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Article #568 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 9-Feb-96 #1206
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa789 - Bruce D. Nelson)
Date: Sun Feb 11 07:53:56 1996



                                     
                            Silicon Times Report

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  February 09, 1996                                                No. 1206

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 02/09/96 STR 1206        The Original Independent OnLine Magazine!
 
 - CPU Industry Report - Cyber Angels Bombed - PShop 3.0.5
 - AOL Denies Merger   - NEC & PBell!        - Award Bios News
 - MS Shuns MSN?       - Kid's Computing     - Boza Virus Warning
 - Scanners Reviewed   - People Talking      - Atari HQ to Move!

                      Apple Ousts Spindler!
                    Germans "hunt" Net NAZIS
                        Bye Bye BlackBird

                                  
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>From the Editor's Desk...
     
     Hi to all!!  Predictably, this is the week that the truth time brings
forth shines once again.  Be sure to read our STR Confidential Item this
week.  Another four weeks has past and still nothing from the giant. CANON
CORP. as far as drivers for their most recent Scanners.  If you'll recall,
Canon promised the new 32 bit drivers for Win95/NT for the end of the year.
(1995)  Once that arrived and there were no drivers, we were told by mid
February 1996.  Now, when one reads the traffic in the Canon areas, they're
saying the February "thing" is untrue.  I guess one cannot even believe the
CEO's secretary these days at Canon.  Its sad.  Its a great scanner (IX-4015-
4025) that's being driven into the toilet by sheer incompetence.  This is an
ongoing story of thousands of users apparently being left "holding the bag"
by Canon.  Perhaps the Justice Department that seems to be so busy "Dogging"
Bill Gates and Microsoft ought to take a look at Canon doing some "DOGGING"
of its own!
     
     It sad day indeed when an industry that profit oriented loses sight of
the personal touch in dealing with the consumers who. make it all happen.
Its not that the industry hasn't had its "incidents of learning". Intel's
"Pentium -o-Rama" and then its Bus Mastering "Dilly" should've all be very
fresh in many of the Whig's minds.  Unfortunately, they seem to all have very
short memories or, perhaps feel they're above such acts of sincerity.  Canon
NEEDS a wake-up call.  Maybe a tied up switchboard for a week or two will
give them the "message" that "the customers come first" not their "cause for
convenience".  The latest is Canon is now trying to blame Microsoft!!
Incredible, simply incredible.  Its another horror story in the making.
     
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                           STReport Headline News
                                      
                      LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                   Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                        Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson

                       Telecom Overhaul Bill Approved

A half hour after the House of Representatives' approval of a major
telecommunications bill, the Senate yesterday followed suit and sent the
measure to President Clinton's desk.  Representing the most sweeping revision
of telecommunications law in the past six decades, the compromise bill --
which greatly expanding the ability of television, phone and cable outfits to
compete in each others markets -- is expected to be signed into law by the
president within a week, says Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa.

"I think you'll see companies reacting fairly quickly," Vice President Al
Gore told Aversa, who noted the overhaul of the 1934 Communications Act will
allow head-to-head competition between cable TV and local and long-distance
telephone companies, deregulate cable rates and allow media companies to more
easily expand their holdings.  The measure also includes controversial
prohibitions against smutty material on computer networks and TV.

AP says the new law will enable cable companies to speed up delivery of high-
speed modems that connect customers to the Internet, other computer services,
while phone companies say they'll accelerate movies-on-demand and interactive
television.  "And broadcasters say once they switch over to digital
technology, they may offer multiple channels of programs, home shopping and
transmit sport scores to laptop computers," Aversa comments.

AP notes that how long the telecommunications transformation takes is
affected by the Federal Communications Commission, which will be in charge of
writing many of the rules under the new law. The FCC already has begun the
ground work for some of those rules and will move as quickly as it can, says
FCC Chairman Reed Hundt.  On the controversial net porn sections of the
measure, Aversa notes, "Once the law takes effect, people would be fined or
thrown in jail if they're caught transmitting smut and other indecent
materials to minors over computer networks."

While the Christian Coalition hails this as a move to make the Internet
"child safe and family friendly," civil liberties and computer user groups
vowed to fight the provision on constitutional grounds.  The measure also
gives parents a powerful new tool -- a computer chip in TV sets allowing them
to keep violent, sexually oriented or other objectionable shows off their
screens, though the TV industry has promised to fight V-chip provision in
court.

                        Suits Will Attack Telecom Law

Civil libertarians will sue to challenge a new telecommunications bill
President Clinton is expected to sign this week because of its regulation of
"smut" in cyberspace, noting it also could hamper women's ability to get
abortion data on the Net.  Philip Gutis of the American Civil Liberties Union
told Roger Fillion of the Reuter News Service, "The minute after he signs it,
we're going to be in court seeking a restraining order."

About 20 groups and individuals -- including privacy rights activists,
Planned Parenthood and others -- already have joined the ACLU to become
plaintiffs in the case, Gutis says, citing constitutional concerns over free
speech and privacy. And Reuters says other groups plan to file separate
suits.  As noted, the bill imposes criminal penalties on people who make
available "indecent" material to minors on the Internet or a computer online
service.  Reuters adds, though, that it "could make it a crime to post
information on the Internet or a computer bulletin board information that
could be used to produce an abortion. Lawyers said the language is vulnerable
in court."

White House officials says Clinton is expected tomorrow to sign the bill,
which overhauls the nation's 62-year-old communications laws and allows the
telephone, cable-TV and broadcast industries to jump into each others'
businesses.  The disputed "cyberporn" provision imposes criminal penalties of
up to $250,000 and two years in prison.  Reuters says opponents contend the
language is too vague and could encompass a great deal of private
communications, suggesting, for example, that people quoting passages from
such books as "Catcher in the Rye" could get in legal trouble. They also say
it could inhibit the flow of information about safe sex or the incidence of
rapes in Bosnia.

On the other side, Rep. Henry Hyde, an Illinois Republican, defended the
language of the new law, saying it "in no way is intended to inhibit free
speech about the topic of abortion, nor in any way to limit medical or
scientific discourse on the Internet."  Hyde argues the language "prohibits
the use of an interactive computer service for the explicit purpose of
selling, procuring or facilitating the sale of drugs, medicines or other
devices intended for use in producing abortions."

                       Online Copyright Bill Advanced

A bipartisan bill that would update the copyright law to cover material sent
over the Internet drew support from the movie and music industries at
hearings yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, a computer
industry official urged caution.  Co-sponsor Carlos Moorhead, a California
Republican and chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on courts and
intellectual property, told members the Net needs creative minds, "but people
will not put their work products on the Internet and give consumers the
desired services if they cannot protect them."

He said the bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Patricia Schroeder D-Colorado), would
clarify that public distribution rights in copyright law applied to digital
transmission on computers.  The Reuter News Service says the measure also
would "outlaw devices to avoid measures to protect copyrighted material and
prohibit giving false information to circumvent copyright protection."  But
the bill, based on recommendations by an administration task force, would not
change the liability standards for online distributors to protect copyright
holders, Moorhead said.

Supporting the measure at yesterday's hearing was Jack Valenti, president of
the Motion Picture Association of America, who suggested it should include
criminal as well as civil penalties for copyright violators.  He added the
panel must resist calls for exemptions for online service providers whose
users violate copyrights.  Others backing the bill were Broadcast Music Inc,
representing more than 180,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers
and the Business Software Alliance.

But questioning the bill was the Computer and Communications Industry
Association, which said the measure may go too far in protecting copyright
holders at the expense of distributors.  "If online service providers are
strictly liable for the infringements of their subscribers, they will pass
the cost of this liability onto the consumer in the form of higher access
fees," said CCIA President Ed Black. That, in turn, will impede development
of sophisticated telecommunications networks that carry voice, video and
data, he said.

Writing for the Associated Press, reporter Carolyn Skorneck says Rep. Rick
Boucher, D-Virginia, advocates exempting online providers from copyright
infringement laws, saying online service providers cannot know what all their
subscribers are doing and therefore shouldn't be held responsible for their
actions.  However, President Frances Preston of Broadcast Music Inc. told the
committee that if the online services were exempt from liability, "copyright
owners' recourse will be severely limited to pursuit of individual network
users whose identities are typically known only to the services to which they
subscribe."

Skorneck says Boucher also urged the legislation -- based in large part on
Clinton administration recommendations -- be delayed until online service
providers and producers of copyright materials agree on the liability issue.
But Valenti called for quick action on the bill, cautioning that "whoever
wants to hold this bill hostage can refuse to come to a conclusion."
AP says Preston and Valenti both rejected Boucher's offer to write into the
bill the conclusions of the few courts that have handled such cases.

Notes Skorneck, "Those courts have cleared online service providers of
liability because they either were not actively involved in the copyright
infringement or they did not know it was occurring."  On this, Preston said
that if the law contained a standard requiring providers to have "actual
knowledge" of a copyright violation to be held liable, "we fear the creation
of an online environment in which ignorance is bliss," encouraging them to
"turn a blind eye" to unlawful activities.

                        Bill Signing Prompts Protests

A landmark telecommunications bill giving consumers wider choices for their
cable TV and local and long-distance phone services is to be signed by
President Clinton this morning.  In cyberspace, the signing is being greeted
with protests from those who say the new law's restrictions against "smut" on
computer networks amounts to censorship. Their anger is expected to manifest
itself in the form of lawsuits from civil libertarians.

In Washington, the signing is to take place at the Library of Congress in an
elaborate ceremony including Vice President Al Gore and Republican Speaker of
the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.  The measure, which Congress has
been seeking to pass since the late 1980s, breaks down barriers erected by
communications laws written 62 years ago and allows broadcast and phone
companies to move into each others' businesses.  But it also makes it a crime
punishable by $250,000 in fines and two years in prison to send "indecent"
material that could be viewed by a minor over a computer network.

In protest, about 150 people and groups have pledged today to turn black the
backgrounds of their home page on the Internet's World Wide Web, according to
Shabbir Safdar, head of the Voters Telecommunications Watch, an online group
that organizes grass-roots action against what it views as threats to free
speech and privacy.  Safdar said the protesters include the Community Breast
Health Project, Surf Watch, Sonoma State University, the Abortion Rights
Activist Page, Internet on Ramp, authors, computer programmers and graphics
designers.

"People around the Net are very concerned this will chill speech," Jerry
Berman, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology Policy, told
Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa. "This protest is a demonstration
that many people are publishers on the Net. ... There is a lot of sentiment
and unhappiness on the Net to do something."  Aversa said the protest is
expected to last for 48 hours.

Meanwhile, as reported, the American Civil Liberties Union and others say
they will challenge the anti-smut provision in federal court, saying it is
overly broad and would outlaw electronic transmissions of legal speech,
including literature such as "Catcher in the Rye," rap lyrics and profane
conversations.

                        ACLU Brings Cyber Speech Suit

The American Civil Liberties Union and 19 other groups today carried out
their threat to ask a federal court to block a new law banning "indecent
speech" online, saying it is censorship that even affects the availability of
abortion data.  Before the ink had dried on President Clinton's signature on
the new telecommunications overhaul bill that contains the controversial
"cyberporn" provisions, civil libertarians in Philadelphia were asking for a
hearing to impose an immediate ban on the Communications Decency Act of 1996
while their suit is considered.

Associated Press writer Dinah Wisenberg Brin reports the groups argue that
online speech is akin to print media and private communication rather than
television and radio, which are regulated by federal law.  Also, says Stefan
Presser, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, "Astonishingly they
haven't bothered to define what 'indecent speech' is. That's one of the
things that makes this law blatantly unconstitutional."  Presser said the new
law, which is just a small portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996
signed by Clinton, also restricts transmission of abortion information.

As reported elsewhere, the bill's signing has sparked electronic
demonstrations around cyberspace, including on the Internet's World Wide Web,
where some home pages were being "blacked out," characterized as a "virtual
mourning" protest. (Opponents changed the background color of their Web pages
to black with white or gray text. Ordinarily, text on the World Wide Web is
dark-colored on a light-colored background.)

Meanwhile, Sen. Jim Exon, D-Nebraska, who sponsored the "cybersmut" law, told
Brin he is confident the law will withstand the challenge. "The ACLU
continues to raise red herrings that have nothing to do with our proposal.
The legislation will not ban works of art or medical warnings because they
would not be, `in context, patently offensive' under the Supreme Court's
indecency standard used in our legislation."  Clinton has expressed
reservations about the decency provision, but supported the overall bill.

                      Germans Want to Block "Net Nazis"

A month after demanding the blocking of sexual-oriented data flowing in from
the Internet, prosecutors in Germany now have warned online services to also
not allow neo-Nazi material to come into that country.  From Berlin,
prosecutors have notified America Online that it may be charged with inciting
racial hatred. This comes a week after prosecutors served similar notice to
CompuServe and to T-Online, a division of the German phone company.

"Publishing or distributing neo-Nazi literature or literature denying the
Holocaust occurred is illegal in Germany," Associated Press writer Paul
Geitner notes in a report today. "Violators can be charged with inciting
racial hatred, but it is unclear how such laws can be enforced in the free-
for-all atmosphere of cyberspace."  Geitner says prosecutors in Mannheim are
considering bringing incitement charges against the three services for
allowing access to material posted on the Internet by Ernst Zuendel, a German
neo-Nazi living in Toronto.

AP reports T-Online, Germany's largest Internet access provider, responded to
the prosecutors' investigations by blocking its million subscribers from
gaining access to the computer in California where Zuendel had posted his
tracts. Immediately, German computerists accused T-Online of overreacting,
because the block also prevented them from reaching more than 1,500 other
sites on that part of the network.  Meanwhile, CompuServe officials told the
wire service the company has not blocked the California server but said it is
working with the prosecutors to find a solution.

An AOL spokesman in Hamburg said his employer also is happy to work with the
prosecutors, saying the company is "totally opposed" to illegal propaganda
but that commercial online companies have as much control over materials
posted on the Net as phone companies have over their customers'
conversations.  Zuendel successfully appealed his 1988 conviction in Canada
for publishing false statements about the Holocaust in his pamphlet "Did 6
Million Really Die?" He was convicted of inciting racial hatred during a 1991
visit to Germany and ordered to pay the equivalent of $9,000.

AP notes CompuServe has some 220,000 Germany subscribers, while AOL, in a new
joint venture with Germany's Bertelsmann AG, has 40,000 subscribers there.
As reported, the controversy over censorship on the Net heated up last month
when German authorities demanded CompuServe block access to sex-oriented
areas of the Net because of pressure from prosecutors in another German
state, Bavaria, trying to clamp down on child pornography.

                         CyberAngels Group E-Bombed

A volunteer group called CyberAngels, bent on patrolling the Net for online
evils as a cyberspace version of the Guardian Angels, now is being mail-
bombed electronically by a group calling itself "Darkspace."

The email bombs effectively have put the CyberAngels out of business, at
least temporarily, Colin "Gabriel" Hatcher, director of the CyberAngels, told
reporter Lynn Walford of United Press International.  "We've been getting
email bombs for the last eight months," Hatcher said. "The terrorists are
forging our email address, subscribing us to email mailing lists.

