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Article #659 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 8-Aug-97 #1332
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Thu Aug 14 12:37:56 1997



                                     
                           Silicon Times Report
                                     
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 August 08, 1997                                                  No.1332

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>From the Editor's Desk...

     The editorial is short this week because I ran my mouth elsewhere in
this issue.  What I had to say is not really about computers.  Unless of
course, one considers the point that today's children are tomorrow's
computer operators.

     Its nice to see Apple has a chance now.  Bill Gates has undoubtedly
seen an opportunity for Microsoft and Apple thus the alliance and financial
investment in on the part of Microsoft.  It'll be interesting to watch this
particular arrangement fledge out in all its glory.  Especially with
Ellison in the wings.  Gil might have had half a chance in pulling Apple's
fat outta the fire if Ellison was pushing the torpedo button on most
everything Amelio tried doing.  Ah yes. these are interesting times indeed.

     Well, my oldest son Ralph is getting married toward the end of
September.  I tried to warn him.  In the end, I offered him my best wishes
and condolences .  She's a real sweet lady whom I'm will make my son
very happy and proud.




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                          STReport Headline News
                                     
                     LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson



                       Ellison Eyes New Apple Board

Oracle Corp. chairman Larry Ellison says he is prepared to join Apple
Computer Inc.'s board of directors and present a new management team next
week led by Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder.  As reported, word on Wall
Street is that Jobs has rejected offers to return to the helm of Apple, but
that he is taking charge without the title.
Now, speaking with the French financial newspaper La Tribune in an
interview in California, Ellison said, "Rumors of my interest are well
founded. On Monday we'll introduce Apple's new management team, and I'm
part of it."

The newspaper said the announcement would be made at the Macworld trade
show in Boston. As reported  earlier, The San Francisco Chronicle has
reported Macworld would be the site at which Jobs would take the  post of
chairman/CEO.  The Reuter News Service says Ellison declined to disclose
the sum he was investing in  Apple but said it was a personal investment
and not on Oracle's part.  Ellison says Jobs will take the top job  despite
recent reports to the contrary, adding, "Apple needs to and will exist
because you need other players on the market. You can't let Microsoft
establish a monopoly."

He said he thinks Apple needs to focus on entry-level products, that "the
market can't be made up solely of expensive and complicated computers.
Today you need equipment that's easy to maintain and not too onerous for
equipping schools and households."  Meanwhile, The New York Times reports
this morning Jobs is trying to recruit several people, Ellison included, to
join Apple's board. The paper says Jobs has told friends he did not want
the CEO position.

                      Cloners Report Apple Resistance

Apple Computer Inc. reportedly seems increasingly reluctant to share with
clone makers its future advances on the Macintosh, though the computer
maker is not its most recent technology.  In The Wall Street Journal this
morning, reporter Jim Carlton says an accord was reached late last week
that allows one of the cloners -- Umax
Computer Corp. -- to use the latest version of the Macintosh operating
system, the Mac OS 8.  Carlton quotes "a person close to Apple" as saying
the pact is to include the other major cloners, Power Computing Corp. and
Motorola Inc.'s Motorola Computer Group. All the cloners had believed their
existing licenses covered that software upgrade.

"However," adds Carlton, "Apple hasn't committed to licensing its
next-generation operating system,  code-named Rhapsody, or software needed
for the cloners to begin manufacturing Mac-compatibles using a new hardware
design called the Common Reference Hardware Platform, or CHRP."  The
Journal comments these unsettled issues cloud the future of Apple's
fledgling effort to expand its market for Macintosh computers by licensing
to other manufacturers.  "The concern," adds Carlton, "is based, in large
part, on new uncertainties caused by the return of Steve Jobs to a position
of power at the Cupertino, California, company he co-founded in 1976.
Although Apple's chief financial officer, Fred Anderson, has been leading
the negotiations with cloners since a dispute broke out early this year, a
former Apple executive says Mr. Jobs, officially an Apple adviser, has
endorsed an increasingly hard-line stance by Mr. Anderson."

                      Tesler Leaves Apple for Startup

In order to head a new startup marketing children's software, Lawrence
Tesler has stepped down as Apple Computer Inc.'s chief scientist and vice
president of advanced technology.  Employees at the new company, called
Cocoa Software and based in Palo Alto, California, told the Reuter News
Service that Tesler has accepted the role of president of the company. They
declined to provide further details about its financial backers or product
strategy.

Reuters reporter Sam Perry quoted David Smith, one of the seven employees
of the fledgling company, as saying, "We do children's software and we're
brand new."  Apple has not commented on Tesler's departure, which became
public on the eve of today's closely watched keynote address by Apple
co-founder Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo in Boston, where the company is
unveiling a new product and business strategy.  One of Tesler's associates
at Apple told Reuters the departure was amicable, adding, "He's off to a
new adventure. He was so happy about it. He knew this was the right thing
for him to do. It is Apple's great loss."

Tesler came to Apple from Xerox Corp.'s famed Xerox Palo Alto Research
Center and was the computer maker's chief scientist since 1993, where he
served the role of technical advisor to the company and managed technical
alliances. He joined Apple in 1980 to work as a section manager of
applications software for the Lisa personal computer.

                         Apple Names New Directors

On the same day it unveiled an alliance with arch-rival Microsoft Corp.,
Apple Computer Inc. has announced a revamped board of directors.  Joining
Apple's board are co-founder and strategic adviser Steve Jobs; Oracle Corp.
Chairman Larry Ellison; former IBM Corp. chief financial officer Jerome
York and Intuit Inc. CEO Bill Campbell. Three current board members --
early Apple investor and former chairman A.C. Mike Markkula, Katherine
Hudson and Bernard Goldstein -- have resigned.

The announcement of the new directors -- all big names in the computer
industry -- along with Microsoft's support, is boosting industry analysts'
confidence in Apple.  "That should ensure Apple being around for a while,"
Arnie Owen, managing director at investment bank Cruttenden Roth told the
Reuter News Service. Microsoft "is the biggest guy you could get to support
you. That doesn't say that Apple is a great company, but there are parts of
it that are worthwhile."  "We are getting tremendous industry expertise,"
Jobs noted in his keynote speech at Macworld.

                        Microsoft Invests in Apple

In a stunning move, Microsoft Corp. has announced that it will invest $150
million in non-voting stock in struggling Apple Computer Inc.  Microsoft
says it will also develop new versions of its Microsoft Office
business software suite, Internet Explorer browser and other tools for the
Macintosh platform. Apple will package Internet Explorer with its Mac OS,
making it the default browser in future operating system software releases.
The companies have also agreed to a broad patent cross-licensing agreement
that will enable them to work more closely on leading-edge technologies for
the Mac platform. Apple and Microsoft plan to collaborate on technology to
ensure compatibility between their respective Virtual Machines for Java and
other programming languages.

"In 1984, Steve Jobs and I stood together when Microsoft announced
Microsoft Excel, an application that is widely credited with helping to
define the potential of the Mac as a great applications platform," says
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. "Today's announcements underscore our
continued belief in the Mac as a platform for applications and leading-edge
Internet technologies. Microsoft has millions of customers who rely on
Macintosh technology and they can be assured that Microsoft products for
the Mac will continue to be available."  "We are thrilled at the prospect
of working more closely with Microsoft on applications and Internet
software," notes Apple co-founder and advisor Jobs. "We are confident that
this is the beginning of a much closer relationship between the two
companies, which will greatly benefit our common customers."

                        Will Microsoft Help Apple?

How happy should you be if you're ailing Apple Computer Inc. and Microsoft,
your traditional arch-rival, has come to your aid to the tune of $150
million?  Analysts are saying Apple's prospects are brighter today, but
yesterday's surprise announcement at the Macworld trade show in Boston also
signals Apple's fall as a leader in the computer industry.  There is no
question it is a moment of computer industry history. Even President Bill
Clinton weighed in late yesterday, by telling reporters he will watch
developments closely for any antitrust violations.

Reporter Kourosh Karimkhany of the Reuter News Service this morning quotes
analysts as saying that despite the great drama of yesterday's development,
Apple's long-term prospects are not significantly brighter,
with or without Microsoft.  "The company has yet to figure out how to keep
its computer sales from plunging,"  Karimkhany writes, "and Apple will
still have a tough time finding a veteran chief executive that can head a
turnaround."

Said one unidentified Silicon Valley investor, Microsoft's investing in
Apple "is a bit like NASA trying to rescue Mir."  As reported, Microsoft
has agreed to buy a special class of Apple stock in exchange for $150
million in cash and has pledged to continue writing its Office business
software for the Macintosh.  Reuters notes a huge psychological boost to
Apple from Microsoft's backing, which could keep other software companies
and Mac customers from defecting. "That should ensure Apple being around
for a while," said Arnie Owen, managing director at investment bank
Cruttenden Roth. Microsoft "is the biggest guy you could get to support
you."

However, Karimkhany adds, "the alliance with Microsoft crushes some of the
fundamental spirit that has kept Apple going through tough times, which
could turn off some Mac customers."  In fact, when Gates appeared on a
giant video screen at Macworld yesterday to announce the investment,
thousands booed and hissed, Reuters noted.  Said analyst Lou Mazzucchelli
of Gerard Klauer Mattison, "It was anathema. It was like putting Darth
Vader up at a Star Wars convention."

Karimkhany comments, "Apple is betting the farm on a next-generation
software operating system code-named Rhapsody, slated to be released in a
year. The goal is to make Rhapsody so much more powerful and easy to use
than the Windows operating system that Apple computers would fly off the
shelf again. So far, however, no major software company has committed to
making products for Rhapsody."

                          Apple Rehires Ad Agency

The advertising agency responsible for Apple Computer Inc's famous "1984"
commercial that introduced its Macintosh personal computer reportedly is
being rehired by the computer maker.  Business writer Skip Wollenberg of
The Associated Press quotes an executive familiar with the matter, speaking
on condition of anonymity, as saying Apple is hiring TBWA Chiat/Day for its
domestic advertising account. However, the source also cautioned an
unexpected development could still derail the selection.

TBWA Chiat/Day and Arnold Communications of Boston, reportedly the final
contenders for the assignment, declined comment on the matter. Arnold
Communications said it was told a decision would be announced tomorrow but
not who had won.  AP says the Apple account, estimated to involve $80
million to $90 million in domestic ad spending, came open in late June when
Apple decided to review its account. The incumbent agency BBDO West
resigned rather than compete.  Chiat/Day had created the "1984" commercial
for Apple that aired on the Super Bowl telecast that year and introduced
the Mac.

"The Orwellian-style ad," noted Wollenberg, "showed a woman shattering a
mammoth TV screen which carried the gray image of a Big Brother-like
speaker who had a spellbound audience. The act symbolized the freedom that
the Macintosh personal computer would give users who otherwise had to work
on computer systems made by Apple's bigger rivals like IBM."  The
commercial is considered an ad industry classic, even though it only was
broadcast once, and it helped Apple get a reputation for making computers
people liked to use.  AP says Lee Clow, Chiat/Day's top creative officer at
TBWA Chiat/Day North America, is said to have remained close with Steve
Jobs, Apple's co-founder who had left the company by the time Chiat/Day was
dismissed in 1986 but has recently gotten heavily involved in efforts to
revive Apple's fortunes.

                    Microsoft, Apple Alliance Analyzed

Why has Microsoft Corp. decided to throw its financial, strategic and
technological support behind struggling  Apple Computer Inc.?  Members in
the Mac Community Forum (CIS) are pondering this question.  David McElroy
kicked off the discussion yesterday by asking, "What is it that (Microsoft)
wanted so badly from Apple that made it willing to pay for $150 million in
stock that it can't vote, an undisclosed sum of money for patents and
agreeing to support the Mac for at least five years?"

Ray Offiah replied that Microsoft made its commitment out of a tendency to
raid firms for their technology. "Over the past few months they've been
warning about a drop in revenues because their business relies on
generating new ideas, which they're not very good at. As they release new,
fatter, slower versions of Office, people find fewer reasons to upgrade.
They need a fresh look at things. New, exciting ideas; that's where Apple
comes in."

Bill Harkins agreed that Microsoft is looking for key Apple technology. "I
think they still need parts of Quicktime. Rumor is Rhapsody is going fairly
well so they might want some pieces of that. There is some really nice
stuff from Next. They could afford to do great things with OpenDoc and Open
Transport."  Peter L. Winkler observed that he heard that Microsoft makes
nearly $1 billion per year from Mac software. "If so, MS is just preserving
a good market for their software."  Jesus Diaz Zinetika noted, "I hope we
are just being pessimistic. I hope Jobs and Ellison have some extraordinary
good reasons for this move. Something like a secret plan that Gates is not
aware of."

                        UUNet E-Mail Flowing Again

Messages are flowing freely again on UUNet now that a group of angry
computer users has ended its protest over junk e-mail.  The group, led by a
Virginia college student, started seven days ago blocking Net messages
posted through UUNet Technologies Inc., saying the service ignored pleas to
filter out unsolicited advertising and pornography that clogs their
accounts.  Associated Press writer Dominic Perella, reporting from
Richmond, Virginia, says the protest ended yesterday when UUNet announced
it had taken steps to filter out the junk mail and the volume of the
material dropped right away.

Dennis McClain-Furmanski, a graduate student at Radford University, told
AP, "It was time to take some drastic steps to curtail an immense problem,"
adding junk mail online "literally threatens to ruin the 'Net." UUNet CEO
John Sidgmore accused the blockers of cyberterrorism and said the tactics
were reported to authorities, saying his firm is considering legal action.
"We're not done with this, as far as I'm concerned. I assume that some
people will take it (as a victory). I think it remains to be seen what
their result will be."

AP says, "The protesters used special software to attach cancel messages to
postings they wanted to block, causing the messages to be erased before
they were delivered. They only blocked messages that were to be posted on
Usenet," a segment of the Internet that accommodates newsgroup bulletin
boards.  The wire service quotes McClain-Furmanski as saying that in the
first 24 hours of the protest, the group blocked more than 80,000 postings
by UUNet customers. He alleged UUNet had been the No. 1 conduit for junk
e-mail.  UUNet objected to being singled out. Sidgmore says most junk
e-mail -- called "spam" by some -- comes from users on smaller, local
providers to whom UUNet sells Internet space, and UUNet lacks authority to
cut service to those customers.

                     IBM, Turner Learning Unveil Deal

IBM Corp. and Turner Learning, a division of Turner Broadcasting, say they
will collaborate on the development of multimedia educational software for
delivery to schools via CD ROM and the Internet.

According to the companies, the project will combine educational software
from IBM with original video programming and archival news footage from
CNN, including CNN Newsroom, a commercial-free news and feature broadcast
for schools. The software will be designed for use by upper elementary and
middle school students and will focus on exploring and understanding
multi-cultural diversity, history and current events.

"Through this collaboration, we will blend IBM's technology, the rich
visual and creative resources of Turner, and our joint knowledge of K-12
education to develop educational content that is engaging and informative
for students and teachers," says William E. Rodrigues, general manager of
IBM's education division.   "IBM and Turner will deliver software that
enriches the educational process for students by allowing them to
experience the events and activities they are studying," adds John
Richards, senior vice president and general manager of Turner Learning.
"For example, a student learning about Nelson Mandela will have access to
information on his life and the history of South Africa, and also will be
able to see and hear video clips of key events, such as his release from
prison. This will allow teachers to expand the horizons of their students
beyond the classroom walls and take them places they've never been."

                       Microsoft WebTV Purchase OK'd

Microsoft Corp.'s $425 million acquisition of WebTV Networks has been
approved by the U.S. Justice Department, which says there is competition in
the business of connecting home televisions to the Internet.
A thorough investigation of the deal announced April 6 has been closed with
a decision not to challenge it in court, officials with the department's
antitrust division said.  Associated Press writer Michael J. Sniffen quotes
a statement from the department as saying, "The investigation confirmed
that a number of other companies, several of whom are significant
participants in the computer or consumer electronics industries, have or
will soon enter the market with competitive products and alternative
technologies."

Microsoft senior vice president Craig Mundie said, "We hope to dramatically
accelerate the merger of the Internet and television."  Competitor
NetChannel said the decision moves Microsoft "one step closer to fulfilling
its strategy of dominating all aspects of the entertainment, electronic
commerce and communications industries."  Added NetChannel CEO Philip J.
Monego, "Microsoft is becoming a standards, not a software company,
positioned to collect a toll at virtually every link in the communications
delivery system."

                       Alliance Formed to Create Net

Creation of a digital network spanning the continent is the goal of the GSM
Alliance, a new venture by seven regional U.S. and Canadian wireless
telephone companies.  The Associated Press reports the alliance hopes that
by working together and offering better service that they can compete
against such big rivals as AT&T and  Sprint PCS.  Members include Aerial
Communications Inc.; BellSouth Mobility, part of BellSouth Corp.; Microcell
Telecommunications Inc.; Omnipoint Communications Services Inc.; Pacific
Bell Mobile Services, part of SBC Communications; Powertel Inc. and Western
Wireless Inc.

AP adds, "The group takes its name from the wireless technology they use --
global system for mobile  communications, or GSM. Although GSM is the
standard elsewhere in the world, dominant U.S. companies use  different
kinds of technology."  Chip giant Intel Corp. has endorsed GSM technology
for providing wireless  service for portable personal computers.  Aerial
Communications CEO Don Warkentin, the alliance's chairman,  says members of
the GSM alliance will continue to use their individual brand names.

                      IBM Offers 'Concierge' Software

Free software that acts as an intelligent "concierge" to monitor and
remember users' movements on the World  Wide Web is being offered by IBM
over the Internet.  Called WBI (pronounced Webby), the software can
remember usage patterns on the Internet, what sites are visited, alert
users to site changes and helps make  people more productive.  The Reuter
News Service says the software is an intermediary between the Web browser
software and a Web server and "also alerts users how fast a Web site is,
whether it is up and running, and the speed of its links."

IBM Vice President John Patrick told the wire service, "It's the beginning
of a lot of very interesting possibilities to take some of the drudgery out
of Web surfing. Webby can be a concierge for your use on the Internet. The
idea is to make it more productive for people."  The company says said
70,000 users have downloaded WBI free from the IBM research Web site, IBM's
online laboratory, alphaWorks  http://www.alphaworks.com , since it was
first released as an experimental technology on the site about six months
ago.

WBI, which stands for "Web browser intelligence," also can be downloaded at
http://www.networking.ibm.com/iag/iaghome.html  Says Patrick, "We now feel
we can make it more widely available and make it available to companies
that want to build a business around it."  Reuters says another potential
use of WBI is that users can customize it to their own interests and have
particular Web sites captured and stored locally overnight. WBI can also be
customized to monitor shopping patterns, checking out Web sites for updates
and alerting a customer to new products.

                       IBM, Motorola Launch New Chip

New PowerPC computer chips that are faster and more efficient are being
rolled out today by IBM and Motorola Inc., a development that could double
performance of some Macintosh computers.  The Associated Press says the
PowerPC 604e, a new version of an existing chip, now runs at speeds of up
to 350MHz. The 740 and 750 chips, a completely new design, run at speeds of
up to 266MHz but generates less heat than other microprocessors, an
advantage that makes it useful for laptop computers, which are less
tolerant of heat.

