ST Report: 23-Oct-98 #1435From: Bruce D. Nelson (aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 11/07/98-01:01:23 PM Z
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From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Subject: ST Report: 23-Oct-98 #1435 Date: Sat Nov 7 13:01:23 1998 [Silicon Times Report] "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) [Image] October 23, 1998 No.1435 Silicon Times Report International Magazine R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 58094 Jacksonville, Florida 32241-8094 Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs firstname.lastname@example.org 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, WP8, FrontPage 98, Homesite 3.01 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 "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!" - Charges vs MS by DOJ - PENN International 965 - Lock-On-A-CHIP - MS Witness Listing - Zapata ZAPPED! - Inkjets in Hotel Rooms - Gov't Witness Listing - AOL Protected from Suit- Zulu's OL Adventure - Key People in MS Case - FREE InterNet Service - NEWS Flash Internet Founding Father, Jon Postel Dies Yahoo Acquires Yoyodyne MS gains over NS & Barksdale STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News, Reviews and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports 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 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 [Image] From the Editor's Desk... What's going on?? The time is literally flying by! This month is almost gone and I do believe, it seems like it was the first just yesterday. In any case... many democratic politicians are fast realizing that defending President Clinton is very much in their best interests. By that I mean people, from coast to coast, are sick and tired of hearing the Republicans pushing this and urging that about Clinton's sex life and the impeachment process. Of course, Ken Starr is front and center as THE most disliked, inquisitional tyrant. In other words, those Democratic Candidates that get up and say they are tired of the persecution and want an end to it all are winning votes left and right. I believe these events indicate the Republicans are going to suffer the most embarrassing election results (party wise) in more than a decade. To those jellybacked democrats who shrunk away from defending their President; Now is the time to stand up make yourselves heard and redeem your, now lame, reputations. Who wants a reputation as a "weak knee'ed fence climber"? Also, please watch the D.C. political scenes very carefully. Al Gore may have been keeping a low profile but that is just about all over now. Gore comes from a Washington D. C. experienced family that's steeped in federal politics. Gore grew up amidst the heaviest of D.C. politics and believe this... he "knows the territory". Perhaps better than any other politician who'll be running in the Y2K presidential election. Gore is this nation's only real hope in extinguishing the efforts of the "Bushwhacker Group" George H., George W., and "Jeb" BUSH. Daddy, George H., (a hardcore "over-performer") will definitely be running the show from behind the scenes (one day the world will know the truth about George H. Bush, Panama, Noriega and the MASS GRAVES in Panama). George W. the current Governor of Texas wants to be President and "Jeb" wants to be Governor of Florida. These three and especially "Jeb" are monumental disasters. Jeb is against Gun Control, Women's Freedom of Choice, Gun "cooling off" Waiting Times and favors School Vouchers (a knife in heart of Public Schools). This guy "Jeb" is a one man disaster. He has never held a public office and every business he's ever ran never did well. This guy has no right wanting to run Florida! His older brother, George, runs Texas on BLOOD. Texas has; the worst crimes stats of the union, the highest rate of executions in the union, a serious lack of disaster preparedness and the worst human rights record in the union. Yessir, we "need this egomaniacal bunch in power like we need a new, more powerful epidemic of the Spanish Influenza"! I'm voting for a straight Democratic Ticket. The Republicans NEED a hard Slap in the Face as a wakeup call. Republicans PROUDLY (right Newt? you and your goofy Republican Revolution, what a joke!! On the American Taxpayers!!) jerked this nation around throughout the entire Clinton Administration. It is now payback time. The Republican Party has done absolutely nothing to be proud of. [Image] http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com ICQ#:1170279 STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Apple MAC Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Help Wanted Classics & Gaming Bits & Bytes Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Ralph F. Mariano Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Eric M. Laberis Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Scott Dowdle Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet: email@example.com STR FTP: ftp.streport.com WebSite: http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Key Allegations Against Microsoft Major allegations in the government's antitrust case against Microsoft Corp. and the company's response: Browser Bundling: Government: Microsoft realized it had fallen behind in the market for Internet browser software, dominated by rival Netscape Communications Corp. To compete, Microsoft decided to include its browser within its popular Windows operating system, an example of illegal "tying'' because a customer who buys one product is then forced to use the other. Microsoft: It decided to "integrate" the browser into Windows because of consumer demand and technical advantages. The company's dramatic gains in browser market share came about because of superior software and missteps by Netscape. In a setback for the government, a federal appeals court ruled in June that Microsoft's decision to bundle its browser with Windows 95 was a "genuine integration." Netscape Meeting: Government: In an illegal attempt to divide the market, Microsoft met with Netscape in June 1995 and offered a deal. Microsoft agreed not to develop a rival browser for operating systems aside from Windows if Netscape agreed to stay out of the Windows market. Netscape refused. Netscape cofounder Marc Andreessen afterward compared the meeting to "a visit by Don Corleone; I expected to find a bloody computer monitor in my bed the next day." Microsoft: Chairman Bill Gates calls the charge "an outrageous lie." He said the meeting, a form of "co-opetition" by rivals, "was to discuss various technologies Microsoft proposed sharing with Netscape, so that Netscape's browser could take advantage of the cool new features we were developing for Windows 95." He also notes that Andreessen later wrote to a Microsoft employee: "Good to see you again today - we should talk more often." Exclusionary Agreements: Government: Microsoft, with its significant influence due to Windows, forced computer makers to sell its Internet browser as part of Windows. It also signed restrictive agreements with some Internet service providers to distribute its browser over Netscape's. And it encouraged other Internet companies to design content for its browser, but not Netscape's. Microsoft: Computer makers were always free to sell PCs with Netscape installed, but they couldn't remove Microsoft's browser. The agreements with Internet service providers didn't preclude them from offering Netscape if customers requested it, but required that at least 75 percent of browsers they distributed be Microsoft's. Microsoft voluntarily waived the agreements this year. "First Boot": Government: To force computer makers to help sell its Internet browser over Netscape's, Microsoft prohibited them from altering the Windows opening screen, which prominently featured an icon for the Microsoft browser. This deprived computer makers of customizing the PCs they sell to improve and differentiate their machines from rivals. Microsoft: Computer makers are free to add other icons to Windows opening screen, including one for Netscape's browser. Restrictions on changing the opening screen help customers by giving them consistency. In addition, in the past, some PC makers had made changes that unintentionally disabled parts of Windows. Intuit Inc.: Government: To encourage customers to switch to its Internet browser, Microsoft struck a deal with Intuit nc., which makes the popular Quicken financial software. Gates sent an e-mail describing what amounts to an offer to bribe Intuit Chairman Scott Cook into distributing the browser as part of Quicken: "I was quite frank with him that if he had a favor we could do for him that would cost us something like $1M ($1 million) to do that in return for switching browsers in the next few months, I would be open to doing that." Microsoft: Intuit chose to distribute Microsoft's browser because it was superior to Netscape's. It will use Intuit's public statements to support that, as well as Netscape's own internal analysis of why it lost Intuit's business. Java and Sun Microsystems: Government: Gates was "scared to death" of the potential for Java, a programming language for software that runs even on non-Windows computers, and he set out to "pollute" Java and distribute an altered, Windows-only version. Microsoft: Microsoft's version of Java, which requires Windows, allows programs to run better and faster than Sun's version, and Microsoft's changes to Java were permitted under a contract between the two companies. Microsoft employees who referred to attempts to "pollute" Java were using "humorous shorthand" to distinguish Microsoft's version from Sun's. Intel: Government: Microsoft successfully discouraged Intel Corp. from developing a new technology called Native Signal Processing, a technique to use instructions from Intel's chips, rather than Microsoft software code, to run multimedia and communications programs more quickly. An Intel executive has said Gates was also "livid" about Intel's investment in the Internet and wanted it stopped. Former Intel Chairman Andy Grove told Fortune Magazine in 1996, "We caved." Microsoft: Intel's NSP technology was designed for an earlier version of Windows and didn't work properly with Windows 95. Microsoft calls it "absurd to imagine that Microsoft could bully Intel, a large, successful company with almost twice the annual revenues." Key Players in Microsoft Lawsuit Key players in the government's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.: U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson: A Republican appointed in 1982 by President Reagan, Jackson has been a fixture in the case since 1995, when he approved the settlement in the government's first lawsuit against Microsoft. The Justice Department later accused Microsoft of flouting that settlement, and during hearings the company managed to get on Jackson's wrong side: When he ordered Microsoft in December 1997 to sell a version of Windows 95 without its Internet browser already included, a decision later overturned by an appeals court, the company complied but Windows didn't work anymore. "It seemed absolutely clear to you that I entered an order that required you to distribute a product that would not work?" he asked. "Is that what you're telling me?" Another time, Jackson accused Microsoft of making "defamatory" comments about an expert the judge had appointed. Since May, when the government filed its lawsuit, Jackson has largely held his temper. But Microsoft's initial brashness could come back to haunt it. Other high-profile trials Jackson has overseen include the 1990 cocaine possession case against District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry. Microsoft lawyer John Warden: A partner at Sullivan & Cromwel law firm in New York, Warden, 57, is known within antitrust circles for his appeals victory defending Eastman Kodak in an $87 million judgment in favor of Berkey Photo. An appeals court reversed the verdict against Kodak, agreeing that "innovation is clearly tolerated by antitrust laws," which set a legal precedent that Microsoft itself now claims. Warden was born in Evansville, Ind., and raised in the nearby farming town of Cairo, Ill. He uses colorful metaphors, accusing the government of a "bait and switch" by allegedly broadening its case inappropriately just weeks before the trial. He doesn't enjoy the limelight, always politely declining to talk with reporters. And he's careful not to offend the judge, even after Jackson denied his request to delay the case and hold trial months sooner than Microsoft wanted: "With the greatest respect for your Honor," Warden said, "that isn't enough time for us." Microsoft lawyer Bill Neukom: Neukom is the company's in-house lawyer, its senior vice president for law and corporate affairs. Neukom, who always wears a bow tie, is a former partner in the law firm of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' father. Neukom negotiated a settlement with the Justice Department in its first lawsuit against Microsoft. During pretrial hearings, Neukom has left the courtroom arguments to Warden, but it's typically Neukom who speaks with reporters outside the courthouse about the company's legal strategy. Justice lawyer David Boies: In one of the ironies of the case, the Justice Department's lead lawyer is well-known for his successful defense of another computer industry giant, IBM Corp., against a Justice antitrust lawsuit that stretched 13 years and is known as the agency's "Vietnam." Boies, who cross-examined a Justice economist in that case for 38 days, pressed to get the Microsoft case into court quickly. He's familiar with delay tactics: "Been there, done that," Boies told one reporter. A partner in Boies & Schiller of Armonk, N.Y., Boies was hired by Justice as a "special government employee" for roughly half his usual $550-an-hour fee. He frequently works without notes - even appeared once before the Supreme Court without using notes - but has a highly polished courtroom delivery. He isn't a high-tech person but is well versed in the case's issues - although he stumbled recently when asked by the judge to explain how software "streams" video across the Internet. States lawyer Steve Houck: Lead lawyer for the 20 states plus the District of Columbia, Houck of New York represents almost three dozen lawyers working against Microsoft in attorneys general offices nationwide. He was one of two government lawyers - the other was Boies - who deposed Gates. Described by peers as "assertive with a capital A - not an irritant, but he stands up for what is right, and he'll ask for and receive his place at the table." At pretrial hearings, Houck had a tough job following Boies, who was so complete he often left Houck largely repeating arguments. Notably, Houck is among the only lawyers to concede publicly that the case is destined to be settled in the Supreme Court. Partly for Houck's efforts on Microsoft, the National Association of Attorneys General awarded him its Marvin Award in July. List of Microsoft Witnesses Who will testify in the government's antitrust case against Microsoft Corp.: For the government: James Barksdale, president and chairman, Netscape Communications Corp., which makes the popular Internet browser that competes directly with Microsoft's. David Colburn, senior vice president of business affairs at America Online, which agreed to distribute Microsoft's browser to its 13 million customers. Steven D. McGeady, vice president of Intel Corp.'s content group, who led some of the company's software development efforts and its work with the Internet and with Java. Avie Tevanian, vice president of programming at Apple Computer Co., among those in charge of developing Apple's QuickTime software, which competed directly with Microsoft's Netshow. James Gosling, a chief Sun Microsystems Inc. architect for Java, designed to make software that can run on any operating system, not just Windows. John Soyring of IBM Corp., which makes computers with the Windows operating software installed. William Harris, president and chairman of Intuit, which makes personal finance software. In the past two years, he was chiefly responsible for the company's Internet activities. Franklin Fisher, an MIT economics professor and nationally known economics expert, who was IBM's economics expert during its lengthy fight with the Justice Department decades ago; he worked with lawyer David Boies, now leading the government's case. Frederick R. Warren-Bolton, chief antitrust economist during the Reagan administration. David J. Farber, telecommunications professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Edward Felten, assistant computer professor at Princeton University. Glenn Weadock, president of Independent Software Inc. For Microsoft: Paul Maritz, a Microsoft vice president the government contends helped decide to bundle the company's Internet browser within Windows and allegedly worked to persuade America Online to distribute Microsoft's browser but not Netscape's. The government also contends he was partly behind efforts to "blunt" the Java programming language. James Allchin, a Microsoft vice president in charge of Windows 98, who the government said wrote in a potentially incriminating e-mail that the company should begin "leveraging Windows from a marketing perspective." Maritz was Allchin's boss. Joachim Kempin, a Microsoft vice president in charge of its contracts with computer makers. Brad Chase, a Microsoft vice president, who the government says warned in an internal April 1997 memo that Internet browsers could "obsolete Windows." Robert Muglia, Microsoft vice president of developer tools, expected to testify about Microsoft's work with Java. Eric Engstrom, a general manager for multimedia at Microsoft, expected to testify about meetings among Microsoft executives and those at Apple. Cameron Myhrvold, vice president of Microsoft's Internet customer unit and the brother of the company's chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold. Cameron Myhrvold was in charge of dealing with Internet service providers. William Poole, Microsoft's senior director for Windows business development. Daniel Rosen, Microsoft's general manager for new technology. John Rose, senior vice president at Compaq Computer. Richard Schmalansee, interim dean of the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A top economist, he worked with Microsoft during the last Justice Department investigation. Michael Devlin, president of Rational Software Corp., a small California company with a long business relationship with Microsoft. Court Rules AOL Protected From Suit A woman cannot sue America Online because one of its customers peddled a pornographic video of her 11-year-old son in an online chat room, a state appeals court has ruled. Federal law protects online services from being held liable for the messages transmitted by their members, the 4th District Court of Appeal said Wednesday in upholding a lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit. But the appeals panel asked the Florida Supreme Court to review the case and determine whether the law should apply to activity that took place prior to 1996, when the federal Communications Decency Act was enacted. "I'm ecstatic we're going to be able to go to the Supreme Court to argue this," said attorney Brian Smith, who represented the woman known only as Jane Doe. "But I'm disappointed because I thought we might get a reversal." Richard Lee Russell, 31, a school teacher from Wellington, pleaded guilty in 1995 to both federal and state charges stemming from a 1994 assault on the Palm Beach County boy and the boy's friend. Russell admitted he used AOL, the nation's largest online service, to meet other men who have sex with boys. In one instance, he sold a lewd videotape of the boy to an Arizona man he met online. Russell is serving a 14-year federal prison sentence. The boy's mother had accused AOL of knowingly allowing Russell to sell the videotape of the boy. Her lawsuit also claimed AOL's rules prohibiting customers from posting obscene or illegal material were so poorly enforced the provider became "a home shopping network for pedophiles and child pornographers." AOL spokeswoman Tricia Primrose said the company was pleased with the court's decision. Netscape Releases Communicator 4.5 Browser Netscape Communications Corp. on Monday released the final version of its Communicator 4.5 Internet software, hoping to win users over from rival Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser. Netscape is hinging its browser strategy on closer integration