|The Atari SIG Historical Archive|
|Created and hosted by: atarimax.com|
|[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]|
Article #468 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 1-Jul-94 #1027 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson) Date: Sun Jul 3 00:10:08 1994 SILICON TIMES REPORT ==================== INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ============================= from STR Electronic Publishing Inc. July 01, 1994 No. 1027 ====================================================================== Silicon Times Report International Online Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 R.F. Mariano Publisher-Editor ----------------------------------------- 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 ______________________________________________________________________ > 07/01/94 STR 1026 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """"""""""""""""" - CPU INDUSTRY REPORT - HAYES UG V.34 INFO - SCES Coverage! - PC EXPO Coverage! - VIDEO Blaster - Apple DOS Card - Mario's Fun - CANVAS for WINDOWS - BlkBuster & Virgin - Jaguar @ SCES!! - People Talking - STR Confidential! -* FREEHAND 4.0 FOR WINDOWS SHIPS! *- -* IBM TO BREAK POWERPC 1M MARK! *- -* MACINTOSH PC EXCHANGE 2.0 SHIPS!! *- ====================================================================== 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 computer types, worldwide, through the use of excellent International Networking Systems. SysOps and users alike worldwide, are welcome to join STReport's 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 invited to participate. ====================================================================== CIS ~ DELPHI ~ GENIE ~ BIX ~ PROWL ~ ITC ~ NEST ~ EURONET ~ CIX USENET ~ USPOLNET ~ CLEVELAND FREE-NET ~ INTERNET ~ FNET ~ AOL ====================================================================== 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!" """""""""""""""""""""" Ah.... another well deserved three day weekend. Coming on the heels of PC EXPO in NYC. And... Summer CES in Chicago. Rumored to be the last of its kind. A revamping is in the works. Amazingly, a few weeks ago, there was praise in this column about the copious quantities of great hardware and software in the PC arena. It was mentioned the splinter markets veritably had the "backs to the wall" as they were all drying up. It was also mentioned that niche market groups like Apple were also on the forefront of the second great shakeout and that if they didn't "get with it" they too would join a long line of great but very defunct computer types. We received hate mail for having offered an editorial opinion! The opinion stands. Those who came "out of the woodwork"... thanks for reading. This week's issue is busy trying to offer information about a number of new products and innovations that appeared at both shows. Some shipping some not as of yet. Please enjoy your fourth of July weekend in all its glory but if... you're going to imbibe, please don't drive. 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. 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: Compuserve................... 70007,4454 America Online..................STReport Delphi......................... RMARIANO BIX............................ RMARIANO FIDONET..................... 1:347/147.3 FNET........................... NODE 350 ITC NET...................... 85:881/253 NEST........................ 90:21/350.0 GEnie......................... ST-REPORT Internet.............RMARIANO@DELPHI.COM """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > 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 #27 By: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. ******* General Computer News ******* ** Is Atari Heading for Bankruptcy? ** News reports say Atari Corp. is denying broadcast comments that it might go bankrupt. But a company official told the news service that he no longer expected the company to be profitable overall in 1994. "We're a long way from bankruptcy," Atari chief financial officer August Liguori said, adding that the Sunnyvale, Calif.- based video game firm has $35 to $37 million in cash and readily marketable securities. Liguori observed, "I certainly do feel that the profitability will occur in the first quarter of 1995 when we will not have as much advert- ising expenditure relative to sales." CNBC correspondent Dan Dorfman had quoted Wall Street analyst Martin Sass as saying that Atari has no earnings, no way to make money, an obsolete product line, insufficient software and a dud in its Jaguar Multimedia home entertainment system. ** Blockbuster Ups Game Firm Holding ** Video rental giant Blockbuster Entertainment says it will acquire another 55% of software publisher Virgin Interactive Entertainment next month, a move seen as strengthening Blockbuster's position in the video game field. The acquisition will increase Blockbuster's holdings in VIE to 75%, most of which will come from Virgin founder Richard Branson's Family Trusts. ** Mac Interface for Kids Ships ** Berkeley Systems Inc has shipped Launch Pad, an animated, interactive Macintosh desktop for kids. The software publisher notes that Launch Pad lets kids freely use and explore a computer while key files remain safe and separate. By allowing kids access to only those files and applications pre- selected by parents, Launch Pad preserves parents' sanity and their investment in the family computer, says Berkeley. A Windows version is set to ship in early 1995. "Launch Pad is a natural purchase for any parent who wants to share their computer with a child," says Geoff Zawolkow, Launch Pad's product manager. "We've created a desktop environment that has CD quality graphics and performance and yet comes on only three disks and requires no additional memory." ** Apple Demonstrates DOS Card ** Apple Computer Inc. has demonstrated a Power Macintosh system running a prototype DOS compatibility card featuring a 50MHz 486 DX2 micro- processor. Apple says the demonstration illustrates a potential hardware solu- tion that provides DOS and Windows compatibility on the Power Macintosh platform. It notes that when installed in a Macintosh computer, the card would allow people to run thousands of Macintosh, DOS and Windows programs as well as exchange files with DOS and Windows users. Apple currently provides DOS and Windows compatibility for its Power Macintosh line through Insignia Solutions' SoftWindows software product. Cross-platform compatibility has also been provided by Apple's Macintosh Quadra 610 DOS Compatible system. "Apple will continue to be relentless in making it easier for DOS and Windows users to come over to Macintosh, as well as making it easy for Macintosh users to fit into mixed computing environments," says Ian Diery, executive vice president and general manager of Apple's Personal Computer Division. ** Macintosh PC Exchange 2.0 Ships ** Apple Computer Inc. has started shipping Macintosh PC Exchange 2.0, a compatibility-software utility for computer users working in a mixed platform environment. Macintosh PC Exchange, a part of Apple's new Utility Series product line, allows users to exchange files between an Apple Macintosh and a PC-compatible computer. The software recognizes DOS, Windows, OS/2 and Apple II ProDOS formatted floppy disks. The new version recognizes SCSI fixed and removable storage drives, including units made by Bernoulli and SyQuest. Macintosh PC Exchange 2.0 can be used by customers with an Apple Mac- intosh or a PowerBook with a minimum of 3MB of RAM, or a Power Macintosh computer with a minimum of 8MB of RAM. Also required is an Apple Super- Drive or compatible floppy disk drive and a hard disk. Macintosh PC Exchange runs on any version of the System 7 operating system. Macintosh PC Exchange 2.0 costs $79. ** IBM to Break PowerPC 1m Mark ** IBM Corp. says it will ship its one millionth PowerPC 601 micro- processor in July. The milestone will be reached after 10 months of production. IBM says the accomplishment makes the PowerPC microprocessor the leading RISC microprocessor in the personal computer market and represents one of the fastest production ramp-ups of any microprocessor in the computer market. "By shipping more than a million microprocessors in less than a year, IBM has exceeded industry estimates for the ramp-up of the PowerPC pro- cessor, demonstrating both the accelerating demand for high-performance, industry-standard processors at a reasonable price and the growing success of the PowerPC family," says Michael J. Attardo, senior vice president and general manager of IBM's Microelectronics Division. The PowerPC 601 microprocessor is currently offered in 100MHz, 80MHz, 66MHz and 50MHz versions. Other processors planned for the PowerPC family include the PowerPC 603, PowerPC 604 and PowerPC 620. The PowerPC line was jointly developed by IBM, Apple Computer Inc. and Motorola Inc. ** IBM Behind on PowerPC Units? ** Word along Wall Street is IBM is months behind schedule on computers based on the PowerPC chip it developed with Apple Computer Inc. and Motorola Inc. and that the firm is planning a lower profile introduction of the systems. The Wall Street Journal says the PowerPC computers will be marketed as one of several PC models, instead of giving the new line its own identity, adding that models of IBM's PowerPC computers are not expected to reach the market until the fourth quarter. (Earlier, IBM executives predicted a summer release of the machines.) Apple has been selling the PowerPC machines since March. ** Cirrus Offers New Modem Chips ** Two new data/fax/voice modem chip sets that are said to support all international communications standards have been introduced by Cirrus Logic Inc. Cirrus officials are quoted as saying the new chip sets, the CL- MD1414UN and CL-MD1414UNP, offer data and fax operations, voice functions such as answering machine and phone emulation, and support cellular phone communications and flash memory. "Cirrus said flash memory support allows the technology to be used for international and cellular telephone applications," "It said the new chip sets will fit in Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) modem cards, commonly used in portable computers, and provide the smallest modem of its type for domestic and international applications." ** Compaq Offers Rack-Mounted Units ** A new line of ProLiant servers mounted in equipment racks instead of encased in their own metal boxes is being rolled out this week by Compaq Computer Corp. Compaq said the new servers, which connect and control PC networks, are designed to provide networks with the centralized management now available to mainframe and minicomputer users. Powered by the same '486 or Pentium microprocessors as desktop mach- ines, the rack-mounted computers "respond in part to a trend at corpor- ate management information system, or MIS, departments to gain control of groups of PCs in varied departments," Ramstad added. "Companies find it's harder to keep on top of data in systems with independent groups of PCs, and it's more costly." He added the new servers are technically little different than Compaq's ProLiant brand floor models, but they are more compact. Gary Stimac, the Compaq senior vice president in charge of servers, told the wire service, "You have far more serviceability with this, far more density. It's what the MIS people are used to looking at." Prices range from $6,000 to $15,000, placing the machines at the high end of the PC spectrum. ** Novell and WordPerfect Merge ** Novell Inc and WordPerfect Corp. say they have completed their merger and the acquisition of Borland's Quattro Pro spreadsheet business. Novell's pooling of interest merger with WordPerfect is the largest software acquisition in the industry's history. The companies' combined 1993 revenue was $1.8 billion, which would have made it the third largest software vendor after Microsoft and Computer Associates. WordPerfect and the Quattro Pro business are now the WordPerfect/ Novell Applications Group, a new business unit within Novell. Ad Rietveld, the former WordPerfect CEO, is now president of the new Novell group. "With Novell and WordPerfect technology Novell intends to lead the industry's evolution to network applications. Applications that improve our ability to access networked data, create easily shared information, collaborate and communicate over the network whether from an at-home office, on the road or within a global corporation," says Bob Frankenberg, Novell's president and CEO. ** Freehand 4.0 for Windows Ships ** Aldus Corp. says it has started shipping a Windows version of Aldus FreeHand 4.0. The program, previously available only for Macintosh systems, provides graphic design and illustration support. New capabilities in Aldus FreeHand 4.0 for Windows include upgraded text functions, a customizable user interface, color control and multi- page layout functions. The recommended system configuration consists of a 486 or Pentium computer, a 15-inch SVGA or better monitor, DOS 5.0 or higher, Windows 3.1 or higher, 12MB or more of RAM, at least 20MB of available hard disk space and a mouse or digitizing tablet with stylus. Aldus FreeHand 4.0 for Windows costs $595 in the U.S. and Canada. Localized versions for other markets will be announced later. Registered users of previous versions of Aldus FreeHand can upgrade to the new software for $150. ** Dell's New Pentium: Under $2,000 ** Dell Computer Corp. this week introduced a fully configured Pentium- based desktop system for less than $2,000. Reports say that the Dell Dimension XPS desktop system is well suited for home users and small- to medium-sized businesses. Features include a 60-megahertz Pentium processor, 340-megabyte hard drive, 8-megabytes of memory, a 15-inch monitor, DOS 6.22, Microsoft Windows 3.1 and a mouse. Meanwhile, reports say that one of Dell's top executives said the Dell Dimension is one step the company is taking to refocus its efforts on establishing dominance once again in the direct marketing, or mail order, area. "We took our eye a little off that ball as we focused on corporate (sales)," said Joel Kocher, Dell's president of worldwide sales and marketing. He also said that the computer industry is in a rapid transition from Intel Corp.'s '486 microprocessor to the Pentium processor. Kocher said that in the first quarter, 10 percent of Dell's system revenues were Pentium-based PCs. "The market is posed for a rapid transition (to the Pentium chip)," Kocher said. ** Raids Yield 13,000 Counterfeits ** More than 13,000 packages of counterfeit Microsoft Corp. software, valued at some $2 million, have been seized in four months of police raids in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and Virginia. On cracking what is described as a large-scale counterfeiting ring operating across the U.S., Microsoft corporate attorney Anne Murphy said, "We're outraged by the scope of the operation and the fact that our honest customers are being duped into believing they are acquiring legitimate Microsoft software." The raids uncovered software such as MS-DOS and Windows operating systems and the Bookshelf CD-ROM reference library and Works. The Bookshelf and Works products were found in CD-ROM format. The others appeared as packaged product with floppy diskettes. ____________________________________ > CANVAS for WINDOWS STR Spotlight "Move over Corel..." """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" CANVAS for Windows ================== Part 1 ------ INTRODUCTION ------------ Canvas - is a precision drawing program for designing, publishing, and presenting professional-quality illustrations on personal computers operating with Microsoft Windows'. Canvas is tailored for the technical professional and ideally suited for general office usage. Canvas establishes new standards for graphics applications and enhances creativity and productivity with a set of diverse tools. Canvas is the only Windows program that integrates bitmap editing (painting) with vector objects (drawing). In addition, the program boasts such high-end text features as dynamic scaling, columnar flow and style sheets. This versatility means that the great majority of Canvas users will have no need for any other drawing, painting, or page layout program. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ---------------------- When Canvas for the Macintosh first shipped in 1987, it was widely lauded for bringing revolutionary, sophisticated new features to the Macintosh drawing arena. While other high-end drawing programs focused on the graphic designer market, Canvas targeted the precision drawing professional. The simplicity with which Canvas automated routine tasks soon caught the attention of companies looking for a general-purpose drawing program. As Canvas gained steam in the general-purpose marketplace, Deneba began to directly attack Claris MacDraw, the default leader in this market. Early on, Deneba became known for aggressive marketing of its product against the established market leader. With the release of version 2.0 for the Macintosh, Canvas evolved into a multi-purpose drawing application with 24-bit true color, unlimited layers, powerful Bezier curve capabilities, precision drawing tools, a spelling checker, and a full color separation utility. While rich with useful features, it retained its friendly interface. Canvas 2.0 was applauded for its superior color handling, its comprehensive drawing environment, and its support for a variety of file formats. As one reviewer said, "Deneba Software's Canvas, like fine wines, violins and Sean Connery, just keeps getting better with age." Another reviewer wrote: "If [Canvas] continues to evolve, there may not be many programs left on the market that approach its capabilities." As the Canvas user base expanded and diversified, it required more specialized tools, enhancements of existing tools, and ease of use improvements. Canvas 3, released in 1991, became the dominant force in graphics applications for business and personal use, while achieving editorial success unmatched by any other Macintosh drawing program. The major awards won by Canvas include: Windows Magazine WIN 100 Award, January 1994 MacUser Editors' Choice, Drawing Program of the Year, 1991 MacUser Editors' Choice, Graphics Program of the Year, 1989 MacUser 5-Mice Rating, January 1992 MacWEEK Editors' Choice Target Award, Business Graphics Product of the Year, 1991 MacWEEK Editors' Choice Diamond Award, Business Graphics Product of the Year, 1992 lnfoworld Buyer's Assurance Seal, December 1991 Macworld, Australia, Reader's Choice Award, Best Drawing Program, 1992 SVM Macintosh, France, Editors' Choice, Graphics Product of the Year, 1992 MacUP, Germany, Editors' Choice, Drawing Program of the Year, 1992 MacUser, Spain, Editors' Choice, Graphics Product of the Year, 1992 Macworld, Switzerland, Reader's Choice Award, Graphics Program of the Year, 1992 STReport International OnLine Magazine, in an ongoing comparison of popular draw programs finds, at this time, that "Deneba Software's Canvas is the top choice of pros needing an object-oriented drawing program." And Byte Magazine, in its analysis of business graphics applications, stated, "Like the great da Vinci, this program is at home in the spheres of art, science, and business. If one wished to buy one powerful, all 'round graphics package, Canvas would most certainly be the Top Choice." PRODUCT DESCRIPTION ------------------- While Canvas has been written to maximize its performance in the Windows environment, the application is virtually a carbon copy of its Macintosh counterpart and fulfills the wish-list of PC illustrators. Canvas users do not have to be retrained. Complete file compatibility between the Windows version and the Macintosh solidifies the program's mixed-platform operation. Canvas is based on a programmable, configurable and extensible core. This "Open Architecture" design opens Canvas to a world of new tools and emerging technologies. Canvas users can simply place new tools released by Deneba or third party developers into a designated directory and take immediate advantage of the added functionality. The same Application Programming Interface (API) that Deneba uses to create all Canvas tools is also available to third parties. The Canvas API allows independent software developers, consultants and VARs to respond to the specialized needs of individual customers and entire vertical markets, ensuring customer satisfaction, repeat business, and a competitive advantage. Technical illustrators will find 1/65,000th-inch precision and a wealth of drawing tools designed specifically for their work. The intuitive Smart Mouse automatically displays hairlines that indicate when objects are perfectly aligned, centered, tangential etc., then snaps them into perfect position. Canvas supports all popular engineering specifications for applying automatic dimensioning and hatch patterns to objects. The program can find and select objects by their object type, color and other attributes, greatly reducing the amount of time illustrators must spend "shuffling" to select groups of objects. Canvas also lets users easily customize parallel lines and curves, and configure object duplication, rotation and other routines often used by technical artists. Text-handling capabilities in Canvas rival those in page-layout programs. Canvas can convert PostScript and TrueType 'fonts to Bezier curves, bind text to any curve or shape, wrap text around any object, and encrust text inside any shape. Canvas supports fractional leading and kerning, left, center, right, and decimal tabs within text blocks, full justification of text objects, slanted margins, character-by-character font scaling, and subscript, superscript and small caps text styles. Design graphic productivity features include the ability to create and edit in preview mode; custom gradient color fills; object binding to any line, curve or shape; unlimited object blending capabilities; PANTONE color support; adding, subtracting, combining and slicing objects; object extrusions and enveloping; and custom dashed lines, curves, and other draw objects. Designed to make complex tasks easy, Canvas has an integrated CMYK and spot color separator and offers freehand Bezier curve creation with the ability to simultaneously edit specific anchor points on multiple curves. Canvas sports an auto-trace feature with timesaving center line tracing capabilities. Unlike other drawing programs for Windows, Canvas allows users to scan graphics and photos and manipulate scanned images directly. With 24-bit pixel-level editing, Canvas users have convenient built-in capabilities never available before in a single Windows application. Users can create multi-layer documents in Canvas and transform these illustrations into on- screen presentations. With the Canvas Slide command, they can print and display multi-layer illustrations as on-screen slide shows. And for users with compound OLE documents, individual objects can be shared across networks. Canvas is compatible with all major file standards. Canvas users can share files with their co-workers who use MacIntosh and can import or export illustrations with file translators for: Adobe Illustrator, color and black-and-white bitmaps, CGM, CorelDRAW! (import only), Micrografix Designer (import only), DCS, DXF, EPS, HPGL (export only), IGS, PCX, MacIntosh UltraPaint (import only), TIFF, Windows Metafile, and WordPerfect Graphics (import only). Users can also open files from MacIntosh and Windows as plain text and in Rich Text Format. WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY -------------------- Since its introduction, Canvas for Windows has won the praise of the PC press: PC/COMPUTING ------------ "Canvas for Windows takes the tedium out of technical drawing with a handful of features that ease and automate precision drawing tasks .... There's something for everyone in Canvas - precision for technical .illustrators, paint and draw capabilities for designers, and a wide range of features for general graphics artists and desktop publishers." -Anita Dennis, January 1994. PC MAGAZINE ----------- "Deneba Software's Canvas for Windows 3.5 bridges the gap between low-cost and high-powered drawing programs .... Canvas distinguishes itself with the unique ability to edit bitmapped elements side by side with vector objects .... Technical illustrators will love the program's collection of specialized drawing tools." - Luisa Simone, November 9, 1993. PC WORLD -------- "Corel Draw and Micrografx Designer had better take notice - there's a new gunslinger in the Windows illustration market and it's aiming to become top draw. Deneba Software's Canvas, a leading illustration package on the MacIntosh, comes to Windows armed to the teeth with top-notch design tools." - Dan Tynan, February 1993. COMPUTER SHOPPER ---------------- "Canvas is a thoroughly likeable program. Few programs can match the precision illustration features in this package .... Canvas is an excellent buy." - Susan Glinert, April 1994. WINDOWS MAGAZINE ---------------- "Deneba Software's Canvas Windows provides a wealth of sophisticated draw- program features with a standard bitmap editor to provide a truly versatile drawing and illustration package." - William Harrel, March 1993. PC WEEK ------- "[Canvas is] one of the first products to integrate precision drawing with bit-mapped paint capabilities, geared specifically for engineers and other technical professionals." - Sandra Miller, October 5, 1993. "In addition to basic paint and drawing functions, Deneba Systems Inc.'s Canvas for Windows features page layout capabilities, text wrap and dynamic scaling .... Beta testers praised this features as well as the program's ability to edit multiple curves or multiple points on a line." - Paula Rooney, March 1, 1993. WINDOWS USER ------------ "With an extended feature set that includes morphing and slide-show capabilities, Canvas can fulfill the graphics needs of a variety of users .... It retains the features of its MacIntosh predecessor .... But most important, files are compatible between the Windows and Mac versions." - Stan Miastkowski, June 1993. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS ------------------- Canvas for Windows needs the following system configuration: An IBM PC compatible computer with an 80286 (or faster) processor Microsoft Windows 3.0 or higher A hard disk A 3 1/2" double-sided disk drive minimum of 2mb RAM; 4mb or more recommended mouse Video Graphics Array (VGA) graphics card and monitor (c) 1994 Deneba Systems, Inc. Canvas is a trademark of Deneba Systems, Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders. __________________________________ > Which One? STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""" COMPUSERVE "AUTOPILOT" SOFTWARE =============================== (A consumer guide to automated online navigators) by Robin Garr, Associate Sysop, Bacchus WineForum If you're thinking about visiting this and other CompuServe forums regularly -- and we hope you do -- you'll want to consider one of the popular "autopilot" programs to maximize your efficiency (and thus minimize the costs) for your time online. WHAT IS AN AUTOPILOT? While there's a considerable variety of such programs, all of the "autopilots" operate in roughly the same way: They AUTOMATE your online actions, so everything you need to do while CompuServe's meter is ticking is done automatically, at the highest speed your modem will allow. HOW DO THEY WORK? Rather than logging on manually, reading and replying to messages online and then logging off, autopilots make it possible for you to select IN ADVANCE the forums you want to visit and the actions you want to take there, whether it's to read all new messages ... all new messages only in certain sections ... only messages addressed to you ... or even just new message HEADERS, allowing you to select which "threads" of interest you want to mark for later download. Once you've made these choices, then all it takes is one keystroke or mouse click to order your software to do its job. It will dial CompuServe, make the connection, go to all the forums you've selected, carry out its instructions there, and then log off ... all at your choice of modem speeds right up to 14400 bps. Then, at your leisure and without worrying about online charges, you can read, consider and reply to all the forum traffic. Only when you've finished do you send the computer back online to post your replies and log off ... again, at your computer's highest speed! In addition to reading and replying to messages, most autopilots can also be set up to gather catalogs of library files and to download the files you choose. Many offer scripts, either built-in or add-on, to automate other services. HOW MUCH DO THEY SAVE? While individual mileage may vary, most users who switch to autopilots from visiting forums "live" report significant savings, reducing their monthly CompuServe bill to as little as one-fourth of their previous charges! (One warning, though ... when you see how much you're saving, you'll be sorely tempted to increase your participation in forums. But even in this case, if your bill doesn't go down, you'll be getting far more for the same amount of money.) IS AN AUTOPILOT BETTER THAN CIM? Define "better." The CompuServe Information Manager (CIM) products for Windows, MS-DOS and Macintosh offer an excellent introduction to CompuServe, and CIM may be THE best choice for interactive communications, including forum conferencing and visits to the Basic Services (flat-rate) areas like Weather, News and the Zagat Restaurant Guides. But CIM is not fully automated for forum visits. Even if you take full advantage of its procedures for collecting forum messages in your Inbox and reading them offline, it is still less efficient with your time and money than any full *** Warning - You will be disconnected in 5 minutes! Please Finish quickly! autopilot. (As widely discussed in the com puter press, an undocumented, automated feature for WinCIM is available as of this writing, but it is strictly experimental, very buggy, not supported by CompuServe and NOT recommended.) Nevertheless, because of CIM's clear advantages for NON-Forum work and its attractive price -- actually free if you download it online, as the credit for online time fully offsets its cost -- makes it well worth adding to your collection for use in the appropriate areas of CompuServe. The CIMs are available in French and German as well as English. To order CIM, GO ORDER (a free area) and follow the menus to get disks and a manual sent to you in the mail, or GO CISSOFT (also free) and follow the menus to download the software. HOW HARD ARE THEY TO SET UP? It wouldn't be honest to tell you that getting an autopilot up and running is a no-brainer. They're complex programs, and it takes a while to get them configured to fit your exact setup and your personal choices of online actions. But it's not rocket science, either; and if you read the manual -- a procedure we strongly recommend even to people who don't usually read manuals (i.e., 99 percent of computer users) -- you should be able to get any autopilot working for you in an afternoon. Again, there's plenty of support, not only from the experts in the various support forums, but from people who use them in this forum or just about any other. HOW MUCH DO THEY COST? WHERE CAN I GET ONE? Most of the autopilot programs are available for downloading from CompuServe, either as shareware or, in a few cases, for free! A few are sold commercially. See the detailed reports on specific programs below for more information on where to find them. Costs vary from free to $99, not counting download time. However, even the largest downloadable programs can be retrieved in less than an hour at 2400 bps or a fraction of that at 14400, an investment of under $5 in either case. That's a mighty moderate price to pay for quality software that will start saving you money as soon as you use it. WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE? Users of MS-DOS machines have by far the widest choice of autopilots, but one popular commercial program, Navigator, is available for the Macintosh, and shareware programs are available for the Amiga, the Atari, Hewlett-Packard palmtop machines, Unix-based systems and many more. If in doubt, check in with the CompuServe support forum for your computer ... and please let us know what you find, so we can update this file! The following includes both basic information and REVIEWS, current as of the date of this file, covering all the autopilots that I've been able to find on CompuServe. I've listed the MS-DOS and Windows autopilots first, because of their predominance in the online world. Autopilots for all other computers follow after those, listed in alphabetical order. The basic information about the autopilots, where to find them, and how much they cost, is objective and, as far as I can ensure it, accurate as of this writing. The reviews include my opinions, and I make no apology for that. For the record, however, I'm a CompuServe sysop, a journalist and writer by profession, and I have no connection with any of the autopilot developers. I tried to test-drive as many of the autopilots as possible myself. I solicited the help of friends and other experts for the rest, but will take personal responsibility, credit or blame for all the opinions included in this article. Constructive criticism is welcome; flames will be silently ignored. For more information about any autopilot listed here, I suggest that you visit the forums that support them; or for that matter, post a question about them in WineForum's Friends & Fun section, or the "chat" section of just about any CompuServe forum. You'll get plenty of testimony from satisfied customers! ***** THE "BIG THREE" AUTOPILOTS FOR MS-DOS COMPUTERS ***** [TAPCIS] Perhaps the most well-known of all autopilot programs, TAPCIS is relatively streamlined (it can even be run from a floppy disk on a laptop), and having been through five major revisions, it has stood the test of time and eliminated most known bugs since the first introduction by its creator, the late Howard Benner. TAPCIS is shareware, with a requested price of $79, payable if you continue using it after a trial period. Registered users can also get printed, professional-quality documentation and free upgrades. TAPCIS does not include sophisticated thread-mananagement utilities for handling collected forum messages, but good add-on programs like Tappet and ReCon are popular. Visit TAPCIS Forum for more details on these. TAPCIS, now in Version 5.42, is downloadable from Library 1 (TAPCIS [R]) of TAPCIS Forum (GO TAPCIS). Look for the file TAPCIS.INF (20K bytes) for more information about the program or download TAP.EXE (198K), the self-extracting program files, and TAPDOC.EXE (157K), the manual. (A major update to TAPCIS, Version 6.0, is reportedly in the works, as is a long-rumored Windows version. We'll update this file with information as it becomes available.) [OzCIS] OzCIS is extremely popular with people who have modern, fast MS-DOS computers with lots of RAM. It has a Windows-like look and feel, with pulldown menus and dialog boxes, and it supports (but does not require) a mouse. Quite frankly, it has more features than TapCIS, including extensive thread-management capability; and it's much less expensive. Version 1 (which remains available) is FREE, and the current version is just $20 as shareware. The downside to OzCIS is that it is very large, requiring a couple of megs of RAM and ample hard-disk room to operate at all. Here's the official word from the program developers: "OzCIS Version 2 is a protected-mode DOS application, requiring a minimum of 2Mb of free system RAM as either 'raw' memory or XMS. EMS memory is not used. A minimum of 256K of free 'low' memory (below the 640K DOS barrier) is required. Minimum processor is a 386sx/16, with a 386/25 or better recommended. (In general, if your system can run MS Windows effectively and meet the above hardware requirements, it can run OzCIS.) An EGA or better color video system is required for display of GIF graphics images; otherwise any video system is fine. Mouse not absolutely required, but strongly encouraged." OzCIS is not guaranteed to perform well under Windows. While many users are doing so without incident, success is not universal. I had problems with earlier releases of V2, but the current release seems more stable. Be sure to read all the documents, and to set up your Windows Program Item to call the OZCIS.PIF file, not OZCIS.EXE. If you don't insist on Windows, of course, Oz runs flawlessly in the straight DOS environment. OzCIS, now in version 2.0c(5), is available from its own forum, GO OZCIS, which also provides full support for the program. It's a good idea to read the "brochure" files first (OZCIS2.BRO in Library 1, General Information, 11K, for information on Version 2, and OZCIS1.BRO in Library 9, OzCIS V1 Files, 8K, for details on Version 1). Then go to OzCis Forum Library 2 (OzCIS V2 Files) for the self-extracting program files, OZ2D1.EXE (717K) and OZ2D2.EXE (483K). In addition to the $20 shareware price for V2, printed documentation is available by mail for an additional $20. OzCIS author Steve Sneed is reportedly working on many future enhancements, including a "lite" version for laptop computers, a Windows version, and a version which uses CompuServe's HMI interface - the same interface that CIM uses to allow such things as file downloads and message downloads to occur at the same time. [AutoSig (ATO)] Another FREE autopilot, and one of the oldest and most time-tested programs available, is ATO, a gift to the online community by programmer Vern Buerg, now largely programmed by Jim McKeown. Although system hackers endlessly debate the differences between TAPCIS and Autosig, in my opinion, they're as similar as, well, Ford and Chevrolet. Different style, but essentially the same features. For most users, the preference seems to rest largely on which of the programs you tried first. 