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Article #554 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 8-Dec-95 #1149
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson)
Date: Sat Dec 23 08:41:51 1995



                                      
                            Silicon Times Report

                  The Original Independent OnLine Magazine"
                                (Since 1987)
                                      

December 08, 1995                                                No.1149

             Silicon Times Report International OnLine Magazine
                            Post Office Box 6672
                      Jacksonville, Florida  32221-6155

                       STR Electronic Publishing Inc.
                               A subsidiary of
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                            R.F. Mariano, Editor
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 12/08/95 STR 1149 The Original Independent OnLine Magazine!

 - CPU Industry Report - Internet on a Chip! - Thumbs Plus 3
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                     Feds Probe Win 95 Again!
                        End Taligent Work!
                   Survey Sees Multi-PC Homes!

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>From the Editor's Desk...

     The number of days left before Christmas is closing in fast..
Microsoft is preparing for the glut of user assistance calls to be generated
by Santa's delivering all those copies of Windows 95.  They're bringing in
additional help and keeping the help line open through the Holidays.  All
the new Software and hardware is selling like there is no tomorrow.  This is
truly going to be a technology Christmas Sales Season.
     Would you believe.. The D.O.J. is starting up AGAIN with their crazy
nonsense of hounding Microsoft over Windows 95??  What happened here didn't
somebody get the right complimentary copy or are the political contributions
not flowing fast enough??  The latest has to do with allegations that the
Plus! Package for Windows 95 cripples the Internet software that competes
with Windows 95.  This is pure HOGWASH!!  As a matter of fact, back when we
were beta testing Windows 95 . I installed a competitive package and it,
incredibly.. Replaced the standard Winsock.dll with its own and effectively
crippled Windows 95's Internet dialer!!  That software folks, was WinCim
1.4.  Now I'm not saying the replacement of the standard Winsock.ddl was
deliberate but I AM saying that the allegations are somewhat enigmatic and
should read that Windows 95 was being victimized by those who felt
threatened by MSN.  Yes, that's right, the same old bugaboo raising its ugly
head again.  The existing services being paranoid to the extreme over MSN.
This tripe is getting old fast.  What the criers don't realize it makes them
look extremely immature in the business, incapable of competing, convinced
they're outgunned and outclassed and most of all, whipped before the
starter's pistol is ever fired!
     These outfits have simply got to face the facts that Windows 95 is here
to stay for the duration and will evolve into the graceful Swan its intended
to be.  Can you say Cairo??  There ..I thought you could.   The bottom line
is really quite clear. the operating system is for the users, clearly a step
above anything out there or even contemplated at this time.  Win95 has taken
the drudgery out of everyday computing and at the same time, put the "fun"
back in.  Sooner or later the "criers" will wake up and realize that Windows
95 has proven it is helping their business's grow not shrivel.  But of
course, they'll have to stop with the drivel long enough to see that growth
instead of feeling sorry for themselves.
     The US Department of Justice. let's see. they're headed up by Janet
Reno.  Odd isn't it that the USA is on the verge of a Drug Epidemic with a
NEW Glamour DRUG that at this time is ravaging Europe..  What is Janet & Co.
doing??  Chasing Microsoft again!!??  Ecstasy is about to hit the USA in a
big way and the great guardians of law and order in Washington State and
Washington DC are busy tilting at Windmills, killing US Citizens, harassing
the parents of a lost child in Coconut Grove.. offering lame excuses to
Senate Investigating Committees. When is the utter non-sense going to stop
and the real Department of Justice re-appear??    Janet Reno & Co., should
be very busy with the implementation of effective drug interdiction
programs, rehab programs and most of all, the investigation, arrest and
incarceration of the BIG MONEY PEOPLE BEHIND the Drug Smuggling and
distribution empires within the continental United States. not harassing US
Businesses like Microsoft that more often than not, PAY more in annual taxes
than the Department of Justice spends in Drug Enforcement.  Not to mention
all the taxpayers (US Citizens and voters) that Microsoft both directly and
indirectly puts bread on their tables and money into their family's futures.
     It's high time the Justice Dep't. began to hear from the US population
as a whole both directly and through our elected officials. if each and
every person who also is able to see the terrible picture being portrayed
above. the DOJ's warped and totally insane sense of priorities.. were to
reach out and "touch" their elected representative and perhaps a postcard or
two to Janet Reno's office asking HER what is going on with the persecution
of MS??  This would serve to let them all know we are sick and tired of
watching the constant hounding and badgering of Microsoft.  While the
country is on its way to hell in handbasket filled with illicit drugs, the
DOJ is busy trying to hurt LEGAL Businesses !  Talk about cabinet members
that are total embarrassments to the President.  Hey Janet!!  Smell the
coffee yet??
     Now back to our regularly scheduled editorial. and magazine.

     
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                           STReport Headline News
                                      
                      LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                   Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                        Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                        Feds Launch Windows 95 Probe
     Word  on  the  street  is  federal  investigators  are  asking  whether
Microsoft  Corp. intentionally set up digital roadblocks in its  Windows  95
operating  system  to  disable rival companies'  Internet  access  programs.
According  to  the Wall Street Journal this morning, the Justice  Department
has  issued  subpoenas  to  CompuServe, Netscape Communications  Corp.,  and
Netcom On-line Communications Services Inc.
     The paper says federal investigators are focusing on whether Windows 95
and its related Internet software improperly disable rival programs that let
users  access  the Internet's World Wide Web. As noted, a number  of  online
companies,  including CompuServe and Netscape, complained about the  Windows
95  program  when  it made its debut in August, saying the software  and  an
accompanying   product  called  Plus!,  which  provides   Internet   access,
essentially wiped out rival access software.
     Microsoft executives contend the problem was caused by weakness in  the
other  companies'  software,  saying it has  helped  rivals  fix  any  snags
affecting their products and that any problems created by its programs  were
unintentional.   Michael  Conte,  Microsoft's  group  manager  for  personal
systems, told the paper his employer would not deliberately make Windows  95
incompatible  with rival products because such glitches would  detract  from
the popularity of its product.
                       Packard Bell Denies Money Woes
     Despite   worries   among  investors,  computer  maker   Packard   Bell
Electronics Inc. is denying speculation it is having financial trouble.   On
the contrary, "Packard Bell is having a great year," says President/CEO Beny
Alagem.  As reported earlier, analysts this week attributed a reduced  order
at chipmaker Cirrus Logic Inc. and some financial juggling at Intel Corp. to
difficulties at Packard Bell.
     The Wall Street Journal has quoted some observers as saying the company
may  have built too many PCs that use the 75 MHz version of Intel's  Pentium
chip  while most of the consumer buying has been for PCs with Pentium  chips
that run at speeds of 100 MHz and 133 MHz.
     However, reporting from the firm's Sacramento, California, offices, the
Associated  Press  quotes  Alagem  as  saying  the  company's  inventory  is
balanced, adding, "We have no excess of Pentium 75s. The opposite  is  true.
We are seeing high demand for that configuration as well as for Pentium 100s
and  133s.  In  fact, after the Thanksgiving weekend, several retail  chains
called to reorder Pentium 75s for Christmas."
     AP  notes  Alagem's statement did not directly address its relationship
with  Intel.  As noted, Intel's most recent quarterly financial filing  with
the Securities and Exchange Commission reported it was owed $476 million  by
one of its five largest customers and had converted some of the debt into  a
loan.  Intel didn't identify the company, but a number of industry  analysts
said they believed it to be Packard Bell.
     Packard  Bell  is  privately  held and so isn't  required  to  disclose
financial  data  the way publicly owned companies are, but Alagem  said  his
firm  had  record sales in October and that its 1995 revenues will be  about
$4.6  billion,  45  percent higher than last year.  He  added,  "We  see  no
slowdown for the fourth quarter."
                      IBM, Apple, HP End Taligent Work
     Taligent  Inc. -- a software joint venture by IBM, Apple Computer  Inc.
and  Hewlett-Packard Co. -- is being dissolved. More than half the staff  is
being laid off and Taligent's technology is being moved to IBM.  That is the
word  in  The Wall Street Journal this morning, where reporter Bart  Ziegler
writes  of a new arrangement that has Apple and HP continuing to have rights
to  use  Taligent's technology, called CommonPoint, but placing its  control
with IBM.
     "The  venture  will be renamed the Taligent Object Technology  Center,"
adds  Ziegler,  "and  will continue to operate from its base  in  Cupertino,
California."   Quoting  industry executives close to the  decision,  Ziegler
says  the  move is designed "to cut costs at the venture, which devised  new
software  technology  but  failed to gain much  acceptance  for  it  in  the
industry."
     The  ending of Taligent comes just two weeks after IBM and Apple  ended
another  joint software venture, Kaleida Labs Inc. Both Kaleida and Taligent
arose  from  the  surprise 1991 IBM-Apple alliance  which  was  intended  to
challenge  Intel  Corp.  and  Microsoft Corp. as industry  standard-bearers.
Says  the  Journal,  "Taligent, like Kaleida,  fell  victim  to  conflicting
agendas  and  differing  product  timetables  among  the  parent  companies,
according to former employees. While it created interesting technology, only
IBM has firmly committed to using it in its products."
     Originally  Taligent was to create a new PC operating system  based  on
"object"  technology (software written in small reusable chunks so that  new
programs  can  be created more easily), but, says Ziegler, "faced  with  the
onslaught of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, it scaled back its plan and became a
maker of software 'tools' that are used to create programs."
                     CompuServe Seeks FEC Clarification
     CompuServe Inc. says it will ask the Federal Election Commission  (FEC)
for  an  advisory  opinion on its previously announced plan  to  offer  free
access  to  the Internet, the World Wide Web and the CompuServe  Information
Service  to  all federal and state political candidates through CompuServe's
Election Connection '96 online area.
     CompuServe  wants  to know if it is simply furthering  the  process  of
public  discourse by opening cyberspace to all candidates,  or  whether  the
free  access  represents  an in-kind corporate contribution  to  candidates.
"This is an area where we expect the law is already sufficiently flexible to
accommodate  the  reality  of  cyberspace as an important  and  fast-growing
medium for political debate," notes a statement from
     CompuServe President and CEO Bob Massey. "A recent survey done for  our
product  development  group shows that as much as 27  percent  of  the  U.S.
population  has  access  to online services. That represents  the  potential
involvement of millions and millions of voters.  "Because our offer includes
access  to  CompuServe's Home Page Wizard (CompuServe's  software  tool  for
building  home  pages) we are opening up two-way communication  between  the
candidates and anyone who has access to cyberspace," continues Massey. "This
seems  to  us  to be a prime example of democracy in action. By  opening  up
access  to all the candidates and their views, we help voters become  better
informed in the months leading up to the election."
     CompuServe says it decided to request the ruling after conflicting news
stories  appeared  questioning  the  offer  to  federal  candidates.   State
candidates will not be affected by the ruling.
     While  it  isn't  illegal  for CompuServe to  offer  candidates  online
access,  the  company is asking for the ruling to assure federal  candidates
that it is legal for them to accept the service. And with the 1996 elections
rapidly approaching, the company is asking that a ruling be made as soon  as
possible.
                         Multimedia Firms Set Merger
     Two  pioneering multimedia CD-ROM publishers have signed  a  letter  of
intent  to  merge  in a transaction estimated at $39.05 million.   The  deal
between  Graphix  Zone  Inc.  and  StarPress  Inc.  is  subject  to  various
conditions,  including  regulatory  approvals  and  the  approval   of   the
shareholders of each company. A definitive merger agreement is  expected  by
Dec. 31 and the merger set to close in March.
     Holders of StarPress common stock will receive approximately .15 shares
of   Graphix   Zone  common  stock  for  each  share  of  StarPress   stock.
Approximately  4.4  million  shares of Graphix Zone  common  stock  will  be
exchanged  for  StarPress  stock, valuing the transaction  at  approximately
$39.05  million, based on Graphix Zone's closing stock price  of  $8.875  on
Dec. 1. Upon consummation of the merger, current StarPress shareholders will
own  approximately 54 percent of the combined company.  Graphix  Zone  is  a
producer  of  interactive music and entertainment CD-ROMs.  StarPress  is  a
publisher and developer of reference and entertainment software products.
                      Apple's 'Pippin' Comes Next Year

     Pippin -- Apple Computer Inc.'s new multimedia device, a hybrid between
a  television-based  computer game player and  a  stripped-down  but  speedy
computer -- is expected to be introduced next year, first in Japan and later
in   the   United  States.   So  said  Apple  CEO  Michael  Spindler  during
presentation   at  the  annual  Personal  Computer  Outlook  conference   in
Burlingame,  California, where the device was demonstrated  yesterday.   The
Reuter  News  Service  notes Apple has licensed  its  Pippin  technology  to
Japanese  game maker Bandai Co. Ltd., which will market the system in  Japan
under its logo. Apple officials in Japan recently discussed Pippin plans.
     Spindler  did  not discuss pricing, but Stephen Franzese,  director  of
business development for Apple's entertainment and new media division,  told
the  wire service Pippin is expected to sell for about $500.  Franzese added
three U.S. licensees have lined up -- he declined to identify the licensees,
saying it is up to the partners themselves to make any announcements --  and
that  Pippin should be on store shelves in the United States in autumn 1996.
Spindler  told  those at the conference that licensees will  initially  sell
Pippin under their own logos in the U.S., but that eventually Apple may sell
them under its own label.
                      SoftKey Buys Compton's, Learning
     For $106.5 million in stock, software distributor SoftKey International
Inc.  has  agreed to buy Tribune Co.'s Compton's NewMedia Inc. and Compton's
Learning  Co. Under the deal, SoftKey also will assume $17 million in  debt.
In  exchange,  says  United Press International in a report  from  SoftKey's
Cambridge,  Massachusetts,  headquarters,  Tribune  has  agreed  to  make  a
conditional  $150 million investment in SoftKey, a move UPI  says  "reflects
the rising stakes in the booming personal computer industry."
     Compton's,  based  in  Carlsbad, California,  is  best  known  for  its
Compton's  Interactive Encyclopedia and other educational multimedia  titles
on CD-ROMs.  UPI says the Chicago-based Tribune's investment will consist of
bonds  convertible  to  SoftKey stock, "but that deal  will  occur  only  if
SoftKey is able to complete its $570 million bid to buy educational software
publisher Learning Co."
     Note,  though, that Learning Co. is spurning the offer in  favor  of  a
$470  million buyout by Broderbund Software Inc. "Following the announcement
of  the  deal  with  Tribune," says UPI, "SoftKey said  it  was  considering
revising  its  offer for Learning Co. but it gave no further details."   The
wire  service  notes that if SoftKey can win the battle  for  Learning  Co.,
Tribune  will wind up owning 8 percent of SoftKey. The firm also has  agreed
to buy Minnesota Educational Computing Corp.
                       Sun, Netscape Unveil JavaScript
     JavaScript,  a  new  programming  language  for  customizing   software
applications  on computer networks and the Internet, was unveiled  today  by
Netscape Communications Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. The language  is  to
be  distributed  free on the Internet, a move the Reuter News  Service  says
could  enable  Netscape  and  Sun "to set the next  generation  of  software
standards  for  the Internet, where rival Microsoft Corp. is also  investing
heavily."
     The  wire  notes in a report from Mountain View, Calif., that Microsoft
this  week  is  expected to outline its plans for future Internet  products.
However,  Netscape and Sun say 28 companies have agreed to adopt  JavaScript
as a standard and provide it in their products.
     Marc  Andreessen,  vice president of technology at Netscape,  told  the
wire  service, "This broad industry support for JavaScript will  fuel  rapid
development  of  an entire new class of live online applications."   Analyst
Laura Coniglario of Prudential Securities said the support of JavaScript "is
definitely an effort to take a position counter to Microsoft," adding, "From
an  offensive point of view, many companies are finding their strategies and
business models cut off by what Microsoft has done or is likely to do."
                       Shareware Group Opens Net Sites
     The  Association  of Shareware Professionals (ASP),  the  international
trade   organization   representing  "try-it-  before-you-buy-it"   software
developers, has established two new Internet sites.  The ASP has  created  a
home  page on the World Wide Web (http://www.asp-shareware.org) that  offers
shareware industry news, new shareware programs produced by ASP members  and
links to Web pages operated by ASP members, among other resources.
     Additionally,  the  organization  has  opened  an  FTP  site  (ftp.asp-
shareware.org) that contains copies of shareware files included on  the  CD-
ROM  published monthly by the ASP.  "We're extremely excited  that  our  two
Internet  sites  are  up  and  running,"  says  Richard  Harper,  the  ASP's
president.  On CompuServe, the organization runs the ASP/Shareware Forum (GO
ASPFORUM) and the ASP CD-ROM Forum (GO ASPCD).
                     Program Checks CD-ROM Compatibility
     TouchStone Software Corp. has joined forces with Blockbuster  Video  to
publish  a  program that lists all CD-ROMs available at Blockbuster  outlets
and automatically indicates which titles are compatible with a shopper's own
PC.  The software, Blockbuster PC MatchMaker, is designed to take the hassle
out of renting or buying CD-ROMs by minimizing the likelihood that customers
will  bring  home  titles that won't run on their  PCs.  The  program  is  a
customized version of TouchStone's WINCheckIt utility.
     "Our aim is to make buying or renting software simple and easy for  our
customers,"  says Mike Clarke, Blockbuster's vice president  of  purchasing.
We're  excited  about  PC MatchMaker's debut because it  will  simplify  our
customers' CD-ROM buying decisions for the holidays.
     Blockbuster PC MatchMaker, which is supplied on a 3.5-inch floppy disk,
inventories  and  analyzes  its host PC's configuration.  The  program  then
compares the PC's capability to the Blockbuster inventory of CD-ROM  titles.
Once a title is selected, a content description of the CD-ROM appears on the
PC's  screen along with a status box indicating whether or not the  software
will  run  on  the  system.  If  the title  and  the  PC  are  incompatible,
Blockbuster  PC  MatchMaker explains what steps can be taken to  effectively
use the software.
     The  rollout of Blockbuster PC MatchMaker is scheduled for Dec. 4.  The
software's shelf price will be $9.99, but will be available at no charge  to
customers  renting  or  purchasing a CD-ROM title  at  Blockbuster.  As  the
Blockbuster  Video  CD- ROM inventory changes every two months,  a  software
upgrade will become available.
                        CompuServe Names WOW! Editor
     CompuServe  Inc. has announced the appointment of Howard Blumenthal  as
editor-in-chief  of  Project WOW!, the company's major new  online  venture.
Blumenthal  will  lead  the editorial direction and content  development  of
CompuServe's consumer-targeted online service. Project WOW! will be unveiled
next spring. CompuServe notes that under Blumenthal's direction, the service
will deliver multimedia programming designed and packaged for all members of
the family.
     "Howard's  appointment marks an important milestone in the  development
of  Project  WOW!"  says  Scott  Kauffman, vice  president  of  CompuServe's
consumer  markets  business. "Howard has been involved in developing  award-
winning  family-oriented  content  for more  than  20  years.  His  addition
underscores our aggressive focus in developing the first service designed to
meet the needs of the next generation of online consumers."
     Blumenthal was the creator and senior producer of the Peabody and  Emmy
award-winning  PBS television series Where In The World Is Carmen  Sandiego?
In  addition, he was one of the creators and production consultant of  MTV's
Remote  Control series. As senior vice president of Kidsoft,  Inc.,  he  was
responsible for all aspects of production for the company's quarterly CD-ROM
magazine  and  oversaw the development of the company's online presence.  He
has  also  been involved in new media projects on behalf of TCI, Hearst  New
Media  and  Technology,  Warner  Communications,  HarperCollins,  Mindscape,
Parker  Brothers, RCA, Minolta, EMI, Atari, Gruppo Fininveste, WGBH and  the
Cartoon Network.
     Blumenthal  has  authored  11 books about new media.  His  journalistic
achievements  include  a  nationally  syndicated  consumer  electronics  and
personal  computer column called High Tech Home that has appeared  regularly
in  the  Chicago Sun-Times, St. Louis Post Dispatch and The Cleveland  Plain
Dealer. He has contributed to many publications, including TV Guide,  Family
Circle,  Games Magazine, Video Review, American Film and various  Scholastic
magazines.
                      Wired Threats Shut Down Web Site
     The  Hollywood Network, an entertainment industry-oriented site on  the
Internet's World Wide Web, has been shut down by the operators after actress-
director Jodie Foster attracted some death threat messages on its chat room.
The  Daily  Variety  newspaper reports this was  not  the  first  time  some
threatening  comments  were  made  on the site,  "but,"  adds  United  Press
International,  "the  serious  nature of the comments  prompted  the  site's
operators to make a report to the FBI."  Said the wire service, "Authorities
believe  Foster,  who  won Oscars for her roles in 'The  Accused'  and  'The
Silence  of  the  Lambs,' never was in real danger."  Her attorney,  Matthew
Saver,  shrugged off the incident, telling Variety, "I think what we've  got
is a bunch of 12-year-olds with a modem."
                       Apple, Graham to Host Net Party
     Teaming  with  rock promoter Bill Graham Presents, Apple Computer  will
host  a  San Francisco New Year's Eve party that will be broadcast worldwide
over the Internet's World Wide Web.  The firms said yesterday that while  as
many  as  15,000 people are expected to pay $72.50 to attend  the  event  in
person, another 30 million people worldwide probably will access the concert
free through an Apple Computer Web site.
     United Press International quotes Apple Vice President Satjiv Chahil as
saying  the  Net  concert will include a wide range  of  offerings.  Digital
cameras  would  be  passed out and record the event, and  video,  sound  and
images would frequently be transmitted to computers via "webcasting."
     He  said only users with a 64-bit operating system will be able to pick
up  the  real-time video, but others will have easy access to digital  still
pictures  and real-time sound, adding, "We hope to get across  some  of  the
exhilarating  feeling of a live event. The Web is about  all  of  us  coming
together to create a new society."
     Says  UPI, "In addition to jazz, comedy and live music from such groups
as  Carlos  Santana  and  the  Gin Blossoms, party-goers  will  be  able  to
participate in a technology and media fair with Internet access, chat  lines
and  QuickTime cameras."  And John Marks of the San Francisco  Visitors  and
Convention Bureau said other websites that can be accessed from the  concert
will include a virtual-reality tour through the city. Says Marks, "There are
few  cities that could pull (the Internet event) off, but San Francisco  has
the reputation and icons to pull it off and draw people in."
                      Magazine Warns of Sexist Software
     PC  World  magazine is warning parents to beware of "sexist"  software.
In  its December issue, the publication says some "edutainment" software may
be  promoting gender stereotypes.  In most children's computer programs, the
male characters embark on exciting adventures while the females watch, wait,
and  support them, according to the article. Experts insist that the  gender
stereotypes  may  have far-reaching effects as children  identify  with  the
characters.
     Only  28  of  344 edutainment titles reviewed by a prominent children's
software  newsletter featured an active female lead, notes the article.  And
while  animal characters may be portrayed as gender-neutral, they  are  many
times obviously male. Software companies claim they are simply following the
tradition  of  children's books and toys through the licensing  of  existing
characters.
     "Parents  must be aware of the subtle and not-so-subtle stereotypes  in
the  computer  games their children play," says Roberta Furger,  PC  World's
consumer   editor.  "Children  may  identify  with  characters,   fulfilling
stereotypical  expectations that boys be aggressive and  girls  passive  and
pretty.    Fortunately,   many  manufacturers  are  breaking   through   the
stereotypes  by  developing  strong  female  characters,  including   Carmen
Sandiego and Millie the Cow, says the article. In notes that the strong  and
smart
     Carmen  attracts boys as well as girls; Millie helps do away  with  the
idea  that  "girls  don't  do math."  To combat sexist  software,  PC  World
suggests that parents screen their children's programs for products that are
less  violent, more open-ended and offer many paths toward a final goal.  If
the child is exposed to sexism in software, parents should discuss the roles
and make sure the child understands that the stereotypes are wrong.
                       Cyberporn Bill Compromise Seen
     Capitol  Hill watchers expect Republican leaders of a House  effort  to
overhaul telecommunications laws to support a budding compromise that  would
make  it  a federal crime to transmit by computer pornography judged  to  be
harmful  to  children.  The Associated Press quotes Rep.  Michael  Oxley  of
Ohio,   a   senior   Republican  on  the  House  Commerce  subcommittee   on
telecommunications  and finance, as saying the proposal should  help  assure
passage  of  the telecommunications bill before year's end.  And  Rep.  Jack
Fields,  R-Texas, the subcommittee's chairman, also reportedly supports  the
proposal.
     However,  notes AP, "there was no immediate indication from Senate  and
House advocates of much tougher prohibitions on computer pornography whether
the proposal by freshman Republican Rep. Rick White is sufficient for them."
AP  says White, whose Washington state district includes the headquarters of
software giant Microsoft Corp., drafted the proposed compromise language  in
response  to  demands  by the Senate and conservative Christian  groups  for
strict criminal sanctions against so-called cyberporn.
     As  reported,  the  Senate's telecommunications bill, approved  earlier
this year, includes provisions to impose prison sentences and fines of up to
$100,000  on  people who make indecent material available to  children.  The
measure  is opposed vigorously by civil liberties groups and online computer
service providers and was not included in the House bill.
     AP  says  White's  proposal softens the Senate bill's  prohibitions  by
limiting  the  ban to only material judged harmful to children,  graphic  or
explicit sexual matter without redeeming value. "It also offers a defense to
online services if they make a good-faith effort to keep pornography out  of
the reach of children," the wire service says.
                         Survey Sees Multi-PC Homes
     A  new  survey  says  that for PC makers to achieve sales  growth  they
increasingly  must  rely  on consumers who are  buying  a  second  or  third
machine.   The  research by Link Resources Inc. of New York  also  found  PC
sales  growth  is moving faster in Europe and the Pacific Rim  than  in  the
United  States.   According to the Associated Press, Link's survey  suggests
the  U.S.  market  is  almost  saturated, "partly  because  America  adopted
computers  for home use much sooner than other countries," the wire  service
says. "It also indicates more people update their machines every few years."
     The research also finds:
    There is more than one computer in 30 percent of PC- owning households
  in the United States.
    About 35 to 40 percent of all U.S. households are expected to have a PC
  by the end of this year, with around 11 percent owning at least two.
    Worldwide PC sales to consumers this year should reach 21.2 million
units, including 9.45 million in the United States, up from 16.3 million,
7.5 million in the United States, last year.
    In 1996, 26.8 million PCs are forecast in sales to consumers,  with
  11.1 million in the United States.
    Consumers account for about 45 percent of all PC sales, followed by
  businesses, government and educational institutions.
     Link  analyst  Andy Bose, who led the research, told the wire  service,
"PC  manufacturers are going to have to depend on current PC households  for
much  of future growth. When you get to 55 to 60 percent penetration  range,
it's  going to be difficult to get any new first-time buyers."  AP says  the
survey found similar behavior in 12 other countries, particularly Australia,
Singapore and Hong Kong, where PC sales also are in nearly one-third of  all
households. In Europe, PCs are now in about one-fourth of all households.




