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Article #519 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 14-Apr-95 #1115
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson)
Date: Wed May  3 00:04:57 1995



                            SILICON TIMES REPORT
                            ====================
                        INTERNATIONAL ONLINE MAGAZINE
                        =============================
                                                        
                                    from
                       STR Electronic Publishing Inc.
                               A subsidiary of
                         STR Worldwide CompNews Inc.
                                     
                                     
   April 14, 1995                                                No. 1115
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 > 04/14/95 STR 1115  "The Original * Independent * OnLine Magazine!"
   """""""""""""""""
 - STR INDUSTRY REPORT    - MS & WANG; Allies      - AMD Delays Pentium 
 - Audio on Internet      - Acrobat Capture!       - Internet in a Box 
 - Dr. Brain              - PHONEBLASTER           - OUI by DVORAK
 - ScreenCam Ships        - People Talking         - Jaguar News

                      -* SATAN Attacks Texas System *-
                     -* Oracle Confirms Apple Buyout *-
                        -* CIS ADDS FREE INTERNET *-

 ==========================================================================
                   STReport International OnLine Magazine
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   LottoMan V1.3 Results: 04/08/95: 21 1# matches 
   ----------------------

 > From the Editor's Desk             "Saying it like it is!"
   """"""""""""""""""""""

      Happy Easter to everyone!  Spring is here for sure now.  Sunday will
 reveal all those pretty Easter Bonnets and fresh faced kids chasing those
 elusive eggs.  What a wonderful time of the year!  Chocolate Bunnies,
 Jelly Beans and all those other great goodies.  Let's not forget Easter's
 traditional dinner.  Better yet... be sure to remember the real reason
 there is an Easter.  As much as I try to keep Christ in Christmas, I also
 try to remember the real meaning of Easter.  I hope you do too. 
 Especially this year, knowing those two felows are under the oppresive
 Iraqi thumb.  Perhaps, a silent prayer or two for those guys is realy in
 order.

      Spring Comdex is right around the corner..  Win'95 is getting
 stronger by the minute and the support is running super strong.  Win'95
 shows every indication of breaking all sorts of records for sales and
 market penetration.  Its deserved, Win'95 is the first OS I can honestly
 say I have FUN using.  Its everything I've wanted in an OS and much, much
 more.  It has things in it I never knew I wanted.  Take the plunge, you'll
 never look back.

                                         Ralph... 



 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.
      
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 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:
 """"""""""""""""""""""""""""
           Dominick J. Fontana      Norman Boucher      Clemens Chin   
           Eric Jerue               Ron Deal            Mike Barnwell  
           Ed Westhusing            Glenwood Drake      Vernon W.Smith
           Bruno Puglia             Paul Haris          Kevin Miller   
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           Patrick Hudlow           Tom Sherwin

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                                              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 #15
   
                    Compiled by: Lloyd E. Pulley, Sr.



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



                   >>Interplay Sets Waterworld Games <<

    Interplay Productions says it has purchased the licensing rights to 
 produce and develop video games and CD-ROM software based on the 
 upcoming feature film Waterworld.
  
    Due out this summer, Waterworld stars Kevin Costner as the Mariner, 
 an enigmatic hero who lives in a world without land. Jeanne Tripplehorn 
 co-stars as his wife. Together, they must battle the ruthless Deacon, 
 played by Dennis Hopper, and his army.
  
    Interplay says it will produce two different Waterworld titles: an 
 action/adventure game for the Sony Playstation, 3DO video game systems 
 and PC CD-ROM computers, and a strategy game for PC and Macintosh CD-ROM 
 computers.
  
    Prices and release dates are pending.
  
  
                  >> Oracle Confirms Apple Buyout Bid <<

    Software publisher Oracle Corp. confirms it has held talks with other 
 companies on ways to buy Apple Computer Inc., but that the plan has 
 failed so far because would-be partners didn't want to participate.

    Noting rumors have circulated for months that database maker Oracle 
 planned to buy Apple with a partner and carve it into software and 
 hardware divisions, the Wall Street Journal observed this week, 
 "Industry watchers have said Oracle wanted to keep Apple's software for 
 use in its interactive-television services."
  
    Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said this week in an interview on the 
 national TV show "Charlie Rose" that his firm has no continuing 
 discussions with either Apple or Lotus Development Corp., another 
 company watchers say Oracle wants to acquire.
  
  
                   >> Microsoft, Wang Form Alliance <<

    Microsoft Corp. and Wang Laboratories Inc. say they have formed a 
 broad, multi-year technical, service and marketing alliance that aims to 
 bring improved document imaging and workflow management capabilities to 
 Windows users.

    Under the alliance, Wang's desktop imaging and object controls will 
 be incorporated as standard features into future releases of Windows 95 
 and Windows NT, and image controls will be included in the Visual Basic 
 development tool. Additionally, the two companies will work together to 
 accelerate the deployment of workflow automation software as a 
 mainstream application for client-server computing.

    Microsoft and Wang will also cooperate in the definition of work 
 management APIs (application programming interfaces) that will enable 
 applications to use workflow functions. The APIs will be open and 
 available to all vendors, say the companies.
  
    Wang will also develop and market Windows NT versions of its imaging 
 and workflow server products to complement Microsoft's BackOffice suite 
 of Windows NT server applications.
  
    Joseph M. Tucci, chairman and CEO of Wang, adds, "This alliance will 
 have a dramatic impact on the acceptance of workflow and imaging 
 technology. Our partnership will bring Wang's leading imaging software 
 to millions of people. With Microsoft, we will make document imaging a 
 pervasive and inexpensive mainstream application and accelerate the 
 deployment of workflow as a widely used business productivity tool."
  
  
                  >> Compaq, MITAC Set Joint Venture <<

    Compaq Computer Corp. has announced a joint development agreement 
 with MITAC International Corp. of Taipei, Taiwan, to develop and 
 manufacture consumer desktop computers.
  
    Products resulting from the alliance are slated for introduction in 
 the second half of 1995.

    Compaq says it will continue to manufacture its Presario consumer 
 desktop PCs in its factories in Houston, Texas; Erskine, Scotland; 
 Singapore; Shenzhen, China; and Jaguariuna, Brazil.
  
  
                      >> IBM Cuts ThinkPad Prices <<
  
    IBM Corp. has lowered prices on several of its ThinkPad notebook 
 computers by up to 14%.
  
    The price cuts cover four models in the premium 755 series, including 
 the 755C and 755CD, a CD-ROM unit with video, telephony and infrared 
 capabilities.

    The affected ThinkPad models are available in 12 configurations, 
 covering several screen styles, hard disk sizes and processor types.
  
    System prices now range from $3,099 to $6,349.
  
  
                   >> First Info/LA Kiosks Unveiled <<
  
    Santa Monica, California, and North Communications have unveiled 
 their first two Info/LA multimedia touch-screen kiosks.
  
    The kiosks feature a touch screen with full-motion digital video, 
 stereo sound and an on- screen guide that speaks in English and Spanish. 
 The units are designed to highlight and describe Santa Monica's various 
 governmental programs and services.
  
    Santa Monica is the first local government in the Los Angeles area to 
 participate in Info/LA. Since 1989, Santa Monica has operated its own 
 information service, the Public Electronic Network (PEN).
  
    North Communications, based in Marina del Rey, California, designed, 
 developed and installed the new kiosks for Santa Monica.
  
  
                   >> AMD Delays Pentium Competitor <<

    K5, Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s next-generation microprocessor 
 intended to go up against rival Intel Corp.'s Pentium chip, is being 
 delayed. The company now says K5 won't be available generally until 
 early 1996.
  
    AMD officials said the company will attempt to mass produce K5s this 
 year for Compaq Computer only, with which it has signed a supply 
 agreement.
  
    Two reasons were cited by AMD spokesman Chuck Malloy for delaying K5 
 mass production:
  
    -:- AMD is enjoying extremely good sales of '486 chips. (It recently 
 added three major Japanese PC manufacturers to its '486 list of clients, 
 and a major U.S. counterpart is expected to join in the next few 
 months).
  
    -:- The cost and time needed to develop the manufacturing steps for 
 K5 mass production are bigger than originally anticipated.
  
    The chipmaker said it expects the K5 delay will lead to higher turn-
 over in 1995 because it will be able to sell more '486 chips than it 
 would have if it had converted a 486 plant to K5 production.
  
  
                  >> CERT Says SATAN Creates New Hole <<

    Network watchdogs at the Computer Emergency Response Team say SATAN, 
 that controversial program released on the Internet last week to help 
 bolster security, has introduced a break-in vulnerability of its own to 
 thousands of computers.

    SATAN (System Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks) was intended 
 to let operators of Internet computers check for security lapses, and 
 thousands of users have downloaded the program.
  
    "But" writes The Wall Street Journal this week, "SATAN allows hackers 
 to gain control of any computer that uses it," according to an advisory 
 posted by CERT, a group of security experts who monitor incidents on the 
 Internet.
  
    CERT's latest advisory warns users of the vulnerability and instruct-
 ing them how to plug the security hole in SATAN.
  
  
                     >> SATAN Attacks Texas System <<

    A Clear Lake, Texas, Internet access provider had to temporarily shut 
 down some computers last week after a digital attack by intruders using 
 the new SATAN software.
  
    Phoenix owner Bill Holbert said, "These guys can come in and liter-
 ally take control, get super-user status on our systems. This is not 
 your average piece of shareware."
  
    Silverman reports the attack began about 9 p.m. Wednesday.  "Techni-
 cians watched for a while and then turned off the machines at Phoenix 
 that provide 'shell' accounts, which allow direct access to a computer's 
 operating system. The computers used for SLIP or PPP access -- a direct 
 telephone connection to the Internet -- were not affected.
  
    Holbert said the system was back up Thursday afternoon after some 
 security modifications. "It actually taught us a few things," he said. 
 "I've begun to believe that no computer network is secure."
  
  
                   >> Digital Ships 100,000th Alpha <<

    Digital Equipment Corp. says it has shipped its 100,000th Alpha 
 system, and that total product and services revenues from the Alpha 
 system family have surpassed $3 billion.

    "This milestone clearly illustrates market acceptance for Digital's 
 high-performance 64-bit Alpha RISC systems," says Robert B. Palmer, 
 president and CEO of the Maynard, Massachusetts-based computer maker. 
 "For example, Digital has shipped nearly 13,000 AlphaServer 2100-class 
 systems in the past 12 months. At this rate, we expect to have reached 
 $4.5 billion worth of Alpha systems and services before our major 
 competitors -- HP, IBM and Sun -- ship their first 64-bit system."
  
    In addition to traditional commercial and technical computing applic-
 ations, Digital says it is realizing volume and revenue growth from such 
 new areas such as video-on-demand, micromarketing and online analytical 
 processing.
  
  
                    >> Role-Playing CD-ROMs Planned <<
  
    HarperCollins Interactive is joining forces with The Markle 
 Foundation, a non-profit educational organization, and software 
 developer Thinking Tools to co- publish a series of CD-ROM simulations.
  
    HarperCollins says the new PowerTrip series will provide role-playing 
 simulations based on public, social, political and economic issues, 
 including political campaigning, foreign relations and the environment.
  
    Each title will place players in the role of a central decision-
 making character, allowing them to customize their goals and make 
 decisions. Users will be able to live the experiences of a candidate 
 seeking the White House, a defense minister trying to prevent a war or 
 an environmentalist trying to save a rain forest.
  
    The first title, scheduled for release this fall, will be based on 
 the presidential election campaign process.
  
    The Markle Foundation was established in 1927 as a non- profit grant 
 making foundation and has focused work since 1969 on the expanding role 
 of communications media and interactive technology in people's daily 
 lives.
  
  
                   >> New Copier Doesn't Harm Books <<
  
    Xerox Corp. has unveiled a new photocopier for libraries and other 
 institutions that aims not to break book spines or bindings.
  
    The company notes that the Xerox Bookmark35 Copy Station is designed 
 so that the edge of its copying surface slopes at a 35-degree angle to 
 match the natural contour of an open book. When copying pages, users in 
 libraries, schools, universities, law or government centers don't have 
 press the book flat to obtain acceptable copies.
  
    According to Xerox, the Bookmark35 can generate up to 35 copies per 
 minute. The unit can copy pages as large as 17 by 17 inches, odd-size 
 originals or three-dimensional objects. The copier can be accessed by 
 coin or card.
  
    The base version of the Bookmark35 sells for $8,820. Xerox will begin 
 taking orders on May 1.
  
  
                   >> Firm Offers Audio Via Internet <<

    A year-old Seattle firm called Progressive Networks is set to invite 
 broadcasters, other sound-oriented companies and interested consumers to 
 sample audio-on-demand services through the Internet.
  
    The product, dubbed RealAudio, will enable, for instance, a local 
 radio station to make its newscasts or sports play-by-plays accessible 
 to someone living in another state anytime that person wants.
  
    Reports say the ABC and National Public Radio networks plan to make 
 their newscasts available on the Internet using the technology, which 
 Progressive Networks is to formally introduced at the National 
 Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas this week.
  
    The system comes in two parts, one program used at the transmission 
 side of an audio program and one at the listening side. Progressive 
 Networks is giving away the listening side software, which may be used 
 on Windows-based PCs, Macintoshes and Unix-run computers. It is also 
 making deals with companies that make programs for browsing the World 
 Wide Web portion of the Internet to include the listening software in 
 their products.
  
    The firm intends to sell the transmission side program and other 
 specialized software to companies that wish to present audio through the 
 Internet.
  
    Also, Progressive Networks CEO Rob Glaser said the company will 
 operate a centralized spot on the World Wide Web for sound-oriented 
 companies, including the radio networks, to present their material. In 
 time, however, Glaser said most audio providers will operate their own 
 services.
  
    The software runs best with a computer that has a modem connection 
 speed of 14,400 bits per second. During a demonstration in New York 
 Friday, Glaser showed that a computer powered by a fast 486, Pentium or 
 PowerPC chip can run both the audio signal and another program, such as 
 a word processor or spreadsheet, at the same time.
  
  
                   >> Adobe Offers Scanner Software <<
  
    Adobe Systems Inc. is announcing its new high-end program called 
 Acrobat Capture for converting paper documents into a computerized 
 format that keeps the appearance and style of the original.
  
    To be released next month at a suggested retail price of $2,995, the 
 Windows-based software makes use of scanning devices and the optical 
 character recognition (OCR) technology to convert a paper page into an 
 electronic format.
  
    "The user can then search for information, send the electronic 
 version across a computer network or store it on a device such as a CD-
 ROM," The Wall Street Journal reported this week. "Unlike earlier OCR 
 products, Acrobat Capture's format retains the typefaces, graphics and 
 layout of the original document."
  
  
                   >> Lotus Ships Updated ScreenCam <<

    Lotus Development Corp. has started shipping an updated version of 
 its ScreenCam software.

    Like its predecessor, Lotus ScreenCam for Windows 2.0 is an inter-
 active tool for creating ad hoc and formal audio/visual presentations. 
 Users can capture screen activity, cursor movements and sound into an 
 integrated file that can be saved and distributed across local and wide-
 area networks as well as the Internet.
  
    The new release provides several enhancements, including captioning, 
 sound compression, editing and integration with Lotus' Notes/FX product. 
 The software publisher reports that ScreenCam sound compression, using 
 algorithm technology from VocalTec Inc., can reduce file size by as much 
 as 50 percent. Soundless movies with ScreenCam captions can reduce file 
 size by as much as 90 percent.

    ScreenCam Release 2.0 for Windows costs $99. Users of the previous 
 version can upgrade for $49.
  
  
                  >> Alternate Memory Source Claimed <<

    A group of Colorado computer engineers report they have found a new 
 kind of material that can store information in a small space and without 
 electricity.
  
    Writing in the science journal Nature, J.F. Scott of the University 
 of Colorado and colleagues at Symetrix Corp. in Colorado Springs say 
 they have created a new family of ferroelectric compounds that are 
 easily turned into thin-film capacitors.
  
    Scott and company wrote, "The structural flexibility of these 
 materials allows their properties to be tailored so that many of the 
 problems associated with previous ferroelectric memories are avoided."


                 >> Professor Says Computers Too High <<

    The cost of computing is being kept artificially high by computer 
 companies, professor/author Nicholas Negroponte has told a packed house 
 in Britain.
  
    Appearing at the University of London to promote his new book, "Being 
 Digital," Negroponte spoke of the relationship between chipmakers at 
 Andrew Grove's Intel Corp. and programmers at Bill Gates' Microsoft 
 Corp.:
  
    "Andy makes a faster processor and then Bill uses more power, Andy 
 makes another and Bill uses more."

    Negroponte, who is head of the Massachusetts Institute Technology's 
 Media Lab, "predicted that within two years the Internet market 
 explosion would force companies to go back to basics and start offering 
 80286-based bare personal computers with NetScape built in for $75."
  
  
                  _________________________________________


 > Frankie's Corner STR Feature
   """"""""""""""""""""""""""""

 The Kids' Computing Corner
 --------------------------


                         THE LOST MIND OF DR. BRAIN
                         ==========================


                            Available for Windows
                           and Macintosh on CD-ROM
                          for ages 12 through adult
                           suggested retail $49.95
                                    from
                               Sierra On-Line
                       3380 146th Place SE, Suite 300
                             Bellevue, WA 98007
                                206-649-9800

 IBM Requirements                      Macintosh Requirements
 ----------------                      ----------------------
 CPU:     486SX-20                     CPU:     68030 Color Mac
 RAM:     3 megs                       RAM:     2.2 megs
 Video:   SVGA, 640 x 480, 256 colors  Video:   13" 256 color monitor
 Hdisk:   1 meg                        Hdisk:   1 meg
 CD-ROM:  Double-speed recommended     CD-ROM:  Double-speed recommended
 OS:      Windows 3.1                  OS:      System 6.0.7
 Misc.:   Sound card, mouse



 by Frank Sereno

 Sierra On-Line has consistently produced interesting and innovative
 educational software.  "The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain" is their newest title
 and it does nothing to diminish Sierra's hard-earned reputation for
 excellence.

 The premise of the latest Dr. Brain sequel is that Doctor Thaddeus P.
 Brain has developed a machine which transfers intelligence from one being
 to another.  Dr. Brain attempts to transfer some of his knowledge to his
 lab rat, Rathbone, but an accident transfers too much of his intelligence. 
 The player's task is to unscramble the good Doctor's brain by solving a
 series of puzzles involving the ten regions of the brain.

 "Dr. Brain" was developed using the theories of Dr. Howard Gardner
 regarding multiple intelligences.  These intelligences are
 verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, visual/spatial,
 bodily/kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and intrapersonal.  Each of the
 puzzle sets will require a combination of the intelligences for
 completion.  Solving the puzzles will exercise and enhance these
 intelligences.

 Solving puzzles is usually not regarded as a fun activity by many
 children, but "Dr. Brain" presents the puzzles in a unique and interesting
 way.  For example, the Train of Thought puzzles involve docking colored
 balls in the correct order by routing them over railroad tracks.  The
 Synaptic Cleft puzzles have a cowboy theme as the player must round up
 neurotransmitters depicted as mooing cows.  The puzzles are full of great
 animations and sounds.  Humor is used abundantly to entertain the player
 and to maintain his interest.  He is rewarded with visual and verbal
 encouragement upon solving each puzzle.  If a player has difficulties, he
 can get hints for the beautiful Dr. Elaina.

 "Dr. Brain" has three levels of difficulty.  Some puzzles on the Novice
 level are appealing to and can be solved by players younger than twelve. 
 For example, my six-year-old son, Jeremy, had great fun and reasonable
 success playing Train of Thought and Synaptic Cleft.  Expert level can be
 a challenge to many adults and Genius level is extremely difficult.  "Dr.
 Brain" can certainly provide much stimuli and fun for all.

 The graphics are truly outstanding.  The artists paid attention to the 
 small details.  The characters are excellently drawn and well-defined. 
 The visuals are filled with bright and interesting colors.  The animations
 are incredibly smooth and lifelike.  Once again Sierra has used its
 patented lip-synching technology.  The sound is not only synchronized with
 the character's mouth, but the mouth also forms the natural movements for
 the sound.

 The voice characterizations are topnotch.  Rathbone uses a different
 dialect for each puzzle region and each is excellent.  "Dr. Brain" is
 filled with many humorous sound effects which were expertly digitized.
 The music is very enjoyable.  The graphics and sounds make "Dr. Brain" an
 outstanding multimedia experience.

 "The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain" uses a very intuitive point-and-click
 interface.  Audible help is available within the program.  On-line
 documentation provides excellent information for using the program.  One
 area of deficiency is that little information is included about
 troubleshooting problems running the program.  Technical assistance is
 available from Sierra via telephone, fax, the Sierra BBS and on-line
 services.

 Children (and adults) will find "Dr. Brain" to be an entertaining
 experience for many, many hours.  There are hundreds of fascinating
 puzzles to solve.  The humor that infuses the program will keep them
 coming back for more.

 Many educational programs require that the child do many repetitive
 exercises or drills to build skills.  For example, he may have to do
 dozens of math problems.  Such programs can be excellent but the drills
 can become tedious and soon become an exercise of memorization.  "Dr.
 Brain" encourages the child to think creatively.  Puzzles have more than
 one solution and different thought patterns are used to find these
 solutions.  The program also teaches children about the parts of the brain
 and the thought process as Dr. Elaina explains the puzzles and offers
 verbal encouragement.  This program makes learning fun!

 Sierra On-line's educational programs have always offered excellent value. 
 "Dr. Brain" does have a mid-range price but it offers many hours of
 learning fun.  The program is also backed by a 30-day money back
 guarantee.  The only condition is that the returnee give Sierra the reason
 for the return.  If you are looking for a fun learning multimedia
 challenge for your child or yourself, you cannot go wrong by purchasing
 "The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain."

                                   Ratings

                     Graphics ........... 10.0
                     Sounds ............. 10.0
                     Interface ..........  9.0
                     Play Value .........  9.5
                     Educational Value .. 10.0
                     Bang for the Buck ..  9.5
                     Average ............  9.67

                                     ###

 A few months back, I reviewed two educational titles from Sanctuary Woods. 
 These were "Real World Math: Adventures in Flight" and "Word Stuff."  Both
 titles are quite good.  Surplus Software is now selling these titles at
 the low price of $19.95 each.  You can contact Surplus Software at 1-800-
 753-7877.  The catalog I.D. is SKU-CDRWMA for "Real World Math" and SKU-
 CDWSTU for "Word Stuff."

 That's all until next week.  Thanks for reading!


                ____________________________________________
               

 > OUI - Dvorak STR InfoFile      It keeps getting better and better!
   """""""""""""""""""""""""



                                  OUI (tm)
                          Off-line Usenet Interface
                                 for Windows


 Many NavCIS users have been asking us for an advanced off-line navigator
 that makes Usenet newsgroups as easy to use as CompuServe forums.  We've
 taken our NavCIS experience and applied it, listened to our users, studied
 and tinkered, and soon we'll be releasing our Windows version of OUI
 (pronounced "whee").

 OUI uses CompuServe's USENET gateway to access the Internet's Usenet
 newsgroups.  Using off-line technology developed and used by thousands of
 NavCIS users, OUI makes using the thousands of newsgroups easy and
 affordable.

 This product will pay for itself in a month or two if you've been a
 moderate CompuServe USENET user.  And it's perfect if you've been wanting
 to learn about the USENET but have been put off by the cost (its billed as
 an extended forum) or complexity.

 Features:
 ---------
 * Windows MDI interface, makes Usenet easy to learn, easy to use.
 * Powerful search and index options allow you to quickly find
   Newsgroups that interest you.
 * Powerful threading features let you find conversations that
   interest you... you can see threads BEFORE you download messages,
   as well as track, ignore, and store threads according to your tastes.
 * Twit filters allow you to ignore input from selected users.
 * Personalized storage lets you store and retrieve messages and threads
   by your selected criteria.
 * Read and reply easily using split windows.
 * User definable auto-quote characteristics.
 * Built in multi-lingual spell checker.
 * Built in UUencoding and UUdecoding.
 * Full integration with NavCIS 2.0 when it becomes available.
 * Extensive dual-window help with Index and Glossary.
 * Includes NavImage... our powerful graphics editor (GIF, JPG, BMP, PCX,
   TIF and TGA support).

 What does it cost?
 ------------------
 * $39 via download or $42 via disk and mailed.
 * Only $19 for registered NavCIS Pro users via download or $22 on
   disk and mailed.

 System Requirements:
 --------------------
 Requires Windows 3.1 running in enhanced mode.  386/20 or faster with 4mb
 RAM minimum.  Mouse, modem and 5mb hard disk space.  CompuServe account.

 Anticipated Release:
 --------------------
 OUI will be released before the end of the second quarter, 1995.

 How is OUI packaged?
 --------------------
 OUI is a disk based product and does not include a written manual. 
 Rather, it features powerful on-line help that is concise, well written
 and easy to use.  OUI can be downloaded from the Dvorak forum or ordered
 on diskette for a slightly higher cost.

 Can I order it now?
 -------------------
 No.  We do not want to take your money and deliver something that doesn't
 live up to your expectations.  We'd rather you download and try the TE
 (15 day demoware Timed Edition) before you decide to purchase OUI.  The
 TE version will be located in LIB 1 of the DVORAK forum.

 Can I beta test it?
 -------------------
 Currently we are not seeking beta testers.  Please do not request a beta
 testing slot.  When and if we do a public beta, a forum announcement will
 be made seeking volunteers.

 Thank you for your interest.  We hope you'll enjoy this product and find
 it helpful and useful navigating the outer edges of Cyberspace.

 --Dvorak Development


                        ____________________________


 > WIN'95 Overview STR FOCUS!
   """"""""""""""""""""""""""




                 WINDOWS SOURCES WIN 95 VIRTUAL WALKTHROUGH
                 ==========================================





                         WINDOWS 95: STAY OR SWITCH?
                         ===========================

 -- ASCII text version

 by; Richard Butner, Joseph Moran, Larry Seltzer,
     Gregory Smith, Gus Venditto

 Should you switch? Our Windows 95 preview proves it's not just a new
 interface.  Architectural changes smooth multitasking and speeds
 communications.

 Grab something solid and hold on tight. That rumbling you hear is the
 sound of Windows 95 coming down the pipeline. Although the final version
 is not due till August, Windows 95 is already shaking up everything on the
 computer landscape. The results of our tests of a beta version of Windows
 95 (Beta 2, M7 build 224) will show you why.  Its now up to build 440 with
 build 347 being the preview version.

 Windows 3.1 is inarguably one of the most influential programs ever
 written. It has been installed on over 50 million machines, inspired
 several thousand new applications, and shifted the direction of computing.
 Windows 95 is even more ambitious. It has the potential to usher in a new
 array of hardware, ranging from PBX telephone systems to wireless personal
 communicators.

 The first step, however, is to win the desktops of Windows 3.1 users. 
 That's not as straightforward as it might seem. Windows 95 isn't simply an
 upgrade; in some ways, it's a radical departure. This is most evident in
 the user interface (UI).  Microsoft has changed even the most basic
 components. New symbols--a straight line and a box--replace the minimize
 and maximize buttons. Program Manager is now an obscure option you set in
 system.INI. And a single button, Start, guides you through your session,
 eliminating the desktop clutter of program groups and items.

 DOS Is Dead, Long Live DOS
 --------------------------
 Windows 95 is also the first version of Windows to shield you from DOS. It
 bypasses the command line, booting right into a graphical environment. By
 largely avoiding DOS's real-mode restrictions and by using new 32-bit
 protected-mode drivers (VxDs), Windows 95 solves many performance and
 compatibility problems. True, Windows has sported 32-bit protected-mode
 drivers since Version 3.0, but Microsoft has enhanced the drivers in
 Windows 95. For example, Windows 95 loads and unloads drivers dynamically,
 whereas 3.1 could load VxDs only when the system initialized. Windows 95
 also enhances the DOS file system. The new VFAT (virtual file allocation
 table) driver lets you create filenames and directory (folder, in Win
 95 parlance) names of up to 255 characters, but it still supports
 traditional 8.3-style filenames.

 You won't have to replace all your old software, though. In fact, in our
 tests, DOS applications ran better than they do in Windows 3.1. Windows 95
 frees conventional memory by implementing many features, such as network
 and CD-ROM drivers, as virtual device drivers rather than as TSRs or
 real-mode DOS drivers.

 For an early look at the coming class of Win 95-based applications, try
 out the Accessories included with Windows 95.  Only with new applications
 will you be able to use the new common dialog boxes. Unlike those in 3.1,
 the new common dialogs let you perform more tasks. For example, you can
 create and rename directories and files inside each dialog.  There's an
 icon beside each file and folder, so you know the source application at a
 glance. And the new common dialogs support Windows 95's new long
 filenames. Of course, only applications written to support Windows 95
 applications can take advantage of these features. Although they'll run
 under Windows 95, your 3.1 applications will still look like, well, 3.1
 applications.

 Simple UI masks the power within Program Manager, with its sea of icons,
 does nothing to help you navigate. It's easy to lose minimized windows.
 And organizing the desktop is a challenge. 

 So when Microsoft set out to redesign the Windows interface, its mantra
 was, Simplify, simplify. When we loaded Windows 95, we knew Microsoft had
 largely succeeded. Tools are packed in two strips along the bottom of the
 screen, and the simplest device of all--the Start button--lies between
 them.

 Windows 95 also helps you navigate with Shortcuts, which link documents to
 applications, and with Wizards, which walk you through such key setup
 operations as installing hardware. 

 One-Click Tasks 
 ---------------
 The Start menu is the cornerstone of the Taskbar, which is Win 95's
 launcher. When you load Windows 95, the Taskbar shows only the Start menu.
 When you run programs, Windows 95 adds buttons to the Taskbar to represent
 each active program. When programs are inactive, they sit on the Start
 menu. (During installation, Windows 95 adds to the Start menu any
 applications it detects on your hard disk.) To switch applications, click
 a button--once. With Windows 95, you can launch programs on the Start menu
 with a single mouse click. 

 While the Taskbar speeds up task-switching, the Start menu is an
 organizational tool. The Start menu lists only a few basic commands--Help,
 Find, Run, and Shutdown. Its layout encourages you to organize programs
 into logical groups and to use documents as the main organizing device.
 For example, the Documents section of the Start menu lists the last 15
 files opened, so you can get most work done without opening a program 
 menu. 

 To run applications, you select Programs--by default, the first item on
 the Start menu--which opens a secondary menu listing Windows program
 groups, including Accessories and Explorer.  This is the same type of
 group/icon structure as in 3.1 but with different icons in different
 groups. (To run the Program Manager shell instead of Explorer, edit the
 shell=explorer.exe statement in SYSTEM.INI to read shell=progman.exe.) 

 More Mousetraps 
 ---------------
 Clicking on the right mouse button almost anywhere--even over the blank
 desktop--opens a pop-up menu with context-sensitive options. Passing the
 cursor over many objects opens a tips box that describes the object's
 function. Even running the cursor to the screen's edge has a purpose:
 restoring a hidden Taskbar. 

 However, the mouse has become more powerful at the expense of keyboard
 shortcuts. Even use of the familiar term keyboard shortcut is a problem in
 Windows 95. Shortcuts now refers to icons that open documents associated
 with specific applications. In fact, Shortcuts can point to most anything
 on the network, including OLE links. 

 Fortunately, most of 3.1's keyboard combos still work: Ctrl-Esc opens the
 Taskbar, Ctrl-Alt-Del restarts your system, and Alt-Tab opens the
 task-switching menu. Many key functions, such as returning to the desktop,
 require mouse input. 

 Cruisin' the Desktop 
 --------------------
 Windows 95 provides several ways to navigate programs and documents on
 your desktop or on the network. You can press the Start button to display
 a menu of programs and documents. Or you can use a browsing program, the
 Explorer, to manage both the file system and Windows program groups.
 (Confusingly, the Windows shell is also called Explorer.) Lastly, you can
 delve into the icons that appear on the opening desktop, My Computer and
 Network Neighborhood. These icons retain the feel of Program Manager but
 add power. For example, both files and programs appear as icons, and you
 can click on any file linked to an application to start it. So you can use
 this view instead of the Start menu to run programs. 

 With Win 95's browser, the Explorer, you can drill through folders (the
 new name for directories) to run documents and perform housekeeping. You
 can delete and undelete files, change attributes, and print files or copy
 them to another disk. You can even highlight multiple files and send them
 all to the printer at once, which you couldn't do in 3.1. Right-clicking
 on any icon opens a context menu tailored to the icon's properties. For
 example, a document's context menu lets you print or view the document.
 However, if an application isn't written to the Win32 API, it won't
 display such properties and instead will show only the program version. 

 Speaking of Dialogs
 ------------------- 

 Windows 95 also overhauls common dialogs, bringing important functions to
 the fore; all Windows 95 native apps reflect this.  For example, File Open
 and File Save As dialogs let you create new folders, as well as open and
 save files. Print dialogs let you specify only the number of copies and
 print range options, relegating such options as paper tray to secondary
 dialogs.  Also new: the Recycling Bin. It saves deleted files, displaying
 the file's original location and the date and the time you deleted it. You
 can even set the size of the Bin to control the number of files it can
 store. 

 The Name of the Game 
 --------------------
 One big change in Win 95 is its support of 255-character filenames. To
 create a FAT-based system for long filenames that's compatible with older
 applications, Windows 95 pulls some impressive tricks. It hides long
 filenames in additional FAT directory entries with attributes, such as
 volume labels, that only Windows 95 applications can read. And because the
 OS stores long filenames in the entries immediately following standard
 8.3-style filenames, the long name is likely to be in the disk buffer and
 retrieved quickly. 

