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Article #551 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 24-Nov-95 #1147
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson)
Date: Thu Nov 30 13:36:20 1995



                                      
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November 24, 1995                                                  No. 1147

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11/24/95 STR 1147        The Original Independent OnLine Magazine!

 - CPU Industry Report    - Kid's Computing    - Gates Comdex Keynote
 - Symantec/Delrina OK'ed - Apple/Sagan Settle - PC XMAS Expected
 - StoneKeep! FAQ         - Mac Updates        - Comdex Report
 - Laptop Forum Opens     - People Talking     - GEnie FOR SALE

                        IBM Announces 1,200 Job Cuts
                     WordPerfect's Bastian Quits Novell
                       3M Unveils Major Restructuring


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>From the Editor's Desk...
     The day after Turkey day.  Sorry Tom. to see you go but please take
this thought with you.  You did your job well but its all over now.  No
matter how you look at it, Thanksgiving is a great holiday. The beginning of
the Holiday Season and the Christmas Sales Season.  Actually, today is the
official beginning of the Holiday Sales Season.
     Many companies are banking on the Sales of this holiday season to carry
them forward into 1996 comfortably.  Others, are trying to slide through the
Holiday Sales Season, grabbing what they can and "hoping for the best".  The
majority of those will be either gone or completely re-organized by this
time next year.  Some CEO's and their immediate assistants are hard headed
about the financial power the Christmas Sales Season is capable of yielding
year after year.  You can spot these "enlightened executive quiz kids"
results and final effect by the obvious lack of their company's products in
the nation's major sales outlets ready to snapped up by the holiday
shoppers.
     Don't tell anybody but Sony Corp. has a potential "slam-dunk" product
out and on the market in force this season.  Its called a Playstation.  This
is the Game Console to watch.  Its reception by the purchasing public has
been phenomenal.  Some are buying more than one or two.  Sony has ensured
product availability for the Playstation, its games, peripherals and add-on
gadgets.  If you own Sony stock expect to be pleased by its growth.
                                             Ralph..

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                      LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                   Weekly Happenings in the Computer World


                        Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson


                        IBM Announces 1,200 Job Cuts
     As  part of a broader cost-cutting action it announced last month,  IBM
today notified some 1,200 employees that they will no longer have a job with
the company.  The Associated Press says this is the first cut since IBM last
year  completed a monstrous downsizing that took its work force from 302,000
at the start of 1993 to 220,000 at the end of last year.
     "While  the  newest  job  cuts aren't nearly so  big,"  says  the  wire
service,  "they affect most parts of the company, including several software
product  groups  and  all hardware groups except personal  computers.  Lotus
Development  Corp., which IBM acquired this summer, was not affected."   The
cutback is part of the plan that also includes taking a charge of about $800
million  in  the fourth quarter for restructuring. The money  will  pay  for
severance, real estate and other short-term expenses.
     AP  says  in  the latest cut about 200 people in Raleigh-Durham,  North
Carolina,  are  involved; in both Austin, Texas, and San  Jose,  California,
between  100  and 200; in Rochester, Minnesota, about 100; and Poughkeepsie,
New York, 60. Jobs were also cut at IBM's huge office complex in Somers, New
York,  home of several divisional headquarters. A smaller number of  workers
were laid off at other IBM offices.
     Also  IBM spokesman Tom Beerman told the wire service his employer will
move  about  40 employees who work at a distribution center in  Dayton,  New
Jersey,  to Boulder, Colorado.  "Other attrition and retirements, hiring  in
some  growing  divisions  and the addition of Lotus'  5,000  employees  will
result in IBM's overall employment at the end of the year being roughly  the
same as at the end of 1994," AP adds.
                      Symantec-Delrina Merger Approved
     At  separate  annual meetings, the shareholders of  Delrina  Corp.  and
Symantec  Corp. have voted in favor of the proposed merger between  the  two
software publishers.  The merger was announced on July 6, with the  goal  of
combining  resources to take advantage of the rapidly growing communications
and networking software markets.
     Upon  consummation of the stock swap transaction, expected on or  about
Nov.  22, Delrina will become a Symantec subsidiary.  All Symantec directors
and   officers  will  remain  in  their  current  positions  following   the
transaction.  Two  Delrina executives, Chairman and CEO  Dennis  Bennie  and
President  Mark Skapinker, will join the Symantec's board. Bennie will  also
become  an executive officer of Symantec. Delrina's product development  and
several other operations will remain based in Toronto.
     Delrina  produces  a  variety of products in the fax,  data  and  voice
communications,  electronic  forms and consumer software  markets.  Symantec
offers a wide range of systems and application software products.
                     WordPerfect's Bastian Quits Novell
     Novell Inc. reports that WordPerfect Corp. co-founder Bruce Bastian has
resigned from its board of directors.  Bastian joined the Novell board as  a
result  of  the  company's 1994 acquisition of WordPerfect Corp.,  which  he
founded  with  Alan Ashton in 1979. Bastian's departure comes  a  couple  of
weeks  after Novell announced that it plans to sell most of the  assets  and
products  from  the WordPerfect buyout.  Novell says Bastian is  leaving  to
pursue  other interests.  "We wish Bruce well in his future ventures,"  says
Robert J. Frankenberg, Novell's chairman and CEO.
                         NexGen Unveils Faster CPUs
     NexGen Inc. has announced the first microprocessors in a planned series
of  higher-performing Nx586 CPUs.  The Nx586 line features  fifth-generation
microprocessors that compete against Intel Corp.'s Pentium chips.  The Nx586-
P133  and  Nx586-P120 microprocessors are clocked at speeds  of  133MHz  and
120MHz,  respectively.  NexGen claims that the  devices  perform  up  to  50
percent  faster  than  Intel's 133MHz and 120MHz  Pentiums  while  providing
computer makers with a better value.  Both microprocessors are sampling now,
with  production  quantities expected to ship in  December.  The  Nx586-P133
microprocessor is priced at $447 in 1000-unit quantities, while  the  Nx586-
P120 processor is priced at $303 in volume quantities.
                         I-Net Standards Identified
     The  Information  Infrastructure Standards Panel  (IISP),  representing
more  than  80  standards  developing organizations, corporations,  industry
associations, consortia, and government agencies, has identified close to 40
standards needed to implement the information superhighway.
     At  a  two-day meeting in Milwaukee, the IISP addressed such  standards
issues  as security, copyright protection, and network interconnection.  The
IISP, established in 1994, is a cross-industry standards effort sponsored by
the  American  National Standard Institute (ANSI). The IISP aims  to  ensure
that  the  standards  needed to deliver products  and  services  across  the
national  and  international information infrastructures are identified  and
developed.
     "The  group comprises a broad spectrum of participants from the private
and  public  sectors and from all industries, with more  than  25  standards
organizations   working   to  determine  where   existing   standards   meet
requirements  and  where  additional  standards  development   efforts   are
required,"  says Oliver Smoot, the IISP's chairman.  More information  about
the   IISP   is   available   on   the  group's   World   Wide   Web   page:
http://www.ansi.org/iisp/iisphome.html.
                        IBM Plans 'Internet Station'
     IBM  Corp. CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr. says his company is working on  an
"Internet  station"  that  would give users Internet  access  and  computing
capabilities  for  only a few hundred dollars.  In his  COMDEX/Fall  keynote
speech,  Gerstner remarked that the machine wouldn't have  as  much  storage
capability as a regular PC, but would offer a fast communications connection
so  that  programs and information could be downloaded as  needed  from  the
Internet and other online services.
     IBM  expects to ship the machine early next year, said Gerstner.  While
the  IBM  chief  didn't  offer any specific details or pricing  information,
industry  analysts are predicting that Internet stations will  sell  in  the
$500  to  $800  range, far below the $1,500 to $2,000 needed to  purchase  a
complete  multimedia PC system. Gerstner noted that IBM's  machine  will  be
designed to supplement, not replace, PCs.
                       3M Unveils Major Restructuring
     3M Corp. says it intends to launch its data storage and imaging systems
businesses  into an independent, publicly owned company.  As a part  of  the
planned  change, 3M will also discontinue its audio and video tape  business
in  about a year.  3M expects to record pre-tax charges of over $600 million
against  fourth-quarter  earnings.   The  investment  banking  firm,  Morgan
Stanley & Co. and the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom,  are
serving as advisers to 3M.  3M expects to eliminate approximately 5,000 jobs-
-most  within  the next 12 months. Of the 5,000 positions to be  cut,  about
3,000  will  be  in the U.S. While most of the workforce reduction  will  be
accomplished  through early retirement and other voluntary measures,  up  to
1,500  people  will  be  asked to leave involuntarily.   "While  this  is  a
decision  we  are  not happy to make, it is the right  thing  to  do,"  says
Chairman and CEO L.D. DeSimone.
                      CompuServe Sets Wireless Venture
     A   joint  development  effort  between  CompuServe  Inc.  and   Socket
Communications  Inc.  aims to make receiving wireless  e-mail  on  a  mobile
computer as easy as plugging in a PC Card.
     Beginning  in late 1995, CompuServe plans to support Socket's  PDF  and
MMF  protocols to format e-mail forwarded to Socket Communications' PC  Card
alphanumeric  pagers. The protocols are designed to offer a concise  way  of
preserving  the  structure  of e-mail messages sent  across  paging  carrier
networks,  allowing  long e-mail messages to be split into  smaller  packets
that can be recombined and displayed on mobile computers.
     By  the end of the year, CompuServe members will be able to use a pager
to  receive  notification  when  electronic mail  is  delivered  into  their
CompuServe  mailbox.  CompuServe members  and  users  of  other  online  and
Internet  services  will  also  be able to send  alphanumeric  messages  and
numeric codes to CompuServe members' pagers.
     By  early  1996,  additional  services will  allow  members  to  filter
messages  and  forward  them to their pagers or other destinations.  Members
will be able to use their pagers to receive select, personalized information
such  as  stock quotes, sports scores, news, weather and other content  from
CompuServe.
     "CompuServe  has positioned itself to become the virtual communications
center  for mobile professionals," says Steve Owens, CompuServe's  strategic
account   manager.  "We'll  be  forwarding  voice  mail  to  notebooks   and
integrating e-mail with faxing and paging."
                      Modem Offers One-Line Voice/Data
     Hayes  Microcomputer Products Inc. has introduced the Accura  288  V.34
DSVD  Message Modem, a PC peripheral that allows simultaneous voice and data
communications over a single phone line.  The modem supports 28.8K bps  data
transmissions and 14.4K bps fax. The external version comes with a  built-in
microphone  and  speakers; the internal model comes with  a  microphone  and
integrates into its host PC's existing speaker system.
     "Now small offices have a complete data, fax and voice messaging system
available  to  them via a single telephone line," says Dennis Hayes,  Hayes'
chairman  and  CEO. "Everyone from power users conducting video conferencing
or  real-time document sharing to consumers interested in interactive gaming
will  see the benefits of this product's versatility and speed."  The device
is  scheduled  to  ship in early 1996 for $339 (internal version)  and  $359
(external version).
                        Study Focuses on Net Security
     A  new study finds one out of every five corporations connected to  the
Internet reported an attempted or a successful break-in to their company  in
the  past  year.   It  also  finds  two-thirds  of  the  companies  surveyed
encountered  a computer virus in the past year, though only a small  portion
of the viruses caused financial loss.  Studying 1,300 organizations, Ernst &
Young also determined that while security of information on the Internet has
improved,  concern  about security is on the rise, as business  use  of  the
world's largest computer network increases.
     Reporting on the study, the Reuter News Service says 54 percent of  the
respondents  who  suffered a security loss over the last two  years  through
their  Net  links were unable or unwilling to estimate the dollar  value  of
their  losses.  Meanwhile, only 12 percent reported a quantifiable financial
loss   and  the  most  frequently  noted  was  less  than  $250,000.  Twenty
respondents  said  losses were in excess of $1 million.  Inadvertent  errors
were the biggest source of losses.
     E&Y  analyst  Dan  White says the "hype" over the Net  "presents  tough
challenges  for those responsible for security. Of those Internet-connected,
our survey population showed a continuing large level of dissatisfaction and
uncertainty with the overall level of security with their connection to  the
Internet."
     Also  the  study found 66 percent of the respondents who are not  using
the  Internet now and 83 percent of respondents who plan to within the  next
year said they would use the Internet for more business purposes if security
were enhanced.
     White  told Reuters he does not believe that the Internet will be  used
for  major business or financial transactions, adding that private corporate
networks will proliferate.  And he does not think encryption technology is a
viable  means of security for the computer network, adding, "Encryption  has
never  really  caught on because it's difficult to use and administer.  It's
just something that has never caught on as a technology."!
                       Exec Foresees Network Computers
     Network  computers  -- selling for as little as $500  and  facilitating
easy access to the Internet -- will be available in quantity by next summer,
built  by various North American and Asian manufacturers.  That's prediction
from Oracle Corp. chairman Larry Ellison, speaking at a panel discussion  at
the  Comdex  trade  show in Las Vegas yesterday.  Giving his  most  detailed
explanation yet of the computer he envisions as a way to cheaply and  easily
tap  the  power  of the Internet and other computer networks,  Ellison  said
Oracle is working on an operating system that will be licensed for about $15
per  computer and provide an alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s software  with
its wholesale cost of $35 per unit.
     According  to  the Reuter News Service, Ellison also said the  computer
will  include a keyboard and mouse, monitor, a 4MB DRAM memory chip, 4MB  of
flash memory, a 220MHz microprocessor and a network connection card.  "While
Ellison said the devices could be built for $500," Reuters observed, "he did
not  specify  the retail price or explain how they would be distributed.  He
said  Oracle  is building a prototype of the device and will demonstrate  it
publicly in February."
     The  new  computer will not have a capacity to store information  on  a
hard  disk or floppy diskette. Rather, most of the operating system and  any
applications will be stored on a centralized network, said Ellison,  adding,
"I don't think I need something as complicated and expensive as PCs. Give me
a  fast  network  computer and make somebody else responsible  for  my  hard
disk."
     He  said that under the network computer model, which he said was  more
of  a  service  than a product, Ellison said operating systems, applications
and  information will be updated automatically as they are available.  In  a
comment  greeted by applause from the Comdex audience of about 1,000 people,
Ellison  said, "The reason PCs are so unpleasant to deal with  is  that  you
must constantly reconfigure the hardware and software to make it do what you
want."
     The Oracle chief said the network computer will appeal to any customers
currently  using  personal  computers in either  the  business  or  consumer
market,  adding that PCs are "unbelievably expensive and hard to  maintain."
He  cited  a  figure  that companies pay an average  of  $8,000  a  year  in
hardware,  software and maintenance for every employee with a PC.   He  also
said  the  network computer will be "dramatically easier to  use"  and  have
capabilities beyond what today's PCs have, such as the capability to  handle
multiple streams of video data, noting, "This is not a dumb appliance."
                      Poulsen Pleads Guilty to Cracking
     Federal  prosecutors  have  dropped  espionage  charges  against  Kevin
Poulsen  after the famed computerist pleaded guilty in San Jose, California,
this  week  to lesser criminal charges.  Writer Sandra Ann Harris of  United
Press  International says computer rights groups breathed a sigh  of  relief
when  spy charges were dismissed because they "feared the federal government
had filed the charges with the hope they would have a chilling effect on the
hacker  community  and  set  a dangerous precedent  in  the  burgeoning  but
immature field of computer law."
     Poulsen  was  the first American computer intruder to be charged  under
U.S.  espionage  laws.  Law Professor Robert Berring of Boalt  Hall  at  the
University  of California, Berkeley, told the wire service, "The traditional
category of espionage, that's a very serious crime in the Constitution;  you
can  spend the rest of your life in jail for that. That's not what this  guy
was doing."
     He  added  computer  law  "is  still in  the  womb"  in  terms  of  its
development  and the Poulsen case shows that federal authorities  are  still
groping  with how to handle high-tech crimes.  Harris says the Poulsen  case
should  serve as "a wake-up call to federal authorities that an open  debate
is  needed to prod the development of computer law so it can keep pace  with
the fast-growing, high-tech industry."
     Of  authorities'  original  intention to  try  Poulsen  for  espionage,
Berring  said, "It would have set a very dangerous precedent."  As  reported
earlier, the spy charge was filed in 1992 when authorities found the  secret
document (containing a list of overseas military targets) on a computer tape
among  Poulsen's belongings. However, an investigation revealed Poulsen  had
retrieved  the  document as part of his authorized work for the  Menlo  Park
firm SRI. The U.S. military reportedly had given the file to him as part  of
Poulsen's job writing computer programs to test military programs.
     Prosecutors  backed  down Thursday, saying they  decided  to  drop  the
charges because the information in the military document is out of date  and
because  the  case  had  dragged on for six  years.   Then  the  30-year-old
Poulsen, who has been in and out of court on computer criminal charges since
his  teenage  years,  pleaded guilty to a string of  charges  stemming  from
intrusions into phone company files.
     Poulsen  told  the  court he was guilty of burglarizing  phone  company
offices,  obtaining  manuals  and access codes and  using  this  proprietary
information to obtain free telephone service and phony credit cards.
     Judge Ronald M. Whyte said he will sentence Poulsen in January. Poulsen
has  been  jailed  since 1991 when authorities caught up to  him  living  in
hiding in Los Angeles where he rigged radio station phone lines to win call-
in  prize contests, scams that netted him two Porsches, $20,000 in cash, and
two  trips  to  Hawaii.  He was convicted of the radio-rigging  charges  and
sentenced  to  four  years.   UPI says the addition  of  the  phone  charges
sentence  will add several months to Poulsen's sentence, probably  resulting
in his release next May.
                          Apple Settles Sagan Suit
     Apple Computer Inc. says it has settled a lawsuit brought against it by
astronomer Carl Sagan.    Sagan had objected to Apple's use of the  internal
code-  name  "Carl Sagan" during the development of Apple's Power  Macintosh
7100 computer without his permission, and had also objected to references to
the  code-name  and to his dispute with Apple in the computer  and  national
press.
     Apple  contended  that  its  use  of the  internal  code-name  was  not
commercial   and  did  not  constitute  an  endorsement  requiring   Sagan's
permission.   The settlement's terms weren't disclosed.  After Sagan  raised
his  objection  to the computer's designation, Apple staffers  re-code-named
the   Mac   7100   to  "BHA"--reportedly  an  abbreviation  for   "butt-head
astronomer."
     "Dr.  Sagan  has  made  great contributions in  many  areas  of  higher
learning  and in particular has made complex subject matter interesting  and
understandable  to  a  wide  audience," says  Paul  D.  Carmichael,  Apple's
director of patents and trademarks. "Apple has always had great respect  for
Dr.  Sagan,  and it was never Apple's intention to cause Dr.  Sagan  or  his
family any embarrassment or concern."
                      Student Accused of Net Terrorism
     A  19-year-old New York college student has been arrested on charges he
terrorized  an Indianapolis family via the Internet, threatening  in  e-mail
messages  to  hunt  them  down and kill them and rape  a  12-year-old  girl.
Arrested  Tuesday at his home in Massapequa Park, New York, the  St.  John's
University  student was charged with aggravated harassment,  a  misdemeanor.
"It  was  a  prank  to him," police detective Bill Bambrick told  Associated
Press writer Pat Milton. "He was surprised we traced him."
     Meanwhile,  Barrie Winnette, fiance of the mother in the  family,  told
the  wire  service, "We were pretty shaken. We didn't know what this  person
was  capable of carrying out."  But defense attorney James Paar  denied  his
client  was involved, saying someone else wrote the messages.  Says  AP,  "A
person using the log-on 'Mr. Bungle' broke into a conversation that the  12-
year-old  was  having Oct. 21 on the Internet with  a      13-year-boy  from
Toronto,  Bambrick said. Mr. Bungle got Amanda's log-on, 'Baby Bubba,'  from
an  online  list. After a few innocuous questions about age,  (the  suspect)
allegedly wrote that he wanted to sodomize her, police said."
     Winnette  told Milton, "Amber let out a gasp, and called her  mom,"  He
then sent a message saying: "I'm Baby Bubba's father," even though he's not.
Mr.  Bungle responded with sexually offensive messages which escalated  into
threats,  AP reports. He wrote that he had HIV and would infect  Amber.  One
message  read, "Here I come for the rape. Let me inform you of my career.  I
hunt down little kids and stalk them."
     Winnette  replied, "You are a poor excuse for a human  being,  and  I'm
logging  this  whole  conversation  for  the  authorities."   AP  says   the
conversation ended abruptly when Amber's mother became frightened and turned
off  the computer. When they logged back on several hours later, there  were
numerous threatening e-mail messages from Mr. Bungle.  Indianapolis  police,
notified by the family, contacted the FBI, which notified Nassau County, New
York,  police.  A Long Island Internet provider helped trace  the  messages.
Detective Bambrick told the wire service that despite the graphic nature  of
the messages, "This kid just went overboard. He was very apologetic."
                      Gallery Launches Computer System
     Washington's National Gallery of Art today opens its interactive  Micro
Gallery,  enabling museum visitors to view any of more than 1,700  paintings
and  sculptures with the touch of a finger.  "The system will allow visitors
to  call up almost all the works in the gallery's collection by the name  or
country of the artist, the subject or type of the work and the time  it  was
done,"  according to the Reuter News Service. "Selected works of art include
information   on  their  composition,  symbolism,  technique  and   cultural
context."   Gallery  Director Earl Powell told the  wire  service,  "Through
digital  color images, text, animation, special graphics and sound, we  hope
to reveal the expressive elements and artistic techniques that have made art
central to the human experience."
     The system is modeled in part on one in the National Gallery in London,
which  opened in 1991. Both were funded by grants from the American  Express
Foundation.   Reuters says the system includes an illustrated dictionary  of
art terms, biographical information on artists, a timeline of major cultural
and  historic events in relation to the art works, and information about the
National Gallery. Visitors can use the computer to design their own tour  of
the gallery by printing a map showing the location of art they want to see.
                      Microsoft Fixes Windows 95 Flaws
     Two  potential security problems with the Windows 95 operating software
have been identified and fixed, publisher Microsoft Corp. says.  The company
told  visitors to its World Wide Web page on the Internet that it discovered
and fixed a problem with the file and printer sharing in the software.
     The  statement says, "Only customers who have enabled file and  printer
sharing -- a non- default option -- may have been at risk, and, to the  best
of our knowledge, no users have been harmed. Nevertheless, Microsoft regards
this potential problem with the greatest seriousness and we have worked hard
over the past week to resolve it."
     The  Reuter News Service notes Microsoft has sold more than  7  million
copies of the new operating system since its release Aug. 24.  In its online
note,  Microsoft  said only customers that use the file and printer  sharing
option  to share their fields with other users on a network are affected  by
the issue.
     "To  correct  the  problem," Reuters says,  "Microsoft  has  issued  an
updated driver for file and printer sharing for Netware Networks that can be
downloaded from the Internet or mailed to users. 'The updated driver ensures
that  only  valid administrators have access to the computer's  drive,'  the
company said."
                        Survey Predicts PC Christmas
     A  new  Gallup  Organization survey finds a third  of  the  respondents
considering  purchase  of  software as gifts  this  Christmas  season,  with
another 52 percent saying they would rather find a new computer than new  TV
under  the  tree this year.  Commissioned by Microsoft Corp., the survey  of
1,012  American adults by phone in September (with a margin of error of  +/-
3.1 percent) found:
˙    89 percent of those questioned considered software and computers to be
  good gifts for adults.
˙    92 percent said they consider these items to be good gifts for
children 13 and older.
˙    77 percent said they think these items would make good gifts for
children 12 and under.
     According   to  a  statement  from  Microsoft's  Redmond,   Washington,
headquarters,  "The  survey revealed that Americans say  they  would  rather
receive  computer  software/computers over  other  popular  electronic  gift
items,  such as large screen color televisions, satellite television dishes,
cellular phones, and home stereo systems."  Also the survey found 63 percent
of respondents felt software/computers have gotten easier to use compared to
two  years  ago, and 59 percent felt computers have helped them reach  their
potential.
                      'Toon Characters Headed to CD-ROM
     Japan's  Vistec  Ltd.  has  licensed 10 cartoon  characters  from  King
Features for use in four CD-ROM Fun House games.  The first title, featuring
Popeye, Blondie and Dagwood, and Prince Valiant, will be produced by Nevada-
based Terence Boyle Productions Ltd for Vistec. The program is scheduled for
a June release at a yet-to-be-announced price.
     "This  is  the  largest CD-ROM license agreement King has ever  entered
into,"  says  Ita  Golzman, senior director of domestic licensing  for  King
Features.  The initial CD-ROM will contain three games starring the featured
comic  characters.  The disc also will include brief  appearances  by  other
comic  characters,  including  Betty Boop, Hagar  the  Horrible  and  Beetle
Bailey.  King Features is a division of The Hearst Corp.
                     Survey Suggests Low Win95 Home Base
     A  new  independent survey suggests that, while many home  computerists
are  aware  of  Microsoft Corp.'s highly publicized  Windows  95,  only  six
percent  of the respondents say they have actually installed and  are  using
the  new  operating system.  The survey by San Francisco's Odyssey  research
firm,  based  on  a random sample of 1,201 U.S. households  with  PCs,  gave
Microsoft high marks for making people aware of the new Win95.
     Said Odyssey President Nick Donatiello, "Their well-orchestrated launch
got them awareness in 92 percent of PC households. But all the hoopla hasn't
convinced the majority of home PC owners that they need or want Windows 95."
The survey found:
˙    41 percent of the respondents said they don't know enough about Windows
  95 to have an opinion on the operating system.
˙    53 percent say they are not at all likely to upgrade in the next six
  months.
˙    22 percent of the respondents who are using Win95 said they have also
  signed up for the Microsoft Network. (Odyssey estimated that means only
  about 1 percent of the PC households in the U.S. are on MSN.)

