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Article #488 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 30-Sep-94 #1040 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson) Date: Tue Oct 11 17:33:39 1994 SILICON TIMES REPORT ==================== INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE ============================= from STR Electronic Publishing Inc. September 30, 1994 No. 1040 ====================================================================== 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 2400-115.2 bps V.32-34 v.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 ______________________________________________________________________ > 09/30/94 STR 1040 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """"""""""""""""" - STR INDUSTRY REPORT - QUARTERDECK NEWSWIRE - WILDCAT! 4.01 - PCMCIA Market Soars - BOCA OFFERS 28.8 - People Talking - FARGO SAMPLE OFFER - NEW Symantec Support - PC Wife - Geneva Review - Kid's Computing - JAGUAR NEWSWIRE! -* HP UNVIELS NEW LJ4V & MV *- -* STR now on Software Creations BBS *- -* Microsoft Buys Graphics Firms *- ========================================================================== 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 ========================================================================== SOFTWARE CREATIONS BBS is proud to distribute Silcon Times Report STReport International Online Magazine -------------------------------- With more than 130 Lines of PCBOARD access, Internet, Telnet and X.25 local access in every major city world-wide through SprintNet Software Creations delivers the files! -------------------------------------------------- Silicon Times Report joins names like Apogee Software, Borland, id Software, TriSoft, Interactive Gaming, PC Techniques, Coriolis, Fastgraph, PC Information Group, and many more. -------------------------------- Real-Time Credit Card Approval and Membership Upgrades The Software Download Store - for on the spot purchase/approval and download ability! -------------------------------- Call 1-800-4SWCBBS (479-2227); Fax 1-508-365-7214 for more information! ----------------------------------------------------- So, Get the latest releases from SOFTWARE CREATIONS BBS "Home of the Authors" * Software Creations, Voted #1 BBS for 1993 & 1994 * 1200/2400 V.42/MNP Lines : (508) 365-2359 2400-14.4k HST US Robotics Lines : (508) 368-7036 2400-16.8k V.32/V.42bis US Robotics lines : (508) 368-7139 14.4-28.8k V.32/V.42bis/V.fc Hayes Optima lines: (508) 365-9352 14.4-28.8k V.32/V.42bis/V.32terbo/V.fc US Robotics lines: (508) 368-3424 ======================================================================== 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!" """""""""""""""""""""" This is a day to remember. Thirty two years ago, today I said "I do". Also today, after all these years and four grown sons, I said "I don't". I signed the final papers today. It really gives one a reason to reflect on the last three decades. We all grew up in some very interesting times. From the bleeps of Sputnik to the refrains of Voyager, we've been there. Nowadays, we own the equivalent of a building's worth of computers all wrapped up in one tidy unit that's sitting on our desktops. Truly, our generation has seen more technological advancements that allege to benefit mankind than any other previous generation. One question continues to haunt me though, even with all our "smarts" why is there still starvation, depravation and crime plaguing man throughout the world? Oh well, maybe someone will be kind enough to send in an answer. This past week STReport received a Fargo Primera Pro Photo-Realistic printer. The output is amazing. Its better than anything we've seen to date. The color output is as good as any page in the expensive glossy magazines. Elsewhere in this issue, you'll find an offer for a free sample printout. Get a sample printout for yourself you'll be glad you did. After all if one were to pay attention to the cost of the color laser printers (7m and up) the SOHO world would remain colorless for a long time to come. The Fargo Primera Pro places super quality color output within everybody's comfortable reach. This new wares, both hardware and software continue to reach the marketplace in record numbers and I might add, at reasonable prices. This is the year the marketplace will begin the final shakeout of the "also- rans", short margin geniuses and niche market wonders. It will also mark the true beginning of the end of DOS as we all know it. Sure there'll DOS 7 or whatever, but the bottom line is the GUI is here to stay and getting better all the time. Of Special Note: ---------------- STReport will be branching out further to Internet's userbase in the very near future. We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addresses. As a result, we're putting together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wish to receive STReport on a regular basis, and we'll UUENCODE each issue and mail it to you. If you're interested in being added to our mailing list, please, send your requests to either "email@example.com" or, RMARIANO@DELPHI.COM. Look for mailings to begin by October first. We are also considering a number of Internet ftp sites in which to post our issues for as well. Whatever we can do to make STReport available to you. we'll try it! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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 Paul Guillot 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 STReport, with its policy of not accepting any paid advertising, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Staff & Editors """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STR INDUSTRY REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS """"""""""""""""""" IBM/POWER-PC/PC SECTION (I) =========================== Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #40 Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr. ******* General Computer News ******* ** Toshiba Signs Up PowerPC Chip ** To help increase market acceptance of the new PowerPC chip, IBM this week licensed the technology to Toshiba Corp. In a joint press confer- ence IBM said it will provide a license to Toshiba for the PowerPC architecture as well as for IBM's UNIX-based operating system. Toshiba officials said, "PowerPC will become one of Toshiba's primary RISC (reduced instruction set computer) architectures, and Toshiba will use PowerPC in the development of future computer systems to expand its RISC-based system business." The PowerPC chip was developed jointly by IBM, Motorola and Apple Computer in what is generally considered an effort to break the dominance of the Intel Corp. chip standard. ** Apple Unveils New Printers ** Apple Computer Inc. has introduced two new printers: one for home, education and small business users, the other for mixed-environment office workgroups. The $525 Color Stylewriter 2400 is being targeted at families, educa- tors and small businesses. The unit features 64 TrueType fonts, a cable, inks and integrated ColorSync software support that delivers color matching at a 360 dots- per-inch output resolution. For mixed-environment office workgroups, Apple has introduced the LaserWriter 16/600 PS, a networked PostScript laser printer. The unit provides a 600 dpi output resolution that's enhanced with FinePrint technology. It also includes optional support for PhotoGrade gray-scale image enhancement. The LaserWriter 16/600 PS can handle input from Macintosh, Power Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, DOS and UNIX computers. It has built-in support for AppleTalk, Novell NetWare, EtherTalk and TCP/IP Ethernet networks. An optional card offers send/receive fax capabilities. The LaserWriter 16/600 PS sells for $2,429. Both printers are available now. ** Apple Has Recycled Toner Unit ** Apple Computer Inc. is offering a remanufactured toner cartridge that's designed to offer optimum results with its EP-S-based LaserWriter II models and Hewlett-Packard's LaserJet II, IID, III and IIID printers. Apple says the remanufactured SX Toner Cartridge offers "an environ- mentally sensitive solution to the problem of cartridge packaging at a value conscious price." The cartridge is available through Apple's reseller channel for $76. For a limited time, Apple is offering a $5 rebate for every empty toner cartridge returned to the company. A postage-paid return credit mailer is included in every box. The price of a new toner cartridge remains at $95. ** Sony, AT&T Team on Communicator ** Sony Corp. is unveiling a new personal communicator called Magic Link that some analysts say may resuscitate the struggling market for hand- held computers. The Wall Street Journal wrote this week that Sony is set to begin shipping a 7.5 by 5.25- inch device, which weighs about 20 ounces and is designed to automate many of the chores of communicating by electronic mail, pager, phone or fax. According to the report "The most novel function of the $1,000 device is the ability to filter e-mail or find information on an online service network while the device is disconnected." Sony and AT&T aren't publicly predicting initial sales, but several computer-industry analysts said shipments could reach as much as 300,000 units from this week through the end of 1994, though others say that level of sales is unlikely. The Journal notes Apple sold 80,000 Newtons at lower prices in the first four or five months of introduction, but then faded badly. ** Microsoft Buys Graphics Firm ** Graphics software company Altamira Software Corp. has been purchased by Microsoft Corp. for an undisclosed amount of Microsoft stock. Altamira specializes in desktop color-imaging technology and applications. In a related deal, Microsoft also recently acquired SOFTIMAGE, Inc., adding its product line of 2-D and 3-D computer animation and visuali- zation software to Microsoft's growing base of multimedia products. ** Boca Launches 28.8K Fax Modem ** Boca Research Inc. has launched its new Bocamodem, its next genera- tion of high-speed data/fax modems. According to reports, the modem, to be available early next month at prices ranging from $199 to $249, can transfer data at speeds of 28,800 bits per second with maximum throughput of up to 115,200 bits per second. Boca says this is the highest standard speed available for file transfer applications over analog phone lines. ** PCMCIA Market Soars ** Dataquest forecasts that approximately 80% of the notebook computers shipped in the U.S. this year will contain PCMCIA slots, and nearly 100% of the notebooks shipped in 1996 will contain them. The market researcher notes that the influx of PCMCIA- capable mac- hines will spur growth in both the PCMCIA modem and PCMCIA network interface card markets. "Within the next five years, there will be tens of millions of devices on the market that include at least a single PCMCIA Type II expansion slot, which makes the aftermarket potential for PCMCIA modems and cards a tremendous opportunity," says Lisa Pelgrim, a Dataquest industry analyst. "Although portable devices are the initial drivers of the market, the PCMCIA standard will naturally spill over into the desktop market as users will want to use the applications on both their notebook and their desktop," she says. The market for PCMCIA modems in the U.S. will double this year and double again next year, according to Dataquest's forecast. In 1999, Dataquest expects more than 8 million of the PCMCIA standard modems to be shipped in the United States. ** HP Gets Chip for Interactive TV ** A decompression chip for Hewlett-Packard Co.'s set-top boxes for in- teractive TV will be developed by LSI Logic Corp. Reports say the LSI Logic's chip will decompress both video and audio signals, adding, "Such signals are compressed so that more can be sent through a cable or stored on a chip or disk." According to sources, Tele-Communications Inc., the largest cable op- erator in the United States, already has ordered 500,000 set-top boxes from HP and Comcast Corp., another large cable company, has ordered 150,000, though neither company has announced introductory dates for the advanced services. ** Atari, Williams Sign Games Pact ** More versions of Williams Entertainment's arcade games will be designed for Atari Corp.'s 64-bit Jaguar system. According to reports, the licensing agreement says Atari will use the Jaguar system's 64-bit power to create versions of games such as Joust, Defender and Robotron. "These new games would offer features such as first-person perspec- tives in a realistic, three-dimensional environment," sources say. "Atari then will market the games for its Jaguar system, while Williams will license the new versions to market them for high performance personal computers." The firms have taken earlier outings together. Right now they are promoting the Jaguar 64-bit system with Williams' Troy Aikman NFL Football. And Williams said it will publish a Jaguar version of its Double Dragon Five game, to be available in November. ** Davidson Ships Reading Blaster ** Davidson & Associates Inc. has announced Reading Blaster: Invasion of the Word Snatchers, a multimedia program that guides children ages 7 to 10 through the acquisition of early reading, vocabulary- building and thinking skills. The program is a new product in the software publisher's Blaster line, which includes Math Blaster and Alge-Blaster. Reading Blaster features Blasternaut -- the main character from the Math Blaster game -- and his crew. Children help Blasternaut and his friends complete five reading games so they can capture Illitera, the intergalactic thief who has stolen all of the words from Earth. Three- dimensional graphics, animation sequences, sound effects, digitized speech, music and text-to- speech technology are provided. Reading Blaster is immediately available in for approximately $40. Teachers' editions, lab packs and site licenses are available at suggested retail prices of $79.95, $179.95 and $699.95 respectively. ** Adobe has Power Mac 'Persuasion' ** Adobe Systems Inc. reports that it has begun shipping a native Power Macintosh version of Persuasion 3.0, its program for creating and managing slides, overheads and computer- based presentations. The publisher notes that the new version has been recompiled and optimized to run in native format for the Power Macintosh. Native applications are specifically written to take advantage of the RISC- based PowerPC microprocessor used by the Power Macintosh. Adobe states that Persuasion 3.0 for the Power Macintosh runs two to four times faster than its counterpart on 68000-based systems. Persuasion 3.0 for the Power Macintosh is currently available in the U.S. and Canada at a suggested list price of $495. Registered users of Persuasion 3.0 for the Macintosh can obtain an upgrade for $75. Registered users of Persuasion 2.12 or earlier can obtain an upgrade for $150. Upgrades are available directly from Adobe or Adobe dealers. ** Cyrix M1 Chip Ready by Year's End ** Cyrix Corp. said this week it will introduce its M1 Pentium-caliber computer chip by year's end and reach volume production by the end of 1995. Cyrix, long in a battle with industry leader Intel Corp., has begun making inroads into Intel's market territory. For instance, AST has announced it will be using Cyrix '486 chips in some of its computers. ** Citizen Makes Smallest Printer ** The smallest and lightest printer in the world is being claimed by Japan's Citizen Watch Co. Ltd. Reports on the new PN60 printer say it is about the size of a rolled newspaper and is claimed to offer the same print quality as an office laser printer, printing two pages a minute. Compatible with MS-DOS and Windows notebooks and Macintosh PowerBooks, the printer measures 10-by-1.8-by 2 inches and weighs one pound, three ounces. It can run off any voltage via its universal AC adaptor or by an external battery, which fully charged can print up to 50 sheets. Citizen officials said the company plans to produce 10,000 of the printers per month. The expected price is $500. ** Apple Unveils PCMCIA Module ** Apple Computer Inc. has introduced a PCMCIA Expansion Module for the recently announced PowerBook 500 notebook computer line. Apple's PCMCIA Expansion Module is a user-installable, wallet-sized case that fits into one of the two battery bays of any PowerBook 500. In Phase I, the module will accept the most popular data/fax modem and ATA storage cards. In Phase II, rolling out in early 1995, Apple plans to provide a kit for developers to create a host of other solutions. Apple says its implementation of PCMCIA follows industry- standard guidelines, and is designed to be compatible with most PC Cards designed for Windows and DOS-based computers. The PCMCIA Expansion Module is expected to be available through aut- horized Apple resellers worldwide in mid to late October. It will sell for $219. ** Commodore's Pa. Chip Works Sold ** The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York has approved sale of the Commodore International's chipmaking plant in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to a company led by a former Commodore engineer for about $5 million. President George Giansanti of GMT Microelectronics said his start-up firm plans to make various semiconductors for different computer firms, adding he hopes to employ more than 200 engineers and technicians at the 150,000-square-foot building within two years. Reports say the acquisition is not connected