 Corel Monthly Newsletter STR Infofile


                            Corel December News!

Greetings from Corel and best wishes for the holiday season. We've just
completed our fiscal fourth quarter and I'm pleased to report that our
company is riding a wave of new product momentum. Since September, we have
shipped German, French, Spanish, and Swedish versions of CorelDRAW 6. In
November we launched CorelVIDEO and shipped new products like CorelXARA and
Corel PrintHouse. We shipped a Windows 95 version of CorelFLOW and Photo-
Paint 6. New CD Home titles including Interactive Alphabet, The Complete
Herman Collection, Internet Mania and World's Greatest Classic Books are now
available in general distribution.

December is destined to be another very busy month! We have scheduled the
release and shipment of Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Dutch language
versions of CorelDRAW 6. We are shipping separate Windows 95 and Macintosh
versions of CD Creator 2, an updated version of CorelSCSI and new CD Home
titles including Yellow Hippo, Hollywood Pinups and our first title in the
Medical Series on Epilepsy.

Internet Mania, a valuable collection of utilities for anyone who has
Internet access, is the first productivity title in the Corel CD HOME
series. Internet Mania carries a suggested list price of $24.95 US. It
includes:

     1/ Web Page Update Notifier
The Web Page Update Notifier checks for updates to Web pages. It
accomplishes this task by going to those pages every day when you log on (or
at scheduled times), and compares the content with the previous version. If
the page has changed, the user is notified.

     2/ Lycos( Web Search
The Lycos Catalogue of the Internet contains the largest catalogue of World
Wide Web pages and over 400,000 of these are included in Internet Mania.
Searching is integrated with Windows( 95 Explorer and is accessible from the
Start menu.

     3/ Web Catalog
The Web catalog is another front end for the Lycos database whose interface
is organized by pre-defined categories. It includes a hierarchy of topics,
each is similar to the format in the Yellow Pages.

     4/ NewsScan
NewsScan acts as a filter to search through news groups of interest.
NewsScan regularly searches through the news groups that you define and
builds a list of messages that satisfy your criteria.

     5/ Corel FTP
Corel FTP is a program that fits right into Windows 95, has the ability to
work like a traditional graphical FTP client and provides non-frustrating
access to busy FTP sites.

     6/ Personal Web Server
The Web Server provides a simple way for users to put information on the
Web. Anybody with a Web Browser and the name of a user's machine can read
these files. The server tracks the number of times files are downloaded and
the user can stop sharing the document at any time.

     7/ Home Page Author
The Home Page Author is an easy, step-by-step way to create World Wide Web
pages. Knowledge of  HTML and how the Web works is not needed to create
professional looking pages.

     8/ QuoteScan-A Personal Stock Ticker
QuoteScan allows user to track the prices of  5 company stocks.  Information
displayed includes price, units that have changed hands and price change on
the day.  Data is updated every 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes, or daily, with
delayed data of 20 minutes.

Corel has developed a CMX Plug-in Viewer for Netscape's web browser
Navigator 2.0 that lets users view vector file formats on the World Wide
Web. The plug-in viewer makes it possible for Internet users to view Corel
CMX files (vector format) online as opposed to the traditional GIF or JPEG
files (raster format) that are currently associated with Internet use. It is
a self-extracting .exe file that is available now for downloading from
Corel's Home Page at http://www.corel.com/corelcmx/. Corel will also make
the viewer available free of charge to any third-party Internet site that
makes it available for general use.

The CMX Plug-in Viewer delivers the benefits of vector file formats to
Internet users who have previously only been able to use raster file
formats. The advantages include the following:

    Reusable:  Vector images are reusable and scaleable to any size.
  Resizing images in vector formats does not result in the jaggies created by
  resizing pixel-based raster images.
    Rich Presentation: Vector-based images consist of objects with defined
properties while raster-based images rely on pixels for their structure.
Vector formats allow for a richer and fuller representation of the object.
    Transparency:  The background for vector graphics is automatically
transparent.  There is no need to rely on masking tools to remove unwanted
backgrounds.
    Worldwide Usage:  Vector formats such as CMX or CDR are used
extensively worldwide. Corel's user base alone is estimated at 3 million
people.
    Economical format:  Depending on the type of graphic, (logos, maps etc)
vector file formats such as CMX or CDR can take significantly less bandwidth
than raster formats such as GIF.

Corel plans to continue development of the CMX Viewer Plug-in over the next
several months.  Further enhancements will continue to highlight the
capabilities of vector graphics for the Net.

The Corel Professional Photo Series consists of 490 individual titles, 13
Volume Sets and 2 Stock Photo Libraries. In the month of December we are
adding these new photo CD-ROMs: Ireland II, International Cuisine, Sand &
Pebble Textures, Zion National Park, Prince Edward Island, Botanical Prints,
Sierra Nevada Mountains, Bark Textures, Colors & Textures, Patterns In
Stone, Textile Designs, Steam Trains II, Great Works of Art: The Orient,
Great Works of Art: Studies Of the Masters, Great Works of Art: Landscapes,
Great Works of Art: Art of Antiquity, Jewelry, EMS Rescue, People at Work,
War, Great Works of Art: Groups & Figures, England, Alien Landscapes,
Recreational Activities, Transportation, Seasons, Fabulous Flowers, Men of
the World, Flower Beds, Hanover, Germany, Museums of Ottawa-Hull, Special
Effects.

More than 3,500 works of fiction, short stories, plays, poetry, historical,
political, religious and scientific documents are now available on CD-ROM
with the release of The World's Greatest Classic Books. This reference CD-
ROM is Corel Corporation's newest addition to its CD HOME line. It carries a
suggested list price of $24.95 US and features the works of over 200
renowned authors.

All text is complete and unabridged and each literary work can be read on-
screen or printed for reading away from the computer. An adjustable
automatic scroll mechanism is available for on-screen viewing and The
American Heritage dictionary is linked to the text for quick definitions of
problem words. The title includes 200 biographies, over fifteen minutes of
full motion video from classics like Treasure Island and Pygmalion and more
than 300 illustrations. It also includes a number of useful tools that will
make research work quicker and easier.

The minimum system requirements include Windows 3.1, a 486 33, 4 MB of RAM,
a double-speed CD-ROM drive and a mouse.

Corel is shipping Corel ArtShow 6, the color coffee-table book with
companion CD-ROM. ArtShow 6 displays over 3,000 full color images selected
from over 7,800 entries submitted to the Corel $2,000,000 World Design
Contest. The designs in the anthology represent the work of artists in more
than 60 countries.

The Corel ArtShow 6 coffee-table book and companion CD-ROM carries a
suggested list price of $49.95 US and runs on Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and
Macintosh platforms. The companion CD-ROM is also available in jewelcase
format at a price of $24.95 US.

Corel's 7th Annual $3,000,000 World Design Contest runs from September 1995
through July of 1996.  This year, eight monthly winners will be chosen in
the categories of People, Plants and Animals, Landscapes and Landmarks,
Technical Drawings and Graphs, Corporate Identification, Page Layout,
Abstracts, Specialty and Goodwill Poster. These winners compete for Best of
Show and individual Grand Prize honors during the 'Academy Awards of
Graphics' Gala scheduled for October, 1996.

Corel is participating in several trade events including the Winter Consumer
Electronics Show. Come see the latest CD Home products at Corel's booth in
the Sands Convention Center, January 5-7 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CorelDRAW 6 for Windows 95 swept the product awards presented in November at
Fall Comdex by winning the " MVP Award" from PC/Computing in the category of
business graphics, an "Editor's Pick" award from Home Office Computing in
the Illustration category and a "Best Buy" award from Computer Shopper
magazine.

We are pleased to announce that both Ventura 6 for Windows '95 and Windows
NT and CorelCAD have entered the beta test phase of our development process.
Both products are scheduled for release in the spring of 1996.

CorelVIDEO is going into production! Imagine full-motion picture quality
video in a local campus environment and connected to wide area networks at
home or satellite offices via the H.320 protocol.

CorelVIDEO has traditional telephone features but also goes beyond
conventional features with new and innovative features that only video can
provide. The per seat cost of CorelVIDEO is $499 US excluding the Corel
camera. CorelCAM with a suggested list price of $499 is a fully featured
camera with dual lenses, tilt and swivel lens head, video and audio mute,
and ergonomically designed for optimal eye contact.

CorelVIDEO is currently in field trials at two separate sites. It will be
installed across all divisions at Corel by the end of 1995. This means 600
employees will use this product on a day to day basis.

Since this is my last newsletter this year, I'd like to take this
opportunity to express my appreciation to you, our business partner for the
support and service you have provided to our company during 1995. We are
excited about the future and the new technological directions our company is
taking. We hope you will continue to be an integral part of our 1996 plans.

This newsletter is available electronically via the Internet. If you would
like to subscribe and receive your copy automatically, please contact the
CorelNET home page at http://www.corelnet.com and subscribe by sending an
email to cnd-sub@discuss.corelnet.com.

Best regards for the new year,

Arlen Bartsch
Director, Sales & Marketing





Thumbs Plus 3 STR Focus

                    ThumbsPlus 3.0-S Beta Release 2 Notes

Available NOW... where ever quality Graphics Utilities are found.

Installation ThumbsPlus 3.0-S Beta release 2:

 Editor Note.
FYI, this program, among many other powerful features, produces the
sharpest, best looking Thumbnails of your Graphics Libraries.. BAR None!
Try this program.. you'll never look back.  This is GOOD STUFF!!

All necessary files for Windows 95 and Windows NT (3.5.1 or later) are
provided as a single ZIP file (TP30SB2.ZIP). There is another zip for
installing Win32s 1.3 if you need this to run on Windows 3.1/3.11.

    Create a new directory (DO NOT install on top of version 2!).

    CD to the new directory.

    PKUNZIP TP30SB2.ZIP

    Create a program manager icon (NT/3.1) or shortcut (95) for THUMBS.EXE.

    If you're running Windows 3.1, be sure you have the latest Win32s
  release    (1.3) before running ThumbsPlus. It will not run properly with
  earlier releases.

    If there is an older version of the 32-bit PhotoCD library
  (PCDLIB32.DLL) on your system, you may have to rename it or replace it with
  the version supplied with ThumbsPlus.


Notes on testing the beta shareware release:

    This is a pre-release (beta) version of ThumbsPlus. There ARE problems
  in it! Do not expect it to be a fully-functional, complete product.

    This is a pre-release of the SHAREWARE version. As it is being made
  generally available, we cannot provide registrations to everyone who tests!
  Also, we will provide the beta of the registered version only to registered
  users. If you wish to test the registered version, you must be a registered
  user.

    There is no conversion provided for the old-style ThumbsPlus database
  format (.TUD). There is too much additional data stored in the new database
  which was not collected for the old format. You must re-scan any files or
  directories.

    Do not install this beta into the same directory as ThumbsPlus version
  2.  You need to continue using version 2 for production work; only use this
  beta for testing.

    There will be additional toolbar buttons (and maybe icons) available in
  the final release. If you design any you would like to share with us, please
  feel free to send them. They may be true-color or 256-color bitmaps.  Please
  do not send JPEG files - the loss (error) makes them inappropriate for the
  toolbar.

    If at all possible, please use the Beta Accuracy Report Form (BARF) at
  http://www.cerious.com to send beta reports and suggestions. These are
  received via e-mail and can be imported directly into our problem database.
  Reports sent by regular email, fax, voice, etc. must be manually typed in.
  If you simply have a question about the beta, please send e-mail to
  'pcrews@cerious.com'.

There is also a downloadable BARF form, which you can fill in offline and e-
mail (ftp://ftp.cerious.com/barftemp.txt).


Problems known or reported by 11/27 but not yet corrected:

    The quick-dithering used for displaying 24-bit images on 8-bit (256-
  color) displays is not working properly in Windows 95. It does work on NT,
  and we're investigating what the difference is.

    Toolbar buttons are always shown as light gray (rather than the current
  background color) on Win32s and Windows 95. This will be corrected (at least
  for 95).

    Some PNG formats are not yet working properly. (Verified)

    Directories do not always have the proper folder colors. (Verified)

    File->Register is not functional. (Verified)

    Changing the size of the thumbnail using Options->Preferences->(File
  List) does not work. You CAN, however, change the size of the stored
  thumbnails by creating a new database (File->New Database). (Verified)

    Picture->Annotate does not work; however, you can modify the annotation
  in the database using Picture->Properties->(Database). (Verified)

    The Browse dialog box (for finding a directory to move to, copy to,
  etc.) sometimes or always (?) causes a GPF on Windows 95. (Not yet
  reproduced)

    When moving a file to a floppy, the program deletes the source file
  even if the operation fails. (Not yet reproduced)

    Some files on network drives will not be loaded, though the same file
  on a local drive is loaded properly (Not yet reproduced)

    Minimizing crashes system; background mode crashes system (on Win32s)
  (Not yet reproduced).

    In the "Save As" dialog box, selecting a file type from the file type
  drop-down does not update the file name. (Verified)

    The HELP files are not yet provided because they are not finished.

Some of the problems fixed since Beta 1:

    The appearance of many confirmation and input dialog boxes was updated
  to be consistent with the other dialog boxes.

    Tree->Indicate Expandable Dirs. now works properly.

    The taskbar entry for the initial (splash) screen now has "ThumbsPlus"
  rather than being blank.