The poll also released these top five reasons respondents said they had not
upgraded to Win95:
1.   "I don't need it/My current system is adequate" (29 percent).
2.   Costs too much/Don't want to spend the money" (19 percent).
3.   "Waiting until bugs are worked out/next version" (15 percent).
4.   "Would have to upgrade PC" (14 percent).
5.   "Haven't gotten around to it" (10 percent).


                                      
                         The Kids' Computing Corner
                               by Frank Sereno
                                      
                            Let's Start Learning!
               Hybrid Format CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh
                          for children ages 2 to 5
                       retail price approximately $35
                          From The Learning Company
                              6493 Kaiser Drive
                              Fremont, CA 94555
                               1-800-852-2255
                                      
                            Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
CPU:         386DX/33                             CPU:         Color
Macintosh
RAM:        4 megs                           RAM:        4 megs
OS:            Windows 3.1 or higher                   OS:            System
6.0.7
Video:        640 by 480 with 256 colors               Video:        256
colors
Hdisk:        1k for program group                Hdisk:        1k
CD-ROM:  Double-speed recommended            CD-ROM:  Double-speed
recommended
Misc.:         Sound card, printer

Let's Start Learning! is a fun and whimsical program which teaches children
basic learning skills such as letters, numbers, shapes and patterns.  It
features four learning activities with four skill levels each, plus a fifth
activity as a carousel pony with changeable parts.  Upon completing each the
activity, children will be rewarded with a key which can be used to change
the pony.  Collect all sixteen keys and the pony takes your child on a ride
to the gates of The Learning Kingdom.  Children will enjoy the many lovable
animal characters which include Reading Rabbit and Mat the Mouse.

The interface is very easy to use.  Entry into the program is accomplished
by the child typing in his name and then going to the main screen.  Up to
ninety-nine players can play and be tracked by Let's Start Learning!  The
main screen shows pictures of  the five activities and a stop sign.
Clicking on the stop sign exits the program while clicking on the activity
pictures will take your child to the corresponding activity.  Mat the Mouse
stands in a corner of the screen and audibly explains how to operate the
program.  An adult Program Options Pad, or POP for short, is available by
pressing Ctrl-P.  The POP allows parents to adjust activity levels, check a
progress report on each child, and to learn more about the educational goals
of the activities.  Each activity features a host who doubles as your
child's teacher.  He will tell your child what is needed to complete each
problem and then present him with a reward upon completion.  Feedback is
enthusiastic and positive for correct responses, but gentle and encouraging
for incorrect answers.  The program manual contains many important tips
about teaching children and the operation of the program.  It does not
include any troubleshooting information.

Pattern Parade teaches children to recognize and form patterns based on
size, color or musical instruments.  Ben the Ant wants to lead a parade down
the street.  Several musicians are standing on the street forming a partial
pattern.  Children must choose the remaining members of the band from the
musicians sitting on the bench.  As children advance through the levels, the
patterns become more complex.  On the final level, they make their own
pattern using the available musicians.  Children must pay attention to what
Ben says in the first three levels because he gives verbal hints to the
correct solution.

Counting and number recognition are the focus of the Counting Club.  Ali the
Counting Cat coaxes children to find the number she calls out and displays.
Her friends are hidden in the trees and children must click on the windows
to bring the friends into the center room.  Once the number of friends
matches the displayed number, children then click on Ali.  They will learn
to count forward and backward, and also learn simple addition and
subtraction problems.

Shape Shack is a sorting game.  Children must sort objects according to
shape, sound, color or group.  Mit the Monkey has dropped six objects on the
floor of his treehouse.  Objects must be placed in stacked boxes.  On the
first level, both stacks have a flag indicating the type of object belonging
in that stack.  On the second level, only one stack has a flag.  On the last
two levels, no flags aid the children in sorting.  There can be as many as
three different ways to correctly sort the objects.  This activity develops
visual and auditory recognition skills, vocabulary and following verbal
instruction.

The final learning activity is ABC Diner.  Here children will learn to
recognize letter names and sounds, to recognize the initial sounds of words,
develop vocabulary and to differentiate among different sounds.  Ed the Dog
and Reader Rabbit run a different kind of diner.  The patrons choose the
ingredients of the main course and then Ed fashions a "Surprise!" from them.
Despite the strange combinations of ingredients, his culinary experiments
are always a gastrointestinal delight.  Perhaps another benefit of this
activity will be that your children will try new foods with less trepidation
after learning that Ed's customers enjoy ziti.   Your child's task is to
find the correct ingredients from six storage compartments.  On the first
level, the exterior of each door is marked with a letter and Ed will
announce that he needs an ingredient that starts with a certain letter.  The
second level requires the child to find an ingredient beginning with a
specific letter sound.  The exteriors of the bins are now unmarked, but the
first letter of the object is displayed on the interior of the door.  Reader
Rabbit will then announce the letter sound and the name of the object when
the door is opened.  On the third and fourth levels your child must find a
food item beginning with a specific letter.  When the doors are opened now,
Reader Rabbit will announce the contents but the letters will no longer be
displayed.

The Carousel can be compared to recess or to naptime.  Here children can
just play without worrying about finding the correct answers to problems.
In the center of the screen is a magic carousel pony.  Below the pony is a
large key.  Turning that key starts the carousel.  In the four corners of
the screen will be pictures of the four activity hosts.  Next to each will
be a key ring holding four key silhouettes.  As each level is completed in
the activities, one key will become solid gold.  Clicking on the keys will
cause a part of the carousel pony to change.  Your child can build four
different ponies once he has obtained all sixteen keys.  Next to Mat the
Mouse is a small boom box.  Clicking on it begins another fun activity.
"The Jolly Jamboree" song begins.  This is a follow-the-leader dance that
young children always enjoy.  The children are encouraged to dance along,
thus taking a break from sitting at the computer and getting some exercise
which will refresh their minds.

The graphics in this program are colorful and cute.  Children will be
attracted to the adorable animal characters.  Most of the animations are
excellent with lifelike motion.  Some seem to drop a few frames.  The sounds
and music are excellent.  The voice characterizations are exceptionally
enthusiastic and delightful.

The activities are enchanting and enticing.   Older children can also be
mesmerized by  the songs and fun games.  My one area of concern is replay
value.  It will take many hours for a child to gather the sixteen keys but
will he want to play the game again once he has been to the gates of the
Learning Kingdom?

The educational content of Let's Start Learning! is topnotch.  The program
provides many learning opportunities with specific objectives.  Children
will gain many necessary learning skills for preschool and primary school
education.  The Learning Company has developed a series of programs which
are nested for learning skills and goals.  Parents can buy the next program
in the group to continue building on the skills learned in the previous
programs.

Let's Start Learning! is an excellent addition to your library of
educational software.  It is an attractive and fun program based on sound
learning principles and executed through excellent design.  The reasonable
price and thirty-day moneyback guarantee further enhances this product's
excellent value.  Technical assistance is available toll-free.  The Learning
Company has published a first-rate value in Let's Start Learning!

                                   Ratings

                              Graphics ....... 9.0
                              Sounds ....... 9.5
                              Interface ........ 9.0
                              Play Value ..... 9.0
                              Educational Value .. 9.5
                                         Bang for the Buck .. 9.5
                              Average ...... 9.25
                                      
                                    # # #

                          Franklin's Reading World
                     available for Windows and MacIntosh
                               for ages 4 to 7
                            from Sanctuary Woods
                           1825 South Grant Street
                             San Mateo, CA 94402
                                415-286-6000
                                      
                            Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
CPU:         386/33                          CPU:         Color Macintosh
RAM:        4 megs                           RAM:        4 megs
OS:            Windows 3.1                        OS:            System
6.0.7
Video:        640 by 480 with 256 colors               Video:        256
colors
Hdisk:        1 meg                                         Hdisk:        ?
CD-ROM:  Double-speed recommended            CD-ROM:  Double-speed
recommended
Misc.:         Sound card, printer

Franklin's Reading World is a place of discovery and learning.  Interesting
songs, fun activities and colorful graphics will entertain children while
they learn phonics, vocabulary, spelling and more.  Your child joins
Franklin Turtle and his many friendly animal friends on a journey through
his neighborhood.  The program has four areas to explore.  These are
Franklin's Cozy Home, the Soccer Field, The Forest and The Pond.  Each area
has several scenes.  Eight words can be built in each scene or the child can
choose to play connected activities or click on hot spots to see animations.

Your child will guide Franklin as he travels around his home and rural
surroundings.   He will explore each scene by moving the cursor over the
images.  If the cursor is placed over Franklin, it becomes a question mark
and clicking will start audible help.  The cursor becomes a large blue arrow
to indicate a path to another exploration area.  When the cursor is over a
hot spot, it will become a star.  The cursor becomes the first letter(s) of
a Building Word when it is above that object.

Franklin or another character will pronounce the name of the object and asks
your child to spell it.  The beginning sound will be placed on one side of
the screen and then four choices will be given to complete the word.  Your
child must click on his choice.  It will then be placed next to the
beginning sound and Franklin will pronounce the resulting word twice.  The
first time he pronounces the beginning sound and the ending of the word
separately, and then the whole word.  The letters he pronounces will be
highlighted as he speaks them.  This will help children learn phonics and
spelling.  If the choice is incorrect, Franklin will ask your child to try
again and the incorrect choice will be removed.  Once the correct choice is
given, Franklin and his friends will talk about the object so that your
child can learn the meaning of the word.

All scenes include at least two selectable activities.  If the cursor is
near the bookworm, it becomes a book.  Clicking here begins the Building
Sentences activity.  Your child will see a black and white picture based on
objects from the current scene.  He must fill in the missing word in the
sentence.  He will be given a choice of five words.  Incorrect choices are
not removed so the child must remember which answers he has used.  If he is
unfamiliar with a word on the sentence, the words will be spoken when
clicked on.  When Franklin says each sentence, the words are highlighted and
he speaks slowly so each word is emphasized.  When the correct answer is
given, the picture is colorized and the child also has the option of
printing a black and white picture for coloring.  The exercise will teach
the children to use the words in the proper context.

Clicking on the snail starts the memory games.  This activity consists
matching twelve cards.  Three options are available.  The first option will
have your child match identical pictures.  Franklin will say the name of
each object as the card is turned.  For the second option, he must match the
image to the written and spoken word.  In the third option, the words and
objects will no longer be announced.

Three hidden activities are available also.  Bear's Spelling Bee is accessed
by clicking on the beehive at the Soccer Field.  This is a very difficult
exercise.  Children are shown an object and they must spell its name.  Bees
are flying across the screen dragging letters behind them.  Children must
click on the correct letter as they fly by rapidly.  This takes a great
amount of coordination and may frustrate some children.  Adding to the
difficulty is that the program provides no assistance to the child to help
him spell the word.  Incorrect choices are not removed after being chosen.
Franklin will not pronounce the target word again after he first announces
it so children cannot listen to the correct pronunciation to help them spell
phonetically.  I think this portion of the program should have had controls
for the speed of the bees and more help for the child.  Incorrect answers
should be removed or changed to the correct one so eventually the child can
only pick the right answer.  Children will definitely need parental
assistance in this portion of the program.

The remaining two activities have no educational value but do build
coordination and mouse skills.  The Jumping Frogs  game is found at The
Pond.  Children must click on the ten leaping frogs to capture them.  The
game has three difficulty levels.  This game was quite difficult and very
frustrating, even for this adult.  The frogs simply move too fast.  Maybe
the problem was magnified by using the Microsoft EasyBall since the
trackball must be rotated a considerable distance to move it from side to
side on the screen.  My personal preference is that my children have the
more precise control of the EasyBall rather than the quick, but harder to
control mouse.

The Creepy Crawly game is found in the Deep Dark Woods.  This game also has
three speeds which could be described as frustrating, more frustrating and
unbearably frustrating.  The game's objective is to click on bright eyes
found in a dark whole to reveal creepy, crawly animals.  While the animals
are beautifully drawn and animated, this activity provides no educational
benefit.  In the least, Franklin could have named the animals as they were
found.  Since the entire program builds coordination and mousing skills, I
see no need for these two activities and more educational activities should
have been substituted.

The still graphics are gorgeous.  This program is based on a series of
beautifully illustrated books and great effort was made to equal the books.
Some animation sequences might be missing frames as the action wasn't
smooth.  Character's mouths were not synched with their voices.  The sound
portion of the program was very good.  The program offered interesting music
and intriguing sound effects.  The voice characterizations are spoken and
acted well.  The dialog between characters is educational and entertaining.

I thought the interface is fairly good but it could use improvement.  It is
a fairly typical point-and-click interface.  I liked how the cursor changed
shapes to indicate the availability different activities or options.  Most
activities offered audible help and feedback was very positive and
enthusiastic.  However, no icon is available to the user in each scene to
quit the game.  You must either hit the spacebar (which is not my intuitive
choice) to return to the main menu or press Ctrl-Q to go to the quit
options.  Games can be saved in progress but it requires the input of a
filename.  This is not a task I would leave for children ages 4 to 7.  The
manual is very short and doesn't contain much information about solving
problems running the program.  Technical support is available by making a
toll call to Sanctuary Woods' California headquarters.

Franklin's Reading World contains many interesting animations and songs to
bring children back for more learning fun.  Three of the activities would
benefit from easier play or an adult control panel to regulate the games.

Educational value is high.  Children learn phonics, spelling, vocabulary and
sentence structure.  If the two mouse skills activities had been replaced
with learning opportunities, this score would be much higher.

Franklin's comes with a thirty-day unconditional guarantee.  The program
comes with a beautifully illustrated Franklin storybook, which is a $4.95
value.  It's suggested retail price is $39.95 so it should be discounted to
around $30. This is a very reasonable price.  Sanctuary Woods also offers an
interesting bonus.  You can give a form and your receipt to your local
school.  School officials can send in this form to get a school copy for
only a $7.50 handling and shipping fee.  This program is called "Buy One,
Give One Free" and it is an excellent opportunity for cash-strapped schools
to build their software libraries.

                                   Ratings

                              Graphics ....... 9.0
                              Sounds ....... 9.0
                              Interface ........ 8.0
                              Play Value ..... 8.0
                              Educational Value .. 8.5
                              Bang for the Buck .. 8.5
                              Average ...... 8.5

                                    # # #
                                      
                          World's Easiest Software
                    CD-ROM and 3.5" Diskette for Windows
        Individual modules retail for $14.95, combo packs for $34.95
                               T/Maker Company
                              1390 Villa Street
                           Mountain View, CA 94041
                                415-962-0195
                                      
The World's Easiest Software series of programs makes desktop design work
easy enough for children and inexperienced computer users to be printing
high quality output in only minutes.  The programs also offer the option of
purchasing professional printing of your designs by Deluxe Corporation, one
of the nation's largest specialty printing companies.

The series consists of six individual packages and two combo packages:

World's Easiest Certificates                           World's Easiest
Custom Notes
World's Easiest Business/Personal Cards                World's Easiest
Invitations
World's Easiest Announcements                     World's Easiest Stationery
World's Easiest Personal Image Bundle                  World's Easiest
Business Image Bundle

The Bundle packages include the Business/Personal Cards, Stationery, Custom
Notes and World's Easiest Stamps and World's Easiest Memo & Note Pads.  As
an additional bonus, the business bundle includes business graphics and
fonts while the personal bundle has personal images and fonts.  All packages
include paper samples relevant to the function of the program from Paper
Direct.   The Bundle programs include business cards, envelope and
stationery stock.  More paper products can be order by calling toll-free.
Samples are also included of the custom printing done by Deluxe including
raised ink, special stocks and notepads.

Designing any of the items can be done in a few simple steps.  Just load the
program, then chose the item you wish to design by clicking on the
corresponding button.  The program will then step the user through selecting
a design, choosing a logo and adding text.  Help is available at every step
by clicking on its button.  Once the design is finished, it can be printed
on the user's system or an order can be placed with Deluxe.  Two order
methods are available, direct order via modem or by saving the design to
floppy disk and mailing it to the order center.  Orders take from eight to
ten days to be filled and returned after arrival at the order center.  Rush
service is available at an additional charge.

The programs do not run from the CD-ROM.  It is merely used to install the
program on your hard drive.  The CD-ROM does include some extra images which
are installed to the hard drive also.  Any font on your system can be used
for printing out paper items.  Logos can be imported in .TIFF, .BMP, .WMF or
.EPS formats for home or office printing.  Deluxe's World's Easiest Print
Center can only duplicate black and white images that are .BMP, .TIFF or
.EPS format so your choices are limited if you want professional printing.
These images can be printed in other colors as designated by the user in the
program.

World's Easiest Software is an apt description.  The directions are easy to
follow and the results are usually flawless.  The availability of
professional printing at reasonable prices will be welcomed by home users
and small business owners.  It will also benefit those who need professional
printing done but have no print shops nearby to meet their needs.  The
programs are backed by a money back guarantee.  T/Maker is offering an added
bonus in a $10 rebate for the purchase of $25 worth of printing or the
purchase of two software modules.  If you have more questions, call 1-800-
730-EASY.