 One flaw: Root directories have a fixed number of entries, and long
 filenames tend to take up several entries. Therefore, you risk running out
 of root directory space. So run Windows' Scandisk frequently to reclaim
 orphaned long-filename entries.

 Keyboard users, prepare to go cold turkey
 -----------------------------------------
 If you haven't yet shaken your dependence on the keyboard, be prepared to
 go cold turkey. With Windows 95, keyboard habits will only hold you back.
 The key to learning Windows 95 is to let the mouse run rampant. Run it
 over every button and object in sight. Click with the left and then the
 right. Help windows pop up everywhere. And context menus immediately
 display options that Windows 3.1 buried under layers of menus.  Windows 95
 will run your current Windows 3.1 applications, but don't expect to make
 the switch without a snag. You'll spend hours relearning how to handle
 basic tasks, such as switching among programs and arranging your setup
 options. Those first few hours are like finding your way in a dark room;
 but before long, you'll find the new digs are a lot like the old place: 
 Windows 95 rearranges icons and tools but doesn't sacrifice anything
 valuable. 

 Mighty Mouse Rules 
 ------------------
 The first order of business is to come to terms with the Start menu, which
 appears when you press the Start button. You can live without this menu if
 you want to run everything from desktop icons, as you did with Program
 Manager. But the Start menu is an improvement over Program Manager, and as
 soon as you're comfortable with the way it works (remember: mouse only),
 you'll be rearranging the menus. 

 To change your Start menu options, choose Settings in the Start menu.
 Click on and drag program icons from one folder to another to rearrange
 this menu. However, it's all too easy to take Microsoft's clean initial
 organization and create a mess, so exercise caution. Your Start menu can
 be merely a long list of all your applications or an intricate tree of
 carefully pruned menus. 

 Once you have a feel for the Start menu and have run a few applications,
 you'll want to customize the Taskbar along the bottom of the screen, where
 push buttons represent active applications. The Settings menu for the
 Taskbar provides an Auto hide mode, which presents you with one of your
 first setup decisions: Do you want a clean screen or one on which the 
 Taskbar is always in view? Try the Auto hide option, for no other reason
 than to explore Windows 95's greater mouse sensitivity. You'll also want
 to experiment with the option to auto-close viewer panes when you open a
 new one; your desktop can get messy fast if you don't select auto-close.
 Of course, you will often want multiple panes open for dragging and
 dropping document launches and file operations.

 When the Taskbar is in view, simply move the mouse away from it to make
 the Taskbar disappear. To make it reappear, bring the mouse back to the
 extreme edge of the screen. The effect disconcerted us at first, because
 you end up calling the Taskbar when you're reaching for a scrollbar. But
 in time, we found that the Windows 95 UI requires more careful mouse
 control, and quick access to the Taskbar is just one of the rewards for
 developing that control.

 You'll want to extend the Taskbar's real estate before you launch more
 than three applications; otherwise, the Taskbar squeezes the buttons,
 making it impossible to read the name attached to each. To master Taskbar
 control, you'll need to glide your mouse very slowly along the Taskbar's
 borders until the sizing arrows appear. (We say "slowly" because the mouse
 must rest on the button if it is to open.) No borders guide you through
 this; you have to find the hot spot yourself. 

 What's in a Filename? 
 ---------------------
 You also have to work harder to master the relationship between files.
 Several changes make it easier to work with files, though. Filenames can
 be as long as 255 characters.  While you still can't use some punctuation
 marks in a filename, you can use blank spaces and mixed case.  Of course,
 if an application wasn't written to support long filenames, none of these
 new naming conventions apply.  Instead, Windows 95 will truncate the
 filename, giving it a unique name that uses the standard DOS 8.3-style
 format. 

 File extensions are essential to Windows 95 links between documents and
 applications, and they remain unchanged when you view them in a DOS
 directory. However, you'll see a lot less of them: The default browsing
 option hides extensions, identifying documents with a combination of icons
 and the first part of the file name. File dialog boxes separate filenames
 from extensions to discourage you from changing extensions. 

 In theory, you'll rarely need to know an extension, because Windows 95
 automatically detects the source application, though you'll still have to
 create associations for nonstandard extensions. In addition, you can use
 Shortcuts, which are like the Mac's aliases or OS/2's shadows.  You could,
 for example, create shortcuts to key network subdirectories and collect
 them in a single folder on your local drive, which you couldn't do under
 3.1.

 A document icon and its Shortcut look identical--except the Shortcut icon
 contains a small arrow. The problem? Even with the telltale arrow, it's
 easy to copy a Shortcut when you really want to copy a file. You can't use
 a Shortcut unless the actual file is available. 

 Win 3.1 Rears Its Interface 
 ---------------------------
 After you've gotten your sea legs with the Taskbar and Start menu, you'll
 want to rearrange the items on the Start menu.  Select Start Menu from the
 Settings menu and you return to familiar ground. The browsing view reveals
 the Windows origins behind the new interface: This view organizes the
 Start menu like Program Manager. You can drag items from Programs groups
 to the main menu or create new folders for the Start menu. 

 At first, working with the Start menu in this view is disconcerting
 because the toolbar seems like a file-management program, but you're
 working only with icons. Get used to it.  Windows 95 uses this type of
 browsing window repeatedly.  The main menu bar items won't change from one
 type of object to another, but menu choices will change. 

 In the Settings menu, you can stick with just one browser whose contents
 Win 95 updates every time you select a new folder. Or you can open a new
 browser for each new folder. The default setting in our prerelease version
 resulted in new browsers proliferating like bunnies. While it's easy
 enough to restrict the display to a single browser window from the
 Settings option on the Start menu, you can't drag icons from one folder to 
 another unless both are open. 

 Even a cursory exploration of a hard disk can quickly lead to a mess, with
 more than dozens of browser windows open. To clean it up, you must
 minimize all windows from the Taskbar's context menu, then reopen the
 windows you still want to view. So if you thought that Windows 95 would
 eliminate the need for desktop shells or utilities, think again. 

 Exploring Options 
 -----------------
 An expanded version of the browser, Explorer, replaces File Manager (which
 is still available). Explorer has a cleaner design than File Manager, but
 it's far from a complete file-management solution. You view all disks in
 the left pane and folders or files in the right. Copying a file to a disk
 or folder that isn't in view forces you to open a second Explorer and then
 align the two windows so both are in view. 

 The main menu is so clean you won't even find a command for copying files.
 To copy a file when the target folder isn't in view, you can right-click
 on a file to open a context menu and copy the file to the clipboard. When
 you've opened the target folder, paste the file. In time, it's something
 we may get used to, but for now, shelling out to DOS will remain a popular 
 option for file maintenance. Renaming is easy in Win 95, but viewing a
 directory using wildcards, formatting a disk, and copying files are easier
 in DOS. 

 Incredibly, only two commands rest on the Explorer's Tools menu. Instead,
 you find file-management tools by clicking on the object that needs work
 and then right-clicking to open a context menu. For example, the Explorer
 in our beta-version menus amazingly lacked disk format commands; to format
 a floppy disk, you must open a DOS session and type the format command. 

 In time, we'll probably be working faster as a result of this shift to
 stronger object orientation. But it will take time to make the adjustment.

 New desktop digs take getting used to
 -------------------------------------
 Even in its beta form, the Windows 95 user interface is a clear overall
 improvement over that of Windows 3.1. Still, it takes time to adjust to
 your new digs. The new user interface is particularly well suited for
 Windows novices, who'll find it easy to navigate and customize once they
 learn the ropes. However, power Windows users will come smack against its 
 limitations earlier in the game. For example, if you've got half a dozen
 or so applications running, the Taskbar truncates the names. Power users
 may also tire of the forest of menus that cascade off the Start button. 

 The best way to master the new interface is to learn the properties of
 each icon and to practice manipulating each icon with the mouse. You can
 move these objects to action by using context menus that open when you
 right-click on an icon. And you can accomplish many more tasks by dragging
 icons than you could in Windows 3.1. For example, you can now print a
 document by dragging a file to a printer icon. 

 However, probably the most controversial aspect of the new interface is
 the change in the upper-right corner of a standard window pane. Windows 95
 replaces the minimize and maximize arrows with a straight line and a box,
 respectively, and you now click on X to close the window.  However, it's
 much too easy to mistakenly close a window when you want to maximize it. 

 The Explorer replaces File Manager. You run the Explorer by selecting an
 option on the Start menu or by clicking on the My Computer icon that
 appears separate from the Start menu. Each Explorer window provides only a
 single look at a disk, so you will often run multiple Explorer windows to
 perform basic disk housecleaning. Microsoft made some file operations
 unreasonably difficult, so plan on a strong market for replacement shell 
 programs. Symantec expects to ship its new version of The Norton Desktop
 about 90 days after the release of Windows 95.

 Jargon
 ------
 context menu: A pop-up menu that opens when you right-click on an object.
 It lets you set properties or perform tasks unique to an object. 

 Explorer: The browser that replaces File Manager. It lets you view files
 as icons, not just as text labels. 

 Start menu: The new home for program icons, replacing Program Manager. The
 Start menu pops up when you click the Start button. 

 Shortcut: A Shortcut is a reference, or link, to a Windows 95 object, such
 as a file, program, or device. Windows 95 tracks the object, so if you
 move it, the Shortcut will still work.  For example, you might create a
 Shortcut to a network printer and drag a file to the Shortcut to print the
 file. 

 Taskbar: The Taskbar along the bottom of the screen replaces the Task List
 in Windows 3.1. It has a button for each active program, and you click the
 button to switch to the program you want.

 File functions
 --------------
 File                  WIN 3.1 file            WIN 95  
 Function              manager                 Explorer

 Accessing             Most commands are       Most commands are on
 commands              located on pull-down    context menus that
                       menus at the top of     you access with a
                       window                  right-click of the
                                               mouse.

 Viewing directories   You can view multiple   You can view only 
 (foldders, in Win 95  directories, each in    one folder at a time.
 parlance)             its own window, using   To view serveral, you
                       Windows' Multiple       must open additional         

                       Document Interface      Explorer sessions.
                       (MDI)                   Explorer doesn't
                                               support MDI.

 Viewing file          You view the contents   You can view file       
 contents              of a file only by       contents by
                       running the associated  selecting one of 
                       application.            the view options  
                                               on the file icon's
                                               context menu.  

                                 Stay or Go?
                                 ===========
 Jacquelyn Gavron

 The Clear View
 --------------
 Upgrade Quandary 
 ----------------

 Despite beta pains, the verdict remains: Windows 95 outshines 3.1. 

 The big question on everyone's mind is whether to upgrade to Windows 95.
 The next big question, of course, is when will Windows 95 ship? 
 Particularly in light of Microsoft's corporate confession that it now will
 not hit the street until August.  No surprise there.  While the
 performance and feature set of the beta version (Beta 2, M7 build 224) we
 tested were stable, Win 95 still has its share of bugs.  We had trouble
 installing Win 95 on some test systems. It lacked drivers for various 
 adapters. And Plug and Play worked--only erratically.  

 Thumbs Up 
 ---------
 But that doesn't change our overall impression about the value of
 upgrading. Yes, it'll take time to get used to your new desktop digs. But
 with Win 95's totally revamped user interface, you're no longer adrift in
 a sea of icons. It's clean, streamlined, and more mouse-centric than its 
 predecessor. (Relax: Alt-Tab, Ctrl-Esc, and Ctrl-Alt-Del still work.) And
 most of your current software--even device drivers--will run as well under
 Windows 95 as it does under 3.x, if not better. 

 In addition, Win 95 provides nearly unlimited system resources. The new
 communications subsystem supports higher data-transmission rates. And
 Windows 95 is the best out-of-the-box network client around, with its
 support for such protocols as NetWare, NT, PPP, SLIP, and TCP/IP for
 Internet access. (TCP/IP-stack vendors might complain, but users won't.) 

 Win 95 will also create opportunities for third-party vendors.  For
 example, there'll be a clear need for utilities that "humanize" the system
 Registry, which is the central database of configuration information. The
 Registry replaces WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI, among other setup files. If you
 thought the .INIs were tough to negotiate, the Registry is positively
 impenetrable, though a wealth of system information resides there. You can
 configure some of it, such as display fonts, with the Control Panel, but
 not all.

 The Taskbar has its limitations, too. For example, when you have more than
 six or seven applications running, the Taskbar truncates the buttons so
 you can't read their labels. Another third-party opportunity. 

 Among the stream of utilities, you can also expect to see some that will
 let you view multiple folders (called directories in Win 3.1); out of the
 box, Explorer displays only one at a time.



                            Make Old Desktops New
                            =====================

 Brian Livingston

 The Critical Distinctions
 -------------------------
 Undocumented Tip
 ----------------

 If your desktop is perfectly tuned, you don't have to change it for Win
 95. 

 When you install Windows 95 over a working copy of Windows 3.1, the setup
 routine adopts any special settings you had in your WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI
 files. This should preserve the colors and other settings you customized
 for your system. 

 One thing that doesn't look the same, however, is the Program Manager
 group you've painstakingly arranged. Because Microsoft has developed a new
 user interface for Windows 95--based on a new shell called Explorer--the
 old Program Manager does not show up automatically. 

 Your program groups still exist, but they are buried deep down in the new
 Start button menu. However, you can use the following method to place your
 old group windows right on the Windows 95 Desktop--an undocumented
 procedure you won't find in the Windows manual. 

 Step 1: Click on the Start button. Then on Programs, then Explorer. 

 Step 2: When the Explorer window opens, expand the C:\WINDOWS folder by
 clicking on the plus sign until you see the Programs folder under the
 Start Menu folder. This is where Windows 95 stores your old Program
 Manager groups. (If your copy of Windows 95 is in a directory other than
 C:\WINDOWS, substitute the correct name for your system.) 

 Step 3: Click on the plus sign beside the Programs folder. This should
 reveal folders for your former groups, such as Accessories and Startup. 

 Step 4: Using the right mouse button, drag each folder you want onto the
 Desktop. When you release the mouse button, you see a pop-up menu. Do not
 select the Move Here option! (That would move the folder to a different
 location on your disk.) Instead, click on Create Shortcut Here. This
 creates an icon (or Shortcut) for that group on your Desktop. 

 Step 5: Repeat Step 4 for all the program groups you want to carry over to
 your Windows 95 Desktop. When you're done, click the right mouse button
 over any blank spot on the Desktop. On the pop-up menu that appears, click
 on Line Up Icons to make your new icons fit into a compact grid pattern. 

 Now you can double-click on any Program Manager Group and use all your
 icons with even greater ease than you could in Win 3.1.

 Put your compatibility concerns aside
 -------------------------------------
 Windows 95's preemptive multitasking, while welcome, is no big surprise:
 Windows for Workgroups 3.11 is also a preemptive multitasking operating
 system. However, Windows 95 adds such new features as the ability to
 dynamically load and unload virtual device drivers (VxDs) and has a full
 Win32 subsystem. 

 Windows 95 can also run several different types of programs. On the
 application front, this includes DOS, Win16, and Win32 programs. Each
 Win32 program runs in its own individual address space, while all Win16
 programs run collectively in one address range. As a result, one bad Win16
 application could corrupt and crash other 3.1 programs. 

 Windows 95 supports DOS drivers, Windows VxDs, Windows 3.x device drivers,
 and miniport drivers, which are a new type of device driver. A miniport
 driver is a generic driver developers customize to support a specific
 device, such as a SCSI, network, or graphics card. As you can imagine,
 miniports make developing drivers easier. A virtual device driver is a
 module of 32-bit code that runs in protected mode. Some VxDs deal
 specifically with hardware, but they can also supply operating system
 functions, and this is how we use the term in this section. 

 Windows 95's preemptive multitasking support protects applications and
 drivers alike. Device drivers are trickier, though: Because they deal with
 the hardware directly, a bad one can bring down your system. 

 Separate but Equal 
 ------------------
 Under Windows 95, each DOS application runs in a separate virtual DOS
 machine (VDM) with its own protected memory range, which gives each VDM
 the illusion it has sole command of the PC. This feature has been in
 Windows Enhanced mode since Version 3.0. It works like this. 

 Windows uses the processor to trap those program operations that could
 compromise system integrity. When Windows 95 encounters such
 operations--like the direct manipulation of hardware--it either closes the
 virtual machine causing the problem (usually without affecting other
 running programs) or virtualizes the operation. For example, when several
 DOS machines are writing to screen, each thinks it has the screen to
 itself. But in fact, Windows grabs each DOS machine's screen writes and
 translates them into GDI (Graphics Device Interface) calls. This allows
 Windows to change fonts for text mode applications. 

 The Service Entrance 
 --------------------
 Both Win16 and DOS programs rely on many basic system services, including
 file I/O and memory management. As with Windows for Workgroups 3.11, VxDs
 provide most of these services. 

 Win32 operations, too, rely on these VxDs. However, Windows applications
 also rely on three sets of Windows services--KERNEL, GDI, and USER. These
 services and all Win16 and Win32 programs run in the System VM. The System
 VM is the virtual machine environment in which programs and subsystems
 execute. The System VM always runs in protected mode, although it makes
 calls to v86 mode sessions. 

 KERNEL also routes some of these calls through to real mode DOS code
 running in a protected-mode v86 session. KERNEL is the Win32 DLL that
 manages basic, low-level system services for applications, such as
 allocating memory dynamically and handling processes. USER is the DLL that
 manages windows, performing such functions as creating and moving windows, 
 executing dialogs, and so on. GDI, the Windows graphics engine, performs
 all graphical functions, including drawing lines, scaling fonts, managing
 colors, and printing documents. 

 KERNEL, USER, and GDI all have 32-bit and 16-bit components. Most KERNEL
 services are 32-bit. GDI and, especially, USER rely more on 16-bit
 services, which ensures compatibility with Windows 3.1 applications
 because Windows 3.1's 16-bit subsystem is not reentrant. Simply put, the
 Win16 subsystem executes only one task at a time. (The Win32 subsystem can
 execute multiple threads simultaneously.) In addition, some Win16
 applications expect Win16 system services to behave in certain ways,
 delivering messages in a particular order, for instance. 

 Aside from compatibility, another reason Windows 95 retains some 16-bit
 services is memory conservation: 16-bit code is smaller than 32-bit code.
 If Microsoft had made the transition to 32-bit code entirely, Windows 95
 would not be able to run in 4MB of memory. Because Microsoft clamored
 about its small footprint even before Windows 95 had a code name, the
 company chose an architecture that delivers on its promise. 

 32-Bit: Boon or Bust? 
 ---------------------
 Windows 95 introduces support for Win32 programs, which have several
 advantages over Win16 programs. Win32 applications can address up to 4GB
 of memory, as opposed to Win16's 16MB. And Win32 programs are made up of
 threads that an application can spin off to perform asynchronous tasks
 such as saving a file and searching for a network resource. The
 application launching one thread is then free to undertake another task. 

 However, Win16 applications can rock the boat, especially those that
 aren't cooperative and don't regularly yield CPU resources to other
 programs.  Win32 apps are susceptible to such interference because they
 share with Win16 common system services in the KERNEL, GDI, and USER. 

 Windows Entry 
 -------------
 Microsoft uses a single semaphore, Win16Mutex (formerly Win16Lock), to
 block multiple threads from entering the Win16 subsystem at once. A
 semaphore is a programming flag, or handle, an application must grab to
 enter the Win16 subsystem.  Because Win16 does not support reentrance,
 Windows 95 makes sure only one application obtains the handle at a time. 

 Windows 95 sets the semaphore whenever an application enters the Win16
 subsystem and clears the semaphore when the application exits the
 subsystem. Because Win32 programs rely on Win16 system services, the
 semaphore blocks them too if they try to use Win16 services when the
 subsystem is already in use.  Win16Mutex doesn't affect Win32 programs
 that are not trying to execute system services. Ditto for file,
 communications, and network I/O. Still, Win16Mutex doesn't block DOS
 programs either. Theoretically, though, protection problems can arise
 because Win32 programs rely on a potentially unstable Win16 subsystem. If
 you're worried about this, which you shouldn't be (see The Players, where
 we put Win 95 to the test), then use Windows NT 3.5 instead. 

 Windows 95 employs one last device for backward compatibility: Single
 Application Mode. This mode lets you fall back on DOS if you have a
 Windows application that won't run under Windows 95. To invoke it, check a
 box on the application's Properties sheet. Executing a program in Single
 Application Mode restarts the system in real mode. However, it doesn't
 load the protected-mode drivers, so you lose some support for CD-ROMs,
 networks, and long filenames.  (Later builds have introduced greater
 compatibility and internal support)

 Beta pains now, compatibility tomorrow
 --------------------------------------
 If you're concerned about whether Windows 95 will be compatible with your
 Windows 3.1 applications, don't be. Initially, we thought Win16Mutex would
 interfere with Win32 programs. And it did slightly--but only with some
 doing on our part. We wrote an Excel for Windows NT macro that opened and
 closed windows and moved them around continually, causing the Win32
 program to behave erratically. But overall the benefit of Win16Mutex,
 including its compatibility even with unstable Windows 3.1 applications,
 was worth it. 

 Window Pain 
 -----------
 During a solid month of testing, we found it difficult to tell whether a
 Win16 or Win32 program was running. Few 32-bit programs--the NT versions
 of Microsoft Word and Excel, Shapeware's Visio32, NCSA Mosaic, and
 SlickEdit-- showed visible effects of multithreading. The fact is
 multithreading takes place behind the scenes, and you won't see the
 advantages with many applications. But the effects of multithreading are 
 evident with some applications, such as the NT version of Picture
 Publisher, which let us edit one complex image while the program was
 rendering another. 

 Win16 programs brought down the entire system (early builds only) more
 often than Win32 applications did.  For example, while the Windows 95
 Explorer, a Win32 application, crashed several times, it rarely crashed
 the entire system; the system displayed a dialog citing Explorer as the
 culprit, then simply closed the Explorer. 

 Party on the Hardware 
 ---------------------
 Windows 95 runs DOS and Windows 3.x device drivers. However, running DOS
 device drivers imposes a performance penalty, because Windows 95 must
 switch to v86 mode and map virtual addresses. It also must trust DOS
 device drivers to party on the hardware without crashing the system.
 (Devices that party on the hardware, like device drivers, program hardware
 directly instead of using an operating system service to do so.) To 
 mitigate problems with DOS device drivers, Windows 95 uses VxDs to service
 devices, such as CD-ROM drivers and the Microsoft NetWare and IPX/SPX
 drivers, that ran under 3.x in real mode. 

 VxDs have other benefits as well. Windows 95 can dynamically swap VxDs to
 disk when physical memory is full, which makes memory management more
 flexible than it is using DOS drivers.  Windows 3.1 couldn't do this.
 Another benefit of VxDs: They aren't segmented into 64K blocks. Programs
 must organize 16-bit code in 64K blocks, or segments. But 32-bit VxDs can
 manage code and data in blocks of unlimited size and don't need to
 organize code in segments at all, though they can when handling 16-bit
 components. For example, the VFAT VxD handles many file I/O calls from DOS
 sessions and returns 16-bit segmented pointers to the I/O calls.

 Finally, because VxDs run in protected mode, a driver that crashes won't
 necesssarily bring down the entire system--in theory, at least. In
 practice, many Windows 95 VxDs perform such critical functions that when
 they crash, the system goes down as well. For example, when VMM (the
 Virtual Machine Manager, which Win 95 implements as a VxD) crashed during
 our tests, Windows 95 tried to continue running the system, to no avail.
 We had to press the reset button on our test system. Windows 95 had a bit
 more luck keeping the rest of the system up when the networking drivers
 crashed, which was rare.  Athough, we worked with Windows 95 Beta 2 (M7
 build 224), it's still hard to imagine that your system will be able to
 fully recover from VMM crashes. 

 Dirty Software, Beware 
 ----------------------
 Windows 95's increased reliance on VxDs affects DOS and Windows programs
 in other ways, too. Utilities, diagnostic tools in particular, that rely
 on long-established techniques like looking at specific real-mode
 addresses to detect system configuration information may not work anymore. 
 Why? Because Windows virtualizes so much of the real-mode environment that
 the information it provides these applications is not accurate. For
 instance, an interrupt vector (the real-mode address of an interrupt
 request) in a DOS window may not be where Win 95 actually handles the
 interrup. In fact, all hardware interrupt vectors in a real-mode session
 are false. The VMM handles them by dispatching interrupt vectors to an
 interrupt handler, which usually runs in protected mode. This won't be a
 problem with most productivity and development software, but it may be a
 problem for some utilities. 

 If you use a device that only real-mode drivers support, you can't use
 Windows 95's VxDs. 

 Sullied Setup 
 -------------
 The driver for a Matrox MGA adapter that came with Windows 95 crashed a
 test system, the Micron PowerStation P90PCI. This wasn't the biggest
 problem we faced. We had more trouble installing Windows 95 on some
 systems, such as our Dell 466/MX with a SoundBlaster, than on others. The
 Dell system wouldn't boot after we installed Windows 95, citing a failure
 to load network-related VxDs. As it turned out, the problem was with the
 sound card, not the system. We commented out the real-mode SoundBlaster
 drivers from AUTOEXEC.BAT, and the system was stable. In addition, some
 drivers, including those for the Xircom PCMCIA Ethernet cards and the
 Hayes Optima PCMCIA modem, were missing from the beta we tested. Microsoft
 says Windows 95 will include them when it ships. 

 Is DOS Dead?
 ------------
 One of the biggest myths about Windows 95 is that it eliminates DOS and
 the 640K memory ceiling DOS imposes. In his much publicized book,
 Unauthorized Windows 95, Andrew Schulman disputes whether Windows 95
 abandons DOS and demonstrates that it does indeed use real-mode DOS code
 (running in a protected-mode v86 session) to provide some OS services. 

 This was startling, as Adrian King's book, Inside Windows 95, published by
 Microsoft Press, said Windows 95 eliminated DOS. When we questioned
 Microsoft, it agreed with Schulman that Windows 95 would enter v86 mode to
 provide some OS services. 

 That Windows relies on real-mode code running in a v86 session isn't
 necessarily bad. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Windows 95, despite its
 architectural similarities to Windows for Workgroups 3.11, offers many
 system-level improvements. Long filenames are one, system resources
 another. 

 When many applications are active, Windows 3.x can run out of resources,
 such as device contexts (DCs), because it stores them all in one 64K heap.
 A device context is a system resource that Windows applications use to
 perform display operations. Resources include regions, which are data
 structures that draw graphics on-screen, and font structures, which are
 data structures that supply information on fonts. 

 Windows 95 maintains this 64K heap, but doesn't use it nearly as often as
 Windows 3.x did. Instead, Windows 95 allocates as many resources as it can
 on 32-bit heaps, which address up to 4GB; so you're not going to run out
 of address space, which was easy to do using 16-bit 64K heaps. For
 example, instead of having roughly 200 device contexts systemwide, Windows
 95 offers 16,000. Instead of about 200 menu and window handles (combined),
 Windows 95 can handle about 16K of each. 

 Legacy support belies big changes
 ---------------------------------
 Many people have jumped on the real-mode bandwagon, beating to death the
 significance of the legacy architecture in Windows 95. But after pounding
 a beta version of Win 95 regularly for a solid month, we found that Win 95
 multitasking and protection are indeed a big improvement over those in
 Windows for Workgroups 3.11. The biggest difference is that Windows 95
 uses virtual device drivers (VxDs) to perform such key functions as
 controlling the network, CD-ROM, or SCSI bus. VxDs also improve both
 multitasking and the general integrity of the operating system. For
 example, Win32 applications can preemptively multitask, and there's little
 chance that bugs in these Win32 apps will crash other applications because
 each application has its own protected memory address. Finally, 32-bit
 versions of some system services, such as the TrueType Rasterizer, boost
 their performance as well. 

 So if you're disappointed because Windows 95 doesn't completely can the
 old Windows architecture, don't be. And cynics take note: Devices, such as
 Win16Mutex, that Windows 95 uses to ensure that it's compatible with your
 current applications work in your best interest, not against it.   

 Jargon
 ------
 reentrant: Reentrant code executes simultaneously in more than one task
 without causing errors. 

 VxD:  A virtual device driver is 32-bit, protected-mode software that can
 manage a single resource, such as a serial port or display. VxDs provide
 these services globally to all programs running under Windows 95. Win 95
 VxDs load and unload dynamically; Win 3.1 VxDs, on the other hand, load
 only during system initialization and stay in memory even if you no longer
 need their services. 

 VMM: The Virtual Memory Manager is the Win 95 VxD that controls such key
 system services as allocating memory and routing calls from Win 95
 subsystems to the VxD service an application has requested.

 Stability of Win 95
 -------------------
 If you do this...             ...you get this

 Crash a Win32 application     Win 95 closes the faulty Win32
                               application without affecting
                               any other programs you're
                               running.

 Crash a Win16 application     Win95 closes the Win16 application.
                               However, other Win16 apps and Win16  
                               subsystems may become unstable,
                               because they run in the same address 
                               range as the problem applications.

 Crash a DOS application       Win16 and Win32 applications won't
                               have any problems. However, if the
                               faulty application directly 
                               programs hardware (as a driver does),
                               your system could crash.


                            Win 95 Cuts RAM Cram
                            ====================
 Larry Seltzer

 The Critical Distinctions
 -------------------------
 Memory Managers  
 ---------------
 Windows 95 won't kill memory managers, but they must learn new tricks. 

 Reports that Windows 95 marks the end of memory managers are exaggerated.
 Memory management software from such vendors as Helix Software, Qualitas,
 and Quarterdeck Office Systems certainly won't be the critical tools they
 once were for many of us, but they can still play a role in some cases. 

 Virtual Memory Reigns 
 ---------------------
 Windows 95 doesn't always need DOS memory managers thanks to its heavy use
 of VxDs. The VxDs Windows 95 uses to control such devices as CD-ROMs,
 networks, and sound cards don't occupy conventional memory the way
 real-mode drivers do in Windows 3.x. With fewer real-mode drivers vying
 for space in the 640K region, there's less need to use memory managers to
 free up space. 

 Here's the catch. Windows 95 will still support TSRs and DOS device
 drivers, and at some point you might have to use them. Windows 95 might
 lack a native driver for a particular device (like a tape backup unit), or
 a real-mode driver might consume more conventional memory than you can
 spare. After all, when you load a TSR in AUTOEXEC.BAT or a DOS device
 driver in CONFIG.SYS, a copy of each program loads into conventional
 memory--and stays there. 

 For ultimate backward compatibility, Windows 95 can run in Single
 Application Mode, which reboots the system into real mode and runs a
 version of DOS. Because Single Application Mode does not load Windows 95
 VxDs, which support devices like networking, CD-ROM, or sound, any
 applications that require them must instead use DOS device drivers or
 TSRs. They just might need memory-management software too. 

 Win 95 Retains MEMMAKER 
 -----------------------
 Perhaps this is why Microsoft has decided to include MEMMAKER in Windows
 95. MEMMAKER, developed with Helix Software, can be quite useful but
 doesn't recover as much memory as third-party memory managers. For
 example, we tested Version 3.04 of Helix Software's Netroom with our beta
 of Windows 95, and it recovered noticeably more memory on a system that
 already had 600K of conventional memory free. While this shows that memory 
 managers can still have an impact, it also shows the diminishing magnitude
 of the problem they solve. Don't be surprised to see memory management
 vendors moving into other areas, with Quarterdeck leading the way with its
 forthcoming Web server.

 .INI is out, the system Registry is in
 --------------------------------------
 The familiar story goes like this: You pop in a hot new add-in card, power
 on your system, and moments later your PC bombards you with a series of
 crippling failures and resource conflicts.  Windows has never managed
 hardware well. Instead, it's relied almost exclusively on information you
 had to enter to configure peripherals. Win 95's Plug and Play changes all
 that. 

 Plug and Play is a set of specifications that let you add peripherals to
 your system without your intervention (without much, anyway). It does this
 in several ways. First, Win 95 detects the devices installed on your
 system, including the resources they need. Second, it configures devices
 dynamically. For example, if one device is using another's resources (or
 if Win 95 has reallocated them), Windows assigns new resources to the
 second device. Finally, PnP will still work with legacy peripherals that
 predate Plug and Play. The catch? Win 95 will not detect such devices
 automatically, so you'll have to configure them manually. 

 Peacekeeping Plugs 
 ------------------
 Win 95 contains a number of software components that play a crucial role
 in PnP. These include the configuration manager, the resource arbitrator,
 the hardware tree, enumerators, and device drivers. 

 Win 95's configuration manager is the heart of PnP. It builds a database
 of information about your system's configuration and tells the various
 device drivers what resources (I/O address, IRQ, DMA) it has assigned
 them. The resource arbitrator tracks all free resources in your system and
 allocates them to specific devices. When two or more devices request the
 same IRQ, for example, the resource arbitrator tries to identify free
 IRQs. If Windows can't locate additional resources, when you boot your
 system the Add New Hardware Wizard opens automatically. 

 An enumerator is a new type of driver. Enumerators exist for any device in
 your system to which you can attach another device. This includes any type
 of expansion bus, like ISA, PCI, or PCMCIA, but also encompasses things
 like the keyboard controller on your motherboard. Enumerators traverse
 their respective buses, identifying and initializing each attached device
 during the boot process. The root enumerator performs this function for
 nonPlug and Play devices. A PnP-compatible BIOS serves as the enumerator
 for motherboard devices. 

 Of course, device drivers are nothing new. DOS and Windows 3.x have been
 using them for years. But most vendors will need to rewrite their device
 drivers for Win 95 to accommodate its new architecture. Gone are static,
 real mode device drivers (like the kind you load in CONFIG.SYS or
 AUTOEXEC.BAT). Drivers that support Win 95 load and unload dynamically,
 and run in protected mode. Their ability to unload means that these VxDs 
 also release resources at the CPU's requests. When the configuration
 manager offers resources to Win 95 drivers, they configure the device
 accordingly, even if the resource they're assigned contradicts a device's
 default settings. (To support PnP, a device must allow Win 95 to override
 its default resource requirements. In the past, if you did this, a device 
 typically wouldn't work.) 