At one point we had over 13,000 email messages that almost put down our
Internet server. We are under attack 24 hours a day."  UPI says Darkspace
apparently doesn't like the Angels silently monitoring chat sites online. The
CyberAngels says they are looking for pedophiles who prey on underage kids,
adding they believe their presence keeps the chat areas in check and has led
to investigations of Net crimes by authorities.

"Members of the group advised the German government, found prostitution ...
discovered death threats and gangs, and find kids seeing pictures of child
pornography, bestiality and necrophilia," Walford writes.  CyberAngels is a
division of the Guardian Angels and was formed in the June 1995 when Guardian
Angel founder/President Curtis Sliwa mentioned his email address on his radio
show in New York City. The group received more than 300 email messages from
parents concerned about the safety of the Internet and their children.

The group went global last August when it offered a World Wide Web site on
the Internet -- SafeSurf (reached at Web address
http://www.safesurf.com/cyberangels/).  Says UPI, "The membership of the
group totals over 450 members of all ages from places as far away as
Malaysia, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates. The CyberAngels usually have
5-10 volunteers a day join their organization."  Now, though, says the wire
service, the email bombing is preventing the organization from functioning.

"When the CyberAngels try to investigate and find out who is subscribing them
to the massive lists," writes Walford, "the Internet service providers say
they do not know who is sending the messages. Each message needs to be read
and sorted, then someone has to unsubscribe the group from the listserv
(mailing list). One of the bombings took 25 hours to unsubscribe and
correct."

                      Apple Ousts CEO Michael Spindler

Apple Computer Inc. CEO Michael Spindler has been quietly ousted by the
computer maker's board of directors. Gilbert F. Amelio, an Apple board member
who was president/CEO of National Semiconductor Inc., has been hired to run
the company.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Jim Carlton says it
isn't clear whether Amelio also will become Apple chairman, succeeding A.C.
"Mike" Markkula, the longtime dominant power on Apple's board.  "One
executive close to the situation, however, said that Mr. Amelio would indeed
assume that post," Carlton writes.  And while details are sketchy, the
Journal says people close to the situation think Amelio's appointment
indicates Apple has rejected a buyout bid from Sun Microsystems Inc.

Silicon Valley consultant Regis McKenna is quoted in the paper as saying
Spindler told him yesterday he was being succeeded as CEO by Amelio and that
Apple officials "were faxing back and forth to get the release out."  The
Journal says the Apple board's decisions followed a meeting Wednesday at the
St. Regis Hotel in New York and a conference call yesterday.  As reported,
the actions conclude days of speculation over Sun's bid for Apple and
Spindler's fate.

"In the end," comments Carlton, "Apple's hand was forced by Sun's formal
bids, which never exceeded the mid-$20-a-share range, though other informal
scenarios and prices, some of which were higher, were discussed. Mr.
Spindler's fate was sealed by the loss of confidence in his ability to repair
the ailing computer maker among Apple shareholders, customers and even top
engineers, many of whom have been fleeing the company."  The paper interprets
the action as indicating Apple "intends to go solo for now, and to give Mr.
Amelio, who has a reputation as a turnaround artist, wide latitude to try to
repair Apple."

However, others think Amelio's ultimate goal may be "to polish Apple by
rebuilding its stock price before looking for another buyer -- possibly even
Sun -- when the maker of the Macintosh line of computers can command a higher
price," the paper added.  Meanwhile, it isn't clear who will succeed Amelio
at National Semiconductor, but during the transition, the company will be run
by a trio of chief operating officers in the structure Amelio set up last
June. The three are Richard Beyer, Kirk Pond, and Ellen Hancock.

                          Apple Again Denies Rumors

Apple Computer Inc.'s new CEO, Gilbert F. Amelio, is picking up where his
predecessor left off: denying that the company is up for sale.  The troubled
computer maker has issued a statement noting that it is not currently in
merger discussions with any other party. Notes the statement: "It has been
our long-standing policy not to comment on rumor and speculation, and that
continues to be the case. Because of the destabilizing effect recent rumors
and speculation have had on our business and our organization, we have
decided in this one instance, however, to make an exception to our policy."

Apple blames ongoing merger rumors for contributing to a projected operating
loss for its second quarter. Apple says the loss will "significantly exceed
its first-quarter operating loss of $69 million."  But despite the company's
current problems, Amelio remains upbeat about Apple's future. "I want to
emphasize my strong belief, despite the obvious disappointment of our
performance in the first and second quarters, that the foundations of our
business are sound, and that Apple Computer has the ability, determination
and staying power to deal with current challenges and to move forward with
confidence into the future."   Last Friday, Apple announced that its board of
directors had hired Amelio, an Apple board member and previously chairman,
president and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp., to replace Michael
Spindler as CEO and A.C."Mike" Markkula as chairman.

                      Blue January for Computer Workers

While AT&T Corp.'s 40,000 job cuts grabbed headlines last month, the computer
industry was also beset by a surge of heavy downsizing in January, reports
Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an international outplacement consulting
firm.  Besides Apple Computer Inc.'s highly publicized decision to eliminate
1,300 positions from its workforce, Unisys Corp. and Quantum Corp. also
announced layoffs of 7,900 and 2,250 jobs, respectively. In all, 11,997
computer industry job cuts were reported in January, says New York-based
Challenger.  The company notes that January has become the month for
employees to fear, while job seekers typically find more opportunities in
January than in any other month of the year.
Apple Cuts Mac Performa Prices

Apple Computer Inc. is cutting prices by up to 11 percent on selected
Macintosh Performa computers.  The systems include the computer maker's
100MHz PowerPC-based Performa 6300CD model, which drops from $2,799 to
$2,499, and the all-in-one PowerPC-based Performa 5215CD, which now costs
$1,899, down from $1,999.  Apple has also introduced a new Performa
configuration, the Performa 6290CD. The system, which features 8MB of RAM, a
1.2GB hard disk, a four-speed CD-ROM drive, a 14-inch color monitor and a
28.8K bps data/fax modem, costs $2,199.  Apple also announced three programs
that allow customers to receive rebates ranging from $150 to $500 when they
purchase an Apple printer, display and Macintosh computer together.

                        Gates Says Apple Can Survive

"Near-death experiences often reinvigorate companies. There is still a chance
for Apple, but it will take a great leader."  That is Microsoft Corp. chief
Bill Gates' take on Apple Computer Inc.'s current financial difficulties.

Reporting on remarks made yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, the Associated Press quotes Gates as saying he believes Apple's
problems have stemmed mainly from:

    A "failure to execute engineering."
    And an inability to get new products out to the consumer quickly. For
  example, he said, if Apple had shipped its Copeland operating system last
  year it would have had more time to focus on Internet-related technology now.

As reported earlier, Apple last week ousted CEO Michael Spindler and hired
Gilbert F. Amelio, an Apple board member who was president/CEO of National
Semiconductor Inc., to run the company.

                        Robotics Withdraws Hayes Bid

A bid to acquire modem maker Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. has been
withdrawn by market leader U.S. Robotics Corp.  As noted, U.S. Robotics had
sought to acquire Hayes, which filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in November
1994, under a plan of reorganization filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for
the Northern District of Georgia in October 1995.  Reporting from Robotics's
Skokie, Illinois, headquarters, the Reuter News Service says the company
withdrew its plan to the Bankruptcy Court during ongoing hearings on the
confirmation of two other competing reorganization plans.

"In addition," says Reuters, "U.S. Robotics' proposed transaction had not
been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission, which was reviewing it under
the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust law."  The wire service says the court
hearings continue with respect to the two remaining plans for the
reorganization of Hayes which were proposed by Hayes as debtor-in-possession
and by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

"U.S. Robotics continues to be interested in the case as a creditor," adds
Reuters, "and it has also objected to certain provisions of the other plans
which would have the effect of transferring a license under certain patents
owned by a U.S. Robotics subsidiary to the reorganized entity."  As reported
earlier, Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc. last month modified its bid for
Hayes, increasing the total consideration to the shareholders of Hayes from
$100 million to $111 million, payable in a combination of cash and Diamond
stock.

                      NEC Boosts Packard Bell by $630M

Packard Bell Electronics is on its way to becoming the world's biggest
supplier of personal computers on the strength of a new $650 million deal in
which Japan's NEC Corp. injects additional funds into the U.S. computer
company.  Part of the plan calls for Packard Bell to take over another U.S.
PC maker, Zenith Data Systems, which will push the combined production of the
NEC-Packard group to about 7.5 million PCs a year, reports Yuko Inoue of the
Reuter News Service.

NEC says the deal also will strengthen the global alliance between NEC,
Packard Bell and financially troubled French computer maker Cie des Machines
Bull, in which NEC holds a 17 percent stake. Zenith Data is owned by the Bull
Group.  Reuters says NEC will inject an additional $283 million into Packard
Bell. Including the takeover of Zenith Data, which will occur at the end of
this month, Packard Bell will receive the equivalent of more than $650
million from NEC and Bull, an NEC spokesman said.

NEC President Hisashi Kaneko told a news conference in Tokyo today, "By
joining such a big camp, NEC can save on production and procurement costs
while obtaining a big market for its semiconductors," adding NEC and Packard
Bell will consider joint use of PC factories and might cooperate in
distributing their products and providing support services.  Packard Bell
currently is ranked by market researcher Dataquest as the world's fourth
biggest PC supplier, with 45 percent of the U.S. retail market.  Reuters says
NEC, Japan's biggest PC maker, aims to sell more than 3.5 million PCs in
Japan and the United States during the business year which ends this March.
NEC also says the merged Packard Bell aims to list its shares on the U.S.
stock market in the 1996 business year.

                          AOL Denies Merger Report

A report that America Online Inc. is holding merger talks with Netscape
Communications Corp. is being denied by the online service.  "We're not in
merger talks with Netscape," an America Online spokeswoman told the Reuter
news service.  Earlier today, a director of Bertelsmann AG, a major media
company and an AOL investor, had said that talks between AOL and Netscape
were underway and could result in a merger.

Reuters observes that although the AOL spokeswoman denied the merger talks,
she would not comment on whether America Online and Netscape have held talks
about a potential alliance based on products or other arrangements.  Thomas
Middelhoff, a Bertelsmann board member, commented that theaim of the talks
was to strengthen Netscape and AOL and marginalize software giant Microsoft
Corp. in the race for control of Internet standards. "An alliance could go as
far a merger," Middelhoff said.  Netscape, a fast-growing Internet developer,
is best known for its browser software.

                       Microsoft Shifts Away From MSN

Microsoft Corp. is stopping development of a long-awaited programming tool
for its own Microsoft Network online service, concentrating instead on a new
version for general use with the Internet's World Wide Web.  Writing in The
Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Don Clark notes the project code-
named "Blackbird" originally was designed to help independent companies
create proprietary information content for the Microsoft Network and was seen
as a key tool for competing against online services.

"Lately, however," says Clark, "Microsoft has sharply shifted direction
toward the Internet's Web and away from proprietary content. It now is
encouraging content providers to set up Web sites that can be viewed by any
personal computer user with access to the Internet, not only by MSN members."
In December, Microsoft said it would create a new version of Blackbird to be
compatible with the standard Web format, and renamed the product Internet
Studio. "Now Microsoft is dropping the MSN-only version of the product
altogether," says the Journal, "shifting programmers to the Internet version
to finish it more quickly."

The Journal says the move "disrupts" the plans of some content partners who
had been working on MSN services based on Blackbird, quoting Jesse Berst,
editorial director of Windows Watcher newsletter, as saying, "It has got to
be a letdown for people who have invested months and hundreds of thousands of
dollars on Blackbird."  Noting Microsoft recruited more than 100 companies of
various sizes to create content for MSN, the Journal observes, "Some already
have posted complaints on the service about technical glitches, a shortage of
information from Microsoft management and other problems. The latest move may
further tarnish MSN's image among those companies."

In fact, one MSN content developer, who asked not to be identified, told
Clark, "It's catastrophic. It's one thing to migrate the technology and its
another to abandon it."  Meanwhile, in a message to content developers on
MSN, Microsoft Vice President Roger Heinen characterized the Blackbird move
as a "difficult decision" and acknowledged some impact on the developers, but
argued that shifting resources to the Internet product will allow Microsoft
to add advanced features more quickly.  Observing that the company hasn't
disclosed when the new product will be ready, the paper quotes Tom Button, a
director of marketing in Microsoft's developer division, as saying, "We
really don't have a reliable schedule yet."

                       Feds on Microsoft's Case Again

Microsoft Corp. just can't seem to shake Justice Department investigators.
The latest is the feds now have developed what is characterized by The Wall
Street Journal this morning as "an unusual interest" in the company's
purchase of Internet software firm Vermeer Technologies Inc.  Journal
reporter Don Clark quotes Vermeer CEO John Mandile as saying the Justice
Department asked the company for information about the acquisition, but he
believed the request to be routine.  As noted, the Justice Department has
been conducting an anti-trust investigation into various aspects of
Microsoft's business for more than a year.

The software giant announced the estimated $130 million purchase of Vermeer
last month. A price was not announced at the time of the acquisition.  Notes
Clark, "The Justice Department or Federal Trade Commission review most large
mergers under the Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust act. But Microsoft and Vermeer
concluded that they weren't required to file documents with the government
under the act, and the deal was completed before it was announced. Antitrust
lawyers said that Vermeer's annual sales may have fallen below a $10 million
threshold that usually triggers a review."

                        Win95 Virus Discovered in UK

UK researchers says they have discovered the first virus specifically
targeted at Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 operating system. The rogue software
is not especially powerful, but it can corrupt programs, then spread to other
users' machines.
In London, Paul Ducklin, an analyst for the British anti-virus software
company Sophos, told Associated Press writer Sue Leeman, "It is the first
virus we've seen that is written specifically for Windows 95, so, although it
is not particularly well-written, Boza will go down in history."

Leeman says analysts have named the virus Boza after a Bulgarian liquor "so
powerful that just looking at it will give you a headache." Fortunately,
though, the virus does not appear to be particularly contagious, says Alan
Solomon, chairman of the S and S International software firm., "To infect
someone else's machine, you would have to give them an infected program, and
they would have to run it. Most people don't swap programs around like that."

Ducklin said Boza is not yet "in the wild," that it is circulating mainly
among companies that make anti-virus programs and that software is available
to destroy it.  AP says while analysts don't know who created the virus,
there is a clue in one of the messages that Boza occasionally throws on
screens: "VLAD Australia does it again with the world's first Win95 virus."

The wire service notes Win95 differs from Microsoft's previous operating
systems in that it can run programs whose instructions are 32 bits long,
rather than 16 bits, allowing greater flexibility through the increased
memory. Boza is written specifically to corrupt 32-bit programs.  "The virus
attaches itself to existing programs," says Leeman. "It makes copies of
itself while they run, and the copies are then attached to other programs."

                        Virus Specialists Tackle Boza

Anti-virus software vendors such as Symantec Corp. and McAfee Associates now
are working with Microsoft Corp. to combat the new Boza virus that
specifically targets the Windows 95 operating system.  As reported, the
virus, discovered by British researchers, is not especially powerful, but it
can corrupt programs and spread to other users' machines.