Other programs may be more flexible and allow more customization of the end
product, but they also require a more experienced user.  This makes World's
Easiest Software an excellent choice for users new to DTP.  Experienced
users can benefit from the professional printing features.  The bundle
packages are especially good values.  The money back guarantee makes this a
risk-free product so give it a try.

                                      
                                      
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                    ACTIVISION'S ATARI 2600 ACTION PACK 3
                         IS RELEASED FOR WINDOWS 95
                                      
                      New Compilation Dishes Up a Dozen
                     Doses of Fast-Action Entertainment
                                      
Los Angeles, CA - Activision, Inc. (NASDAQ:  ATVI)   challenges Atari 2600
game fans to beat their old scores with  Activision's Atari 2600 Action Pack
3 which is now available  on the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system.  The
third title in the planned four-volume Action Pack series, Action Pack 3
features a dozen classic hit titles from the 1980s.

"With the release of Action Pack 3, gamers can enjoy hit titles of the past
on the advanced platforms of the present," stated Bobby Kotick, chairman and
CEO, Activision, Inc.  "Action Pack 3 has widespread appeal to both younger
and older generation game fans."

Activision's Atari 2600 Action Pack 3 features such fast-action titles as
Private Eye, where players join Private Eye Touché in a zany search for
master thief Henri Le Fiend and his sinister gang;  Space War, in which
players must use quick reflexes and concentration to simultaneously navigate
their starship, blast the opponent and connect with the space module before
they are destroyed; and Combat, where players operate a tank, biplane or jet
in head-to-head battle sequences through mine-ridden playfields.

Other titles featured in Action Pack 3 include Breakout, Star-Master, Canyon
Bomber, Checkers, Night Driver, Pressure Cooker, Title Match Pro Wrestling
and Yar's Revenge.

Activision, Inc. is a publicly held developer and publisher of interactive
entertainment software for Microsoft Windows and MS-DOS compatible,
Macintosh and other computers, as well as Nintendo, Sega, 3DO, and Sony
PlayStation game systems.  Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in
London, Tokyo and Sydney, the company sells and markets products under the
Activision and Infocom trade names.

Activision is a registered trademark of Activision, Inc.    1995 Activision,
Inc.  All rights reserved.

Microsoft, Windows and MS-DOS are either registered trademarks or trademarks
of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

                                    # # #
                                      
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

                 ClickArt Ships Incredible Image Pak 25,000
                 The Most Incredible Image Library Available
  Includes 25,000 Images, On-Line Catalog, Fonts, Design Handbook and More!
                                      
Mountain View, CA-T/Maker Company's ClickArt division, the worldwide leading
supplier of art content, announced the release of the largest ClickArt
package ever, the ClickArt Incredible Image Pak 25,000 in CD-ROM versions
for Macintosh and Windows/DOS.  ClickArt's best-selling Incredible Image Pak
has exploded to over 25,000 all new images never before seen in a ClickArt
product.  This broad-ranging ClickArt portfolio includes full-color and
black and white images in over 125 diverse categories and styles (from
strictly business images to festive holiday cartoons) and 1,000 TrueTypeT
ClickArt Fonts.  ClickArt Incredible Image Pak 25,000 carries a targeted
street price of $49.95.

"This package is essential for anyone building a ClickArt library," said
Heidi Roizen, T/Maker President and CEO.  "The huge selection of images and
styles makes it suitable for every situation and the browser makes the
images easy to locate, making this the largest, most versatile, easy to use
clip art package on the market."

The Essential Desktop Publishing Partner

Offering the complete desktop publishing solution, the ClickArt Incredible
Image Pak 25,000 comes with a bonus of 1,000 ClickArt Fonts in easy to use
TrueTypeT  format, a KudoT Image Browser which helps you find just the right
image and a ClickArt Design Handbook & Visual Index.  The handbook's design
section is packed with tips, tricks, and techniques on how to improve the
look of any document, while the visual index allows you easily browse
through the images to find just the one you want.

T/Maker Company provides content software for consumer and business markets.
Its products comprise the full line of ClickArt titles including the
Incredible Image Pak 2,000, Art Parts, Famous Magazine Cartoons, ClickArt
Studio Series, and ClickArt Cartoons for DOS, Windows and AppleT  Macintosh.
T/Maker distributes its products through all the major channels, including
mass merchants, warehouse clubs, direct to consumer, superstores, and
traditional resellers.

For more information on the ClickArt Incredible Image Pak 25,000 or any
other T/Maker product, customers can contact customer service at (800) 9-
TMAKER or (415) 962-0195.

                                    # # #
                                      
At this point I would like to welcome two new writers to the staff.  I
believe you will find their debut efforts to be both informative and
entertaining.  The first writer, Angelo Marasco, will probably be writing
one or two articles per month for this column.  The second writer, Donna
Lines, will review most of the DTP that I receive for review.  Here's an
autobiography of our first new writer:

My name is Angelo Marasco and I'm 34 years old. I am a Field Engineer for
Eastman Kodak Company, servicing duplicating equipment and serving some of
the best customers in the world! My hobbies used to be collecting and
repairing mechanical antiques and collecting big band era 78 rpm records
until I bought a computer. My first experience with computers was with my
TRS-80 Model 3 in the early '80's. Now I am a self-taught computer hobbyist
trying to teach myself everything there is to know about computer hardware
and software.

My wife, Celeste, and I are born-again Catholics who are very active in
ministry in our beloved St. Jude Catholic Parish, hopefully reaching out to
those in need physically and spiritually as God has called us. My main
ministry focus is to let people know that a personal relationship with Jesus
is not a lack of life but is an increase in the abundance of life. We are
the parents of four wonderful children, Arthur, Darlene, James and Angelo.
When they're not fighting, they are truly gifts from God!

If you would like to write to me, my e-mail address is QBTH34B@prodigy.com.
Thanks for reading my work!


                        Thinkin' Things Collection 1
                  Hybrid format CD-ROM for Windows and Mac
                          For children ages 4 to 8
                            Estimated retail $40
                                Edmark Corp.
                                 PO Box 3218
                           Redmond, WA 98073-3218
                               (206) 556-8484
                                      
                            Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
CPU:         486                                  CPU:         Color
Macintosh
RAM:        8 megs                           RAM:        4 megs
OS:            Windows 3.1                        OS:            System
6.0.7
Video:        640 by 480 with 256 colors               Video:        256
colors
Hdisk:        2 megs                                             Hdisk:
?
CD-ROM:  Double-speed recommended            CD-ROM:  Double-speed
recommended
Misc.:         Sound card, mouse
Optional:  Edmark TouchWindow, microphone

review by Angelo Marasco

Thinkin' Things Collection 1 on CD by Edmark is an educational program which
is designed to help children ages 4 to 8 to build thinking skills which
hopefully will lead to increased learning ability. Although the recommended
age range is 4 to 8, I found in reviewing this program that it appeals to
any age, including adults. I had a lot of fun with it and never found it
boring. Neither did my children when they could get me away from it. For
adults, the great thing about this program is the amount of attention paid
to parents and the amount of information available to parents both on the CD
and in the user's guide.

I reviewed Thinkin' Things Collection 1 on a 486SX33 with 4MB of RAM and
Windows 3.11. Edmark's system requirements state that 8MB are required, but
to Edmark's credit, the package ran well, although it was slow and jerky at
times.

Setup was simple and fairly quick. Thinkin' Things setup added an Edmark
program group with a Thinkin' Things icon, and also Dear Parents,
Registration, Edmark Software Demos and Help icons. The Help section and an
updated video driver helped me to get the program to run on my system. The
Dear Parents section led to a series of video clips of Edmark Vice President
Donna Stanger explaining the concepts behind the different activities.
Parents count in this place.

After starting the Thinkin' Things program, the opening screen appears with
a moon rising behind selector boxes showing the six activities available:
Oranga Banga, Feathered Friends, Toony Loon, Fripple Shop, BLOX - Flying
Spheres and BLOX - Flying Shapes. Clicking on a box results in a delightful
two or three-second musical or voice introduction, depending on the
selection. A "Stop" button appears in each screen throughout the program.
This makes it easy to leave an activity and to get out of the program
altogether. Too many programs make it a chore or simply frustrating to exit,
but not so with Thinkin' Things.

Oranga Banga features a hip orangutan musician named Oranga and his
percussion instruments. His instruments include a snare drum, bass drum,
cymbal, chimes, cow bell, triangle, gong and wood block. In "create" mode,
the child uses the cursor to strike instruments and creates an original
musical piece that Oranga will then play back when the play button is
chosen. Another option is to select the "question and answer" button. In
this mode, Oranga plays a pattern on his instruments and the child is
invited to repeat the pattern. If the child makes a mistake, Oranga simply
shakes his head and repeats the pattern again. If the child is again unable
to repeat the pattern Oranga replays a small part of the pattern and asks
the child to repeat it after him. After successfully repeating the small
chunks of pattern, Oranga replays the entire pattern and invites the child
to repeat it after him. The scenario continues until the child can imitate
the entire pattern. Oranga then congratulates the child.

Oranga Banga features a "Grow Slide" in the question and answer mode which
increases the difficulty as the child continues to correctly repeat the
patterns. The child may also use the grow slide to adjust the difficulty
level himself. Parents have the option of denying the child access to the
grow slide. Oranga Banga also allows the child to make Oranga play the
patterns in the dark which challenges the child's auditory skills.

Oranga Banga is pleasant, friendly and challenging. The increasing
difficulty level creates an atmosphere of challenge and excitement that
keeps things interesting for longer periods than would be possible without
it.

Feathered Friends teaches children the concept of patterns, series and
comparisons. Feathered Friends features an animated and very creative "bird-
making machine." The choices for hats, body color, body pattern and shoes
are presented as buttons on the face of the machine. A window near the top
of the machine shows the result of the choices. After the child is finished
making choices, he selects the "go" button and the machine goes into action.
After much noise, clanking, clanging and some music, a mechanical chicken
comes out and lays an egg which cracks open and hatches the child's
creation.

In "create" mode, the child is allowed to create his own birds with a choice
of hats, body pattern, body color and shoes. While this can be interesting
for a while, the real fun and challenge come in "question and answer" mode.

Since Feathered Friends features a "Grow Slide" in "question and answer"
mode just like Oranga Banga, the child is given simpler problems to work on
earlier on and works toward more challenging problems. The child is
presented with a series of three or four birds with different hats, body
markings, body colors and shoes. He is then asked by a bird to make the
missing bird. At lower challenge levels the child is only given one choice
to make to put the missing bird together, either hat, body markings, body
color or shoes. If he makes the correct decision, the machine goes into
action and out comes the mechanical chicken to lay the egg containing the
correctly formed bird. If the wrong choice is made, a bird in the series
simply asks the child to please try again.

As the child continues to make correct choices, the difficulty level
increases. The number of choices begins to grow gradually so that the child
is eventually making two, three, then four choices to fit the new bird into
the series properly. While the choices are increasing in number the
challenge of the series also increases so that it becomes slightly harder to
figure out what is needed to fit the new bird into the series. At these
higher challenge levels, if the child makes an incorrect choice the birds
will ask him to please try again.  Buttons are gradually removed each time a
mistake is made until only the correct buttons are left. This gentle
guidance toward the correct answer is sure to keep children from getting
frustrated and teaches them without them even knowing it. After the new bird
has taken its place in the series, a bird thanks the child. The birds then
leave the screen or are removed in various animated ways.

Feathered Friends is colorful and delightfully animated. It would be nice if
Feathered Friends started in the "question and answer" mode since this is
where children will spend most of their time because of the fun and
challenge.

Toony Loon is a musician who specializes in the xylophone. This activity is
very similar to Oranga Banga. Toony Loon opens in the "create" mode and
Toony asks the child to go first. Unlike Feathered Friends, Toony Loon gives
the child more of a reason to spend time in the "create" mode. The child
uses the mouse cursor to strike the keys on the xylophone, then presses the
"play" button to see and hear Toony Loon animatedly play back his musical
creation. What I found really exciting and creative about Toony Loon were
the choices of instruments available in "create" mode. By pressing the "new"
button the child can choose to change from the standard xylophone to a
xylophone using crystal glasses, hollow logs, rubber bands or chickens (yes,
you read that right). For me, the chicken xylophone was the most
entertaining. I've never heard "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on chickens before!

"Question and answer" mode in Toony Loon is similar to that in Oranga Banga.
Like Oranga Banga, Toony Loon can be asked to play in the dark to help build
auditory skills. The "Grow Slide" is also available here. Toony Loon plays a
series of notes and asks the child to repeat them after him. As the
challenge level increases, the series become longer. Toony congratulates the
child in various amusing ways for a successful imitation. If the child makes
a mistake, Toony repeats the series. After a second mistake, Toony will lead
the child through three or four-note pieces of the series and asks the child
to repeat it after him. If they make it all the way through together then
Toony replays the entire series and asks the child to repeat it. Success is
far more likely after this. Toony then congratulates the child for his
success as if a mistake was never made which is reassuring and encouraging.

Toony Loon is my favorite character in the entire Thinkin' Things program.
His pleasant manner of speech and his animated way of playing his xylophone
make him an attractive character to spend time with.

The Fripple Shop is a very interesting activity that teaches children to use
logic to follow orders which are given to them in spoken, written and both
spoken and written forms. The Fripple Shop also introduces "boolean logic"
through AND, OR and NOT.

The Fripple Shop is a little shop with a selection of twelve "Fripples,"
little creatures of different colors, shapes and various attributes. The
shop is equipped with a telephone for voice orders and a fax machine for
written orders. A variety of unusual customers show up at the door to give
verbal orders that are also displayed in written format. A "Grow Slide" is
also used in this activity to increase and monitor the challenge level.

The child can wait for a knock on the door or for the phone or fax machine
to ring before answering.  He can also select an object depending on his
preference for verbal or written orders. Between knocks and rings the child
may select any of the Fripples and an extremely animated voice describes the
attributes of the Fripple the child has selected. The voice used to describe
the Fripples and to tell the child when he has chosen the wrong Fripple for
the customer is reminiscent of an old game show or radio announcer type
voice. It is funny and stirs up excitement in the activity. The customers
are also very unusual characters who stir up excitement every time the door
is opened. Unfortunately, the customers do not move at all, even though the
Fripples are constantly moving. This takes away some from the realism of the
activity, but it is not a very big drawback.

At the lower challenge levels the child is given orders that include two
attributes, usually a color and some other choice. These orders always use
"AND" logic. As the challenge level increases, the orders grow to include
three attributes and begin to introduce "OR" and "NOT" logic. If the child
chooses the wrong Fripple, the voice tells the child that the decision was
wrong in an animated tone. If the child makes a wrong choice again, the
voice again announces that this is the wrong choice and a few Fripples are
removed. This continues until either the correct choice is made or the
correct Fripple is the only one left. After the correct Fripple is chosen,
he hops off his perch to the door. If the order came in by fax or phone, the
Fripple Shop truck is waiting outside the door. If the customer came to the
door to order then he or she is joined by the Fripple.

The Fripple Shop is challenging and interesting. Because the Fripples change
after each order is filled, the visual aspects of the activity are
constantly changing which helps to keep interest high. I think that the
voice used to describe the Fripples and guide the child when a wrong
selection is made adds a lot to the activity and keeps it exciting.

BLOX - Flying Spheres is a sort of three-dimensional palette for the child
to create moving works of art with floating colored spheres and music. This
activity is supposed to help children to develop their creativity without
putting the constraints of artistic ability on them. Judging by what I saw
in this activity, this should be very successful.

The spheres are already available in a variety of colors and there are ten
different  three-dimensional backgrounds, or fields, available at the push
of a button. The child is given tools to choose background types and colors,
musical clips and sphere movement. With fourteen different musical clips
available it is easy to find a type of music to match the child's creative
mood. I feel that the musical clips could be longer since they began to get
on my nerves with their repetitiveness after a while. However, it didn't
seem to affect my children in the same way. They seemed to hardly notice the
repetition. The "ideas" button brought up some very interesting creative
ideas that led to many other ideas once it was seen what could be
accomplished with the spheres.

The mouse cursor is used to select a sphere and drag it to the field. The
sphere can then be placed in motion or left standing still depending on the
speed and direction of the mouse. I had trouble getting the spheres to stand
still while trying to create different patterns. This could be a frustrating
problem for younger hands without a lot of mouse coordination. Although
there is a "freeze" button, it doesn't seem to affect spheres that are place
on the field after it is pressed. I found that it was easy to believe that I
was choreographing the motion of the spheres to the music when I got enough
spheres onto the field. This makes it simple for the child to believe that
he is making a truly choreographed work of art and should help to build
creative self -esteem. I wish that BLOX - Flying Spheres would allow
individual control of the spheres with the sphere motion buttons. That would
give the child even more artistic control over the finished work.

BLOX - Flying Spheres is an interesting foray into three-dimensional
creativity with something you would not normally consider very controllable
or artistic - floating bubbles. However, Flying Spheres pulls it off in a
fascinating way that will hold a child's attention for quite a while.

BLOX - Flying Shapes is similar to Flying Spheres.  It uses one single
background with a choice of three different sets of shapes.  Each shape has
its own unique sound which it would make when it was released and when it
hit the edge of the field. BLOX - Flying Shapes allows the child to create a
musical work of art again without the constraints of artistic ability. Here
the music or sounds come from the shapes themselves. The tools available in
Flying Shapes allow the child to resize the shapes and to put them into
motion in different ways. This was also possible through mouse cursor
control of the individual shapes. Again, it was difficult at times to hold
the shapes still when trying to create a form and this could be frustrating
for younger children. I would also like to see a button to hold creations
together when they are put into action. It is frustrating to spend time
putting a creation together only to see it turn into something completely
different when it reaches the edge of the field. The "ideas" button came up
with some extremely interesting creations and suggestions, sometimes more
tantalizing than those in Flying Spheres.

BLOX - Flying Shapes turned out to be a little flat and corny compared to
Flying Spheres but was still interesting. I don't know if it can hold the
interest of children as long as Flying Spheres might, but it is still an
entertaining learning activity. Plus, if it can build up creative self-
esteem in children, as I think it will, then it is worthy of its place in
Thinkin' Things.

Overall,  I found Thinkin' Things Collection 1 to be a very high quality
piece of software. It is colorful, graphically rich and very entertaining.
The sounds and music were of high quality and there were a great many
choices where choices were allowed. The interface was excellent. My children
could immediately begin using the program with very little input from me.
The play value was great but it was not outstanding.  I can see areas where
children may lose interest after short periods, especially in the "create"
modes in Oranga Banga and Feathered Friends. The educational value of this
software cannot be questioned, especially when it is so clearly explained to
you in the manual and in the Dear Parents area on the CD. Edmark says that
the purchase price is approximately $40. Although I suspect that it may be
possible to find Thinkin' Things Collection 1 on CD for less, even at $40
the program deserves a high Bang for the Buck rating. I don't think that my
kids will tire of this program anytime soon. Neither will I. What better
value is there than that? Thinkin' Things Collection 1 on CD tastefully
combines education and entertainment in a package that appeals to parents as
well as children. I think any parent can be proud to add this program to
their software collection.

                                   Ratings

                              Graphics ....... 9.5
                              Sounds ....... 9.0
                              Interface ........ 9.5
                              Play Value ..... 8.0
                              Educational Value .. 9.5
                              Bang for the Buck .. 9.5
                              Average ...... 9.17

                                    # # #
                                      
Our next writer didn't want to do her own bio, so I will write one for her.
Just as Chicago politicians pad their payrolls with relatives, I too, have
added a relative to the staff at STR (unfortunately, we don't get paid).
Donna is my sister.  She works for a major utility company.  After working a
hard eight hours, she glows!  She and her husband Doug have one son, Paul,
who plays guitar when he isn't being a student.  I won't give away my
sister's age by mentioning how long she has been married or the age of her
son!  During summer months she is  a golf widow.  (FORE!)  Donna has a great
affinity for animals and is currently training her Sheltie pup, Mickey.

She has a Gateway2000 computer system in her home office.  The office is
decorated with several black and white cows, naturally.  She has been doing
DeskTop Publishing for several years now.  She uses several major programs
including CorelDRAW and Microsoft Word to design cards, newsletters, resumes
and more.  Her latest acquisition is an HP ScanJet 4c.  Needless to say, she
is very serious about DTP.  When she makes a purchase, she tirelessly
researches competing products and will settle for nothing but the best.  In
the time-honored tradition of STR, she tells it like it is.  Her opinions
are always honest, clear and heartfelt.
                                      
                   CLICKART'S BUNDLE UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS CD ROM
                            Review by Donna Lines

Whether you use Windows or  Macintosh, you'll find just the right clip art
image to accent your holiday greetings on the ClickART Bundle Up for The
Holidays CD-ROM (T/Maker Co., Mountain View, CA).  This CD-ROM contains over
400 high-quality colorful  clip art images for Christmas, Chanukah, New
Years, Thanksgiving, Halloween and more.  ClickART has created 200 brand new
holiday images for 1995 and included their 1994 Holiday clip art as an added
bonus.

ClickART includes an image browser so you can see the images in full color
to help you select an image quickly and easily.  You can also import
directly from the CD in Windows Metafile format into any program that
accepts WMF images such as Print Artist (Sierra), CorelDRAW (Corel Corp.),
etc.  You can also use ClickART's familiar DOS-based image exporter to
export these images to your favorite software program that accepts any of
the following formats:  CGM, WMF, TIF, PCX, EPS, AI or Print Shop Deluxe
images.

