R), the phenomenally popular 3-D computer game, is now available wherever video games are sold. The announcement was made by Paula Cook, director of Midway Home Entertainment. With options for single and multi-player game play - allowing up-to-two players to rip through QUAKE's world at incredible speeds without sacrificing the game's intense graphics - Midway's QUAKE, fully utilizes the technological capabilities of the Nintendo 64 system. QUAKE features lightening-fast game play, intense weapons and monsters, amazing sound effects, and environments for the most extreme first-person shooting experience possible on a home video game system. Boasting 25 spectacular one-player levels plus seven two-player Death Match levels, QUAKE leads gamers on an intense first-person mission. QUAKE's advanced Artificial intelligence and Rumble Pak compatibility further intensify the QUAKE gameplay experience. QUAKE was originally developed and unleashed by id Software as shareware in June, 1996. The release of the retail version of the game followed just two months later. QUAKE's release was met with great critical acclaim and retail success. In making the announcement, Ms. Cook stated, "We are happy to bring QUAKE, one of the most popular computer games to date, home to the Nintendo 64. Midway's translation offers gamers incredible speed, graphics and gameplay in both single-player and two-player death match modes." Electronic Arts Ships Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit SAN MATEO, CALIF. (March 25) BUSINESS WIRE - March 25, 1998 - Electronic Arts(tm), the world's largest independent interactive entertainment software company, announces the release of Need For Speed(tm) III: Hot Pursuit for the PlayStation(tm), the latest addition to the popular, adrenaline-pumping realistic racing franchise. Need For Speed returns with eight new, exotic supercars that are based on their real life counterparts and a white-knuckle turning twist... an intelligent law enforcement team dedicated to stopping speeders at any cost. Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit is packed with new features for players to test their racing skills. These include eight real-world tracks set in a full 3-D environment; several short cuts and alternate routes to discover on each of the tracks; five different modes of gameplay with multiple options for racing fans of all types; and highly detailed special effects, such as realistic lighting reflections and glowing effects in both day and night time. Racers can zoom down the open road in a choice of eight new licensed supercars that are based on manufacturer specifications. The cars, with top speeds over 200 m.p.h. and price tags as high as $1 million include: Ferrari 550 Maranello(tm) Ferrari 355 F1(tm) ITALDESIGN(tm) Nazca C2(tm) Lamborghini Diablo SV(tm) Lamborghini Countach 25th(tm) Jaguar(tm) XJR-15(tm) Mercedes(tm) CLK(tm) GTR Chevrolet Corvette(tm) Each of the cars is supported by a slide presentation containing photos of their real life counterparts and respective specifications such as: weight, torque, horsepower, top speed, acceleration and braking performance, engine type, handling characteristics and manufacturer development history. "Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit will set the standards for what a great racing title needs to offer," said Hanno Lemke, the game's senior producer. "We're delivering what racing buffs are screaming for - smart cops, high speed chases, tracks that have a 'real' feel to them and several million dollars worth of untouchable supercars they recognize but unfortunately will rarely get the opportunity to see or test drive." Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit racers can select arcade or simulation mode to scream through the game's tracks, all of which boast real world themes. Players must earn the right to advance by winning the first four tracks -- the tree-lined backroads of the Hometown track which is reminiscent of New England, the colorful canyon rimmed roads of the Southwest of Redrock Ridge, the curvy mountain climbing open road of Rocky Pass and the slick strips, avenues and winding coastlines of Atlantica evocative of Miami, Florida. Only by winning the first four courses will the remaining tracks - Country Woods, Atlantica, Lost Canyons, and The Summit - become available. The tracks, all of which can be raced backwards or in mirror mode (left turns become right and vice versa), take on a new thrill through the number of special effects visible in the game which include: police lights that cast a red and blue glow onto the roadway during a chase; night time driving complete with high and low beams; rain that sprays off the tires, varying weather conditions that can be randomly set; and thunder and lightening effects. In addition, the game utilizes a real-time lighting model and reflective mapping on the cars that adds another level of detail and richness to the 3-D environment through headlights that shine on the roadway and surrounding areas, sunlight that creates car shadows on the road, or lights and environmental reflections off of cars. Hot Pursuit Mode: Speed Now Has a Consequence Racers who dare to push the envelope with bone-chilling speeds and slick moves in Hot Pursuit mode will encounter multiple levels of police aggression from high speed chases and road blocks to tire spikes. As in real life, the law enforcement officers in Need For Speed mean business and will pull out all stops to chase, pull over -- using dozens of recorded police commands, cite and ultimately arrest all speeders including the player and/or his Artificial Intelligence (AI) opponents. For example, if racers continuously attempt to outrun the law, police will become more aggressive and strategic with their arrest tactics by trying to ram speeders off the road, calling in additional cops for back up, and strategically placing road blocks and tire spikes up the road. In addition to the police, even the opponents come with an attitude. Because of the game's rich AI, each of the in-game challengers have various personalities, which are reflected through their names. If a player continuously cuts off the "Terror" opponent, "Terror" will retaliate and make it his mission to knock you off the road with some edgy moves of his own from honking to blocking or ramming. The game is equipped with four additional game modes including: "practice" where a player hones race skills around a track; "single race" where the player competes in one race to the finish against one or a group of opponents; "tournament" in which the player must win each race in order to advance, with an ultimate goal of accessing additional cars; and "knock out" where a player must avoid placing last in order to stay in the race, and eventually win the bonus track. Each of these modes is equipped with selectable options for elements such as day and night time driving, setting different amounts of traffic and tutor with navigator speech and on-screen arrows for negotiating turns. Players can choose one of four different camera views from a possible six when in-game, as well as customizing their cars with different colors and multiple tuning options such as adjusting gear ratios, suspension stiffness, engine power, aerodynamics, brake settings and selecting between racing skills, stock tires and rain tires. Final touches that complement the game are the two-player horizontally split screen; a frame rate of 30 frames per second in single player, which provides a smooth, fast sensation of speed, and new interactive audio effects and music custom designed for each track theme. Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit for the PlayStation is available for a suggested retail price of US$49.95 and has an "E" ESRB rating. Artwork can be downloaded at: http://pr.ea.com/nfs3.zip MicroProse Playing To PC Platform Strengths In FY 1999 Mar 20, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 54) -- MicroProse's fiscal 1999 product slate is focused exclusively on the PC, but the company plans to support next-generation consoles, its president and CEO, Stephen Race, tells MMWire. "We are looking at the increased capabilities of those systems [such as Sega's Katana], and the ability to put our products on those systems as a plus," he says. "You can't do all things for all platforms...Strategy and simulation games are designed for the PC." But those lines are going to blur, Race says. Race says if there will be a new version of PlayStation in 2000, and it takes MicroProse 18 months to develop a game, then it doesn't make sense to come in at the tail end of the system. "We want to be early..." As for the company's fiscal '99 product slate (fiscal '98 ends March 31), MicroProse has just shipped a multiplayer version of Ultimate Race Pro (licensed to Mplayer, and developed by Kalisto Entertainment). On Tuesday it will ship internally developed M1 Tank Platoon II. Initial shipments are anticipated in the 100,000-unit range worldwide for both products. Ultimate Civilization II will ship during the company's 2nd fiscal quarter. Earlier, MicroProse said Joe Ybarra, former Electronic Arts [ERTS] co-founder, would head up the company's Austin production studio, directing development teams on titles such as Guardians: Agents of Justice and Civilization. Other titles set for release in fiscal '99 include Falcon 4.0, MechCommander, Star Trek: The Next Generation Klingon Honor Guard. In addition, Starship Troopers, X-COM: Interceptor and MiG 29 will be released this year. Falcon 4.0 is a cornerstone of the company's marketing plans and its drive to get back to profitability in fiscal 1999, the company says. The title is slated for Q2. MicroProse has some great products for '99, but questions have revolved around the company getting them out on time and avoiding feature creep, says James Lin, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities. Race says the products are at a stage where analysts were able to drive the M1 tank and fly the Falcon 4.0 at a recent event. "There was a dark cloud for fiscal year 1998," Race says, "but it has a silver lining...We're about to ship these products that were supposed to ship in fiscal '98. We could deliver up to 16 products, but we're telling the analyst community we will be profitable with 12." Re-Launch of Mega-Franchise Highlights Activision's Push to Consoles Mar 19, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 53) -- Activision appears to be playing its trump card by tapping one of the longest-standing interactive entertainment franchises and supporting it with a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign to make a major push into consoles. Activision's shipment of Pitfall 3D: Beyond the Jungle ($49.95) for PlayStation next week leverages a 16-year-old franchise that has sold more than 5m units. It also re-introduces arguably the first-ever platform game, a genre that helped make Nintendo what it is. The launch of Pitfall 3D is "part of Activision's aggressive push into the console market," says Marc Metis, director of console product marketing. The move is akin to Hasbro Interactive's shipment last fall of console/coin-op classic Frogger for PlayStation and PC, which put the erstwhile toy-only company into the limelight. Frogger, to date, has sold-through more than 700,000 units, according to The NPD Group. Activision leads the second wave of publishers to treat consoles as serious moneymakers. "This is their coming-out party, they might as well be wearing their best dress," as Hasbro did, Fairfield Research analyst Gary Gabelhouse says. And the move is smart, Gabelhouse opines. It "usually costs the publisher more money than they can afford" to build the brand equity that Pitfall already has. Metis says each stage of the marketing campaign for Pitfall 3D will play into what consumers already know and remember about the franchise. Television commercials begin in April on MTV, Comedy Central and during syndicated shows "Hercules," "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Baywatch." Pitfall 3D is one of as many as eight console titles expected from Activision this year, give or take a few, Metis says, noting that some deals are still in the works. In previous years, Activision's Christmas console lineup was shy of exceptional. Last Christmas, it consisted of Nightmare Creatures and a Car and Driver Presents: Grand Tour Racing '98. A year earlier, it was only notably marked by Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. The PR campaign for Pitfall 3D began 18 months ago, Metis says, serving as a stepping stone for upcoming PSX title Vigilante 8, for which Activision plans a "very, very aggressive" campaign. N64-related console announcements will likely be held until E3. GEX: Enter the Gecko Leaps Off Retail Shelves MENLO PARK, CALIF. (March 24) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - March 24, 1998 - Game's Humor, Amazing Graphics and Challenging 3D Game play Strike Cord With Consumers. Midway Home Entertainment, Inc. and Crystal Dynamics today announced that they have experienced tremendous sell through of GEX: Enter the Gecko at retail outlets nationwide in its first week of availability. The game made its debut on the PlayStation(R) game console February 24. Developed by Crystal Dynamics and distributed by Midway Home Entertainment, GEX: Enter the Gecko has been heralded as one of the best video games of the year by analysts, journalists and consumers alike. The game has graced the covers of numerous gaming publications and is being supported with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, which will continue to inform and excite consumers through the month of March. The campaign is highlighted by a television commercial, which is currently airing on national cable networks, such as MTV, ESPN and Comedy Central. In addition, the TV spot was awarded "best TV advertisement" by Sony(R) Computer Entertainment America at the Publishers Conference held March 16-17 in Newport Beach, California. "We've certainly had high expectations for GEX, but we were completely taken by surprise with the enormous consumer demand for the game," said Jim MacKenzie, Divisional Merchandise Manager for