Will Swearingen, Motorola's product marketing manager for the PowerPC chip,
told the wire service, "We're giving them a huge jump in performance
without any increase in price of the processor."  AP says computers running
on the new chips will be introduced within the next few months, commenting,
"The new chips are the latest attempt by IBM and Motorola to kick-start
their microprocessor initiative."

Says the wire service, "The PowerPC microprocessors, developed jointly by
IBM, Motorola and Apple, were once pushed as an alternative to the dominant
Intel Corp. chips ... but only Apple currently sells PowerPC computers in
any substantial numbers, and IBM has stopped making its PowerPC-Windows NT
machines because of their small sales volume."

                          Motorola Offers TV Chip

A new "Scorpion" graphics and digital video encoder chip that allows a
television to be used to access interactive information is being introduced
by Motorola Inc.'s semiconductor products sector.  Reporting from Phoenix,
Ariz., the Reuter News Service says the MC92100 chip "provides flexible,
television-based graphics overlay and mixing capabilities that allow
customers to incorporate interactive features, including Internet browsing,
in both new and existing products."

Motorola officials told the wire service consumer electronic applications
that could benefit from the chip include "intelligent TVs," set-top boxes,
and digital versatile disk players, adding Scorpion will allow products to
display multiple windows containing interactive graphics, permitting users
to watch television and browse the Internet and other information sources
at the same time. Motorola said Scorpion was designed specifically for use
with televisions.  Ed Evans, manager of Graphic Systems Engineering for
Motorola's Audio/Video products operation, told Reuters, "With
Scorpion-enabled products, users will be able to manipulate Web pages,
program guides and other interactive content on a television, while
continuing to view the video stream."

                      Toshiba, SanDisk Set Flash Deal

Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk Corp. have signed a cross-licensing agreement for
flash memory-related patents.
The pact calls for the companies to license each other's patents covering
the design and manufacture of flash memory. The deal's financial terms
weren't revealed.  Flash memory, which retains data after power has been
turned off, is widely used in digital cameras, smart phones and other
portable devices.  "This agreement between the two leaders of flash memory
technologies will provide a great impetus to growth of the flash data
storage market," says Koichi Suzuki, director of Toshiba's semiconductor
group.  "Both companies have pioneered the emerging markets for flash data
storage," adds Eli Harari, SanDisk's president and CEO. "This agreement
will accelerate the market's development."

                        Apple Cuts PowerBook Prices

Prices on the PowerBook 3400 series have been cut by $500 by Apple Computer
Inc.  The computer maker is quoted by the Dow Jones news service as saying
customers who purchase a PowerBook 3400 between now and Sept. 26 can
receive a 32MB TechWorks RAM card, an Apple Lithium-ion battery, and a
coupon for 50 percent off a VST Technologies dual battery charger at no
additional cost.  Also, Apple has announced a mail-in cash rebate of $200
for consumers who purchase any Power Macintosh 4400 computer with an Apple
Multiple Scan 15AV monitor from Aug. 2 to Sept. 26.  Beginning Aug. 2,
rebate coupons will be available through Apple's FAXback service and
website, the wire service says.

                          HP Cuts OmniBook Prices

Hewlett-Packard Co. has cut list prices on its line of HP OmniBook notebook
personal computers by as much as 17 percent.  Reporting from HP's Palo
Alto, Calif., headquarters, the Dow Jones news service quotes company
officials as saying the price reductions apply to the HP OmniBook 5700,
2000 and 800 notebooks.

                      Microsoft to Make Search Engine

Look out, Yahoo, InfoSeek, Excite, Lycos. Here comes Microsoft Corp. The
Redmond, Washington, software giant indicates it will develop its own
Internet search engine/directory this fall.  According to the Reuter News
Service, a beta version should be ready by October, with a launch date of
January. The search engine is said to be code-named Yukon and is most
likely to be released directly on the World Wide Web and not restricted to
Microsoft's MSN.

                       Microsoft, Netscape OK VRML2

Virtual Reality Modeling Language -- VRML2 -- has won approval by both
Microsoft Corp. and Netscape  Communications Corp. as the single standard
for viewing three-dimensional images on the Internet.  Writing in The Wall
Street Journal this morning, reporter Dean Takahashi predicts both
companies soon will announce plans to include compatible versions of the
technology in their latest software for browsing the World Wide Web.  The
accord "is expected to make it much easier for consumers to see the next
generation of images on the Web," adds Takahashi, "enabling possibilities
such as moving down the halls of a simulated art gallery, or a fancy banner
advertisement that allows users to zoom in on a realistic image of a car
they may want to buy."

The paper notes samples of the effects already can be viewed on a Silicon
Graphics Inc. site (www.sgi.com), including a 3-D Martian landscape created
using pictures taken by the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft.  Silicon Graphics,
incidentally, invented the graphics modeling language, which defines the
formats for 3-D computer files and won out over a competing standard backed
by Microsoft. It is now in a second version dubbed VRML2 and is the focus
of a 60-company consortium that guides its evolution.

                      MCI, Progressive Networks Team

MCI Communications Corp. and Net audio/video specialist Progressive
Networks Inc. are teaming up to sell an Internet broadcasting service to
broadcasters, cable channels and sports networks, which in turn would offer
it to home computer users.  The vision? That people will use home computers
to watch favorite TV shows or listen to baseball games.  Associated Press
writer Jeannine Aversa says plans do not call for either MCI or Progressive
Networks to sell the service directly to computer users.

Of course, as Aversa notes, the technology isn't new. Right now, computer
users on the World Wide Web can hear live or taped audio or watch live or
taped video.  But it's not widely used, notes analyst Gary Arlen, president
of Arlen Communications Inc., a telecommunications consulting firm in
Bethesda, Maryland, and "MCI is in a good position to accelerate that, and
it starts to make the Internet more multimedia."  Today, Net broadcasting
-- or "cybercasting," as some are calling it - is kludgy, because they
require a lot of network capacity. "They are bandwidth hogs," says Arlen,
"but MCI's high-speed, broader bandwidth network solves that."

AP reports, "By joining forces, MCI and Progressive contend they can offer
Internet broadcasting service more efficiently and potentially more cheaply
than they could separately or than their rivals can. MCI and Progressive
are targeting media companies that would use the service to enhance their
Web sites, and Fortune 1,000  companies that would use the service for
internal employee training or to post new product announcements on the Web,
said Deborah Pierson of MCI."  The wire service quotes Mike Metzger,
general manager of Broadcast Services for Progressive Networks, as saying
MCI and Progressive are selling the service for $8,500 a month and up, and
that companies can also run ads with the service.

                     White Pages Listings Prices Fall

Legal, legislative and Internet pressures are prompting most major
telephone companies to lower the prices they charge independent telephone
directory publishers for white pages listings, finds new research from
Cowles/Simba Information in Stamford, Connecticut.  "The passage of the
Telecommunications Act in 1996 capped years of court battles between
telephone companies and independents, which have resulted in lower  prices
and increased access to directory listings," says Natalie Schwartz, senior
managing editor of  Cowles/Simba Information's yellow pages division.

The Telecommunications Act requires telephone companies to provide access
to subscriber list information under reasonable rates, terms and
conditions.  The increasing availability of listings information via the
Internet and other electronic formats -- as well as through list providers
-- is also lowering the value of listings, finds Cowles/Simba Information's
research. But the only way to obtain the most up-to-date information is
through phone companies, which update their databases daily.  Cowles/Simba
Information's Web site is located at http://www.simbanet.com.

                       Publishers Sue Over Net Issue

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is being accused of violating
constitutional rights of free speech  on the Internet, according to a
federal lawsuit brought by a group of 10 publishers and subscribers of
commodity books and newsletters.  The Reuter News Service says the suit
contends the CFTC hindered free  speech rights by requiring financial
publishers and possibly Internet users to register with the agency.
"Unless the CFTC is stopped," says attorney Scott Bullock with the
Institute for Justice, "those who distribute pornographic pictures over the
Internet enjoy more protection than those who want to meet in an online
chat room to talk about coffee futures and pork bellies."

For more than two decades, the CFTC has regulated U.S. commodity traders
and brokers, and in 1995 it began  requiring publishers of commodity
newsletters, books and publications to register with the agency. The
publishers are considered by the agency to be "commodity trading advisors,"
who sell analyses or reports about commodity futures and options.  Reuters
says that last summer the CFTC announced it would expand the rules to
include Internet user groups, hyperlinks or web pages that mention
commodity trading.

"The agency abruptly suspended the plan pending further review after
opponents said the rule would infringe on the constitutional right of free
speech," the wire service adds. "Registration with the agency includes
providing a set of fingerprints, and complying with CFTC auditors' requests
for subscriber names, addresses and other publication records."

Editor Stephen Briese of the Bullish Review newsletter told Reuters he
joined the lawsuit out of fear that he could face penalties of five years
in jail and a $500,000 fine if he were found to be violating the CFTC
regulation. The Bullish Review, published twice a month, analyzes CFTC
statistical data on large trader commitments and has several hundred
subscribers.  Bullock says larger publications like The Wall Street Journal
are exempt from the CFTC rule because commodities reporting is not the
major thrust of their newsgathering activity.

                        Court Rejects Inslaw Claims

A decade-long dispute nears an end with the Court of Federal Claims'
rejection yesterday of charges from computer software-maker Inslaw that the
U.S. Justice Department stole its software and distributed it worldwide.
Ending a three-week trial, the court found Inslaw failed to show ownership
rights to the software in question or that the Department of Justice acted
improperly in any way, the Reuter News Service reports.  The wire service
quotes a 186-page opinion issued by Judge Christine Miller as saying there
was "no merit to the claims" by Inslaw.  The dispute started in 1982 when
Inslaw was awarded a $10 million contract for its PROMIS software, used to
track criminal cases. The company's owners alleged that Justice later used
an enhanced version of the program without paying royalties.  By 1987, the
dispute had forced the company into bankruptcy and a federal bankruptcy
judge found that the department had used "fraud, trickery and deceit" to
steal the program and ruled the government owed Inslaw $7.8 million.
However, that ruling and judgment was later overturned on appeal.

The case was sent to the claims court this year as Congress wanted an
advisory opinion as part of its consideration of whether to pass a private
bill to compensate Inslaw, the department said.  Reuters says the claims
court's opinion found the 1982 contract required Inslaw to install in U.S.
attorney's offices a non-proprietary, public-domain version of PROMIS.
"But," says the wire service, "without notice to the government, Inslaw
installed a different, allegedly proprietary, version of the software and
then asserted that the government could not use the software in other
offices. The court found that only 12 of the more than 100 alleged
enhancements actually existed and that Inslaw could not demonstrate that
the company, rather than the government, owned them."  Inslaw will have an
opportunity to appeal the matter to a three-judge panel of the same court
before the court's decision is sent to Congress.

                      Copyright Treaties Spark Debate

Two controversial international treaties intended to protect copyrighted
material on the Internet have re-ignited debate in Congress, a continuation
from last year.  As reported earlier, the World Intellectual Property
Organization last December adopted the treaties after debate among
companies, like movie studios and record publishers, that produce
copyrighted works and consumers and users of such works including
scientists, libraries and Internet companies.  This week, Utah Republican
Oren Hatch and three other senators introduced implementing legislation in
the Senate, while Rep. Howard Coble (R-North Carolina) and three other
representatives filed an identical bill in the House.  Reporter Aaron
Pressman of the Reuter News Service quotes Hatch as saying, "The WIPO
standards will raise the minimum standards for copyright protection
worldwide, providing the U.S. with the tools it needs to combat
international piracy."

Reuters says for the measures to become binding U.S. law, the Senate must
ratify the treaties on a two-thirds vote and both the House and Senate must
approve the implementing legislation.  The treaties -- one covering
literary and artistic works, the other for recorded music -- are supposed
to extend the rights of copyright holders
into cyberspace while preserving free "fair use" of the material, " but
many groups are still unhappy with the balance struck in the treaties
between the competing interests," Pressman notes.  For instance, copyright
expert Jonathan Band said the implementing legislation was "very poorly
drafted," adding, "It will have the practical effect of sharply curtailing
many of the (current) limitations and exceptions to the Copyright Act."
Hatch says the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, would hold
hearings on the treaties shortly.

                       Bill Tackles Computer Thefts

California Gov. Pete Wilson has signed a intended to reduce the flow of
stolen computer parts.  From  Sacramento, United Press International
reports the bill, backed by the high-tech industry, requires commercial
dealers and resellers of computer components to make "reasonable inquiries"
to ensure they're not buying stolen  goods.  Assemblyman Jim Cunneen, the
San Jose Democrat who sponsored the bill, told UPI illegal buying and
reselling of stolen computers are spurring thefts costing California's
Silicon Valley an estimated $1 million per
week.  He added some dealers don't ask questions about computer parts since
they fear they could be incriminated by buying goods they know are stolen.
Under the new law, he said, dealers no longer will be able to feign
ignorance about the sources of their illegal goods, noting the measure
makes it a felony to fail to make  reasonable inquiries when property is
valued at more than $400.

                      Defense Chief Fights Encryption

A National Security Agency official has told Congress proposed legislation
to relax export restrictions on U.S. technology that scrambles computer
messages could undermine efforts to catch terrorists, spies and drug
traffickers.  Speaking before the House National Security Committee,
William Crowell, deputy director of the  Defense Department agency, called
for the rejection of the bill.  Associated Press writer Cassandra Burrell
says  Crowell contends the measure would leave law enforcement without a
way to eavesdrop on international  criminals using virtually unbreakable
codes.  Burrell notes the House Judiciary and International Relations
committees already have approved the bill, which  boasts 253 co-sponsors,
which is more than enough to pass the 435-member House.

Supporters say it is  nonsense to continue restrictions on U.S. companies
selling encryption technology while foreign companies can  freely market
their products, but Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pennyslvania, said he doesn't think
all of the bill's  supporters fully understand it.  Said Weldon, "I do not
think this bill moves us in the right direction.  I'm not totally happy
with the way we're  regulating this industry. But I cannot imagine what the
consequences would be if we totally remove the  restrictions on encryption
technology."  Weldon's stand sets him up in opposition to the Business
Software Alliance, which has lobbied strongly for the bill because it would
allow U.S. encryption producers to compete with foreign businesses.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said the measure would
protect America's dominance of the computer industry and would deter crime
by making business transactions, computer records and other communications
more secure, adding, "One thing we can do to promote national security is
to promote the availability of strong encryption to law-abiding people and
organizations."  Goodlatte also said that law  enforcement agencies' access
to encrypted messages would be no worse than it is today if the bill were
passed. "Encryption," said the congressman, "is going to become available
to criminals whether or not this legislation passes into law."
Administration officials have asked Congress to reject the bill and instead
set up a system that  would give developers of encryption technology
incentives to make "keys" -- devices that can unscramble their  codes --
available to law enforcement during criminal investigations. The BSA,
though, calls that idea a step backward.

                       Rights Group Wants Encryption

Congress has been told human rights activists need to use strong computer
encryption programs in their work outside of the country.  Swift and
inexpensive communications over the Internet "promise to destroy the
ability of abusive regimes to silence their people, hide their atrocities
and blockade the truth," Dinah PoKempner, deputy general counsel for the
group Human Rights Watch, told a briefing for congressional staff during a
visit to Capitol Hill yesterday.  "Encryption offers the most fundamental
protection to those who seek to bring abuses to light in these
circumstances," she said.

Debate over exports of encryption technology has largely pitted the
interests of commercial companies and civil libertarians against those of
law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the Reuter News Service, "but
human rights advocates (say) they also had a critical interest at stake."
Patrick Ball, who trains human rights activists to use the technology, told
the staff members that those who report human rights abuses can become
victims of abuse if discovered, so the availability of encryption to hide
electronic mail messages or faxes can be a matter of "life or death."

Ball, senior program associate with the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, warned the work of human rights groups could be
compromised by the use of so-called "key recovery features" supported by
the Clinton Administration to give governments access to coded messages.
"How can we ensure," said Ball, "that intelligence and law enforcement
groups in repressive countries will not directly or indirectly obtain human
rights groups keys from the U.S. government. Human rights monitoring is
always defined by repressive regimes as a threat to national security."

                     Microsoft Sues Over Net Postings

Two federal lawsuits have been filed in Los Angeles by Microsoft Corp. that
allege illegal posting of Softimage and Microsoft software on Internet
download sites.  Reporting from Microsoft's Redmond, Washington,
headquarters, the Dow Jones news service says one suit accuses Caleb Shay
of Burbank, California, of copyright infringement and federal trademark
infringement for allegedly posting an illegal copy of Softimage 3D version
3.7 for downloading at an Internet site.  In the second case, the wire
service says, Microsoft alleges an unidentified person made available for
downloading illegal copies of Softimage and Microsoft products.
Montreal-based Softimage Inc., a Microsoft unit, develops software for
media applications such as video, film, interactive games and CD-ROM
applications.

                    Sculley Joins Israeli Firm's Board

John Sculley, former CEO of Apple Computer Inc., has joined the board of
directors of Zapa Digital Arts, an Israeli company specializing in Internet
tools and servers.  According to a statement issued by the Tel Aviv-based
firm, Sculley will take an active role in refining Zapa's business strategy
as well as help foster relationships between Zapa and leading U.S.
technology companies. Sculley is currently chairman of Silicon Valley
start-up Live Picture Corp.,  "In the world of high-tech Internet solutions
Zapa is unique in that it combines superbly engineered technology  with
top-rate visual artistry," says Sculley who has invested an undisclosed
amount in Zapa. "Israel is steadily  developing into the next Silicon
Valley, and Zapa is clearly emerging as the leader in Internet visual
communications. I'm very excited about Zapa's prospects in the U.S.
Internet market."

                      Bone Marrow Match South Online

A dramatic life-and-death struggle to find a compatible bone marrow donor
for a leukemia patient has been brought to the Internet.  If a donor isn't
found, Dr. Alan Kuo -- a 33-year-old medical scientist in San Francisco,
who is researching opportunistic infections of the sort that affect victims
of AIDS and various cancers -- may have less than three months to live.
Reporter Craig Menefee of the Newsbytes computer news service brought the
story to light, notes that last week, subscribers to The Top 5 List, a
popular Internet humor list, received a startling edition of the site's
daily newsletter.

Menefee says that instead of the typical tongue-in-cheek list of "top
things to go wrong this week on the MIR space station" or "most ineffective
lines to use on a first date," they read an appeal from editor Chris White,
the list's owner.  Writes White, "I apologize in advance for using this
venue for something other than Top 5 or comedy, but I assure you this is of
sufficient urgency to warrant it."  After describing Kuo's situation, White
promised his readers "this is no e-mail hoax," adding, "I hope that this is
one instance where the awesome power of the Internet can truly make a
difference."

Kuo, a post-Doctoral fellow who conducts his research at the University of
California Medical Center in San Francisco, suffers from chronic
myelogenious leukemia, which can be cured by eliminating the victim's own
marrow and transplanting compatible marrow from a donor. He said he had
appealed for help to the online world only after a two-year search through
normal channels failed to turn up a donor.  "As a person of Asian descent,"
Menefee notes, "Kuo is in a racial minority in the US, so the large donor
data banks in the US had a relatively limited pool of potential donors from
which to draw."