    Saving pictures was not creating thumbnails for the new file, and
  sometimes caused a GP fault.

    Removing thumbnail tree (Thumbnail->Remove Tree), removing orphans
  (Thumbnail->Remove Orphans) and automatic orphan removal (from Options-
  >Preferences->(General) now work properly.

    Many accelerator keystrokes were added or corrected.

    Many menu help items (in the status bar) were added or fixed.

    Contact sheets now put the images on the sheet (I broke it when getting
  the catalog print working on the day before I posted beta 1!)

    Disk volume discrimination is better (it no longer confuses drives as
  far as I can tell.)

    The directory list is updated when you create or remove directories.

    File->Delete Directory works properly.

    You can now set the database attributes on Windows 95 (from File->New
  Database), such as thumbnail size and color depth.

    Spurious "Database error: Unable to retrieve volume information for
  drive X:\" were fixed.

    View windows and slide show would retreat behind the main window when
  the toolbar was used. This was fixed.

    Several memory leaks were eliminated, and memory handling was made more
  efficient.

    Several resource leaks were eliminated. These were generally benign on
  Windows 95 or Windows NT, but would cause Windows 3.1/3.11 to lock up or
  crash.

Note:
-----
Many other problems have been identified and fixed. If a problem you
reported is not listed above, I may have categorized it with one of the ones
listed, or it could be related to one. Please try the function again on beta
2 and report again if it is not corrected.


                      MANY, MANY THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!



EDUPAGE STR Focus    Keeping the users informed


                                 TOP STORIES

Compromise On Cyberporn Legislation
Internet Demand Exceeds Supply At Many Schools
Taligent Goes The Way Of Kaleida
Web May Alleviate High-Tech Obsolescence
Sun Plans Java-Like Microkernel
EIA Endorses Smart-Radio
Kids On The Web
High-Tech Labor Crunch In Austin
Canada Lags In Technology
Bell Asks To Kill Long-Distance Price Cuts
Italy Telecom Wins Bid For Russia's Phone System
Navigation By Corel
Canadian Internet Books
AOL Drops Restriction On Word "Breast"
Edupage In German
Does English Dominate The Internet?
LSI Logic's "Internet On A Chip"
24-Hour News Field Getting Crowded
NRC Calls For New Budgeting Process For R&D
Intuit To Offer Banking Services Over The Internet
UnGame Software
Motorola Does Chinese
Tokyo Exchange Says Internet's Too Fast
Netcom Spins Its Web In Canada
Quebec To Get Virtual Shopping
Survey Of Educational Leaders
Rx For Sick Buildings
Congress Wars On Cyber "Indecency"
Microsoft Flirts With Java;  IBM Commits To Relationship
Online Services Should Take A Note From Cable
Linking Up For Distance Learning
Florida No. 1 In Computers In The Classroom
Internet Phone Has Pluses, Minuses
Loans By Phone
Software Keeps Trains On Track
Time Warner, AOL Target Health And Fitness
Signal-To-Noise   :-)



                     COMPROMISE ON CYBERPORN LEGISLATION
     The  fears  of  online service providers and civil liberties  advocates
that new federal telecommunications legislation would be too heavy-handed in
its  effort  to  keep "filthy," "lewd" and "indecent" material  off  of  the
network   have  been  mitigated  by  compromise  wording  in  the   proposed
legislation.   The  new  language, offered by  Washington  State  Republican
congressman  Rick  White,  restricts penalties of fine  or  imprisonment  to
persons who transmit material that is "harmful to children" (such as  images
of  frontal nudity) rather than a more broadly worded target against  making
"indecent material" available to children.  The compromise would give  legal
protection  to online information and service providers who made  good-faith
efforts  to keep restricted material away from children.  (New York Times  2
Dec 95 A1)
               INTERNET DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY AT MANY SCHOOLS
     Recent  efforts  by  professors  to make  greater  use  of  information
technology  in  their course work have resulted in long  lines  at  computer
centers  at  many colleges across the country.  One University of  Texas  at
Austin student complained he has to wait a half hour or more to read his  e-
mail,  and  the lines are lengthening.  "By the end of the semester,  you've
got  people  waiting three hours so they can type a term paper  that's  half
their  grade.   Professors are requiring students to use the  Internet  more
with  their  classes, but we're not getting more computers.   It's  becoming
difficult to get your work done."  Meanwhile, Bill Graves, associate provost
at  the  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, notes, "In one  year's
time,  we've  gone  from 8,000 e-mail accounts to 26,000  e-mail  accounts."
Many  university  officials privately agree that the  only  solution  is  to
require  students to purchase their own computers, but with the pressure  on
to  hold  down  tuition  costs, they say it's impractical  to  suggest  such
changes now. (Chronicle of Higher Education 1 Dec 95 A31)
                      TALIGENT GOES THE WAY OF KALEIDA
     IBM,  Apple and Hewlett-Packard have agreed to dismantle Taligent Inc.,
their software joint venture, and transfer its technology to IBM.  Apple and
HP  will  retain  rights  to  use Taligent's CommonPoint  technology.   Like
Kaleida  Labs,  Taligent fell victim to conflicting  agendas  and  differing
product timetables within the parent companies.  Of the three partners  only
IBM remained committed to using Taligent software in its products, while the
others  developed competing products as a hedge against Taligent's  failure.
(Wall Street Journal 1 Dec 95 B8)
                  WEB MAY ALLEVIATE HIGH-TECH OBSOLESCENCE
     Just  as  a  new  generation of computers and software  is  driving  an
unprecedented wave of upgrades, industry observers are saying that  the  Web
may  put  an end to this "treadmill of bigger, better, faster."  Instead  of
waiting  two  years  for  the  next huge  update  to  a  suite  of  business
applications, software makers could distribute the latest features instantly
over  the  Net.   And  just-in-time  software  will  allow  people  to  rent
applications that they only use occasionally.  "I really think that  Windows
95  marked  the zenith of the personal-computer industry," says  Oracle  CEO
Larry Ellison.  (Business Week 4 Dec 95 p78)
                       SUN PLANS JAVA-LIKE MICROKERNEL
     Sun  Microsystems  is  already working on a microkernel-like  operating
system  to run low-tech "Internet appliances."  Dubbed Java OS, Sun's  chief
technical  officer Eric Schmidt calls it the "natural next step"  for  Java.
The new software will "take the Java classes and put them on the minimum  OS
functionality you need.  You can add additional functionality by writing  in
Java," he says.  It will require only 4 to 8 Mbytes of memory, and will  not
support  Windows applications or other programs that make large  demands  on
system  memory.  "This thing doesn't come with Sound Blaster  and  speakers.
If you need a PC, buy a PC," says Schmidt.  (Information Week 4 Dec 95 p104)
                          EIA ENDORSES SMART-RADIO
     The  Electronics  Industries  Association  is  launching  a  $1-million
campaign  to  install hardware encoders that would allow specially  equipped
PCs  to  receive  stereo  radio  along  with  digital  text  and  data  from
broadcasting stations in the top 25 radio markets in the U.S.  "The  EIA  is
taking  the lead to make (Radio (Broadcast) Data System) a standard  feature
of  U.S. radio broadcasting," says the president of the Consumer Electronics
Manufacturers Association.  "We plan to equip several hundred radio stations
with  the  R  (B)  DS signal, reaching 85% of the American  radio  listening
audience." (Broadcasting & Cable 27 Nov 95 p98)
                               KIDS ON THE WEB
     A  Jupiter Communications/Yahoo! survey posted on the Yahoo!  Web  site
resulted  in responses from 60,000 initial responses with in-depth  feedback
from 10,000 of those.  Most of the respondents had been on the Internet  for
less  than  a  year, with 85% saying they had some access  from  home.   The
average  user  was  online about 20 hours a week.  More than  4,000  of  the
respondents  were  under 18, with 84% of them male.  These respondents  were
more  likely to define themselves as online experts and heavy users  of  the
Web.  The highest percentages of online minors were found in the Midwest and
Mid-Atlantic  states,  and  the fewest in the South  Central  states.   More
children  are  using the Internet in non-metropolitan areas  than  in  large
cities.  The most popular online activity was surfing (35%), followed by  e-
mail (28%).  (Digital Kids Report Nov 95 p1)
                      HIGH-TECH LABOR CRUNCH IN AUSTIN
     If you're a techie looking for work, it might behoove you to head south
--  to  Austin, where the high-tech boom has led to a skilled labor shortage
that threatens to spread to other Texas cities with a high concentration  of
technology industries, according to a study by the Federal Reserve  Bank  of
Dallas.  Although the shortages are forcing up wages for software engineers,
computer  programmers and lower-skilled manufacturing  jobs,  the  companies
don't  seem  to  be "complaining too loudly," says one of  the  study's  co-
authors.   "The  companies  are doing so well and are  so  optimistic  about
future  growth, I don't think they mind as long as they get good employees."
(BNA Daily Labor Report 29 Nov 95 A4)
                          CANADA LAGS IN TECHNOLOGY
     The  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development  warns  that
Canadians' living standards are threatened because of a failure by  industry
to  innovate through science and technology, and by relying too much on low-
tech  industries.   This  week,  the Ontario  government,  in  its  economic
statement, abolished many of the provincial programs that support technology
and export marketing partnerships with industry. (Toronto Star 1 Dec 95 E2)
                 BELL ASKS TO KILL LONG-DISTANCE PRICE CUTS
     Seven of Canada's largest phone companies petitioned federal regulators
to quash a set of three long-distance price reductions planned over the next
two  years, arguing that their very survival is at stake.  (Toronto Globe  &
Mail 1 Dec 95 B5)
              ITALY TELECOM WINS BID FOR RUSSIA'S PHONE SYSTEM
     A  $639-million bid by Italy telecommunications company  Stet  (Societa
Finanziaria   Telefonica)  to  buy  25%  of  Russia's  state  phone   system
Svyazinvest  has  prevailed over a competing bid from a  group  made  up  of
France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, and a Russian unit of U S West.  (New York
Times 2 Dec 95 p17)
                             NAVIGATION BY COREL
     Corel  launched its info-highway navigator and expects to sell  100,000
units  in  December  at  $24.95 each.  With eight  utilities,  the  CD-based
Internet software includes a scanning tool to search through news groups,  a
web page update notifier which solves the hassle of having to check manually
for updates, and a stock ticker which allows users to monitor the prices  of
up to five stocks.  (Ottawa Sun 1 Dec 95 p58)
                           CANADIAN INTERNET BOOKS
     Prentice  Hall Canada has released two new Internet books for Canadians
-  the  1996 edition of the Canadian Internet Handbook and the 1996 Canadian
Internet  Directory.  The 1996 Handbook includes a foreword by the  Canadian
Prime  Minister  and  the  results  of a recent  Angus  Reid  study  on  the
demographics  of  Internet  users in Canada.  The  books  are  available  in
bookstores  across Canada or by calling Prentice Hall Canada  at  1-800-567-
3800.   A Web site has been set up for the books at .  (Toronto Globe and Mail 1 Dec 1995 A14).
                   AOL DROPS RESTRICTION ON WORD "BREAST"
     America Online, which has been making efforts to police its own service
by purging obscene or vulgar expressions deemed to be offensive, has changed
its mind about the word "breast" and reinstated it as an acceptable term  of
discussion.  A contributor to a breast cancer bulletin board had called  the
purging  of  the  word breast "outrageous and potentially life-threatening."
(Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2 Dec 95 F7)
                              EDUPAGE IN GERMAN
     We  are pleased to announce a German edition of Edupage, which will  be
produced  and  distributed  by STERN magazine,  Germany's  largest  general-
interest  weekly, as part of its online services.  Welcome  to  our  German-
language  readers  of  Edupage!   Wir begruessen  unsere  deutschspraechigen
Edupage-Leser!  Um  die deutsche Ausgabe von Edupage zu  abonnieren,  genugt
eine  E-Mail  an:   infomat@stern.de mit der Betreff- oder Textzeile  "STERN
Online  Edupage".   (In  addition to English  and  German,  Edupage  is  now
available  in  French, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese,  and  Spanish
versions.)
                     DOES ENGLISH DOMINATE THE INTERNET?
     At  the  Francophonie summit in West Africa, French  President  Jacques
Chirac  contended the info-highway imperils the French language and  culture
and  warned that the English threat on the Internet applies to Arab nations,
Russia,  India,  China  and  Japan. Canadian Prime  Minister  Jean  Chretien
countered, however, that the French language "must make its own  way  or  be
left  by  the wayside."  Microsoft CEO Bill Gates dismissed fears  that  the
Internet  will  be  dominated  by  English, emphasizing  that  pluralism  is
guaranteed by the nature of computer-information networks.  (Toronto Globe &
Mail 4 Dec 95 A1)
                      LSI LOGIC'S "INTERNET ON A CHIP"
     LSI Logic has developed a new computer chip it's calling "Internet on a
chip,"  which  combines  a Silicon Graphics microprocessor  with  electronic
circuitry  for digital signal processing, high-speed communications  modems,
video  and audio transmission and 3-D graphics.  The company hopes  its  new
$50 chip will be used as the brains for the so-called "$500 Internet device"
that's  recently  been  touted by Oracle and  Sun  Microsystems.   "I  think
companies will be rolling out boxes in the third quarter, and they  will  be
the  Cabbage Patch Doll sensation of  Christmas 1996," says LSI's  executive
VP for product strategy.  (Wall Street Journal 4 Dec 95 A3)
                     24-HOUR NEWS FIELD GETTING CROWDED
     A  week after Rupert Murdoch announced his intention to start a 24-hour
news  channel to compete with Turner Broadcasting's CNN, Capital  Cities/ABC
is  expected  to  declare similar intentions.  The  new  service,  to  debut
sometime  in 1997, will be delivered to viewers by a mix of cable, telephone
or new technologies, according to people familiar with the situation.  ABC's
service is expected to carry more local news than CNN, provided by its  200-
plus affiliate stations.  (Wall Street Journal 5 Dec 95 A3)
                 NRC CALLS FOR NEW BUDGETING PROCESS FOR R&D
     The  National Research Council released a report Nov. 29 calling for  a
single  budget that combines all sources of federal funding for science  and
technology  projects, saying such a change is necessary if the  U.S.  is  to
remain  the world leader in R&D.  "Such a process would allow trade-offs  to
be  made across agencies, programs, and research institutions, freeing funds
for  new initiatives by reducing or ending projects that have become a lower
priority or for which there are better alternatives," says the report.   For
starters, NRC calles for changes in accounting procedures:  "Almost half (of
the  annual  federal  R&D  budget)  is  spent  on  activities  --  such   as
establishing  production lines and developing operational  systems  for  new
aircraft  and  weapons systems -- that do not involve the  creation  of  new
knowledge or technologies."  Eliminating funding for these activities  would
free  up $35- to $40-billion a year for R&D.  (BNA Daily Environment  Report
30 Nov 95 A3)
             INTUIT TO OFFER BANKING SERVICES OVER THE INTERNET
     Financial software company Intuit, maker of Quicken, will offer banking
over  the  Internet -- a shift from its previous strategy of  using  private
networks to facilitate customer transactions with their banks.  Microsoft is
expected to announce a competing Internet banking strategy.  (New York Times
5 Dec 95 C6)
                               UNGAME SOFTWARE
     Irvine, Calif.-based DVD Software Inc. has a new product that takes the
fun  out of playing PC games at work.  Called UnGame, the software finds and
eliminates games on network servers and hard drives.  It can identify  3,100
kinds  of  games,  even  when their file names have been  disguised.   DVD's
president  estimates game-playing at work costs the U.S. some $50 billion  a
year in lost productivity, assuming 40 million users spend 30 minutes a week
playing  games,  at  an  average cost of $50 an hour.  (Investor's  Business
Daily 4 Dec 95 A6)
                            MOTOROLA DOES CHINESE
     Motorola  has  developed  what it says is  the  first  highly  accurate
Chinese-character recognizer.  Its handwriting-recognition technology, which
it  hopes  will open up Asia's potentially vast PC market, allows  users  to
input  13,000 Chinese characters into Windows 95 programs.  (Miami Herald  4
Dec 95 p35)
                   TOKYO EXCHANGE SAYS INTERNET'S TOO FAST
     Because  of  "insider trading" restrictions that ban company  officials
and media representatives from dealing in securities for 12 hours after they
learn  earnings  results, the Tokyo Stock Exchange wants companies  to  stop
sending such results over the Internet right after they're announced in news
conferences.  (Financial Times 5 Dec 95 p8)
                       NETCOM SPINS ITS WEB IN CANADA
     Netcom, the largest American Internet access provider, announced  plans
to  take Bell Canada's new Sympatico Internet service head-on by the end  of
this  month.   The move could spell bad news for Bell, which is  hyping  its
service  as  a way for computer neophytes to surf the Web, since Netcom  has
both  financial  clout  and  expertise to quickly  become  a  major  player.
(Toronto Financial Post 5 Dec 95 p1)
                       QUEBEC TO GET VIRTUAL SHOPPING
     Quebecor  Multimedia and Cogeco Cable announced they will work together
to  develop and test a multimedia platform for a virtual shopping  mall  and
other interactive applications.  (Toronto Financial Post 5 Dec 95 p9)
                        SURVEY OF EDUCATIONAL LEADERS
     A  survey by the Alliance for Converging Technologies of 2000 U.S.  and
Canadian  executives in 10 industries (including 239 from  education)  found
that  86%  of  the  education  leaders  believe  that  multimedia  and   the
information highway will redefine their sector, and 90% identify "absence of
funds"  as  a barrier to success.  The survey predicts a sharp rise  in  the
number  Internet  users, from 5% of education staff today to  34%  by  1997.
(Info: act@actnet.com)
                            RX FOR SICK BUILDINGS
     Canada's  National Research Council and the U.S. National Institute  of
Standards and Technology have jointly developed new air-quality software  to
help  architects  and  designers to calculate air  quality  before  building
construction begins, hopefully ending the recent plague of  sick  buildings.
The  program  will  measure  airborne chemicals given  off  by  construction
materials and indoor furnishings, and how various changes in building design
can affect them. (Toronto Globe & Mail 5 Dec 95 A12)
                     CONGRESS WARS ON CYBER "INDECENCY"
Rejecting compromise language more narrowly targeted to stop online
depiction of graphic sexual material that would be "harmful to minors," a
House-Senate conference committee has agreed in principle on language that
would prohibit transmission of all "indecent" material over computer
networks.  Penalties for offenders would include fines of up to $100,000 and
prison terms of up to five years for people who make such "indecent"
material available to minors.  Civil liberties groups have objected to the
indecency standard because of its vagueness, and a spokesman for Prodigy
calls it "problematic":  "No one knows what it means.  It's overbroad and it
will be challenged in the court for years.  In our view, it is a giant step
backwards."  The indecency standard covers words as well as images, and
until now has been applied only to TV and radio broadcasting.  The American
Civil Liberties Union says the proposed law is a violation of First
Amendment rights to free speech.  (New York Times 7 Dec 95 A1)
          MICROSOFT FLIRTS WITH JAVA;  IBM COMMITS TO RELATIONSHIP
Microsoft is considering licensing Sun Microsystems' Java software, says
Netscape CEO James Barksdale.  "We believe Microsoft will probably adopt
Java and JavaScript," Barksdale announced at a meeting in Aspen, Co.
yesterday.  Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is a little more coy:  "I'd
say we haven't reached a firm conclusion on that.  Java has certain merits."
(Investor's Business Daily 7 Dec 95 A8, A9)    But IBM has already decided
to  license Java, and plans to install it both in browsers and various
operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows 3.1.  A Sun spokesman said
that "the fact that IBM would take on one big challenge that we haven't had
time for is great news for us."  (New York Times 7 Dec 95)
                ONLINE SERVICES SHOULD TAKE A NOTE FROM CABLE
     America  Online Services' president says to be successful in tomorrow's
online  market,  online  providers  should  follow  the  example  of   cable
companies, creating new content for niche services and offering them in low-
cost packages.  "It wasn't Rolling Stone that created MTV.  It wasn't Sports
Illustrated  that  created ESPN.  It wasn't CBS that created  CNN.   It  was
young  wild-eyed entrepreneurs that created new brands and mega franchises."
In addition to new content, online providers should concentrate on fostering
"community"  -- "No one goes to a bar for a beer.  They go for the bartender
and the people at the bar you talk to."  Finally, he joked that AOL's new ad
slogan  should  be,  "Just  a little less pathetic  than  the  other  guys."
(Broadcasting & Cable 4 Dec 95 p83)
                      LINKING UP FOR DISTANCE LEARNING
New alliances among regional educational institutions are paving the way for
increased cooperation when it comes to distance learning.  Last week the
Western Governors Association met to discuss ways to promote distance
education, including the possible establishment of a degree-granting
"virtual university."  "The word is getting out that everybody is expected
to make these investments, and the more-progressive-thinking academic
officers are saying, `Let's look at what others are doing,'" says Western
Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications director Sally Johnstone.
(Chronicle of Higher Education 9 Dec 95 A21)
                 FLORIDA NO. 1 IN COMPUTERS IN THE CLASSROOM
     A  survey of 1,000 randomly selected elementary school teachers  across
the country shows Florida teachers ranking first in terms of using computers
as  part of the classroom instruction, with 73% using computers for teaching
at  least three hours per week, compared with 51% nationally.  Florida  also
ranked  first  in  training, with 68% of teachers receiving formal  computer
training, compared with a national average of 58%.  Florida spends about 30%
of  its technology dollars on training, as opposed to a national average  of
about  4%.   The survey was conducted by Denver, Co.-based Quality Education
Data.  (Miami Herald 6 Dec 95 A6)
                     INTERNET PHONE HAS PLUSES, MINUSES
     A  Consumer Reports review of VocalTec's Internet Phone software  gives
it  high  marks  for value -- a long distance call is only  the  cost  of  a
(usually) local call to an Internet access provider -- but cautions that the
ensuing  conversation  is  a  little different from  one  conducted  over  a
telephone device:  "Sound quality varied unpredictably, from good  to  badly
garbled.  The calls also entail a delay before you hear your caller respond.
Transmissions  are  `half-duplex': only one person  can  call  at  a  time."
(Consumer Reports Dec 95 p755)
                               LOANS BY PHONE
     Unisys  has  a  new  product  based on Natural  Language  Understanding
technology that enables mortgage loan-seekers to receive most of  the  loan-
related  information they need via the telephone without talking to a  human
being.   The system responds appropriately  to different types of  questions
regarding  the same topic; for instance the question "What is an  adjustable
rate  mortgage?" would trigger a different response than "I'd like to  apply
for  an  adjustable  rate mortgage."  Several large banks  are  testing  the
system,  which  is  scheduled for release next year.   (Investor's  Business
Daily 7 Dec 95 A8)
                       SOFTWARE KEEPS TRAINS ON TRACK
     Next  month Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern Railroad Co. will
test  a  satellite-based computer system to monitor locomotives'  speed  and
location.   The  software flashes a warning to crew  members  when  a  train
exceeds  a  safe  speed, and if the advice is ignored, the system  activates
robotic technology to apply the brakes.  When fully implemented, the  system
could  save railroads $30 million a year by preventing accidents  caused  by
human  error,  plus  whatever additional savings are realized  through  more
efficient tracking by dispatchers.  (Investor's Business Daily 6 Dec 95 A6)
                 TIME WARNER, AOL TARGET HEALTH AND FITNESS
     Time  Warner and America Online are forming a joint venture to  develop
an  online  service that focuses on health and fitness issues.  The  service
will  be  available both on AOL and on the Web, and will provide  access  to
healthcare  experts and support groups, as well as information  from  Time's
Cooking  Light  and Martha Stewart Living magazines.  The new  service  will
compete  with similar offerings recently announced by IBM and  AT&T.   (Wall
Street Journal 6 Dec 95 B3)
                            SIGNAL-TO-NOISE   :-)
     Internet  World's new "Best and Worst of the Net" edition says:    "The
Net's  signal-to-noise ratio may be deteriorating, but the amount of  signal
is  still  growing.   Some  excellent  publications,  such  as  Edupage  and
Innovation  (innovation-request@NewsScan.com, with the message "subscribe"),
are  available  only on the Net, and new information services like  Newspage
and  Ensemble  are  important steps towards truly  personalized  information
services."  (Internet World Jan 95 p46)