KayBee Toys. "In fact, we have already submitted large reorders to ensure that our shelves remain fully stocked. "Brian Woodrick, buyer with Blockbuster Videos, Inc. added, "GEX has been highly anticipated for months. We're thrilled that the release of the game has lived up to the hype and sparked significant excitement in the rental market." "The responses we have received from retailers, distributors, consumers, and the media have all recognized GEX: Enter the Gecko as a groundbreaking title that has already established itself as a video game classic," said Byron Cook, president of Midway Home Entertainment, Inc. In GEX: Enter the Gecko, GEX returns to protect the world's television broadcasts from his archnemesis Rez. The sequel will push the limits of 3D technology with beautifully rendered environments, awesome enemies, special effects, and free-roaming 3D game play, as well as the sarcastic humor gamers have come to expect from the quick-witted gecko -- who's voice is provided by actor/comedian Dana Gould. "GEX: Enter the Gecko is ideally positioned to be one of the best video games of 1998 with its artful blend of humor, technology, stunning graphics and challenging game play," said Rob Dyer president of Crystal Dynamics. "And, if our first week's results are any indication, we are right on track." GEX: Enter the Gecko will also appear on PC CD-ROM in Spring 1998 and on the Nintendo 64(R) in early Summer 1998. Accolade Kicks Off 1998 With Record Selling Titles SAN JOSE, CALIF. (March 24) BUSINESS WIRE - March 24, 1998 - Leading entertainment software publisher, Accolade, is heading into 1998 stronger than ever! The company announced today that its successful Test Drive(TM) racing series has officially sold more units this past year than any other franchise in the company's history. In addition, Accolade will release 12 new titles this year with an increased focus on the Sony PlayStation market. Test Drive 4 and Test Drive: Off-road sold more than 850,000 and 500,000 units respectively. Both products were top 20 titles in sales on the PlayStation during 1997. In light of its success in the PlayStation market, Accolade plans to release all future titles on both the Sony PlayStation game console and the personal computer. "Accolade's sales of Test Drive 4 and Test Drive: Off-road have literally sky-rocketed since their launch, making the Test Drive series the number one selling driving franchise on the market today," said Jim Barnett, president and CEO of Accolade. "We look forward to seeing the same success with all of our franchises in 1998." In addition to expanding its popular Test Drive and HardBall(R) franchises in 1998, Accolade will release the fourth installment in the popular Star Control(RM) series, with StarCon. StarCon will place heavy emphasis on action to attract new users, yet promises to please die-hard Star Control fans with its story line. Accolade will also release two new titles, Redline(TM), a futuristic gang warfare action game, as well as Big Air(TM) Snowboarding, a thrill-packed game that captures the excitement and feel of real snowboarding. With the exception of HardBall 6 for the PC and Jack Nicklaus(R) Online Tour, both of which will ship next month, all these titles will be launched at the industry's largest trade show, Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Atlanta May 28-30, 1998. Below are further details on this year's Accolade lineup at E3: TEST DRIVE 5: The sequel to last year's incredibly successful Test Drive 4 will include 11 new courses, hot new licensed cars and much more. Available for the PC and PlayStation in the fall of 1998. TEST DRIVE: OFF-ROAD 2: The sequel to the number one off-road racer for the PlayStation in 1997 aims to be the most insane off-road driving experience of the year. Available for the PC and PlayStation in the fall of 1998. STARCON: The fourth installment in the successful Star Control franchise, StarCon is an adrenaline-filled space combat action game. This exciting multiplayer title will be available for the PC and PlayStation in the fall of 1998. REDLINE: Set in a world where gang warfare is a way of life, Redline features a fully destructible 3D accelerated environment. Available for both the PC and PlayStation in August, 1998. HARDBALL 6: Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the HardBall baseball franchise, HardBall 6 features a new 3D world with unlimited camera angles and motion captured polygonal players. Available for the PlayStation this summer. BIG AIR SNOWBOARDING: Big Air Snowboarding allows players to compete in several different types of snowboarding competitions, such as time trials, free style and half pipe in real locations throughout the world. The game will be available for the PlayStation in the fall of 1998. THQ Delves Into International Intrigue With 'Broken Sword' CALABASAS, CALIF. (March 24) BUSINESS WIRE - March 24, 1998 - THQ Inc. Tuesday announced that the company has shipped "Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars" to retailers across North America. The new cloak-and-sword graphic adventure game was developed by Revolution Software Limited and licensed by THQ from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, for use with the PlayStation game console. The story line of "Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars" casts the player as George Stobbart, a young American vacationing in Paris. When a mysterious clown swaps a suspicious accordion for a distinguished man's briefcase in a Paris sidewalk bistro, the ensuing explosion catapults George into a labyrinth of sinister intrigue and danger. "THQ is proud to bring a quality product like 'Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars' to the many gamers looking for a graphic adventure on their PlayStation," said Steve Ryno, vice president, product development, THQ. "The in-depth story line, hand-drawn graphics and unique characters give players of 'Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars' a rich and fulfilling game experience." The game features more than 60 hours of game play and hand-drawn, fluid animation sequences in full 3-D perspective. Environments with rich depth-of-field, and a smooth, multi-layer parallax, scroll at 30 frames per second. Several characteristics uncommon to video games are showcased in "Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars." A senior BBC scriptwriter/editor penned the complex and enthralling story line, and the intense original score was written by one of Great Britain's premier composers, Barrington Pheloung. Designed for both novice and expert game fans, "Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars" has a simple yet powerful interface, and is compatible with the PlayStation mouse, as well as the standard controller. Point-and-click commands control the action, and players will soon discover that all complex activity and conversations can be accomplished with a minimum of effort. The bistro explosion propels George into the recovery of a mysterious ancient manuscript that was apparently written by the Knights Templar, a 14th