A friend, Raymond Lin, helped Kuo set up a World Wide Web site
(http//www.slip.net/~rwwood) and sent word of the quest for marrow out to
the press. He says the challenge now is to attract the attention of Asians
anywhere in the world. Kuo's only hope is that a compatible person of Asian
genetic background will volunteer as a marrow donor in time to save Kuo's
life.  UCSF Professor Nina Agabian, who directs the lab where Kuo works,
told Newsbytes, "Alan's work is helping us develop treatments which will
ameliorate this disease (opportunistic infections) in the AIDS and cancer
patients who suffer from it," adding that the university is doing
everything it can to find a donor.  Those of Asian descent who live in the
US can also call the Asian American Donor Program for information at
1-800-59-DONOR.

                      The Search for Dot Com Launched

The Internet is sending out the word: the search for the real Dot Com has
begun.  The folks behind the Excite search engine have launched a contest
running today through Aug. 20 to find this woman and give her the
recognition she deserves.  In a statement from Redwood City, Calif., the
company says, "With the incredible  growth of the Internet, all America is
talking about '.com.' But, just who is the Dot Com on the lips of everyone
from David Letterman to Al Gore?"  Joe Kraus, Excite co-founder and senior
vice president, commented, "We know that Dot Com is more than an Internet
suffix. Given how often her name is discussed in the media today, we feel
that her voice should be heard, and she should have the chance to comment
on the Web and where she sees it going. She is out there and if anyone can
find her we can."

Kraus invites anyone knows a Dot, Dotty or Dorothy Com to log on to the
Excite site (http://www.excite.com) and visit the "Search for Dot Com"
section.  Once Excite has verified the identity of each Dot Com entered in
the contest, the company will post the finalists at http://www.excite.com.
Visitors to the site will be asked to vote on their favorite Dot Com based
on information found in each finalist's profile.  The finalist receiving
the most unduplicated votes will be crowned "Ms. Dot Com" and receive a
$500 cash prize and Excite wearables.

                    Fastest Computers Link Five Schools

The world's fastest computers -- those used by the government for
top-secret nuclear weapons work -- will be accessible to five universities
for the first time under a 10-year $250 million Energy Department research
program.  Associated Press writer H. Josef Hebert quotes Energy Secretary
Federico Pena as saying the research programs, although unclassified, will
support broader efforts by the government to simulate nuclear explosions
and ensure reliability of the U.S. weapons stockpile without actual bombs
being detonated.  AP says the government's computer at the Sandia National
Laboratories is the fastest in the world -- 20 times faster than any
computer now used by universities. The department has two other computers
-- now running below maximum speed -- that soon will be even faster.

The universities as part of the research program will be able to use as
much as 10 percent of the capacity of the three computers.  The five
universities, selected among 49 applicants, are:

    California Institute of Technology, which will examine the effect of
  shock waves from high explosives on various materials.
    University of Chicago, which will simulate cosmic thermal nuclear
  explosions in an attempt to learn more about why stars explode.
    Stanford University, which will use computer simulations to study the
  design of gas turbine engines.
    University of Illinois, which will examine the physics of advanced
  rocket propulsion.
    University of Utah, which will use computer simulations to examine
  accidental fires and explosions involving highly flammable materials.







           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







                              LEXMARK OPTRA C
                                   COLOR
                               LASER PRINTER

For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to
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sized envelope please) to:

                     STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer
                               P.O. Box 6672
                     Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155
                                     
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If  you  would  like a sample printout that's suitable  for  framing.   Yes
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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
















Shareware Treasure Chest STR Feature         "The Latest & Greatest"



                                     
                                     
                                     
                         Shareware Treasure Chest





By Lloyd E. Pulley
lepulley@streport.com

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

August '97 definition update for Norton AntiVirus   8/01/97 1.5mb     Free

  This file is a complete replacement for any previous definitions set for
all of the Norton AntiVirus products. The product list includes Norton
AntiVirus 3.0 (DOS/Win 3.1), Norton AntiVirus for Windows 95, Norton
AntiVirus Scanner for Windows NT, and Norton AntiVirus for NetWare 1.0 and
2.0.

   Home Page Site - http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/index.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Panzer General 2 for Win95         8/01/97    41.0 mb  Commercial Demo

  More than a sequel. An entire generation beyond anything yet seen in
strategy games. And seeing is believing. Witness the LIVING BATTLEFIELD, a
new standard for strategy game artwork. Featuring the heightened realism of
hand-rendered maps - thirty painstakingly crafted battlefields that are
faithful to the real ones of WWII - the LIVING BATTLEFIELD also showcases
detailed rendered combat units. Of course, this beauty is beyond skin deep.
The phenomenol game play of the second generation PANZER GENERAL game
engine is truly awesome. Battles rage through WWII's Eastern and Western
Fronts, North Africa, even the continental USA.

   Home Page Site - http://www.panzergeneral.com/main.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Microsoft Netshow Player 32-bit 2.0 Release Candidate
                                   8/01/97    1.60mb   Freeware

  NetShow is the easiest, most cost-effective way to stream audio,
illustrated audio, and video across intranets and the Internet. Normally, a
user has to wait for an entire file to be transferred before using
networked multimedia content. Streaming lets users see or hear the
information as it arrives, without having to wait. Unlike other streaming
products, NetShow lets content providers generate compelling productions in
which audio, graphics, video, URLs and script commands can be synchronized
based on a timeline.

   Home Page Site - http://www.microsoft.com/netshow/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Football Prophecy Version 2.0      7/29/97    7,677kb  Shareware $30.00

  An NFL Football Game Statistical Analysis tool and is Unique in that you
do not have to pay for Weekly Statistics. All you have to do is input the
stats from you local Newspaper and FP does all the work for you. It
displays statistics that are not commonly given to the public unless you
suscribe to a 1-900 service or weekly Newsletter. Football Prophecy Does
have prediction ability but the real assets of this program is the Head to
Head match analysis that it incorporates before each game!

   Home Page Site - http://www.flare.net/users/rolap/index.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Thumbnail Image Previewer Version 1.0         7/31/97  1,200kb   Shareware
$10.00

  Thumbnail is a file previewer that supports JPEG, BMP, WMF, TXT and HTML
file formats. Thumbnail adds a menu item to the context (right-click) menu
and allows quick and easy viewing of supported file types.

   Home Page Site - http://www.mindspring.com/~evasager/Interlocking/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Fast Dir Deluxe Version 1.00.002.5 7/30/97    32kb  Shareware $5.00

  This program is to create a fast snap shot view of your files/directory
folders. Where you can view them at anytime, print, copy and past the
information anywhere for all your files, directories and folders.This
program will also create multi-span directories view files which can be
printed out later or saved to disk. Folders, drives, recycling bin are
required for this program to work from. Right click on any folder will call
up the Fast Dir menu pop up. Feature 5 different click on command choices.
The default mode will create two different multi-span views which will
appear after the program is completed. Create a subdir file will produce a
duplicate folder name for the saved viewed Fast Dir file and place it into
the main root directory. Create a root dir file would produce a root file
for that main root of a drive. The other two features are for the printer.
All of these command choices are explained in the full manual.

   Home Page Site - http://users.aol.com/tipstir/private/fd-1097.htm


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Don't Get Taken For A Ride Version 4.0        7/27/97  2,104kb   Shareware
$16.95

  Learn how to successfully buy a new or user car. Save thousands of
dollars. If you or someone you know is about to buy a car, "Don't Get Taken
For A Ride"

   Home Page Site - http://www.digitaltek.com/carbuyer/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

iavaZIP Version 1.0                8/01/97    2,900kb  Shareware $49.00

  Main feature is it's treestructure, which makes zipping and extracting
easy and powerful. It enables you to zip and extract files from anywhere.
That means, that you are no longer limited to zip files from one folder and
it's subfolders only. iavaZIP provides additional features, like an
integrated file viewer, 10 compression levels, support for working from the
command line and a very easy-to-use interface. Versions for other operating
systems are available too.

   Home Page Site - http://www.sfs-software.com/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Shadows of the Empire              8/01/97    6.90mb   Commercial Demo

  Enter Prince Xizor - sinister servant of the Dark Side. Lord of the Black
Sun crime ring. Mastermind behind a brazen plot to assassinate Luke
Skywalker. But YOU, as maverick mercenary Dash Rendar, have other plans.
Stop Xizor. Protect Luke. Rescue Han Solo from the carbonite-cold clutches
of Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett. All with your blaster, brains and bravery.
Game features:  Coded specifically for the explosive graphics processing
power of your 3D accelerator card. A Star Wars universe so detailed you can
see the tow cable around an Imperial AT-AT  FIVE gameplay modes - in a
variety of vehicles and  spacecraft - from the heavily armored Outrider, to
snowspeeders, hovertrains, jet packs and speeder bikes.
NOTE: Requires a 3dfx, verite or permedia 2 based 3D card.

   Home Page Site - http://www.lucasarts.com/static/shadows/shadows.htm


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WinGo Version 1.5b                 7/30/97    191kb Shareware $22.00

  Lets you make folder aliases that you can access in your system tray.

   Home Page Site - http://www.metaproducts.com/metaproducts.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Membership Librarian 97 Version 1.5           7/30/97  1,440kb   Shareware
$69.95

  Keeps track of the members in your club or association, by tracking
names, address, phone numbers, email addresses, dues/fees and more. Send
form letters, create mailing labels, make phone calls with built-in dialer
and more. Includes dBase/ASCII import/export and backup/restore module to
safegard your data.

   Home Page Site - http://www.turbosystems.com/membersh.htm


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Microsoft DirectX 5.0              7/28/97    5.60mb   Free

  Here they are, the latest set of DirectX drivers from Microsoft. Some of
the new features in this release: Improved 3d, better MMX support, support
for force feedback controllers and lots of other tweaks and fixes.

   Home Page Site - http://www.microsoft.com/directx/default.asp


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Copyto Version 1.23                7/30/97    224kb Shareware $12.00

  An Explorer Add-on that adds a menu "Copyto" to copy, move, delete,
update, synchronize files in two folders.You can select the target folder
easily by using the browse button. Briefcase like function that can
synchronize files in two folders with filetype filtering and excluding
specified folders. Display the Operation list before execution. You can
select or deselect files in the list by Right click. You can run Copyto.exe
at the DOS prompt or created shortcut link with command line options.
Display the time stamps and size of files, the nearly space required on
Target, lining up the column, open with the associated application by right
click in the file operation list of the Update function.

   Home Page Site - http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~bd7k-isi/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Kali for Win95 beta 1.1t           8/01/97    2.20mb   Shareware $20

  Kali is the largest Internet gaming system in the world with over 100,000
users and 300 servers in 35 countries. "So what do Kali actually do?
Simple: Kali makes your Internet connection appear to be an IPX connection
to your game. This means that all those IPX games can now be played with a
number of other users over the Internet."

   Home Page Site - http://www.kali.net/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Numetrics ID Version 2.0.84        7/30/97    636kb Shareware $29.95

 Numetrics ID is a Windows(R) Call ID monitor. It records Call ID
information for inbound and outbound calls. A few of the useful things
Numetrics ID can do include: Screen inbound calls by display a Call ID
popup window. Print call histories by day, month, or year. Monitor multiple
lines and addresses.

   Home Page Site - http://numetrics.com/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Disk Shuffle Pro Version 1.0       8/01/97    870kb Shareware $19.95

  This program will allow you to take 1.44 meg or smaller files and copy as
many of them as possible to floppy diskettes. This is idea for email, text
files, music files, graphics files, and small programs. Requires the VB 5.0
Runtimes.

   Home Page Site - http://www2.ldd.net/logicwizards/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WinPack Deluxe 32-bit 2.0 beta     8/06/97    .84mb Shareware $21

  WinPack32 Deluxe supports Zip, Gzip, Arj, Lharc, Tar, Unix Compress (LZW
option only), Zoo, UUEncode, XXEncode, Binhex 4.0, Mime/Base64, Freeze,
SIT, ATOB/BTOA, Quake PAK. You can create as well as extract from any
supported format. Features include, ability to view any file type within an
archive, archive conversion, built-in self-extractor, drag-n-drop,
recursive subdirectories, multipart archive support, subarchive support,
disk spanning, self-extracting disk spans, zip decryption and encryption.

   Home Page Site - http://www.rdsretrospect.com/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Leimotif - Navigation Light Sequences Version 2.0
                                   8/01/97    369kb Shareware$20.00

  A learning and operational aid for internationally recognised navigation
lights. Useful for yachtsmen and women throughout the world. Includes
buoyage and mark lights, port traffic lights (control lights) and cardinal
lights. Enter light characteristics from chart or pilot chartlet and the
sequence is displayed. Includes full Windows Help support.

   Home Page Site - http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dlheb/lugrig/

Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

EditPad 32-bit 3.2.0               8/02/97    .24mb Freeware

  EditPad is a replacement for the standard Windows NotePad. EditPad
requires Windows 95 or later to run. No additional DLLs or whatever are
required. It has a few very interesting features:
 * EditPad can open as much files at a time as you want.
 * You change between the open files by clicking on their tabs. No hassle
with heaps of overlapping
    windows.
 * If you run EditPad again when their is already an instance running, the
file(s) you wish to edit
    will be opened by the existing EditPad window. This means there will be
at most one EditPad
    window open, which will save you from a lot of task switching. Of
course, if you do need more
    instances, simply pick View|New editor from the menu.
 * Block functions: save parts of your text to disk and insert a file in
the current text
 * Reopen menu that lists the last 16 files opened and more.

   Home Page Site - http://www.tornado.be/~johnfg/jgsoft.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

QuickTime 32 Version 2.12          8/01/97    2,566kb  Freeware

  A computer running Windows 95 or Windows NT Description: This software
allows you view QuickTime movies and QuickTime VR (Virtual Reality)
Panoramas and Objects directly in your web browser window.

   Home Page Site - http://www.quicktime.apple.com/sw/qtwin32.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WinTune 97 for WinNT Version 1.2   8/01/97    1,402kb  Freeware

  Benchmarking utility specifically designed for Windows NT! Checks your
video system, hard drive, memory, and just about everything else, then
gives a detailed report and suggestions on improving performance.

   Home Page Site - http://www.winmag.com/software/wt97.htm


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Medicalc Version 1.0               8/01/97    696kb Shareware $40.00

  This Windows-95 program calculates:

 centile values for childrens' height, weight, and head circumference
measurements
 current gestation and estimated date of delivery for pregnant women
 predicted peak flow measurements for children and adults


   Home Page Site - http://www.buttar.demon.co.uk/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Pixel 3D Version 1.071             8/02/97    1,300kb  Demo $69.00

  Pixel 3D for Windows is both the novice and professional's choice for
creating, converting and rendering 3D objects and logos. Pixel 3D is ideal
for creating beautiful 3D images of text, logos and objects for use in web
site construction, or for adding that 3D look to work done in programs such
as Photoshop. This is a full working trial version.

   Home Page Site - http://www.forwarddesign.com/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Interco - International Code of Signals Version 2.0 8/01/97 383kb
Shareware $10.00

  A learning and operational aid for the International Code of Signals.
Useful for yachtmen and women throughout the world. Inlcudes one- and two-
flag signals, the International Phonetic Alphabet and the Morse Code in
visual and audio forms.

   Home Page Site - http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dlheb/lugrig/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Information Manager Version 4.00   8/01/97    8,982kb  Shareware $39.99

  An address book, appointment calendar, note pad calendar, Internet
browser and much more. Thirty two bit software designed to carry the
Microsoft tm "Windows 95" label, J.I.M. has been carefully crafted to be
simple and flexible yet integrated and powerful. J.I.M. is fully color,
font configurable and resizes all dialog displays to fit the screen. A
minimum screen resolution of 640 x 480 x 256 colors is supported but best
results are realized at higher screen resolutions. J.I.M. offers unique
user specified data filters. Through the use of these filters custom access
to your data can be achieved. J.I.M. also comes with Microsoft tm Internet
Explorer built right into the program and in many areas J.I.M. is tightly
coupled with the Internet. These are a few of J.I.M.s main features.

   Home Page Site - http://www.wjohnson.com/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

MegaView 32-bit 4.00 plug-in       8/02/97    .19mb Free

  The MegaView Plug-in displays XGL movies (Vector Cel Animations) and XGL
drawings (stills). As a bonus, it also displays Windows metafiles and
bitmaps. XGL drawings are an entirely new vector drawing format that are
based on the XGL graphics language, not a rigid file structure. XGL drawing
files are between 10 and 100 times smaller than common vector file formats.
XGL movies are created from several XGL drawings and provide all the normal
cel animation capabilities in a tiny file size. They are between 3 and 10
times smaller than equivalent Macromedia Flash animations.

   Home Page Site - http://www.ozemail.com.au/~xcorp/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Collection Access System Version 1.51c        8/02/97  2,164kb   Shareware
$25.00

  A program that helps you to organize collections of music, comic books,
books/magazines, software and videos and soon others too. It's written in
Visual Basic 5.0 for Windows95/NT compiled in native mode. Support for this
software is by email, phone call, or written mail. Registration is
reasonable. Customized additions will be programmed for the cost of the
registration fee.

   Home Page Site - http://www.execupages.com/ndsr/cas.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

Postmark 32-bit 1.0 beta 4         8/05/97    3.20mb   Shareware $29.95

  Anawave Postmark represents a breakthrough for people who desire a fast,
32-bit, "knock-your-socks-off" e-mail client. In addition, Postmark's
colorful user-interface makes sorting, searching, reading and composing e-
mail messages fun! And, that's not all.

This powerful new application features HTML & RTF support (as well as plain
text), drag & drop attachments, built-in address book, spell checking, auto-
forwarding, pager support, advanced inbound and outbound message filters,
multiple POP accounts, as well as MIME & uuencode. And, best of all,
Postmark includes great sound effects, "smileys" and interface "themes", as
well as a fully customizable toolbar.

   Home Page Site - http://www.anawave.com/postmark/index.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

F-Prot 16-bit 2.27a                8/05/97    1.0mb Free

  F-prot has many ways to protect your information against viruses,
including the new Word-specific macro viruses. You can select the
appropriate methods to use in your organization or use them all for maximum
security: 1)a resident DOS scanner -- VIRSTOP 2)a resident Windows scanner
-- F-PROT Gatekeeper VxD 3)a non-resident DOS scanner with excellent
disinfection features 4)a rule based scanner to detect previously unknown
viruses 5)a checksumming program which, in addition to detecting, is also
able to disinfect previously unknown viruses 6)a wide array of automation
and scheduling utilities to completely automate both the installation and
scanning phases.

   Home Page Site - http://www.europe.datafellows.com/f-prot/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

DGPlayer95 Version 2.81            8/01/97    2,370kb  Shareware $15.00

  A full featured Windows95 CD player which uses Digital LED and Dot Matrix
Display Basic CD controls, 5 Play Modes,Accelerator Key,Programmable up to
25 songs, 4 Time Display Modes,Customizable Display Color, Autorun
(g),Direct Play from Windows Explorer,Minimize to Task Bar or System Tray,
CD Recognition, CD Title and 70 Track Names entry for each particular CD,
Time saving CD data Import from / Export to Microsoft CDPlayer, Handy Pop
up menu when minimized as tray icon, 10 controllable volume levels, Always
on Top, CHANGABLE BACKGROUND, Start Minimized/ In Tray, Easy to Use
Interface. Now gives more of a 3D look. Supports BMP/GIF theme.
Customizable FF/RR/speed. Requires the VB 5.0 Runtimes.

