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Article #429 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 14-Jan-94 #1003 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson) Date: Sat Jan 15 18:48:03 1994 SILICON TIMES REPORT ==================== INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ============================= from STR Electronic Publishing Inc. January 14, 1994 No. 1003 ====================================================================== Silicon Times Report International Online Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano Publisher-Editor ----------------------------------------- Voice: 904-783-3319 10 AM-4 PM EST STR Publishing Support BBS Network System * THE BOUNTY BBS * FIDO 1:112/35 ~ ITCNet 85:881/253 ~ FNET 350 ~ Nest 90:21/350 904-786-4176 USR/HST 24hrs-7 days 2400 -38.4 bps V.32-42 bis 16.8 Dual Standard FAX: 904-783-3319 12 AM-6 AM EST ----------------------------------------- Fido 1:112/35 The Bounty STR Support Central 1-904-786-4176 FNET. 620 : Leif's World ................1-904-573-0734 FNET. 690 : PASTE BBS....................1-206-284-8493 FNET. 489 : Steal Your Face BBS..........1-908-920-7981 MNET - Toad Hall BBS.....................1-617-567-8642 ______________________________________________________________________ > 01/14/94 STR 1003 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """"""""""""""""" - CPU INDUSTRY REPORT - CUSTOMER SUPPORT? - JAGUAR WINS BIG! - NINTENDO SETTLES - FOXPRO 2.5 NEWS! - PENTIUM $$ CUT! - Club KIDSOFT Review - CES REPORT! - EASY GO UPDATES - MAH JONGG II - PEOPLE TALKING - The Old Fishin' Hole -* IBM Awarded Most Patents in 1993! *- -* Canadian Accused; $500,000 Fraud! *- -* CIS LOWERS HOURLY CHARGES 40%!! *- ====================================================================== STReport International Online Magazine The Original * Independent * Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports ====================================================================== STReport's BBS - The Bounty BBS, invites all BBS systems, worldwide, to participate in the Fido/PROWL/ITC/USENET/NEST/F-Net Mail Networks. You may also call The Bounty BBS direct @ 904-786-4176. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to computers, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps, worldwide, are welcome to join the STReport International Conferences. The Fido Node is 1:112/35, ITC Node is 85:881/253 Crossnet Code is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620. All computer platforms BBS systems are welcome and invited to participate. ====================================================================== CIS ~ AOL ~ DELPHI ~ BIX ~ FIDO ~ PROWL ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET USENET ~ CIX ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ FNET ~ GENIE ====================================================================== COMPUSERVE WILL PRESENT $15.00 WORTH OF COMPLIMENTARY ONLINE TIME to the Readers of; STREPORT INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine" NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY! CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198 You will receive your complimentary time and be online in no time at all! "Enjoy CompuServe's forums; where information is at its very best! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" While the entire Northern Hemisphere is in the grips of a fierce cold ... no, Merciless FRIGID blast... the computing communities are moving right along toward Spring Comdex. So soon? You bet. Chicago, the code name for the new version of Windows, is coming along ever so nicely. Speed and simplicity, along with "eye appeal" are the keynote points being emphasized. Sooner or later all the "Charlie Atlases" of the archaic "DOS" world will get in step with the future. Especially when they see the speed of the new version. Both in normal operation and in telecommunications throughput. Keep warm my northern friends. Spring is on the way. On another front, it seems there's a MAJOR software package in release that really has no business being there. The key function and most important sub-program within this package is broken. Read crashes on cue. Yields the ever famous; "General Protection Fault" STReport has known about this problem from the second day after the program was released. Almost three months ago. Still, the package remains on sale all over the world and a FIX has NOT been forthcoming. Since this is a highly respected company whose track record is among the very best, a number of information requests are in. STReport will keep you posted. Rest assured, if the fix is not right around the corner, a warning of BAD will be issued. BAD [B]roken [A]s [D]esigned. There is absolutely no reason why the company's customers should be made unsuspecting beta- testers. The BIG question looms on the horizon... Where were this company's beta testers and who is/WAS in charge of the beta-testing? Stay tuned. In this issue, we have a unique article by Glenwood Drake, a well known and highly respected computer enthusiast in the north Florida area. His "adventure" into the world of customer support with a major software house is quite interesting. STReport hopes that by publishing his documented experiences, what happened to him does not happen to others. Maybe Glenn will find the software house eager to satisfy him too. After all, each and every satisfied customer is the true worth of any company. Thanks for your support! Ralph..... """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""" Publisher -Editor """""""""""""""""" Ralph F. Mariano Lloyd E. Pulley, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors """"""""""""""" PC SECTION AMIGA SECTION MAC SECTION ATARI SECTION ---------- ------------- ----------- ------------- R.D. Stevens R. Glover R. Noak D. P. Jacobson STReport Staff Editors: """"""""""""""""""""""" Dana P. Jacobson Michael Arthur John Deegan Lucien Oppler Brad Martin Judith Hamner John Szczepanik Dan Stidham Joseph Mirando Doyle Helms Frank Sereno John Duckworth Jeff Coe Steve Keipe Guillaume Brasseur Melanie Bell John Donohue Contributing Correspondents: """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Tim Holt Norman Boucher Harry Steele Clemens Chin Neil Bradley Eric Jerue Ron Deal Robert Dean Ed Westhusing James Nolan Vernon W. Smith Bruno Puglia Glenwood Drake IMPORTANT NOTICE """""""""""""""" Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Compuserve................... 70007,4454 America Online..................STReport Delphi......................... RMARIANO BIX............................ RMARIANO FIDONET........................ 1:112/35 FNET........................... NODE 350 ITC NET...................... 85:881/253 NEST........................ 90:21/350.0 GEnie......................... ST-REPORT """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS """"""""""""""""" IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I) =========================== Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #03 By: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. ******* General Computer News ******* ** Motorola's 4th Quarter Earnings Up ** Motorola Inc. reported its fourth quarter earnings rose 87.8% due to record sales and continued export growth. Reports say that the company's profits rose to $340 million (or $1.15 a share) in the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $181 million (or 64 cents a share) for the same period a year ago. Sales rose 35% to $4.99 billion from $3.71 billion in the last quarter of 1992. ** NEC, Toshiba Develop DRAM ** A new low-voltage 16-megabit DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip for portable PCs has been developed by NEC Corp. and Toshiba Corp. Officials of the companies said the 3.3-volt chips have a 16-bit in- put and output structure that makes them more efficient, prolonging PC battery life. A Fujitsu Ltd. spokesman Said that firm is developing a similar chip and plans to begin production in the first half of the year. ** PC World and Newsweek Plan Joint Computing Reports ** PC World and Newsweek magazines have announced that they will jointly publish four special computing reports in 1994. The special sections will focus on developments in the small office, home office (SOHO) com- puter market. They will be prepared by the editors of PC World. The four sections will appear in issues of both PC World and Newsweek in April, June, September and December. "We estimate that by 1996, SOHO computer users will account for more than $15.5 billion in U.S. PC purchases, over 55% of the anticipated to- tal PC market in the country," says PC World Publisher Rich Marino. "It is increasingly important for high-tech marketers to reach this growing market." ** Compuserve Lowers Hourly Charges by 40% ** CompuServe announced this week it is lowering connect charges by 40% for hourly-priced services, such as forums, travel services, financial services, reference databases and entertainment offerings. Reports say that the lowered charges, which are for those members subscribing under CompuServe's Standard Pricing Plan, take effect Feb. 6. The new rates are $4.80 per hour for 300, 1,200 and 2,400 baud rates and $9.60 for 9,600 and 14,400 baud rates. In addition to hourly-priced services, CompuServe members have access to more than 50 basic services for a flat fee of $8.95 per month. Compu- Serve offers access at modem speeds of 14,400 bits per second in many major cities, the only major online service to do so, and at the same cost as access at 9,600 bits per second. ** Compuserve to Provide Local Customer Support in Mexico ** CompuServe Inc. also announced this week that it will provide local customer support and network access to CompuServe Information Service members in Mexico beginning this spring. CompuServe provides local-dial access through its own network nodes from 17 major cities in Europe and has member support offices in Bristol, England, Munich, Germany, and Paris. CompuServe also has licensing or affiliate agreements in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Israel, Hungary, Chile, Venezuela and Argentina. ** Nintendo Settles Copyright Suit ** A copyright infringement suit between Nintendo of America Inc. and United Microelectronics Corp. has been settled out of court. Terms calls for UMC to take steps to combat piracy of Nintendo video games, the firms said. The settlement ends litigation of a federal suit filed in 1991 by Nintendo against UMC, of Hsinchu City, Taiwan, and its U.S. subsidiary, Unicorn Microelectronics Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., and several individuals associated with the companies. In that action, Nintendo alleged copyright and trademark infringement in the sale of counterfeit Nintendo video games. The case was dismissed "with prejudice," which prevents either side from bringing another action in the matter. ** IBM Awarded Most Patents in 1993 ** IBM Corp. reports that it ranked first in the number of patents awar- ded in 1993 by the U.S. government, marking the first time since 1985 that an American company has headed the list. IBM received 1,088 patents, followed by Toshiba Corp., Canon KK and Eastman Kodak Co., according to IFI/Plenum Data Corp. In 1992, the first four companies were all Japanese. The IBM patents were almost exclusively in the field of information processing, with an increase in software-related inventions. ** World Workstation Market Soars ** The world workstation market will more than quadruple in revenues and grow by more than 10 times in unit sales by the end of the century, reports Frost & Sullivan/Market Intelligence, the Mountain View, Calif.- based market research firm. The company states that sales will swell from $10.6 billion in 1992 to $20 billion in 1995 and $48.7 billion in 1999 at a 24% compound annual rate. Enterprise workstations will pace the market's growth, increasing from 32% of all worldwide workstation revenues in 1992 to 51% by 1999. ** Magazine Says Pentagon Proposes Limiting Internet Army Links ** A computer magazine says it has learned U.S. defense officials, fear- ing the possibility of computer intruders, are moving to limit military links to the international Internet network. The magazine, Network World, reported a plan to add a protective gateway or relay to the worldwide Defence Data Network (also called Milnet) has caused an uproar among computerists in and out of the Pentagon. The publication says a notice from the defense department's network planning group said the gateway's introduction was due early in 1994, but that so far the plan has not been implemented and Internet users still have direct links to the Milnet. ** Smart Device Shipments Soar ** New York-based market researcher, LINK Resources, reports that ship- ments of all types of "smart" handheld devices -- including high-end organizers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), personal communicators and some handheld CD-ROM products -- grew from 600,000 units in 1992 to 779,000 units in 1993. LINK Resources forecasts a 45.7%t compound annual growth rate over the next five years for these devices, with over five million units shipping to business and home users in the U.S. in 1998. LINK forecasts that annual shipments will increase in value from $454 million to $3.3 billion during this period, while the installed base grows to 9.5 million devices. ** Canadian Teen Accused of $500,000 Fraud ** An unidentified Toronto teenager has allegedly used a computer to defraud cellular phone network of $500,000 worth of long distance calls. Authorities are quoted as saying the teen changed the greetings in the voice mailboxes so the new greetings could be used to approve calls billed to the Rogers Cantel Inc. network. "About $200,000 worth of calls were billed to a single phone number over a 17-day period". "Cantel blames Bell Canada's new automated long- distance billing service, and is fighting with the phone company over who should pay for the losses." An industry analyst estimated long-distance fraud costs North American companies $2 billion a year, much of it by computer intruders. ** Who's a 'Butthead'? ** It all started when famed scientist Carl Sagan reportedly complained to Apple Computer Inc. that he didn't appreciated his name being borrowed as the internal code name for a new Apple computer. Reports say that after receiving the complaint, Apple changed the internal code name of the upcoming model from "Carl Sagan" to "Butt-Head Astronomer." Sagan supposedly asked the company to stop using his name after an article about the new model appeared in MacWEEK magazine. Reportedly, the Butt-Head Astronomer system -- well, "BHA" for short -- is one of three Apple models to use the PowerPC microprocessor developed by Apple, Motorola Inc. and IBM. ** Practical Peripherals Cuts Costs ** Practical Peripherals this week cut prices by up to $100 on eight of its high-speed data and fax modems for PCs and Macintosh computers. Practical says its PM14400FX PKT pocket modem, formerly priced at $499, has been reduced to $399. Meanwhile, the PM14400FXMT V.32bis desktop modem offering 14400bps data and 14400bps fax capabilities, was reduced to $259 from $299. Other PC modems affected by the price reduction are the PM14400FX, reduced from $259 to $229; the PM9600FXMT, down from $249 to $219, and the PM9600FX, from $229 to $199. Three Macintosh modems in the price cut are the PM14400FX PKT/Mac, from $529 to $429, the PM14400FXMT/Mac, down from $299 to $279, and the PM9600FXMT/Mac, cut from $269 to $229. Practical notes all the modems feature DTE (computer to modem) speeds up to 57,600bps, both Class 1 and Class 2 fax support, V.42 error cont- rol, V.42bis data compression, send/receive fax and are compatible with the Hayes standard AT command set. Each comes with data and fax communications software. ** Atari Jaguar Grabs Top Awards at CES ** Atari Corp. announced this week that the Atari Jaguar 64-bit inter- active multimedia game system has been named the industry's "Best New Game System" (VideoGames Magazine), "Best New Hardware System" (Game Informer) and "1993 Technical Achievement of the Year" (DieHard GameFan). The awards were presented last week at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In addition, VideoGames Magazine selected a Jaguar advertisement as "1993's Best Print Ad" and Electronic Games voted Jaguar's newest software title, "Tempest 2000," the "Best Game of the Show." "We are excited the industry's premier publications have recognized Jaguar," said Sam Tramiel, president of Atari. "We developed Jaguar's 64-bit technology to raise the standard for game system performance, making Jaguar the most powerful, affordable system on the market. It is an honor to know that the leading trade magazines and their readers recognize our efforts." "We created the 'Best New Game System' award specifically for Jaguar," said Chris Gore, editor of VideoGames Magazine. "Atari developed a new game system with innovative hardware and software that delivers a performance level currently not available in the market at a price people can afford. It eclipses 3DO as the best bang for your buck." On Game Informer's decision to vote Jaguar "Best New Hardware System," Editor Andy McNamara said, "With enough raw processing power to take out the big boys, Atari has a winner on its hands. Of course, it will need great software, but if games like the pack-in Cybermorph set the standard, Atari is definitely on its way." Atari Corp. manufactures and markets 64-bit interactive multimedia entertainment systems, video games and personal computers for the home, office and educational marketplaces. The Sunnyvale-based company manufactures