century order of warrior monks sworn to protect and defend the Holy Land from the Saracens. Also guardians of the Holy Grail, the Knights Templar were a secret society that was allegedly disbanded, although many historians debate whether they still operate today. Hints and suggestions abound that megalomaniacal fascists may have stolen the manuscript, which allegedly possesses some "great secret," as part of a mad plot to undermine our fundamental societal values, and reshape the world as we know it. Throughout the course of the game, George hops the globe in search of the stolen manuscript. Along the way, he meets and interacts with a large and colorful cast of interesting characters, including the suspicious Inspector Rosso, sexy French photojournalist Nicole Collard, aristocrat Lady Piermont, Irish rogue McGuire, and more. "Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars" is available at retail outlets where video games are sold for a suggested retail price of $49.95. Resident Evil 2 Sets Industry Record Selling 3 Million Units in Six Weeks SUNNYVALE, Calif.-(BUSINESS WIRE)- March 24, 1998 - Capcom Entertainment today announced that Resident Evil 2(TM) set an industry record selling through 3 million units in just six weeks. In the U.S. alone, Resident Evil 2 sold through more than a million units since its release on January 21, 1998. In Japan, Resident Evil 2 (known as BIOHAZARD 2), sold through more than 1.9 million units since its debut on January 29, 1998. Resident Evil 2 is a two-disc set and sells at a suggested retail price of $59.99. It is available for thePlayStation game console and is rated "M" for mature audiences. "Demand for Resident Evil 2 continues to be strong and it isn't showing any signs of letting up anytime soon," said Robert Lindsey, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Capcom Entertainment. "Our sights are set on selling 2 million units in the US. Now the only question is how quickly we will achieve that goal." Lindsey continued, "The success of Resident Evil 2 is due to the tremendous support we received from our national retailers and industry magazines, not to mention it's the most killer game ever made. We have hit some incredible numbers very quickly and we haven't even released this product in Europe." Industry sources also support the success of Resident Evil 2. The NPD TRSTS report ranked Resident Evil 2 the number one best selling software game in January. This listing of the top 20 games is a combination of PC and console software. The Video Software Dealers Association lists Resident Evil 2 the most popular PlayStation game rental. Resident Evil 2 was supported with an extensive, multi-tiered, $5 million marketing campaign that included dedicated television advertising (prime time network, cable and syndicated), an extensive print advertising campaign and a successful in store pre-sell programs that generated more than 150,000 consumer pre-orders. In its debut weekend, Resident Evil 2 sold more than 380,000 units, more than 60% of its initial production. Resident Evil 2 is the sequel to the product that defined the survival horror genre. Nearly twice as large as its predecessor, the development of Resident Evil 2 took a 45 member team more than 78 man years to complete. New to the product are computer rendered graphic introduction and ending sequences that Capcom spent more than $1 million to create. Windows CE Consoles Offer Developers Two Options Mar 24, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 56) -- The expected launch of two Windows CE-based consoles in 1999 will give developers the option to create a game for one platform and port it to the other with little additional cost. Graphics and multimedia technology supplier ATI Technologies yesterday said it hopes to bring a DVD-based Windows CE console to market by late 1999. That would be several months after the expected U.S. release of Sega's Katana. While Sega has not said whether Katana will be DVD-based, in January it announced a partnership with Microsoft [MSFT] and its intention to use Windows CE. ATI's main thrust would be to sell its console, Set-top-Wonder CE, as a game platform, officials told our sister publication, Multimedia Week. It also is considering convergence applications of the set-top, including DSS, HDTV and MPEG-2. Set-top-Wonder CE will feature a 56K modem, ATI's Rage Pro Turbo AGP graphics chip and an x86 processor. On the horizon of the crowding console market sits VM Labs, which told MMWire in January it plans to secure partnerships with multiple consumer electronic partners to launch its "Project X" console by Christmas. While VM Labs plans to compete with Sony [SNE], Sega and Nintendo, few details of Project X's capabilities have been made public. Meanwhile, as Bandai of Japan scrapped plans earlier this month to launch its Pippin console, its U.S.-based sister company, Bandai Digital Entertainment, is looking like an early adopter of Katana and Set-top-Wonder CE with its development of a Windows CE version of virtual pet DigiMon. Psygnosis Eyeing N64 Business, Enters Sports Genre Mar 25, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 57) -- Despite being owned by PlayStation maker Sony Computer Entertainment America, Psygnosis may develop titles for rival N64, MMWire has learned. Psygnosis has not started developing N64 products, but it is something that it will "definitely" consider, newly hired VP of Business Affairs Berry Kane says. Apparently Psygnosis operates with enough autonomy to consider supporting the platform of its parent's greatest nemesis, Nintendo. "There is no reason why we won't look at all available platforms. We want to be open to whatever platform is growing," Kane says. Also yesterday, Psygnosis said it intends to develop sports titles as it made public its hiring of Kane, who will be responsible for managing Psygnosis' intellectual property and securing league and player licenses from the likes of the National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Psygnosis is in discussions with each league, Kane says. While Kane says senior management is "committed" to developing sports games, it has not determined which sport, or how many, are in the company's plans. A time table for release of sports game is pending. In late 1996, Sony was trying to sell Psygnosis, reportedly for $200m-$300m. But Sony took Psygnosis off the trading block in November 1996, citing the quality of Destruction Derby and Wipeout XL. Gaming Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr! Atari Underground update 3-22-98 PRE WORD First I just want to say sorry for the lack of updates. I've been BIZZY as hell, and it's not like there was tons of news pouring out. BUT I have added EVERYONE that has msg'ed me about being added to the AU list. I'm proud to say the the Atari Underground is ALMOST at 1,000 members. If you know anyone who is not on the list have them msg me. THE BIG FEST (OR THE PONY EXPRESS?) Second Annual- Atari Jaguar Festival, 1998 Newsletter #2 ///Round 2 Welcome to the second Jag Fest newsletter for 1998. Big stuff is up in the world