   Home Page Site -
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/8688/index.html


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

WinZip 32-bit 6.3 beta 5           8/06/97    .70mb Shareware $29

  A great utility for zipping and unzipping files. This is an absolute must
if you want to uncompress zipped files you download from the internet or
elsewhere. It has "wizards" which will help novice users with some of the
more complicated tasks. This version lets you open and extract UUencoded,
XXencoded, BinHex, and MIME files. These files can be opened via the
File/Open dialog or via drag and drop. The new Actions->UUencode menu entry
makes it easy to encode files. The new File->Favorite Zip Folders lists all
Zip files in your favorite folders by date for easy access.

   Home Page Site - http://www.winzip.com/


Norton AntiVirus Version 4.0 B eta 8/05/97    5,710kb  Demo

  This version of our antivirus product will incorporate Symantec's
revolutionary Bloodhound technology which moves well beyond traditional
methods of virus detection and can detect a large percentage of new and
unknown viruses that have not yet been analyzed by antivirus researchers.

   Home Page Site - http://www.symantec.com/


Name/Version                       Release Date     Size    Price

McAfee Scan for Windows 95 Version 3.1.0      8/05/97  3,900kb   Shareware
$65.00

  The most popular shareware virus scanner! Comes complete with ViruShield.

   Home Page Site - http://www.mcafee.com/




































EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


                                  Edupage
Contents

Ellison Says Jobs Will Take The Job
The People And Markets In Apple's
Eye
Sun To Buy Diba
Macs Outperform PCs In Digital
Media Production
Exponential To Auction Chip Patents
First HTML Digital Library In The
Computer Field
Justice Department Approves
Microsoft Purchase Of WebTV
The Domain Name Called Prince
"Watch-Class" Personal Digital
Assistant
Wind-Up Computer
Bill Would Make Software Copying A
Felony
New Intel Ad Policy Could Boost Web
Advertising 40%
Progressive Networks And MCI To
Offer Multicast Video
Apple Cloners Get Mac Os 8,
Rhapsody Future Still Gray
Internet 2's Killer Apps
BellSouth Prepares Invasion Of
Other Markets
Java Still Brewing
Spam Wars
Looking Back On Amelio's Apple Days
Wired Cools Off, Discovers
Continent "West Of California"
Microsoft Comes To Aid Of Apple
Some Reactions To Apple
Announcements
New Tech PAC Pushes Securities Law
Change
NSF Requires Grantees To Be 2000-
Compliant
Intel, SAP Unit Plan Internet
Commerce Venture
Material Shipments In A Material
World
Pepco To Offer Telephone, Internet,
Cable TV Services
The Net Is Alive With The Sound Of
Music
DVD Notebooks Due Out Soon

                    ELLISON SAYS JOBS WILL TAKE THE JOB

According to an interview in Friday's La Tribune, a French financial
newspaper, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says he will be  taking a seat on
Apple's board of directors, and that despite reports to the contrary, Steve
Jobs will become chairman.  In  addition, Ellison says he plans to invest
an undisclosed amount of his personal wealth in Apple, as a hedge against a
Microsoft monopoly.  (InfoWorld Electric 1 Aug 97)

                   THE PEOPLE AND MARKETS IN APPLE'S EYE

Meanwhile, while he is working hard at recruiting a new CEO and new board
members for Apple, Steve Jobs is  refocusing the company on the education
and publishing markets and mandating a crash program to develop a stripped-
down "network computer" based on Macintosh technology and aimed at the home
and education markets.  His first choice  for new CEO is Kodak chief
executive George M.C. Fisher, but Fisher has been saying that he has no
desire to leave  Kodak.  As new board members, Jobs wants Larry Ellison of
Oracle, John Warnock of Adobe, and investment banker  Daniel Case of
Hambrecht & Quist. (New York Times 1 Aug 97)

                              SUN TO BUY DIBA

Sun Microsystems will buy Internet appliance software designer Diba for an
undisclosed sum.  Diba has made a name for  itself designing technology to
run so-called "information appliances" aimed a broad consumer base, such as
TV set-top  boxes, screen telephones and circuitry to transform televisions
into Internet devices.  (Wall Street Journal 1 Aug 97)

              MACS OUTPERFORM PCs IN DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION

An independently funded research study by Gistics, Inc. (Larkspur, Calif.)
found that users of Macintosh computers  produced on an average $26,441
more annual revenue and $14,488 more net profit per person than Windows
users of comparable skill, doing similar work.  The results are based on a
survey of 30,226 media professionals and 10,000 media  companies.  "We were
surprised," says Gistics' editor-in-chief.  "But the bottom line is, if you
want to make a profit as a   media production studio, large or small, buy a
Mac, because the return on investment is clear."  < research@gistics.com >
(Information Week, 28 Jul 97)

                    EXPONENTIAL TO AUCTION CHIP PATENTS

Defunct microprocessor manufacturer Exponential Technology is preparing to
auction off its portfolio of 45 granted and  pending patents, and industry
experts anticipate a scramble for the rights to inventions that could
provide a shortcut to  creating chips to rival Intel's next-generation
Merced microprocessor.  "It's a very good portfolio," says a patent expert.
"It will make it easier for people to compete with Intel or license patents
from them."  He notes that Exponential filed for a  Merced-like patent on
Aug. 31, 1994, about six months before Intel filed for a similar patent.
"This filing predates Intel's  filing and it is possible it could knock out
their Merced patent," says a consulting patent agent for Exponential.  "It
has  strategic value."  Meanwhile, Intel is also in discussions with
Exponential, and is considering bidding on the portfolio in  order to keep
it out of rivals' hands.  (Wall Street Journal 1 Aug 97)

             FIRST HTML DIGITAL LIBRARY IN THE COMPUTER FIELD

Seventeen of the IEEE Computer Society's 19 magazines are now being made
available online http://www.computer.org    As each periodical issue is
completed, the tables of contents, article abstracts, and PDF versions of
the individual  articles are posted on the Web -- ahead of the mailing of
the paper edition.  Later, the issue's complete contents will be  posted in
HTML form:  full text searchable, with math rendered as GIF images, all
graphical images as separately  manipulable objects, etc. At the end of
this year access will be limited to Society members, but currently access
is free to  everyone.  (Computer Magazine Aug 97)

                   JUSTICE DEPARTMENT APPROVES MICROSOFT
                             PURCHASE OF WEBTV

The Justice Department has approved Microsoft's $425-million acquisition of
WebTV Networks, saying that the  Department's investigation of the deal
"confirmed that a number of other companies, several of whom are
significant  participants in the computer or consumer electronics
industries, have or  will soon enter the market with competitive  products
and alternative technologies'' and concluding that the acquisition would
not be in violation of anti-trust laws.   Microsoft executive Craig Mundie
says: "We hope to dramatically accelerate the merger of the Internet and
television."   (AP 1Aug 97)

                       THE DOMAIN NAME CALLED PRINCE

Prince Sports Group, a U.S.-based manufacturer of sports equipment that
owns both U.S. and British registered  trademarks to the name "Prince," is
demanding the right to the prince.com domain name, even though the British-
based  Prince Plc, a computer services firm, has been using it since 1995
when it registered the name with Network Solutions  Inc.  An English judge
has refused Prince Sports Group's request that Prince Plc hand over the
name, so the case likely  will be settled in the U.S. court where Prince
Sports Group also has filed suit.  The case is significant because Prince
Plc  claims that companies that have done business for several years under
a recognized brand name should be recognized by  Network Solutions as
having a legitimate claim to the name, even if they don't hold a trademark.
"This decision shows  the care which must be taken in dealing with problems
arising on the Internet," says a British trademark lawyer. "What  may be
perfectly acceptable practice in one jurisdiction may be unlawful in
another." (TechWire 31 Jul 97)

                 "WATCH-CLASS" PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT

Starfish Software and Citizen Watch have teamed up to produce the Rolodex
Electronic Express (REX) -- a 1.4-ounce  "watch-class wearable device" that
can store thousands of names, appointments and memos using a Type II PC
Card.  The  REX comes with its own LCD screen and runs six "micro-
applications":  calendar, address list, to-do list, memo, world   clock,
and preferences tool kit functions.  "With technology like this, I expect
that you will see that same device with a  pager built into it in the near
future," says the editor of Seybold's Outlook on Communications.  "It's
going to be a hot   product, and at $99, it's a no-brainer." (InfoWorld
Electric 31 Jul 97)

                             WIND-UP COMPUTER

A demonstration at an educational conference in Botswana showed that a low-
powered Apple E-Mate 300 computer could  be connected to a radio powered by
a wind-up generator.  Trevor Baylis, inventor of the clockwork radio, said
he was  contacted by exhibitors from Apple Computer to see if his radio,
which has a jack in the back to plug in a flashlight, could  be used to
power a laptop computer.  The E-Mate 300 laptop will run for 24 hours on a
single charge.   (Sapa-DPA 1 Aug 97)

                 BILL WOULD MAKE SOFTWARE COPYING A FELONY

A bill sponsored by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) and supported by the
Software Publishers Association would make it a  felony to copy more than
$5,000 worth of software.  The "No Electronic Theft Act" stipulates that
any person who  reproduces 10 or more copies of copyright software totaling
more  than $5,000 could land a three-year jail sentence.  A  second offense
could  net six years in a federal prison.  The bill is designed to close
the current loophole that exempts  software copying from criminal
prosecution unless it is willful and for profit.  The U.S. Senate is
considering a similar bill.  (PC World Online 4 Aug 97)

                      NEW INTEL AD POLICY COULD BOOST
                            WEB ADVERTISING 40%

A change in Intel's cooperative advertising policy could boost next year's
Internet ad expenditures by up to 40%, or $166  million, over and above the
roughly $400 million that Forrester Research estimates will be spent on
Internet ads this year.   Up until now, Intel has reimbursed hardware
companies that incorporate the Intel logo or "Intel Inside" slogan in their
ads  50% for a television ad and 66% for a print ad.  Starting next year,
Intel will allow companies to use 10% of the funds in  the advertising
account to pay for half the cost of a Web ad.  "Intel decided that we
wanted to be on the Web and that we  needed our customers' help," says the
manager of the Intel Inside program.  "Do we know exactly what we're going
to get out of this Web program?  No."  (Wall Street Journal 5 Aug 97)

           PROGRESSIVE NETWORKS AND MCI TO OFFER MULTICAST VIDEO

Seattle-based Progressive Networks is forming a partnership with MCI to
develop a video multicast capability for  distributing digital video
programs to as many as 50,000 PC users simultaneously.  The project is
described as  the first  phase of a technology that will eventually be able
to offer digital television at a quality as good as provided by
conventional TV broadcasts.  (New York Times 5 Aug 97)

          APPLE CLONERS GET MAC OS 8, RHAPSODY FUTURE STILL GRAY

It appears that Apple Macintosh cloners will be allowed to use the new Mac
OS 8 software in their machines under the  terms of their current licenses,
but new agreements will likely be necessary before the clone makers can get
their hands   n Apple's next-generation Rhapsody operating system.  In
addition, Apple hasn't yet committed to licensing the software  needed to
begin making Mac-compatibles using a new hardware design called the Common
Reference Hardware  Platform, or CRHP.  "We are very concerned for the
viability of our ongoing business," says a VP at Umax, one of the
companies producing Mac clones, which was granted access to Mac OS 8 late
last week. (Wall Street Journal 4 Aug 97)

                         INTERNET 2'S KILLER APPS

Some of the applications being proposed by Internet 2 participants include
"virtual laboratories," where researchers in   geographically remote
locations can don goggles and data gloves to work together with colleagues
using centralized lab  equipment, and "tele-immersion," where researchers
and students at different universities put on headsets to enter a shared
workspace for product or architectural design.  Advanced digital libraries
could track patrons' interests via "user profiles"  kept on centralized
computers that then automatically e-mailed digital versions of new books or
articles that matched a  profile.  Music scholars could "jam" with
musicians  around the country.  But one of the most difficult applications,
says the director of the project's applications group, will be the
development of a traffic-regulating system to provide "quality  of service"
-- a mechanism that will allow a time-sensitive transmission, such as video
from an electron microscope, to be  given priority over e-mail.  (Chronicle
of Higher Education 8 Aug 97)

               BELLSOUTH PREPARES INVASION OF OTHER MARKETS

BellSouth, the Atlanta-based Bell regional operating company, is creating a
new subsidiary that will act as a "Competitive  Local Exchange Carrier
(CLEC)" allowing it to resell BellSouth services in new markets and to
change the prices as the  market dictates -- unlike the parent company,
which is heavily regulated because it enjoys a virtual monopoly on local
phone service within its Southeastern markets.  (Atlanta Journal-
Constitution 5 Aug 97)

                            JAVA STILL BREWING

After all the hype last year about Sun Microsystems' Java programming
language, it has yet to really hit the mainstream of  computer programming
languages.  A Forrester Research survey in May found that only 16% of
companies that said they  would use Java had actually installed any Java
applications.  And a Zona Research study last month indicated that 50% of
respondents were worried about the software's ability to run on all
platforms.  Forty-three percent of the 279 companies  involved questioned
whether Java was fast enough for their needs.  In response to such doubts,
combined with the fear of  the proliferation of too many Java versions, Sun
and its corporate partners have formed an alliance called "100% Pure
Java." "There is no question there is support in the industry for Java,"
says a Zona analyst.  "The real question is whether  Java is ready for
prime time... This is a very immature technology, only about two years old.
It was decades before other  programming languages hit their peak in
functionality." (Investor's Business Daily 4 Aug 97)

                                 SPAM WARS

A group of system administrators has decided to fight the "spam" problem
(mass-distributed unsolicited advertisements  sent inappropriately) by
blocking all Usenet messages postings sent from UUNet, a major Internet
service provider.  Both  sides in the controversy are describing the
conflict in terms of warfare.  The Electronic Freedom Foundation's legal
counsel, Mike Godwin, deplores the blockade as an example of "vigilante
action," and says:  "I'm very much in sympathy  because spam really has
become an enormous problem, but not all the messages they're blocking are
spam.  This is like  dropping a nuclear bomb on a town because you know
there's a terrorist living there."  Whereas Dennis McClain-Furman,
spokesman for the group that organized the blocking of all postings to
Usenet from UUNet, says:  "We are convinced this  action was necessary to
save the Net... In military terms, this is acceptable collateral damage."
(San Jose Mercury News 5 Aug 97)

                    LOOKING BACK ON AMELIO'S APPLE DAYS

Asked whether he felt "beat up" after his forced resignation as chief
executive of Apple Computer, Gil Amelio says: "I  feel the press has been a
little harder on me than is justified.  They've taken the real simple
story: 'Gil ran the place for 17  months, and Apple is still not making
money, so I guess they need to try somebody else.'  The story is more
complicated  and positive than that... I don't think the company would have
survived if I hadn't stepped in. I solved the cash crisis,  articulated a
strategy for the operating system and put in place the operating discipline
that resulted in getting great  products out on time. The pride in Apple
had started to come back."  Does Amelio think Oracle's Larry Ellison --
recruited  to Apple's board of directors by Steve Jobs -- is a good choice?
"Larry is very smart but a very strong personality. If you  are bringing in
a CEO, and he is trying to do his own thing, and he has Jobs on one hand
and Ellison on the other, I think  it is going to be difficult."  And what
about rumors that Jobs engineered Amelio's ouster?  "You are asking me to
speculate.  Steve called me here and made a strong statement that he had
nothing to do with it and that he had the highest  regard for me, blah,
blah, blah."  (USA Today 4 Aug 97)

                   WIRED COOLS OFF, DISCOVERS CONTINENT
                           "WEST OF CALIFORNIA"

Wired magazine is hoping to reinvent itself:  "You can only be cool once,"
says Wired executive editor Kevin Kelly, "so I  think we're going into a
postcool period and we're going to be as radical as we can without being
cool." The new  direction?  "I don't think at all that the storm has passed
or the rebels have cleared the street.  So we'll still be there trying  to
scout ahead and report back from this other continent west of California
that we call the future.  All we're saying is this  revolution is bigger
than you thought."  (New York Times 4 Aug 97)

                      MICROSOFT COMES TO AID OF APPLE

Stunned Macintosh enthusiasts at the Macworld trade show in Boston heard
their idol, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs,  announce that Microsoft will
invest $150 million for a nonvoting stake in Apple.  Jobs also announced
that Microsoft  Explorer will be preinstalled on new Macintosh computers
and that the two companies will work together in a variety of  other ways.
A live ideo appearance by Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates was greeted
by boos and jeers from some in  the audience, but Jobs told the hecklers
that they should be grateful to Gates for coming to Apple's assistance.
The  conference was also used to announce that the new Apple board of
directors would consist of Bill Campbell, chief  executive of Intuit;
Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle; Jerome York, vice chair of the
Tracinda investment  company;  Jobs himself; and board holdovers Edgar
Woolard Jr. and Gareth C.C. Chang.  (San Jose Mercury News 6 Aug  97)

                   SOME REACTIONS TO APPLE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Among the questions still facing Apple is who the new chief executive
officer will be, and how he or she will interact with  the board of
directors.  Industry analyst Greg Blatnik says that "it's kind of like
Berlin.  You have the rubble and the  devastation of a ravaged city and you
have the occupation forces coming in and maybe dividing it up.  The
question is:  Is  a wall going to go up?"  Microsoft seems to be a clear
winner in the deal, which protects the substantial revenue stream  that
comes from Macintosh versions of Microsoft word processing and spreadsheet
software -- and which, by keeping  Apple afloat as a viable competitor,
will help protect Microsoft from federal antitrust charges.  The losers,
presumably,  are Sun, which champions Java-based network computers rather
than fully loaded PCs, along with Netscape, since  Netscape's Navigator
software has now lost to Explorer as the preferred Web browser for
Macintosh computers.  (New  York Times 7 Aug 97)

                 NEW TECH PAC PUSHES SECURITIES LAW CHANGE

The recently formed Technology Network, a high-tech public policy
association, is supporting federal legislation that  would curb the
frivolous shareholder class-action lawsuits now cluttering state courts,
after a 1995 law made it difficult to  file such cases in federal court.
President Clinton has indicated his willingness to sign such a law.
"Without uniform standards, companies can't risk giving investors
appropriate forward-looking information," says Technology Network co-
chairman John Doerr.  "Today's state-by-state, haphazard approach leaves
companies vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits and  investors without
meaningful forecasts.  The state-by-state approach is out of date with the
demands of global competition  and the goal of encouraging risk-taking
entrepreneurs."  (TechWire 6 Aug 97)

                NSF REQUIRES GRANTEES TO BE 2000-COMPLIANT

The National Science Foundation issued a warning to grant recipients last
week, putting them on notice that the  Foundation expects them to take "all
steps necessary to mitigate potential problems" resulting from the Year
2000  problem.  "Many computer systems may experience operational
difficulties because they are unable to handle the change  from the year
1999 to the year 2000," said the Foundation's director.  "Others may fail
because they do not  properly  consider 2000 a leap year...  The National
Science Foundation  should be notified if an awardee concludes that the
Year  2000 will have a significant impact on its ability to carry out an
NSF grant."  (Chronicle of Higher Education 8 Aug 97)