ClickART also includes 20 True Type Fonts to add impact to your Holiday
message:

Aidan, Banco, Bangle Condensed, Bow, Brando, Engaged, England, Expose Thin
Condensed, Galant Extended, Glaze, Ironwork Wide, Jott 43, Lynda, Mythology,
New England Engraved, Persia, Revive 8, Sojourn, Terra,  and Viviene

The documentation is quite thorough with the exception that there are no
samples of the included True Type Fonts.  T/Maker offers full Technical
Support for this product.  There is something for everyone in this Holiday
Bundle.

IBM Compatible System Requirements for Windows and DOS:  286 or higher, CD-
ROM Drive, DOS 3.3 or higher, Windows 3.0 or higher.  (Windows 95
compatible).

Macintosh System Requirements:  68020 Processor or better, CD-ROM Drive.
Recommended:  4 MB Ram, 2 MB hard disk space, System 7.
                                      
                                    # # #
                                      
I hope that everyone enjoyed the festive Thanksgiving holiday.  Now we have
four weeks to work off this week's feast to prepare for that big Christmas
dinner.  ;-)  I'd appreciate comments on our new contributors and on my
regular writings as well.  Send e-mail to fsereno@matrix.uti.com.  As
always, I thank you for reading!

                                      

Dvorak Christmas Offer STR Infofile
                                      
                                      
        Dvorak Development, 385 S. Pierce Ave., Louisville, CO  80027
                Phone: (303) 661-0345   Fax:  (303) 661-0635
Ship To:
 Name of gift
recipient:__________________________________________________________

 E-mail address of orderer:_____________________  Ph# of
orderer:_____________________

 Recipient's
Address:____________________________________________________________


City/State/Zip:_____________________________________________________________
____

  Country:_______________________

NavCIS Pro for Windows and Windows 95:
     Quantity: ______  (Each NavCIS unit comes with a complete CompuServe
Starter Kit)
           NavCIS Pro Price:  $69.00*
                CompuServe Starter Kit:  FREE    Specify format:  CD-ROM:
___   3.5" Diskette: ___
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*You may also include OUI for an extra $19.00 (regularly $39.00.).   Incluge
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Msg:______________________________
                         (Example: To: Bobby  From: Dad  Message: Lots of
love -- see you on CompuServe!)

**Shipping and Handling:
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Method of Payment:
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Card Number:___________________________________  Expiration date: ____/____

Upgrade policy
Upgrades are FREE within a version series.  However we do not provide
upgrades on diskette, only via download.  Upgrades can be downloaded from
our CompuServe forum (GO DVORAK), or from our soon to be enabled Web site
and FTP site (http://www.dvorak.com and ftp.dvorak.com).

Sending your order to Dvorak Development
Thank you for your order.  Orders may be e-mailed to 71333,12.   If you are
concerned about security, please use fax or Snail Mail.  Orders may also be
placed over the phone to 303-661-0345.  We are open from 8:30am to 5:30pm
MST (GMT - 7, EST - 2, PST + 1) Mon. thru Fri.

Deadline
To ensure we have enough time to get this order either to you or to your
intended recipient, please e-mail or fax your order to us no later than:
USA, Dec. 17. International: Dec. 10.  We accept personal and company
checks.  All orders are shipped with an invoice enclosed.


                                      
                          The Office of the Future
             Fall 1995 Comdex Keynote Address- November 14, 1995
             Bill Gates, CEO and Chairman, Microsoft Corporation

MR. GATES: Good morning.
  It's great to be back at Comdex in Las Vegas.
     There are a lot of really big milestones this year. Microsoft
celebrated its 20th year anniversary. I turned forty years old. That means
for the majority of my life I've had the same job, same job title. When I
started out it was tough being young, I couldn't rent a car, people wanted
to have meetings in bars I couldn't go in.
     Now, I go into review meetings on the products, and these hip
programmers are making jokes about "Friends" and "ER" and things I just
don't understand, so maybe I'm a little too old. I told Jay Leno that I was
turning forty and he suggested that maybe I'm the Mick Jagger of the
software industry. And I'm still trying to figure out, is that a compliment
or what does that mean?
     Well, I could spend the next 60 minutes talking about Windows 95. So I
thought I'd ask, are there people here who have not heard of Windows 95?
          (Laughter)
     It looks like maybe we can stop running our ads now.
     What I do want to talk about is how personal computers have helped
knowledge workers. What have they done to make those jobs more effective?
     If we go back twenty years and we think about the earliest personal
computer, this MITS Altair with the paper tape BASIC, I think it's fair to
say that this did not help knowledge workers at all. It was a kid's
computer, you would go home at night, try and put the thing together, about
half the people who bought it actually successfully got it put together. The
programs would blink the lights. At best you could play tic-tac-toe, but it
was kind of a miracle that individuals could own a computer, and it was
fascinating to put it together and figure it out.
     Now, over the next several years, products did come along like Electric
Pencil or WordStar or VisiCalc. But I think we can say that it was really in
1981, with the advent of the IBM Personal Computer and Lotus 1-2-3 shipping
in 1982, that started to bring computers into the business world, where
people could think, "Hey, this will help us get our jobs done in a better
way."
     Another major milestone was in 1985, and this is when the Macintosh
came along and gave us the graphical interface. At first it was a little
slow, but it really became a foundation for the last decade of innovation.
Things like the integration that we've got now are really so far beyond what
we had back in 1985.
     The desktop productivity category, if you look at software publishing
data of all of the software sold on PC's, is 59 percent of all software
sold.
     The second biggest category is utilities, and most of those utilities
are to solve problems created by desktop application software.
     And so this is overwhelmingly the biggest thing going on the machines
that are sold into business. People are primarily using these applications.
Over 80 percent of the world's documents are now created with these
applications.
     The improvements of the last ten years have been evolutionary. Every
couple years there's a major new version, a lot of competition, and I think,
because of that evolutionary nature, it's easy to miss how far we've come.
Integration used to mean cut and paste. It didn't carry the font across or
any of the other attributes, but it was kind of a miracle. You could even
take the characters from one application to another.
     Now we not only preserve those things, but we support arbitrary objects
with the plug in architecture out there. Any applications, not only from one
company, can be pulled together in an integrated fashion. We have a great
deal of economization now making the screen look like what it wants. The
computer provides tips to help you out. There's been a very rapid shift over
the last three years towards buying office suites. During the last two
years, we've increased our number of Microsoft Office users by a factor of
four.
     And with that paradigm of letting those things work together,
documenting techniques in one way has brought a dramatic change.
     I can just give you a few personal examples of why I'm an excited user
of these products. A recent advance is this thing called Spell-It. As you're
typing your document, it puts a little red underline under any words that
look suspicious, that are misspelled, and, of course, you just use the right
mouse button, click, and it suggests how you might want to properly spell
the word.
     It's amazing how many words I've been misspelling all of these years.
Nobody ever told me. Maybe it's because of my job title or something. The
nice thing now is when I get mail from other people it automatically runs
Spell-It across what they're sending to me, so I can see the spelling errors
they're making too.
          (Laughter)
     Another big thing for me is WordMail. The ability to take all of the
richness I've got in the word processor -- revision marks, putting in an
outline, different text -- the fact that all day long I'm in the word
processor means I don't need to boot it up again when it's creating a
document or reading mail. I'm just there with all of that richness, which
means that I can use the advanced features, because that's the only text
editor that I need to work with.
     Another big thing for me is Pivot Tables. Whenever I'm going to visit a
country, I want to quickly look and say "How are the sales? How did their
sales compare to the United States? Where are they ahead of budget? Where
are they behind budget?" And the Pivot Table is a fantastic way of doing
that. You can look at it in different time periods, zoom in on detail, even
go into sub-regions of the country. And the contrast between trying to look
at printed information about sales data, just in one view that's always too
detailed to really figure out what's going on, versus having these Pivot
Tables is being able to mail them around, say to people, "Hey, what do you
think of this?" It's not an executive information system, where just a few
people are seeing it. Everybody is looking at the same data and talking
about the same results.
     Today we want to share a vision of where office software is going in
the years ahead. Some of the things we'll show will take us a couple major
releases to get to, but these are things that we're working on today that I
think are very exciting.
     We call this the personalized, connected office.
     A big part of this is going to be taking advantage of the revolution in
communications that's taking place right now.
     Of course, this means the Internet. The Internet is kind of like a gold
rush, the amount of excitement, the number of new companies, it's really
unbelievable. Now fortunately this is a gold rush where there really is
gold.
     It may be buried a little deeper than some people think, but the drops
in the price of communication, the fact that PC's everywhere will eventually
have very high speed data rates allowing them to work together, really will
have a fundamental impact. In fact, it will mean that our industry will be
changing the way people do business, the way they learn, and even the way
they entertain themselves, far more than I think people outside our industry
expect.
     The Internet, the breadth of its impact, really struck me a few days
ago when I was in downtown Seattle. I just had a meal and I was walking back
to my car, and somebody came up to me asking me for some money. I wasn't
quite sure what to do, but then this person mentioned that they have a URL,
and I thought whether they do or not, that's such a good line I gave the guy
$5.
          (Laughter)
     And, you know, for all I know this is a homeless guy who's got a home
page.
     The whole Internet thing, it's a little strange. I mean there's more
new magazines being started about the Internet than anything else. Here at
the show you go to booths, people are talking about the Internet. Why
doesn't the Internet itself allow those things to happen?
     Could the Internet ever be a way that the industry gets together and
shares things? Well, we've got a lot of work to do to make it be that kind
of vehicle, but this gold rush atmosphere is getting people to invest in
some great approaches and many of those will pay off and really deliver on
the promise that's out there.
     Now, it's always hard to talk about future software, and so what we've
done here is something that we tried before, and that is to make a little
movie, a little story that's set in the future where Office plays a role It
sort of provides the special effects for the story here.
          The setting is a small town called Kelseyville. This is the kind
of little town you might have gone to when you were young, and where there
was a nice resort. This town is faced with a bit of a dilemma, because the
resort that was the lifeblood of the town has been shut down, and now
they're trying to decide should they make it into a historic landmark, or
should they develop it into a shopping mall as a commercial development. So,
let's go and see how this story unfolds.
     (Act I of movie.)
     MR. GATES: What are we seeing here with Office so far? We've seen a
very deep level of integration. The first thing that happened was that
Martha went into her desktop and she had projects, four different projects
that she was able to choose from. The project contained all of the
customized information. There are the four projects, she picks up one, and
up it comes. It's a whole workspace, with business cards and documents. This
workspace happens to have the schedule open right now and is showing all of
the events, when she started working on the documents, when the documents
are due. It's very easy to get into, and you don't have to think about
particular applications or directories. All the data is there in one place.
     One of the documents, the most important one, is this proposal for the
shopping mall. And there we saw that information of all types were brought
together. We had a movie, we had sales projections, we had charts, and as we
saw her use that she was able to navigate very easily. Different files were
involved.
          (Refers to video of screen sequence.)
     This is a unified table of contents here. Over on the left it's like an
outline to go to the different pieces. You navigate through without ever
starting up a program or even knowing what's being invoked, so there's an
object architecture there, an integration of use interface to share across
all of those different document types.
     Finally, we had the idea of bringing time into the picture, integrating
your work with the schedule. You can go back in your calendar and see how on
a particular day what documents you edited, when you started, what you did,
and look at the version that you were working on that day. All of it's tied
into your different meeting times. The calendar can even blink when
something is due, like the document we see there. The Assistant, which is
down in the lower right there, is actually recommending that a meeting be
scheduled by looking at different business bits for all of the people
involved.
     All that's taking place across the Internet. All of the different
appointments are easy to pull together. It's the intelligent Assistant that
makes that easy. Looking forward in time and looking back, the journaling
keeps track of all of that history and makes it very accessible.
     (Act II of movie.)
     MR. GATES: Now, we've seen a number of cases where this idea of
IntelliSense has been taken to a new level. IntelliSense is watching how a
particular user works with documents, and therefore is able to suggest
things that are going to be helpful. A first example we saw of that was as
the mall document was being put together, the Assistant suggested that maybe
the author would like to look out on the Internet and find related
documents. By having natural language technology, you can find the proper
nouns, you can know what the context of the documents is and you can
highlight exactly those words and use those for a rich kind of search.
          (Refers to video of screen sequence.)
     After that search was done we went out and we were able to find a
couple of things and they're marked according to a little summary, including
whether it requires a license fee to use those documents. Of course, you can
easily drag and drop those things and either link to them or use a portion
of those documents in terms of what you want to create. Another thing we saw
was a meeting taking place where the personal computer, through presentation
software, was being used along with audio conferencing, and so we had the
new kind of simultaneous voice data modem.
     At the end of the meeting, the Assistant asked, "What about the meeting
summary? Should it be sent to other people? Should it be just the action
items?" And that was all done very automatically. In fact, the meeting
summary highlighted different things, and no effort was required. You can
see the names here are linked so you can send e-mail to those people, and
any of the documents that were used would be referenced there as well. So
it's a case where you really get automatic help as you go along.
     (Act III of movie.)
     MR. GATES: Well, here we've used the Internet a couple of different
times to do important things. In the previous act we actually went out and
created an on line version of the document and were able to look at that.
And so we call up a dialog box that we'll see here that lets us go out and
have that online edition. We could register it in various directories, such
as Lycos, and we could notify the registered readers so they would have mail
in their inbox telling them that there's a new document out there.
     (Refers to video of screen sequence.)
     Another thing we saw was the meeting between Bob and Stan, and here
they're working together, and there's something very important here which is
that they didn't have to learn any new applications. They didn't have to
learn any new commands. They were simply using Word and working on the same
document.
     They didn't have to define roles for each other. It simply showed them
the two different cursors that were in the document, and either of them
could go to the same section of the document, and they could each edit at
the same time. That kind of collaboration across the Internet can work very,
very easily with today's applications and nothing extra to learn. And, of
course, this can extend to all of the different applications that people
work with.     Well, our story is moving towards a quick climax, so let's
get back and see how it wraps up.
     (Act IV of movie.)
     MR. GATES: Well, we've got this very complex meeting taking place and
different people want to make comments and have side conversations. You're
presenting rich types of information, so that the town planners are able to
make little annotations to each other. As the questions come in, they're
logged together with the slides so that you can go back and the moderator
can select the right one, really making this kind of event work well, even
allowing people who aren't at the meeting to watch as it goes on and later
to come back and capture some of the dynamics of what took place there.
Multiple streams of input again are being integrated together, bringing the
rich kind of conferencing that can make these meetings more effective.
     Another thing that we saw here was the idea of customization. The
mayor, Alice, had a third party component that was plugged in that let her
see traffic data in a nice map view. She was able to customize that, pull
the data in which was probably in an Excel table, and pull it up onto her
map. She could then simulate what this new traffic pattern might look like
there and see that there was really a problem. You've got lots of end user
customization, allowing you to see data in a very new way.
     (Closing act of movie.)
     MR. GATES: We saw a number of pieces there that define our vision of
this personalized, connected office. We saw the advance in integration,
eliminating the idea of the independent applications. We saw a great
exploitation of the Internet, so that inside a company information is easily
available and it also breaks down the boundaries between a company and its
customers, or between a company and its vendors. All of the information is
there, easily viewable, easy to collaborate in creating.
     We saw big advances in IntelliSense where the user tells us what their
preferences are and we see over time exactly what they're doing in helping
them out.
     We saw big advances in natural language. That's an area where for
almost a decade we've been making major investments, and just now the speed
of the machines, the size of the memory, all of the elements have come
together with this new software to allow us to bring this into the office
and allow it to be more effective.
     And, finally, we saw a component architecture where people use the
pieces that they're interested in, including the ability to plug new things
in that leverage off of the richness that the Office platform is able to
provide.
     Now, there's a number of enabling pieces that have to come into this
besides the software. We do need faster processors. Fortunately, we have
Moore's Law working for us as well as billions in investments that the chip
industry is making. So, in the next few years we will have speed that's more
than adequate for everything we saw.
     We also want the presentation to be easier to work with, the animation,
the motion video. And so the graphics capability has got to improve, and
that's on a very fast track as well.
     Some of these new input techniques will also be important. The video
camera that lets you video conference, and it will also let you make
gestures that the Office software can understand. Voice input, pen input, we
believe those are all complimentary to the keyboard which will continue to
be a primary way of getting lots of text into the system.
     Now, to make using all of this easy, the communications hardware is
going to have to be built in. There's many different generations of
communications. Within an office in the local area network, we're moving up
to a hundred megabit speeds and we're getting the kind of quality of service
guarantees that allow you to pass audio and video across that local area
network. But the hard problem is when you move to the wide area network and
you're trying to reach out to other people, what kind of connectivity do you
have?
     If we just use today's phone system with modems, that's what we call
narrowband. Sort of the ultimate speed we'll get out of that is about 28.8
KB that's moving into the mainstream. But an important characterization to
it is the simultaneous voice data, DSVD, and that really lets you know
whether it's discussing a contract or getting product support or ordering
something out of the catalog. It really makes it far more social and yet
gives you the richness of the computer display as part of that conversation,
and being able to hook up those connections by finding a Web page and saying
that you want some advice, you want someone to talk to you. That will all
become very seamless now.
     We also need to take narrowband communication out and make it easily
available on a wireless basis for people who are working in a mobile
fashion, and that will take a couple more years before the infrastructure is
in place.
     During that same time period, though, we expect a very rapid move to
the next generation that we call mid-band. We're very excited about ISDN.
The ease of setup is improving. The price of the hardware is coming down,
the monthly charges are coming down, and ISDN, because it's about five times
faster, really makes a qualitative difference.
     Today those images that seem a little bit slow out on the Internet will
be very, very snappy. Still image performance at midband is really, really
excellent.
     Another flavor of midband that's not quite as far along but will also
be important, is the cable modem, taking the coaxial infrastructure that the
cable TV companies built for broadcast video and using that to tie your PC
in at data rates about the same as ISDN, or perhaps even a little bit
better.
     At midband, we can do some video capability, but it's a little bit like
still images are in narrowband. It works, but it's not perfect. For example,
you wouldn't want to watch a movie sitting there with a midband connection.
For a business meeting it works, and I think it would be very popular.
     The ultimate is still broadband, and that means providing data rates of
several megabits or more. Now, this has been the Holy Grail of the so-called
information superhighway. A couple years ago some communication companies
were really talking about how many millions of people they'd connect up in
the next few years. Well, a little bit of reality has snuck in here and
they're realizing that the revenue opportunity for connecting broadband up
to homes is going to take quite some time to develop. The prices have got to
come down. The applications have to be far better than they are today.
     And so the concrete evolution is moving towards midband, and then using
that as the base point to eventually get to broadband. Broadband will
happen, and it will be important. Using technologies like the optic fiber,
asynchronous transfer mode and ADSL. We've got that in front of us but not
as a revolutionary step, not as a big bang, simply as something that we'll
move to step by step.
     Now, the goal of all of the things we've been talking about is to
empower users. We want people to have more effective meetings, to have fewer
meetings, to be more in touch with the things they want to do.
     If you look back ten years ago to somebody writing a Ph.D. thesis,
using a Selectric typewriter, hiring somebody to do that, and compare what
that will be like as this round of Office comes around, where you've got the
richness of the Internet, you can send out versions to your reviewers, get
their comments and organize things very easily.
     Imagine a small business person who wants to just focus on particular
tasks. They can be alerted when their financial data shows something that's
out of line, be alerted when a customer has a request. Small business people
will be able to connect to this electronic world on an equal basis with
large businesses, and the authoring tools they'll use, they'll want to work
for online and in the print world simultaneously, so we want to take all of
the learning that's been done on these tools and carry that over.
     We need better decision-making, the kind of Pivot Table connection to
database, ways of visualizing information and passing that around. This
process will help all businesses, particularly large businesses where
coordination is a major, major issue.
     We also create flexibility. People can work wherever they are and be in
touch, whether it's somebody who wants to do tele-commuting, work out of
their house, work part-time, be a consultant, or whether it's a sales person
out on the road who wants to make sure they know the status of orders who
wants to be able to communicate back to headquarters ideas and customer
information very easily.
     All of that will be enabled by office productivity software, so I hope
you can tell I'm very excited about this future vision. It really is
something the whole industry needs to pull together the pieces for. Better
hardware here for the desktop applications part of the market that's the
majority of PC sales, better software from lots and lots of companies,
better communications infrastructure, and perhaps most importantly, the
solution providers, the people who have provided the consulting and
training, and take these standardized building blocks and put them together
in a way that's meaningful for the incredible variety of uses that are out
there.
     I really think this is an incredible opportunity for all of us.
     Thank you.
  (Applause)


c 1995 Microsoft Corporation
You  can  order a video of the Bill Gates 1995 Comdex keynote address  (Part
No.  098-63020)  and the accompanying whitepaper (Part No.  098-63022)  from
Microsoft by calling 1-800-426-9400.



                                  Stonekeep
                              The Wait is Over!
                           The Experience Begins!!

STONEKEEP FAQ Version 0.1

by Doug Swarin

Please note that this version of the FAQ is highly preliminary, as I have
not yet completed the game (and will have to run through it a few more times
to get a complete FAQ).