     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,
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                              ISDN Information

Some good questions about ISDN..

Question:
     The documents from IBM on the 7845 TA says it supports 5 call
appearances.  Does this mean I can have 5 unique telephone numbers on
channel 2? How can I attach an analog phone, an analog fax and an analog
modem all to channel 2 and have them all work correctly? Can you please give
me a simple definition of call appearances vs. separate phone numbers vs
distinctive ring?
Answer:
     A simple definition probably starts with an explanation of the ISDN
concept. In addition, it gives me an opportunity to climb upon my soap box
and preach to all of you folks who view ISDN as nothing more than a slightly
faster way of transmitting data. ISDN is a fundamental change in the way the
telephone system functions at the end user level.
     Telephone switches have evolved, over many years, from mechanical
devices which physically connected wire pairs to very sophisticated
computers programmed to switch telephone calls. During this period the
analog telephone has remained basically the same device put into service on
day one. The switches are capable of delivering a broad range of services
which the analog phone is not capable of accepting due to its limited
ability to "talk" to the switch.
     ISDN introduces two new elements. The first element is the D-channel
which allows the exchange of sophisticated command elements between the
telephone and the switch. The second element is the digital set, which is in
fact a computer programmed to be a telephone. ISDN allows us to create an
environment in which a computer is speaking to a computer for the purpose of
delivering telephone services.
Now to your questions.
     The easiest way to understand the concept of a call appearance is to
relate it to the call waiting service which is available to you on an analog
phone. You have a phone number, which in ISDN terms would be your Primary
Dial Number (PDN). If you are active on the phone, and someone attempts to
call you the switch will check your line, determine that it is busy, and
signal the calling party that your number is busy. You have one Call
Appearance (CA) of your PDN in the network. If you subscribe to call waiting
the switch checks your line and signals ringing to the calling party, while
advising you of another incoming call by breaking into your active call with
a short burst of dialtone. If you want to accept the call you signal the
switch, with a short depression of the hookswitch on your phone, and the
switch puts your first call on hold in the switch and cuts the new call
through to your phone. Call waiting creates a second appearance of your PDN
in the network. In ISDN terms you have two CAs of your PDN.
     ISDN capable switches can provide between six (DMS100) and 16 (5ESS)
CAs of a single DN. An ISDN telephone provides you with multiple buttons,
indicator LEDs, and an LCD display to aid you in managing these multiple
CAs. The 7845 will provide you with 5 CAs of a single DN on one of your
analog ports. You are limited by the signaling capabilities of your analog
set and your ability to effectively manage more than two CAs will be limited
(unless you have a pad of paper next to the phone and keep very good notes).
     Distinctive ringing is an attempt to provide additional DNs associated
with the same physical wire pair. In the ISDN world we would refer to these
additional DNs as Secondary Dial Numbers (SDN). In the analog world we
indicate the various DNs by changing the ringing pattern generated on the
wire pair. The call processing element (you or your distinctive ring switch)
makes a decision based on the ringing pattern and processes the call
appropriately. Analog signaling usually limits you to three ringing patterns
or in ISDN terms one PDN and two SDNs. An ISDN switch can provide between 64
(DMS100) and 256 (5ESS) DN assignments to a single wire pair . The usable
amount is limited by the telco tariff and the number of buttons available on
an ISDN set.
     The majority of my work involves designing and implementing multi-
station ISDN centrex systems for office environments. I have not worked with
the 7845 so I can only answer your questions in general terms. The ISDN
switch is capable of providing the DNs and the signaling necessary to
accomplish what you wish. I do not know if the 7845 is capable of
translating these D-channel messages into the analog signals necessary to
accomplish your needs.
     If the 7845 is capable of generating distinctive rings on one of its
analog ports based on the incoming DN then you could attach your analog
devices just as you would to an analog line. You would need to associate
each analog port with a unique PDN and SPID to direct the SDNs to the proper
port. You can have the multiple CAs but managing the calls will be
difficult.
     A better approach would be to attach an additional ISDN TA to the S/T
port on the 7845. (This approach will require three SPIDs and can only be
supported by a 5ESS or Siemens EWSD.) You could then have your FAX on one of
the analog ports, your phone on another, and the modem operating through the
additional TA. You only have two B-channels so only two of the devices could
be active at the same time. Each device could have a unique DN for call
management.
     The 7845 is an attempt to accommodate existing technology in a changing
world.  As with all accommodations, it has its limits. I hope the above is a
help to you. If you have additional questions, please ask.

Question:
COULD someone explain SPID to me ?

Answer:
     An ISDN interface consists of an NT1 connected to the telephone company
and up to eight unique devices connected to the NT1. Each of these devices
is intelligent and needs a way to sort out messages intended for itself as
opposed to the other seven devices. The addressing concept is similar to
that used on a LAN. All messages have an destination address for a specific
device, are heard by all devices, but are responded to by the device with
the matching address.  The Service Profile ID (SPID) provides the mechanism
for the telco switch to initialize and manage this addressing scheme.
     SPID formats vary between protocols and telcos but are always built
around the telephone number associated with a specific device (If a single
physical device has more than one interface it might use one SPID per
interface). The telco will tell you what the proper SPID or SPIDs are for
your ISDN line and you must enter the SPIDs into the appropriate devices.
     As soon as you attach your ISDN device to the phone line the switch
will sense its presence and request that it transmit its SPID. The switch
will examine its data base and assign the subscribed services to the device
that you have just connected. It will go through an initialization dialog
with the ISDN terminal and set up the necessary addressing scheme for the
device.
     One of the concepts behind the development of the SPID was service
portability. Some of the ISDN switches have the ability to automatically
reassign services to different wire pairs based on reading the SPID
transmitted by a newly connected device. This service is not active on any
switch that I am aware of. A simple example of this would be moving from
cube to cube in an office. You would disconnect your ISDN phone from your
existing location and plug it into your new location. The switch would then
recognize the fact that you had changed wire pairs and automatically
reassign your phone number and subscribed services to your new location. The
concept can work equally well for residential moves.
      The reason that it is not active is that the interface between the CO
switches and the Telco maintenance systems is not very good. The switches do
not automatically update the maintenance systems and if Automatic Service
Reassignment (ASR) were allowed the Telco would lose track of where your
phone was physically located. You would place a trouble call and the service
rep would be sent to the wrong location to repair the wrong circuit.  I
suspect we will see ASR eventually as a cost cutting measure for the Telcos.

 Hope the above answers your questions.

 Raymond Oschger & Associates, 708-292-0192, ISDN Application Design &
Maintenance.

Editor Note;
Normally, I find myself glossing over explanations.  But the above answers
to the question were so eloquently done with such precise clarity.  I
couldn't resist.  Raymond Oschger frequents the ISDN Forum on Compuserve, if
you have a question about or relative to ISDN stop by and have an
informative chat.  GO ISDN.

     












 Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor


                                  NFL Math
         separate CD-ROM & floppy versions for Windows and Macintosh

                                      
ages 8 to 12
suggested retail $39.95
from Sanctuary Woods
1825 South Grant
San Mateo, California 94402
415-286-6110
                                      
Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
CPU:         486                                  CPU:         Color
Macintosh
RAM:        8 megs                           RAM:        5 megs
OS:            Windows 3.1                        OS:            System 7.0
Video:        640 by 480 with 256 colors               Video:        256
colors
Hdisk:        8 megs                                        Hdisk:        ?
CD-ROM:  Double-speed recommended            CD-ROM:  Double-speed
recommended
Misc.:         Sound card, printer optional

by Frank Sereno
     The crowd cheers as the teams break from their huddles.  Anticipation
builds as the play is about to begin...but first a math question?  NFL Math
attempts the difficult merger of a graphically-intense football simulation
with a math instruction program.  The result is a completion that will
involve fathers and children in a fun and absorbing learning experience but
comes up short of being a touchdown.
     Children are given the task of answering math and trivia questions.  In
addition, they must guide their football team to victory.  If they can win
six games in a row on the Road to the Super Bowl, then they will receive a
free Super Bowl ring from Sanctuary Woods.  The game has math questions in
four categories with four levels of difficulty.  Rapid Fire consists of a
timed round of mental math problems.  Brain Teasers are word problems.
Charting and graphing problems are presented in Stats & Stuff.  Numbers and
concepts are learned in Number Fun.  To keep the learning fun, a trivia
category is also available.  Answers to the trivia questions can be
researched in the player and trivia databases.  The player information is
presented as football cards which can be printed.
     The program features a point-and-click interface.  The main screen has
several options.  The Pre-Game Show is actually a complete guided tour of
the program which includes directions for playing.  Game Controls allows the
player to set difficulty levels, to play a single game or Road to the Super
Bowl series, length of quarter and choose sound options.  The player can
choose to Resume Game or Start New Game.  The Coach's Corner has a listing
of all the math concepts covered in the program.  Click on a category and
the coach will explain the concept while an animation is shown on his
blackboard.
     The football simulation is very rudimentary.  Players only have a few
play selections.  Success depends on correctly answering the math questions
and on the powerbar ratings for the team.  Offenses are rated on running,
passing and blocking while defenses are rated on run defense, passing
defense and tackling.  These skills can be increased by playing Powerup
games before the game and between quarters.  These games require moving a
character on the screen using the cursor keys and using the spacebar as a
fire button.  The control is very imprecise and would have benefited from
joystick or mouse control.
     After a play is chosen, then the player must answer the math or trivia
question.  Once that is done, the play's results will be shown in a dramatic
animation.  NFL Math has 33,000 play animations to keep your child's
interest.  End zone celebrations and circus catches are among the visuals
included.  The animations can be replayed in reverse or forward motion.
     NFL Math features 3D rendered animations and animations to provide an
eye-pleasing experience.  A shortcoming is that the animations do not
feature authentic uniforms and helmets.  The animations are also displayed
in a small window which is disappointing.  The sounds are first-rate.  The
voice samples are very good and also include a bit of "trash-talking" (g-
rated, of course) to lend the game intensity and authenticity.  The music
used is similar to that used in NFL television broadcasts.
     The interface is very simple and easy to use.  The guided tour is very
helpful for new players.  The manual is very brief but it is sufficient.
Troubleshooting information is included in a readme file included with the
program.  A mouse would be a better input device for the powerup games
rather than the cursor keys.
     Play value will depend upon your child's interest in football and his
level of expertise.  If he is far advanced in playing football either
electronically or physically, he will probably be disappointed in the lack
of complexity of the football simulator.  Children who like football but who
are just learning about its intricacies will find this program quite
appealing.
     Educational value is good.  A greater variety of questions would have
increased the value.  Also, practice problems in the Coach's Corner would be
a good addition.  Perhaps more than one example of each concept could have
been presented to ensure the child understood it.
     NFL Math should sell for between $30 and $35.  Sanctuary Woods backs it
with a 30-day, no questions asked moneyback guarantee.  Trying this program
is virtually risk-free.  The program also qualifies for Sanctuary Woods'
"Buy One, Give One" program which allows your local school system to get a
copy of the program for the cost of shipping and handling.  If you have a
young football fan, NFL Math is a good choice.

                                   Ratings

                              Graphics ....... 9.0
                              Sounds ....... 9.0
                              Interface ........ 9.0
                              Play Value ..... 8.0
                              Educational Value .. 8.0
                              Bang for the Buck .. 8.5
                              Average ...... 8.58


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

                  EARTHWORM JIM ZAPS ONTO COMPUTER DESKTOPS
                                      
        Upcoming Windows 95 Title Includes Unique Customizing Feature
                                      
Los  Angeles,  CA - Avid fans of Earthworm Jim can customize their  computer
desktops  using  a unique accessory package which will be a key  feature  of
Activision's  upcoming Windows 95 title, Earthworm Jim.  One  of  the  first
games ever to include desktop theme capability, Earthworm Jim is slated  for
a December release.
An  enhancement for Microsoft Plus, the Earthworm Jim desktop will bring the
game's  wacky  sense  of  humor  to everyday  computing  tasks.   Users  can
wallpaper  their desktops with Jim's cybernetic physique; select a  rotating
Jim  icon to replace the Windows 95 standard hourglass animated cursor;  use
Jim's  rapid-fire ray gun as a mouse pointer; choose the quirky Jim  cow  as
the  Network  icon; discard files into a can-of-worms Recycle icon;  and  be
greeted by the bleat of sheep when they start Windows 95.

Activision is a registered trademark of  Activision, Inc.  c 1995
Activision, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Earthworm Jim and related character
c 1994 Shiny Entertainment, Inc.  Characters created by Doug Ten Napel.
Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
Microsoft Corporation in the United States or other countries.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

                Edmark Introduces Strategy Games of the World
                     Innovative New Educational Software
                    That Helps 8 to 14 Year Olds Develop
                Problem-Solving Strategies for Everyday Life
                                      
REDMOND,  WA  -  Edmark  Corporation, a  leading  developer  of  educational
software for children, today announced the shipment of Strategy Games of the
World,  innovative new educational software designed to help 8  to  14  year
olds develop a variety of problem-solving strategies they can use every day.
Centered around three classic games that are fun and easy to learn- Mancala,
Nine  Men's Morris and Go-Moku-.  Strategy Games of the World also  features
inspiring   strategy-building  components  including  interactive   Strategy
Coaches, Real World Videos, Multimedia Game Guides and more.  Strategy Games
of  the  World   is  available on CD-ROM for Windows  95,  Windows  3.1  and
Macintosh  computers.  As a limited time introductory offer,  customers  who
purchase the product will receive any other award-winning Edmark title free.
"We  are  thrilled  to offer 8 to 14 year olds an unprecedented  educational
software program that will help them build a rich personal set of strategies
they  can  use to solve problems in academic subjects and throughout  life,"
says   Sally  Narodick,  Edmark  CEO.   "Timeless  games  that  have  taught
strategies  for  centuries  provide the venue  for  kids  to  encounter  and
practice a variety of problem-solving strategies.  Educators often say  that
when  kids  know a number of ways to solve a problem they will persist,  try
those  strategies and greatly increase their chance of success; that is  the
ultimate goal of this program, to help kids learn new ways to solve problems
successfully throughout their lives."
Three Classic Games That Teach Lifelong Strategies
At  the  heart  of  this  program is a collection of three  fascinating  and
engaging games.  Games offer kids highly interactive and goal-directed forms
of  play  in  a  rich and motivating environment where they  can  encounter,
practice  and master strategies.  The educators at Edmark carefully selected
Mancala,  Nine Men's Morris and Go-Moku because these games can  be  learned
quickly, they can be played at many levels of challenge, they do not involve
chance and they've stood the test of time- challenging players for thousands
of years.
These games, and the program's additional features, help kids learn to:

    Identify and analyze problems
    Look for patterns and sequences
    Plan ahead
    Predict outcomes
    Eliminate options known to be incorrect
    Test hypotheses
    Break problems into smaller parts that can be solved individually