              INTEL, SAP UNIT PLAN INTERNET COMMERCE VENTURE

Intel Corp. and SAP America, a unit of the German database firm, are
teaming up to offer small- and medium-size  businesses hardware and
software aimed at making Internet commerce easier.  The new company,
Pandesic LLC, will  offer a new product, priced between $20,000 and
$40,000, based on Intel servers and a simplified version of SAP's R/3
business-management software.  The new system will handle matters such as
accounting and logistics of sales over the  Internet.  Pandesic officials
say it will only take about six weeks to deploy the new system.  (Wall
Street Journal 6 Aug 97)

                  MATERIAL SHIPMENTS IN A MATERIAL WORLD

A search of a dozen top Internet shopping sites on Tuesday found only one -
- bookseller amazon.com -- had posted  information about the effect the UPS
strike would have on the delivery of its shipments.  Internet entrepreneur
Bill Gross  of Idealab! Inc. says:  "Just like if you thought computers
would make paper obsolete, you'd be wrong to think the Internet  will make
final delivery obsolete."  Package delivery "is the distribution of the
future." (USA Today 7 Aug 97)

           PEPCO TO OFFER TELEPHONE, INTERNET, CABLE TV SERVICES

Washington, D.C. utility Potomac Electric Power Company plans to partner
with telecom start-up RCN Corp. to offer  bundled telephone, Internet and
cable TV services via a fiber-optic network the two companies plan to
construct.  The  joint venture hopes to expand beyond the District and
close-in suburbs to reach more than 40 communities within three  years, and
could eventually serve as many as 200 communities.  (Communications Week
Interactive 6 Aug 97)

                 THE NET IS ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Record companies Warner, Sony, and BMG -- which together account for more
than 40% of all U.S. sales of music CDs  and cassettes -- are going to sell
almost all of their new and past released direct to the public over the
Internet.  Of the  three, Sony is taking the most aggressive approach to
online retailing, and has lowered the online prices lower than the  full
list price to levels equivalent to the established record chains such as
Tower and Camelot and online music specialists  such as CDnow and
Entertainment Boulevard.  (Financial Times 7 Aug 97)

                        DVD NOTEBOOKS DUE OUT SOON

Toshiba is putting the finishing touches on a slim DVD-ROM drive that will
be incorporated into the company's notebook  PCs in the next few months.
The DVD-equipped machine will feature an Intel Pentium MMX CPU and an MPEG-
2 decoder necessary for decompressing data from the DVD drive.  The new PCs
will be backward-compatible with today's  CD-ROM drives.  (InfoWorld
Electric 6 Aug 97)
                                     
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My background is in real-time digital audio & video. I have many designs
which address many related issues currently in use around the world. My
colleagues and I have written pattern-matching algorithms for the last
several years and we have established several hard and fast guidelines to
governing this process. (I'm sorry if I sound like I'm lecturing... I just
want everyone to understand the scope of this undertaking. I hope it will
prove to be helpful.) The following should help everyone to see what is
involved in any digital recognition process.

  1. Waveform data CAN be processed to detect OBVIOUS tempo and rhythm
     information by looking at the consistant spikes (quick bursts) of
     sound where there are quick attack and decay characteristics. (such as
     a drum beat.) Where a pattern is distinguishable, a tempo MIGHT be
     discernible. (Any irregularities in the flow could throw off the
     timing parameters the computer may be establishing.)

  2. Any single instrument during a solo could possibly be detected as a
     trackable pattern for recognizing individual notes and chords provided
     there are no irregularities about the instrument (such as a variance
     in attack or differing harmonics produced during variations in volume
     of the individual notes played, etc.). The pattern can be filtered out
     of a simple mix provided it does not get "lost" in the mix and can be
     used to identify individual notes played by THAT INSTRUMENT (as
     opposed to all the other instruments in the mix [The whole point of
     this process!]) which is the basis for generating a MIDI file.

NOW... If this sounds complicated enough, we are about to get into the REAL
issue of the WAV to MIDI conversion process. Let's look into what reality
brings into the picture...

  1. Most music is an amalgam of several instruments (instrument sounds)
     mixed together to produce the final effect.
  2. Instrument sounds are rarely ever "dry" in the mix. (In other words,
     there is almost inevitably a series of special effects and signal
     processing techniques applied to each instrument or instrument group
     such as reverb, flanging, distortion, delay, etc.)
  3. Several types of sounds have sharp attack and decay characteristics
     which can be interperated as "percussive" in nature.
  4. The overall subtleties that create the mood and "human factor"
     (non-mechanical feeling) of the production are the key factors used to
     set the velocity, sustain, and decay (note-on, sustain controller, and
     note off) and any related information in the resulting MIDI file.

Now let's look into the ENORMOUS task the recognition process would have to
undergo...

Since the instrument sounds are most often mixed with other sounds, there
is no "automatic" way to tell the difference between, say, rich strings, a
French horn, and a guitar mixed together. True, we can detect the attack
characteristic of the French horn as differing from that of the strings,
but at the precise moment the attack is detected, how many other sounds are
playing? Since waveform data does not identify that the sound we are
currently hearing consists of, say, 3 or 10 or 50 different instruments,
the recognition process records THE AMALGAM or MIX of ALL INSTRUMENT SOUNDS
present at that moment AS THE INSTRUMENT THAT GENERATED THE ATTACK. After
which, the computer will look for a close match to the amalgam recorded
previously when another attack is detected. Since that is unlikely to
occur, our French horn (with several other sounds) amalgam (or complex
instrument) will likely not be perceived by the computer again during the
duration of the song. Instead, the attack will inevitabley create a
recording of a new "complex instrument" to be identified as yet one more
instrument in the MIDI file. The overall effect is one or two notes in the
MIDI file for each of hundreds of "complex instruments" over the duration
of the song. (Hardly what we're looking for.)

THE SOLUTION? We, as humans, can identify individual instruments in a mix
of many as a result of a recorded memory of all the different instrument
sounds we are exposed to over our lifetimes. When we hear a new sound, we
can usually distinguish it from the other known instruments by
"extrapolation" of the unknown from the known. Therefore, we can expand our
memory (database) of instruments dynamically and (hopefully) perpetually.

  1. For the computer to accomplish the same task, it has to be given the
     same database (memory) of instrument sounds we have acquired (ideally,
     all instrument sounds known to mankind). Additionally, we have to give
     it the correct artificial intelligence programming to allow its
     database to grow as it discerns new sounds.
  2. As we may (or may not) be aware, there exists an exhaustive list of
     special effects (which grows as quickly as the list of known
     instrument sounds) to further complicate things. Even given a database
     of known instrument sounds, the computer hears a "dry" guitar (one
     with no effects- such as distortion- at all) as being a different
     instrument from the same guitar with distortion and reverb effects
     applied. Meaning, we now have to expand the computer's database to
     include the several billion known effect styles. Additionally, we have
     to program it with the ability to distinguish between new instrument
     sound and new effect. (I love that one!)
  3. Given that we are successful up to this point, we can reward ourselves
     with the knowledge that we now have the basis for isolating the sharp
     attack characteristic of a drum as being different from the same type
     of attack a piano (also a percussive instrument) will generate. This
     does mean, however, that we must be expecting our percussive
     instruments to be the traditional snare, kick (bass) drum, hand clap,
     and any other instrument normally used to establish the overall rhythm
     or tempo. If a non traditional approach is used, we now have more
     programming to implement. Fortunately, if it is as simple as a unique
     sound being used to establish the meter (such as the finger snap used
     in "I'm Gonna Get You Baby" by Bizarre Inc. to maintain the constant
     rhythm.) we can simply identify to the computer that it is to track
     that sound and use it to generate the tempo settings for the MIDI
     file. But what if the song is a capella (i.e. a song made up of purely
     vocal melody and harmony having no instrument sounds at all)? We,
     then, have no instrument sounds to lock onto for the purpose of
     establishing tempo. Here, again, we have to do our programming to give
     the computer the ability to use the human equivalent of the intuitive
     "feel" of the song's tempo.
  4. To be fair, we can use more than strictly attack and pattern
     characteristics to detect an instrument. We could likely use the
     frequency content and characteristics of an instrument sound to
     further increase the odds of successful recognition. (This is, in
     fact, one of the many additional factors used in any recognition
     process to narrow in on and isolate individual producers of similar
     patterns, such as two different people saying the same word.)
  5. Of the most difficult issues to address, subtleties in the recording
     are probably the most difficult qualities to translate into MIDI data.
     Capturing controller data proposes the greatest challange to even a
     human musician. Of these, sustain and, possibly, pitch-bend would be
     the easiest to handle. Velocity information (volume of each note as it
     is played) is a highly subjective concept to the listener. The reason
     stems from the differences in each person's hearing awareness and
     sensitivity, coupled with the psychological biasing of the
     individual's social, educational, and artisic makeup as well as any
     preferences the listener may have. What a computer perceives may match
     the programmer's critera while being totally foreign to other
     musicians. I will leave the philosophy of this portion of our
     discussion for you to ponder at your own convenience.

To conclude this adventure, I must add the following points and summary:

** We have only discussed four MAJOR aspects of the recognition process
affecting the possibility of WAV to MIDI conversion. There are MANY more
factors to consider. It should be noted that this endeavor makes even the
most extravagant voice recognition project look like "baby food" by
comparison. (I would like to acknowledge the success of all those who have
produced successful voice recognition systems... They have beaten many odds
and proved that the human mind has the potential to discover ways to
overcome nearly any obstacle if the "user's" own determination and
creativity flows abundantly.)

In summary:

  1. The database necessary to store a decent set of samples of each of the
     several billion known instrument sounds and samples of the billions of
     known special effects would take up several MILLION TERABYTES of
     storage. (Not to mention the allocation of storage space necessary to
     allow the database to grow!)
  2. The number of bytes needing to be evaluated, compared, and filtered
     through in any one second of recorded time (not necessarily real time)
     again reaches a value 176400 times greater than the total size of the
     database mentioned in (1) above. (176400 represents the number of
     bytes per second in a stereo CD. You have 44100 discrete samples of
     sound per second times 2 bytes per 16-bit sample times 2 channels for
     stereo equaling 176400 bytes per second.) If the database was already
     several MILLION terra-bytes in size, this process would have to work
     with several BILLION TERABYTES for every recorded second of material.
  3. Even with supercomputer technology where it is now, it would take
     1000000 of the fastest supercomputers known to man (like a few Cray
     Y-MP's and DEC Alpha 500's w/4 processors side by side) SEVERAL WEEKS
     to process ONE SECOND of recorded material.

Think of it this way: If you don't mind spending more than the US national
debt on computer equipment and waiting a few years for the job to complete,
you can have a system that MIGHT accurately convert the digital waveform
data of a 5 minute song into a small, compact MIDI file.

Otherwise, you can blow a couple of thousand dollars hiring a professional
band of studio musicians and engineers who can probably give you what you
want in about one day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.5 What is a .KAR file?

                                Han de Bruijn 

A .KAR file or (MIDI-) karaoke file is just a special case of a MIDI file.
Hence you can play any karaoke file with your favorite midi player, without
having to change anything. (Some players require a name ending with .MID
though; in that case, just rename the file.)

You can see the details if you convert a .KAR file to readable text with
help of the "mf2t" programs by Piet van Oostrum. (These are downloadable
from ' ftp.cs.ruu.nl:/pub/MIDI/PROGRAMS/MSDOS/mf2t.zip'). .KAR files make
extensive use of the Meta Text command, which is defined for standard MIDi
files.

A karaoke player is a MIDi player which displays the "Meta Text"s while
music is playing. A decent one is "MPLAY". It is free software; the author
can be contacted at henryso@panix.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.6 Can I convert a MIDI to a .WAV file?

                                  Ruediger Borrmann 

Try http://www.snafu.de/~rubo/songlab/midi2cs. I haven't actually tried it,
but it's a shareware program. Available for PCs, Linux, SunOS 4.1.2, and
NeXT 3.3.

                                              Jason Thibeault 

Also available, not only to produce emulated wavetable sound but to
transform
a midi into a high-quality (even CD-quality) .wav which can sometimes top 4
megs in length, is the great program WinGroove.  It's also shareware; look
up
wg09e.zip on www.filez.com.  Available for Windows only.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------



1. MIDI

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.1 What is MIDI all about?

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It is a standard,
first published in 1983 by the International MIDI Association (IMA), that
allows different musical instruments (commonly keyboards, but also guitars,
violins, etc.) and devices (synthesizer modules, computers, sound cards,
etc.) to be connected together.

The last "I" in MIDI stands for "interface" and neatly describes what MIDI
is exactly. It is a common interface, largely device-independent, that
allows different devices made by different manufacturers to communicate
with each other. Nothing more, nothing less.

MIDI data consists of signals, in the form of a series of codes or "events"
that tell an instrument or synthesizer, "start playing this note at this
volume," "stop playing this note," "play this channel using this instrument
sound," and so on. Of course it is actually more complex than this, but
essentially the important notion to grasp is that MIDI data does not
describe the sound of the instruments used in a song (in most cases,
anyways), but rather how those instruments are used (i.e. played) to form
the entire song.

For musicians, MIDI offers many possibilities, discussion of which would be
better left to someone more qualified. One example of these "possibilities"
is MIDI recording, which allows a single musician to compose songs that
would otherwise require several people to play the instruments. This makes
the art of composing more accessible, so anybody with a decent MIDI
synthesizer or MIDI-equipped computer system has the tools to put out some
fairly impressive work.

For us non-musicians, MIDI is another way to experience and enjoy music.
Whereas the 1000 or so MIDI files in my MIDI file collection take up about
20 megabytes of storage, a single digitally-recorded (CD quality) song
may take well over four times this space.  (Vikram Pant's collection is
well
over 1500, my personal one is only 1000.  I should start downloading more
midis!  ;)

There are two solutions to this storage problem: use a medium that can
store this massive amount of data in a compact, manageable form (i.e.,
DAT's and CD's), or make the songs in such a way that they take up much
less space (i.e., MIDI files).

Of course, CDDA (CD Digital Audio) and MIDI are two quite different media,
and IMHO should not be compared. In other words, those who complain that a
song in MIDI format doesn't sound as good as the CD version should go out
and buy the CD. (Which leads to another important point: MIDI files are
easily, and in most cases freely, distributed, while CD's tend to be
comparatively more pricey, and basically impractical (not to mention
illegal) to duplicate.)

MIDI music should be viewed in its own light, not as cheap approximations
"real" music. Innovations such as computers, the Internet, etc. have made
it possible for "ordinary" people to express their views, their feelings
and ideas on a worldwide scale; MIDI has done the same thing for amateur
musicians. As for MIDI tunes that cover an existing work, it's fine to
sequence a MIDI file to sound as much as possible like the original tune,
but no matter how good the MIDI artist or the synthesizer, nobody can get a
MIDI file to sing, nor should we expect it to do so.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.2 What are "MIDI's"?

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

"MIDI's" and "a MIDI" are terms that have been coined up most likely by
computer users, referring to what are formally called "MIDI files".

MIDI files are data files that contain a sequence (hence "a sequence," a
term referring loosely to MIDI files, and "to sequence", meaning to create
a MIDI file) of MIDI events. MIDI events are codes that tell a MIDI device
(such as a sound card with MIDI support, a stand-alone synthesizer module,
etc.), for example, to play a certain note, use a certain instrument sound
to play it, play at a certain tempo, etc. All these events, put together,
make up a single song or piece; some MIDI files contain a medley of several
songs, although these are infrequent.

1.2.1 What is GS and how does it differ from GM?

                                          Warren Buss (wbuss@primenet.com)

This is an excerpt from an original article in Electronic Musician 8/91 by
Chris Meyer.

Some companies feel that General MIDI doesn't go far enough, so Roland
created a superset of General MIDI Level 1, which they call GS Standard. It
obeys all the protocols and sound maps of General MIDI and adds many extra
controllers and sounds. Some of the controllers use Unregistered Parameter
Numbers to give macro control over synth parameters such as envelope attack
and decay rates.

The new MIDI bank Select message provides access to extra sounds (including
variations on the stock sounds and a re-creation of the MT-32 factory
patches). The programs in each bank align with the original 128 in General
MIDI's Instrument Patch Map, with eight banks housing related families. The
GS Standard includes a "fall back" system.

This means that a Roland GS Standard sound module will correctly play back
any song designed for General MIDI. In addition, if the song's creator
wants to create some extra nuance, they can include the GS Standard
extensions in their sequence. None of these extensions are so radical as to
make the song unplayable on a normal GM sound module.

This way, compatibility is maintained.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.3 What are differences between sound files, .MOD-type files, and MIDI
files?

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

Sound files, such as WAV, VOC and AU files, consist of what is called
"waveform data." Sound is propagated in sound waves, which are (in simple
terms) waves of variation in air pressure caused by physical phenomena such
as vibrating vocal cords, the vibrations of the reed as air flows through a
flute, aircraft breaking the sound barrier, or anything else that produces
sound.

Waveform data means a digital representation of those sound waves. CD's and
DAT's (Digital Audio Tapes) store digital waveform data. (Normal audio
cassettes and vinyl records store analog waveform data.) "Digital" means
that the analog sound data are converted into numbers in the recording
process. In playback, the reverse occurs: numbers are translated back into
analog signals used to activate speakers and thus re-create the original
recorded sound. Thus, WAV-type files and the like truly "describe" a sound.

It is important to remember that (the greate majority of) MIDI files do not
actually contain any sound data. MIDI data does not, generally, describe a
sound; it indicates how to play specific sounds (at certain pitches, with
certain volumes, for certain amounts of time, etc.), in such a way that we
can appreciate (or not appreciate :-) which we call "music."

MOD-type files could be described as a hybrid of MIDI files and sound
files. By this we mean that they have characteristics of both MIDI files
and sound files. MOD-type files incorporate sound data, called "samples,"
and control codes that cause these samples to be played back as music.

The actual structure of these control codes is quite different from that of
MIDI events in MIDI files, but in both cases they serve to "describe" the
song. Programs exist that will convert MOD-type files to MIDI files, and
vice-versa, with varying degrees of success.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.4 Why can't I convert a .WAV file to a MIDI file?

1.4.1 The short, simple answer

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

No program exists that will analyze a .WAV-type file and "compose" a
corresponding MIDI file, for the simple reason that with current
technology,

IT CAN'T BE DONE.

1.4.2 A few more details...

Most "proposed" schemes involve operations such as Fast Fourier Transforms
(FFT's) and wavelet transforms, etc. These take a .WAV-type file, generally
called "waveform data," and, in the case of the Fourier transform, breaks
it down into its component sinusoidal wave frequencies and amplitudes. The
problem is that none of these algorithms yield the amount of information
nor precision needed for the job.

The problem is that when, say, the sounds of a hundred instruments in an
orchestra become mixed together and are recorded as a single sound (.WAV),
much of the information pertaining to each of those specific instruments is
irreversibly lost. Since you can't get something from nothing, it is
impossible to simply mechanically convert a .WAV back into its component
sounds and then into a MIDI file.

Humans can transcribe .WAV to MIDI because we are intelligent (or at least
we think we are). This means that our brains, with all the
previously-learned infor- mation stored in them, can take this scant
information and "fill in the blanks." For computers to do this is a similar
but much more difficult-to-implement process.