of the 'Fest...more specifics, more attractions, and more Jaguar fun! Enough of this boring introductory junk, let's get to the goods... ///8 Jag Network? You Bet! Thanks to Guy Dupre, Jaguar fanatic extraordinaire, we'll be certain to have an 8 Jag network for the Fest, with 8 copies of AirCars, as long as ICD delivers before August 1st ;-). In fact, if enough other people bring Jags, we'll be able to have 2 8-Jag setups running simultaneously! I wonder what the record is? But, we'll still need TV's for every Jag, and that's where you come in. Bring a few, at least one for each Jag you bring, and an extra if possible. The more the merrier! If you decide to bring a monitor, make sure it is one that is CatBox compatible, such as the Atari SC1224/1435, or has composite inputs like the Commodore 1702. Here's a list of Analog RGB monitors which work with the CatBox: Atari SC1224 Atari SC1435 Magnavox CBM 1084D Magnavox CBM 1084S Magnavox Commodore 1950 Magnavox Pro RGB 80 NEC Multisync Color NEC 3D Sony 1302 Princeton Graphics Ultra If you have questions, please e-mail me at KevinManne@wycol.com. Guy has also agreed to bring his Scuba virtual-reality helmet (designed from the never-released JagVR),and even to make some Jaguar t-shirt transfers if he has the time/capability. Go Guy! ///Dentec Agrees Looking to buy Jaguar games at the Fest? Well you'll have no problem doing so since Dentec, a Canadian-based company, has agreed to attend and sell their large selection of Jaguar games at the Fest. For more info, check out their page at They have great prices on even hard to find games like Atari Karts, and may even start carrying the new Telegames titles! Score another for the JagFest! ///Shareware Gets Cheaper Scott Walters, of BJL modification fame will be attending JagFest 98, and with him will come some BJL Jaguars at a special JagFest-only price of $99. So, for everyone who was a bit weary of buying a modified Jag, you can come check out all the games at the JagFest, and then pick one up right there on the spot for a lower-than-ever price! ///Definite Date Set Just in case you hadn't checked the JagFest homepage since the last update, the date for JagFest '98 has been officially set for August 1, 1998. Be sure to mark your calendar.... ///Take My Games...Please! I'm working on getting some Jaguar games and accessories together to give out as door prizes, and for winners of competitions. I only have a few things so far (T-shirts, a Team Tap...), so if you'd like to contribute anything, please contact me (Kevin), and I'll put your name up in lights on the JagFest page :-). ///JagFest Contributors With Chad unavailable to help the JagFest cause, I took over updating the page (which has a updated look, so check that out), and some others have chipped in to help out. Gotta give a "shout out" to the following kind folks: MHz (Newsletter Dispatcher) - Has agreed to send out the JagFest newsletters via his Atari Underground e-mail list in Chad's absence. He's probably the reason you're reading this (or throwing it in the trash). <Dont tempt me Kev -MHz ;)> Dave Homenuck (Tournament Coordinator) - Will organize all the game tournaments at JagFest. Also doubles as the JagFest USENET correspondent. :-) If you have any suggestions for games... Guy Dupre (Hardware Guy) - Thanks to Guy, we'll definitely have an 8 Jaguar network of AirCars, and Battlesphere if it's released by August 1st. You da man. ///Promotion! I'm getting some flyers printed up this weekend to promote the fest, along with some business cards, and some full-color laminated posters only for the very special places. If you want to help promote JagFest, go to the JagFest homepage ( grab the flyer and print some out to hang in your town. Or, if you have any suggestions on how to help promote the Fest, please e-mail me and let me know! ///Game Over Be sure to pre-order your tickets for the Fest for $10, see details on the JagFest page. Let's aim high with JagFest attendance....let's make it HUGE! Until the next update, -Kevin JagFest Mastermind KevinManne@wycol.com http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/4062 BIG CAT'S SOFTWARE If you have pre-ordered WORM, better check your status. The price is a little higher then expected. But i feel its the last game Telegames is gonna put out on our little cat. ;) gotta make a final buck from us. Battlesphere update: uhhhhhhh ;) T-Bird <insert msg here> ARE YOU TALKING TO ME ? If some of you don't know Jaguar Interactive has moved. Please update your bookmarks to: http://www.atarihq.com/interactive I know ALOT of you try to set up chat sessions. Just a reminder that you can ALWAYS chat on IRC Undernet at #Atari. People are always coming and going, so stop by and hang out for a wile. If nobody is there, stop back. THE BIG DEAL If you have not already heard JTS sold Atari to Hasbro. For more info check out this site. http://www.l4software.com/icwhen/index1.html (click on news) (thank you Don for not forgetting about us Atari diehards !) THANK YOU'S Hats off to Wes for keeping me on his web page during down time Jagu-Dome http://jaguar.holyoak.com/ (check out the midi) I'm not sure who has a link for the Atari Underground on their sites. If you do email me MHz@earthlink.net and let me know. If you want your web page on future AU updates for the world to see email me about that too. TALK chat live at IRC Undernet #Atari http://www.atarihq.com/interactive SURF http://jaguar.holyoak.com http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/4062 Atari Underground 900+ members and growing MHz@earthlink.net Atari- a term used in the strategy game GO to politely warn an opponent that he is about to be conquered. Donald A. Thomas, Jr. email@example.com Copyright 1998 Mr. Chris Carter Fox Broadcasting Co. 10201 West Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064 March 3, 1998 Dear Mr. Carter, In the early eighties conspiracy theories were popularized which were based on a premise that some arcade coin-operated video games were installed to test the talents of our unsuspecting youth. Those who passed specific levels of difficulty set off silent alarms to alert the military that a prospective fighter pilot or guinea pig was playing the game. These theories were partially legitimized by occasional reports that companies such as Atari were developing military-specific video games; specifically tank and flight simulators. Hollywood teased us a little with these plots with movies such as The Last Starfighter, Tron, Cloak and Dagger and others. So were any of the video games of yesteryear installed with the intentions of identifying young military recruits` kids with exceptional hand-eye coordination, reflexes and power? What about today? Could a video game be designed to test the quickness of the mind, the agility of the thought process, the creativeness of problem solving, the fingerprints from a joystick, the voice patterns, the hidden camera, the integration with the Internet? Seems like an X-Files episode that parents would want to know about, video game companies would want to hide, the military would want hushed and