Reporting this morning from Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters,
the Reuter News Service quotes officials with the software publisher as
emphasizing Boza is not contained within the Windows 95 product itself.  Adds
Reuters, "Although the virus is not widespread, users of Windows 95 might
encounter it by downloading and running an infected program from the
Internet, an electronic bulletin board or online service, or by running a
program from a floppy disk containing the virus."

Microsoft said McAfee has posted an anti-virus update to address this virus,
and Symantec will do so shortly.  "Running an infected program can infect up
to three 32-bit Windows-based applications in the current directory," Reuters
reports. "The infected program may display a message from the authors of the
virus on a computer screen ... Microsoft said it suggests that customers do
not run unknown programs that are downloaded or copied from a floppy disk and
that the computer be checked periodically for viruses."

Second Win95 Virus Discovered The second virus in less than a week to target
Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 operating system has been uncovered, this time
in Venezuela.  Microsoft officials in Caracas tell the Reuter News Service a
virus
named "Chavez" wipes out information on computers after displaying a
Venezuelan flag and a picture of retired Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez, a
revolutionary leader of a failed putsch that shook Venezuela four years ago.

Describing what happens on infected systems, a Microsoft spokesman told the
wire service, "At noon and 6 p.m. the national anthem starts to ring out, the
flag appears on the screen with the effigy of Chavez and the slogan 'Let's
all fight for Venezuela.'" After that, all information stored on the hard
disk begins to vanish.  The 41-year-old Chavez, who led a bloody army coup
attempt on Feb. 4, 1992, "has recently adopted a higher profile in the
country," Reuters noted. "In a television interview marking the fourth
anniversary on Sunday of the putsch attempt, he urged President Rafael
Caldera to organize a referendum on his rule or risk 'growing civil
resistance.'"

As noted earlier this week, UK researchers discovered the first virus to
specifically targeted Win95, a rogue program dubbed Boza, not especially
powerful, but capable of corrupting programs, then spreading to other users'
machines.  As reported, Microsoft officials already are working with anti-
virus software vendors to combat it.
                                      
                       Managers Look for Computer Help

More than half of the managers responding to a recent poll said they learned
skills in such technical areas as word processing and electronic
communications from their administrative assistants.  In the survey, 53
percent of the executives said they had learned a technical or computer skill
from an administrative assistant. The survey was sponsored by OfficeTeam, a
temporary help service company based in Menlo Park, California. It polled 150
human resources and other executives from the nation's 1,000 largest
companies.  "Today, being a secretary or assistant requires more than solely
providing administrative support -- it can also mean being the first to
master the company's new software applications or e-mail system," says Andrew
Denka, OfficeTeam's executive director.

 "Administrative professionals who not only keep pace with new technology,
but also are able to communicate this knowledge to others can be
indispensable to a company."  More Seniors Using Computers The stereotype of
seniors as technology resistant is out of date, finds a new national survey
sponsored by Intel Corp. and conducted by SeniorNet, an online service geared
toward older adults.  According to the survey, overall computer ownership
among adults ages 55 and older is 30 percent, up from 21 percent in the
SeniorNet survey conducted last July. Computer ownership among adults ages 55
to 64 is now 40 percent. Among people 75 or older, 11 percent now own a PC.
"The growth rate shows that seniors are aware and enthusiastic about the
digital revolution and high- performance computing," says Steve Nachtsheim,
an Intel vice president.

Attesting to the growing influence of the Internet and online communications,
17 percent of senior computer owners said they "regularly use an online
service." Two-thirds (65 percent) said they had "accessed the Internet in the
past month."  "This survey shows that the older adults who have been on the
periphery of the computer age are now rapidly moving into the mainstream,"
says Richard Adler, vice president of development at SeniorNet and author of
the survey. "They are quickly catching up to the younger generations."







PhotoShop 3.0.5 STR Focus

I N F O -S H E ET


                        Adobe PhotoShop 3.0.5 Windows

February 1996 Introduction

Adobe PhotoShop 3.0 for Windows has been a 32-bit application since its
initial release in November 1994 and runs on Windows 95 without modification.
The 3.0.4 release shipped in July 1995 met most, but not all, of the Windows
95 logo requirements established by Microsoft. A version 3.0.5 update was
released in January 1996 in the U.S., however, that is specifically designed
to take fuller advantage of the power and ease-of-use built into Windows 95,
and proudly bears the Windows 95 logo certification.

Feature Changes (Both Full and LE Versions)

    Adoption of Windows 95 user interface guidelines - Registry of file and
  application icons - Use of common dialogs - Use of system colors and metrics
  - Use of right mouse button to activate Commands palette - Support for long
  filenames and UNC pathnames
    Support for OLE 2.0 object linking, embedding, and drag-and-drop
  functionality on Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.5
    Addition of Send command in File menu for simple-mail-enable support
    Proper setup and uninstall capabilities
    Improved support for 16-bit scanning modules & 16-bit filter plug-ins on
Windows 95
    Support for new TWAIN_32 scanning standard for both 16-bit and 32-bit
scanning modules
    New GIF89a export plug-in with transparency and interlacing support
    Optimizations for multi-processing under Windows NT
    Support for new Wacom UltraPen eraser
    Latest version 3.0.2 of Adobe Type Manager
    Full Version Only: Latest version 2.1 of Adobe Acrobat Reader on Deluxe
CD-ROM
    Full Version Only: Addition of Adobe PhotoShop Windows SDK and other
  information on Deluxe CD-ROM for developers interested in developing plug-ins
  for Adobe PhotoShop and other Adobe applications.
    Customers in the US/Canada
    The full upgrade to version 3.0.5 from previous versions of 3.0 is
  available for US$19.95 on CD-ROM or US$29.95 on CD-ROM plus 3.5" disks.
    The full upgrade to version 3.0.5 from versions earlier than 3.0.x is
available for US$179 on CD-ROM plus 3.5" disks.
    The full upgrade to version 3.0.5 from PhotoShop LE or PhotoStyler is
available for US$249 on CD-ROM plus 3.5" disks.

For more information on upgrading to version 3.0.5 or to place an order,
contact Adobe at 1-800-521-1976
Customers Outside the US/Canada

For more information on upgrading to version 3.0.5 or to place an order,
contact your local Adobe distributor or call Adobe at 206-628-2749.

Customers in Europe
For more information on upgrading to version 3.0.5 or to place an order,
contact your nearest Adobe support center:

February 2, 1996 Country Contact Numbers

Austria 44 131 451 6882
Belgium 44 131 451 6883
Denmark 45 48 14 25 11
Finland 358 0 546 300
France 44 131 451 6889
Germany 44 131 451 6884
Iceland 354 1 681 666
Iceland 354 511 5111
Rep. of Ireland 44 131 451 6888
Italy 44 131 451 6890
The Netherlands 44 131 451 6885
Norway 47 22 90 05 00
Portugal 1 471 67 63
Spain 93 423 67 67
Sweden 44 131 451 6886
Switzerland 44 131 458 6887
UK 0131 451 6888
US 206 628 2749




SCANNER Evaluations STR Focus


                             A LOOK AT SCANNERS


Courtesy of the Go Graphics Group and the Graphics Supportt Forum on
CompuServe

Products:
    Agfa StudioScan IIsi                 (Flatbed color scanner)_Evaluation
    Canon IX-4015                      (Flatbed color scanner)_Evaluation
    Epson ES-1000C                          (Flatbed color
scanner)_Evaluation
    HP ScanJet 4c                      (Flatbed color scanner)_Evaluation
    Microtek Lab ScanMaker E3               (Flatbed color
scanner)_Evaluation
    Tamarack Technologies ArtiScan Z1-600        (Flatbed color
scanner)_Evaluation
    UMAX Technologies Vista-S8 Pro2         (Flatbed color
scanner)_Evaluation


Umax Technologies' $845 Umax Vista S8 Pro2 earns top honors in a comparison
of six flatbed scanners, with HP's  $1,179 HP ScanJet 4c and Bayer Corp's
$900 Agfa StudioScan IIsi rounding out the top three. The Vista offers a full
set  of tools, and a split screen allows users to compare potential color and
tone edits with the original. Vista's color  saturation is good, as are
contrast and detail in monochrome images. A sound design and good manual are
let down by  inadequate customer support. The ScanJet is hampered by a driver
that insists on using non-standard terms, but the  features are plentiful and
context-sensitive help is sound. The ScanJet tops all contenders in
interpolation and line  resolvability, but color quality is below that of the
Vista and StudioScan. StudioScan generally offers the best scan  quality,
particularly for gray-scale images. The documentation is weak, and customer
support is unacceptable.

No software or four-color printer can take the thorns out of a badly scanned
image. No amount of money nor any equipment in your shed can bring life to a
saturated scan. Do you have what you need to cultivate quality images?

COMPARED:

  Agfa StudioScan IIsi
  Bayer Corp. (Agfa Division)

  Canon IX-4015
  Canon Computer Systems Inc.

  Epson ES-1000C
  Epson America Inc.

  HP ScanJet 4c
  Hewlett-Packard Co.

  Microtek ScanMaker E3
  Microtek Lab Inc.

  Tamarack ArtiScan Z1-600
  Tamarack Technologies Inc.

  Umax Vista S8 Pro2
  Umax Technologies Inc.

A rose by another name, as the Bard suggested, would smell as sweet. But
Shakespeare never had to scan a picture of one accurately into a newsletter,
because if he had, he might be calling roses -- and scanners -- a lot of
other names, none of  them very sweet.

Getting the color right is the toughest job in publishing, and desktop
scanners have traditionally not been very capable of  it. As recently as a
couple of years ago, if you wanted to make sure your red roses didn't look
like rotting pomegranates  you had to turn to an expensive drum scanner to
digitize the image.When we last examined desktop scanners, in September 1992,
we found them fully up to the chore of scanning line art and text documents,
but they were relatively  slow and frequently produced hard-to-correct color
casts.

A lot has changed in the past four years, however. The most significant
difference is the maximum color depth of the  scanners we tested four years
ago was 24-bit (16.8 million colors); half the models we tested in this
comparison scan at  30 bits (more than 1 billion colors).

Although it's true that the scans are reduced to 24 bits before they are sent
from the scanner to your computer, there's  still an important advantage to
30-bit scanning: A 30-bit scanner can access the full 30 bits when it
performs color  correction during the scanning process. That generally
results in better color ranges and better defined highlights and  shadows
than post-scan corrections made with 24-bit data. Further, inevitable "noise"
will be recorded in the scanning  process. When the 30-bit scanners turn in
their 24 bits to the computer, they can chuck out 2 bad bits per color
channel,  leaving 8 good ones per channel. On the other hand, 24-bit
scanners, which also chuck out the noise, have less than 8 bits to turn in,
making the final image less than advertised. Marketing hype or fact?
According to our panel of judges, some 30-bit machines worked well and some
did not; the same was true with the 24-bit machines. The bit density had no
automatic effect on the quality of the scans, leading us to believe the
marketing departments are leading the engineers on  this one.

Some of the new scanners incorporate new cold-cathode fluorescent lamps,
which generate a fraction of the heat  traditional fluorescent lamps used.
They have an estimated life span of more than 10,000 hours, which compares
favorably to the 1,000 or so hours you can expect from a standard scanner
lamp. And because the lamps burn cooler, the  manufacturer doesn't have to
ventilate the insides of the scanner with fans. The result is that the
optical elements of a  cold-cathode scanner can be sealed to prevent dust
from getting inside and dirtying up your scans.

We're also generally impressed with the new TWAIN drivers that accompany many
of the scanners. The TWAIN drivers  ensure compatibility with any Windows
software package, and the features of the drivers vary from scanner to
scanner.  Both the Vista S8 Pro2, from Umax Technologies Inc., and the
ScanMaker E3, from Microtek Lab Inc., came with  excellent drivers offering
many options and clean designs. The Vista, for example, includes a feature
that shows two  thumbnail images side by side. The first is the preview of
the image and the second shows the proposed changes to color  and tint you've
asked it to make. Making adjustments in the driver saved us the trouble of
opening a full-blown image  editor and displaying multiple memory-hungry
files.

There is, of course, more to consider than color depth and lamp life in
figuring out which scanner is most suitable for  your purposes. Our test plan
for desktop scanners highlights three other critical areas: scan quality,
speed, and accessories.

BLOSSOMING RESOLUTION. Scanner resolution, like that of printers, is often
measured in dots per inch (dpi). In  actuality, printers print dots and
scanners see pixels. Therefore the scanners' optical resolution is most
accurately  described in pixels per inch (ppi). A 300-ppi scanner will create
images from pixels 1/300th of an inch wide. The current  crop of desktop
scanners offers higher resolutions than the previous generation. True optical
resolutions of 600 ppi are  becoming standard now, compared to 300 ppi a
couple of years ago.

Watch out, however, for vendors' claims of resolutions higher than 1,000 ppi.
Desktop scanners costing less than $1,500,  such as those we tested, simply
aren't going to deliver true resolutions that high. Most of the scanners in
this comparison  can, however, simulate higher scan resolutions through
interpolation. Interpolation is a process by which the scanner uses  an
algorithm to mathematically "fill in the gaps" to smooth curves that would
otherwise appear jagged. As true optical  resolution is predetermined by the
scanner's optics any resolution higher than that figure will employ
interpolation.

Just how much resolution do you need? For output purposes, you are limited by
the capability of the printer. And the  most limiting aspect of the printer
is its measurement of lines per inch (lpi), which is not readily known by
most users  because vendors would prefer you know the dpi figure. A good rule
of thumb is to scan at roughly two and a half times  the screen frequency, or
number of lpi, you'll be printing to for a 1-to-1 image. The higher
resolution comes in most  handy when you want to scan a small area and
enlarge it.

INSTANT GARDENS? All of the scanners in this comparison can do full-color
scans in a single pass (vs. scanning once  each for red, green, and blue
channels). But we still found significant differences in speed, with some
models taking three  to five times longer than others to complete the same
scan in our color scanning tests. If you have to scan 50 images in an
afternoon, for example, selecting the right scanner may make the difference
between finishing work on time or staying  well into the evening. And if
you're doing extensive document scanning, the differences can be even more
crucial,  because workloads of hundreds of pages per day aren't uncommon.

Before selecting your new scanner, take a close look at the speed breakdowns
in our tests in terms of the type of scanning  you'll do. Remember also that
the scanner that's fastest at performing color scans is not always the
fastest scanner at performing black-and-white scans.

You'll also want to take a close look at what's in the box along with the
scanner. A TWAIN driver isn't the only software  that you'll find. Most units
also ship with some sort of optical character recognition (OCR) and image
editing software,  which can be important factors, because high-end OCR and
image editing software packages can cost about as much as the scanner itself.

More often, however, what you'll find in the box are light versions of a more
powerful package, such as Adobe's  Systems Inc.'s Photoshop Limited Edition,
so you might have to buy the software you need anyway. It's not going to help
you to save a few hundred dollars on a scanner if you have to pay an
additional $800 to get the right image editing or text recognition program.

Finally, don't overlook what isn't in the box. None of the scanners in this
comparison ship with automatic document  feeders or transparency adapters,
for example, but most offer these as extra-cost options. A rose might be a
rose, but a  capable color scanner that can accept a document feeder and that
comes bundled with high-quality software -- all for less  than $1,500 - would
definitely smell sweeter than the competition.