Go-Moku:  Brought to Japan from China almost 1500 years ago,  Go-Moku  is  a
variation  of  Go,  which  has  had  a profound  impact  on  Japanese  life,
influencing  religion, philosophy and popular culture.   Go  is  played  and
enjoyed by millions of people around the world.
In  Go-Moku,  players quickly scan the board and find  ways  to  place  five
pieces  in a row before the opposition.  The first player to get five stones
in  a  row- horizontally, vertically or diagonally- wins the game.   Complex
and  interrelated  patterns  emerge  as skilled  players  learn  to  balance
offensive and defensive moves and to create intricate webs of control.  With
as  many  as  324 pieces in play at one time, it's essential to learn  which
information to use and which to ignore.
Nine  Men's Morris:  The earliest traces of Nine Men's Morris were found  in
Egypt;   game boards have also been found in the ruins of Troy,  Sri  Lanka,
Stone-Age  Ireland and in England, carved into cathedral  pews.   This  game
challenges kids to shift and adapt strategic frameworks.  Kids need one  set
of  strategies when placing pieces at the beginning of the game and  a  very
different set when they move pieces to block or capture their opponent.  The
game  can  be  won in two ways: by capturing all but two of  the  opponent's
pieces or by blocking the opponent from being able to move.
Mancala: This is the name given to a family of board games played throughout
Africa,  the Middle East and the South Pacific.  Thousands of variations  of
this game are played.  In Africa, Mancala boards often reflect the handiwork
of  the  tribal culture, and some are revered as religious artifacts.   This
fine  craftsmanship is reflected in the product's game board scenes  and  is
also  depicted  and  explained  in depth in the  Multimedia  Game  Guide,  a
multimedia  presentation that lets kids sample the rich cultural history  of
each  game.   The ambient sounds in the background of Mancala, make  players
feel as if they've traveled thousands of miles away to play.
Mancala  provides kids with a pure exercise in strategic thinking.  In  this
game,  players'  own  positions instead of pieces.   Kids  use  a  range  of
strategies to put stones in the board positions around the board.  The board
is simple enough to allow players to fully think through each move; however,
the board state can change immediately as players open holes, capture stones
and  distribute  stones around the board.  The game is  over  when  all  the
stones  are gone from one player's side of the board.  Whoever has the  most
stones wins.
Many Levels of Challenge and Strategy in Every Game
Game Masters: Nine Game Masters challenge kids in Mancala, Nine Men's Morris
and  Go-Moku with different playing styles and strategies of their own.   As
kids compete against the Game Masters at any level of difficulty, they learn
a variety of strategies, develop and test their own and eventually build the
personal strategies that works best for them.
Challenge  Levels:  Similar  to the Grow Slides  in  Edmark's  award-winning
Thinkin' Things Series, the Challenge Levels in Strategy Games of the  World
automatically  advance as kids win games.  As they advance  several  levels,
the screen changes to a new scene and a new opponent.  There are many levels
of difficulty in each game.
Strategy  Coaches: If kids ever need advice, they can simply click on  their
Strategy Coach.  Strategy Coaches provide tips, help kids learn the rules of
the  games and offer alternate strategies.   When the Strategy Coaches  look
especially excited or anxious, it means they have something to say!
Applying Strategies to Everyday Life
Real-World Videos: Strategy Games of the World includes more than  80  video
examples  of  how  people  from all walks of life use  strategies  to  solve
problems  in  their  daily  lives.   These  Real-World  Videos  include   an
astronaut,  a marathon runner, and a television news anchorperson  and  many
others who talk about their personal strategies.  For example, a doctor says
her  strategy  is  to  take all the information from a patient  first,  then
eliminate extraneous information and pay attention only to what is pertinent
to  making  a  medical diagnosis.  Kids will find some of  these  strategies
helpful when devising their own set to use whenever they face a problem.
Historical and Cultural Information about the Games
Multimedia Game Guides: Included with Mancala, Nine Men's Morris and Go-Moku
is  a  Multimedia Game Guide that lets kids sample each game's rich cultural
history.  In the guides, complete with beautiful, high-quality graphics  and
sound, kids will earn about the Vikings, Viking artifacts, the Maasai  tribe
of Africa, Japanese culture and more.
Insights for Parents
With  Edmark's special Dear Parents Video Presentation, parents get  helpful
insights  into  the  educational framework  of  the  program.   Edmark  Vice
President  Donna Stanger, award-winning software designer and a teacher  for
twenty  years,  shares  thoughts about the use  of  strategies,  building  a
personal  set  of strategies and the three games in Strategy  Games  of  the
World.
System Requirements
Windows System Requires: Windows 3.1 (enhanced mode), Windows 95 or later; 8
MB  of  RAM  required;  CD-ROM drive (double-speed or  faster  recommended);
486DX/33MHZ  (or  better); Super VGA, 640 x 480 (256 colors required);  Hard
drive;  Mouse;  Windows-compatible sound-output  device.   Optional:  Edmark
TouchWindow.
Macintosh System Requires: Color Macintosh (256 colors required); 8 MB  RAM;
CD-ROM  drive (double-speed or faster recommended); System 7.0.1 or  higher;
Hard drive; 13" monitor or larger.  Optional: Edmark TouchWindow.
Product Availability
Strategy  Games  of the World is available at major software  retailers  and
through  software  catalogs for approximately  $40.   For  a  limited  time,
customers  who  purchase the product will receive any  award-winning  Edmark
title  free.   For more information, interested customers may call  Edmark's
Customer Service Department oat 206-556-8484.
Edmark  Corporation, located in Redmond, Washington, is a leading  developer
and  publisher  of  educational software and materials,  with  25  years  of
experience  applying  proven  educational concepts  to  the  development  of
educational  products for children.  The award-winning line  of  educational
software  includes:  KidDesk Family Edition, Millie's Math  House,  Bailey's
Book  House,  Sammy's  Science House, Trudy's Time & Place  House,  Thinkin'
Things   Collection  1,  Thinkin'  Things  Collection  2,  Thinkin'   Things
Collection 3 and the Imagination Express Series.
                                   #  #  #
Edmark, the Edmark logo, TouchWindow, Millie's Math House and Bailey's  Book
House  are registered trademarks of Edmark Corporation.  Strategy  Games  of
the  World,  Sammy's  Science House, Trudy's Time &  Place  House,  Thinkin'
Things   Collection  1,  Thinkin'  Things  Collection  2,  Thinkin'   Things
Collection  3  and Imagination Express are trademarks of Edmark Corporation.
Macintosh  is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.  Windows  is  a
registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.



                             Read, Write & Type
                          CD-ROM for Windows or Mac
                                  Ages 6-8
                        Estimated Retail Price:$60.00
                            The Learning Company
                              6493 Kaiser Drive
                              Fremont, CA 94555
                               (800) 852-2255
     
                            Program Requirements
     IBM                                     Macintosh
CPU:         486/25MHz or better                  CPU:         68040 or
better
RAM:        4 megs                           RAM:        4 megs
OS:            Windows 3.1                        OS:            System
7.0.1
Video:        640 by 480 with 256 colors               Video:        256
colors
Hdisk:        1.4 MB                                           Hdisk:
?
CD-ROM:  Double-speed                                       CD-ROM:  Double-
speed
Misc.:         Sound card
     
by Angelo Marasco
     What do you want your children to learn today? You want them to learn
phonics? You want them to do some reading? You want them to learn a little
typing? You want them to get a little more familiar with your computer and
pick up a few useful computer skills in the process? Well, they can
accomplish all of this and have a ton of fun doing it if they are using
"Read, Write & Type" on CD by The Learning Company.
     Although the first word that comes to mind when I think about "Read,
Write & Type" is WOW!, I can't base a whole review on that one word. But
WOW! is what describes this program best. I was simply amazed by its quality
of sound, graphics and content from the moment I first started the program.
Normally for me, $60 is a little pricey for a program for my computer. After
I finished running this program for my review, I began to wonder how $60
covers so much!
     Installation was simple and the program set up an icon in a program
group called "The Learning Company." There was no "help" or "important
information" icon installed in the program group so I was a little concerned
about problems that might arise. No such problems ever popped up. The
operation of the program was smooth, with absolutely no glitches or crashes.
The only concern I had was that the loading times for different activities
were a little excessive. Since the program is constantly changing
activities, this can begin to get a little nerve-wracking after a while.
Perhaps it runs more quickly on a computer with 8 MB of RAM. Mine only has 4
MB for now.
     The program opens with a "virtual computer" on the screen and the
appearance of the "helping hands," Lefty LaDee and Rightway McKay. They will
stay with the child through the entire program, helping him or her by
explaining what is required in an exercise. They will show what keys must be
used, come to the rescue if the wrong key is pressed or congratulate the
child for successfully completing an exercise. The exercises are fairly
short and are varied, which keeps the attention level very high. Lefty and
Rightway nearly always have smiles and their voices are always cheerful.
When keyboard activity stops for several minutes, they do several amusing
things, like falling asleep or whistling. Rightway's voice is reminiscent of
Jimmy Durante's.
     At the start of the program, Lefty and Rightway introduce the keyboard
and the storytellers who live in each key. In the background is "Home City,"
which contains all of the activities that the child will experience while
using the program. This is the main screen for the program.
     The keyboard is split by right-hand and left-hand keys and the two
halves are dressed up as houses. This makes it easy for the child to figure
out which hand will be used for each key. There are twenty-six storytellers,
far too many for me to list in this review. Rest assured that each is
interesting and attractive to children.
     At this point we are introduced to "Vexor the Virus." He is a nasty
little green character who is reminiscent of Oscar the Grouch of Sesame
Street fame. His attitude is grumpy and he always looks upset. Vexor
immediately scares the storytellers, causing them to close their window
shades. Then Vexor steals the sounds from all the keys. Vexor states in no
uncertain terms that he hates stories and he will not return the sounds
unless the helping hands play a game with him in which they have to type the
sounds. Since the helping hands aren't real and, therefore, can't type, they
invite the child to do the typing for them. From the very beginning the
child is made a part of the story.
     The basic pattern throughout the program is the same. Vexor produces a
stolen sound, then the child follows him to one of three places: the
theater, the video store or the fair booth. Vexor usually requires the child
to go through a combination of two places to get the sound back. This way
the child gets to play with the sound in the beginning, middle or end of a
word. After the child successfully saves the sound from Vexor, the sound
returns to the keyboard house where the child replaces the sound on its
proper key. Then Lefty and Rightway introduce the storyteller associated
with that key. The storyteller leaves for the Story Tree but must cross the
playground, tea garden, topiary garden, lake or rose garden to get there.
Vexor is waiting with typing exercises, hoping to block the storyteller from
reaching the tree. After successfully completing the typing exercises, the
storyteller makes it to the tree and the child must type the names of
pictures which the storyteller thinks about. After this, the story begins.
     The stories the storytellers tell are typed by the child. A pleasant
voice tells the child what to type and simultaneously the words are typed
out. Then the child types those letters, words and, eventually, sentences,
depending on the level the child is at. After the story is told and
animated, the storyteller returns to the keyboard house it lives in with its
written story in hand. The child returns that storyteller to its rightful
home and the game continues.
     Let's look at the game in a little more detail. In the theater, Vexor
shows the child pictures. If the picture starts with the featured sound,
then the child types that letter. If the picture does not start with that
sound, then the child types a space. When the child wins, Vexor loses his
temper and something bad inevitably happens to him.
     In the video store, the sound must come in the middle of the word for
it to be typed. Vexor shows his pictures. If the sound does not come in the
middle of the word then the space key is typed. Again, as in the theater,
Vexor loses his temper when he loses and he pays for it.
     At the fair booth, the sound always comes at the end of the word. Vexor
again shows pictures. If the featured sound comes at the end of that word
then the letter is typed. If the sound does not come at the end of the word
then the space bar is pressed.
     These three exercises serve a double purpose. First, they teach
phonics. Second, they are typing exercises. The child is typing either the
letter or sound combination or a space. Now, I don't know about you, but
when I learned to type, my first exercises were to find a key, then type it
in a series with spaces between. This program uses what I would characterize
as "stealth learning." The child never knows that he or she is learning to
type!
     After beating Vexor at this activity, the sound returns to the keyboard
house and the child places it in the proper key. The window shade opens and
the storyteller is revealed. Lefty and Rightway introduce the storyteller
and send it off to the Story Tree to tell its story. However, to get to the
Story Tree the storyteller must safely cross through the playground. In
later levels this changes to a tea garden, topiary garden, lake and,
eventually, a rose garden. These backdrops are colorful, interesting and a
pleasure to see, especially the rose garden.
     In this exercise the child must type the words or phrases given them.
Where the first activities helped to build phonics  and basic typing skills,
this activity begins to build more advanced typing skills. Here, Vexor waits
at the end of the three screens for the child to make a typing mistake. Make
enough mistakes and the storyteller gets blown back to the beginning. If a
mistake is made, a "back arrow" appears which gives the child the chance to
redo the exercise with no mistakes. After successfully crossing the screen,
Vexor blows off stage. If the child gets the storyteller across with no
mistakes, Vexor has a little virus fit which always costs him in the end.
     Now comes the Story Tree. But before the storyteller will share its
story, the child must type the names of several pictures. This is a great
vocabulary builder. The nice thing is that, if the child doesn't know what
the picture is, they need only click on it with the mouse and a pleasant
voice tells them what it is.
     At the Story Tree, the storyteller is featured in a little animated
story that runs for four lines. The narrator narrates a line of the story
while the program types it out. Then the child is asked to type the line in.
As the child advances through the levels and saves more sounds, the stories
become more complex and begin to rhyme. Initially the stories are a little
lame, but what can you expect when you're trying to tell a story with one or
two letters?
     After successfully completing the Story Tree activity, the storyteller
returns to the keyboard house with its typed story in hand. It's really neat
to think that the storyteller is holding what the child has typed! The child
now places the storyteller back in its key where it does a little animated
trick before settling down.
     I was a little upset with the fact that, at this point, the animation
lags behind the sound enough to be very noticeable. The same is true of the
sound and image for the helping hands and Vexor. It is obvious that someone
at The Learning Company went to a great amount of trouble to make the
helping hands and Vexor shape every sound and word properly with their
mouths. To me, it is a crime that the sound and animation don't stay
together. It's like watching a movie with a poorly synchronized sound track.
It may be that it's the fault of my slower 486SX33, but my computer does
meet the minimum requirements for the program to run.  I would expect such
an expensive piece of software to perform flawlessly.
     After the show is over, the letter or letter combination is shown on
the "Hall of Fame." After four sounds are saved, the Hall of Fame produces
an award that the child can print if he or she chooses. In all there are ten
levels. It is a lot of work to complete all ten levels and I think that this
keeps the program challenging enough to hold the child's interest for
extended periods. At the same time, the levels are fairly short, having only
four sounds in each. This makes the levels short enough so that the child
won't lose interest by being bogged down in a long, drawn-out game that
never seems to end.
     In level two, things really begin to get interesting. First,
construction begins on the "E-mail Tower" after the first sound is saved on
this level. Construction ends at the completion of level three. Second, the
"Bonus Blimp" appears after the second sound is saved.
     The E-mail Tower turned out to be a really exciting innovation. When
its construction is completed, it becomes a place where the child can write
stories and letters and communicate with the whole "world." This activity
fosters creativity and gives the child a reason to create written works. The
E-mail Tower contains a simple word processor with many normal word
processor commands and e-mail capability. The first time the child enters
the E-mail Tower, they are taken on a tour that explains how to open, write,
save and send an e-mail letter. The child also receives an e-mail letter
back from the country that their e-mail is sent to.
     Now, parents, don't panic! The e-mail isn't really being sent! Your
phone bill isn't about to put you into bankruptcy! The E-mail Tower sends
the completed work to its virtual radar dish where the letter is sent to a
virtual satellite which sends the letter to a randomly chosen country. Then
a return e-mail letter is received, which the child opens and reads. The
program contains 84 different e-mail letters written by real children. One
interesting thing about the E-mail Tower is that it won't allow the child to
write a very short letter and send it or to re-send a letter which has
already been e-mailed. This activity requires thought and creativity by the
child.
     The E-mail Tower activity operates at three different reading levels:
first grade, second grade and third grade and up. The level is adjustable
from what is called POP, the Program Options Pad. POP is always available
from the Home City screen. It is also used to sign in new players, to enable
or disable the printer, to show a short document on the educational benefits
of the program, to exit the program and to show the keyboard. From the
keyboard option the child can see the names of all the storytellers and can
see the "power-up" positions of Lefty and Rightway. The power-up position is
the home position on the keyboard for a typist's hands.
     The Bonus Blimp allows the child to choose a vowel, letter combination
or storyteller to use. The selection is then used by the program to pick an
activity for the child to go through again. Successful completion earns the
child points which are displayed on the certificate for that level. I
suppose that it could be associated with "extra credit" work.
     Last, but not least, is the "Power Fountain." The Power Fountain helps
the child to improve typing accuracy and speed. This is another activity
whose level is adjustable through POP. The Power Fountain is a really
amusing activity. Here, Vexor the Virus is seated on a swing above a water
fountain. The child must type words or phrases accurately and with enough
speed to keep the water flowing. If the child types accurately and quickly
enough, nasty, but amusing, things happen to Vexor. This continues for as
long as the timer is running. At higher levels the timer runs longer and the
words and phrases are bigger and longer.
     From the Home City screen the child can click on any area and take part
in that activity or exercise. Not having to constantly follow the routine
creates more interest. No matter how interesting a program is, it can get
boring real fast if the child has to constantly follow a routine. Lefty and
Rightway actually counsel the child occasionally to "cool their jets" and to
take some time out for other activities in the program.
     Overall, I found "Read, Write and Type" to be an exciting, colorful,
rich program that should hold the attention of children for a long time. My
seven year old lit up when I first ran the program and the opening story. My
nine year old fired the program up every day for a week after school and we
had trouble peeling him from the computer long enough for me to do this
review. Even my twelve-year-old enjoyed the program. I certainly know that I
enjoyed using it and never grew tired of it.
     The graphics are absolutely fantastic. I didn't rate them a perfect ten
is because of the delays I experienced when the sounds really needed to
match up to the movements. However, most of the time they ran closely enough
that it didn't make a difference. Plus, the extent that The Learning Company
must have gone to make sure that Lefty, Rightway and Vexor formed their
sounds properly deserved better than the 9.0 I would have given them
otherwise.
     The program is loaded with a variety of high quality sounds that make
the experience of playing with this program a real pleasure. The sounds are
very accurate and realistic. For instance, at one point Hug the Hamster is
bouncing in his plastic travel ball in the back of Will the Wagon.  You can
actually hear the sound of a plastic ball bouncing in a metal wagon!
Authenticity like this deserves a great rating.
     The interface also deserves a high rating. My children could use the
program with no help from me. Lefty LaDee and Rightway McKay are helpful and
always present to jump in and help or amuse. Everything was easily
understandable.
     Play value also deserves a high rating. The program is not only
educational but is a lot of fun. Children don't learn very well when they're
falling asleep. That will never happen with this program. There are plenty
of activities that are attractive to children. The only problem I had with
the program was that I would have liked to see the Bonus Blimp use different
activities or even some type of game rather than repeat the exercises.
However, I suspect that there is some good reason for the Bonus Blimp to use
the same exercises so I saw no reason for the play value rating to be lower.
     There is no question about the educational value of the program. I
don't see any reason that a young child cannot learn something from it. I
expect my children to learn a lot from it and have already seen a difference
in the way they approach and use the keyboard.
     "Read, Write and Type" deserves a very high bang for the buck rating.
There is a lot packed into this CD. I don't think that I saw everything that
this program has to offer. It just keeps coming up with new surprises, new
pictures and new sounds. I am sure that my children will not tire of this
program anytime soon.
     I can definitely recommend "Read, Write and Type" for your children.
You'll know you made the right purchase when you see their faces light up!
                                   Ratings

                              Graphics ....... 9.9
                              Sounds ....... 10.0
                              Interface ........ 9.9
                              Play Value ..... 9.9
                              Educational Value .. 10.0
                              Bang for the Buck .. 9.5
                              Average ...... 9.86

                                   #  #  #
                                      
  That wraps up another edition of the Kids' Computing Corner.  Please send
 any comments or suggestions to fsereno@matrix.uti.com.  Angelo and I would
                  sincerely like to thank you for reading.










 Portable Computers & Entertainment Section
Marty Mankins, Editor



                              SONY PLAYSTATION


Game Listings


(38 Titles - Updated 12/01/95)
(c)1995 John Ricciardi

This is a complete listing of all Sony PlayStation games that have been
released to date. Updated frequently. Any comments, e-mail me at
<75162.2212@compuserve.com>.