 .INI Bites the Dust 
 -------------------
 Remember WIN.INI, SYSTEM .INI and application specific .INI files? Well,
 forget them. Hardware and software configuration information now resides
 in the Win 95 Registry. Win 95 retains old-style configuration files in
 the Windows directory to ensure compatibility with older hardware and
 software. Applications written for Win 95, however, must store
 configuration data in the Win 95 Registry, not in separate .INI files. 

 One of the more important parts of the Registry is the hardware tree. It
 is similar to a directory tree on your hard disk, but here the directories
 are buses and the files are devices. Win 95 constructs the hardware tree
 during the boot process. The hardware tree resides on your hard disk and
 in memory, so Win 95 can update it dynamically when you add, remove, or
 change devices. 

 Boot, Baby, Boot 
 ----------------
 A number of things happen when you boot a machine running Win 95. The
 machine starts up in real mode, the Intel 8086-compatible mode that does
 not allow access to virtual memory. First, the BIOS obtains information
 about motherboard devices from nonvolatile memory, usually CMOS RAM, just
 as it does today under Windows 3.x. It then configures each device
 accordingly. If it doesn't find configuration information for a particular
 device, it disables that device. Then the various enumerators begin their
 work. 

 The root enumerator reads the hardware tree from the Registry to determine
 the system configuration, identifying non-PnP devices and adding them to
 the hardware tree in memory. At this point, the OS processes the
 SYSTEM.INI file, which contains instructions to load static VxDs
 (old-style Windows virtual device drivers). Most non-PnP devices require
 real-mode drivers to operate. 

 Now, the bus enumerators spring into action. Each bus in the system has an
 enumerator associated with it. The enumerators examine the bus for devices
 or descendant, or child, buses (for example, VL-Bus is a child bus of
 ISA). When it finds a device, the enumerator loads a static VxD for it, if
 necessary. When the enumerator finds a descendant bus, it launches yet
 another enumerator for that bus. (By now, Win 95 has loaded all real-mode
 drivers and static VxDs in memory, so the system switches to protected
 mode.) 

 On Planet Windows 
 -----------------
 Now, Win 95's configuration manager steps in. Although the enumerators
 have identified all devices on the system, they have only initialized
 those requiring real-mode drivers or static VxDs (most notably non-PnP
 expansion cards). All other devices are still dormant. The configuration
 manager loads any remaining enumerators. The enumerators then inventory
 all other devices and add them to the hardware tree. 

 Finally, the system loads protected-mode dynamic drivers for the PnP
 devices requiring them. If any conflicts arise between devices, the
 resource arbitrator tries to find substitute resources. If it can't find
 resources for any non-PnP devices, Win 95 starts the Add New Hardware
 Wizard when you reboot, prompting you for information about the
 peripheral. 

 That's the way things work in a perfect world, in which you have a
 PnP-compatible system and nothing but PnP peripherals. But here on planet
 Windows, there is a tremendous installed base of older legacy peripherals,
 and most systems don't currently have a PnP BIOS. In the next section, we
 examine some of the real-world issues that arise when you have to deal
 with both PnP and non-PnP devices in the same PC. 

 With Win 95, it's all work and some Plug and Play
 -------------------------------------------------
 To evaluate the promise of Plug and Play in Win 95 on the desktop, we
 enlisted the service of two machines, a Dell OptiPlex XMT 590 and a
 Packard Bell Legend 14CDT, both running Beta 2 (M7 build 224) of Windows
 95. While almost every major vendor is working on PnP products, at the
 time this was written, PnP-enabled devices are in limited supply.  (Win'95
 is up to build 440 and PnP enabled devices are quite numerous.) 

 We started with some of the most glaring examples of the need for PnP:
 SCSI host adapters and sound cards. We installed two SCSI cards, Adaptec's
 AHA-1530P and Future Domain's PNP-1630 into our test systems. Win 95
 recognized the cards in both cases, loading the correct drivers. 

 Win 95 will ship with device drivers for all kinds of devices. If Win 95
 lacks the driver for the exact device you're using, it asks if you want to
 use a compatible driver (which might not support all the features). If it
 doesn't have a compatible driver, you click the Have Disk option on the
 Installation Wizard, then insert the disk that came with your device. Win
 95 provided drivers for our test equipment, except the Crystalizer and the
 Intel TokenExpress. 

 No Separation Anxiety 
 ---------------------
 Then we got a taste of the true beauty of Plug and Play. When we removed
 these two SCSI adapters and restarted Win 95, we did not get an error
 message. A quick glance at the Device Manager confirmed that the cards and
 their drivers were no longer present in the system. We pulled one other
 trick that would be exceedingly difficult (not to mention replete with
 error messages) under Windows 3.x: We installed both SCSI adapters in the
 same system with absolutely no effort. 

 With other cards, things didn't work out so smoothly. For example, the
 Dell system recognized our Intel TokenExpress Pro network card, but Win 95
 lacked a protected-mode driver for it. However, this card didn't work
 under Win 95 even when we executed the conventional, real-mode driver that
 came with the device. Intel said it expects that the final shipping
 version of Win 95 will include a driver for the TokenExpress Pro. 

 We also tried another Adaptec SCSI adapter, the AHA-1540CP. Win 95
 detected this adapter twice, once by the SCSI enumerator and once by the
 PCI enumerator. As a result, the Win 95 hardware tree had two entries for
 it. This indicates that while Win 95's detection mechanisms are robust,
 they aren't infallible. 

 Next, we tested the only PnP sound card available at press time, the
 Crystalizer PnP sound card, from Crystal Computer. Win 95 identified and
 recognized the card, but lacked a protected-mode driver for it. So we
 booted the machine to the command line and installed the card as we would
 under Windows 3.1: by running an installation program with DOS-based TSR 
 drivers or static VxDs. When we restarted the machine, the card worked
 fine.  (At this point in time, the sound cards supported are too numerous
 to mention.)

 Intel built Plug and Play into the PCI specification from the get-go, so
 it was no surprise that all the PCI adapters we tested worked smoothly. 

 For example, the Adaptec AHA-2940 PCI SCSI host adapter behaved as
 smoothly as its ISA counterpart. Then we pushed the envelope. We replaced
 the Dell's PCI graphics card, based on the Cirrus Logic 5434, with an STB
 PowerGraph Pro 64, a PCI card based on the S3 864 chip set. Instead of
 greeting us with garbled pixels or a black screen when we entered Windows,
 the system identified the card and started with a generic VGA driver.
 Then, thanks to the PnP features of PCI, which informs Windows 95 of the
 type of graphics chip set in use, Win 95 loaded a custom driver for the
 PowerGraph Pro. We had to reboot the system to initialize the driver. (Try
 doing this with Windows 3.1.) 

 This Old Hardware 
 -----------------
 This is where the picnic ends. While PnP is compatible with legacy cards
 in the sense that they can coexist in a PnP system, the PnP subsystem does
 not automatically configure legacy cards. That's where the Add New
 Hardware Wizard (a better name would be Add Old Hardware) comes in. 

 This Wizard lets you specify the hardware you want to install by selecting
 products from a list, organized by product category. It also offers to
 auto-detect hardware for you, but the process is long and imprecise. Win
 95 consults an information file to determine which resources your hardware
 can use, compares this to the system's available resources, and then tells
 you how to configure the device to avoid conflicts. Win 95 contains
 information on hundreds of hardware products, but if you have an old or
 obscure device it doesn't support, you must figure out how to configure
 the card on your own. 

 Externally Yours 
 ----------------
 You also use Wizards to install such external hardware devices as modems,
 monitors, and printers. Plug and Play works with external devices designed
 to provide information to Win 95 when queried. Although vendors have
 announced a number of such devices, few were available at press time. We
 did obtain a PnP-compliant monitor, the NEC XE 15. 

 Using VESA's DDC (Device Data Channel) specification, a graphics card
 should be able to determine a monitor's display capabilities and adjust
 its output to the monitor accordingly. DDC provides one-way communication
 from the monitor to the graphics card. On the display side, vendors can
 implement DDC directly in the monitor, as NEC does, or through the use of
 an adapter that plugs into the monitor cable. The graphics card must be
 DDC-compliant as well. Unfortunately, our test systems' on-board graphics
 did not support DDC, so we had to select the monitor settings manually. 

 Plug and Play also provides two significant features for portable
 machines: hot docking and the ability to switch resolutions on the fly. 

 Let's say you use your notebook with a docking station. The docking
 station may have built-in peripherals, such as a CD-ROM or network
 interface. Under Windows 3.1, if you undock the notebook and reattach it,
 you have to reboot the system to reinitialize the devices. With Win 95,
 upon reattaching the notebook to the docking station, the OS recognizes
 the devices, loads the drivers, and makes the devices immediately
 available for use. 

 We tested hot docking using a Texas Instruments 4000M notebook with a
 portable CD-ROM docking station, with mixed results. When we detached the
 notebook from its docking station, Win 95 removed the CD-ROM drive from
 the hardware tree. It also switched to power-saving mode as it sensed the
 absence of AC power. When we docked the notebook though, the CD-ROM
 remained unavailable until we rebooted the machine. 

 Many of us use notebooks connected to external monitors and manually
 switch back and forth between screen resolutions appropriate to the
 internal LCD or external monitor. Win 95 should save us this effort by
 supporting automatic resolution switching, but we were unable to get it to
 work in our tests. 

 PCMCIA devices (PC Cards) also support Plug and Play and function in the
 same way as expansion cards on a desktop. Win 95 loads appropriate drivers
 when you insert a PC Card and unloads them when you remove the PC Card.
 This is a significant improvement from Win 3.1, where to have this
 ability, you have to load every type of driver in the CONFIG.SYS file,
 using a ton of low memory in the process. 

 Applications Play a Role 
 ------------------------
 For the full PnP experience, your applications must be PnP aware. They
 must dynamically adapt when you add or remove devices. For example, if you
 were using a communications program and inserted a PC Card modem, the Plug
 and Play manager would inform the application that a new communications
 device was available. The application could then attempt to use it. 

 As powerful as Plug and Play is, it still can't do everything, at least
 not in the beta of Win 95 we tested. You still have to restart your system
 when you change a graphics card's pixel depth. PnP doesn't work on
 PS/2-style mouse ports. While Win 95 can still use real-mode device
 drivers and static VxDs, devices that use such drivers will not be fully
 PnP-compliant. Although serial and parallel devices support PnP, you must
 refresh the Device Manager's hardware tree after connecting devices to 
 those ports to initialize them. Finally, Win 95 will not ship with an
 enumerator for the Micro Channel bus. IBM has said it would write the
 Micro Channel enumerator, but as even this company loses interest in this
 uncommon bus, it remains to be seen whether IBM will actually bother. 

 Plug and Play's promise is still in the future
 ----------------------------------------------
 While Plug and Play promises to put an end to the nightmare, the reality
 doesn't yet match the promise. Although PnP has the potential to
 revolutionize the way we use PCs, it will be a while before you fully
 realize all its benefits. The obstacle at this point is few people have
 Plug and Play systems and peripherals. Also, Plug and Play components and
 Win 95 applications (which will bear a logo to indicate they support 
 Windows 95) will take time to proliferate. Until they do, expect some
 confusion, as well as resource conflicts, because you will still have to
 deal with legacy devices. 

 Learn to Let Go 
 ---------------
 While Win 95 makes installing and configuring legacy peripherals a bit
 easier, when compared with their PnP progeny, non-PnP devices are still
 rather inflexible. Case in point: You'll still have to manipulate tiny
 jumpers and switches to set resource usage. Win 95 and Plug and Play can't
 magically make those cards configure themselves, but will reserve
 resources for them, making conflicts much less likely. 

 Needless to say, when considering the purchase of a new peripheral, always
 get the PnP version; you'll thank yourself for it later. The same goes for
 systems. Don't buy a system that doesn't have a PnP BIOS. If you're not
 ready to buy a new system just yet, look into the possibility of upgrading
 your BIOS to support PnP (see the Critical Distinctions to the 
 right, "PnP Upgrades"). 

 So as you plan your PC and peripheral purchases for the coming year, make
 sure they include PnP products. They won't cost much more than
 conventional devices, and they'll make installation a great deal simpler. 

 Jargon
 ------
 Enumerator: A driver that detects the devices and buses present at system
 start-up. It sends this information to the configuration manager, which
 assigns resources to them.

 Legacy cards: Expansion cards that do not support the Plug and Play
 specification. In a PnP system, Win 95 assigns resources to legacy cards
 first.

 Registry: The central database for Windows 95. It contains data on
 software and hardware configuration. The Registry replaces CONFIG.SYS,
 AUTOEXEC.BAT, and .INI files, but Win 95 keeps these files for
 compatibility with 3.1 applications.

 Differences between Win 3.1 and Win 95
 --------------------------------------
 Technology           Win 3.1                  Win 95

 Device drivers       You have to restart      Win 95 dynamically
                      your system after        loads and unloads
                      adding or removing       VxDs, so the system
                      devices.                 adjusts to changes
                                               without a reboot.

 Hardware Resources   Win 3.1 can't always     The Properties for 
                      tell you which resources Computer dialog  
                      hardware devices are     lists all resources
                      using.                   in use including
                                               DMA channels,IRQs, 
                                               I/O addresses, and 
                                               more.
                                  
 Peripherals          You configure periph-    Win 95 stores the
                      erals manually. If       resource require-
                      there's a conflict,      ments for PnP devices
                      Win 3.1 may return       in a central data-
                      an error message or      base. If conflicts
                      simply not work.         arise, the resource
                                               arbitrator substi-
                                               tutes resources.


                                PnP Upgrades
                                ============
 Joseph Moran

 The Critical Distinctions
 -------------------------
 Pump That BIOS 
 --------------
 Buy software upgrades and pop-in chips to get Plug and Play support. 

 To fully enjoy the benefits of Plug and Play, three pieces must be in
 place: Windows 95, a PnP BIOS, and expansion cards that support PnP. The
 first and last will be easy to acquire. The sticky part concerns the
 system BIOS. If your machine is less than six months old, you may already
 have a PnP BIOS. If your BIOS is PnP, this information appears on screen
 when you boot your machine. If not, you still might be able to retrofit
 your system to support Plug and Play. 

 Better Your BIOS 
 ----------------
 Most PCs shipped over the last few years have a Flash BIOS, so you can
 reprogram the BIOS EPROM chip without opening the case. In the past, there
 were rarely compelling reasons to upgrade your BIOS, except for the
 occasional bug fix. PnP marks the first time that Flash BIOS has value on
 a wide scale. Your system's documentation should indicate if you have a
 Flash BIOS. If it doesn't say, look at the chip: The word Flash will be
 printed on it. Then contact your system's vendor to find out if it's
 offering BIOS updates to support PnP. 

 That's what we did with a few vendors, with mixed results. Micron Computer
 offers PnP BIOS upgrades free for its 486- and Pentium-based systems; you
 can download them from Micron's BBS. Compaq says you'll be able to upgrade
 its recent Presario, ProLinea, and DeskPro models. But neither Gateway
 2000 nor Dell had formalized plans at press time. 

 Less Flash, More Work 
 ---------------------
 If your system lacks a Flash BIOS, or the vendor isn't offering upgrades,
 there's another option. Communica will offer upgrade BIOS chips for
 popular systems, though the list of systems wasn't final at press time.
 The company claims these chips will bestow PnP capabilities on older
 systems. For $79, you get a new EPROM chip customized for your machine, an
 extraction tool, and illustrated instructions. It's not as simple as a
 Flash upgrade, but if you're willing to roll up your sleeves, it's an easy
 and inexpensive way to add PnP support to your system.  (Communications
 also offers a software fix for the Pentium bug, called RePent.) 

 If neither solution pans out for you, there's still hope. PnP-compliant
 cards will take time to proliferate, and by the time they do, you may be
 ready to get a brand new system anyway.



 Win 95's IPX drivers speed NetWare connections
 ----------------------------------------------
 Windows for Workgroups 3.11 laid the groundwork for most network services
 in Windows 95. But in its pursuit of a universal client--Win 95 runs on
 almost any network--Microsoft has changed fundamentals of the OS, such as
 the way it detects and connects to remote resources. For example, Win 95
 implements so many network resources as VxDs that it presents a common
 user interface no matter what the underlying network. Aside from
 performance, this is the most important benefit of Win 95's network
 architecture. Applications developers will use the virtual resources of
 Win 95 to write to common APIs that will work no matter what NOS you
 install. 

 Applications that rely on the new common dialog for file operations can
 take advantage of these new services instantly. 

 Layers of the Land 
 ------------------
 Win 95 implements networking services in layers of interfaces. These
 interfaces virtualize underlying services, such as picking data off the
 network card or reassembling a data stream from a series of Ethernet
 packets. Typically, there are a number of layers: API, MPR, SPI, IFS, the
 transport layer, the network interface card (NIC) driver. Which layers you
 use depend on such factors as whether or not your NIC driver is a VxD. For
 example, if it is a real-mode driver, the OS loads a Helper module, an
 additional layer. 

 The first layer is the API. Applications, such as the Windows shell
 (Explorer), rely on APIs to identify and request network resources. Win 95
 passes API calls through the Multiple Provider Router (MPR), which routes
 requests for service to the appropriate service provider. Service
 providers are low-level interfaces to specific services, such as a
 messaging system like MAPI. Service providers take generically formatted
 API calls from applications or the OS, change the semantics to suit your
 implementation, and dispatch the request to the NIC driver. 

 Loaded LANs 
 -----------
 Unlike WFW 3.11, which could load only two network drivers, Win 95 lets
 you log on to limitless networks at once. This is particularly useful for
 users who travel the Internet or for NetWare users who want to interact
 with other clients. If it's a WFW 3.11 client, simply select NetBEUI from
 the protocol list in Win 95's Network Control Panel. WFW 3.11 veterans
 might say they have been doing this all along, but their applications were
 not integrated in the OS as VxDs but rather were real-mode drivers that
 wasted hundreds of kilobytes of conventional memory. 

 To access files over the network, another layer comes into play, the
 Installable File System (IFS) Manager. Network service providers call the
 Installable File System Manager for basic file I/O, and IFS routes an
 application's request to the specific file system. Network service
 providers also talk directly to the network's file system driver (FSD).
 The network transport layer gets FSD requests on to the network. 

 The Transporter 
 ---------------
 Out of the box, Win 95 supports three key network transports: IPX/SPX,
 NetBEUI, and TCP/IP (all are VxDs). You can continue using real-mode
 drivers like IPXODI.COM, but they tend to be slower than their
 protected-mode counterparts. 

 The network transport layer, which interfaces with your NIC, must use NDIS
 3.0compliant drivers, which run in protected mode. If your network card
 supports only NDIS 2.0 or ODI real-mode drivers, you'll still need WFW's
 helper modules (NDISHLP.SYS or ODIHLP.SYS). These small drivers map
 network requests between protected-mode and real-mode drivers. Mixing
 real-mode drivers and multiple transports can be a headache, but you may
 have no choice if there's no VxD for your NIC. In most cases, the
 out-of-the-box, protected-mode IPX support should make installing on a
 network easier and faster. 

 Navigating the C:S 
 ------------------
 To integrate network services into the Win 95 shell, Microsoft created an
 enumeration API that queries network domains on available resources, such
 as servers, disks, and printers. A network provider can also provide
 details on the type of directory, implement its own view of the network
 for browsing, or notify the Explorer of such changes as moving or deleting
 a network directory. 

 Win 95 introduces Universal Naming Convention (UNC) pathnames, which
 identify a resource by its network location (such as \\MyServer\LaserJet)
 rather than by the local resource name to which it is mapped (LPT2, for
 example). UNCs continue working even when these mappings change. 

 UNC pathnames are also more intuitive than the drive letter convention.
 Although Win 95 includes the APIs you need to map, or redirect, local
 device names to network resources, Microsoft is encouraging developers to
 rely on UNC pathnames. 

 In addition to the basic network log-on and -off procedures, the
 Authentication API can return your user's home directory, change
 passwords, and cache an encrypted copy of the your password. (You can
 disable this last feature.) 

 Among Peers 
 -----------
 Like WFW and Windows NT, Win 95 supports peer-to-peer networking. But Win
 95 bridges the disparity between the two, which are at opposite ends of
 the security spectrum, by adding such features as user-level security to
 the basic share-level security in WFW. With share-level security, the
 administrator grants certain rights to all users who share that resource. 
 Such users receive default access rights--read only, for example. With
 user-level security, you can specify which individuals (or groups) are
 permitted to access shared resources. 

 The security provider first authenticates your password, then passes the
 request to the Access Control List (ACL). In the ACL, you specify which
 users (or groups of users) have a given level of access. If the person
 requesting access has permission to use that resource, Win 95 passes the
 request to VSERVER, which then allows the request to pass to the IFS
 manager or the print spooler. Windows 95 doesn't pretend to offer the
 sophisticated security found in Windows NT, but it does take a step in the
 right direction. 

 Win 95 steps up security and network controls
 ---------------------------------------------
 The testament to Microsoft's success at integrating network services into
 Win 95 is the lack of network utilities you have to master. The main
 network tool you'll use is the Network Neighborhood, a desktop icon Win 95
 installs if it detects a network connection upon start-up. 

 From the Network Neighborhood window, you browse network resources the
 same way you navigate local resources from the My Computer window. For
 example, the top-level view presents the resources you're currently
 connected to--such as a NetWare server, other Win 95 clients, or a network
 printer. 

 The Network Neighborhood also shows a container for the entire network. A
 container is an icon that represents logical groups of resources. For
 example, you might have a container that includes printers, peer-to-peer
 clients, and file servers. In either view--the Network Neighborhood or the
 Entire Network Container--you can attach to a resource by clicking on its 
 icon. The network provider layer then displays the log-on dialog. Both
 views also let you inspect folders, printers, and other shared resources. 

 Dialogs Do Networks
 -------------------
 Win 95's common dialogs for file and print operations include a
 mini-Explorer for browsing the network. When you open a file dialog to
 save or retrieve a file, the default view shows the current folder
 (typically on C:) and also lets you scroll up the resource tree or
 repeatedly click on the up-one-level button until, at the highest level,
 you see one container for My Computer and another for the Network
 Neighborhood. Drilling down into the network, you'll see the same views
 and automatic log-on dialogs that you'll find in the Network Neighborhood 
 window.

 This mini-Explorer frees you from reliance on the clunky drive-mapping
 mechanism the pre-UNC interfaces use. Drive letters fail to help you
 remember where a drive letter maps. Worse yet, if your applications refer
 only to a specific drive, you may have a hard time finding your files when
 drive mappings change. The new interface eliminates that problem. 

 Relying on UNCs ensures that you save a complete description of a file's
 location; it only changes if your network manager renames a server.
 However, until applications universally employ common dialogs--or we see
 third-party dialogs that exploit the new APIs--you'll still need to map
 drives.

 No Local Talent 
 ---------------
 The Win 95 shell also lets you share local resources.  You can do this
 from most any view, including a common dialog, a desktop container, and
 the Explorer. Just open a resource's properties with a right-click, choose
 Sharing, then define a share name and access privileges for the given
 resource. But you still have to trek to the Network Control Panel to do
 the real work: to enable file and print sharing or user-level security or
 to allow other users to share files on your local drive or permit them
 password entry. 

 The Network Control Panel isn't well organized. It lumps protocols, NIC
 drivers, client software, and network services in one long intimidating
 list alphabetically by type. Microsoft should have broken out each of
 these four types of settings. In particular, network services don't belong
 in the same windows with hardware drivers. Worse, most network changes you
 make from this Control Panel (including, ludicrously, logging on or off!)
 force you to restart Win 95. For a Plug and Play operating system this is
 very disappointing. 

 Remote Possibilities 
 --------------------
 Remote access is seamless in Windows 95. For example, we created a
 Shortcut to a network file while connected to our docking station. On the
 road, double-click the Shortcut (which you create by inspecting file
 properties) and Win 95 automatically dials the remote-access service and
 retrieves the file. Otherwise, you have to manually initiate remote
 connections to browse network resources. Mercifully, Microsoft makes it
 easier to abort large file copies. An animated dialog estimates the time
 remaining. On a few occasions, we started a file copy from a dial-in
 server but decided the 7-minute wait wasn't worth the bother. 

 Not only can you interact with the network throughout the shell, but Win
 95 lets several users share one system and loads their preferred settings
 when they log on. Similarly, you can log on from another workstation and
 Win 95 will find you and load your preferences there, too. 

 Peer Glints 
 -----------
 Win 95 does a good job integrating file and print sharing, so rivals such
 as LANtastic will have to up the peer-to-peer ante. However, larger
 networks will still want to rely on their existing network resources.
 Fundamental features such as user-level security require a more powerful
 NOS like NetWare or NT. For example, Win 95 clients don't maintain a list
 of all network users, so the OS must fetch such information as user-level
 security from a server. 

 Managing network nodes has never been easy, partly because no matter what
 NOS you use--Netware, LANtastic, WFW--network software has a hard time
 tracking the myriad hardware and software settings on DOS- and
 Windows-based systems. The extremely powerful Win 95 Policy Editor is a
 huge step in the right direction. The Policy Editor lets you define
 profiles for systems, users, and groups, setting rights to most any
 service in the Win 95 Registry. For example, you can define whether users
 can shutdown the system, run programs, use the default wallpaper, disable
 remote access, and share files. You can also determine if passwords must
 be a minimum length and if a domain server must validate passwords. 

 Be Big Brother 
 --------------
 If you enable remote Registry editing, you can open and edit other
 systems' Registries from a distant machine. As with the Policy Editor, we
 had the unnerving sensation we had become Big Brother, despite
 user-empowering, euphemistic help topics such as "Enabling administrators
 to edit the registry on your computer."

 If you administer a large, complex network site, you'll find Win 95's
 simple tools too cumbersome. To help, Win 95 includes an SNMP agent that
 will let third-party developers (and Microsoft) hook sophisticated
 management tools to the Registry. Microsoft's offering, Server Management
 System, is a SQL Serverbased distributed management tool. Other options
 include HP's Open View, IBM's NetView, and UniCenter, from Computer
 Associates. 

 Boosting performance among peers
 --------------------------------
 Win 95 is an impressive and well-behaved network citizen. We had few
 problems attaching to existing networks (save one frustrating afternoon
 when we had to unload the NetBEUI network support to attach to a NetWare
 server). Overall, though, Win 95 provides a reasonably easy-to-navigate
 network browser. 

 Microsoft also dispensed with some of the limitations of Windows for
 Workgroups 3.11. For example, unlike WFW, Win 95 supports multiple,
 simultaneous network connections, not just two. It also adds user-level
 security. Finally, Microsoft's NetWare support really shines: Its IPX
 drivers, which are VxDs, are easy to install and indeed offer transparent
 support for non-Microsoft networks. 

 Networking under Win 95 gets a real boost from more than just its improved
 network architecture. Plug and Play makes remote connections as simple as
 opening a remote resource--unless, of course, you didn't boot the network
 when you started the system. So much for 100% Plug and Play support. 

 Jargon
 ------
 ACL: The Access Control List defines which users or groups can access
 shared resources.

 NDIS: The Network Driver Interface Specification defines how network
 services interact with network card drivers. Windows 95 supports NDIS 3.1,
 which builds on NDIS 3.0 by adding Plug and Play extensions.

 UNC: The Universal Naming Convention is a standard for naming files on a
 network. Instead of using drive letters (D: or K:, for example), UNC
 pathnames reflect the exact location of a resource on the network, such as
 \\MyServer\3rd FloorLaserJet.

 Network performance
 -------------------
 If You Do This ...           ...You Get This

 Share your workstation       Each person's preferences loaded 
 with other users.            automatically at log-on. 

 Use the policy editor        Easy-to-apply defaults that
 to create configuration      automate installing new work-
 profiles for different       stations and creating users
 types of users.              and groups.                            

 Install the remote           Client configurations that Windows 95
 registry network service.    network administrators can open and 
                              edit remotely.

 Rely on a NetWare or NT      User-level security on Windows 95
 server on your network.      clients, because clients rely on 
                              the network server for user and
                              group account information.

 User real-mode network       Windows 95 helper software for 
 drivers.                     mapping requests from the Network  
                              Provider or IFS manager to your old
                              network drivers.


                          Solve a Multitude of Ins
                          ========================
 Larry Seltzer

 The Critical Distinctions
 -------------------------
 Microsoft Exchange Client/Server
 --------------------------------
 The universal in-box is in Windows 95, and the server half is on the way. 

 Most e-mail veterans own more than one mail box and squander hours moving
 from box to box in search of messages. Windows 95 delivers Microsoft
 Exchange Client, a so-called universal in-box that should help deal with
 this problem. The new client lets you exchange mail with Microsoft Mail
 and other MAPI mail systems, CompuServe mail, and the Microsoft Network.
 And sometime in 1995, Redmond plans to ship the other half of the
 equation, the Microsoft Exchange Server (MES), a new messaging engine. 

 Post Office Problems 
 --------------------
 The move to a client/server architecture is long overdue. Both of today's
 LAN e-mail giants, Microsoft Mail and Lotus cc:Mail, run on vulnerable and
 antiquated architectures. When the client software posts a message, it
 writes a record in a large, shared database all users can write to.
 Consequently, any badly behaved mail client can corrupt the mail database. 

 Client/server is an infinitely better architecture for messaging systems
 than the shared database model. Here, the client and the server use a
 protocol to send and receive messages, so the client doesn't write to the
 database directly. Instead, the server performs all operations on the
 message store, or mail database. A client/server architecture also lets
 you beef up your messaging system by throwing more horsepower--in the form
 of additional memory or CPUs--at the server. As you might expect, the
 server platform for MES is Windows NT. 

 Bend the Rules 
 --------------
 Run all essential messaging functions on the server and you free clients
 from tasks for which they're not really suited, and at the same time, you
 can reduce network traffic. Case in point: The server, rather than the
 client, should really implement messaging rules, which can filter or
 forward urgent messages. Today, clients handle this task. 

 Aside from adopting a client/server messaging architecture, Microsoft
 appears to be loading MES with such features as replication, a la Lotus
 Notes, support for X.400 and X.500 standards, a programming facility based
 on Visual Basic, rudimentary work-flow capabilities, an integrated group 
 scheduling system, and tools to help you migrate from just about every
 other mail system known to IS. Get the message?

 Revamped communications driver won't choke
 ------------------------------------------
 If you're industrious, you've probably written a batch file to update the
 files on your desktop system with those on a floppy disk. Windows 95
 refines this process with the Briefcase, a data-synchronization tool. 

 Once you've created a Briefcase, you drag files to the Briefcase icon,
 then drop the icon into a floppy disk. When you return, drag the Briefcase
 back to your hard disk and choose Update. You can also move and update
 your Briefcase using a direct cable or a network connection. 

 To resolve differences between the Briefcase and desktop versions of
 files, Windows 95 searches the Briefcase Database, a hidden system file
 containing modification data. If both files have changed, Windows 95 will
 call a reconciliation handler to determine how to merge the files.
 However, Windows 95 won't come with handlers for specific applications--or
 with any reconciliation handlers, period. It will determine if a file has 
 changed based on the file's date and time and ask if you want to overwrite
 the older file. It will then use handlers the application provides. 

 Reconciliation handlers for specific applications could, for example,
 determine whether a graphic appears in a document, which page it's on, and
 whether it's changed. Applications will have to register their
 reconciliation handlers in the Briefcase Database. 

 32-bit Comes to Comm 
 --------------------
 In Windows 3.1, transferring data at high rates was unreliable.  That's
 because the communications driver in 3.1 (COMM.DRV) used only 2 bytes of
 the 16-byte buffers in the 16550A UART chip. (The UART converts incoming
 serial data into the parallel format that the PC's I/O and memory buses
 use.) If you tried performing other tasks while transferring files, the
 buffer overran with data, and your comm program requested a
 retransmission. 

 The revamped communications subsystem in Windows 95 eliminates this and
 other bottlenecks. The heart of this new subsystem is VCOMM. While the old
 real-mode COMM.DRV could drive only a standard serial port, VCOMM
 incorporates drivers for the serial and parallel ports. Third parties will
 also provide drivers for wireless and infrared ports. Another difference:
 VCOMM is modular.  Unlike COMM.DRV, which performed such varied functions
 as managing AT commands from the comm program and controlling the UART,
 VCOMM controls only the serial port. 

 Windows 95 also eliminates the CPU comm overhead that hindered Windows
 3.1. Under Windows 3.x, the communications driver let the application
 think it was reading incoming characters, one byte at a time, directly
 from the serial port. This caused tremendous system overhead. In contrast,
 Win32 applications deal directly with VCOMM, which can pass blocks of
 characters to applications. 

 You set up a modem under Windows 95 in much the same way you would a
 printer under Windows 3.1: Both have a universal driver that supports many
 models. Even if you don't have a Plug and Play modem, Windows 95's
 universal driver, Unimodem, tries to identify your modem. Or skip
 automatic detection and choose your modem from a list. If you let Windows
 95 detect your modem, it enables default settings for such parameters as
 speed, speaker volume, and flow control, though you can override these
 settings. In either case, you configure your modem only once--no need to
 set it for each communications program. 

 Applications can use TAPI to access and share modems and other telephony
 devices. TAPI-aware applications need only issue basic commands, such as
 "dial this number," and TAPI supplies the commands the modem requires.
 TAPI also supports connections in which an adapter in the PC emulates a
 telephone handset. 

 TAPI also resolves device contention. For instance, if you need to use the
 terminal program HyperTerminal, and Micro-soft At Work Fax is running in
 the background, TAPI relinquishes control of the modem to HyperTerminal,
 then returns control to Microsoft At Work Fax once the terminal session
 ends. 