kids would die for. Sincerely, Donald A. Thomas, Jr. http://www.L4software.com/icwhen Lessons from Windows of the Past by Donald A. Thomas, Jr. Copyright 1998 - permission granted to distribute/reprint for non-profit On Tuesday, March 3, Mr. Bill Gates sat before a Senate Committee that convened to determine if Microsoft engages in monopolistic activities. Netscape's president, Mr. Jim Barksdale, also participated in the hearing. Barksdale is a pro-active catalyst behind the accusations against Bill Gates' Microsoft. I am amused by the irony that has brought us all to this milestone. As once having been an employee of Atari Corporation for many years, having once owned my own software publishing business and having simply been an industry observer since the early eighties, I have to wonder why Microsoft is suddenly being called on the carpet now. After all, it was Microsoft's Disk Operating System (DOS) and later Windows that were ultimately the driving forces behind the demise of Commodore, Atari, NeXt and the home computer lines of Texas Instruments and others. As a matter of fact, in spite of Microsoft's olive branch funding last year, it appears that they have all but pushed Apple out the industry door as well. Although IBM may have first successfully introduced an open architecture computer design that ultimately dominated the world's primary use of computers, it has been Microsoft that gave the Personal Computer (PC) the personality that the world embraced. It was Microsoft that took the steps to close the architecture by protecting their intellectual properties related to MS-DOS. It was also Microsoft who dominates in the productivity software that integrates with that operating system; Word for Windows, Excel for Windows, Access for Windows and on and on. Many may argue that Microsoft had little to do with hardware wars for reasons which include the fact that Microsoft published versions of Windows for other platforms and IBM was strong long before Gates ever dreamed of looking at Windows. The point is that Microsoft did not evolve out of a conspiracy to dominate the industry, the consumer decided that fate for Microsoft. For example, many consumers bought Atari computers because their urge to buy an affordable computer that would fit on their desk was greater than the urge to buy a PC that was compatible with their office machine. When PC prices dropped, the Atari computer "value" message diminished in meaning. Consequently, Atari owners abandoned the platform and jumped to a PC that was completely compatible with the ones used at work. The same happened to Commodore. The same happened to NeXt. The same is happening to Apple. The end result is that IBM lost tremendous hardware market share by making their system open to developers, but Microsoft captured, in round numbers, the entire market share by licensing developers and keeping their OS available, but closed. Consumers said that compatibility was important and Gates responded. To test this position, simply start telling consumers that a popular PC maker's product will no longer run Windows and watch that company's sales plummet. So, in essence, Microsoft is responsible for the demise of a great number of hardware companies. They are also responsible for the demise of companies that publish database, word processing, spreadsheet and other productivity software. They have contributed to the demise of online services by introducing Microsoft Network. On the other hand, Microsoft has fostered and inspired a great number of new businesses. There are companies that make utilities, applications and entertainment titles that are compatible with Microsoft products. There are hardware companies that enjoy the benefits of being Windows compatible. There are unrelated companies that are more productive simply by using Windows compatible products. On Tuesday, the Senate committee asked Gates and his colleagues how hard it would be to make new products to compete with Microsoft. Of course, that's with the understanding that any new products would probably have to be developed using Microsoft compatible software development tools. The alternative is to go back to the Altair of the late seventies and do everything that Microsoft has done to be where they are; only different. So is Microsoft a monopoly? No. There is still Unix and other obscure operating systems out there. More importantly, there is nothing that Microsoft can do that prevents a company to create a new operating system. Has Microsoft established a monopoly in the Internet browser market? No again. Netscape is living proof that Microsoft does not solely own the browser market. So does Microsoft engage in monopolistic practices? Well, maybe, if you consider what companies do to aggressively compete and win to be monopolistic practices. In other words, the same strategies that are considered "competitive" become "monopolistic" if they actually work. Jim Barksdale attended the Senate hearings as a prepared adversary. His documents for the Committee contained quotes from Microsoft executives stating that Microsoft had plans to dominate the Internet browser market as examples of what Microsoft is doing that is so unfair. I remember selling classified and retail advertising for the Dallas Times Herald in Dallas, Texas years ago. We constantly found ways to convince ourselves that we were going to outdo the competition. We would run special sections and promote or sponsor special events. We did everything we could to absorb the entire advertising budgets of our customers. The editorial department made every effort to attract the best writing talent and reporters were always on the prowl to scoop the Dallas Morning News. Word was that the Morning News were doing the same things. In fact, Dallas is a one-newspaper town now and the Morning News has a monopolistic position in that sizable U.S. market. Why wasn't there a Senate hearing over that one? Again, does Microsoft engage in monopolistic practices? Okay, yes. They compete by producing better software and bundling and marketing it well. Microsoft is in a monopoly-like position because they gave the consumer what they asked for, they made it affordable, they opened their technologies to licensed developers and they hire good marketing people. It is the same practice that all companies engage in. The drive to make things bigger, better, faster and more efficient is what keeps consumers going back to Microsoft. But now we have a whiner. Netscape has stepped forward and is complaining that Microsoft is taking their Internet browser market out from under them. Their complaints are that Microsoft is bigger and can afford more talented developers. Microsoft marketing and sales departments negotiate creative distribution contracts. Internet Explorer tends to launch itself on new computer installations. Internet Service Providers are encouraged to prefer Microsoft products. There is a very real possibility that this nation will adopt a sympathetic spirit and side with Netscape on issues waged against Microsoft. I am one of them. I am intensely jealous of Gate's power and