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Article #466 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 17-Jun-94 #1025
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson)
Date: Thu Jun 30 16:45:51 1994

                             SILICON TIMES REPORT
                       STR Electronic Publishing Inc.
   June 17, 1994                                                 No. 1025
                            Silicon Times Report
                        International Online Magazine
                            Post Office Box 6672
                      Jacksonville, Florida  32221-6155
                                R.F. Mariano
                     Voice: 1-904-783-3319  10am-4pm EST
                  STR Publishing Support BBS Network System
                             * THE BOUNTY BBS *
            ITCNet 85:881/253 JAX HUB ~ FNET 350 ~ Nest 90:301/3
                    904-786-4176 MULTI-NODE 24hrs-7 days
                       2400-57.6 bps V.32-42 bis 28.8
                       Hayes Optima 28.8 V.FC Data/FAX
                USRobotics Dual Standard 28.8 V.FC Ready Fax
                       FAX: 904-783-3319 12am-6am EST
       Fido 1:374/147.3 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

 > 06/17/94 STR 1025  "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!"
 - CPU INDUSTRY REPORT    - 1st. Online TradeShow! - DELL CUTS $$! 
 - Aerosmith on CIS!      - Kodak Digital CAMERA   - After Dark Sued!
 - Mario's Fun Review     - Exide Elect. Scammed?  - 32bit Access
 - AWE 32 SUPER CARD!     - People Talking         - STR Confidential!

                         -* ZIFF EMPIRE FOR SALE! *-
                     -* JUNKIE & SMEG VIRUSES Found! *-
                 -* ANOTHER DRAM Chip Shortage Predicted! *-

                   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  ITC/PROWL/USENET/NEST/F-Net/Fido Mail Networks.  You
 may  also  call  The Bounty BBS direct @ 1-904-786-4176.  Enjoy the wonder
 and  excitement  of exchanging all types of useful information relative to
 all  computers,  worldwide,  through  the  use  of excellent International
 Networking  Systems.  SysOps,  worldwide, are welcome to join the STReport
 International  Conferences.    ITC  Node  is  85:881/250, The Fido Node is
 1:374/147.3,  Crossnet  Code  is #34813, and the "Lead Node" is #620.  All
 computer platforms and BBS systems are welcome and invited to participate.

                             to the Readers of;
                   "The Original 16/32bit Online Magazine"

                          NEW USERS; SIGN UP TODAY!

                CALL: 1-800-848-8199 .. Ask for operator 198

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                        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!"

      By all rights, and reason I should be somewhat upset with the manner
 in which certain of our news releases, which appeared in our STR
 Confidential last week, were rebutted.  Instead, its now just another
 boring "page" in our book of light weight experiences.  Further, it might
 be worthwhile to note a rather inexperienced "sysop's helper" of a major
 network was suffering from what appeared to be a terminal case of
 "deletitis" in a message base.  He proved to be an embarrassment to all. 
 All in all, its been an interesting week.

      Beginning next week, we hope to start a series on modems; the high
 speed variety.  All three major chipset implementations will be looked
 over.  Also, for the summer, we shall be doing a series on true multi-
 media.  That is; from the very start to the finished product.  Artwork,
 scanning, sound, animation and documentation.  Stay tuned for more...
      The final (or, so we hope) shakeout in the computer marketplace
 appears to be slowly taking shape.  Of course, its obvious the PC in all
 of its incarnations is clearly going to previual over all the others.  Its
 just a matter of "guessing" when the other platforms will either conform
 or collapse.  The strongest of the "other" platforms is Apple.  But they
 are in the very subtle but definate process of 'conforming' to the spec
 and the marketplace's demands.
      To each and every family out there.... have a wonderful Father's Day!


  STReport's Staff                      DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU!

                             Publisher -Editor
                              Ralph F. Mariano

                  Lloyd E. Pulley, Editor, Current Affairs

 Section Editors
      ----------     -------------       -----------    -------------
      R.D. Stevens     R. Niles           J. Deegan     D. P. Jacobson

 STReport Staff Editors:

           Michael Arthur           John Deegan         Brad Martin    
           John Szczepanik          Dan Stidham         Joseph Mirando
           Doyle Helms              Frank Sereno        John Duckworth
           Jeff Coe                 Steve Keipe         Guillaume Brasseur
           Melanie Bell             Jay Levy            Jeff Kovach    
           Marty Mankins            Carl Prehn          Paul Charchian

 Contributing Correspondents:
           Tim Holt            Norman Boucher           Clemens Chin   
           Eric Jerue          Ron Deal                 Mike Barnwell  
           Ed Westhusing       Glenwood Drake           Vernon W.Smith
           Bruno Puglia        Paul Haris               Kevin Miller
           Craig Harris        Allen Chang              Dominick J. Fontana

                              IMPORTANT NOTICE
       Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc...
                               via E-Mail to:

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                  GEnie......................... ST-REPORT



                         IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I)

                   Computer Products Update - CPU Report
                   ------------------------   ----------
                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World
                                Issue #25
                         By: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.

                  ******* General Computer News *******

                    ** DRAM Chip Shortage Predicted **
    Market researchers at Dataquest Inc. looks for a shortage of 16-meg 
 DRAM chips by the end of year.  The shortage could be as much as 20% of 
 1995's first quarter demand.
    One reason given for the shortage is the increased demand from the 
 personal computer industry.  Worldwide PC sales are expected to grow at 
 15% for 1994, while U.S. growth rate is expected to approach 16%.
    Dataquest further predicts the average memory per desktop PC will 
 rise from 5.5MB in 1993 to nearly 8MB in 1995, and it calls that 
 estimate "conservative."
                  ** IBM Developing Disk Drive Sensor **
    IBM Corp. says its scientists have produced a sensor that will give 
 computer hard drives the capability of storing 10 billion bits of data 
 per-square-inch, which is 20 times the current density level.
    IBM is calling the sensor a "spin-valve head," noting it is already 
 five times more sensitive than today's best commercially available disk 
 drive sensor.
    The computer company explained the new sensor is based on a giant 
 magnetoresistive (GMR) effect, which was discovered less than six years 
 ago. IBM is the first to create a product that utilizes the GMR effect.
                   ** Junkie,' 'Smeg' Viruses Formed **