 1-800-NETWORK 
 -------------
 The Dial-Up Networking Wizard lets you specify the modem, the phone
 number, and the host server for a particular connection object. After
 you've configured the Dial-In Adapter (a.k.a. your modem) on the Network
 Control Panel, you set up the actual connections, which appear as desktop
 objects in the Dial-Up Networking folder. For instance, you'd have an icon
 titled "PPP Dial-in to Big_Old_Server." 

 The modem uses the PPP protocol for communications sessions over phone
 lines and also supports TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, and NetBEUI. Windows 95 supports
 many host server types: another Win 95 machine, an Internet host via PPP
 or SLIP, a Windows NT machine, Shiva NetModem/LanRover, or a NetWare
 Connect server. Remote access is part of the dynamic 32-bit protected-mode
 network architecture; you don't have to reboot or reconfigure your
 computer when you connect and disconnect with a remote host.

 Win 95 totes empty briefcase, opening door to add-ons
 -----------------------------------------------------
 To be honest, it was a chore getting this beta version of Windows 95 up
 and running on our test notebook: a Dell Latitude XP 4100CX equipped at
 different times with the AT&T Paradyne and Dell 14.4 PCMCIA modems. On our
 desktop system, a Dell OptiPlex XMT 590, we used an Intel SatisFAXtion
 400e. 

 The Latitude refused to load Windows 95, citing a Protection Error. We
 wiped the Latitude's disk clean, reinstalled DOS 6.2 and Windows for
 Workgroups 3.11, then installed Windows 95. This time it loaded. We
 suspect a leftover real-mode driver from the software installed by Dell
 caused the initial conflict. 

 Briefcase O'Blues 
 -----------------
 The Briefcase shows lots of promise, but the beta version we 
 tested (224) delivered little of that promise. The first time you create 
 a Briefcase, a help window walks you through the process.  Unfortunately,
 you can still wind up creating Briefcases on both of your computers
 instead of a single Briefcase on your notebook, or you might find yourself
 taking the files with you and accidentally leaving the Briefcase behind.
 Additionally, the Briefcase prompts you to copy the modified version of
 the files over the original. If you fail to update in this manner, the
 system makes a sometimes unwarranted assumption: "Skip, (both changed)." 

 Because Windows 95 doesn't currently include reconciliation handlers, it
 can't do tasks as basic as merging two text files. The Briefcase is
 supposed to check more than just file date and size; but currently, it's
 not doing anything DOS batch files can't do. Microsoft says future
 applications, such as Microsoft Office, will support the Briefcase
 Reconciliation API. 

 Third Party Hardy, In Time 
 --------------------------
 Until your motherboard, BIOS, and peripherals all support Plug and Play,
 you must deal with Control Panel settings. Nowhere is this more true than
 with modems. In the meantime, Windows 95 users must live with Microsoft's
 COM port and modem detection code, which still have a few problems.

 Initially, our PCMCIA modems wouldn't work. We checked resource
 allocation--COM ports, interrupts--and nothing looked odd. Windows 95
 detected the modem correctly, but the HyperTerminal and Dialer
 applications failed to connect. The diagnostics supplied with the Modem
 Control Panel, which normally give port information such as interrupt,
 address, modem identifier, and UART type, also failed. The problem?
 Windows 95 Beta 2 (M7 build 224) did not contain the diagnostic code for
 PCMCIA modems, which will be in the final version. 

 On the desktop system, Windows 95 worked like a charm. Windows 95 detected
 an external modem on either COM1 or COM2, identifying the modem's brand,
 model, and the port it was using. We set the BIOS on our Dell notebook to
 use the external serial port as COM2 (instead of COM4). The external
 modems, an Intel SatisFAXtion 400e and a Hayes Smartmodem 9600 worked on
 these ports as well. Miraculously, this BIOS change also got the PCMCIA
 modems working. Although Windows 95 couldn't detect it, there had
 obviously been a resource conflict. Microsoft says it will add more and
 better COM port and modem detection before the final version of Windows 95 
 ships. 

 Once Is Enough 
 --------------
 Once your modem's working, all TAPI-aware applications know it exists. You
 won't have to configure the modem separately for faxing, online
 communications, or dial-in networking. If you do need to change a
 configuration setting in an application, the application can store that
 configuration setting. For instance, if you have a dial-in router that can
 only handle speeds up to 9,600 bps, the modem isn't stuck at that rate
 when you start up a terminal program that wants to communicate at higher
 speeds. 

 We still had problems setting modem speeds. There's a tempting
 selection--Highest Possible--on the Modem Control Panel that wreaked havoc
 with both plain text and compressed file transfers. Characters per second
 bottomed out to 300, and there were numerous bad data and CRC errors. But
 when we tuned the maximum speed setting to a more reasonable value (38.4
 Kbps for the Dell 14.4 fax modem), performance went from pathetic to
 amazing. HyperTerminal transferred a 180K text file at twice the speeds we 
 were used to (3,600 characters per second, compared with 1,800 cps with
 the same SatisFAXtion modem under Windows 3.1), and we were able to copy
 files and perform other tasks simultaneously with no data errors. 

 Full Compatibility We tried logging on to a NetWare server via Shiva's
 LanRover and to an Internet host via PPP and had some trouble. First, you
 need to set up the Network Control Panel. You must set up the Microsoft
 Dial-Up Adapter with the protocols you want to use (in this case, an
 IPX/SPX-compatible protocol and Microsoft TCP/IP), then run the Make New
 Connection Wizard in the Dial-Up Networking folder, where you specify the
 phone number, which modem to use, and the type of server you're dialing
 into. Ideally, at this point you'd be done, and you could double-click 
 on the connection object to dial in. 

 However, to log on to our local Internet service provider, we had to bring
 up the Properties box on our connection object, "Configure..." the modem,
 then choose the Options tab on that Properties box to find the check box
 that specifies "Bring up terminal window after dialing." (Windows 95
 doesn't automatically handle the login: and password: prompts on Internet
 Unix hosts.) Our beta copy of Windows 95 (224) only included Internet
 utilities for Telnet and command-line FTP, so we had to provide our own
 Gopher client, newsreader, and Web browser. 

 We had less luck with the Shiva LanRover. After many futile attempts, we
 discovered that with our setup (which required supervisor-level access on
 our test server) we'd have to dial in with a Windows 3.1 app, not with the
 built-in networking in Windows 95.

 Win 95 promises revolutionary change
 ------------------------------------
 Mobile computer users will find a lot to like in Windows 95, but pieces
 are still missing. Until all leading applications support reconciliation,
 the Briefcase isn't much of an improvement over a batch file. And despite
 claims about full compatibility with remote hosts, there are a lot of
 hosts, each with its unique log-on method. Microsoft might see the future
 filled with peer-to-peer networks of Windows 95 and Cairo machines; the 
 reality is that most of us will still be dialing into our NetWare servers
 for a good long time. 

 The good news is that with the new communications subsystem, the days of
 slow, unreliable data transfer are over. The protected-mode, 32-bit code
 path means that only your hardware limits your maximum speed. Because the
 VCOMM driver is modular, newer and faster hardware will be easy to
 integrate in your system. 

 The universal modem driver supports a broad range of modems and puts in
 place a foundation for future device support. Happily, the days of
 configuring your modem separately for each individual application are
 vanishing. 

 Plug and Play on the Way 
 ------------------------
 The most important missing piece of the puzzle for mobile computing is
 Plug and Play. Testing with several machines and modems showed that the
 road from the present to Plug and Play won't be without potholes; you'll
 still spend time puzzling over resource conflicts and botched
 configurations. Even when PnP devices are in wide use, some problems will
 remain. 

 For some folks, the problem is not simply figuring out which resources are
 free; the problem is that their resources are all used up. We still have
 to live with the interrupt controller structure we've been stuck with
 since IBM released the AT. 

 Until the missing pieces arrive, the improvements to Windows 95 are
 evolutionary: It's faster, more robust, easier to use, and it replaces
 disparate third-party software with broad, integrated support. Once
 support arrives for all the new APIs and true Plug and Play systems are in
 place, Windows 95 will be revolutionary.

 Jargon
 ------
 Reconciliation Handler: A utility Win 95 calls when it needs to determine
 how to merge two versions of the same file. 

 Unimodem: The universal modem driver in Win 95. 

 TAPI: Telephone Application Programming Interface is a high-level
 programming interface that lets different applications share a single
 telephony device, such as a modem or PBX. 

 VCOMM The new communications driver in Windows 95. VCOMM, a VxD,
 incorporates drivers for the serial and parallel ports. Third parties can
 provide extentions for wireless and infrared ports.

 Comm Technology
 ---------------
 Comm Technology        Win 3.1                  Win 95

 Comm drivers           Its comm drivers         Instead of 
                        virtualize ports         virtualizing ports, 
                        to make applications     Win 95's 
                        think they're grabbing   communications 
                        bits directly off the    drivers pass 
                        hardware, slowing        incoming bits 
                        performance.             directly to
                                                 communications 
                                                 applications.

 Modem                  You must configure       You configure the          
   
 configuration          the modem for each       modem once, with  
                        communications           the modem control 
                        application.             panel.

 UART Support           It uses only 2 bytes     VCOMM uses the  
                        of the 16-byte           entire 16-byte 
                        buffer on the            buffer. 
                        16550A UART.


                           Microsoft Joins the Act
                           =======================
 Gus Venditto
  
 Win 95's online client could have a larger audience than all its rivals
 combined. 

 Microsoft is doing more than overhauling the Windows interface and
 architecture: It also plans to include client software for its new online
 service, Microsoft Network (formerly Marvel). 

 The online network is tightly integrated with Windows 95. Once your
 desktop links up to the Microsoft Network, all online services appear as
 icons and folders. You use familiar browser windows--just like the ones on
 your desktop --to explore services. Right-click on any icon and you'll
 open a context menu that describes the contents in that area, its address
 on the network, and usage fees. (At press time, Microsoft had not set fees
 or identified any third-party content providers.) 

 More Offline than On 
 --------------------
 We looked at a prerelease version of Microsoft Network. The skeleton was
 in place, but the most interesting sections were roughed in, including the
 most ambitious parts: interactive kiosks with full-color graphics.
 Microsoft also plans to offer a modified version of its Bookshelf CD-ROM,
 as well as standard bulletin-board discussions on topics ranging from
 desktop publishing to parenting in the '90s. However, discussions are sure 
 to be more lively thanks to the easy access to graphics: You can embed
 files in messages. You can also embed Shortcuts that will make it easy for
 other users to locate files on the system. Drawbacks?  Possibly
 performance. Microsoft Network will use complex graphics likely to slow
 things down.

 32-Bit Applets
 --------------
 Anemic Windows Terminal gets hyper
 ----------------------------------
 At one time or another, we've all lambasted various Windows Accessories as
 underpowered and a waste of disk space. Still, we use them. With Windows
 95, the Accessories are especially worth exploring, because until you've
 upgraded, the Accessories are the only Win32 applications on your system. 

 The communications program has improved the most. Renamed HyperTerminal,
 it replaces Windows Terminal--and not just in name. In Windows 95, all
 TAPI applications use the modem settings you define in the Control Panel.
 Because HyperTerminal supports TAPI, it has instant access to these
 settings. The foundation of the new communciations architecture is VCOMM,
 a virtual communications manager. 

 VCOMM is more efficient than the one in Windows 3.1 because it eliminates
 system overhead. To support Windows 3.x communication programs, Windows
 virtualized all comm functions: applications believed they were reading
 data directly from the serial port, when in fact the communications driver
 was feeding them one byte at a time from a software buffer. If the CPU
 couldn't service the communications subsystem fast enough, it dropped
 characters. VCOMM reduces this overhead because it feeds data coming from
 the serial port to applications in large blocks, not one byte at a time. 

 The Phone Dialer utitlity, new in Windows 95, is TAPI-enabled, so you can
 use call-processing applications to run the next generation of modems,
 which will offer voice services and use digital signal processors (DSPs).
 Call-processing apps manipulate phone calls, usurping some of the
 functions a PBX server performed traditionally. 

 Done with DOS
 -------------
 The Win95 Accessories group branches into Multimedia Tools and System
 Tools. Multimedia Tools fill the same role they did in Windows 3.1,
 providing access to CD players, sound files and video clips. System Tools
 is a brand new group that takes advantage of DOS functions Windows 95
 incorporates. 

 Because Windows 95, like Windows for Workgroups 3.11 with 32-bit file
 access turned on, has complete control of the disk and file system, you
 can safely run disk-maintenance programs within Windows. Rather than
 making calls to the Int21 DOS interrupt,  Windows 95 applications call one
 of three VxDs: VFAT, for accessing hard and floppy disks; VCDFS, for
 reading CD-ROMs; or a 32-bit network redirector for using disks across a
 network. 

 Other accessories include WordPad, the successor to Windows Write; Paint,
 the renamed version of Paintbrush; and WinPad, an organizer that
 incorporates a calendar, to-do list, and address organizer. Microsoft
 wrote both WordPad and Paint using the Microsoft Foundation Class Library.
 (WordPad announces this in its banner screen, and Paint has all the same
 features.) This gives both programs access to such capabilities as Print
 Preview and the abilility to list the most recently opened files. In
 addition, both are OLE clients and servers, supporting in-place activation 
 (formerly referred to as in-place editing).

 Added accessories but fewer file formats
 ----------------------------------------
 Windows Accessories fill a vital role: If you're ever stranded on a desert
 island with Windows, you can use the Accessories until you return to the
 real world and real applications. This is as true with Windows 95 as it is
 with Windows 3.1. This time, though, the Accessories are designed to
 guarantee that when you return to the real world, you're ready to work
 only in Microsoft applications. 

 Cut-and-Paste Dialing 
 ---------------------
 Windows 95 is worth the price just to get your hands on HyperTerminal, the
 first communications package to take advantage of the changes in the
 Windows communications architecture. To see tangible evidence of Windows
 95 improvements, use HyperTerm to download a file. During the process,
 HyperTerm's dialog box reports the time remaining and the time elapsed;
 the time display pauses as other tasks take place. When other activity
 stops, the clock jumps ahead, showing that the activity had interrupted
 only the clock display, and the download continues at the same pace as 
 before. 

 The Windows 95 Phone Dialer lets you place a call by cutting a number from
 an application and pasting it into the Phone Dialer window. Phone Dialer
 also has a call log (for recording details on calls) and a speed dialer. 

 The familiar accessories Calendar and Cardfile merge in Windows 95,
 becoming WinPad, a basic PIM. WinPad fits right in with the Accessory
 philosophy: It does less than virtually every other product in the field.
 It is little more than a combination address-book/calendar program, with
 the addition of a to-do list. WinPad can import data from the Microsoft
 applications Windows Cardfile and Microsoft Calendar only; there is no
 export function. WordPad, the Windows 95 word processing accessory,
 retains the basic capabilities of Windows Write. It borrows a handful of 
 devices from Word 6.0 for Windows, including buttons for opening, saving,
 and printing files. 

 WordPad also shares at least one performance characteristic with Word: It
 is exceptionally slow loading. WordPad reads text and Write's .WRI format
 but WordPad's default format is Word 6.0's .DOC format. Files saved in
 Word 6.0 .DOC format are about twice the size of text files and can only
 be read by the latest versions of Microsoft Word. 

 Notepad returns with all of its flaws. Even though Notepad now is Win32,
 it retains a limit on file size: We were unable to load text files larger
 than 57K, an oddity because Windows 95 is freed from the
 64K-segmented-memory structure that hampered Windows 3.1.  In our tests,
 we discovered that the Windows NT Notepad does not have this limitation,
 but incredibly they put the older version of Notepad in Windows 95. 

 Paintbrush Abandons .PCX 
 ------------------------
 Windows 95 renames Paintbrush Paint and gives it a minor face-lift. But
 Paint is essentially the same limited paint program with another big
 limitation: It no longer reads or writes .PCX files. The Windows .BMP
 format is the only format you can use with Paint.

 System Tools, a group of utilities with DOS roots, joins the Accessories
 category. The System Tools menu includes Windows replacements for Backup,
 Scandisk, Disk Defragmenter, and DriveSpace. Each provides only the most
 basic functions in the category.

 Scandisk searches for disk errors and fixes cross-linked files. It's a
 straightforward port of the DOS-based Scandisk utility, with the addition
 of Windows 95specific help. For example, Scandisk identifies directory
 names that are legal in Windows 95 but are too long for DOS to recognize. 

 Disk Defragmenter is a simple disk clean-up tool. It gives you the
 impression that you can perform other tasks while defragging, but any
 writes to disk cause the defragging to restart from the beginning. Backup,
 an archiving tool written by Colorado Memory Systems, provides on-the-fly
 compression, differential backups, and file filtering. 

 Rumors, Anyone? 
 ---------------
 Finally, Windows 95 features new games, including a network chat line
 called Rumors. The most popular entertainment choice, however, may be the
 revamped CD Player. You can randomize an audio CD's play order, skim
 through a CD by playing only the first few seconds of each track, and
 create your own play sequence for CDs and then store it in a text file,
 CDPLAYER.INI.

 More accessories, fewer options
 -------------------------------
 The best current example of Windows 95's power is in HyperTerm: File
 downloads run at full speed, even while you work on other tasks. The
 improvements stem from a combination of Win 95's preemptive multitasking
 communications architecture and the new protected mode file system, so
 other communications programs will run just as well--once they ship. The
 best surprise in Accessories is the CD Player, which lets you create
 playlists for audio CDs. CD Player saves the playlist and automatically
 associates it the next time you play the disk--something your home stereo
 can't do.
  
 The worst surprises are the changes Microsoft made to the range of
 available file formats in some of the Accessories. WordPad, the 
 successor to Write, has adopted the Word 6.0 .DOC file format as 
 its default: a shameless plug for Microsoft's own product line. If you
 already use Word 6.0, it's a welcome convenience. If you don't, it's a
 hassle. Those of us who use Paintbrush to occassionally view or edit a
 .PCX file will have to change our ways. Paint introduces very few changes,
 but Microsoft decided to snub the .PCX format completely. And WinPad, the
 new but underpowered PIM, imports only Microsoft Cardfile and Calendar
 data formats, and can export none.

 Jargon
 ------
 HyperTerminal: The communications program that replaces Windows Terminal,
 HyperTerminal inherits modem settings from the Windows 95 Registry. 

 Paint: Windows 95's replacement for Paintbrush no longer reads or writes
 .PCX files; it supports only the .BMP format. 

 WinPad: The PIM that replaces Cardfile and Calendar. 

 WordPad: The word processor Windows 95 includes. It builds on Write by
 adding a ruler and better font support (Write, for example, lets you use
 only three fonts at a time). By default, WordPad saves files in the Word
 6.0 .DOC format.

 System Tools
 ------------
 System Tools         Pros                     Cons

 Backup               Works with tape          Won't let you                
     
                      drives. Runs in          schedule backups
                      the background.          in advance.

 Disk                 Executes in              In background mode, 
 Defragmenter         Windows. Runs in         you can't use apps
                      the background.          that write to disk.
                                               It does not store the
                                               most frequently used
                                               files or directories
                                               first. 

 Scandisk             Fixes cross-linked       Identifies filenames
                      files. Identifies        that will cause 
                      disk errors within       trouble for DOS apps
                      Windows.                 but lacks a tool to 
                                               fix the problem.


                               And They're Off
                               ===============
 Gus Venditto

 Expect a wave of utilities that fill in the gaps in the Windows 95 shell. 

 If you had any doubt that software developers would deliver applications
 for the 32-bit Windows 95 environment, rest assured, at least some
 applications are on the way. Microsoft has even distributed a CD-ROM with
 early versions of pioneering programs, including Macromedia Director 4.0
 for Windows 95, Micrografx Picture Publisher for Windows 95, Visio32, and
 StarWriter, an object-oriented word processor from Star Division. 

 We explored several of these 32-bit applications. The programs were in an
 early state, so we couldn't get a true feel for how fast they'll run. But
 we did get a taste of how applications will change to reflect the new Win
 95 interface. 

 Taking a Tab on Tomorrow's Apps 
 -------------------------------
 Norton Utilities' SysInfo, for example, will be organized completely as a
 series of tabbed dialogs. You select a tab to view a report on system
 components, memory, display, and other aspects of performance. The program
 shows capacities and other percentage data as pie charts. If you select a
 detail and right-click, SysInfo opens a context menu, so you can probe for
 an explanation of the term. 

 QuickView, from Systems Compatibility Corp. (which makes OutSide In), is
 one of the first programs to bolster Windows Explorer. QuickView will
 enhance the context menu that opens in Windows Explorer when you
 right-click on a filename. Without QuickView, you can view only a small
 selection of file types; QuickView, in contrast, displays 170 more file
 types, including .TIF, AmiPro, and dBASE files. We tested Excel files with
 QuickView and viewed a spreadsheet display, although we couldn't view the
 underlying formulas. The QuickView beta did allow us to change the display 
 font, and the final version will provide a landscape view to make it
 easier to view large spreadsheets. 

 While most software developers are still trying to catch up with the Win32
 spec, Microsoft seems to be ahead. (Why aren't we surprised?) We tested a
 fully functional version of Microsoft Excel 5.0 for NT on Windows 95 and
 Word 6.0, and they ran flawlessly, except they didn't use the common
 dialog. Nonetheless, this offers hope that the vision of interoperability
 between Windows 95 and NT applications can come true--at least from
 Microsoft.

                                 Windows 95
                              Microsoft Corp., 
                             One Microsoft Way, 
                          Redmond, WA 98052-6399; 
                            Phone: 800-426-9400; 
                             fax, 206-883-8101.
                 __________________________________________



 > Acrobat Capture STR FOCUS!
   """"""""""""""""""""""""""



           Adobe Offers a New Approach to Managing Paper Documents
                                    with
                               ACROBAT CAPTURE



 Extends the Power of Acrobat Software to Provide a Universal Electronic 
 Environment for both Printed and Digital Documents


 Mountain View, Calif. (April 10, 1995) (NASDAQ:ADBE)  Adobe Systems 
 Incorporated introduced today Acrobat Capturet software for Windowsr, a
 powerful page recognition technology that extends the benefits of Adobet
 Acrobatt electronic document software to paper-based documents. Acrobat
 Capture easily and accurately converts paper documents into a compact
 electronic format that maintains the fidelity of the original across
 computer platforms, providing a universal means for distributing
 paper-based information via the Internet, CD-ROM, on-line services and
 corporate networks.

 Using Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF), an open file format that
 preserves the visual richness of documents across platforms, Acrobat
 Capture replicates complex layouts of the printed page, including mixed
 fonts, graphics, and multiple columns, while translating text into a
 computer-readable form that can be searched and indexed to make
 information easy to find. Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Capture software
 combined provide a complete cross-platform environment for sharing and
 managing documents, regardless of whether those documents originated in
 paper or electronic form.

 "An enormous amount of information is still locked in paper form,
 preventing it from being used effectively on any of the rapidly growing
 electronic media available today," said John Warnock, chairman and chief
 executive officer of Adobe Systems Incorporated. "Acrobat Capture offers
 any business that has a heavy reliance on paper the ability to easily
 convert paper information into a more useful and efficient electronic
 format that can be distributed across existing networks to a large number
 of people. Together, Acrobat Capture and Adobe Acrobat software provide
 corporations and government agencies with a universal document archiving
 and distribution solution that can extend their reach to customers, reduce
 costs and ultimately help them be more competitive.".

 Once converted into PDF by Acrobat Capture, paper documents are
 practically indistinguishable from any other document created by Acrobat
 software. All of the features available to users of Acrobat software can
 be applied to PDF files created by Acrobat Capture, including full-text
 searching, the ability to cut and paste text and graphics, security
 options, annotation capabilities and the ability to integrate with other
 files types, such as video and documents on the World Wide Web.

 "Word for Word" Accuracy
 ------------------------
 Acrobat Capture software employs a variety of component technologies,
 including optical character recognition (OCR), font recognition, bitmap
 imaging and page decomposition, to ensure that the resulting PDF file
 exactly replicates the original document. If Acrobat Capture is not
 confident it has successfully recognized a word, it will embed a bitmapped
 image of that particular word in the PDF file, providing a document that
 is completely readable and accurate. Users can control Acrobat Capture's
 confidence requirements, imposing stricter limitations for critical
 applications or where document originals may have degraded due to
 handling. Acrobat Capture's ability to embed bitmaps for suspect 
 words can eliminate the need for users to correct misrecognized text since
 the file is completely viewable and printable. Acrobat Capture software
 also places its best guess of a suspect word behind the bitmap in the PDF
 file, so the file is still fully searchable. 

 Acrobat Capture ships with 41 commonly used business typefaces, providing
 the ability to exactly or closely match the fonts of the original
 document. For applications requiring an exact duplicate of the original
 document, Acrobat Capture software can produce a bitmapped image of the
 entire document in PDF, placing the recognized text behind that image so
 the document is still fully searchable.

 Network Ready
 ------------- 
 Acrobat Capture is designed for the casual or power user, providing the
 ability to process either one document at a time or a collection of
 documents queued up for batch processing. In addition to standalone use,
 Acrobat Capture can automatically processes image files across a network.
 Acrobat Capture can monitor network file folders for document images and
 automatically convert paper documents to PDF in an unattended mode. As a
 result, anyone on a network can access the capabilities of Acrobat Capture
 software.

 Built-In Editor
 ---------------
 Acrobat Capture software makes editing and error correction quick and easy
 with the Acrobat Capture Reviewer program which displays the file image in
 true WYSIWYG format. Users can approve or correct suspects and change
 fonts or typefaces as desired. However, Acrobat Capture ensures that the
 document layout remains unaltered, preserving faithful reproduction. In
 addition, users can conduct search and replace or add new words through a
 custom dictionary.

 When editing is completed, Acrobat Capture documents can be saved in a
 variety of file formats. Though its primary mission is to convert paper
 pages into PDF, Acrobat Capture software can output files in Rich Text
 Format (RTF), plain ASCII or popular word processing formats for Macintosh
 or Windows computers, including Microsoft Word, WordPerfect and Ami Pro.

 Acrobat Capture supports an extensive list of popular desktop and high-end 
 scanners through TWAIN and ISIS drivers. Hewlett-Packard, Microtek, Canon,
 Epson, Ricoh, Fujitsu, Panasonic and UMAX scanners are supported directly.
 If users don't have supported scanners, Acrobat Capture recognizes files
 created in standard file formats including TIFF (uncompressed, plus
 compressed Group III, Group IV or LZW), BMP and PCX formats.

 Pricing, Availability and System Requirements Acrobat Capture has a
 suggested retail price of $2,995 and is expected to be available in May
 1995. Acrobat Capture requires a PC running a 486-compatible
 microprocessor or greater with a minimum of 16 MB of RAM and Microsoft
 Windows 3.1 or greater.

 Adobe  Systems Incorporated, founded in 1982, is headquartered in Mountain
 View,  California.  Adobe develops, markets and supports computer software
 products  and technologies that enable users to create, display, print and
 communicate  electronic  documents. The company licenses its technology to
 major  computer, printing, and publishing suppliers, and markets a line of
 applications  software  and  type  products  for  authoring  visually rich
 documents.  Additionally, the company markets a line of powerful, but easy
 to use, products for home and small business users. Adobe has subsidiaries
 in  Europe  and the Pacific Rim serving a worldwide network of dealers and
 distributors. Adobe's 1994 revenue was approximately $598 million.

 Adobe, Acrobat and Capture are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated or
 its subsidiaries and may be registered in certain jurisdictions. Microsoft
 and  Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Macintosh
 is  a  registered  trademark  of  Apple  Computer,  Inc.  WordPerfect is a
 registered  trademark  of  WordPerfect  Corporation. Epson is a registered
 trademark  of  Seiko Epson Corporation. Canon is a registered trademark of
 Canon,  Inc.  Microtek  is  a  registered  trademark  of Microtek Lab Inc.
 Panasonic  is a registered trademark of Panasonic Communications & Systems
 Company. Ricoh is a registered trademark of Ricoh Corporation.


              _________________________________________________



 > Creative's Phone Blaster STR InfoFile
   """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""


                                PHONE BLASTER
                                =============


      Bring big business capabilities to your small or home office with
 Phone Blaster.  This All-In-One telephone management system combines the
 power and functionality of a telephone and a PC, saving you valuable time
 and money.  Easy to use and easy to install, Phone Blaster includes an
 add-in board and highly integrated Kalman Ancilla communications software.

 All-In-One Add-In Board
 -----------------------
 * 14.4 bps fax/modem
 * High-quality, full-duplex speakerphone
 * Sound Blaster 16 audio -- 100% compatible with the thousands of titles 
   written of the Sound Blaster platform

 Integrated Telephone Management
 -------------------------------
 * Voice Messaging with remote access
 * 9000 passcode protected mailboxes
 * Caller ID support
 * Pager notification of new messages
 * Voicemail sending, broadcasting and forwarding
 * Hold music from MIDI, wave or CD audio

 Full Featured Fax Functionality
 -------------------------------
 * Fax on-demand/fax back service
 * Fax broadcasting and fax forwarding
 * Automatic cover sheet generation
 * Signature and logo support

 Bundled Software
 ----------------
 * Kalman Ancilla - Integrated telecommunications software
 * Creative TextAssist text-to-speech system
 * Creative's family of audio utilities
 * Free trial memberships to leading on-line services

 Easy-to-Install
 ---------------
 * Simple installation for all software
 * One add-in board for all telecommunications

 Upgradeable
 -----------
 * IDE CD-ROM interface
 * Interface for WaveBlaster II, wave table synthesis daughterboard (see 
   WVBLS2.TXT for more information on this card)


 Features and Specifications:
 ---------------------------

 Telephone Management
 --------------------
 * Unified message box lists voicemail, faxes, recorded conversations and 
   files received via VoiceView
 * Support for up to 9000 passcode protected mailboxes
 * Integrated phonebook includes voice, fax and pager numbers in addition 
   to mailing and e-mail addresses
 * Caller ID support looks up name and company of incoming caller
 * Pager notification of new messages
 * Tollsaver support
 * Remote access allows constant communications with Phone Blaster away 
   from the office
 * Hold music from MIDI, wave or CD-Audio

 Data/Fax Modem
 --------------
 * Modem data transfer or 14.4K/9600/4800/2400 bps
 * Data modem throughput up to 57.6K bps
 * Error correction - V.42 LAPM and MNP 4
 * Data compression - V.42bis and MNP 5

 Fax Features
 ------------
 * Fax-on-demand, fax broadcasting and fax forwarding
 * Signature and logo support for quickfaxes
 * Automated cover sheet generation
 * Rotating, scaling, zooming, half-toning and edge smoothing
 * PCX, TIFF and BMP support
 * Automated cover sheet generation
 * Rotating, scaling, zooming, half-toning and edge smoothing
 * PCX, TIFF and BMP support

 Voice
 -----
 * Full-featured, full-duplex speakerphone with noise cancellation provides 
   uninterrupted, clear communication between parties
 * Voicemail sending, broadcasting and forwarding
 * Primary and secondary outgoing greetings
 * Microphone/handset switching for recording
 * Speaker/handset switching for playback

 Data and On-line Services
 -------------------------
 * CompuServe WinCim launch button
 * VoiceView support - send data files during a voice conversation
 * Launch user-selectable data communications application

 Specifications
 --------------
 * 16-bit digital audio
 * 8- and 16-bit selectable stereo sampling and playback
 * Sample and playback rates from 5-44.1 kHz
 * Recording sources from MIDI, CD-Audio, line-in and microphone
 * Playback mixing of digitized audio, MIDI, CD-Audio, Line-In, Microphone
 * Input/Output gain select
 * DOS and Windows-based mixer utilities

 Power Amplifier
 ---------------
 * 4 watts per channel (PMPO)
 * Load impedance 4 ohms or more

 Interfaces
 ----------
 Built-In connectors for:
 * IDE CD-ROM drive
 * Wave Blaster II daughterboard for wave table synthesis

 Onboard Connectors
 ------------------
 * Input - analog telephone, line-in, microphone, CD-Audio
 * Output - speaker/line out
 * Internal CD-ROM interface
 * PC internal speaker
 * 15-pin MIDI/Joystick connector

 System Requirements
 -------------------
 * 486 DX/33 with 8 MB RAM or higher
 * Full-Length 16-bit slot
 * Windows 3.1 and above
 * Microphone for speakerphone capabilities
 * Speakers

 Warranty
 --------
 * Phone Blaster is backed by a one year limited hardware warranty covering 
   parts and labor


                   ______________________________________



 > A WORD TO THE WISE.. STR Spotlight
   """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""



                    STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE IN WINDOWS 95
                    ====================================



 Prepared by Robert Phillips, 76711,1337
 Sysop, AdobeApps Forum


 Introduction
 ------------
 I have prepared this file primarily to help members of the AdobeApps Forum
 in their explorations of Windows 95 (henceforth: W95). My information
 comes from my experiences as a regular beta tester since early summer,
 1994, i.e. since M6. Inevitably, there was an absence of printed
 documentation, so what most of us learned about W95 we learned in the
 School of Hard Knocks. At the time of this writing (early April, 1995) the
 Preview Program (using M8) was just getting underway, and there are
 indications that there will be considerably more documentation than has
 hitherto been available. Please read it carefully! This file is not an
 attempt to substitute for whatever may be in that documentation. Rather,
 it contains some hard-won common sense information which you are unlikely
 to see there.

 First Disclaimer. I am a volunteer sysop on AdobeApps forum, and have no
 employment connection with any company in the Computer Industry. All the
 opinions here are either my own, or gleaned from sources I deem reputable.
 While I have tested and used my suggestions, there are so many computer
 configurations possible that I cannot undertake oracular status. I.e. this
 is the standard legal disclaimer: I cannot be responsible for damage to
 your system arising either from following or not following my ideas. I
 hate to write things like that, be we live in a litigious era.