[0.0] Index

[1.0] Information about Stonekeep
[1.1] What is Stonekeep?
[1.2] Who makes it?
[1.3] What kind of a game is it?
[1.4] When will it be out?
[1.5] What kind of system does it
require?
[1.6] Are there any known bugs?

[2.0] Hints and Frequently Asked Questions
[2.1] Miscellaneous Hints
[2.2] How do I get magick?
[2.3] How do I open the sliding
walls in the Sewers?
[2.4] How do I drain the Sewers?
[2.5] How do I get to the
Underlands?
[2.6] How do I find the Faerie
Realm?
[2.7] Level Connection Diagram


[3.0] Tactics and Gameplay
[3.1] Combat and the Stonekeep
Dance
[3.2] Companions
[3.3] Friends
[3.4] Enemies
[3.5] Mannish Runes
[3.6] Faerie Runes
[3.7] Throggish Runes
[3.8] Meta Runes
[3.9] Normal Items
[3.10] Magickal Items
[3.11] Runecasters
[3.12] Special Items
[3.13] The Orbs


[4.0] Spoilers
[4.1] Entrance to Stonekeep
[4.2] First Level of Ruins of
Stonekeep
[4.3] Second Level of Ruins of
Stonekeep
[4.4] Sewers Beneath Stonekeep
[4.5] First Level of Sharga Mines
[4.6] Second Level of Sharga Mines
[4.7] Entrance to the Temple of
Throggi
[4.8] Temple of Throggi
[4.9] First Level of Feeding
Grounds
[4.10] Second Level of Feeding
Grounds
[4.11] Dwarven Clanhall
[4.12] Faerie Realm
[4.13] Caverns of Ice
[4.14] Gate of the Ancients
[4.15] The Pits
[4.16] Palace of Shadows
[4.17] First Level of Tower of
Shadows
[4.18] Unknown (Temple of Thera?)
[4.19] Second Level of Tower of
Shadows
[4.20] Third Level of Tower of
Shadows
[4.21] Fourth Level of Tower of
Shadows
[4.22] Lair of the Dark Dwarves



[5.0] Other Stuff
[5.1] Notes
[5.2] Credits
[5.3] Copyright


[1.0]
                          Questions about Stonekeep
[1.1] What is Stonekeep?
Stonekeep  is  an  interactive fantasy computer role-playing  game,  if  you
believe  in such mouthfuls. It's been in development for five years and  has
become  a  legend  among those who are waiting for it.  It  uses  step-based
movement  and  the  characters are a combination of  computer  graphics  and
costumed actors.
[1.2] Who makes it?
Stonekeep is made by Interplay. One of the chief designers is Chris  Taylor,
who can be found on the internet as anarchy@netcom.com.
[1.3] What kind of a game is it?
Stonekeep  is  a role-playing game, embodying combat, character development,
and puzzle elements.
[1.4] When will it be out?
Stonekeep  arrived in stores on November 8th, 1995. If you're  reading  this
FAQ, it's available.
[1.5] What kind of system does it require?
Stonekeep  requires a 486 system with at least 8 megs of ram and  a  single-
speed CD-ROM drive. VGA and SVGA are supported. The recommended system is  a
486/66 or higher with 16 megs of ram and a double-speed CD-ROM drive.
[1.6] Are there any known bugs?
Of course there are. Wahooka sometimes refuses to appear on the second level
of  the  Ruins of Stonekeep when you have things to give him. This bug  does
not markedly affect gameplay. Iaenni's speeches are not captioned, which can
be  a  problem if you have sound off or are deaf. Also, you MUST finish  the
Faerie  realm before going on to the Ice Caverns and freeing Enigma. If  you
free  Enigma first, he will leave your party and you will be unable to enter
the  faerie realm without game problems. Lastly, if you have all  nine  orbs
and  die,  sometimes  when you attempt to reload  you  get  an  error  about
LEVER_UP.MSP not found in file GROUP16.
[2.0]
                    Hints and Frequently Asked Questions

[2.1] Miscellaneous Hints

[2.2] How do I get magick?
You'll  need to find a runecaster. The first one is on the second  level  of
Stonekeep, in Mage-Icarius' laboratory. You'll need to find both  the  ivory
and iron keys on this level to get in. There's also a mana circle there.
[2.3] How do I open the sliding walls in the Sewers?
You'll  need to find one of the cylinders in the sewers. You'll notice  that
Drake stubs his toe when you are in the same square as one.
[2.4] How do I drain the Sewers?
You'll  need to find both cylinders to drain the sewers. Note that  some  of
the enemies in the sewers cannot be killed until it has been drained.
[2.5] How do I enter the Underlands?
You'll need to get the Dragon Statuette from the three-tentacled monster  in
the sewers, which cannot be killed until they have been drained. There is an
illusionary  wall  in  the  sewers near where you find  the  three-tentacled
monster.  You'll  need Farli to get you through the locked  door  after  the
illusionary  wall, and then place the Dragon Statuette on  the  pedestal  to
open the way.
[2.6] How do I find the Faerie Realm?
In  the  second  level of the Feeding Grounds, there are many  purple  blobs
floating around. Find a primrose and drop it in the square where the  faerie
glows  teleport out to open a gate to the Faerie Realm. You'll need to  have
freed Vermatrix Goldenhide in order to get very far in the Faerie Realm.
[2.7] Level Connection Diagram
A A. Entrance to the Ruins of Stonekeep BB B.
Ruins of Stonekeep,
Level 1 CCC C. Ruins of Stonekeep,
Level 2 D| D. Sewers Beneath Stonekeep
EE E. Sharga Mines, Level 1 FF F.
Sharga Mines, Level 2 GG G.
Entrance to the Temple HH H.
Temple of Throggi III I.
Feeding Grounds, Level 1 J|JJ J.
Feeding Grounds, Level 2 K|| K.
Dwarven Clanhall L| L.
Faerie Realm MM M.
Caverns of Ice NNN N.
Gate of the Ancients O| O.
The Pits PP P.
Palace of Shadows Q-Q---Q Q.
Tower of Shadows, Level 1 | | R.
Unknown (Temple of Thera?) SS | S.
Tower of Shadows, Level 2 TT | T.
Tower of Shadows, Level 3 UU| U.
Tower of Shadows, Level 4 V V.
Lair of the Dark Dwarves

[3.0]
                       Combat and the Stonekeep Dance

[3.1] Combat and the Stonekeep Dance

The  Stonekeep  Dance is the best method for killing enemies  up  until  the
Palace  of  Shadows. Throw axes and daggers, run past,  pick  them  up,  and
repeat. If you have a crossbow or bow, use that instead of throwing the axes
and  daggers.  Usually  you  can make quick work of  most  opponents  except
Throgs. Throgs take patience and good reflexes to kill.
Later   in  the  game,  killing  stuff  with  weapons  becomes  increasingly
ineffective.  The best tactic I've found so far is to boost  up  a  firebolt
rune  and make sure you have at least a magic skill of four so it only costs
1 mana for a firebolt + potency + double-power + area effect rune. Then just
hurl  them at your opponents. If there is a mana circle nearby, this  tactic
is  incredibly effective and wonderfully quick (except for trips back to the
mana  circle). If there is no mana circle nearby, make sure to conserve your
mana  carefully. Note that your companions have unlimited mana, and  enigma,
Sparkle,  and  Wahooka  have  long-range attack capability  (which  is  very
helpful). Farli also hurls firebombs, but only rarely.
The  only enemies that can go through doors are the floating skulls  in  the
Palace  of Shadows. I haven't found anything else that can. A good technique
is  to open a door and shoot or throw through it at your opponents to soften
them up or kill them.
[3.2] Companions
Farli (Dwarf): Farli is the first companion you will find, very trustworthy,
and a good fighter who will get better as time passes.
Karzak (Dwarf): Karzak is an excellent fighter but has no equipment when you
find  him. Make sure to give him some equipment because he is very effective
in the stages of the game where you will have him.
Dombur  (Dwarf): Dombur is not a very good fighter, but knows much  valuable
information and will construct the Stoneshooter for you later in  the  game.
Also, he is Farli's brother and must be rescued from the Temple of Throggi.
Skuz  (Sharga): Skuz is a coward, a wimp, and fun to listen to. He also  has
some  good  advice to give, and actually gets to be a decent  fighter  after
some work on his skills.
Sparkle  (Faerie): Sparkle is a decent fighter and casts  many  healing  and
protective spells. If you are injured and have Sparkle along, simply wait  a
short  time  and  she will heal you up to the yellow range  on  your  health
indicator (80-100 hp).
Enigma (Elf): Enigma is very knowledgeable and an excellent fighter in  both
hand-to-hand  and  magick. Make sure you get him before you  leave  the  Ice
Caverns.
Wahooka  (Who  knows?): Wahooka is sarcastic, annoying, and hurls  fireballs
with  great  delight. Make sure you have him with you as long  as  you  can,
because he's great to have in combat.
[3.3] Friends
The Dwarves
Dwarven Elder: I forget this guy's name. However, you'll need to talk to him
once you get to the Clanhall.
Dwarven  Smith: You'll need to help this guy out to get him  to  repair  the
broken key to free Vermatrix Goldenhide.
Vermatrix  Goldenhide: Ruler of Dragons, Vermatrix is trapped in the  second
level  of the Feeding Grounds. You'll need to repair the very sturdy key  to
free her from her chains.
The  Faeries Sweetie and Surly Winkle, Binkle, Giggle, Chuckle,  Snort,  and
Murph Iaenni, Queen of the Fae
Others
Skrag:  Skrag  is  the leader of the Sharga Freedom League.  Make  sure  you
listen to him.
[3.4] Enemies
Khull-Khuum, the Shadowking: He's big, he's bad, and he has an  ugly  helmet
that looks like it came out of a scrap metal shop. Avoid this guy.
Ants  Sharga Green Slimes Snakes Ugly Three-Tentacled Things Deadly  Flowers
Throgs  Trolls  Skeletons  Flying  Skulls Undead  Warriors  Fire  Elementals
Spinning Spikes
[3.5] Mannish Runes
Firebolt:  This hurls a small Firebolt. It's not very powerful, but  if  you
boost  it  with  the doubling rune, potency rune, and area effect  rune,  it
makes a nice double explosion that does decent damage.
Curing: This is a low-power healing rune that only restores health.
Silence:  I  have  never effectively used this rune,  however  I  assume  it
prevents opponents from casting spells.
Languages: Casting this rune on yourself will allow you to read writing that
would otherwise be incomprehensible.
Spoilspell: Use as a counterspell or to grant magic resistance.
Mark  Location: You must mark a location with this rune before you  can  use
the  Translocate (Homing) rune to go back there. The square you  attempt  to
mark must be empty.
Translocate:  This will return you to the square you marked  with  the  Mark
Location  rune. Note that you can only have one location marked at  any  one
time. If you mark a new location, the old mark will vanish.
Scare: Causes enemies to flee.
Armor: This is a decent protective spell against non-ranged attacks.
Healing:  This is a more powerful healing spell that also cures  poison  and
other afflictions.
Wind: Hurls a tornado. Also useful for dusting surfaces. I haven't tried  it
on the dust in the Tower of Shadows however.
Icebolt: This rune hurls an Icebolt. If you increase the power on this  rune
it will freeze the enemy into a statue temporarily.
Warmth:  Use  this  rune to thaw an ice statue without angering  the  person
trapped inside. I've only found two ice statues, those of Enigma and  Nigel.
Nigel will show you where to find Cold Fire.
Rune  of  Cold: I haven't figured out what this rune does yet. However,  the
scroll  it  was on was very cold, so I assume it has something  to  do  with
that.
[3.6] Faerie Runes
Featherfall:  This  rune  will prevent the affected  person  from  suffering
damage by falling down a pit. Usually not worth the effort of casting.
Shrink:  Use this rune on Marif's Orb in the Palace of Shadows to shrink  it
to a manageable size. I've never tried it on an opponent, but it might work.
You  get this from a treasure chest past Vermatrix Goldenhide. This  is  the
only rune you really need to complete the game.
Invisibility: This rune will make your entire party invisible. I haven't had
much opportunity to try it out but I assume monsters will ignore you.
Murphy's  Rune: Murph in the Faerie Realm will give you this rune.  I  don't
know  what  it does, but it either slows down the target or makes everything
go wrong for them, depending on how you interpret the hints.
[3.7] Throggish Runes
Strength: This rune temporarily increases your strength.
Flame:  This  rune will engulf the square in front of you with a  pillar  of
fire.  I haven't found it very useful, but note that the Throg shamans  have
it too and delight in using it.
Shield: This rune protects you against ranged attacks for a period of time.
Energybolt: This rune damages an opponent, and if increased power  is  used,
it will stun them temporarily.
Stoptrack: Use this rune to paralyze a target, or at least prevent them from
approaching you. I haven't tried it out yet.
[3.8] Meta Runes
Potency: This will decrease the target's magic resistance.
Double Power: This will double the power of the spell it is applied to.
Increased  Duration: This will increase the duration  of  the  spell  it  is
applied to. I don't know what it would do on an instant spell.
Area Effect: This rune will make a single-target spell affect everything  in
a square.
[3.9] Normal Items
Healthy Root: Eating one of these will heal you slightly.
Very  Healthy  Root:  Eating one of these will give you  a  decent  dose  of
healing.
Musty Smelling Root: I've never eaten one of these.
Oil  Flasks:  Throwing one of these will make a nice explosion.  Farli  also
seems to carry around a secret supply.
Keys  and  the  Keyring: The keyring is in a chest on the  second  level  of
Stonekeep. It's a VERY useful item. I have found the following keys so far:
Brass Key
Bronze Key
Steel Key
Ivory Key (2 types)
Iron Key
Throggish Key (2 types)
Very Sturdy Key (2 types)
Lion Key
Eagle Key
I  have  probably  missed  one  or  two  keys,  so  don't  take  this  as  a
comprehensive list.
                              Armor and Weapons
There  are  lots of these. Daggers and throwing axes are very nice  weapons,
along  with the crossbow. I have never used the short bow or either type  of
arrows  so  I  don't know how effective they are. Arrows and  bolts  can  be
thrown in an emergency however.
[3.10] Magickal Items
Blue Vial: This is a weak healing potion.
Blue Potion: This is a healing potion.
Blue Decanter: This is a powerful healing potion.
Light Green Potion: This grants an agility enchantment.
Dark Green Potion: This grants a strength enchantment.
Red Mushroom: This grants both strength and agility enchantments.
Green Mushroom: This cures poison and other conditions.
Spotted Mushroom: Unknown.
Magickal Rings: You can wear up to four rings. I have only found three types
of rings, however:
Magick Armor Ring
Ring of Poison Resistance
Luckstone Ring

I usually wear two armor rings and one each of the other types. The only
place to get a luckstone ring is from Iaenni.
Mechanomagickal Stoneshooter: The dwarven version of a machine  gun,  Dombur
will  assemble this for you once you bring him the three missing parts found
in  the Feeding Grounds. It's not a very effective weapon, however, it  does
fire very fast.
Magickal Armor and Weapons: So far I have found a very sharp dagger, a stone
weapon  from  Throggi, and some magickal armor and shields. There's  also  a
sword  made of ice and a warhammer which may be magicakal. Magickal throwing
axes  make excellent weapons. Just before entering the Gate of the  Ancients
there is a full suit of magickal plate armor and helmet.
[3.11] Runecasters
Runewand: Found in Mage-Icarius' laboratory, this runecaster has 2 slots and
holds a maximum of 25 mana points.
Runesceptre: Found in the second level of the Sharga Mines, this  runecaster
has 3 slots and holds a maximum of 40 mana points.
Throggish  Runecaster: Found on Gorda Karn's corpse, this runecaster  has  4
slots and holds a maximum of 40 mana points.
Elfstaff: Found in the troll area of the Faerie Realm, this runecaster has 5
slots and holds a maximum of 60 mana points.
Silver  Runestaff: Found in a secret room behind the Gate  of  the  Ancients
(when  the  gate is in front of you, turn right, go forward, turn  left,  go
forward, turn left, go forward, turn right, go forward), this runecaster has
6 slots and holds a maximum of 99 mana points.
[3.12] Special Items
Cylinders: Use the cylinders in the drain switches to open the sliding walls
in  the  sewers and to drain the sewers. You'll need to find both under  the
water  in  the sewers. Drake will tell you that he has stubbed his toe  when
you enter the square with one.
Dragon  Statue: You'll need to place the Dragon Statue on a special pedestal
to  open the gate to the Underlands. The three-tentacled thing in the sewers
has the statue.
Throggish  Pendant: Gorda Karn has the Throggish Pendant. It will allow  you
to enter the inner sanctum of the Temple of Throggi.
Four-Leaf  Clover:  You'll need this to see and attack  the  trolls  in  the
Faerie  Realm. Without it, you have no chance whatsoever. Sweetie will  give
it to you after you free Vermatrix Goldenhide.
Cold Fire: This is hidden behind a weak wall in the Caverns of Ice. You must
throw it at the Ice Queen to have any chance of defeating her.
Silver Light: I don't know if this is an item or something else, however the
Gargoyle at the Tower of Shadows tells you that it will keep the shadows  at
bay. I haven't found it yet - enemies in the Tower are very difficult.
[3.13] The Orbs
Khull-Khuum's  Orb:  I  don't  know if this one  even  exists.  It  probably
doesn't, but it's here for completeness.
Helion's Orb: The Ice Queen has Helion's Orb. I haven't yet figured out it's
function  though. It makes cool red sparkles when you drop it on the  ground
in front of you, though.
Aquila's Orb: Aquila's Orb is very nice to have. It heals everyone  in  your
party completely when used. I'm not sure of how often it can be used, or  if
it  just has a limited number of charges. So far, every time I have used  it
it  has delivered. I forget where it is found, but it's relatively close  to
the beginning.
Thera's  Orb:  You'll  find  Thera's Orb at the pinnacle  of  the  Tower  of
Shadows,  right  behind the Shadowking. I haven't yet figured  out  what  it
does, however.
Azrael's  Orb: This orb is the red eye in the Statue of Throggi.  I  haven't
figured out what it does yet, however.
Marif's  Orb: Marif's Orb is in the Palace of Shadows. After you  place  the
Yin-Yang  symbol in one of the two slots, a door will open to the hall  with
Marif's Orb. You'll need to use the Shrink spell on it to get it down  to  a
manageable size. Marif's Orb gives you both physical and spiritual strength,
allowing you to pass certain barriers.
Safrinni's  Orb: Safrinni's Orb is in the Pits underneath the  Gate  of  the
Ancients.  Using its power allows you to rise up through a pit. You'll  need
to use it to get to the Gate of the Ancients.
Yoth-Soggoth's Orb: Yoth-Soggoth's Orb is in the Faerie Realm, guarded by  a
troll  shaman.  Using  this  orb  will  completely  recharge  all  of   your
runecasters.  Like  Aquila's Orb, I'm not sure of  the  limitations  on  its
usage.
Kor-Soggoth's  Orb:  This  orb is right next to the  Shadowking  along  with
Thera's.  I  haven't yet figured out if it has any powers, but I believe  it
grants  magical  resistance. It will prevent the  Shadowking's  soul-binding
spells from working on you.
Afri's  Orb:  Afri's  Orb is in the first level of the Ruins  of  Stonekeep,
right next to the two big Sharga with the steel key. Placing the orb on  the
ground  in  front of you will generate a map of the area around you  -  very
useful for locating illusionary walls and stuff like that.

[4.0]
                                  Spoilers
[4.1] Entrance to Stonekeep
Fountains  of  Thera: None. Mana Circles: None. Exits to  other  areas:  Two
stairways to the first level.
You  start  the game here. Poke around and make sure to pick up the  weapons
and armor in the chest before descending to the first level.
[4.2] First Level of Ruins of Stonekeep
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits  to other areas: Two stairways to the entrance. Two stairways  to  the
second level.
There are two very difficult sharga near the end of this level. The only way
to  defeat them is to throw the oil flasks at them. Make sure you save  your
game  first in case you miss. If they are still alive after the firebombing,
throw daggers at them.
[4.3] Second Level of Ruins of Stonekeep
Fountains of Thera: One, along the eastern edge towards the south.
Mana Circles: One, in the southwest.
Exits  to other areas: Two stairways to the first level. Three stairways  to
the sewers. One stairway to the Sharga Mines.
There  are  three illusionary walls on this level. In addition, you'll  find
Farli  in  a  cell in the southern portion of this level, next to  the  room
where  you find the ivory key. Get him with you as soon as possible, because
he  makes a BIG difference. Also, Wahooka shows up for the first time  here.
Don't get him irked at you, since you'll need his help later in the game.
[4.4] Sewers Beneath Stonekeep
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: One, in the southwest corner.
Exits to other areas: Three stairways to the second level.
Wahooka  will  show up on this level, and ask you to find him the  heads  of
three  men long dead. Give him three skulls when he asks you for the  heads,
and in return he will give you a triangle key which you will need later.
You  cannot  defeat  the three-tentacled beast until you  have  drained  the
sewers.

[4.5] First Level of Sharga Mines
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits  to other areas: One stairway to Stonekeep. One stairway to the second
level.
Make  sure  to rescue Karzak here. He's an excellent warrior and makes  some
helpful comments.
[4.6] Second Level of Sharga Mines
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits  to other areas: One stairway to the first level. One stairway to  the
Temple Entrance.
To get the Ettin's key, you'll need to throw rocks to break the barrels from
outside the room, then sneak past the Ettin and loot the chest. Don't  enter
the Ettin's square or throw anything at him, or you'll regret it.
[4.7] Entrance to the Temple of Throggi
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: One, in the northwest.
Exits to other areas: One stairway to the Sharga Mines. One stairway to  the
Temple of Throggi.
When you reach the door that asks for a password, keep attempting to go  in.
The  third time's the charm. Once inside, don't attack any of the  Sharga  -
they're friendly.