with the Netcenter Web site, an Internet hub that is one of the most popular on the Web. "We believe this version will help to open up the Net to many new users, and everyone will appreciate the enriched content and superior features it delivers through its integration with Netscape Netcenter," said Mike Homer, senior vice president of Netscape client products, in a statement. Several of the new features of Navigator, the browser component of Communicator, tie the software directly to Netcenter: for example, a button takes users directly to a personalized Netcenter home page, and SmartBrowsing features that take advantage of Netcenter's Web directory. SmartBrowsing's Internet Keywords feature allows users to type a company's name into the location window, instead of typing a Web address; the browser automatically looks up the company in the Netcenter directory and takes the user directly to the company's home page. The browser also includes a "What's Related" button that lists sites similar to the location currently being viewed by the user. The What's Related service is provided through Netcenter by Alexa Internet. The new Communicator, which has been available for several weeks in beta-test form, also includes several multimedia features previously available as separate plug-ins. Macromedia Inc.'s Flash and RealNetworks Inc.'s RealPlayer are both included with the Communicator installer. Beatnik, an audio player from Headspace Inc., is included in the SmartUpdate feature, which automatically downloads and installs software as it is needed. Communicator's e-mail component, Messenger, also includes new features, including an import wizard for transferring information and settings from other e-mail programs. Netscape has been losing browser market share to Microsoft since the software giant began giving away the Internet Explorer browser a few months ago, as well as including it with other software packages. The software has roughly half of the market at present. Yahoo! Acquires Direct Marketer Yoyodyne Internet online directory Yahoo! Inc. said it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Yoyodyne Entertainment Inc. in a move that will expand its interactive direct marketing efforts. Under the agreement, Yahoo! will issue 280,664 shares of common stock in exchange for all outstanding Yoyodyne shares, options and warrants. The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. Yahoo! said it expects to record a one-time charge of about $2 million in the fourth quarter in connection with the deal. Yahoo! will integrate Yoyodyne's direct marketing services, including online shopping sites and promotions geared to small businesses, as a component of its extensive suite of advertising and merchant services. Doctors Weigh Pros, Cons Of Online Medicine Diagnosing illnesses in cyberspace may be a distant reality, but more physicians should take advantage of the Internet and e-mail to inform and communicate with patients, researchers said. "E-mail has become a ubiquitous tool for communicating with business associates, friends and family. So there should be little surprise that et-savvy patients would like greater digital access to their physicians," said Tom Ferguson, the author of an editorial in a special edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association devoted to the subject. Only about 1 percent to 2 percent of U.S. physicians offer patients the option of contacting them online, he said. Ferguson, the editor of a newsletter about issues relating to health care and the Internet, and other researchers discussed their findings on Tuesday at a conference in Durham sponsored by the American Medical Association. "Physicians might establish their own Web pages with lists of frequently asked patient questions and answers, and annotated links to useful and authoritative medical Web sites," Ferguson said. But the researchers said there was no substitute for a face- to-face diagnosis. Some pointed to the potential for online errors because of inaccurately reported symptoms and had concerns about doctors' legal liability for improper diagnoses. Questions were also raised about patient privacy and authenticity of authorship. "But just as the most caring, competent and sensitive physician of today would be hard-pressed to build a successful practice without a telephone, those who choose not to communicate electronically with patients may soon find themselves at a similar disadvantage," Ferguson wrote. In one example showing the Internet's potential, the authors of a study from the University Hospital of Erlangen, Germany, sent a fictitious query to 58 Web sites that offer dermatological information. Half the Web sites responded and more than half of those mentioned the correct diagnosis in their reply. All recommended seeing a physician. Another study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston evaluated a program where doctors used computers to make drug prescriptions. The results showed fewer patients suffered adverse drug reactions, there were fewer dosage mistakes and the problem of illegible handwriting in physicians' prescriptions was solved. Jon Postel Dies -- An Internet Founding Father Jonathan Postel, the taciturn computer scientist who played a central role in developing the Internet's core technologies, died Friday after undergoing heart surgery. Postel, 55, had been best known for his role as head of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the technical body that oversaw the Internet's Domain Name System and allocated Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, the fundamental technologies for navigating and routing on the Internet. Postel and the IANA were at the center of the stormy debate over the future of domain names, which increased in intensity over the past two years as more commercial interests arrived on the Net. Most recently, Postel was working with the U.S. government on the transition of the IANA, which he had run single-handedly for many years, to a private, not-for-profit corporation called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Postel worked on the ARPAnet project - the network that was a precursor to the Internet - in 1969 when he was a graduate student at the University of California at LosAngeles. While working on ARPAnet, he became the first editor of the Internet's "Request for Comments" series of documents, which now are maintained by the Internet Engineering Task Force and constitute the technical foundations for Internet protocols. In addition to being the Internet's most renowned technical caretaker, Postel directed the networking research division at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute. According to friends and colleagues, Postel considered his duties with IANA a kind of public trust. "Jon has been our North Star for decades, burning brightly and constantly, providing comfort and a sense of security while all else changed," said Vinton Cerf, a senior vice president at MCI WorldCom Inc., current chairman of the board of the Internet Society and himself one of the Internet's pioneering engineers. "He was the Internet's Boswell and its technical conscience. His loss will be sorely felt not only for his expertise, but because the community has lost a dear and much-loved friend." The Internet Society, which Postel helped found, said it plans to create the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award in memory of his more than 30 years of involvement with the Internet. The award will recognize service to the Internet community. 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 [Image] LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything weve seen or used as of yet. 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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 [Image] Edupage Contents Congress Tries Again To Shield Kids From Internet Porn Spoof On AOL Causes Misrouted Mail Amazon Sued By Wal-Mart Over Trade Victories For Tech Industry In New Secrets Budget Agreement Intel's Merced Chip May Have A Patent Problem Zapata Gets Zapped News Flash New Displays Usher In The Millennium New Organization For Internet Europe Seeks Ways To Protect Administration Online Consumers School Computer Deal Draws High-Tech Coalition Gets OK For Criticism Encryption Export Another Try At Free Net Service Microsoft Trial Begins Clinton Signs Y2K Legislation To Y2K Problem At Local Government Encourage Info Sharing Level Microsoft Says It Was Netscape That Silicon Valley "Divided And Suggested A Deal Fascinated" About Microsoft Lock-On-A-Chip Discounts Are Key To Web Shopping Newsgroups Matter Most To The Microsoft And Bloomsbury Marginalized Publishing Take On "World English" Zulu's Online Adventure Hyatt Rooms To Get Inkjet Printers Harris Sues Apple For Dropping The Newton CONGRESS TRIES AGAIN TO SHIELD KIDS FROM INTERNET PORN The U.S. Congress has passed the Child Online Privacy Act to prevent Internet merchants and others from giving children access to material that is "harmful to minors," a phrase that supporters of the legislation say "employs the constitutionally tested harmful-to-minors standard recognized and upheld in federal courts for more than 30 years." The legislation applies only to persons or organizations that produce the material, and does not apply to Internet service providers or other intermediaries if they do not themselves produce it. American Civil Liberties Union executive Ann Beeson says the ACLU will file a lawsuit to block the legislation, and will be joined in its suit by "a diverse range of online speakers representing news organizations, gay and lesbian groups, artists, booksellers and online video dealers," among others. Michael Oxley, the Ohio Republican who was a primary sponsor of the bill, explained: "There are literally thousands of Web sites dedicated to every manner of perversion and brutality. A child may innocently search for key words like 'doll house,' 'toys,' or 'pets' and be led to numerous explicit sites." (New York Times 17 Oct 98) SPOOF ON AOL CAUSES MISROUTED MAIL Someone impersonating an America Online individual authorized to change AOL's InterNIC records caused thousands of e-mail messages intended for AOL customers to be misrouted to the Internet service provider Autonet.net. AOL discovered the problem and corrected it, and says that all misdirected messages should eventually be delivered to the proper recipients. The company is working with legal authorities to identify the perpetrator. (Washington Post 17 Oct 98) AMAZON SUED BY WAL-MART OVER TRADE SECRETS Wal-Mart, the giant retailing company, is suing Internet bookseller Amazon.com and two of its affiliates for illegally duplicating Wal-Mart's proprietary information technology that analyzes what products customers buy in combination, such as meat and potatoes. With such a capability Amazon.com could expand into other areas of online retailing. Wal-Mart contends that Amazon recruited former employees and current vendors to elicit information about the systems. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 17 Oct 98) VICTORIES FOR TECH INDUSTRY IN NEW BUDGET AGREEMENT A provision in the government's new budget agreement to dramatically increase the number of high-tech foreigners who can be hired by U.S. ompanies has cheered the country's technology industry. Other victories or the industry include a temporary ban on Internet taxes and new copyright protections for online content providers. Bill Hogan of the Center for Public Integrity says, "The industry generally has a platinum calling card. Few members (of Congress) are going to want to say anything that might damage what they perceive as a high-growth, jobs-producing industry." (AP 16 Oct 98) INTEL'S MERCED CHIP MAY HAVE A PATENT PROBLEM Graphic chip maker S3 Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., says that Intel's latest chip, code-named Merced, might infringe on one of the patents that it purchased, along with almost 50 others last year for about $10 million, from now-defunct Exponential Technology Inc. The details on Merced, which is slated for mass production in mid-2000, are still unavailable, but observers say it would be difficult at this point to change the chip's technology in order to circumvent a patent dispute. The Merced chip can process both 32-bit and 64-bit software, but eliminates some redundancy because it allows the processors within the chip to share the same resources such as the "register files" that store the data. The patent owned by S3 describes the same technique. "It's the crown jewel of the patents," says the patent agent who wrote the original patent for Exponential, "because it's fairly broad and goes to a heart of the problem" in a chip that runs two kinds of software. Intel had also bid on the Exponential patents, but lost out to S3. (Wall Street Journal 16 Oct 98) ZAPATA GETS ZAPPED Zapata Corp., a Houston-based company founded by Texas Governor George Bush, Jr. as an oil firm that has since turned itself into an Internet hopeful, is abandoning its plans to buy up some 30 Internet entrepreneurs as part of a new venture called Zap. Zapata had planned to transform itself into the No. 1site on the Internet by amalgamating the resources of numerous sites, such as Happypuppy.com and Rockmall.com. The company then planned to go public, but says the falling prices of technology stocks and inhospitable environment for IPOs were forcing it to shelve those plans. "We are disappointed," says Zapata CEO Avram Glazer, "but you have financial markets that are out of control. If Goldman, Sachs pulled their public offering, you can't expect us to go ahead." (New York Times 16 Oct 98) NEWS FLASH The message being told to newspaper executives at the annual conference of Associated Press Managing Editors is that newspapers will not succeed with online publications if they merely post another copy of their print publications; instead, they must offer readers usable information about restaurants, entertainment and services, and try to find profits from new kinds of advertising -- such as having corporations sponsor Web pages focusing on a specific news subject. (USA Today 16 Oct 98) NEW DISPLAYS USHER IN THE MILLENNIUM A new type of flat display called OLEDs, for organic light-emitting diodes, could be widely available in a few years, ushering in an era of video postcards, laptops with furling screens, and glowing ceiling panels that illuminate jetliners. "This is probably the hottest research area in the whole field of flat-panel displays," says the VP for display-industry research at Stanford Resources Inc., who predicts that OLED sales are likely to soar from almost nothing today to $400 million by 2004. "I don't think there has ever been a new display technology that went from nothing to 65 players in just three or four years." Physicist Richard Friend, who is a co-discoverer of the light-emitting organic polymers, predicts: "It's not fanciful to think of active electronic circuits that are no more difficult to make than the glossy Sunday newspaper supplement, which you throw away on Monday." (Business Week 19 Oct 98) NEW ORGANIZATION FOR INTERNET ADMINISTRATION The Clinton Administration has decided to support the creation of a new nonprofit corporation to administer Internet domain names; the creation of the new organization, called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (or "Icann"), will mean the end of the monopoly in domain name administration enjoyed by Network Solutions Inc. of Herndon, Va., which has had a government contract that generated $37 million in the first half of this year by registering names with the ".com," ".net", ".org," and ".edu" suffixes. The Administration's decision happens to come days after the untimely death of Jonathon B. Postel, the revered Internet pioneer who was a key proponent of the plan. (New York Times 20 Oct 98) EUROPE SEEKS WAYS TO PROTECT ONLINE CONSUMERS The European Commission's proposed directive on electronic commerce has sparked a debate between the EC's internal-market directorate, which is supporting the notion that providers of goods and service be regulated in their "country of origin," and the consumer directorate, which fears such a rule will encourage companies to set up shop in countries with the least rigorous consumer protections. Given the uneven consumer protection laws across Europe, "what the commission is proposing -- a unilateral country-of-origin principle -- is something we cannot accept," says the legal advisor to the European Consumers Association. An internal-market directorate official counters, "We have done a survey that shows that it is impossible to design Web sites that comply with very distinct national laws in 15 countries. What happens under that scenario is that small and medium-size businesses don't go online or they issue disclaimers on their Web sites saying, 'This service is not available outside of my home country.' Clearly, this is not in the interest of consumers." (Wall Street Journal 19 Oct 98) SCHOOL COMPUTER DEAL DRAWS CRITICISM ZapMe, a start-up program that provides free computers and Internet connections to schools, is coming under fire from teachers and parents unhappy about the advertising that appears on the computer interface. One corner of the screen is devoted to ads from ZapMe partners like Microsoft, Compaq and Tibco Software. The partners pay to run the adds and provide the equipment and some software. Each school receives 15 Compaq PCs, a Compaq server and a printer, as well as a GE Americom satellite dish. ZapMe installs Web filtering software if the school requests it, and parents are required to give their permission for their children to use the computers. The company recently concluded a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay area, and began full rollout on Monday. Critics say the ZapMe business model is reminiscent of Whittle Communications' Channel One program, which put TVs in classrooms in exchange for the right to air a small number of commercials each day. (TechWeb 20 Oct 98) HIGH-TECH COALITION GETS OK FOR ENCRYPTION EXPORT The U.S. Commerce Department will allow a group of 10 technology companies, led by Cisco Systems, to export a new encryption technology that keeps messages private, while giving law enforcement restricted access to an entire message at the beginning and end of network data transmissions. Such "private doorbell" access points can reside in data routers or in the software programs that control networks. The government's latest move "is a policy middle ground," says Cisco's VP of legal and government affairs. "Right now the international market for encryption is fragmented, and American companies have been shut out. This gives us a foothold in the market, our chance to try and compete." Other companies in the coalition are Ascend Communications, Bay Networks, 3Com, Hewlett-Packard, Network Associates, Novell, Red Creek Communications, Secure Computing, and Sun Microsystems. (Wall Street Journal 19 Oct 98) ANOTHER TRY AT FREE NET SERVICE NetZero Inc. is offering free Internet service to consumers, operating on an advertising-based business model. The company isn't selling your typical banner ad, however. NetZero's banners can "follow" users from site to site as they peruse the Web. The company says it's spent a year developing software that tracks users' habits, enabling advertisers to pinpoint their messages more efficiently. "We can target within a 12-mile radius of where (a subscriber) lives," says NetZero's CEO. Idealab Capital Partners, which is backing the venture, thinks subscribers will like the free access despite the ads. "People are spending $21.95 a month for AOL -- that's a lot of money," says Idealab's managing director. "We offer a value proposition that's hard to beat." (Investor's Business Daily 19 Oct 98) MICROSOFT TRIAL BEGINS The government's antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft has begun, and opening salvos include a charge by Netscape chief executive James L. Barksdale that Microsoft tried to "squelch competition in the browser market" by engaging in "predatory acts designed to eliminate Netscape as a competitor." Barksdale said Microsoft built "unnecessary technical incompatibilities" into its Windows operating system in order to disrupt Netscape's browser. Barksdale also charged that Microsoft deliberately delayed providing important technical information to Netscape, and said: "Apparently facing a worthy adversary, Microsoft could not resort to competition in the open marketplace, but rather resorted to using its monopoly to ensure a win." A