"Difficult" simply because of the sheer complexity of the algorithms that
would be required, and because of the barely imaginable computing power
(that isn't yet available needed to perform all these operations at a
reasonable rate.

(For a more detailed analysis of the problem, see section 1.4.3.)

There is of course a fairly easy way to literally convert a .WAV file to a
MIDI file, with wavetable devices that can take instrument sounds saved on
disk or such, for example the Gravis UltraSound and the Sound Blaster
AWE32. One simply converts the .WAV file into a very large MIDI instrument
sound, and then makes a MIDI file playing back that instrument at the
appropriate frequency. But what would be the point, when one might as well
keep the .WAV file in the first place?

1.4.3 The definitive answer

                              Randy Lynn Tusch 

My background is in real-time digital audio & video. I have many designs
which address many related issues currently in use around the world. My
colleagues and I have written pattern-matching algorithms for the last
several years and we have established several hard and fast guidelines to
governing this process. (I'm sorry if I sound like I'm lecturing... I just
want everyone to understand the scope of this undertaking. I hope it will
prove to be helpful.) The following should help everyone to see what is
involved in any digital recognition process.

  1. Waveform data CAN be processed to detect OBVIOUS tempo and rhythm
     information by looking at the consistant spikes (quick bursts) of
     sound where there are quick attack and decay characteristics. (such as
     a drum beat.) Where a pattern is distinguishable, a tempo MIGHT be
     discernible. (Any irregularities in the flow could throw off the
     timing parameters the computer may be establishing.)

  2. Any single instrument during a solo could possibly be detected as a
     trackable pattern for recognizing individual notes and chords provided
     there are no irregularities about the instrument (such as a variance
     in attack or differing harmonics produced during variations in volume
     of the individual notes played, etc.). The pattern can be filtered out
     of a simple mix provided it does not get "lost" in the mix and can be
     used to identify individual notes played by THAT INSTRUMENT (as
     opposed to all the other instruments in the mix [The whole point of
     this process!]) which is the basis for generating a MIDI file.

NOW... If this sounds complicated enough, we are about to get into the REAL
issue of the WAV to MIDI conversion process. Let's look into what reality
brings into the picture...

  1. Most music is an amalgam of several instruments (instrument sounds)
     mixed together to produce the final effect.
  2. Instrument sounds are rarely ever "dry" in the mix. (In other words,
     there is almost inevitably a series of special effects and signal
     processing techniques applied to each instrument or instrument group
     such as reverb, flanging, distortion, delay, etc.)
  3. Several types of sounds have sharp attack and decay characteristics
     which can be interperated as "percussive" in nature.
  4. The overall subtleties that create the mood and "human factor"
     (non-mechanical feeling) of the production are the key factors used to
     set the velocity, sustain, and decay (note-on, sustain controller, and
     note off) and any related information in the resulting MIDI file.

Now let's look into the ENORMOUS task the recognition process would have to
undergo...

Since the instrument sounds are most often mixed with other sounds, there
is no "automatic" way to tell the difference between, say, rich strings, a
French horn, and a guitar mixed together. True, we can detect the attack
characteristic of the French horn as differing from that of the strings,
but at the precise moment the attack is detected, how many other sounds are
playing? Since waveform data does not identify that the sound we are
currently hearing consists of, say, 3 or 10 or 50 different instruments,
the recognition process records THE AMALGAM or MIX of ALL INSTRUMENT SOUNDS
present at that moment AS THE INSTRUMENT THAT GENERATED THE ATTACK. After
which, the computer will look for a close match to the amalgam recorded
previously when another attack is detected. Since that is unlikely to
occur, our French horn (with several other sounds) amalgam (or complex
instrument) will likely not be perceived by the computer again during the
duration of the song. Instead, the attack will inevitabley create a
recording of a new "complex instrument" to be identified as yet one more
instrument in the MIDI file. The overall effect is one or two notes in the
MIDI file for each of hundreds of "complex instruments" over the duration
of the song. (Hardly what we're looking for.)

THE SOLUTION? We, as humans, can identify individual instruments in a mix
of many as a result of a recorded memory of all the different instrument
sounds we are exposed to over our lifetimes. When we hear a new sound, we
can usually distinguish it from the other known instruments by
"extrapolation" of the unknown from the known. Therefore, we can expand our
memory (database) of instruments dynamically and (hopefully) perpetually.

  1. For the computer to accomplish the same task, it has to be given the
     same database (memory) of instrument sounds we have acquired (ideally,
     all instrument sounds known to mankind). Additionally, we have to give
     it the correct artificial intelligence programming to allow its
     database to grow as it discerns new sounds.
  2. As we may (or may not) be aware, there exists an exhaustive list of
     special effects (which grows as quickly as the list of known
     instrument sounds) to further complicate things. Even given a database
     of known instrument sounds, the computer hears a "dry" guitar (one
     with no effects- such as distortion- at all) as being a different
     instrument from the same guitar with distortion and reverb effects
     applied. Meaning, we now have to expand the computer's database to
     include the several billion known effect styles. Additionally, we have
     to program it with the ability to distinguish between new instrument
     sound and new effect. (I love that one!)
  3. Given that we are successful up to this point, we can reward ourselves
     with the knowledge that we now have the basis for isolating the sharp
     attack characteristic of a drum as being different from the same type
     of attack a piano (also a percussive instrument) will generate. This
     does mean, however, that we must be expecting our percussive
     instruments to be the traditional snare, kick (bass) drum, hand clap,
     and any other instrument normally used to establish the overall rhythm
     or tempo. If a non traditional approach is used, we now have more
     programming to implement. Fortunately, if it is as simple as a unique
     sound being used to establish the meter (such as the finger snap used
     in "I'm Gonna Get You Baby" by Bizarre Inc. to maintain the constant
     rhythm.) we can simply identify to the computer that it is to track
     that sound and use it to generate the tempo settings for the MIDI
     file. But what if the song is a capella (i.e. a song made up of purely
     vocal melody and harmony having no instrument sounds at all)? We,
     then, have no instrument sounds to lock onto for the purpose of
     establishing tempo. Here, again, we have to do our programming to give
     the computer the ability to use the human equivalent of the intuitive
     "feel" of the song's tempo.
  4. To be fair, we can use more than strictly attack and pattern
     characteristics to detect an instrument. We could likely use the
     frequency content and characteristics of an instrument sound to
     further increase the odds of successful recognition. (This is, in
     fact, one of the many additional factors used in any recognition
     process to narrow in on and isolate individual producers of similar
     patterns, such as two different people saying the same word.)
  5. Of the most difficult issues to address, subtleties in the recording
     are probably the most difficult qualities to translate into MIDI data.
     Capturing controller data proposes the greatest challange to even a
     human musician. Of these, sustain and, possibly, pitch-bend would be
     the easiest to handle. Velocity information (volume of each note as it
     is played) is a highly subjective concept to the listener. The reason
     stems from the differences in each person's hearing awareness and
     sensitivity, coupled with the psychological biasing of the
     individual's social, educational, and artisic makeup as well as any
     preferences the listener may have. What a computer perceives may match
     the programmer's critera while being totally foreign to other
     musicians. I will leave the philosophy of this portion of our
     discussion for you to ponder at your own convenience.

To conclude this adventure, I must add the following points and summary:

** We have only discussed four MAJOR aspects of the recognition process
affecting the possibility of WAV to MIDI conversion. There are MANY more
factors to consider. It should be noted that this endeavor makes even the
most extravagant voice recognition project look like "baby food" by
comparison. (I would like to acknowledge the success of all those who have
produced successful voice recognition systems... They have beaten many odds
and proved that the human mind has the potential to discover ways to
overcome nearly any obstacle if the "user's" own determination and
creativity flows abundantly.)

In summary:

  1. The database necessary to store a decent set of samples of each of the
     several billion known instrument sounds and samples of the billions of
     known special effects would take up several MILLION TERABYTES of
     storage. (Not to mention the allocation of storage space necessary to
     allow the database to grow!)
  2. The number of bytes needing to be evaluated, compared, and filtered
     through in any one second of recorded time (not necessarily real time)
     again reaches a value 176400 times greater than the total size of the
     database mentioned in (1) above. (176400 represents the number of
     bytes per second in a stereo CD. You have 44100 discrete samples of
     sound per second times 2 bytes per 16-bit sample times 2 channels for
     stereo equaling 176400 bytes per second.) If the database was already
     several MILLION terra-bytes in size, this process would have to work
     with several BILLION TERABYTES for every recorded second of material.
  3. Even with supercomputer technology where it is now, it would take
     1000000 of the fastest supercomputers known to man (like a few Cray
     Y-MP's and DEC Alpha 500's w/4 processors side by side) SEVERAL WEEKS
     to process ONE SECOND of recorded material.

Think of it this way: If you don't mind spending more than the US national
debt on computer equipment and waiting a few years for the job to complete,
you can have a system that MIGHT accurately convert the digital waveform
data of a 5 minute song into a small, compact MIDI file.

Otherwise, you can blow a couple of thousand dollars hiring a professional
band of studio musicians and engineers who can probably give you what you
want in about one day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.5 What is a .KAR file?

                                Han de Bruijn 

A .KAR file or (MIDI-) karaoke file is just a special case of a MIDI file.
Hence you can play any karaoke file with your favorite midi player, without
having to change anything. (Some players require a name ending with .MID
though; in that case, just rename the file.)

You can see the details if you convert a .KAR file to readable text with
help of the "mf2t" programs by Piet van Oostrum. (These are downloadable
from ' ftp.cs.ruu.nl:/pub/MIDI/PROGRAMS/MSDOS/mf2t.zip'). .KAR files make
extensive use of the Meta Text command, which is defined for standard MIDi
files.

A karaoke player is a MIDi player which displays the "Meta Text"s while
music is playing. A decent one is "MPLAY". It is free software; the author
can be contacted at henryso@panix.com

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.6 Can I convert a MIDI to a .WAV file?

                                  Ruediger Borrmann 

Try http://www.snafu.de/~rubo/songlab/midi2cs. I haven't actually tried it,
but it's a shareware program. Available for PCs, Linux, SunOS 4.1.2, and
NeXT 3.3.

                                              Jason Thibeault 

Also available, not only to produce emulated wavetable sound but to
transform
a midi into a high-quality (even CD-quality) .wav which can sometimes top 4
megs in length, is the great program WinGroove.  It's also shareware; look
up
wg09e.zip on www.filez.com.  Available for Windows only.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------



3. MIDI playback devices

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2 MIDI devices

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.1 Gravis Ultrasound / Ultrasound Max

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Gravis UltraSound (GUS)                             |
     | (Advanced Gravis Computer Technologies Ltd.)        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Gravis GF1                                |
     | Output channels:  32 @19kHz/ch down to 14 @44kHz/ch |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz, 16-bit           |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1 kHz 8-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  wavetable, patches on disk (6 MB),    |
     |               32-note polyphony, GM                 |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | On-board memory:  256 kB DRAM, expandable to 1 MB   |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, high-speed joystick,    |
     |               mic. in, line in, line out, amp. out, |
     |               CD-ROM audio in                       |
     | Expansion:  Proprietary daughtercard support        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster and MT-32 emulation   |
     | Suggested retail price (USD): $150                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Gravis UltraSound Max (GUS Max)                     |
     | (Advanced Gravis Computer Technologies Ltd.)        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Gravis GF1, Crystal CODEC                 |
     | Output channels:  32 @19kHz/ch down to 14 @44kHz/ch |
     |                   2 @48kHz/ch                       |
     | Output rate/resolution:  48 kHz max., 16-bit        |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 48 kHz 16-bit, compression  |
     |                 supported in hardware               |
     | MIDI synth.:  wavetable, patches on disk (6 MB),    |
     |               32-note polyphony, GM                 |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | On-board memory:  512 kB DRAM, expandable to 1 MB   |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, high-speed joystick,    |
     |               mic. in, line in, line out, amp. out, |
     |               CD-ROM audio in, CD-ROM controller    |
     |               (Mitsumi, Panasonic, Sony)            |
     | Expansion:  Proprietary daughtercard support        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster and MT-32 emulation   |
     | Suggested retail price (USD): $200                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

When the GUS was first introduced into the market in 1992, it brought in a
term that was virtually unknown in the PC sound card scene: wavetable
synthesis. The quality of MIDI playback that it offered, at the time topped
virtually every other card.

Whether it is the "best" MIDI card today (short of high-end professional
cards such as those by Roland or Turtle Beach) now is a matter of much
debate. Still, it is the card of choice for many PC users for several
reasons: its low price, compared to "rival" cards such as the Sound Blaster
AWE-32 or Wave Blaster; its digital output capabilities, making it ideal
for games and playing MOD-type files; software support (which has improved
greatly, because of the GUS's popularity despite its biggest "drawback",
the lack of hardware- level compatibility with the Sound Blaster) compared
to other cheap wavetable cards.

The GUS's major weakness is in digital sampling. Firstly, it is only 8-bit.
Secondly, GUS's have a cut-off filter that filters out most input above a
certain frequency which is quite low, as low as 6 kHz in the case of early
GUS's. The addition of the 16-bit recording daughtercard does solve the
latter problem.

This problem has been addressed in the GUS Max, which records with 16-bit
resolution, and has a much better frequency response. The GUS Max also
features an "digital sound processor," actually the Crystal CODEC which
adds hardware audio compression support. The GUS Max also features more RAM
included, and an on-board CD-ROM controller.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.2 Turtle Beach Multisound Classic

                                     Hussam Eassa 

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Multisound Classic                                  |
     | (Turtle Beach Systems)                              |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Proteus 1/XR, Motorola 56001 DSP          |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit    |
     |                          24 bit internal data path  |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1kHz 16-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  Wavetable synth., patches in ROM      |
     |               copied to onboard RAM, 32-note poly.  |
     | On-board memory:  4 MB ROM + 4 MB RAM, no expansion |
     | Custom Sample Upload:  No.                          |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, line in, aux  |
     |               in, line out                          |
     | Expansion:  None                                    |
     | System req.:  1 port, 1 IRQ and a 32 KB user-       |
     |               defined BIOS Address segment.         |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  Windows 3.x (Win '95 rumored) only |
     |                  NO support for any other OS / env. |
     | Compatibility:  None.  Windows drivers only.        |
     | Street price (typical) (USD): $350 (see note below) |
      -----------------------------------------------------

Note: Although the TB Multisound Classic is officially discontinued, It is
still available in limited quantity directly from TB and large mail order
outlets.

The TB Multisound Classic was (and still is in many ways) the premier
MIDI/digital sampling PC sound card. The Proteus MIDI engine is well
regarded by many MIDI enthusiasts and it's digital record/playback
performance is second to none even today. It features two banks of 384 MIDI
patch sets that are mappable to the 126 GM patch set. All samples are
16-bit uncompressed.

The digital audio is unmatched by anything from other vendors. It features
ruler flat response (+/- .5dB) from DC to 19kHz. The distortion (<.02%) and
noise levels (>86dB) are very low.

The Multisound Classic did not have a wide mass appeal due to the high
initial price ($1000) and the lack of any type of DOS support. This
eventually resulted in TB superceding it with the Multisound Monterey.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.3 Turtle Beach Multisound Monterey

                                     Hussam Eassa 


      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Multisound Monterey                                 |
     | (Turtle Beach Systems)                              |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  ICS WaveFront 2115, Motorolla 56001 DSP   |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit    |
     |                          24 bit Internal data path  |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1kHz 16-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  WaveTable synth, Patches in ROM       |
     |               32 voice polyphony.                   |
     | On-board memory:  4 MB ROM, optional 4MB RAM        |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, line in, aux  |
     |               in, line out.                         |
     | Expansion:  None.                                   |
     | System req.:  1 port, 1 IRQ and a 32 KB user-       |
     |               defined BIOS Address segment.         |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  Windows 3.x.                       |
     | Compatibility:  MPU-401. Windows Drivers.           |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $320                 |
      -----------------------------------------------------

The TB Monterey is the heir to the Multisound Classic. It inherits exactly
the same digital audio processing circuits and hence the same legendary
sampling performance. (See Multisound Classic)

The MIDI section remains somewhat controversial. The Proteus 1/XR of the MS
Classic is replaced with the ICS WaveFront synthesizer. This new engine is
capable of adding user-defined amounts of chorus and reverb and is quite
sophisticated in that regard. It also allows the upload of samples to
onboard expansion RAM although it has been observed by many that the upload
speed can be frustrating. This is due to the slow serial link that is used
(the Sound Blaster compatible Wave Blaster interface to the RAM). Some
Multisound Classic diehards still maintain that the quality of the patches
of the ICS does not come up to the level of the Proteus 1/XR patches of the
Classic. In spite of this, it is still highly regarded with a strong
following. Wider appeal probably will not be forthcoming due to the lack of
Sound Blaster compatibility (hardware or software) and the lack of a CD-ROM
interface.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.4 Sound Blaster 2.0

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster 2.0 (SB)                              |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Creative, Yamaha OPL-2                    |
     | Output channels:  1 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 8-bit     |
     | Digital input:  Mono, 15 kHz (max.), 8-bit          |
     | MIDI synth.:  FM, 11-note polyphony, GM instruments |
     | On-board memory:  None                              |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, mic. in, line |
     |               in, amp. out                          |
     | Expansion:  None                                    |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster 2.0                   |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $50                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster Pro (SBPro)                           |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Creative, Yamaha OPL-3                    |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 8-bit     |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1 kHz (max.), 8-bit      |
     | MIDI synth.:  FM, 20-note polyphony, GM instruments |
     | On-board memory:  None                              |
     | Connections:  MIDI adapter, joystick, mic. in, line |
     |               in, amp. out, PC-speaker in, CD-ROM   |
     |               interface (Creative)                  |
     | Expansion:  None                                    |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster 2.0                   |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $75                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

This was a great card... when it first came out, about ten years ago. It
offered what the de facto standard at the time, the AdLib card, didn't:
digital input and output. It impressed many people (except Amiga users).
The problem is that it's still around and being sold. No-one, but no-one,
will argue that this is a good card; still, it's better than the PC
speaker, which is why people still buy it. And it's cheap, dirt cheap. And
the zillion clones of this card are even cheaper.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.5 Sound Blaster 16

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster 16 (SB16)                             |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Creative, Yamaha OPL-3                    |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit    |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit     |
     | MIDI synth.:  FM, 20-note polyphony, GM instruments |
     | On-board memory:  None                              |
     | Connections:  MIDI adapter, joystick, mic. in, line |
     |               in, amp. out, PC-speaker in, CD-ROM   |
     |               controller (Creative), CD-audio in    |
     | Expansion:  Daughtercard support                    |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster 16, MPU-401           |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $100                 |
      -----------------------------------------------------

This card is basically a step up from the Sound Blaster Pro (a stereo
version of the Sound Blaster 2.0), with support 16-bit playback and
recording, a CD-ROM controller, and support for a daughtercard. It is not,
by itself, regarded as a serious card for playing MIDI files, as all it has
is a stereo version of the OPL-2 FM synthesizer chip found on the original
Sound Blaster card. Software exists that allow wavetable MIDI playback with
the digital sound hardware, but this is no replacement for true hardware
wavetable support.