Report Card: Desktop color scanners
Agfa StudioScan IIsi
Bayer Corp. (Agfa Division)
Ridgefield Park, N.J.
(800) 685-4271; fax: (508) 658-4193

(Weighting) Performance:

Setup and usability (175) Very Good 131.25 The StudioScan was easy to set up,
but a few usability problems kept us  from giving it a higher score. The
scanner's well-designed, menu-based TWAIN driver made software navigation and
option selection simple and quick. A comprehensive information box displays
scanner and memory information. Because  the preview window has a black
background, however, the StudioScan made it somewhat difficult to work with
dark images.

Scan speed (100) Very Good 75.00 A strong speed performer, the StudioScan
came in first scanning our gray-scale  photo; it took a mere 11 seconds. On
average, it rated third overall -- but the difference in overall averages
among the top
four finishers was minimal.

Scan quality (250) Excellent 250.00 The StudioScan performed better than
impressively in virtually all our tests of scan  quality; it delivered the
best scan quality overall. Its handling of our gray-scale photo was tops. It
ranked second in line  resolvability and interpolation. Color images were
appropriately saturated, and the StudioScan ties with the Vista in  retaining
detail in midtones and highlights. We saw no differences in scans performed 2
hours apart.

Design (100) Good 62.50 The StudioScan's cover is ergonomically designed for
easy opening, but is difficult to keep  open and somewhat flimsy; its
construction is otherwise sturdy. Three rulers along the placement area show
different  units of measurement. The StudioScan supplies two SCSI ports.

Support and pricing:

Documentation (75) Satisfactory 37.50 Though adequate, Agfa's documentation
can't compete with Microtek for scope or  HP for readability. Still, glossary
and troubleshooting sections are provided. The manuals are shipped shrink-
wrapped and unbound, an annoying and cumbersome approach.

Support policies (75) Very Good 56.25 Agfa covers the StudioScan with a one-
year warranty. Toll-free support is free  and unlimited during the warranty
period. Agfa support is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in all time
zones. Fax and BBS (toll call) services are available.

Technical support (75) Unacceptable 0.00 Each of the numerous times we
called, we were required to leave a message  with an automated attendant.
Because not a single one of our calls was ever answered, we must consider the
quality of
Agfa's support unacceptable.

Added value (75) Very Good 56.25 The StudioScan comes with Adobe Systems
Inc.'s Photoshop Light Edition and Caere  Corp.'s OmniPage Direct for OCR.

Pricing (75) Good 46.87 The StudioScan's street price is $900. Agfa doesn't
supply a list price.

Final score 7.1

  Canon IX-4015
  Canon Computer Systems Inc.
  Costa Mesa, Calif.
  (800) 848-4123

(Weighting) Performance:

Setup and usability (175) Satisfactory 87.50 The Canon's setup was a pain,
and its TWAIN driver wasn't nearly as rich in features as the ScanMaker or
the Vista. The Canon supplies the fewest adjustment options, and the image
preview is too  small to effectively reflect the changes we did make using
them. We couldn't easily resize the cropping marquee. On the  plus side, the
Canon provides broad help and, as with most of the other scanners, changes we
made to our preview image showed up in real time.

Scan speed (100) Very Good 75.00 This solid performer placed second overall
in speed -- among a competitive group. It  took first-place honors scanning
our line art target, with an elapsed time of only 7 seconds. Compare that to
the Vista, which took almost 30 seconds.

Scan quality (250) Satisfactory 125.00 The Canon did not impress us in any of
our quality tests. Our judges placed it in a  tie for sixth (with the
ScanMaker) in its handling of line resolvability and interpolation. The color
photograph assumed a  brownish cast, with details lost in the shadows. Its
scan of our gray-scale photo was too dark and lacked contrast. The  Canon was
consistent in its performance -- we found no difference between scans
performed 2 hours apart.

Design (100) Good 62.50 The generally well-designed Canon's petite size makes
it handy for use in small areas but limits  the size of your scanning media
to letter or smaller. The cover stayed open when lifted. Measurement guides
are unremarkable, but construction is very sturdy. The Canon supplies two
SCSI ports.

Support and pricing:

Documentation (75) Good 46.87 The quick-start guide and users' manual are
laid out well for easy navigation, and both  books include large helpful
illustrations and step-by-step instructions. A troubleshooting section and
glossary are provided.

Support policies (75) Excellent 75.00 Canon provides a two-year warranty,
with 24-hour replacement guaranteed.  Support is free, toll-free, unlimited,
and available seven days per week, from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. Support via fax,
BBS
(toll call), and CompuServe is also available.

Technical support (75) Satisfactory 37.50 On one call, an automated
switchboard informed us that Canon support was  very busy, then promptly
disconnected our call. However, technicians did go to lengths to make sure
our problems were resolved.

Added value (75) Very Good 56.25 The Canon includes the complete Light Source
Computer Images Inc.'s Ofoto 2.0  Image editor, OmniPage Direct for OCR, and
a copier utility.

Pricing (75) Very Good 56.25 The Canon lists at $799. Its street price is
$688.

Final score 6.2

  Epson ES-1000C
  Epson America Inc.
  Torrance, Calif.
  (800) 289-3776, ext. 3000
  World Wide Web: http://www.epson.com

(Weighting) Performance:

Setup and usability (175) Very Good 131.25 The Epson was easy to set up. Its
driver's feature set was as complete as  most of the other scanners'; only a
couple of usability issues kept us from giving our full recommendation. We
liked the  visibility provided by a roomy preview. And we could even generate
five separate images to view and compare  simultaneously. But the selecting
cursor looks like a zoom tool. And, in order to generate an adequately sized
image, we  had to set zoom before running preview.

Scan speed (100) Good 62.50 On average, the Epson ranked fifth. It virtually
tied for first in scanning our line art  document, but it consistently
hovered in the middle or near the bottom of the pack on the rest of our speed
tests.

Scan quality (250) Very Good 187.50 The Epson handled our color image better
than any other product tested. Detail was  apparent in shadows, and midtones
and colors were appropriately saturated. It ran with the middle of the pack
on line  resolvability and interpolation, as well as gray-scale handling (it
lost some shadow detail). Users should make sure the  Epson has ample time to
warm up, because we saw some differences in scans after a time lapse of 2
hours.

Design (100) Very Good 75.00 The Epson's design is among the sleekest, status
indicators are extensive, and  construction is solid. The maximum scan area
is a smallish 8.5 by 11.67 inches. Its cable, measuring less than 3 feet,
limits some flexibility of placement. The unit delivers two SCSI ports.

Support and pricing:

Documentation (75) Satisfactory 37.50 The Epson's shallow setup guide is
barely more than a jump start; no  troubleshooting information is present.
Another, more complete, guide to driver utilities includes troubleshooting
tips, but doesn't compare to the ScanJet's or ScanMaker's high standards.

Support policies (75) Very Good 56.25 The Epson is covered by a one-year
warranty. Epson provides free, unlimited,  and toll-free telephone support
weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time. Support is also available via a
BBS, the Internet, and a fax-back system.

Technical support (75) Unacceptable 0.00 After four days and 20 calls spent
trying to reach a technician, we decided our  efforts were futile. Busy
signals and endless unanswered periods on hold were all we ever got from
Epson technical  support.

Added value (75) Good 46.87 The Epson comes with Photoshop Lite Edition and
Textbridge OCR software.

Pricing (75) Good 46.87 List price for the Epson is $849; the street price is
$799.

Final score 6.4

  HP ScanJet 4c
  Hewlett-Packard Co.
  Palo Alto, Calif.
  (800)-SCANJET
  World Wide Web: http://www.hp.com

(Weighting) Performance:

Setup and usability (175) Good 109.37 Had we rated the ScanJet on features
and help alone, it would have received a  higher score, but we couldn't get
used to its driver. The driver uses its own dialect -- the industry-standard
graphics term  "gamma" becomes "emphasis," for example. These departures
might leave users out in the cold when seeking assistance  from more
traditional materials.  Still, the ScanJet doesn't shirk on features, and its
context-sensitive help is fully  illustrated.

Scan speed (100) Good 62.50 Although producing acceptable times, the ScanJet
wasn't a standout. It ranked third on our  single-page test, but it took
almost 43 seconds to scan our color photograph -- more than twice as long as
the Vista.  Overall, the ScanJet ranked sixth.

Scan quality (250) Very Good 187.50 The ScanJet captured subtleties well in
highlights and midtones. And in line  resolvability and interpolation, our
judges were unanimous that it could not be beat. For text-only applications,
the  ScanJet is a superlative choice. The unit's handling of gray scale was
also admirable, second only to the StudioScan. The ScanJet demonstrated no
problems with color consistency. One black mark: Its color quality wasn't of
the caliber of the Vista, the Epson, or StudioScan.

Design (100) Good 62.50 The ScanJet's design is clean, simple, and solid, but
the power light (the unit's only indicator)  should be more visible. Maximum
scan area is a relatively generous 8.5 by 14 inches, and the removable cover
facilitates  the scanning of odd-shaped materials. There are no ruler guides.
Two SCSI ports are provided.

Support and pricing:

Documentation (75) Very Good 56.25 High-quality documentation is the norm
from HP, and the ScanJet's two users'  guides do not disappoint. They're
complete, comprehensible enough for the beginner, and informative enough for
the  expert.  The manual's large illustrations are a plus.

Support policies (75) Excellent 75.00 HP covers the ScanJet with a one-year
warranty. Free, unlimited, and toll-free  support is available weekdays, 6
a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain time. Support via fax, BBS, Internet, and CD-ROM is
also
available.

Technical support (75) Very Good 56.25 Although calls weren't answered
directly by technicians, once we reached the  support staff, we were treated
like long-lost friends. Help was thorough and courteous, explanations were
detailed, and most importantly, our problems were remedied.

Added value (75) Very Good 56.25 The ScanJet has Corel Corp.'s PhotoPaint
(PCs) or Adobe Photoshop LE (Macs), and Caere OmniPage Lite.

Pricing (75) Good 46.87 HP lists the ScanJet at $1,179. $995 is the street
price.

Final score 7.1

  Microtek ScanMaker E3
  Microtek Lab Inc.
  Redondo Beach, Calif.
  (800) 654-4160; fax: (310) 297-5050

(Weighting) Performance:

Setup and usability (175) Excellent 175.00 Setting up and using the ScanMaker
was like a ride in First Class. No other  scanner was this easy. Its very
usable driver is virtually a miniature image editor; the software offers
nearly twice the  average number of features provided by the scanners in our
comparison. Previewed images were clear, and the viewing  space was ample. It
was a pleasure to experiment, and the reset feature let us undo any or all of
our changes. On-screen help is easy to navigate.

Scan speed (100) Satisfactory 50.00 The ScanMaker pulled up the rear, coming
in last in four of our five speed tests. It  took a little more than a minute
to scan our color photo (which the Vista scanned in less than half the time).
Still, it's fast enough for general business use.

Scan quality (250) Satisfactory 125.00 The ScanMaker's performance compares
as badly as the Canon's in line  resolvability and interpolation: they tied
for sixth. Its handling of color images was only average, with colors
appearing
oversaturated; midtone and shadows retained more detail than highlight areas.
The ScanMaker's scan of our gray-scale photo turned out too light and lacking
in contrast. We found no problems with color consistency among scans
performed
2 hours apart.

Design (100) Satisfactory 50.00 The ScanMaker provides the basics, but its
overall design could be better. The scanner doesn't terminate internally and
Microtek doesn't provide a SCSI terminator. The maximum document scanning
area is  8.5 by 14 inches. Two SCSI ports are provided. We had to hold open
the cover with our heads.

Support and pricing:

Documentation (75) Very Good 56.25 The ScanMaker's comprehensive and
informative documentation is a veritable  textbook on scanning. But its step-
by-step format makes it remarkably easy to use. Its one failing is that it
covers too  many scanner models at once.

Support policies (75) Good 46.87 Microtek provides a one-year parts and labor
warranty. Telephone support is free and  unlimited on a toll line. E-mail,
fax, and BBS (toll call) support is offered. Support hours are weekdays from
7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time.

Technical support (75) Poor 18.75 Reaching technical support was as difficult
as trying to get Streisand tickets.  Obstructions included busy signals and
bizarre recorded messages such as the enigmatic "Thank you and good-bye,"
followed by disconnection. Our questions were handled adequately.

Added value (75) Good 46.87 The ScanMaker provides its own complete
ImageStarII image editor, and Caere's  OmniPage Lite Edition.

Pricing (75) Excellent 75.00 The ScanMaker is street priced at $399. Microtek
doesn't supply a list price.

Final score 6.4

  Tamarack ArtiScan Z1-600
  Tamarack Technologies Inc.
  Orange, Calif.
  (714) 744-3979; fax: (714) 744-4582
  World Wide Web: http://www.tamaracktechnologies.com

(Weighting) Performance:

Setup and usability (175) Good 109.37 The ArtiScan has a few usability
highlights, but its driver software is generally  unremarkable. We
appreciated the straightforward design of the driver interface. A unique
freehand selector is good for  cropping irregular columns of text. But we
didn't like the fact that to change gamma we had to use a slider bar (instead
of  directly manipulating a standard curve). Lame help can't be called more
than a glorified table of contents.

Scan speed (100) Very Good 75.00 The ArtiScan ran first overall among a
fairly consistent pack. Thirty-three seconds  was how long it took to scan
our magazine photo (The Epson and ScanMaker both took twice as long).

Scan quality (250) Satisfactory 125.00 The ArtiScan choked on our line
resolvability and interpolation tests, ranking last.  Surprisingly, the line
art generated using highest interpolated resolution was of no higher quality
than line art generated at  the highest optical resolution. The ArtiScan
handled reproduction of our color image fairly well, with the exception that
output lacked punch in bright areas. It produced an average grayscale image.
We identified no color consistency problems.

Design (100) Very Good 75.00 The ArtiScan's overall construction is solid.
 compactness, it is designed to
readily accommodate odd-shaped documents. The ArtiScan offers two SCSI
connections. It  comes with a built-in SCSI terminator for the Mac and an
external one for the PC.

Support and pricing:

Documentation (75) Poor 18.75 We can only call it a "documentation don't."
Tamarack's uninviting documentation reads  and is laid out like a novel.
Worse, some examples and illustrations are of a scanner that isn't the
ArtiScan. There's no glossary or index, either.

Support policies (75) Very Good 56.25 Tamarack provides a two-year parts and
labor warranty and a money-back  guarantee. Telephone support is free and
unlimited (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Pacific time). Support is also
available via the Internet, fax, and BBS.

Technical support (75) Good 46.87 To our delight, reaching technical support
was a piece of cake -- our calls were  answered immediately. Explanations
were correct and to the point; technicians did not go out of their way to
elaborate.

Added value (75) Very Good 56.25 The ArtiScan includes Photoshop Lite
Edition, complete Image Recognition  Integrated Systems' Read Iris OCR, and
an Internet Starter Pack.

Pricing (75) Excellent 75.00 The ArtiScan, although listing for $649, has a
street price of $499.