    Two new especially virulent computer viruses, "Junkie" and its rela-
 tive "Smeg," have been discovered in the United States and as far away 
 as London's financial district.
    Sources say that Junkie was discovered last month after an Ann Arbor, 
 Michigan, man bought a new computer for his son. The virus shut down the 
 computer and went undetected until local computer consultant Jim 
 Shaeffer found it using a special program.
    Frank Horowitz, an anti-virus software specialist said Shaeffer re-
 ported the virus to him.
    "This is the first time we've seen this," Horowitz said, "and there 
 are going to be many others like this."
    Horowitz said that Junkie is unique because, unlike other viruses, it 
 can attack a diskette, a computer's boot sector or its executable files. 
 (Most other viruses, he said, attack only one of those three crucial 
    He added it also is dangerous because standard, scanner-type anti-
 virus software can't find Junkie. The virus is "polymorphic," meaning 
 it's characteristics are always changing to avoid detection.
    Horowitz also found it disturbing that Junkie was found in a new com-
 puter, adding the computer might have been infected at the factory.
    After Horowitz posted electronic messages about Junkie, the similar 
 Smeg virus was found in computers used by London financial services 
 firms. He added he has received reports from across the country about 
 the new virus but that it is impossible now to tell how far it's spread.
    Horowitz said that by breaking Junkie's code he could tell the virus 
 was created this year. The code also contained the virus name, a stan-
 dard procedure, he said, for vandals who want to know when their 
 creation gets publicity.
                    ** Kodak Unveils Digital Camera **
    Eastman Kodak Co. has introduced a new $11,000 digital camera.
    The Kodak Professional DCS 420 Digital Camera joins the company's 
 currently available DCS 200 digital camera. The new product features a 
 full-frame CCD imager that delivers a total resolution of 1.5 million 
 pixels, 36-bit color (with 12 bits per RGB color) and the ability to 
 store images on removable PCMCIA cards (both hard disk and memory 
    The camera also provides a high-power battery pack that's good for at 
 least 1,000 images per charge, with a recharge time of approximately one 
 hour. A built-in microphone supports image annotation, allowing users to 
 record sound clips before or after exposing an image. Kodak says the 
 camera can be used for desktop publishing, presentation development, 
 catalog publishing, scientific research and a variety of "on location" 
 imaging needs. The camera also will be targeted at a range of military, 
 law enforcement and government applications.
                  ** Dell Cuts Dimension Unit Prices **
    Prices on all of Dell Computer Corp.'s Dimension desktop products 
 have been cut by an average of $200 on standard configurations.
    Dell also unveiled its first mini tower systems, the Dell Dimension 
 XPS MT and the Dell Precision MT.  These new towers include models with 
 Intel Corp.'s 90MHz Pentium processor.
                   ** New PCs Double as Radios, TVs **
    A colorful new brand of PCs that can double as radios and televi-
 sions, take telephone messages and send faxes is being unveiled by
 Packard Bell Electronics Inc.
    And did we say "colorful"? Look for the units to eschew the clay-grey 
 of most PCs and come in exotic hues such as teal, azure and sahara.
    "This is like adding a tie to a suit," Packard Bell CEO Beny Alagem 
    But it will be the merging of technologies -- radio, TV and phone -- 
 that will attract the most attention.  A user can turn on the system's 
 radio or TV with the double-click of a mouse button.
    "Control panels come up on the monitor for volume, tone, brightness 
 and other functions," he reports. "The TV picture can be adjusted from 
 the size of an icon to full screen."
    Every model Packard Bell is introducing has stereo speakers and 
 nearly every one has a CD-ROM drive as a standard feature. Each comes 
 with 27 software titles, including 11 CD-ROMs.
    The computers range in price from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the 
 kind of microprocessor and size of memory and data storage. Packard Bell 
 will sell models based on Intel Corp.'s 80486 and Pentium 
                     ** IBM Adds Micro Channel PCs **
    IBM Corp. says it's shipping new PS/2 76 and 77 Micro Channel PCs.
    The PS/2 76s and 77s are available in a variety of processor config-
 urations and offer Pentium upgradeability.
    Processors for the systems include Intel 486SX 33MHz, 486DX2 66/33MHz 
 and 486DX4 100/33MHZ CPUs. IBM says the graphics performance of the PS/2 
 76s and 77s have been enhanced with the addition of a new VESA SVGA 
 local bus graphics chip incorporated on the system board. Additionally, 
 new PS/2 77 Ultimedia multimedia models offer full- screen, full-motion 
 video using a new system board-based feature called MediaBurst Movie.
    The systems also feature IBM's Power on Error Detect function for 
 local area network (LAN) attached systems. The patent-pending feature, 
 used in conjunction with IBM's NetFinity systems management software, 
 alerts a LAN administrator or support staff of power-on errors with 
 detailed error and configuration information from the problem system.
    System prices begin at $2,365.
                ** Nintendo Taps Canadian Firm for 3-D **
    Canadian advanced graphics maker Alias Research Inc. has been tapped 
 to create custom 3-D graphics for Nintendo's 64-bit Project Reality home 
 video game system, a hardware system being developed for Nintendo by 
 Silicon Graphics Inc.
    Nintendo America Chairman Howard Lincoln said the multimillion dollar 
 investment brings together the world's leading names in 3-D graphics.
    Reports say the cartridge format Project Reality unit, scheduled for 
 introduction in North America and Japan in fall 1995, will carry a 
 suggested $250 retail price.
                   ** Compression Software Unveiled **
    LEAD Technologies of Charlotte, North Carolina, has announced a new 
 data compression utility that can save DOS and Windows software pub-
 lishers an additional 22% on disk replication costs over previously 
 available compression technologies.
    The proprietary data compression algorithm is designed to work with 
 the Microsoft SDK, replacing Microsoft's compression with LEAD's when 
 the user builds the final distribution diskettes. The company says it 
 will modify the utility to work with any install routine at no cost.
    "A publisher shipping 10 diskettes with their application should be 
 able to realize a savings of two diskettes per package even if they were 
 previously compressing their install disks with the Microsoft SDK or 
 other existing compression techniques," says LEAD president Rich Little. 
 "If the ten diskettes were shipped in uncompressed format, we can reduce 
 the diskette count to four."
                   ** Aerosmith Comes to CompuServe **
    A new song by Aerosmith will be downloadable from CompuServe later 
 this month. It appears to be the first original composition to be dis-
 tributed via computer by a major record label.
    Geffen Records says the song, "Head First," will be available to 
 CompuServe subscribers for a limited time beginning June 27. The 
 Associated Press reports the rock group recorded the song during its 
 recent "Get a Grip" sessions, but left it off the album.
    CompuServe and Geffen are describing the venture as an experiment, 
 "the promise of digital delivery of entertainment but also the current 
 limitations of technology. For instance, only owners of a multimedia 
 personal computer with stereo speakers and a large hard drive would find 
 it practical to obtain the song." ("Head First" will be a 4.3MB file.)
    Aerosmith is waiving royalties for the song and that CompuServe will 
 not charge for the connect time it takes to download it.
                    ** Airplane' Sues Over Toaster **
    Berkeley Systems Inc., which attracted national attention by suing a 
 competitor over a parody of its Flying Toasters screen saver, now is on 
 the receiving end of a lawsuit. Members of rock group Jefferson Airplane 
 say flying toasters was their idea.
    In a statement, Berkeley Systems says it hasn't seen the actual suit, 
 but that it earlier received a letter from The Jefferson Airplane claim-
 ing trademark rights and copyrights to the Flying Toasters based on 
 cover art from Airplane's 1973 "30 Seconds Over Winterland" album.
    The company has had other toaster scraps. Last year it won its suit 
 over Delrina Technology's parody screen savers.
    Of the latest action, Berkeley President Wes Boyd disputed the 
 rockers' claim, saying, "The Flying Toasters in After Dark 2.0 were 
 independently created in 1989. We were completely unaware of the album 
 at the time." 
                   ** N.C. Firm Alleges Online Scam **
    A North Carolina network peripheral company said it has been victim-
 ized by what it terms "an online marketing scam" by an employee of a 
    In a statement, Exide Electronics Group Inc., which makes network 
 power management and power protection systems, says the activity 
 "culminated in the publication of a fake user testimonial maligning 
 Exide Electronics in PC Week," a Ziff-Davis Publishing trade magazine.
    Exide says the letter to PC Week editors, which "disparaged and 
 grossly misrepresented Exide Electronics' products and services," also 
 was posted "under a false user name" in the PC Week Extra forum operated 
 by Ziff's ZiffNet online service carried on CompuServe.
    Says the statement, "The letter was subsequently published in the May 
 23, 1994, issue of PC Week attributed to 'Name Withheld By Request.' 
 However, the CompuServe identification number for the user name was the 
 same as an employee of a vendor of uninterruptible power systems that 
 competes with Exide Electronics."
    Exide says other letters denigrating Exide Electronics under a second 
 false user name also were posted to PC Week's forums under the same User
 ID number.