 Second Disclaimer. There are certain considerations you will not find
 here; this is a function of my system and the programs I run. You will not
 find exhaustive information on hardware problems...even Microsoft has
 trouble providing that. You will find absolutely nothing on networking or
 sound cards  since I dont use either. And despite my emphasis on running
 W95, I have included various comments on specific programs, both Adobe
 programs and others I happen to use. But this is totally particular: you
 will find nothing on Lotus products, nothing on spreadsheets, and only a
 minimal amount on games. Put differently: this is not a Bible. Its a basic
 stay-out-of-trouble file.


 Before You Install
 ------------------
 I think this is all excellent advice! My principle is that you ought to be
 able to return to your existing Wins 3.X configuration. Youll need this
 information for several reasons. You may decide you hate W95. Or, even if
 you like it, youll want to go back to a clean Wins 3.X system to install
 the final shipping product.

 If you do not have a bootable floppy, make two now. I say that because a
 disk can mysteriously go south, and you dont want to be stuck. Easiest is
 to use the File Manager command to make a system disk (remember: make
 TWO!). Now go out to regular DOS and test *each* floppy in turn to boot
 your system. Next, you should add certain files to your floppies, although
 I sincerely hope you will only need to use one of them. That one which you
 will need to use is sys.com. If you need to get back to pre-W95 DOS
 rapidly, all you have to do is boot from the floppy, and from the a:
 prompt do sys c: (more on all of this later). In addition, put the
 following files on your two system floppies: format, fdisk, debug, xcopy,
 edit, qbasic.exe. Make a sub directory labeled startup, and put your
 autoexec.bat, config.sys, win.ini and system.ini files there.

 Now do some housecleaning. Youll typically want to put W95 on your c:
 drive, installing into your current \windows. Clear out all those old
 files youve been meaning to zap. The reason is that not only does W95 take
 extra space, but it needs as much free space as you can give it for its
 virtual memory system (its replacement of your Wins 3.X permanent swap
 file).

 Now do some installing. The reason is that if you wait to install until
 under W95, when you go back to Wins 3.X, youll need to reinstall those
 programs again. Save yourself some trouble! In particular, if you have any
 Win32s apps, do install them now. Not all of their installers will work
 under W95 (Pixar Typestry 2.0 is a notorious example); in some cases there
 are kludges, in some cases not.

 Now you need to do some backing up. Heres the system I use very
 effectively; Ive sometimes had to switch operating systems several times
 per week, so I know this works. I find another partition on my drive, and
 do some ZIP files. Four, to be precise. One for \windows, one for
 \windows\system, one for \windows\system\win32s, and one for \dos. The
 reasons for the first two are obvious. You want Win32s backed up because
 the W95 installer will remove a large number of those files. You want DOS
 backed up because if youre installing over Wins 3.X, the installer will
 zap a lot of your DOS files (a text file with W95 tells you which ones;
 its a lot but by no means all; I think it easier just to back up what
 youve got). Why do I use ZIP files? Because I dont use tape backups, and
 because there are fewer things to go wrong in restoring if you do it from
 ZIP files under your old version of DOS than if you try to get your tape
 system working. Im not saying tape is bad; Im just saying this ZIP file
 approach has the fewest possible ways for things to go totally south. See
 below on how to use these files to get your Wins 3.X system back.

 Were getting close now. Its time to do some editing. If youre not using
 Program Manager as your shell, return to it now. Turn off your screen
 saver. Turn off everything in the run and load lines of win.ini. Remove
 everything from your StartUp Group. Now bring up Sysedit and edit
 autoexec.bat and config.sys. Although the installer is supposed to rem out
 lines from memory managers it doesnt need, I dont entirely trust it.
 Anything that youre loading high -- remove the loading high information,
 i.e. leave the line as if you were loading into normal low 640K DOS.
 Remove all references to your memory manager. Remove any TSRs you dont
 need either to boot or to get into Windows. Add himem.sys, which is really
 all you need to get into Windows. Now reboot, and make sure you can get
 into Windows. Then go back out to straight DOS. Run chkdsk /f on your c:
 partition. Then defrag the partition and do full optimization (i.e.
 compress or pack or whatever your defragger calls it). Now boot again,
 bring up Windows 3.X, and youre ready to go!

 Installing Issues
 -----------------
 I strongly suggest you install into your current \windows. That way, your
 winapps will be available for you. If you must do dual boot, remember
 youll need even more drive space, and youll have to reinstall your winapps
 (if they rely on files in \windows or \windows\system to run). Let the
 installer detect appropriate hardware (it may miss some; see below). You
 may find when it reports to you that its missed your monitor type; when it
 gives you the summary you will have the option to change it. For
 installation, I strongly urge you to select the last option (Custom),
 since I dont find the default choices elsewhere to be helpful. Go through
 each section and be sure to click the Details button to add exactly what
 you want. In particular, note that there is some new wallpaper, and new
 screen savers, which youll probably want. Choose other items depending on
 your needs and capabilities.

 Ive found the actual install to be fairly trouble free, but some have not.
 If your system simply stops responding (give it plenty of time), dont be
 afraid to follow the MS suggestion to turn your computer off, and then
 back on again. Once you actually get into W95 for the first time, the
 installer will do a lot of setting things up (it will tell you what its
 doing), and then reboot. After you get into W95 this second time, I urge
 you to immediately go to the Start Menu on the Task Bar, and
 shutdown/restart. Strange things have happened at times to people who
 havent done this.


 Starting to use W95
 -------------------
 Very first thing to do if you share my opinion. Go into My Computer
 (Explorer), head for \windows, and using the *right* mouse button, drag
 winfile.exe onto your desktop. What youve done is create a shortcut (os/2
 speak: shadow; mac speak: alias) for, gasp, File Manager. You may think
 you hate FM, but youre used to it. My Computer (Explorer) takes a little
 getting used to, and have FM around will give you either training wheels
 or else FM back (Im in the latter case; I can use Explorer, but *hate*
 it). This leads to a larger point.

 Your shortcut is identified as such by the little arrow on its icon which
 possibly clobbers the icons look (note: many of us betazoids have
 complained about it). This comes from right-dragging. Do NOT left-drag,
 because what you will have done is *move* the file...and if its a big .exe
 file from somewhere else, it may not run (youll have moved it,
 incidentally, to c:\windows\desktop). Consider putting up a sign Its The
 Right Button, Stupid. I mean this seriously, and not just for this. Get in
 the habit of right-clicking on things. Right click on the desktop, and
 from the popup, select Properties. Voila! You can change color, video
 drivers, wallpaper! Want to find out more about a file? Right click on it
 in Explorer. Want to fine-tune a DOS app? Right click on its executable.
 Want to tinker with the Task Bar? Right click on it. You get the picture!

 I found it easy to use the Start menu and never missed Program Manager.
 But if you need the training wheels, here are two ways to get them. Run
 progman.exe out of either FM or Explorer. Or use explorer to drill into
 \windows\startmenu, double click on Programs.


 Various issues
 --------------
 Dont feel youre losing face or speed if you have to use real mode drivers;
 MSs hype is a bit out of hand there. But use protected mode (W95) drivers
 if you can. Often your cd-rom scsi card will not be detected. You can go
 into Control Panel, Add New Hardware, and have it present you with a list
 of scsi cards. Choose your card and follow the prompts; you will find this
 installs the cards driver, and also enables recognition of your cd-rom
 drive (assuming, of course, its supported). You can try the same thing for
 any hardware not detected. Note that once you have protected mode cd-rom
 support, you can REM out the mscdex references in your autoexec and config
 files. Ive not tried installing tablet support, so I cant help you there.

 No protected mode scanner drivers are shipping right now with W95, but
 your real mode ones will work, and so will TWAIN, except in 32 bit apps
 like Photoshop 3.0 (see below). If youre daisy-chaining, you may find
 theres no protected mode ASPI support (a chronic problem), but your real
 mode ASPI driver will work.

 If you *are* installing a Wins 3.X app, and the installer wont work of the
 Run command on the Start menu, try running the installer out of FM. This
 is something Ive discovered on my own, and I dont think anyone else knows
 it (yet).

 W95 may install mouse support correctly, or it may not. I still got the
 dreaded GROWSTUB errors. Essentially, you have to force W95 to install its
 drivers, and there are several ways to do it, based on your system. Took
 me about two hours to dope it out. Ask, and I can offer some specific
 guidance.


 Application issues
 ------------------
 Photoshop 3.0 has a line in the 32 bit compatibility section of win.ini
 which enables it to run. There are issues opening TIFF files: to work
 around, select TIFF as file choice, and type in the *full* name. Save As
 can be problematic, and the work around is similar.

 AI is, er, dubious. I can get it to run, but I get errors previewing
 certain files with text. Others cant even get in. You can try using your
 real mode video drivers; some, but not all, have had success. These are
 known issues.

 Pixar Typestry 2.0 wont even install into W95, hence my advice to install
 it as a Win32s app before putting W95 on. The Looks previews have been
 both fixed and then broken; the programmer tells me they will be fixed
 again. It wont recognize your Type 1 fonts; this may not be fixed, because
 it may be Pixars fault; i.e. Typestry on W95 thinks its an NT app. Note
 that this problem does *not* exist in Photoshop.

 You wont have TWAIN support in Photoshop 3.0; it will take a 32 bit twain
 module from the hardware people. The most any are saying is by ship date
 of W95. Same thing applies to your Third Party filters.

 Problems running WinWord6? WOPR is a known issue; disable it. Macros from
 2.0 converted to 6.0 can also slow it down (a problem I had).

 MS Arcade Centipede will randomly fault on you, but clicking ignore
 several times will let you keep playing without any obvious ill effects.

 Freehand sometimes works and sometimes freezes. Known issues.

 The FTP program from InterNet In A Box returns a Divide By Zero Error.
 Other FTP clients seem to work. I find it easier to use my native (Trumpet
 Winsock) dialup rather than trying to use the MS doodad. You can do it,
 but it isnt easy; I expect MS will tell you how in some form or another.

 You may have to run some of your DOS games in an *exclusive* DOS session,
 although things are getting better in this regard. Check the docs for how
 to set up this kind of session.

 When using the Desktop/Properties to select your screen saver .SCR files,
 you may notice some have the configure box grayed out. This is a known
 issue (MS has contacted me on it), and it may mean that the screen saver
 has to be rewritten. But you can configure it! Find it in Explorer, right
 click on the file, and the popup will have a configure option which works.
 A few .SCR screen savers will not run at all.

 Getting back to Wins 3.X
 ------------------------
 This is really simple. Shutdown, put your bootable floppy in, and then
 from the a: do sys c: and youre back. For further cleaning up, I do as
 follows. Delete *.* \windows, \windows\system, \dos and \win32s. Then
 restore from your ZIP files. Restore autoexec.bat and config.sys from your
 floppy, and reboot and go into Windows 3.X. From FM, first kill all the
 W95 directories. Then turn on so that you can view hidden files and
 directories. There will be more to kill. Kill *all* except io.sys and
 msdos.sys in your c: root directory (these are you dos startup files). One
 caveat. When you first get back to Wins 3.X, you will probably get a
 message that your Wins permanent swap file is corrupted. Ignore it. Youll
 kill its  hidden files per previous. Then reboot, go back into Windows,
 and go into Control Panel, 386 Enhanced, and recreate it. Finally, go out
 to DOS and chkdsk /f and then defrag.


                    ____________________________________



 > STR FOCUS!
   """"""""""


                  Why use the mini CompuServe Net Launcher
                    if you already have the full version
                                     of
                             INTERNET-IN-A-BOX?

 by Nelson Ho

 As you know, Spry, (the developer of Internet-In-A-Box) was accquired by
 CompuServe and the NetLauncher is a lite version which contains only AIR
 Mosaic, Image Viewer and Dialer. If you already have the full version of
 Internet-In-A-Box, I believe that you should already have another Service
 Provider and you may want to use the same dialer to select your connection
 point whenever you wishto.  Anyway, the dialer in NetLauncher only allows
 you to select the session info from CIS, which makes it impossible for a
 user to select any other provider.

 After having installed the NetLauncher, I found that I was in trouble when
 I want to access my original service provider for Email (which I have
 bundle my mail daily), I needed to change the AIRMOS.INI and WINSOCK.DLL
 which is really a very very tiresome task.  At last, I decided to
 uninstall the NetLauncher and try to setup my original Dialer to logon to
 the CompuServe PPP.  I found no information for doing so, while plenty of
 info is provided for OS/2 and Mac.  Referring to the info for OS/2 and
 Mac, and after several hours of dial-in and test, I finally successed in
 accomplishing exactly what I sought to do.  I would like to share my
 experiences everyone who wishes to use their own Internet-In-A-Box to
 connect the CompuServe PPP.

 I am using the latest Version 1.0a and the layout is different from the
 1.0, if you have an older version, please update your software.  For
 upgrading to 1.0a, just go to the anonymous ftp server of Spry from your
 Network File Manager (NFM) to support.spry.com, download the
 /pub/ibox/patch/all_ibox.exe (2,608,248 bytes) and
 /pub/ibox/patch/mos_dlr/dialer.exe (852,879 bytes) for the upgrade.

 Now From your Configuration Utility, make the following changes for each
 screen (the example assumes that your CompuServe ID is "123456,789" and
 Password is "ABCDE-XYZ"):

 1.   Click the Manual Setup Button;

 2.   At the Communications Port Setup, select Data Bits=7 and Parity=Even
      (if you cannot see the items, click the Advanced button), then OK;

 3.   At the Modem Setup, ensure that CTS Control is checked if your baud
      rate is 19200 or higher (if you cannot see the items, click the
      Advanced button), then OK;

 4.   At the Dialer Setup, enter your local access number, and make sure
      that:

           Your IP Address     :    0.0.0.0
           Name Server 1       :    149.174.64.41
           Your Host Name      :    (not necessary)
           Net mask            :    255.255.255.0
           Name Server 2       :    (not necessary)
           Domain Name         :    compuserve.com
           No need for checking the Configure Using BOOTP

      then click OK;

 5.   At the Network Interface, select PPP Point to Point Protocol as
      Interface Type;

 6.   Click the Settings button, select PAP (Password Authentication
      Protocol);

 7.   Click the Settings button, enter 123456,789 as Username and ABCDE-XYZ
      as Password then click OK;

 8.   Should you don't see the PPP Start / Compression / General selecting
      boxes, click the Advanced button;

 9.   Select Active Open for PPP Start, check VJ (Ban Jacobsen IP Header
      Compression) for Compression and enter 1500 at the MRU, while others
      leave unchange, then click OK to return to the Network Interface, OK
      again;

 10.  From your Default Hosts, enter the following:

      (you may not need to enter the Email User name and Email Password,
      since accessing your CompuServe mailbox should better through WinCIM
      or CsNAV, however if you have other Service Providers, assume that
      your other Internet Address is "onemore@abc.edu" and its password is
      "pw2abc")

      Email Account
      -------------
      Email User name:    onemore   (or blank if you don't have any)
      Email Password :    pw2abc    (or blank if you don't have any)
      POP3 Email Host:    abc.edu   (or compuserve.com if you don't have
                                     any)
      SMTP Relay Host:    abc.edu   (or compuserve.com if you don't have
                                     any)
      Email Address  :    onemore@abc.edu (or 123456.789@compuserve.com if
                                           you prefer)

      Default Internet Hosts
      ----------------------
      AIR Mosaic:http://www.compuserve.com (or any other Web Host you like)
      AIR Gopher:                          (up to your selection)
      AIR News  :news.compuserve.com (or any other News Host you like)
      Network File Mgr:                    (up to your selection)

      then OK and OK to confirm the Warning dialog box;

 11.  Right now, you should be returned to the Configuration Utility dialog
      box, just click the Connection button;

 12.  At the Connection Setup, click Login Setup;

 13.  At the Login Setup, select Auto for Auto Login;

 14.  Set 1 for Initial Carriage Returns;

 15.  Create a script consists of 3 responses as follow:

      Response #1    Wait for  :    Host Name:
                ...pause  :    1
                Response  :         CIS

      Response #2    Wait for  :    User ID:
                ...pause  :    1
                Response  :         123456,789/go:pppconnect

      Response #3    Wait for  :    Password:
                ...pause  :    1
                Response  :         ABCDE-XYZ

      For this last response, remember to CHECK the Start Packet Mode
      after: 1 second.

      then OK and OK and Exit to return to the Configuration Utility,
      select Save Profile and enter a new name and description.

 Right now, everything should be perfect.  Enjoy yourself and see you on
 the Net!


 by Nelson Ho from Hong Kong   CompuServ :    100314.662@compuserve.com
                               Internet  :    nelsonho@hk.net



   """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
         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, the FARGO Primera Pro has GOT to be the best yet.  Its far superior
 to the newest of Color Laser Printers selling for more than three times as
 much.  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
   """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

                     :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 Services copyright   1995 by General Electric
             Information Services/GENIE, reprinted by permission

                                      
                                       
  """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
                                 
                            ___   ___    _____     _______
                           /___| /___|  /_____|  /_______/
                          /____|/____| /__/|__| /__/           
                         /_____|_____|/__/_|__|/__/
                        /__/|____/|__|________|__/
                       /__/ |___/ |__|_/   |__|_/_____
                      /__/  |__/  |__|/    |__|______/
                  ________________________________________
                 /_______________________________________/

                           MAC/APPLE SECTION (II)
                           ======================
                         John Deegan, Editor (Temp)





 > Compuserve sets the Pace! STR FOCUS!
   """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""


                       COMPUSERVE ANNOUNCES EXPANSION
                       ADDED ACCESS WITH NO INCREASES
                         SPECIAL INTERNET PRICE CLUB


 Impending Global 28.8 kbps Local Dial Access; Network Dial Port Population
 to Double; 1-800 ISDN Access Slated for June

     SAN JOSE, Calif., April 12 In addition to the announcement of its
 acquisition of SPRY(TM), the largest Internet industry-related transaction
 to date, CompuServe(R) today announced sweeping plans to upgrade its
 global data network for enhanced worldwide TCP/IP network services.

     Beginning May 1, 1995, CompuServe will execute the conversion of all
 its existing 42,000 dial ports to V.34-compliant 28.8 kilobit-per-second
 (kbps) local dial access.  Other planned enhancements over the coming
 fiscal year include more than doubling its current number of network dial
 ports to over 85,000.  All to support 28.8 kbps and initiate roll-out of
 ISDN services.  

      The upgrade of over 420 Points of Presence (POPs) for 28.8 kbps local
 dial access, including CompuServe's 60+ international POPs, is slated for
 completion by the end of CompuServe's next fiscal year, concluding April
 30, 1996.  ISDN service, which will offer access speeds of up to 64 kbps
 using switched services, will be available via 1-800 dial in June, 1995. 
 Local ISDN access will be provided in approximately 10 cities by the end
 of August, 1995.

     All ports in the CompuServe Network are PPP-ready.  There will be no
 extra cost incurred for accessing the CompuServe Network at 28.8 kbps. 
 Pricing for ISDN and a list of initial cities to receive the high-speed
 upgrades will be available at a later date.

     "CompuServe Network Services' sustained revenue growth rate of
 approximately 35% over the past several years has empowered us to take
 this significant step in the ongoing expansion of our network," said Greg
 Moore, CompuServe's vice president, network marketing.  "We're making a
 tremendous investment of resources to meet these network upgrade
 commitments, as both our business networking customers and Information
 Service members worldwide rely on our comprehensive Internet services and
 value-added, integrated solutions."

     Moore illustrated CompuServe's leading role in making a TCP/IP enabled
 network a reality, as CompuServe accepts Dial PPP sessions from any of its
 own dial ports or from gateway partner ports, together covering 150+
 countries.

     Moore also added that this major investment of resources toward the
 network provides strong support for CompuServe's Web integration and IP
 Dial services, as well as for SPRY, the CompuServe Internet Division,
 headed by former SPRY President David Pool.

     "Consumers and corporations are looking for the fastest yet most
 reliable way to access the Internet," said Pool.  "CompuServe's massive
 networking infrastructure, coupled with SPRY's secure software, provides
 users with the ability to successfully conduct electronic commerce over
 the Internet, from anywhere in the world."

     "For CompuServe's 2.8 million Information Service members worldwide,
 28.8 kbps dial access provides tremendous opportunities for accessing more
 information at a lower overall cost," said Barry Berkov, CompuServe's
 executive vice president, Information Services Division. "Higher bandwidth
 will also open the door for consumers to transaction services, the ability
 to receive on-line music, graphics and video, and increased software
 distribution capabilities across our secure network. Our members have been
 asking for higher speeds, and we are delivering."

                COMPUSERVE LAUNCHES FREE FULL INTERNET ACCESS
                =============================================

                        Free three (3)hours per month
                              lower hourly rate
                             Internet Club Plan

     SAN JOSE, Calif., April 10 Compuserve, demonstrating clearly that it
 is reinforcing its leadership in Internet services, announced this week
 the industry's most competitive Internet access and pricing:  free, full
 Internet access and Web browsing software for its members.

     CompuServe Information Service members enrolled in the standard
 pricing plan ($9.95/month) now automatically receive three free hours of
 Internet access per month in addition to unlimited access to more than 120
 basic services.  Additional hours of Internet use by these members will be
 billed at $2.50 per hour, an hourly rate that is the lowest among online
 service providers.

     For high-volume Internet users, CompuServe introduces the Internet
 Club, which offers 20 hours of access to Internet services for a $15
 monthly fee (in addition to the basic $9.95 monthly membership fee).
 Additional Internet hours will be billed to club members at $1.95 per
 hour.

     In a separate announcement, the company unveiled additional Internet-
 related services, specifically, free distribution of the CompuServe
 NetLauncher, a software product providing one-step access to the World
 Wide Web via SPRY Mosaic; and a full Internet connection using the Point-
 to-Point Protocol (PPP) that is open to users of any operating system or
 platform.

     Savings under the new pricing formula range from 58 percent to as much
 as 87 percent over CompuServe's previous Internet pricing, depending on
 how many hours are used and whether or not the club plan is chosen.  These
 prices apply to CompuServe's extensive 9.6 and 14.4 kbps local access, and
 will apply to 28.8 kbps access as it becomes available.  Internet services
 are free of communication surcharges through CompuServe's network in the
 United States, Canada and Western Europe.  Supplemental network charges
 and any monthly fees for access through other networks still apply.

     "CompuServe is in a unique position to offer the best value to today's
 Internet user," said Maury Cox, CompuServe president and chief executive
 officer.  "We have the largest customer base worldwide; we own our own
 network; and we recently acquired SPRY, the leader in Internet software. 
 From this position of strength and profitability we can offer not only the
 best prices, but also the best features and service.

     "Our members and prospective members can now eliminate the monthly fee
 they have been paying to an Internet-only access provider and have the
 convenience of meeting all their online needs in one place,
 inexpensively," Cox continued.

     "Internet Made Easy(SM)" is CompuServe's strategy to provide easy-to-
 use, affordable Internet access and related services to its information
 service members.  CompuServe was the first online information service to
 offer email access to the Internet in 1989.  Telnet access to the
 information service from the Internet followed in 1994, as well as FTP
 capability and access to USENET Newsgroups.  For a complete listing of
 CompuServe Internet services, access CompuServe's home page on the World
 Wide Web (http://www.compuserve.com) or call for more information.

     For access to the World Wide Web, CompuServe members who are Windows
 users can utilize NetLauncher for maximum ease of use.  The new pricing is
 effective today.

         All  members,  including  those running other operating systems or
 hardware  platforms such as OS/2 or Apple Macintosh, can choose the direct
 PPP  connection  for  access to the full range of Internet resources using
 their  choice  of  software,  for  the  same  pricing  as the other access
 methods, effective today.

         CompuServe's online international newsstand features more than 200
 general  interest  and niche publications, dozens of syndicated columnists
 and  more  than  900  entertainment,  hobby,  games  and personal computer
 forums.    For  a $9.95 monthly fee, members have unlimited access to more
 than  120  services  including  daily  worldwide  news, weather and sports
 reports.    In  addition to the CompuServe Information Service, CompuServe
 offers  networking,  electronic  mail and business information services to
 major  corporations  worldwide.  CompuServe  is  an  H&R Block (NYSE: HRB)
 company.

 CompuServe's  new  Internet  pricing applies to a wide variety of Internet
 services,  accessible  three  ways:  Members  wishing  to  access Internet
 e-mail, USENET newsgroups, file transfer protocol (FTP) and Telnet (remote
 login) can continue to do so with the CompuServe Information Manager.  The
 new pricing will be effective May 1.


 CONTACT:  Debra Young or Carrie Reber, 614-538-4553, or 614-538-4092

 The  CompuServe  Information  Service  is the world's most popular on-line
 service with 2.8 million members who access the service from more than 150
 countries.    The  undisputed  industry  leader in innovation, the service
 offers global e-mail, the industry's first CD-ROM supplement, libraries of
 free  software, selected 28.8 kbps access and worldwide Internet services.
 CompuServe  is  recognized  globally  for its international membership and
 diverse content.

 SPRY, the new Internet division of CompuServe, is the leading developer of
 Internet  access applications for the office, home and publishing markets.
 Founded  in  1989,  the  company  is  based in Seattle, Wash.  SPRY brings
 networked  connectivity  to  the  Windows  desktop through three products:
 Internet  Office(TM),  Internet  In  A Box(R)(TM) and Mosaic In A Box(TM).
 Internet  Office is a corporate network solution designed to provide PC to
 Internet,  UNIX  and  mainframe  connectivity  through  a  full  suite  of
 applications.    Internet  In  A Box provides the remote dial-up user with
 full  Internet  connectivity.   Mosaic In A Box is an entry-level Internet
 access  solution  providing  consumers  with  plug  and play access to the
 Internet's World Wide Web.

 CompuServe's  Network  Services Division, with almost 30 sales and support
 offices  throughout  the  United  States  and Europe, provides value-added
 frame  relay,  remote  LAN  access,  Lotus(R)  Notes(R)-based  replication
 s e r v ices,  commercial  Internet  software  and  access  services,  Web
 integration  services,  X.25  services   and   electronic  mail  to  major
 corporations and government agencies worldwide.

 For  more  information  about  CompuServe Network Services, call toll-free
 800-433-0389, access CompuServe's Web page at www.compuserve.com or e-mail
 to networkinfois.compuserve.com.  Outside the US, dial 614-798-3356.

                    _____________________________________


 > SAY WHAT?? STR Spotlight
   """"""""""""""""""""""""


              30 Signs that Technology Has Taken Over Your Life
              =================================================



   1.  Your stationary is more cluttered than Warren Beatty's address 
       book. The letterhead lists a fax number, e-mail addresses for two 
       on-line services, and you Internet address, which spreads across 
       the breadth of the letterhead and continues on to the back. In 
       essence, you have conceded that the first page of any letter you 
       write *it* letterhead.

   2.  You have never sat through an entire movie without having at least 
       one device on your body beep or buzz.

   3.  You need to fill out a form that must be typewritten, but you 
       can't because there isn't one typewriter in you house --- only 
       laser printers.

   4.  You think of the gadgets in your office as "friends," but you 
       forget to send your father a birthday card.

   5.  You disdain people who use low baud rates.

   6.  When you go to a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson 
       talking with customers -- and you butt in to correct him and spend 
       the next twenty minutes answering the customers' questions while 
       the salesperson stands by silently, nodding his head.

   7.  You use the phrase "digital compression" in a conversation without 
       thinking how strange your mouth feels when you say it.

   8.  You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say 
       the phrase "digital compression." Everyone understands what you 
       mean and you are not surprised or disappointed that you don't have 
       to explain.

   9.  You know Bill Gates' e-mail address, but you have to look up your 
       own social security number.

   10. You stop saying "phone number" and replace it with "voice number" 
       since we all know the majority of phone lines in any house are 
       plugged into contraptions that talk to other contraptions.

   11. You sign your Christmas cards by putting :-) next to your 
       signature.

   12. Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke 
       symbols that are far more clever than :-).

   13. You back up your data every day.

   14. Your wife asks you to pick up some minipads for her at the store, 
       and you return with a rest for your mouse.

   15. You think jokes about being unable to program a VCR are stupid.

   16. On vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the 
       pages faster than everyone else who is reading John Grisham 
       novels.

   17. The thought that a CD could refer to finance or music rarely 
       enters your mind.

   18. You are able to argue persuasively that Ross Perot's phrase 
       "electronic town hall" makes more sense than the term "information 
       superhighway," but you don't because, after all, the man still 
       uses hand-drawn pie charts.

   19. You go to computer trade shows and map out your path of the 
       exhibit hall in advance, but you cannot give someone directions to 
       your house without looking up the street names.

   20. You would rather get more dots per inch than miles per gallon.

   21. You become upset when a person calls you on the phone to sell you 
       something, but you think it's okay for a computer to call and 
       demand that you start pushing buttons on your telephone to receive 
       more information about the product it is selling.

   22. You know without a doubt that disks come in five-and-a-quarter and 
       three-and-a-half inch sizes.

   23. Al Gore strikes you as an "intriguing" fellow.

   24. You own a set of itty-bitty screw-drivers and you actually know 
       where they are.

   25. While contemporaries swap stories about their recent hernia 
       surgeries, you compare mouse-induced index-finger strain with a 
       nine-year-old.

   26. You are so knowledgeable about technology that you feel secure 
       enough to say "I don't know" when someone asks you a technology 
       question instead of feeling compelled to make something up.

   27. You rotate your screen savers more frequently than you automobile 
       tires.

   28. You have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you 
       own turns bread into charcoal.

   29. You have ended friendships because of irreconcilably different 
       opinions about which is better -- the track ball or the track 
       *pad*.

   30. You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend, 
       technology has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own 
       good, that you go lie under a tree and write a haiku. And, don't 
       use you laptop.




   **********************************************************************

                              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!

                    -* ANNOUNCING: DELPHI INTERNET JET *-
                   --------------------------------------
 Windows-based  graphic interface for the otherwise text-only Delphi online
 service.    In  addition  to  providing the user with a graphic interface,
 Delphi  Internet  Jet  can  be  configured  to automatically gather Delphi
 Internet  e-mail  and forum messages, and place them into a QWK packet for
 the  user's  existing  QWK  mail reader!  Complete instructions for setup,
 operation,  Delphi  membership, and a FREE five hour trial included in the
 INTJET.TXT file.


        ************************************************************


                           ATARI/JAG SECTION (III)
                           =======================
                            Dana Jacobson, Editor




  > From the Atari Editor's Desk              "Saying it like it is!"
    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""


      It's been a long week!  For you, the week is over, but here at
 STReport Northeast, it's still going on as I sit here wondering why time
 seems to be dragging this week.  Busy, busy, busy....but.....

      There's a LOT of stuff going on this week, some dealing with our
 favorite platform; and news in general just hitting us from all
 directions!  These are the kinds of weeks that editors just love, as
 there's plenty of news for just about everyone.

      I've been playing around with a Mac Navigator program (using
 Spectre, of course!) to see how using one will help me get through a
 zillion CompuServe places that I frequent often.  After ordering the
 software, I was disappointed that after waiting longer than
 anticipated, I couldn't read the Mac disk on my ancient Spectre 128; I
 needed a GCR!!  Well, that's okay, I can download the file from the
 Navigator Support Forum to my Spectre partition!  Or so I thought.  It
 seemed that the support area didn't recognize my online software
 registration - I didn't have access to that particular area!  After
 over a week of messages to various folks, I finally managed to get
 access a few days ago.  I now have the software in a fashion that I can
 read and access the program.  I'm currently working to get it
 configured to my needs and wants.  This looks terrific; and I should be
 able to get around CompuServe conveniently and not have to monitor my
 daily sessions.  It should be a lot of fun!  I'll try to get it up and
 running shortly, and experienced enough so I can post my notes about it
 for our Spectre/Mac readers.

      Well, let's get to the news and information - we've heard from a
 number of folks that we haven't heard from in awhile.

      Until next time...


           ______________________________________________________


                        Delphi's Atari Advantage!!
                       TOP FIVE DOWNLOADS (4/12/95)                        
                                                                            
   
                      (1) UNIVERSAL PRINT CONTROL ACC                      
                     *(2) SPEED OF LIGHT 3.7B                              
                      (3) SILKBOOT 3                                       
                      (4) ACCENT PUTS FUN IN YOUR TEXT!                    
                     *(5) LITTLENET/MIDI PORT NETWORK PRG.                 
                                                                            
   
                               * = New on list
                                April 14, 1995
                                HONORARY TOP 5                              
    
                                                
  The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently    
  out-performing every other file in the databases.                       
                                                                            
                  STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT  11.14)                 
        ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO: VOLUME 4, ISSUE 4)      
          Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database.         

             __________________________________________________


 > Lexicor News! STR NewsFile!  -  New Nova Prices
   """""""""""""""""""""""""""


 From Ringo@Lexicor Tech.


                       Lexicor Software NOVA NEWS.

 Lexicor Software is proud to announce a brand new pricing structure for
 its customers. Please note that the NOVA Board is now also available
 by another distributor in Canada, but only Boards purchased by Lexicor
 Software or via a Lexicor dealer with the Lexicor warranty card is
 eligible for this great package.

 Anyone who buys or owns a Lexicor Software bought NOVA Graphics Board is
 now entitled to a free gift. This is our way to show your appreciation
 and support of Lexicor Software.

 If you are a Lexicor NOVA User (NOVA Megabus, NOVA VME, VME Plus, Plus 2,
 SuperNOVA or SuperNOVA Plus) then please send in your registration card.
 If you have already done so, then just send in a letter with you name
 and address so that we can check the name in the database and you can
 claim your gift!