Final score 6.3

Umax Vista S8 Pro2
Umax Technologies Inc.
Fremont, Calif.
(800) 562-0311; fax: (510) 651-8834
World Wide Web: http://www.umax.com

(Weighting) Performance:

Setup and usability (175) Excellent 175.00 What can we say but, "Wow"? A
complete set of tools coupled with a sleek  driver made scanning fun. A neat
split screen let us preview changes to color and tone, alongside the
original.  Presets  were helpful but not limiting; we could also make custom
settings if we chose. Help includes illustrative screen shots. A  unique
uninstall feature let us easily remove the driver as necessary.

Scan speed (100) Very Good 75.00 The Vista came in, on average, a close
fourth among the top four contenders. It  placed first in our color photo,
color magazine image, and text tests, but took the most time to scan our line
art and gray-scale documents.

Scan quality (250) Very Good 187.50 Our judges were impressed with the
Vista's color reproduction and quality. Like  the StudioScan, it produced
well-saturated color, while retaining detail in highlight and midtone areas.
The Vista's  handling of the gray-scale photo was also impressive; not quite
as attractive as the StudioScan's and the ScanJet's output,  it had just the
right amount of contrast and detail. The Vista did a solid job on our line
resolvability and interpolation tests.

Design (100) Very Good 75.00 The Vista's design is elegant and ergonomically
sound. Scanning odd-shaped documents  is a breeze because the cover can be
removed. An appropriately sized SCSI (it has two SCSI ports) cable meant we
could place the scanner elsewhere besides directly next to our machine.

Support and pricing:

Documentation (75) Good 46.87 The users' guide and operational manual are
invitingly designed and usefully illustrated.  Extras include a glossary and
maintenance and troubleshooting sections. But the Vista's documentation isn't
nearly as comprehensive as the ScanMaker's.

Support policies (75) Very Good 56.25 A one-year warranty covers the Vista.
Telephone support is free, unlimited, and  toll free. Support can also be had
via fax, BBS (toll call), and the World Wide Web. Support hours are 6 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Technical support (75) Poor 18.75 During one call, we were put on hold, then
we found ourselves talking to another  waiting customer. Other calls to
Umax's inadequate technical support center weren't even answered by a human.

Added value (75) Excellent 75.00 The Vista provides a complete edition of
Photoshop, Maxsoft-Ocron OCR, and CD titles.

Pricing (75) Good 46.87 The Vista lists for $845 retail, and $779 on the
street.

Final score 7.5

TOUCH OF GRAY

In theory, scanners should be able to capture 256 values of gray. In reality,
none do. But that won't cause a production bottleneck, because even high-end
printers can't capture the full gray gamut. And indeed, some perceptual
research  shows that people can't even perceive that many shades. Many
professional designers limit themselves to just about a hundred values.

DON'T SAVE IT FOR LATER

There are two good reasons to use a scanner's built-in preview software to
make changes in preview mode before finally  scanning an image into your
image editing program.

First, you save time because you don't have to wait for your imaging
application to load before modifying your picture.

Second, once you've made two significant changes to an image from within an
image editor -- adjusting a color channel  and shifting gamma, for example --
the fundamental quality of your image will begin to degrade.

STRAIGHT UP

You don't need to be a Rembrandt or an Einstein to generate accurate color
scans. Most desktop scanners pay heed to this  creed, supplying -- along with
a range of sophisticated editing tools -- an Auto feature for creating
quality scans without  much user intervention. Indeed, in generating output
to evaluate, we relied on Auto capability and didn't adjust the  scanner at
all.  Happily, this generated positive results overall.

COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN: Scans in the Place Where You Live

Multifunction devices such as Xerox Corp.'s Desktop Document Systems'
Document WorkCenter 250 provide scanning,  copying, and faxing services in
one package.  Although they're typically targeted for SOHO use, some
manufacturers are  promoting such devices for use in workgroup environments.
Corporate users should consider the service implications of  such a solution,
however. If a unit goes out for repair for the scanner component, the whole
department loses access to  copier and scanner as well. And guess who gets
blamed for that?

TWO TO TANGO

Scanners can't bear the whole burden for the final quality of scanned
material; the capabilities of your output devices are  equally important.
Mileage will vary considerably, for example, based on whether you print to a
midrange laser or high-end dye-sublimation printer.

Related Article: RESULTS AT A GLANCE

With the burgeoning of the World Wide Web, the increasing accuracy of optical
character recognition (OCR) software,  and the emergence of viable document
management tools, scanners are fast becoming as necessary to today's
enterprises  as fax machines and E-mail. Color desktop flatbed scanners --
simple to configure, compact, and (in theory, at least) as  easy to use as a
copy machine -- are the natural choice for general business users.

We evaluated seven popular brands priced at less than $1,500. Results spanned
the spectrum, from two bargain-priced  units that showed, when it comes to
output, you get what you pay for, to the priciest model whose not-quite-ideal
results proceeded to disprove that adage.

To our dismay, our experiences with almost every vendor's technical support
were among the worst we've suffered  through. Shabby service that included
disconnections, chronic busy signals, unanswered phones, and inept answers
lowered the scores of several contenders -- including the Epson, an otherwise
solid choice.

Still, the midpriced Vista S8 Pro2, from Umax Technologies Inc., offered an
elegant driver and produced sterling output.  The unit provides a strong
combination of accuracy, usability, and design elegance, complemented by a
rich cache of  value-adding software; we appreciated that its sleek driver
was not only full featured but also easy to understand and  navigate.

The StudioScan IIsi, from Bayer Corp.'s Agfa Division, whose comprehensive
driver more than made the grade when it  came to usability, produced the most
impressive output overall and was speedier on average than the Vista. Its
poorly packaged documentation, however, is just so-so.

We think Hewlett-Packard Co.'s ScanJet 4c would be a fantastic choice for OCR
and other text-based applications,  because it handled our line art tests the
best. But in color reproduction it can't compete with the Vista, StudioScan,
or the  Epson. (The Epson in particular handled color with remarkable
aplomb.)  Worth noting (although this didn't affect the  scanner's overall
score) is that we were unable to scan directly into Photoshop, Version 3.04,
using the ScanJet's 32-bit driver on Windows 3.1.

Epson America Inc.'s ES-1000C ran the gamut of category scores, but the end
result was a middling finish. It came  through for us in performance - in
fact, its handling of color was unparalleled. Also, its very usable driver
boasts  features none of its competition can match, including the capability
to display as many as five independently adjustable  versions of the same
image at once. It ran with the pack in speed. And we only know its technical
support in the breach: We were never even able to reach a technician.

We loved the Microtek Lab Inc. ScanMaker E3's driver front end. Chock full of
options but not too easy to get lost in, it  saved us the trouble of having
to open and reopen our image editor to make multiple adjustments to our
images.  Unfortunately, the kludgy design of the unit and the marginal
quality of its scans didn't live up to the standard set by its terrific
software.

Tamarack Technologies Inc.'s bargain-priced ArtiScan Z1-600 also failed to
impress with its scan quality, although its  output was within the bounds of
acceptable. Its variety of cropping tools provided some additional
flexibility not offered by other drivers.

The IX-4015, from Canon Computer Systems Inc., performed barely
satisfactorily in scan quality; it not only infused our  color photo with a
pronounced cast, but it inverted bit maps when scanned into Photoshop. The
Canon does, however,
include a complete image editor and OCR package (not all the units we saw
do), and it sports an attractive price tag as well.

The Score

Umax Vista S8 Pro2                 7.5
HP ScanJet 4c                           7.1
Agfa StudioScan IIsi               7.1
Epson ES-1000C                     6.4
Microtek ScanMaker E3         6.4
Tamarack ArtiScan Z1-600      6.3
Canon IX-4015                      6.2



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AWARD BIOS NEWS STR Spotlite               "The Best Keeps Getting Better!"


                        Award Software International
                        Windows 95 Technical Bulletin


February, 1996


                  Award Web site up! (http://www.award.com)

Award Software has determined there is nothing wrong with any of our Generic
core BIOS and Windows 95.  There are  some motherboards and BIOS that come
from specific OEMS  that do have problems.  These motherboards represent a
very small percentage of our BIOS.

If you experience any of the following problems, try to contact your
motherboard or System OEM directly.  If you do not  know your motherboard
manufacturer, or you cannot contact anyone who knows anything about your
system or  motherboard, contact Award for more information.  There is OEM
contact information and Award information in this message.

Known Problem List:

#1 Can't turn off virus protection in BIOS setup menu

Basically, boot sector writes are not possible in Windows 95 unless you turn
off this feature in the BIOS setup menu.  If you cannot turn it off in the
BIOS setup menu, see the workaround.

#2 IDE Address Conflict w/Floppy Disk controller

We misreport I/O address 3F6 as belonging to the Hard drive and it really
should be reported as belonging to the floppy.  This affects the performance
as Windows 95 will not load the 32 bit drivers but instead relies on the
older 16 bit interface.  The devices still work, but slower.

#3 Plug and Play functionality misreported

Even though its a plug and play BIOS, it doesn't work with Windows 95.

#4 System Registry write problems

During setup, and during subsequent system boots, Windows 95 tries to rewrite
the BIOS portion of the system registry and fails.

#5 Power Management problems (lock ups with APM turned on, etc)

#6 System instabilities and Intel Triton Motherboards

This problem manifests itself as hard disk access problems, including disk
resident system registry problems.

#7 Hot boot/warm boot differences

If the system doesn't boot into Windows 95 after a cold boot, but requires a
warm boot (i.e. it hangs into the cold boot), you have this problem.

These generic errors have been traced to our BIOS.   If you own one of these
motherboards please contact your dealer or  OEM for an upgrade.  If you
cannot contact your dealer or OEM, please contact Award for support.

Possible work arounds:

Item #1:
Run setup /ir for windows 95.  Create an emergency disk.  Boot up on the
emergency disk after loading win95.  Run
sys c:, remove the emergency disk, and reboot.  You should now be booting
Win95 off of the hard disk!

Item #2:
Contact Award via email.  You need to upgrade your BIOS.

Item #3:
Setup Windows 95 with the "setup /P i" option.  This will turn off plug and
play.  To turn it back on after you upgrade your bios, run setup with "setup
/P j".
Note case and space are significant!

Item #4:
You need to upgrade your BIOS.  Contact your OEM or Award.

Item #5:
Turn off power management at BIOS setup.

Item #6:
Award now has the Bus Master drivers from Intel.  Please send your BIOS
serial number (bottom of screen after power on, during memory count up,
should start with a date, chipset, 2xxxxxxx) to bmide@award.com. Specify
OS/2, Windows 95 or Windows NT.  You will receive a set of drivers via return
email.  DO NOT CALL TECH SUPPORT AT AWARD!

Item #7:
You need a new BIOS.  Contact your OEM or Award.


                             Notes from Symantec

Symantec recommends deleting all old software before reinstalling the new
Windows 95 software, especially a file called
SYMEVNT.386.  This windows driver causes problems in Windows 95.  This file
must be from the Windows 95 release
dated 8/8/95 or later to work under Windows 95.  Symantec recommends turning
off Autoprotect in the AntiVirus program.

Please, if your system works reliably in Safe Mode, the odds of having a BIOS
problem is very low.  When Win95 is running normally, the BIOS is only used
for Plug and Play functions and Power Management.  Very little of the BIOS is
used any other time by Win95.

NOW AVAILABLE ON BBS and WWW site: Free!

Documentation on Award BIOS Chipset Setup.

See the "manuals" area on our BBS or the Docs section in the web site for
more information.

Here is the most current list of OEM contact info:

Asustek
408 956 9077
408 956 9084 (BBS)
http://asustek.asus.com.tw

FIC
510 252 7777
http://www.fic.com.tw

Gigabyte
818 854 9338

DFI
916 568 1234

ECS
510 226 7333
510 226 7350 (fax)

Soyo
818 330 1712
http://www.surfusa.com/mbs/soyo

Pronix (Epox)
714 990 8858

Tyan
http://www.tyan.com

Many of our other OEMs are in the process of adding web sites, so you should
search for a web site for these or other OEMs.

Here is a current list of known BIOS with the problems.

Virus Protection:
2A5L7F09
214X2002
2C403AB1
2A5L7F09
2C419S23

Floppy/IDE conflict:
2A59CB09
2A5UNMZE

Misreporting or bad Plug and Play:
2A5L7F09
2A5197000
2A51CJ3A
2A5L7F0HC
2A59CF54C

The BIOS serial number appears at the bottom of the screen after power on
during memory count up.  The PAUSE key should work at that point, to allow
you to read your serial number.  The other numbers and letters in the serial
number refer to chipset and OEM info.

Award asks all of its customers to try the following before contacting Award
with Win95 questions and problems:

    Boot Dos/Windows 3.1
    Run scandisk /f.  If scandisk has problems, fix them  before proceeding.
  DO NOT PROCEED UNTIL SCANDISK RUNS PERFECTLY.
    Run a virus scan program and eliminate any virus found.
    Also, if you have any hardware you aren't using, now is a good time to
remove it.
    Rename autoexec.bat and config.sys autoexec.old and config.old
    Copy your win95 CDROM to a subdirectory on the hard disk.
    reboot to DOS only
    Run setup from the hard disk.  DO NOT OVERWRITE the old Windows
  directory.  You will have to reload all of your applications.
    Reboot under Windows 95.

If Windows 95 works, and all the devices under the device manager in the
system icon are correct and do not have yellow  or red circles, you are done.
DO NOT RELOAD 16 bit legacy drivers unless Win95 DID NOT recognize that
device at all, and be warned that if that is the case, your driver may not
work and cause system instability.

If Windows 95 incorrectly identifies a device but functions correctly, you
are OK.  However, if Windows 95 incorrectly  identifies a device and is
unstable or non functional, you MUST REPLACE THE HARDWARE.  DO NOT LOAD THE
LEGACY DRIVER!  It is a waste of time and effort.  Windows 95 will continue
to use the wrong driver, and if you  delete the driver from the hard disk, it
will prompt you to reload it from CD!

If after all this, you still have problems with Win95, please reboot, use the
F8 key, and try to create a bootlog.txt file.

The contents of this file, autoexec.bat, config.sys and the BIOS serial #
will be needed by tech support.  Please email or fax all the information to
us here at Award.

Contact info:

PLEASE do NOT contact Award Software in Munich, Germany for technical
support.  They are not able to offer BIOS  technical support at this time.
Award Software in Mountain View, California is the only Award BIOS technical
support office.

                               Award Software
                          777 East Middlefield Road
                        Mountain View, CA 94043-4023
                               (415) 968 4433
                            (415) 968 0274 (fax)
                            (415) 968 0249 (BBS)
                            http://www.award.com
                                      
                          email:  support@award.com


If you have any questions, contact technical support via email.  This is a
very efficient way for us to handle the large number of queries.  Phone calls
work, too, but be warned you will probably get voice mail.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Maurice Bizzarri
Vice President, Engineering
Award Software International, Inc.