 > Mario's Fun with Numbers STR Review

 Kids' Computing Corner

                          MARIO'S FUN WITH NUMBERS

 by Frank Sereno

      Mario's Fun with Numbers is one of the programs in Software
 Toolwork's Mario series of educational programs.  This particular program
 is intended for preschoolers ages 2 to 5.  Available for IBM compatibles,
 this DOS program requires a 286 or higher CPU, 640k of ram, a VGA display,
 a mouse, and a sound card capable of reproducing digitized voices.  Fun
 with Numbers occupies a whopping 10.2 megs of hard drive space.  Children
 learn many math and language concepts during gameplay.

      Fun with Numbers main screen shows 10 islands or worlds.  Nine of the
 worlds are games for the child to play, the tenth is the home of Mario and
 the Princess.  The child may choose either Mario or the Princess to be his
 on-screen persona by clicking on the character.  Play begins by clicking
 on one of the islands.  In many of the games, the child must click on
 Mario's brother Luigi to wake him up to get audible instructions and begin
 the game.

      SINGSONG World is represented by an animal character and some musical
 notes.  Once in SINGSONG World, the child may choose to listen to one of
 four songs dealing with numbers.  These are "This Old Man", "Ten Little
 Koopas", "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" and "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on
 the Bed."  The songs are very cute and entertaining.  Animated video is
 presented along with the music showing the activities described in the
 songs as well as showing the number symbols.  In the case of the "Monkeys"
 animation, it is not in sync with the lyrics of the song.

      Number World is represented by an island containing the numbers zero
 through three.  The child's task is to lead Mario to the correct number as
 called for by the program.  On the first level, the numbers are shown in
 proper sequence above room doors.  Mario must pass the numbers on to Luigi
 at his conveyor belt.  At higher levels, numbers are displayed in a random
 order making it more difficult to find the correct answer. This game will
 teach the relationship between the number names and symbols.

      Counting World is designated by an island containing a pair of gloved
 hands with the numbers one through ten placed on the corresponding digits. 
 Upon choosing this game, the child will then get to choose between
 counting items in Mario's bedroom or his kitchen.  Various objects in each
 room can be selected.  Move the white cursor around the room and it will
 turn red when over an interactive object.  Clicking on these objects will
 cause the computer to count the number of each object using the voices of
 a group of children.  The child is encouraged to count along aloud as
 well.  This game will teach counting and numbers.