 One 3D2 and RD1 Special Design Disk, the Galactic Toolbox and Lexicor
 FLIC/X Utilities is the special gift. The Design Disks features some
 awesome 3D2 and RD1 designs for use in Phoenix and Chronos-3D.  New
 NOVA Customers receive the special gift as well as a copy of Phoenix
 Object Renderer or Raystart 1.1 Analytical Raytracer!

 New NOVA Pricing is as follows:

  NOVA Megabus (regular)
                              -250 U$D
  NOVA VME (regular)
                              -250 U$D
  NOVA VME Plus 1 Megabyte Version
                              -499 U$D
  NOVA VME Plus 2 Megabyte Version
                              -599 U$D
  NOVA VME SuperNOVA using the Mach64 2 Megabyte Version
                              -799 U$D

 The regular NOVA is now not being made for either VME or Megabus so we
 only have stock left for sale, once the stock runs out that is it.
 Lexicor Software continues to support the NOVA Board that it introduced
 into america several years ago, and is proud to announce the new
 competitive pricing range!

                        Lexicor Software Corporation
                       36 Queensberry Street, Suite 6
                           Boston, MA 02215 U.S.A.

 Internet  : service@lexicor.com 
 Genie     : GRAPHICS RT or LEXICOR
 CIS       : 75300,763 
 DELPHI    : LEXICORWORLD

              _________________________________________________


 > Ditek News! STR NewsFile!  -  DynaCADD Special Offer!
   """""""""""""""""""""""""


 April 7, 1995
 News Release
 Toronto, Ontario, Canada

                   SPECIAL SPRING PROMOTION 
                 DynaCADD for only US $200.00!
                     Call 1-800-403-4835

            Ditek can be reached online at 73140,2353 or GO DITEK

 DynaCADD is a 2D and 3D general purpose Design and Drafting software
 package for electrical, mechanical, architectural and civil
 applications. DynaCADD revises, designs and details drawings in 2D
 and true 3D and reads and writes the industry's standard file formats.
 DynaCADD offers an alternative solution to expensive, difficult to use
 CADD systems, and brings mainframe CADD capabilities to the CADD
 Professional at a fraction of the cost. 

 DynaCADD combines an extensive collection of features, uncommonly fast
 display speed and seamless performance. DynaCADD's attention to ease of
 use drastically reduces the learning period normally associated with CADD
 packages. Ditek International's strong commitment to research and
 development combined with a dynamic programming team, ensure that DynaCADD
 will remain on the leading edge of CADD technology. Fully interactive 2D
 and 3D capabilities. All calculations are accurate to 16 decimal places.
 Math co-processor support. Extremely user friendly icon based interface.
 Pull down menus, mouse, keyboard, function keys and user definable
 macro keys. Online context sensitive documentation. On screen command
 help line. CADD programs are notorious for being difficult to use due
 to the complexity of the application. 

 Most packages require an enormous number of commands, therefore the
 designers of any CADD program must find a way to make commands available
 quickly and easily.  DynaCADD has addressed this problem and created a
 workable solution in the form of a logical icon menu system that sets the
 program apart from all competitors. On the left side of the screen, and
 across the top of the drawing area, small icons represent the commands
 graphically. Each icon represents a command or, more commonly, a part of a
 longer command chain you build by successively clicking on the icons in
 the correct order. The command name associated with each icon appears at
 the top of the drawing area when you move the pointer over the icon.
 DynaCADD uses four icon pads on the left side of the screen to display the
 available commands and modifiers.

 Due to the large number of commands available, a tree structure is
 implemented, in which related commands and modifiers only appear after a
 higher level command is selected.  Clicking on the top level icon causes
 all secondary commands, or sub-commands, to appear in the icon pad
 directly below the top level icons. Additional appropriate sub-commands,
 modifiers or flags appear in the third icon pad, depending on which
 secondary level command you select. The bottom icon pad is reserved for
 displaying the various entity and location selection commands.

                          3D View Capabilities 

 Multiple 3D views can be opened and modified at any time. Geometric
 coordinate planes (GCP) can be changed instantly. Translation of 3D
 coordinate planes. Dynamic rotation along GCP axis of any view. Work
 can be done in any combination of views with all views updating
 constantly. Automatic generation of any orthographic view including
 user defined auxiliary views. Entities can be selectively hidden in any
 view allowing easy generation of true orthographically sound views.
 Other view operations include; scaling, changing GCP, scrolling,
 zooming in/out and zoom to database extents.

                           Hidden Line Removal

 The hidden line removal parameter include: Generate Entities:  Create
 2D line from the edges of the 3D faces after the hidden portions of the
 edge have been removed. Display Entities:  Will display all other
 entities after the hidden lines have been generated. Blended Planes: 
 If two or more faces share a common edge and the two are coplanar, the
 edge will be removed. Hide Views 1234:  Only selected views will
 have hidden lines removed.

                              Dimensioning

 Auto dimensioning features include: Mechanical and Architectural
 formats. Full 2D and 3D dimensioning. Absolute control over
 dimensioning extents and text. Optional modification of dimension text.
 True horizontal and vertical baseline and chaining. Circular radius,
 diameter and enter line. Automatic linear and angular tolerancing in
 any of three different styles. Text orientation using any one of the
 three different systems (unidirectional, angled or aligned). Dimension
 text precision can be set from 0 to 9 decimal places.

                          Line Weights / Styles

 Three line weights for use with all entities and visual representation
 both on the screen and output. Up to 64 user definable line styles can
 be selected.

                          Resident View Control

 Sophisticated command nesting allows the following list of commands to
 be accessed at any time: Zoom in/out. Zoom into a window. Scroll or pan
 the page. Center the page on a point. Re-size drawing area instantly.

                        Drawing command history.

 Grid and Axis

 Grid / Axis major and minor increments can be defined by the user. Axis
 represents a working sheet of graph paper. Grid is used to snap to
 specified locations.

                              Entity Types

 Base entity types include: POINTS, LINES, CIRCLES, ARCS, FILLETS,
 ELLIPSES, ELLIPTICAL ARCS, TEXT, SOLID, 3D FACES, B-SPLINES and BEZIER
 CURVES. Multiple entities in BOXES, POLYGONS, POLYFIGURES, SUBFIGURES,
 SECTIONING and HATCHING. Entities can be either 2D or 3D. Entities in
 3D can be transformed to 2D.

                            Entity Insertion

 Entity insertion is facilitated using fifteen 2D dynamic rubber band
 modes or function keys.

                        Location and Entity Snap

 Location modifiers include: Absolute  X, Y, Z coordinates. Incremental
 X, Y, Z coordinates. Relative polar radius and angle. Entity Snap of
 selected entities by: ENDend point of a selected entity. ONdirectly on
 a selected entity. ORGcenter of a selected entity. INTintersection of
 two selected entities.

                            Entity Selection

 Selecting Entities: One entity, all entities. Entities inside or
 outside a window. Entities within a polywindow. Last entity
 inserted/transformed. Entities on a given layer. Entities of a given
 color/pen number. Entities of a given style or weight. Chained
 entities. Filter any single or group of entities.

                     Entity and Drawing Information

 DynaCADD gives you the ability to: Measure distances (2D & 3D). Measure
 angles. Measure perimeters. Measure areas. Verify location, style,
 slant, rotation and absolute positioning. List database extents and
 drawing parameters.

                         Entity Transformations

 Transformations between 2D or 3D positions: Move, copy, delete, mirror,
 stretch, scale, rotate, mask or unmask existing entities. Trim/Divide
 lines and arcs. Revolve/Sweep along a vector. Create array of entities.
 Construct an entity offset. Generate points on entities. Modify entity
 attributes. 3D entity transformation of any view into 2D entities.

                             Printer Support

 Epson and compatible printers, both 9 and 24 pin. Laser printers, HP
 LaserJet series, PostScript compatible and Encapsulated PostScript. All
 drivers allow draft and final output, multi-sheet prints, scaled and
 constant ratio prints. Final output utilizes the printers highest
 graphics mode.

                             Plotter Support

 Pen plotters, including Houston Instruments, Hewlett黀ackard, IOline,
 Calcomp, HPGL and DMPL compatible devices are supported. Plotter
 drivers can be customized for DynaCADD using MAKEPLOT. Plots can be
 generated at a constant 1:1 ratio or a drawing can be automatically
 scaled to any degree. Plotting extents can be defined using drawing
 page, current window or database extents. Plotter and Printer output
 can be directed to the serial port, parallel port or to a disk file.
 Background plotting and printing allows output while DynaCADD is in
 session.

                            MAKEPLOT Utility

 If your plotter driver is not included with DynaCADD, or is not
 configured to any of those included, we provide with DynaCADD a MAKEPLOT
 utility. Simply load the program, and fill in the necessary information
 in the dialog box in order to create your own driver.

                    Background Plotting and Printing 

 DynaCADD also provides the facility for background printing and
 plotting. While in session, you can output your drawing while
 continuing to work within the program and without having to wait or
 leave the drawing session.

                              File Transfer

 DynaCADD supports the following file formats: DXF 2D (In/Out) DXF 3D
 (In/Out) HPGL, DMPL and Calcomp (Out) PostScript (Out) Encapsulated
 PostScript (Out) GEM Paint IMG Files (Out) Xerox Ventura IMG Files
 (Out) GEM META Files (Out) IFF File format (Out)

                        Sectioning/Cross Hatching

 Both sectioning and cross hatching operate in 2D and 3D mode. 3D
 sectioning/hatching can be activated on any user definable plane. Up to
 256 hatch patterns can be easily defined using the Font Editor.
 Fourteen pre-defined hatch patterns are included.

                          DynaCADD Text / Fonts

 Professional AGFA/COMPUGRAPHIC fonts are included. Fonts are loaded and
 stay resident. Text can be changed from one font to another. True
 character kerning, proportional or constant (mono) character spacing.
 Left, right or center text justification. Character width, height,
 slant, rotation, pen styles, weights, color and layer can be set.

                           Vector Font Editor

 A designer's tool to create and edit high resolution vector fonts using
 a graphic editor. Editing aids include: Bezier curves. B-splines.
 Unlimited number of vector cut and paste buffers. Rotate, stretch,
 mirroring horizontally or vertically, move, copy, distort any character
 or vector. Movable baseline, ascent line, descent line. Automatic
 calculation of kerning tables. Optional manual placement of kerning
 positions. Definable zoom levels using movable zoom window.
 Automatically smooth vectors. Definable grid and snap. Up to 64,000 by
 64,000 point resolution per character. Each font can contain from 1 to
 255 characters.

 System Requirements:
 --------------------
 For the Commodore Amiga: All Amiga systems with a minimum of 1 Mbyte RAM,
 OS 1.3 or later. A 68020/30 with at least 2 MBytes of RAM, a math
 co-processor and a hard drive is recommended.  For the Atari ST/TT: All
 ST/TT systems with a minimum of 1 MByte RAM. A math co-processor, 2 MBytes
 of RAM or more and a hard drive is highly recommended. 

 DynaCADD is a registered trademark of Ditek International. Compugraphic is
 the  registered trademark of the Agfa Compugraphic Corporation. AMIGA is a
 registered  trademark of Commodore Amiga Inc.  ATARI ST/TT is a registered
 trademark  of  Atari  Corp.  Other  computers  or  software  names are the
 trademarks  or  tradenames of their respective holders. Specifications are
 subject to change without notice.    1991-1995 Ditek International.

                   _______________________________________


 * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * 
  
                              Announcing The
  
     ////////\  ////////\    ////////\   //\       //\  //\    //\    //\ 
    //\_____\/ //\____/ /   //\___// /  // /      // / // /   // /   // / 
   // /       //////// /   //////// /  // / //\  // / // /   ///////// /  
  // /       //\____// /  //\___// /  // / // / // / // /    \__//\__\/   
 ////////\  // /    // / // /  // /  //////////// / ////////\  // /       
 \______\/  \\/     \\/  \\/   \\/   \__________\/  \______\/  \\/        
  
      ////////\  ////////\   //\    //\   ////////\  /////////\           
     //\_____\/ //\____/ /  // /   // /  //\____/ /  \__//\__\/           
    // /       //////// /  ///////// /  //////// /     // /               
   // /       //\____// /  \__//\__\/  //\_____\/     // /                
  ////////\  // /    // /    // /     // /           // /                 
  \______\/  \\/     \\/     \\/      \\/            \\/                  
  
                           Collection CD ROM 
                   for Atari TOS Computers - Volume 2 
  
   A collection of files on CD ROM obtained from The Crawly Crypt BBS 
  
 The Crawly Crypt Collection Volume 2 is the CD ROM with a difference.
 The CCC Vol. 2 is *PACKED FULL* of uncompressed public domain, freeware,
 and shareware software.   Most programs run right from the CD!  Unlike
 other Atari CD ROMs, The Crawly Crypt Collection does *NOT* contain
 duplicate compressed versions or other space wasting fillers. 
  
 The Crawly Crypt Collection *IS* a treasure chest of software for
 your Atari ST.  It also contains STe and TT specific software as well
 as software written just for the Falcon030.  The CD is in industry
 standard ISO 9660 format and is readable by any Atari or IBM compatible
 CD ROM reader that accepts ISO 9660 discs.
  
 How to order the Crawly Crypt Collection Volume 2:
  
     * SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE: $29.99 (good until June 1, 1995) *
               (After June 1, 1995 the price will be $39.99)
  
     Shipping handling to North America: $FREE
                              Elsewhere: $5.00 (US Dollars)
  
     To order please send a check or money order (US Funds Please) to:
  
                          The Crawly Crypt Corporation
                          P.O. Box 23
                          Webb City, MO  64870
                          United States
  
     Please allow 3-5 weeks for delivery - sorry no CODs.
     Note:  Dealer inquiries welcome!
  
 The Crawly Crypt Collection Volume 2 is also available from finer
 Atari dealers everywhere!  Call and order your copy today! 
  
 For a complete list of all files on the CD, call the Crawly Crypt BBS
 today and download the file CRAWLY_2.ZIP.  File Requests (FREQs) are
 also welcome 24 hours a day!   You can also place your COD or credit
 card  (Mastercard or Visa) order for the CD on the BBS.  Log on and
 ask the Sysop for details! 
  
                           The Crawly Crypt BBS
                      Located in Joplin, Missouri USA
                  Using US Robotics Dual Standard Modems
      With Speeds up to 16.8 HST / 21.6 V.32ter / 28.8 VFC / 28.8 V.34
                       * available 24 hours a day *
                          phone: +1-417-624-1887
  
                    AtariNet 51:203/4.0 ~ NeST 90:301/8.0
                 TurboNet 100:220/3.0 ~ RockNet 188:417/102.0
      GLP-Net 386:417/101.0 ~ MusicNet 808:/207.0 ~ Fidonet 1:286/730.0
  
                           The Crypt Keeper says:
              "Have you registered a shareware program lately?"
                   "Register a shareware program today!"
  
 * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * CD ROM * 
  


 > Current Notes Contest! STR InfoFile  Dave Small, The Gadgets Guy Is In!
  """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""


 Current Notes expert contest (BIG!)
 From: David Small 


 Here is the programming contest from Current Notes magazine.  I promised I
 would post it to the Net, and as you'll see, you can reply via snail-mail
 or through the net.

 Looking it over months after writing it, it may focus a bit much on the
 Spectre GCR -- but that's what I was up to.

         There are two parts:

 a) Do a demo that knocks our socks off;

 b) Get all 50 questions right in the quiz.

 (Wish I was handier with that text editor...)

         Anywho, I hope you enjoy -- I even left in the notes-to-Editor --
 because that's the only real reason to do it.

         I did try to get out on the subject line this was a LONG download,
 so you could skip it if you wished.

         Clock starts now, folks!


     THE International ST/TT *Expert* Programming Competition


                          by: Dave Small


               Copyright 1994, all rights reserved.


       -----------------------------------------------------
 NOTE:  This  is  different  than  most  articles in CN in that this may be
 copied  provided  (please!)  you  copy  it  *intact.*  I  would appreciate
 translation  to  other  languages very much, especially if you re-post the
 translated  version  to  a  BBS  or network, so that others can enter this
 competition.
       -----------------------------------------------------

                              * * *

 *** Caution:  This is for experts. Unlike many columns  I  write,
 this one is Not For Beginners. ***

                              * * *

    =================================================================
 EDITOR:  Do  you  think you could put a  fairly  light  grey-tone "EXPERTS
 ONLY"  (maybe "WIZARDS ONLY"? [ask Joyce]  her  opinion) across  the  page
 at    an  angle,  as a "stamp",  sort  of  like  a security classification
 would be?
    =================================================================


                           Introduction:


                     The Expert's Competitions

    Over  the nearly 10 years I've programmed the ST, I've  met  a
 lot  of  *really*  good  programmers from  all  over  the  world.
 Briefly,   from  Charles  Johnson  to  Jeremy  (Jez)  San,   from
 "AutoSwitch   Overscan"  to  "Spectrum  512",  there   has   been
 *astonishing* wizardry and talent turned loose on the ST and  TT.

    (I'll start using the word "ST" to cover the full product line
 from 260-520ST to TT to Falcon now, ok?, to save room. The Jaguar
 is  not  included  as most people can't write  code  for  it;  it
 requires  special,  expensive  tools).

    So, for your *enjoyment*, I would like to present a top-level,
 "warp   drive",  *absolutely  the  most   difficult   programming
 contest* I can do that should stretch the talents of the best, to
 find *who is the very best* out there.

    Now I *know* not all of us have time right now to put together
 a   demonstration   program,  even  though,  say,    we've   been
 programming on the ST since '85; some of us are busy doing  other
 things (like, say, writing Current Notes articles, *grin*).

    So,  to "balance" this competition more fairly between  people
 who  have time to make a great demo of their talent,  and  people
 who  don't have time, but work (or have worked) on the ST,  there
 are TWO contests:

 1) A Demonstration Program: Show Us Your Best!

 2) An Expert-Level Quiz On The Atari (coming right up; see below)

                             * * *

     Remember,   there  are  two  *separate*  contests   here.
            (Although, you are WELCOME to enter both!)

                             * * *

                            The Prizes


    The  most important Prize is to be known and  acknowledged  as
 the  best  there is, here in Current Notes and on  the  worldwide
 InterNet, specifically in "comp.sys.atari.st", and elsewhere.

    As  a token of *our* esteem, two Spectre GCR's  are  reserved,
 the   first,   for  the  *most*   impressive   Demonstration   of
 Programming,  the  second  for the person  who  gets  the  *most*
 questions   *right*  in  the  following  Programmer's   Questions
 (they're after the Demonstration section.)

    Finally, a Certificate


                    ---------------------------
                           Contest One:
                     First: Show Us Your Best!
                    ---------------------------


    The  FIRST is a straightforward contest to, frankly,  "impress
 us"  --  to  do  your *very best* wizardry,  a  "demo"  or  other
 type  program,  (or, to just send in one  you've  already  done.)
 Believe me, I have seen some really awesome "demos" done for  the
 sake of a demo -- but I have definitely NOT seen them all, just a
 few that came over from Europe. About 10 disks max. I know  there
 are FAR more.

    The  Demonstration Contest is a "*what can you DO*?" when  you
 REALLY  roll  up your shirt sleeves and *go for it  100%.*  We're
 talking  staying up all night (I've done it too!),  "pulling  out
 all  the stops", drinking coffee or anything with  caffeine,  and
 "throwing in the kitchen sink" here.

    (I  understand those phrases may not translate  properly  from
 English;  if you're translating this from English,  *please  feel
 free*  to change them into something appropriate meaning,  "doing
 your  very  best".  Or,  just  explain,  "they  don't   translate
 directly", but tell them, "here's the essence of it:")

    For those of you here who don't know, making up a "demo  disk"
 and spreading it around to show you're Top Gun in programming  is
 an art form in Europe.

    For  example, I am particularly amazed at whoever figured  out
 how  to  put  text in the HBLANK (horizontal  blank)  and  VBLANK
 (vertical  blank)  areas! (See, the ST is setup  in  hardware  to
 "blank" those areas out, to make a border -- but someone  figured
 out a way around it!) The point isn't that lots of people know to
 flip  Display Enable at the right microsecond; the POINT  is  the
 first person to figure it out and go, Wow!

    Now  I  realize this is not a new trick in 1994;  this  is  an
 EXAMPLE. It took a lot of work to count cycles and "walk in"  the
 timing.  This would be a high-point thing if this  contest  were
 held in 1989.

    NOTE:  You  should know that we over here  "in  the  'states'"
 (U.S.)  often  don't get to *see* MOST neat demos.  (And  we  get
 confused a bit by the messages in them, saying, "THIS demo is  to
 show  those programmers at xxxx that We Are Better,  so  there!",
 and such. Because WE don't know WHO xxxx is, it's all mystery  to
 us!  (If  your  demo has this, that's okay, but  would  you  mind
 telling us What's Going On?!?))

    For  instance,  there was a demo of digitized pictures,  if  I
 recall  correctly,  of  an ocean cruise to  meet  with  other  ST
 programmers and put out a demo ...

    Now,  in this competition, I don't as much mean commercial  ST
 products,  because not everyone can get something *just  amazing*
 into  retail  channels  to sell, and "straight  demos"  done  for
 demo's  sakes aren't that saleable. Remember the spirit of  this;
 we're  looking for the *very best*. Now, if it so happens  *your*
 very  best  is  commercially sold, we have no  problem  with  you
 entering it in the contest; there is No reason to exclude  people
 who  "program for a living" from this!

    I would recommend sending only disks and a README file on what
 is great in what you're sending. (Of course, NO DISKS WILL NOT BE
 COPIED  WHATSOEVER).  See the section on mailing entries  in  for
 some  good advice about disk return, though; it is unlikely  your
 disk will survive two trips. If you want us to reformat the  disk
 when  done, just say so; disks are so cheap these days it's  more
 practical to do that than try to return it.

                       Criteria For Judging


    Sandy  and  I will be judging demo entries based  off,  to  be
 utterly honest, a mix of factors listed below, but summarized as:

    ---  The most important thing is us feeling your love for  the
 machine and your talent put together into something great. ---

 =================================================================
 EDITOR:  Can  you indent and "dot" these? On a Mac  it  would  be
 OPTION-8 (just a circular dot, bigger than a period).
 =================================================================

 FIRST: the "Just How Far Our Jaws Fall Open Factor"; how  AWESOME
 it  is. Does it make us look at each other and say, "Wow!!!"  Are
 we talking "Jurassic Park T-Rex" here?;

    (Example:  Remember  the *first* time you saw a  program  that
 *really* impressed you? "Blew you away" is an English phrase  for
 it.  "Dungeon Master?", say? "CAD-3D"? "StarGlider"?  "AutoSwitch
 Overscan's" Falcon Demo for the Atari Messe?

    Do  remember  to tell us how to get to your  demo...  does  it
 autoboot? What keypresses? And so forth.)


 SECOND: on our knowledge of *just how hard* it was to *get*  this
 effect, *to do what you did*;

    (Note: you can *help us here* with a README file, or a letter,
 explaining  what *precisely* is so unique and difficult  in  your
 demo;  see  the  questions below to get an idea of  the  sort  of
 difficulties  *w*e  have  been through; look,  if  you've  fought
 through a tangle of obstacles, TELL US!)

 THIRD:  "Rock  and  Roll,  Doing  Something  Impossible"   Factor.

    Remember,  you're  dealing with a person who put  a  digitized
 sound file 125,000 bytes long on the Spectre 1.51 disk, *just* to
 show  you  how  it  sounded in my heart  to  "break  through  the
 impossible"   barrier!)   Example:   the   wild   *but   perfect*
 *fastfastfast*  re-sizing  and displaying of text  font  size,  a
 PostScriptish  effect but *incredibly fast*, on an 8 MHz ST  that
 is already being cycle-clocked for horizontal and vertical  blank
 additions; that is very, very impressive!),

 FOURTH:  Music is usually part of any "demo disk", but there  are
 demos and applications it just doesn't belong in. You won't  have
 points  subtracted for not having sound (for example) in  a  word
 processor.  If  *you* feel music belongs, and  you  do  something
 nice, points definitely added! Please: we're not asking you to be
 an  Academy Awards musician (as one ST programmer is!),  just  to
 have music that has your *heart* in it.

 FIFTH: if there is a special artistic or technical merit to  what
 you  have done. This is also how generally "neat" and  "cool"  (I
 hope  the  word  "cool" translates okay; it  means  "very  highly
 impressive" in this context) what you've done is.

    (Example:  Just about anything that is different and  special.
 Spectrum-512  showed 512 colors. Tempus scrolls at  frightening
 speed. See what I mean?)


                        Judging in General


    Please realize that of course all such judgings are  relative;
 I  expect we'll have a few choice arguments here on which is  the
 *very  best*.  (And if we just can't agree between two,  we  will
 honor BOTH.) We will also likely honor "Honorable Mentions"  that
 are  extraordinary in some way.

    In  some cases, we'll call in the experts: our kids (now  ages
 12, 11, and 6, for those of you who remember me changing  Jamie's
 diaper at the Glendale show when we released Spectre 128) will be
 asked  which  demo is more *awesome*; they  *commonly*  start-to-
 finish  a  Sega  game  in *one day*, and have  a  good  feel  for
 computer  generated  images. (I think the testing  side  of  Sega
 would  commit  hari-kari if I sent them a video tape of  my  kids
 ripping  up a program that took a year to write and test  in  one
 day).

    Bear  in mind I've seen many seriously awesome programs,  both
 commercial  applications and demos-as-demos, for instance,  MIDI-
 Maze,  Jez  San's disk that boots on both the Amiga  and  ST  (A-
 MAZing!),  the  "Union  Demo",  the  "infinite  number  of   desk
 accessory"  programs, even new desktops.  Yet this does not  mean
 you haven't got something so special, so unique, it won't win! We
 won't  bias  our  judgement  towards  manuals  or  packaging,  or
 commercial,  "team" programs; we're looking for something  you've
 done  specifically  to  show  you're  *good*,  and  the  kind  of
 dedication it takes to get it onscreen on the ST.

    Okay,  that's  the  spirit;  let's go  over  the  usual  entry
 requirements.

                      Equipment Needed To Run

    *Assume*  an  8 Mhz, 4 Megabyte Atari 520-ST, your  choice  of
 color  or  mono  monitors (let me know!). I can  crank  down  the
  memory  if  necessary, but, uh, would prefernot to,  really!  (I
 don't  like putting static electricity into my machines any  more
 than  you do.) But look, if you need more CPU to pull  off  "your
 vision", we have Mega-STE (16 Mhz cache), TT-32 Mhz, and  Falcon-
 030  machines  here, with *all types* of  monitors,  from  SC1224
 standard color (320 x 200, 640 x 200, SM124 Mono (640 x 400),  to
 VGA (640 x 400), and TTM-194 Double-Page High-Rez (1024 x 768, if
 I  recall  correctly), plus the other TT rez modes,  as  well  as
  Moniterm  monitors  that  run on the Mega-ST,  and  "Crazy  Dots"
 boards  running  the  Tseng video chip. I don't  have  any  other
 specialty boards (although I do have an AutoSwitch Overscan  that
 I  still  need  to  re-install; the machine it  was  in  died  of
  age).

    HOWEVER:  Remember:  While  higher  horsepower  is  nice   (by
  definition,  it  lets you do more per second),  that  isn't  what
 we're after necessarily.

    ---  The most important thing is us feeling your love for  the
 machine and your talent put together into something great. ---


                        Entering Is Simple!


       So, if you'd like to enter your favorite work, all you have to do is
 *send  it*.  (PLEASE,  please,  send  it  in a "disk mailer",  or AT LEAST
 between  two  BIG  pieces  of cardboard, lest the postoffice "festflatten"
 it!  We get too many bent diskettes we can't read otherwise;  one-half  of
 the  Spectre  disks  we    get    returned  for  upgrade  are  destroyed!,
 literally    bent,    some    bent    IN  HALF (especially on the way from
 Europe).

     On returning disks, let me tell you, it isn't worth it to  you or  me.
 Disks  are  so  inexpensive now that it is  not  worth  the postage rates.
 The other problem is you will probably get back a disk that does not work,
 or worse, *is not reliable*, a capital crime  for  a disk. Don't think I'm
 trying  to    increase  my  disk collection;  remember, some of  the disks
 will  arrive    here    bent, and,  I already have, what, about a thousand
 disks  with  various stuff lying around.

     I do need to keep them for the length of the contest, so I can compare
 early entries to later entries.

                   Or, Electronic Mail


  If  you  wish  to upload it, (Good Idea!)  which  I  could  well
 understand  given  my experiences with various  Postal  Services,
 here are some routes.

    My account on GENIE is DAVESMALL  (no quotes);
    CompuServe, 76606,666 (no kidding!), and on
    InterNet  is   dsmall@well.sf.ca.us.

    NOTE:  Uploads  are *generally free* -- you  are  not  charged
 connect  time. The Gadgets by Small RT on GEnie will be happy  to
 accept your upload; if that doesn't work out, I can try and  make
 a deal with the main Atari ST RT people.

    Also,  both  GEnie  and  Compuserve can  now  be  reached  via
 Internet; *however*, I don't know where file transfer is on these
 systems  yet. Oh, PLEASE, don't send me a 800K  high-bit-stripped
 Unix  "shar" file to decompress, then "compile with  Beirut  'C',
 ok,  Dave?" Please send executables and enough  documentation  to
 fire them up and make them work.

    It  is *possible* we could set up an anonymous login FTP  site
 *for  uploads*  but  I  cannot  guarantee  this;  the  local  Net
 situation is, uhhhhh, "interesting". (Which is why I keep using a
 San Francisco system, The Well, instead of the local Net.)

    If you send to me electronically, *particularly via Internet*,
 *please* tell me EXACTLY *what to do* to get your demo to the  ST
 properly and run it. *We do want to see it!*

    PLEASE  INCLUDE  EITHER  A README FILE (on disk  is  fine,  or
 letter) TELLING ME HOW TO GET IT INTO THE ST AND RUN IT.

    About other ways to send it (disk/e-mail)

     A  plain ol' .TOS, .PRG, .ACC, or .APP is fine; however,  for
 your  sakes, bear in mind the compressors have CRC  checking  and
 thus will tell me if your disk went bad on the way ...  sometimes
 I think they ship my disks next to a big magnet load. Personally,
 I'd  send  one compressed and one not-compressed; the cost  of  2
 disks is very low.

    So,  an .LZH, .ZIP, .ARC is fine, but PLEASE send me  the  de-
 compressor   too;   there   are   getting   to   be   too    many
 incompatibilities  in the various formats (e.g.,  .ZIPver1  won't
 work  with .ZIPver2 files, etc.) In other words, if you  send  me
 DEMO.ARC  and  want me to de-ARC it, *please*  send  ARC.TTP  (or
 whatever)  to  un-ARC  the file! I may not have an  ARC  that  is
 compatible with yours; there ae several different ones.

    A disk-image program that makes an entire disk into a file  is
 acceptable if you need the space or the demo was written that way
 originally (for electronic mail).

    I  will  try to return disks that fail or got smashed  by  the
 mails,  or  let you know it happened; same goes for  entries  via
 electronic  mail. If you have a Net address of some sort,  please
 send it along; I will be *trying* to send acknowledgements that I
 got your entry, but may get drowned in them.

    In your README file / letter:

    Let  me  know, please, how much RAM it should  have  (or  I'll
 assume a color, 4-meg ST) and whether or not there are any things
 I  need  to  do, like disconnect the  hard  disk,  use  10-sector
 floppies, or *whatever*. If needed, *PLEASE* send instructions if
 I have to do something special (e.g., use a keypress or  joystick
 to  open various "doors" to various demos). My kids seem to  have
 genetically gotten all my skill at finding "hidden doors",  along
 with most of my hair ... *sigh*, so don't hide your work from me!

    If  you want published credit, *PLEASE* send me your names  or
 pseudonyms. *Group efforts count just as much as single  efforts*
 and  I will list the names on group efforts; if you want to  tell
 me who did sound, scrolling,etc, please do. Please type or print
 your  signature along with signing your work, so I don't foul  up
 giving  you  credit. (Please double-check your  name's  spelling;
 you'd be surprised how many people miss this.)

    PLEASE  indicate  with  your entry,  provided  it  is  somehow
 uploadable/downloadable,  or  could be put on  a  Syquest  (e.g.,
 doesn't munch out the hard disk drivers, or can be "disk  imaged"
 into a file):

  a)  if I can put a picture of the screen in the magazine;
         (this includes possibly the cover, in color)

  b)  if you WANT your entry uploaded and generally  sent  around,
      in the USA; (if not, it will not be sent anywhere);

  c) If you want your name listed, or a pseudonym, for privacy;

  d)  if  it  is okay for Current Notes to  include  it  in  a
 collection for ST users in the USA, probably on SyQuest disk.

    The  reason  for this is Current Notes makes a great  deal  of
 PD/Shareware software available at a really reasonable price  via
 44-meg  Syquest removable disks, which is very useful for  people
 without a local user group (of which there are lots!). We  really
 have  not seen MANY of the really good demos here in the  'States
 and many people would like to.

    (I do understand that some demos make it a point to be hard to
 copy. I would appreciate you disabling this IF you want the  disk
 sent out into the world.)

    Now,  if you DON'T want this, your disk and work  won't  leave
 my  office, and if you want privacy, okay. I will still mail  you
 a prize and scroll.

    There is, of course, something else in this for you ...

    While  it isn't *everything*, being mentioned as "one  of  the
 very  best  programmers" is something worth having, and  *if  you
 want*,  I  will be *happy* to list your name  for  an  employer's
 consideration.  (Or,  just photocopy the  article).  Believe  me,
 anything  a  little  different, a  little  "better",  about  your
 resume, makes it stand out in a pile of other resumes. It says  a
 lot about you that you self-started, tried, and won a competition
 --  believe me. The quality of entries is going to be  very  high
 here.