to the competition for Commodore's technology and computer business, which, as reported earlier is being conducted by the Supreme Court in the Bahamas, where Commodore International Ltd. was incorporated. Commodore filed for bankruptcy in May. ** Creative Tech Buys Modem Firm ** Creative Technology Ltd., known for its Sound Blaster sound systems, says it will acquire Digicom Systems Inc. for $21.8 million in cash. Sources say Creative will integrate telephony capabilities into its future Sound Blaster products. DSI makes modem add-in boards and related products for the consumer and high-end markets. Creative said the acquisition will be financed by internal cash resources and is not expected to have a material impact on the company's earnings for the year ending June 30. ** Aussies Say 'Theft' Not 'Piracy' ** Software publishers in Australia are dropping the term "piracy" from their copyright campaign, saying research indicates the term has "a swashbuckling, glamorized image." "We are calling illegal copying of software what it is: theft," Chairman Jim MacNamara of the Business Software Association of Australia said. As part of its new campaign, the BSAA has announced rewards of $2,500 for information leading to successful action against software thieves. "In the past 12 months, the BSAA reward scheme has led to five of the legal actions taken by the association," said MacNamara, who added all the cases brought by the BSAA over the past year had resulted in substantial out-of-court settlements, "in some cases in six figures." In Australia, callers can reach the BSAA toll-free hotline by dialing 008-021-143. ** Prodigy Prodded to Internet ** To catch up with competitors, the Prodigy online service has announced it too will offer users access to the newsgroups of Internet. CompuServe and America Online both implemented similar links to the global network earlier this year. The Wall Street Journal reports Prodigy also will sell information services through the Internet and is rolling out services catering to small business, including financial databases from Dun & Bradstreet Corp., selected business articles from Mead Data Central databases and a personal news clipping service from Individual Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The IBM/Sears online service apparently still trails in the online services market. "Currently," says the Dow Jones News service, "CompuServe has a 47% share of the burgeoning online market, according to SCTT Interactive Inc., a Lake Forest, Illinois, market research firm. But unlike rivals, which have at least doubled their subscriber numbers in the past year, Prodigy has shown only about 14% growth." ** BS Sysop Faces Copyright Charge ** As predicted, a federal indictment for alleged software copyright violations has come down against the operator of the international Davey Jones Locker computer bulletin board system. Authorities have said the case against Richard D. Kenadek is one of the first such prosecutions in the computer world. Kenadek was arrested after the FBI raided his home. He was charged with conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. He also has been sued by the Software Publishers Association trade group, which cooperated with federal authorities in the investigation. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N FARGO PRIMERA PRO COLOR PRINTERS - 600DPI For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates FARGO Primera & Primera Pro SUPERIOR QUALITY 600dpi 24 bit Photo Realistic Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's Fargo Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, this has GOT to be the best yet. Is far superior to the newest of Color Laser Printers selling for more than three times as much as the FARGO Primera Pro. Its said that ONE PICTURE is worth a THOUSAND WORDS. Send for this sample now. Guaranteed you will be amazed at the superb quality. (please, allow at least a one week turn-around) A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N -- A T T E N T I O N """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Frankie's Corner STR FOCUS! """"""""""""""""""""""""""" The Kids' Computing Corner ========================== by Frank Sereno I have to apologize because I will not be writing a major review this week due to time constraints. In upcoming weeks you can look forward to in-depth reviews of "What Do You Do at Home," "Thinkin' Things Collection 2", "Phonics 123" and "Talking Teacher." I also hope to review several new titles from Western Publishing. Knowledge Adventure is promoting a new program, "Magic Theatre." This program is available on both floppy disks and CD-roms for IBM compatible computers. Magic Theatre allows children to use various sets and characters to create their own movies by linking multiple screens together. Painting tools allow children to create their own original sets and characters or they can choose from those which are included with "Magic Theatre." Controls are similar to those on a VCR and have audible help to aid children in designing their movies. Children can add their own narration and sound track with the included microphone. To publicize the release of "Magic Theatre," Knowledge Adventure is sponsoring a movie contest. Entries must be created with "Magic Theatre" and be one to three minutes in length. Three age groups split constestants into ages six and under, seven to ten and eleven to fourteen. Each age group then has at least three different categories of movies from which to choose. The entries will be judged by "real Hollywood filmmakers" and prizes range from Knowledge Adventure computer software to video cameras to a trip for a family of four to Hollywood. You can contact Knowledge Adventure at 1-800-542-4240 or at: Knowledge Adventure, Inc. 4502 Dyer Street La Crescenta, CA 91214 Edmark Announces "Thinkin'Things Collection 2" Edmark Corporation has announced the introduction of "Thinkin' Things Collection 2," the second in a new series of education software designed to build kids' thinking skills. Available for both Windows/MS-DOS and Macintosh computers, "Thinkin' Things Collection 2" was designed to build problem-solving, visual thinking and memory skills of kids ages six to twelve. "Thinkin' Things Collection 2" will be released in mid-October and will be available at major software retailers and through software catalogs for approximately $42. Effective October 15, Edmark will offer KidDesk, the company's highly acclaimed children's menuing and desk accessory program, free to buyers of these Edmark Macintosh and Windows/MS-DOS software titles: "Bailey's Book House," "Millie's Math House," "Sammy's Science House," "Thinkin' Things Collection 1" and "Thinkin' Things Collection 2." For more information, contact Edmark Customer Service at 206-556-8484. Animated Bugs "Animated Bugs" is a shareware board game for young children from Flix Productions. This game features VGA graphics, digitized audio and many humorous animations of bugs which look like ladybugs. This review is on the unregistered version. The game is played with two players, one red and one blue. The players can be any combination of human and computer opponents. The game board features squares marked with A's which will reward the child with an animation. Squares marked with question marks can result in a move forward or backward on the game board. Players can choose between games based on moving their bug to specific colors or geometric shapes as determined by a spinner. A third option is using a number spinner and then moving that number of squares. Installation and setup are quite easy. Gameplay is very simple and all interactions require only a single keypress or mouse click. On-line help is available by pressing the F1 key. Audible help is not included but help is available as three pages of text. The program does give audible instruction at times during gameplay, for example: "Spin to see who goes first." I would advise that a parent or older child assists younger children for the first attempts at playing the game. This is a fun game and I think most children will enjoy it. I believe it could be more educational if numbers were counted up or down aloud while the player moves his bugs in the number game. Perhaps the shape could be announced when playing the geometric shape game and the colors could be announced in the color game. This would be monotonous if announced when the bug lands on each block. My thought is that the shape or color would be announced when the spinner stops on it and then again when the player moves his bug to the correct block. The unregistered version comes with five backgrounds but the shape of the gameboard never changes. Registration is $12 and that version has 20 backgrounds and twice the animations. The author will also personalize the game for your child. This price is quite reasonable. The evaluation version of Animated Bugs is available through many fine bulletin boards around the world via the SDN International (sm) Author-Direct Distribution network. Support and file areas for Flix Productions are available on the Connect America BBS at 512-258-0571. Eleven educational shareware programs are available from this author. If you wish, you may contact him directly at: Tom Guthrey IV 601 Ranch Road DelValle, TX 78617 Several weeks have passed since I updated and listed software review scores from this column. STR and The Kids' Computing Corner Educational Software Ratings Title Software Publisher Rating Alphabet Blocks Sierra 9.67 Beginning Reading Sierra 9.67 A.J.'s World of Discovery Sierra 9.16 Early Math Sierra 9.09 Busytown Paramount Interactive 9.00 Thinkin' Things Collection 1 Edmark 8.83 The Tortoise and the Hare Broderbund 8.75 The Greatest Paper Airplanes KittyHawk 8.70 EcoQuest Sierra 8.58 Crayola Amazing Art Adventure MicroGrafx 8.50 Just Grandma and Me Broderbund 8.41 Millie's Math House Edmark 8.41 Bug Adventure Knowledge Adventure 8.25 Gus Goes to Cybertown Modern Media Ventures 7.83 Mario's Fun with Numbers Software Toolworks 7.75 Lenny's MusicToons Paramount Interactive 7.17 Math Rabbit The Learning Company 7.17 Mixed-up Mother Goose Sierra 7.08 Word Tales Time-Warner Interactive 7.00 Snoopy's Game Club Accolade 6.83 Yearn 2 Learn Peanuts ImageSmith 6.50 Fatty Bear's Fun Pack Humongous Entertainment 5.25 These ratings are an average of scores for graphics, sound, user interface, play value, educational value and bang for the buck. Readers are invited to send comments, program ratings or suggestions to the following addresses: FidoNET: Frank Sereno, 1:2235/10 Internet: Frank.Sereno@uti.com U.S. Mail: Frank Sereno 528 West Ave. Morris, IL 60450-1768 _________________________________________ > WILDCAT! 4.01 STR Spotlight MUSTANG CONTINUES GREAT SUPPORT! """"""""""""""""""""""""""" WILDCAT! 4.01 UPDATE FROM MUSTANG SOFTWARE Mustang Software, Inc. is happy to announce that the first minor update to Wildcat! 4 is being prepared for release. Version 4.01 is in late development and is scheduled for release in October of 1994. The program will be made available to all purchasers of Wildcat! 4.00 who either purchased directly from MSI or whose registration card is on file on the release date. It will be a free upgrade and will be mailed to all users. It will not be available for download. The following list of additional features, changes and fixes is published at this time: New Features - Added the ability to run wcPACK while the system is operational and taking calls. - Added the ability for Wildcat! to look for .WCX files BEFORE running .BAT files such as THMBNAIL.BAT or LOGON1.BAT etc etc. This also applies to all doors and menu hooks. It allows substitution of .WCX code for every system batch file. - Wildcat! now creates dynamic clickable RIP menus if custom RIP menus are not found. In this case Wildcat! will first display a background file with the same name as the current menu with the extension .RMB instead of .RIP. For instance, if your menu is MAIN.RIP the program will look for MAIN.RMB to display as the background, it also uses the menu extension the same way as the regular menus. - Added new RIP settings in the new Makewild. You can once again turn rip completely off. - Added a /R command line option that allows you to run WCX files directly from the command line, the format is as follows: /R PROGRAM.WCX [PARAMETERS] - Added a /U command line option that allows you to login with a username and password. - Added a new wcCODE file called PRELOG.WCX that runs just BEFORE the user is asked for a name and password. - Wildcat! now logs the Caller ID Number for illegal logon attempts, for password and for birthdate and phone information. - Changed the way Wildcat! deals with batch files that are run as events. If you do not specify a path to your batch file, Wildcat! will look in the Batch directory for the file, if you do specify a path then it is picked there and run. - Added the ability to change the WILDCAT! MAIL ROOM text by placing it in the prompt file, one word of caution though: if you change it you will invalidate some message because Wildcatlooks for that text when handling wcMAIL messages. - Added a new @ code called @FAX@ that displays the users fax number. - Added a new drop file for internet email called INETENTR.BAT, this works EXACTLY the same way that FIDOENTR.BAT works except for the name. - Added a new environment variable called WCPROMPT, its the path where you want Wildcat! to look for the WILDCAT.PRM and WILDCAT.MNU files. So for example SET WCPROMPT=D:\LANGUAGE will make Wildcat! look on device D for the prompt and menu files, this allows you to place them in a RAM drive. - Added a feature so that when you are listing files and the user presses 'D' to download and they are asked for a filename they can type in the file number and it will be added to the list. - Changed the login routines so that you now use a comma to separate names and passwords. Changes ------- There are several program fixes that we view as significant. In addition there are many less important changes relating to minor anomalies and cosmetic operation that are listed as well. The main operational problems that were addressed include: - Fixed the upgrade program in several areas to ensure the best conversion - Fixed a problem with changing secondary access in doors. - Fixed a problem with secondary accesses being lost on the return from a door under some situations. - Fixed a problem with Wildcat! leaving the BadNames file open in certain cases. - Fixed the long info on a file so that if the system cannot find the uploader it does not offer the [W]rite option. - Fixed the problem with uploads losing memory during FILEDESC.BAT processing. - Fixed the update conference routine so that it is as fast as possible, it is at least 20 times faster than it was before. - Fixed a problem with uploading duplicate files and using the allow dupes setting. - Fixed the problem with new users logging in with a different language and Wildcat! not keeping the language through the newuser login. - Fixed a problem with users being able to select internal protocols when they did not have access. - Fixed a problem that sometimes allowed users incorrect access to conferences. The following represents the balance of the changes made, and includes reference to even the most insignificant items: - Fixed the help, menu and disp display routines to look for a .RIP file when in RIP mode, if one is not found then it displays a POSTRIP.RIP. - Fixed the Bulletin counting routines so that if nothing exists in the current language directory it defaults back out to the root to count bulletins. - Fixed the problem with Wildcat! not clearing a RIP screen when the user changes from RIP to another emulation during a call. - Fixed the bulletins & newsletter so that if you're in a language it will look for new files in the respective directories. - Fixed the your settings menu so that when you go from RIP to ansi or mono it first clears the rip screen. - Fixed a problem with searching for user names in the sys/user that would display the name twice. - Fixed the sysop status screen so it no longer attempts to determine the size of a CD-Rom that is in the drive table in makewild. - Fixed the /b command so that it no longer throws a 103 when given a bad baud rate. - Fixed the k-ratios so that they work correctly. - Fixed a problem with the Sysop being out of time and the system making him go back through the login procedure when he hits F1. - Fixed a problem with logging in with another users name when using the /n option for Novell. - Fixed the newsletter so that if you are in rip and it does not exist the system will display a POSTRIP.RIP - Fixed the bulletins so that if you are in rip and it does not exist the system will display a POSTRIP.RIP - Fixed the problem with some messages causing the header to scroll by one line off the top. - Fixed the full file listing to deal with long descriptions. Wildcat! will always try to get two files on the screen at one time, unless one has a description that will prevent it being shown fully. - Fixed problem with listing files in full detail were you could select a third file even though it was not on the screen. - Fixed the problem with msg attachments being marked and then being lost when the user exited to a door. - Fixed the problem with wcCODE events causing POSTCALL.BAT to run after the event was finished. - Fixed sysop chat so that it always shows the sysops name when chatting, instead of showing the alias