Microsoft executive predicted confidently: "We will show that Mr. Barksdale's testimony is long on rhetoric but short on facts. His sweeping statements are often nothing more than self-serving accusations with no factual basis." (Washington Post 20 Oct 98) CLINTON SIGNS Y2K LEGISLATION TO ENCOURAGE INFO SHARING President Clinton has signed legislation designed to encourage businesses and organizations to share information that might help avert a Year 2000 computer crisis, when software that used only two digits to code "year" fields may fail to make correct date calculations. The legislation gives a limited liability protection to sharers of information, so that fear of lawsuits will not discourage them from helping others. (AP 19 Oct 98) Y2K PROBLEM AT LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL States are spending more than $2.5 billion to deal with the Year 2000 problem, but many of the nation's local governments, police departments, and fire departments have not done anything to get ready. A survey found that 54% of New York State's towns, 48% of its villages, and 26% of its cities have not made plans for fixing the problem. Another survey found that 42% of California cities, counties and special districts have no funds budgeted to avert the problem. (USA Today 19 Oct 98) MICROSOFT SAYS IT WAS NETSCAPE THAT SUGGESTED A DEAL In the antitrust suit against Microsoft, Microsoft has introduced a December 1994 e-mail message from Netscape chairman James Clark as evidence that it was Netscape rather than Microsoft that first suggested an arrangement to illegally restrain trade. Clark had written to a Microsoft executive: "We have never planned to compete with you. We want to make this company a success, but not at Microsoft's expense. We'd like to work with you. Working together could be in your self-interest as well as ours. Depending on the interest level, you might take an equity position in Netscape, with the ability to expand the position later." He added: "No one in my organization knows about this message." A Microsoft attorney yesterday asked Netscape president James Barksdale of Netscape chairman and cofounder James Clark: "Do you regard him as a truthful man?" Barksdale paused and then replied: "I regard him as a salesman." The Microsoft attorney said: "I'm not going to touch that." (New York Times 22 Oct 98) SILICON VALLEY "DIVIDED AND FASCINATED" ABOUT MICROSOFT What does Silicon Valley think of the government's antitrust suit against Microsoft? Industry analyst Tim Bajarin says, "You have to look at Silicon Valley's view as divided and fascinated." Although companies such as Oracle, Sun, and Netscape have complained bitterly about Microsoft's aggressive business practices, many others are wary of government activism and feel that Microsoft has made an important contribution to the industry. Seybold Seminars analyst Craig Cline says, "Calmer voices do recognize that Microsoft has provided the platform from which the great chunk of wealth that the valley has earned in the past 10 to 15 years has come." (AP 22 Oct 98) LOCK-ON-A-CHIP Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a way to build a microscopic mechanical lock into computer chips, blocking hackers from accessing whatever information that chip is handling, including data on the hard drive. The lock's tiny gears are created as part of the chip-making process, and only by typing a combination of six letters selected by the computer owner will the chip turn on. The chip lock design, which will cost only about a dollar more per chip, will be perfected and brought to market in about two years, say the researchers. (Wall Street Journal 22 Oct 98) DISCOUNTS ARE KEY TO WEB SHOPPING A study released Tuesday by Jupiter Communications shows that discounted pricing is now the number one attraction for online shoppers. Pricing has now overtaken payment security as the critical factor in persuading people to purchase something online. (TechWeb 21 Oct 98) NEWSGROUPS MATTER MOST TO THE MARGINALIZED Two psychologists at New York University recently monitored participation in 12 Internet newsgroups over a 3-week period. They selected four groups that focus on mainstream interests (such as politics), four that concern "culturally undesirable but conspicuous conditions" (such as obesity), and four that focus on culturally "marginalized but concealable" behavior (homosexuality, illicit drug use, sexual bondage and sexual spanking). Judges who rated the messages posted found that online communities mattered the most to participants in the "marginalized but concealable" groups. Members of these groups posted far more frequently, often after receiving positive feedback, than did members of the other groups. "This is the sort of work that needs to be done, examining different types of Internet users and different effects of computer use," says a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University. Many participants of the marginalized groups said that participation in the newsgroup had enabled them to reveal their secrets to friends or family members. (Science News 17 Oct 98) MICROSOFT AND BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING TAKE ON "WORLD ENGLISH" Microsoft and British publisher Bloomsbury Publishing have developed a new dictionary of "world English," which will be marketed in both print and electronic formats. The companies say the dictionary, which was created with contributions from more than 250 lexicographers and consultants from 10 countries, will reflect English "as the language of the world." An adviser to the project says the Encarta World English Dictionary's strength lies in its international flavor. "Dictionaries are witnesses. They present observations on what English is like in different places. This one was particularly good at assembling witnesses from different places." (Chronicle of Higher Education 23 Oct 98) ZULU'S ONLINE ADVENTURE Zulu TV is planning to offer users of the Video Vamoose plug-and-play device an unusual lineup of non-mainstream sports (collegiate soccer, rugby and lacrosse), documentaries on adventure travel and scientific expeditions, music concerts, political commentary, and live weddings. The company, which plans its debut in mid-November, is basing its offerings on the Vamoose an Etch-a-Sketch-sized portable device that plugs into professional camcorders or any VCR to enable recording of Web events and production of video content for streaming online. Zulu says its Zulu TV will provide online broadcast services to organizations and companies that want to deliver a message to an online audience. (Broadcasting & Cable 19 Oct 98) HYATT ROOMS TO GET INKJET PRINTERS Although some hotels have offered in-room printers to business travelers for several years, the Hyatt hotel chain is making a major commitment to that idea by announcing plans to put inkjet printers in 5,200 rooms in 90 hotels by the end of this year. The machines were tested this summer at a hotel in the Chicago area, and Hyatt says that 33% of the guests used them. (USA Today 21 Oct 98) HARRIS SUES APPLE FOR DROPPING THE NEWTON Harris Corporation has sued Apple Computer for $17 million for allegedly breaking a licensing agreement between the companies when Apple canceled its Newton handheld computer technology in February. Harris said that by that time it had already negotiated contracts to develop millions of dollars worth of roducts based on the Newton. According to the suit, "Apple deprived Harris of the basic benefits Harris reasonably expected to receive from its dealings with Apple, and which Apple understood were being conferred on Harris." (San Jose Mercury News 22 Oct 98) NEW! [BITSBYTES.GIF (64527 bytes)] by R. F. Mariano [Image] Penn International 965 Premium Baitcasting Reel Introducing the most advanced baitcasting reel ever - the American-made Penn International 965. True to its legendary name sake, the gleaming gold International 965 is designed and built expressly for saltwater fishing ... and the raw power of saltwater fish! Featuring a compact, one piece frame, this is the Penn baitcaster that serious light tackle coastal anglers have been asking for. Super smooth and fast, it's ideal for a wide range of inshore game fish - snook, permit, redfish, bluefish, stripers, sea trout, jacks, salmon, barracuda, calico bass, bonito and more. The new 965 is also perfect in heavy-duty freshwater applications - casting for muskies and pike, trolling for large walleye or pulling big bass out of heavy cover. No other baitcaster packs more performance or more reliability than the Penn International 965. If you're looking for the ultimate light tackle reel, look no further. [Image] Forged, Precision Machined Aluminum Frame, Spool & Side Plates. The new 965 is built like an International - with a lightweight, one piece, forged, machined aluminum frame (not die cast like other baitcasters). The left side plate and right side plate are also forged, machined aluminum. The spool is machined from solid bar stock aluminum. Both side plates are smooth and contoured, for a baitcaster that's easy to "palm." Handsome, Corrosion Resistant Gold Anodized Finish. The new 965's frame, spool and side plates feature a deep, distinctive, gold anodized finish - an International hallmark. 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Other Features: * Zirconium oxide line guide with titanium nitride coating * Positive push button free spool z Auto engage with the turn of the handle * Adjustable, three-level centrifugal brake casting control * Quick take-apart for easy service, even in the field * Recessed stainless steel reel seat * Loud, firm, easy-to-use clicker * Double soft grip, paddle style handle * Precision machined stainless steel spindle. Model Line Capacity Gear Weight Ratio 965 240/15 (Yds./Lb.) 4.75-1 11.8 Oz. 965 230/0.40(Meters.MM) 4.75-1 340 Grams [northstar1.gif (8273 bytes)] [nstar_951.GIF (48085 bytes)] [Casts.GIF (10988 bytes)] Got a question relative to something.... * We have covered or reviewed? * Want something reviewed? * Want to tell us a thing or two? * Request a Brochure about a product? * This is the place... [email14.gif (38893 bytes)] [Image] STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... 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Your company's color ad, banner or teaser as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in either STReport International Magazine or on our Website (your choice). STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. (except for July and August when it is released once a month) Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. MAIL us at: STR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 58094 Jacksonville, Florida 32241-8094 Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm edt * FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs The Linux Advocate Column #24 October 23th, 1998 by Scott Dowdle email@example.com ICQ UIN: 15509440 LOGIN: What's going on gang? I think I've finally developed my time management to the point where I might actually be able to crank out a column every week... but who knows? I overlooked many, many Linux related stories in the press this week but nine of them filtered through. Hopefully they will be to your liking. NEWS: Item #1: The Mighty Finn: Hacker, geek and software hero, Linus Torvalds has devised a system that is challenging Windows - Time magazine does a personality piece on our favorite computer industry hero. Check it out at the following URL: http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/magazine/1998/dom/981026/technology.the_mighty_f1a.html Item #2: Project Heresy RealAudio Broadcasts - Brian Cooley and Dan Shafer continue their coverage of the Linux market in a Radio Show they call Project Heresy. Somehow I've been ignoring their broadcasts for some time and earlier this week I sat and listened to about 2 hours worth of shows. Break out your favorite browser and the RealPlayer client for some premium listening. Check it out at the following URL: http://www.news.com/Radio/Features/0,155,205,00.html?st.bl.fd.se1.ne.-1325 Item #3: The joy of Perl: How Larry Wall invented a messy programming language and changed the face of the web - Salon Magazine did a beautiful piece on the father of PERL. Hmmm, Salon seems to be cranking out some real winning pieces over the past few months. I learned that Mr. wall was famous before PERL with is authoring of rn and patch. This article is a must read so check it out at the following URL: http://www.salonmagazine.com/21st/feature/1998/10/cov_13feature.html Item #4: Linux kernel development team buckles down - The development cycle for the 2.2 kernel has een a long journey indeed. Nothing really new there though because I remember what the wait for 1.2 and 2.0. It'll get here when it is ready. It appear as if Linus has been bogged down with the plethora of patches he receives and he just couldn't keep up. Ok, so Linus isn't superman... so a plan to better co-ordinate the development has been made by none other than the fellow who designed the development models for Sun Microsystems. Check out he controversy (first URL) and the proposed and seemingly adopted solution (second URL) if getting a better view of the Linux kernel development process appeals to you. http://www.bitmover.com/bitkeeper/ Item #5: IBM beefs up Apache package: Big Blue hopes to break into new market by enhancing the popular freeware - What has IBM been doing with Apache since they announced in June that they decided to adopt it as part of their WebSphere Web Server product line? It seems they have been busy. IBM made three announcements: 1) Apache is available for the AS/400 now, 2) they have added SSL to Apache for secure transactions, and 3) they have created Fast Response Cache Accelerator(FRCA) to boost Apache's speed by two to three times. What's cool about this is that IBM, under the agreement with the Apache group, has to give out the source code to all of this (except for the SSL which is binary only). The #1 web server on the Internet just got faster. Check out the full article at the following URL: http://www.sunworld.com/swol-10-1998/swol-10-apache.html Item #6: APPLE + LINUX = PERFECTION! - To be honest, I didn't get a chance to read over this article too well but I thought I'd included it none the less. Anyone want to let me know what they thought about it? In a book I'm reading (that I'll talk about in a future column) I learned that Apple decided to choose between MS's Windows NT, Sun's Solaris, NeXTSTEP, and BeOS as the foundation for what was to become Mac OS X. Too bad they were deciding so long ago and picked NeXTSTEP because I think they could have gotten so much further a lot faster if they had chosen Linux. Check out the article at the following URL: http://www.MacKiDo.com/Opinion/AppleLinux.html Item #7: Not Just NT That Linux Threatens - Here's another article I didn't get time to read completely through and ponder so take it as you will. The URL follows: http://www.internetworld.com/print/1998/10/12/opinion/19981012-ednote.html Item #8: The Kiss of Death for Linux? - Here's an article where the author reaches the conclusion that I came to many columns ago: Linux is in Microsoft's sites as being a major competitor. How will Microsoft's campaign against Linux take form? Well, so far it is anyone's guess but a recent letter by the General Manager of Microsoft France may be set a new standard. I would have represented the URL for the letter I just mentioned but it is in French and someone problematic but take it from me, Microsoft shows evidence of starting and extremely baseless FUD campaign. Given my passing comments enjoy the following URL: http://webreview.com/wr/pub/98/10/09/frames/index.html Item #9: Linux Press Coverage Drinking Game - Speaking of bad press, I ran into the following web page that takes most of the silly things mainstream press people have said about Linux and makes it into a drinking game. I'm not trying to condone mass consumption of hard liquor or anything... the following piece is good for it's humor value so check it out: http://segfault.org/story.phtml?id=361d6ea8-02ad87a0&mode=2 SPOTLIGHT: Linux vs Microsoft by Eric S. Raymond I ran across this posting somewhere and I emailed the author asking permission to reproduce it here and he granted it to me. But first an introduction for the author... Eric Raymond has been a Unix person for a very long time. He has written several well known papers (like the one that convinced Netscape to release the source code to Mozilla) as well as a few books. Personally, I'm enjoying a book he co-wrote entitled, Learning GNU Emacs, 2nd Edition for O'Reilly and Associates. I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned about using Emacs with the help of that book, which means, look out. perhaps there will be a future spotlight on Emacs... but I might just spare you. :) Anyway, Eric has become known in the Linux community as the father of the term "Open Source" which he actually trademarked if I understand correctly. What follows is a fiery opinion news posting - classic flame bait. Enjoy. --- begin long quote here --- Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 16:09:36 -0400 From: "Eric S. Raymond" firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com Subject: Re: Linux vs Microsoft If Microsoft could crush us, it would already have done so. It is now several months too late for them to succeed. Their window began to close when the first of the enterprise database announcements hit the streets. With Oracle's announcement of a bundled, supported, Oracle-over-Linux combination on CD-ROM offering the 24/7 reliability unattainable with NT, it has effectively slammed shut. Microsoft would have to ship a truly production-quality NT 5.0 within the next month to prevent Oracle's power play from working. And that ain't gonna happen, because the 5.0 development is turning into a disaster so hideous that Microsoft's own marketing people are telling large customers not to expect it to ship anytime soon or be production-ready when it does. The bottom line is that NT server in the enterprise is doomed; the only question remaining is what the speed of the collapse will be. And that fact kicks the stuffing out of half of Microsoft's business strategy, which is as dependent on keeping large customers locked in and on a perpetual upgrade treadmill as it is on hardware tying agreements. (That other half, of course, is under threat by the DOJ.) Microsoft knows all this, and I think they expect a revenue crunch coming; that's why they recently stopped their regular (and, until now, continuous) stock buybacks. They're hunkering down for a siege, hoping the analysis won't notice -- because if their stock price takes any serious hits, the option machine they use to pay off developers will collapse. As you say, Microsoft's OS and app mix makes sense on the desktop. You could have strengthened your point by adding that the desktop is Microsoft's cash cow, so that in a strictly financial sense the loss of their server business would hardly hurt them. The problem with this analysis is that Microsoft increasingly finds itself in a strategically defensive rather than offensive position. The combination of an open-source operating system and just *one* working Windows emulator could wreck their desktop position irretrievably within months if Microsoft ever loses its image of invincibility -- and Microsoft knows that, too. Therefore, Microsoft's desktop-monopoly cash cow can only be sustained by continual `prestige' design wins in other markets. And in *all* those markets, Microsoft is in trouble. MSN was a failure. WinCE has failed to lock in the set-top-box and appliance market. And, as I've pointed out above, they're about to lose the enterprise servers. All this would make it hard for Microsoft to "crush" us even if the DOJ lawsuit didn't make any visible FUD barrage a suicidal tactic. Not only can't they crush us, but it will take a reversal of present trends for them to avoid a collapse into irrelevance within eighteen months. http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr Eric S. Raymond --- end log quote here --- SPOTLIGHT: The Wonderful World of Linux 2.2 I originally ran into the this article at the following on the Linux Today site ( which is become a leading resources for Linux news and information along with the Linux Weekly News site, Slashdot, and Freshmeat. Since I've been talking about the upcoming kernel for some time, and have even included earlier reports on the 2.2 kernel this article seemed natural for a spotlight this week. Hopefully