[4.8] Temple of Throggi
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits  to other areas: One stairway to the Temple Entrance. One stairway  to
the Feeding Grounds.
You'll  need to kill Gorda Karn to get the Throggish Pendant and then  enter
the  inner  sanctum to get to the Statue of Throggi. Make  sure  you  rescue
Dombur  before you enter the inner sanctum. Once you reach the statue (there
are  five guards to kill), take the RED eye and ONE of the weapons. Any more
and the statue will kill you.
[4.9] First Level of Feeding Grounds
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: One, in the north.
Exits to other areas: One stairway to the Temple of Throggi. Three stairways
to the second level. One stairway to the Dwarven Clanhall.
Find one half of the key to free Vermatrix Goldenhide here.
You'll  need  feathers  from a Throg Shaman to pass  by  the  runes  without
injury. There's a Throg Shaman behind one rune in the south. Heal up  before
and after going through.
[4.10] Second Level of Feeding Grounds
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: Two, one in the west and one in the southwest.
Exits  to  other areas: Three stairways to the first level. One stairway  to
the Ice Caverns. One magical gate to the Faerie Realm.
The  other half of the key to free Vermatrix Goldenhide is in a chest to the
north  of this level. Magickal flint is to the west of Vermatrix, but you'll
need  the  magickal chisel to get it. The smith in the dwarven clanhall  can
repair the key for you.
[4.11] Dwarven Clanhall
Fountains of Thera: One, in the east.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits to other areas: One stairway to the Feeding Grounds.
You'll  need  to  make several trips to the Fountain of Thera  to  kill  the
undead warrior. Once you kill him you can take the stuff from the chest that
the dwarven elder has.
The dwarves will leave you once you enter, however, Karzak will join up with
you again. Farli won't return until the Palace of Shadows.
[4.12] Faerie Realm
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits to other areas: One magical gate to the Feeding Grounds.
You'll  need  a  lot of patience and forbearance to get through  the  Faerie
Realm. The faeries can be *TOTALLY* annoying. Make sure to note where  every
Faerie is so you can return to them with the objects they want.
You'll  need to put on a faerie hat to get through the invisible barrier  to
Iaenni. I don't know if there is anything else you need to do. You can  talk
to her three times, once after giving her the picture and once after leaving
and  fooling with the big brown thing just south of her. Be warned that  her
speech  isn't  captioned, so you'll need to listen  carefully.  I'll  put  a
transcript here if someone supplies one for me.
[4.13] Caverns of Ice
Fountains of Thera: None, however there is a one-use fountain of healing and
a Sharga healer who will sometimes heal you.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits  to other areas: One stairway to the Feeding Grounds. One stairway  to
the Gate of the Ancients.
Find  the runescroll off to the south and bring it back to the Sharga shaman
for  the warming rune among others (she will give you four runes total). Use
the warming rune to free Enigma and Nigel.
[4.14] Gate of the Ancients
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: One, in a secret room behind the Gate of the Ancients.
Exits  to other areas: One stairway to the Ice Caverns. A bunch of  pits  to
the Pits. The Gate of the Ancients to the Palace of Shadows.
This level is eerily empty and full of all kinds of nasty traps. Be careful.
You'll  need  to  go up and down a lot to finish it. Search every  wall  for
buttons and illusions.
There's  an awesome cinematic when you go through the Gate of the  Ancients.
Be ready. And save your game before you go in, since it's a one way trip.
[4.15] The Pits
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: One, near where you find Safrinni's Orb.
Exits to other areas: A bunch of ladders to the Gate of the Ancients.
You'll  need to fall down a pit onto a pressure plate to open the passageway
to  Safrinni's Orb. Simply walking over it won't trigger the wall  to  open.
Once you find the orb, use it to rise out of the pit in the room you are in.
You'll  need  to  find both the Lion Key and the Eagle Key  to  finish  this
level. One of the keys is in a fire, so you'll need to burn yourself to  get
it out.
[4.16] Palace of Shadows
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits to other areas: One magical gate to the Tower of Shadows.
This  place is eerie and nasty. Once you enter, there's no going back.  Make
sure you have SIX orbs before you enter the Gate of the Ancients. The Palace
is  a  mirror image, with the east half being a reflection of the west half.
Stuff  in  the  east  half  is  weird and illusionary,  and  sometimes  very
difficult  to  see. Going west is much safer. You'll need to work  your  way
around to get both halves of the yin-yang symbol, then place them in one  of
the  two  holders. Mark the location, go through the door,  shrink  Marif'he
Orb, pick it up, and return back to your marked location. Then seek out  the
place  on the west half where Scourge is (three floating skulls with colored
light  coming out of their eyes), run past, and go through the black  mirror
to  get  to the mirror image of that place. If you've been looking carefully
at  your  map, you'll notice that the reflection doesnt match  in  this  one
particular place. Hurl a fireball at the back of the alcove to open  a  door
to the Tower of Shadows.
Farli is off to the left after you pass the location where Marif'he Orb  is.
Make sure to get him to join you before you translocate.
[4.17] First Level of Tower of Shadows
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits  to  other  areas:  One magical gate to the  Palace  of  Shadows.  One
stairway to the second level. One stairway to the Lair of the Dark Dwarves.
When  you  reach  the door and the gargoyle asks you if you want  to  enter,
press the red square (no). Then when it asks you if you need to enter, press
the green triangle (yes). It will give you some advice.
Listen to Enigma when he tells you to stop. He knows what he'he doing.
[4.18] Unknown (Temple of Thera?)
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits to other areas: None.
[4.19] Second Level of Tower of Shadows
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits  to other areas: One stairway to the first level. One stairway to  the
third level.
[4.20] Third Level of Tower of Shadows
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits to other areas: One stairway to the fourth level. One stairway to  the
second level.
[4.21] Fourth Level of Tower of Shadows
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: None.
Exits to other areas: One stairway to the third level.
Khull-Khuum  is  on this level, with the final two orbs. I managed  to  grab
both  and run fast enough to get away from him before he killed me, however,
I have no idea what to do next.
[4.22] Lair of the Dark Dwarves
Fountains of Thera: None.
Mana Circles: One, in the north.
Exits to other areas: One stairway to the Tower of Shadows.
There's an odd device here that I can't figure out and a wall with a passage
behind  it  that I can't open. Once I figure these out I'll write them  down
here.

[5.0]
                                 Other Stuff
[5.1] Notes
This version of the STONEKEEP FAQ is highly preliminary, and I am writing it
mostly  from memory. I have also not yet completed the game, so some of  the
maps  are  not  filled in. I can't remember all of the mana circles  offhand
either, so several are probably missing from the lists.
[5.2] Credits
Nobody  has contributed so far. If you have a correction or something  you'd
like  to add, please email me at dswarin@cs.oberlin.edu and I'll update  the
FAQ.
I'd  like  to  thank my cat, Fred, for attacking the keyboard  while  I  was
writing this FAQ, and if there are any typos, it's his fault.
[5.3] Copyright
This  FAQ is copyright 1995 by Doug Swarin. It may be freely distributed  in
whole or in part so long as it remains unmodified. You may freely modify it,
but  if  you  do,  you must place a notice on the FAQ that states  you  have
changed  it  and  what parts you have changed. If you remove this  copyright
notice  from  the  FAQ,  you are wholly responsible for  what  is  contained
within.  However, in no case will I, Interplay Productions,  or  my  cat  be
liable for anything in here.
[5.4] Secret Surprise Not-In-Index Big Thank You
I'd  like to thank Chris Taylor and everyone at Interplay for making a great
game. Thanks guys!



SoftRAM in Trouble? STR Spotlight

                                 SoftRAM 95
In  response to several messages that have been posted on different  on-line
services  we would like to make the following statement.  Syncronys SoftCorp
has already on October 20, 1995 made a press release, announcing that it has
discovered  bugs  in  the  Windows 95 version of SoftRAM  95.   Accordingly,
Syncronys  will  make  an absolutely free upgrade available  to  all  users.
Registered  users  will receive the free upgrade in the mail  automatically,
shipping and handling charges will not be billed.
The  patch  will  also  be  made  available through  all  on-line  services,
including  the Internet.   Although  the product has also received excellent
reviews in several publications, Syncronys is concerned that it supply  only
the  best  products  to  its  customers.  Accordingly  all  product  on  the
retailers' shelves across the country is currently being  labeled as 3.1 and
3.11  product  only.  The company has identified the problem and  the  patch
will be made widely available in the beginning of December.
Since  SoftRAM  95 contains both versions, the Windows 3.1  and  Windows  95
version, customers who are purchasing the Windows 3.1 version of SoftRAM are
receiving  the  full benefit of our superior RAM compression technology.   A
test,  conducted on the Windows 3.1 and 3.11 version of SoftRAM 95 by XXCAL,
Inc.   Testing Laboratories, one of the largest testing labs in  the  world,
has just come to the following conclusion:
                                Test Summary
XXCAL  performed  Win  1  6 Benchmark testing on various  systems  utilizing
Syncronys Softcorp's SoftRAM95 as specified in the XXCAL's proposal 9510015-
2.O dated 0ctoberll,1995. Testing was completed on October 29,1995.
                                Test Results
Under the Windows 3.1 and 3.11 environments, Syncronys Softcorp's SoftRAM 95
(v2.001)  increases  RAM dramatically.  The results  show  that  SoftRAM  95
effectively doubles system RAM (i.e. from 8MB to 16MB) in a manner  that  is
equivalent  to  adding more physical RAM.  The tests show  that  SoftRAM  95
enables  Windows  to  run  faster,  to  run  more  and  larger  applications
concurrently  and  to load larger data files.  Various Windows  applications
were utilized to perform this benchmark (listed below).  For details, please
see XXCAL's final report.
I  hope  that  this  information is useful in setting the  record  straight.
Syncronys is in development with several new products and we will  keep  you
updated.  We are currently also setting up a WEB site, we will give you  the
address  as  soon  as  it  is functional. We are  looking  forward  to  your
feedback.
Regards
Rainer Poertner
CEO

            SYNCRONYS REPORTS TESTS CONFIRMSOFTRAM95 DOUBLES RAM
CULVER  CITY,  Calif. -- Syncronys Softcorp (OTC: SYCR) today announced  the
results  of  a  commissioned evaluation of the company's  SoftRAM95  product
which  confirms that the company's best-selling  product SoftRAM95 effective
ly doubles Random Access Memory (RAM).
The study was conducted by XXCAL, Inc. Testing Laboratories of  Los Angeles,
CA,  an  independent software testing company.  Win16 Benchmark Testing  was
conducted  on a variety of systems using Syncronys' SoftRAM95 under  Windows
3.1  and  3.11  environments.    XXCAL is a world leader  in  compatibility,
certification and functionality testing for software products.   A  copy  of
the full report is available on  request from the company.
The  results were summarized by XXCAL as follows:"Under the Windows 3.1  and
3.11  environments,  Syncronys Softcorp's SoftRAM95 (v2.001)  increases  RAM
dramatically.   The results show that  SoftRAM95 effectively doubles  system
RAM  (i.e.  from 8MB to 16MB) in a manner that is equivalent to adding  more
physical RAM.  The tests show  that SoftRAM95 enables Windows to run faster,
to  run  more and larger  applications concurrently and to load larger  data
files.    Various  Windows  applications  were  utilized  to  perform   this
benchmark."
The Windows applications utilized to perform the benchmark include:CorelDRAW
5.0,  Drafix  3.0,  Excel 5.0, MS Office 4.2, Pagemaker 5.0  and  Word  6.0.
President and CEO Rainer Poertner said, "these positive results  from  XXCAL
demonstrate  clearly  that our core technology delivers  a  substantial  and
measurable benefit to our users running Windows 3.1.  These users are by far
our  largest  target  market.  We are confident that the  Windows95  upgrade
version   will   deliver   equally  impressive  performance   once   it   is
released."Work  on  the  upgrade to SoftRAM95  for  Windows95  continues  on
schedule.   XXCAL will be commissioned to evaluate the upgrade  once  it  is
available.    The  company,  as  announced  previously,  will  automatically
distribute the upgrade version free to all registered users.
In  addition, the company announced that a leading PC publication in  France
has  also  achieved  positive  product test results.   "We  are  pleased  to
announce that SoftRAM95 has been chosen by our editorial staff as one of the
best  products  of the month.  It has been labeled Editor's Choice,"  stated
Michel  Barreau,  Managing  Editor of PC Mag."We give  this  distinction  to
software or hardware products tested which impressed us with at least two of
the three following features: quality, technical characteristics and price."
For  the  second  consecutive time, SoftRAM was  ranked  number  one  on  PC
Magazine's Top Retail Software chart.  The listing appeared in the  November
7th  and  November  27th issues of PC Magazine.  In its most  recent  issue,
SoftRAM's  shipment  volume  ranks ahead of  Windows95  and  Netscape.   The
November  lists,  compiled  by  Ingram  Micro,  rank  PC  business  programs
according  to the total number of copies shipped to over 12,000  stores  and
resellers  in  the  weeks  ending September 9 and September  16.  Since  its
release  in  May  1995, Syncronys has generated sales of more  than  650,000
units of SoftRAM.
SoftRAM95  is  an innovative software product that effectively  doubles  the
amount  of  memory available to Windows applications.  Unique  among  memory
products,  SoftRAM95 uses proprietary compression technology  that  actually
enhances  physical RAM. SoftRAM95 works with any 386, 486,  or  Pentium  PC,
desktop  or  notepad  and offers additional features over  the  best-selling
original version of SoftRAM.
Headquartered in Culver City, California, Syncronys Softcorp is a leader  in
the business of providing memory-enhancement and other performance-improving
software  for  PCs.  Syncronys' diversified complement of software  products
are   sold  through  distribution  channels  worldwide.smithpr@ix.netcom.com
(Steven  Smith )November 9, 1995COMDEX Booth #S7721Contact: Diana Soltesz  /
Steve  Smith               Smith Public Relations                (310)  788-
0456

Subject:  Egghead pulls SoftRAM95! - Msg Number: 12812From:  Richard Smith
75070,2253To:  AllForum:  WINUTI   Sec: 01-WINUTIL AdvisorDate:  05-Nov-95
19:05:42
Hot  news  flash:Egghead  Software has pulled  SoftRAM95  from  the  shelves
because  there  are too many questions if the product works  as  advertised.
Egghead will not be carrying the product again until there is a version that
is proven to work under Windows 95.
Richard
**The following is a captured post from one of the recent threads in a few
of the more popular Internet Newsgroups in regards to the SoftRAM issues.**
Re: SoftRam on PC Magazine!From: it@ct.ix.de (Ingo T. Storm)Date:
1995/11/07MessageID: DHp3us.Ixx@ix.de#2/3
On Thursday, Syncronys President Rainer Poertner said all unsold packages of
SoftRAM95  will  be  relabeled  with a sticker  indicating  the  product  is
intended only for use with the Windows 3.1 operating system. The label  will
cover  text  on the box claiming the product works with the new  Windows  95
operating system.
SoftRAM95  is  a  memory-doubler, a program intended  to  trick  a  PC  into
thinking  it has twice as much random-access memory, or RAM, the  chips  the
processor uses to store information while it is working. Windows 95 requires
large amounts of RAM and many users have been reluctant to spend the $150 to
$200  required to boost their machines from the four megabytes of RAM common
in  older  PCs to the eight megabytes recommended for Windows  95,  the  new
highly popular operating system from Microsoft.
Poertner  said Syncronys has shipped 650,000 copies of SoftRAM95, which  has
been advertised as working for either Windows 95 or Windows 3.1.
Complaints  have  emerged in recent weeks, however, that  SoftRAM95  has  no
effect whatsoever in improving the performance of Windows 95.
Connectix  Corp. of San Mateo, which makes a competing product  called  "RAM
Doubler,"   hired  an  independent  consultant  in  September  to   evaluate
SoftRAM95.
The  report  from the National Software Testing Laboratories concluded:  "In
the  Windows  95  environment, SoftRAM95 offers no  significant  performance
improvement. By comparison, adding more RAM to a typical Windows  95  system
provides a dramatic improvement to the average response time."
The  laboratory ran a test with several word-processing tasks that took  173
seconds  to  perform on a PC equipped with a 75 megahertz Pentium  processor
and  eight megabytes of RAM. Adding SoftRAM95, the lab said, actually slowed
the  computer down slightly, with the tasks requiring 178 seconds. When  the
lab  added chips to double the memory to 16 megabytes of RAM, the task  time
was cut to 72 seconds.
Last  month,  the German publication "Magazin fur Computer Technik"  ran  an
article  titled  "Software Placebo?" arguing that SoftRAM95 did  nothing  to
improve performance in either Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.  Syncronys  is  now
taking legal action in Germany against the magazine.
The  company  acknowledged a problem, however, in an Oct. 20  news  release.
While  defending  SoftRAM95's performance in Windows 3.1, the  news  release
said  "a problem exists with the Windows 95 version, the net result of which
is  that RAM compression is not being delivered to the operating system." In
other words, there is no RAM-doubling in Windows 95.
On  Thursday, Poertner said the news release inadvertently omitted the words
"on  a consistent basis" from the end of the sentence. SoftRAM95 contains  a
bug  that  sometimes  prevents the program from delivering  any  performance
improvement  in Windows 95, he said, but the program does work some  of  the
time.
Nonetheless, Poertner said Syncronys will stop claiming SoftRAM95 works with
Windows 95 until a revised version is ready next month. The new program will
be sent free to all registered users of SoftRAM95,  and will be available at
no  charge for downloading on the Internet and through major commercial  on-
line services.
"We're  a very honorable company," Poertner declared. "The hands-on approach
we're  taking  to  solving  this is very much appreciated  by  everyone  out
there."
Investors in Syncronys stock may not be among those applauding, however. The
company's shares have tumbled from a peak of $31.75 on Aug. 17 to less  than
$10, closing Thursday at $8.13 a share.
Syncronys  is  also working to resolve a problem with Microsoft  Corp.,  the
creator  of  Windows  95. Deborah Celis, a Windows  95  product  manager  at
Microsoft  headquarters  in Redmond, Wash., said  Syncronys  was  using  the
Windows 95 logo on the SoftRAM95 box without authorization.
Subject:  SoftRAM 95 Scam - Msg Number: 12815From:  Jim Leeber/WUGNET
74641,3255To:  AllForum:  WINUTI   Sec: 01-WINUTIL AdvisorDate:  05-Nov-95
19:48:14
Syncronsys has announced that they are taking off the Windows 95 Compatible
Logo from all SoftRam95 packages, after publicly admitting, that their
current shrink wrapped version of SoftRam95 absolutely provides no benefits
in memory enhancement under Windows 95.
The  new  packaging, according to press reports, is supposed  to  hit  store
shelves  next  week,  but  the reseller channel  inventory  is  filled  with
gazillons of the mislabeled software. No word on what this means to existing
SoftRam95 buyers.
The scam is over folks!
This  is  a  report by the Windows Users Group Network online  organization,
operators  of  the  WinUtil,  WinCon,  WinETA,  WinUTIL,  WinGames,  WinUTA,
WinUser, WinClips, WinBIZ, NTWORK, NTSERVER forums and the GO WIN95  Support
Center  on  CompuServe. Founded in 1988, WUGNET continues to be the  largest
online  user  group organization, promoting the free exchange  of  technical
support  information, product news for the benefit of the Microsoft  Windows
3.X, Windows 95 and Windows NT User.
By Mike Langberg, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.  Knight-Ridder/Tribune
Business NewsSAN JOSE, Calif.--Nov. 3--"SoftRAM95," currently topping the
best-seller  lists for personal computer software because it's supposed to
improve a  computer's performance, is seriously flawed and is being
repackaged by its  publisher, Syncronys Softcorp of Culver City.


EDUPAGE STR Focus    Keeping the users informed
Edupage, 23 Nov 95.  Edupage, a summary of news items on information
technology, is provided three times each week as a service by Educom, a
Washington, D.C.-based consortium of leading colleges and universities
seeking to transform education through the use of information technology.