the Jaguar products in the United States. ** Atari Jaguar Poised to Pounce Nationally in 1994 ** Atari Corp. also announced this week that the company plans to roll out Jaguar(TM) -- the world's first 64-bit interactive multimedia home entertainment system -- in the first half of 1994. In addition, Jaguar and its first four software titles, "Cybermorph," "Raiden, " "Evolution Dino-Dudes" and "Crescent Galaxy," will continue to ship steadily to stores in New York and San Francisco. "We look forward to extending Jaguar's success in the New York and San Francisco markets by implementing a nationwide rollout of the pro- duct in 1994, " said Sam Tramiel, president of Atari. "What is espec- ially rewarding is customer response to Jaguar -- it's great to see how people react to the system. We are committed to making Jaguar the world's number one game platform and this is a powerful start." "Sales of the Jaguar couldn't better. All of our units sold out in one day and we've got a list of more than 100 people waiting for our next shipment," said Gary Jockers, general manager, FAO Schwarz, San Francisco. "The new titles we received are selling out as fast as the systems. Our customers are clamoring to get these new games. Now that we've got all of the current game titles available for Jaguar, the demand is only increasing for more units." Atari Jaguar is the world's first 64-bit interactive multimedia home entertainment system and is the only video game system manufactured in the United States. Atari expect to deliver its Jaguar CD-peripheral in the second half of 1994 at a suggested retail price of $200. ******* General PC News ******* ** IBM Cuts Pentium-Based PC's 10% ** Prices of all the IBM PCs built around Intel Corp.'s Pentium micro- processor are being cut by more than 10%, according to officials with IBM's wholly owned Ambra unit. Analysts said the competing PowerPC chip -- developed by IBM, Apple Computer Inc. and Motorola Inc. -- costs less than the Pentium because it is easier to make. Last month Intel said it will cut prices on its Pentium chip by 14% to 18% this year to build market share as production speeds up. Also, IBM is introducing two new high-performance options for its Pentium-based systems: a Matrox MGA II+ video card and the Adstar 1GB hard drive. ** Tandy to Open More Supercenters ** Tandy Corp. is set to open 24 Computer City SuperCenters and six new Incredible Universe consumer electronics stores this year. Sources quote Tandy as saying the stores will add 3,600 new jobs throughout the United States. ** Packard Bell Moves Tech Support to Magna, Utah ** Packard Bell's technical support operations is moving from Los Angeles to Magna, Utah. The company also considered sites in Tucson, Arizona, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Portland, Oregon. Utah state officials said the move will create about 600 jobs, with the PC maker using 35,000 square feet of space. ******* General MAC News ******* ** First MAC Nubus Hardware Announced ** Digital Communications Associates (DCA) says it will deliver token ring and coaxial adapters for Macintosh NuBus machines. DCA believes these are the first interface cards available for Apple's seven-inch form factor NuBus computer systems. The MacIRMAtrac NuBus Token Ring and MacIRMA NuBus Coax are network adapters designed for the Centris 610, 660 av and the Quadra 610, 660 av series of Macintosh computers. They also work on older NuBus machines. The Token Ring card features its own memory for downloading microcode and to provide higher performance levels. The Coax card features RAM- based hardware which allows product upgrades through software updates. Both DCA products will be available next month through DCA's standard distribution network. The Token Ring adapter carries a suggested price of $895. Retail price on the Coax adapter is $1,195. Additional information is available from DCA at 800/348- 3221. International customers may fax product or pricing requests to 404/442- 4364. __________________________________________________________ > CLUB KIDSOFT STR Review """"""""""""""""""""""" Club Kidsoft Magazine and CD-rom ================================ by Frank Sereno Club Kidsoft is a new magazine and disc combination which is a new means to advertise and distribute educational software. Club Kidsoft is issued quarterly with a retail price of $4.95, has a yearly subscription price of $19.95 and is currently available to charter subscribers for $9.95. Subscribers also get a $10.00 credit on their first purchase of software. At the low charter price, this magazine is a remarkable bargain. The magazine itself is oversized and printed on matte paper. The inks used in the abundant color illustrations are extremely glossy and give high visual appeal to reader. About 25 pages are dedicated to articles and activities for children. The rest of the magazine is advertisements of the software featured on the CD-rom. Each ad features a graphic of the software box, some screen shots and a brief description of the program along with information about pricing and the operating system that the program uses. The CD-rom can be used independently of the magazine. For the clone version, Club Kidsoft requires a 386 or better cpu with at least 4 megs of ram running Windows 3.1, a 256 color 640 by 480 display, a Windows compatible sound card, a CD-rom drive and 5 megs of free hard drive space for installation of the Club Kidsoft program. It is recommended to have a 486 cpu and a double-speed CD-rom for more efficient operation. Even under those conditions, the program seemed slow to me. Installation is done by putting the disc in the CD-rom drive. From within Windows Program Manager, choose the RUN option under the file menu. Type d:\setup if CD-rom drive is designated as the D: drive. Substitute the letter corresponding to your drive if it is different. Once installation is completed, Club Kidsoft will place a new program group on your desktop. Include in the group is a readme file with more information about running the Club Kidsoft programs, a short illustrated story about a go-cart written by a young lady using Kid Pix, and the main Club Kidsoft program. The main program has two options. You can go to the catalog or to the activities. As sort of a bonus, three small activities are included on the disc. The first is called Dots Galaxy and the player uses the mouse to connect the dots on some uniquely shaped constellations. The second activity is Creature Creator. The player mixes and matches body parts from several different creatures to make new species. The last activity is Picture Puzzle which asks the player to find objects hidden within other objects in two different pictures. These activities are suitable for younger children and will most likely be changed with each issue of the magazine/disc. The catalog section features 79 programs and some hardware add-ons. The ads can be viewed in groups by the alphabet, recommended age for users or by software category. After you chose the group, you will shown up to six thumbnail pictures of the correlating products. Clicking on of those pictures will give you the full advertisement. Each ad shows the software box. Under that picture, icons are displayed to indicate whether product supports mice, sound, Windows, etc. If a golden key icon is displayed, then this software is "club coded" and may be purchased from Club Kidsoft and downloaded directly from the CD-rom to the hard drive by calling an 800 number and getting a special code to activate the software. Also displayed is a toolbar across the bottom of the screen. Always available as options are icons to display a synopsis of each program and to list the hardware requirements in a text window to the right of the main picture. Club coded software display an order form icon. Some programs feature a demo icon indicating a demo is on the CD-rom. A blue-ribbon icon displays a list of awards which the program has received. I have not purchased any software off my CD-rom yet. Since a couple of programs look interesting, I will probably give the ordering system a trial and report on it here at a later date. The process does seem to be relatively easy as it is making a few mouse clicks and a toll-free telephone call. Currently the only payment method permitted for downloading from the CD-rom is a credit card. You may order software packages by mail from Club Kidsoft and pay with check, cash or money orders in addition to credit cards. The catalog is very easy to use for previewing software but I was a bit disappointed. Of 79 programs, only 15 had demos and one of those did not work. Of the 15 demos, only 7 were playable, that is that the user was allowed some interaction with the program. Of the 14 Club coded programs, only 7 had demos. Of those 7, one demo was inoperable and only 3 were playable. I had hoped that more of the programs would have demos and that any downloadable software would have a demo available. My highest hope was that the majority of these demos would be playable so my children and I could work with the demos a bit to find the software that is best for them. Club Kidsoft has a money-back guarantee on all their software but I would rather avoid the bother of asking for a refund and waiting for a credit on my credit card when a playable demo guarantees that I will find a program my children will like and use to the utmost. Since this is the first issue, perhaps the software companies did not have enough time to ready demos and such. I hope that the few shortcomings in this fine product will be addressed in the near future. I do recommend that any parent with children between 3 and 18 years of age purchase this product to aid in the search for good educational software. ________________________________________________ > CUSTOMER SUPPORT? STR FOCUS! One that fell through the cracks! """""""""""""""""""""""""""" IS THERE A SILVER LINING IN THE DARK CLOUDS OF CUSTOMER DISSTATISFACTION? by Glenwood Drake IS THE DOCTOR IN? PC Tools Technical Support Dept. (503)690-7133 August 5, 1993 Dear Sir(s): I just received your PC TOOLS for dos version 8.0a that is supposed to be optimized to work with MS-Dos 6.0. If I try to install this program with Microsoft MSCDEX.EXE TSR loaded, it will simply lock up my machine without any explanation. After removing the MSCDEX.EXE TSR, your program will install without problems. However, as you well know, those of us that have CD ROM drives need this program in order to utilize them. After installing PC TOOLS and inserting the MSCDEX.EXE TSR back into my configuration, everything seems normal. However, if I run your SI program and run a speed check on the first drive in my system, I receive an error message. Shortly thereafter my system will lock up and force me to re-boot. If this samespeed check is run on the second hard drive in my system I do not receive this error. This error message is listed as follows; run-time error R6003 - integer divide by 0 Subsequently, if I remove Microsoft's MSCDEX.EXE driver and run this test again, there is no error message. This possibly could be just an error in your code regarding this one specific section of your program. However I am reluctant to leave the program installed on my disk as I am uncertain of additional problems that could arise that would perhaps create errors on my hard drives, since this error did appear while running your hard drive speed checking program with SI. I spoke with Kip in your technical support department as of the above date and he instructed me to remove all my TSR's, with the exception of MSCDEX.EXE and try the test on the drive again. I did so and with the same results. There is no doubt in my mind that your code is conflicting with Microsoft's MSCDEX.EXE. Please be advised that the MSCDEX.EXE is the version 2.22 dated 3/30/93 that was shipped with this new version of MS-Dos. I have, by the way, installed an older version of the TSR with the same results. In addition I went to the trouble of switching the loading order of all my TSR's and still have the problem. Since this version of PC TOOLS is supposed to be optimized while working with MS-Dos 6.0, I would appreciate a prompt reply regarding a fix for this problem. "There is no doubt in my mind that your code is conflicting with Microsoft's MSCDEX.EXE." Frustrated....You Send Another Letter. August 10, 1993 Since I have not received a reply regarding my Fax to your technical department dated August 5, 1993, in reference to PcTools Ver 8.0a for DOS, I can only assume that you have not found a solution to the problem I was experiencing. Refer to the Fax I submitted to your technical department on Thursday August 5, 1993. Please be advised that I worked for several days regarding this run- time error and found a solution that will work around it. I have been successful in installing Ver 8.0a without my system locking up, or the necessity of removing any of my TSR's in my configuration, and in particular Microsoft's MSCDEX.EXE TSR. In addition I am able to do a speed test on the first drive in my system without the system locking up. This work around should not be necessary since it most certainly could be fixed with a patch somewhere in your code. Since the majority of PC users don't own a CD-ROM or use Microsoft's MSCDEX.EXE, they should not experience this problem. However, since your company produces excellent disk optimizing software, this problem should be addressed promptly. When someone purchases disk optimizing software, only to have it lock up their system during the installation process, forcing them to remove TSR's, and subsequently produce errors while performing a hard disk speed check, this naturally is cause for concern. What bothers me most of all is the fact that I had to Beta Test a released version of your software, and find a solution for a problem that should have been addressed by your technical department. I am certain that others with CD-ROM drives may be experiencing these same problems. If anyone in your problem resolution department would be interested in what I found, then please do not hesitate to call. I can be reached at the number listed below. Best regards, Glenwood Drake CENTRAL POINT SOFTWARE RESPONDS... "What bothers me most of all is the fact that I had to Beta Test a released version of your software, and find a solution for a problem that should have been addressed by your technical department." August 12, 1993 Dear Mr. Drake Thank you for your FAX regarding PC Tools V8.0a. I Have passed along a written report of the problem with MSCDEX.EXE and PC Tools V8.0a. However I have no idea if and when we might try to fix this problem. As you purchased the update direct from us, and are well within the 60-day return window, please feel free to return the product if you dissatisfied. Please include a copy of the invoice, and this letter, with the return. If you have any more questions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact us either by FAX at (503) 690-7133 or by phone at (503) 690- 8080." Sincerely, Karen L. Miller August 13, 1993 Central Point Software, Inc. Attention: Karen L. Miller Technical Support Dept. (503)690-7133 Dear M's. Miller: I have received your FAX dated 12 August 1993. What gave you the impression I was dissatisfied with the product? It is an excellent product but it is not bug free. Otherwise, why would so much of my time and effort be spent with it? I am well aware of your company's 60 day return policy, and believe me when I say it would have been easier to simply return the product, than it is to deal with your department. Which by the way, should be reclassified from The Technical Support Department to Technical, BUT NO, Support Department! It was never my intention to return PC Tools V8.0a. for DOS. I was simply responding to a problem that should have been detected by your Beta Testers prior to its release to the general public. Since it is apparent you have no idea regarding when and if Central Point Software might try to fix this problem. Perhaps it would be beneficial for me to try another product. Let me remind you there are many other software companies providing excellent disk optimization and utility programs. I am quite capable of purchasing software from any other company. I may, as a result of our exchange, do so forthwith. In the mean time, I have no interest in whether the company you are employed by and represent decides to address and correct this problem in PC Tools V8.0a for DOS. I am well aware of the problem in the code and have subsequently implemented a work around. It is therefore my intention to continue to use PC Tools V8.0a for DOS in its "as is condition" until such time as there is a fix provided. At this point in time, due to our present exchange and the nature of my understanding of your reply to me of "just return it", it appears the same to me as if you are asking that I shut up and go away. For example, when I found problems in the code in an interim release version of Word Perfect 5.1 for Windows. Not only were they grateful for my having provided this knowledge since they were unaware of this problem, they showed their appreciation for my efforts by sending me a copy of their latest version. Please understand I was not challenged to return the product for a refund. I was instead offered the utmost cooperation and support in resolving what was an obvious problem that could be detrimental to sales. Trusting you can understand my position and hopefully we will get this matter resolved to both my satisfaction and to the benefit of Central Point Software. Glenwood L. Drake NO PROMISE OF A FIX BY CENTRAL POINT SOFTWARE "I couldn't provide you with a fix nor could I promise a fix in the future," August 