when the user was in an alias conference. - Fixed the upload K Ratios so that they work correctly now. also added a KRATIO.BBS file. - Fixed the sysop window to deal with mono systems, it no longer displays color when in mono mode. - Fixed a problem with listing conferences for a user in the sys/user menu that would not show a conference the user was locked out of. - Fixed a problem when you uploaded a duplicate file, Wildcat! would not delete to old file (this is true for local uploads only) - Fixed problem with uploading duplicate files locally where it would keep the stored path for the new file. - Fixed the problem with languages at login using the wrong menu file. - Fixed Wildcat! so that when a program passes the connect rate to Wildcat! it stores the connect rate in the string used by wccode and the @ connect command. - Fixed problem with users being able to request offline files regardless of their settings. - Changed Prompts 1281 and 1282 to reflect new offline request changes. - Fixed problem with marking a set of files locally and then going to the download screen and hitting ALT - and the system crashing. - Fixed problem with the @PAUSE command not allowing Previous if it was the last prompt in the file. - Fixed the msg/sys/user editor, it now goes to the next and previous user when coming from the sysop message menu. - Fixed the sys/file/editor, if the uploader is not real it will not let you go into the user editor. - Fixed the problem with certain @ code combinations causing some of the screens to be shifted incorrectly. - Fixed the problem with @ codes messing up the line editor. - Fixed the problem with input prompts being full and then hitting CTRL-Y or delete and having it delete the whole line. - Fixed the problem with questionnaires not counting the correct number of ques files when using a language. - Fixed the problem with bulletins not counting the correct number of bulls when using a language. - Fixed comment to sysop so that when called from wcCODE you can specify whether to prompt the user or not. - Wildcat! now reads back in the drop files for a wccode app when calling SHELL from within wcCODE. - Fixed wcCODE events so that they can no longer "Time Out". - Fixed a problem with wcCODE apps calling doors directly and getting the wrong doors. - Fixed the listing file access so that in order to view or list a filearea you have to have List access, v4.0 would use download or list access. - Changed the way door and menu files operate, Wildcat! now copies in a DOOR.BAT file for batch files instead of using the batch filename as it was doing before, this means that terminate on shell users do not have to change their scripts. - DOOR.SYS now sends the password, encoded or not. - Fixed a problem with forcing a conference in the message search and the user is in the same conference. - Changed the sys/file Xfer and #13 so that if you are moving a file that has a matching stored path and the file is successfully moved Wildcat will update the stored path as well. - Fixed the problem with questionnaires using / instead of << to import files as the manual states, it now uses <<. - Fixed a problem with certain file descriptions causing the file listings to add a blank line. - Fixed problem with Wildcat! reporting the wrong error code for bad or missing FILEAREA.UX files. - Fixed the problem with direct downloads not honoring the ? wildcard. - Fixed the problem with setting the scrollback buffer below 3. WcMail 4.01 ----------- - Fixed tagging problem when downloading net-status packets. - Fixed problem with yes/no characters when using languages other than English. - Now only updates last-new-files date after a successful download. - Network sysops will now properly get attachments. - Now updates last-read pointer when downloading personal only mail (even though it is not necessary). - Now properly handles Daily Download and Daily KByte set to 0 when processing file requests. - When selecting a particular conference number, the conference list display will be updated to show the conference just changed. - Now properly shows autologoff status when uploading a REP packet. - Fixed problem with adjusting a user's time within the door. - The version reported with @VER@ is now just '4.01' without 'MP'. - Fixed problem with accepting some messages longer than 150 lines. - Dupe checking no longer includes taglines in the message body. This will eliminate many of the dupes - Fixed infinite loop problem with long file descriptions. MakeMenu 4.01 ------------- New Features - MakeMenu will now let you print from the menu tree picklist. - MakeMenu can now edit up to 65520 lines in the Menu Tree. This means you could conceivably have 65520 menus defined. - MakeMenu has a new option 'F7' on the menu tree screen. This new option allows one to insert a default menu system over the current menu system. This new menu system is the same as the one on the production diskettes. Fixes - Added the @INCHAT@ variable to the Test Menu mode. - Added support for language directories in the bulletin/questionnaire/ display/help file paths. - MakeMenu is now overlaid. The reason for this is simply memory requirements. MakeMenu utilized much more memory than it should have if you had a fairly complex system. - MakeMenu will no longer do strange things in the test mode if you have a command to display text file and it doesn't have any parameters. - MakeMenu will let you edit up to 40 characters for the text file name in the display text file command. - Under display text file, you can include a full path and filename. WcRepair 4.01 ------------- Fixes - Fixed a bug related to having 18 or 19 conferences defined in makewild. - Fixed a bug related to the doors in use flag. WcFax 4.01 ---------- New Features - Faxserve will not try to send a message to a userid of 0. If you write a program that adds faxes & you don't want FAXSERVE to report the status to anyone, you can do so by making the Users Id in the FAX record = 0. Fixes - Fixed bug for international users of wcFAX. It would not properly check and add a number to the database in international mode. WcPro 4.01 ---------- New Features - Added 'passwords' to the users listing screen. But, this is only available when you have encoded passwords turned off. - Added the following fields to the users listings screen: Field Name DBF Field Name ---------------------- ---------------- Days since first call DAYSFIRST Days since last call DAYSLAST Days until expire UNTILXPIRE Days until memo UNTILMEMO - Added 64K message editor. - wcPRO will now copy files with the Alt-K command in the files browser that are marked. 4.00 only copied the current file. - wcPRO would not let you override the PKZIP/LHA etc unpackers with the external viewers options. It does now. - Added the crashmail flag to the users change screen. - Added logging of what Wildcat! detects as the users screen display. This is displayed on the sysop statistics screen. - Added skip lists into wcPRO. This will allow you to be able to choose bulletins and questionnaires which should not be displayed in the statistics screens. The way you do this is to use the bullname.txt file and make an entry for the offending bulletin, but you leave out the description. For example 0,1,This is Bull1 Conf1 0,2,Bulletin 2 is here 0,3 So, conference 0 bulletin #3 will not be displayed in the statistics output. This is also like the questionnaires... 0,1,Ques1 0,2,Ques2 0,3 So questionnaire 3 is left out. - wcPRO will now break the listing of bulletins and questionnaires by listings of 16 with a new page. Fixes - All of the numeric fields generated in the dbf files will now be right justified rather than left justified. - The Have mail waiting flag in the users match screen will not work. This flag is no longer valid in Wildcat, and has been removed in 4.01. - Fixed a bug in the questionnaire processing code. This one has to do with reading/writing the history from previous sessions. - Fixed a bug in the questionnaire processing code, if you were to abort processing midstream. - Fixed a bug with deleting files on disk. It would try to update the record to show the file is offline, but was unsuccessful. This is now fixed. If you delete files on disk, wcPRO will update the record in the database to reflect 'off line' status. - If you had marked files within the file browser, wcPRO would delete the files on disk, but it would not delete them if they were pointed to by a stored path. - When wcPRO deletes a file it wouldn't terminate the line in the log file on Test runs with CR/LF. Fixed - Fixed wcPRO so that it would read the prostat.his file from within the wcpro directory in the Setup options. This was a bug. Also fixed the reading of the statistics configuration file. If you didn't specify the full path, wcPRO would not find it, even if it were in the wcpro directory. - Fixed a bug with respect to doing command line operations on the Users database. This bug represented itself in operations that required it to use a filter outside of a key based filter. - Fixed the node 0/autonode problem. Customer experienced error 100 if autonode is turned on and they set wcnodeid to 0. - When displaying secondary security profiles in the Users Browser, the picklist was expanded by one. - Fixed the moving of files that are marked as offline or OnCD. It will now not attempt to move the physical file. It will notify you though that it can't move those files. - wcPRO will now zero out the following User fields in a change operation, all change variables would be zeroed out to accomplish this: Subscription balance (wcPRO's Account Balance) NetMail Balance (same) Expiration Date (same) Memo Date (same) - Customer reported a 204 error that was traced down to the erase status line procedure. Added logging and removed the possibility of a 204 error. WcGate 4.01 ----------- New Features - Added search functionality for most or all of the picklists in MakeGate. - Added full auto response support. It will log the activity of what file to who. It'll also report the info on the screen in yellow text to make it look different than the rest of the tossing. firstname.lastname@example.org and so on is an example of Auto Response. - Added support for a 'secondary' domain name that should be tossed into wcGATE as if it were your primary domain name. Very useful for new systems. - Added return receipts to wcGATE UUCP. If you specify you wish a return receipt, wcGATE will place a line in the header of the outgoing Internet mail message that is compliant with the return-receipt-to: that is supported by most mailers. ON import, wcGate will then mark the message as needing a return receipt and when the user reads this message, Wildcat! will generate a return receipt message. wcGATE should then send the return receipt back to the original sender of the message. - Added news request services to wcGATE. Similar to Holonews in that your downline UUCP nodes send a message to a specific address at your system which will add or delete newsgroups from their configuration without your needing to do so manually. The keywords supported by this are: simple (each newsgroup is on a separate line and can be stopped by '.' on a line by itself/ Clears current list and sets save mode) clear (clears all subscriptions for the current host) listall (lists all the newsgroups that are available to downline nodes) listcurrent (lists all the newsgroups selected for this (host) u
(unsubscribe this newsgroup) s (subscribe to this newsgroup) version (current version of the GateNews implementation always 4.01) '.' (while in simple mode turns off simple mode. If in command mode GateNews stops processing this message. All that follows is ignored). documentation (Sends a file called 'gatenews.doc' from within the gateway directory). save (Will save all changes after completion/ Simple mode forces save mode). The HoloNews protocol is licensed from IAT Holonet, and is being used with permission. - Sped up the compress/decompress routines by 2 to 3 times. Fixes - Fixed a bug in the UUCP UUDecoding procedure. This problem would only be shown if the end of the UUENCODED file was in the very last line of the message, otherwise it worked fine. - Fixed a bug in the MHS Import routines that would put wcGATE into a loop if it had translations that didn't comply with the current MHS function it was currently working on. - Fixed the translations on MHS Email exporting. - Fixed a bug where wcGATE would create bounce/unknown domain/duplicate users messages but would not toss them out. - Fixed a bug where wcGate was having trouble processing some X/D files. - Fixed a bug with respect to file attachments on MHS Mail. - Fixed a grammatical error in the wildcat! mail room message that states that you have entered incorrect information in the header. - Fixed wcECHO not recognizing duplicate users being turned on. - Fixed the problem with messages from other groups being appended to the current message. - Fixed translations on UUCP Export. - Fixed attachments problem within wcGATE/wcECHO qwk mail. It would attach a file, even when the conference didn't permit it. - Fixed the lack of deleting of original files when exporting to another domain. - Fixed a translate bug in uucp import. - Fixed a bug with copying attachments from the attach directory. Mustang Software, Inc. is happy to announce that the first minor update to wcCODE v4 is being prepared for release. Version 4.01 is in late development and is scheduled for release in October of 1994. The program will be made available to all purchasers of wcCODE 4.00 who either purchased directly from MSI or whose registration card is on file on the release date. It will be a free upgrade and will be mailed to all users. It will not be available for download. The following list of additional features, changes and fixes is published at this time: New features ------------ - C++ style // comments are now supported - Added BOOLEAN (8 bit signed) and WORD (16 bit unsigned) data types - The ACTIVECONF field in the user record is now available. Assigning a value to User.ActiveConf is equivalent to calling Join. - The BYVAL keyword can be used in front of a function argument in its declaration to force call-by-value semantics. New functions ------------- ABORTWCMSGHDRFILE(fn as string) - This statement is for use in FIDOENTR.WCC or INETENTR.WCC. It erases the file specified by fn (no path is allowed, the file is always erased from the node work directory). ADDMARKFILE(fn as string, area as word) as boolean - This function adds the file "fn" to the user's mark list. The file must exist in the file database. If there is more than one file by the name "fn" in the file database, the area must be specified, otherwise it is optional. This function returns True if the file was successfully added to tha mark list. ADDMARKFILEDIRECT(fn as string) as boolean - This function adds the file "fn" to the user's mark list. The file does not have to exist in the file database but a full path should be specified to the file. This function returns True if the file was successfully added to the mark list. DATESTRINGTODATE(mask as string, s as string, d as date) - This statement converts a date in string format into a Date variable based on a mask. For example, DateStringToDate("mm/dd/yy", "09/15/70", d) will cause d to contain the date value for September 15, 1970. DELETEFILE(fn as string, area as integer, disktoo as boolean) as boolean - This function removes the file named "fn" in area "area" from the file database. The "disktoo" parameter indicates whether or not the file will be removed from disk as well as from the database. This function returns True if the file was successfully removed. DELETEUSER(userid as long) as boolean - This function deletes a user from the user database by user id number. This function returns True if the user is successfully deleted. DISPLAYMENU(fn as string) - This statement displays a menu display file from the menu display file directory. For example, DisplayMenu("MSG") might display MSG5.BBS based on the user's security level and current display mode. DMYTODATE(day as integer, month as integer, year as integer, d as date) - This statement converts a date in day/month/year format to a Wildcat Date type variable. EDITFILE(fn as string, maxlines as integer, title as string) as boolean - This function brings up the Wildcat! full-screen editor to edit the file "fn". If "maxlines" is specified, the number of lines in the file is limited to "maxlines". If it is omitted the number of lines is limited to 150. The "title" is displayed at the top of the screen during editing the file. This function returns True if the user selects [S]ave at the edit message prompt. EDITMESSAGE(msg as messageheader, fn as string, maxlines as integer) as boolean - This function is similar to EDITFILE, except that it takes a message header in addition to the file name and maximum number of lines. The message header should already be filled in with valid information when this function is called. This function returns True if the user selects [S]ave at the edit message prompt. FASTLOGONCHAR as string - This function returns the fast logon character, if any, used at logon. FLAGCLEAR(flag as integer/long, value as integer/long) - This function clears the flag specified by "value" in the "flag" variable. FLAGISSET(flag as integer/long, value as integer/long) - This function tests the "flag" variable for the flag specified by "value". It returns True if the flag is set, or False if it is not set. FLAGSET(flag as integer/long, value as integer/long) - This function sets the flag specified by "value" in the "flag" variable. FORMATNUMBER(n as long/real, mask as string) as string - This function formats a number according to a mask specification. The FormatNumber function offers advanced numeric formatting especially applicable to financial reports. The mask parameter is a string that can contain any combination of normal characters as well as a sequence of the special characters # * @ $ - + , . This sequence is called a numeric field, and FormatNumber replaces it with a formatted version of the number. The number is returned right-justified within the field, decimals are returned rounded if they exceed the number of decimals specified by the format, and if the number is too large to be returned in the field, all digit positions are filled with asterisks. The special characters represent: # A digit position. If the numeric field contains no * or @ characters, unused digits are returned as blanks. If the numeric field contains no sign positions (+ or - characters) and the number is negative, a floating minus is returned in front of the number. Examples: FormatNumber(34.567, "####") returns " 35" FormatNumber(-12.3, "####.