'Nuff said. The people who use ATO love it and speak highly of it. Ditto for the partisans of TAPCIS. You can't get better testimony than that. ATO Version 6.9a is available for downloading from IBM Communications Forum (GO IBMCOM), Library 1 (Autosig [ATO]). Look for the self-extracting program file, ATOSIG.EXE (135K) and user's manual, ATODOC.EXE (71K). Want a shell to run ATO under Windows? Grab WATO15.EXE (178K). If you'd like to join in late beta testing (as of the date of this article) for a new version of ATO that includes Latin-1 support, contact the developer, Jim McKeown [76702,1102]. ***** OTHER MS-DOS AUTOPILOTS ***** [CISOP] One more option, CISOP, is a script that adds CompuServe autopilot functions to the commercial (MS/DOS) comms programs CrossTalk Mark 4 or Communicator. I haven't tried it, but I've been impressed with the near- evangelistic attitude of many of its users. Says Marte Brengle: "CISOP is without a doubt the most sophisticated autonav, even outclassing Oz in what it can do." With limited marketing and some glitches in its support, however, CISOP remains a relatively minor player in the autopilot universe. At one point, CISOP's developer Dean Ammons withdrew from active support of the program, causing it to fall behind changes in the CompuServe message software. However, now that it has been taken over by Dean Gibson, CISOP remains available and is supported on the CrossTalk Forum (GO XTALK), where it is an outstanding option for CrossTalk users. CISOP Version 5.03a is available in CrossTalk Forum in both Library 4 (CrossTalk Mark 4) and Library 7 (XTALK Communicator), where you'll find identical copies of the program file CISOP.ZIP (423K), and the help and documentation files CISHLP.ZIP (167K) and CISDOC.ZIP (102K). It's shareware, requested price $40. [NavCIS] Although primarily a Windows application, NavCIS from Dvorak Development is also available in both freeware and timed shareware GUI-based (graphics interface) version for MS-DOS. For more information, see "NavCIS" under "Autopilots for Windows." [TeePee] Largely supplanted by WigWam for Windows, TeePee is a British offline reader for DOS from Ashmount Research. For more information, see "TeePee and WigWam" under "Autopilots for Windows." ***** CONFERENCING AUTOPILOTS FOR MS-DOS ***** [CISCO and CoExpert] While most autopilot programs are dedicated mostly or entirely to forum message areas and libraries, these two first-rate programs automate the forum CONFERENCE areas. No, they won't write snappy bon mots or automate your wine or beer tasting notes
, but they will, once set up with your parameters, log you on to CompuServe, take you to the forum conference room of your choice, set your "handle" and present you with an easy-to-follow split screen for online communications. CISCO is very simple, compact, and easy to use. CoExpert is similar, but with lots more bells and whistles. Both are in Library 2 [Help & Information] of the Zenith Data Systems Forum (GO ZENITH), and they'll work on all MS-DOS machines, not just Zenith portables. You'll find Version 1.3 of CISCO as the compressed file CISCO.ZIP (40K). Version 1.1b of CoExpert is CEXPRT.ZIP (47K). They're free, although CoExpert is billed as "attaboyware," meaning that if you think it's a goodie, it's appropriate to EMail the developer and tell him so. ***** AUTOPILOTS FOR WINDOWS ***** The field of autopilots for Windows has blossomed since the last edition of this article, with a variety of shareware and free programs becoming available, and the expected rivalries and debate about which one's best, and how they compare with the Big Three MS-DOS autopilots, OzCIS, TAPCIS and ATO. Here's a cautionary view of the Windows-autopilot category, thanks to WineForum Section Leader Arnd Wussing: "All of the Windows product support forums, regardless of the product type, are full of complaints and comments regarding speed. It seems as if most application users think that text mode and GUI (i.e. Windows) applications are basically identical. This is definitely not the case. Most of the CPU time in a text-based program is spent working on the program; under Windows most of the processor capacity is usually occupied updating the screen objects as well as in process control/switching; what little is left goes towards the application. What applies to processing power is doubly important regarding memory usage. Basically, you pay for the comfortable, colorful and detailed picture with both CPU and memory. I think the appropriate term coined by Heinlein is TANSTAAFL [There ain't no such thing as a free lunch]." In short, if the color and graphics look-and-feel of Windows applications appeals to you, that's fine, but don't expect the speed or simplicity of the DOS-based autopilots. Here, listed alphabetically, are the current options: [CSNav] CSNav, The CompuServe Navigator(tm) for Windows, version 1.0, is CompuServe's own offline navigator for Windows. It's available by mail, with documentation, by GO ORDER ($79.95, on sale for $50, less a $25 credit for online time); and it can be downloaded online, GO CISSOFT, for $30 less a $10 online credit. Comments by Arnd Wussing: "CSNav is BIG. You'll need to download two files totaling 2.3 megs! However, CISSOFT is a free forum, so you're not charged for the download time. CSNav can be installed in the same directory as WinCIM; the two products coexist perfectly. In fact, with WinCIM in use, the full CSNav installation does not require a single keystroke! Everything can be done with a mouse. The term "highly graphical" is a true understatement in this case; and this is one of the few times that the user interface is truly intuitive. The scripts to be run online can all be generated completely by mouse: merely click on appropriate forum in the services window to add it to the session, then open up the forum and choose the type of actions to be executed. After the script is completed a click on the "run" icon fires up the modem. "The ease of use is exceptional. For those who already know WinCIM, CSNav is definitely THE solution. Unfortunately the extended graphical front-end exacts its price. Compared to GoCIS I have seen performance of 1/3 longer up to twice as long at 9600 bps. The *FREE* support Forum (WNAVSUPPORT) contains a number of messages to this effect, along with the promise that upcoming versions will address the online performance issue." Other CompuServe users have given CSNav mixed reviews: Tim Wallace: "I can't say enough good about it. I use CSNav almost exclusively now. It's incredibly easy to use, full of useful features, as automated as I could want it to be." Bob McCracken: "It's pretty slick, but it is not quite as polished as it should be. It is powerful, but not as intuitive, and some of the options don't work the way they should. Lately mine has been giving me fits at home, so I am a little prejudiced. Maybe the thing to say is that since it is a V1.0, it needs to be refined." Russ Nixon: "I used it for quite a while, and it caused General Protection Faults on a daily basis and corrupted my file cabinet several times. It's better than no Autopilot at all, as long as it's not causing problems. It's okay if the user is computer literate enough to recover data that occasionally gets lost or deleted. Once the authors get all the bugs out of the software it will be an excellent autopilot for novices." [FlexCIS] Although it's one of the least-known of the Windows autopilots, FlexCis Off-line Browser 1.3 for CompuServe has received good reviews from those who use it. It is available from Windows Shareware Forum (GO WINSHARE) Library 3 (Comm/Fax Apps), where you can review the information file CISOBR.TXT (3K) before downloading the program files, CISOBR.ZIP (445K) and the necessary support files, CISSUP.ZIP (520K). It's $65 shareware. [GoCIS] After a long period of public beta testing and a name change from WinCIS to GoCIS, the production version of this package has been released as "GoCIS Version 1.01." You'll need 1.5 megs of free disk space to install GoCIS, and its space requirements will grow quickly with use if you keep forum messages and library descriptions around for a long time. Initial setup is not complex, but the learning curve is a bit steep. Thread-handling is rather limited, but message searches and, particularly, library search and download features are simple and powerful. GoCIS is $59 shareware. It can be downloaded from Windows User Group Forum (GO WUGNET) Library 12 (GoCIS), where you'll need the program file, GOCIS.ZIP (777K) and, if you don't have it, VBRUN3.ZIP (230K), a Windows DLL library file that GoCIS requires. [NavCIS] A controversial Windows autopilot from Dvorak Development, NavCIS has its ardent supporters and noisy foes. If you've noticed messages on CompuServe forums with a long string of "garbage" characters as the last line, NavCIS is probably the culprit: It's a string that NavCIS users send to activate attractive screen fonts when reading each other's messages; but if they leave it toggled on in general forums, it imposes an ugly line on all other members, a situation that I consider poor cyber-citizenship on the part of the developers. In its early development, NavCIS also offered a large "crippleware " download, a less-than-fully featured version, another move not calculated to win friends and supporters. This approach, however, has been modified in the current release, which offers the user a choice of SE ("Special Edition") versions, billed as "less-than-full-featured" but FREEWARE, or TE ("Timed Edition") versions, which are fully functioning but quit working after 30 days. They can be brought back to life by registering them for the $69 shareware fee. For more information, join the Dvorak Development Forum (GO DVORAK or GO NAVCIS), Library 1 (NavCIS Software) and download the Windows Help File DVORAK.EXE (80K) for a colorful and graphic description of the program options. Then you've got a choice of four downloads: WPROTE.EXE (778K) is the 30-day test version of the full-featured NavCIS Pro 1.1 for Windows. WNAVSE.EXE (564K) is the freeware NavCIS SE Windows version 1.15. DPROTE.EXE (790K) is the 30-day test version, full-featured NavCIS Pro 1.1 for DOS, and DNAVSE.EXE (749K) is the freeware NavCIS SE DOS version 1.11A. [TeePee and WigWam] Two programs designed by the British developer Edward Hasted and supported on the United Kingdom Communications Forum (GO UKCOMMS) are worth a look by PC users in any part of the world. Ashmount Research supports TeePee (for DOS) in Section and Library 13 (TeePee) and WigWam (for Windows) in Section and Library 12 (WigWam). For basic descriptions of these programs, download TPDES.TXT (2K) and WWDES.TXT (7K) for TeePee and WigWam, respectively. You'll find WigWam Version 2.00f in the self-extracting file WW2DEM.EXE (924K). It's $99 shareware. TPEVAL.ZIP (312K) is the latest evaluation copy of TeePee, Version 1.30, a complete offline reader for CompuServe using MS/DOS. For documentation, download TPMAN.ZIP (59K). ***** AUTOPILOTS FOR THE AMIGA ***** [AutoPilot] The venerable Whap! program for the Amiga has apparently been discontinued, replaced by the newer and much more full-featured AutoPilot. AutoPilot Version 1.72 is available in Amiga Vendor Forum (GO AMIGAV) Library 9 (AutoPilot). You'll need the self-extracting program file AP.LHA (393K) and either of two documentation files, ADDOCS.ASC (109K) or the compressed version ADDOCS.LHA (43K). AutoPilot is $69.95 shareware. ***** AUTOPILOT FOR THE ARCHIMEDES ***** For British users of the Archimedes, a RISC-based computer developed by Acorn in the U.K. (not IBM-compatible), the autopilot of choice is Richard Proctor's ARCTIC. ARCTIC is available from Library 8 (Acorn/Z88) of UK Computing Forum (GO UKCOMP), where you'll need the compressed files ARCTIC.ARC (109K) and RUNIMG.ARC (178K). It's shareware, registration 15 pounds ($22.50), plus 5 pounds ($7.50) for a copy on floppy disk. ***** AUTOPILOTS FOR THE ATARI ***** [ST/Forum] A popular autopilot for Atari users. Release 2.0 of ST/Forum is available from Atari Computing Forum (GO ATARICOMP) Library 2 (Telecommunications) as the compressed file FORUM.ARC (78 K). Also look for TUTOR.STF (15K), the tutorial. This program is free~! [QuickCIS] Also free to the Atari community, Jim Ness's QuickCIS for the Atari 68000/68030 is available from ATARICOMP Library 2 (Telecommunications). Download the file QWKCIS.TXT (4K) for program information, and the program files QWKCIS.TOS (126.K). ***** AUTOPILOT FOR THE COMMODORE 128 ***** [CIS.EXE] This quick download contains a simple script package that works with the commercial program Dialogue 128 on Commodore 128s. You'll find it in CBM Applications Forum (GO CBMAPP) Library 13 (C128 Telecom) as the self-extracting file CISEXE.SFX (18K). It is free. Commodore users will also find useful hints for quick system navigation without autopilots in the text file OFFLIN.HLP (18K) in CBMAPP Library 2 (ARC/Help/Forum Util). ***** AUTOPILOTS FOR HP PALMTOPS ***** [acCIS] acCIS SM V2.0, used with the FastComm! or Commo communications programs for automated access to CompuServe, is small but quick, and gets good reviews from its users on the HP95LX and HP100LX. It's available from HP Handheld Forum (GO HPHAND) Library 5 (95LX Datacomm) as the file ACCIS9.ZIP (121K). It's shareware, $35. acCIS 2.35 for DOS, requiring the Commo program and an editor, is found in the same library, filename ACCIS.ZIP (80K). It's free. [MESSAGE] MESSAGE 2.0, a competitive program using FastComm! or Commo, is also in the same library, filename MESSG.ZIP (88K). This one is $20 shareware. ***** AUTOPILOT FOR THE MACINTOSH ***** [Navigator] CompuServe Navigator(tm) for the Macintosh is the ONLY full autopilot for the Mac. It's commercial software, marketed by CompuServe. You can't download Navigator, but you can order it online directly from Compuserve; and once you've got a registered copy, you can download future upgrades online. Version 3.2.1, with a list price of $70, is currently available for $50 sale price, and it comes with a $25 online credit, bringing the effective price down to just $25. GO ORDER and follow the menus to place an order and have it billed to your CompuServe account. Navigator is also sold by software retailers. ***** AUTOPILOT FOR OS/2 ***** [Golden CommPass] If you're running OS/2 on your computer, you'll definitely want to consider Golden CommPass (GCP) Version 2.1, a slick program that began life as TAPCIS dressed up to run under OS/2 but has matured into an independent program with exceptional multitasking power. It's particularly easy for TAPCIS users simply to port over TAP's parameters and sections files to configure GCP instantly, and once you master the intuitive GUI-type interface, you'll find all the familiar TAPCIS elements available in new, high-tech form. As you'd expect with an OS/2 program, GCP is bulletproof in multitasking situations. You can let it run in the background while doing other work, or if you're capturing multiple forums, you can start reading and replying to messages in the first forum it reaches while it's still moving along to the next. GCP is commercial software, available for $99 from Creative Systems Programming Corp., POB 961, Mount Laurel, N.J. 08054-0961. For more information call (609) 234-1500 or EMail Creative Systems at UserID 71511,151. It is also available, often at a significant discount, from mail-order OS/2 suppliers like Indelible Blue and the Corner Store, as well as retailers. A demo version can be downloaded from the Golden CommPass Support Forum (GO GCPSUPPORT), where you'll find the information file COMPAS.FAQ (11K) and the program file GCP21D.ZIP (930K) in Library 1 (Golden CommPass). WARNING: This application, despite its size is limited to visiting only the IBM, OS2, Golden CommPass and Practice Forums. The full-featured version is available ONLY with registration. ***** AUTOPILOT FOR UNIX COMPUTERS ***** Unix hackers have their own autopilot program now. The program XC, which runs on Xenix, SVR3 Unix, SVR4 Unix, Sun, Coherent, AIX, and other variants, is available in two forms on Unix Forum (GO UNIXFO) Library 4 (Communications): XC.SHK (148K), a self-extracting ASCII file, or SC.TAG (79K), a Gzipped tar archive. Either way, XC is free except for the download time. ***** HEY! MY COMPUTER'S NOT LISTED!! ***** Unfortunately, I haven't been able to discover any online autopilots for a few machines, mostly older models like the Apple ][ and Commodore 64. If you're using one of these computers, I have two suggestions: First, try visiting the support forum for your machine or its cousins, and ask if anyone has developed and is willing to share scripts for the communications program you use. Second, visit The Practice Forum (GO PRACTICE), a free area, and download the text file FAST.DOC from Library 1 (Forum Help & Info). This immensely popular article (more than 25,000 downloads) offers lots of tips about how to use forums as efficiently as possible by downloading and responding to messages in batch form. May 20, 1994 ---------- This file last