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            A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N





EDUPAGE STR Focus    Keeping the users informed




                                   Edupage
Contents

Major Telecom Bill Passed By
Congress
Broadcasters Get Spectrum For
Digital Technology
Spindler Replaced By Amelio At Apple
Another Global Telecom Alliance
America Online Added To German
Internet Investigation
Japanese Companies Prepare Assault
On U.S. PC Market
Dead Information On The Web
Electronic Government
Player Drops Out Of Direct-To-Home
TV Market
"Everyone Remain Calm"
Bye Bye Blackbird
China Issues New Network
Registration Rules
Intel Rivals Plan P-Rating
Colleges Worry About New Liability
For Internet Content
Justice Dept. Scrutinizes Microsoft,
Vermeer Deal
Digital's Strongarm Chip
Prodigy Lowballs The Internet
Patent Medicine For Apple?
Speedier Graphics On Commercial
Services
Another Global Telecom Alliance
Apple Price Cuts And Rebates
Another Round Of "Name That
Communications Company!"
Edupage In Lithuanian
Debate Over Free Speech On The
Internet
Online Bill-Paying Still Has A Way
To Go
Murdoch's News Corporation Changes
Online Direction
Copyright In The Digital Age
US Says Canadian Broadcast Rules Are
Discriminatory
AT&T Insures Credit-Card Customers
Against Cyber-Fraud
Car Loans In Cyberspace
Packard Bell Gets Cash, Zenith Data
In Search Of "Robotiquette"
Internet Usage Policies
Visa Moves To Intranet System



                    MAJOR TELECOM BILL PASSED BY CONGRESS
Major telecommunications legislation, passed last week by both houses of
Congress and certain to be signed by the  President, is expected to transform
the long-distance and local-service telephone carriers, the cable TV
operators, and the  electric utilities, all of which now will be able to
compete against each other with relatively few restrictions.  Expected to
herald an age of innovative new products and services, the legislation has
been hailed enthusiastically by almost every  segment of the communications
industry, though it is being criticized by consumer groups, which predict
rising prices for  cable and phone services, and by civil liberties groups,
which say the bill's penalties for using the Internet to distribute "indecent
material" to minors represent an abridgment of the constitutional right to
free speech.  (New York Times 2 Feb 96 p1)

              BROADCASTERS GET SPECTRUM FOR DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
One of the stumbling blocks to getting passage of the telecom legislation had
been the provision to give broadcasters a  portion of the airwaves for use in
developing digital services (such as interactive television), because the
provision had  been criticized by Senator Dole and others as a "giveaway" of
valuable spectrum that could be auctioned off for tens of  millions of
dollars on the open market.  However, the debate over  that provision has
been deferred to the future, so the  broadcasters are happy.  They are also
happy that the legislation will raise from 25% to 35% the limit on how many
of  the country's homes can be reached with the stations they own, and by the
fact that the bill makes it now possible for  broadcasters to own cable
systems.  (New York Times 2 Feb 96 C4)

                    SPINDLER REPLACED BY AMELIO AT APPLE
Yielding to pressure from investors angry about the company's battered state,
Apple's board of directors has ousted  Michael Spindler and replaced him with
Gilbert F. Amelio as chief executive officer.  To take the position, Amelio
resigned as president and CEO of National Semiconductor. A company that he
has been credited with "turning around."   (Wall Street Journal 2 Feb 96 A3)

                       ANOTHER GLOBAL TELECOM ALLIANCE
Telecommunications companies Deutsche Telekom, FranceTelecom and Sprint are
forming an alliance called Global One  in order to provide worldwide voice,
data and video services for corporate clients;  international consumer
services (such  as calling cards);  and international transmission and
support to other international carriers.  Global One will be competing
against two previously formed global alliances:  Uniworld, formed by AT&T and
four European telecom  operators;  and Concert, formed by British
Telecommunications and Sprint.  (Financial Times 1 Feb 96 p16)

            AMERICA ONLINE ADDED TO GERMAN INTERNET INVESTIGATION
America Online says that AOL Europe, which it runs jointly with Bertelsmann
AG, has become part of a probe by some  German prosecutors of anti-Semitic
and neo-Nazi mail on the Internet.  CompuServe and a European online service
already have been questioned by the investigators.  (Atlanta Journal-
Constitution 3 Feb 96 D3)

            JAPANESE COMPANIES PREPARE ASSAULT ON U.S. PC MARKET
Toshiba is moving beyond the laptop into the U.S. desktop market, with a new
line of home PC models scheduled for the  fourth quarter of 1996, in time for
Christmas sales.  Sony and Hitachi both have declared their intentions to
market to  U.S. consumers, and Fujitsu is expected to make a similar
announcement.  Toshiba currently holds a 20% market share  in the U.S.
notebook market, and the company's PC division general manager says he wants
Toshiba to be the world's  fifth-largest PC maker by 1998, and the third
largest by 2000, up from No. 9 today.  (Wall Street Journal 2 Feb 96 B4)

                         DEAD INFORMATION ON THE WEB
Futurist Paul Saffo predicts the transformation of the Web in the next 12
months:  "The Web as we know it today is dead.   It's dead in two ways:
because it's going to mutate into something else very quickly and be
unrecognizable within 12  months, and secondly, it's dead because all it's
got on it is dead information...  Sure, there are links, but the links just
lead to more dead information.  It's a big information mausoleum.  But with
things like Java, you get animation.  The  information is alive...  Today, if
you think about it, it's really quite bizarre.  You dial into a Web page.
There may be a  thousand other people at that page.  But the only way that
you even know anyone else is there is that the server is slow.   The next big
change is going to be finding ways to put qualities that we associate with
MUDs today into Web pages so  that you can interact with people."  (Upside
Feb 96 p26)

                            ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT
The Canadian government is planning a system that will let citizens conduct
all their government business over open  computer networks.  The first stage
of the multi-year effort is a $7-million project to design an electronic lock
and key  system so that any electronic dealings will not jeopardize the
security of Ottawa's data bases or violate individual privacy.  (Toronto
Globe & Mail 2 Feb 96 B22)

                PLAYER DROPS OUT OF DIRECT-TO-HOME TV MARKET
Power DirecTV is dropping its plans to launch a direct-to-home satellite
service in Canada, citing the excessive costs of  government regulations, the
growing number of Canadians turning to unlicensed American systems in the
"gray market,"  and the high cost of transmitting specialty and pay-TV
channels. (Toronto Financial Post 2 Feb 96 p3)

                           "EVERYONE REMAIN CALM"
The Denver-Rocky Mountain News reports that management at the new $5-billion
Denver airport forgot to install an  intercom system for the subways that
trundle passengers from concourse to concourse, so when the computer
controlling  the subways broke down, there was no way to communicate with the
trapped passengers.  The city has now rectified the  situation by purchasing
six electronic bullhorns.  (Telecommunications Policy Report 28 Jan 96 p10)

                              BYE BYE BLACKBIRD
Microsoft Corp. will halt work on its Blackbird software, which would have
enabled independent companies to create  proprietary information content for
the Microsoft Network.  Microsoft's online service strategy has increasingly
shifted  toward the Web, and away from the idea of proprietary content.  The
company now plans a new version of Blackbird  called Internet Studio, which
will be compatible with standard Web format.  Some MSN content providers
weren't too  happy with the announcement:  "It's catastrophic," says one.
"It's one thing to migrate the technology and it's another to  abandon it."
(Wall Street Journal 5 Feb 96 B3)

                 CHINA ISSUES NEW NETWORK REGISTRATION RULES
Chinese officials have issued a new requirement that all computer networks
register with the government, in addition to  outlawing computer pornography
and political content.  The move comes on the heels of a freeze on new
Internet  accounts that was implemented at the beginning of the year.  The
new rules also require high technical standards for  Internet access
providers.  Under the new arrangement, all international Internet access must
be done through the  Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.  China
currently has an estimated 50,000 Internet users who will be affected  by the
new regulations.  (New York Times 5 Feb 96 A1)

                         INTEL RIVALS PLAN P-RATING
Advanced Micro Devices, Cyrix Corp., IBM Microelectronics and SGS Thompson
Microelectronics have initiated a  rating system for microprocessors based on
relative PC performance levels, not just the "clock" speed of the chip
measured in megahertz.  The new system, called the P-rating, was endorsed as
the "first comprehensive and credible  method for comparing competing
processors" by the publisher of the Microprocessor Newsletter.  (Investor's
Business Daily 5 Feb 96 A8)

           COLLEGES WORRY ABOUT NEW LIABILITY FOR INTERNET CONTENT
The recent passage of the telecommunications reform bill has some college
administrators worried over new liability  issues for educational
institutions that might unknowingly make "indecent" material available to
minors through their  Internet access operations.  In addition, they've
expressed concern over potential First Amendment violations if they  censor
the content too heavily.  "We have programs on campus about date rape,
unwanted pregnancy, and reproductive- health options, so I don't see how we'd
tolerate censorship of that kind of information in the electronic format,"
says the  head of telecommunications at Carnegie Mellon University.
(Chronicle of Higher Education 9 Feb 96 A23)

              JUSTICE DEPT. SCRUTINIZES MICROSOFT, VERMEER DEAL
The Justice Department is focusing on Microsoft again, this time with regard
to its planned acquisition of closely held  Vermeer Technologies, Inc.
Vermeer's CEO says he believes the inquiries are "not exceptional at this
point."   Vermeer's FrontPage software enables people to create and manage
Web sites without needing a lot of programming  expertise.  The sticking
point, as far as Justice is concerned, seems to be "whether it is
anticompetitive to extend a  monopoly from one market to another," says an
antitrust lawyer who worked on an earlier Microsoft investigation.  (Wall
Street Journal 6 Feb 96 B5)

                          DIGITAL'S STRONGARM CHIP
Digital Equipment Corp. has unveiled its StrongARM microprocessing chip,
which it hopes will serve as the foundation  for low-cost Internet terminals,
interactive video games, cellular phones and hand-held computers.   Oracle
Corp., which  currently is developing an inexpensive Internet appliance, is
exploring the option of using Digital's chip in its device.   "StrongARM
represents the kind of technology that will put a web appliance within the
reach of the mass-consumer  market," says Oracle's VP of network computing.
The new chip is priced at $29 and runs on AA batteries.  (Wall Street
Journal 5 Feb 96 B3)

                        PRODIGY LOWBALLS THE INTERNET
Prodigy Services is launching a new marketing experiment, offering Internet
service at a measly $1 an hour to new  subscribers in the metropolitan New
York area.  The company hopes to expand the offer nationally later this
spring, and  also plans to start a partnership program that would allow other
companies to use the Prodigy network to brand their own  Internet access
services.  "We want to line up a lot of companies to third-party market this
for us," says a Prodigy VP.  (Wall Street Journal 5 Feb 96 B3)

                         PATENT MEDICINE FOR APPLE?
Apple may have its share of financial woes right now, but in the patent
department it's No. 1.  In 1995, Apple Computer  acquired 53 patents,
compared to Microsoft's 39, Sun Microsystems' 23, Borland's 10, Wang's 7,
Oracle's 3, Novell's  3, Lotus's 3 and Intuit's 1.  A total of 6,142 software
patents were issued in 1995, up from 4,569 the previous year, with
networking software the largest category.  (Information Week 29 Jan 96 p10)

                  SPEEDIER GRAPHICS ON COMMERCIAL SERVICES
Tired of watching the hourglass, waiting for those fancy graphics to
download?  America Online, CompuServe and  Prodigy all plan to do something
about it.  Prodigy's Web browser allows users to interact immediately with
text material  while graphics download in the background, and AOL has
announced a similar product for release sometime this year.   The upgrade
will not affect Internet use, however. CompuServe's approach involves fewer
graphics in the first place:  "Is  it more important that operations take
half as long or have twice as many pretty pictures?" asks a CompuServe
spokesman.  "What we hear is that people don't want to wait."  (St.
Petersburg Times 5 Feb 96 p15)

                       ANOTHER GLOBAL TELECOM ALLIANCE
Telecommunications companies Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, and Sprint are
forming an alliance called Global  One in order to provide worldwide voice,
data and video services for corporate clients;  international consumer
services  (such as calling cards);  and international transmission and
support to other international carriers.  Global One will be  competing
against two previously formed global alliances:  Uniworld, formed by AT&T and
four European telecom  operators;  and Concert, formed by British
Telecommunications and MCI.  (Financial Times 1 Feb 96 p16;  corrected  from
Edupage 4 Feb 96)

                        APPLE PRICE CUTS AND REBATES
Apple is cutting the prices of its consumer-oriented Macintosh Performa
computers by as much as 12% and is extending a  rebate program on printers
and monitors.  The company also announced it is developing a version of the
Linux operating  system which will run along with the Macintosh operating
system on a single machine.    (New York Times
6 Feb 96 C6)

            ANOTHER ROUND OF "NAME THAT COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY!"
The name "Lucent" has been chosen for the spinoff of AT&T's $20 billion phone
equipment business because "it suggests  clarity of thought, purpose and
vision, and had a technological feel," according to the AT&T director who
will become  CEO of the new company.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 6 Feb 96
D3)

                            EDUPAGE IN LITHUANIAN
We are pleased to announce a Lithuanian edition of Edupage, which will be
produced and distributed by the Open Society  Fund of Lithuania, in Vilnius,
Lithuania. Welcome to our Lithuanian readers of Edupage!   Sveiki, naujieji
Edupage  kaitytojai is Lietuvos!  To receive the Lithuanian edition of
Edupage, send mail to:  osflistserv@osf.lt with the message:  subscribe
edupage-lt.   (Besides English, Edupage is now available in French, German,
Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian,  Lithuanian, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish
editions.)