##") returns " -12.30" FormatNumber(1000.0, "##.##") returns "**.**" * A digit position. Unused positions are returned as asterisks instead of blanks. The * character needs to occur only once in the numeric field to activate this effect. The sign of the number is not returned unless the field also contains a sign character (- or +). Examples: FormatNumber(4.567, "*##.##") returns "**4.57" FormatNumber(123, "****") returns "*123" @ A digit position. Unused positions are returned as zeros instead of blanks. The @ character needs to occur only once in the numeric field to activate this effect. The sign of the number is not returned unless the field also contains a sign character (- or +). Examples: FormatNumber(9, "@##") returns "009" FormatNumber(12.3, "@@@.@@") returns "012.30" $ A digit position. A floating dollar sign is returned in front of the number. The $ character needs to occur only once in the numeric field to activate this effect. Examples: FormatNumber(123.45, "$####.##") returns " $123.45" FormatNumber(12.34, "*$####.##") returns "***$12.34" - A sign position. If the number is negative, a minus sign is returned in that position. If it is positive, a blank is returned. Examples: FormatNumber(-1.2, "-###.##") returns "- 1.20" FormatNumber(1.2, "-###.##") returns " 1.20" + A sign position. If the number is positive, a plus is returned in that position. If it is negative, a minus is returned. Examples: FormatNumber(1.2, "+###.##") returns "+ 1.20" FormatNumber(-12.34, "*$####.##+") returns "***$12.34-" , A decimal comma or a separator comma. . A decimal period or a separator period. The last period or comma in the numeric field is considered the decimal delimiter. Examples: FormatNumber(123456.78, "##,###,###.##") returns " 123,456.78" FormatNumber(-12345.6, "$#.###.###,##") returns " -$12.345,60" Note: The most frequently asked question about FormatNumber concerns cases like this: print FormatNumber(1000.0, "###,###,###") What many users expect is " 1,000". What they get is " 1,000,000". This is not a bug. When using real numbers, FormatNumber treats the last period or comma in the mask as marking the decimal point, allowing FormatNumber to be used in countries that use commas in places where Americans use periods. To get the expected result, you would need to add a final decimal point to the mask ("###,###,###.") and then remove it from the string returned by FormatNumber. This does not happen when using FormatNumber to format integers. GETFIRSTFILE(f as filerecord, key as integer) as boolean - This function gets the first file in the database based on the key number specified in "key". The key numbers are as follows: 1 = Sorted by file area, then name 2 = Sorted by file name, then area 3 = Sorted by file area, then date 4 = Sorted by file uploader name/id If the key is omitted, the default key is 2. This function returns True if the file record was successfully obtained. GETFIRSTMESSAGE(msg as messageheader) as boolean - This function gets the first message in the current conference. The return value is True if the message header was successfully obtained. GETFIRSTUNREAD(conf as integer) as integer - This function reads the user's first-unread message number for the conference specified by "conf". GETFIRSTUSER(u as userrecord, key as integer) as boolean - This function gets the first user in the database based on the key number specified in "key". The key numbers are as follows: 1 = Sorted by user name (last name first) 2 = Sorted by security level, then name 3 = Sorted by expiration date, then name 4 = Sorted by alias 5 = Sorted by user id 6 = Sorted by real name (first name then last name) If the key is omitted, the default key is 1. This function returns True if the user record was successfully obtained. GETHIGHMESSAGE as integer - This function returns the highest message number in the current conference. GETLASTFILE(f as filerecord, key as integer) as boolean - This function gets the last file in the database based on the key number specified in "key" (see GETFIRSTFILE for key numbers). This function returns True if the file record was successfully obtained. GETLASTMESSAGE(msg as messageheader) as boolean - This function gets the last message in the current conference. The return value is True if the message header was successfully obtained. GETLASTREAD(conf as integer) as integer - This function reads the user's last-read message number for the conference specified by "conf". GETLASTUSER(u as userrecord, key as integer) as boolean - This function gets the last user in the database based on the key number specified in "key" (see GETFIRSTUSER for key numbers). This function returns True if the user record was successfully obtained. GETLOWMESSAGE as integer - This function returns the lowest message number in the current conference. GETMARKEDFILES as integer - This function returns the number of marked files in the user's mark list. GETMARKEDFILEAREA(i as integer) as integer - This function returns the file area for the "i"th marked file in the mark list. If i is out of range this function returns 0. GETMARKEDFILENAME(i as integer) as string - This function returns the file name for the "i"th marked file in the mark list. If i is out of range this function returns an empty string. GETPREVFILE(f as filerecord, key as integer) as boolean - This function gets the file record before the specified file record in the order specified by "key" (see GETFIRSTFILE for key numbers). This function returns True if the file record was successfully obtained. GETPREVMESSAGE(msg as messageheader) as boolean - This function gets the message before the specified message in the current conference. This function returns True if the message header was successfully obtained. GETPREVUSER(u as userrecord, key as integer) as boolean - This function gets the user record before the specified user record in the order specified by "key" (see GETFIRSTUSER for key numbers). This function returns True if the user record was successfully obtained. GETUSERCONFFLAGS(conf as integer) as integer - This function returns the user's conference flags for conference "conf". GOTOMENU(menuname as string) as boolean - This function sets the next menu to be the menu specified by "menuname". Menuname must be the same as the "Menu description" as specified in Makemenu (case is not significant when searching for the menu name). Note that the menu will not be immediately displayed, but will be displayed the next time the user enters the menu system (usually when the wcCODE program ends). Also note that the menu security is NOT checked against the user's security level when using this function. This function returns True if the menu was successfully found. HMSTOTIME(hour as integer, min as integer, sec as integer, t as time) - This statement converts a time in hour:minute:second format to a Wildcat Time type variable. INCDATE(d as date, days as integer, months as integer, years as integer) - This statement advances a Date type variable "d" by the amount of time specified in the "days", "months", and "years" parameters. INCDATETIME(dt as datetime, days as integer, seconds as integer) - This statement advances as DateTime type variable "dt" by the amount of time specified in the "days" and "seconds" parameters. LOCKFILE(filenum as integer, start as long, length as long) as boolean - This function locks the file specified by "filenum" starting at position "start" and covering "length" bytes (note that the start of the file is position 0 when using this function, unlike other file functions where it starts at position 1). Files locked using this function MUST be unlocked using UNLOCKFILE with the same start and length parameters otherwise unpredictable results may occur. To protect the integrity of the Wildcat system, this function should not be used to lock any Wildcat! files. This function returns True if the attempt to lock the file was successful. MARKMESSAGEREAD(n as integer) as boolean - This function marks the message numbered "n" in the current conference as read. This function returns True if the message was successfully marked as read. MID() - The MID() function can now be used on the left hand side of an assignment statement to modify part of a string. PARAMCOUNT as integer - This function returns the number of parameters passed on the command line to this wcCODE program. PARAMSTR(n as integer) as integer - This function returns the "n"th command line parameter passed on the command line to this wcCODE program. READBACKCLOSE - This statement closes the file that is currently opened for backward reading. READBACKNEXT as string - This function returns the next line in the text file that is currently opened for backward reading. The "next" line is actually the line that precedes the last line read. READBACKOPEN(fn as string) as boolean - This function opens the text file "fn" for backward reading. The return value is True if the file is opened successfully. READBACKTOF as boolean - This function returns True if the file pointer in the file that is currently open for backward reading has reached the beginning of the file. READWCMSGHDRFILE(msg as messageheader, fn as string) - This function is for use in FIDOENTR.WCC or INETENTR.WCC. It reads the message header in the file "fn" in the node work directory into the msg variable. RECEIVEFILE(fn as string, protocol as integer) as boolean - This function receives a file into "fn" using the file transfer protocol specified in "protocol". If protocol is not specified then the user is prompted for a protocol. The protocol is one of Xmodem, XmodemCrc, Ymodem, YmodemG, Xmodem1K, Xmodem1KG, Kermit, Zmodem, Ascii, or Ext1 through Ext10. This function returns True if the file transfer is successful. REMOVEMARKFILE(n as integer) - This statement removes the "n"th marked file from the mark list. SETIDLETIMEOUT(min as integer) - This statement sets the Wildcat! idle timeout to "min" minutes. This setting remains in effect until the user logs off. SETLASTREAD(conf as integer, lastread as integer) - This statement sets the user's last-read number in conference "conf" to "lastread". SETLOGONNAME(name as string, logonparams as string) - This statement is for use in PRELOG.WCC, it has no effect when used elsewhere. It allows you to set the logon name used when Wildcat! is about to ask the user for their name. If this function has been called then Wildcat! will not ask the "What is your first name?" question, but will automatically answer it with the name passed to this statement. Note that you can also include a password in the name parameter, just as you can when logging in normally. The "logonparams" parameter is used as the command line to LOGON.WCC, if present. SETUSERCONFFLAGS(conf as integer, flags as integer) - This statement sets the user's per-conference flags to "flags" for conference "conf". The user's current flags should be read with GETUSERCONFFLAGS before using this function in order to retain the values of flags that you don't intend to change. STATUSCLEAR(color as byte) - This statement clears the status area, if any, to the color specified in "color". If the color parameter is omitted the default color is black text on a white background. STATUSCLEARLINE(line as integer, color as byte) - This statement clears the line specified by "line" to the color specified in "color". If the color parameter is omitted the default color is black text on a white background. STATUSCLOSE - This statement removes the status area, if any. STATUSOPEN(lines as integer) - This statment opens a status area of "lines" lines near the bottom of the Wildcat! screen, above the user status window. The other STATUSxxx functions can be used to display information in this status window. STATUSSCROLL(lines as integer, color as byte) - This statement scrolls the status area by "lines" lines, up if lines is positive, and down if lines is negative. The new lines are cleared to the color specified in "color". If the color parameter is omitted the default color is black text on a white background. STATUSWRITE(s as string, x as integer, y as integer, color as byte) - This statement writes information to the status area. If the position (x and y) is not specified, the text is written to the last line of the status area after scrolling the existing information up by one line. This makes it easy to write information to the status area without worrying about scrolling or position. If the color is not specified in "color", the existing screen color is used. TICKER as long - This function returns the number of 18.2 Hz timer ticks since midnight. TIMESTRINGTOTIME(mask as string, s as string, t as time) - This statement converts a time in string format into a Time variable based on a mask. For example, TimeStringToTime("hh:mm:ss", "09:32:00", t) will cause t to contain the time value for 9:32am. UNLOCKFILE(filenum as integer, start as long, length as long) as boolean - This function unlocks the file specified by "filenum" starting at position "start" and covering "length" bytes (note that the start of the file is position 0 when using this function, unlike other file functions where it starts at position 1). Files unlocked using this function MUST have been locked using LOCKFILE with the same start and length parameters otherwise unpredictable results may occur. This function returns True if the attempt to unlock the file was successful. VALIDDATE(day as integer, month as integer, year as integer) as boolean - This function returns True if the date specified by the day, month, and year parameters is a valid date. WRITEWCMSGHDRFILE(msg as messageheader, fn as string) as boolean - This function is for use in FIDOENTR.WCC or INETENTR.WCC. It writes the message header "msg" to the file "fn" in the node work directory. When the wcCODE program returns to Wildcat, Wildcat! will read the message header back from the file. Changed functions ----------------- ADDMESSAGE - Now takes two optional parameters, an attachment file name and conference in which to place the message. DOWNLOAD - Now takes two optional parameters, a file name and area. If these parameters are not present then the user is prompted for a file. FILEINFO - Now takes two optional parameters, a file name and area. If these parameters are not present then the user is prompted for a file. GETNEXTFILE - Now takes an optional key number. For file database key numbers, see GETFIRSTFILE. GETNEXTUSER - Now takes an optional key number. For user database key numbers, see GETFIRSTUSER. GOODBYE - Now takes an optional parameter indicating whether you would like Wildcat! to ask the user whether they would really like to log off or not. INPUTMASK - Now takes two additional optional parameters, a default response and a flag indicating to Wildcat! to echo back stars (*) to the user instead of what they typed (this is useful for entering passwords). INPUTYESNO - Now takes an optional parameter indicating the default response. JOIN - The parameter to JOIN is now optional, if omitted it will allow the user to select a conference from the list. LISTFILES - Now takes an optional parameter indicating the file area. LISTFILESDATA - Now takes an optional parameter indicating the file area. MID - The last parameter is now optional, if omitted MID will return the remainder of the string starting at the start position. QUESTIONNAIRE - Now can take a questionnaire file name as a parameter so you can run QUESDATE with QUESTIONNAIRE "QUESDATE". READTEXTFILE - Now takes two optional parameters, the file name and area. SEARCHFILES - Now takes an optional parameter indicating the file area. SENDFILE - Now takes an optional parameter indicating the file transfer protocol to use (see RECEIVEFILE for a list of valid transfer protocol identifiers). VIEWFILE - Now takes two optional parameters, the file name and area. Fixes ----- - Fixed problem with UPDATEUSER - Fixed problem with FINDFIRST - Fixed problem with GETNEXTMESSAGE - Opening a file for APPEND now recognizes a Ctrl-Z at the end of the file - Changing the user language with User.Language = "LANGUAGE" now works - Fixed problem with any RIP command that takes a string parameter - Fixed problem with CURRENTDATE when used on a user date field - Fixed problem with updating user last-new-files date - GETUSER and GETFILEINFO now