wealth. It would be nice to see him topple from his throne from all the weight of his rich crown. In this specific case, Netscape is a nice product and it competes well with Internet Explorer on a feature and presentation basis. On the other hand, browsers really don't do all that much. The real technology is in the Java applications and the other routines that run in the background. Netscape wants to charge the consumer to enable these applications while Microsoft considers that privilege to be an integral part of the computer's operating system. In an alternate realty, Rockwell's KFLEX modem technology is competing against U.S. Robotic's K56 X2 technology. The fact that they both do not work together and that different ISPs and online services support one or the other is driving consumers and providers crazy. Modems cost more because there has to be so many standards. ISP's hold back offering a lot of high-speed modems until a standard is decided. Ultimately, when we finally pick one or the other, there will be a Senate hearing to determine if either U.S. Robotics or Rockwell created a monopoly. Right? Looking through the Windows of the Past, Microsoft's primary competition has always been new and promising technologies. They are constantly faced with the challenge of incorporating new sciences into their products. Netscape's primary competitor has been Microsoft. They are constantly facing the challenge of keeping up with Gates. Not to say that Netscape never has great new ideas, but do we really want Microsoft to be forced to slow down on improving their products so everyone else can catch up? Netscape wants them to. How about you? --END-- 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. Yep, it's that time again. Time to take a look at what's happening (and what's not happening) in the Atari world. I'm constantly surprised by the fact that there still is an Atari world to look at. Heck, Atari hasn't made a single computer in years and, despite the valiant efforts and enviable offerings of a few motivated companies, our favorite computer line is fading away. But unlike movie fade-outs the realm of Atari computing is taking more than a second or two to leave our field of vision. Yes, the image gets lighter and lighter even as we strain to capture the vision and fix it in our minds. And if you look away, even for a second, you may loose that vision completely. But that is the nature of things. I wouldn't exactly term this as progress, but rather a transition. "Progress" seems more of a judgement than an actual description. Transition is a neutral description. It simply defines the action taking place without attempting to place the event within a framework of good or bad. I've always been a firm believer in the philosophy that all things happen in their own good time and that we have three choices: Fight against the tide, swim with the tide to meet what is ahead as fast as possible, or simply let the tides take us where they will without effort on our part in one direction or the other. Usually I choose the last. I've found that there is much to be missed by rushing one way or the other. So I keep my Atari running, adding software and hardware when I feel the need. In doing so I've learned much about not only 'where I want to go today', but also about how I actually get there. Rather than simply inserting a CD and punching "Setup", we have to understand how things work to get them to work. For those who view computers simply as tools, the CD/Setup thing is fine. It works, and it gets you to the task at hand. But for me computers are slightly more than tools. For people who prize the knowledge gained above the immediate results, the journey really is at least as important as the destination. So for me the journey continues. A friend of mine wrote a song that was to be used as the theme song for the science fiction show BATTLE STAR GALACTICA just before the show was cancelled. I don't remember much of the song now except for the first few lines: She's a gamlin' ship, she's a stalwart ship, Though she's faded and dotted with rust. She's got a will to match my own. She's been wounded, But she won't let herself bust. Kind of reminds me of our Atari computers.<grin> The bottom line through all of these assorted musings is simple... "do what ya gotta do". When your computer no longer does what you need it to, get another one. But don't feel that you need a new one just because there is a newer one available. That's just foolish. Now let's take a look at what's going on around the world via the UseNet. From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup Greg Evans tells us about his hard drive problems: "My hard disk problems keep getting worse. My system had been stable for a while after some problems with my new 3.2gb hard drive. Now it is worse than ever. I just recently upgraded to HDDriver 7.12 and since then I keep getting corrupted directory entries, bad and lost clusters. I have partitioned the drive repeatedly with no success. Should I try smaller partitions? They are currently ~440 mb each. If I reduce them to 255 mb will my system be more stable?" Dr. Uwe Seimet, the author of HDDriver, tells Greg: "If you run Big-DOS, MagiC or TOS 3.0 or newer 440 MByte per partition is OK, smaller partitions won't change anything. Your problem sounds like your drives not being properly terminated or your cables having bad quality." Greg also asks: "Is there another Newsreader program on Atari besides Newsie? I have been unable to retrieve any news groups through my ISP this weekend using Newsie. It always comes back and shows 0 messages. On top of all the FTP problems I have with Newsie this is getting very frustrating!" Terry May tells Greg: "You can always try NEWSwatch with Oasis 2, as some are using. (I use NEWSwatch with a Fido reader, but that would probably be way too much hassle for you if you're not already into Fido.)" Martin "Nightowl" Byttebier tells Greg: "There is *Oasis 1.35*, *Oasis 2* and *Okami v1.33* As for _Oasis 1.35_ I should say it works but contains lots of bugs. I've used it for years. Supports SLIP and PPP. _Oasis 2.?