revised May 20, 1994. Thanks go in particular to WineForum Section Leader Arnd Wussing for his extensive assistance; and also to the many CompuServe sysops and members who joined in the research, including Ed Flinn, Tom Pinkerton, Kathy Morgret, Marte Brengle, Steve Szabo, Bob McCracken, Russ Nixon, Tim Wallace, Bob Cohen and many more. ---------- (c) Copyright 1994 by Robin Garr. May be reproduced freely and without charge, provided that WineForum is mentioned as the source. ________________________________________________ > Mario's Fun 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 7.0 Sounds 7.0 Interface 8.0 Play Value 8.5 Ed. Value 8.0 Bang for theBuck 8.0 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! _____________________________________ > THUMBS+PLUS 2.0!! STR FOCUS! YOU'VE TRIED THE REST, NOW TRY THE BEST! """""""""""""""""""""""""""" THUMBS+PLUS VERSION 2.0 ======================= ANNOUNCING: ---------- Thumbs+Plus version 2.0, the only effective, elegant and inexpensive way to locate and organize your graphic files. You will be amazed by this sleek, fast, efficient graphics browser, which includes the following features. New or significantly enhanced features are marked with a "+". o Fast and accurate thumbnail generation -- by individual file, directory or entire disk. Disk/directory scans can be done in the background, allowing you to continue working. + Support for many image and clip-art formats, both raster and vector, including: .BMF Corel Gallery clip-art .MND Mandelbrot for Windows .BMP,.DIB Windows or OS/2 bitmaps .PAT *Corel pattern files .CDR *CorelDRAW! .PCD Kodak PhotoCD .CGM Computer Graphics Metafiles .PCX,.PCC Zsoft PC Paintbrush .CMX *Corel Presentation Exchange .RAS,.SUN Sun Raster files .CPT Corel PhotoPaint .RAW Raw Grayscale .EPS *Encapsulated Postscript .RLE Compressed Win Bmps .GEM GEM Metafiles .TGA,.WIN Targa TrueVision(TM) .GIF CompuServe GIFs .TIF Tagged Image Format .ICO Windows Icon files .TTF TrueType fonts .IFF,.LBM Amiga Images, Deluxe Paint .WAV Sound files .IMG GEM Images .WMF Windows metafiles .JPG JPEG (JFIF) files * Only the preview image is accessibly directly for those types marked with a (*). The complete image may be available if an OLE server for the type is loaded on your system. + Using Aldus Rev 1 graphic filters, which Thumbs+Plus can automatically locate on your hard disk, you may be able to handle the following formats (and others) .DRW Micrographx Designer/Draw .PIC Lotus 1-2-3 Pictures .DXF AutoCAD (2-D) files .PLT AutoCAD Plot files .HGL HP Graphics Language .WPG DrawPerfect graphic .PCT Macintosh PICT files + Using OLE, Thumbs+Plus can thumbnail and view any file for which an OLE server is present on your system. Some possible types include: .AVI Video for Windows animation .PPT Power Pnt presentation .DOC Word for Windows document .PUB Microsoft Publisher .GRA Microsoft Graph + Multiple graphic viewing windows with file save (BMP, GIF, JPG, TGA, PCX, TIF, WMF), print, copy, paste, crop, auto-crop, convert metafiles to bitmaps and more. + On-the-fly gamma correction and quick dithering of 24-bit images for 8-bit (256-color) displays. + Zoom-in (2x - 9x), stretch to fit, and stretch to fit width. o Enhanced solid color metafile viewing with 8-bit (256-color) drivers, which eliminates that ugly dithering which Windows does by default. + Image editing and conversion capabilities: - Color adjustment (contrast, gamma, brightness, RGB) - Color depth (bi-level, 4 to 256-color, grayscale, truecolor) with several palette selections and dithering options. - Rotate and re-size with interpolation (anti-aliasing) - Miscellaneous: Invert,flip vertical,flip horizontal, auto-crop, swap red and blue. - Edit or add comments to supported types (TIF, GIF, JPEG). - Batch (unattended, background) mode to edit and convert multiple files, while still using your computer for other tasks. + For saving JPEG files, Thumbs+Plus provides a "loss preview" so you can see an indication of the difference between the original and the compressed file. (Requires 16- or 24-bit display.) + Install and remove TrueType fonts quickly and easily-while looking at them. + Support for drag-and-drop from File Manager to view, drag-and-drop to other applications (like File Manager), and DDE support for using Thumbs+Plus to view files (or open Thumbs+Plus databases) from File Manager. o File management capabilities, including drag-and-drop for file organization, a color-coded directory tree for quickly locating directories with graphics, directory creation and file renaming, copying, deleting and moving. o Off-line (removable) device support, for cataloging floppies, CD-ROMs or other removable media. The thumbnails are available even when the disk is not on-line -- and Thumbs+Plus can even label disks. o Complete or partial catalog printing, with scaleable thumbnails, file captions (if desired), and user layout control. o User-specified editors let you pick the editor of your choice -- by file type, or use the File Manager association. + "Automatic Clipboard Save" provides the ability to automatically save clip-board contents to disk files. Thumbs+Plus saves each time the clipboard changes. - Select format (BMP, GIF, JPG, PCX, TGA). - Clipboard metafiles can be saved as .WMF or converted to a raster format. - Specify the desired path and file name prefix. - Useful for screen or window capture too (using PrintScreen and ALT+PrintScreen). - Unobtrusive -- you don't have to activate the program for each capture. o A built-in Windows Wallpaper hanger (centered or tiled) for any supported file type, and a customizable full-screen slide show. o A toolbar and keyboard shortcuts for common functions. o Extensive on-line help and customization of many aspects of the program. Thumbs+Plus is distributed as shareware and may be evaluated free of charge for up to thirty days. If you continue to use Thumbs+Plus after the thirty days have elapsed, you must register. The price for an individual license is US$50. Site and corporate licenses are available. Further information about licensing and ordering is available in the on-line help file. To obtain Thumbs+Plus version 2.0: CompuServe: THMPLS.EXE in GRAPHSUP forum, library 3 (GIF viewers) THMPLS.EXE in WINFUN forum, library 9 (Graphics Utilities) Also available in other forums. America Online: THMPLS.EXE in the Windows area Internet: cerious/thmpls.exe via anonymous ftp from vnet.net Installation is simplicity itself: Simply run the program and it will set up and configure itself automatically. Note: GOOD STUFF!! STReport -> **** This is a MUST HAVE. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :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) ====================== John Deegan, Editor (Temp) > HAYES V.34 STR InfoFile How FAST did you SAY?? """"""""""""""""""""""" HAYES TO SUPPORT V.34 IN 230,400 BIT/S MODEMS ============================================= ATLANTA, GA, 27 June 1994 -- Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. today announced its plans to provide high-speed data and fax modems that support both the ITU-T V.34 standard and the V.FC interim industry standard for 28,800 bit/s data transmission. Hayes plans to make these products available to the global marketplace beginning this fall to coincide with the ITU-T final approval of the V.34 standard. This decision was based on the 9 June 1994 ITU-T approval for letter ballot of this standard and Hayes commitment to support international standards. Hayes also announced its plans to offer an upgrade to V.34/V.FC for its existing V.FC customer base in the United States and Canada. Right now everyone is focused on modem modulation because of the recent ITU-T vote, said Hayes President Dennis C. Hayes. "What the industry needs to focus on is not only the new standard but also on issues such as managing the transition to V.34, support of the current 288 installed base as well as the speed and performance of modem applications." By September 1994, within the first year of being in the market, V.FC modems are estimated to gain an installed base of approximately one million units. In addition, more than 4,000 bulletin board lines support V.FC modulation using Hayes modems. "V.34 is more complex than any previous modem specification and it has taken longer than anyone expected to define the standard. Interoperability of different implementations of the standard may be a problem for the first few months of availability. " added Hayes. "Because of the large installed base of V.FC modems and initial concern about V.34 interoperability, users should ensure that their 288 modems support both V.34 and V.FC." For the first 90 days after Hayes begins shipping V. 34/V.FC modems, Hayes is offering a free upgrade for OPTIMA 288 V.FC + FAX and ACCURA 288 V.FC + FAX customers with the purchase of a like Hayes V.34/V.FC product. During that time customers who choose not to purchase a Hayes V.34/V.FC modem can upgrade for only US $49. Hayes will provide free upgrades to Hayes BBS SysOps who have obtained their product through the Hayes Sysop program. Once the upgrade is available customers should ship their modems to Hayes, at which time Hayes will upgrade the product and ship the modems back to the customer within the same day. For those customers using modems to run mission-critical applications that must remain in service, Hayes is offering a "hot-swap" program. These customers should contact Hayes Customer Support and Hayes will pre-ship V.34/V.FC modems to them. Upon receipt of the V.34/V.FC modems, customers should then ship their V.FC modems to Hayes. Hayes has been shipping modems that provide 28,800 bit/s with 230,400 bit/s throughput capability since last October with increased compression on OPTIMA 288 V.FC + FAX modems from 4:1 to 8:1. This enhanced implementation of V.42bis allowed the serial port on OPTIMA 288 V.FC modems to run at 230,400 bit/s instead of 115,200 bit/s. allowing for significantly shorter transmission times for many forms of data in PCs and local area networks. Hayes complements its high-speed modems with Hayes ESP Communications Accelerator products, enhanced serial boards that support speeds up to 921,600 bit/s. Hayes ESP maximizes throughput by implementing the Hayes COM-bic chip which supports 1K byte FIFO buffers, 16-bit bus interface and automatic flow control to overcome the receive overrun errors and throughput bottlenecks of popular UART chips such as the 16550. The boards work with most standalone high-speed modems and ISDN terminal adapters, are fully compatible with Windows 3.1 communications software, and are available for ISA and Micro Channel Bus PCs. Other drivers, including Novell AIO, OS/2 and Windows NT, will be available later this year. Hayes also plans to roll out modems supporting the V.34/V.FC modulation in the countries in which Hayes OPTIMA and ACCURA V.FC modems are currently offered. Product will be available in these countries once approvals are received from the appropriate regulatory authority. Upgrade procedures may vary on a country-by-country basis. HAYES TO DELIVER AFFORDABLE VIDEOCONFERENCING SYSTEM ------------------------------------- ANNOUNCES BUSINESS ALLIANCE WITH WORKSTATION TECHNOLOGIES INC. Atlanta, GA, 27 June 1994 -- Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. today announced its plans to deliver a personal videoconferencing product to PC users that will leverage the capabilities of high-speed modem or ISDN communications to deliver desktop quality video applications. In order to increase Hayes technology base in the videoconferencing market, Hayes today also announced a business alliance with Workstation Technologies Inc. (WTI), developers of the first color videoconferencing solution to operate over a single standard telephone line. This strategic alliance will include ongoing product development and the cooperative development of products to be delivered by Hayes in this market. High-speed communications is driving the increasing number of multimedia applications for PCs and allowing them to flourish, Hayes President Dennis C. Hayes said. We ve chosen to work with WTI because desktop videoconferencing will be a major contributor to the expansion of this part of the market and they are experienced in video compression and videoconferencing technologies. Our plan is to combine WTI s technology base with Hayes strengths in high-speed communications and distribution management to establish a strong presence in the videoconferencing market. The Hayes/WTI partnership will produce video communication solutions that are accessible to anyone with a telephone and desktop computer, said Chris Miner, President of WTI. For the first time, users will be able to conduct real time video conferences that integrate video and audio capabilities on a standard telephone line. The alliance between Hayes and WTI will include ongoing development of new products in the rapidly growing video communications market. Hayes and WTI will first deliver a personal, point-to-point videoconferencing product that operates over standard analog phone lines, and will later support ISDN. Workstation Technologies, Inc. (WTI) based in Irvine, California, is a leader in the development of hardware, software and system solutions that integrate computers and communications. WTI works with system integrators, OEMs and corporate clients to create innovative analog and digital video communication applications for PC, PS/2 and Macintosh platforms. Best known as the leader in microcomputer modems, Hayes develops, supplies and supports computer communications equipment and software for personal computers and computer communication networks. The company distributes its product in more than 65 countries through a global network of authorized distributors, dealers, mass merchants, VARs, systems integrators and original equipment manufacturers. For additional product information, customers should contact Hayes Customer Service: Workstation Technologies Inc. Tim Dubes - Marketing Manager Telephone: 714/250-8983 Facsimile: 714/250-8969 Video: 714/253-6940 Best known as the leader in microcomputer modems, Hayes develops, supplies and supports computer communications equipment and software for personal computers and computer communications networks. The company distributes its product in more than 65 countries through a global network of authorized distributors, dealers, mass merchants, VARs, systems integrators and original equipment manufactures. Hayeses, OPTIMA, ESP, and Smartmodem are trademarks of Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. V.FC is a trademark of Rockwell International Corporation. Other trademarks mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies. For additional product information, customers should contact Hayes Customer Service Dep't STR: Telephone OnLine with Hayes BBS --------- --------------------- 404/441-1617 (U.S.) 800/US HAYES (U.S.) 519/746-5000 (Canada) 800/HAYES CA (Canada) +33 1 34 22 30 15 (France) 404/729-6525 (ISDN U.S.) +44 252 775544 (Europe) +44 252 775599 (Europe) +852-887-1037 (Hong Kong) +44 252 812560 (ISDN Europe) +852-887-7590 (Hong Kong) +61 2 9595287 (Australia) ____________________________________________ > CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY NEWS! STR InfoFile "On the Cutting Edge" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" CREATIVE INTRODUCES SOUND BLASTER MULTIMEDIA OFFICE =================================================== New Multimedia Upgrade Kit Features Creative's Best-Selling 16-Bit Audio and CD-ROM Hardware and Microsoft Office Professional Business Software SINGAPORE -- June 21, 1994 -- In its continuing effort to provide a broad range of products for the multimedia marketplace, Creative Technology Ltd. today extended its multimedia kit family with the announcement of Sound Blaster Multimedia Office. Designed to deliver multimedia and CD-ROM technology to the corporate and SOHO (small office/home office) environments, Multimedia Office (S.R.P. $749.95) features Creative's best-selling multimedia hardware and premier speech technology as well as Microsoft Office Professional, the top-selling suite of professional business applications, plus productivity tools and business audio tools on CD-ROM. Sound Blaster Multimedia Office features Sound Blaster 16 with Advanced Signal Processing, a Creative double speed CD-ROM drive, Microsoft Office Professional 4.3 which includes Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0, Access 2.0, and a workstation license for Mail 3.2), Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, Microsoft Sound System 2, as well as Creative's Windows-based speech-enabling applications -- Creative VoiceAssist, a speech recognition program, and Creative TextAssist, a text-to-speech system. Also included are high quality audio compression software and hardware for voice annotation, various audio software utilities, a hands-free microphone, and stereo headphones. "Sound Blaster Multimedia Office is the 1st comprehensive multimedia kit offering for the business environment," said Rich Buchanan, director of marketing, multimedia kits for Creative Labs, Creative Technology's U.S. subsidiary. "Software suite applications and multimedia kits are both enjoying great success as the market recognizes the tremendous value of these packages. By combining Creative's standard-setting hardware with Microsoft's best-selling business software solutions, we expect to capture a market that at present is virtually untapped." Sound Blaster Multimedia Office will be available to Creative's worldwide network of distributors and retailers in July, 1994. CREATIVE LAUNCHES SHAREVISION DESKTOP VIDEO CONFERENCING PRODUCTS FOR THE PC PLATFORM ShareVision PC300 and ShareVision PC3000 to Ship in August SINGAPORE - June 21, 1994 -- Creative Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CREAf) and its subsidiary ShareVision Technology, Inc. today launched ShareVision PC300 and ShareVision PC3000, two new desktop video conferencing products for the PC platform. Each ShareVision product operates as a screen-based telephone, interactive on-line whiteboard, application sharing tool and high-speed data and fax modem over an analog phone line. ShareVision PC300 and ShareVision PC3000 will begin shipping in August to Creative's extensive network of retailers and distributors. ShareVision PC300, which has an SRP of $749, features an audio