13, 1993 Dear Mr. Drake: I received your follow-up fax on the problem with PC Tools V8.0a and MSCDEX.EXE. You made my job rather easy by completely troubleshooting the problem, so there was no need for me to present troubleshooting information in my fax. What other details could I have given you? A brief reply was all that seemed necessary. I am sorry you misinterpreted the intentions of my fax. The Written report, which was passed to Product Development, does have your name attached to it, so if a fix comes about, you will be notified. I did not make this clear and should have. My paragraph regarding the possibility of returning the product was only given as an option, Not as Challenge. I couldn t provide you with a fix nor could I promise a fix in the future, so it s only reasonable that I let you know that you can return the product. We just want you to know that if we can t fix the problem, you don t have to live with it, if you don t want to. I think that s fair, don t you? Once again , if you have any more questions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact me either by FAX at (503) 690-7133 or by phone at (503) 690-8080." Sincerely, Karen L. Miller Technical Support P.S. I just found a similar report with SI & MSCDEX. The report states that the error only occurs when there s no CD in the drive. Thought this Might be helpful info." August 15, 1993 Dear M's. Miller: Thanks for your prompt response to my FAX of August 13, 1993. You are correct, I misinterpreted your FAX dated 12, August 1993. I don't read between the lines very well, and your current FAX filled the void. On occasion the end user will expect miracles from The Technical Support Department. I am guilty of expecting more than you were able to deliver on such short notice. It would've been extremely painful for me to give up PC Tools. However, I was prepared to do so. In my opinion it is the best and most useful software I have installed on my system. The P.S. was not necessary, I already knew about the CD in the drive. That's how I could install your program, without removing Microsoft's MSCDEX.EXE, and subsequently use SI without experiencing a run-time error on my first drive. Just make sure there is a readable CD in the drive. It will not work with a musical CD installed. Had I been asked, about my work around solution, I would have supplied that information to you many days ago. Please accept my apology, I was wrong when I vented my frustration in your direction. However, make no mistake about it, we are growing extremely weary of problem riddled software. I think Central Point Software can understand that, don't you? No further correspondence is necessary. I consider the matter closed. Glenwood L. Drake January 13, 1994 As of today... I have not received any response regarding a fix from Central Point Software to Ver. 8.0a. I do not expect one since Ver. 9 of PC Tools was released shortly after Ver. 8.0a hit the streets. However, I did receive an upgrade notice so I could mail Central Point Software another $49.00, if I wanted to upgrade my bug riddled Ver. 8.0a. Isn t it amazing that software is being released to the general public full of what we call "bugs". After all, why should Software Companies worry about fixing buggy software? All they have to do is add a few new features, remove some older features, change the version number, and ship it out to the end user for a fee. By the way, for your information Ver.9 of Central Point Software has a few bugs. But that's "another story for another day". Glenwood L. Drake """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted by permission """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ___ ___ _____ _______ /___| /___| /_____| /_______/ The Macintosh RoundTable /____|/____| /__/|__| /__/ ________________________ /_____|_____|/__/_|__|/__/ /__/|____/|__|________|__/ /__/ |___/ |__|_/ |__|_/____ Managed by SyndiComm /__/ |__/ |__|/ |__|______/ An Official Forum of the International Computer Users Group *** STReport available in MAC RT *** ASCII TEXT for ALL GEnie users! MAC/APPLE SECTION (II) ====================== Randy Noak, Editor Do you make New Year resolutions? Normally I don't. I realize that I'll never keep any resolution I might make, so to avoid future disappointment, I simply refrain from resolving anything. This year, however, was different. I had decided that I was going to "computerize" my personal finances. I'd been using Quicken for years to keep track of my DTP businesses income and expenses, so I thought that using the same program to track my checkbook would be a breeze. Am I clueless or what? I made my decision in mid-December, and the first order of business was to order Quicken checks for my laser printer. I faxed my check order and waited. And waited. And waited. Oops! Forgot about the Holiday delay. Well, I guess I could wait for the checks since I was also waiting for my bank statement to arrive. I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, on January 10, I could wait no longer and wrote out my bills by hand and mailed them. Yep. You guessed it. My statement arrived January 11. Sigh. I entered the ending balance on my bank statement as the beginning balance in Quicken and proceeded to reconcile my account. I entered all the checks that I had written that weren't listed in my bank's statement and quickly discovered a problem. I was out of money! What happened? I thought I had a few bucks left. It turns out that I hadn't been informed about several ATM transactions and had far less money than I thought in the checking account. The checks I had used to pay my bills were, literally, "in the mail" and my only hope was that my next paycheck arrived before those checks did. I kept a feverish watch on my bank balance until today when my paycheck was delivered. I entered my deposit and all is OK now. I think. I'll find out for sure next month. I had three more bills to pay, so I printed my checks, put them in envelopes, and immediately took them back out of the envelopes because I forgot to sign them! I signed them, put them back in the envelopes, added my return address labels, and stamped and sealed the envelopes. Now all I've got to do is mail them. So far, except for my screw-ups, this has gone pretty well. Maybe I'll make another resolution next year. Nah! Randy Noak - Editor A whole bunch of useful and interesting info follows. First of all, CompuServe has released a new version of Navigator, their popular off- line navigation software. I use this to access CompuServe and it is well worth the price. Highly recommended. NAVIGATOR 3.2.1 RELEASED ======================== COMPUSERVE HAS RELEASED VERSION 3.2.1 OF NAVIGATOR. ALL REGISTERED USERS SHOULD GO NAVIGATOR FOR INFORMATION ON NEW FEATURES AND TO DOWNLOAD THIS NEW RELEASE, FREE! Here's a neat little tip from J.EGAN (Jillie) via GEnie. My kids have been playing with Kid Pix for quite a while. Now _I_ get to play! To Make Kid Pix Icons: Open Kid Pix and have the kids: Pick a stamp or make a picture. (I try to tell them to think about the space they have and skip little details) Once you have what you want to copy do the following: Go to the "truck" in the menu On the bottom of the picture memu pick the "Magnet" When you have the "Magnet" working it will outline what will be copied (try to keep as much of the picture in the frame). Use your Kid Pix edit from menu and "copy" Then: In the Apple Menu Open your scrapbook and paste (Save as many as you want that way and then close Kid Pix) When you make your Icons do this: Use your mouse and click once to hi-light the file you want to change the icon on. Go to "file" and chose "get info" Point with your mouse and click once the icon (a frame should enclose the icon) Go to the "apple menu" and open the scrapbook pick the picture you want and "copy" close scrapbook, go back to the icon, click once and then "Paste" The Icon should change. (unless it's locked) Cool! Thanks Jillie. Here's the press release for FoxPro 2.5, Microsoft's relational database. It appears that Microsoft wants to corner the Mac database market much the same as they've done in the Windows market with Access, so they've set a special introductory price for FoxPro. ____________________________________________________ > MAC WORLD INFO II STR InfoFile """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Microsoft Releases to Manufacturing the New FoxPro 2.5 Relational Database Management System for Macintosh Microsoft FoxPro Brings Enhanced Performance and Power; Offered at Special Introductory Price of $99 REDMOND, Wash. - Dec. 13, 1993 - Microsoft Corporation announced today that the Microsoft* FoxPro* database management system version 2.5 for Macintosh* has been released to manufacturing, with commercial availability scheduled in January 1994. Designed to empower developers and users alike, FoxPro provides unsurpassed speed, full cross-platform capabilities and extensive support for Macintosh System 7 technologies. Through June 1994, FoxPro for Macintosh will be available at a special introductory price of $99. "Macintosh database users have been asking for greatly improved performance, relational capabilities and a solution that works seamlessly across multiple operating systems. We developed FoxPro for Macintosh, a major upgrade from our current FoxBASE+ product, precisely to meet these needs," said Roger Heinen, senior vice president, database and development tools division at Microsoft. "We+ve used our experience in designing leading applications for the Macintosh and applied it to developing a world-class database." "FoxPro for Macintosh is great news for Macintosh database developers and users," said David Nagel, vice president of AppleSoft at Apple Computer, Inc. "The product+s cross-platform capabilities should also make it appealing to users of MS-DOS and Windows who are considering the Macintosh or who have mixed operating environments." Unsurpassed Performance Patent-pending Rushmore* query optimization technology makes FoxPro the fastest database for Macintosh. In a suite of performance benchmarks conducted by Micro Endeavors, Inc., a third- party database consulting firm, FoxPro 2.5 easily outdistanced ACI 4th Dimension* and Claris* FileMaker* Pro databases. These benchmarks showed FoxPro to be 36 times faster on average than 4th Dimension and FileMaker in single-table, single-user tests. In multiuser, multitable benchmarks, FoxPro performed an average of seven times faster than 4th Dimension. "I've been developing database applications on the Macintosh for five years, and poor performance has been an issue all along," said Bob Shatzer of Wisdom Technologies. "That drawback disappears with FoxPro. The product really screams. As a result, I+m moving from 4th Dimension to FoxPro. Not only is it faster, the tools are cleaner and more intuitive." Full Cross-platform Compatibility The release of FoxPro for Macintosh makes FoxPro unique in offering a full-featured, relational database for the three leading operating systems in the world: Macintosh, Windows* and MS-DOS*. In addition, FoxPro for SCO* UNIX* and XENIX* is scheduled for availability in mid-1994. FoxPro offers seamless cross-platform compatibility. Users of FoxPro on different platforms can share data simultaneously; FoxPro for Macintosh- based applications can run unchanged in FoxPro for Windows, FoxPro for MS-DOS, and soon, SCO UNIX and XENIX. Likewise, applications based on FoxPro for Windows and FoxPro for MS-DOS can be run without modification in FoxPro for Macintosh. For developers, this capability means developing an application once and being able to run it on four platforms. For corporations, it means supporting only one DBMS standard. Support, training and maintenance can be consolidated into one product for users at all levels on multiple operating systems. Mobil Oil has developed a cost collection system using FoxPro. This system is being used by more than 1,200 users, 400 of whom have Macintosh computers, and the rest of whom have PCs. "FoxPro was the clear choice for this application. It allows us to support users of Macintosh, Windows and MS-DOS very easily," said Mike Grayson of Software Solutions, developers of the application. "There's no longer any obstacle blocking integration of islands of Macintosh with PCs in corporations * FoxPro bridges the gap." "We've been dying for FoxPro for Macintosh to come out," said Alex Baker, systems coordinator at Ernst and Young. "We+re a very big Mac shop, but we also have a lot of PCs. Now it's going to be very easy for us to have the same applications running on our Macs that we have in MS- DOS and Windows." FoxPro Professional Edition Microsoft also announced FoxPro 2.5 for Macintosh, Professional Edition. A superset of FoxPro 2.5 for Macintosh, the Professional Edition will allow developers to distribute standalone applications royalty-free and write libraries in C or C++ that are callable from FoxPro. "We're making it convenient and economical for developers to get everything they need in one package," said Lisa Brummel, FoxPro group product manager at Microsoft. The Professional Edition is scheduled to be upgraded to allow development of client-server applications through Open Database Connectivity in the first quarter of 1994. FoxPro Tools FoxPro provides a comprehensive set of tools for developers and power users. Developers can rapidly create full-featured applications that take advantage of the graphical user interface. The FoxPro Screen Builder, for instance, supports more than 16 different screen objects, such as buttons, picture controls, check boxes, popup lists and radio buttons, providing nearly limitless options for creating detailed custom screens. In concert with the FoxPro Report Writer, Menu Builder and Editor, these tools make each step of application development as productive as possible. "I make my living developing Macintosh database applications," said Fred Kusin, president of Bay Image Technologies. "Now FoxPro gives our group the tools to create great Macintosh applications very quickly. Our clients love how the applications look and how fast they run." New Wizards for Accessible Power FoxPro also makes the power of relational data management accessible to users, filling in the gap between flat files and relational databases that are designed only for developers. "We found many people were hitting the wall with flatfile databases like FileMaker Pro," said Micosoft+s Brummel. "FoxPro offers much better performance and greater capacity, and makes full relational capabilities accessible to users." FoxPro employs Microsoft wizard technology to make a number of database tasks extremely easy. With the help of wizards, users can create screens, reports and graphs by just answering simple questions. Wizards then quickly do all the work behind the scenes, helping to save time and lower the learning curve. In addition, the FoxPro Query by Example tool provides the most sophisticated query tool on the Macintosh. With point-and-click manipulation, users can create queries that group, sort or perform calculations on database records or subsets of records. Even powerful queries such as cross-tabs require only checking a box. System 7 Features While FoxPro offers outstanding cross-platform capabilities, it also takes full advantage of System 7 and other Macintosh technologies. With support for AppleEvents, FoxPro can be integrated with other Microsoft applications for Macintosh, such as Microsoft Excel. FoxPro also supports the QuickTime* application, the ability to call XCommands and XFunctions, TrueType* fonts, 32-bit addressing, and the Balloon Help* application program. FoxPro also supports object linking and embedding and imports both 4th Dimension and FileMaker Pro data. Pricing and Availability Microsoft FoxPro 2.5 for Macintosh is scheduled to be available in January 1994. To promote the introduction of this new product, Microsoft will offer a special introductory price of $99 for all users in the United States. The U.S. suggested retail price of FoxPro is $495. The introductory price will expire on June 30, 1994. FoxPro 2.5 for Macintosh, Professional Edition is scheduled to be available in February. The suggested retail price is $695. Licensees of both FoxBASE+ for Macintosh and FoxBASE+ run time can upgrade to FoxPro Professional Edition for $295 until April 30, 1994. In addition, French and German versions of FoxPro 2.5 for Macintosh are scheduled for availability in the second quarter of 1994. To run FoxPro 2.5 for Macintosh, users need a 68020 processor or higher, System 7 or higher, and 4MB of RAM. THIS RELEASE MOVED OVER PR NEWSWIRE ON MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 1994 AT 8:33 AM,EDT. New Apple Media Authoring Solution Provides Complete Multimedia Solution for Developers Low-Cost Bundle Includes Software and Accessories to Create CD-ROM Titles, Multimedia Presentations, Video Kiosks and Games SAN FRANCISCO, California--January 3, 1994--As part of its charter to make multimedia technologies more accessible to consumers and to increase the number of multimedia titles, Apple Computer, Inc. today introduced the Apple Media Authoring Solution , a complete low-cost CD-ROM authoring solution for multimedia developers. The Apple Media Authoring Solution consists of hardware and software tools that enable developers to use animation, 3D modeling, special video effects and object-oriented authoring to create CD-ROM titles, multimedia presentations, video kiosks and games. The system provides all the necessary tools to create CD-ROMs compatible with the Macintosh as well as Windows- and DOS-based computers. The Apple Media Authoring Solution is designed for use with the high-performance Apple Macintosh Quadra computers, including the Quadra 800, Quadra 840AV and the Quadra 950. The System features SuperMac's DigitalFilm video card and ThunderStorm software acceleration card, AppleDesign Powered Speakers and multimedia development software from Adobe, Apple, the Company of Science and Art (CoSA) and Macromedia. The competitively priced Apple Media Authoring Solution is especially ideal for corporate content developers, training departments, interactive kiosk developers, CD-ROM developers, electronic game designers, public relations and advertising agencies, graphic designers, animators and 3D modelers. Specific components of the system include: - SuperMac DigitalFilm--a NuBus video card that enables full-motion, full-screen video and audio capture and editing - SuperMac ThunderStorm--a NuBus card that accelerates multimedia filters for adobe Premiere and Photoshop and CoSA After Effects - Apple Media Tool--multimedia production software that enables media element assembly without programming - Adobe Premiere Deluxe CD-ROM Edition--digital video production and editing software for non-linear, off-line editing and production of QuickTime movies - Adobe Photoshop Deluxe CD-ROM Edition--software for photo manipulation, image editing and production - CoSA After Effects--video special effects software with production-house-quality - Macromedia Director--authoring software for multimedia production - Macromedia MacroModel--three-dimensional, spline-based modeling software - Macromedia Action!