                        NEW ADDITIONS SINCE 11/30/95
                    -Criticom (Vic Tokai/Fighting Action)
                       -CyberSpeed (Mindscape/Racing)
                         -NHL Face Off (SCEA/Sports)

     Title                    Publisher      #/Players Genre
Rating

3D Lemmings                   Psygnosis      1              Puzzle
K-A
Agile Warrior F-IIIX               Virgin                   1-2
Shooter             T
Air Combat                    Namco               1-2            Shooter
K-A
Battle Arena Toshinden        SCEA           1-2            Fighting Action
T
Criticom                 Vic Tokai      1-2            Fighting Action
T
CyberSpeed                    Mindscape      1              Racing
K-A
Cyber Sled                    Namco               1-2            Action
K-A
Defcon 5                 Data East      1              Action              K-
A
Destruction Derby             Sony Interactive    1-2            Racing
K-A
Discworld                     Sony Interactive    1         Adventure      T
DOOM                     Williams       1-2            Action              M
ESPN Extreme Games            SCEA           1-2            Racing
K-A
FIFA Soccer '96               Electronic Arts          1-8            Sports
K-A
Jumping Flash!                SCEA           1              Action
K-A
KILEAK: The DNA Imperative    SCEA           1-2       Action              T
Mortal Kombat 3               SCEA           1-2       Fighting Action
M
NBA JAM T.E.             Acclaim        1-4            Sports              K-
A
NFL GameDay              SCEA           1-2       Sports              K-A
NHL Face Off                  SCEA           1-2            Sports
K-A
Novastorm                     Sony Interactive    1              Shooter
K-A
Off-World Interceptor Extreme           Crystal Dynamics    1-2
Action              M
PGA Tour '96                  Electronic Arts          1-4            Sports
K-A
Power Serve 3D Tennis         Ocean               1-2            Sports
K-A
Rayman                   Ubi Soft       1         Action              K-A
Ridge Racer                   Namco               1         Racing
K-A
Space Griffon VF-9            Atlus               1         Action
K-A
Street Fighter: The Movie                         1-2            Fighting
Action         T
Tekken                   Namco               1-2            Fighting Action
T
The Raiden Project            SCEA           1-2       Shooter             K-
A
Theme Park                    Bullfrog       1         Simulation          K-
A
Total Eclipse Turbo                Crystal Dynamics    1
Shooter             K-A
Twisted Metal                 SCEA           1-2       Action              T
Viewpoint                     Electronic Arts          1
Shooter             K-A
Warhawk                  SCEA           1              Shooter             K-
A
Wipeout                  Psygnosis      1-2            Racing              K-
A
WrestleMania: The Arcade Game      Acclaim        1-2       Action
K-A
X-COM: UFO Defense       MicroProse          1         Strategy       K-A
Zoop                          Viacom Newmedia     1              Puzzle
K-A

ESRB Ratings are as follows:

EC   Early Childhood (Ages 3+)
K-A  Kids to Adult (Ages 6+)
T    Teen (Ages 13+)
M    Mature (Ages 17+)
AO   Adults Only (Adults Only)

For more information on ratings, please call the ESRB at 1-800-771-3772

For the record.

                  Sony Sells Over 300,000 Playstation Units

More Than One Million Pieces of Software Sold In Six Weeks Since Debut
     Sony  Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has announced that  300,000
Sony  PlayStation  game consoles have been sold since the system's  landmark
introduction on September 9 of this year.  Additionally, high software sales
of  more than one million game titles have resulted in an unprecedented  4:1
tie ratio (four titles per game console).
     "This  is  phenomenal  news -- exciting for everyone  involved  in  the
launch of the PlayStation, especially our retailers and consumers," said Jim
Whims, senior vice president, SCEA.  "Several retailers are still in a sold-
out  situation,  and  demand  for software  continues  to  increase  as  the
installed base grows.  Our goal is to gear up for what we anticipate will be
a fabulous Holiday Season."
     With  record  sales of more than a quarter of a million units  in  just
over  six  weeks,  SCEA is anticipating that the PlayStation  will  be  this
year's leader among the next-generation video game platforms.
     According to Peter Roithmayr, merchandising director at The Electronics
Boutique,  "The  Sony  PlayStation continues to be the dominant  video  game
hardware at our stores, by far outselling the Sega Saturn.  Every new  piece
of PlayStation software we get goes straight to the top of our sales charts.
We are ecstatic with the sell-through."
     Sony  Computer  Entertainment America, a division of  Sony  Interactive
Entertainment Inc., is based in Foster City, Calif.  The company markets the
PlayStation   for  distribution  in  North  America,  publishes  PlayStation
software  for  the North American market, and manages the U.S.  third  party
licensing  program.  Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.,  a  subsidiary  of
Sony Corporation of America, is headquartered in New York.






 Atari Jaguar/Computer Section
Dana Jacobson, Editor




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

     Well, it's been a fairly exciting week for me personally, with regard
to the computing side of things Atari.  It's All Relative has just released
a few new CDs and I managed to get my paws on a couple of them: Electronic
Spinster Graphics "PD Clipart Collection" and "All Things Falcon".  Both are
an excellent collection and I'll be spending even more time with them and
giving you a quick review of what I've found.  IAR's Greg Kopchak happened
to mention online recently that someone is in the process of writing a
QuickTime player for Atari users which should generate a number of new CDs.
I'd be one of the first in line to grab a few of those!  If you've been
considering adding a CDROM to your existing Atari set-up, I'd highly
recommend it!  Below, you'll find a short synopsis of a few of the latest CD
offerings from It's All Relative.
          Until next time...

                       All Things Falcon CD - Rev 1.0
                      A Collection of PD and ShareWare
                    Software for the Falcon030 computer!
The  All  Things Falcon CD has been compiled specifically for use  with  the
Atari  and  C-Lab Falcon 030 Computer Systems.  All the files  contained  on
this  CD  are either Falcon Specific, or are (to the best of our  knowledge)
100%  Falcon  compatible.  Every effort to make this CD as hassle  free  for
Falconers  as  possible, ST programs that kinda work on the Falcon  are  NOT
included.   Programs that require "Compatibility Modes"  are  NOT  included.
All  Things  Falcon  was  released  December  1995  by  STF  Publishing   of
Independence, Missouri.

Electronic Spinster Graphics
Electronic Spinster Graphics has long been providing quality clip art to the
Atari market. Now, for the first time, their graphic collection is available
on  one  CD.   Unlike  other clip art CD's, this CD is aimed  at  the  Atari
market.  All  images are provided in IMG, CVG, or GEM format  for  use  with
Atari  or C-Lab Falcon applications.  The ESG Collection contains 6,000  IMG
files and over 1,000 CVG files covering a broad range of topics.  Electronic
Spinster  Graphics  was released in December of 1995 by Electronic  Spinster
Graphics of Olathe, Kansas.
                          The Crawly Crypt Archives
Get  all  of Volume 1 and 2 of the Crawly Crypt series on one CD. All  files
are  compressed and BBS ready. Standard BBS file lists are on the CD for all
files. This is a great CD for club librarian, BBS operator or anyone looking
for 1.2 gigabytes of Atari files on one CD.  The Crawly Crypt Collection was
released  December  1995  by  the Crawly Crypt  Corporation  of  Webb  City,
Missouri.
We  offer  All  Things Falcon or ESG Graphics at a special price  of  $19.99
each.
We offer the Crawly Crypt Collection for the special price of $39.99.
Get  all three of these new CD's for $79.97 and we will include a free Corel
Photo CD with 100 images in Kodak Photo CD format.
Send a check or money order in U.S. funds to:
                         It's All Relative Software
                              2233 Keeven lane
                           Florissant MO 63031 USA
                               (314) 831-9482
    All orders are shipped postpaid, worldwide, add $3.00 for second day
                             delivery in the US.
 Write or call for a copy of our new Winter 1995 newsletter and price list.
                                 CD 12 Pack
Electronic Spinster Graphics by the Electronic Spinster
Includes:
    Corel Photo CD Disc featuring 100 Kodak Photo CD images
    Batik Designs MediaClips
    Business Backgrounds MediaClips Full Bloom MediaClips
    Jets MediaClips
    Majestic Places MediaClips Money, Money, Money MediaClips Props
MediaClips Vintage Aloha MediaClips
    Wild Places MediaClips World View MediaClips
All 12 CD's for $59.99
The Media Clips series by Aris features BMP and TIF images along VOC and WAV
sound files that can be reused in your print materials and presentations  as
long  as  no  more than 20% of a CD is used in one project.  Payment  in  US
funds. We ship worldwide, postpaid. Add $3.00 for second day delivery in the
US.


STR Mail Call          "...a place for our readers to be heard"



                             STReport's MAILBAG


                     Messages * NOT EDITED * for content


Fm: James Thornhill, Jr.  102172,2761
To: Ralph@STReport 70007,4454

Ralph,
Both yourself and Dana are very welcome.  STR or as I like to call it
(Simply True Reporting) is one heckuva of a well done product.  I bet all of
those newsstand magazine publishers just shake their heads when they get a
glimpse of STR and wonder how in the world you all do it. :)
Please don't just start lurking around the forums Ralph, I depend on you for
my unbiased and accurate Atari information and I believe alot of others do
as well but just may be afraid to admit it.  Please keep bringing us the
latest up to date Atari information.  I for one really appreciate it.

Jim


                               Jaguar Section

Defender 2000 Update!!  CATnips!
Milestone!  Activision News!
And more!


>From the Editor's Controller  -  Playin' it like it is!
       Is it me, or do things seem to be slowing down rather than increasing
as we get closer to the holidays?  16 shopping days until Christmas...and
counting!  Where are all of the games?  Television ads?  Has anyone seen
that infomercial?  Whatever happened to the TV schedule that was promised by
Atari's Ron Beltramo at the conference on CompuServe, the day before
Thanksgiving?  Was the infomercial a success, or a bust?
     I was actually looking forward to giving our publisher a good poke in
the ribs with an "I told you so" comment about this year's holiday season
being an exception to "the rule", but it doesn't appear that I'll get the
chance.  Turn about fair play, I guess; I'll eat those words!
     The games are coming, at a trickle.  Missile Command 3D has arrived and
getting rave reviews.  Mine's on the way as well as our review copy. We're
also expecting about 5-6 other games shortly; our reviewers are chomping at
the bit to get their hands on them for review.
     Speaking of reviews, Ruiner Pinball, Pitfall, and Highlander are in
various degrees of completion expect them soon.  The weeks between the two
major holidays is typically hectic for everybody; and it's taking its toll
on our reviewers as well, myself included.  Stay tuned for those and other
reviews in the coming weeks!  Defender 2000, according to Jeff Minter, is
essentially completed.  It should hit the production line soon; maybe hit
the streets in late January if all goes well?  Let's hope so.
     As I mentioned, things are fairly quiet on the Jaguar front at the
moment.  Here's hoping that the Jaguar sees 3-5 new releases a week up to
the holiday.  And, perhaps we'll start to see some sort of media blitz these
last few weeks (well, I can dream, can't I?).
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               $19.99    Atari Corp.
     J9005          Raiden                        $29.99    FABTEK,
Inc/Atari Corp.
     J9001          Trevor McFur/
               Crescent Galaxy               $19.99    Atari Corp.
     J9010          Tempest 2000                  $39.95    Llamasoft/Atari
Corp.
     J9028          Wolfenstein 3D                $29.95    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             $29.99    Atari Corp.
     J9003          Club Drive                    $29.99    Atari Corp.
     J9007          Checkered Flag                $19.99    Atari Corp.
          J9012          Kasumi Ninja                       $29.99
Atari Corp.
     J9042          Zool 2                        $19.99    Atari Corp
     J9020          Bubsy                         $19.99    Atari Corp
     J9026          Iron Soldier                  $29.99    Atari Corp
     J9060          Val D'Isere Skiing            $39.99         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                  $39.99    Atari Corp.
     J0144E    Pinball Fantasies             $59.99    C-West
     J9052E    Super Burnout                 $59.99    Atari Corp.
     J9070          White Men Can't Jump               $49.99    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
               Missile Command 3D                      Atari Corp.

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.
               I-War                         $49.99         Atari Corp.
               Max Force                $59.99              Atari Corp.
     J9089          NBA Jam TE                    $69.99         Atari Corp.
     J9021          Brett Hull Hockey             $69.99         Atari Corp.
     J9055          Baldies                       $59.99         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
Inc.
     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!
                   ACTIVISION SIGNS OEM AGREEMENT WITH IBM
LOS  ANGELES,  Dec.  5  /PRNewswire/  --  Activision,  Inc.  (Nasdaq:  ATVI)
announced today that it has granted IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) the right to
include  the  Windows(R)  95 versions of Pitfall: The  Mayan  Adventure  and
Earthworm Jim with its new line of Aptiva and ThinkPad computers.
"Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure and Earthworm Jim are the perfect vehicles  to
showcase  the  advanced  multimedia capabilities of IBM's  new  Aptivas  and
ThinkPads in combination with Windows 95," stated Bobby Kotick, Chairman and
CEO,  Activision, Inc.  "We are very excited to be associated  with  IBM  in
this new venture."
"Pitfall:  The Mayan Adventure and Earthworm Jim will be more fun than  ever
running  on IBM's Aptivas and ThinkPads," adds Jose Garcia, general manager,
IBM's  consumer  desktops.  "These machines use the latest sound  and  video
technology  which,  when  combined with powerful 32-bit  operating  systems,
makes for great entertainment."
One  of the best-selling video game series of all time and one of the  first
action  titles  to be released on the Windows 95 operating system,  Pitfall:
The  Mayan  Adventure  features Harry Jr., son of the  original  Atari  2600
Pitfall Harry, swinging, pit-hopping, crocodile-dodging, bungee-jumping  and
boomeranging  through 13 levels in a perilous attempt to rescue  his  father
from  an  evil  Mayan  warrior.  Players face ferocious  crocodiles,  deadly
jaguars, possessed rain forest animals, killer skeletons and wicked warriors
as  they  race  through  the jungle adventure. Older game  fans  will  enjoy
uncovering  a  playable version of the entire original Atari  2600  Pitfall!
game hidden within one level of the new game.
A  humorous  action-adventure game, Earthworm Jim is a simple earthworm  who
suddenly   finds  himself  endowed  with  super-human  qualities   when   an
indestructible  cybernetics suit falls out of the  sky  and  lands  on  him.
Defending  his right to wear the suit, Jim battles a variety of enemies  and
undertakes a quest to save princess What's Her Name.
During Christmas 1994, Earthworm Jim became an instant hit on both the Super
Nintendo  and  Sega Genesis video game systems.  Earlier this year,  it  won
Sega  Product  of  the  Year at the 1995 Consumer  Electronics  Show,  after
selling over 500,000 units.  The game's popularity has been translated  into
a  new  toy  line  which  will be introduced by Playmates  Toys,  Inc.  this
Christmas.   Additionally,  MCA  Universal  recently  launched  an  animated
cartoon series which airs on Saturday mornings.
CONTACT:
                Naomi Rosenfeld or Andrea Mabel, 212-850-5600
                                     or,
                     Miriam Adler, media, 415-296-7383,
                       all of Morgen-Walke Associates
Activision,  Inc. is a publicly held developer and publisher of  interactive
entertainment  software  for Microsoft(R) Windows and  MS-DOS(R)-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.
                       Game Publisher Passes Milestone
Interactive Magic, a privately-held developer and publisher of entertainment
software  for  CD-ROM  and online networks, says it  has  achieved  over  $7
million  in revenue in its first six months of product sales.  The  company,
based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, publishes the Apache flight
simulation game and three other PC CD-ROM titles.
"This year's sales have demonstrated that a small company with great product
and  great  distribution  can  quickly  make  an  impact  in  this  exciting
multimedia market," says Interactive Magic Chairman J.W. Stealey. "My  first
company, MicroProse, took six years to achieve this level of sales.  Two  of
our  first  four  games have received editor's choice  awards  and  we  have
shipped  more than 240,000 copies of our games to retail outlets around  the
world.  For  1996, we have nine additional titles and expect to achieve  our
first Internet/commercial online revenues."
                        BBS to Pay Sega $600,000 Fine
Sega  of  America  Inc.  will  be  paid $600,000  by  two  Californians  who
distributed  the  company's video games through a  computer  bulletin  board
system.   Marqui Labatore of Crockett, California, and Kurtis Buckmaster  of
Clyde,  California, agreed to the settlement with the Redwood  City  company
last week to resolve the two-year-old lawsuit, the Associated Press reports.
Documents  filed  with the U.S. District Court in Oakland  allege  the  pair
distributed  Sega  games to BBS members for a fee or on a barter  and  trade
basis for other games. The Sega games included Jurassic Park, Sonic Spinball
and Shining Force.  The wire service says Labatore contended in court papers
that  nobody profited from the service. Buckmaster, a refinery operator with
Tosco  Corp.,  said  he  might be unable to pay.   Sega  spokeswoman  Angela
Edwards told the wire service, "We need to tell people we will go after  you
if  you do this sort of thing. It is our property. It is copyrighted and  is
rightfully ours. It's not a public domain."



Jaguar Online STR InfoFile     Online Users Growl & Purr!

         CATnips... Jaguar tidbits from Don Thomas        (95.12.06)
Many  stores are replenishing supplies of CD-ROM units if they can get them.
Atari is still on backorder and fulfilling them as fast as possible. If  you
were  waiting for the CD-ROM... get it now! A new wave of Memory Tracks  are
shipping also. Memory Track cartridges enable CD game scores and options  to
be saved for recall at another time.
Here's some updates to software in production. Since the people who schedule
these  and the people responsible to take them in when they arrived are  all
eager, the dates are subject to changes. (What's new, right? )
Missile  Command  3D  (cart) is in stores NOW.  Dragon's  Lair  (CD)  is  by
ReadySoft and also in stores now.
Myst  is  expected  to begin shipping to stores on December  14.   NBA  Jam-
Tournament  Edition is expected to begin shipping on December 27.   Zoop  is
expected  to begin shipping on January, 5. Attack of the Mutant Penguins  is
expected to begin shipping on December 29.
Atari  Karts is expected to begin shipping on December 22. Supercross 3D  is
expected  to begin shipping on December 20.  Fever Pitch Soccer is  expected
to  begin  shipping on December 15. I-War is expected to begin  shipping  on
December 15.  Other games pending conclusive dates and in production include
Baldies  and  Battlemorph. Note that this list does NOT include  third-party
releases.
Last  Saturday  and Sunday were particularly popular days at Toad  Computers
where they held their "TOAD COMPUTERS HOLIDAY FESTIVAL '95"; billed as  "the
premier  Atari  event".   Toad  Computer  has  been  a  leader  in  customer
orientated  retailing  of  Atari products  for  many  years  and  the  Atari
Festivals  they host have become anticipated annual events for  three  years
now.
In attendance were:

    Tom Harker, ICD (BattleSphere, Catbox & Link II)
    Hyper Image (Phase Zero)
    Rob Perry, System Solutions (ASH, Digital Arts, etc.)
    Dan Wilga, Gribnif (Neodesk, Geneva & More!)
    Steve Cohen, Wizztronics (Falcon Rack, Cartmaster)
    Charles Smeton, Author of STraight FAX!
    Greg Ondo, Steinberg Jones U.S.
    Darek Mihocka, Branch Always Software (Gemulator)
    Matt Norcross, Floating Fish Studios (Demoing Expos=82, Apex Media)
    Kent Kordes, Systems for Tomorrow
    Ben Aein, Lapcat Pro Joystick for Jaguar
This  was  be  the  first  show  ever where people  got  a  chance  to  play
BattleSphere  over  the  network with full  weapons.  The  game  is  nearing
completion  and  supports up to 8 players in an all-out action-packed  space
adventure!  Attendees met developers, won door prizes, saw new products  and
drank free hot apple cider!
For more information on the event or directions to their store or a copy  of
their  new catalog, contact Toad Computers at (410) 544-6943 or send  E-Mail
to info@toad.net.
Kim Trampus sent me this from the Internet...

Toad Fest Blast!
This article submitted by David Phillips
(davidp@nais.com) on 12/6/95.