To add wavetable support to this otherwise lame card, several different
daughterboards are on the market, varying widely in prices and
capabilities, including Creative Lab's WaveBlaster, the Gravis Ultrasound
ACE, and two different Roland Sound Canvas cards. However, considering the
total price of the SB16 + daughtercard, it may be more economical to
consider one of the many cheap cards out there (by Logitech, Orchid,
Gravis, etc.) in the same price range that offer built-in wavetable
synthesis.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.6 Sound Blaster AWE-32

                                     Hussam Eassa 

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster AWE-32                                |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  EMU8000, Yamaha OPL3                      |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz, 16-bit           |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1kHz 16-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  WaveTable synth, Patches in ROM       |
     |               and RAM, 32 voice polyphony.          |
     | On-board memory:  1 MB ROM, 512KB RAM               |
     | Memory Expansion: 28 MB RAM                         |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, line in, line |
     |               out, microphone in.                   |
     | CD-ROM Support:  Sony CDU-31A/33A, Mitsumi LU005 &  |
     |                  FX001 Series and Creative CR-523 & |
     |                  563                                |
     | Expansion:  Wave Blaster connector.                 |
     | System Requirements:  2 ports, 1 IRQ and 2 DMA      |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  Windows 3.x, Win95.                |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster-16, Adlib, MPU-401    |
     |                 (software driver) (see note).       |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $300                 |
      -----------------------------------------------------

Note: The AWE-32 is software MPU-401 compatible in DOS as shipped. It can
be upgraded to hardware DOS compatibility by addition of any of the
available Wave Blaster compatible daughterboards.

The AWE-32 is Creative Lab's entry into the mid-tier MIDI market. It
appears to have been designed to provide MIDI performance somewhere between
the low end FM cards and the High end cards such as the Roland SCC1, RAP-10
and the high-end Turtle Beach Multisound cards. Exactly where it actually
falls in that range has fueled many sound card "wars," especially with
Gravis fans.

This card is really a jack of all trades and is quite capable. It features
very good backward compatibility and upgradability. The EMU8000 provides
the capability to add chorus and reverb in DOS and Windows. But as with
jacks of all trades, it cannot be viewed as a master of any specific area.

The MIDI performance is quite good but the use of either more RAM and
custom patch banks or a daughter board is really necessary for exceptional
performance. Either of these options adds to the cost significantly.

The digital audio section is very good but falls short of that of the
Turtle Beach products. All in all, this is a good card for good quality,
general purpose use with full Sound Blaster compatibility and good
upgradeability.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------



3. MIDI playback devices

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2 MIDI devices

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.1 Gravis Ultrasound / Ultrasound Max

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Gravis UltraSound (GUS)                             |
     | (Advanced Gravis Computer Technologies Ltd.)        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Gravis GF1                                |
     | Output channels:  32 @19kHz/ch down to 14 @44kHz/ch |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz, 16-bit           |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1 kHz 8-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  wavetable, patches on disk (6 MB),    |
     |               32-note polyphony, GM                 |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | On-board memory:  256 kB DRAM, expandable to 1 MB   |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, high-speed joystick,    |
     |               mic. in, line in, line out, amp. out, |
     |               CD-ROM audio in                       |
     | Expansion:  Proprietary daughtercard support        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster and MT-32 emulation   |
     | Suggested retail price (USD): $150                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Gravis UltraSound Max (GUS Max)                     |
     | (Advanced Gravis Computer Technologies Ltd.)        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Gravis GF1, Crystal CODEC                 |
     | Output channels:  32 @19kHz/ch down to 14 @44kHz/ch |
     |                   2 @48kHz/ch                       |
     | Output rate/resolution:  48 kHz max., 16-bit        |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 48 kHz 16-bit, compression  |
     |                 supported in hardware               |
     | MIDI synth.:  wavetable, patches on disk (6 MB),    |
     |               32-note polyphony, GM                 |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | On-board memory:  512 kB DRAM, expandable to 1 MB   |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, high-speed joystick,    |
     |               mic. in, line in, line out, amp. out, |
     |               CD-ROM audio in, CD-ROM controller    |
     |               (Mitsumi, Panasonic, Sony)            |
     | Expansion:  Proprietary daughtercard support        |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster and MT-32 emulation   |
     | Suggested retail price (USD): $200                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

When the GUS was first introduced into the market in 1992, it brought in a
term that was virtually unknown in the PC sound card scene: wavetable
synthesis. The quality of MIDI playback that it offered, at the time topped
virtually every other card.

Whether it is the "best" MIDI card today (short of high-end professional
cards such as those by Roland or Turtle Beach) now is a matter of much
debate. Still, it is the card of choice for many PC users for several
reasons: its low price, compared to "rival" cards such as the Sound Blaster
AWE-32 or Wave Blaster; its digital output capabilities, making it ideal
for games and playing MOD-type files; software support (which has improved
greatly, because of the GUS's popularity despite its biggest "drawback",
the lack of hardware- level compatibility with the Sound Blaster) compared
to other cheap wavetable cards.

The GUS's major weakness is in digital sampling. Firstly, it is only 8-bit.
Secondly, GUS's have a cut-off filter that filters out most input above a
certain frequency which is quite low, as low as 6 kHz in the case of early
GUS's. The addition of the 16-bit recording daughtercard does solve the
latter problem.

This problem has been addressed in the GUS Max, which records with 16-bit
resolution, and has a much better frequency response. The GUS Max also
features an "digital sound processor," actually the Crystal CODEC which
adds hardware audio compression support. The GUS Max also features more RAM
included, and an on-board CD-ROM controller.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.2 Turtle Beach Multisound Classic

                                     Hussam Eassa 

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Multisound Classic                                  |
     | (Turtle Beach Systems)                              |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Proteus 1/XR, Motorola 56001 DSP          |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit    |
     |                          24 bit internal data path  |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1kHz 16-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  Wavetable synth., patches in ROM      |
     |               copied to onboard RAM, 32-note poly.  |
     | On-board memory:  4 MB ROM + 4 MB RAM, no expansion |
     | Custom Sample Upload:  No.                          |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, line in, aux  |
     |               in, line out                          |
     | Expansion:  None                                    |
     | System req.:  1 port, 1 IRQ and a 32 KB user-       |
     |               defined BIOS Address segment.         |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  Windows 3.x (Win '95 rumored) only |
     |                  NO support for any other OS / env. |
     | Compatibility:  None.  Windows drivers only.        |
     | Street price (typical) (USD): $350 (see note below) |
      -----------------------------------------------------

Note: Although the TB Multisound Classic is officially discontinued, It is
still available in limited quantity directly from TB and large mail order
outlets.

The TB Multisound Classic was (and still is in many ways) the premier
MIDI/digital sampling PC sound card. The Proteus MIDI engine is well
regarded by many MIDI enthusiasts and it's digital record/playback
performance is second to none even today. It features two banks of 384 MIDI
patch sets that are mappable to the 126 GM patch set. All samples are
16-bit uncompressed.

The digital audio is unmatched by anything from other vendors. It features
ruler flat response (+/- .5dB) from DC to 19kHz. The distortion (<.02%) and
noise levels (>86dB) are very low.

The Multisound Classic did not have a wide mass appeal due to the high
initial price ($1000) and the lack of any type of DOS support. This
eventually resulted in TB superceding it with the Multisound Monterey.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.3 Turtle Beach Multisound Monterey

                                     Hussam Eassa 


      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Multisound Monterey                                 |
     | (Turtle Beach Systems)                              |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  ICS WaveFront 2115, Motorolla 56001 DSP   |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit    |
     |                          24 bit Internal data path  |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1kHz 16-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  WaveTable synth, Patches in ROM       |
     |               32 voice polyphony.                   |
     | On-board memory:  4 MB ROM, optional 4MB RAM        |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, line in, aux  |
     |               in, line out.                         |
     | Expansion:  None.                                   |
     | System req.:  1 port, 1 IRQ and a 32 KB user-       |
     |               defined BIOS Address segment.         |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  Windows 3.x.                       |
     | Compatibility:  MPU-401. Windows Drivers.           |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $320                 |
      -----------------------------------------------------

The TB Monterey is the heir to the Multisound Classic. It inherits exactly
the same digital audio processing circuits and hence the same legendary
sampling performance. (See Multisound Classic)

The MIDI section remains somewhat controversial. The Proteus 1/XR of the MS
Classic is replaced with the ICS WaveFront synthesizer. This new engine is
capable of adding user-defined amounts of chorus and reverb and is quite
sophisticated in that regard. It also allows the upload of samples to
onboard expansion RAM although it has been observed by many that the upload
speed can be frustrating. This is due to the slow serial link that is used
(the Sound Blaster compatible Wave Blaster interface to the RAM). Some
Multisound Classic diehards still maintain that the quality of the patches
of the ICS does not come up to the level of the Proteus 1/XR patches of the
Classic. In spite of this, it is still highly regarded with a strong
following. Wider appeal probably will not be forthcoming due to the lack of
Sound Blaster compatibility (hardware or software) and the lack of a CD-ROM
interface.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.4 Sound Blaster 2.0

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster 2.0 (SB)                              |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Creative, Yamaha OPL-2                    |
     | Output channels:  1 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 8-bit     |
     | Digital input:  Mono, 15 kHz (max.), 8-bit          |
     | MIDI synth.:  FM, 11-note polyphony, GM instruments |
     | On-board memory:  None                              |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, mic. in, line |
     |               in, amp. out                          |
     | Expansion:  None                                    |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster 2.0                   |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $50                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster Pro (SBPro)                           |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Creative, Yamaha OPL-3                    |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 8-bit     |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1 kHz (max.), 8-bit      |
     | MIDI synth.:  FM, 20-note polyphony, GM instruments |
     | On-board memory:  None                              |
     | Connections:  MIDI adapter, joystick, mic. in, line |
     |               in, amp. out, PC-speaker in, CD-ROM   |
     |               interface (Creative)                  |
     | Expansion:  None                                    |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster 2.0                   |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $75                  |
      -----------------------------------------------------

This was a great card... when it first came out, about ten years ago. It
offered what the de facto standard at the time, the AdLib card, didn't:
digital input and output. It impressed many people (except Amiga users).
The problem is that it's still around and being sold. No-one, but no-one,
will argue that this is a good card; still, it's better than the PC
speaker, which is why people still buy it. And it's cheap, dirt cheap. And
the zillion clones of this card are even cheaper.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.5 Sound Blaster 16

                                                              Viet-Tam Luu

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster 16 (SB16)                             |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  Creative, Yamaha OPL-3                    |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit    |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1 kHz (max.), 16-bit     |
     | MIDI synth.:  FM, 20-note polyphony, GM instruments |
     | On-board memory:  None                              |
     | Connections:  MIDI adapter, joystick, mic. in, line |
     |               in, amp. out, PC-speaker in, CD-ROM   |
     |               controller (Creative), CD-audio in    |
     | Expansion:  Daughtercard support                    |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  MS-DOS/Windows, OS/2, Linux        |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster 16, MPU-401           |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $100                 |
      -----------------------------------------------------

This card is basically a step up from the Sound Blaster Pro (a stereo
version of the Sound Blaster 2.0), with support 16-bit playback and
recording, a CD-ROM controller, and support for a daughtercard. It is not,
by itself, regarded as a serious card for playing MIDI files, as all it has
is a stereo version of the OPL-2 FM synthesizer chip found on the original
Sound Blaster card. Software exists that allow wavetable MIDI playback with
the digital sound hardware, but this is no replacement for true hardware
wavetable support.

To add wavetable support to this otherwise lame card, several different
daughterboards are on the market, varying widely in prices and
capabilities, including Creative Lab's WaveBlaster, the Gravis Ultrasound
ACE, and two different Roland Sound Canvas cards. However, considering the
total price of the SB16 + daughtercard, it may be more economical to
consider one of the many cheap cards out there (by Logitech, Orchid,
Gravis, etc.) in the same price range that offer built-in wavetable
synthesis.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.2.6 Sound Blaster AWE-32

                                     Hussam Eassa 

      -----------------------------------------------------
     | Sound Blaster AWE-32                                |
     | (Creative Labs, Inc.)                               |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Chipset:  EMU8000, Yamaha OPL3                      |
     | Output channels:  2 @44.1kHz                        |
     | Output rate/resolution:  44.1 kHz, 16-bit           |
     | Digital input:  Stereo, 44.1kHz 16-bit              |
     | MIDI synth.:  WaveTable synth, Patches in ROM       |
     |               and RAM, 32 voice polyphony.          |
     | On-board memory:  1 MB ROM, 512KB RAM               |
     | Memory Expansion: 28 MB RAM                         |
     | Custom sample upload:  Yes.                         |
     | Connections:  MIDI adaptor, joystick, line in, line |
     |               out, microphone in.                   |
     | CD-ROM Support:  Sony CDU-31A/33A, Mitsumi LU005 &  |
     |                  FX001 Series and Creative CR-523 & |
     |                  563                                |
     | Expansion:  Wave Blaster connector.                 |
     | System Requirements:  2 ports, 1 IRQ and 2 DMA      |
     |-----------------------------------------------------|
     | Driver support:  Windows 3.x, Win95.                |
     | Compatibility:  Sound Blaster-16, Adlib, MPU-401    |
     |                 (software driver) (see note).       |
     | Street price (typical) (USD):  $300                 |
      -----------------------------------------------------

Note: The AWE-32 is software MPU-401 compatible in DOS as shipped. It can
be upgraded to hardware DOS compatibility by addition of any of the
available Wave Blaster compatible daughterboards.

The AWE-32 is Creative Lab's entry into the mid-tier MIDI market. It
appears to have been designed to provide MIDI performance somewhere between
the low end FM cards and the High end cards such as the Roland SCC1, RAP-10
and the high-end Turtle Beach Multisound cards. Exactly where it actually
falls in that range has fueled many sound card "wars," especially with
Gravis fans.

This card is really a jack of all trades and is quite capable. It features
very good backward compatibility and upgradability. The EMU8000 provides
the capability to add chorus and reverb in DOS and Windows. But as with
jacks of all trades, it cannot be viewed as a master of any specific area.

The MIDI performance is quite good but the use of either more RAM and
custom patch banks or a daughter board is really necessary for exceptional
performance. Either of these options adds to the cost significantly.

The digital audio section is very good but falls short of that of the
Turtle Beach products. All in all, this is a good card for good quality,
general purpose use with full Sound Blaster compatibility and good
upgradeability.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


5. MIDI on the Internet

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.1 What are some FTP sites where I can get MIDI and MIDI-related files?

These sites may still be out of order, I've not yet had the time or opp-
ortunity to check them.  If you wish, please check these sites, and e-mail
me with the changes or information on each.  Thanks!

        Site/address:  ftp.uwp.edu
        Directory:  /pub/music/lists/kurzweil
        URL:  ftp://ftp.uwp.edu/pub/music/lists/kurzweil
        Notes:  Kurzweil K2000 stuff.

        Site/address:  ftp.funet.fi [128.214.6.100]
        Directory:  pub/msdos/sound/cakewalk
        URL:  ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/msdos/sound/cakewalk
        Notes:  Cakewalk (.WRK) files.

        Site/address:  mort.isvr.soton.ac.uk
        Directory:  /pub/pc/cakewalk
        URL:  ftp://mort.isvr.soton.ac.uk/pub/pc/cakewalk
        Notes:  Cakewalk stuff.  Accessible through WWW
             http://www.isvr.soton.ac.uk/People/ccb/Cakewalk.

        Site/address:  mitpress.mit.edu
        Directory:  /pub/Computer-Music-Journal
        URL:  ftp://mitpress.mit.edu/pub/Computer-Music-Journal

        Site/address:  ftp.mcc.ac.uk
        Directory:  /pub/cubase
        URL:  ftp://ftp.mcc.ac.uk/pub/cubase
        Notes:  Cubase archive.

        Site/address:  ftp.waldorf-gmbh.de
        URL:  ftp://ftp.waldorf-gmbh.de/
        Notes:  Information, patches, other MIDI stuff.

        Site/address:  ftp.und.ac.za
        Directory:  /pub/pc/midi
        URL:  ftp://ftp.und.ac.za/pub/pc/midi
        Notes:  MIDI files, programs for Sound Canvas and MT-32.

        Site/address:  musie.phlab.missouri.edu
        Directory:  /pub/korg
        URL:  http://musie.phlab.missouri.edu/pub/korg
        Notes:  Information on Korg products.  Accessible by
             WWW (http://musie.phlab.missouri.edu/pub/korg/)

        Site/address:  ftp.rc.tudelft.nl
        Directory:  /pub/midi
        URL:  ftp://ftp.rc.tudelft.nl/pub/midi
        Notes:  MIDI site for original MIDI compositions only.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.2 Where and how can I get the official MIDI spec's?

The most recent specifications for the MIDI standard may be obtained, for a
modest fee, from the International MIDI Association, at the following
(snail-) mail address:

          International MIDI Association
          23634 Emelita Street
          Woodland Hills, California 91367
          USA

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.3 World-Wide Web MIDI Stuff

        URL:   http://www.inetnebr.com/~williss/midi.html
        Notes:  MIDI page, lots of links
        Contact:  David C. Williss (dwilliss@microimages.com)

        URL:  http://www.servtech.com/public/jglatt
        Notes:  MIDI Technical Fanatic's Brainwashing Center
        Contact:  Jeff Glatt (jglatt@servteck.com)

        URL:  http://www.aitech.ac.jp/~ckelly/SMF.html
        Notes: Links to virtually every MIDI site on the internet
        Contact:  Charles Kelly (ckelly@aitech.ac.jp)

        URL:  http://stud1.tuwien.ac.at/~e8925292/bestmid.htm
        Notes:  The "Very Best of GUS MIDI" Collection
        Contact:  Gerd Reichinger (e8925292@student.tuwien.ac.at)

        URL:  http://www.harmony-central.com/MIDI/
        Notes:  WWW document devoted to MIDI
        Contact:  Scott Lehman (slehman@MIT.EDU)

        URL: http://www.prs.net/midi.html
        Notes: The Classical MIDI Archives
        Contact: Pierre R. Schwob (prs@prs.com)

        URL: http://www.midifest.com/
        Notes: Vikram's MIDI-Fest - over 100MB of MIDI's
        Contact: Vikram Pant (vikram@midifest.com)
                This place is the very best!  I can't plug it enough.
                Thanks, Vikram, for setting up such a great site!
                                    --Jason

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix A - Off-line sources of information

Bibliography

Many books have been published on MIDI and MIDI- related issues. An
extensive MIDI bibliography is maintained by Piet van Oostrum
(piet@cs.ruu.nl). Unfortunately, due to its size it cannot be included
here.

The latest version of the bibliography can be obtained by FTP from
ftp.cs.ruu.nl [131.211.80.17] in the MIDI/DOC/bibliography or by E-mail
from mail-server@cs.ruu.nl (send a message with HELP in the body).

Official MIDI specifications

See section 5.2.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix B - Contributing to the a.b.s.midi FAQ

                                         Vikram Pant (vikram@midifest.com)

Send submissions to the FAQ by email to vikram@midifest.com and start the
subject with "MIDI FAQ:"

Please don't send me email asking where to find something or how to
configure some sound card. If I know, it's already in the FAQ.