compression card, external fax/modem, ShareVision's application software and a headset. ShareVision PC3000, which retails for $1599, features all of the components of ShareVision PC300 as well as a color video camera and a video capture and compression board, Video Blaster RT300. Also announced today, Video Blaster RT300 is a real-time video capture and compression card that takes advantage of Intel's 82750PE video processor and Indeo video technology. Benefits of ShareVision ----------------------- While other products require ISDN, switched 56 or T1 transmission lines, the ShareVision family of products provide an inexpensive, readily available method of communication for the personal computer over an analog phone line. ShareVision PC300 and ShareVision PC3000 are programmable and thus fully upgradeable, enabling users to take advantage of emerging standards. In addition, ShareVision products will be compliant with the future Personal Conferencing Specification. "Since the acquisition of ShareVision a year ago, Creative has made an extensive effort to port this innovative technology to the PC platform," said Hock Leow, vice president of video product marketing for Creative Technology. "We are extremely excited to be introducing a cost-effective PC version of this popular desktop video conferencing product in order to meet the demands of the personal computer marketplace." Hundreds of users in federal government agencies, universities, multinational corporations, and the military are currently using ShareVision's Macintosh-based products to collaborate and improve productivity. The demand for PC versions of these products has been overwhelming. "We are very enthusiastic about entering the desktop video conferencing market for the PC platform, which we feel will experience tremendous growth," added K.S. Chay, president and COO of Creative Technology. "These new products, which only require an analog phone line, are ideal for communication between Fortune 500 companies, advertising agencies, creative service contractors, military and government agencies as well as telecommuters in the SOHO (small office/home office) environment. From virtually anywhere in the world, companies can greatly increase productivity by saving money and time spent on travel expenses." Applications of the ShareVision PC family ----------------------------------------- ShareVision's collaborative computing technology allows users to simultaneously collaborate on documents, even if the software is installed on only one user's system. For example, both users can edit files in real-time in software programs such as word processors, database management programs, spreadsheets, presentations programs, and whiteboards. In addition, ShareVision PC3000's video capabilities allow users to communicate in real-time through live color video and audio, simulating an actual face-to-face meeting. Users can also capture from either party's camera for on-line editing or archiving. ShareVision PC300 users can upgrade to full video conferencing capabilities using Video Blaster RT300 and a video camera. CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY INTRODUCES VIDEO BLASTER RT300, A HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROGRAMMABLE VIDEO COMPRESSION ENGINE 30 Frames Per Second Real Time Compression and Capture Under $500 SINGAPORE -- June 21, 1994 -- Creative Technology Ltd., the leading provider of multimedia products for the PC environment, today announced Video Blaster RT300, its most advanced video capture card to date. This new card, which takes advantage of Intel's 82750PE video processor and Indeo video technology, features real time capture and compression of analog video. Ideal for CD-ROM publication, presentations, training materials and desktop video, Video Blaster RT300 will begin shipping in July at an SRP of $499.95. "Video Blaster RT300 has been developed for the most demanding PC video end-users," said K.S. Chay, president and COO of Creative Technology. "By featuring real-time capture and compression as well as superb image quality and resolution, Video Blaster RT300 answers our customers' demand for a high-quality real time video compression solution." Hardware and Software Features ------------------------------ Together, the Intel 82750PE video processor and Indeo technology utilized by Video Blaster RT300 form a programmable video compression engine that digitizes and compresses video data at 30 frames per second. Video Blaster RT300 is unique in that it compresses data in one-step, unlike other products that store video data to RAM and then compress it off-line. The Intel 82750PE provides the power to capture 320X240 video clips at 30 frames per second, compressing in real time the raw 200 MB per minute digital video stream to an extremely compact 30 MB per minute. This file can be further optimized and compressed off-line for even greater storage economy. The digital video file can then be replayed from storage devices such as CD-ROMs. Software-Only Playback ---------------------- The enabling technologies provided by Video Blaster RT300 support "software-only" playback of Indeo video files on 386, 486 and Pentium processor-based PCs without requiring special hardware accelerators. Files recorded using Indeo can be distributed to one or many users and immediately played back from the currently available storage media. Scalable Playback ----------------- Video Blaster RT300's scalable playback feature allows video clips to be played back regardless of the system configuration. The frame rate of the video is automatically adjusted when the file is played, facilitating distribution of video on CD-ROM. No special hardware acceleration is needed for playback. Additional Features ------------------- In addition to capturing full-motion video, Video Blaster RT300 can capture full-screen still images. It also supports multiple video sources and standards, composite and S-Video in both NTSC and PAL formats. Bundled with the board is Adobe Premiere, the leading digital video-editing tool for the PC. Desktop Video Conferencing -------------------------- The programmability of the 82750PE allows the Video Blaster RT300 to be more than a video capture and compression board. When used in conjunction with a video camera and ShareVision PC300, announced today by Creative Technology Ltd., Video Blaster RT300 enables a PC to provide full video-conferencing capabilities over a standard analog phone line. AST AND CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY COMBINE FORCES TO DEVELOP INDUSTRY'S MOST HIGHLY INTEGRATED MULTIMEDIA AND TELEPHONY SOLUTIONS Strategic Partnership Will Provide Customers with High-Quality, Affordable Multimedia Products that Make PCs Easier than Ever to Use IRVINE, Calif. & SINGAPORE -- June 23, 1994 -- AST Research Inc. and Creative Technology Ltd., the leading providers of multimedia solutions for the PC marketplace, announced today a joint development and marketing agreement to create the industry's most highly integrated, technologically advanced, yet easy-to-use audio, telephony and software multimedia solutions. The strategic partnership, which is expected to further AST's and Creative's stronghold in the consumer marketplace, will combine the best of both companies' technological expertise. AST's multi-functional PCs featuring AST Works, the industry's most comprehensive and easy-to-use software interface that combines instant video help, numerous productivity tools and unsurpassed telephony capabilities, turn PCs into deluxe information and communication centers. Creative's Sound Blaster audio platform has set the standard for high-quality audio in the PC environment. Over 15,000 titles have been written for compatibility with its best-selling family of Sound Blaster audio boards, which comprise over 60 percent of the sound board market. This relationship will allow each company to extend the success it has experienced in delivering multimedia products to the home user and develop multimedia solutions for the home office and small business user. Family members of all ages, who use PCs from everything from word processing and personal finances to video games and accessing the information superhighway, will benefit from the expanded multimedia, software and telephony capabilities of their PCs resulting from this relationship. "We are committed to providing high-quality, easy-to-use multimedia products that continually expand a PC's inherent versatility to benefit every member of the family," said Howard Elias, AST's vice president of worldwide marketing. "Our strategic partnership with Creative Technology allows us to continue to provide our customers with groundbreaking audio, software and telephony products that come standard when they buy an Advantage! Adventure multimedia computer." "Creative is continuously investing in solutions that expand the uses of multimedia. With AST, we have a common goal to create exciting, cutting-edge technology that offers superior consumer value," said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative Technology Ltd. "This agreement, which takes advantage of both companies' strong retail brand recognition, established distribution channels and manufacturing resources will provide a comprehensive and affordable multimedia solution to the consumer marketplace." AST Corporate Background ------------------------ AST Advantage! Multimedia personal computers with AST Works user interface are available at more that 1,400 retail locations, including Circuit City, Computer City, CompUSA, Fretters, Silo, PriceCostco, Sam's Wholesale Club and Incredible Universe. AST Research Inc. is the world's fifth-largest personal computer manufacturer. The company develops PC products ranging from handheld portable systems to superservers under the Advantage!, Bravo, Premmia, Manhattan SMP, Ascentia, and GRiDPAD brand names. Revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 1994 totaled $1.78 billion, a 78 percent increase over the prior year period. The company reported sales of $1.4 billion and record volume shipment increases of 69 percent for fiscal year ended July 3, 1993. Ranked number 287 on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest industrial companies, AST is represented in 100 countries and operates 43 subsidiaries and sales offices worldwide. Corporate headquarters is located at: 16215 Alton River Parkway P.O. Box 57005 Irvine, Calif. 92619-7005. Telephone: (714) 727-4141 or (800) 876-4278 FAX:(714) 727-9355. CONTACT INFORMATION ------------------- Steffanee Foster Hollie Chriss Chronin (714) 727-7977 Creative Labs, Inc. Ann Foster Dupuis (714) 727-8588 (408) 428-6600 ext. 6430 AST Research, Inc. Creative Technology Corporate Background ---------------------------------------- Creative Technology Ltd. develops, manufactures and markets a family of sound and video multimedia products for IBM-compatible PCs. The company's Sound Blaster sound enables IBM-compatible PCs to produce high-quality audio for entertainment, educational, music and productivity applications, and has been accepted as the industry standard sound platform for PC-based software. Creative Technology Ltd. was incorporated in 1983 and is based in Singapore. Creative Technology's U.S. subsidiaries include Creative Labs, Inc., E-mu Systems, Inc. and ShareVision Technology, Inc. Creative also has other subsidiaries in China, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. The company's stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol CREAf and on the Stock Exchange of Singapore. Creative Labs is located at 1901 McCarthy Blvd., Milpitas, Calif., 95035. Telephone: (408) 428-6600. FAX: (408) 428-6611. CONTACT INFORMATION ------------------- Theresa Pulido Matt Afflixio Creative Labs, Inc. Cunningham Communication, Inc. (408) 428-6600 ext. 6416 (408) 982-0400 ShareVision Technology, Inc., a subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd., was formed in 1991 to develop and market personal desktop video conferencing systems. The company's ShareVision products are sold and serviced through authorized resellers nationwide. Creative TextAssist, Creative VoiceAssist, Sound Blaster, and Sound Blaster Multimedia Office is a trademark of Creative Technology Ltd. Video Blaster RT300 is a trademark of Creative Technology Ltd. 82750PE is a registered trademark and Indeo, 386, 486, and Pentium are trademarks of Intel Corporation. Premiere is a trademark of Adobe. E-mu is a registered trademark of E-mu Systems, Inc. ShareVision is a registered trademark of Sharevision Technology, Inc. IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. ********************************************************************** 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 an extremely 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 20/20 Advantage Plan 20 Hours for Only $20! ----------------------------- Advantage Members have always enjoyed the lowest DELPHI access rates available. On the new 20/20 Advantage Plan, members receive their first 20 hours of access each month for only $20. If you happen to meet someone online or find some other diversion, don't worry because additional usage is only $1.80 per hour. 20/20 Advantage rates apply for access via SprintNet or Tymnet from within the continental United States during home time or via direct dial around the clock. Home Time is from 6pm to 6am weekdays. Access during business time carries a surcharge of $9 per hour. These rates apply for most services, but note that there are some surcharged areas on DELPHI which are clearly marked with a "$" sign. Who is eligible to take advantage of the plan? Any DELPHI member in good standing. Applications are reviewed and subject to approval by Delphi Internet Services Corporation. It's easy to join. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply online -- at any time -- for membership in the DELPHI 20/20 Advantage Plan. Your membership becomes active at 4 a.m. Eastern Time on the first billing day of the following month. The $20 charge will be billed to you at the beginning of the month to which it applies. Any portion of the 20 hours not used in any month does not carry forward into the next month. Advantage rates may be changed with 30 days notice given online. 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! DELPHI-It's the BEST Value and getting BETTER all the time! ************************************************************ ATARI/JAG SECTION (III) ======================= Dana Jacobson, Editor > From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" The Summer Consumer Electronics Show is over for another year. From all reports that I've seen, whether from our own staff here at STReport, or via various messages online, Atari had a successful show. Depending on your perspective, "successful" is certainly a subjective term. If your definition of success is an imminent large selection of new Jaguar games, you may be right. Other than the two games already in production (Wolfenstein 3D and Brutal Sports Football), there are no new games ready. But hold on. There are quite a few titles that are close. You'll see a list of titles announced at the CES of upcoming titles, either done or in some stage of completion, further along in this issue. If your definition of success is a wide assortment of publicity for Atari, you may be right again. The media certainly covered Atari's presence. If you listen to those who attended the show, the press and other visitors, you'll note that the various reports have been glowing. That would include those from STReport staffers. So what are the aspects of the show for Atari that doesn't show success? There really isn't anything except for the fact that there's been no "breakthrough" announcements; everything is essentially status quo. The difference from pre-CES and post-CES is that Atari has gained much-needed publicity. For Atari, this was a critical point to be made at this year's show. Atari had to show that they were serious; I think that they managed to do just that. STReport had two staff members at CES: Paul Charchian and Craig Harris. We had hoped to have reports in last week's issues, but circumstances beyond our control didn't let it happen. However, we will have those reports this week and in upcoming issues; they kept themselves quite busy talking with Atari personnel, Jaguar developers, and more! Craig is also busy putting together the CES video that he shot while at the show, including footage from a number of CES participants. We hope that you enjoy the coverage and find it informative. Until next time... __________________________________________________________ > CES Video Offer! STR Offer! - See the CES From Your Own Home!! """"""""""""""""""""""""""" Pointless Productions LTD. - in association with STReport Online Magazine - Proudly Presents The Generically Titled Summer CES Video Cassette All the fun of the Chicago show wrapped up in a single, 7.5"x4" VHS video cassette. =========================== So you couldn't make it to the show, eh? No problem. Why wait 2 months for a publication that can only offer blurry snapshots that could be mistaken for the latest Elvis sightings. This tape will bring you footage of games on a format they belong...on VIDEO. For the amazingly, affordable low price, you get these features: - Video cassette complete with plastic casing, cardboard box, and magnetic tape wound on plastic spools. Label included as a special bonus! - Professionally edited 2-day footage of all the popular systems and games. Not-so-popular systems and games included as a special bonus! - Quick turn-around...video will be available 1-2 weeks after the show! All this for $15.00...how can you possibly go wrong? Shipping is included. If interested, send cash, check or money-order to: Craig Harris Pointless Productions, LTD. 14 Harrowgate Drive Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 (Make Check and Money Orders out to Craig Harris) **** Delphi's Atari Advantage! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (6/29/94) (1) AEO NEWS! #4 *(6) TAZ-16 COLOR TERMINAL (2) SPEED OF LIGHT VIEWER V3.1 (7) GEMRAM V.1.6 (3) STARBALL (8) WYRD WAYS (4) DATELINE ATARI JUNE 94 (9) XAES-NEW LETEMFLY *(5) STREPORT SCES BULLETINS *(10) GO UP! * = New on list HONORARY TOP 10 The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-performing every other file in the databases. STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT #10.26) ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO - VOLUME 3, ISSUE 9) Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. **** > Metamorphosis 24!! STR InfoFile! - Create Morphed Animations!! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" LEXICOR SOFTWARE IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE ===================================== *************************************** *** M E T A M O R P H O S I S 2 4 *** *************************************** The first 2-Dimensional Morpher for Atari ST/TT/Falcon Metamorphosis 24 can morph between two same TIFF pictures and create an intermediate morph of the two images. After having loaded your source and target frames you can not only produce single frames but tween whole keyframe animations in 24bit. Using set points to determine the morphing control points you can tell the program what points need to be morphed from the source and the target frame, the more points you add, the more detailed the morph will be. Some features are: - Easy and User Friendly Interface - Intuitive Toolbox (5 basic tools) - 4 levels of morphing depth - Toggle rip on/off - Multitos/Mag'X Compatibility and Support - Complete GEM Windows Interface - TIFF Support - FPU Support - ST/TT/Falcon/Clones Support - * Suggested Retail is only 99 U$D * - ******** Special Offer is 79 U$D *********** (Distributors of the English Version) LEXICOR SOFTWARE CORPORATION 1726 Francisco Street Berkeley, CA 94703 U.S.A. Tel: (510) 848 7621 Fax: (510) 848 7613 US Dealers please contact Lexicor Software Email: firstname.lastname@example.org on Compuserve: 75300,763 or visit us in the atari area (go atariven) on DELPHI : LEXICORWORLD or visit us in go com atari on GENIE : LEXICOR or visit us in the GRAPHICS RTC (m1415) cat 22 * A short description of Morphing A Morph converts one object into another over several frames (tweening). To morph between two images the area that you wish to morph/change needs to be outlined in the source and target frame which become your "key"-frames. Over a specified number of frames in a process known as tweening Metamorphosis 24 moves the points set in the "key"-frames and while changing, will retain a certain percentage of each of the intermittent frames. * What do I need to run this program Metamorphosis is a product that will run on any Atari ST, STe, TT (with Graphics Board), Falcon in up to 256 colors. The final results are stored as 24bit Truecolor Tiff's, even if you run the program in monochrome mode, Metamorphosis will always work in a True Color mode and save off it's files as such. Minimum requirements are a 1040 ST with 1 Megabyte but a 4 Megabyte System is recommended. Depending on your depth of calculation, it could take some time to render one frame, ultimately a TT or a Falcon would be ideal (with FPU). Metamorphosis supports the FPU, but does not require one. * What about animations? Metamorphosis can not only tween from one frame to another, but it will also tween from as many frames as the user decides (99 max). The whole process is automatic, once the user has defined the key-frames of the animation. * How do I play them back? Metamorphosis has a player that will run in 256 color modes on nearly every Graphic Board for the TT, Mega STe or Falcon. * Why would I want it? Metamorphosis is a unique product in the Atari platform. People who enjoy doing graphic work will find a new and innovative tool of graphic manipulation on their atari (for painters and animators), but Metamorphosis requires no artistic skills what-so-ever to make stunning results. The final results can be used to print in Newsletters or any other DTP application, put on Video or make presentations on your Atari. This product is for anyone remotely interested in graphics work on their atari for hobby users and professionals. One of the most famous examples of this kind of Morphing was the Michael Jackson Video "Dangerous", the end sequences featured several faces morphing into and onto each other. These kinds of effects are now possible on your Atari System using Metamorphosis 24. __________________________________ > From the Editor's Controller - "Playin' It Like It Is!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" In my opening editorial, I stated that the overall feeling from most was that Atari's participation in the Chicago SCES was successful. The next few months will really paint the true picture as sales of existing products as well as many more new games (and sales!) will determine how well Atari's efforts at CES succeeded. Personally, I think that Atari has to follow through on its perceived goals and really push to make the Jaguar the winner that it appears to be. More games and add-ons need to arrive quickly to maintain the interest of the current and future users. Lag times of no new games is going to hurt regardless of promises of pending new titles. As a former Atari employee so poignantly stated a few months ago: "People want to see games, not titles!" I couldn't agree more. One disappointment that hasn't been discussed online as far as I've seen is the lack of CES publicity of Jaguar hardware add-ons. I asked our two reporters what they had seen other than games as I had figured that the Jaguar CD-ROM attachment and other announced hardware items would also be promoted at the show. According to STReport's Paul Charchian: "The hardware wasn't that interesting. The voice/modem was there, but not in anything close to final form. The cd-player was interesting, but it only played the VLM and movies, so interaction with it was limited. The Cat Box wasn't there when I was there. I guy showed up from JagDaptor, but (get this) he DIDN'T THINK TO BRING ONE with him to the show. Duh. Oh well." I was hoping to learn that some of these products were closer to reality. In this week's issue, we're continuing to provide you with coverage from the CES, "side-stepping" our usual Jaguar edition schedule to keep the information as current as possible. We'll continue with next week's regular issue with even more CES/Jaguar coverage. _______________________________ SPECIAL SCES UPDATE for the Atari Jaguar!! > STR Show Report! """""""""""""""" "LIVE FROM CES" =============== by Paul Charchian Everyone expected a bevy of surprises at SCES. I refused to get overly optimistic even as I took the 6:00 am flight from Minneapolis to Chicago to attend the first day of SCES, Thursday. For those not familiar with McCormick Place, Chicago's convention center, let me explain the layout. Most of the larger shows, such as CES, must be held in two different buildings connected by a cavernous tunnel running under Lake Shore Drive. Oddly, the 3D0 was the *only* game company in the West building. The impact of this decision left only Atari and Nintendo as the only major system manufacturers in the North building, along with countless software publishers. Immediately upon entering the convention hall, the very large Atari display area was present. I was shocked at the magnitude of the Atari area. Atari employees later confirmed that this was their largest showcase ever. Nevertheless, Atari's area paled in comparison to the Nintendo vista that claimed almost a quarter of the hall by itself. Ignoring all else, I quickly headed for the field of Jags. Like a kid in a candy store, I didn't know where to begin. I took a quick glance at each machine and found that an amazing number of them offered titles that I had never even heard of. Ah ha! Atari had been keeping some secrets, and as you'll see in a second, some good ones. I visited each game numerous times and came up with the follow synopsis of each game present: Kasumi Ninja ------------ By now most of us have heard enough to know quite a bit about the game, but I want to shed some light on some features that I wasn't aware of until know. The background sports very vivid parallax scrolling backgrounds. Backgrounds include digitized scenes from the Grand Canyon, an oriental motif and a Comanche Indian round of teepees. Of course, if you take a even a second to enjoy them, you'll be decapitated. The characters are large and very detailed. You can even discern the creases in the clothing. Blood stays on the ground during each fight. It doesn't magically disappear as it does in other games. The amount of blood has been reduced since earlier versions, although it is still a very bloody game. Shadows are rendered for each character in real-time. The shadows matched player movements wonderfully. There were four or five working characters with another 3-5 coming. Included in these are a Comanche Indian, a Goth, and standard ninja-types. Because Project Manager Ted Tahquechi is of Comanche background, everything about the Comanche character and background is authentic. His uncle, an actor, was used in video taping the role. It is nice to know that everything from the clothing to the insignias on the teepees are real. (For more on Ted, be sure to check out my interview with him in the next STR!) Ted confirmed that there will be many secret characters and Easter eggs. Many of the characters come with projectile weapons. The Indian throws a knife and the ninjas can cast fireballs. There are unique fatalities as well. When the Goth lost to a ninja, the ninja jumped on his skull pushing his gray matter out of his brain pan. The crowds around the two machines demonstrating KN were wide-eyed and excited. I asked Andrew Lundstad of St. Paul, MN about KN: "It doesn't feel as fast as the arcade version of Mortal Kombat, but the graphics are prettier. Mortal Kombat was tougher to learn at first. KN has a lot of special moves. I'd pay to play it in the arcade. I wouldn't be surprised if I saw it in an arcade." While I promised not to get into details, one of the most exciting aspects of KN is its plot. That's right, a fighting game with a plot, and a cool one at that. It will really help KN stand out from the pack of fighting games. I'd estimate that KN is 90 - 95% finished. Rayman ------ Like many of you, I hadn't even heard of Rayman before. I was pleasantly surprised. This UBI Soft game stars a bird-like creature, presumably Rayman, dressed in a cape and purple outfit. The game is very reminiscent of Mickey Mouse's Castle of Illusion for the Genesis in theme. Of all of the games present, this one may have had the best graphics. The color was breathtaking. I was stunned by the graphics. Rayman has over 50 different animations that he can perform such as dancing, walking on his hands and sticking out his tongue. It is already moving at 25 fps, however collision detection hasn't been worked out yet. I'd estimate that this game is 50% finished. Arena League Football --------------------- This one was the first dog of the show. It barely had a heartbeat of code in its poor little EPROM frame. All that was present in this title was a big green blob to represent the field (no white lines or yard markers), along with the 6 on 6 characters. They sorta ran a play, but when they did it was numbingly slow. I'd estimate that this game is 5% finished. Ruiner ------ Another title I hadn't heard of, I was surprised to see a functional pinball game for the Jag. A company called High Voltage Software was on hand to help demonstrate the game. Unfortunately, it suffered from SNES graphics and a remarkably barren playing area. There were, a grand total of zero targets to shoot at. I can only assume that they will be coming. The game contains a horror motif as the ball is a skull, and there is a haunted house in the playing field. I'd estimate that this game is 30% completed. Blue Lightning -------------- I was surprised to see this title because I was under the impression it would be a CD title. I'd guess it will be on CD by the time it gets to stores, but it was on cart for the SCES. I loved the Lynx version of Blue Lightning, and the Jag version is faithful in feel to the original. If you can imagine the Lynx version with souped-up graphics, you'd pretty much have it. Collision detection already was in working order, but not all of the graphics were in place. Much of the graphics were bit-mapped. I'd estimate that it is 40% finished. Brutal Sports Football ---------------------- I'm a football nut, so I was really hoping that this would be a sports title of some merit, but after trying hard to like it, I was resigned to feeling as though the Jag had been reduced to a SNES. It fits in better with the first four Jag titles than the fifth. The term "football" shouldn't be in the title. There is no similarity to football, American or otherwise, to be found in this cart. It is reminiscent of the computer game "Speedball." Featuring unending six on six action, your goal is to throw the ball through a soccer-style goal without getting tackled first. The game lacks the brutality that its title suggests it should have. I wanted to see limbs falling off, and heads rolling, but the only thing rolling were my eyes. BSF is 100% finished, and in manufacturing. Checkered Flag -------------- Despite being a polygon-based product , CF has some nice attributes that suggest that it could be a decent title. There are plenty of user-definable options such as the weather (fog, rain or sun), car color, size of air foils, manual or automatic shifting and tightness of the steering wheel. The game's motion was still jerky and a tad slow. The polygons left the game feeling antiseptic. There were no fun billboards or scenery. Just blocks, and not that many at that. I'd estimate that CF is 55% done. Bubsy ----- Why Atari chose to make this the first Accolade title instead of a sports title (Hardball III) I'll never know. Bubsy is similar to the aforementioned Rayman, but not as graphically stunning. You control Bubsy (he's a bobcat if anyone cares; I'm not sure why I asked, but I did) around desert-style scenery that reminded me of Taz Mania for the Genesis. I was able to kill Bubsy by drowning him in quicksand a number of times. An Atari rep said that the game was 15% done, and probably wouldn't be available by Christmas. Wolf 3d ------- When you start up the Jag version of Wolf 3D, you are treated to a big spinning ball with pictures of Hitler, bosses, the Fuji symbol and id's logo. The cart in the Jag was a finished product, with shell and labeling as it will appear on the shelves. The cart allows for saving 3 different games, as well as an option to automatically pull-up your last game played. As soon as you start the game, it is clear that the graphics are much better. There are noticeably more colors and virtually no pixelization even with your nose to the wall. The layout of the castle is similar to the PC version, but not identical. Like the PC version, there is no floor or ceiling. The controls of the game were the most difficult part because it runs soooooo darn fast. Much faster than my 486/66 runs the PC version. While it was hard to hear from all of the background noise, it sounded as though the voice was clearer, while the sound was about the same as the PC version. I also noticed that you can now have more than 100 pieces of ammo. While there are other guns available, I wasn't able to play it long enough to earn one of the non-standard arms. Wolf 3D is 100% completed. AvP --- Along with Kasumi Ninja, Alien vs Predator stole the show. There wasn't a moment when someone wasn't playing this game, and at times, there were crowds surrounding the monitors. Easily, AvP sports the best 3D effects that I've ever seen. The interior of the ship is unbelievably realistic. The ceiling lighting and bit-mapped walls were absolutely stunning. I can't help but wonder if there has ever been a more intensely realistic setting in a video game, home or arcade. The gameplay is fundamentally fine, with one sticking point. When playing the marine or Predator, the game feels like it is reacting a hair too slow. However, as the Alien, you can rip down the corridors at fast speeds. In light of the Jag showcase that AvP has become, I'd rather have all of the characters be able to move quickly, and find a different advantage to give the Alien instead of speed. This is a very minor critique for an otherwise fine game. When you shoot the Alien, he explodes in a disgusting mash of yellow and green blobs. Look out for face-huggers. The little buggers adhere themselves onto your head and only a vigorous attack on the directional will get him off. Much like shaking a tackler in many football games. AvP will not be linkable in any way. Jason Poggioli of Franklin Park, IL had this to say about it: "AvP is very excellent. It scrolls very smoothly without any pixelation on the sides. It really shows off its power. I'd give it a 7 with potential for higher depending on what happens between now and when it is released. It's better than DOOM." I also asked Kevin Lehning, of Park Ridge IL about it: "The graphics are outstanding. I can really feel the 3D effect. The game is easy so far." However, he did add that "The hardware felt sluggish in parts, and lacks the elements of action that are present in Wolf 3D." I'd estimate that AvP is 90-95% completed. Double Dragon 5 --------------- Next to Kasumi Ninja and Ultra Vortex, this one is easy to forget. It features cartoon characters rather than digitized images. The total number of moves is limited and you have to use the numeric pad to perform some of the specials. I'd love to see this game come out at a reasonable price ($30-40) to give people a better option. You'd never know you weren't on a SNES. I'd estimate that the game is 75% done. Doom ---- After reading stories that Doom was running slowly, I was braced for the worst. I was surprised to see it running pretty damn fast. Not at 486/66 speed, but quickly nonetheless. The frame rate seemed okay as well. The knock on it was that the resolution was noticeable worse than on the PC. I was informed that Atari hadn't yet received a current version of Doom from id, so they were showing an older one. People attending the show over the weekend may find different results than what I saw. As most of you already know, Doom is going to be voice/modemable. Club Drive ---------- Surprisingly, Club Drive is slated to work with the voice modem as well. Purple Hampton tried to get the unit working without success while I was there. Like, Checkered Flag, it is a polygon game, with few if any bit-maps. I found that the game was much more enjoyable when the camera was moved out of the