this will be the last such rundown of 2.2 before it comes out but the saying always is, it ain't ready until it's ready. I would like to thank the author for granting me his permission to reproduce it. --- begin long quote here --- The Wonderful World of Linux 2.2 by Joseph Pranevich As any kernel developer can surely tell you, the advent of Linux 2.2 is nigh. Linux 2.1 is approaching near astronomical version numbers in its slow march to completeness, 2.1.115 as of this writing, and all eyes are looking towards the day when 2.2.0 will ship standard in the various distributions. Even if you don't actually follow the Linux kernel version by version, 2.2 is an important milestone to understand. So, submitted for your approval, here is my take on the Linux Kernel Developments of late, with some significant bias towards Linux/i386 which is the Linux that I use most often at home. Please note that this document does not cover all the new hardware that Linux supports. Many devices, such as scanners and printers, are handled exclusively in user space. Other devices, such as video cards and mice, are handled by a combination of user and kernel drivers. If you don't see a device class that you are interested in listed in this document, it is quite likely that Linux 2.2 supports it -- just not necessarily using the kernel to do so. 1) Chips Galore The world of Intel chips is a fast and interesting thing to follow, if you have nothing better to do. Merced, Celeron, MMX... the names of Intel technologies float past to be replaced by new cutting-edge technology. (Whether or not these technologies are worthwhile is a matter that I'm not even going to begin to try and debate.) In addition, AMD, Cyrix, and other companies have become solid competitors in the market and each have their own little optimizations, quirks, and bugs. It's a mess, to say the least. Linux 2.2 will be the first stable Linux to support processor vendor selection in the kernel configuration tool for even better fine-tuning. Perhaps even more importantly, Linux 2.2 (and later revisions of 2.0 for obvious reasons) supports bugfixes and workarounds for widespread processor bugs including the infamous F00F Pentium bug. Other bugs that can't be worked around, such as a couple AMD K6 bugs, are reported during startup. Merced hasn't arrived yet and probably isn't immediately forthcoming, but Linux 2.2 has already been ported to Sparc64, Alpha, and other 64-bit platforms so the infrastructure for a 64-bit native kernel is already happily in place. (There are, of course, other obstacles that would have to be overcome before Linux/Merced could be released but having a 64-bit ready kernel is an important step.) Multiple-Processor machines now will operate much more efficiently than they did in Linux 2.0 with issues such as the global spinlock removed. Up to 16 processors are supported (the same as with 2.0) but the performance difference should be amazing. Also, there is now greater support for the IO-APIC on Intel boards that will make SMP generally better supported. In terms of other ports, Linux 2.2 will feature improved support for a large number of 'workstation' machines such as Sparc, Sparc64, and Alpha machines. As for 'desktop' machines, Linux 2.2 has been ported to Motorola's m68k and PPC processors and now can be expected to run on many of these platforms, including the Macintosh. (with varying degrees of hardware support, of course.) Linux is also moving to processors, such as ARM that are increasingly popular for embedded systems. On somewhat of a tangent, there is continuing work to support a subset of the Linux kernel on 8086, 8088, 80186, and 80286 machines. This project will never integrate itself with Linux-proper but will provide an alternative Linux-subset operating system for these machines. In terms of memory consumption, the average Linux 2.2 setup will require more memory than Linux 2.0. (Although a larger number of components can now be modularized or compiled-out to allow a system administrator more flexibility if memory is tight.) According to many sources, the absolute least amount of RAM required for 2.2 on text-only systems is 5 megs. (Up from 4 with Linux 2.0) To get reasonable performance without swapping, 8 megs are still recommended. (There have been reports of savvy linux users getting running systems with only 3 megs, your mileage may vary.) On the bright side, Linux 2.2 includes a number of new optimizations that should actually improve the performance of machines with at least 16 megs of RAM. The more, the merrier. 2) System Busses and Assorted Ilk Although somewhat less crucial and cutting edge, Linux 2.2 will support a larger percent of the existing x86 computers with the addition of complete support for the Microchannel bus found on some PS/2s and older machines. In addition to hundreds of minor patches to the bus system (including many new PCI device names), larger improvements have taken place. The PCI subsystem, in particular, has undergone several major changes. Firstly, the PCI device reporting interface has been changed and moved to allow for easier addition of new information fields. This particular change doesn't spell much of a difference for an end user but it makes the lives of developers much easier. Additionally, it is now possible to choose whether you want to scan your PCI bus using your compatible PCI BIOS or through direct access. This allows Linux 2.2 to work on a larger set of machines as several PCI BIOSes were incompatible with the standards and caused booting problems. Sadly, there is still little kernel support for Plug-and-Play ISA devices. While that would be a great addition, there are some problems with the currently proposed systems that will need to be resolved sometime in 2.3 before inclusion. Fortunately enough, there happens to be a great user-level utility, isapnp, for setting up PnP devices that requires just a tad more work than we'd like but gets the job done in true Linux fashion. 3) IDE, and SCSI, and USB... Oh my! As far as Linux IDE is concerned, not much obvious has changed for Linux 2.2. The most obvious change is that it is now possible to load and unload the IDE subsystem as a module, just like SCSI. (This also has the added bonus of allowing one to use a PnP-based IDE controller.) For less bleeding-edge machines, the updated IDE driver now supports older MFM and RLL disks and controllers without having to load an older version of the driver. Linux 2.2 now also has the ability to detect and configure all PCI-based IDE cards automatically, including the activation of DMA bus-mastering to reduce CPU overhead and improve performance. And finally, more drivers have been developed for controllers that are buggy or simply different. It's amazing how even excellent things can continue to get better. Elsewhere in the IDE world, parallel port IDE devices have become more common and are now supported by Linux 2.2, for the most part. It is a good assumption that many devices that are not supported currently will be added as 2.2 progresses. The SCSI subsystem's main improvements have been the addition of many new drivers for many new cards and chipsets. Too many, in fact, to even begin to name here. PCMCIA adapters (or PC-card slots, as they are called now) are not supported in the standard Linux 2.2 but are supported by an external module provider. Thus, while not in the kernel, PCMCIA support will be included in most distributions. IRDA devices will also be supported in a similar manner as PCMCIA devices. Alas, there is some bad news here. Despite ongoing efforts by several parties to finish USB support, no support has currently been included in a Linux 2.1 release. This could change before Linux 2.2 becomes finalized, but it is unlikely that such a large feature would be included this close to release. It is more likely that USB support will be provided by an external source as modules and would therefore still be included in distributions (see the note on PCMCIA, above.) 4) Ports: Parallel and Serial Nothing much new on this front, Linux has always had incredible support for these basic building blocks. The parallel port driver has been rewritten with cross-platform issues in mind and thus what was once just a 'Parallel Port' is now a 'PC-Style Parallel Port' Functionality-wise, the only obvious change is that you can now effortlessly share a single parallel port device with multiple device drivers. (Note however that the naming convention used to label parallel ports has changed so you may find that your lp1 has become your lp0. Distributions should allow for this change automatically however.) Serial support is chugging along as well as it always has but with one notable difference. Previously, a serial device such as a modem involved two devices, one for call-in and one for call-out. (ttyS and cua respectively) As of Linux 2.2, the two are combined in one device (ttyS) and accessing the cua devices now prints a warning message to the kernel log. On the bright side, Linux 2.2 includes support for having more than 4 serial ports, it allows serial devices to share interrupts, and it includes a number of drivers for non-standard ports and multi-port cards. My only complaint with serial support is its lack of support for the standard methods for modules to pass device parameters at module-load time via the modules.conf file and kmod. (Instead, these parameters are set using the 'setserial' command. Somewhat yuck.) It should also be mentioned that Linux 2.2 will support newer UART chips than 2.0 which may translate into higher transfer rates using newer modems. 5) CD-ROMs, Floppies, and removable media Thankfully, the hodge-podge of hundreds of CD-ROM standards has solidified behind the 'standard' of ATAPI CD-ROMs. This reprieve has given developers time to completely rewrite the CD-ROM driver system to be more standardized in terms of support. Small, quirky differences between the individual drivers have now all been fixed for better support. Rewritable CD-ROMs aren't supported nearly as well as one would like, unfortunately. SCSI CD-ROMs are well done (and most IDE drives use SCSI-over-ATA, the SCSI-emulation driver). With other rewritable CD-ROMs, your mileage may vary. Floppies are working as well as ever. There are new developments in terms of large volume floppies and it remains to be seen whether or not all of these will be supported. Those devices that communicate using ATAPI (a large number of them, actually) are already supported to some degree. IOMEGA's zip drive, an increasingly popular storage solution, is fairly well supported under Linux 2.2. These beasts come in three versions: SCSI, ATAPI (IDE), and Parallel. Under SCSI and ATAPI, the Zip drives are supported just as any other disk would be. The parallel version of these drives actually use a sort of SCSI-over-parallel protocol that is also supported in Linux 2.2. (Other IOMEGA solutions such as DITTO drives may also be supported using the ftape drivers.) DVD drives are already supported, to some degree, under Linux as they represent themselves largely as ATAPI drives. (SCSI DVD drives may not, but they will probably work using the excellent SCSI CD-ROM driver.) Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean that all will be rosy in the Linux/DVD world as Linux does not currently support any DVD-centric filesystems that have been proposed nor are any user-space tools developed to display DVD movies and etc. Once the standards stabilize a bit, it is highly likely that the requisite parts will be added to the Linux kernel sometime during the 2.2.x cycle, following the initial release. Other removable media may or may not be supported under Linux 2.2. If the device connects through the parallel port, it is possible that it is supported using one of the Parallel Port IDE device protocol modules that are included in the kernel. 6) Glorious Sounds! At long last, the sound code has been partially rewritten to be completely modular from start to finish. Distributions will be able to more easily include generic sound support out-of-the-box for their users as well as making it easier for the rest of us to load and configure sound devices. (Especially pesky Plug-and-Play ones.) Lots of new sound devices are supported as well and it looks like this is one area where Linux will really improve in the next year. One very notable defect here is the remaining lack of support for the PC internal speaker, if only for completeness. Then again, Windows 95/98 doesn't do it either so who am I to judge? 7) Video4Linux Linux 2.2 now has amazing support for a growing number of TV and radio tuner cards and digital cameras. This is a truly bleeding edge addition to 2.1's roster so there may still be some outstanding issues but it is reasonable to assume that they will be fixed in time. In my humble opinion, this is just an amazing area for Linux to be in at all. 8) Back me up, Scotty! Linux 2.2's backup and tape device subsystem has not changed much since the 2.0 release. More drivers for devices have been written, of course and substantial improvement has been made for backup devices that work off of the floppy disk controller (including the IOMEGA DITTO). Rewritable CD-ROMs have become a popular solution for backing up data and they are supported under Linux 2.2 (either natively or using the SCSI emulation driver.) There are still outstanding issues in this regard, see my note above on CD-ROMs for details. 9) Joysticks, Mouse, and Input Devices Joysticks are better supported in 2.2 including a large number of new joysticks and joysticks with an inordinate numbers of buttons. Likely, your joystick will work under Linux 2.2. Mice in 2.2 aren't really different from mice in 2.0. (As in 2.0, there are some inconsistencies regarding mouse support that will be addressed in the future. For the most part, mouse control is provided through a daemon external to the kernel. Some mouse drivers however deliberately emulate a Microsoft standard mouse. The reasoning behind this is obvious but it would be nice if it was decided on in one way or the other.) It should be noted that, while not solely a kernel issue, mice with Microsoft's spinning wheel extension are supported in recent versions of the XFree86, Linux's most popular GUI. (However many Linux applications have not been designed to take advantage of this feature.) Additionally, several other input devices are now supported under Linux 2.2 including some digitizer pads. If your devices emulates a mouse (as many do) then it is already supported by Linux 2.2 (and, in fact, Linux 2.0). 10) Video Perhaps the most surprising and cutting-edge addition to the Linux kernel version 2.2 is what is called the 'frame-buffer console' driver (or 'fbcon', for short.) Previously, the Linux kernel (for Intel-based machines) only understood and manipulated the video devices in text mode. Graphical support was to be provided by two other systems: 'svgalib' for console-based graphics, and a specialized X Server for window-based graphics. This kludgey system often required configuration information to be repeated and each system supported only a limited slice of the myriad of video devices in common use. Since this addition is rather new, it remains to be seen whether it will truly replace the previous and long-standing duality. Unfortunately, it could be nearly a year after Linux 2.2 ships before this new system could be robust enough to support the cards and technologies that we already take for granted as working. My personal opinion is that this is the right idea, but I'm going to withhold judgment until we see exactly how far Linus and the developers decide to take this feature. As an added side-effect of this new feature, primitive multi-heading has been added into the kernel for some devices. Currently, this is limited to some text-mode output but it is reasonable to assume that this very new addition to the Linux kernel will mature somewhat during the 2.2.x and 2.3.x cycles. It should also be mentioned that it is now possible to remove support for 'virtual' terminals as provided by the kernel. This allows very memory-conscious people to save just a tad more. Although unimaginable to the desktop user, Linux can now work even better on systems that do not actually include any sort of video device. In addition to being able to log in over serial or networked lines, as Linux 2.0 and previous Linuxes allowed, it is now possible to redirect all the kernel messages (usually sent to the console directly before any hardware was initialized) to a serial device. 11) Networking: Ethernet, ISDN, and the lowly modem. I don't have a huge amount of experience here; I've been using the same network cards in all my machines for several years. But, it doesn't take an Alan Cox to see that the number of supported Ethernet and ISDN devices supported in Linux 2.2 has risen sharply. I have been told that newer solutions such as cable modems are supported, also. My only gripe in this regard is the continued non-support of so-called 'Winmodems.' Not that I blame Linux for their absence, making modems that are 80% software is just a dumb idea anyway, but the idealist in me hopes that some day these pesky devils will be supported like their less retarded cousins. 12) Amateur Radio people are Linux people, too. Since before Linux 2.0, Linux has been one of the few desktop OSes to include native support for computer-based amateur radio people. (Not that I actually know what that entails but it seems to be a more popular option outside the US.) Linux 2.2 adds support for NetROM and ROSE amateur radio protocols. The basic AX.25 layer has also been materially enhanced. 13) Filesystems for the World Linux 2.2 has a wide array of new filesystems and partition types for interconnectivity. In addition, many of Linux's supported filesystems (including those I haven't listed here) have been updated with a new caching system to markedly improve performance. (In fact, not updating the drivers wasn't even an option if one wanted them included in Linux 2.2.) For the Microsoft nut, Linux will now read (and maybe write) NTFS (Windows NT) drives and Windows 98's FAT32 drives (also used by some later versions of Windows 95). Linux 2.2 also understands Microsoft's Joilet system for long filenames on CD-ROMs. And finally, Linux also understands a new type of extended partition that Microsoft invented. Drivers to read and write Microsoft and Stacker compressed drives are being developed but not yet included in the kernel. For Mac connectivity, a HFS driver for reading and writing Mac disks has been included. HFS+ and MFS (ancient floppy format) are not yet supported. Macintosh partition tables can now also be read by the kernel; this allows Mac SCSI disks to be mounted natively. Sadly, OS/2 users will still not be able to write to their HPFS drives. Some updates have been made to the HPFS driver to support the new 'dcache' system but not the complete overhaul that some were hoping for. If there are any Amiga users left, they will be pleased to know that the FFS driver has undergone some minor updates since 2.0. This is especially useful as the new generation of PPC Amigas will continue to support this format. For connectivity to other UNIXes, Linux 2.2 has come forward in leaps and bounds. Linux 2.2 still includes the UFS filesystem which is used on BSD derived systems, including Solaris and the free versions of BSD. Linux 2.2 can now also read the partition table formats used by FreeBSD, SunOS, and Solaris. For SysV-style UNIXs, Linux 2.2 features a somewhat updated version of SysVFS. Linux 2.2 can also read the Acorn's RiscOS disks. And finally, Linux 2.2 features a somewhat updated version of the ever-popular Minix filesystem, which can be used for small drives and floppies on most UNIXes. With so many incompatible formats (and Linux 2.2 reading so many of them), it's amazing anyone ever got any work done. In other news, support for 'extended' drives (the format used by much older versions of Linux) has been removed in favor of the 'second extended' filesystem. (This shouldn't matter to many people, 'ext2' is far superior to its predecessor.) With the increased support of initial ramdisks, a 'romfs' has been created which has very minimal overhead. While not quite a filesystem, Linux 2.2 includes enhanced support for stretching a filesystem across several disks transparently. At present, this support can be used in RAID 0, 1, 4, and 5 modes as well as a simple linear mode. 14) Networking II: Under the Hood On the protocol front, a lot has happened that I simply don't understand completely. The next generation Internet protocol, IPv6, has made an appearance. SPX, a compliment to IPX is new, as well. DDP, the protocol of choice for AppleTalk networking has also been improved. And, just as you would come to expect by now, the existing protocols have been improved, as well. I only wish I had the need to use some of this stuff... On the low-end front, not much has changed. PPP, SLIP, CSLIP, and PLIP are all still available for use. I guess some things don't need much improvement. (Although each of those drivers have been updated in one way or another.) The list keeps going, however. Linux 2.2 will have an excellent new networking core, new tunneling code, a completely new firewalling and routing system called 'ipchains', support for limiting bandwidth consumption, and a ton more. It's just amazing. I wish I could keep track of it all. (But, who am I kidding?) It should be noted that file and printer sharing protocols have also been improved and markedly enhanced. SMB, the protocol for accessing Windows-based shared filesystems has been somewhat improved with bugfixes and the like. If you are a fan of NetWare (doubtful), you'll be happy to know that Linux 2.2 supports a large number of improvements in this area, including access to two different kinds of NCP long file names. Trusty NFS has also been improved, both at the server level and the client level. And finally, those eggheads over at CMU have been hard at work developing the new distributed network filesystem, Coda. This filesystem supports a large number of highly-requested features including disconnected operations for laptops, an advanced cache system, and security improvements. On somewhat of a tangent, Linux 2.2 also includes a driver which will allow one to share (and remotely mount) whole disk images over a network. 