     I don't know what an HTML tag is buddy but the Toad Fest was a BLAST!!!
The Battlesphere developer was there and talking with everyone! The game is
going to be great and he said up to 16 Jags can be Catbox Linked to play
with 16 players at once!!!  (happy, happy, joy, joy, no joke!:) And a Jaguar
games demo tape was played and was AWESOME! The latest and the greatest
Atari is offering looked even better than Paystation and Blattern! Atari is
doing better now than ever. With Toad Fest still going strong, next years
should be even bigger and better, so ya better go guys and support the
Atari.
     Jennifer was smiling and everyone was in an excited mood all day and
night. More developers should come to the next show if we ask them to be
there. The music in Battlesphere is great and the graphics and gameplay are
superior! A lot of effort is going into this game. I bought the Catbox
(these are the people developing Battlesphere) and null cable and the Lap
Cat Pro six button arcade quality joystick and it RULES! No more tired
thumbs!:) Thank you.
     Anyway, everything Atari was there and then some with people coming
from a thousand miles and more. We all played Battlesphere all day and night
till the end and everyone tried it. Other monitors were displayed under wall
poster of future releases coming soon. CD's and Cart games were played at
request. Everyone had a good time, hope to see you all there next year.:)
          -- David.:)

Here's a Prodigy comment... (keep in mind those gamers on Prodigy are
demanding! )

Board: VIDEO GAMES BB
Topic: ATARI JAGUAR
Subject: BOUGHT JAG AGAIN
To: ALL

ALL,
I RECENTLY POSTED A NOTE SAYING THAT I TRADED MY JAG FOR A SATURN. BOY, WAS
I WRONG TO DO THAT JAG IS MUCH BETTER THAN ANY A SATURN. SO THE DAY AFTER I
GOT MY SATURN I WENT OUT AND GOT ANOTHER JAG. I CAN'T WAIT FOR JAG CD. IT
SHOULD BE A REAL WINNER.


...another Prodigy observation...

To: atari@genie.geis.com
Date: 11/29/95
ID: 3085624
From: XGVJ70B@mail.prodigy.com
Subject: Thank you
I went out yesterday (11-28-95) and bought a Jaguar and I'm very happy with
the graphics to me Its better then Sony's Playstation. So far I have
Cybermorph and Iron Soldier, but I'm planning to get more. I think Atari is
a great company. Both games are 3d and that's why I love my new Atari
Jaguar. Thank you, Don Thomas and all the Atari staff.

P.S. I got my Jaguar from Radio Shack for $200.00 it came with 2 games 2
controller's and monitor cables.
Bye please keep in touch with game and hardware prices put me on your
mailing list

My spy on the Internet, Frans Keylard, sends me...

In rec.games.video.atari, neuralog@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM (Neuralog) wrote:

Hi,
Boy, the Jag sure has increased it's exposure as far as I'm concerned!  Just
this weekend I saw Rhonda playing T2k on USA Up All Night. (That was Friday)
Saturday, I went and rented Pitfall and FlipOut from a new MicroPlay where
the clerk was really pro Jag! (And there was a sign on the wall by the Jag
games talking about a Jag enthusiasts group/BBS) Then on Sunday, I take my
family to Wal*Mart to get an air filter (am I fun or what?) and to my
surprise they have a Jaguar section with a stack of Jaguars!  Moral of
story? Nay sayers shut up!

BTW, Pitfall showed me a great gaming time from the word go! I liked it much
more than Rayman because of the faster action. FlipOut didn't show me much,
however I wasn't in the mood to have to think too hard.  It's nice to be
able to rent a Jag game for $2 to try it out. Now I know to spend $$ on
Pitfall and not FlipOut.

     Your Mileage May Vary,
--Ken Land


Great new place to check out Atari news...

Join Extreme on the World Wide Web!
HTTP://OURWORLD.COMPUSERVE.COM/HOMEPAGES/_EXTREME

Frans is still finding raves on ubi Soft's Rayman!
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 09:28:49
From: ST923277@PIP.CC.BRANDEIS.EDU To: Multiple recipients of list

Subject: Discussion of the Atari Jaguar and video gaming industry

Hi folks! Sorry about the posts to this list that were meant for the server.
I sure feel stupid (cuz I used to laugh at the people sending their
unsubscribe requests to the list), but I guess I've been uncloaked from lurk
status.

OOTR: I had the chance to play Rayman on all three next-gen platforms, and
IMH(and unbiased)O, the Jag version is by far the most fun. It is somewhat
lacking in the unnecessary graphics effects department, like intros spooled
from CDs, wipes between levels and sparkles and animated electoons. And
while the soundtrack certainly isn't as hi-fi as a CD can be, it doesn't
suck like some rags would have you believe. The Jag version is also missing
the cheesy voices that really ruin the fantasy setting.

The level designs are also different. The side scrolling mosquito level is
no longer speedy shooter. You can only punch with your fist (no 'skito snout
shooting) and you can imagine how poky that is on an auto scrolling level.
No one who has played the Jag version of the level would prefer the slower
paced one.

Most important, though, is the control and playability. The Jag version is
much tighter and more responsive, and the characters don't move as if they
existed on a plane separate from the graphics. Maneuvers feel more like
chores on the other platforms, at least until you get used to it. Control is
such an intangible that I am afraid most people would not put much stock in
these observations, which is a shame, unless they have had the benefit of
trying all three.

Bottom line: If play is the thing, Jag is best. If you're very concerned
with audio/visual presentation, the CD versions go one better than the Jag's
already excellent sights and sounds. Though I haven't finished any of these
I expect a fancier ending in the CD versions, which may be important to some
people. Oh, and the cart is also more expensive (but no load time!), only
Jag has breakout bonus game, and I've yet to find any cheats for the Saturn
version.

Whew! How is that for a debut post? Thanks for listening.

    Check out the Wave Magazine section of an on-line publication group.
 Browsers can click on the Atari logo and go to the latest reviews of Atari
                                  products.
         The address is tipub.com/TIP/ if you want to check it out.
                                      
                               Happy Holidays!
                                                  --Don Thomas





>From CompuServe's Atari Jaguar Forum, by way of the Usenet, comes the latest
status of Defender 2000:

Sb: Re: Message from YaK!
Fm: Keita  Iida 75271,122
To: All

To all,
I would just like to share with you guys a message posted by Yak himself on
the Internet.  I don't know how to paste outside documents, so I will
tediously retype his message.  It's worth it, though.  Here goes ----

In article <4a2dc1$376@ixnews8.ix.netcom.com>, llamaman@ix.netcom.com(YaK)
writes:

"Okay, here it is, the post I have been longing to write for weeks:

D2K is code-complete this afternoon and released to manufacture...

Anointed of God: Williams had to scrutinize it before release, and the
scrutineer was none other than the Very Holy Eugene Jarvis Himself, Original
Creator.  YaK bows his horns humbly before his Deity and thanks Him for
looking favourably upon his code.  Now, I am buggering off to Hawaii for a
week to recover from this whole period of my life...after I go out for a
celebratory curry with my test crew and producer tomorrow night."







ICD's Jaguar CATBOX STR Review    A Necessity or, an expendable add-on toy?


                                   CATBOX



NOTICE, 12/08/95:
     This review is re-posted for benefit of those who missed it the first
time it appeared in STReport's Issue # 1143.  Correspondingly, it's
presented once again to affirm STReport's support for the fine
accomplishment our staff member and reviewer Dominick J. Fontana achieved in
reviewing this ICD product.  When this review first appeared in issue 1143,
ICD's Tom Harker raised such a pugnacious fuss along with a few of his
fellow Jaguar developers and a user or two, that it was decided to re-review
the Catbox.  In all fairness to both Dominick J. Fontana and ICD's Tom
Harker, we asked that the very same Catbox reviewed by Dominick be sent to
me for a re-review.
     Truthfully speaking, after having set-up and tested the Catbox, using
my humble setup along with a pair of Telex earphones and a pair of Koss
Denims with an adapter, no fault was found with Dominick's review.  In fact,
I felt his review was quite favorable toward the Catbox and at the same
time, extremely truthful for our readers.  Thus, this re-print of his
excellent review. The Catbox will be shipped back to ICD the first of the
week.
     In all probabilities, this effort may not have been undertaken at all
had it not been for a series of hateful E-Mails having been sent to both
myself and Mr. Fontana.  Uttered by none other than Tom Harker himself!!
Harker's use of vulgar language in making wild and irresponsible accusations
of my not being capable of writing and of Dominick's incompetence as a
reviewer was the final straw!  I must admit, this unusual and thoughtless
behavior, by a corporate executive and officer of an Atari Jaguar developer
group, is a pitiful disgrace.   We, at STReport, are ashamed for and of Tom
Harker.  We've never been witness to such unprofessional and equally
capricious behavior.  Except of course, the scandalously contrived tirades
we endured at the hands of the leaders of a previous "professional" Atari
developer group.  (must be a sick tradition).
     Mr. Fontana's credentials far exceed those of most reviewers.  Aside
from the number of technical articles written for the MIDI/Music forum on
Compuserve,  he is an accomplished reviewer for a number of well established
Professional Musician's Publications such as Quarter Notes, a music software
newsletter, and now, for MIX Magazine, the Bible of the Sound Industry.
Additionally, Mr. Fontana, a fully accredited member of the New York Bar, is
a highly successful Corporate Attorney with enviable credentials.  Mr.
Fontana is also contemplating the creation of a legal column for Mix
magazine in the near future.
     In closing I present forthwith, Dominick J. Fontana's excellent and
highly informative review.


Available Now

by: Dominick J. Fontana
(CompuServe: 74766,2154 or CIS:Fontana)
(Internet: Fontana@CIS.CompuServe.com)

Date of Review: October 26, 1995

BASIC INFORMATION:
Hardware                 : Expansion device for Atari Jaguar
Manufactured by     : ICD, Incorporated, Rockford, IL.
List Price               : $69.95

OPENING COMMENTS:
     The CatBox (CB) is a hardware expansion device for the Atari Jaguar.
It is claimed to add nine features to the Jaguar: three audio, three video,
and three communications. The unit is housed in an attractive heavy duty
silver-colored metal case and plugs into the DSP and AV ports on the back of
the Jaguar. You then connect the audio, video, and communications cables to
the back of the CB. No separate power supply is required for the CB, since
it draws its power from the Jaguar. The unit has "CatBox" in red lettering
and a picture of a black cat. Two red LEDs are used as eyes for the cat and
they light up steadily when the Jaguar has power applied to it and they
flash when communications data is being received. There are also two
internal jumpers that can be used to enable or disable two of the CatBox's
functions.     The CB comes with a temporary owner's manual, which consists
of three photocopied, typewritten pages, with printing on both sides of each
page, for a total of six pages, and a Warranty Registration Card. However,
the type, conditions, and length of the warranty are never mentioned. The
temporary manual states that the final manual will be mailed to purchasers
in May or June 1995, but to date, the final manual has not been completed
and mailed out.  A copy of the temporary manual can be downloaded, at the
user's expense, from CompuServe and GEnie.

WHAT IT HAS:
     The CatBox has the following connectors and controls on its panel,
which are grouped here according to the nine functions that the CB provides:

Audio:
1)   Two line level RCA (phono) jacks for left/mono and right stereo audio.
2)   RGB Monitor Audio, which is carried on Pin 9 of the Analog RGB
  connector (to be discussed shortly). This is a mono audio signal.
3)   Two stereo 1/8 inch (mini-phone) headphone jacks and volume control
  knob.

Video:
1)   Composite Video RCA (phono) jack for composite video output.
2)   S-Video 4 pin round mini DIN jack for S-Video output.
3)   Analog RGB female DB9 jack for Analog RGB video and mono audio output.

Communications:
1)   Two 6P4C RJ11 telephone type jacks for CatNet (network) communications.
  A three position communications toggle switch lets you select which of the
  three communications ports you want to use. An RJ11 telephone connector
  terminator plug is also included.
2)   DB9 male RS232 port for serial communications between two Jaguars or
  between one Jaguar and a standard modem.
3)   DSP pass through port for future expansion.

WHAT IT DOES:
     The CatBox is designed to allow you to connect various audio, video,
and communications devices to the Atari Jaguar. The Audio section is pretty
straightforward. You can use standard RCA (phono) cables to connect the
Jaguar, via the CatBox, to any line level audio inputs, such as on your TV,
monitor, or stereo receiver/amplifier. There are left and right stereo
outputs, or you can use a mono output by just connecting a cable to one
output. However, the "manual" is unclear as to which output is the mono
output. In the "Line level audio" section it states that "the white colored
jack passes either left or mono audio." But in the "RGB monitor audio"
section it states that the RGB monitor mono audio signal "is automatically
disconnected when an RCA cable is plugged into the right/mono (red) audio
jack." It's no big deal, but the manual should be corrected to avoid
confusion. The bottom line is that you can get either stereo audio or mono
audio from the CatBox's line level outputs.
     The two mini-headphone jacks allow you to connect two sets of
headphones and regulate the volume with the volume control knob. Whenever a
headphone is plugged in, all other audio outputs are muted.  The third audio
output is meant for use with Atari SC1224 or SC1435 monitors, or any other
monitor that receives mono audio through its monitor signal cable. That is,
in certain instances, you can connect a monitor to the CatBox Analog RGB
connector and have the monitor both display RGB video and play mono audio.
However, you can still opt to use the line level stereo output jacks for the
audio with these monitors, instead of the mono audio that passes through the
Analog RGB connector.
     The mono signal is automatically muted whenever you hook up cables to
the stereo audio outputs or to the headphone jacks. The mono audio output
can also be muted by removing jumper J1 (to be discussed shortly).
     The Jaguar console just provides basic RF output, which connects to a
TV's antenna input, to provide picture and sound to your TV. You can also
get Composite Video and S-Video outputs from the Jaguar by purchasing
special cables from Atari. These cables connect to the Jaguar by the means
of a special connector on one end, that plugs into the Jaguar's AV port.
While Atari doesn't directly sell Analog RGB cables, they can be purchased
from Redmond Cable in Washington, but they are quite expensive.
     The CatBox provides three types of video outputs: Composite Video, S-
Video, and Analog RGB. These three outputs and the standard Jaguar RF output
may all be used at the same time or in any combination to connect multiple
video displays. The quality of the video outputs, from best to worst is:
Analog RGB; S-Video; Composite Video; standard Jaguar RF.
     The Composite Video and S-Video outputs can be used with any video
displays that have Composite or S-Video inputs. With the CatBox you can just
use a standard, and cheaper, Composite or S-Video cable, instead of the more
expensive specialty cables that Atari sells. Note that with these video
outputs, you still need to connect the line level audio outputs to your
display device or to a receiver/amplifier, so you'll also need a pair of RCA
stereo cables for the audio.
     I would have preferred that the Composite Video output was physically
located next to the line level audio outputs, since they all use RCA cables.
Normally a composite cable has three RCA cables that are attached to each
other, so it would have been nice to connect them to the CatBox all in a
row. But the CatBox has the line level audio outputs located next to the S-
Video jack, followed by the RGB jack, and finally the Composite Video jack.
     The Analog RGB output can only be used with monitors with a Horizontal
Sync rate of 15.75 kHz. These kinds of monitors are not too common today.
The Atari ST and Amiga color monitors both supported this H-Sync rate. In
addition, even if you have a compatible monitor, you might also need a
special monitor cable adapter, so that you can plug the monitor cable into
the Analog RGB output on the CatBox. You can purchase these adapters
directly from ICD or have them make a custom adapter for you. You can also
make your own cable adapter, and the manual providesthe pin connections
you'll need to know.
     There is also an internal jumper in the CatBox labeled J7, which allows
you to select Vertical Sync or Composite Sync. If the vertical screen on
your monitor is rolling, then set this jumper to the other position. You can
also disable the mono audio signal which normally comes through the Analog
RGB connector by removing the internal audio jumper J1.  To change either of
the jumpers inside the CatBox, you have to disassemble it. The manual tells
you how to do this, but dip switches would have been better. The manual also
provides a list of some of the Analog RGB monitors you can use with the
CatBox, along with the adapter you'll need and the suggested jumper
settings. Twelve monitors are listed and nine of them require special
adapters.
     On the communications side, the CatBox provides DSP pass through,
CatNet, and RS232 communications. The DSP pass through will allow you to
connect future devices to the Jaguar's DSP port, while the CatBox is
connected to the Jaguar. You use a three-position toggle switch to determine
which port you wish to use.
     For some time now, Atari has been touting the JagLink capabilities of
the Jaguar. This will allow you to connect two Jaguars together for multi-
player games. However, the game must have JagLink capability built in. I
believe that, to date, only "Doom" has this capability, but at the time of
"Doom's" release, Atari still had not released the JagLink cable. However,
within the past few weeks Atari has finally released the JagLink cable.
However, this is an expensive cable, since the cable has the equivalent of
an RS232 port built into it.
     There has also been talk for some time about using the Jaguar with a
voice-modem. However, this still has not materialized.  The communications
ports on the CatBox are meant to be used to perform similar network and
modem capabilities. CatNet was developed for ICD by Black Cat Design to
provide network capabilities similar to JagLink. The RS232 port is to allow
multi-player games between two Jaguars or over a standard modem, but without
voice. So you can play games with your friends over the modem, but you can't
talk to them while you are doing so. However, just as with the Atari
protocols, you cannot use CatNet or the RS232 port, unless the game is
specifically designed to allow it.
     As of this writing, only "Doom" has a two player head to head mode that
supports the CatBox RS232 port using a null modem cable. This cable is
cheaper than Atari's special JagLink cable. "Aircars" was also supposed to
support the RS232 port as well as CatNet, but the future of that product is
now in limbo.
     What all this means is that you can connect two Jaguars together for a
multi-player game by connecting a simple IBM AT type null modem cable
between the CatBox RS232 ports on each Jaguar. Again, this will only work if
the game supports it, and each person must have a Jaguar, a CatBox, and a
copy of the game, plus you'll need a null modem cable. You can also use an
IBM AT type modem cable to connect the CatBox to a standard modem. As of
this writing, I don't believe there are any Jaguar games that support
reliable modem play.
     CatNet is a network standard that allows up to 32 Jaguars to play in a
local network type environment. CatNet uses the 6P4C RJ11 telephone type
connectors on the CatBox. However, these are not for connection to a modem.
Again, I don't believe any games support this feature at this time. It is
also meant as a replacement for JagLink.  The manual also contains a list of
the cables and adapters, with their prices, which are available from ICD.