--multimedia presentation software - Apple Desktop Presentation Solution--includes Macromedia Action, Sound Edit Pro, and Clip Media - Kodak Shoebox--an image database for Kodak Photo CD users - AppleDesign Powered Speakers--high-quality stereo speakers specifically designed for use with computers Price/Availability The Apple Media Authoring Solution is available immediately, and is expected to sell for approximately $6,999. Multimedia Meets Bookstores in Pilot Test CUPERTINO, California--January 3, 1994--Apple Computer, Inc., The Voyager Company and five electronic publishing companies today announced the start of a new test program that will test bookstores as a new sales channel for interactive software--including CD-ROM titles--across the U.S. and Canada. The other publishers in the program include Creative Multimedia Corporation, Discis Knowledge Research, Macmillan New Media, Time Warner Interactive Group and Putnam New Media. Four major bookstore chains and four leading independent booksellers in six cities are participating in the test, including: New York, New York Barnes & Noble Shakespeare & Company Tower Books Denver, Colorado The Tattered Cover Los Angeles, California Brentanos Encino, California SuperCrown Books Toronto, Ontario, Canada Coles Bookstore London, Ontario, Canada Wendell Holmes Bookstore Each bookstore will receive a two-sided kiosk that features an Apple Macintosh and CD-ROM titles on one side and an Apple PowerBook and Expanded Books on the other. CD-ROMs look identical to audio compact disks, but feature sound, text, audio and video for computers. Expanded Books are unabridged books on floppy disk that present text for easy reading on the computer. Each kiosk features an easy-to-use interface that provides shoppers with 15 demo clips of titles available for purchase. CD-ROM titles featured on the kiosk include "A Hard Day's Night" from The Voyager Company; "The Family Doctor, 3rd Edition" from the Creative Multimedia Corporation; "HellCab" from Time Warner Interactive Group; "World Tour Golf" from FeatherOut, Inc.; "Peter Rabbit" from Discis Knowledge Research; "Macmillan Children's Dictionary" from Macmillan New Media; and "Big Anthony's Mixed Up Magic" from Putnam New Media. Expanded Books titles include Voyagers' "The Pelican Brief" by John Grisham; "The Complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams; and "Virtual Light" by William Gibson. Macmillan New Media's Expanded Book titles include "All That Remains" by Patricia D. Cornwell and "I Love Boston Guide" by Marilyn J. Appleberg. Apple Computer, Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets personal computer, server and personal interactive electronic systems for use in business, education, science and engineering, government, and the home. A recognized pioneer and innovator in the personal computer industry, Apple does business in more than 120 countries. Through its advanced technology, the company seeks to provide individuals and organizations with easy and affordable access to information and computing power. Founded in 1984, The Voyager Company is a multimedia publishing company which uses new technologies to develop and publish works of significant content. In the rapidly expanding new media industry, Voyager is recognized as an innovative leader. Voyager maintains and cultivates close relationships with leading authors, artists, filmmakers and educators in order to ensure that the company will continue to publish cutting-edge, award-winning products for both the consumer and educational markets. The concept of publishing is undergoing radical changes and Voyager is leading the revolution with a broad range of CD-ROM titles, Expanded Books on floppy diskettes and authoring software for multimedia production. Voyager is a privately held company headquartered in New York with additional offices in Paris and Tokyo. THIS RELEASE MOVED OVER PR NEWSWIRE ON MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 1994 AT 8:34 AM,EDT. New Low-Cost Apple Bundle Brings Professional Video Production and Special Effects Capabilities to the Desktop Apple Professional Video Production Solution Enables Users to Create Industrial-Quality Video from a Macintosh SAN FRANCISCO, California--January 3, 1994--Professional-quality video production comes to the desktop with today's introduction of the Apple Professional Video Production Solution , a complete low- cost video solution. The Apple Professional Video Production Solution enables users to capture, edit, manipulate and output industrial-quality video from the desktop. Central to the bundle is the Radius VideoVision Studio NuBus video card that provides full- motion, full-screen and flicker-free video at 640 x 480 resolution, at 30 frames per second. The bundle is ideal for independent video producers, groups responsible for producing video presentations, training departments, and multimedia designers and producers. The Apple Professional Video Production Solution is designed for the high-performance Apple Macintosh Quadra computers, including the Quadra 800, Quadra 840AV and the Quadra 950. Components of the Apple Professional Video Production Solution include: - Radius VideoVision Studio--a NuBus video card for video capture and editing - Storage Dimensions MacinStor SpeedArray--external 2 gigabyte disk array - digidesign Audiomedia II--a NuBus digital stereo sound card that provides direct-to-disk ecording and playback - AppleDesign Powered Speakers--high-quality stereo speakers especially designed for use with computers - Adobe Premiere Deluxe CD-ROM Edition--digital video production and editing software that enables non-linear, off-line editing and production of QuickTime movies - VideoFusion--special effects software that combines video, graphics and text in QuickTime movies Price/Availability The Apple Professional Video Production Solution is available immediately. The ApplePrice is $10,749. THIS RELEASE MOVED OVER PR NEWSWIRE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1994 AT 8:40 AM,EDT Apple Boosts Workgroup Server 95 Flexibility by Enhancing Performance and Storage Capacity Options For Workgroup Applications New Enhancements Aim to Further Increase High Customer Satisfaction Ratings CUPERTINO, California--January 4, 1994--Apple Computer, Inc. announced today enhancements and two new high-end configurations to its most powerful and expandable server line for delivering workgroup applications as well as file-and-print or database services to large or data-intensive workgroups. The enhancements to the Apple Workgroup Server 95 product line include both hardware and software, giving users an average of 40 percent higher performance when using Apple's latest file service solution AppleShare Pro 1.1. In addition, a new storage subsystem has been added, increasing hard- disk drive performance and allowing for internal storage of up to 10 gigabytes (GB) of server data. The announcement follows a customer satisfaction survey, conducted by the Newton, Massachusetts-based market research firm Business Research Group (BRG), which gave the Apple Workgroup Server 95 high marks for overall performance, ease-of-use and technical phone support. The survey revealed that nine out of ten of the customers questioned reported being very satisfied with the Apple Workgroup Server 95 and that they would recommend the system to their colleagues. All of the latest features of the Apple Workgroup Server 95 will be demonstrated at the Apple Pavilion at the MacWorld Expo 94 trade show, January 5-8, in San Francisco. The Apple Workgroup Server 95 uses a Motorola 33-MHz 68040 processor and comes with a minimum of 16MB of parity RAM (expandable to 256MB), four SCSI channels (two SCSI DMA), four NuBus expansion slots, and a choice of hard drive capacities. The system is also expandable up to 20 SCSI drives with room for six internal SCSI drives. The Apple Workgroup Server 95 comes in a variety of server configurations to meet a range of customer needs. Apple also intends to make the new server software available to current Apple Workgroup Server 95 customers. Software Enhancements The Apple Workgroup Server 95 uses a new version of A/UX (version 3.1). The latest version of Apple's multi-tasking, tunable version of the UNIX operating system gives Apple Workgroup Server 95 users improved performance. The new server version of A/UX has been optimized specifically for workgroup applications such as file-and- print or database services while maintaining the Macintosh ease of use customers expect from A/UX. In addition, the A/UX server operating system features asynchronous I/O and SCSI DMA driver support as well as support for AppleTalk and TCP/IP networking protocols. It is compatible with System 7.0.1, allowing users to run System 7.0.1 server applications in parallel with UNIX applications while taking advantage of easy-to-use installation, management and backup functions. AppleShare Pro (version 1.1) running on the Apple Workgroup Server 95 has also been tuned to provide a file-and-print server solution that boosts performance up to more than five times that of AppleShare 3 running on a Quadra 950. According to tests run by Pharos Technologies Inc., an independent software development company, software enhancements to the Apple Workgroup Server 95 have significantly improved the throughput performance of the system. Pharos reports sequential reads have improved an average of 12 percent, while sequential writes, a very I/O-intensive function, have improved by approximately 70 percent over the previous version of the Apple Workgroup Server 95. Enumerate performance, including tasks such as browsing through files and directories on the server, increased in speed by 123 percent over benchmark performance of the previous version of the system. Increased Storage Capacity The latest version of the Apple Workgroup Server 95 has also been designed with a new higher performing and higher capacity hard-disk drive, providing 2GB of disk storage. With new disk-drive mounting brackets built into the system, a total of five hard-disk drives can be linked internally to provide users with up to 10GB of data storage. This gives users greater flexibility and disk space for managing large amounts of data. In addition, the new hard-disk drive has an improved data access time of 12 milliseconds (Msec) and a seek time of 9 Msec, compared with 16 Msec and 11 Msec, respectively, for the existing 1GB hard-disk drives. Third-Party Support Apple continues to work with several third-party firms to provide value-added solutions for the Apple Workgroup Server 95. For instance, FWB Inc., a leading supplier of mass storage products for Macintosh and the Apple Workgroup Server family, will provide an internal disk array capable of both RAID 0 data striping for high sustained throughput and RAID 1 disk mirroring for fault-tolerant data needs. Other companies, such as Conley Corporation, CORE International and MegaDrive, currently provide external RAID solutions for the Apple Workgroup Server 95. Exide Electronics intends to offer network power management software and Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) with the Apple Workgroup Server 95 during the first quarter of 1994. This solution provides a graphical network monitoring interface, including management of power resources across the network and controlled server shutdown to prevent data loss during power failure. Availability, Pricing and Configurations Apple intends to offer the two new server products to all markets that currently sell the Apple Workgroup Server 95 and will be available through Apple authorized dealers and resellers, with the exception of Performa mass market resellers. Customers can choose from a number of service and support options offered through Apple and its reseller partners, including Apple's free lifetime (7 day, 24 hour) technical phone support provided for its entire Apple Workgroup Server product line. The latest version of the Apple Workgroup Server 95 is expected to begin shipping by the end of February 1994. The Apple Workgroup Server 95 will be available in file-and-print and database configurations (all hardware prices are ApplePrices, and prices and configurations may vary outside the U.S.). AppleShare Pro 1.0 is available immediately through Apple resellers and dealers for a suggested retail price in the U.S. of $2,399. Configurations Available in February Current Apple Workgroup Server 95 customers who purchased their system before December 1993 can upgrade their system software in February for US$199. Call the Apple Network Information Line at 408-862-3385 for more details. Apple intends to have the following configurations available by the end of February: Apple Workgroup Server 95 $11,995 - 32MB of RAM, 2000MB hard disk, DDS-DC backup drive, AppleShare Pro pre-installed on the hard disk, 256KB second-level cache, A/UX tuned for file-and-print Apple Workgroup Server 95 $11,795 - 48MB of RAM, 250MB and 2000MB hard disk, DDS-DC backup drive, 512KB second-level cache, A/UX tuned for relational database Current Configurations For customers who purchased the Apple Workgroup Server 95 in December 1993, January or February 1994, software upgrades are planned to be available by the end of February 1994 at no charge. Call the Apple Network Information Line at 408-862-3385 for more details. The following Apple Workgroup Server configurations are available immediately: Apple Workgroup Server 95 $5,409 - 16MB of RAM, 230MB hard disk, 128KB second-level cache, Tuned for file-and-print or relational database Apple Workgroup Server 95 $10,349 - 32MB of RAM, 1000MB hard disk, DDS-DC backup drive, AppleShare Pro pre-installed on the hard disk, 512KB second-level cache, A/UX tuned for file-and-print Apple Workgroup Server 95 $10,159 - 48MB of RAM, 230MB and 1000MB hard disk, DDS-DC backup drive, 512KB second-level cache, A/UX tuned for relational database Upgrade Kits for Quadra 900, 950 Owners of Macintosh Quadra 900 and 950s can upgrade their hardware to an Apple Workgroup Server 95 via two upgrade kit options (prices are U.S. ApplePrice and may vary outside the U.S.): The Apple Workgroup Server 95 PDS Card Upgrade Kit $2,219 - Includes a Processor Direct Slot card with 128K second-level memory cache on-board and the server version of A/UX system software. The Apple Workgroup Server 95 PDS Card Upgrade Kit with DDS-DC and Retrospect Remote back-up software $3,909 - Includes a Processor Direct Slot card with 128K second-level memory cache on-board and the server version of A/UX system software and an internal Digital Data Storage-Data Compression (DDS-DC) 4mm tape backup drive and the latest version Dantz Retrospect Remote A/UX backup software. THIS RELEASE MOVED OVER PR NEWSWIRE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1994 AT 8:38 AM,EDT New Networking Offering Spearheads Apple's Aggressive Marketing Strategy for Networking Cards, Cables and Connectors Apple Introduces Ethernet LC Twisted-Pair Card SAN FRANCISCO, California--January 4, 1994--Apple Computer, Inc. today introduced a new line of low-cost, high-performance of networking cards, cables and connectors. The Ethernet LC Twisted Pair card is the first offering in this product line. The Ethernet LC Twisted-Pair card offers Ethernet speeds that are significantly faster than many of Apple's previous Ethernet offerings. It is the first integrated Ethernet card that Apple plans to offer with an ApplePrice below $100. The Ethernet LC Twisted-Pair Card comes with an industry standard RJ-45 port which allows you to connect directly to IEEE 802.3 10Base-T compatible hub which allows for quick and easy installation and network management. This card also ships with new and improved high performance ethernet software which increases your network performance by approximately 25 percent. Owners of older Apple Ethernet LC, Apple Ethernet NB and Apple Ethernet NB Twisted-Pair cards will be able to enhance their network performance by upgrading to version 1.4.2 of the Network Software Installer. Apple Ethernet products are compliant with the IEEE 802.3 standard and can be used in any existing Ethernet environment including those running AppleTalk , DECnet, MacIPX , OSI, SNA, or TCP/IP and are compatible with existing network services and applications such as file servers, print servers, electronic mail and databases. System Requirements The Ethernet LC Twisted-Pair card requires one available Macintosh LC processor direct slot and an IEEE 10Base-T hub. Availability and Pricing The Ethernet LC Twisted-Pair card is planned to be available late January in the United States through authorized Apple resellers, distributors and integrators. In Apple's Pacific region, including Canada and Latin America, the Ethernet LC Twisted-Pair card is currently scheduled to be available in February, 1994. In Europe, it is currently scheduled to be available in February 1994. Pricing outside the United States may vary by country. The Ethernet LC Twisted-Pair card has an ApplePrice of (US) $99; ApplePrices fall within the general range of street prices offered by Apple resellers. Owners of older Ethernet Cards can upgrade their systems to version 1.4.2 of the Network Software Installer, free of charge, by down loading the software from AppleLink, Internet and Developer CDs. Upgrades may also be obtained by faxing their name, address and telephone number to the ABS Network Information Line at (408) 974-7977. APPLE COMPUTER, INC. AND CITIBANK MASTERCARD AND VISA ANNOUNCE CO-BRANDED CARD Rebate on Apple Products, Low APR, And First Year Fee Waiver Characterize Apple Citibank MasterCard and Visa NEW YORK, January 4, 1993--Apple Computer, Inc., a leading manufacturer of personal computers, and Citibank MasterCard and Visa, the number one bankcard issuer, today introduced the Apple Citibank MasterCard and Visa the first credit card to offer consumers rebates on Apple products. The new card offers customers the ability to earn substantial rebates from Apple on the purchase of Apple hardware, software and peripherals, including the new Apple Newton MessagePad . Cardmembers can earn rebates of up to 5% on purchases, as much as $500 per year, up to a total of $1,500 over any three year period. Earned rebates can be redeemed in any amount from $20 up to the program maximum of $1,500. One of the unique features of the Apple Citibank card is that cardmembers can use rebates for themselves or donate them to schools. HOW THE APPLE CITBANK REBATE PROGRAM WORKS Cardmembes will earn up to a five percent rebate on all net annual credit card purchases (excluding cash advances, returns and credits, and fees) up to a maximum of $500 during any 12 consecutive months and a total rebate maximum of $1,500 over any three year period. Cardmembers will earn a rebate of 2 1/2% on annual purchases up to $3,000 or less and will earn 5% on all annual purchases of more than $3,000. Rebates will accumulate and be reported monthly on cardmembers' statements. Rebates from the Apple Citibank card can be used in addition to any other sale or rebate program. College students and business owners can receive further deductions through price programs already available through Apple. Cardmembers can redeem their rebates by returning rebate forms and the appropriate sales receipts to Citibank. Cardmembers also have the option of donating their Apple rebates to a participating educational institution registered in the the Apple rebate program. School administrators can pool these rebates to purchase Apple products designated for classroom use. If schools are not registered and wish to participate in the rebate program, they can call Apple at 1-800-SOS-APPL to enroll. RATES, FEES AND FEATURES The Apple Citibank MasterCard and Visa has a low variable annual percentage rate of the U.S. Prime Rate plus 9.4 percentage points, which currently totals 15.4%. The annual percentage rate (APR) will be adjusted quarterly based on the U.S. Prime Rate as reported in The Wall Street Journal. The $20 annual fee will be waived for all new cardmembers for their first year in the program. The Apple Citibank card also comes with many no-cost benefits an features that have made Citibank the number one issuer of MasterCard and Visa in this country, including: the Photocard option, which allows cardmembers to have their photographs digitally imprinted into the card; 24-hour emergency card replacement; Fraud Early Warning; Lost Wallet Service; ATM Locator Service; Billing Dispute Resolution and Citibank's 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week customer service. To apply for the card or to find out more about these programs, call 1-800-374-9999. Existing cardmembers interested in obtaining the Apple Citibank card should call customer service at 1-800-950-5114. THIS RELEASE MOVED OVER PR NEWSWIRE AT 8:30 AM, EDT ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 1994 Apple Adds Personal Diagnostics Product to Macintosh Utilities Line Comprehensive and Easy-to-Use Diagnostic Software From the Makers of the Macintosh SAN FRANCISCO, California January 5, 1994 Continuing the expansion of its line of utility products, Apple Computer, Inc. today announced Apple Personal Diagnostics, a new software product that allows Apple Macintosh computer customers to test their system hardware and software to keep their Macintosh working trouble-free. Apple Personal Diagnostics is designed to reduce system downtime, minimize support calls, offer trouble-shooting tips, and help users identify the source of problems. The new software combines hardware testing, system profiling, disk file structure repair, benchmark testing, and system software checking in one easy-to-use package giving users a wealth of information about their computers with a click of the mouse. Comprehensive Set of Diagnostic Tests Apple Personal Diagnostics performs comprehensive diagnostic tests on Macintosh hardware and system software, and provides a complete system profile. The diagnostic tests include hardware tests of the Macintosh logic board, RAM/VRAM, SCSI hard disk drives, floppy disk drives, and monitors. If a problem is encountered, the user is alerted to what is wrong and how it can be fixed -- either on their own or by contacting a service technician. Apple Personal Diagnostics also provides a variety of software checks. It can list all applications and system files, including extensions, installed on the computer. It can also alert users if duplicate System folders exist and diagnose and repair disk directory problems. Apple Personal Diagnostics generates printed reports that provide a complete record of all diagnostic test results. Automated Diagnostics Continuously Monitor Performance Apple Personal Diagnostics includes an optional Automated Diagnostics feature that automatically tests the Macintosh system while it is not in active use The Automated Diagnostics feature will alert the user of any irregularities that may exist and suggest simple steps to correct problems before they become more serious. Compare System Performance Against Apple Benchmarks Apple Personal Diagnostics also includes hardware performance tests that compare individual systems with benchmarks established by Apple for Macintosh computers. The benchmark test log allows users to measure the effects of new system configurations on performance over time. Easy-to-Understand Trouble-Shooting Tips The Apple Personal Diagnostics User's Guide includes a wide variety of in-depth trouble-shooting tips written in easy-to-understand language. These tips allow users to maintain the high performance of their Macintosh with less reliance on others to provide technical support assistance. Pricing and Availability The suggested retail price of the Apple Personal Diagnostics is $129 in the United States. Apple plans to make the product available through software resellers and Apple authorized resellers in March 1994. Apple also plans to introduce localized versions of Apple Personal Diagnostics for sale in other countries later in 1994. System Requirements Apple Personal Diagnostics requires an Apple Macintosh Plus or more recently produced Macintosh or a PowerBook computer with at least 2 MB of RAM, Macintosh system software version 6.07 or later (Automated Diagnostics option requires version 7.0 or later), a hard disk drive and a floppy disk drive. Apple Personal Diagnostics includes a program disk with the complete array of hardware and software tests and emergency disks for making hard disk repairs. The product can be run from a diskette or installed on a customer's hard drive for convenient use. THIS RELEASE MOVED OVER PR NEWSWIRE ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 1994 AT 8:35 AM, EDT Apple Announces Macintosh Display Card 24AC for 24-bit Large Screen Graphics Acceleration SAN FRANCISCO, California--January 5, 1994--Apple Computer, Inc., today announced the Apple Macintosh Display Card 24AC, a new high performance 24-bit graphics accelerator card. Priced at $1,579 (U.S. ApplePrice), the Macintosh Display Card 24AC provides a complete, integrated solution from Apple for acceleration of large-screen color images, at a price that establishes a new benchmark for cards performing at this speed. The card is designed to reduce the performance bottlenecks often experienced by graphic designers, publishing professionals and other "power users" who work with complex large-screen color images. The Macintosh Display Card 24AC provides 24-bit support for displays with resolutions up to 1152x870, which is the standard Macintosh resolution for two-page displays. This 24-bit color support provides access to 16.7 million colors--often required by graphic artists to provide photorealistic color for complex graphics. The Macintosh Display Card 24AC's highly integrated design uses the standard Apple NuBus and is only 6.5 inches in length. Because of its compact size, the card is compatible with the smaller Macintosh industrial designs such as the Centris or Quadra 610. The Macintosh Display Card 24AC ranks among the fastest QuickDraw acceleration cards on the market in terms of overall performance. It excels in QuickDraw operations used by software applictions such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Quark XPress, Aldus PageMaker and Freehand. Users of products such as these may experience increases in QuickDraw operations by up to 10 times over non-accelerated video cards. This 6.5" NuBus card was developed under an agreement with Radius Inc. Apple specified the card to deliver high performance acceleration for current CPUs and displays, and to ensure compatibility for future Apple systems, such as PowerPC microprocessor-based systems. The card is quality-tested, packaged and distributed by Apple and all technical support is provided by Apple. The Macintosh Display Card 24AC offers plug-and-play capabilities with all Macintosh II, Centris, Quadra, and PowerBook DuoDock systems. Many of these models require a graphics card to work with two-page displays, so the Macintosh Display Card 24AC provides an upgrade path for current systems users to take advantage of a larger display. In addition, it is designed to be compatible with future PowerPC technology-based systems and with QuickDraw GX. The card has the ability to signal an Energy Star-compliant monitor into low-power mode, making the card Energy Star compliant. The Macintosh Display Card 24AC is available immediately through Apple authorized resellers worldwide. For further information, customers in the United States should call the Apple Referral Center at (800) 538-9696. Customers outside the United States should contact their local Apple representatives for information. _________________________________________________ > STR Mail Call "...a place for the readers to be heard" """"""""""""" MAC Report's MailBag """""""""""""""""""" I've been saving up the mail for a couple of weeks. Now that the Holiday buying frenzy is over, not much interesting has arrived. There are, though, a few _very_ interesting items here. Read on. Probably the neatest, niftiest, coolest item that arrived in my mailbox is a flyer from DeLorme. DeLorme is a mapmaking company and they've produced a Mac version of Street Atlas USA. This CD-ROM contains maps of the entire USA. There are 24 zoom levels so that you can zoom down to show one city block or zoom out to show the entire country! The maps are very comprehensive, with even my out-of-the-way road mapped and ready to be copied and pasted into my favorite applications. You can search by zip code, street name, city, and latitude and longitude among other search criteria. Real neat! Call DeLorme at 1-800-757-5332 Ext. 2007 The Mac Professional's Book Club will send you 5 books, Macintosh Secrets (with disks), Desperately Seeking Solutions (with disk), Live Wired (Mac Networking info with disk), MacWorld Guide to System 7, and The Mac is Not a Typewriter for only $4.95. All you gotta do is join the Book Club and order one more book within a year. If this sounds good to you, write them at 3000 Cindel Drive, Delran, NJ 08075-9889. If you want any CD-ROM software, the place to go is Educorp. THey have hundreds of titles and good prices. Call 1-800-843-9497 and ask for a catalog. It will be well-worth your time. WHEW! That's it for this week. My fingers are worn out from all that typing. As always, please feel free to send your comments or questions to me at: America OnLine: STReportRN Compuserve: 70323,1031 GEnie: R.NOAK ********************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= STReport International Online Magazine is available every week for your reading pleasure on DELPHI. STReport's readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of a friendly community of enthusiastic computer users there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN --DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's Basic Plan offers access for only $6.00 per hour, for any baud rate. The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online. For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, MA. Try DELPHI for $1 an hour! For a limited time, you can become a trial member of DELPHI, and receive 5 hours of evening and weekend access during this month for only $5. If you're not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of the calendar month with no further obligation. If you keep your account active, you will automatically be enrolled in DELPHI's 10/4 Basic Plan, where you can use up to 4 weekend and evening hours a month for a minimum $10 monthly charge, with additional hours available at $3.96. But hurry, this special trial offer will expire soon! To take advantage of this limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636. Press
once or twice. When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press again. Then, just answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (1/12/94) --------------------------- (1) CD ROM INFO (6) MYCLOCK V.1.07 (2) PREMIUM MAH JONGG II (7) US MAP (3) WORLD CONQUEST V.0.7B (8) ATARI MAIL ORDER DEALER (4) FD144.TXT (9) PFXPAK V3.0 (5) DIRECT-DRIVE (10) TOWERS HONORARY TOP 10 The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-performing every other file in the databases. STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT #10.02) ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO - VOLUME 2, ISSUE 22) Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. DELPHI-It's getting better all the time! ********************************************************************** ATARI/JAG SECTION (III) ======================= Dana Jacobson, Editor > From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" Thanks to everyone who has inquired as to how I'm progressing with my bout with the flu. I wish that I had better news this week, believe me!! I broke down and saw a doctor Monday. Hey, I work in a clinic/hospital, so I may as well take advantage of it, right? Initial diagnosis was the flu and bronchitis; then I had an x-ray. I was quite surprised to learn that I'm suffering with pneumonia! Well, I guess if you're going to get sick for the first time in over 5 years, you may as well get _sick_! I'm really not looking for sympathy; but I did want to let you know that I do have a _good_ excuse for not keeping to my self-imposed schedule. I was hoping to have Part 2 of our ongoing articles on the online community's support staff, continuing with Compuserve, ready for this week. I'm just not up to it, nor much of anything else for that matter. So, there won't be anything under the guise of an editorial this week. The Winter CES has provided us with a number of observations and information with regard to Atari's Jaguar. I've included a number of them in this week's issue. We'll also learn what Joe Mirando has found out what people are saying on Compuserve; and also how the online fishin' has been this past week from our resident angler, John Duckworth. So, you keep reading while I go grab some orange juice and this hour's batch of medication. I hope things will be better next week, or sooner......sigh. Until next time.... *********************************************************************** COMPUSERVE'S LOWER PRICING FOR CONNECT RATES ============================================ (13-Jan-94) Starting 6-Feb, CompuServe members billed under the Standard Pricing Plan will pay lower rates for access to extended (hourly priced) services. The new rates for CompuServe's extended services will be $4.80 per hour for access at 300, 1,200 and 2,400 bps, and $9.60 per hour for access at 9,600 and 14,400 bps. This pricing change reflects up to a 40 percent reduction from previous rates for extended-service products. Communications network and product-specific surcharges still apply. Clearly put the NEW Rates are ............... BAUD Old Hourly Fee New Hourly Fee 300 $6.00 $4.80 1200/2400 $8.00 $4.80 9600/14400 $16.00 $9.60 The monthly basic services rate