work with a blank name to get the first record - Alias names are now checked for duplicates when set with user.alias="..." _________________________________________ > SYMANTEC SUPPORT STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" Symantec's Central Point Division Announces Revised Support Program for Desktop Products BEAVERTON, Ore. - September x, 1994 - The Central Point( Division of Symantec Corporation today announced revisions to its desktop support services. Effective October 1, 1994, in addition to enhanced on-line and automated fax service options, Central Point will move to a revised fee-only telephone support program for all of its desktop products, including PC Tools and MacTools. Support programs for Central Point's enterprise products remain unchanged. "We believe that fee-based support is the right approach," said Chuck Boesenberg, Executive Vice President of Symantec Corporation. "PC Tools has always meant the best total value proposition for customers. By unbundling support, we are able to maintain sub-$100 street prices on popular utilities like PC Tools for Windows. Our desktop fee-based support plan ensures quality service for customers requiring a higher level of personal, interactive support." This transition to a fee-only telephone support program has taken place over several phases during the past eighteen months: May 1993: Central Point implements fee-based telephone support for customers calling for technical assistance on previous versions of PC Tools (pre-Version 8.0). December 1993: Central Point announces fee-only telephone support for XTree products, as well as for previous versions of all desktop products. January 1994: Central Point adds three fee-based phone support plans for all current versions of PC desktop products for customers desiring additional services or extended coverage after a 30-day complimentary period. May 1994: Central Point offers fee-only phone support on the newly introduced low-cost products, SpeedTools and Emergency Disk. October 1994: Central Point rolls to fee-only interactive phone support on all products, eliminating the 30-day complimentary period. On-line and Automated Fax Services A variety of free support services are accessible to registered owners of all Central Point products through its support forums on CompuServe and America Online. Central Point's own Bulletin Board System offers product information and electronic updates. An automated fax service system is also available for users to receive technical documents and product information. Telephone Support In line with this newly revised policy, customers placing their first call for interactive telephone support for Central Point desktop products will be offered their choice of three toll options -- an 800 number, with a flat rate of $25 per incident; a 900 number billed at $2 per minute (first minute free); or a QuickStart plan providing 30 days of unlimited telephone support for $30. Contacting Central Point The access numbers for Central Point's Technical and Customer Support options are: CompuServe: ! GO CENTRAL (24 hours); America Online: keyword "CENTRAL" (24 hours); BBS: (503) 984-5366 No Parity, 8 Data Bits, 1 Stop Bit (24 hours); Automated Fax Service: (503) 984-2490 (24 hours); Interactive Technical Support (6:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday-Friday PST): Calls payable with VISA, MasterCard, or AMEX (800) 491-2764 Billed to user's regular phone bill (900) 555-7700 (on a per-minute basis) Customer Service (503) 690-8090 (7:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Monday-Friday PST); (for ordering products or upgrades and checking on order status): Customer Service Fax: (503) 334-7400 (24 hours). Central Point is a division of Symantec Corporation. Symantec Corporation develops, markets and supports a complete line of application and system software products designed to enhance individual and workgroup productivity as well as manage networked computing environments. Platforms supported include IBM personal computers and compatibles, Apple Macintosh computers as well as all major network operating systems. Founded in 1982, the company has offices in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe. Central Point is a registered trademark and PC Tools is a trademark of Symantec Corporation. Other company or product names mentioned herein are used for identification purposes only and may or may not be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. __________________________________________________ > PC WIFE STR Feature """"""""""""""""""" NEW SOFTWARE ANNOUNCEMENT ========================= PC WIFE for Dos and Windows For the truly lonely and scandalously ugly men with no chance of ever finding the real thing. NOTICE! This is not Freeware! Manual and Quick Reference Guide -------------------------------- From the time you load this software, you are required to cash your pay- check and send the entire amount to the address listed. We will send back the money we think you will need each week. Before installing, read all instructions in this manual and make several back up copies of the original disks. This software has caused hardware damage in some machines with short-tempered users. This software, like many others, is claimed to work with Windows. It might. It might not. If it doesn't, it is your fault. Buy a better com- puter next time! RUNNING PC WIFE --------------- Okay you lovebirds, dim the lights and open that bottle of champagne. In- sert the install disk (disk 1) into one of the floppy drives (A or B). At the C: prompt, type A: or B: install. You will notice a faint smell of perfume, a soft moaning sound, and the room may feel warm. You may feel slight dizziness and a lack of good judgement. Don't worry. This is normal. At this point an introduction screen will appear on the monitor. Press enter. You will now be asked a few simple questions like those listed below. Please consider your answers carefully. 1. Are you married? 2. Do you have any children? 3. Have you been married before? 4. How much money do you make? Alot? 5. Do you want to have children? 6. What time do you get home from work? No answer is wrong. Remember, this is for losers. The program will ad- just for any combination of answers. Once you have answered all 2,486 questions, the program will automatically begin. The computer must remain on at all times. An Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) would be a good addition to your equipment for full enjoyment. HOW IT WORKS ------------ There are several programs and files that are used in the operation of PC WIFE. Do not delete any of these files. README.DOC- Who does? You might want to read this six months from now. GRIPE.EXE- Timed program, runs every afternoon. MOAN.DAT- Data file used with GRIPE.EXE. PMS.COM- Program runs once a month, however, can also run at any time, or not at all. (Do whatever it instructs!) WENCH.EXE- Program runs when requested. You may have to request this several times to get it to run. Begging may help. SQUAWK.EXE- Program will run sooner or later. Be patient. Negative feedback aggravates the program. Note: Runs more frequently if you drink or are late from work, or if you are late in complying with any PC WIFE request. SQUAWK.DAT- Data file used with SQUAWK.EXE. CLEAN.EXE- Merely a reminder program with a handy "clean the house" pop- up menu. Failure to follow instructions given carefully will result in more frequent executions of SQUAWK.EXE. Frequent running of SQUAWK.EXE could cause more frequent action of PMS.COM. This is not a preferred situation. MIL.EXE- A mother-in-law simulation program creates a noise similar to a parrot with its foot hung. Running of other programs in PC WIFE not complying with requests in a timely manner will determine duration and volume of program execution. DINNER.EXE- A handy reminder program consisting of phone numbers for pizza delivery (or fine dining establishments). SECRET FILES ------------ There are many hidden files in PC WIFE. If you are lucky, and blessed with quick reflexes, you will not endure the wrath of these files. REMINDER -------- Sign the enclosed Warranty Death Beneficiary Registration Card before in- stalling this software. Mail card and first paycheck 10 days before in- stallation of program. REMOVING PC WIFE ---------------- Once PC WIFE has been running five minutes, it will be in complete con- trol of your house, car, and life. If for any reason you are unhappy with your PC WIFE, there is only one way to loosen its hold on you. Upon receipt of all deeds, bank account holdings and titles, legally signed over to our company, we will gladly terminate 90% of PC WIFE functions. If at any time a check for 75% of your earnings is more than five days late in arriving, PC WIFE will be reinstated with all hidden files on ac- tivated status. DISCLAIMER ---------- The makers of PC WIFE hold no responsibility for damage, medical costs, loss of sanity, financial ruin, or any other potentially adverse effects from running this software. Thank you very much for your purchase and continued support. Till Death Do Us Part Software, Inc. **** AND DON'T MISS OUR LATEST CREATION ---------------------------------- PC CHILD! THE PERFECT ADDITION TO PC WIFE! A mere nine months after installation of software, a heady perfume of am- monia and manure will permeate your home. Yes! For one entire year, your house will not only smell like a baby lives there, but it will sound like you are the proud father of triplets! Shrieks, screams and giggles will emit at random times from your SoundBlaster. Fool neighbors and friends with 2 am feeding wails and gurgles that last well past dawn! As if that wasn't enough, slimy drool and vile-smelling, green glop will spurt from your floppy drives many times during the next 18 years. Yes, 18 YEARS! Amaze your friends! (A keyboard condom will be included in your purchase.) You want MORE?? We've GOT more! Hard drive fevers in the middle of the night! Simulated trips to hospital emergency rooms! Report cards! Calls from the principal! PTA meetings! And when your PC CHILD turns 16 years old, you'd better buy a new car, because your child will be DRIV- ING! Yes, DRIVING! AND getting in car wrecks on the average of twice a month! Watch your insurance rates climb! And the fun goes on and on and on. We can't tell you everything. That wouldn't be any fun, would it? But we suggest you start bugging your computer retailer now for PC CHILD. Your PC WIFE will want one every two or three years, and you don't want to make her angry! Trust us. _____________________________________ > QUARTERDECK NEWS STR InfoFile """"""""""""""""""""""""""""" QUARTERDECK DEBUTS COMPLETE FAMILY OF PRODUCTS FOR THE INTERNET AND PRIVATE DISTRIBUTED DATA NETWORKS Product Line Includes Tools For Creating, Disseminating and Viewing Electronic Documents Following International HTML Standard ATLANTA, GA., September 1994-- Quarterdeck Office Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:QDEK) today provided a first look at its complete family of software products for use on the Internet or private distributed data networks. The product line, collectively referred to as the Normandy project, gives individuals and organizations the ability to create, disseminate and view distributed electronic documents. The Normandy project consists of three separate but related product areas; viewers, authoring tools, and servers. The Normandy viewer will make its public debut at the Networld+Interop trade show, where it will be demonstrated to the show's 60,000 expected attendees. The authoring tools and server will be privately debuted to industry analysts and members of the media at Quarteredeck's press suite for the Atlanta-based show. "We are very excited about the Normandy project," said group product manager Frank Gerstenberger. "There has been a lot of talk about the Internet being used as an Information Super Highway. Quarterdeck is proud to be a pioneer in the development of this electronic freeway by providing a complete set of tools to bring this concept to reality." The most popular component of the Normandy suite will be the information viewing and navigating tool. Based on concepts developed by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this tool enables users to easily locate and examine documents located anywhere on the Internet. The user is relieved of the tedious tasks of finding intended documents, retrieving them from their remote locations, and re-formatting them for local viewing. The Quarterdeck viewer has a newly developed drag-and-drop user interface that allows users to easily collect, sort, and save the identities and locations of documents they may want to revisit in the future. This folder-based storage scheme makes it easy for even the newest of users to become an accomplished traveler on the electronic highway. Also incorporated into the viewer is the ability to use a variety of communication methods for establishing a link to the Internet. In addition to the standard TCP/IP and SLIP protocols, Normandy supports IPX/SPX, netbios and a variety of other protocols. The Normandy HTML authoring tools are actually templates for use within popular word processors like Word Perfect for Windows and Microsoft Word for Windows. The use of these familiar environments helps users avoid the significant learning curve usually associated with new editing systems . It also lets users access writing tools like spell checkers, thesauruses and grammar checkers, resulting in higher quality documentation. Once the user has completed a document in their word processor they simply run a conversion macro that automatically transforms the document into HTML format. The Normandy WEB server runs on the popular Windows platform. This allows any Windows user to install, configure and operate the server, eliminating the need for specialized Unix servers and their requisite dedicated staff. The server will take advantage of Quarterdeck's multi-protocol technology, allowing it to utilize the company's existing investment in network technology. Quarterdeck will beta test and begin shipping its Internet products during the last calendar quarter of 1994 and early 1995. Quarterdeck is a leader in software technology and specializes in Making Things Work Together. Their best known product, QEMM, manages a DOS system's memory resources to make sure that applications, utilities, DOS and Windows programs can work together. Other Quarterdeck products provide multitasking of DOS applications running on one computer; while still others support seamless distributed computing by ensuring cooperation among multiple systems in cross platform applications. Quarterdeck Office Systems, Inc. is located at 150 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405. The company can be reached at (310) 392-9851. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" :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) 1994 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) > HP LJ4V & 4MV STR InfoFile """""""""""""""""""""""""" HP INTRODUCES NEW CLASS OF WORKGROUP LASER PRINTER ================================================== New Printers Combine Speed, Connectivity of a Network Printer with the Lower Cost of a Workgroup Printer for Midvolume Printing Environments PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 26, 1994 - Continuing its effort to meet user demand for faster performance and more intelligent network-sharing features in shared desktop laser printers, Hewlett-Packard Company today introduced a new class of workgroup laser printer: a fast, economical desktop printer for mid-volume printing environments. The new printers, the HP LaserJet 4V and HP LaserJet 4MV printers, are HP's fastest desktop laser printers. These workgroup laser printers feature HP's most advanced networking capabilities -- 600 x 600 dots-per-inch (dpi)print resolution -- and accommodate printing on a wide range of paper sizes, including letter, legal and 11 x 17 inches. They also are the first HP printers to offer an internal hard disk option. The HP LaserJet 4V and HP LaserJet 4MV printers are $2,449 and $3,549, (U.S.) respectively. The HP LaserJet 4V printer is fully upgradable to an HP LaserJet 4MV printer. Both are available now from HP-authorized dealers and distributors worldwide. "Many users want more print speed from their local desktop printers but do not necessarily need the high-volume printing capabilities that they get from their HP LaserJet 4Si and 4Si MX departmental network printers," said Ormond Rankin, marketing manager at HP's Network Printer Division. "The LaserJet 4V and LaserJet 4MV workgroup laser printers offer users a new choice: fast print speeds with advanced network connectivity at a low cost." According to Dataquest Inc., workgroup page printers accounted for over $3.4 billion or 64 percent of the entire $5.4 billion 1993 U.S. page- printer market. Dataquest estimates that by the end of 1994, workgroup laser printer sales will have risen $200 million to almost $3.7 billion. Also according to Dataquest, the most common request of users sharing a printer on a network is faster print speed. The HP LaserJet 4V laser printer provides high-speed printing for general office users in Windows(tm) and DOS PC workgroups. The HP LaserJet 4MV printer is designed for these same environments as well as networked PC, Macintosh, UNIX(R) system-based and mixed computing environments. The HP LaserJet 4MV printer includes all the