      Comparing World is represented by an island holding three buckets of
 differing sizes.  In this game the child will learn vocabulary by
 comparing and contrasting items by size, number and position.  On the
 first level, children are asked to compare items based on size as short,
 long and medium.  On the second level, children will compare and choose
 items based on numerical concepts such as more or pair.  On the third
 level, children will choose items based on the items position relative to
 other items such as above a shelf or under a branch.  These lessons will
 help a child learn how to better express concepts.

      Pattern World is illustrated by a geometric rope on an island.  The
 child makes no on-screen choices in this game, but is encouraged to recite
 aloud with the computer's chorus as they describe the patterns.  Patterns
 are made in shapes, words, numbers and finally with animals drawn slowly
 on the screen.  In the shapes section, the computerized children will
 recite the shapes being placed on the screen such as circle, triangle,
 circle triangle and then ask the child what will come next.  For words,
 the screen may show a pig with a shovel to create the pattern of "pig-
 dig".  Numbers are counted aloud in normal order and then in twos in both
 even and odd numbers.  Finally, in the animal section the different
 pictures are drawn on the screen and the child is encouraged to guess the
 animal from the shape.  Then the interior pattern of the animal is drawn,
 the picture is colored and finally it is animated to leave the screen. 
 This portion is entertaining but unfortunately the same four animals are
 used over and over and over again.

      Categorization and organization are taught in Sorting World.  Sorting
 World is represented by an island containing three watermelon wedges and
 three cookies.  On screen there will be many objects of  various geometric
 shapes, sizes and colors.  On the first level, the child must sort the
 items by shape, on the next level by size, on the succeeding level by
 color, then another level where sorting is done by color and shape,
 another level based on size and shape and then the final level asks for
 the items to be sorted by size, shape and color.  I think this part of the
 program would have been more instructional if it had the child sort more
 than one category on each screen.  For example on the first screen, while
 several shapes may be represented, the program only asks for the child to
 find one particular shape, perhaps a triangle.  Soon the child will learn
 of the repetitious nature of the program after the first or second
 triangle and he will not have to think very much to find the next object
 as it will be another triangle.

      Shape World is indicated by an island holding various colored
 geometric blocks.  The child will learn the four basic shapes of geometry
 (circle, triangle, square and rectangle) by building trains with these
 shapes.  On the first level the child will be asked merely to find the
 correct shape, but in higher levels the items asked for will be
 differentiated by size and color as well as shape.  This is a good game
 for learning colors, sizes and shapes.

      Same and Different World is represented by an island with three fish
 and a shopping cart on it.  This game teaches similarities and differences
 between objects as well as building language skills and vocabulary.  Eight
 levels of gameplay will keep a child entertained.  On the first four
 levels, the child must determine which object is different or unrelated of
 four objects.  On the first level, three objects are identical and one is
 different.  The next level has three objects that are closely related such
 as a pen, crayon and pencil are all used for writing or drawing.  The
 third level consists of three items which are still related but more
 abstractly.  For example, the objects may be a beach ball, a shell, a sand
 castle and a car.  The car does not belong but the relationship between
 the other objects takes a bit more thought to find.  On the fourth level.
 three items are part of a whole and the fourth is unrelated.  For example,
 a lamp shade, a bulb and an electrical plug which are parts of a lamp may
 be shown along with an unrelated hammer.  On the next four levels, the
 object is to find the items that are related and leave the unrelated item
 by itself.  The levels are the same as for finding the different or
 unrelated item.

      Finally we come to the last game, How Many World.  It is designated
 by an island with peanut bags.  Children learn the number symbols and
 names as Mario helps at the zoo.  On the first level, Mario must feed the
 elephant the correct number of peanuts.  The computer will ask for a
 number.  On the screen there are several peanut bags with a number symbol
 beside each one and the corresponding number of peanuts in the bag.  On
 the next level, the child completes a picture of an animal by adding the
 requested number of stripes, whiskers, etc.  Again the number symbol is
 place next to the corresponding number of items.  On the third level,
 three kinds of animals will be shown on the screen in differing numbers
 with the number symbols displayed.  The child will then be asked to choose
 a specific number of specific animals.  For example, there may be five
 monkeys, two lions and seven zebras and the child will be asked to find
 seven zebras.  Finally the child will be asked to match numbers to the
 animals that are pictured.  The numbers will be represented symbolically
 and with a corresponding number of dots.

      Graphically, this program breaks no new ground.  The colors are nice,
 but some of the characters are a bit blocky.  Some of the animations are
 not smooth enough.  On sound, this program uses many excellent digitized
 sound effects, voices and music but there is a problem.  The voice that is
 used for asking the child to make selections was recorded in one word and
 short phrase clips that are pieced together to make full sentences.  These
 sentences are not smoothly flowing and do not sound natural.  The
 interface does not allow access to audible help.  The child will receive
 audible instructions on how to play each world when he enters it, but he
 cannot get help after that point.  On the plus side, text help and
 information is available to the parent by pressing the F1 key.  This text
 help will tell the purpose of each lesson as well as give helpful hints on
 games to play away from the computer to reinforce the lessons of Fun with
 Numbers.  Playing the games is a simple matter of pointing and clicking
 with the mouse.  This program has a lot of play value as it has many
 levels of interest for younger children.  Most children will come back to
 this program for many hours of fun.  Educational value is quite good as
 many valuable lessons are taught.  I believe this is a good program for
 its cost.  It's available for around $25.

                     Graphics            7.00
                     Sounds              7.00
                     Interface           8.00
                     Play Value          8.50
                     Ed. Value           8.00
                     Bang for the Buck   8.00
                     Average             7.75

      In this week's mail, I received an offer from TRO Learning, Inc. 
 This offer included a coupon worth $10 towards the purchase of several
 Plato mathematics courses which are claimed to offer 258 lessons covering
 over 925 learning objectives for students from second grade through
 college studies.  I'm going to try to get more information about the
 available courses and report the information here at a later date.  If you
 wish to investigate on your own, you may contact them at 1-800-44-PLATO
 (1-800-447-5286) or write them at:

                             TRO Learning, Inc.
                            4660 West 77th Street
                            Minneapolis, MN 55435

      Be sure to mention Silicon Times Report as your source for this
 information.  This might influence TRO to send out a review copy to this
 scribe.  As always, I thank you for reading!