of $8.95, which provides access to more than 50 product areas, remains unchanged, as do rates for CompuServe members billed under the Alternative ("pay-as-you-go") Pricing Plan. Through this pricing reduction, CompuServe is passing along cost savings realized by the use of advanced technology and "commodity"-priced hardware in its host computer systems. For complete information about CompuServe's Standard and Alternative Pricing Plans, to check your current billing option or to change from one billing option to the other, GO CHOICES. Winter CES Observations by Ron Luks, Okay folks.... Here's a brief summary of my WCES94 show experiences (as they relate to the Jaguar/Video Gaming).... Everyone in this forum has seen gaming fans and Atari employees touting the new Jaguar Gaming System extensively. Because it has shipped to very limited markets, most folks have not yet had their hands-on experience. I didn't until I got to the CES booth. $64,000 QUESTION-- IS THE JAGUAR AS GOOD AS EVERYONE HAS BEEN SAYING? ANSWER-- NO. Definitely No. The Jaguar is NOT as good as people have been saying. Clarification -- The JAGUAR is *MUCH*, *MUCH* BETTER than everyone has been saying. Yes, in spite of what you previously thought was over-enthusiastic hype for the new Jaguar, the machine not only delivers everything you've heard, it's far, far better than I ever hoped. I would use the word "awesome" but that word has been used to death by the MTV generation. Nevertheless, the Jaguar is simply everything you've been told, and more.... The consumer electronics press corps are a very jaded bunch. We've seen everything, played with everything, heard pie-in-the-sky promises from everyone. Nothing impresses the CE press anymore. Nothing, except perhaps the new Jaguar. The "buzz" in the press room was significant and sustained. The "buzz" on the show floor was continuous. The Jaguar is "hot." I attended the 3DO press conference hosted by Trip Hawkins, the president of 3DO. He went through an elaborate and impressive slide show and presentation describing the progress of 3DO over the past year and its plans for 1994. Much or most of what Mr. Hawkins said about the industry and 3DO was both impressive and accurate. The 3DO units are capable, expensive, powerful, expensive, well designed and expandable and (did I mention?) expensive. The singular and (in my opinion) most important aspect of Mr. Hawkins' presentation is not what it said, but rather what it DID'NT say. He (tried to) completely ignore the Jaguar from Atari Corp. Mr. Hawkins stated that 3DO's competition was "Nintendo, Sega and Sony." He went on (in great detail) to explain why these three companies would not succeed against the 3DO effort. I won't comment about these companies because my knowledge of their plans is limited. However, at the first opportunity during the Q&A portion of the presentation, I asked Mr. Hawkins why he didn't list the Jaguar as part of 3DO's competition, especially considering that initial reports we've received from locations that offer both the Jaguar and the 3DO units have reported that the Jaguar is selling approximately 10-to-1 over the competition? Mr. Hawkins responded that according to his information, there were more 3DO units sold in 1993 than Jaguar units. NOTE-- The Jaguar was available in basically 2 cities for a 4 week period while the 3DO units were available for much longer (6 months?) on a nationwide basis. Mr. Hawkins (was he starting to perspire profusely? It looked that way from the 3rd row, but maybe it was the hot lights......) went on to say that the Jaguar was essentially not in the same league as the 3DO. He called the Jaguar a "cartridge machine" while the 3DO uses the much more advanced CD-ROM technology. I said that the Jaguar's CD-ROM unit was about to ship but he seemed to "not hear" this comment. He went on to say that "Atari tweaked the Jaguar for better response as a cart-based system..." (not true says Atari), and that "Atari doesn't have the necessary capital ..." to sustain the system, etc., etc., etc.... Essentially, he downplayed the significance of the Jaguar as much as he could. He even suggested that the press go over to the Atari booth and look at the Jag for themselves and they could easily see why 3DO was the superior system. After the press conference, I spoke with a few other members of the press and it seemed that they also picked up on Mr. Hawkins' nervousness with regard to the Jaguar and I would like to mention that that afternoon was the busiest day for show traffic in the Atari booth. (Thanks, Trip). Talking to Sam and Gary Tramiel, both looked extremely comfortable and confident with the limited but spectacular success of the Jaguar at this point in time. (Sam looks 10 years younger than last year and my wife noted that he looks like "a very happy man with a real winner on his plate...") Talking to Bill Rehbock, J Patton and other Atari employees, the quiet confidence and enthusiasm they expressed for the product said it all. Talking to numerous show attendees in the Atari booth, there seemed to be no question about the acceptance of the Jaguar as "the" state-of-the-art game system. In the past, I would have expected some amount of skepticism about ANY new products capabilities but (except for Trip Hawkins) there seemed to be no questions, complaints or doubts about the Jaguar. In fact, the only question seemed to be "Could Atari actually deliver (in quantity and quality) the unit they were displaying at the show?" Believing that our members deserved to have this question asked, I approached Sam Tramiel in the Jaguar booth and bluntly stated my question. Before Sam started to talk, there was a simple smile. It was the kind of smile that said "we've worked our backsides off to get to this point against all the odds that said we couldn't. Don't worry for a second that we're going to take anything for granted....." After that smile, any words were simply superfluous. Its the same feeling you get when you are playing blackjack at any casino, and you and the dealer both have a Jack showing. Then you see that your hole card just happens to be an ace. Its not a question of whether or not you are going to win. Its just a matter of how big you are going to win.... ******* Trip Hawkins, 3DO's CEO, Attacks (??) the Competition?! Consumer Electronics Show 3DO On The Attack 01/07/94 LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, U.S.A., 1994 JAN 7 (NB) -- Trip Hawkins, CEO of 3DO, went on the attack against the competition in the crowded video game market during a press conference at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show. Hawkins claimed that over 10,000 3DO machines were sold last year, claimed he'll have 30,000 retail outlets and over 100 titles by the end of this year, and pooh-poohed the competition. He called the proposed Sega and Nintendo CD-based game machines "toys" and their licensing schemes "fascistic." He called the Philips CD-I system "out of gas." He claimed 3DO systems are 120 times faster than PCs, and more likely to be used in living rooms anyway. The Atari Jaguar, he claimed, is a cartridge-based toy, not even comparable to 3DO's machine. 3DO, of course, doesn't sell a machine. It licenses a design for a machine. So far, only Matsushita, through its Panasonic label, sells a 3DO machine in the US. Hawkins said AT&T will sell one, however, in a few months, and will include a modem supporting its VoiceSpan technology with it, so players can talk while their game machines interact. He said Sanyo will launch a 3DO machine this summer, and claimed a fourth, unnamed company will also be shipping a product by year-end. All told, Hawkins said, 3DO has sold 6 hardware licenses, over 500 software licenses, 184 in the last 90 days, and has shipped 174 development kits. While just 18 titles are out now, Hawkins said 219 are in development,in a variety of categories. Hawkins also claimed he's not discouraged at all by the slow ramp-up of sales. "More 3DO players were sold last year than VCRs in their first year, and more 3DOs were sold in the last 90 days than CD players were in their first 90 days on the market." He scoffed at the idea that no hot titles are available, noting that Lotus 1-2-3 came out 18 months after the IBM PC, and Sonic the Hedgehog came three years after Sega's Genesis hit the market. Hawkins also got into the question of rating systems. The Software Publishers' Association and Sega are planning ratings systems, the Motion Picture Association has been solicited to work on one, and lawmakers are warning of dire consequences if an effective system isn't found soon to keep violent and sexually explicit titles away from youngsters. Hawkins, of course, claimed he has one, based on the motion picture system. A green circle with an E will denote titles for anyone, yellow stickers with the numbers 12 or 17 will denote games parents should worry about, while a red stop sign with the letters AO will denote an adults- only title. This, of course, is nearly identical to the G, PG, R, and NC-18 system used by movies. "We'll support any other rating system," Hawkins added, "but we're launching this right away." Despite widespread skepticism by analysts and the press, the recent hammering of 3DO stock and negative comments by CNBC's Dan Dorfman about the firm's prospects, Hawkins, sporting a hairdo like New York Knicks coach Pat Riley, remained unflappable. "We went public at $15, went up, then down, and we're at $23. Obviously we don't have fundamentals -- we're a concept stock. It's easy for competitors to spread misinformation about us." "We captured the beach," Hawkins concluded, "but it's going to be a long war." Press Contact: Cindy McCaffrey, The 3DO Company, 415-261-3236) Atari's Don Thomas, in a totally unofficial role, decided to pick apart Hawkins' press conference, as we see below. This one will be fun. Keep in mind that these are my personal opinions and not those expressed by Atari Corporation. < > I suspect "sold" means "delivered to retailers" or "licenced for manufacture". I would prefer to hear that 10,000 units were in households before I personally felt that number had much value. < > Of course they are toys. A Lamborghini Countach is a toy too. By definition, the 3DO is a more expensive toy that Sega, Nintendo, Atari (or anyone else, I guess, except maybe the Lamborghini Countach). < > That's a real technically-defined statement coming from a CEO... "out-of-gas"? Seems to me odd that the best defense a CEO has of his product is to refer to the competition with subjective name-calling. < > If the 3DO is so flexible, then why can it not use cartridges for those who want to? Quite frankly, firearms use cartridges and, although that is admittedly a far-fetched comparison, it makes my point clear... Just because something accepts cartridges, that doesn't mean it must be classified only as a toy. < > Sony sold a lot of BETA technology licenses in the U.S. too. <<... and has shipped 174 development kits>> I'll make it 175 for them if the price is cheap enough. These kits are the only way potential developers can determine feasibility. < > The reason VCRs sold slow in their first year was one of the main reasons 3DO is selling so slow. VCRs sold for upward to $1,200 or more if memory serves me right. If Hawkins doesn't "Trip", and follows his own example to a rational conclusion, then he's admitting that 3DO systems won't have a prayer until prices show the same dramatic decline that VCRs did before people really started buying those up. (I wonder if Hawkins has professional people review his speeches before he makes them. ((Just a friendly dig ))) <<...and more 3DOs were sold in the last 90 days than CD players were in their first 90 days on the market>> Yea, but did he sell more units than See 'n' Says did the first year? < > Wait a minute, didn't he already establish that Sega and Nintendo were only "toys" and there is no comparison? I hope his technology is more consistent than his speeches are. < > Sounds like innovative stuff to me! (Hey where's my See 'n' Say anyway? I thought "A" was for Anyone!) < > What is he talking about? He just spent a lot of time calling everyone else "toys" with no substance to reinforce such a claim, then he says it's easy for competitors to spread misinformation. What misinformation? What are the competitors saying? Did they call the 3DO a "toy" too? Is that the misinformation he's talking about? <<"We captured the beach," Hawkins concluded, "but it's going to be a long war.">> Of course it's going to be a long war... you're on the wrong beach! (Geeze... What a Trip!) < > Keep this number, there may be an opening there soon! IMPORTANT: These are personal comments and in no way represent the comments of any other person or entity. --Don Thomas Representing me on this one. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Atari Wins Awards at Winter CES!! Die Hard Game Fan Magazine presented Atari with two awards: Cybermorph: "December Game of the Month" Jaguar as the Best New Product of 1993 Video Game Magazine presented Atari with two awards: Best New Product of 1993 Best Print Ad of 1993 for the Jaguar Game Informer Magazine announced their 2nd Annual Game Informer Magazine Awards. They have awarded the Atari Jaguar as the: Best New Product of the Year Electronic Games named the Atari Jaguar version of Tempest 2000 as Best Game of CES. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- New games for the Jaguar in 1994 (This is not an official or complete listing). Return to Zork, by Activision. The next generation of classic Zork adventures makes its triumphant 64-bit debut! The closest an interactive computer game has ever come to cinematic quality production, Return to Zork fully showcases Jaguar's powerful graphic capabilities by combining a mix of full-motion video live action scenes, and photo realistic animation. This amazing 64-bit adventure is filled with danger, intrigue and low cunning. It's loaded with fascinating puzzles, and a revolutionary interface, an original cast of real Hollywood actors, more than an hour of spoken dialogue and 200 CD-quality musical themes. Doom, by Id Software Doom is an ultra-fast virtual reality showcase that plunges you deep into a brutal 3D world filled with enough graphic violence to earn this monster its very own warning label. As a renegade space marine, you must utilize state-of-the-art weaponry and technological artifacts to fend off legions of gruesome fiends, and use your wits to solve hundreds of lethal puzzles. Dramatic, high-speed animation and Jaguar's uncompromising multimedia realism bring this fantastic and grisly adventure to life. Tiny Toon Adventures, by Atari Leap inside a real cartoon! Based on the popular Warner Brothers. characters, this zany platform scroller is a true showcase of Jaguar's rich animation capabilities. Bad boy Montana Max has a new toy: an Acme TiToonium Converter. But the only place he can get TiToonium is on a planet Aurica, and the removal of Titoonium is causing grave ecological damage to the Toon-filled universe. Armed with an Acme Crazy Net, follow Buster Bunny, Babs Bunny and Plucky Duck as they embark on a mission to shut down the Acme TiToonium-Gold Converter--and save planet Aurica. European Soccer Challenge, by Telegames Goooaaaal! The Atari Lynx sports favorite comes to the Jaguar. This proven soccer program delivers an expanded season and playoff format, 170 teams and complete team/individual stats. In addition, each player possesses his own personality and performance capabilities. You even have the option to make trades. For Sport fanatics, European Soccer Challenge is a 64-bit kick! Ultimate Brain Games, by Telegames The popular Lynx mind bender comes to the 64-bit format. Test your moves against the only system qualified to accommodate all the CPU horsepower required for a real chess challenge. Work your way to master status on a full-scale battlefield with classic chess--and checkers, and backgammon. There's a challenge here for every skill level and member of the family. Extended features--such as specific game set-up for the computer solution and digitized graphics--make this product a must for your video game library. Hosenose and Booger, by ASG Technologies, Inc. Here's one for the sick and twisted. Hosenose has a cold and as fate would have it, he's managed to sneeze and suck his girlfriend Hotsnot deep into his brain. In a unique gaming experience that fully showcases Jaguar's monster graphic capabilities, you'll take a nose-dive into Hosenose's sinuous nasal passages in search of the lovely yet cerebral Hotsnot. Through every organ and orifice you'll meet a wild cast of disgusting characters, including Mickki Mewkus, Logjam Sam, Vicki Virus, and the Evil Dr. Bile. An off-beat animated adventure only the 64-bit power of Jaguar can deliver. Club Drive, by Atari You've never experienced racing like this! Designed especially for the Jaguar, Club Drive pulls you into a fully rendered 3D environment. There are no rails here--just 70 square miles of San Francisco to race through and explore. Go anywhere as you chase down your opponent in a fast-paced game of tag through the craggy canyons and frontier towns of the Old West. Crash and score as you test your wheels in a futuristic skateboard park--for cars! Experience what it's like to be a toy car and race through your neighbor's house, around coffee tables and under the television. It's your chance to do things with a car Henry Ford would've never dreamed of. Commando, by Microids Take an in-depth, first-person perspective into the trenches of 64-bit warfare. As the Officer in Charge of a team of crack commandos, you'll experience all the rigors of gritty jungle combat through the eyes of a real soldier as you patrol, set ambushes, destroy key structures, rescue personnel...and ultimately win one for your Commando team. Jaguar's sophisticated animation and audio processors bring you front-line combat so real, extended play may cause flashbacks! Dungeon Depths, by Midnite Software, Inc. Long ago in an ancient, uncivilized world, man built great castles to close himself off from the grunts of the earth. And beneath these castles he built miles of dungeons to imprison you and your repressed minions. Get ready for a medieval multiple-player role- playing arcade adventure as you battle "surface dwellers" in an effort to rise up from the clutches of the aristocracy. With rich, vibrant graphics, this 3D textured underworld epic makes full use of Jaguar's real-time rendering, advanced 3D texturing and high-speed animation capabilities. Ultra Vortex, by Beyond Games Ultra Vortex is street fighting to the 64th power! History has seen the rise and fall of many warriors. All fell to the power of the Vortex Guardian, who has dominated mankind for thousands of years. It's 2045, time again for the Testing. You and nine other able warriors have been chosen from America's top underground gangs to fight for the right to take on the Guardian. Drawing on the mesmerizing powers of the Vortex, you must master deadly street fighting and martial arts skills--including the lethal "Vortex Annihilator"...destroy a field of formidable champions and ultimately crush the Guardian! Battlewheels, by Beyond Games Buckle up for 64 bits of metal-mashing arcade action. 