                   DEBATE OVER FREE SPEECH ON THE INTERNET
Is the Internet like TV and radio -- or like newspaper and bookstores?
Supporters of the anti-"indecency" provision of  the major new tele-
communications legislation (Edupage 4 Feb 96) think it's more like the
broadcast media -- whereas the  American Civil Liberties Union and other
civil-liberties groups think it's more like print media, and that efforts to
restrict  free expression on it should be kept to an absolute minimum.  At
issue the telecom bill's provision that would make it a  crime to transmit
(or allow to be transmitted) "indecent" material over a computer network to
which minors have access.    Indecency is defined in the bill as "any
comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image or other communication that, in
context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by
contemporary community standards, sexual or  excretory activities or organs."
(New York Times 8 Feb 96 A10)  In Canada, a committee from the Information
Highway Advisory Council is reviewing existing Canadian laws, but there are
no plans to follow Washington's example  by trying to bring about legislation
to regulate adult materials on the Internet. (Toronto Star 7 Feb 96 A10)

                  ONLINE BILL-PAYING STILL HAS A WAY TO GO
While banks are touting the ease of online bill-paying, the reality is that
unless a merchant has installed the equipment  necessary for true electronic
payments, the online bill-payment companies often end up sending paper checks
through  overnight mail.  "People expect it to be faster and more accurate,
but it's put together with chewing gum and baling wire  behind the scenes,"
says the editor of Online Banking Report.  The problem is classic chicken-and-
egg -- merchants don't  want to bother with online systems until more
customers use them, and customers won't use them until more merchants
are online.  (Wall Street Journal 7 Feb 96 B1)

             MURDOCH'S NEWS CORPORATION CHANGES ONLINE DIRECTION
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation is dismissing nearly half of the 515
employees of News Corp Internet, ending  development of the company's
proprietary online service, and redirecting its focus to the creation of an
Internet-based  service.  The decision is viewed by industry-watchers as an
inevitable result of last week's move by MCI to reduce  MCI's equity share in
the Murdoch venture from 50% to 15% (in order to concentrate its resources on
MCI's new  partnership with Microsoft Network).  The president of the News
Corporation's technology group says, "Rupert is still  absolutely committed
to this being a crucial distribution channel.  But we want to invest in where
the Internet industry is  going, not where the online industry has been."
(New York Times 8 Feb 96 C1)

                        COPYRIGHT IN THE DIGITAL AGE
The European Film Companies Alliance -- founded by PolyGram and including
such other leading European film  companies as Bertelsmann, Chargeurs, Ciby
2000, Rank, RCS, and Sopgepaq -- wants the European Union to take a lead  in
promoting the development of technical systems capable of protecting
intellectual property rights and controlling  reproduction and distribution
of digital information.  The Alliance is also seeking adjustments to
copyright law, and  PolyGram general counsel says, "The bottom line is that
unless we are guaranteed a return on our investment by a  carefully
constructed system of copyright law, it is pointless our investing in what is
an extremely risky business."  (Financial Times 6 Feb 96 p11)

             US SAYS CANADIAN BROADCAST RULES ARE DISCRIMINATORY
Trade Representative Mickey Kantor ruled Canadian broadcast regulations
discriminate against American players, but  stopped short of launching
retaliatory trade sanctions against Canadian cultural industries.  He said he
will monitor  closely negotiations between Nashville-based Country Music
Television and Calgary-based New Country Network before  imposing sanctions.
(Toronto Globe & Mail 7 Feb 96 B2)

           AT&T INSURES CREDIT-CARD CUSTOMERS AGAINST CYBER-FRAUD
AT&T will insure its Universal credit-card customers against unauthorized
charges made on the Internet as long as they  were using AT&T WorldNet for
their Internet connection.  The protection is not subject to the $50
deductible that credit  card companies typically reserve the right to charge
when credit cards are stolen or missing.  AT&T's VP for Gateway  Services
says the guarantee demonstrates AT&T's commitment to Internet shopping:  "We
hear the fears from the  consumer, and stories about hackers, whether related
to credit cars or not, fan those fears."  (Wall Street Journal 7 Feb  96 B5)

                           CAR LOANS IN CYBERSPACE
IBM and Chase Manhattan Bank are developing a system for processing car loans
over the Internet, and hope to install  the system at 200 dealerships by the
end of the year.  Reynolds & Reynolds, a software company, is developing a
similar  system.  Loan processing and approval under such systems will take
only ten minutes for an applicant with a strong credit
history.   (New York Times 8 Feb 96 C4)

                     PACKARD BELL GETS CASH, ZENITH DATA
Packard Bell has arranged a complicated deal with France's Cie. des Machines
Bull and Japan's NEC Corp., which will  result in a $650 million cash
infusion and Packard Bell ownership of Zenith Data Systems.  "This gives
Packard Bell  breathing room that they desperately need and it was one of the
very few scenarios where Packard Bell could get  hemselves out of a corner
and still retain control of the business," says an analyst for Dataquest.
The move would give  Packard Bell instant access to Zenith Data's big
corporate and government accounts, and could propel it past No. 1  Compaq
Computer to become the largest PC vendor in the U.S.  (Wall Street Journal 7
Feb 96 A3)

                         IN SEARCH OF "ROBOTIQUETTE"
As the number of search engines on the Web increases, the problem of robot
gridlock looms.  So far, robot software  writers have voluntarily included
restrictions on how long robots can linger at a Web site and how often they
may visit,  but industry experts predict that traffic jams lie ahead if the
number of robots increases significantly or if competition  overwhelms the
collegiality that's governed creators of search engines such as Lycos and
Yahoo.  Worse yet are  programs that enable individuals to launch their own
robots.  "It would be like everyone deciding to get off of the public
transportation system and drive to work," says Lycos's chief scientist. "The
overall structure of the Internet couldn't  handle it."  One solution, says a
computer science professor at the University of Washington, would be to make
smarter  robots that could conduct more rational searches.  (Business Week 12
Feb 96 p88)

                           INTERNET USAGE POLICIES
Neal J. Friedman, a specialist in online computer law, says that "employees
are under the misapprehension that the First  Amendment applies in the
workplace --  it doesn't.  Employees need to know they have no right of
privacy and no right  of free speech using company resources."  According to
Computerworld, a number of employers are adopting Internet  usage polcies,
such as one developed at Florida Atlantic University:
 (Computerworld 5 Feb 96 p55)

                        VISA MOVES TO INTRANET SYSTEM
Visa International Inc. is getting ready to save a lot of trees:  this summer
it will connect its 19,000 member banks to an  intranet in the hope that it
will reduce, if not eliminate, the more than 2 million documents that they
collectively send  Visa each day.  Visa's move to a private network is right
in tune with the times -- two thirds of all large companies either have an
internal Web server installed or are thinking about it, and industry analysts
believe that soon internal Web servers  will outnumber external ones 10 to
one.  Forrester Research predicts the intranet server business will hit $1
billion by the year 2000.  (Information Week 29 Jan 96 p15)


     Edupage is written by John Gehl (gehl@educom.edu) & Suzanne Douglas
                            (douglas@educom.edu).
                  Voice:  404-371-1853, Fax: 404-371-8057.

   Technical support is provided by the Office of Information Technology,
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subscription via BT-Tymnet and Sprint (login: From the Atari Editor's Desk              "Saying it like it is!"


     Darn!  I'm still waiting for my new BBS software that I mentioned in
last week's issue.  I really have little patience sometimes!  I've been
looking forward to getting started with a BBS system, with just a little bit
of trepidation.  It's tough leaving a comfortable habit and moving into
something totally new, but I've been told that I'll get over it real soon!
Good thing.  Some of the hardware I've been anticipating moving into for the
BBS has been arranged already; and plans to add much more storage space and
CDROMs are being "negotiated" at the moment.  I hope to have the new system
up and running by the first of March, if not sooner. Once it's up, and the
old system backed-up and put into cyber-storage, we'll let you know!
     
     Other than my personal saga, there's been little going on to report, at
the moment.  Our U.K. correspondents are feverishly working on a few
articles; so they should be available for us shortly (I hope!).  In the
meantime, I'll continue to finish up on the few ongoing articles that I have
laying around; and we'll keep you apprised of our progress.
               Until next time...


Show News STR InfoFile

                    MIST AtariFest VII in Indy, July 13th

New date for MIST, the Mid-Indiana AtariFest for an 8th year, is July 13. The
town is full of racers and auto buffs, and there's hardly a sleeping room to
be had later in the month ... so MIST is July 13.

Same times as in the past:  Open at 10 a.m. and close when there's no one
left. That's 10 a.m. Indianapolis Time (11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time)
Indianapolis is year-around on Eastern Standard Time, Never on Daylight. Same
place ... two ballrooms at the Best Western Waterfront Plaza Hotel ...  and
room to spread out the merchandise as well as the crowd.  Last year's event
attracted nearly 350 ticket-buying Atarians (almost as many as the year
before, although it may not have looked that way since we were not so
crowded).

Charlie Sears is ready to take table reservations, and he might be enticed to
get you a special spot if you call early and pay up early:  Call his home at
317.535-4829 or leave him mail on his Crossroad/MIST BBS at 317-535-1643 or
317-780.5473 (FidoNet 1:231/310.0 and AtariNet 51:203/8).

You can reply to me here at shuffman@ideanet.doe.state.in.us (and I do
intended to get back on GEnie, assuming it continues to be the Atari Place To
Be ... but I have been playing the WWWeb Games a lot lately and had no time
for GEnie).

Hotel rooms will be scarce even on July 13, the Best Western people tell us,
but they agreed to give us a deal about $5 more than last year: $55 Single or
$61 Double ... but you MUST RESERVE the room JUNE 12 -- 30 days in advance of
the MIST Fest to get that rate (and probably to get a room at all).

To get that rate, DO NOT call Best Western's 800 number; you must call the
Indianapolis hotel itself and make the reservation with the Conference Staff.
If you call at night or on a weekend, leave a message for them to call you
back.  They do that.

The Indianapolis phone number is 317.299.8400 and the Conference Staff
extension is x393.  It's not a bad place to stay, as you know, even if the
restaurant leaves something to be desired some years.  The indoor pool is
nice and there are several franchise restaurants nearby, as is the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis Raceway Park.

What else?  We anticipate an incremental increase in our costs, but nothing
dramatic.  We will get contracts in the mail real soon now. E-mail me with
any changes in address you suspect might delay mail in the Postal Service.
There are too few of us to let anyone get lost or strayed.


CN Alive & Well STR InfoFile                         News & Information
Release


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                               Jaguar Section


Atari Rumors Still Active!
Defender 2000 Arrives At Atari!
>From the Editor's Controller  -  Playin' it like it is!

     It's too bad that the ongoing and new rumors about Atari's future are
going to overshadow the arrival of the Jaguar's latest offering, Defender
2000.  D2K has been one of the most highly anticipated Jaguar titles to
arrive on the scene for what seems an eternity.  But, the latest speculation
that Atari is, once again, abandoning the Jaguar and PC-gaming arena is
likely to be the headline for a bit longer.  In fact, the only bit of news
that we have for you this week in this section are a couple of conflicting
reports regarding Atari's future.  Neither one comes from Atari; and the
rumors were that Atari would be making a major announcement this week.  Well,
as of Thursday night, no such announcement appeared, as expected after
talking with sources within Atari.

     It's been really disappointing everywhere lately, since the recent
layoffs and re-structuring at Atari.  Little news and online activity has
been happening for over a week now.  Even the Usenet, usually a plethora of
message activity, has significantly declined.  It's scary.  Perhaps, once
Defender 2000 hits the streets, the activity will once again rise to the
occasion, but I feel that until there's some semblance of concrete
information regarding Atari's future, things will remain on the quiet side.

     To say the least, it's also disheartening here at the Atari arena of
STReport.  What once was a thriving level of news and information, and
excitement within the staff members has also turned very quiet.  Reviews are
slow (er) to be completed; and excitement to receive new games to review has
slowed.  It's even frustrating sitting in my chair putting together each
issue lately.  There's so little to talk about these days. It used to be
tough to decide what not to include and save for the following week to avoid
having an issue that was prohibitively large to download.  Now, it's "do I
have anything worthwhile to report without embarrassing myself? each week!
Very weird, and very uncomfortable.

     Regardless, we're here and will continue to be here, week after week,
until there's no longer anything worthwhile to talk about.  We're hoping that
this doesn't occur for quite some to come!  As mentioned last week, we've
been holding off on including the entire listing of Jaguar titles, available
and pending, until the latest schedule has been finalized.  Checking with my
sources at Atari earlier this week, I learned that that schedule still has
not been approved and released.   So, what we have included this week, as
usual, is an updated current listing of Jaguar titles with the latest MSRP
prices.  As you'll notice, most of the current titles have been greatly
reduced in price.

     So, if you're like me, you'll be looking for a copy of Defender 2000
this weekend.  I think that we're all going to be enjoying this game for
quite some time.  I believe that this game could surpass Tempest 2000 and
Alien vs. Predator for the most popular title for the Jaguar to-date.  We'll
soon know!

               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          $19.87    Atari Corp.
J9005          Raiden                        $19.87    FABTEK, Inc/Atari
Corp.
J9001          Trevor McFur/Crescent Galaxy       $19.87    Atari Corp.
J9010          Tempest 2000                  $32.87    Llamasoft/Atari Corp.
J9028          Wolfenstein 3D                $26.87    id/Atari Corp.
JA100          Brutal Sports FootBall        $39.99    Telegames
J9008          Alien vs. Predator            $42.87    Rebellion/Atari Corp.
J9029          Doom                     $42.87    id/Atari Corp.
J9036          Dragon: Bruce Lee             $19.87    Atari Corp.
J9003          Club Drive                    $19.87    Atari Corp.
J9007          Checkered Flag                $19.87    Atari Corp.
J9012          Kasumi Ninja                  $19.87    Atari Corp.
J9042          Zool 2                        $19.87    Atari Corp
J9020          Bubsy                         $19.87    Atari Corp
J9026          Iron Soldier                  $19.87    Atari Corp
J9060          Val D'Isere Skiing            $26.87    Atari Corp.
          Cannon Fodder                 $29.95    Virgin/C-West
          Syndicate                $44.99    Ocean
          Troy Aikman Football               $64.99    Williams
          Theme Park                    $44.99    Ocean
          Sensible Soccer                              Telegames
          Double Dragon V               $54.99    Williams
J9009E    Hover Strike                  $30.72    Atari Corp.
J0144E    Pinball Fantasies             $42.50    C-West
J9052E    Super Burnout                 $42.87         Atari Corp.
J9070          White Men Can't Jump               $32.87    Atari Corp.
          Flashback                $54.99    U.S. Gold
J9078E    VidGrid (CD)                            Atari Corp
J9016E    Blue Lightning (CD)           $59.99    Atari Corp
J9040          Flip-Out                 $32.87    Atari Corp
J9082          Ultra Vortek                  $42.87    Atari Corp
C3669T    Rayman                   $59.99    Ubi Soft
          Power Drive Rally             $59.99    TWI
J9101          Pitfall                       $42.87    Atari Corp.
J9086E    Hover Strike CD               $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9031E    Highlander I (CD)             $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9061E    Ruiner Pinball                $42.87    Atari Corp.
          Dragon's Lair                 $49.99    Readysoft
J9097E    Missile Command 3D            $49.00    Atari Corp.
J9091E    Atari Karts                   $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9044E    Supercross 3D                 $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9106E    Fever Pitch Soccer            $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9043E    I-War                         $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9069          Myst (CD)                $49.99    Atari Corp.
          Primal Rage                   $59.99    Time Warner
          Battlemorph                   $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9055          Baldies                       $49.99    Atari Corp.
J9089          NBA Jam TE                    $57.99    Atari Corp.
          Zoop                     $42.99    Atari Corp.
          Space Ace                $52.99    Readysoft
          Defender 2000                 $59.99    Atari Corp.


Available Soon

CAT #          TITLE                         MSRP      DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER
          Fight For Life                $59.99         Atari Corp.
          ...Mutant Penguins            $49.99         Atari Corp.
          World Tour Racing             TBA       Atari Corp
          Breakout 2000                 $42.50         Atari Corp.
          Max Force                $59.99         Atari Corp.
J9021          Brett Hull Hockey             $59.99         Atari Corp.


Hardware and Peripherals

CAT #          TITLE                         MSRP      MANUFACTURER
J8001          Jaguar (no cart)                   $99.99         Atari Corp.
J8904          Composite Cable               $19.95
J8901          Controller/Joypad             $24.95         Atari Corp.
J8905          S-Video Cable                 $19.95
          CatBox                        $69.95         ICD
J8800          Jaguar CD-ROM                 $149.99   Atari Corp.
J8908     JagLink Interface                  $26.76         Atari Corp.
J8910     Team Tap
          4-Player Adapter)                  $26.76         Atari Corp.
J8907     Jaguar ProController               $27.87         Atari Corp.
J8911     Memory Track                       $26.76         Atari Corp.
J8909     Tempest 2000:
          The Soundtrack                     $12.99         Atari Corp.


Jaguar Online STR InfoFile        Online Users Growl & Purr!