    Again, when listing winners, I'll list your name if you  want;
 let me know if you'd like your entry to be anonymous, or under  a
 pseudonym,  let's  say, if you work somewhere where  having  your
 name on a "demo" would be bad news. (I have had to do that in  my
 past; I understand!)


                  --------------------------------------
                  Second: Show Us Your Working Knowledge
                  --------------------------------------



    The Other Contest is a set of questions immediately following,
 which  cover some *working knowledge* of the ST which can, in  my
 opinion, ONLY be acquired through long, hard experience and  work
 and  really "hanging in there" (look, *where do you think  I  got
 these  questions*?  I found them out *the hard way*,  on  the  ST
 since 1985, folks.)

    If   you  haven't  programmed  the  ST,  you  may  find   them
 entertaining, in an odd sort of way...

    So  here's  some questions about the ST.  They  are  generally
 "been  there,  done  that" sorts of questions  that  really  good
 programmers  have had to solve; and because of what I've  been  doing
 (Mac emulation), there's a few related to that as well.

    The rules are simple. The FIRST entry (as judged by  postmark,
 so everyone starts at the same place) with the maximum number  of
 right answers wins. In case of a tie, I'll think of something.

    You can email me the answers t at the addresses above; they will
 count as being "postmarked" *when you mailed them*. Look, there's
 no way I can be responsible if a machine on the Net sits on  your
 mail for a few hours, any more than if a letter sits in some post
 office en route for a few hours; fair is fair.

    I  honestly  don't  expect anyone to  complete  all  of  these
 questions  correctly.  I will be very pleased  if  someone  does!
 (Actually, some time in front of a keyboard will answer a  number
 of  them; getting to the point where *I understood the  problem*,
 and  can so quickly state it here, is what took so long over  the
 years, so maybe I'm overstating the difficulty level.)

    I  also spent some time looking through listings, looking  for
 comments saying:
 *
 *--------------------------------------------------------
 * This one was HARD! It didn't work like it said...
 * Even though it should work, DON'T DO THIS!
 *--------------------------------------------------------
 *blah:  blah
 *
    and so forth.

    CAUTION:  The answers to a few of these are of the  type  of
 "Who  is  buried  in Grant's Tomb?" answer. It  wouldn't  be  fun
 without a few really easy ones.

    As  you will see, a few of these are going to require  you  to
 get  out an assembler ... I'm not yet enough of a "C"  wizard  to
 pose assembly questions in "C".

    All numbers in here are in Hex (base 16) and none of them  are
 trick  questions.  I've marked some  questions  "Oldtimers"  that
 apply to early ST developers (and, actually, a little before); if
 you're newer than 1985 / 1986, you probably won't know these. The
 people  who  have seen them won't forget them soon,  "I  betcha."
 I've also tried to label the questions as to difficulty, sort  of
 like  skiing runs are rated for difficulty. However,  "OldTimers"
 I'm  going  to assume hacked though the same stuff I did,  so  no
 ratings there.

    If  you  find  out and answer these (I'll  run  answers  in  a
 later column, Explaining All, once the Competition is over),  you
 will  have  learned  some REALLY cool stuff,  some  of  which  is
 extremely useful.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

     The International ST/TT *Expert* Programming Competition
                  Programming & Related Questions
                   Copyright 1994, David M. Small



 1.  [OldTimers]:

    Why is it a poor idea to use conditional  assembly
         with AS68?

    (AS68  is  an  Atari development tool  superceded  by  another
    assembler). What *exactly* goes wrong? Why is this gruesome?



 2. [OldTimers]:

    Why is it a bad idea to do this in AS68:

 ;--------------------------------------------
 ;   (previous code -- whatever, long as it's legal)
 ;
    RTS

 ;---------------------
 ; Next routine has 2 entry points, with no opcodes on them.
 ;
 VIDEOROUTINE
 RELOOP
  (routine code)
    BRA RELOOP
 ; end of routine
 ;---------------------
    What exactly goes wrong? Why is this grim?

 3. [OldTimers]:

    What GHASTLY thing will happen if you assemble an
 assembly  language file named, oh,  "DSMALL.S" (just some  random
 name I picked out of nowhere), using AS68, like this:

    AS68 -l DSMALL

 4. [OldTimers]:

    What happens if you try to LO68/RELMOD a file  that
 doesn't exist? For instance, as part of a batch file to assemble,
 link, and RELMOD (change from CP/M-68K to TOS format) a file.

 5. [POINTS FOR WITTY, ORIGINAL REPLIES]

         Why  do I not use AS68 nor LO68/RELMOD any  more?  (HINT:
         See 1-4)

 6. [HARD ASSEMBLY QUESTION]

     Assume these registers (data registers all equal corresponding
    address registers):

    D0 = A0 = 12345678  A1 = 23456789  A2 = 34567890 A4 = 45678901
    D5 = A5 = 56789012  A6 = 67890123
    D7 = userA7= 00001234  supervisorA7 = 1235 Status Reg. = 2307
    PC = $5000 (and is in a legal program, etc.)

    You are in supervisor mode (e.g., SSP & current A7 = 1235).

    You  perform  a  multiply instruction using D0  and  D1.  (Any
 multiply, I don't care!)

    WHY, exactly, do you get 3 instant bombs (yes, 3)?  (Remember,
 we're at IPL 7, so interrupts are not distracting us.)

 7. [HARD ASSEMBLY QUESTION]

    Assume you MUST shut down RAM for a time (probably by  writing
 some  value  into the Atari Memory Controller,  the  MCU).  (Say,
 you're working on the 3 MB of RAM upgrade developed in Germany we
 had to tweak Spectre for -- those folks HAD to tweak the MCU.) Of
 course,  interrupts  are off. Now, do a division. Will  it  work?
 Why?

    Once  you  figure out 6 & 7, "you're welcome". Believe  me,  I
 wish I had known it too!

 8. [HARD ASSEMBLY QUESTION]

    How, exactly, can you "legally" (e.g., not by directly jumping
 to the exception vector!) generate a "spurious interrupt" on  the
 ST-series hardware? NOTE: Atari assures me it is "impossible".

 9. [HARD FLOPPY DISK CONTROLLER/DISK DRIVE QUESTION]

    Many people are aware you can step the disk head past the 80th
 track; some programs even use this to store data (shriek!).  [Not
 all  drive  will  step  past track  80].  However,  what  is  NOT
 generally known is that there ARE accessible tracks -1,-2, and -3
 OUTSIDE  of  TRACK 00. (I have just told you a secret  that  will
 have  copy protection makers/breakers turning pale). How can  you
 consistently  access tracks -1, -2, and -3, to  either  implement
 copy protection or just store data?

    [NOTE:  This question does not apply to disk  drive  mechanisms
 which  really have a "Track 00 Stop" where the head is forced  to
 stop  at 00; however, there are a bunch of drives out there  that
 go  to -1, -2, and -3. In fact, I don't think I've seen a Track 00
 mechanical  "stop"  on  a 3.5" disk; they're  common  on  5  1/4"
 disks.]

 10. [HEAVY FLOPPY DISK CONTROLLER/DISK QUESTION]

    Why is it a good idea to ALWAYS step outwards 5 times  before
 doing a RESTORE (seek to TRACK 0)? Note this is done on the  ATR-
 8000.

 11. [HEAVY ASSEMBLY/C QUESTION]

    Assume  you are trying to write a Mac emulator (just  to  pick
 something  incredibly  masochistic to do). Assume  the  Mac  uses
 memory  from $100-$13f, and on up to $B00, for that  matter)  for
 "Global Variables", which are often directly accessed by programs
 (for instance, ol' "MemTop", the top of RAM, at $108).

         Why does this spell *absolute disaster* for a Mac Emulator
         on the ST hardware?

         (HINT: It stopped me for a month! and almost, almost  for
              good).

    12.  When  I  solved  it, it was the  last  "big"  problem  in
         implementing a Mac emulator. I literally woke up with the
         solution at 3 AM. Two months later Mac mode ran.
         So: How'd I solve this problem?

 13.  [LIGHT ASSEMBLY QUESTION]

    What  does Test and Set (TAS opcode) do on an Atari  ST?  Why?
 Should  it?  (TAS  is  traditionally  used  to  implement  kernal
 operations on multi-tasking, multi-CPU machines).

 14.  [EXTREMELY HEAVY ASSEMBLY QUESTION]

    Assume  you  are  working with a program  that  generates  Nil
 pointers (in other words, address registers that equal zero,  0.)
 The programs write to this address. On the ST, that's writing  to
 ROM, and you bus-error. Assume the registers are all in valid RAM
 (except, probably, the one that's pointing to 0.)

    How  can  you  then RECOVER from the  bus  error,  given  that
 Motorola's  68000 books say you can't, and keep going?  (Motorola
 says  you  need  a 68010 to recover,  and  to  implement  Virtual
 Memory,  as  the  68000 buserr stack frame  doesn't  have  enough
 data.)

    Assume  that  data written to a Nil  pointer  is  unimportant,
 because the program should not be doing that anyway! -- the  data
 is unrecoverable.

    HINT: Look at a bus error stack frame.

    NOTE:  About  1/3  of  Mac  programs  do  this;  we  help  Mac
 Developers  Beta-Test just by seeing if they "Nil-Pointer" and  try
 to  crash  the Spectre by writing to 0. Frankly, until  I  solved
 this  problem,  they would crash the Mac emulator;  when  it  was
 solved  was  the beginnings of major success for  Mac  Emulation.
 That's when the "biggie" programs went stable.

 15.  [FUNNY ASSEMBLY QUESTION]

    Does Atari's TOS *ever* access location 0 because of  a  Nil
 Pointer?  Pick any version of TOS. Show the statement &  address.
 Please, no printouts over 10 pages long.

 16.  [TT USER QUESTION; ASSEMBLY/C ANSWER]

    Why  does  having  TT RAM (or  equivalent)  in  the  TT  (or
 equivalent 68030 accelerated) machine end up usually accelerating
 the  TT  about  11%  (depends a little  on  what  you're  doing),
 *provided* the RAM is there AT STARTUP?

 17.  [EXTREMELY HEAVY HARDWARE/SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    You need to startup a 68030 with the first 68030  compatible
 TOS, TOS 1.62, to begin to debug a 68030 board. The TOS chips are
 plugged  in through the Mega ST bus connector and a  PAL  address
 decoder  (thus allowing all 256K of ROM to be accessed)  and  are
 properly mapped at $00E00000 (by the way, the 24-bit address  has
 nothing  to  do with this question!) The old TOS  1.4  chips  are
 removed.

    Trouble is, you're doing this on a *Mega-ST*, and TOS 1.62  is
 for *STE* machines, with their added video/sound registers.  When
 you  try  to startup, you crash, as TOS  initializes  video/sound
 registers that *don't exist on a Mega-ST* and bus-errors out  (no
 DTACK/DSACK  generated since "that location don't exist"  to  the
 GLUE/Shifter chips).

    WITHOUT  MODIFYING  THOSE  TOS ROMS, (like,  NOP'ing  out  the
 inconvenient  MOVE's)  and without some big fancy  PAL  disabling
 certain  ROM  addresses,  how can you get around  this  stuff  in
 startup  and  in  the VBLANK (vertical  blank)  code  (where,  of
 course,  the  low  byte of the video address is  updated  if  you
 changed the register for it).

    In other words, I'm asking you how to run ROM code and  change
 the path of execution in "firm"ware.

    ANSWER NOT ALLOWED: "This is impossible. That's why it's ROM."

    ANSWER  NOT ALLOWED: No, you can't use the 68030 MMU  to  copy
 the  ROMs and move RAM under it; this technique  doesn't  require
 anything so sneaky. It require sneakier.

    NOTE: This is an EXTREMELY valuable technique to know.

 18. [MEDIUM HARDWARE QUESTION]

    What  *usually*  happens if you directly switch on  video?  In
 other words, do a MOVE right into the hardware location that  has
 the display mode (low, medium, high rez) to turn the screen on.

 (Something like, MOVE.B, #2,hwdisp_mode      ; kick on mono)

    HINT: "Two men looked out ______________ "
          "One saw the mud, one saw the stars."

 19. [MEDIUM HARDWARE QUESTION]

    What's probably going wrong in what happens in question 18?

 20. [MEDIUM HARDWARE QUESTION]

    What does "ST" stand for officially, and what does it have  to
 do with question 18?

 21. [MEDIUM SOFTWARE QUESTION]

     What's  the  solution  to 18? How  can  you  kick  video  on
 yourself?

 22. [LIGHT HARDWARE QUESTION]

     Assume  you are running on a TT. The cartridge you  have  in
 there  (let's  stay  away from Spectre so you  don't  think  it's
 related  ...  say, some video digitizer cartridge, ..  well,  the
 cartridge  suddenly fails with a gruesome direct  short  circuit.
 You  sensibly  turn  the TT off and  remove  the  cartridge.  You
 replace it with a new cartridge. The TT has (at best)  difficulty
 using  the  new cartridge, to say the least! (It  probably  won't
 work at all.)

    ASSUME  that  the ROM-decode, read, PAL logic,  and  all  that
 stuff, was not damaged.

    What's wrong? And why is this something EVERY TT owner  should
 know? (I believe it applies to Mega-STE's as well).

 23. [HEAVY HARDWARE QUESTION]

      What  did  Atari NOT keep constant between  the  ST  and  TT
 cartridge timing? Why does this foul up cartridges?

 24. [HEAVY SOFTWARE/HARDWARE QUESTION]

    Certain Atari chips *must not* be accessed too quickly.  For
 example, the Zilog 8530 serial chip (runs 2 9-pin ports on the TT
 and the Localtalk-size-compatible connector) cannot be written to
 faster  than  2.2  microseconds  per  write.  Since  the  TT   is
 smoking... errr, zooming along at 33 Mhz (33 cycles/microsec), it
 would  be easy to write again too quickly, overrun and  zonk  out
 the  SCC.  (The same thing applies to writing to the  ACSI  "disk
 chips".)

    What's  the  documented, sorta "official" way  of  assuring  a
 "slow",  125 nanosecond or "8 Mhz" cycle to provide an  *enforced
 slowdown* for the SCC and disk chips on a faster machine, like an
 accelerator or TT?

 25.  [HEAVY HARDWARE QUESTION]

    What happens when you try that assured, guaranteed 8 Mhz cycle
 technique on a TT machine?

 26. [HEAVY SOFTWARE/HARDWARE QUESTION]

    Assume you're using the ST Atari's  mouse with your own driver
 for  it  (like, say, some emulator might ..  *grin*).  The  mouse
 moves.  Assume  a  byte  comes in  from  the  mouse.  Assume  the
 processor is busy doing an IPL=7 task (that means, all interrupts
 are  disabled,  like when reading a Mac disk with  Spectre  GCR).
 Assume  this continues long enough for the next byte to  come  in
 (after  all,  mouse movements are transmitted in 3 byte  packets,
 containing  button,  change X, change Y  information).  Then  the
 IPL=7  task is done and the normal ST Interrupt Priority  Level,3
 is  set.  (The mouse has IPL 6 via the MFP chip, as  the  manuals
 say).

    Why  have your keyboard and mouse just locked up? What is  the
 ESSENTIAL thing wrong?

    What's a fairly good way of fixing this in your mouse handler?
 (I call mine "QuickMouse", by the way.)

 27.  [HARD SOFTWARE/HARDWARE QUESTION]

    What is a *working* method of shutting down the  keyboard  and
 mouse, then waking them back up, so that the keyboard buffer  and
 mouse  don't  overrun?  As you can see from #26,  this  could  be
 necessary for extended work at IPL=7 (no interrupts  whatsoever).
 NOTE: By *working*, I mean it really works, not what some  manual
 says.

 28.  [REALLY HEAVY HARDWARE/SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    Well, if you're smart enough to get 27, how do you do it  so
 it works on BOTH the ST and the TT?

 29. [OldTimer] [REALLY EASY SOFTWARE QUESTION ... if you know.]

    What did the "bombs" of the crash mechanism look like in  the
 pre-TOS-ROMs  version of TOS (that booted up off disk)? (HINT:  I
 want to give you an easy question!)

 29. [HARD FLOPPY DISK HARDWARE/SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    What  precisely is the bug that cuts the floppy  disk  drive
 data rate capability to drop by half in most ST's (Atari corrected
 this  after  TOS 1.4, I believe ... might have been  TOS  3.  Yet
 another  reason  to  get a 2.06 card;  your  floppies  will  work
 faster!)

 30. [HARD FLOPPY DISK HARDWARE/SOFTWARE QUESTION]

 How  precisely  does  Twister  (published in  the  USA  in  START
 magazine,  has  since  become at least an option  on  most  "disk
 format"  programs) work to max-out the data rate to/from  Floppy?
 HINT:  It  fixes problem 25 by changing the  disk  layout.  (This
 isn't  so hard -- when it was published, we gave out  the  SOURCE
 CODE; Twister is the basis for the Meg-a-Minute backup to  floppy
 program.  The best you can get from floppies is about 1  meg  per
 minute.

 31. [HARD FLOPPY DISK HARDWARE QUESTION]

 Why should you definitely wait 30 milliseconds after a  step
 before  beginning to write to disk? What are the consequences  if
 you don't?

 32. [OldTimers]:

     CP/M-68K  had a debugger. It could not disassemble  one  very
 popular opcode (especially in interrupt code!!). I saw this on  a
 machine called Dimension 68000, which ran CP/M-68K. It was passed
 on  to  AtariFolk as a debugger, and still had the  bug.  It  was
 finally fixed. What was the opcode?

 33. [Humans / Electrical Engineering-Hobbyists]:

    What is the A.C. voltage on the heat-sink of the power  supply
 found  inside the Mega ST's? Measure against, say, board  Ground.
 Be sure meter scale is on multiple hundreds of volts!


               (CAUTION WHILE MEASURING!!!, REALLY!!!)


 34. [Humans/Don't Try This!]:

      How  far will you be thrown if you brush your  hand  against
 that heat sink? (Please convert kilometers to miles.)


              [POINTS FOR ORIGINAL, FUNNY REPLIES]

 35. [Humans/Don't Try This!]:

      How  many days will your arm and chest  muscles  ache  after
 brushing your hand against this heat sink? (Please convert months
 to days).


               [POINTS FOR ORIGINAL, FUNNY REPLIES]

 36. [Humans/Don't Try This!]:

    How many days will it take before your hair stops looking like
 "Young Einstein"'s hair?

              [POINTS FOR ORIGINAL, FUNNY REPLIES]

 37. [Overseas Travellers, EASY]

    Summarize  quickly  the major difference between  US  and  UK,
 French, German, and Swedish keyboards.

 38.  [HARD HARDWARE/SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    What  is  the exact bug, and when was it  fixed,  in  serial
 (modem) handshaking?

 39.  [HISTORICAL: Easy SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    Which  TOS  fixed the interminable delay on saving a  file  if
 your disk was getting full?

 40.  [HISTORICAL: Easy SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    Who  rewrote  the Disk Operating System section of TOS  to  do
 this?

 41.  [HISTORICAL: Easy SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    Okay, who wrote it in the slow way to begin with?

    HINT: Usenet users have an advantage on these questions as The
 History of TOS was given out there.

 42.  [VERY, VERY, HARD SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    How  many  birthdays are celebrated in Spectre  GCR  3.0  upon
 startup?

 43.  [VERY, VERY, HARD SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    How  many  different  quotes are  randomly  selected  from  in
 Spectre GCR 3.0 (if it's not a birthday) upon startup?

 44.  [MEDIUM SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    What  was  one major anti-piracy protection  placed  on  the
 Spectre 1.51 release disk?

 45.   [MEDIUM SOFTWARE QUESTION]

    Why was this protection so hilarious?

 46. [TRIVIA QUESTION]

    Why didn't the "Alarm Clock" work for SO LONG in Spectre?

 47. [TRIVIA QUESTION]

    Name all the releases of Spectre. How many are there that made
 it out into the world? Include Spectre 128 and Spectre GCR.

 48. [TRIVIA QUESTION]

    What  was the sound in the hidden dedication page  of  Spectre
 1.51?

 49. [HARDER TRIVIA QUESTION]

    What  was the updated sound made available to  Spectre  users,
 with  the advice it was wind-chimes and hard to hear,  so  they'd
 better turn it up?

 50. [Awww, Heck, Give 'em a point]

    Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?

  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    There you are, an expert-level quiz on the Atari. Given  time,
 I  could think of some really obscure questions (why doesn't a  5
 1/4"  drive  always  work when you plug it in, or,  what  is  the
 termination  situation  on  the  floppy bus?),  but  I  think  50
 questions is enough to separate the Hackers from ... the  general
 populace.

    Best  of  luck, I promise there ARE answers, and I  hope  this
 brings back a few memories, too!


    See you next time, and I hope you had some fun!



                                  Dave  Small / VP
                                  (Gadgets by Small)

                                  Genie: DAVESMALL
                                  Internet: Changing;
                                  for right now, dsmall@
                                       well.sf.ca.us will be ok.
                                  CompuServe: 76606,666





                   -/- Report: Online Growth Soars -/-

  

     Consumer online services continued their rapid growth during the
 first quarter of 1995, according to a quarterly census of 73 electronic
 services just published by Information & Interactive Services Report
 (IISR), a Washington-based industry newsletter.

     At the end of March, 7.3 million subscribers used online services,
 up from the 6.3 million recorded in IISR's 1994 year-end census. The
 figure represents a 15.5 percent increase during the past three months
 and a 47 percent increase since March 1994.

     "The rate of growth in the first quarter indicates that in excess
 of 10,000 people on average are signing up with an online service every
 day. If the pattern holds -- and there's no reason to believe it
 won't -- we'll break the 10 million mark before the end of this year,"
 says IISR Editor Rod Kuckro.

     According to IISR, America Online Inc. was again the fastest-growing
 system, adding 500,000 new subscribers, a 33 percent increase during the
 first quarter. CompuServe also registered considerable growth of
 250,000; although its tally includes 700,000 customers outside North
 America, says IISR.

     The top six online services represent 86 percent of the total online
 audience. They are: CompuServe, with 2.7 million users; America Online,
 with 2.0 million users; Prodigy, with 1.3 million users; Delphi, with
 140,000 users; eWorld, with 80,000 users; and GEnie, with 75,000 users.

     IISR's research indicates that approximately 20 percent of users
 subscribe to two or more services, bringing the actual number of online
 households closer to 5.9 million.

     The latest census was taken just as several of the larger online
 operators announced reorganizations and repositioning, in anticipation
 of the arrival of Microsoft Network, AT&T Interchange and MCI
 Communication Corp.'s online service later this year.



                -/- Survey: People Like PCs, But ... -/-


     In a broad new survey by Microsoft Corp., about three-quarters of
 respondents said PCs have increased their job satisfaction and reduced
 busywork and were widely seen as a key to success and learning.

     About 59 percent of respondents said PCs have made them more
 productive, but "a surprisingly large minority" (about 41 percent), say
 reporters Don Clark and Kyle Pope of The Wall Street Journal, "said that
 they believe computers have reduced job opportunities rather than
 increased them."

     And 59 percent admitted getting angry at their machines in the past
 12 months. More than one-third of respondents said they worry about
 keeping up with developments in computers.

     The Journal comments, "Microsoft's unusual research effort, based
 on questionnaires filled out by 2,802 children and adults, including
 retirees, gives numerous signs that the PC has become a familiar,
 demystified part of life in the U.S."

     Meanwhile, says the paper, Europe seems behind on the "techno-curve,"
 noting that in a parallel Gallup survey commissioned by the software
 giant, 78 percent of Germans and 57 percent of Britons admitted they
 have no idea what the much-discussed high-tech highway is about. The
 French fared better -- 73 percent showed at least a basic
 understanding -- but the continent lags in embracing the technology
 world's latest and greatest.

     "Surprisingly," writes the reporters, "only 22 percent of the
 2,000 Europeans surveyed by Gallup said they were intimidated by
 computers, compared with about 30 percent of the Americans. On the flip
 side, 55 percent of Europeans thought that computers were fun, compared
 with 82 percent of the Americans."

     Some other findings, reported by The Associated Press, were:

     -:- Asked "Would you rather spend time with a person who can use a
 computer or one who cannot?" 61 percent would rather be with a person
 who can.

     -:- Does computer knowledge make women more attractive to men? Nine
 out of 10 men said it did not.

     -:- Kids ages 11 to 17 were asked if they had ever helped an adult
 with a computer and 57 percent said yes.

     -:- And 15 percent of those kids said they'd rather use a computer
 than go to a mall, 63 percent said they'd rather use a computer than
 read a book and 79 percent would rather use a computer than watch
 "Beavis and Butthead."



                   -/- SATAN Attacks Texas System -/-


     A Clear Lake, Texas, Internet access provider had to temporarily
 shut down some computers last week after a digital attack by intruders
 using the new SATAN software.  As reported earlier (GO OLT-270), SATAN,
 Unix software that can be used to probe for holes in computer network
 security, was released for free Wednesday on the Internet.

     "A few hours later," writes Dwight Silverman in The Houston Chronicle,
 "someone was using it to scrutinize" Phoenix Data Systems.  Phoenix owner
 Bill Holbert told the paper, "These guys can come in and literally take
 control, get super-user status on our systems. This is not your average
 piece of shareware."

     Silverman reports the attack began about 9 p.m. Wednesday. Technicians
 watched for a while and then turned off the machines at Phoenix that
 provide 'shell' accounts, which allow direct access to a computer's
 operating system. The computers used for SLIP or PPP access -- a direct
 telephone connection to the Internet -- were not affected.

     Holbert said the system was back up Thursday afternoon after some
 security modifications. "It actually taught us a few things," he said.
 "I've begun to believe that no computer network is secure."  The paper
 notes SATAN, in theory, could be used to find a weakness in a network's
 security. An intruder then could use that hole to enter the system and
 wreak havoc in a number of ways, such as stealing user passwords, gaining
 access to private information or destroying data.

     Tom Pincus, partner-in-charge for technology information services
 at Andersen Consulting, told the paper most computer system administrators
 impose password and antivirus measures and mistakenly consider their
 security work done. "With hacking becoming almost a cult, security needs a
 more regular and pro-active review," he added.


                -/- CERT Says SATAN Creates New Hole -/-


     Network watchdogs at the Computer Emergency Response Team say SATAN,
 that controversial program released on the Internet last week to help
 bolster security, has introduced a break-in vulnerability of its own to
 thousands of computers.

     As reported earlier (GO OLT-270), SATAN (System Administrator Tool
 for Analyzing Networks) was intended to let operators of Internet
 computers check for security lapses, and thousands of users have
 downloaded the program.

     "But," writes The Wall Street Journal this morning, "SATAN allows
 hackers to gain control of any computer that uses it," according to an
 advisory posted by CERT, a group of security experts who monitor incidents
 on the Internet.

     CERT's latest advisory warns users of the vulnerability and
 instructing them how to plug the security hole in SATAN.

     As also reported (GO OLT-331), at least one Internet service provider
 says it experienced security attacks following SATAN's release.


                 -/- AOL Becomes Courtney Love-less -/-


     Upset at what they say was repeated violations of its network rules
 for messages, America Online officials have pulled the plug on a public
 forum in which it had invited communication among fans of grunge-rock
 singer Courtney Love.

     The Hole forum, set up for discussion of Love's band, was
 disconnected Saturday, "because of a high volume of violations of the
 network's terms of service, including a death threat," The Associated
 Press reports.

     AOL spokeswoman Margaret Ryan said she couldn't provide specifics of
 the threat, or identify the computer user who made it. She told USA Today
 this morning that person's membership has been terminated.

     Ryan added she believes this is the first such case at the Vienna,
 Virginia, online service, but that the system's rules prohibit profanity
 and racial, ethnic, religious or sexual slurs, not to mention criminal
 activity.

     The Hole forum, in the service's "alternative rock topics" area,
 contained messages detailing Love's relationship with the late Nirvana
 singer Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide a year ago Saturday. Jim Merlis,
 a spokesman for Geffen Records, Love's label, said Love responded to some
 of the messages using online pseudonyms.

     Meanwhile, Love and other Geffen Records artists are discussed in
 CompuServe's Recording Industry Forum (GO RECORD).


                 -/- Intel, Oracle, Sequent Team Up -/-


     A joint project to develop interactive multimedia computers -- such
 as those providing video on demand over phone lines -- is being launched
 by chipmaker Intel Corp., software publisher Oracle Corp. and computer
 maker Sequent Computer Systems Inc.

     Reporting from Santa Clara, California, United Press International
 says the first products from the alliance will be available in the
 fourth quarter and will be "targeted at phone and cable companies
 looking for ways to offer more services to consumers upgraded fiber-optic
 lines."

     "By joining forces with industry leaders Oracle and Intel, Sequent
 intends to offer the premier interactive multimedia platform solution,"
 Sequent Chairman/CEO Casey Powell told the wire service.

     He added, "The family of new products, based on the Oracle Media
 Server software running on optimized Intel hardware components, will
 enable Sequent to incorporate technology advances from Intel and others
 on a regular basis while reducing the total cost of the solution for our
 customers."

     Financial terms were not disclosed, but a press release quoted the
 companies as saying the solutions will incorporate Intel's scalable
 parallel processing platform for the video server, Oracle's Oracle Media
 Server software and Sequent's DYNIX/ptx operating system, Symmetry 5000
 application servers and systems level software.


               -/- Terisa Security Backed by Big Three -/-

     CompuServe, America Online and Prodigy all have agreed to invest
 in Terisa Systems for development of technology to provide security for
 commercial and financial transactions on the Internet.

     Terisa officials say the firm will merge its Secure Hypertext
 Transfer Protocol system with Netscape's Secure Socket Layer technology.
 Both standards have been developed to provide security but systems are
 incompatible.

     Reporting from the Internet World '95 trade show in San Jose,
 California, Susan Moran of the Reuter News Service says IBM also will
 take a stake in Terisa, a small Silicon Valley company that develops
 security technology. Other equity investors include EIT and RSA Data
 Security Inc., Terisa's founders.

     "So far, there is no Internet security standard, making some
 companies and consumers wary of entrusting the vast public network with
 credit card numbers and other confidential information," Moran writes.
 "But worries that computer tampering could slow the growth of the
 Internet could end soon if Terisa has its way."

     Allan Schiffman, Terisa's chief technology officer, told the wire
 service, "We see security over the Internet for commercial transactions
 becoming better in time than security for non-Internet transactions."

     Schiffman said software products using Terisa's security technology
 will probably begin appearing in about six months. (Prices have not been
 set.)

     Reuters says the products "will combine two conflicting transaction
 security protocols, or languages, now in use into a single package. They
 are called Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or Secure HTTP, which
 Terisa has developed, and Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, from Netscape."

     In addition, Terisa and Netscape jointly are releasing a software
 tool kit combining their two technologies in June.

     "Company officials said the benefit of having a combined package is
 that applications will be able to communicate securely even though they
 may have been offered by different organizations," Moran reports.

     As reported earlier, a similar development has been launched by the
 new "Electronic Business Co-Op" formed by computer maker Tandem Computers
 Inc., along with privately held Checkfree Corp., V-ONE Corp. and Netscape
 rival Spyglass Inc.

     Moran says the four used the show to demonstrate how the computer
 system combines Tandem's Web server computer, Checkfree's payment
 processing system called the "electronic wallet," Spyglass's Mosaic
 browser software and V-ONE's encryption software.

                      ________________________________


                               JAGUAR SECTION
                               ==============


 Defender 2000 Update! Opinions!
 Atari's Retailer Outreach Test Plan!
 And More......




 >From the Editor's Controller  -  Playin' it like it is!
  """"""""""""""""""""""""""""  


      I don't know if it's apathy lately, or just what is going on these
 days!  New games are showing up, albeit slowly.  There's not much talk
 going on with respect to these games.  Sure, we've seen an occasional
 "cool" or "it stinks!", but overall the enthusiasm has been much less
 than the deafening noise we've been accustomed to in past weeks.


      The CatBox is out, but I've only seen messages from two people who
 have received one.  STReport's review unit is on its way to us, so we
 will have our comments in an issue soon - look for a review by Dom
 Fontana shortly!

      Is the delay of the JagCD the cause of the apparent silence; or is
 it the lack of "system killers" that's behind it?  I really don't know.
 Whatever it is, something has to happen soon to bring back the
 excitement that we all know the Jaguar can invoke.  The recent price
 break on the core system should have an effect, as long as the public
 is made aware of it.  We'll see.  Later on in this issue you'll see one
 such test plan going on now in California.  Let's hope it sees some
 success in such a manner as to convince Atari to spread that plan
 throughout the country!  It sounds like a great plan, as you'll see.

      We're still waiting for a number of games to arrive at our
 doorsteps for review.  I know I keep saying this week after week, but
 it'll happen soon (a few "persuasive calls notwithstanding!).

      So let's see what's going on this week, shall we?!

      Until next time...



 > Jaguar Catalog STR InfoFile  -   What's currently available, what's
   """""""""""""""""""""""""""      coming out.