 > AWE 32 by Sound Blaster STR FOCUS!       AWE 32 Has It ALL!


      This is a frequently asked question document for the Creative SB
 AWE32 sound card. This document summarizes many frequently asked questions
 and answers about the SB AWE32. If you have a question, please check this
 file before calling Creative Technical Support as you may find the answer
 contained in this document.

 This FAQ is organized into the following sections:

      [A]     SB AWE32 in General
      [B]     Editing Tools
      [C]     Programming Information
      [D]     SoundFont(TM) Banks
      [E]     Introduction to the EMU8000 chip
      [F]     How do I ...
      [G]     References
      [H]     NRPN Table

 Before you continue ...

      This document assumes you have a basic understanding of how MIDI
 works, the different MIDI messages, and how your MIDI sequencer works. If
 you are not familiar with these topics, please consider consulting a
 friend who has experience with MIDI, or consulting books on MIDI. A list
 of recommended reading on MIDI can be found in section G of this document. 


 1.  What is the SB AWE32? How does it differ from the SB16?
 2.  How much memory is shipped with the SB AWE32 card?
 3.  What is the recommended SIMM memory access speed?
 4.  How do I upgrade the memory on the card?
 5.  What are the uses of the 512 KB DRAM on the SB AWE32?
 6.  Would adding DRAM to the SB AWE32 increase the performance of WAVE
     file editing or manipulation?
 7.  Is it possible to use AWE32 sounds (16 channels) together with FM
     sounds from the OPL-3 chip (16 channels) in CakeWalk?
 8.  How many MIDI channels can the SB AWE32 handle in Windows?
 9.  What MIDI sequencers will work with the SB AWE32? Are special drivers
 10. Are there any plans for OS/2 and Windows NT SB AWE32 drivers?
 11. What I/O port addresses are used by the EMU8000?
 12. Why doesn't the EMU8000 have a built in MIDI interpreter?
 13. Does the SB AWE32 support MIDI Sample Dump to transfer samples to the
 14. What is "CC0" documented in Appendix G-4 and G-5 of the SB AWE32
     Getting Started Manual? How are these variation tones accessed?
 15. What "drum kits" are available in GS mode?
 16. Does the SB AWE32 respond to MIDI aftertouch?
 17. My PC system does not have a working NMI. What can I do to use
 18. Is there a WaveBlaster upgrade option on the SB AWE32?
 19. What is the benefit of adding a WaveBlaster to the SB AWE32?
 20. Is it possible to load AWEUTIL into high memory?
 21. Does AWEUTIL have to stay memory resident?
 22. What are the long term plans to solve the problem with DOS extender
 23. Will software written for the SB16 work with the SB AWE32?
 24. Does Creative have any plans for a SCSI version of the SB AWE32?
 25. What CD-ROM drives does the SB AWE32 support?
 26. What are the different reverb and chorus variations available on the
     SB AWE32?
 27. What are the undocumented "JP6," "JP8" and "JP9" jumpers on the card? 

 1.  Will there be a preset editor for the SB AWE32?
 2.  Will it be possible to patch multiple sounds across different keys,
     such as a drum kit?
 3.  How are new instruments created on the SB AWE32?
 4.  What functionality will the preset editor offer?
 5.  What is SoundFont Bank Maker for SB AWE32? How do I get this
 6.  Will the bank editing software load samples from other systems e.g.
     Akai S1000 or Yamaha TG55?

 1.  Is programming information available for the SB AWE32?
 2.  Is the effect engine on the SB AWE32 programmable?
 3.  When will the developer kit become available? What will be the cost of
     the developer kit?

 1.  What are SoundFont Collections?
 2.  How do SoundFont Banks work?
 3.  When will SoundFont Banks become available?
 4.  What can I do with SoundFont Banks?
 5.  Will having 28 MB on the SB AWE32 improve the sound quality over a
     standard 512 KB SB AWE32?


 1.  How do I make use of RPN documented in the SB AWE32 MIDI
     Implementation chart?
 2.  How do I change an instrument's sound parameter in real time?
 3.  How do I select the SB AWE32's reverb and chorus variation type
     through MIDI?
 4.  How can I maximize my system's memory so that I still have plenty of
     room to run games after installing the SB AWE32?
 5.  How do I load a SoundFont Bank?
 6.  How do I get the latest drivers for the SB AWE32?



     Section A - SB AWE32
 1.   What is the SB AWE32? How does it differ from the SB16?      
      The SB AWE32 is a standard SB16 MultiCD with the EMU 8000 Enhanced
      WavEffect music synthesizer chip. The card includes all the standard
      SB16 features. Additionally, the SB AWE32 includes the Advanced
      Signal Processor and multiple interfaces supporting Creative, Mitsumi
      and Sony CD-ROM drives.

      The EMU8000 is a sub-system offering high quality music synthesis
      using advanced wave effects technology. It comes with an onboard
      dedicated effect engine. The effect engine provides high quality
      effects like reverb and chorus to MIDI playback. The EMU8000 supports
      up to 32 voices, and the effect amount for each voice can be
      controlled via MIDI. 

      The EMU8000 comes integrated with 1MB of General MIDI samples and
      512KBof DRAM for additional sample downloading. It can address up to
      28 MB of external DRAM memory. There are two SIMM sockets on board
      for DRAM expansion. The SB AWE32 supports General MIDI, Roland GS and
      Sound Canvas MT-32 emulation.

      Note: MT-32 Emulation on the SB AWE32 is similar to that of the Sound
           Canvas; e.g., MT-32 sysex is not supported.

 2.   How much memory is shipped with the SB AWE32 card?
      The card ships with 1 MB of General MIDI ROM samples and 512 KB of
      DRAM for user sample downloading. There is a pair of SIMM sockets for
      DRAM upgrades.