_: I never succeeded in using this but there are reports that it works reasonably well. Supports SLIP and PPP (this part doesn't seem to work for most of us) _Okami v1.33_: Is an offliner. To retrieve news/mail you can make use of the superb *NEWswatch* and *POPwatch* by Gary Priest. Both utilities work very well with Sting/STik or MiNT/Mintnet/gluestik. Hope this helps." John Rojewski, the author of NEWSie, tells Greg: "Sorry to hear about the problems with NEWSie. My question is: Did you start using a new version of NEWSie this weekend? If not, could it be possible that your ISP changed something over the weekend? I had a traumatic experience several months ago, then I could not retrieve any news articles. I found out that my MTU definition in StiK was too large after my ISP had reconfigured their network. So I changed the MTU from 1500 down to 1006, and everything worked again. This could be the case for you as well." Joe Kearney asks a very good question: "I just got a spiffy new Mega STE and it has all sorts of lan ports on it. I know none of these will work with any sort of standard network but is there something you can do to make the thing TCP/IP capable thru a serial port or something? Any other networking options? Id like to use it to run Cubase and have the files available on my network for all the other machines, etc." Nicholas Bales tells Joe: "Try STING for a TCP/IP connection, but there is no NFS drive sharing available yet. You can try ghostlink if one of your other machines is a PC, but in any case serial cannections are slow. Ghostlink will mount your PC partitions onto your Atari desktop. You'll find it on ftp.lip6.fr/pub/atari" Neil Roughley asks about moving from TOS to MagiC: "...I've recently been told that MagiC 5 has a display bug in high-coaor mode, which was fixed in 5.20. This wouldn't be good since I'm running a Nova and rarely see 256-color mode. Is there anyone running 5.11 (the most current available to me) with a graphics card and could substantiate the display bug?" Magnus Kollberg tells Neil: "Yes there are problems with MagiC in modes over 256 colours. You will get the same problems with regular TOS and all other OS replacements what I know of. I'm also very interested in getting this latest version because of this and some other stuff, but I still havn't got it. Now I use a Nova with 5.11 and it works, it's just that the colour icons are wrong. Apart from that there are no serious problems... Yesterday I found a very serious bug in Nova VDI. I find it quite strange that noone else has reported of it. The bug has to do with offscreen bitmaps and make CAB unusable. If you load a page in CAB with an animated GIF, you can in horror see how CAB grows and grows and grows ...... slowly eating up all your memory until you have no memory left!" Neil tells Magnus: "I haven't experienced what you describe. This must be due to the way Nova and MagiC interact. I've found no memory problems whatsoever with CAB 2.5 and Nova VDI 2.61 (with or without Geneva). I've viewed some pretty big animated GIFs, too." Magnus replies: "That's strange. I will test it with TOS as well and see what happpens. I don't belive that it's a problem with MagiC. Also, are you _realy_ sure that you don't have any problems? As I said it takes a while before you run out of memory (several minutes depending on the size of the GIF and of course how much memory you have) so it's not something you notice if you don't have a continuous update of your free ram. I have also read that someone else in here had the same problem." Jo Even Skarstein tells Magnus: "I tried it just now, and you're right, it eats up all available memory. It just took a minute, but fortunelately all memory was released when CAB quit. This could be either a bug in Nova VDI, a bug in CAB or a combination of both. I don't have any other programs that use offscreen bitmaps, so it's a bit difficult to test it. BTW. this was with Nova VDI 2.64, NVDI 4.12, N.AES 1.1.7 and MiNT 1.14.6. I will try again later with earlier versions of NVDI, without NVDI etc.... I tried Geneva 006 (demo) and it was *much* better than MagiC and N.AES. So there are room for improvements :-) There were still some minor problems, but I think those are related to apps and not the AES." Aaron Turner asks for advice on a terminal program: "Currently I am using ST-Modem to dial up the university here to get my connection, but the maximum speed is 9600 and I have a 14400 modem. Also ST-Modem seems to be unreliable on connection. Are there any better, compact, ST modem programs out there. I've scanned the web and can't really find anything. STiK etc would be fine, but it is a bit big for my needs (I only have a 1040STF), and the connection cannot support web etc, since I have to log on to a UNIX machine. Text connection would be fine, just something a bit more user friendly and reliable on dial up then ST-Modem. If anyone knows a way of doing ftp over the connection too that would be very handy..." Peter John Smith tells Aaron: "I'd suggest CoNNect excellent shareware program. There are no shareware type restrictions on it only a time limit of 30 hours use, which if you're as tight as me with your phone bill will last a long time:) well worth the shareware fee." Peter van der Noord asks: "From time to time i get black bombs on my screen and then my atari crashes. Is this a virus? Does anybody know something about it?" Nicholas Bales tells Peter: "That is the ST's way of saying it's crashed. The number of bombs indicates what type of error it has encountered (although not very useful for the average user). It's just like the 'blue screens' in Windows or the 'Guru Meditation' on the Amiga. Not a virus anyway." Terry May asks for info about partitioning his new two gigabyte hard drive: "I ordered a 2.1 GB IDE drive for my Falcon. I normally use MagiC 5.11 but occasionally will do something in TOS. I'm thinking of having one of my partitions as large as 1 GB, for storing multimedia and demos. Is there any reason why this might not be a good idea? Will Optimizer handle partitions that big? Also, I plan to increase my CAB disk cache to at least 100 mb. Is anyone using a cache that large or perhaps even larger? I'm wondering if it will start slowing down too much, due to the number of files in each cache folder. I'm presently using a 20-30 mb cache (depending on free space) and it just doesn't do the job I want it to." My friend Sheldon Winick tells Terry: "The Falcon's internal hard drive is one of the tiny 2.5" mechanisms. Are you certain that is the size you ordered, not a 3.5" drive? You can connect any size external SCSI hard drive to the Falcon's external SCSI port." Terry replies: "Yeah, I ordered a 2.5" notebook drive. They go rather large in terms of storage capacity these days. Not as much as 3.5" drives, but much larger than 2.1 GB. True (about the external SCSI), but then you have to deal with the Falcon's buggy SCSI port, not to mention the fact that it ties up your SCSI port (unless you have a passthru on your hard drive or CD-ROM or whatever - I don't)." Roger Cain addresses Terry's CAB cache question: "I went from 10Mb to 20Mb and did not notice any slow-down during operation of CAB. The bit which REALLY gets short of breath is CABCACHE which now takes ages to build the directory when you want to refer to/find an entry." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next time, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Is the Boss always right? As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks. What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter. How long is this Beta guy going to keep testing our stuff? E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used for company business. Best experienced with Click here to start. STReport International Magazine ICQ#:1170279 [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 450,000 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" March 27, 1998 Since 1987 Copyright)1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1412
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