15) Not Everyone Speaks English. Linux 2.0 is a very international OS with support for international keyboards and the like. Linux 2.2 adds to this and other internationalization features the ability to load some UNICODE codepages for translating filenames into Linux's native system. (Currently, the only filesystems that use these UNICODE codepages include Microsoft's VFAT and Microsoft's Joilet ISO 9660 (CD-ROM filesystem) extension.) 16) Unix98: The Next Generation Linux 2.2 will be a more 'standard' UNIX in a number of ways. The most pronounced of these ways to the end user will be the addition of UNIX98-style Pty devices using a new filesystem (devpts) and a cloning device to provide the functionality. 17) And, finally... In addition to those noted above, there are a large number of other drivers and things that just don't fit in anywhere but should still be noted. So, in no given order, the oddball updates of Linux 2.2: The loopback driver, which allows disk images to be mounted and manipulated just like any regular drive, has been improved in a number of ways. Of these improvements, the most notable difference to users will be its increased support for encryption and the mounting of encrypted hard disks and disk images. A driver for accessing your computer's CMOS memory has also been provided in Linux 2.2 which may be useful in some applications. (Sadly, a similar driver to access your BIOS's flashable RAM did not make it, it will still be necessary to boot from a DOS floppy to flash your computer's BIOS to a new version.) And finally, in the past, Linux used a half-user/half-kernel method of loading in and out drivers (called 'modules') called 'kerneld' This method was good but inefficient. Linux 2.2 has removed kerneld and replaced it with a smaller all-kernel solution called 'kmod'. This is the 'really final' version of this document, unless there are really stupid mistakes or Linux 2.1 gets a really special new feature. (We're in a feature freeze... again so that is unlikely.) I would however like to ask for interested people to continue to send me suggestions and corrections at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all for your support during the writing of this document. Unfortunately, in the rush of suggestions and the rash of dozens of people correcting me on the same items (Alpha as a 64-bit platform, for example), I completely lost track of contributors. I'm sorry. In particular, I'd like to thank Alan Cox and Meelis Roos for their contributions, they really helped out a lot in the preparation of this 'final' draft. Thank you, and Good Night. Joseph Pranevich --- end long quote here --- LOGOUT: I've been learning and doing a lot of PERL programming this past week and I must confess that I fill both empowered and drained. Have you installed Linux recently? If so, drop me a note and let me know what you thought about the processes. Enjoy Scott Dowdle Backlash '98? [newt&clinton.jpg (6505 bytes)] After dreading November's elections, Democrats now believe they will benefit from an anti-impeachment voter rebellion. BY JOAN WALSH ctsy Salon Democrat Jay Inslee says the best idea in his uphill campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Rick White came not from pollsters or pundits but from voters. The aspiring congressman from suburban Seattle made national news this week when he embraced the very issue experts had warned Democrats to run away from: He broadcast TV ads attacking his Republican opponent for supporting an unlimited impeachment inquiry against President Clinton. "I was hearing the same message at the farmer's markets and the ferry docks: People feel strongly that we need to get back to business, and beyond impeachment," Inslee says. So he overruled his campaign brain trust, which had opposed using the impeachment issue, and jumped onto the airwaves with a TV spot declaring, "Rick White and Newt Gingrich shouldn't be dragging us through this. Enough is enough." Nationally, pollsters and political experts predicted Democrats would rush to television studios with impeachment ads if Inslee's gambit paid off. "If it rains," one pollster told the Los Angeles Times, "it's going to pour." It's raining -- in Inslee's Seattle district, anyway. The challenger, who trailed White in the state's open primary by 6 percent, had closed the gap a little since then. But he jumped four points in the days after his aggressive ad was broadcast, to move slightly ahead of the incumbent two weeks before Election Day. "Yesterday a woman stopped her car in the middle of one of Seattle's busiest streets," a bemused Inslee recounts, "just to tell me, 'It's about time somebody had the guts to do this!'" A month after the punditocracy predicted the Monica Lewinsky scandal could cost Democrats as many as 30 seats in the House of Representatives, some strategists are saying the mess could work in the Democrats' favor, as scandal-weary voters use the election as a referendum on whether they want to watch congressional impeachment hearings drag on well into 1999. A relative handful of votes either way can matter: In 1996, 11 close elections that gave the Republicans their 11-seat majority were decided by a total of less than 12,000 votes. The boldest -- or most partisan -- among campaign strategists are even predicting that a national ground swell of disgust over the protracted impeachment debate could actually help Democrats gain seats. "Democrats should want their election campaigns to engage the impeachment issue," says a memo to Democrats from Clinton booster James Carville and Democratic pollsters Stan Greenberg and Al Quinlan. "Do not run from it. The impeachment inquiry is an opportunity." According to the three strategists, their poll of 800 voters in mid-October yielded good news for Democrats: The base of likely voters in the coming election who are Democrats rose from 31 to 36 percent of the electorate, compared to 31 percent Republicans. And after dropping in polls just after the release of independent counsel Kenneth Starr's report on the Lewinsky matter, Democrats nationwide have gained four points in the last month. Carville urges Democrats to grab the impeachment issue and ride it to victory. "These last two weeks are likely to be very different from what we have experienced up until now," Carville wrote in the memo. "Democrats have been on the defensive ... But now is the time to use every free media outlet you have because voters are ready to sit up and take notice. Hit the Republicans hard." To some Democrats, the best evidence that Carville and company are right comes from the relative Republican silence on the impeachment issue in the hundreds of congressional races around the country. Just over a month ago, strategists were predicting a blitz of TV ads featuring Clinton's many televised Lewinskyisms -- from denial to admission to semantic hair-splitting in his grand jury testimony. But since then GOP candidates have dropped the issue. The few Republicans who ran anti-Clinton ads quietly pulled them when they yielded no gains. But just as predictions of an impeachment-inspired Republican landslide proved to be wishful thinking, so might the Democrats' dreams of an impeachment backlash. Some Democrats and their supporters -- including one of Greenberg and Quinlan's clients -- question the idea that running hard on impeachment will help party candidates. The truth is no one understands the inscrutable midterm electorate. Traditionally, many fewer Americans vote in the elections held in between presidential campaigns -- turnout usually drops by half -- and those who do tend to be more conservative. While national polls show Democrats leading in the congressional races by several points, the advantage goes to Republicans when the polling universe is narrowed to likely voters. So far, there's little hard data to suggest this election will be a bellwether on impeachment. The real story might be that last month's hand-wringing over the Democrats' congressional chances, in the wake of the Starr Report revelations, had little basis in fact. There was no difference in Democratic turnout or election support in primaries held before the Starr Report and after according to Curtis Gans of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. And an analysis by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in early September found that Republicans outnumbered Democrats among likely voters in this midterm election by eight points. But the gap was actually smaller than the 10-point difference polls found before the 1994 midterm. (Because Congress is already majority-Republican, where it was majority-Democrat in 1994, an outcome similar to 1994 would merely maintain the status quo, not doom Democrats.) Pew's latest poll, released yesterday, says the picture hasn't changed -- yet. "The supposed backlash against Congress hasn't made an iota of difference in local races," says Pew director Andrew Kohut. Republicans still hold a lead among likely voters, and in the 105 races analysts consider "competitive," the Republicans lead 48 to 44 percent. Even though voter opinion of Congress has "soured," Kohut says, leading to a decline in support for incumbents to 58 percent of registered voters from 66 percent last January, the percentage of voters who say they'll use the election to vote against Clinton rose from 16 percent to 23 percent. Meanwhile, only 19 percent say the Starr investigation is very important for the nation and only 3 percent say they want candidates to talk about Clinton during the campaign. Yet Kohut says the Carville strategy could pay off for Democrats in certain races. "If Democrats can bring it up in the right way, it could be effective. But right now the anger about impeachment is mostly confined to core Democratic constituencies -- who may not vote." The two big questions about the election come down to who will vote, and what will independent voters do. There's good news for Democrats on both counts. For two months the common wisdom has been that if the Lewinsky mess inspires the Republican base to surge to the polls, Democrats are doomed. But if Democrats get energized by what Clinton defenders call a Republican coup d'tat against a popular president, Republicans are in trouble. Most observers have expected the first scenario. Two weeks ago, Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib predicted that public opposition to impeachment wouldn't help Democrats in upcoming elections, because Clinton supporters tended not to vote. Likely voters, Seib observed, were "older, richer, more conservative, more Southern and more Republican than the overall population" -- and more likely to support pushing on with the impeachment proceedings. "The opinions of the millions of Americans who have checked out of the electoral process by failing to vote don't really count for very much," sniffed Seib. But the Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday shows that this year, the base of likely voters is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. While in October 1994 -- just before the Republican congressional landslide -- polls gave Republicans a 40 percent to 30 percent advantage, the Pew poll found Democrats and Republicans each make up 35 percent of the likely electorate this fall. Other Democratic pollsters are seeing trends similar to those described by Carville and Greenberg. "I think it's safe to say that Democrats are getting more interested in this election," says Fred Yang, a pollster with Hart Research in Washington, D.C. "Intensity has risen and the percentage of likely voters who are Democrats has too." Maybe most disturbing for Republicans, independent voters -- who made up more than a quarter of the midterm electorate in 1994 -- "are starting to go the Democrats' way," Yang says. The Pew poll confirms this: It found that independent voters are closer to Democrats than Republicans in their opposition to impeachment and in their disapproval of the way Congress has handled the inquiry debate. But while voters' impeachment fatigue could help Democrats, some analysts doubt that going aggressively negative against Republicans on the issue is a winning strategy for Democrats. "I really don't think so," says Stephanie Cohen, communications director for Emily's List, which supports women candidates. Cohen says her group's polling -- which, ironically, was conducted by Greenberg and Quinlan -- actually shows that women voters, at least, are turned off by outright partisan attacks on Republicans. "That kind of tone -- continuing to raise the saber of impeachment with very partisan attacks -- is not what they want," Cohen says. "Our polling shows women want to know who has solutions: Who will fix the schools? What are their plans to improve health care?" Pollster Al Quinlan acknowledges there's reason for Cohen's concern. "Stephanie is right: Women voters in particular want to hear about issues, not politics," he says. Quinlan, Carville and Greenberg say the best strategy is combining a critique of the impeachment mess with vocal Democratic stands on key issues like education, health care and Social Security. "And we wouldn't advise a candidate to raise impeachment in certain races -- pretty much anywhere in the South, for instance, and some places in the Southwest. It's best seen as a strategy for Democratic challengers. If it's done well -- and it looks like Jay Inslee did it well -- you'll see a jump." Impeachment or not, something is stirring the Democratic base. Turnout by women declined by 2 million between the 1992 presidential election and the 1994 midterm race, and more Republican women voted than Democrats, thus erasing the gender gap that had favored Democrats in 1992. But Pew polls show the gender gap is back: Democrats enjoy a 48 to 41 percent edge among women voters. "Despite what the pundits have been saying -- and they're really a bunch of bed-wetters -- this is a very good climate for the Democrats," insists California Democratic Party consultant Bob Mulholland. "P.T. Barnum said it best: 'If you want to build a crowd, start a fight.'" California Democrats are devoting $6 million to energizing their base, Mulholland says, targeting districts with lots of minority voters and white liberals with absentee ballot campaigns, a get-out-the-vote drive and "mailers with photos of Ken Starr and Newt Gingrich." Nationally, the AFL-CIO is sinking millions into grass-roots voter turnout strategies. The Women's Vote Project is pledging to bring back the 2 million women who left the rolls in 1994 with an aggressive publicity and voter turnout drive. The national Democratic Party is promising that ads and appearances by Jesse Jackson and Hillary Clinton are planned to boost turnout among women, minorities and liberal loyalists. Some observers are skeptical that the Democrats really know how to energize their base. "The problem is, they learned some of the wrong lessons from their defeats: They learned to avoid dealing with their base," says elections analyst Curtis Gans. "After going too far toward identity politics in the '80s, they developed this studious, poll-driven, middle-class appeal, and in certain ways narrowed their constituency. So I think the Carville strategy is as good a strategy as the Democrats have right now." So far, though, the success of Inslee's aggressive campaign strategy hasn't yet produced a storm of copycat advertising. No one interviewed knew of another Democratic candidate readying similar ads. Only Ralph Neas, a Democrat who faces a tough battle to unseat moderate Republican Connie Morella of suburban Maryland, has hit the airwaves with an ad attacking his opponent's impeachment stand, and he ran it before the Inslee results were in. "Impeachment is not a big issue in this race, ironically," says Beth Davidson, spokeswoman for Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls, who is trying to oust Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot in a closely watched race. "Chabot voted against the budget yesterday, which gives us plenty to work with on an issue that's important to our constituents." But Inslee says his strategy was the right one for his district. Having served in Congress for one term -- he was defeated in the Republican 1994 landslide, thanks largely to his vote for an assault-weapons ban -- he knows the feel of a winning issue. "This didn't come out of polling. I didn't approach this with a lot of campaign sophistication. I'm the one out there listening to people and they're very angry. So my campaign advisors just asked me to think about it -- did I really want to take this on? "And I told them I did. So we moved ahead together. I knew voters felt strongly about it." In the Seattle area, at least, the polls are proving him right. Research assistance for this article by Daryl Lindsey and Fiona Morgan. Vote Wisely Use this tool! [capitolguy.gif (4789 bytes)] [pvs.gif (5650 bytes)] http://www.vote-smart.org * A wealth of facts on candidates & elected officials, including biographies, addresses, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances, and evaluations by special interests. * Track the performance of Congress using clear descriptions of major bills. Follow the status of legislation of interest to you, examine voting records and the text of bills, and look ahead to votes scheduled for each week. * Access information on elections, federal and state governments, the issues, and politics. Includes our own references, plus thousands of links to the most important sites on the Internet. [Image] 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. MS Word is Preferred. * 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 is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine [Image] STR Editor's Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" Editor's MailBag Messages * NOT EDITED * for content From: G.L. Alston Sent: Friday, October 09, 1998 11:29 PM To: 'firstname.lastname@example.org' Subject: Child's Play IV October 1998 TRUE COLOR POWERED KID'S ART PROGRAM Ruidoso, NM -- Alston Software Labs ("ASL"), developers of graphics software titles for young users, announces the latest release of Child's Play, a paint and colorbook program designed specifically for children aged 5 to 12. Features include a unique animated icon-only menu system, a built-in file management system that eliminates the need for typing in file names, JPG format file support for easier web postings, a page printing utility, and dozens of kid-friendly drawing tools and special effects, sound effects and a midi soundtrack, and support for 24 bit (16.7 million) color. Child's Play IV utilizes the full viewing screen, which maximizes the drawing area and prevents younger children from accidentally getting into things on the family computer they shouldn't really be into -- such as the family budget or