2021 AD. Humankind has turned to an increasingly dangerous spectator sports for its entertainment. Welcome to Battlewheels! Drive solo or team up with as many as eight of your buddies for a futuristic demolition derby to the death. Custom equip your suicide vehicle from the ground up with machine guns, missiles, flame-throwers...and compete for "kills," cash and glory against a vicious band of road warriors-- through treacherous deserts and ghost cities of a bygone era. Yeeehaw! Evidence, by Microids The magic of the movies meets the power of Jaguar. This 3D interactive feature combines unbridled 64-bit technology with incredible motion picture effects. As a young reporter wrongly charged with murder, you must find a way to escape from prison and expose the party responsible for putting you behind bars. Full-motion video and digital sound effects are Evidence of a gaming experience only Jaguar can deliver. Car Wars, by Midnite Software, Inc. Earth, 2094. Advances in technology eliminated tires, refueling and, in general, made the roads a safer place--at least within the city limits. Outside the clean cityscapes--in the Arena, where bloodthirsty drivers clash in massive road beasts to battle for what is yours, and what you think should be yours--is where you do your driving. It's a futuristic off-road carnage bonanza that takes full adventure of Jaguar's stock graphic processors. Alien vs. Predator, by Atari Choose your weapon in a 64-bit combat challenge with the stars of these feature film blockbusters. Alien's machete-like tail and nasty jaws are perfect for ripping into any predator. Predator's sophisticated weaponry and superior infra-red night vision make it easy to search out your victims. The Marine Corporal's massive arsenal and sophisticated combat computer skills make hunting mutants easy. Battle through miles of texture-mapped corridors with stunning digitized character recreations. Lightning-fast speed provides the ultimate in chase sequences. Exceptional colors and light shading throw you in the middle of all the limb-severing action. Brutal Sports Football, by Telegames Crush 'em, mutilate 'em, splatter 'em all over the field...It's anything goes in Brutal Sports Football. No more rules-just pick up the ball and run for your life as Jaguar's five high-performance processors throw you on the gridiron with 16 of the most unforgiving mutant teams to ever separate a cyborg from his generator pack. Compared to this, Pro Ball is Powder Puff. Five methods of control, three play modes - an audio/visual experience that will literally tear you apart. Checkered Flag II, by Atari Formula racing peaks in real-time 3D action so intense, so realistic, your skin may actually peel back over your cheekbones. This is eyeball-dryin' racing action only the blazing speed and power of Jaguar can deliver. Customize your car and hit the road against a fierce field of speed demons. Cars, buildings and roads are rendered in true toe-curling 3D. 100 percent authentic effects - crashes are realistic in both sound and imagery, with parts flying and tires screeching. Helmet optional, but highly recommended! Tempest 2000, by Atari Updated with heart-stopping energy, this arcade classic sweeps into the 21st Century. Using vector graphics, rapid fire, a fully interactive starfield and CD-quality stereo sound, the power of Jaguar teleports Tempest 2000 into the 64th dimension. Manipulative abilities have been modernized with new features that include spins and twists not seen in the original, plus an exciting upgrade to the year 2000 that spotlights Jaguar's 3D polygon rendering capabilities. ______________________________________ > The Old Fishing Hole STR Feature """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" THE OLD FISHIN' HOLE ==================== -A Guide to the Online PD/Shareware Waters. by John R. Duckworth Brrrrr...it seems that winter has finally hit full stride. This is the best time for users to stay warm by huddling around their computers and fish the online waters. After speaking with many northern friends online, and seeing news photos, I am beginning to feel a bit guilty. Down here in the sunny south the weather is simply beautiful (even drove my car with the top off the other day) although I am saddened by the fact that my sweaters still haven't been put to use this winter season. But enough about the weather (please no hate mail from my northern friends), I am here to review some new shareware packages for Atari systems...so let's get on with it! First up is "Easy Go" by Anthony Watson of Mountain Software. "Easy Go" is similar to the program "GoGo ST" which is essentially a file launcher. The idea behind the program is to make system life simpler by arranging the most frequently used programs and applications on an easy to navigate menu system instead of having to search through directories each time a popular program is needed. "But what about users who can assign programs to function keys or simply place them on the desktop?", you may ask. Well Anthony feels, and rightly so, that functions keys and desktop icons are limiting since only a small number may be used compared to the 240 that can be assigned to "Easy Go". I do find it a bit hard to believe that a user has _that_ many programs that he/she runs often enough to create a shortcut...but I have been proven wrong many times before. "Easy Go" is presented to the user as a grid of buttons, four across and ten down (math wizards have undoubtedly calculated this to forty already), with a row of menu buttons underneath, all in a GEM window. There are six different panels of forty buttons thus adding up to the 240 as touted earlier in the review. An interesting application could be to assign a different menu page to each family member, thus effectively simplifying a novices computer session. Programs may be assigned to buttons by clicking on them when empty (right clicking when they are in use) and then filling out an assignment description which includes the title you wish to appear on the button, a key equivalent (for power users that dislike using the mouse), the filename, the graphic resolution to use (only available for TOS 1.04 through 2.06) and finally the processor speed (only for those using Mega STE's). Setting up "Easy Go" is a snap. "Easy Go" also has fairly powerful macro capabilities allowing the user to create scripts which can run several programs with one button and change resolutions accordingly, ask for user input, call the file selector and act on selection, pass command line arguments and more. Example applications could be to invoke an archiver to decompress a selected file, or to compile C code with a compiler. The possibilities should only be limited to the users creativity. Overall "Easy Go" is a fine application with many possibilities for a specific group of users. The one gripe I have with the program is that it insists on changing the default desktop colors when the program is invoked. Why can't we have our original desktop colors? Couldn't 3-D buttons be used in place of the custom button routines? If you can look past that small aesthetic anomaly and need a program to simplify your computer sessions, then you may not need to look any further than "Easy Go". The package is shareware, and a fully functional registered version may be obtained from Mountain Soft for $18.95 plus shipping/handling. The second program to pass my desk this week is "Premium Mah Jongg II" by Jens Schulz and Thomas Grube. This is a computer version of the old Chinese strategy board game of Mah Jongg. The object of the game is to clear the entire board of tiles by finding pairs of matching tiles which are available to be removed from the board. (I won't go into details since many of you have played before). The game is very addicting, and there simply hasn't been a suitable version for all Atari computers (and graphics cards) before this version. The game may be played solitaire or tournament game disks may be created for what Jens calls "The Happening". Many of the visual defaults of the game may be changed such as the color of the background and/or tiles, and the Hz rate. Another great feature of the game is the ability to show all possible moves (although the game won't count toward a high score). Extensive online help is always available in case a user forgets which tiles match, or what keyboard shortcuts are possible. I highly recommend "Premium Mah Jongg II", and encourage all who use it to send in the requested donation of $15.00. Jens Schulz has been one of the most active Atari users in Germany and has sent many, many disks full of programs to our shores, most of which were uploaded for our enjoyment on Delphi (thanks Joe!). That's all for this installment of "The Old Fishin' Hole". I hope I've steered you toward a few useful (and perhaps addicting) packages. As always, direct all comments, questions, or programs to: JDUCKWORTH@delphi.com. Happy Fishing! +----------------------------------------------------------------+ | Old Fishin Hole Tackle Box * | +----------------------------------------------------------------+ | Easy Go | | GEnie: Atari RT- (# 31596) | | | | Premium Mah Jongg II | | Delphi: Atari Advantage- READ PREMIUM | +----------------------------------------------------------------+ * The Tackle Box is meant to provide assistance in finding files mentioned in the column. It should not be considered a COMPLETE listing and is provided for convenience only. Delphi Atari Advantage files should be found in the Recent Arrivals section of the database until moved to their appropriate sections. __________________________________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando Hello out there, all you folks in Computerland. Its time once again to check out the stuff that's available here on CompuServe. It's not just a bunch of techno-geeks spouting "computerese" either. It's regular folks who have encountered problems... or solved them and want to share the know-how with the rest of us. It's people talking about their pets, what they like to do with their computers, why they prefer their computer to others, and a whole slew of other things. So let's take a look... From the Atari Productivity Forum ================================= Marty Hall tells us: "I need a program to write aviation maintenance manuals. Those manuals with all the little blocks for sign off and blocks with text in them and with progressing chapter numbers and page numbers in neat little blocks in the upper right coner along with a date and revsion number like the F.A.A. like to see. I have used a Mac program ( be darned if I can remember which one at the moment ) to write one manual and KNOW that the Atari is as smart as any Mac that ever came down the road. Any suggestions?" Boris Molodyi gives Marty his opinion: "I would recommend Calamus. It does have semi-automatic chapter numbering, up to 7 or so levels, and can handle just about any type of graphics you throw at it. It can also set all dates inserted in the text to the date when you reformat it. You can contact DMC, who distribute Calamus in their section in Atari Vendors (GO ATARIVEN) forum." Laurent Mangane asks Charles Smeton of NewSTar Technology: "Does STraight FAX support the speech mode of TIA TR29.2? From which French dealer can I get STraight FAX ? If none, can you give me the coordinates of System Solutions in UK ?" Charles tells Laurent: "STraight FAX! is not available in France as far as we know. System Solutions in the UK has two locations as described below. STraight FAX! 2 is a FAX only application at this time. The majority of FAX Modems do not yet support voice mail features. The voice mail commands have not been officially standardized as far as we know. The few FAX Modems that are available with Voice Mail, such as the ZyXEL and Zoom VFDX use what is being proposed as the standard. However, the same thing occurred two years ago with Class 2 FAX standards, and as we now know, the official Class 2 (Class 2.0) is very different from the Class 2 in use by today's FAX Modems. We have a VFDX Voice Mail FAX Modem and are evaluating the market potential for a Voice Mail application on the Atari platform at this time. SYSTEM SOLUTIONS (London Showroom) 17 19 Blackwater Street London SE22 8RS 081-693-3355 SYSTEM SOLUTIONS (Windsor Service Center) 47/48 Building 2 Windsor Business Center Vansittart Road Windsor SL4 1SE P.S. System Solutions is also the UK distributor for STraight FAX! 2, so any dealer in Europe could also order it from them." On the subject of using CompuServe, David Honigsberg posts: "I'm just getting involved with CompuServe and need to know if there's an offline reader/navigator available here for the Atari ST. It would make life a great deal easier if I could do some work at home from time to time." Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine, one of the most knowledgeable people around, tells David: "There is a program called Quick-CIS which will do what you want. The author Jim Ness is online right here, in this forum." Geof Blewden asks about transferring files between ST and PC: "I have a PC but my children have an Atari ST. Does anyone know how I can read/write to their disks, please?" Albert Dayes tells Geof: "You can format disks on your PC to 720K and use them to transport files between the two systems. This assumes that your ST has a double sided - 720K drive." Sysop Brad Hill adds: "No problem . If you format a disk on the PC (720k assuming your ST drive is double-sided), the Atari will be able to read it and write to it. The PC, however, will not read an Atari-formatted disk. Of course, applications cannot be shared between the two operating systems." After being told that STWriter was a good word processor (it is) and that it was available on CompuServe (it is), Steve Sathue posts: "I haven't been able to find Stwriter 4.8 in the libraries as of yet. I've used the Atari File Finder for the search to no avail - do you know the exact name of the file for which I should search?" Albert Dayes tells Steve: "Its called STW48.LZH and its in library #5. Its a 32K download." Mike Myers posts: "To Whom it may concern, and anyone else interested or just curious: First, I need a good book that will give me some very basic stuff. I discovered yesterday that I was entirely wrong about how a desk accessory worked, so I need a reference that will fill me in on the basics. To explain: I got an Atari 1040ST used, and with no manual, or other documentation. I'm pretty much isolated from anyone who could sit down at my keyboard, and figure things out, and fill me in on items like "A desk accessory is...". So, is there such a book? for Atari's? There is no real call for Atari books in my area, so where can I get it? Now, I apparently goofed somewhere when asking about a Neodesk program. When I put a disk into the computer, the first thing I get is a display with 2 floppy disk and a trash Icon, with four headings on the top. When I activate the Desk header, I get GEM & TOS in a rather fancy dialog box. I can't remember what else is in there. My son, who sold me the computer said he had permanently installed something when he got it. Would that be something comparable to Neodesk? Second, what is an accessory, and how do you install it. I've been trying to put Cardfile and Stalker on disks with Wordwriter with ACC as the final three letters. No luck. Somebody told me that you loaded them directly into the Computer, so I tried that. When I change the last three letters into .ACC, I get a file icon, and when I try to open it, I get the normal screen print, cancel dialog box. What am I doing wrong? Third, what is a utility, and how do you install it? I want to get a date and time clock. I understand They can be put into the computer. How can that be done? If I put one into the computer, will I be able to update it, or will I have to leave the machine powered all the time? Is leaving it powered, with the monitor shut down harmful? An observation for software producers: there probably are a lot of potential customers out there who will gladly buy your stuff if they can get simple enough directions. A statement that ".... can be run as a program or a accessory" is fine, and may mean you've done some rather neat programing but if you don't tell me what an accessory is, and I don't know, it's no good to me. I would pay extra for a manual that assumes I know nothing. I won't be insulted. Really." Jack Shalom tells Mike: "Unfortunately, there's no real call for Atari books in anyone's area these days and you're unlikely to find one! If it helps I can send you photostats of important pages of the manual." Myles Cohen, another CompuServe regular, tells Mike: "Wow...you seem a bit perplexed... Have you tried moving your mouse pointer to the first drop-down menu on the left side of the very tippy-top of the screen... Here is where your accessories will be listed...providing you loaded them into your computer without mishap...and that they are not placed into a folder but are naked and out in the open... Once you see the name of the accessory you want in that menu...just bring the arrow to it...and when it is highlighted (changes color)...all you have to do is click your left mouse button once or twice to select it... A utility is a program or accessory that is useful as an aid to using your computer...you install it just as you would any other program or accessory...