TOP STORIES
AOL Strains To Support Growing
Customer Load
Windows 95 Penetration At 6%
IS Managers Prime For Job-Hopping
More Computers = More Police
Protection
        Bell Dials Wrong Number
        Emerging Markets For PCs
        E(verybody)-Mail

ALSO
The Wages Of Synergy
Company Fined For Misleading
Internet Ad
Corel Pursues Internet
Sprint vs Unitel And AT&T
Electronic Filing And Tax Cheats
Federal Regulator's Policies
Challenged
Broadcast Ownership Rules Changed
Internet In Africa
This Is The Web -- It's Not A
Reading Room
Gates On The Future

                AOL STRAINS TO SUPPORT GROWING CUSTOMER LOAD
     With  subscribership growing at an astonishing 300,000 a month, America
Online  is  struggling to keep up with technical and customer support.   The
system has suffered a couple of outages since September, and the churn  rate
is  a substantial 29%.  Even with revenues of almost $400 million this year,
the company isn't expected to be cash-flow positive until the fourth quarter
of  1996.  To remedy the situation, AOL is installing a new nationwide high-
speed  network,  called  AOLNet, and is diversifying  its  revenue  sources,
selling  daytime network services to businesses such as Federal Express  and
generating  income through advertising and product sales.  "They're  growing
like  crazy  and broadening their revenue mix," says one market  researcher.
"But  the real question is, can they keep it up?"  (Business Week 27 Nov  95
p119)   Meanwhile, AOL and Bertelsmann AG will work together  with  Deutsche
Telekom's  online subsidiary to jointly market online services  in  Germany.
The  group  has  banded  together to combat  a  perceived  threat  from  the
Microsoft  Network in the European online market.  (Wall Street  Journal  22
Nov 95 B8)
                        WINDOWS 95 PENETRATION AT 6%
     A survey of 1,201 households by market research firm Odyssey shows that
Windows  95 is running computers in 6% of PC households.  But while  92%  of
respondents had heard of Windows 95, only 10% said it was likely  they'd  be
buying  the  new  program -- 53% said it was extremely  unlikely  they'd  be
switching  from their current operating system.  The survey also found  that
22%   of  Windows  95  households  had  signed  up  for  Microsoft  Network.
(Investor's Business Daily 22 Nov 95 A7)
                      IS MANAGERS PRIME FOR JOB-HOPPING
     The  growing demand for information systems managers combined  with  an
upbeat economy is creating a seller's market when it comes to IS skills, and
management  specialists are predicting widespread job-hopping  in  the  next
year or two:  "During the last three years, while the economy was turbulent,
people  stayed at jobs they disliked because there was downsizing all around
them  and  fewer  jobs.   Now, as the economy is  heating  up,  there'll  be
unprecedented turnover."  (Information Week 20 Nov 95 p208)
                   MORE COMPUTERS = MORE POLICE PROTECTION
     A group of business and community leaders has raised $15 million to buy
more  computers for the Los Angeles Police Department in an effort to enable
officers  to  spend more time on the beat and less time filling  out  forms.
Currently,  41% of a police officer's time is spent on paperwork.   The  new
systems are expected to save the department 150,000 work days a year  -  the
equivalent of 576 full-time cops.  (Investor's Business Daily 22 Nov 95 A6)
                           BELL DIALS WRONG NUMBER
     For  the second time in a year, Bell Canada backed down in the face  of
fierce  vocal opposition to increasing phone rates -- this time for Internet
users.  Bell has asked federal regulators to create a special new tariff for
Internet service providers, and will meet with ISPs and a mediator to  reach
an  acceptable tariff schedule. (Montreal Gazette 22 Nov 95 F1)  Bell  noted
the exploding popularity of the Internet, where computer users can jam lines
for hours, has already caused problems in two British Columbia neighborhoods
where  callers  were unable to get through to 911.  In Metro-Toronto  alone,
Bell will spend an additional $31-million to upgrade its network because  of
higher computer use. (Toronto Star 23 Nov 95 A1/A3)
                          EMERGING MARKETS FOR PCs
     A  Dataquest report indicates that between 1992 and 1994 PC sales  rose
44%  in  the  U.S. (to $37 billion), contrasted with a more  modest  22%  in
Europe  and a dramatic 83% in emerging markets.  China and South  Korea  are
each now buying more than a million PCs a year, and Brazil, India, Thailand,
Malaysia  and Indonesia will soon follow their example.  (Forbes  4  Dec  95
p256)
                              E(VERYBODY)-MAIL
     Noting  the  important  social,  economic  and  political  benefits  of
electronic mail, a Rand Corporation study says that e-mail access should  be
extended to all Americans and that public funding should be provided to help
people  who could not otherwise afford electronic mail service.   The  study
estimates  it would cost about $1 billion to provide e-mail to  10%  of  all
Americans. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 22 Nov 95 B2)
                            THE WAGES OF SYNERGY
     Ken  Auletta, who writes "Annals of Communications" for the New  Yorker
magazine,  is  leery of the impact on journalism of so-called  "synergistic"
mergers   and   alliances  within  the  information  industry.    "The   new
megacorporations  value  'teamwork.'  They use 'leverage'  to  boost  sales.
They  dream  of  a  'borderless' company that eliminates defensive  interior
barriers.   But ... the leverage that journalists are interested in  is  the
kind  that  pries  loose  the story, not the kind  that  boosts  the  parent
company's other 'products.'"  (New Yorker  27 Nov 95 p8)
                  COMPANY FINED FOR MISLEADING INTERNET AD
     Virgin Atlantic Airways in the U.K. has been fined $14,000 by the  U.S.
Department  of  Transportation for placing a "misleading"  fare  ad  on  the
Internet,  which  is  the  first  time the DOT  has  fined  an  airline  for
information posted on the Net.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 22 Nov 95 B2)
                           COREL PURSUES INTERNET
     At  an  Internet conference in Ottawa, Corel president Michael Cowpland
outlined his company's plans for market expansion through Internet products.
Next  month, Corel will launch "Internet Mania," a package of utilities that
lets  an  unattended computer look for news, e-mail and other Internet-based
information. (Ottawa Sun 23 Nov 95 p54)
                          SPRINT VS UNITEL AND AT&T
     Call-Net,  owners of Sprint Canada, told federal regulators the  growth
in  foreign ownership of Canadian long-distance provider Unitel by  AT&T  is
illegal   and  should  be  overturned.   AT&T  and  Unitel  called  Sprint's
allegations a publicity stunt aimed at grabbing customers.  (Toronto Star 22
Nov 95 C2)
                      ELECTRONIC FILING AND TAX CHEATS
     Canada's Auditor General blames Revenue Canada's electronic tax  filing
system  for  making  it easier to cheat the system.  The AG's  report  notes
electronic  filers  are  not required to provide  supporting  documents  for
amounts claimed unless asked to do so.  (Ottawa Citizen 22 Nov 95 A1)
                   FEDERAL REGULATOR'S POLICIES CHALLENGED
     Two  ambitious  deals  underway in Canada in the TV  industry  directly
challenge  the  CRTC's opposition to broadcasters owning more  than  one  TV
station in each market.  Officials at the regulatory office say the CRTC  is
not  likely to soften its stance despite the pending deals involving CanWest
Global's  bid  for WIC Western International Broadcasting and  CFCF's  asset
swap  with Groupe Videotron.  (Toronto Financial Post 22 Nov 95 p2)  Quebec-
based Cogeco Cable says it will seek a court order to force CFCF to put  its
proposed  multi-million  dollar  asset  swap  with  Groupe  Videotron  to  a
shareholders' vote.  Cogeco says it remains interested in taking over  CFCF.
(Toronto Globe & Mail 23 Nov 95 B5)
                      BROADCAST OWNERSHIP RULES CHANGED
     Canada's  Cabinet approved a plan to increase foreign ownership  limits
allowed in the broadcast and cable industries to 33.3% from the current  20%
at  the holding company level.  At the same time, foreign investors will  be
allowed  to  own  up  to  20%  of a Canadian broadcast  licensee.   Heritage
Minister  Michel Dupuy says the changes will allow more access  by  Canadian
companies  to foreign capital and improve Canada's competitive  position  in
info-highway  development.  Federal regulators will also  be  given  broader
powers  to prevent foreign corporations from gaining effective control  over
broadcast licenses. (Toronto Financial Post 23 Nov 95 p3)
                             INTERNET IN AFRICA
     Ghana  is  the  fourth sub-Saharan African nation to go  online,  after
South  Africa,  Botswana  and Zambia.  These four  now  have  full  Internet
access, and Accra, Ghana's capital, is evolving as the Internet hub for west
Africa.   Accra's  only  full-service  network  provider,  Network  Computer
Systems,  has  140  subscribers and will break even  when  it  reaches  200.
(Financial Times 20 Nov 95 p11)
                 THIS IS THE WEB -- IT'S NOT A READING ROOM
     David  Shenk,  a  fellow at Columbia University's Freedom  Forum  Media
Studies  Center, says that "the very attributes that make  the  Web  such  a
sensation also limit its potential as a thoroughly thoughtful medium --  not
because  it can't exhibit serious ideas, but because it conveys so  many  of
them so quickly, without the necessary built-in pauses for deliberation  and
without  contextual structures.  One does not read on the  Web;  one  surfs.
This  is the nature of the beast... As a research tool, the web is indeed  a
prime  new  asset.   As  a source of contemplation, reasoned  discourse  and
dialogue, however, it is found wanting."  (Washington Post 12 Nov 95 C5)
                             GATES ON THE FUTURE
     In the future predicted in his new book, "The Road Ahead,"  Microsoft's
Bill  Gates  says that information technology will not replace teachers  ("I
can  say  emphatically and unequivocally, IT WON'T.") and will  not  replace
traditional story telling in which the reader can NOT influence the outcome.
The  stories he selects as examples?  "I don't want to choose an ending  for
'The  Great  Gatsby' or 'La Dolce Vita.'  F. Scott Fitzgerald  and  Federico
Fellini have done that for me."  (Newsweek 27 Nov 95 p59)

     Edupage is written by John Gehl (gehl@educom.edu) & Suzanne Douglas
                            (douglas@educom.edu).
                  Voice:  404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057.
                The next issue of Edupage will be 28 Nov 95.

   Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology,
                        University of North Carolina.

EDUPAGE is what you've just finished reading.  To subscribe to Edupage: send
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EDUCOM REVIEW is our bimonthly print magazine on learning, communications,
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like the one on the counter at the dry cleaners with the sign "Ring bell for
service"; or a small hand bell; or a cathedral bell;  or a door bell; or a
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EDUCOM UPDATE is our twice-a-month electronic summary of organizational news
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update John McCarthy  (assuming that your name is John McCarthy;  if it's
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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE
The CAUSE organization's annual conference on information technology in
higher education is scheduled for the end of this month in New Orleans.  The
conference will bring together administrators, academicians and other
managers of information resources.  For full conference information check
out  or send e-mail to
conf@cause.colorado.edu.

ARCHIVES & TRANSLATIONS. For archive copies of Edupage or Update, ftp or
gopher to educom.edu or see URL: < http://www.educom.edu/>.   For the French
edition of Edupage, send mail to edupage-fr@ijs.com with the subject
"subscribe";  or see <  http://www.ijs.com  >.  For the Hebrew edition, send
mail to  listserv@kinetica.co.il containing : SUBSCRIBE Leketnet-Word6
 or see  < http://www.kinetica.co.il/ newsletters/leketnet/ >.  For
the Hungarian edition, send mail to:  send mail to subs.edupage@hungary.com.
An Italian edition is available on Agora' Telematica; connection and/or free
subscription via BT-Tymnet and Sprint (login: From the Atari Editor's Desk         "Saying it like it is!"

     Burp!  Excuse me, but after a long day of turkey and all of the
fixings, I'm ready to explode!  We at STReport hope that you all had a very
enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.  If you're lucky like I was, you had today
to recuperate (and start working on the leftovers!).
     Even though Atari is out of the computer business these days, we as
Atari users still have quite a bit to be thankful for these days.  We still
have a few devoted developers and dealers who are hanging in there and
helping us to continue to enjoy our computers of choice.  Sure, it's few and
far between, but it's appreciated.  What makes using Atari computers even
more enjoyable is the supportive Atari community of users. There are still
many of us around even if many have supplemented their Atari computers with
PCs and Macs for more needed power in certain areas.
     So, continue to use these computers because they are still valuable
tools and sources for enjoyment.  Enjoy the Holiday Season it is the best
time of the year.
                    Until next time...


                          Delphi's Atari Advantage!
                        TOP TEN DOWNLOADS (11/22/95)
                                      
     (1) SUPER STARIO LAND DEMO         *(6) ESSCODE64 UUE DECODER/ENCODER
     (2) ZCONTROL 0.2A                  *(7) USER GROUP SURVEY RESPONSE 1
     (3) DIAMOND BACK PATCH TO V3.60    *(8) DELPHI ORACLE 1.34
     (4) MAGGIE DISKZINE  8             *(9) ATARI 8-BIT DEALER LIST
     (5) DIAMOND EDGE PATCH TO V 2.04   *(10) ROLLER COASTER EXPERIENCE

                               * = New on list
                               HONORARY TOP 10

The following on-line magazines are always top downloads, frequently out-
performing every other file in the databases.

                   STREPORT (Current issue: STREPORT  1146
        ATARI EXPLORER ONLINE (Current issue: AEO: VOLUME 4, ISSUE 7
          Look for the above files in the RECENT ARRIVALS database.



Hello there from England!!

Hi Dana!

     I was very pleased to read STReport #1144 a few days ago - particularly
the 'Top Ten Atari Downloads' on Delphi.  The reason for that was that I was
very pleased to see that Issue 18 of Maggie, the diskzine for the Atari, was
at No 8.
     I'd better give you a bit of background here.  My name is Richard
however you might well have heard of me under my scene name -'Felice' of the
Maggie Team.  Together with Chris Holland (editor) and other contributors,
we've produced Maggie since taking over from Issue 11 onwards (back in
1992).
     Maggie has largely been produced for the ST market until Issue 18 -
when we started to produce a Falcon-shell version alongside it.  If, by any
chance you have not yet seen it, please feel free to download it either from
one of the sites on the Internet that we contribute to, or from Delphi if it
is on.
     Have you had any feedback regarding Maggie 18 (ST or Falcon)??   As the
authors of Maggie, we would like to see any opinions, whatever, that may
have been made on the Delphi Atari forums (which we have no access to as yet
from the Internet).
     Along with Maggie, as members of the new diskzine union 'Magnetic
Interludes' we also release two other diskzines, DBA (Disk Busters
Association) and ST News (by Rich Karsmakers).  New issues of those are due
out around now - DBA #14 (Falcon only, BTW) while ST News should be around
soon.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Richard.
--
Richard Spowart
felice@rushden.demon.co.uk

Editor's note:
     Thanks for the letter, Richard.  You'll be happy to learn that "Maggie"
has moved up this week to #4 on Delphi's 'Top 10 Downloads".
     Personally, I haven't had any feedback about the diskzine, but I do
occasionally see a message pertaining to it ¬ it is a popular download in
the Atari Advantage area on Delphi.  I can tell you that I have enjoyed the
issues that I've downloaded.  If we see more feedback, I'll be sure to pass
it along to you folks.
     
     
                          REPORT: Comdex Fall 1995
Las Vegas, NV
November 13-17, 1995

by Marty Mankins
     Every year I tell myself, There's no way I am going back to Comdex!,
after each time I get back and realize that there is so much to see and so
many people to get past and the hassle of paying a huge hotel bill and
dealing with the traffic of Las Vegas during the mass amount of visitors.
But, every year around August, I start making plans to go.
     I have to admit that the last two years have not been all that bad.
Being only 5 1/2 hours away (by car) from Las Vegas (I live in Orem, UT -
about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City), I get with two of my co-workers and
pile into a van and make the drive.  And for the this year, we stayed out in
Jean, NV at the Gold Strike hotel.  It was only $38 a night (thanks to my
reservation in August) and the drive is only about twenty minutes into town
(gives us a chance to listen to the Howard Stern show - currently not
broadcasted in any part of Utah).  And being able to drive our own car lets
us collect all sorts of stuff - everything from flyers, press kits, t-shirts
and hats.  Boxes and boxes of information will fit into a good-sized van
with no problems for storage space.
THE BIG SHOW
     Anyway, let's go over what I saw at the show this year.  There were
well over 220,000 attendees and thousands of vendors showing their wares.
It
     was amazing to see just how much more they can cram into the Las Vegas
Convention Center, the Las Vegas Hilton and the Sands Convention Hall. Since
the South Hall was torn down earlier this year (to make room for a new
bigger hall to store yet even more vendors and people), they had to use huge
stationary tents for the PowerPC pavilion, the Registration area and the
Microsoft Partners area.
     Speaking of the PowerPC, it was nice to see so many people interested
in PowerPC and the number of vendors that are committed to the platform.  In
fact, the previously-rumored death of OS/2 for PowerPC was put to rest as
attendees got a chance to actually use the product (although it's still not
shipping, but watch for it in 1996).  The massive number of software
products - a lot of which were geared towards networking - were well
received.  People ate up as much as they could get on PowerPC.  It seems
that the time has come for accepting this entry into not only the Macintosh
platform, but the multi-processing functions of the desktop and the network.
     The other big push was portable computing.  Everything from laptops to
desktop docking stations to PC Card products, this show was filled with
portable products.  The PCMCIA group had a room in the Convention Center
that simply had vendors from different companies supporting their products.
The biggest surprise was IBM, who was marketing their PC Card standard for
hard drive replacement.  It was a Flash standard that was designed to
compete with SanDisk (formally known as SunDisk) and their industry wide
standard.  The largest card shown was a 40Mb card.  IBM says they are
working on 260Mb cards to ship by the end of 1996.
     By the way, SanDisk will start shipping their 85Mb and 175 Mb ATA Flash
cards early next year.  In fact, I got to see working models, which were
measured in nanoseconds, not milliseconds.  The battery life of these cards,
plus the speed of reads and writes are the biggest incentive to switch. The
biggest drawback is price.  The 40Mb Flash card is still priced around $1350
on the retail market.  SanDisk also promises to show a Type III card that
will replace a 340Mb PC Card hard drive for around $3,000 sometime next
year.  Start saving those dimes and quarters now!
LAPTOPS
     One of the many items that a lot of vendors are getting into is
laptops. There were vendors that I've never even heard of (ASA) to familiar
companies (Hitachi) that were showing off AMD, Intel and Cyrix-based
notebooks and laptops, most operating at Pentium speeds of over 75MHz. Many
of these unknown companies can beat the Toshibas, Compaqs and HPs on price,
but can't touch their quality.  In one case where I was using one brand, it
locked up on me.  Now normally, I'd be looking for a sticker that said not
yet FCC¬approved, but when a booth worker came up to me and told me they had
been shipping for 2 months now, I was amazed.  What was I doing that locked
it up?  I ran WordPad in Windows 95.  I didn't even get a chance to type any
text.  Oh well.
     Toshiba made up for that error by showing off their very
nicely¬engineered Tecra line of notebooks.  All with CD-ROM and running
Pentium 120MHz chips.  And all models under $6,000.  They also showed off
their low-end CD-ROM model with the new 4x drive for under $2,500.
Technology is moving much faster in the portable arena than what we thought
it was supposed to have done.  It's a far cry from 10 years ago when I
drooled on a T1100 with 2 floppy drives and 640K of RAM - for the low price
of $2,300.
     Sharp had a show of Cyrix-based notebooks all running at above 90MHz.
Sharp is best known for their LCD displays which, in my opinion, are the
industry's best.  The clear screens blew me away - and I hadn't even seen
the active matrix models.  I was looking at the double scan passive matrix
screens and they were so clear, the booth worker had to correct my eyes.
Then he showed me the active matrix models.  The one, PC-9000, had
interchangeable parts that took my eyes away from the gorgeous screen.
     This is the next big thing that everyone is going to.  You have two
bays on some models that you can have a floppy drive, a CD-ROM drive, an
extra battery or a large storage device (tape backup, optical) that can be
used. Sharp is also looking at the MD Data standard, which I like, and using
its size advantage to use as the best external replacement for a floppy
drive.
     I didn't see too many sub-notebooks, but the one that has continued to
impress me is the HP OmniBook 600CT.  The new CT model, which has been
shipping for about 6 months now, has an awesome active matrix display, a
small 3.8 pounds of carrying weight and support for a docking station with
SCSI and full port replication.  The best thing about the OmniBook 600CT is
the instant on feature.  Almost every other notebook and laptop on the
market has suspend mode that still chews up precious battery life.  Not the
OmniBook 600CT.  When you hit the toggle-based on/off key, the unit actually
shuts down and leaves the screen exactly the way you left it.  So when
you've finished that bumping taxi ride back the office, you can simply tap
the on key and your work is exactly the way you left it.  Having lost data
thanks to other notebook models with suspend mode left on - only to find
that half way back to my destination the battery died - it's a relief to
know that companies like HP really understand how we work in the field.
ISDN - THE ONLY WAY TO GO!
     The entire Hilton, save a few booths, was dedicated to online
computing. AOL and CIS, the big boys of the commercial online industry, were
there showing off their latest wares.  CIS had the best presentation since
they were giving away T-shirts (always a crowd pleaser) and had the best
reaction to people who didn't know they were on the Internet. (Duhhh!)
     But besides these guys, the ISDN people were attempting to convert the
masses from their old analog systems.  Even Pacific Bell, who only supplies
service to Southern California residents, was there trying to show the
masses that ISDN is cool and fast.  Claiming speeds of at least 128K baud,
it really opened my eyes to the benefit of ISDN.  Now if US West here in
Utah would only know what ISDN is and start offering it to us home-based
business people.  You'd think they would, given the $80+ per month for
service.
     Modem companies were there showing off their ISDN products.  One
company, who will remain nameless, said ISDN was dumb and that no one needs
anything faster than a 28.8K modem.  I seriously hope this was one
opinionated booth worker and not the chief of marketing.  Thank goodness for
Motorola, who was pushing their BitSurfer quite heavily.  This is one
amazing modem that is priced at well under $350 and with the mindset of
bringing it to small businesses and homes in the near future.  I remember
paying that much for a 2400 baud modem 12 years ago and thinking, I got the
deal of the century!  Of course, that modem is now in some computer museum,
collecting dust and computer geeks laughing at it.
PDAs GET A BOOST
     Apple and Sony were the kings of the PDA at this Comdex.  Apple, who
had been previously scrambling to admit the leak that MacWorld had sprung
for them, had well over 20 Newton third party products on display.  And they
also had the Newton 2.0 operating system in its big booth, showing and
telling of its great new features and functions.
     Sony had its new Magic Link PIC-2000 to show off and it was much
improved. With a new hard plastic case, two PC Card slots,2Mb of internal
RAM and a backlit screen, this is one PDA that has it all.  Of course, it's
larger than the Newton, but appeals to many people who like to tote their
briefcases all over, or to those who don't mind carrying a 1.3 pound PDA in
their hands.  Great for data collection (I had mine at a press event one
night, collecting names and phone numbers of company contacts), the Magic
Link is now more useful with all sorts of improvements to make it usable by
many.
CONCLUSION
     Comdex Fall 1995 was bigger than the one last year.  And I'm sure
Comdex Fall 1996 will be bigger than this year's.  Why?  So more companies
can showcase their products and be able to handle the massive attack of
people who want to see them.  This year was eventful and I had to say I was
very impressed.  To those who missed it, you only saved money on hotel, food
and gas by not attending.  If you've never been to a trade show before, skip
Comdex.  It will only intimidate you and scare you into thinking there are
too many people that use computers.  If your business depends on it, there
was some things to see at Comdex that will forever change the face of
computing.
     