checkbook! This means parents can be relaxed about letting their children use the computer unattended. Child's Play is available in a fully functioning test drive from various web sites including www.download.com and www.hotfiles.com, which gives it their highest possible (5 star) rating. Anyone can download it and try it out for free, and are encouraged to do so. Price: $26.00 for individuals, schools should contact ASL for site pricing No s/h for electronic delivery. Requires: Windows95, 98, or Windows NT, 20 MB disk space. Contact: ASL, P.O. Box 581, Ruidoso NM 88355 phone (507) 836 - 8494 or fax (507) 836 - 8494 or web -- http://alstonlabs.pair.com Order: product #15795 at 1-800-242-4775, Ext 15795 1-713-524-6394, Ext 15795 1-713-524-6398 fax [image87.gif (45316 bytes)] Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" The high-profile news this week has got to be the Microsoft antitrust case. This case _could_ have a major impact on the computer/software industry for years to come - regardless of the "winner". I'm really curious as to the outcome of this case (not that I understand all of the nuances) and how it will affect the end-users overall as a result. This week I've included articles which "bullet" the key points to the case, the major players, and the likely expert witnesses. I hope these may simplify the matter for those who are interested. Otherwise, I don't have anything to add this week - surprise! Glad to learn that Joe Mirando is back on his feet (or on his butt) and well enough to rejoin the fray. Oh, and don't forget: Daylight Savings Time this weekend - set your clocks BACK one hour Sunday morning. Enjoy the extra hour of sleep (or play)! Until next time... DFW Atari Show - DEUCE 98 The Atari Users of North Texas (AUNT) Computer Exposition will be coming again to Dallas this November in conjunction with the monthly DFW XChange Super Saturday activities at the beautiful Dallas Infomart. Show date is planned for Saturday the 14th. As with the last three DEUCE shows, the actual show date will be finalized 120 days prior to the exposition. The exposition, along with the Super Saturday activities, charge no admission fees and are open to the general public. The one day exposition is planned to begin at 8:30 AM and run until 4:00 PM. A Friday evening pre-show get together and a post show get together are also being planned. November is still a great time to visit the Dallas Metroplex. The DFW XChange Super Saturday activities are a monthly computer extravaganza where thousands of computer enthusiasts get together, share their computer interests and enjoy some of the best computer and high-tech electronic buys in Texas. This November will again be special for us Atarians because so many of our finest developers and dealers will be participating in the activities. The Dallas Infomart facility, a replica of the famous 1895 World Fair Crystal Palace, is located in the heart of the Dallas commerce district at 1950 Stemmons Freeway (Interstate 35E). The facility is leased by the DFW XChange each month to provide a community service to all computer users in the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex area. The Atari Users of North Texas is one of many participating user groups that help support this community service by sharing our Atari computer interests, general computer expertise and providing user assistance to our local Atarians and the interested general public. Vendors are being lined up. Systems for Tomorrow, chroMagic, Crawly Crypt Corp and Emulators have already confirmed their participation in the show. Vendors interested in participating can contact David Acklam at (972) 242-9655 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the AUNT internet home page at UK Show, November 1998 From: Atari Computing email@example.com Date: 20 Oct 1998 The Atari Computing Convention: ACC '98 Show Info Bulletin 9 First of all thanks to everyone who returned the survey forms in Atari Computing issue 8. The majority of respondents wanted an Autumn show in Birmingham and with that in mind we're delighted to announce the Atari omputing Convention "ACC '98" will take place on Saturday November 14th 1998 at Bingley Hall, Stffordshire Showground, Stafford from 10am to 4pm. The Showground is easily accessible by car from junctions 13 and 14 on the M6 just north of Birmingham with ample free parking and they'll be a shuttle bus service running from Stafford railway station. Tickets will cost less than ever before - just 3 on the door with 1 further discount for Atari Computing subscribers, children, OAPs, UB40, students and orange card holders. Here's the current line up: * Atari Computing Our stand will carry all available back issues, Reader Disks and Offers and for the first time ever we will be running demonstrations and advice clinics covering all the major aspects of computing including MIDI/music, DTP/word processing, Comms/Internet access and Atari emulation. * Titan Designs UK debut of Eclipse, a PCI adapter that enables industry standard PCI graphic cards to be connected to the Falcon offering fast, high-resolution, true-colour displays! Hopefully they'll also be a chance to see a prototype of the TEMPEST 040 Falcon accelerator. DA's Layout, Videlity and APEX Media and Nemesis will all be on display and Titan's range of scanners, hard drives, SyQuest drives, CD-ROM drives, Falcon 14Mb memory upgrades, cables, etc. Larger items, monitors etc, can be ordered on the day for despatch the following week. * FaST Club Will have the FaST Club CD#1 with Gemulator 4.8, Gemulator Pro (68030/040 Apple and Atari emulation), Imagecopy, and all the other FaST Club software. * System Solutions Will be showing professional audio and MIDI products. Come and meet the team for advice and see CD writing in action on an ST with the recently released ExtenDOS Gold and CD Writer. Hear the fabulous sound of JAM and boost your MIDI with the MO4. Take a look at applications running on the new MILAN TOS compatible computer complete with MINT'98 networking. Of course we'll be bringing along the latest software including HD-Driver 7.6 and ASH's NVDI 5, CAB 2.7 and, making it's UK debut, jinnee (pronounced Genie), the ultimate replacement desktop. They'll also be show prices on hardware upgrades, modems, scanners, memory, graphics cards, large screen monitors and more! * Electronic Cow Squash it! v2.0 is what we're waiting to see! This brand new sample processor is aimed at creative musicians who want to do more than to just cut and paste samples makes its Worldwide debut here! They'll also be brand new releases other their other popular products including MIDI Arpeggiator v3.0, Sound Chip Synth v3.1, Snippit Synth v2.0, Scribble Synth v1.5 (both now support STFM playback!) and EC-909 v2.0 - which also now works on STFM machines. Existing registered E-Cow owners can upgrade to the latest releases for FREE but you must bring along your original master disks. * The Upgrade Shop (TUS) You've read the review of the Veloce+ in AC#10 now here's your chance to meet the designer, see it in action, and book your machine in for an upgrade - and don't forget to check out the STe IDEal interface and other hardware goodies. * 16/32 If you're looking for gaming or Jaguar/Lynx console action place this stand at the top of your list. 16/32 are also the UK outlet for SpeedoGDOS, PixArt and some other serious applications not available anywhere else. * FALKE Verlag/Milan Computer/Seidel Software Service These premier German companies plan to attend and show their products directly to the UK audience for the first time. * Floppyshop Check out the reviews in this issue of Sounds and Stuff and the Falcon Select CD and you'll know what to expect. Their product line-up also includes Positive Image, EZ-Art Professional, Easy Stitch, Family Roots II, Power Up Plus, Tetris II, other CD-ROM titles and PD Library. * Abingdon Synthesi Projects Will be building CD-ROMs, hard disks and other SCSI devices into standard PC cases and connecting them to standard Atari machines using the SCSI burster expansion option. Making its UK debut will be a Plug&Play serial mouse interface which enables any PC serial pointing device to be connected to any AtariST/e/TT/Falcon or compatible mouse port. ASP will also be offering a back-up service to CDR in ISO9660 format so bring along your bare hard disk mechanisms or cased drives (copyright restrictions apply). * * ImPrint Solutions * Calamus SL 98 will be on display running on a Hades machine and under MagiC Mac running with 21" monitors. * * InterActive * For the first time ever InterActive will be accepting registrations "live" at the show and promoting the activities of the TransAction translation crew. * * CyberSTrider * CyberStrider will also be accepting registrations "live" at the show and promoting its commercial Internet services and products. * * Atari Portfolio Club The Portfolio is Atari's solution to palmtop computing and there's an astounding range of software and extras available. Cross their palm with silver and the Portfolio Club team will look after your future! * Roy Golding Will be launching the 2nd edition of his book "Users Guide to the Internet for Atari", selling some promotional souvenirs and promoting the activities of the Atari Wrinklies Club and its publications. * Stevenage & Hertfordshire Atari Group (SHAG) Will be promoting themselves and the benefits of user groups in general. The non-profit making ST+ Fanzine will be promoted and Gordon Storey will launch Michigan Mike 2, the sequel to his award winning game. * Coventry Atari User Group (CAUG) Intend to bring along a range of machines including an AB040, G3 MagiC Mac, Veloce accelerated ST and more. * Paul Jones and Matthew Bacon If you're interested in programming here's your chance to have a chat with the Atari Computing Dynamic Duo! * Maggie, Atari Times, All Formats Magazine, The Tyne & Wear Atari User Group, STAG (Scottish Atari Group), WAG (Wessex Atari Group), other user groups and numerous other stands. * Sharward Promotions also run a stand where you can offer your surplus hardware and software for sale - or pick up some bargains. There's also dozens of other stands dedicated to other platforms and technology offering general computer hardware, accessories, cables, CDs, books, satellite, telephone, radio and general electronics. Some User Groups are organising transport and/or car shares. We'll do our best to put you in touch if you email or post us your details. We're delighted most of the UK based companies who supported previous Atari Shows have signed up but there's still time for other exhibitors to get involved. No doubt you're wondering how can we bring you a bigger and better Atari show than ever before and keep the prices so low, well the reason is simple. Atari Computing have decided to work together with Sharward Promotions who have organised computer shows since 1988. ACC '98 has been combined with their twice-annual general computer and electronics show which means you effectively get two shows for less than the price of one! We've watched Atarians drift away from recent shows because there's nothing left to do or see after several hours. We feel, after having made the effort to travel to the show, you'll enjoy the extra dimension offered by the other stands. So in addition to checking out the latest hardware and software releases and spending some time chatting with familiar faces there will still be plenty to see with stands offering general computer hardware, accessories, cables, CDs, books, satellite, telephone, radio and general electronics. Calling Shareware programmers and User Groups ACC '98 is about Atarians having fun doing Atari stuff which means we want YOU to take stands, bring along your systems, show off your wares and meet your users face to face. Non-profitmaking stand prices A 6 foot (approx 2m) stand costs just 10.75 plus 5 for power. An 18 foot (approx 6m) stand costs 48.00 plus 10 for power. Commercial stand prices An 18 foot (approx 6m) stand costs 100.00 plus 10 for power. A 36 foot (approx 12m) stand costs 160.00 plus 10 for power. Tables and are included BUT covering and places to mount promotional literature are NOT included so we urge everyone to start thinking about how to make your stand attractive NOW! Contact To reserve a stand please send me your name and address details and I'll send you a booking form: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Joe Connor 65 Mill Road, Colchester, Essex, CO4 5LJ, England Make a day of it ---------------- ACC '98 is just one part (the best naturally ;-) of the All-formats Micro Show (AMS), now in its FOURTEENTH year at the Stafford venue. The show includes stands covering all aspects of computing and general electronics - so remember to tell your friends and bring them along too... We're really looking forward to seeing you all at ACC '98, we'll keep you up to date with the latest developments with further bulletins. Regards Joe Connor * Atari Computing: The *printed* magazine written by Atarians for Atarians! * News*Gossip*Features*Reviews*DIY*PD/Shareware*Q&A*Tutorials*Letters*Comms * Email: email@example.com * Check out our web pages at: www.ataricomputing.com * Visit the Atari Computing Convention "ACC98" on November 14th 1998 * in Stafford, England. The Event is organised by Sharward Promotions and * offers: Atari*PC*Mac*Spectrum*Satellite*Electronics*Comms*Radio* + more! * URL: http://www.keme.co.uk/~sharward/htmdocs/sproms.html Regards Al firstname.lastname@example.org Gaming Section * "MediEvil"!! * "Slingo"!! * "ST:TNG"!! * "Body Harvest"!! * "Tetris64"!! * Dreamcast! * And much more! Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Sega of America's First Dreamcast Title Debuts At Tokyo Game Show Sega Signs Babylon 5 Special Effects Studio to Create Cinematics for Game REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 12, 1998--At the Tokyo Game Show in Japan last week, Sega(R) Enterprises, Ltd. unveiled the first game developed by Sega of America's internal studio for Dreamcast(TM), the ultimate gaming machine. The game, called "Geist Force" in Japan, will be available December 1998. Sega selected Netter Digital Entertainment, Inc. (NDEI), one of Hollywood's premiere digital visual effects companies, best known for their award-winning work on Babylon 5, to create cinematics for the game. "Geist Force" is an enormous 3D flying shooter set on an alien planet in the distant future. The game features hundreds of miles of 3D mountains, deep canyons, erupting volcanoes and rushing rivers in which to fly and fight. Players soar through detailed, hi-resolution 3D graphics that look more like a sci-fi television show than a videogame. The game also offers the first-ever full-3D special effects with true-to-life physics. When an explosion occurs, a player's ship and the objects in the immediate area will be jolted by the blast, as would occur in the real world. In "Geist Force," there is no rest for the weary. The expansive memory found in Dreamcast means no load times, creating non-stop action. And "how" you save the planet determines your reward. The game's skill-based reward system determines a player's fate even after he or she wins the game. Sega enlisted NDEI to create detailed 3D cinemagraphics and visual effects for the game. The visual effects featured in the title rival those found in Hollywood's most elaborate television productions. Each cinematic sequence seamlessly blends with gameplay to create a non-stop gaming experience. "Dreamcast can handle a more complex level of graphics than any other video game system we have seen in the past," explained Jason Netter, vice president, new business development, NDEI. "Knowing this, our team of animators was particularly enthusiastic about working with Sega because it allows them to move their work beyond the world of television and motion pictures to a whole new outlet all of them enjoy." "The advanced 3D graphic and audio capabilities of Dreamcast allow our game developers tocreate games that psychologically, emotionally and physically involve the player, rather than just passively entertaining them," said Eric Hammond, vice president, product development, Sega of America. "Working with Dreamcast, we can now create games like 'Geist Force' where people actually play and experience the stunning science fiction worlds they typically only see on television shows such as Babylon 5." Hasbro Interactive Ships STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Klingon Honor Guard, a First-Person Point-of-View Action PC Game From MicroProse BEVERLY, Mass. - (ENTERTAINMENT WIRE) - Oct. 14, 1998 - Leading entertainment software publisher Hasbro Interactive announced today the launch of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Klingon Honor Guard. Utilizing the Unreal 3-D engine, this first-person shooter re-creates the look and feel of the Klingon Empire from the popular Paramount Television series STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION with a new storyline, settings, characters and weapons. The Windows 95 PC CD-ROM game was developed by MicroProse and is being published under the MicroProse brand name. "STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Klingon Honor Guard offers a truly intense interactive multimedia experience," said Tom Dusenberry, President of Hasbro Interactive. "The Unreal 3-D engine gave the development team the ability to bring the look, sounds and weapons of the Klingon Empire to the computer screen." STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Klingon Honor Guard plunges players into edge-of-their-seat real-time action as they embark on a quest to save the Klingon Empire. An assassination attempt has been made on their leader, Gowron, and it is the player's mission to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. The game features seven unique 3-D worlds and more than 25 fully interactive levels including space stations, alien cities, ice caverns and starships offering an extremely rich combat environment. The player can blast his opponents with disruptor fire or cut them down with a vicious D'k tahg blade. The game includes 10 powerful weapons, six of which were created especially for the game. STAR TREK fans will note that the game showcases the voices of veteran Klingon actors from the series, including Tony Todd (Captain Kurn), Robert O'Reilly (Gowron), Barbara March (Lursa) and Gwynyth Walsh (B'Etor). Players match their wits against more than 20 highly detailed creatures and enemies such as Andorians, Attack Droids, Lethians and Nausicans. A highly sophisticated AI allows enemies to adjust to an attack by ducking for cover, sounding alarms, running for reinforcements and working together to defeat the gamer. STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Klingon Honor Guard provides players with two modes of play: a plot-driven single-player experience and multiplayer action. Both modes feature high energy combat as their focal point and utilize the same user interface and gameplay elements. The multiplayer game supports Death Match as well as cooperative play via LAN and Internet. Death Match features five unique maps created by the Internet's top level designers along with seven other maps from the single-player game. The action begins with the player engaged in advanced training supervised by Kurn, son of Mogh, brother of Worf. The final training mission is suspended when assassins attack Gowron, leader of the Klingon High Council. The player receives the briefing for the first real mission from Korek, who is supervising the operation to capture the masterminds behind the attack. This briefing details the player's objectives and sets the storyline in motion. The player's mission is to win the game by successfully battling his way to the final level and bringing to justice those responsible for the assassination attempt. Further information about STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Klingon Honor Guard is available for download from the MicroProse Web site at www.microprose.com. THQ Ships "Disney's Mulan" for Nintendo Game Boy CALABASAS, Calif.