     Current Available Titles ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     CAT #   TITLE                 MSRP      DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER

      J9000  Cybermorph           $59.99         Atari Corp.
      J9006  Evolution:Dino Dudes $49.99         Atari Corp.
      J9005  Raiden               $49.99     FABTEK, Inc/Atari Corp.
      J9001  Trevor McFur/
             Crescent Galaxy      $49.99         Atari Corp.
      J9010  Tempest 2000         $59.95     Llamasoft/Atari Corp.
      J9028  Wolfenstein 3D       $69.95       id/Atari Corp.
      JA100  Brutal Sports FtBall $69.95          Telegames
      J9008  Alien vs. Predator   $69.99     Rebellion/Atari Corp.
      J9029  Doom                 $69.99        id/Atari Corp.
      J9036  Dragon: Bruce Lee    $59.99         Atari Corp.
      J9003  Club Drive           $59.99         Atari Corp.
      J9007  Checkered Flag       $69.99         Atari Corp.
      J9012  Kasumi Ninja         $69.99         Atari Corp.
      J9042  Zool 2               $59.99         Atari Corp
      J9020  Bubsy                $49.99         Atari Corp
      J9026  Iron Soldier         $59.99         Atari Corp
      J9060  Val D'Isere Skiing   $59.99         Atari Corp.
             Cannon Fodder        $69.99          Virgin
             Syndicate            $69.99           Ocean
             Troy Aikman Ftball   $69.99          Williams
             Theme Park           $69.99           Ocean
             Sensible Soccer                      Telegames
             Double Dragon V


      Available Soon ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      CAT #   TITLE               MSRP          DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER

              CatBox              $69.95               ICD
              Hover Strike        $59.99              Atari
              Jaguar CD-ROM       $149.99             Atari

      Hardware and Peripherals ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      CAT #   TITLE               MSRP          MANUFACTURER

      J8001  Jaguar (complete)   $189.99        Atari Corp.
      J8001  Jaguar (no cart)    $159.99        Atari Corp.
      J8904  Composite Cable     $19.95      
      J8901  Controller/Joypad   $24.95         Atari Corp.
      J8905  S-Video Cable       $19.95

       
               _______________________________________________


 > Jaguar Online STR InfoFile         Online Users Growl & Purr!
   """"""""""""""""""""""""""


 Sb: D2K Update - 4/2/95
 Fm: SYSOP*Jeff Kovach 74777,3071
 To: All

 From Jeff Minter's web page, the latest Defender 2000 update:

 ----------------------

                          D2K Thangs for April

            April 2: Tiled Perspective Surfaces and Inca Kola

 In the last couple of weeks just about all the graphics in Plus have
 been redone; a couple of new enemies introduced (including the Giant
 Rocket Dude, who is pretty impressive, if a bit hostile) and the sound
 effects given a complete overhaul - great though the original Defender
 FX are, we thought it'd be nice to have a new set for Plus/2K.  The
 boys at Imagitec have duly obliged with some splendid new samples most
 appropriate to the game.  I'll shortly be getting the new music/FX
 driver from Atari, which should allow me to have a shitload of FX
 channels, and a lot less of the channel-dropout we had on T2K, with
 only two channels for FX.

 The Yak Mode has been improved as well - not only do you get to rescue
 llamas, you also fly a giant digitised Flossie.  At the moment, when
 you thrust, her tail opens and flames come out of her arse - but it
 remains to be seen if Atari allow me to retain that feature!

 We now have a snoot new rendered player ship to replace the drawn one.
 It looked cool but the renderedness wasn't too apparent in play, so I
 got my artist to render a few frames of the ship tilting, which are
 used as you move up and down.  It llooks great.  This introduced a new
 problem though - previously the ship's lasers came out of a single
 laser tube. Now, with the tilting, *two* tubes are quite clearly
 visible... so I doubled the firepower. You can waggle the ship to
 offset the tubes and make a pretty effective spread of laser.  With all
 those beams flying about it's a good job that collision detect is so
 quick on the JagRISC...

 Progress during the last week has, I am delighted to say, been fuelled
 by large amounts of Inca Kola.  Since I asked about it on these pages,
 I've been flooded with reports that you can indeed get the lovely stuff
 in the US... and have now located a place just up the road in Mountain
 View which stocks gallons of the stuff.  My fridge is full of it, and
 so am I. *uuurp*

 I am also delighted to say that driving out to pick up the Inca Kola
 was extremely pleasurable in itself, since it was in my shiny new MX-5
 with the top down.  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!!

 The focus of my attention has now returned to the background generator
 of 2K, which is very nearly ready for the tender mercies of Ed my
 graphic artist.  I need a tiled, perspective surface for the ground
 level texture.  I decided to use the Object Processor for this... got it
 working at first, but the raster interrupt service routine on the GPU
 was all but maxed out updating the parameters of seven tiles on every
 scanline, and as soon as you started to hit the system with other stuff
 the OLP'd overrun and go down.  So, I thought, simplify it, use one
 object only.. which works, but you get jaggies due to the relative
 coarseness of scaling on the OLP as compared to the Blitter.  Strike
 two. So now I'm halfway through implementing a solution which should
 allow me to do proper tiling with seven objects again, involving a
 certain amount of precalculation, and only having to update one pointer
 during the raster interrupt, which shouldn't be a problem at all. 
 Hopefully I should get that running on Monday, and then I'll be ready
 to get going on doing the first actual 2K level.

 I'm also expecting three tunes on CD Real Soon Now, and will have to
 sort out running with CDBios and all that jazz.  Should be cool. 
 Should also mean I'll be able to play Floyd or anything in the
 background while I'm testing the game - excellent!

  \
  (:-) - Vroom! *slurp*
  /


 Fm: Daniel Skelton 73742,464
 To: All, Especially Atari

 As if I needed further validation of my beliefs about pack-in games, I
 read the following exchange from May's Next Generation magazine in an
 interview with Steve Race, president of Sony Computer Entertainment (and
 an Atari alumnus from the early 80's):

 **********

 Next Gen: What about a bundle deal?  We've heard that Ridge Racer will be
 included, is this correct?

 Steve: Well, I think if you take a look at the history of videogames in
 the United States, virtually every successful platform launches with a
 good packaged game.

 Next Gen: So what does this say about 32X?

 Steve: [laughs] Yeah, that's why I said "every successful platform!"
 You can go back as far as the old Atari VCS time frame, it really started
 to take off when we put Space Invaders in it, or when we put Pac-Man in
 there.  At least, domestically, in the United States, you have to put a
 product in there, and you have to lead with a very good product.  Our
 intention is to do exactly that.

 **********

 I'm starting to feel like I'm researching a term paper!  The interview
 is quite interesting in its assessment of cartridge vs. CD systems,
 particularly as regards lead time to manufacture a CD, which is much
 lower than a cartridge. Race is dismissive of Atari and 3DO's chances,
 and indicated that Sony has learned from their past mistakes with Beta
 VCRs that they need to loosen the access to their technology to 3rd
 parties.

 Although his recollections as to the SI and Pac-Man bundle may be a bit
 off (they were bundled after the height of the VCS), he is right in that
 the VCS skyrocketed in sales when SI was released in 1978, and he is
 correct in his essential point that the software sells the hardware, and
 that the first pack-in is crucial to a platform's success.

 So I hope Atari is still listening, even though my recent posts threaten
 to make me a Johnny One-Note about the CD pack-in game.  If the CD
 pack-in game is so good that it's worth the entire price of the CD to
 play (like D2000) then the CD should sell to every current Jaguar owner,
 and probably spur some new sales.  Since D2000 probably won't be
 available, something as close to it as possible should be chosen, and
 the CD player held back until the pack-in can be of sufficient quality.
 And not Vid-Grid.

 When the combined cartridge/CD system comes out later this year, I think
 the best bundle would be a Jeff Minter triple-play: Tempest 2000
 (cartridge), Defender 2000 (CD), and Virtual Light Machine (built in).
 Of course, you'll have to give a pretty penny to Yak, but the volume of
 sales should make it worth everyone's while.

 However things end up, I hope that my urging here is well-taken by those
 with the power to make such decisions.  I've noticed that Atari reps
 have been quite regular in their posts to this forum, but have been
 rather quiet lately.  I only can hope that this indicates they're too
 busy to do more than lurk, and that this is the prelude to a big push
 this summer.

 Thanks for reading this,

 Dan Skelton
 Antique Videogame Aficionado and proud Jaguar owner



 Sb: #Retailer Outreach Test
 Fm: SYSOP*Jeff Kovach 74777,3071
 To: All

 From the net, some very interesting news of a new 'retailer outreach
 plan' that Atari is testing in Southern California:

 -------------------

  From: rjung@netcom.com (Robert A. Jung)
  Newsgroups: rec.games.video.atari,alt.atari-jaguar.discussion
  Subject: INFO: Atari's retailer outreach test plan
  Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 03:40:10 GMT
  Organization: Southern California Lynx Enthusiasts
  Message-ID: 

   Sorry if the Subject: seems a little confusing.  I'm not quite sure
 how to summarize this.  Anyway, stuff of interest to Atari-watchers, I'm
 sure. Everything's from memory, so I may have a few details off, but the
 gist is here...

   I was invited to sit in this afternoon at a briefing session about
 Atari's attempts to improve retailer relationships, distribution, and
 market analysis. The session was headed by Derek Wong of
 Wong & Associates, who are Atari's retailer contact point for the
 California/Hawaii area.  Wong & Associates also do work for Sega, Capcom,
 and other video game companies, so they know quite a bit about the
 industry as a whole.

   Anyway, it seems that Atari recognizes that their relationship with
 the retailers needs improvement.  So to fix that, they're trying a
 strategy to "build bridges," in hopes that having friendlier retailers
 on their side will help sell more Jaguars.  Since the Southern
 California (Los Angeles and Orange County) area is their biggest
 market, they're going to try a test-market down here (almost two
 hundred retailers all together, if I've done my math right).

   Ideally, Atari wants:

 * To improve relationships with their established retailers in the area,
 * To identify problems retailers are having that may stop them from
   selling more Jaguars (such as distribution or quantity),
 * To find out what games are selling, how many titles the stores carry,
   and how salespeople and managers feel about Atari's efforts.

   If this test plan is successful (it gets retailers enthused about
 selling the Jaguar and backing Atari), it will be expanded nationwide.
 Again, this is currently in the concept/testing stages more than
 anything else.

   So what's the test plan?

 1. Each dealer/outlet will be given several Jaguar games (ALIEN VS.
 PREDATOR, DOOM, VAL D'ISERE SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING, IRON SOLDIER, and
 TEMPEST 2000). These games are *FREE* to the store.  If the manager wants
 to sell them, it's an extra $150-$200 in profit right there.  If the
 clerks want to keep them for their own play, that's cool too.

 2. If they want it, each dealer/outlet will receive a free set of Jaguar
 merchandising material.  This consists of a counter card, brochures, a
 "dangler", a window decal, and a poster.  Both the card and the poster
 emphasize the $159 SRP price for the Jaguar; this is Atari's big push
 here, the new lower price.

 3. If they want it, each dealer/outlet can get a Jaguar kiosk as well.
 They merely have to tell the Atari rep, who will forward the request for
 a *FREE* kiosk to set up in the store.  Those things cost $1300+ each,
 by the way...

 4. The Atari representative will ask the dealer/manager about their
 feelings with Atari and the Jaguar.  They'll ask about sales (units sold,
 best-selling games, etc.), suggestions, problems, advertising
 impressions, whatever.

 --> For people in the Southern California area, Atari will be running a
 month-long television advertising campaign (as part of this test) to
 promote the new $159 price point.  A new commercial is ready to roll,
 highlighting the best games out now and showing quick glances at new
 titles (RAYMAN, FIGHT FOR LIFE, BURN OUT, HOVER STRIKE, and ULTRA
 VORTEX were ones I remember seeing). If you're in the area, check out
 KCOP, KTLA, and KCAL for commercials.  Best times to watch would be
 during local basketball games, weekend movies, STAR TREK: VOYAGER,
 BABYLON 5, and AMERICAN GLADIATORS.  Write if you want more details
 (yes, I have a copy of the planned commercial air dates).

 5. Finally, after everything's been handed out, Wong & Associates will
 gather the data, forward and requests, answer questions, and look at
 trends and problems and whatnot.

   Again, this is the short-term effort; what happens next will depend
 on how the results look.

   Since the discussion was very free-form, a lot of interesting
 information also popped out onto the table.  In no particular order:

 * There is a very good chance that RAYMAN will be distributed/marketed
 by Atari themselves, and not Ubi Soft.  Advance word is that the game
 looks, sounds, and plays better than DONKEY KONG COUNTRY, BTW.

 * Advance word from the magazines is that ULTRA VORTEX got "great"
 reviews. UV may also be distributed by Atari as well (I'm a little hazy
 on this point).

 * The $199 Jaguar + pack-in game deals are history.

 * The $159 Jaguar packages apparently came directly from Jack Tramiel
 himself. While Sam and Gary and Leonard were toying around with the
 idea of discount coupons after the Winter CES, Jack just said, "Why
 don't we knock the price down to $159?"  The idea is to duplicate the
 success of the Commodore 64 by pricing it so low that people -can't- pass
 up the deal.

 * The Jaguar CD-ROM is finished and piled up in warehouses.  Atari is
 only waiting for an impressive pack-in game to be finished (which IMO
 implies that it will -not- be VID GRID).  The pack-in was not specified;
 the current target is to have Jaguar CDs on store shelves in time for E3.

 * 20% of all video-game console sales are in Southern California alone.

 * Atari's new director of game development (I didn't catch his name,
 sorry) comes directly from Sega.

 * Everyone present agreed that more games, and more impressive games, are
 needed.  "The lower price is PART of the solution, but not THE solution."

 * Enthusiasm at Atari is still high; the falling Yen gives Atari more
 time to establish a hold before the PlayStation and the Saturn and the
 Ultra 64 arrive, as the low-cost alternative.

 * Atari can operate with as little as $12 million a year; the $90 million
 from Sega is more than enough to keep the company going for several years,
 easily.

   Anyway, I hope you found this glimpse at Atari's efforts interesting,
 at least.  I thought it was interesting; it wasn't a blind "rah-rah"
 cheerleader effort, and it wasn't an indifferent chore, either.  Feel
 free to ask questions; I can't promise I'll answer them all, but...  B-)

                                                 --R.J.
                                                 B-)

              _________________________________________________


 Fm: Ron Beltramo (Atari) 75300,2110
 To: SYSOP*Jeff Kovach 74777,3071 (X)

 Jeff: Most of what you heard is correct.  Atari is putting a blitz
 together in Los Angeles and the program includes advertising, store level
 merchandising, and dealer programs designed to get retailers on a positive
 track with Jaguar! The television is for 5 weeks and started this week,
 and will deliver the new Jaguar price message and communicate that there
 is a lot of current and new software for new Jaguar purchasers.  We are
 having the local Atari user group work with our local sales rep firm (Wong
 & Associates) to hit the stores and deliver the advertising message, point
 of sale materials, Jaguar software to demonstrate in the store, and check
 the stores to make sure that the Jaguar is well stocked with hardware and
 software.  Atari is also resetting all Toys R Us stores where Jaguar is
 carried to set up 4 foot sections and the hardware displays properly
 within the next 3 weeks.  So....lots is happening and we expect Los
 Angeles to be a showcase market for Atari before the end of April. We at
 Atari are really excited about what we are doing in Los Angeles and expect
 to be successful with the effort we are putting into the marketplace.

 If anyone online is out in Los Angeles I would love to hear about what you
 find in the stores over the next few weeks.  Jaguar is sold at Toys R Us,
 Good Guys, Babbages, Electronic Boutiques, Tower Records, 20/20 Video,
 Adrays, Fedco, Virgin Mega Stores, Game Star, Radical Video, Mascos, and
 selected Wherehouse stores (and other independent accounts).  A number of
 accounts are also featuring the Jaguar in their ads over the next 3-4
 weeks.  Please get the word out and let us know what you see happening. 
 Contact either myself or Don Thomas.  Thanks for your help 

                                              Regards,
                                              Ron Beltramo


             __________________________________________________


 > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!
   """""""""""""""""""""""""""""
         
          
              
                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING
                            =====================
             
              
 On CompuServe
 -------------
 compiled by
 Joe Mirando
 CIS ID: 73637,2262


 Hidi ho friends and neighbors.  Boy, the months just seem to be flying
 by, don't they?  It seems like only yesterday that we were looking
 forward to Christmas morning, and now Easter and Passover are here.  I
 know that it's easy to get caught up in the festivities, but please take
 at least a moment to reflect upon what these holidays are really about.

 Well, let's get on with the business at hand... the news, hints, tips,
 and info available every week right here on CompuServe.


 From the Atari Computing Forums
 ===============================

 First off, we've got this announcement from Sysop Jim Ness:


   "SAN JOSE, Calif., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move clearly
   reinforcing its leadership in Internet services, CompuServe
   Incorporated today announced the industry's most competitive Internet
   pricing:  free, full Internet access and Web browsing software for its
   members.
   
   CompuServe Information Service members enrolled in the standard pricing
   plan ($9.95/month) now automatically receive three free hours of
   Internet access per month in addition to unlimited access to more than
   120 basic services.  Additional hours of Internet use by these members
   will be billed at $2.50 per hour, an hourly rate that is the lowest
   among online service providers.
   
   For high-volume Internet users, CompuServe introduces the Internet
   Club, which offers 20 hours of access to Internet services for a $15
   monthly fee (in addition to the basic $9.95 monthly membership fee).
   Additional Internet hours will be billed to club members at $1.95 per
   hour.
   
   In a separate announcement, the company unveiled additional Internet-
   related services, specifically, free distribution of the CompuServe
   NetLauncher, a software product providing one-step access to the World
   Wide Web via SPRY Mosaic; and a full Internet connection using the
   Point- to-Point Protocol (PPP) that is open to users of any operating
   system or platform.
   
   Savings under the new pricing formula range from 58 percent to as much
   as 87 percent over CompuServe's previous Internet pricing, depending on
   how many hours are used and whether or not the club plan is chosen.
   These prices apply to CompuServe's extensive 9.6 and 14.4 kbps local
   access, and will apply to 28.8 kbps access as it becomes available.
   Internet services are free of communication surcharges through
   CompuServe's network in the United States, Canada and Western Europe.
   Supplemental network charges and any monthly fees for access through
   other networks still apply.
   
   "CompuServe is in a unique position to offer the best value to today's
   Internet user," said Maury Cox, CompuServe president and chief
   executive officer.  "We have the largest customer base worldwide; we
   own our own network; and we recently acquired SPRY, the leader in
   Internet software.  From this position of strength and profitability we
   can offer not only the best prices, but also the best features and
   service.
   
   "Our members and prospective members can now eliminate the monthly fee
   they have been paying to an Internet-only access provider and have the
   convenience of meeting all their online needs in one place,
   inexpensively," Cox continued.
   
   "Internet Made Easy(SM)" is CompuServe's strategy to provide easy-to-
   use, affordable Internet access and related services to its information
   service members.  CompuServe was the first online information service
   to offer email access to the Internet in 1989.  Telnet access to the
   information service from the Internet followed in 1994, as well as FTP
   capability and access to USENET Newsgroups.  For a complete listing of
   CompuServe Internet services, access CompuServe's home page on the
   World Wide Web (http://www.compuserve.com) or call for more
   information.
   
   The CompuServe Information Service is the world's most popular online
   service with 2.8 million members who access the service from more than
   150 countries.  The undisputed industry leader in innovation, the
   service offers global email, the industry's first CD-ROM supplement,
   libraries of free software, selected 28.8 kbps access and worldwide
   Internet services. CompuServe is recognized globally for its
   international membership and diverse content.
   
   CompuServe's online international newsstand features more than 200
   general interest and niche publications, dozens of syndicated
   columnists and more than 900 entertainment, hobby, games and personal
   computer forums.  For a $9.95 monthly fee, members have unlimited
   access to more than 120 services including daily worldwide news,
   weather and sports reports.  In addition to the CompuServe Information
   Service, CompuServe offers networking, electronic mail and business
   information services to major corporations worldwide.
   
   CompuServe is an H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) company."

 Christian Roth tells Jim:

   "Nice to hear that news!
   
   Specially the internet connection via PPP protocol could lead to an
   interesting connectivity.
   
   Is this service available already? GO INTERNET took me to the internet
   forum and I was happy to see telnet added since I've visited last
   time, but I don't know how to set up a PPP connection."

 Jim tells Chris:

   "GO INTERNET should be set up by now.  I believe GO PPP gets you there
   directly, too.
   
   If you have a PC, GO NETLAUNCHER gets you a free copy of Mosaic for
   CIS (CIS owns Spry, the developer of Mosaic).  Even the download is
   free.  Good thing, because the download area is overwhelmed right now;
   my download went at about 700cps with a 14400 connection."

 Brian Gockley of Se Informer asks Jim:

   "As an Atari user, what will this do for me? Will SPRY run on my TT?"

 Jim tells Brian:

   "I understand that there is a Mosaic clone coming out for the ST soon.
   Until then, you still can't get WWW access.  However, telnet and
   usenet, both of which have been available for awhile now, only require
   a terminal program (vt100 for telnet).
   
   Usenet gets you messages somewhat similar to the forums here, and
   telnet logs you onto distant computers, getting you whatever the
   distant computer allows.  Sometimes just text, sometimes downloads,
   sometimes a search engine for research."

 Sysop Jim posts another press release for CompuServe (Boy, these guys
 have been busy this week):

   "SAN JOSE, April 11, 1995 -- On the heels of its acquisition of
   SPRY(TM), the largest Internet industry-related transaction to date,
   CompuServe today announced sweeping plans to upgrade its global data
   network for enhanced worldwide TCP/IP network services.
   
   In its next fiscal year, beginning May 1, 1995, CompuServe will execute
   the conversion of all its existing 42,000 dial ports to V.34-
   compliant 28.8 kilobit-per-second (kbps) local dial access.  Other
   planned enhancements over the coming fiscal year include more than
   doubling its current number of network dial ports to over 85,000--all
   to support 28.8 kbps--and initiate roll-out of ISDN services. The
   upgrade of over 420 Points of Presence (POPs) for 28.8 kbps local dial
   access, including CompuServe's 60+ international POPs, is slated for
   completion by the end of CompuServe's next fiscal year, concluding
   April 30, 1996.
   
   ISDN service, which will offer access speeds of up to 64 kbps using
   switched services, will be available via 1-800 dial in June, 1995.
   Local ISDN access will be provided in approximately 10 cities by the
   end of August, 1995.
   
   All ports in the CompuServe Network are now, and all future ports will
   be, PPP-ready.  There will be no extra cost incurred for accessing the
   CompuServe Network at 28.8 kbps.  Pricing for ISDN and a list of
   initial cities to receive the high-speed upgrades will be available at
   a later date."

 Peter Joseph tells Sysop Jim:

   "Boy do I wish I had some HRB stock right about now.  That's terrific
   news, especially about 28.8kbps carrying the same prices. :)  I can't
   wait until they convert my node.  I just upgraded my 288 V.FC modem to
   full bore V.34 and it's itchin' to fly.  The only trouble now is, the
   speed/read ratio has surpassed my available time, i.e. at these speeds
   I can afford to go to many more forums and download messages daily, but
   there just isn't time to read them all before the following day. :-("

 Sysop Bob Retelle tells Peter:

   "Heh.. looks like we humans may be obsolete...!
   
   I know what you mean about not being able to actually read all the
   info that's available "out there"...    I keep downloading digest
   versions of several Internet newsgroups every day, and hardly have time
   to even look at the index, much less read it all...
   
   What we need is an Artificial Intelligence that can read all this
   stuff for us, and that knows what interests us..  then once a week or
   so it can tell us all the neat stuff it's read...
   
   Sort of like a well informed friend who calls us up and lets us know
   the latest gossip."

 Chris Roth tells Bob:

   "Nice to hear all the announcements for 28.8 kBaud connections while
   we here still have nothing better than anachronistic 9600 Baud ;->"

 Mike Myers posts:

   "I'm having a problem with software getting corrupted somehow. To me,
   it winds up with being unable to get a program to function. Usually,
   they stop and give an error message of many differant varieties, and
   that' all. Won't go any further. However, with one program, the
   developer (A&D in Oregon) took a look at what was in there, and neither
   of us put sections of a desktop or other unknown data in it. Any ideas
   as to what's happening? It may be connected with me enjoying
   downloading all kinds of new software, but this machine hasn't damaged
   any software before that I know of. It's old, probably made in 85 or 6.
   The next is one part of it, that was written up earlier, and not sent
   timely.
   
   Re Fontgdos;
   
   I got myself a copy of Fontgdos, and ran into problems. Mainly, once I
   got it set up, and almost running, the screen during setup says
   "Fontgdos not loaded, corrupted driver". After my program drops this
   off, I'll recopy and try again, but first , what driver? The program
   driver (if there's any such thing), or the printer driver(s)? Second,
   if GDOS is still in the disk, will This mess things up? In the folder?
   In short, should I pull out every copy of GDOS I can find?  Third, I
   have a copy of GDOS in the folder with all the programs that involve
   printing. Should I?"

 Dan Parrish asks Mike:

   "Did your porblems begin after trying to load and use FontGDOS?  I
   seem to remember a friend of mine porblems with FSMGDOS.  I know we
   aren't talking about the same program, but I can't help thinking there
   could be a source of your problem.  Have you added any upgrades to your
   machine, and which TOS are you using. Could the problem be with either
   your hard drive or your disk drive.  Could it/they be showing signs of
   old age???"

 Matt Faehnle asks:

   "What is the best Word processor out there for the ST?  I only have
   1Mb of ram and was looking for something that would be compatible with
   my Deskjet 500.  So far the only one I have looked at is That's write
   3.  I saw a review in St Format.  It seemed like just what I need
   (WYSIWYG and multiple fonts) but I'm not sure where to buy it (I live
   in Columbus, Ohio).  Is there anyplace here in the U.S. where I could
   buy a wordprocessor?"

 Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Matt:

   "Toad Computers is one such store where you can by Atari word
   processing software.
   
   Toad computers (800) 448-8623 or (410) 544-6943"

 Brian Gockley of ST Informer Magazine tells Matt:

   "That's Write is an excellent WP, as are many others. What kind of
   writing do you plan on doing?
   
   Also, ther are several Ohio stores that carry Atari stuff, try:
   
   D & P Computer
   P. O. Box 811
   Elyria, OH  44036
   Work Phone: 800-535-4290
   
   or

   Rising Star Computer
   P.O. Box 20038
   Dayton, OH  45420-0038
   Info Phone: 513-254-3160
   Sales Phone:800-252-2787"

 Matt Neopolitan tells us:

   "I downloaded the spc_v.zip file from this forum to view some of the
   spectrum pictures.  Now how do I actually use it?  Everything in
   windows says its too big to fit in that notepad.  Please explain
   exactly what I need to do as I'm new to this."

 Sysop Bob Retelle tells Matt:

   "I don't believe the SPC viewers were designed to be run from Windows..
   
   After you unZIP the file in its own directory, put any Atari .SPC
   graphics files you have in the same directory and run the SPC viewer...
   there should be some documentation included in the ZIP file."

 Eric Knutson posts:

   "I am looking for a device driver for a CDROM on my STE.  I have heard
   that there is a PD version that is fairly good and one for sale ( I
   believe it was extendos and metados)  Any info on either and where they
   could be found would be appreciated...
   
   Is extenDOS a retail product or is it a public domain driver?  If it is
   the latter, where might it be posted?"

 Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Eric:

   "ExtenDOS is the commercial driver and it is very well supported.  I
   would recommend that driver over any other one available.  An Atari
   dealer like Toad computers is one place where you can find ExtenDOS or
   ExtenDOS PRO."

 Greg Kopchak of It's All Relative tells Eric:

   "We have ExtenDOS for $29.99 with the Photokina demo CD.
   
   It's the Pro version and the one we suggest right now.
   
   It's All Relative
   2233 Keeven Lane
   Florissant MO 63031 USA."

 Bruce McLay tells us:

   "I have a 1 meg STE TOS 1.6, purchased in New Zealand in 1989. I have
   managed with the problem outlined below for 2 years. No commercial
   support has existed for Atari in New Zealand for some time, although
   there are still loyal users of course. My local users group (Canterbury
   Atari Computer Enthusiasts) people hadn't come across this problem and
   couldn't suggest a solution. SO... I'm trying the international Atari
   community!
   
   All goes well to getting to the desktop, but on single-clicking a
   drive icon (usually Floppy A but the same happens with B and any hard
   drive icons as well), a highlighted icon appears on the screen with a
   very corrupted (ie totally unintelligible) label. It does not respond
   to attempts to cancel it.
   
   Another symptom is that moving the pointer up and dropping down a menu
   results in two totally unreadable menus in the lower half of the
   screen, (the dropdown choices do not appear directly below the 4
   headings at all). These "ghost" menus do not respond to being clicked
   on, but they do respond to cursor movements directly below the dropdown
   menu headings. This problem occurs whether booting from hard drive,
   floppy, or from a bootup with no disk in drive A (and hard drive not
   running).
   
   By trial and error I discovered that turning the Blitter off provides
   a "cure" to the corrupted screen (once I force a redraw by opening a
   window and making it full size).
   
   A more useful "cure" is to have a startup disk with Blitter off. I use
   Superboot with a hard drive mostly; again I can configure this to have
   the blitter off, and also to avoid dealing with the desktop,  but
   what's the point of having a blitter if you've got to turn it off to
   make the computer useable?  I can't guarantee the the blitter chip is
   causing the problem, it's just that turning it off seems to make the
   system useable.
   
    I should add that one "solution" I tried was to buy a cheap extra
   STE. This I did, but my pleasure at having an obliging interface was
   quickly diminished when I discovered that a quick burst of data from
   (and/or to) the hard drive led to massive corruption of said hard drive
   filenames requiring reformatting and reloading of data (yes, I was
   backed up, but still...).
   
   I know, faulty DMA chip etc etc. However, I have an ATARI Megafile 60
   hard drive (regulation kit as far as Atari are concerned). Also, both
   computers have DMA chip serial numbers which are in the "suspicious"
   range, yet the original STE that I have works fine with the hard disk
   (apart from the screen problems detailed above!). I have a longer cable
   from DMA port to hard drive than is recommended, and I guess this is
   the cause of my data corruption problems with the second computer (even
   though I've never had hard disk problems with the first computer).
   
   I would love to hear from anyone who's come across these problems ie
   (1) corrupt screen that is "fixed by turning off the blitter and (2)
   hard drive corruption even with a regulation Atari Megafile 60 hard
   disk."

 Sysop Bob tells Bruce

   "It sounds like you may have a bad blitter chip in the one STe, if
   turning it off cures the problems.
   
   At first I was going to suggest you delete your DESKTOP.INF file and
   try re-saving it (this sometimes cures similar desktop problems), but
   from your description of what's been happening it really does sound
   like a hardware problem.
   
   As for the "bad" DMA chips, not ALL of them had problems, it was just
   that they could be "weak", which would lead to the disk corruption
   problems.
   
   So it's entirely possible that you could have one that works fine, and
   another that has problems with ANY hard drive, even a "genuine" Atari
   drive.
   
   Again, the only real solution to that problem is to swap out the DMA
   chip.
   
   You might want to try swapping the hard drive cables between the two
   STes, if both of them are detachable, and see if a shorter cable length
   might help.  Long cables can add to the problem..."

 Joe Caverly asks:

   "Can an Atari 1040 ST be upgraded with a hard drive? It presently just
   has a floppy drive in it. If it can be upgraded, where abouts can I get
   a hard drive?"

 Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Joe:

   "Yes, it can be upgraded to a hard drive.  All you need is an external
   case, power supply, SCSI hard drive, host adapter, scsi cable, host
   adapter software like ICD's PRO SCSI, etc."

 Mike Mortilla jumps in and tells Albert:

   "Gee, Albert, you make it sound so complex!
   
   All I ever did was get a HD (which usually includes a power supply and
   all that other stuff) and plug it in.  In the case of a SYQUEST drive I
   did have to nuy The Link from ICD (GO ATARIVEND).
   
   If I thought I needed all that other stuff I'd still be working from
   floppies!  "

 Albert tells Mike:

   "I guess it depends if you like the build it yourself versus the
   pre-built models."

 Mike tells Albert:

   "If I did the build it yourself model I probably STILL be using
   floppies! Pianos I can build.  Music I can build.  Even brick walls I
   can build. But computer stuff I buy.  That is not something you
   build!!! "

 James Coyle asks a question about Gadgets by Small:

   "I haven't been in this topic in a while, but I see all this talk of a
   new Spectre version.  Didn't Spectre and Gadgets go away forever a few
   months ago?  Its demise was one of the primary reasons I left the Atari
   platform and went over to Mac world.  I don't see any posts here
   concerning whether Gadgets lives.  Please inform me!!!"

 Mark at Gadgets by Small tells James:

   "Unfortunately, I have not had any contact with Dave Small for months.
   I only know the "rumors" that are flying around.
   
   I am still using this account (until I am asked to stop by either Dave
   or Ron) to do my best to answer Spectre related questions.  I check the
   forum on a daily basis.
   
   To answer your question....the most recent version of Spectre is still
   3.0."

 On the subject of a successor to the Portfolio, Atari's Palmtop
 computer, Dave Cousins of D.I.P. (the company that designed the
 Portfolio) tells us:

   "DIP did develop a Portfolio 2, but Atari turned it down becouse they
   put all there funding into the Jaguar and the games market.
   
   You have to ask the question after the performance of the Jaguar, did
   they make the right choice."


 Well folks, that's about all for this week.  Have a happy and healthy
 holiday and be sure to tune in again next week, same time, same station,
 and be ready to listen to what they are saying when...

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING




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                       STReport's "EDITORIAL CARTOON"
                       """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""

 > A "Quotable Quote"        A true "Sign of the Times" 
   """""""""""""""""          Of "Test Markets" & "Trial Runs"


              It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to understand
            that a TEST PILOT is there to try out a new product, 
         ...to see if it works ...to give its creators confidence...
                                       
                 How MANY TEST RUNS, of one type or another,
                    does a well known Game Machine Need?


                 (Name of " game machine" kept confidential
                                     to
                      protect the "incessant testers") 
                                                        
                                                        ... The FAT Lady


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