cockpit. The overhead was especially fun when the car was buzzing around the house (and into the fireplace!). The game is in need of optimization. I'd estimate that the game is 65% finished. Troy Aikman Football -------------------- Reports of this game's summer arrival are grossly exaggerated. Based on the demo cart that was shown, this game has a LONG way to go. There were only three different plays being shown in the demo and they were running very slowly. The graphics were in need of improvement as well. The play selection area looked solid, as did the title screen. All 28 teams and logos are accounted for, but it will not sport real players. I'd estimate that this game is 10% done. Ultra Vortex ------------ In my eyes this product was the most pleasant surprise of the show. Ultra Vortex is another fighting game ala Mortal Kombat. Get this, of the people that I talked to half of them actually preferred UV to KN! And KN is great! If you love fighting games, you are going to flip out over these two. The backgrounds are especially intense, featuring really twisted, demented imagery. We were able to see 3 working characters. My favorite was the mechanical man called "Buzzsaw" whose torso can spin with his arms extended to turn his upper body into his monicker. According to the reps that I talked to, virtually all of the code is done. They just need to add more characters. I'd estimate that this game is 85% completed. Wonderfully, both KN and UV smoke the 3D0's 'Way of the Warrior.' Iron Soldier ------------ I hadn't heard of this title before, but get used to hearing about it. It is going to be turning a lot of heads in the next months. It is a battletech type of game. You are inside a huge armored mech blowing up anything that moves (and a lot of things that don't!). The city that you tromp on is largely polygon, but the enemies are bit mapped. One of the really cool effects happens when you blow up a building. It explodes into a hundred cubes that come back to earth and bounce in the most amazingly lifelike way. You are so large in your mech outfit that you can stomp on small buildings, trees and cars. It is somewhat reminiscent of Crush, Crumble and Chomp. As you are doing these things you take fire from choppers, planes and ground-based missiles. The Atari staff loved this game, and seemed intent on sharing their enthusiasm. More than one person walked away feeling like it was going to be a big hit. I'd estimate that it is 50% completed. Zool 2 ------ This game is a blend of Sonic the Hedgehog with Mickey Mouse's Castle of Illusion where you travel through a land of candy. It is side scrolling like those two, but features a character that looks a little like Marvin the Martian from Warner Brothers cartoons. One unique feature that I really liked was the ability to play either a male or female zool. The graphics were very nice and worthy of a 64-bitter. The game will greatly appeal to kids, but also to adults, much as Sonic has. Collision detection was operable, so I'd guess that this product is 60% done. Space War --------- I recently read that Star Raiders had been split into two. If that is true, then this must be one of the two. The scrolling stars are right out of the Atari 800 version of Star Raiders. Space War is a two-player, split-screen shooter that puts you in the place of a gunner on a space ship. It is reminiscent of Chewbacca shooting Tie Fighters from the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. It was still in the early stages, with very little depth yet. I'd estimate that this product is 10% done. Rally ----- Another title that I had never heard of, Rally is reminiscent of Super Sprint. It is an off-road racing game that puts you behind the wheel of a 4x4 in the desert. The view is overhead, making your car look a little like a Matchbox car in a sandlot. There are some nice touches in this game including billboards and on-lookers. This game appears to be about 25% completed. Overall I think that Atari did a fine job at the show. With Sega having only a minimal presence and 3D0 being stuck in a different building, it gave Atari a great chance to show their continuing support for the Jaguar. In our next issue be sure to check out my interview with Jeff Minter as he talks about his new Virtual Light Machine, Tempest and his future with Atari. We'll also be talking about everything that I've missed up until this point. _____________________________________ > Star Battle! STR InfoFile! New Jaguar Developer, 4Play """""""""""""""""""""""""" FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Star Battle(TM) Announced for Atari Jaguar 4Play Among Atari Jaguar Developers Gaming Will Never Be The Same! CHICAGO, IL -- June 23, 1994 -- Consumer Electronics Show -- A talented new design group, called 4Play, today announced their first title which will fully exploit Jaguar's 64-bit capabilities. Six hundred years in the future, several spacefaring races are battling for domination of the galaxy. To avoid unnecessary loss of life and destruction, it is agreed that the best warriors and military minds will be sent to a small uninhabited quadrant of the galaxy to settle the score. Some of the races have endured years of torment and oppression and with the galaxy at stake, nothing short of eradication of the enemy is acceptable. Star Battle is a first person perspective game designed to put fun back into gaming. Star Battle's multi-player action allows head to head challengers over modem or network. The Jaguar makes this possible with 64-bit power and outstanding connectability. Tom Harker, president of 4Play, commented, "Our custom game tools afford no compromises. With advanced features like a warp polygon engine, gouraud shading, texture mapping, networking and modem support, Star Battle will be setting new standards in excellence for a long time to come". Look for Star Battle to be released on cartridge in the 4th quarter of 1994. For more information, contact: ------------------------------ Thomas D. Harker, 4Play (815) 968-2228 ext. 222 Fax (815)-968-6888 Star Battle is a trademark of 4Play. Other products named may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their owning companies. ________________________________________ > CatBox! STR NewsFile! - Black Cat Proves It Has The Right Stuff! """"""""""""""""""""" FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CatBox(TM) tames the Jaguar Black Cat proves it has the right stuff CHICAGO, IL -- June 23, 1994 -- Consumer Electronics Show -- Black Cat Design, a designer of computer peripherals and accessories today announced CatBox and CatBox+, feature-packed interface adapters for the Atari Jaguar 64-bit game system. CatBox plugs directly into the AV/DSP ports on the back of the Jaguar. Its custom case measures just 6 x 2.5 x 1.25 inches and perfectly accents the sleek Jaguar design. CatBox provides all of the standard connections that Jaguar customers desire. Standard ports include: S-Video, Composite Video, Left & Right Audio Out, Dual Stereo Headphones, Analog RGB Video, RS-232, ComLynx, and pass-through DSP. All connectors are "industry standard". Standards are a big part of CatBox and connectivity is the key. The RS- 232 port will connect to standard modems. The ComLynx port will join other Jaguar and Lynx game systems for multi-player games and other networking ideas. Black Cat Design is actively working with game developers to ensure support for these ports. CatBox+ offers two powerful new features in addition to the standard CatBox features. Stereo headphone amplification with volume control provides a more powerful sound. The new differential pair network uses standard RJ-11 phone wiring to create a low cost networking system which allows systems to be separated up to 300 feet. An imaginative, well thought out design includes flexibility for the future. Internal expansion connectors for future add-in cards ensure that CatBox will be as useful then as it is now. Future products under consideration include a Midi interface and an internal modem. Thomas Harker, president of Black Cat Design, explained, "This product is an unbelievable value. I wouldn't be surprised if all Jaguar owners buy a CatBox. My family is really thankful for the headphone jacks when our twin boys are playing Raiden. Finally, peace and quiet again in the game room. The boys can't wait for the next generation of multi-player games to arrive. Imagine, dual Jaguars head to head. CatBox will help make this possible. It makes so much sense, I don't know why it wasn't done before." CatBox will begin shipping late this quarter at an MSRP of $49.95. CatBox+ will have an MSRP of $69.95. ICD, Inc., a well known developer of Atari computer products will be marketing CatBox. ICD is taking orders now with shipments expected in August. For more information, contact: Thomas D. Harker, Black Cat Design (815)968-2228 ext. 222 Fax (815)968-6888 CatBox is a trademark of Black Cat Design. All other trademarks are those of their respective holders. ___________________________________________ > Jaguar '94 Titles! STR InfoFile! - Prospective Games For 1994! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Below is a list of software titles planned for release in 1994 by Atari or third party. Data obtained from printed sources provided at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held June 23 through June 25 in Chicago (1994). Titles marked by "*" were demonstrated as complete or "work in progress" at the show. Clearly, all of this will not meet our 1994 release goals, however, much of it will and the remainder will follow soon thereafter. -- Don Thomas Atari Corporation *Alien vs. Predator (AvP) Atari Corporation *Battlezone Atari Corporation Battlemorph Atari Corporation *Blue Lightning (CD-ROM) Atari Corporation *Bubsy Atari Corporation *Checkered Flag (was Red Line) Atari Corporation *Club Drive (voice/modem) Atari Corporation *Cybermorph Atari Corporation Demolition Man (CD-ROM) Atari Corporation *Dino Dudes Atari Corporation Doom (Network, Voice/Modem) Atari Corporation Highlander (CD-ROM) Atari Corporation *Iron Soldier Atari Corporation *Jack Nicklaus Cyber Golf (CD) Atari Corporation *Kasumi Ninja Atari Corporation *Raiden Atari Corporation *Space War Atari Corporation *Tempest 2000 Atari Corporation *Trevor McFur/Crescent Galaxy Atari Corporation *Wolfenstein 3D Atari Corporation Pinball Dreams 21st Century *Starbattle (working title) 4-Play Hosenose and Booger All Systems Go BIOS Fear All Systems Go BattleWheels Beyond Games Inc. *Ultra Vortex Beyond Games Inc. Nanoterror (working title) Delta Music Systems Droppings (working title) Delta Music Systems Lester the Unlikely DTMC *Zool 2 Gremlin Graphics *Ruiner High Voltage Software Kickoff 3/World Cup Imagineer Valus Force JVC Muc\sical Undustrie Inc. Gunship 2000 Microprose UK Commando Microids Evidence Microids Air Cars MidNite Entertainment Inc. Dungeon Depths MidNite Entertainment Inc. Assault MidNite Entertainment Inc. World Cup Soccer Millenium/Teque Ape Sh_t (working title) Ocean Software Ltd. Lobo Ocean Software Ltd. Theme Park Ocean Software Ltd. Soccer Kid Ocean Software Ltd. Syndicate Ocean Software Ltd. Galatic Gladiators Photosurealism Neurodancer PIXIS Interactive *Rally (working title) Rage Dragon's Lair Readysoft Robinson's Requiem Silmarils *Brutal Sports Football Telegames Ultimate Brain Games Telegames *World Class Cricket Telegames *White Men Can't Jump Trimark Interactive Flashback U.S. Gold Ltd. *Rayman UBI Soft Horrorscope V-Real *Arena Football V-Real Cannon Fodder Virgin Interactive Creature Shock Virgin Interactive Extreme Skiing/Snowboard Virtual Studios Zozziorx (working title) Virtual Experience Indiana Jags (working title) Virtual Experience *Double Dragon V Williams Entertainment Inc. *Troy Aikman NFL Football Williams Entertainment Inc. All titles are trademarks of their owning companies. __________________________________________ > Jaguar Online STR InfoFile - Online Users Growl & Purr! """""""""""""""""""""""""" (Editor's note) There was a down side to Atari's successful showing at the SCES. Shortly after the show's close, CNBC's stock market analyst, Dan Dorfman reported that Atari was close to bankruptcy amid reports from Wall Street analyst Martin Sass claiming that Atari had no earnings, no money, and that the Jaguar was a dud. Needless to say, Atari stock took a nosedive shortly afterward. There's been a great deal of discussion going on in Compuserve's Atari Gaming forums about this topic. Here's just one of those messages from CIS: "On another note...Now that the summer CES is over and Wall Street has had a chance to consider what they saw it doesn't appear that ATARI impressed anyone. I see it's down 25% today. That's an amazing whack for one day." Got a note from Sam Tramiel tonight. He talked to Dan Dorfman (who reported the news that sent the stock spiralling today), and they clarified that the drop was caused by rumors started by short position money managers--they will be working to put to rest this rumor. IOW, it was a b.s. story started by profit-seekers that caused the stock to drop. Why? Because the stock was about to go UP, and it would've cost those who are making their money based on short position drops a real profit--remember, Sass, who engineered this drop, has already put money on the line saying that Atari's value will plummet. This sleazy maneuver prevented the good news from CES from having any effect whatsoever, and rustled up money in Sass' pockets. It's so transparent that it's scary--if I were a stockholder, I'd be furious at this bottom-feeding based on lies and innuendo, which cost Atari the hard-won gains it was due after the CES." **Atari Denies Bankruptcy Report** Reuters says Atari Corp. is denying broadcast comments that it might go bankrupt. But a company official told the news service that he no longer expected the company to be profitable overall in 1994. "We're a long way from bankruptcy," Atari chief financial officer August Liguori told Reuters, adding that the Sunnyvale, Calif.- based video game firm has $35 to $37 million in cash and readily marketable securities. Liguori observed, "I certainly do feel that the profitability will occur in the first quarter of 1995 when we will not have as much advertising expenditure relative to sales." CNBC correspondent Dan Dorfman had quoted Wall Street analyst Martin Sass as saying that Atari has no earnings, no way to make money, an obsolete product line, insufficient software and a dud in its Jaguar Multimedia home entertainment system, says Reuters. For more news from Reuters, visit the Executive News Service (GO ENS). ____________________________________ > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" PEOPLE... ARE TALKING ===================== On CompuServe ------------- compiled by Joe Mirando Hidi ho good neighbors. Another week has come and gone and there's a new crop of hints, tips and information here on CompuServe. And then there is Aerosmith's previously un-released song "Head First" which is available by typing GO AEROSMITH. The file is a long one... 2.2 megabytes for the monaural version; twice that size for the stereo version. Although CompuServe says that the song, which is in Microsoft WAVE format, can only be played on a DOS machine with Windows and a sound card, I was able to play it on my STacy (4 meg) using DMJ's program, SoundLab and nothing else. Its quite a feeling to be able to do something on my lowly stock ST computers that would take several hundred dollars worth of software, a few hundred more for CPU power and at least another hundred for a sound card on that other platform. Hey, ya gotta take victories wherever ya find 'em, right? Well anyway, let's get on with the purpose of this column: All the great news, hints, tips and information available on CompuServe this week... From the Atari Computing Forum ============================== Jonnie Santos asks: "Why are the prices of modems dropping so quickly? I've heard new modems are in the works that will use the coax line from the cable company and data speeds are something like 10-times faster than today's speeds using the new setup. I'm now at 14.4 and while it is fast, speed is addicting (like food, money, and a few other things I can think of)... " Sysop Jim Ness tells Jonnie: "The main reasons for low modem costs are competition and volume. Everything in the online world is exploding with growth, as the world becomes more computer literate and interested in the "Info Highway." CompuServe just announced a record year, and I'm sure most of the other online services will be doing the same. That means lots of people buying new modems, which results in more manufacturers being interested in that business. More competition, high volume: lower prices. As you say, cable companies are experimenting in telecom. CompuServe itself is participating with a cable company (some undisclosed location) in providing high speed access via a special interface box with RS232 connector. No modem, as such." Isaac Clevenger Moore sends up an SOS: "Help I'm new to compuserve, and can't seem to download anything. I'm using the Atari STe, a real cheap modem, and the VT52 Emulator from the language disk. When I try to download, I get as far as the pathname (A:/...), then the compu locksup. the cursor blinks but I can't write anything." Sysop Bill Aycock tells Isaac: "Welcome aboard! Your problem is that the VT52 emulator doesn't support any kind of file transfers. If you know of a local Atari user group, you may be able to get a copy of a good shareware terminal program that will download." Isaac tells Bill: "Thanks for a quick response. I'm really glad to know that the VT52 dosen't transfer files. (Iwas beginnig to get mad that I couldn't figure it out). I live in the charlotte area. Any additional help would be appreciated." On the subject of the possibility of Atari building a computer based on their kick-the-competition-in-the-butt video machine, the Jaguar, Dazzz Smith speaks his mind: "...nah forget it, wait 5 years for Atari to get a prototype Jag computer out...." Bill Devonshire replies to Dazzz: "...do you really think it would take them 5 years to put together a Jag based computer? The basic premise of the topic is to stop the constant obsolecensce of technology. The ST series is still a viable and useable technology. Typewriters still exist and they do much less than what an St can do. Hooking it up to