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--Oct. 16, 1998--THQ Inc. is adding to its extensive library of popular Nintendo Game Boy titles with the launch of "Disney's Mulan." Based on Disney's summer blockbuster movie, the game shipped nationwide to major retail outlets on Oct. 14, and is now available for an SRP of $29.95. "THQ has always supported Nintendo Game Boy and with its continued popularity, we are thrilled to bring out a game like `Disney's Mulan' in time for the holidays," said Germaine Gioia, vice president of marketing, THQ. "The title incorporates the compelling storyline of a girl's formidable journey along with innovative battles and levels, appealing to young gamers both male and female." Developed by Tiertex, "Disney's Mulan" lets enthusiasts play as the young woman, Fa Mulan, as she attempts to regain the honor of her family name. Disguised as a soldier, Mulan travels to the Imperial Army Training Camp to prove herself ready for battle. She must then set out to save the Empire by solving puzzles, battling enemies and ultimately defeating Shan-Yu in the final confrontation. "Disney's Mulan" features many favorite characters from the feature film, as well as diverse game play, including battles, swimming and "shieldboarding" and a password system to save progress. The title is also compatible with Super Game Boy. Eidos Interactive's Ninja: Shadow of Darkness Brings Classic Arcade Action Gaming to the PlayStation Eidos Interactive, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment products, announced today the release of Ninja: Shadow of Darkness for the Sony PlayStation. In Ninja, developed by Tomb Raider creator Core Design, a solitary young warrior must battle an army of goblins, trolls and dragons throughout a war-plagued feudal Japanese landscape. This fast-paced, arcade-style game combines hand-to-hand combat, classic platform traps and puzzles, as well as a variety of magic spells and special effects that showcase the true power of the PlayStation. Players take on the role of Kurosawa, a young Ninja who must rid his homeland of demons who are decimating Japan. An evil warlord, who sold his soul to raise ghoulish forces in order to help him win a power struggle, unleashes his hellish army, however, his plan backfires as the creatures run amok and possess the souls of the living as well causing mass chaos. Now, it's up to the lone Kurosawa to bring order back to Japan. Ninja features 10 massive levels within a real-time 3D environment. The dynamic cinematic camera system positions the player's perspective according to the Ninja's surroundings and specific battle conditions. Not only is there a variety of environments, but also a variety of opponents as the player does battle with more than 50 enemies, all with specific attack attributes. In addition, all of the hand-to-hand combat and the weapons can be powered up to four different levels. Ninja: Shadow of Darkness was developed by Core Design Limited, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Eidos Interactive which also created the phenomenally successful Tomb Raider game franchise starring action heroine and virtual celebrity Lara Croft. "Core Design has really upped the ante in arcade-style action games by bringing more depth and greater playability," said Mike McGarvey, COO of Eidos Interactive. "Ninja: Shadow of Darkness offers players many hours of graphically intense, classic arcade action." Ninja: Shadow of Darkness is available now at retail stores nationwide. No Mask Necessary for This Face of Terror FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Oct. 19) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 19, 1998 - Psygnosis unleashes a double dose of horror just in time for Halloween with O.D.T., an intense, 3D action-adventure with RPG elements, set in a world of mystery, magic and mayhem. O.D.T. (Or Die Trying) slashes its way onto store shelves on October 27, for both the PlayStation game console and the PC. Picture the most terrifying haunted house you can imagine. Scary, huh? Now watch--if you dare--as your nightmare becomes a reality. O.D.T unfolds into a mythical, fantasy-gone-wrong landscape of insane visions, frightening surroundings, and maniacal monsters. As you attempt to master the mayhem, crooked paths will open up one step ahead of you, uncovering volumes of undead material for your shattered soul to peruse. Sorcery for Survival: When quick thinking, fast-action, and hand-to-hand combat just aren't enough to berate the belligerent bad guys, you can call upon your magical abilities to foil the powers that be. O.D.T. incorporates an inventive and user-friendly system of spell-casting and power allotment. Easily accessible drop-down menus and the ability to divide your accrued attributes will help make your hellish journey a little smoother. O.D.T. also offers frighteningly realistic enemy AI. The hideous enemies will respond differently, depending on the situation at hand. They will show multiple character traits, such as fear and hunger, and will retreat and even use evasive tactics. Imagine you are chasing a lone Rigorsqueem down a dark, narrow alley, and he suddenly stops and turns on you...! Cooperation between enemies is intensely involved, with smaller monsters leaving, only to return with their larger and more powerful brethren. Picture the terrifying vision of enemies terminating their vicious assault on you to enjoy a quick bite of their newly fallen comrades, and you'll understand the carnivorous challenges that await you. Food is food, but eating is easier when the meal isn't moving. Available for an estimated retail price of $49.99 on both the PlayStation and the PC, O.D.T., with its menacing monsters, tantalizing twists, and mind-bending puzzles, is the perfect way for gamers to spook up their Halloween. Dare to plunge into the bizarre world of O.D.T., dare to wage your skills against the most terrifying monsters, dare to solve the mystery . . . Or Die Trying! Capcom Announces First N64 Product, Magical Tetris Challenge SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (Oct. 15) BUSINESS WIRE - Oct. 15, 1998 - Capcom today announced they have teamed up with Disney Interactive, Inc. and the creators of Tetris to create Magical Tetris Challenge for the Nintendo 64. Capcom's first N64 product brings together for the first time Disney's world famous characters with Tetris, the all-time best selling electronic puzzle game. The new games bring increased speed and functionality to classic Tetris, as well as enables players to become some of their favorite Disney characters and compete in a variety of game modes. Magical Tetris Challenge is expected to be in stores in January. "This is an exciting release for Capcom as it marks our entrance into the N64 market and furthers our long-standing relationship with Disney Interactive," says Robert Lindsey, senior vice president sales and marketing, Capcom Entertainment. Magical Tetris Challenge unites the unmistakable charm of Disney's loveable characters with Tetris' unmatched gameplay. As a one or two player game, the Verses Mode enables players to compete against a friend or the computer. In the Story Mode they can play as their favorite Disney character -- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck or Goofy -- in a plot that develops differently for each character. The story revolves around a mysterious stone, caught by Donald Duck while fishing. Magical Tetris Challenge offers three gameplay options. It enables players to compete against each other on the computer. Players send Magic Pieces to their opponents based on the number of lines they delete at one time. The more lines deleted the bigger the Magic Pieces. Updown Tetris is a head-to-head game. In this mode, as lines of blocks are deleted, a new line of blocks appears at the bottom of the opponent's screen, pushing their blocks higher. Endless Tetris is Standard or Magical Tetris without the interactive story. Game Option provides players a variety of configurations including the ability to set difficulty levels. Magical Tetris Challenge is compatible with the Rumble Pack accessory. Now when players clear four or five lines from the screen at one time, their opponent will feel the vibration. Magical Tetris Challenge adds two new features to the classic Tetris gameplay. Quick Drop allows players to increase the speed of the action by instantly dropping the Tetris pieces. Temporary Landing System (T.L.S.) casts a shadow right below the falling piece so players can easily tell where the falling piece is. These new features are sure to please seasoned Tetris fans and new Tetris players alike. Magical Tetris Challenge reunites Capcom's relationship with Disney Interactive. In 1988, Capcom became the first publisher of video games based on the Disney characters. Capcom published 15 Disney games for the Nintendo and Super Nintendo Entertainment System game machines. Among the most popular were Disney's The Little Mermaid, Disney's Aladdin, DuckTales and Mickey Mousecapade. Over 45 million copies of Tetris have been sold worldwide over the past 10+ years. Originally created by Alexey Pajitnov, a specialist at the computer sciences at the Computer Center of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the Tetris brand is now managed by Blue Planet Software, San Francisco, California. The object of Tetris is to position the falling shapes, called "Tetraminoes," across the bottom of a rectangular pit. Tetraminoes are shapes created from 4 blocks joined together into 7 different patterns. The Tetraminoes must be rotated as they fall and positioned across the bottom leaving no open spaces. When an entire horizontal line fills with blocks, the line clears from the screen. If lines are not completely filled with blocks, they will not clear from the screen, and the Tetraminoes will continue to stack up higher and higher. If the stack of Tetraminoes reaches the top, the game is over. Hasbro Interactive's New Tonka Workshop CD-ROM: Two Play Worlds BEVERLY, Mass., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Kids get the hands-on experience of a toy and the magic of multimedia software in one with Tonka Workshop CD-ROM Playset, Hasbro Interactive's first title in the interactive toy category and the newest addition to its best-selling line of Tonka children's software. Tonka Workshop empowers children to create, build and play the Tonka way -- while providing an easy-to-use, no-tech interface with a cool Tonka tool toyset and a super fun CD-ROM. "The merging of toys and computers is a natural progression for Hasbro Interactive," said Hasbro Interactive President Tom Dusenberry. "Few companies have the expertise of making toys and making CD-ROM games, but for Hasbro Interactive this is a natural fit," Dusenberry added. In Tonka Workshop, kids use six durable plastic tools contained in a key-top playset to build cool projects, play exciting tool games and complete repair jobs around Tonka town. The child-sized hammer, saw, drill, sprayer, screwdriver and sander control 25 on-screen tools and fit atop most standard computer keyboards. Installation is easy; parents and even a three-year-old can simply fit the playset over the keyboard and strap into place. There are no confusing cords or special computer configurations required -- just strap on the toyset, put the CD-ROM in the drive and the fun can begin. Friendly Tonka Joe is the first face kids see as he welcomes them to the Tonka Workshop and guides them through fun activities and games in the Barn, Cellar, Storage Shed, Pickup Truck and Tree House. In the Barn, kids can build one of several creative projects like an airplane, a doghouse or a spaceship. The Cellar is a free-form building area where children are given a sheet of wood to work with and can create anything they want to, and in the Pickup Truck, kids drive out into the country to lend a hand in mending fences, bicycles, etc. In the Tree House, players are invited to play one of three different tool games: Tool Tag, a game where kids try to shoo away pesky termites that have invaded Tonka Joe's Workshop; Tool Challenge, where Tonka Joe will challenge kids to various Olympic-type events; or Tool Tunes, a memory game using sounds. Throughout the game, players have the opportunity to print their creations to share with friends and family. Tonka Workshop is for ages 3 and up and is playable on Windows 95 and Windows 98 systems. It is available in stores for a suggested retail price of $39.95. Challenge the Powers of Darkness in the Gothic MediEvil(TM) Sony Computer Entertainment America announced today the release of MediEvil(TM), a spooky 3D action/adventure game developed by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Cambridge studios. MediEvil will challenge and amuse gamers with a surreal combination of swordplay, puzzles, exploration and dark humor. Players assume the role of skeletal knight Sir Daniel Fortesque -- a quirky, undead hero. "Sir Dan" must gather his bones and rise from the crypt to destroy the evil sorcerer Zarok, who has harnessed ancient magical powers to catapult the world into eternal darkness -- awakening the dead and turning villagers into crazed madmen along the way. Sir Dan battles the unearthly victims of Zarok's magic with an arsenal of fiendish weapons, making his way through a variety of eerie landscapes in this unforgettable gothic tale. The game's cinematic qualities, including rich 3D graphics and stirring originalsoundtrack, set the stage for a spine-tingling journey of epic proportions. "Our European development studio has created a fascinating gothic world and a unique 'anti-hero' character with MediEvil," said Peter Dille, senior director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Featuring a perfect balance of exploration, battle and puzzle solving, combined with an excellent sense of humor, stylized graphics and imaginative story line, MediEvil will appeal to a broad range of game enthusiasts." MediEvil Key Features: 1. -- Variety of fiendish puzzles and riddles ranging from simple runes to complex brain twisters. 2. -- Gothic landscapes including eerie graveyards, spooky castles, a mad village, a ghost ship in the sky, scary scarecrow fields and other ghoulish places. 3. -- A mighty arsenal of weapons awaits: broadswords, daggers, cross-bows, axes, lightning rods, clubs, the occasional chicken drumstick and even his left arm! 4. -- Imaginative and challenging bosses like a stained glass demon, a giant pumpkin with tentacles, a gargantuan dragon and more. 5. -- Uncanny enemies include zombies, mutants, transparent serpents, crazed madmen, living scarecrows and more. 6. -- Lively interactive backgrounds with spectacular lighting effects. 7. -- Beautiful, "big screen" quality computer graphic (CG) movie sequences. 8. -- A spine-tingling soundtrack perfectly compliments the haunting atmosphere. 9. -- Takes full advantage of the Dual Shock(TM) Analog Controller. To celebrate the launch of MediEvil, consumers who return a registration card found in specially marked copies of the game will be entered into a sweepstakes drawing. One lucky PlayStation(R) fan will win an all-expense paid trip for two to London, England, the city full of all things MediEvil. Marketing support for MediEvil includes a national television campaign across network, cable and syndicated programming; a national print campaign in enthusiast and consumer publications; a direct mail campaign; and full promotional and retail merchandiser support. Midway's Body Harvest Invades Stores Nationwide Midway Home Entertainment, the leading third party publisher of Nintendo 64 titles, today announced that its industry lauded video game Body Harvest is shipping to retail outlets nationwide. Exclusively available for the Nintendo 64 game system, this genre-bending 3D game combines heart pounding shoot 'em up action with intriguing role-playing elements in an expansive virtual world that will both entertain and amaze gamers for hours on end. "The unique blend of action, adventure and role-playing elements makes Body Harvest one of the most exciting and original video games to be released on the Nintendo 64," said Paula Cook, Director of Marketing at Midway Home Entertainment. "We are excited to deliver a title with such depth to Nintendo 64 gamers across the country." In Body Harvest, the human race has been harvested to near extinction by a race of monstrous alien insects after more than a century. A small group of scientists has survived and is working on a desperate plan to build a time machine to transport a two-man crew back into the Earth's past. Adam Drake has been chosen for this critical assignment that will hopefully change the course of history. Players take on the role of hero, Adam Drake, and their mission is to destroy the onslaught of alien insects before the human race is completely eliminated. With over 64 vehicles at their disposal, they must blast their way through 1916 Greece, 1941 Java, 1966 America and 1991 Siberia in order to save humanity. This will not be an easy task. The revolutionary game spans over 1,000 virtual miles and features fifty different types of alien predators along the way. Developed by DMA Design -- the Scottish division of Gremlin Interactive -- Body Harvest has already won raves from the press. IGN64.com says "with its colorful 3D graphics and a dynamic, always-changing soundtrack, Body Harvest manages to be one of the most interesting and original games to appear on the N64 yet." Game Pro hailed Body Harvest as a "showstopper" at E3; the industry's largest trade show. Next Generation Online adds that "Body Harvest could be one of the best Nintendo 64 games on the horizon," and the unofficial Nintendo Web site, Nintendojo predicts that it will be the "sleeper hit of the year." Hasbro Interactive Ships America's Favorite Online Game Slingo for CD-ROM BEVERLY, Mass., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading entertainment software publisher Hasbro Interactive has announced that Slingo(R), the popular online game that has earned millions of loyal fans, is now available on CD-ROM. Slingo debuted on the America Online Games Channel in October 1996 and quickly became the #1 game for the country's largest online service. A unique combination of slots and bingo, Slingo has stolen the hearts of game players with its compelling game play and broad-based appeal. "Slingo is an irresistible game," said Tom Dusenberry, President of Hasbro Interactive. "Once you start playing, you definitely are drawn into the excitement," Dusenberry added. "We feel that fans of the online version will be instantly drawn to the new variations of game play added in the CD-ROM version." Play Slingo CD-ROM solo or multi-player with up to six people. You can play the classic version of Slingo and four new game variations. The object of the classic version is to fill in the 5x5 card, or to achieve your highest possible point score, within 20 spins. Players click on the handle with the mouse to spin the five wheels and match the numbers that appear in the card's columns. A match earns 200 points and if you cover 5 matches, vertically, horizontally or diagonally you have made a "Slingo" earning 1,000 points. In order to feed the appetites of Slingo's die-hard fans, there are four new exciting variations of the classic game. The PC CD-ROM game offers players the option of playing all of the game variations over a modem, LAN, over the Internet through a TCPIP connection and through Hot Seat play in which four players can play together using the same computer. Players can also play the "Duel Slingo" version on Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone at In Super Squares, Classic Slingo takes a new twist, with the addition of randomly placed "super squares." A match made in a super square earns 1,000 points, while a Slingo completed with a super square earns 10,000 points. Giant Slingo introduces a fun new character to the Slingo family -- a helpful giant. When he appears in a spin, the Giant waits until all matches are made and then he takes his club to the card causing the wheel to spin again. The Mixed Matrix variation of Slingo scrambles the numbers on the card making it even more challenging to find matches. In the highly competitive Duel Slingo, two players, or a single player and a computer opponent use the same card and take turns competing for the highest score. Slingo is available for play on the Windows 95 and Windows 98 platforms and has a suggested retail price of $19.95. BioWare to Develop MDK2 for Sega Dreamcast and PC BioWare Corp., announced today the ongoing development of their first Sega Dreamcast title, MDK2. The sequel to last year's sci-fi action thriller MDK, the game hosts an array of dynamic new features and technology. Built with the breakthrough BioWare Omen Engine, MDK2 provides an unsurpassed single-player experience with totally new and unique gameplay elements driven by ingenuity and creativity. Published by Interplay Productions a release date of Q4, 1999 is anticipated for the Sega Dreamcast, with a PC version to shortly follow. MDK2 will take players back to the unique world of MDK as originally developed by Shiny Entertainment. The MDK2 world will counterbalance shadows and mystery with quirky situations involving a peculiarly engaging alien race. The result will be a surreal adventure that focuses on stealth and guile as well as outright aggression. Players will take a third person perspective of the game's hero, Kurt Hectic, as they control him through eight levels of creative gaming, bizarre 3D environments, and engaging storylines. Rejoining Kurt in his adventures will be his friends, the eccentric Dr. Fluke Hawkins and Max, the robotic dog. Greg Zeschuk, President and Joint CEO of BioWare, captured the essence of the game when he explained that, "MDK2 represents the pinnacle of single player games. Our aim with MDK2 is to explore new directions and expand beyond the constrictive environments established in other 3D games." Regarding the Sega Dreamcast, Lead Programmer on MDK2 Cameron Tofer, says, "The Dreamcast hardware gives us all of the features that we could ever want from a gaming system. Because of the Dreamcast we are able to take MDK2 further than we ever imagined." MDK2 exploits the BioWare Omen Engine, a truly multi-platform engine developed internally at BioWare Corp. Perhaps the most important feature of Omen is the support for real-time level-of-detail control that allows for round, smooth surfaces and highly detailed life-like characters and environments, all the while maintaining high frame-rates. Other key features include realistically modeled object physics and complex scripted AI that provides the world with life-like inhabitants that interact with the player in an intelligent manner. Video Gamer's Film Competes for an Oscar For the first time, an animated film derived from video game footage will compete for an Oscar. Software developer Oddworld Inhabitants has submitted "Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus for Academy-Award" consideration in the Animated Short category. The 15-minute film, like the game, traces the epic adventure of Abe, a fictional hero who tries to save his species from extinction on the fictional Oddworld. In the process of developing their games, Oddworld producers employed high-end Silicon Graphics software and equipment similar to what computer-generated film companies like Pixar and PDI use in making movies. "Our production model is more accustomed to the feature-film industry than to games," said Lorne Lanning, co-founder, and president of Oddworld Inhabitants. The film will be released in Los Angeles for a limited engagement from Oct. 27 to 29 to qualify it for Oscar competition. The game, distributed by software publisher GT Interactive, will be available later this month for both the PlayStation game console and PC. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! People are Talking Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Yes, I'm back and ready to bring you all the little goodies that you've become accustomed to: all the little tidbits of information, the news about what's going on, and what's coming along "real soon now". But before we get into the meat-and-potatoes portion of the column, I'd like to tell you a bit about why there was no column last week. Beginning last weekend I started to notice that my mental acuity was not what it normally was. It slowly got worse until I found myself in a fog that made it difficult to think clearly. Since this 'brain cloud' (remember the movie "Joe vs. the Volcano"?) was accompanied by muscle and joint aches, I am assuming that it was a virus that took hold and decided that it liked the wide-open spaces... between my ears. I actually did try to write a column last week, but it was such an uphill battle that I knew that the result would only be a pitiful pile of words upon the pages and decided that a no-show rating of "0" would be better than a "he really stunk up the place with that one" rating of -5. But I'm back to normal now with no ill effects whatsoever. My trusty TT, Mega STE and Stacy sit at the ready, waiting for me to compose the column that you are now reading so let's get on with it, shall we? From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup Asked about why Word Writer would not work on a Falcon 030, Michael Olin writes: "My experience was the same. The base word processor worked OK with the exception that it got pretty goofy about screen redraws when I used BlowUp... I eventually gave up and used AtariWorks." The Phantom tells Michael: "AtariWorks is good also. Some one posted a reply that the version of Word Writer ST they used worked fine on the Falcon. If there is a version or way to get it working I'd like to hear about it." Jim DeClercq tells Phantom: "Word Writer ST also runs on the TT, unless you try to use the dictionary or thesaurus. The reason I guess at is that those files are encoded, and the decoding routine expects word-length, 16 bit, memory organization, and does not find it on a Falcon or TT. If there is a better explanation, please tell me." Our own Dana Jacobson tells Jim: "Just to satisfy my curiosity, I just loaded WW ST while online w/ Flash II (on my Falcon). I loaded a text file, ran the spellchecker using my own .PER dictionary file, changed spelling on a few words, saved, and quit the program - no problem other than about 2 minutes to load my dictionary file (it's large). I forgot to try the thesaurus but I've had no problems with it in the past." David Snowdon adds his own experiences: "I used to have this problem [not being able to use the dictionary] with WordWriter, and found that I could get the dictionary to work if I used Geneva and limited the program's memory to 4Meg via the task manager." Our old friend Terry May posts: "I've been using Ease as my desktop of choice with MagiC for some time now, and for the most part I like it. I've heard all the kudos give towards Thing, though, so I thought I'd finally break down and give it a try. Looks pretty good so far, though the jury is still out. (I really miss Ease's dirtree popups.) If anyone has any tips that I might find useful, I'd appreciate them. Also, is v1.27 the latest English release?" Gordon Campbell tells Terry: "Good choice.I have never tried EASE so I cannot comment how good or bad the desktop is.The past few days I have been changing my mind in which desktop to use.Because of memory problems I went back to Magxdesk but I always go back to Thing.I am driving my girlfriend crazy because I am always changing my mind. Thing has popups as well.Just press the right mouse key anywhere outside of the windows and it gives you access to your drives and if you right click inside the window another popup comes with you can install apps. and other things.Try it for yourself. Yes, 1.27 is the latest version." Thomas Binder tells Terry: "Well, the next version will have "spring folders" (like Jinnee or MacOS 8) for that. For now, Thing has an undocumented feature when PopFold is running, but there's a good reason why it's not documented because it only works when dragging files between directory windows and is not configurable at all. Yes, 1.27 is even the latest release at all. And please note (looking at the subject of your posting), that 'Thing' is /not/ intended to be the English word 'Thing', but the Germanic (not German) word for something like 'meeting place', which is pronounced 'Ting' or 'Ding'." Terry now asks: "I have a few directories with filenames apparently too long for Thing. Everytime it reads the directory, it gives me an alert telling me that filenames were too long and couldn't be read in. Very annoying. Is there any way to get to these filenames in Thing, or do I have to load up Ease or Magxdesk to shorten the names so that Thing can read them?" Jo Even Skarstein tells Terry: "Thing doesn't handle filenames longer than 32 characters. I agree, it's annoying, but Thomas Binder is working on the problem." Joshua Kaijankoski asks for hard drive help: "I downloaded a couple of MSA files into my HD. I can't delete them! They are hogging over 3 MB of disk space and all it says when I try to delete is: Cannot delete. I can't even rename them. I've some other files with the same problem. How do I delete them please? I have just a 44Meg SCSI on my TT030 and I need all the space I can get. It's filled to the brim now. Somebody please...." Charles Silver tells Joshua: "I'm assuming these are not "Read Only" files... You can use ST Tools to edit the offending files using a Sector search (ascii) and edit the first character to an E5, which creates a (squiggle) like character. This is what a "delete file" normally does. However, there is some risk in doing this. It does take some practice to do right. If you screw-up, you're FAT is a mess and your HD files can be lost. I have no fear as I've done it many times, plus I normally back stuff up before I do it. Well, sometimes <grin>. Because you HD is almost full, it would be safer and probably faster to just back that partition up using floppies, zero the partition, then load everything back up. Then just defrag you HD regularly so it doesn't happen again :). It's up to you, but if you want to mess with the FAT, practice on a RAM Disk partition first. Can't do any harm there while you learn. It will take practice. Basically, you've got two problems. One, learn how ST Tools (whatever) works; and two, what a normal FAT file looks like with normal and deleted files aboard. If you can't backup your files, you're playing with FIRE! Burn baby, burn <hehehe>. This is another reason to defrag regularly with the "Optimizer". Ahhh, be carefull about putting any PC files on your HD. Put'em in a RAM Disk. If they can't be deleted normally, when you shut off your computer, they will go bye bye." Stephen Cornio tells Charles: "This is only half true. This will mark the file as deleted, but will leave the clusters still marked as used. You would also need to edit the FAT to mark all of the clusters used by the file as unused, '00'. This is what is tricky to do, although I have done it on occasion." David Bolt tells Stephen: "If you use something like Optimize, you don't need to. All you need to do is edit the first character of the name to be E5 in STTools or a similar disc editor, quit that and start up optimize and do a logical check on the partition you just edited. If you're particularly paranoid, don't turn on repair options the first time round. This will let you see what errors there are without reparing them. Having said that, I've had no problems with Optimize as yet, including when optimizing a partition. One thing to note once you've done this, it's a good idea to do a reboot when you quit Optimize to ensure any drive caches are refreshed properly." Bill Platt takes an easier approach: "It looks like you have some files that are set to read only. Use the Show Info item on the desktop to set the file to read/write." Markus Egg tells us that he... "Finally... got CAB working. At the moment I only switch off the pictures to make fast testing. But todays WWW-sites are nearly unreadable in the text mode. It's a bit senseless with all the underlined [IMG]. Is there any good and fast viewer for the pics used mostly at WWW sites (jpg, gif ...). I just need a tool. Possibly showing the pictures at the CAB window?- to dither the pictures in a reasonable way for my high res SM 124." Bill Platt tells Markus: "Try the version 2.7 of CAB, it handles the graphics and tables much faster than 1.5. Cab also has an excellent monochrome mode, I think that's only in vers 2.0 and up. There is a demo of 2.7 available." Iggy Drougge asks: "Is it possible to use PLIP on an Atari without installing Mint? StiK does not support it, that much I know, but does STiNG support it, or is there any other solution?" Jo Even Skarstein tells Iggy: "I don't know if STiNG supports PLIP yet, but IIRC it was planned. Beware that you can't connect your Atari to a PC running PLIP, because Linux-PLIP use some control-lines that's not available on Ataris. Perhaps it can be done with some additional hardware." As a diversion, let's take a quick look at one of the oddities made possible by being able to communicate around the world whenever we want to. Bill Platt posts: "Today is the 16 of oct. But I saw several post from the 17th of oct. How is that possible?" Michael Freeman tells Bill: "Different time zones. The 17th arrived somewhere else in the world before it got to you. If that's not the case, some computer's date is set wrong." Dennis Bishop asks for help: "I just did my morning D/L of the Newsgroups, now I have Newsie set for a max of 50 messages per group. After I got the newsgroups I got my mail and went offline, then re-ran newsie as I always do to read the groups, on Sci-Astro.Am I see something I've never seen before, in the window that shows me the count for the messages, on that newsgroup is a " -50 " ??? I access the group and see the message titles, BUT when I click on each one, there is NOTHING! Blank ... ZIP ... Nadda ...etc. One question ... What the Hell Happened??? All other newsgroups seem ok." Michael Grove tells Dennis: "[I'm] Not sure, but maybe the articles were expired. I see this sometimes from the newsfeed at work (not that I read them at work)." Glenn Wilson asks for help: "I am looking at the reality that my beloved 1986 Atari ST 1040 has possibly died... When it boots up all looks well until you touch a key. THEN you get one or more alphanumeric characters (including special characters) instead of the key you touched. Anyone encounter this before? I live an ST desert (Saint Louis) and would like some idea whether this is fixable before I ship it off to either coast only to find out it is 'dead'. If you have encountered this or are more techincally inclined than I am and have an idea as to what has happened, drop me an E-Mail at "firstname.lastname@example.org" please. If it is as I fear, I will be selling off software and peripherals... My wife wants to get rid of the 'dead' ST and but a MAC like the kids use at school despite the abominable way Apple treated her years ago in supporting the IIE/IIC/IIGS market.) I'd rather, if we can't get it fixed, upgrade our IBM at home... [I can't believe I said that]." Tony Greenwood tells Glenn: "Yes I have.. (This is a serious answer although it may not seem it), It happened to me on what seemed like an intermittent basis.. Exactly as you explain it... Then I sussed out it was always after my son had been playing a shooting game and left <Autofire> ON , Yes the joystick autofire being left on caused the problem, This may not be your answer... but I can assure you that this will also cause the same problem." Nick Bales adds: "Yes, I had this autofire problem too. The problem is definitely located within the keyboard/mouse/joystick section. I also have similar problems from time to time, usually because of those crappy mouse connectors, but sometimes because of a bad mouse. Try unplugging the mouse to see if that cures the problem too. Otherwise, take the machine apart, clean up all the connections, reseat the keyboard connector and the socketed chip on the keyboard PCB. At worst, find someone selling a cheap/dead ST, and cannibalize the keyboard." Bill Platt adds his experiences: "Try booting up without a mouse or joystick plugged in. I have had headaches with a joystick stuck on auto fire. It causes random charactars to be generated. After years of unplugging and the stress on the mouse, there could be a short in the mouse connector. The other problem that a bad mouse or joystick will cause is for only half of the keyboard to work." Randall Bender asks: "Does anyone have a copy of the last HD utilites that Supra offered to the public? I need 21 MB floptical formatting capability." Morely Dotes tells Randall: "This was the last stuff on Supra's ftp server: ftp://ftp.spambusters.ml.org/pub/ATARI/supra/" Michael Grove adds: "Believe it or not, if you go to the Supra site (I guess it is now Diamond) and find the download area, the hd utils are there in the Atari file area. I guess they thought they were comm files." John McDermott asks: "Does anyone know how to load TOS from a floppy disk? I have an Atari 520STM (external floppy and power supply) with a 2mb memory upgrade and TOS 1.0 and I would like to see if there is any improvement loading a later TOS. I have downloaded a few TOS images from the Little Green Desktop site and would like to try some out. Any ideas anyone?" Bill Platt tells John: "There is a bit on the disk bootsector that you have to change, and then TOS will auto matically load from the disk. My jazz drive crapped on my and I can't get to the file that explains how to do it. Once I dig it out, I'll send it to you. By the way: The TOS images are not legal copies. You will probably get flamed for d-loading TOS images." Nick Bales tells John: "There is a program on Vezz's Hardware page that should do this. http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Way/8016/atari/sthard.htm" "DRSACE" asks for info: "I am just wondering if anyone knows if the Y2K bug will affect Atari's? I am wondering because since the Macintosh uses a counter and NOT a calendar for it's date, it won't be affected till 2043, but what does the Atari use?" Nick Bales replies: "Most Ataris them don't even have a battery clock. The system will happily go beyond 2000, but some old and badly written programs will probably screw up the dates. This Y2K thing is really hyped up, probably by people who have some interest in being hired to "solve the Y2K problem". People seem to think that the world is going to come to an end. Actually it will mainly interfere with large companies that still rely on old IBM mainframe stuff. Your computer won't stop working because of this. It might get some dates wrong, but, unless you do book keeping, I doubt you have any date reliant software on your Atari." Well folks, we'll end on that 'millennial' note. C'mon back next week and bring a comfy pair of slippers and whatever else makes you comfortable. 'Till then, be sure to always listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING [abco2.GIF (21687 bytes)] American Business Computer, Inc. PO Box 58094 Jacksonville, Florida 32241- 8094 904-292-9222 300+Mhz!! Riot! $950.00 Ready to GO! - Y2K READY! Nothing Else to Buy!! 1 - AMD K6-2 333Mhz 3D ext. CPU $1750.00 2 - INTEL PII 300Mhz CPU Celeron $1550.00 3 - AMD K6-2 300Mhz 3D ext. CPU $1350.00 4 - Cyrix P233 233Mhz MMX CPU $ 950.00 Note: PII AGP 100Mhz PC100 BXcel 233-450 cpu for CPU #2 60 - 100Mhz MMX TOP GUN TX Pro 90-333 cpu for CPU #1&3 60 - 84Mhz MMX TOP GUN TX Pro 90-333 cpufor CPU #4 Featuring: 1mb Pipeline Cache (TXPro all models) 64MB DIMM FAST RAM 1.44 (3.5") Drive 6GB Hard Disk 4-HDD PCI EIDE HD Controller on board EPP/ECP/Normal Hi-Speed Parallel Port 56kbd PCI V.90 Voice/Data/Fax Modem Hi-Speed (16550) Serial Ports S3 Hi Perf 3D 4Mb PCI SVGA Graphics Card Microsoft Win95 compatible Keyboard High Performance Ergonomic Serial Mouse Multimedia Fast 36x CD-ROM Player/Reader Plug & Play Stereo SB Sound Card Network Ready (PCI NIC) 15" Digital NI Monitor - 28dpi Amplified Stereo Speakers 250W Power Supply UL-CSA L6-TUV Mid Size Tower Cabinet Extras: 17" Digital NI Monitor- 28dpi $285.00 20" Digital NI Monitor- 28dpi $955.00 True Color Flatbed Color Scanner $115.00 HP DeskJet 692c Color Inkjet Printer$200.00 Want to Customize?? Call! 904-292-9222 Insurance, Shipping & Handling (North America) Included on all prepaid orders Business or Personal check - Money Orders - MasterCard & Visa Telephone: 904-292-9222 ** FAX: 904-268-2237 EDITORIAL QUICKIES TOP TEN NEW INTEL SLOGANS FOR THE PENTIUM Pro 9.9999973251 It's a FLAW, Dammit, not a Bug 8.9999163362 It's Close Enough, We Say So 7.9999414610 Nearly 300 Correct Opcodes 6.9999831538 You Don't Need to Know What's Inside 5.9999835137 Redefining the PC--and Mathematics As Well 4.9999999021 We Fixed It, Really 3.9998245917 Division Considered Harmful 2.9991523619 Why Do You Think They Call It *Floating* Point? 1.9999103517 We're Looking for a Few Good Flaws 0.9999999998 The Errata Inside Best experienced with [ie_animated.gif (7090 bytes)] Click here to start STReport International Magazine ICQ#:1170279 [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport http://www.streport.com Every Week; OVER 850,000 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, Bits & Bytes, Casts & Blasts are copyright and 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" October 23, 1998 Since 1987 Copyright)1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1435
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