 3.   What is the recommended SIMM memory access speed?
      Hardware specifications call for SIMM modules with 80 nanosecond or
      better access times.

 4.   How do I upgrade the memory on the card?
      To upgrade the memory, you can purchase standard SIMM modules and
      insert them into the SIMM sockets provided on the SB AWE32. (If you
      are not familiar with inserting SIMM modules, check with a technician
      where you purchased the SIMM's. They should be able to help). You
      will also need to reconfigure the memory selector jumper on the SB
      AWE32 card.  The SIMM socket on the SB AWE32 were designed to    
      accommodate industry standard 30-pin SIMM modules. You will need to
      insert two SIMMs of the same memory size into both of the sockets. 

 The available memory options are:

           2  MB (using 2 1 MB SIMMs)
           8  MB (using 2 4 MB SIMMs)
           32 MB   (using 2 16 MB SIMMs)

      Note that you cannot mix different size (that is, 2 MB and 8 MB) SIMM
      modules together on a single SB AWE32 card.

      There are also 72 pins SIMM modules on the market. Such SIMMs can be
      found on motherboards that use 8 or 16 megabit SIMMs or as cache RAM.
      They are incompatible with the SIMM sockets on the SB AWE32 card.
      The EMU8000 treats the first 4 MB of its DRAM address space as ROM
      memory. As a result, when you insert two 16 MB SIMMs onto the SB
      AWE32, only 28 MB will be addressable.

 5.   What are the uses of the 512 KB DRAM on the SB AWE32?    
      The on-board 512 KB of memory is used to hold user samples. In GS
      synthesizer mode, this 512 KB is used to hold the sound effects of
      GS.  In GM synthesizer mode, the 512 KB DRAM is free, so it can hold
      SoundFont banks containing samples.

      MT-32 Synthesizer mode uses a small portion of the 512 KB of memory,
      therefore you can still load your own SoundFont bank samples into the
      rest of the free RAM space.

 6.   Would adding DRAM to the SB AWE32 increase the performance of WAVE
      file editing or manipulation?
      Addition of SIMM DRAM to the SB AWE32 will allow you to accommodate
      more SoundFont bank data. This, however, will not increase the
      performance of WAVE file editing or manipulation as the latter does
      not make use of the SIMM DRAM on the SB AWE32.

 7.   Is it possible to use AWE32 sounds (16 channels) together with FM
      sounds from the OPL-3 chip (16 channels) in CakeWalk?
      You can use both the AWE32 sounds AND the OPL-3 FM sounds together in
      CakeWalk. As both the AWE32 and OPL-3 appear under Microsoft Windows
      as two separate MIDI devices, you can play both devices
      simultaneously. The following is a step-by-step guide:

      1.  Startup CakeWalk.
      2.  Select "Settings", then "MIDI Devices"
      3.  You will see a dialog box with MIDI IN devices on the left, and   
         MIDI OUT devices on the right. Click on both "Sound Blaster AWE32  
         MIDI Synth" and "Voyetra Super Sapi FM Driver."
      4.  Select "OK"
      5.  Activate the "Track/Measure" Window.
      6.  Locate the "Port" column in the Track/Measure Windows.
      7.  If you want a track to be playing back using AWE32, double click
          on the track's "Port" section, and select "1:Sound Blaster AWE32
          MIDI Synth." On the other hand if you want the track to be    
          playing back using the OPL-3 then select "2:Voyetra Super Sapi FM
      You can repeat steps 6 and 7 on other CakeWalk tracks to assign the   
      output port as desired.

 8.   How many MIDI channels can the SB AWE32 handle in Windows?    
      Under Windows, the SB AWE32 has two MIDI synthesizer devices,    
      "EMU8000" and "OPL3". Each MIDI device is capable of supporting 16
      MIDI channels, with 15 being melodic, and one channel (MIDI channel
      10) being percussive. 
 9.   What MIDI sequencers will work with SB AWE32? Are special drivers     
      The SB AWE32 package ships with a Windows SB AWE32 MIDI driver.       
      Therefore, the SB AWE32 can be used with any Windows based MIDI
      sequencer software. For DOS, the sequencer software needs to have
      native SB AWE32 support.

 10.  Are there any plans for OS/2 and Windows NT SB AWE32 drivers?      
      The SB AWE32 OS/2 driver is currently in beta stage. The Windows NT   
      driver is currently in development.

 11.  What I/O port addresses are used by the EMU8000?
      The addresses used by the EMU8000 are relative to the base I/O
      address of the SB16. EMU8000 Addresses are at 6xxH, AxxH and ExxH. It
      occupies the first four addresses at each location. For example, if
      the SB16 base I/O address is 220H, the EMU8000 addresses are     
      620H-623H, A20H-A23H and E20H-E23H.

 12.  Why doesn't the EMU8000 have a built in MIDI interpreter?

      One of the design goal of the SB AWE32 is to offer high quality music
      at an affordable price. The EMU8000 is just like any other
      synthesizer chip such as OPL2, OPL3 or OPL4. It does not have the
      capability to interpret MIDI commands. For it to understand MIDI
      commands, a MIDI interpreter is required, and this will involve  
      adding an additional processor to handle MIDI commands and other
      components adding to the cost of the product.     
      After our analysis of price and performance, we decided that our
      current implementation offers the best in terms of price as well as
      To support existing games that use MPU-401, we provide a feature
      known as MIDI feedback using NMI (non-maskable-interrupt) which 
      installs a small TSR program, AWEUTIL. AWEUTIL works by trapping data
      going out to the MPU-401 port and re-directs it back to the SB AWE32.
      AWEUTIL provides compatibility with many games that support the
      MPU-401 interface, but will not always work with protected mode games
      due to the complicated ways in which DOS extenders handle NMI. Note
      that you can still continue to play your favorite DOS protected mode
      game with the on-board OPL3 FM chip.