[Editor's  note: As reported, speculated, and discussed in recent  editorials
in  this section in past weeks, the rumors of Atari's "demise" and future are
still  being  "reported".  The latest "reports" have come  to  us  from  Next
Generation  magazine,  as well as Game Zero.  I've  also  talked  to  various
sources  within  Atari the past few weeks.  The most recent phone  discussion
supports/confirms what we've been saying here in the past couple  of  issues,
and  "supported" by the Game Zero article below.  As mentioned earlier, there
has  been no "official announcement" from Atari. It's my belief that we won't
hear  anything  "official" from Atari until their re-structuring  plans  have
been  finalized.   It's also my opinion that anything  is  possible  at  this
moment.   I  have  no  firm information to lead me to any conclusion  at  the
present time.  Perhaps this will change in the very near future - I hope  so.
We'll  be  there every step of the way!  In the meantime, we  offer  you  the
latest articles regarding the various reports and rumors, below.]

Reprinted from CompuServe's Atari Gaming Forums:


News Flash STR InfoFile

From:

                        Next Generation's WEB Page...

We  understand  from  insiders at the company that, as expected,  Atari  will
withdraw  from  software publishing and hardware manufacturing  in  the  game
market.   And  Atari  will  make the bizarre move  into  the  manufacture  of
computer  peripherals.  The details we have are sketchy but it seems  that  a
partnership will be announced with a company called JTS (or similar)  with  a
view  to manufacturing removable hard drives for the PC. These products  have
grown  in  popularity recently with the market leader being Zip from I-Omega.
Our  sources say that the move was announced in a company meeting on  Friday,
which  was followed by an questions and answers session. But Atari is  hoping
to  hold  off on its announcement. As has become customary of late, Atari  is
refusing to return Next Generation Online's calls.
The following report comes from Game Zero at:
    -- check there for updates.

Atari Restructuring
After  a good number of phone calls it comes down to this. Our contact within
Atari has indicated to us that the MMWire report as well as other rumors many
of you have seen around the newsgroups are pretty much false (essentially the
line  is that Atari was liquidating their video game operations).  Atari  has
admitted  to  us  that  they  are  undergoing  a  rework  of  their  internal
operations,  and  that  this  current round of  restructuring  began  shortly
following  everyone's return from the Winter CES '96 show. As  the  situation
currently stands these issues have been made clear to us:

    Defender 2000 is in the process of distribution and should be available
  in stores soon.
    Atari currently has no plans for future internal software development of
  any kind.  At this point all game development is to be handled by external
  developers.
    In regards to #2, Atari may become involved in internal software
development in the future, but management is still at a stage where this has
not been determined yet in their restructuring plans.
    We had indicated to us that third party Jaguar games could still be
coming out for the platform as far along as late '96 (ie: Phase Zero).
    ...and finally: No change in Atari's move ahead on developing PC gaming
  titles.

Yes,  there  actually is quite a bit going on as you might  guess  from  this
above list.  Atari has indicated that they are still active and viable  as  a
company  with  no plans to cease operations any time in the future.  We  will
continue to cover this issue as information becomes available.



                                                                             


                            STReport Confidential
                  News, Tips, Rumors, Exposes, Predictions


    Sunnyvale, Ca              ATARI CORPORATION TO MOVE HEADQUARTERS
                                with Continued Downsizing & Re-Structuring

     Today, our reporter called Atari Corp. Headquarters in attempt to "Clear
the Air" by getting the straight information.   The rumors running rampant of
and about Atari Corp. for the past few weeks have been from the very serious,
bizarre.. to most ridiculous.  While the online scene can offer the latest in
news and information, it can, at the same time, begin and perpetuate a
stampede of utter nonsense.  As an example a recent Bond Conversion by Ryback
Management for Lindner Fund was offered as proof of whatever.    Of course
one or two people, have mentioned the fact that the Bond Conversion seemingly
excuses Atari Corp. of several hundred thousand dollar annual interest and
the fact the Lindner Fund itself takes a few Million dollar loss at the same
time.

     Most onlookers seemed to either conveniently ignore this fact or never
recognized its being there.  While an immediate view would indicate the
picture is anything but rosy, all informed observers seem to realize the
Lindner Fund is a Blue Chip Fund managed by some of the most competent minds
in the business.  What it appears to indicate is, perhaps, the values of
Atari common stock is about to rise well above that of the interest rate of
the now converted Bonds.  Of course its all conjecture and it takes a rather
mature, level-headed individual to understand that it is only information.
Nothing more or less.  Time will tell exactly what  will, is or has taken
place.

     At the same time, this reporter remarked a few weeks ago that Atari
Corp. was going to be moving its headquarters.  The usual few "mouthed" their
disbelief. as expected.  Meanwhile the New "Digs" for Atari will be the
refurbished Bank of America Building at Matilda and El Camino not far from
their present location.  (a bit smaller)  The move itself is, not
surprisingly,  eagerly anticipated by many of those still working at Atari.

     In closing, there were no denials coming forth about the further
"downsizing" of the current workforce as it occurred  late today.  On a more
gleeful note, sales of the Jaguar are continuing at a brisk pace. About the
Jag's future who knows??  The final analysis has yet to come. When it does..
the decisions about the Jaguar's future (of any version) are certain to be
made known.  Who is Iomega and a zip what?




ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!




                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING


On CompuServe

compiled by
Joe Mirando
73637,2262



Hey friends and neighbors!  Thanks for coming back again this week.  As our
numbers dwindle it becomes more and more important for we hold-outs to keep
in touch and communicate with each other.

I find it a bit amusing to think that, right from the start, this column was
intended for that very purpose.  And while the  banter here on CompuServe
gets thinner and thinner as time goes on, there are still plenty of us around
to ask and answer  questions.  Why would I find it amusing?  Because back
when I started this column the Atari community was, if not  robust, at least
a force to be reckoned with on the three major online services (GEnie,
CompuServe, and Delphi at the  time).

As it stands now we are a shrinking population. Let's take a look at some of
the things that folks are interested in.


>From the Atari Computing Forums


Charles Marslett talks a bit about the ins and outs of CompuServe access:

"Web browsing is a lot easier than HMI forum access -- the interface to CIS
is well documented (PPP with dynamic IP address assignment), and at  least in
the Unix and IBM-ish worlds, there are third-party browsers designed for
generic Internet service providers that work fine with CIS as the service
provider already (Netscape, for example).  I don't know  of any for the Atari
(haven't hooked a modem to my Atari in perhaps 5 years), but that don't mean
there aren't any....

Compuserve services and forums are an entirely different issue, though!"

Sysop Bob Retelle tells Charles:

"Actually there are a small number of web browsers for the Atari computer,
but from what I've seen here, they all  require a SLIP connection, and won't
work through the CompuServe PPP connection.  There are always rumors of
something being worked on somewhere, but so far nothing has surfaced.

A few members have reported limited success configuring the SLIP browsers to
work through other Internet providers,  but so far there's nothing equivalent
to the ease of use of a Netscape Navigator.

I was just thinking that if the Atari HMI project succeeds, there might be
enough momentum to go on and add the PPP functionality too..."

Mike Myers asks for help with his Spectre GCR MAC emulator:

"OK, here we go. I've got an Atari 1040 ST. and, as you, a used Spectre. The
thing had the ungrateful indecency to  wreck partitions, so, rather than
recycle the disks, and chalk it off to bad judgement on my part, I put it
away.  Now,it's  being given a second chance, where it can't get at
partitions, in floppies only. However, last night an attempt to transfer  the
boot disk to a backup, with a slight but important procedural mistake, wiped
the boot disk. A Mac dealer has supplied  a 6.0.5 system boot disk from his
regular stock. Now, I can still get to the Stalker Logo with the menu on the
top, and it  will run with a picture of a floppy with what seems to be a
smiley  face (It's too small to tell.) That happens only after F2  is hit.
But Nothing happened for about 20 minutes. Earlier, I got a disk with ? in
the middle."

Kevin Hawthorne tells Mike:

"I've found the Spectre/Mac emulation operating system to be more stable than
my ST's TOS when it comes to trashing  hard drive partitions.  In fact, I run
Spectre on my ST almost half the time.  I've got a new PowerMac sitting three
feet  away on my other desk, and, rather than swivel my chair around and use
it, I  still prefer using the ST.  I guess what I'm  saying is don't be
afraid to run this thing on your hard drive.  It really is a dream once it
gets going.  Now... where were  we...  Oh, yeah.  When you say you attempted
to make a backup boot disk.... were you making a backup of your Spectre  3.0
disk or your System/Finder disk?  From what you described, you got to the
disk/question mark icon, which means  that it's got the Mac OS up, but it's
looking for a system/finder disk/folder/files.  So, we can assume that's the
problem.   It also sounds like you're running Spectre from drive B (that's
why it would respond to F2 [F1 being drive A, F2 drive B, F3-next available
drive or partition, etc]).  Sounds like you need a valid System/Finder disk.
The one from your Mac  friend may not work...

I found that I had to format a disk - single-sided only, put that disk in a
REAL Mac, and copy the system & finder to it.  THEN my ST/Spectre/Emulating a
Mac would read it and boot.  I could be wrong about the HFS disk having to be
single-sided for your computer, but with my 720K floppy system, that's the
way it had to be.  And, you should be able to  format that floppy using the
Transverter utility on your Spectre disk, or from within the Spectre program
itself (you  know, the same menu that let you set up a "Mac" partition for
your hard drive).  Also, some ground rules: turn off all  accessories,
cacheing, etc.  Also, remove any weird hardware "keys" you may have.  The
only thing that I've found that  works with Spectre is a faster clock (i.e.,
16MHZ AdSpeed, etc.) - everything else should be off.  Now, run the Spectre
program from the ST disk.  When you get to the Spectre Window/menu, leave the
ST Spectre ST disk in your drive until  you get the floppy/question mark
icon.  Now, insert the System/Finder (MAC/HFS formatted) disk with the system
folder into your floppy.  If you've got a Syquest or Zip Drive, things get a
lot easier - you can copy programs from your Mac right into your ST and
really start flying!  In lieu of a removable hard drive, however, you can
modem files from a  Mac to your  ST while it's pretending to be a MAC.  I
recommend Z-Term as a good, basic term program for the MAC.

If you want, I could send you a floppy (HFS) with System 6.07 & finder on it
to get you started.  By the way, single- sided HFS floppies are also readable
by a real MAC.  Not a lot of space (360K), but it's enough to transfer the
basic files  back & forth until you finally get the system up & running."

Paul Hutchinson posts:

"I have an atari 1040st how do i get out on the internet or world wide web
and is it possible to run cd-roms on atari any  help would be great."

Sysop Bob Retelle tells Paul:

"Right now there is no WWW application for the ST that works very well.

We've heard of programmers working on various solutions, but so far there's
nothing that works like the "web browsers" from other platforms.

But you CAN access the Usenet newsgroups of the Internet with your ST right
here on CompuServe.  This includes all of  the  "comp.sys.atari" groups.

Just  GO USENET  and follow the directions for the  "ASCII newsreader" that
you'll find there.

An ST can use a CD-ROM drive... you'll need a SCSI CD-ROM drive mechanism, a
SCSI host adapter board for the ST,  and the proper software drivers.

Give Toad Computers a call at:  1-800-448-8623  (or 410-544-6943)  and ask
them what you'll need.  They should be  able to set you up with everything."

Albert Dayes at Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Paul:

"For internet support (GO USENET) and you can subscribe to Atari related
newsgroups. There are a few World Wide  Web readers floating around but I
have not used them myself.

For CD-ROMs the software you need is ExtenDOS PRO v2.x and a SCSI CD-ROM
drive.  For a list of compatible CD- ROM discs see the file in the library
which has a large list of discs."

Richard Rives adds:

"Its a very nice upgrade. Works perfectly with my Apple CD600 and now records
audio off the SCSI bus."

Karen Stimson asks:

"How do I send a compressed text file (zipped) through the internet? I tried
to upload it to Compuserve as a text file  (ASCII), but the addressee
received a file of garbled ASCII characters.  When I try sending it as binary
I get a message  saying you can't send binary files through the net.  I'm
using Flash as my telecomm program.  Any assistance appreciated!"

Mark Kelling tells Karen:

"ZIP files and such cannot be sent over standard Internet mail.  The 'net is
cabable of only 7 bit data while your ZIP file is 8 bit.

There is a very simple solution! ;-)  Get a program from the library here
called ESSCODE.LZH (look for the latest  version, uploaded not long ago).
This program will create from your ZIP file a file in the format called
UUENCODE.   The resulting uuencoded file can be sent over the 'net as a TEXT
mail file.

A couple things though -- the uuencoded file will be approximately 1/3 larger
than the ZIP amd the person receiving your  file will also need a program to
convert the file back to ZIP from the uuencode format (ESSCODE will do the
job)."

Personally, I recommend using "MIME" instead of UUEncode... MIME compresses
the file for a more efficient end- product than UUEncode. MIME is also
supported by ESSCODE.

Karen Stimson replies:

"I want to thank the gentleman who advised me about Uuencoding for binary
files to enable them to be sent through the  internet (sorry, I deleted the
response to my previous question accidentally and I don't remember who
answered my  question, so am addressing this again to "all").  I downloaded
ESSCODE.LZH and it seems to work fine, but when I try  to access the manual I
get the message:  "To use the ESS-Code context sensitive manual, the ST-Guide
accessory must be  installed."

There was no such accessory included in the ESSCODE.LZH file I downloaded,
and when I checked the libraries, the  only ST-Guide files I found were
hypertext tools.  Again, I will appreciate your advice--thanks in advance!"

Frank Heller tells Karen:

"That would be a program that Michel Forget (the ESSCODE author) includes on
a disk sent to you AFTER you register  the program with him.  I believe
Holger Weets is the author of ST-GUIDE. Registering the program is about 10
bucks. A  registration notice is included in the ESSCODE.LZH file. It is
after all, a shareware program...so getting the manual (by registering) is
the hook to get you to pay up. Considering its speed and its
reliability...it's a bargain at the price."

Robert Hodgman tells us:

"I currently have a Mega STE with TOS 1.05.  I understand that there are good
reasons to upgrade to TOS 1.06.  Does  anyone know what they are?  Also I
have had problems making contact with CIS lately.  Is it just a local problem
or have others had problems too."

Albert Dayes of Atari Explorer Online Magazine tells Robert:

"The most current version of tos is 2.06 I believe. It fixes several problems
including some with 1.44 meg floppy. You  can try Toad Computers since they
should have some of the chips.

I have problems sometimes connecting to CIS too. Mostly after it rains which
is not too much hear. If you still have  problems you should send some e-mail
to FEEDBACK ... or (GO FEEDBACK)."

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

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING


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STR Publishing, Inc. (STR, STReport, CPU Report)...

_    ...maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web
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STR  hopes  you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to  provide
information concerning your company and your product line to Computer  Users,
world  wide via the Internet. And, at the same time, help keep a great online
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                             EDITORIAL  QUICKIES

                      Forbes may have the right idea!!
                                      
                           Flat Tax and No IRS...
                                      
                                 Interesting




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      STR OnLine!   "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"   February 09, 1996
      Since 1987   Copyrightc1996 All Rights Reserved   Issue No. 1206







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