a Jaguar benefits in both ways in that the Jag benefits from the Computer related functions and the ST from the higher powered hardware. It would be nice to run two monitors at the same time. One in 16 color and the other in 16 million colors. Look at Windows, we can run it in 256 color mode, but most people run it in 16 color for faster screen redraws. Although money is the key to putting an interface together the task itself is not so hard to achieve. The ST could remain as a cost effective computer front end for Atari's Jaguar as well as the Jag being a powerful upgrade for the ST user." Dazzz tells Bill: "No it wouldn't take 5 years to put together a Jag based computer, but my time scale was allowing at least 2 years of non computer work at Atari (Probably 3) before the Jag makes or breaks the company, and they even thought of getting back into computers, add in time for R&D and missed schedules and I reckon its a pretty good guess...." Having followed the trials and tribulations that Atari Corp has gone through over the past several years, I tend to agree with Dazzz. Meanwhile, Jody Golick asks: "Has anyone tried using an ST with Atari laser printer as a printer for a PC? I know I can transfer ASCII back and forth easily enough via floppy but I am trying to avoid re-formatting on the ST. And what if I want to print non-text? But I was wondering if there isn't perhaps a port-to-port method where the PC would think the ST was simply a printer. I would probably need to concoct the appropriate driver on the PC end, but what would the Atari be thinking? On the other hand, the laser printer would make a dandy anchor. Maybe I should just get a boat and forget the whole crazy idea..." Sysop Bob Retelle tells Jody: "That's not such a crazy idea... it's occurred to a lot of people ever since the SLM laser printers appeared... Unfortunately... There has to be something running on the ST that will take the input from the PC and send it to the SLM printer... and that's where the problem lies. Apparently the Diablo Emulator that comes with the SLM laser DOES have a limited ability to do exactly what you want to do... but... only if you want to print in Diablo emulation. Another idea, although it's not exactly a "plug and play" printer replacement like you had in mind, would be to print your files into PostScript, then transfer the files to the ST and use UltraScript or GhostScript to print them. What we need is someone to write a "printer emulator" for the ST, on a plug-in ST cartridge that would just take input from the ST's parallel port, build the page in the ST's memory, then send it out the DMA port to the printer... essentialy turning the ST/SLM combination into a "laser printer". (Then again, maybe your boat idea would be more likely to happen..." Jodi tells Bob: "I thought someone might suggest something like that. I don't really understand what PostScript is. But you imply it is compatible with GhostScript and UltraScript - and the SLM. Can graphics be printed too? If this solution could be made to work transparently it might come close to suiting my purposes. The main thing, for me, is not to have to spend hours and hours fiddling around just to get a decent printout. But why on a cartridge? I am no programmer, but it doesn't sound like a horribly complex piece of work, especially if it just sat quietly in memory and did its thing... Are there any Atari programmers left out there?" Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Jody: "UltraScript and GhostScript are PostScript clones. Of the two GhostScript is much better at being compatible with true PostScript also. PostScript is general purpose programming language like basic and C. It has a closer feel to Forth than the other languages. PostScript is also good at generating output and that is where it earned a very good reputation." Jody trys to pull all of this new information together: "Lemme see if I've got this straight. Word processing software on the PC can generate output - instead of to a printer - to a PostScript file which GhostScript can then print beautifully on the SLM804? Does it work with graphics as well as text? Have you or (anyone else) actually tried it? Is it relativey hassle free? I still think turning the ST/SLM combo into a "printer" is a more elegant solution to my problem. Would it be possible to write a program in GhostScript that would achieve this result?" Bob Retelle tells Jody: "You've essentially got it right... A wordprocessor or DTP program which has a Postscript output option can convert its output directly into a "Postscript file", which can be either sent directly to a printer, or saved on disk and processed indirectly (as we were discussing doing). As Albert mentioned, Postscript is an interpreted language which was developed specifically for this application (it's called a "page description language"). A Postscript output file is actually an ASCII text file.. you can literally read it, and even put it into an editor and edit its commands to tweak the output if you wanted to. Essentially the language tells the output device what the final page should look like by describing where all the different elements of the page, the type, the fonts, lines and graphics, and any other features, should be positioned, and how they should appear. Postscript was developed by Adobe, and licensed to various manufacturers so a printer could have the Postscript interpreter built in. Unfortunately this used to add a considerable amount to the cost, but in recent years Adobe has released the core of Postscript into the Public Domain. In the meantime, several "clones" of Postscript interpreters were developed, including Ultrascript on the Atari ST, which is a commercial product, and the Ghostscript project, which is a Public Domain effort by the GNU C folks... Using "Postscript" on an Atari ST with an SLM printer is a two-step process. (unfortunately not "transparent", as you were hoping for). First your application has to create the Postscript file on disk, then you run the interpreter, either Ultrascript or Ghostscript, which converts the Postscript commands to a page which can be sent to the SLM and finally printed. What you could do is to have your PC application print a Postscript file to a floppy and then have the ST print the file to the SLM using Ghostscript. (Unfortunately another "gotcha" is that many Postscript files, especially those with graphics embedded in them, are VERY large and might not fit on an ST disk even if compressed). Whew.. long story..! (Oh.. the reason I thought about having the "ST printer emulator" on a cartridge is that it wouldn't require any disk drives attached to the ST... you could just plug in the cartridge and the ST and SLM would act like a dedicated "laser printer"...)" Albert Dayes adds: "PostScript does not have text mode ... everything is graphics. A PostScript file is commands on how draw what every the object is. But you have the right idea of generating a PostScript file on any computer and printing it on an Atari via GhostScript. GhostScript v2.6.1 does have a driver for the SLM printer on the Atari so it should work okay. I only use GhostScript for viewing PostScript (PS) files not printing them since I have a real Adobe PostScript printer. GhostScript should work with almost everything but it is still a clone of PostScript (by Adobe ... not the real thing). Almost everything I have thrown at it generated on a PC or Atari seems to work without any problems at all. GhostScript requires fonts to generate the output correctly. You can use PC compatible fonts (Like *.pfb) files for those. If you are just using it mostly for graphics then fonts are probably not a big issue. There are some GhostScript fonts in the library as well if you don't have commercial fonts from Adobe's ATM for example. The version 2.6.1 is in the library and it is around 380K to download. It has an easy to use GEM interface with a command/console window and another window for the image itself (for screen display). Output can be re-directed to a printer like the SLM printer and other devices as well." From the Palmtop Forum ====================== Dirk Zeller posts: "I just ordered my portfolio today and Im excited to see there is a Portfolio-section here on compuserve. Since everything is absolutely new to me its hard to put suggestions, but I hope I can play an active roll in the future. btw, are there some other german members in this section?" George Rios asks Dirk: "Can I ask some questions? How much was it? where did you order it from? did you order any thing additional? (ie, Memory)" Dirk tells George: "Hi George, its not a brand new one, i got it from a friend.. i paid 200 DM, thats about 120 us$ for the port + 128KB memcard + serial bus. i think thats alright." David Martin posts: "My Portfolio quit working. I heard that Atari will replace it as a repair. Does anyone know how much they charge?" Sysop Marty Mankins tells David: "The charge to replace a broken Portfolio is $110. This will get you a brand new Port. It's worth it if you use the Portfolio all the time." On the subject of finding a source of ramcards for the Casio Z-7000 (or the Tandy Z-PDA), Peter Chin posts: "I've found a source of cheap 1MB SRAM card that can be used on the Zoomer. MacZone have around 15 of the Apple Newton 1MB storage cards still in stock for $42.98!!! plus $3.00 for overnight Airbourne shipping. I just got 2 of them and it works just fine, I even got the CIS for Geos transfer to it and the other one I'll use for backup. If anyone is interested, just call 1-800-248-0800 and ask for Mike, extension 3626. The catalog number is 97809 and for $43 + $3 you really can't go wrong." Master Sysop Ron Luks, reporting from the Summer Consumer Electronics Show, tells us: "Although CASIO was not on the CES/PCC show floor with their Z-7000 unit, I did manage to talk to some of the folks in that division and wanted to share the latest info with you. CASIO remains behind the Zoomer units, but they are currently pursuing vertical markets more aggressively than in the past. (Makes sense, because every pen manufacturer seems pointed in this direction). However, they have no plans to discontinue the horizontal marketing of the Zoomer. Contrary to statements made last January by top management, it doesnt look like there will be any new Zoomer hardware models out this year (1994). There are no plans in the works for a ROM upgrade ala the Newton at this time. There will be more software available (4th Qtr 94), some of which will be "very, very significant." (I was told what some of the offerings are, but cant talk about them under non-disclosure, but they do sound significant.) I talked about the performance of the Z-7000 (as compared to the Newton) and was told that the "horsepower" of the CPU wasnt the main stumbling block. I was told that it is possible to write much peppier software for the present software, even with the current ROMS, and that customers should be seeing this by the end of the year." Sysop Marty Mankins tells Ron: "Well, the news of no new Zoomers is not good news, but the new software that Casio says will be out later this year sounds interesting. And knowing your view on this market, I'd say these new apps are going to be killer ones, maybe even the kind that will sell the Zoomer." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Again, we didn't get to the Video Game Publishers' Forum. There's just so much information available that its hard to fit everything in each and every week. I know that you understand, but why not drop me a line and tell me what you think? My CompuServe address is 73637,2262 so let's hear from you. Be sure to tune in again next week and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING ____________________________________________ > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" """"""""""""""""""""" - New York City, NY DORFMAN CLOBBERS ATARI'S STOCK? ----------------- NEW YORK, June 28 (Reuter) - Money manager Martin Sass of MD Sass Investors has reinforced his short position on Atari Corp and sees the company possibly going bankrupt, Dan Dorfman reported on CNBC-TV. Dorfman quoted Sass as saying "Atari has no earnings, no way to make money, its old product line is obsolete, there is insufficient software, and the Jaguar Multimedia home entertainment system touted by Atari has failed." Sass expects Atari stock to become worthless, ..Dorfman said. Spokesmen at Atari were not available for comment. _________________________________ - Chicago, IL JAGUAR DEVELOPER PANS JAGUAR'S NEW GAMES! ----------- You want the scoop ? I was at CES and I'll throw my two cents worth out for public consuption. My opinions are not biased in this sense: 1 - I am a licensed Jag developer 2 - I have written 2 games for the Lynx 3 - I like the look of the Jag system hardware 4 - I think the world of Williams Electronics so here it goes.... TROY AIKMAN FOOTBALL It was showing a demo only. It was running slow ! It was similar to John Madden football in layout but graphically it didn't say much for the Jags capabilities. Double Dragon 5 ...who cares....enough said. AvP Slow but smooth graphics. What I played had a huge and boring endlessly large level. If you played as the marine you could walk backwards down a hall faster than anything could walk forward after you.( what's the deal ????) The predator weapons seamed pretty lame. If you played as the alien it crashed the game !!!! Not much animation to anything. If an alien and a predator were behind a door they could not open it and when in the same room they just stood around and didn't attack each other. What is all the hype about. DOOM I saw it running with no weapons and no monsters and it didn't run as smooth as I have seen it run on a good 386. Graphics weren't much different from the IBM version. Good but not special. Wolf 3D Looks and plays just like the IBM version. NO big deal. They should have redone the graphics. Kasumi Ninja and Ultra Vortex Both had fairly choppy animation and KN had way too much blood. Every time you hit your opponent it left a blood spot on the ground. They went overboard on the blood and it will likely backfire on them. I'm not saying I don't like blood, I have no problem with that, but every move shouldn't have it. Nothing spectacular. Wait and play MK II on Genesis or SNES it looks great. That's enough for now. I'll report more later this week. If you have requests just let me know. Don't hold your breath though... nothing looks that close to completion. Dave Dies Shadowsoft Inc. ____________________________ - San Francisco, CA JAY MINER DIES OF HEART FAILURE! ----------------- [From ] Gary Chow [MSG 50 OF 51] [To ] All [Has Reply 51] [Date ] Sun 26 Jun 94 13:18 [Subject ] Jay Miner Jay Miner passed away June 20, 1994, at the El Camino Hospital in MountainView. The actual cause of death was heart failure, but it was the result of kidney complications. A private memorial service will be held in early July. He'll be greatly missed and much remembered. David Czaya ...via AutoPilot 73445,407 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" "The Dan Quayle Follies!" """"""""""""""""" December 6, 1991 ---------------- Quayle says of John Sununu's departure from the White House: "THIS ISN'T A MAN WHO IS LEAVING.... ...WITH HIS HEAD BETWEEN HIS LEGS." Note: ...and Quayle wants to run for President?? """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > DEALER CLASSIFIED LIST STR InfoFile * Dealer Listings * """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" --------------- ABCO Incorporated ================= P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32221-6155 Est. 1985 1-904-783-3319 1994 SPRING SPECIALS NOW IN EFFECT! ------------------------ ABCO manufactures custom storage devices! INTEL 32 BIT 486/66, VLB w/Math CoProcessor 8MB ram upgradable to 64MB 1MB SVGA VESA VIDEO CARD Sound Blaster Compatible Stereo Sound Card DOS 6.2 - Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Included 256K CACHE - 1.44/1.2 FLOPPY Drives, Mouse & 101 deluxe Keyboard 340MB IDE hd - 2 SERIAL, 1 PARALLEL, 1 GAME PORTS 250W POWER SUPPLY TOWER SYSTEM 14" Non-Interlaced SVGA 1024x768, 28dpi Monitor 66Mhz, S&H Incl 1695.00 695.00 with order, balance COD other higher powered packages available or, design your own! Call for value added pricing! Call: 904-783-3319 Anytime, Voice Mail =====******===== Syquest Removable 44-105-270mb SCSI Drives All Size Platters Available Diamond Speed Star 24x SVGA/VGA Video Card w/1mbVRAM Diamond Stealth & Viper 1mb & 2mb - Call for prices Enhances Windows SPEED and EFFICIENCY Diamond High Performance Sound Cards Available Soundblaster Cards and compatibles 8 & 16 bit Creative Technologies' Sound Blaster AWE 32 SUPER Sound Card Pro Audio Spectrum STUDIO 16 - 16bit - Midi - Audio Recognition Top of the Media Vision PAS Line - True Multi-Media IDE Super IO cards & 16550 UART 2 & 4 Port Cards Call: 904-783-3319 Anytime, Voice Mail """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" COMPUTER STUDIO =============== WESTGATE SHOPPING CENTER 40 Westgate Parkway -Suite D Asheville, NC 28806 1-800-253-0201 Orders Only 1-704-251-0201 Information FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" EAST HARTFORD COMPUTER ====================== 202 Roberts St. East Hartford CT. 06108 1-203-528-4448 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" MEGABYTE COMPUTERS ================== 907 Mebourne Hurst, TX 76053 1-817-589-2950 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" SAN JOSE COMPUTER ================= 1278 Alma Court San Jose, CA. 95112 1-408-995-5080 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" CompuSeller West ================ 220-1/2 W. Main St. St. Charles, IL., 60174 Ph. (708) 513-5220 FULL LINE COMPUTER DEALER """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" (DEALERS; to be listed here FREE of Charge, please drop us a line.) """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport International Online Magazine -* [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport *- AVAILABLE ON OVER 20,001 PRIVATE BBS SYSTEMS """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR Online! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" July 01, 1994 Since 1987 copyright (c) 1987-94 All Rights Reserved No.1027 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International Online Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""