      We are working closely with the game developer community to port
      their MIDI driver to support the SB AWE32. We have a porting     
      laboratory at Creative Labs, Inc., where we invite developers to port
      their drivers to natively support the SB AWE32. We believe that in
      the near future the SB AWE32 will be widely supported. Currently, we
      already have support from several major audio driver developers for
      the SB AWE32 platform. 

 13.  Does the SB AWE32 support MIDI Sample Dump to transfer samples to the 
      No. The sample transfer between PC and SB AWE32 is through the PC
      bus, and does not dump via the SB AWE32 MIDI port.

 14.  What is "CC0" documented in Appendix G-4 and G-5 of the SB AWE32
      Getting Started Manual? How are these variation tones accessed?  
      CC0 is short form for Continuous Controller 0 (zero), which is MIDI
      Bank Change.

      The SB AWE32 offers Sound Canvas compatibility by including the user
      bank instruments found on the Sound Canvas. User bank instruments are
      simply instruments of a similar class or variation. For example,
      General MIDI instrument number 25 is the Steel Acoustic Guitar, and
      its variation is the Ukulele.

      A user bank tone is just like any other General MIDI instrument. Take
      for example the Ukulele variation tone. Lets assume you are currently
      doing MIDI editing under CakeWalk Apprentice, and you sequenced a
      track that uses Steel Acoustic Guitar. You play the track back, and
      feel that the Steel Acoustic Guitar does not quite cut it, so you
      decide to give Ukulele a try. What you would need to do is to insert
      a MIDI bank change of value 8 (the user bank for Ukulele) in that
      track, follow immediately by a program change of Acoustic Value to
      select the user bank tone.  What you have just accomplished is to set
      the MIDI channel in which the Steel
      Acoustic Guitar instrument is playing to the user bank instrument 

      Note that the user bank instruments are available only in the "GS"
      mode of the SB AWE32. You can switch to "GS" mode via the Windows AWE
      Control Panel applet. 

 15.  What "drum kits" are available in GS mode?
      A drum kit is a collection of percussive instruments (snare drum,
      bass drum, hi-hats, etc.) laid across the entire MIDI keyboard. Under
      General MIDI, MIDI channel 10 is reserved for percussion instruments.
      General MIDI defines only one drum kit, which is the Standard Kit.
      Under the "GM" synth mode of the SB AWE32, channel 10 automatically
      uses the "Standard Kit". MIDI music would be very boring if everybody
      used the same drum kit in every MIDI song. Imagine all MIDI songs
      using the same snare drum and the same bass drum, and you will have
      an idea of how similar every MIDI song will sound.

      Under the "GS" synth mode of the SB AWE32 there are 11 (including the 
      Standard Drum Kit) different drum kits you can use on MIDI Channel
     These drum kits are:

     Name                  Program No.     Description 

     Standard/Jazz         1 or 33         Standard General MIDI drum kit.  
                                          Jazz is similar to the Standard 
                                          drum kit.

     Room                   9             Similar to that of the Standard 
                                           kit except that it has more room 

     Power                 17             Again similar to that of the
                                          Standard kit, but with more power
                                          kick and snare drums.
     Electronic            25             Electronic drum kit. Most of the
                                          percussion instruments in this
                                          drum kit are reminiscence of old
                                          analogue and digital rhythm
                                          machines (such as the Roland
                                          TR-707 and TR-909 rhythm machine

     TR-808                26             Electronic drum kit, reminiscence
                                          of the Roland TR-808 rhythm

     Brush                 41             Similar to the Standard kit
                                          except that brushes have been
                                          added. This kit is mostly used
                                          for Jazz MIDI pieces.
     Orchestra             49             An immense collection of concert
                                          drums and timpani.

     SFX                   57             A collection of Sound Effects.

     CM-64/32L            127             Same as the Roland MT-32 drum
                                          kit.  This drum kit contains
                                          standard percussion at the lower
                                          range of the keyboard, and sound
                                          effects at the higher range of
                                          the keyboard.

      Drum kits are very easy to access under MIDI. Each drum kit is
      essentially an instrument and you select a drum kit by selecting an
      instrument, just as if you would select a melodic instrument. For
      example, if you want to select the TR-808, all you have to do is to
      perform a program change to 25 on MIDI channel 10. After the program
      change, all percussion sounds will be played back through the TR-808
      drum kit.

 16.  Does the SB AWE32 respond to MIDI aftertouch?
      The SB AWE32 Windows MIDI driver prior to version 1.03 does not
      support MIDI aftertouch. The current SB AWE32 driver supports    
      aftertouch AND MIDI controller 11 (expression).

      See the item "How do I get the latest drivers for the SB AWE32?" in   
      section F for further information.

 17.  My PC system does not have a working NMI. What can I do to use

      One of the most common causes of a system not having a working NMI is
      that the system's memory parity checking has been turned off. You can
      check your system's memory parity checking status by activating your
      system's BIOS setup. Consult your system's user manual on how to
      activate BIOS/CMOS setup and memory parity checking.

      If your system does not have a working NMI or you have a DOS     
      protected mode game, then you can only play games using FM music.
      Note that this NMI problem only applies to DOS games or applications,
      not to Windows games or applications. Under Windows, all applications
      play music and sound effects through the standard SB AWE32 Windows
      As more developers include native SB AWE32 support, this NMI problem
      will gradually disappear.

      Some of the protected mode games already have SB AWE32 support via    
      special drivers (such as Miles Design Inc's AIL drivers).  You can   
      obtain more information on these drivers in the Sound Blaster forum 
      on CompuServe, or on Creative's BBS. See the item "How do I get the 
      latest drivers for the SB AWE32?" in Section F.

 18.  Is there a WaveBlaster upgrade option on the SB AWE32?
      Yes. Each SB AWE32 features a WaveBlaster connector.

 19.  What is the benefit of adding a WaveBlaster to the SB AWE32?  
      The WaveBlaster connector was included on the SB AWE32 to provide
      users an alternative wave-sample synthesis method other than the
      EMU8000 on the SB AWE32. By incorporating a WaveBlaster onto the SB
      AWE32, the total polyphony of this combination will be increased to
      64, the total number of timbres expanded to 32, and you will have
      access to a secondary palette of sampled sounds.