OPINION:
     I wasn't able to test all of the functions of the CatBox. Actually, I
was only able to test two of the audio functions, one of the video
functions, and none of the communications functions. I have heard of others
who have used the remaining audio/video functions successfully, but I cannot
verify that information. Also, I cannot offer an opinion on how any of the
communications functions operate.
Audio:
     I used the stereo line level outputs connected to an RCA Dimensia TV
and the TV was connected to a Pioneer stereo receiver and a pair of Technics
speakers, and it sounded fine. However, it didn't sound any better than
using Atari's Composite Audio-Video cable connected the same way.  My
biggest disappointment was with the headphone jacks. The output level was
extremely low in volume. I used five different sets of headphones with the
CatBox and they all produced the same results. The following are the
headphones I used:
    Sennheiser HD400: Excellent on-the-ear large phones.
    Sennheiser HD250 Linear: A $299 top-of-the-line closed-back set of
phones.
    Sony MDR-07: Excellent on-the ear small phones.
    Realistic Nova '30: An old set of closed circumnaural phones.
    Aiwa: A small set of on-the-ear phones that came with Aiwa's top-of-the-
line "Walkman."
     With all of the above phones, the volume level coming from the
headphone jacks on the CB was extremely low. Sometimes, it was barely
audible with the open phones, since they let in ambient sound.  Also, the
headphone jacks were placed too closely to the volume control. With the
headphone plug inserted, it was very difficult to turn the volume knob.
Also, the volume knob does not have a 0 position. That is, you can lower the
volume, but you can't turn the sound off completely.  However, the quality
of the sound through the headphones was very good. Listening to stereo music
and effects through the phones provides a different experience than
listening through speakers. It brings you into the action more and is quite
exciting. It also allows you to play in silence, so as not to disturb
others.  Unfortunately, I cannot recommend using the headphone jacks on the
CB, since the volume was too low. I've used headphones before by connecting
them to my stereo receiver and the results could sometimes be breathtaking.
Not so with the CB because of the low volume level. The inclusion of
headphone jacks on the CB was a good idea that was not implemented properly.
I was not able to test the RGB monitor audio.
Video:
     I used the Composite Video output connected to a 27" color RCA Dimensia
TV/Monitor. It produced a nice sharp picture with vivid colors.  However, it
didn't look any better than using Atari's Composite Audio-Video cable
connected to the same TV/Monitor.  I was not able to test the S-Video or
Analog RGB outputs.
Communications:
     I was not able to test the RS232 and CatNet ports or the DSP pass
through.  When I finished testing the CatBox I asked myself who would
benefit from owning such a device. It is claimed to provide nine different
functions. But as a practical matter, it does not provide nine functions for
the average user. It may provide the choice of using nine different
functions, but most people will not use all nine. You'll basically use the
best video display you can with it and forget about the other video options.
Let's break down the nine functions by groups:
    Audio:
      If you want to connect a monitor that will accept mono audio, then you
will use the RGB monitor audio; otherwise you will not use it. So for most
people, the CatBox provides stereo line level outputs and two headphone
outputs. But you can also get the line level outputs with Atari's Composite
Video and S-Video cables. And if you hook up those outputs to a stereo
receiver, you can plug a set of headphones into the receiver or two sets
with a Y adapter.  Still, the inclusion of two headphone jacks with volume
control on the CatBox was a nice touch. Many people don't connect the line
level outputs to a receiver and therefore can't use headphones with the
Jaguar.  And a receiver only provides one headphone jack, unless you use a Y
adapter, which is not suitable for two-player games. Plus, having the
headphone jacks on the back of the Jaguar makes it easier to connect
headphones and control their volume.
     So being able to plug two sets of headphones into the back of the
Jaguar, via the CatBox, and control their volume is a good idea.
Unfortunately, the low volume level of the headphone jacks is a drawback.
Given the  choice between using the headphone jack on a stereo receiver or
on the CB, I would chose the receiver. But if you don't have that choice,
then you might be happy with using the headphone jacks on the CB.
    Video:
     Everyone can use the RF output on the Jaguar as standard. And you can
also use Composite Video or S-Video outputs, if you buy one of Atari's
cables. You can also connect the Jaguar to an RGB monitor, if you buy a
specialty cable from Redmond Cable. As such, the CatBox does not really
provide any new video options. So if you already have a Composite Video or S-
Video cable from Atari (which both include line level stereo audio outputs),
then from an audio/video standpoint, all you gain with the CB is the two
headphone jacks and volume control.
     I think one of the better uses of the CatBox is if you want to connect
the Jaguar to an Analog RGB monitor or if you want to have more than one
video display connected to the Jaguar at the same time. As I previously
mentioned, you can connect an RGB monitor to the Jaguar with a special cable
from Redmond Cable, but that cable is quite expensive. Plus with all the
different types of monitors, you have to be sure that you get the proper
cable from Redmond. But it appears quite easy to connect a monitor to the
CatBox with just the purchase of the proper adapter from ICD (if your
monitor needs an adapter), and they are quite knowledgeable about which
adapter you'll need. Plus, you'll get RGB mono audio, for those monitors
that support it.
    Communications:
     The DSP pass through isn't really a function, so that leaves the CatNet
and RS232 ports. So what do you do with the CatNet and RS232 ports? Well,
right now, not much, but that is because there's really no software support
for these features in the Jaguar games. And even if future games do contain
such support, you have to ask yourself if these are features that you will
use.
     For networked games, you need at least 2 Jaguars, 2 CatBoxes, 2 copies
of the same game, and another person to network with. However, you have that
capability right now with the recently released JagLink cable.  With the
CatBox, you can either connect two Jaguars by their RS232 ports with a null
modem cable (cheaper than the JagLink) or connect up to 32 Jaguars with
CatNet, using inexpensive telephone cables.
     Modem play is still not available on the Jaguar, since Atari has yet to
release its voice-modem. Modem play is accomplished on the CatBox by using a
standard modem cable with a standard modem. However, you will not have voice
capability, so you can't talk to your opponent while you play.  But modem
play is virtually a moot point, until there is enough software that supports
it. If that software appears, and especially if you already own a data
modem, then you're ready to go if you have the CatBox, since all you need is
a simple modem cable. That alone could justify the cost of the CatBox,
although you won't have voice capability. The price of Atari's voice-modem,
with headset/microphone, if it's ever released, will most likely cost more
than the CatBox.
     So the CatBox is a very cost effective solution for Jaguar
communications, but unfortunately there is virtually no software support for
it. Now that the JagLink has been released, we may see more networkable
software. But it's unknown whether we'll see modem support in future
software if Atari doesn't release its voice-modem.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
     It would have been nice if all the ports on the CatBox had been
incorporated into the back of the Jaguar as standard, but they weren't. So
if you just purchased the Jaguar and only have the RF output, then
purchasing the CatBox might be a good investment. You'll be able to utilize
better audio and video outputs, you'll be able to use two sets of
headphones, and you'll have communications options for networking and modem
play for the future. And you'll have all this at a potentially much cheaper
cost than if you purchased Atari's products (special audio/video cable(s),
JagLink, and voice-modem, if it becomes available). And the CatBox is even a
better value if you want to connect the Jaguar to an Analog RGB monitor
(with mono audio), since Atari doesn't directly support monitors, requiring
you to buy an expensive custom made cable from Redmond Cable.
     On the other hand, if you have already purchased a special A/V cable,
then right now the CatBox really doesn't offer you much. For instance, many
people have home theatre systems or  have their TV connected to their stereo
system. Let's assume that you already bought the Composite Video cable from
Atari and you have the Jaguar connected to the composite audio/video jacks
on your TV. The Jaguar's graphics are sharp and colorful and its stereo
audio is playing through your stereo system. You can use two sets of
headphones by plugging them into your stereo receiver and using a Y adapter
and you can control the volume from your receiver.
     If you purchase the CatBox, you'll retire your Composite Video cable
from use and simply use the line level audio outputs and the Composite Video
output of the CatBox to make the same connections that you already had.
There will be no improvement in audio or video quality. And instead of using
a Y-adapter and two sets of headphones with your stereo receiver, you can
use the two headphone jacks on the CatBox, but the volume will be much
lower. You probably won't need or use the S-Video or Analog RGB outputs or
RGB monitor audio. The DSP pass through isn't really a function, though it's
comforting to know it is available for future expansion. And the CatNet and
RS232 ports are of limited utility right now, for networking and modem play,
because of the lack of software.
     So in this scenario, you literally don't add any functionality to the
Jaguar by purchasing the CatBox, and the headphone output won't be as good.
And you'll still have to purchase a standard composite audio/video cable and
possibly 1/4" to 1/8" adapters for your headphones. Of course, you could
then sell your Atari Composite Video cable in order to recoup part of your
investment in the CatBox.  I don't own the Jaguar CDROM unit, but I was
assured by ICD that the CatBox and the CDROM unit can both be connected to
the Jaguar without any problems, except that the CDROM unit will probably
make it difficult to see when the LEDs light up in the cat's eyes on the
CatBox.
     The final point I would like to make is that the connection between the
CatBox and the Jaguar is very loose and tentative. Connecting the CatBox is
simple, but it is not a set-and-forget proposition. Although the manual
cautions you to disconnect the CatBox when you move the Jaguar, I originally
thought that would only apply if you were transporting the Jaguar outside of
your house. I was wrong. Its impossible to move the Jaguar and Catbox
leaving them connected.
     So if you keep the Jaguar near your TV and then want to carry it to
your sofa or coffee table to play, you have to disconnect the CatBox, carry
the CatBox and the Jaguar to your playing position, and then connect the
CatBox to the Jaguar again. Then, you have to do the same thing when you
return the Jaguar to its place near the TV. It's a real nuisance. Plus, the
CatBox can sometimes come loose if you move the Jaguar while playing.
Between the flimsy CatBox connection in the back and the infamous flimsy
joystick connections in the front, it makes the Jaguar console feel like a
toy rather than a piece of high tech gear. Fortunately, it's very simple to
connect the CatBox to the Jaguar. It simply plugs into the A/V ports on the
back of the Jaguar. Also, remember to buy long enough cables for use with
the CatBox.

RATINGS (based on 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest):
Functionality:           8.5
Usefulness:              8 or 3 (see Comments)*
Sturdiness:              9.5
Ergonomics:              6
Manual:             7
Reviewer's Overall Rating:    7

QUICK RATINGS COMMENTS:
    Functionality: The CatBox basically works as advertised, but the
  headphone output volume was way too low, even with the volume turned all the
  way up.
    Usefulness: *8  If you haven't already purchased any special cables for
  the Jaguar and you want to hook it up to an Analog RGB monitor, or S-Video
  or Composite Video inputs and/or stereo audio inputs, then the CatBox is a
  good way to start. You can accomplish your audio/video hookup and have some
  communications options for the future.  If you already have the audio/video
  hookup that you want, then it's probably better to wait to see if future
  Jaguar software supports the CatBox's communications options before you
  purchase it.
    Sturdiness: Extremely well made and robust. It's built like a tank.
    Ergonomics: I didn't like the flimsy connection between the CatBox and
  the Jaguar and I didn't like that the volume control was placed so close to
  the headphone jacks. I also wish that the Composite Video output was placed
  right next to the stereo line level audio outputs. And although the CatBox
  is an attractive piece of hardware, it doesn't match the Jaguar console and
  actually looks a bit funny when connected to it.
    Manual: The manual was reasonably well-written and I only found one
  typo, but the way it was presented was poor. Using three photocopied
  typewritten pages is something I would expect from a computer shareware
  product and not from a Jaguar hardware product.

Reviewer's Overall Rating:
     The CatBox is a good product, but with a limited audience. If it had
been released sooner, that is, shortly after the Jaguar's release, then
maybe it would have seemed like a more viable product. But now that the
Jaguar hasn't sold well and most of its early adoptees have already
purchased special cables for their audio/video setups, it makes the CatBox
look like it is offering too little, too late.

SUMMARY:
     Is the CatBox a good product and does it do what it claims? Yes, the
CatBox does what it's supposed to do, except that I thought the headphone
outputs were too low in volume level. But it doesn't really offer anything
new, since you can accomplish what the CatBox does with other products. But
it does give you many audio, video, and communications options in one
compact, convenient, and sturdy product, and at a cost that is less
expensive that if you purchased separate products to do the same thing.
Whether or not you have a need for a product such as the CatBox depends
greatly on what special cables you have already purchased and on the
communications support in future Jaguar software.
     The bottom line is; "if you've  just purchased the Jaguar, you might
wish to consider the CatBox instead of a special Audio/Video cable and hope
that more software supports the CatBox's communications options in the
future." But if you already have the audio/video setup that you want with
the Jaguar, then it's probably better to wait until there is some software
that takes advantage of the CatBox's communications options before
purchasing the CatBox.



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.  HMI update.... CIM is the pits!  I've
been "breaking in" a 90 MHz Pentium with Windows '95 for my boss and, with
all the talk the past couple of weeks about CIS eventually (please remember
the "eventually" part) dropping ASCII support, I thought it'd be interesting
to put in so more time on CompuServe's CIM.
     I had always attributed the vexing lack of speed that CIM (CompuServe
Information Manager) displayed was due to the fact that I had "test flown
it" on an old, slow, '386...
     Not so folks.  That slowdown is still evident on the Pentium.  It has
to do with the fact that under HMI (Host/Micro Interface, CompuServe's
protocol of choice), your computer does a lot of the work that their
computer does in "ASCII mode" (including Vidtex).  While a CIM-running
computer gets the host computer's command to draw a box with a slider,
acknowledges the command, complies with the command, tells the host computer
that it has complied, asks for the text options to put into the box, puts
the text options into the box, tells the host that it has put the text into
the box, etc., etc., in ASCII mode you can tell the host to go directly to
your favorite forum, read the description of the latest files, and be half
way through downloading it.
     Eventually you won't even notice the extra communication because modems
(both phone and cable) will get faster and faster, but for right now, I'll
keep my venerable terminal program, thank you very much.
     Now don't get the idea that I'm down on CompuServe... I'm not.  CIS is
still my favorite service.  This is the direction the industry is taking.
Using this type of protocol reduces the work the host computer has to do,
and that enables them to do what they do for a lower price.  But I still
wish it weren't so.
     Well, let's get on with the reason for this column... All the great
news, hints, tips, and info available every week right here on CompuServe.


>From the Atari Computing Forums

On the subject of PGP encryption, I post:

 "PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) version 2.62b is now available for Atari
  680x0 computers in the NCSA Forum here on CompuServe.  (I know cuz I
  uploaded it)

  PGP is a Public Key encryption system that allows for encryption,
  decryption, and digital "signing" of files to ensure that the data or
  text cannot be read by "unauthorized" eyes.  "Signing" insures that the
  file came from where it says it came from.

  Since Big Brother, in the form of the U.S. government, cannot "break"
  the encryption, it has decided, in all its wisdom, to classify this
  program in the same category as ammunition and explosives!  Big B would
  much prefer that we use "Clipper", the brainchild of the National
  Security Agency which it holds a master key to.  This way, Big B can
  decide that you must be hiding something and get the key out of legal
  escrow and "crack" your data. Can you say J. Edgar Hoover??  I knew
  that you could.

  Because of the classification, this program may not be exported
  outside of the U.S. or Canada.

  For this reason, PGP for the Atari ST is available in the NCSA forum
  instead of the Atari Computing Forum.  To get this file, you must first
  JOIN the NCSA forum (GO NCSAFORUM, then JOIN), and request via e-mail
  that you be given access to Library 12, which is where the programs of
  this nature are located.

  There is also a shell program located in the archive to make PGP easier
  to use."

Mark Kelling tells me:

  "Gee, they want to make getting a copy of PGP almost as difficult as
  getting the plans to an atomic bomb!"

I reply to Mark:

  "That's just about the idea.  I can understand their point, but the
  fact is (to steal a line from the NRA), If PGP is outlawed, only
  outlaws will have PGP.

  It's too bad that the government has taken this stance, because PGP is
  really a cool program.  It isn't as intuitive as I'd hoped, but then
  again, it's basically free, so for the price it's golden.

  I think that every computer user should have a copy... just in case!"

Carl Barron adds:

  "You can always import it via the internet.  Does Canada have this
  dumb export law too?  If not it shows the stupidity of the politics in
  DC. Strange indeed."

I post to Carl:

  "...I wonder if it would be worthwhile to start either a message base
  or a library somewhere with public keys from people in the Atari
  community.  I've collected lots of keys just to see if I've got the
  process down right, but none of them are people I have any reason to
  send e-mail or files to.

   "The only way they'll get my PGP is to pry it from my cold, dead,...
    Hard drive!"  

Carl replies:

  "It will probably be worth while to start/find a library of PGP public
  keys, as this place and possibly 'the larger atari place' will go with
  proprietary software shortly.  The only computer friendly place will be
  BBS's and possibly the internet, it you have a souped up atari.  WWW
  does not look to promising [but is possible] on a 8mhz m68000.   PGP is
  a must for private communication on the internet. Without it there is
  no privacy."

I ask Sysop Ron Luks:

  "...BTW, what do _you_ think about opening up a library for PGP public
  keys?

  I know that storage space is tight, but the keys don't take up too
  much room."

Ron replies:

  "Naw.  I don't want to get messed up in the PGP privacy mess for
  anything. We'll pass.  Thanks anyways."

Well, to each his own, I guess.  Meanwhile, John Francis asks for HMI
information:

  "I'm updating a file of information about CIS offline readers. Can you
  tell me whether an HMI-compatible version of QuickCIS has been released
  or is planned, and if the latter, approximately when it will be
  released?"

Sysop Keith Joins tells John:

  "No HMI version of QuickCIS was released and there won't be any HMI
  program for the Atari line as things now stand."

James Wright asks about accessing the Internet through CompuServe
with an ST:

  "There is a World-Wide-Web Browser Package for the Atari ST family of
  computers at ftp://ftp.toad.net/pub/atarist/internet/www_latest.zip.
  This package is free.

  My question is, How can I access the internet through CompuServe with
  my Atari to get this browser?  I asked the SYSOP in the internet new
  users forum and he didn't know the answer."

Sysop Bob Retelle, a very knowledgeable guy, tells James:

  "That's what is known as a "Catch 22" situation...

  You can do ftp file transfers from CompuServe, but only if you're
  running a system that supports the CIM software (PC and Mac).  You
  could get it from the WWW but only if you already have a browser.

  Another way would be to have the file sent to you in e-mail by a mail
  server (which unfortunately I doubt Toad can do).

  I'm going to make a note to try to download the file and upload it
  here in our software libraries if it's different from what we have
  already... to help ease the "Catch 22"..."

Carl Barron adds:

  "The latest www is www108.zip, possibly www109.zip. It does not
  support PPP and will be useless for CIS.  NOS will work for ftp [last I
  knew] if you also dl and change the phone #/password data of another
  file in these libs.   NOS is a tos program and not very user friendly
  but it worked, the last time I had consistant modems from CIS.

  I have www108.zip some place. If its not here, when I find it I will
  upload it.  tcp/icp protocol, web browser, and something else included
  requires SLIP, not CSLIP or PPP. At the current state www*.zip will be
  useless on CIS itself.

  Computer Direct is supposedly importing some commercial web/internet
  stuff, don't have details yet."

Denis Postle tells Carl:

  "I understand from Denesh Dhbuta who looks after support for the www
  package that a substantial new version is imminent. the tcp end of
  already works fine with a slip connection but the browser leaves a lot
  to be desired. Like any gifs that don't have 256 colours crash it.

  The new brower will even handle forms. Any day now I gather. I'll post
  a message when I receive my copy."

Geoff Cryer posts:

  "I guess this is heresy on this forum, but...

  My son would like to run his ageing ST games etc on his PC (DX4/100).
  Is there a suitable emulator around? Preferably (v) low cost!!"

Sysop Jim Ness tells Geoff:

  "There is a product called GEMULATOR, which is a hardware card you
  install in your PC.  It includes a set of Atari ST rom chips, which
  contain the Atari operating system, and also includes the software
  necessary to emulate an Atari computer.

  Some other members here own GEMULATORs, and may be able to tell you
  more about them."

Simon Churchill adds:

  "As mentioned Gemulator could be used but this is mainly for
  application software and not Games.   Due to some code within ST games
  the PC is incapable of handling all instances and will crash.  To PLAY
  ST Games have an ST, to use ST Application's consider the Gemulator.

  (It's the direct screen access and sound/music in games that cause the
  main problem's.)"

Mary Hall sends up an SOS:

  "Help!!!!! I'm having a Bxxch of a time with Gemul8r. Toad has helped
  as much as you could but BraSoft has not at all. Might as well shout
  down a well for the help I got there.......

  my problems.......

  at home ...  486SX clone w/Win 95, TOS 2.06, QEMUL8R4. Boot up seems
  fine til I get the Atari screen. All the drives are there but mouse is
  dead. I can use the 2.06 short cuts to open drive directories but
  that's as far as I can get. No nuffen after that except Control-F11 to
  get out of there.

  at work ... 486DX clone w/Win 3.1, TOS 2.06, GEMUL8R3.02. All seems
  fine. Use HDX pgm's to install virtual.dives, etc. Transfer all files
  over from my ST, do what ever I'm going to do. shut down every thing.
  Next time all is booted up, run the HDX pgm's again to find the virtual
  drives. Normally all is still there when I loctae tham but once I lost
  EVERYTHING! Between all the boards, chips, etc., I've spent close
  around $300 and don;t have a working GEMUL8R! And I'm locked out of my
  ST files! Least at home. I still have the ST up and running at work but
  need to shut it down and quit fooling around. Don't have time to mess
  with two computers......... At home, it's just an inconvenience,
  unless at tax time I have to get into some thing!"

Beth Jane Freeman asks:

  "Has anyone with a 1040 ST every experienced this problem?  I turn on
  the machine (after turning on the hard drive, monitor and external
  disk drive) and the computer issues a high pitched whine, but the
  screen remains black.  The monitor is connected. One time I jiggled the
  power cable at the spot where it connects to the computer, and that
  started the computer booting, but did I really solve the problem, or
  was it just a fluke?

  Please let me know what's really what."

Sysop Jim Ness tells Beth:

  "There is a wire, or connection, in the monitor cable that determines
  whether you are booting in high rez or medium/low rez.  Since you are
  having trouble booting, it sounds as though this wire may have gotten
  frayed or broken, and is touching something else.

  Try pulling the cable out entirely and see if the computer seems to
  boot (the hard drive does its stuff, etc.).  You may have to buy
  another cable."

Well folks, that's it for this time.  Tune in again next week, same time,
same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when...

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING



                             EDITORIAL  QUICKIES
                                      

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