functionality of the LaserJet 4V printer plus an HP JetDirect card for Ethernet and LocalTalk network connectivity, PostScript(tm) Level 2 software from Adobe(tm), and additional memory. With its 600 dpi, PostScript and 11 x 17 inches output capabilities, the HP LaserJet 4MV printer is well-suited for a wide range of applications, from general office printing to desktop publishing to computer-aided design (CAD) printing. PERFORMANCE In addition to their fast print engine performance, the new workgroup laser printers provide users with fast "first-page-out" performance and fast return to application. The following features contribute to the printers' fast document delivery: - 16 ppm engine speed for letter, legal and executive paper sizes, 8 ppm for 11 x 17 inches; - 33MHz Intel i80960 CF RISC processor, the fastest offered in an HP LaserJet printer; - user-configurable input/output (I/O) buffering, allowing the printer to accept print data faster for faster return of control of the host computer to the user; - large amount of standard memory (which is used by I/O buffering to increase performance); - job overlap, enabling the printer to process one print job while it is printing another, resulting in faster printer throughput when multiple jobs are sent to the printer; - optimized PCL drivers and firmware for faster PCL printing; - resource saving, which retains downloaded fonts, logos, forms and macros, eliminating the time normally needed to redownload this information when switching between PCL and PostScript; - direct network connectivity through HP JetDirect cards to transfer data at network speeds; and - TrueType rasterizer built into PCL 5 and PostScript for faster rendering of Windows and Macintosh System 7 TrueType fonts; VOLUME The printers are designed to provide fast desktop printing for workgroups with midvolume printing needs. Both printers feature a rated duty cycle of 35,000 page-per-month, up to 850 pages of paper input capacity (with optional 500-sheet paper tray installed) and 250 pages of output capacity. The HP LaserJet 4Si and 4Si MX printers, HP's network laser printers, are designed for environments with high-volume printing needs. Both network printers feature a 17-ppm rated engine speed, a 75,000 page-per-month duty cycle, up to 2,000 pages of paper input capacity (with optional 1,500-sheet paper feeder installed) and up to 2,500 pages of output capacity (with optional 2,000-sheet paper stacker installed). The HP LaserJet 4 Plus and 4M Plus workgroup printers are designed for workgroups with low- to mid-volume printing needs. These 12-ppm printers offer a 20,000 page-per-month duty cycle, up to 850 pages of paper input capacity (with optional 500-sheet paper tray installed) and 250 pages of output capacity. CONNECTIVITY Both workgroup printers offer extensive connectivity for simple, reliable and efficient printer sharing. For compatibility with PC environments, both printers come standard with HP Bi-Tronics (bidirectional) parallel interface. The LaserJet 4V printer also includes an HP modular input/output (MIO) slot that accommodates optional HP JetDirect and third-party network interface cards supporting most major network topologies, operating systems and protocols. The HP LaserJet 4MV printer comes pre-installed with the HP JetDirect card for Ethernet and LocalTalk networks. Multiple protocol stacks and 12+ Network Operating Systems (NOSs) are supported concurrently over one HP JetDirect card's Ethernet connection with the ability to switch between protocols on the fly. This provides interoperability in mixed network environments and ease of printer installation. The LaserJet 4MV printer and the LaserJet 4V printer with an optional HP JetDirect network interface installed also feature simultaneously active ports. These allow either the parallel or network interface(s) to receive data at any time, eliminating the need to switch interface settings manually in mixed computing environments. PRINTER MANAGEMENT For the LaserJet 4MV printer (and the LaserJet 4V printer when an HP JetDirect card is installed), HP continues to offer its popular HP JetAdmin family of network-based printer management solutions for network administrators. The HP JetAdmin software utilities make the installation, use and management of HP printers and plotters over networks easier, more reliable and more efficient. Stand-alone HP JetAdmin solutions are currently available for NetWare, HP- UX(1), Solaris and SunOS environments. Through HP's cooperation with major network software vendors, HP JetAdmin functionality also is integrated into the Microsoft(R) Windows NT network operating system. HP's third generation of HP JetAdmin (for NetWare) and HP JetPrint (for NetWare) utilities for the printers make installation, use and management of these printers over networks easier, more reliable and more efficient than previous versions. HP JetAdmin now includes asset management and real-time remote status information capabilities in addition to previous functionality, such as remote printer and interface installation and configuration, automatic printer driver distribution, print-job and print- queue management, remote status and remote diagnostics. HP JetPrint, a Windows-based utility for end-users in NetWare environments, now provides users with automatic printer-driver configuration as well as previous HP JetPrint capabilities, such as remote-printer and job-status feedback, simple drag-and-drop printing, on-line help, and automatic downloading of printer drivers. For Windows PC users connecting to the printers through the PC's parallel port, the Windows printer drivers provide remote-printer and job-status feedback through the printers' HP Bi-Tronics bidirectional parallel port. PAPER HANDLING Both printers offer a variety of output sizes, including letter, legal, executive, post card and 11 x 17 inches. By offering 11 x 17 inches printing capability as a standard feature in a mainstream printer, HP believes more business users will take advantage of larger-format general office printing. This larger output is useful for spreadsheets, project- management and flow charts, and other applications that require large amounts of information to be viewed on a single page. Both printers are capable of printing a "full bleed" 11 x 17 inches on custom 11.7 x 17.7 inches media. Full-bleed 11 x 17 inches printing is requested by many desktop publishers and graphic artists to depict images fully and accurately that will be reproduced in a final 11 x 17 inches format. A 250-sheet paper input tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray are standard for both printers. An optional 500-sheet universal input tray holds all supported paper sizes (up to 11.7 x 17.7 inches) and is installed easily beneath the printer for a total input capacity of 850 sheets and three paper input sources. Using HP's LaserJet 4V and LaserJet 4MV printer drivers for Windows and Macintosh, users can select the desired paper input source remotely on a document-by-document basis. PRINT QUALITY The 16-ppm engine used by both printers offers true 600 x 600 dpi resolution for superior text, graphics and image quality. In addition, the printers feature HP's Resolution Enhancement technology (REt) and microfine toner, which work together to sharpen images on text and graphics. Microfine toner also produces more saturated black images. The LaserJet 4V and 4MV printers offer superior grayscale capability for high-quality scanned images and graphics. They produce 120 shades of gray in Windows PCL at 106 line screens, and the LaserJet 4MV printer produces 122 shades of gray in PostScript at 106 line screens. The result is minimal visual banding so transitions in gray tones appear smoother and more even. Scanned images are reproduced with superior detail and range of tones. MEMORY A 1.3 inch, 42 MB internal hard disk (mounted on the printer's formatter board) is available as a user-installable option for PostScript printing. The hard disk eliminates the need to download commonly used print resources, such as fonts, forms and logos. The LaserJet 4V printer comes standard with 4MB of random access memory (RAM), and the LaserJet 4MV printer includes 12MB RAM. Most 600 dpi, 11 x 17 inches text and graphics documents can be printed with standard memory using HP Memory Enhancement technology (MEt) in PCL. Additional memory can be used in both printers to increase I/O buffer space for faster return of the user's application and for resource saving of downloaded fonts, forms and macros. Both printers are upgradable to 68MB and 44MB, respectively, using the industry standard SIMM format. LANGUAGES The HP LaserJet 4V printer is equipped with enhanced HP PCL 5 with HP GL/2 for compatibility with DOS and Windows applications. Along with PCL 5, the LaserJet 4MV printer is equipped with PostScript Level 2 software from Adobe. PostScript Level 2 software is available as a user-installable SIMM option for the LaserJet 4V printer. For seamless compatibility in mixed computing environments, automatic language switching is standard with the LaserJet 4MV printer and is activated in the LaserJet 4V printer when the PostScript SIMM is installed. TYPEFACES Both printers have 45 scalable typefaces, including 35 Intellifont typefaces and 10 TrueType typefaces with matching TrueType screen fonts. The HP LaserJet 4MV printer includes 35 Adobe Type1 typefaces. A TrueType rasterizer is available within PCL 5 and PostScript for faster rendering of TrueType fonts. ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES The HP LaserJet 4V and HP LaserJet 4MV laser printers have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's "Energy Star" certification for power conservation -- the printers use less power when in Power Save (standby) mode. HP EconoMode reduces toner consumption by printing in draft mode. Other environmental features include manuals and packaging made of recycled paper; a recyclable, all-in-one toner cartridge; and plastics in excess of 100 grams marked for recycling. SUPPORT The new printers come with a standard one-year limited warranty. In addition, users can obtain product information and support through FAX HP FIRST by calling (800) 333-1917. FAX HP FIRST provides automated fax responses to commonly asked questions, helpful hints on getting started, driver information and application notes. A toll number, (208) 323-2551, connects the user to an HP support technician. Additional product information can be obtained by calling (800) 752-0900. Hewlett-Packard Company is an international manufacturer of measurement and computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and support. The company's products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine and education in approximately 110 countries. HP has 97,900 employees and had revenue of $20.3 billion in its 1993 fiscal year. NOTE: Adobe and Adobe PostScript are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated, which may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Intel is a U.S. trademark of Intel Corp. Microsoft is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. Windows is a U.S. trademark of Microsoft Corp. (1) HP-UX is based on and is compatible with Novell's UNIX(R) operating system. It also complies with X/Open's(tm) XPG4, POSIX 1003.1, 1003.2, FIPS 151-1 and SVID2 interface specifications. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Limited. X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company Limited in the UK and other countries. ********************************************************************** 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!" """""""""""""""""""""""""""" This has been one heck of a week for Atari! Yes, the news that Atari has reached a settlement with Sega (see details below!) will most likely only immediately affect Atari's Jaguar efforts, but it could possibly have some significance for the computer side down the road - if that road is ever taken in the future. However, this settlement can only help Atari in a time when cash is not something they had a lot to work with during this time when they really need to make headlines for the Jaguar this holiday season. I'll have more to say about this settlement in my editorial in the Jaguar section. STReport CIS Editor Joe Mirando has been recuperating from a painful strained back. While recovering, he managed to convince his wife, Lisa, to bring him his Stacy and various other pieces of hardware so he could stay in touch with the online community. What a devoted bunch we are here at STReport! Anyway, Joe also was able to continue to put NeoDesk 4 and Geneva through their paces together and get a review of the two out to us. As a 20-year "veteran" of back problems, I can certainly sympathize with Joe's ongoing pain. We appreciate the efforts; and I know that you'll enjoy the NeoDesk4/Geneva review. It appears that the fight for the remains of Commodore may be close to over. Commodore's largest North American distributor, Creative Equipment International (CEI), seems to be winning the "battle" over Commodore's British subsidiary. We've included the article with this latest news, below. The response to our offer for an Internet mailing of STReport is really picking up. We're averaging about a dozen new requests daily via Delphi E-Mail! We sent out our initial mailing last week and the enthusiastic messages of gratitude have been terrific. We hope to be expanding to a few Internet ftp sites as the interest to have STReport available on them has been high. We've also had inquiries from European ftp sites, so we're looking into the possibilities. To get on our Internet mailing list, please drop us a line at either "email@example.com" or "firstname.lastname@example.org" and we'll be sure to add you to our subscription mailing list immediately. Well, between the big Sega news and other interesting items in this week's issue, I should be brief this week. Let's get to the news and information! Until next time... Delphi's Atari Advantage! TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (9/28/94) (1) DC XTRACT PLUS 2.2C (6) LHARC VERSION 3.10 *(2) NEWDESK AND DESKTOP GUIDE (7) TURBOGIF 1.3 (3) JENS SENDS GIF VIEWER *(8) STOMP (4) PUNT II (9) JENS SENDS PATIENCE (5) THINGY SCREEN TOY *(10) FLI TC32 * = New on list HONORARY TOP 10 The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-performing every other file in the databases. ST REPORT (Current issue: STREPORT 10.39) ATARI ONLINE (Current issue: AEO: VOLUME 3, ISSUE 11) Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database. > STR NewsPlus """""""""""" -/- Fight for Commodore Nears End -/- A fight for bankrupt Commodore International Ltd. -- pitting its largest North American distributor, Creative Equipment International of Miami, Florida, against managers of one of its successful British subsidiaries -- may be heading for its last round. Writing in The Philadelphia Inquirer, reporter Dan Stets says the adversaries are to meet separately in New York over the next few days with Franklyn Wilson, one of the liquidators appointed by the Bahamian Supreme Court to dispose of the assets of the once-powerful computer maker. As reported, Commodore filed for bankruptcy in the Bahamas in early May. The court there appointed two accountants as liquidators, the Bahamian equivalent of a bankruptcy trustee under U.S. law. (The company was incorporated in Bahamas, but had its North American headquarters in West Chester, Pennsylvania.) Wilson, who will review the final buyout proposals from CEI and the British team, had hoped to sell Commodore's assets an technology by the end of August, but it now looks like a final decision will not come until next month, Stets says. CEI is so confident of an outcome in its favor that it has begun advertising for engineers, managers and accountants to restart the computer company's operations in the West Chester, the Inquirer reports. CEI President Alex Amor told the paper his firm is expecting a ruling from Wilson possibly in the next three weeks and "we'd like to have resumes on hand and we'd like a good pool of talent." He said if CEI's proposal is successful, the firm will want to hire back as many of Commodore's former computer engineers as possible. His plan calls for hiring about 90 people, including about 70 engineers, over the next nine months. He also has begun looking for a new engineering and research center in West Chester or Norristown. Stets says CEI would like to have an engineering and research staff of 90 people. At its peak, Commodore had 78 engineers, Amor said. Meanwhile, the British team is not fazed by CEI's confidence. Said Colin Proudfoot, a managing director of Commodore UK and a leader of the buyout effort: "I would hope they would pass the resumes on to us when we win the bid." Both teams say they are committed to developing and expanding the technology of Commodore's Amiga computer and have scheduled meetings at the Manhattan offices of Fulbright and Jaworski, the liquidators' counsel, the British today and the Americans on Monday. Selected reports from the Philadelphia Inquirer, carried by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, are available on NewsNet, accessible through the IQuest gateway (GO IQUEST). -/- BBS Sysop Faces Copyright Charge -/- As predicted, a federal indictment for alleged software copyright violations has come down against the operator of the international Davey Jones Locker computer bulletin board system. Authorities have said the case against Richard D. Kenadek, 43, of Millbury, Mass., is one of the first such prosecutions in the computer world. As reported earlier this month, Kenadek was arrested after the FBI raided his home. He was charged with conspiracy and criminal copyright infringement. He also has been sued by the Software Publishers Association trade group, which cooperated with federal authorities in the investigation. Writing in the Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Junda Woo says that while the case has received little national attention since Kenadek's arrest, the situation is unusual. "Unlike most other bulletin-board prosecutions ... Kenadek was charged with criminal violation of copyright laws in addition to wire fraud, which has been used more commonly in such cases. (He) isn't accused of directly placing copyrighted programs online but of allowing them to be traded," Woo writes. "If convicted, he faces up to a year in prison and a $25,000 fine on the copyright-related charges alone. He is in settlement talks with prosecutors." Meanwhile, the Journal comments that such criminal prosecutions could become more common, since "under a 1992 federal law, stiffer penalties will apply to the sort of repeated copyright violations that (some) bulletin-board operators have been suspected of. A conviction under the new law could bring a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $250,000." (The June 1992 raid on Kenadek's system occurred before that law took effect.) Woo notes the SPA played a large role in getting the new law passed and in getting Kenadek indicted. "The association, which routinely checks bulletin boards for piracy, collected evidence for prosecutors in the case by downloading copyrighted programs, including Lotus Development Corp.'s Lotus 1-2-3 and Symantec Corp.'s Norton Utilities," the Journal reports. > Digital Arts Picture! STR Graphics Preview! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" The graphics,paint and touch-up (retouching) tool for the Atari TOS line (from 1040 ST, Mega, Mega STE, TT'030, Falcon030, Medusa and supports existing graphics boards extended colors and resolution) !-PHOTO CD MODULE now available for 69 U$D-! Digital Arts Picture features: Extensive Toolbox ================= Each tool has extensive modifiers to change their features 6 pen types, circular and square design 1-64 sizes, variable pressure, run-out time o Auto-Repeat Paint o Transparent Paint and Color o Magical Wand, variable tolerance levels o Erase and recover, user definable UNDO o Ruler, Raindrop, crayon, fill and lots of other tools BASIC FEATURES ============== o GEM-COMPLIANT o IMAGE MANAGER o MODULAR INTERFACE o PRINTER SUPPORT (HP, Canon, Stylus (coming soon)) o TOUCH-UP TOOLS o PAINTING TOOLS o INTUITIVE and USER FRIENDLY INTERFACE o CUT and PASTE CLIP AND PASTE ============== The extended clip and paste functions boast a variety of ways to clip and add such as: o Replace, Transparent, Inv. Transparency, Add, Clip-Add, Subtract, Clip-Sub, Multiply, Delta Inc. o CMYK Support for TIF output, Modules included in the package are various filters, gradation, mask, effects, color run, vectorise and composition. RGB, HLS and CMY Color Palette support, with and intuitive palette creation interface. RRP: 199 U$D from Lexicor Software Corporation Tel: (617) 437 0414 or email email@example.com for information or firstname.lastname@example.org for sales or on delphi LEXICORWORLD (me!) :) Cheers Yat @ Lexicor > Towers II! STR InfoFile! - Plight of the Stargazer for the Falcon030! """""""""""""""""""""""" ....... Is Coming Soon to a FALCON near you! TOWERS II, is an RPG for the Atari Falcon 030 computer. It features: --> Smooth Scrolling. --> Window (168x110) or full screen (320x200) movement. --> Runs in True Color mode, and makes good use of color. --> Plays MOD music at 50 Khz Stereo. --> Sounds effects are in stereo. --> Over three times the size of Towers for the ST. --> Can be launched from MultiTOS or BlowUP. --> Requires approx. 2megs of Free RAM and 4megs of HD space. --> Can run on a VGA monitor, RGB monitor, or TV. --> Powerful spells and weapons. --> Real-time combat. --> And much more... TOWERS II, is being released as a 'Try Before You Buy' product. You can progress through several levels before you need to order the manual. The Manual will Retail for only $24 US, and will be available directly from us, or through participating resellers. Date of release should be around late October, 1994. Screen shot TIFFs have been released on several boards. Look for 'TOWRSIIP.ZIP'. JV Enterprises PO Box 97455 Las Vegas, Nevada 89193 (702) 734-9689 ________________________________________ > Geneva/NeoDesk 4! STR Software Review! - Gribnif Does It Again! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" GENEVA from GRIBNIF =================== Review by Joe Mirando One of the things that first attracted me to Atari computers was the fact that there was no need for cryptic commands or typing in drive and directory paths from memory. The Graphic User Interface (GUI) that the ST uses was the best thing to that ever happened to computing... up to that time. Of course, that was 1985 and the only other GUI in town was Apple's Macintosh. There wasn't a true yardstick to measure a graphic interface by. As time went on, it became clear that a graphic interface had many advantages over what had quickly become the industry standard: MS-DOS. With MicroSoft's entry into the GUI arena, WINDOWS, it became official... a graphic user interface was the way to go. Unfortunately for DOS users, because most DOS programs were not designed with WINDOWS in mind, they were unable to take full advantage of the options that WINDOWS offered. Of course, WINDOWS did offer the ability to multitask but again, results depended on how "friendly" a program was to the way that WINDOWS did things. While all this was happening, many ST users were sitting in front of their monitors asking "Is this all there is"? Several options presented themselves to ST users in the form of both commercial and shareware programs that either replaced or interfaced with the operating system that we've all come to know and love. Programs like VDOS ProQueue, TeraDesk, Gemini, DC Desktop, and the most popular and well-received, NeoDesk. Although NeoDesk offered options that made users of the stock ST desktop green with envy, users of WINDOWS, OS/2, Macintosh, and even the Amiga, had one question: "Does it multitask"? Alas, the answer was no. At least until the advent of Atari's Multi-TOS multitasking system. The problems with Multi-TOS are many-fold. It slows the system down disproportionately, it consumes a large amount of memory, and many programs will not run at all under Multi-TOS, never mind working along side others. The hopes of those ST users who had wished for a usable, compatible, multitasking system for their machines had been dashed. Then at the 1993 Connecticut AtariFest, during the Gribnif seminar, Rick Flashman told all listening to watch for something "magic". MAGIC turned out to be the code name for what has come to be known as Geneva, Gribnif's answer to Atari's Multi-TOS. Geneva offers a much more compatible multitasking environment without the enormous slowdown evident in Atari's offering. The only drawback to using Geneva as the sole user interface is that it uses no icons. The "Geneva screen" is simply a blank desktop with a menu bar at the top. Any program or accessory can be accessed, added, or deleted from the menu bar, but it lacks the panache of the desktops that we've become used to. At the same time that Geneva was released, Gribnif also released an upgrade to NeoDesk that allowed Geneva to use NeoDesk as its "shell" program. NeoDesk 3.04 interfaced beautifully with Geneva and all was well in Atariland. Although a few facets of true multitasking computing were missing, Gribnif promised that things would be ironed out in the upcoming version of NeoDesk, NeoDesk4. Now that we've laid down a brief history of NeoDesk and Geneva, let's take a look at both programs and how they work together. Geneva, as mentioned before, provides no facility for icons. The desktop is "empty" save for the menu bar until a program is run. The menu bar contains the following options: "Geneva", "File", and "Options". Under the "Geneva" menu you will find the "About Geneva" option which simply shows the Geneva version, serial number, and registered owner, along with the usual copyright statement. Below the Geneva entry is a list of programs and accessories currently installed. Users who are familiar with the standard ST desktop will recognize that most of the names listed here are desk accessories. Between the "About Geneva" entry and the list of accessories (if there are any installed) is a list of installed programs. Programs can be selected, or "topped" by clicking on them in this list, by "cycling" through the programs using a keyboard combination, or, if a window to the program is open on the desktop, by clicking on its window. The "File" menu options are also easy to understand and use. There are only two options available here: "Open" and "Quit Geneva". Open allows you run a program or accessory (yes, accessories can be loaded at any time under Geneva). Selecting the "Open" option calls Geneva's built-in Item Selector. While the new Item Selector is much different from the standard ST Item Selector, it not only supplies the ability to run programs and select files, but also provides tools reminiscent of UNIVERSAL ITEM SELECTOR III and LITTLE GREEN FILE SELECTOR with Geneva-specific options added (more on the Item Selector later). The "Quit Geneva" option quits Geneva (surprise, surprise) but at this time quitting Geneva causes the computer to lock up with a blank screen because of the way that Geneva interfaces with the operating system. The "Options" menu option also contains two options: "ASCII Table" and "Help". The ASCII table is a GEM window with 250 ASCII characters that can be inserted into a document by opening the ASCII table, opening a file in a text editor and clicking on the ASCII character of your choice. "Help" brings up a hypercard style help viewer. The help viewer and file are loaded only when the help option is chosen or the help key is pressed from within Geneva. Geneva also comes with a desk accessory called the Task Manager. The Task Manager allows you to open programs and accessories just as with the Geneva menu bar. It also allows you to set "flags" for programs, and to set options for keyboard equivalents, window preferences such as window border widths and font type and point size, button style, and fill types, and options such as whether alerts are shown in the normal position (the center of the screen) or whether they follow the mouse pointer. We don't have room here to list and explain all of the options that Geneva and NeoDesk offer, but I'll list some that I feel are the most important. First off, the Geneva Task Manager allows you to set certain "flags" for any given program. Flags are options that tell Geneva how to deal with a program. A program that doesn't behave well in a multitasking environment can be set so that when it is run, all other programs are suspended. The amount of memory that a program can use can be limited. This comes in handy for programs such as the original FLASH! terminal program that expect to be the only program and therefore take all available memory. As this causes problems with other multitasking-friendly programs, the multitasking switch is a very handy option. It is also one of the things that makes Geneva so much more compatible than Multi-TOS. Geneva also allows the use of keyboard equivalents so that instead of using the mouse to select a dialog button, you can press a key combination to select the button. The key combination consists of holding the alternate key and pressing the key that is underlined in the dialog option that you wish to select. Another useful feature is the ability to use "tear-away" menus. This is the ability to take a menu from the menu bar and display it within a window on the desktop. From this point on, the menu options can be accessed without the need to go to the menu bar. This window will remain open as long as the program that the menu "belongs to" is running. You can also change the menu bar from "drop-down" menus to the "pull-down" variety. To access a pull-down menu, you must hold the mouse button down while over the menu bar. This eliminates the annoying tendency of the GEM desktop to display a menu simply because you happened to pass over the menu bar while moving the pointer to a window. The Geneva Item Selector is different than the standard Atari standard in many ways. The most noticeable difference is that instead of a single window within the Item Selector, there can be two. The Geneva file selector allows you the option of showing the folders in one window and files in another. This neatens up the item selector. Drives can also be selected with a mouse click. The normal assortment of sort options are easily available, as are ten user-definable extensions. The extensions can either replace the file mask or be added to the file mask. This makes it possible to show several different types of files while still excluding others. While the Geneva item selector is the default, other Item Selectors such as UIS III or LGFS can be installed as they would be with the standard desktop. "Okay," you're probably asking yourself, "where does NeoDesk4 come i n "? As I mentioned before, Geneva, for all of the wonderful possibilities it brings to the ST, has no real desktop or icons. Although you don't need a desktop to use Geneva effectively, there are instances when a desktop would come in handy. At the present time, NeoDesk is the only desktop that takes full advantage of the special abilities of Geneva. It even includes some of the features of Geneva, such as 3-D buttons and sliders. So let's take a look at Gribnif's latest offering, NeoDesk4. Anyone familiar with any of the previous versions of NeoDesk will quickly notice several changes but the general look and feel remains the same. Since most ST users have at least seen NeoDesk, let's concentrate on the new features in NeoDesk4. Believe me, there are enough new features to fill a manual. One of the most interesting changes in NeoDesk4 is the fact that each open window now has its own menu bar which replaces the usual top-of-the-desktop menu bar. The window menu bar holds all of the usual options: The first, File, which allows you to show information on a drive, folder, or file, delete files or folders, search for a file or folder with a given attribute (more on this later), create folders, close folders and windows, select all items, and a new option called New Group. This creates a "Group". Groups are another interesting addition to the new NeoDesk. A group is simply a window that contains the names and paths of programs and files from any drive. Despite the fact that the disk files may be on different drives, they will all appear in the same window and can be run from that window. This is most useful if you have a small drive that you wish to run many programs from. The next menu option, View, contains the options to show files as icons, or as text, show as large text or small, show files in one column or in as many columns as will fit in the window, show time, date, and/or size, print the directory to a file or printer, update window, and filter. The Filter option is the next step in the evolution of templates. Filter allows you to choose what files show up in the directory window. You can show files according to whether the file size, date, time, and archive and/or read-only attributes are less than, greater than, or equal to a given value. You can also select templates that include or exclude files to be shown. Filter preferences can be saved and loaded at will, making it easy to use a complex set of search criteria. The interesting thing about the Filter option is that it can do as much or as little as you want it to. The next menu option is Sort, which lets you tell NeoDesk how to sort a directory. You can sort by name, date, size, type (extension), or no sort, which shows files in the order that they were added to the directory. You can also reorder items from this menu. This option comes in handy for reordering programs in the AUTO folder. The Options menu, the final option, gives you to the option to install an application. An installed application will be run whenever a file with a particular extension is selected. The selected file is then passed to the program. This is useful for programs that use a particular type of data file. For instance, you could install STENO.ACC for extensions TXT and DOC. That way, anytime you double-click on a DOC file STeno will be run, and the DOC file would be loaded into it. Likewise, installing SOUNDLAB.PRG for the extension SAM and double clicking on a file called GRG_BUSH.SAM would run SoundLab and load GRG_BUSH.SAM into it. Needless to say, this is a time saver. The Program Info File option allows you to enable specific hardware and software settings, set parameters and environmental variables. You may never need this option, but if you do, it's easy enough that even I can use it. One of the neatest features of the latest version of NeoDesk is the ability to run in a window. The window can be closed, resized, etc. It can also be run as a desk accessory, although a multitasking environment is necessary to make it