                               Jaguar Section

Dragon's Lair Out!  Infomercial!
Fight For Life Alive!
And More...!


>From the Editor's Controller  -  Playin' it like it is!

     I hope that you've all recovered from your Thanksgiving feast; I'm just
beginning to and starting to enjoy the traditional "nibbling" of various
leftovers.
     With the holiday, it's been a short week and a fairly quiet one at
that.  We did see Dragon's Lair come out late last week and the first part
of this one, depending on where you happened to be.  First impressions of
this "new" game have been positive.  Most comments have been that the game
is an excellent port of the arcade game.  I'm looking forward to seeing it
myself as I've never played the game, either in the arcades or on the
computer.
     Also in recent weeks, two games have appeared for Atari's Lynx, the
hand¬held game machine.  I recently picked up Super Asteroids/Missile
Command.  I've always been a big fan of these games, dating back to the
original arcade versions and including a variety of Atari computer versions.
I can never get enough of these two games and I've enjoyed every version
that I've ever played, including these for the Lynx.  The games have been
updated somewhat, especially Missile Command with the ability to purchase
all kinds of super weapons.  These are terrific translations and if you're a
fan of the games and have a Lynx ¬ grab this two¬for¬one package.  It's a
classic.
     In the middle of the week, the Jaguar Journal's Jeffrey Norwood hosted
his 4th conference in the Atari/Jaguar forum on CompuServe.  As usual, there
were a number of Atari personnel in attendance, but "featured" guest Ted
Hoff turned out to be a last¬minute cancellation.  Not surprising with the
scheduling of the conference the night before Thanksgiving. Notwithstanding,
Atari's Ron Beltramo, Don Thomas, and Dan McNamee were in attendance.  After
the first hour of a variety of questions, the conference turned to Francois
Bertrand, recently re-hired (contract hire?).  We were told that Francois
was brought back to attempt to complete "Fight for Life".  We were told
during Hoff's "taped" introductory statement that the game will continue to
be developed; and, if it meets Atari's standards of quality, it will be
released.  My impression is that this game is only going to see the light of
day if it turns out to live up to the hype, and then some.  Hopefully,
Francois Bertrand will take advantage of this second opportunity and make
this game what the public (and Atari) has come to expect in recent months.
     The conference was slow going for most of the night.  Unfortunately,
many of the Atari attendees had to leave before the audience had a good
opportunity to ask a number of questions.  We didn't learn too much, but
hearing that Fight for Life was back in progress was heartening for most.
Another item that we'll be hearing more about soon was the announcement that
Atari has completed an infomercial for the Jaguar.  The first airing happens
to be tonight, but no details were provided yet other than cable television
will air it.  We hope to learn more specifics shortly, and pass them along
to you.  Since the conference was held so close to our deadline here, we'll
have the transcript for you in next week's issue.
     As I mentioned earlier, it's been a fairly quiet week for everyone, so
this issue will likely be a short one.  In the meantime, sit back, relax,
let out your belt a couple of notches, and enjoy this week's issue.  As for
me, I'm heading for the fridge and gather up some more leftovers!
               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          $29.99    Atari Corp.
          J9005          Raiden                        $29.99    FABTEK,
Inc/Atari Corp.
          J9001          Trevor McFur/Crescent Galaxy       $29.99    Atari
Corp.
          J9010          Tempest 2000                  $59.95
Llamasoft/Atari Corp.
          J9028          Wolfenstein 3D                $69.95    id/Atari
Corp.
          JA100          Brutal Sports FootBall             $69.95
Telegames
          J9008          Alien vs. Predator            $69.99
Rebellion/Atari Corp.
          J9029          Doom                     $69.99    id/Atari Corp.
          J9036          Dragon: Bruce Lee             $39.99    Atari Corp.
          J9003          Club Drive                    $59.99    Atari Corp.
          J9007          Checkered Flag                $39.99    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                 $49.99    Virgin/C-West
                    Syndicate                $69.99    Ocean
                    Troy Aikman Football               $69.99    Williams
                    Theme Park                    $69.99    Ocean
                    Sensible Soccer                              Telegames
                    Double Dragon V               $59.99    Williams
          J9009E    Hover Strike                  $59.99    Atari Corp.
          J0144E    Pinball Fantasies             $59.99    C-West
          J9052E    Super Burnout                 $59.99    Atari Corp.
          J9070          White Men Can't Jump          $69.99    Atari Corp.
                    Flashback                $59.99    U.S. Gold
          J9078E    VidGrid (CD)                            Atari Corp
          J9016E    Blue Lightning (CD)           $59.99    Atari Corp
          J9040          Flip-Out                 $49.99    Atari Corp
          J9082          Ultra Vortek                  $69.99    Atari Corp
          C3669T    Rayman                   $69.99    Ubi Soft
                    Power Drive Rally             $69.99    TWI
          J9101          Pitfall                       $59.99    Atari Corp.
          J9086E    Hover Strike CD                    $59.99    Atari Corp.
          J9031E    Highlander I (CD)             $59.99    Atari Corp.
          J9061E    Ruiner Pinball                $59.99    Atari Corp.
                    Dragon's Lair                 $69.99    Readysoft

                               Available Soon
          CAT #          TITLE                         MSRP
DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER

          J9069          Myst (CD)                $59.99         Atari Corp.
                    Mutant Penguins               $59.99         Atari Corp.
          J9091          Atari Karts                   $59.99         Atari
Corp.
                    Battlemorph                   $59.99         Atari Corp.
                    Breakout 2000                 $49.99         Atari Corp.
                    Supercross 3D                 $59.99         Atari Corp.
                    Fever Pitch                   TBA       Atari Corp.
                    Missile Command 3D            TBA       Atari Corp.
                    I-War                         $49.99         Atari Corp.
                    Max Force                $59.99         Atari Corp.
          J9089          NBA Jam TE                    $69.99         Atari
Corp.
          J9055          Baldies                       $59.99         Atari
Corp.
          J9021          Brett Hull Hockey             $69.99         Atari
Corp.

                               Hardware and Peripherals
          CAT #          TITLE                         MSRP
MANUFACTURER
          J8001          Jaguar (no cart)                   $149.99   Atari
Corp.
          J8904          Composite Cable               $19.95
          J8901          Controller/Joypad             $24.95         Atari
Corp.
          J8905          S-Video Cable                 $19.95
                    CatBox                        $69.95         ICD
          J8800          Jaguar CD-ROM            $149.99   Atari Corp.
          J8908          JagLink Interface             $29.95         Atari
Corp.
          J8910          Team Tap 4-Player Adapter)         $29.95
Atari Corp.
          J8907          Jaguar ProController               $29.95
Atari Corp.
          J8911          Memory Track                  $29.95         Atari
Corp.
          J8909          Tempest 2000:
                    The Soundtrack                $12.99         Atari Corp.



Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile  -  The Latest Gaming News!


                 MAGIC'S STAR RANGERS TO HIT RETAIL SHELVES
     
     RESEARCH  TRIANGLE  PARK,  N.C., Nov. 20  /PRNewswire/  --  Interactive
Magic's new PC CD-ROM title Star Rangers will hit retail shelves before  the
Thanksgiving  Holiday.   The action-packed space  simulation  game  recently
received the "Game of the Month" award from PC Entertainment (formerly known
as Electronic Entertainment Magazine).
     Star  Rangers transports players to the 23rd century where they  become
members  of  the intergalactic Border Patrol.  Challenged with the  task  of
defending  the  outer reaches of deep space, players must  use  the  cunning
strategy of a great field general, defending their sector of the galaxy from
invading alien forces.
     "Star  Ranger combines all of the excitement and action of a fast-paced
space  combat  game  while  adding  a  challenging  strategy  twist,"   said
Interactive Magic Chairman, "Wild Bill" Stealey.  "The really exciting news,
however,  is that all of the missions in Star Rangers are randomly generated
so  players can immerse themselves in this space sim and never fly the  same
mission twice."
     Developed in the tradition of Atari's award winning Star Raiders  game,
Star  Rangers  is  designed  to  appeal to  both  new  computer  owners  and
experienced  gamers  alike.  The carefully designed  practice  mode  quickly
launches players into combat action, while the campaign mode offers  players
multiple  levels  of  difficulty,  each  affecting  a  variety  of  elements
including  weapon strength, number and frequency of alien  attacks  and  the
probability of damage upon being hit.
     Star   Rangers,  using  state-of-the-art  textured  graphics,  produces
explosion  with  incredible detail and provides  an  enhanced  sensation  of
realism and excitement throughout the game.
     For  more  information about I-Magic contact Dave Murray at (919)  461-
0722.   Interactive Magic is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
and  is  dedicated to developing and publishing multiplayer and  networkable
simulation and strategy games for the personal computer.


ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!




                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING


On CompuServe

compiled by
Joe Mirando
73637,2262

     Hidi  ho  friends  and  neighbors.  I don't know about  you,  but  I've
stuffed  myself to the point of bursting with turkey, potatoes (in deference
to  J. Danforth Quayle), cranberry sauce, and all the trimmings that we  all
look  forward  to all year.  As I sat there feeling quite the sloth,  I  had
time to reflect on the reason for the holiday in the first place.  So I gave
thanks  for  all  that I have.  Health and family, friends and  possessions.
Yes, I've quite a bit to be thankful for.  How 'bout you?
       There's  still  the big discussion here on CompuServe about  dropping
support for terminal programs going on.  Although most folks understand  the
reasons  for CompuServe's as yet unannounced decision, most of  us  wish  it
weren't  so.   Well, to everything there is a season.... yeah,  yeah,  yeah,
blah, blah, blah.  (can you tell how I feel about it?)
     At any rate, CompuServe is still the best place to be if you need to be
online.  Let's take a look at why.


>From the Atari Computing Forums

On the subject of CompuServe dropping support, I'd just like to say
again what I said last week:  This isn't going to happen overnight.  It
will happen slowly, as more and more of the forums that make up
CompuServe move to newer, faster host computers, less and less of the
system will be available to terminal program users.  With that major
concern out of the way, our Atari Section Editor, Dana Jacobson, asks
about buying stocks.  Sysop Bob Retelle tells Dana:

  "You can just check in your phone book for Stock brokers.. many of them
  will accept "walk-in" business."

Dana tells Bob:

  "That was my guess, but aren't there some brokers that are more
  reasonable than others?  I mean, aren't there "transaction" charges
  usually involved when you buy (and eventually sell)?  Are they all
  pretty standard?  What do they usually charge.  Being a novice, I'd
  have no idea as to who might be gouging and who is reliable/reasonable.
  Are the stock prices those at the exact time of purchase?  Thanks for
  the info."

Jon Sanford tells Dana:

  "You buy stock from a stockbroker! "

Dana tells Jon:

  "I know you buy from a stockbroker, but that doesn't really tell me
  much, Jon!  "

Jon explains his previous short explanation:

  "I feel I have a moral responsibility not to lead the innocent to
  evil."

On the subject of using Spectre GCR, the Macintosh emulator from Dave
Small, to access CompuServe using one of the automated programs for the
Macintosh, Sysop Keith Joins tells Dan McNamee at Atari:

  "I use MacCIM and the Mac Navigator with the GCR all of the time and
  don't have any problems in forums or with the usenet newsgroup reader.
  Speed is sometimes an issue but then that is the case when running any
  of the CIMs on their native platforms also.  The current version of
  MacCIM will run in the new Compuserve software enviornment although I
  also fear that someday they will release a System 7 only version also."

Dan tells Sysop Keith:

  "Thanks for the word on MacNav.  It's nice to know there are options.
  Strange that you aren't having problems with the usenet news reader in
  MacCIM, though.  I have tried everything I can think of and I can't get
  it to work.  What system are your running?  I'm using 6.0.8, but it
  should be pretty much the same as 6.0.7, and I'm not having problems
  with anything else.

  I'm sure that eventually that all of the Mac navigators will move on
  to System 7.x and above only.  I only hope that they hold out long
  enough for either someone to make an ST navigator or for me to get out
  of the debt that my ex got me in and able to afford one of the
  supported systems."

Keith tells Dan:

  "I am using System 6.0.4 (or 5--can't recall for sure but no higher.)
  What problems are you having with the newsgroup reader?  Or do you just
  end up at the crash page in Spectre?"

Dan tells Keith:

  "No, I don't get any crash messages or anything.  I select the usenet
  reader (CIM version), and CIM opens the window where the information
  should appear, and then I get the 4 segment spinning wheel and nothing
  else.  The wheel just sits there and spins.  I let it go for at least
  30 min one evening, and nothing else ever happens."

Chief Sysop Ron Luks tells us:

  "CIS has a couple of goals as I understand it.  First, they want and
  need to provide the color and multimedia support that people have come
  to expect from all online services and the World Wide Web, including
  hypertext links.

  Second, CIS needed to totally rewrite their system software to handle
  the huge numbers of people (simultaneous users) without the system
  response bogging down like mayonaise.

  Neither task is trivial and neither can be accomplished by shutting
  down the entire system for a year, re-coding, and then re-opening.

  In order to handle the increased systemload efficiently, CIS is moving
  towards more client-server software instead of the old model of
  mainframe-dumb terminal and the writing client software for the Atari
  is difficult (and in somce cases impossible because the Atari hardware
  isnt robust enough) and very, very expensive for a very, very, very
  small minority of its customer base.

  I tried the use the car/horse analogy but someone came up with a much
  better analogy.  If you had an exotic sports car from the 60's that
  required a very exotic high octane gasoline that was formerly available
  but not any longer due to stricter EPA regulations, you couldnt expect
  all service stations to keep a special pump with that exotic gasoline
  mixture."

  To another message along the same lines, I post:

  "Sorry... I still use the same octane as you do... 110 volts.
  Classic cars run fine on standard unleaded with a "lead additive"
  available in most department stores...

  Now, if the federal government announced that you would no longer be
  able to use those additives, only _their_ brand if you wanted to drive
  on the interstate, those folks would be ticked.  Most of 'em don't use
  these cars for business, but for recreation.  Some of them don't know
  anything else, some are sooo comfortable in that big, familiar interior
  that they don't see the need for another car for any reason other than
  the new restrictions put on them.  Then there are others who simply
  cannot afford to go out and buy the Jag or the Caddy that the "Highway
  Patrol" wants them to use.

  We're not talking about demanding that they keep that pump and tank,
  just that they let someone borrow the recipe for leaded gas.  If the
  new brew doesn't let us go 110 mph between the stoplights every 100
  yards, we'll live with that.  They're afraid of having to answer the
  phone and tell people "No Ma'am, you have to open the gas cap first,
  _then_ you pump the gas"."

Jerry Coppess tells Ron:

  "I find DOS about as user friendly as a blind, frozen & left hand
  threaded bolt and I have a working PC-Ditto II board in the closet to
  prove it. I don't think I would want to wrestle it back into the Mega
  even if it were compatable with the Adspeed and TEC board that reside
  their now and it was capable of running HMI software.

  I have been following the tread so I know about the nonsupport
  situation but I don't understand what it is that CIS is going to. Why
  do you need 256 colors to use a autonavigator? Is HMI hypertext?

  Will their be Atari forum(s) to come to for those still accessing CIS?
  I mean is anybody going to bother to redo the stable? I access a few
  other forums but Atari support is the main reason I come here. I can
  get all the PC support I need locally."

Carl Barron tells Ron:

  "Well first I don't plan on shooting the messenger. I have seen this
  thread before in UNIXFORUM:)  But as I see it the current solution 'buy
  a mac/intel for cis' is more like 'get lost sucker we don't want you'.

  Also what is the future status of PPP?  It might make access at least
  possible.  I don't have real working PPP software, but it is possible
  and not a 'closed game'.

  The 'closed game' that CIS loves to play bothers me more than the lack
  of an HMI interface at present.  This same 'let them eat cake'
  philosophy was done with gif89 and the pirates of PA FIASCO.  I am not
  happy with history repeating as this time, I don't have big numbers on
  my side.

  Understand that the problems exist, and have to be solved in 'real'
  time. I do not like the current solution.

  Cis and its modem changes is a real pain. The so called 14.4 line
  retrains and terminates so shortly after logon I can't do a thing. The
  so called 2400 line is 14.4 [sometimes] and does not.  Letters to
  feedback, get the 'no problem' solution, but the problem continues. I
  understand CIS is growing, but customer relations is certainly becoming
  a 'dead platform' around CIS and this HMI stuff sure proves that to be
  the case."

Sysop Ron Luks, who is a good guy and someone I have an abundance of
respect for, tells Carl:

  "Maybe I dont understand what you are asking, because CIS now supports
  PPP access.  I log on thru a PPP connection all the time.  With the New
  WinCIM 2.0, I can dial one number and simultaneously access the WWW
  and the CIS forums."

Carl tells Ron:

  "I am asking quite simply if PPP is going away??  Is the possibility of
  teleneting the 'normal' cis areas going away?  It is currently possible
  and there is a free unix terminal programm/package to do so, in source
  form.  This 16meg TT can support a unix 'clone' for a lot less than a
  new cpu and software ."

Sysop Jim Ness tells Carl:

  "No, PPP as a protocol is not going away.  The problem is that even
  though you can get into CIS that way, you still will need to access via
  a non-ASCII method.

  In other words, traditional PPP/Telnet won't work.  PPP/WWW will (and
  does)."

Carl posts:

  "Very interesting I might just try it.  This translates to all I need
  is a web browser on this end. Correct?   I do have at least one lynx
  right now, chimera, when the xwindose can reside in tt ram, and some
  others. There is talk of a commerical web browser on another network.
  Would be reason enough to purchase just to stay here.  All is not lost
  after all, if I read this correctly.  Keep up the good work."

Sysop Jim tells Carl:

  "Right.  Your PPP destination would be GATEWAY.COMPUSERVE.COM to log
  in.

  As of today, you need a web browser to get to that gateway (for right
  now, TELNET COMPUSERVE.COM via ASCII still works too), and then an HMI
  program to log in.  Maybe someday even the CIS side will use web
  graphics and protocols instead of their own proprietary stuff."

Well folks, that's about it for this week.  If you subscribe to CompuServe
(but not their policies), make sure that you send them email to let them
know what you think.  Just type GO FEEDBACK and pick the category that seems
to fit best.  Let your voice be heard.  In the words of Mahatma Gandhi,
"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is
very important that you do it."

Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to
what they are saying when...

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING



Genie being sold Confirmed! STR Infofile

November, 1995

Dear GEnie Subscriber,

GE  Information  Services,  the owner of GEnie  Online  Services,  announced
yesterday  that the company is working with the investment firm of  Allen  &
Company  to  identify potential buyers for GEnie.  The decision  to  seek  a
buyer  for GEnie was a difficult one for GE Information Services.   We  feel
tremendous  loyalty to our customers, and we considered very  carefully  the
options  available to us.  Finally, our business decision  was  based  on  a
desire  to  focus  on  GE Information Services' main mission  -  to  provide
business  productivity solutions to businesses around the  world.   We  lead
this  market, and we derive more than 95% of our revenues from this  market.
In  1995, GE Information Services has invested in GEnie with a new graphical
user  interface, new multi-player game offerings, faster access speeds,  and
simplified  pricing.  We believe that GEnie presents a  good  fit  within  a
company whose main focus is in the consumer market.
GEnie  subscribers are the best in the world, and we are keeping  you  front
and  center as we seek a new owner for GEnie.  We assure you that  you  will
receive  top quality service and support throughout this process.   We  will
make  every effort to make this transition transparent to you.  In the  long
run,  we  hope that this transaction will make GEnie a better and even  more
exciting service for you, our customer.
Please  check  GEnie's  logon announcements periodically.  Updates  will  be
provided  whenever new information can be released.  (Type  "GENIE"  at  any
menu  prompt and select Item #2 from the menu which is presented  to  access
the  announcements if you're already online, or take a moment to review them
each time you logon.)

Sincerely,

Horace Martin
Acting President
GEnie Online Services



                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES


                 "I would rather be attacked than unnoticed.
                 For the worst thing you can do to an author
                     is to be silent as to his works..."


                                             ..A wise and prudent observer



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