(yes I know...you're still confused...) Just get a program or an accessory that counts machine "ticks" and pretends that it is a clock...that's how quartz watches work... One of the differences between a program and an accessory is that a program usually takes over your computer so that you cannot do anything else until you exit the program and get into another program...while an accessory usually lets you do other things even though in midst of a previous program ..while in a program you can "call" an accessory" (from the top leftmost menu...remember...) and use it to accomplish whatever...and then return to the original program where you left off when you exit the accessory... There are downsides to using accessories...you can only have up to six at any one time...and they take up valuable memory space...even while they are not being used... Then why don't you look for the series of books by Ralph Turner about the ATARI ST...a possible source for them would be to contact TOAD...a mailorder source for Atari Products...at (800) 448 8623..." Mike thanks Myles and checks to see if he's got it all straight: "Thanks! To be sure I understand [about the Accessories]...: I take it that Accessories are loaded onto a disc that contains a program, in a file, not a folder, and they should load and be available when the program is loaded. If I put, say stalker,on the same disk as my wordwriter program, after wordwriter is loaded, stalker acc should be too? I'll try it again, but is there something I'm missing? >A utility is a program or accessory that is useful as an aid to using your computer...you install it just as you would any other program or accessory< Then,I just put it on a disk with a program on it, (with what last three letters?) and it installs itself along with the program? I haven't tried any of these ideas yet, but I will tommrow. I have read two of Turner's books, and, while they were helpful, they still assume a certain amount of prior knowledge. I don't remember anything about the difference between programs,accessories, and utilities." Myles tells Mike: "The word file can be used to describe a program...or it can be used to describe an accessory...in other words programs and accessories are files...and there are also text files...and data files...and graphics files...and midi files...etc.... An Acessory always has the .ACC as the last three letters... A Program has .PRG as its last three letters... (There are a very few talented programs that let you take a program with a PRG ending and change .PRG to a .ACC thereby allowing it to act as a program...or an accessory...I believe that STALKER is one of these...) I do hope you know what a folder is...if not...holler... Feel free to ask as many "simple" and/or "stupid" questions as you need to... So many people have helped me in the past..." Myles is one of those people who typify what is best about CompuServe... and, indeed, what is best about the on-line community as a whole: The willingness to help a newcomer with questions. Thanks Myles... and keep those answers rolling! Sysop Bob Retelle, another of those who help the less experienced (which is just about all of us when compared to Bob), tells Mike: "Another thing to try would be to give Atari Corp's Customer Service department a call and see if they can send you an owner's manual for your computer... Be sure to specify the exact model you have, as the manuals will describe different features for the different models. I don't believe my original owner's manual went into much detail on the kinds of things you've been asking about, but it's a good starting point. And actually, you've discovered probably the BEST place to find out all those kinds of things anyway... right here on CompuServe..! Atari's phone number is: (408) 745-2000" Mike tells Bob: "I tried to go directly to Atari for a users manual, but I got nowhere. They feel it would give rise to more piracy if I could copy my friend's disk, and then buy the manual. And I thank you. I tried the things you all mentioned, and they actually worked." Gee, I THOUGHT the idea about calling Atari made too much sense. Oh, well, it was worth a try. Robert Aries adds his own (and my favorite) way to make using an ST as easy as possible: "Neodesk is a replacement for the standard GEM "desktop" which appears when you first turn the computer on. From what you say, you are looking at the standard desktop. The appearance of the desktop, along with any desk accessories, are determined by files that are on the disk when you first turn the computer on (the "boot" disk). Any files in the root directory (i.e., not inside a folder but immediately viewable when you first open a disk directory) with the .ACC extention will be loaded in as accessories. A _limited_ amount of programs will be able to run as both programs _or_ accessories but it isn't a given by a long shot. When an accessory has been loaded in, you don't activate it by double-clicking on the icon; rather, you should see its name displayed when you drop down the "Desk" menu (either from the desktop, or from inside another program that supports menu-ing). Simply putting the mouse on the name and clicking runs the accessory. The ONLY files that will run when double-clicking directly on the icon are those with extentions of .PRG, .APP, .TOS, or .TTP. Most common are .PRG, followed by .TOS. .TTP programs are usually small utilities, and I don't believe I've ever seen an .APP file! Also, on the boot disk there may be a folder with the name AUTO. If so, then any program file inside the folder will be automatically run when the computer is turned on. I suspect that this is how Neodesk is installed. Hope this helps!" From the Atari ST Arts Forum ============================ Mitchell Porras asks about viewing graphics on his ST: "Hello, I'm wondering if someone can help me. I have an atari 1040st and when I try to view downloaded grahpics all I see is a bunch of characters all over the screen. I'm new and admit I don't know to much about programs." Mike Mortilla tells Mitchell: "It sounds like you need to get a program to view the graphics. GEMVIEW (I think) is a popular one and there are a few available here and in the Ataripro forum. If you haven't already done so, you'll also have to get a "decompression" program. Most files have a .ZIP .LZH or .ARC extension meaning that they are "compressed." You can also get the decompression files here (or there...) as well." Jonnie Santos tells Sysop Bob Retelle: "A while back you gave me the great tip about how to view a 89a GIF with a viewer that only recognized the 87a standard. I like to use Prism Paint because it loads as one format and I can save as another format - really nice! But on some of these GIFs that are for example 640 x 280, 256 colors I have to use low res (16 colors) and even then the bottom of the picture doesn't appear on the screen. Even if I load into the clipboard and then resize smaller so you can see the whole image there's a blank area where the rest of the image should be. Do you have any clues about how to view these on my STe so I can see the whole image, please? I have viewed the same image on a Mac and the GIF is fine - and incredibly photo-like." Yat Siu of Lexicor Software tells Jonnie: "There are several alternatives..one is to update to version 2 and then you have a virtual screen that you can scroll aroud to view your whole GIF...it also color dithers and/or grey shades it for you. Then you can use Gem View if you are ONLY into viewing..it will open a window which you can move around and scroll around to view the whole GIF... SOL will also do a Virtual Resolution technique..I prefer the VR way, as it tends to be faster and easier to use..rather than scrolling around with a menu bar. It is a useful technique...but for painting it is not so good I think...." John Brenner asks Jonnie: "Why don't you use GEM-view ? It also loads a format and gives you the possibility to save as another. In addition, you can used different dithering methods, rescale, grayscale, and many more tools to manipulate the image." Jonnie tells John why he doesn't use it: "I think I have a version of GEMVIEW - at least if it's the shareware product I'm thinking of. If so then it locks up when I try to scroll left/right, up/down." John tells Jonnie: "Try to run again on a bare system. If the crash persists, get a new version of Gem-View. It is at version 3.1 and since it's shareware, it costs nothing to try it, and is more than reasonable when you decide to keep it. The author will send you a personalized key so anytime you get a new version you type in your code and it becomes you own personalized version. There seems to be an update a month....:-)" Sysop Bob (Retelle) explains why graphics on the ST might not have the zing that they do on other platforms: "The reason those GIFs don't look as good on your STe is that the Atari hardware can only display a maximum of 16 colors at once, so the 256 color palette has to be reduced in some way to 16... unfortunately that usually means the end result is pretty bad. We have a GIF file viewer here in the software library called SPEED OF LIGHT, which uses some tricks to display more colors than are usually allowed, so the display is a lot better.. (it's a lot like the way SPECTRUM 512 was able to fool the system into displaying 512 colors). Sort of the same kind of thing happens with the resolution of the pictures too. The highest resolution you can display with 16 colors is only 320 x 200, so the viewing program either has to shrink the picture somehow, which usually ends up making it look pretty bad, or it can try to load as much of the picture as it can. Some simpler viewing programs only load the part you can actually see on the ST screen, and just throw away the rest. This sounds like what you've been running into. Other viewers, like GEMview, will load the entire picture and let you scroll the screen window around so you can see all of the picture, only not all at once. Give the Speed of Light viewer a try.. it may be more what you're looking for." Boris Molodyi posts: "Hmm, I thought that Line-A does not work in true color modes... And I'm not really sure if Falcon's VDI actually uses it, or it is preserved only for compatibility..." CodeHead Extraordinaire, Charles F. Johnson tells Boris: "Actually, the truth is that Atari _did_ upgrade the Line A code to work in _all_ Falcon video modes, including 16-bit ("true color"). I know this for a fact, because many of Warp 9's screensaver modules use Line A -- they have to, there's no other way to do what they do -- and these modules work in all modes on the Falcon. The only real problem with using Line A in 8-bit or 16-bit color modes is that the Line A color indexes are limited to four bits, which means you can't use colors beyond the first 16. Apart from this, all the Line A calls I've tested work fine. In 16-bit color mode (I refuse to call it "true color" -- it's not), there are some differences in the way some of the calls work, but they do work. In light of this fact, I think it's very important for anyone manufacturing a video card to support Line A in its driver software." From the Atari Vendors Forum ============================ Ira Adams talks a bit about his experience with GENEVA, the Multi-Tasking Application Environment from Gribnif Software (you know, the NeoDesk guys): "I installed the Release 3 upgrade tonight. The same problem still occurs with QuickCIS -- it executes OK, but selecting any choice from the menu bar causes (1) the line forming the righthand edge of the directory window from which QC was run instantly overwrites the QC copyright notice box that is in the middle of the screen, and (2) the computer locks up completely and has to be reset by the button on the back. It would be nice if this could be fixed, since QC is one of the programs I use most on this computer." Rick Flashman of Gribnif tells Ira: "I will download QuickCIS and pass it on to Dan for testing. See if he can figure out what is going on with it." Ira thanks Rick and asks another question: "Thanks for looking into QC/Geneva. Next question: can you help me get my Warp9 Extendo-Sav screen saver to work again? It was working fine with Geneva until I patched to Release 3 and now it won't come on either with time or when I move the mouse to the "hot" corner of the screen. I tried going through reloading the program in the Warp9 control panel, but without success. Is it because I'm using v3.75 of Warp9?" Rick tells Ira: "Hmmm. Dan runs the Warp 9 Screen Saver *all* the time on the machine he writes Geneva and NeoDesk 4 on. This makes darn sure that it works no matter what he does (grin). I personally don't use it (Dan hogged the only copy we have). I'll ask Dan on Monday if he has any ideas." Ian Fleming tells Charles F. Johnson of CodeHead Technologies: "I have just purchased Warp9 plus EOS from ST Club and am a happy customer,it has really breathed life into my Mega4. Could you tell me.When I load a .EXT file into EOS and save the configuration,should this .EXT file then be used after a boot or turning the machine on from cold or does it default to the basic screensaver? I notice that you also advertise Calligrapher3 in the package I received,how does tis compare with Calligrapher Pro that I have? There is no longer any UK support for this excellent product with the demise of Working Title,I would be interested to know if I can upgrade as a registered user... I have tried ringing Working Title with no success.The ST Club report that nobody is supprting Calligrapher at present." Charles tells Ian: "I'm glad to hear you're enjoying Warp 9. To answer your question, yes -- when you load a screensaver module and then save your configuration with the Warp 9 Control Panel, that module will be loaded the next time you boot your computer. Note that the Warp 9 CP saves a different config file for each screen resolution, so you can have different screensavers for each res. Since you purchased it in England, I'm not sure exactly which version of Calligrapher Pro you have, or what the differences are between that and Calligrapher 3. I'll have to check on our upgrade policy about this; usually, if you purchased the program in England, you'd upgrade from the English distributor. But this is kind of an unusual case..." Ian tells Charles: "Thanks, I have got Warp 9 settled in well now,and have sorted out my EOS problems. The only problem is that I cannot get it to run with the Titan Reflex graphics card so far." From the Palmtop Forum ====================== Neil Gaiman posts: "I've been having all sorts of weirdnesses with my relatively new Port recently -- low battery messages on new batteries, screens blanking or blacking and so forth. I suspect this is because it's been left in the car occasionally at temperatures below 0 degrees F. Anyone with any experience of this?" Atari's top Portfolio Guy (that's not his official title), Don Thomas, tells Neil: "I can't speak specifcally to your machine, but I can tell you that although the Portfolio stands up pretty well to various temperatures, it IS extremely sensitive to the batteries. If the batteries have been in extreme cold for a while (in a refrigerator or in the machine in cold weather), wait for them to warm up before the machine will fully function again. Also extreme temperaturs can affect the LCD." Pascal Plovyt asks: "Can anybody help me on this? I'd like to copy the data on a Atari Portfolio HPC-005 to an IBM compatible computer. What do I need ? What kind of cable, or adaptor, and where can I find it?" Again, Don Thomas comes to the rescue and tells Palcal: "Check the FAQ (frequently asked questions) file in the libraries. There are three key methods. One involves the Parallel Port. Another makes use of a null-modem connection using the serial port and the third, being the easiest, is the PC Card Drive." Well folks, it seems that I've run out of room again. So let's just knock off here and save the rest for next week. Be sure to tune in... Same time, same station, and get ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" Truly, the cards came up right. """"""""""""""""" "ATARI SEEMS TO HAVE FOUND ITSELF!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > DEALER CLASSIFIED LIST STR InfoFile * Dealer Listings * """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" --------------- ABCO Incorporated ================= P.O. 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