truly useful. While I have not yet found a good reason to run NeoDesk in a window or as a desk accessory, I'm sure that someone has. Also, dialogs are now shown inside of windows so that they can be "sent to back" and moved around the desktop. In keeping with the multitasking abilities of Geneva, NeoDesk4 can now format floppy disks and copy or move files in the background. As a test, I formatted both drive A: and B: and copied several files from one hard drive partition to another and ran two programs and a desk accessory. While a slowdown in the format and copy operations was noticeable, it was still useful to be able to do so. All of NeoDesk's previous features such as Desktop Notes, editable icons, simultaneous display of files as icons and text, split windows, and desktop pictures are still supported. As a matter of fact, desktop pictures can now be Degas, NeoChrome, Image (IMG), Tiny, or Bitmap (BMP) format. All these formats can also be viewed from the desktop by double-clicking on them. Bitmap files are what WINDOWS uses for desktop backgrounds. They have the virtue of taking up less space because they are actually small pictures that can be "tiled" across the screen like a brick wall so that a pattern is formed. If you're tired of only being able to run one program at a time from your old, plain jane ST Desktop, check into Geneva and NeoDesk4. They are outstanding programs and work seamlessly together. Aside from the fact that both programs are excellent tools, the fact that they are produced by Gribnif Software only enhances their value. Gribnif has supported ST users for years, and shows no signs of stopping... THANKS, GUYS! _______________________________________ Jaguar Section ============== Sega Settles With Atari! Williams Signs On! AvP Close! Online News! And more! > From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! """""""""""""""""""""""""""" In a "bloodless" settlement, Atari has managed to win an out-of- court settlement with Sega for $90 million! You may remember that last fall, Atari sued Sega for patent infringement. The settlement, announced a few days ago, gives Atari $50 million for which Sega gets to use an extensive list of Atari patents - apparently the ones it had been using which led to the suit. In addition, Sega will buy 4.7 million worth of Atari stock - amounting to $40 million. Atari, in response, will drop its lawsuit. Additionally, there will be a cross licensing agreement allowing both companies to exchange game programs. This sounds like a win-win situation for Atari. Atari wins their suit and avoids a long court case. Atari gains some much-needed cash to help in their efforts this holiday season for making the Jaguar a success. Atari also has the potential to reap some profits from one of their competitors and some of their own games. I'm not sure what may be going on in the minds of those at Sega, though. While $90 million isn't going to seriously hurt Sega, there must be some resentment that Sega is helping one of its upstart competitors. Will Sega hold on to the Atari stock which amounts to a 7.4% of Atari? Or, will they sit on it and hope that the stock climbs and they make a nice profit and come out ahead? Another thought also came to me - could this lead to a future buyout of Atari and remove one of Sega's game console rivals? It's certainly something to ponder. I don't think that the Tramiels are ready to give up just yet, however. They are certainly in great shape to work some wonders this holiday season, especially with this newly acquired cash windfall. Let's hope that Atari "splurges" a bit and really does a bang-up job with console and game production, marketing, and advertising this season! Atari still hasn't made their long-awaited announcement regarding Alien vs. Predator and other news. It's not currently known why this announcement has been delayed, but sources say that the announcement should be out soon. Just a few days prior to the Sega announcement, Atari welcomed another bit of great news. Williams Entertainment, makers of such popular games as Joust, Defender, and Robotron, have signed on to write some of their great arcade games for the Jaguar. Williams is already working on Troy Aikman NFL Football for the Jaguar; and Jeff Minter is interested in doing a Defender 2000 game. Could we also see such hits on the Jaguar such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam? It certainly is possible! Things are looking good for this holiday season and into next year. I know you're all eager to read the Sega and Williams announcements included below, so let's move on! Until next time... __________________________________________ >Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" -/- Atari & Williams Entertainment Agreement! -/- Contact: Ron Beltramo Marivi Lerdo Terry King Atari Edelman Williams Entertainment 408/745-8852 415/433-5381 903/874-2683 For Immediate Release ATARI AND WILLIAMS ENTERTAINMENT TO CREATE 64-BIT VERSIONS OF POPULAR ARCADE GAMES Innovative Deal Brings Hot Games To Both Jaguar Fans and PC Game Players SUNNYVALE, CA (September 26, 1994) -- Atari and Williams Entertainment have agreed to work together to bring vastly enhanced versions of Williams' popular, classic arcade games to the Atari 64-bit Jaguar system and high performance PCs. According to the licensing agreement, Atari will exploit the Jaguar system's 64-bit power to create new versions of such Williams' hits as Joust, Defender, and Robotron. These new games will offer features such as first-person perspectives in a realistic, three-dimensional environment. Atari then will market these games for its Jaguar system, while Williams will license the new versions to market them for high performance PCs. "64-bit power will make our best games even better by creating a compelling, immersive, experience for players," said Byron Cook, president of Williams Entertainment. "We are very excited about the Atari Jaguar 64-bit platform and are happy to support it with our finest titles." This is not the first cooperative venture between Williams and Atari. Williams and Atari have been promoting the Jaguar 64-bit system with Williams' Troy Aikman NFL Football through radio promotions in 25 top markets nationwide. Williams will make the game available in November on the Jaguar. Williams also is publishing a Jaguar version of its popular game Double Dragon Five, which also will be available in November. Williams Entertainment Inc. is the new home video subsidiary of WMS Industries, the company that created Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam video games. Since its release in November 93 Atari's Jaguar game system has been named the industry's Best New Game System (Video Games Magazine), Best New Hardware Systems (Game Informer) and 1993 Technical Achievement of the Year (Die Hard Game Fan). Jaguar, the world's first 64-bit video game system, retails for $249.00 and is the only video game system manufactured in the United States. Atari Corporation, based in Sunnyvale Calif., designs and markets 64-bit interactive multimedia entertainment systems and video games. ### Jaguar is a trademark for Atari Corporation. Atari is a registered trademark of Atari Corporation. Other products named may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their owning companies. -/- Sega Settles With Atari For $90 Million! -/- From UPI... SUNNYVALE, CA, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Atari Corp. and Japan's Sega Enterprises announced Wednesday a $90 million settlement covering lawsuit and a cross licensing agreement allowing the home-video giants to exchange game programs. Under the agreement, Atari will receive $50 million for giving Sega worldwide, non-exclusive rights to Atari's extensive library of patents, a number of which extend beyond the turn of the century. Sega also agreed to purchase approximately 4.7 million shares of Atari common stock for a price of $40 million. "We at Atari are very pleased with this new affiliation," said Sam Tramiel, president and chief executive officer of Atari. "The increased cash position will be used among other things to enhance our marketing position this fall." Both companies announced they would also enter into software license agreements for a specified number of games that would be made available on each company's present and future platforms. In return, Atari agreed to drop all legal proceedings against Sega. "This goes beyond just a settlement," said August Liguori, Atari's CFO. "It has many facets including the cross licensing agreement. Sega has some very good titles and Atari has some very good ones currently in development. This agreement will allow us to get more of our product out there." Atari has been beset by product development setbacks ever since signing a $500 million multi-year contract with International Business Machines Corp. to manufacture its unique Jaguar game platform, a 64-bit multimedia entertainment system. Wall Street has responded by sending Atari stock on a wild ride that has seen its 52-week high of $12.75 a share fall to a low of $2.875. It has rebounded and was up Wednesday in mid-session by $1.25 to $6.875 on the American Stock Exchange. "There have been delays," Ligouri said. "But those have been corrected. We will have 30 titles ready for the Christmas selling season." Ligouri said the company has also been very encouraged by the initial feedback it has received for its new "benchmark" game called "Alien versus Predator." Atari had filed a lawsuit against Sega claiming patient infringement in the fall of 1993. Wednesday's agreement to end that litigation now must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission under Hart-Scott-Rodino and to certain other conditions. Sega Enterprises Ltd., of Tokyo, is a nearly $4 billion company, recognized as a leader in interactive digital entertainment media, with operations on five continents. It has made substantial inroads in cutting into Nintendo's leadership in the booming home-video game business, particularly among leading-edge products. -/- Atari News from PR Newswire -/- ATC ATARI CORP. (AMEX) 28-SEP-1994 08:52 SEGA AND ATARI ANNOUNCE LONG-TERM LICENSING AGREEMENTS, EQUITY INVESTMENT, AND RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES TOKYO and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Sega Enterprises, Ltd., and Atari Corporation (AMEX: ATC) announced today an affiliation that includes several agreements designed to serve as the basis of future working arrangements between the two video game manufacturers. Under the terms of the agreements: -- Sega will receive worldwide, non-exclusive rights with certain exceptions to Atari's extensive library of patents, a number of which extend beyond the turn of the century. The agreement covers Sega, its subsidiaries, its licenses, and its customers for more than 70 U.S. patents and applications, for a fully prepaid royalty to Atari covering the remaining 7 years of certain patents, amortized at approximately $7 million per year. Atari will therefore receive a total of $50 million, less Atari's contingent attorney fees and costs. -- Sega will purchase approximately 4.7 million shares of Atari common stock for a total price of $40 million. -- Both companies will enter into software license agreements for a specified number of games that would be made available on each company's present and future platforms. -- Atari will dismiss its legal proceedings against Sega, and each company will release all claims against the other. The agreements are subject to approval by the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission under Hart-Scott-Rodino and to certain other conditions. "We are extremely pleased with this relationship that has potential long-term benefits for both companies," said David Rosen, Co-Chairman of Sega of America. "We at Atari are very pleased with this new affiliation. The increased cash position will be used among other things to enhance our marketing position this fall," said Sam Tramiel, President, CEO, of Atari Corp. Atari designs and markets interactive multimedia entertainment systems and is located in Sunnyvale, California. Sega Enterprises, Ltd., Tokyo, is a nearly $4 billion company, recognized as a leader in interactive digital entertainment media, with operations on five continents. -0- 9/28/94 /CONTACT: Richard Brudvik-Lindner of Sega Enterprises, Ltd., 415-802-3657; or Brenda Lynch of Manning, Selvage & Lee, 818-509-1840, for Sega; or Sam Tramiel, 408-745-8824 or August Liguori, 408-745-2069, both of Atari Corp./ (ATC) CO: Sega Enterprises, Ltd.; Atari Corporation ST: California IN: ENT CPR SU:LIC On top of the blockbuster SEGA settlement, there was other Atari news today. Reuters quoted Sam Tramiel as saying that a disappointing 90,000 Jaguars have been sold so far, and that he anticipates a total at year end of about 200,000. He had previously predicted 300k, and puts the blame on lack of games this year. He also promised that the CDROM accessory will be out in November and that 30 games will be available by year's end. Tramiel also commented that Atari did not absolutely need the SEGA cash, but would put it to good use. -/- Spy Author to Create New Game -/- Activision says it has signed James Adams, a news correspondent and spy thriller author, to write the first in a series of interactive multimedia spy adventures that will be developed over the next three years. The Los Angeles-based game maker notes that Adams will join former C.I.A. chief William Colby to help it develop programs that "provide a realistic and breathtaking interpretation of real-life, post-cold war covert operations." "I'm extremely enthusiastic about Activision's vision for this series," says Adams. "With books declining as a mainstream choice of entertainment, the new interactive form will host many of the most exciting new adventure stories in the future. I expect the Activision espionage games to storm the market and set a new standard for the medium." Adams is Washington bureau chief for The Sunday Times of London. He has penned eight non-fiction and two fiction books dealing with international espionage agent and covert operations. _________________________________ > Jaguar Online STR InfoFile Online Users Growl & Purr! """""""""""""""""""""""""" To All We have opened our advance bookings to six more titles: Cannon Fodder (Due Dec 94) Double Dragon 5 (Due Dec 94) Dungeon Depths (Due Dec 94) Flashback (Due Nov/Dec 94) Troy Aikman NFL Football (due Nov 94) Ultra Vortex (4mg-Cart) (due Nov 94) Manufacturers suggested retail is $59.99 on all titles except for $69.99 on Troy Aikman and $74.99 on Ultra Vortex. With the addition of these titles, our total of titles shipping and titles going to ship by the end of December has increased to 20. These titles do not include any of the CD rom titles. We are also aware of other titles that will probably ship by the end of December. These titles will be added to our list when the release dates are more certain. The point I am trying to make here is that 30-50 titles by the end of December is likely. Dave Bits of Fun -/- AvP Discussed on IRC With VG's Zach Meston -/- In an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) with Zach Meston (writer for VideoGames, etc.) Monday night, he said that VideoGames magazine will be giving AvP an overall rating of 9. (Nine.) Graphics were great, with the animation the major thing he found fault with. (Good, but not as smooth as he expected.) About the frame rate, "The frame rate in AvP depends on the character you're using. The Alien can move FAST, while the Marine kind of hobbles along. There's no slowdown even with large groups of aliens coming at you from every direction. :)" Zach said that the Alien & Predator games would more appeal to the Doom crowd (shoot-em-up), with the Marine game being more for the "deep thinkers." Gamers can be a fickle lot, and when asked if he thought there would be a post-release letdown in reaction to the hype that has surrounded AvP (there was somewhat of a letdown following the release of Way of the Warrior for 3DO), Zach replied that he didn't think so, and remarked on the quality of AvP in comparison. He was very pleased with the game. While he doesn't think that it has the undefinable "Oomph" to be a system seller, he said it was excellent. (In Zach's opinion, Iron Soldier qualifies more as a system seller for Jaguar, as blowing up buildings grabs peoples' attention easier.) Near to the end of the IRC, Zach was asked if AvP was "terrifying enough". His response, "Damn straight it was.... At least until I got the motion tracker and knew where the friggin' Aliens were coming from." Users planning on purchasing Zach's upcoming Official Atari Jaguar Secrets book should know that AvP will be one of the featured games. There seems to be a lot of tricks in the title, and I'm sure that Zach will cover them all.<< """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" ..and you thought _you_ had it figured out! """"""""""""""""" If You're a _Guy_, You Will Understand.... Some of the great guy truths: ----------------------------- "Jiggle the wires. If it still doesn't work, buy a new one. When forced to clean, do only those spots in plain sight. Don't make the bed if all you're going to do is sleep in it again. Shop only for stuff you've just run out of, such as beer. Divorce is less painful when you successfully trade the fine china for the remote control. 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