 20.  Is it possible to load AWEUTIL into high memory?
      AWEUTIL automatically searches for high memory and will attempt to
      load itself high if enough high memory is available.

 21.  Does AWEUTIL have to stay memory resident?
      AWEUTIL serves two purposes; to initialize and control the reverb and 
      chorus effects of the FM hardware on the SB AWE32 card, and to
      provide NMI MIDI Feedback.

           AWEUTIL /S

      will initialize and set the reverb and chorus effect of the FM
      hardware, and then terminate. It will not stay resident in memory. 
      If you want to activate NMI MIDI Feedback, then run AWEUTIL /EM:XX 
      (XX = GM, GS or MT32) before starting your game.

      When you finish the game, remember to run
           AWEUTIL /U

      to unload AWEUTIL from memory.

 22.  What are the long term plans to solve the problem with DOS extender   
      We are currently getting developers to natively support the SB AWE32.
      So far we have had good support from John Miles Inc. with their SB
      AWE32 Miles (real and protected mode) drivers, from Accolade, from
      HMI and from John Ratcliff with his MIDPAK drivers. As more and more
      developers support the SB AWE32, the DOS extended game's problem will
      gradually disappear.

 23.  Will software written for the SB16 work with the SB AWE32?    
      Definitely. The SB AWE32 uses the same base system as the SB16, so it
      is fully compatible.

 24.  Does Creative have any plans for a SCSI version of the SB AWE32?   
      We will deliver a SCSI version of the SB AWE32 when there is     
      sufficient demand.

 25.  What CD-ROM drives does the SB AWE32 support?
      The SB AWE32 supports Creative, Sony and Mitsumi CD-ROM drives.

 26.  What are the different reverb and chorus variations available on the
      SB AWE32?
      Reverb and chorus effects add warmth and movement to MIDI playback.   
      There are eight reverb types and eight chorus types available on the
      SB AWE32.

     Room 1-3,        This group of reverb variation simulates the natural
                      ambiance of a room. Room 1 simulates a small room,
                      Room 2 simulates a slightly bigger room, and Room 3
                      simulates a big room.

     Hall 1-2,        This group of reverb variation simulates the natural
                      ambiance of a concert hall. It has greater depth
                      than the room variations. Again, Hall 1 simulates a
                      small hall, and Hall 2 simulates a larger hall. 
     Plate,           Back in the old days, reverb effects were sometimes
                      produced using a metal plate, and this type of reverb
                      produces a metallic echo. The SB AWE32's Plate
                      variation simulates this form of reverb.

     Delay,           This reverb produces a delay, that is, echo effect.

     Panning Delay,   This reverb variation produces a delay effect that
                      is, continuously panned left and right.

     Chorus 1-4,      Chorus produces a "beating" effect. The chorus
                      effects are more prominent going from chorus 1 to
                      chorus 4. Feedback Chorus, This chorus variation
                      simulates a soft "swishing" effect. 
     Flanger,         This chorus variation produces a more prominent
                      feedback chorus effect.

     Short Delay,     This chorus variation simulates a delay repeated in a
                      short time.

     Short Delay,     This chorus variation simulates a short delay
                      repeated (feedback) (feedback) many times.

     These effect variations can be selected by the following sysex
     Reverb sysex macro
     F0 41 10 42 12 40 01 30 XX CS F7
     where XX denotes the reverb variation to be selected, and CS denote a
     checksum value that is ignored. The valid values for XX are:

             0 - Room 1
             1 - Room 2
             2 - Room 3
             3 - Hall 1
             4 - Hall 2
             5 - Plate
             6 - Delay
             7 - Panning Delay

     Chorus sysex macro

     F0 41 10 42 12 40 01 38 XX CS F7

     again, XX denotes the chorus variation to be selected, and CS notes a
     checksum value that is ignored. The valid values for XX are: 
             0 - Chorus 1
             1 - Chorus 2
             2 - Chorus 3
             3 - Chorus 4
             4 - Feedback chorus
             5 - Flanger
             6 - Short Delay
             7 - Short delay (FB)
 27.  What are the undocumented "JP6," "JP8" and "JP9" jumpers on the card? 

      JP8 Is a digital (SPDIF) out from the EMU8000.

      Pin definition:         0 - signal, 
                              1 - signal ground.

      JP6 and JP9 are meant for manufacture diagnostic purpose, and should
      not be used by end user.

     Section B - Editing Tool
 1.   Will there be a preset editor for the SB AWE32?

      We are currently working on a preset editor for the SB AWE32,    
      code-named "Vienna." Vienna will allow you to create and customize
      your own SoundFont bank files. You can create WAVE files to import
      into Vienna to create your own instruments. Vienna also allows you to
      program you own presets (tweaking the envelopes' generators, the LFOs
      and such). 
 2.   Will it be possible to patch multiple sounds across different keys,
      such as a drum kit?

      Yes, Vienna was designed for making drum kits as well. 

 3.   How are new instruments on the SB AWE32 created?

      As mentioned above, you can create your own samples (using
      WaveStudio) to import into Vienna. As an example, let's say you have
      a Steinway piano you would like to sample it and use the Steinway
      sound on your SB AWE32. What you need to do is sample your Steinway
      in 16 bit mono WAVE files. Then you can use Vienna to edit its preset
      and save it as a SoundFont bank file and load it as a user bank into
      your SB AWE32 to play just like any normal MIDI instrument.

 4.   What functionality will the preset editor offer?

      Here is what you will be able to do with Vienna:

      -   Multi-sample arrangement
         Multi-sampling is the technique of sampling a musical instrument
      at different musical intervals, arranging the samples across a MIDI
      keyboard and assigning key ranges (for example, from key C3 to C4) 
      to these samples. Vienna allows you to visually assign samples to key
      -   Preset editing
         Once you arrange your samples across the keyboard, you can then

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