If you have any questions about the a.b.s.midi FAQ, don't hesitate to
E-mail me. Questions about MIDI-related topics should be sent to a.b.s.midi
or better yet for technical help try alt.music.midi, not me; I don't claim
to know anything much about MIDI.

Please don't send me the entire FAQ if you have added or revised a section,
just that section.

Links are NOT accepted. The A.B.S.MIDI FAQ is not going to link to every
single MIDI site on the internet but only to a select few. Pages with
organized links are acceptable.

Unless you are writing about a specific MIDI device/ synth, don't play
favorites, i.e. don't "bash" other sound cards. Be objective.

The above also goes for people, as for sound cards. Discriminatory
statements/remarks, overt or implied, of any form will not be tolerated.
Enough said.

As the FAQ maintainer I reserve the right to make editorial
changes/corrections to submissions, or to refuse them outright. I will not,
however, add edited submissions to the FAQ without the permission of their
authors. Unless I make drastic changes.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix C - List of contributors

The alt.binaries.sounds.midi FAQ has been made possible through the
contributions of the following people (if your name isn't here, but should
be, send E-mail to roguewar@nbnet.nb.ca):

   * Steve Adams
   * Han de Bruijn (rcpshdb@dutrun2.tudelft.nl)
   * Hussam Eassa (eassa@earth.execpc.com)
   * Mark Johnson (ymj@pacbell.net)
   * Terry Law (law@legend.pl.my)
   * Viet-Tam Luu
   * Piet van Oostrum (piet@cs.ruu.nl)
   * Randy Lynn Tusch (drt@rec1.roc.servtech.com)
   * David C. Williss (dwilliss@microimages.com)





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Ritalin STR Focus



                    RITALIN - KIDS ARE MARKED FOR LIFE


By R. F. Mariano

     Can you imagine. the shock I felt when I discovered the outrageous
fact that if.. Your child is given a prescription for RITALIN (usually
recommended by a school teacher etc.) in a very lazy and INEFFICIENT school
or School System.. Your child will be MARKED FOR LIFE.    I sat there in
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Private Schools and many other avenues to better education, government
service, prosperity and happiness are BLOCKED because some lazy, refusing
to deal with and meet their responsibility teacher or other school employee
has advised a parent(s) to get their child on RITALIN.  This is very sad...
As it spells DEAD END for any child that is or has been caught in this
irresponsible and outrageous trap.  All done for the Child's "Own Good".
REALLY?  NOT!

Check out these points..

                     A healthier way to fight ADD/ADHD

No More Ritalin or drugs! Now There Is An Alternative! Attention Deficit
Disorder (ADD/ADHD) including Ritalin, Dexedrine, Spansule, Cylert and a
safe non-drug alternative approach."

     Parents throughout the globe are having a difficult time raising their
children these days due to the fact that many children are diagnosed with
(Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity
Disorder). A brochure distributed by the ADD Information Center Claims that
ADD affects "3% to 10%" of the entire population.

Some of the symptoms of ADD are:

    Excessive fidgeting with hands or feet.
    Repeated difficulty remaining seated.
    Marked difficulty following through on instructions.
    Extreme difficulty in attempting to play quietly.
    Excessive interruption of conversations, and intrusion upon other
  children's games.
    Marked appearance of not listening to, or not comprehending what is
  being said to them.
    Multiple repeated performance of acts that are dangerous, without
  thinking about or weighing the consequences.

NEW NON-DRUG NUTRITIONAL APPROACH

Because of the harmful side effects and sometimes lack of results many
parents and ADD sufferers alike
are finding a nutritional alternative approach to fighting ADD.  This
method is known as ANTIOXIDANT
THERAPY.  This type of therapy is recommended by many board certified
medical doctors. It is not a drug and has no harmful side effects. The
antioxidant, Pycnogenolr (a patented extract of the maritime pine bark that
is 95%+ bio-absorbable in a special formulation of the product that has a
90 Day Money Back Guarantee), scavenges free radicals in the body before
they can bombard and irritate nerve cells within the brain and central
nervous system. Parents have seen results in as soon as 24-48 hours and
those documented results come from the Fairborne Research Institute and are
listed below...

Typical Results Antioxidant Therapy has with ADD Patients

    A general calming effect.
    Significantly increased mental alertness and increased ability to
  remain focused upon a given task or problem.
    Activities and plans much more organized.
    Far less impulsiveness of behavior.
    Decreased aggressiveness.
    A subjective feeling of being "at ease"
    More in control of one's thoughts.

Particularly exhibited in young children and teenage ADD patients, as well
as the above:

1.   Improved grades in school.
2.   Improved recognition of and cooperation with requests from teachers
  and parents.
3.   Less noisiness and disruptive behavior in class, at home, among
  siblings and peers.
4.   Marked improvements in the ability to remain still.  (Decreased
  restlessness).


                     DRUGS Prescribed to ADD Patients
               Excerpts from the PHYSICIAN'S DESK REFERENCE

  RITALIN-SRr methylphenidate hydrochloride USP sustained-release tablets

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
Ritalin is a mild central nervous system stimulant. The mode of action in
man is not completely understood, but Ritalin presumably activates the
brain stem arousal system.  Specific etiology of this syndrome is unknown,
and there is no single diagnostic test.  Adequate diagnosis requires the
use not only of medical but also of special psychological, educational, and
social resources.  Drug treatment is not indicated for all children with
this syndrome. Stimulants are not intended for use in the child who
exhibits symptoms secondary to environmental factors and/or primary
psychiatric disorders, including psychosis.

WARNINGS
Ritalin should not be used in children under six years, since safety and
efficacy in this age group have not been established.  Sufficient data on
safety and efficacy of long-term use of Ritalin in children are not yet
available.   Although a causal relationship has not been established,
suppression of growth (ie, weight gain, and/or height) has been reported
with the long- term use of stimulants in children. Therefore, patients
requiring long-term therapy should be carefully monitored.

DRUG DEPENDENCE
Chronically abusive use can lead to marked tolerance and psychic dependence
with varying degrees of abnormal behavior. Frank psychotic episodes can
occur, especially with parental abuse. Careful supervision is required
during drug withdrawal, since severe depression as well as the effects of
chronic overactivity can be unmasked.  Long-term follow-up may be required
because of the patient's basic personality disturbances.

PRECAUTIONS
Patients with an element of agitation may react adversely; discontinue
therapy if necessary. Periodic CBC, differential, and platelet counts are
advised during prolonged therapy. Drug treatment is not indicated in all
cases of this behavioral syndrome and should be considered only in light of
the complete history and evaluation of the child.  Long-term effects of
Ritalin in children have not been well established.

ADVERSE REACTIONS
Nervousness and insomnia are the most common adverse reactions but are
usually controlled by reducing dosage and omitting the drug in the
afternoon or evening. Other reactions include hypersensitivity (including
skin rash, urticaria, fever, arthralgia, exfoliative dermatitis, erythema
multiforme with histopathological findings of necrotizing vasculitis, and
thrombocytopenic purpura); anorexia; nausea; dizziness; palpitations;
headache; dyskinesia; drowsiness; blood pressure and pulse changes, both up
and down; tachycardia; angina; cardiac arrhythmia; abdominal pain; weight
loss during prolonged therapy. There have been rare reports of Tourette's
syndrome. Toxic psychosis has been reported. Although definite causal
relationship has not been established, the following have been reported in
patients taking this drug: leukopenia and/or anemia; a few instances of
scalp hair loss. In children, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, weight loss
during prolonged therapy, insomnia, and tachycardia may occur more
frequently; however, any of the other adverse reactions listed above may
also occur.

      DEXEDRINE [dex 'eh-dreen] (brand of dextroamphetamine sulfate)
                   SPANSULE Capsules, Tablets and Elixir

WARNING:
Amphetamines have a high potential for abuse. They should thus be tried
only in weight reduction programs for patients in whom alternative therapy
has been ineffective. Administration of amphetamines for prolonged periods
of time in obesity may lead to drug dependence and must be avoided.
Particular attention should be paid to the possibility of subjects
obtaining amphetamines for non-therapeutic use or distribution to others,
and the drugs should be prescribed or dispensed sparingly.

Clinical experience suggests that in psychotic children, administration of
amphetamines may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought
disorder.  Amphetamines have been reported to exacerbate motor and phonic
tics and Tourette's syndrome. Therefore, clinical evaluation for tics and
Tourette's syndrome in children and their families should precede use of
stimulant medications. Data are inadequate to determine whether chronic
administration of amphetamines may be associated with growth inhibition;
therefore, growth should be monitored during treatment.

Drug treatment is not indicated in all cases of Attention Deficit Disorder
with Hyperactivity and should be considered only in light of the complete
history and evaluation of the child. The decision to prescribe amphetamines
should depend on the physician's assessment of the chronicity and severity
of the child's symptoms and their appropriateness for his/her age.
Prescription should not depend solely on the presence of one or more of the
behavioral characteristics. When these symptoms are associated with acute
stress reactions, treatment with amphetamines is usually not indicated.

ADVERSE REACTIONS
    Cardiovascular: Palpitations, tachycardia, elevation of blood
  pressure.
    Central Nervous System: Psychotic episodes at recommended doses
  (rare), overstimulation, restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, euphoria,
  dyskinesia, dysphoria, tremor, headache, exacerbation of motor and phonic
  tics and Tourette's syndrome.
    Gastrointestinal: Dryness of the mouth, unpleasant taste, diarrhea,
  constipation, and other gastrointestinal disturbances. Anorexia and weight
  loss may occur as undesirable effects when amphetamines are used for other
  than the anorectic effect.
    Allergic: Urticaria.
    Endocrine: Impotence, changes in libido.

DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
Dextroamphetamine sulfate is a Schedule II controlled substance.
Amphetamines have been extensively abused. Tolerance, extreme psychological
dependence, and severe social disability have occurred.


                   CYLERTr Tablets [ci 'lert] (Pemoline)

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
CYLERT (pemoline) has a pharmacological activity similar to that of other
known central nervous system stimulants; however, it has minimal
sympathomimetic effects. Although studies indicate that pemoline may act in
animals through dopaminergic mechanisms, the exact mechanism and site of
action of the drug in man is not known.

There is neither specific evidence which clearly establishes the mechanism
whereby CYLERT produces its mental and behavioral effects in children, nor
conclusive evidence regarding how these effects relate to the condition of
the central nervous system.

WARNINGS
Decrements in the predicted growth (i.e., weight gain and/or height) rate
have been reported with the long-term use of stimulants in children.
Therefore, patients requiring long- term therapy should be carefully
monitored.

PRECAUTIONS
General: Clinical experience suggests that in psychotic children,
administration of CYLERT may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance
and thought disorder. CYLERT should be administered with caution to
patients with significantly impaired renal function.
Laboratory Tests: Liver function tests should be performed prior to and
periodically during therapy with CYLERT. The drug should be discontinued if
abnormalities are revealed and confirmed by follow-up tests. (See "ADVERSE
REACTIONS" section regarding reports of abnormal liver function tests,
hepatitis and jaundice.)

Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness in children below the age of 6
years have not been established. Long-term effects of CYLERT in children
have not been established (See "WARNINGS" section).

CNS stimulants, including pemoline, have been reported to precipitate motor
and phonic tics and Tourette's syndrome. Therefore, clinical evaluation for
tics and Tourette's syndrome in children and their families should precede
use of stimulant medications.  Drug treatment is not indicated in all cases
of ADD with hyperactivity and should be considered only in light of
complete history and evaluation of the child. The decision to prescribe
CYLERT (pemoline) should depend on the physician's assessment of the
chronicity and severity of the child's symptoms and their appropriateness
for his/her age, Prescription should not depend solely on the presence of
one or more of the behavioral characteristics.

ADVERSE REACTIONS
The following are adverse reactions in decreasing order of severity within
each category associated with CYLERT:
    Hepatic: There have been reports of hepatic dysfunction including
  elevated liver enzymes, hepatitis and jaundice in patients taking CYLERT.
    Hematopoietic: There have been isolated reports of aplastic anemia.
    Miscellaneous: Suppression of growth has been reported with the long-
term use of stimulants in children. (See "WARNINGS" section.) Skin rash has
been reported with CYLERT.
    Central Nervous System: The following CNS effects have been reported
with the use of CYLERT: convulsive seizures; literature reports indicate
that CYLERT may precipitate attacks of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome;
hallucinations; dyskinetic movements of the tongue, lips, face and
extremities; abnormal oculomotor function including nystagmus and
oculogyric crisis; mild depression; dizziness; increased irritability;
headache; and drowsiness. Insomnia is the most frequently reported side
effect of' CYLERT; it usually occurs early in therapy prior to an optimum
therapeutic response. In the majority of cases it is transient in nature or
responds to a reduction in dosage.
    Gastrointestinal: Anorexia and weight loss may occur during the first
weeks of therapy. In the majority of cases it is transient in nature;
weight gain usually resumes within three to six months. Nausea and stomach
ache have also been reported.

DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

Controlled Substance: CYLERT is subject to control under DEA schedule IV.

This information was provided by The Health Link (1996)


                        aTTeNTioN DeFiCiT DiSoRDeR

                   "An Overview & A New Relief Approach"

Are you, your child or a friend suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder
or ADHD?

ADD (or ADHD) is a baffling and frustrating disorder not only for those who
have the condition, but also for their loved ones and our nation's
dedicated doctors who attempt to treat it.  The frustration among
physicians is due to the fact that science has not yet identified the cause
or causes of ADD.  Thus, the subjects of cause, and therefore a precisely
appropriate treatment for the condition are still two very large question
marks.

A prominent neurologist states, "The more you study hyperactivity or ADD,
the less certain you are as to what it is, or whether it is a thousand
different situations all called by the same name."(Quoting from a recent
article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, on ADD).  There are many theories as to
ADD's cause, but as yet no facts.  This explains why practically all
physicians in the U.S. currently attempt to simply mask patient's symptoms
of the disorder with powerful drugs, as their only alternative.  The
problems with drug treatment of ADD, however, are the frequent and
dangerous side effects they produce.  More on that in a moment.

Some of the symptoms of ADD are:
    Excessive fidgeting with hands or feet.
    Repeated difficulty remaining seated.
    Marked difficulty following through on instructions
    Extreme difficulty in attempting to play quietly.
    Excessive interruption of conversations, and intrusion upon other
  children's games.
    Marked appearance of not listening to, or not comprehending what is
  being said to them.
    Multiple, repeated performance of acts that are dangerous, without
  thinking about or weighing the consequences.

Millions of parents across the nation are virtually frantic over the fact
that not only have their children been diagnosed as having ADD, but that
the prescribed treatment usually consists of powerful stimulant drugs such
as Ritalin, Dexedrine, and Cylert.  As a result, many such parents have the
constant, gnawing, and disturbing sense of feeling trapped within a very
bad situation:

"If I don't avail my child of these prescribed drugs...what else can I do
that will help?  If I keep my child on the drugs, I'm forced to watch the
frequent side effects taking their toll...on my child's health, and on the
peace within my family!"

What are some of these drugs' side effects?

Several short term affects could be the following: "Ritalin rebound", loss
of appetite and resulting weight loss, insomnia, headaches, stomachaches,
drowsiness, potential liver damage, facial tics, and a "sense of sadness",
just to name a few.  Also, several authorities report that long term
consequences could be devastating.  In a recent book by Thom Hartman,
entitled, "ADD: A New Perception", he suggests that there could be a link
between long term Ritalin use and Parkinson's Disease.

Equally disturbing is that for many children and adults, the common,
prescribed drugs often do not work very well.  All of this information may
sound discouraging, however, it needn't be.  The good news is this:

Every week from coast to coast many thousands of grateful parents, and
adult ADD sufferers, plus ADD support group members are discovering
dramatic relief from a new, entirely non-drug approach.  It is an approach
that is totally safe to use, employing a 100% non-toxic and natural --- but
powerfully effective --- nutritional method.  It involves the use of an
antioxidant nutritional compound from France that has produced stunning
health results across Europe for over a decade, and that many progressive
doctors are now beginning to recommend here in the United States and
Canada.

This compound, called Pycnogenol, is a patented extract from the bark of
the French Maritime Pine Tree. (U.S. Patent Number 4,698,360).  Pycnogenol,
in easy to swallow tablet form, has been hailed by researchers as the most
potent, natural antioxidant compound ever discovered.  Pycnogenol is not a
drug and is now readily available in the U.S. without a prescription.
Moreover, it is far less costly than traditional drug therapy.  It is as
safe to use as Vitamin C.

However is actually 20 times more powerful than Vitamin C, and 50 times
more powerful than Vitamin E.  Dr. Richard A. Passwater, one of our
nation's most respected biochemist's, has documented the research done on
Pycnogenol's effectiveness in Europe for over the last twenty years.  This
research shows that Pycnogenol gives relief from as many as 60 different
degenerative health challenges.  Also especially gratifying is that adults
and children with ADD are finding that Pynogenol is literally providing
the, with a non-drug, new lease on life.


                      PYCNOGENOL (PROANTHOCYANIDINS)

A Powerful New Antioxidant

The power and versatility of pycnogenol is impressive. In my new book, "The
New Supernutrition." I discuss its benefits in chapters on slowing aging,
preventing cancer, preventing heart disease, improving skin, preventing
senility, preventing cataracts and relieving arthritis.  This great
versatility is due more to pycnogenol being a potent antioxidant.
Pycnogenol's benefits are also due to it being a unique bioflavanoid and
vitamin C "helper."

In vitro studies show that pycnogenol is 50 times more powerful than
vitamin E and 20 times more powerful than vitamin C.  In vivo studies also
prove that pycnogenol is extremely effective as an antioxidant, but
comparisons are much more difficult to evaluate.  As an effective
antioxidant, pycnogenol helps our bodies resist blood vessel and skin
damage, inflammation and other damage caused by free radicals.

However, pycnogenol does more than protect! It helps repair! The
demonstrated benefits of pycnogenol include the following:

a.   strengthens capillaries, arteries and veins;
b.   improves circulation and enhances cell vitality;
c.   reduces capillary fragility, diabetic retinopathy, varicose veins, and
  edematous legs;
d.   improves skin smoothness and elasticity;
e.   improves joint flexibility; and
f.   fights inflammation.

Pycnogenol is relatively new in the United States, but it has been
researched extensively in Europe and has been available as a nutritional
supplement in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Finland, Holland,
Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland), Argentina, Australia,
New Zealand, and the Far East (Singapore and Korea) for several years. Its
safety has been well studied and its benefits documented in many European
scientific and medical Journals.

During October 4-6, 1990, an international symposium on pycnogenol was held
in Bordeaux, France with scientists from the United Kingdom and France
presenting their new research to scientists from around the world. Dr.
David White of the University of Nottingham (England) discussed cholesterol
and foam cell control with pycnogenol. Dr. White referred to pycnogenol as
"the atherosclerosis antidote."

Also, Dr. Stewart Brown of the University of Nottingham discussed how
pycnogenol's free radical scavenging effect slows cell mutagenesis. Another
interesting research report presented at the international symposium was by
Dr. Duncan Bell of Ipswich Hospital (England). Dr. Bell, a
gastroenterologist, reported on the anti-stress action of pycnogenol and
how it presents ulcer formation.

This article covers some of the background and basics of pycnogenol and
"The New Supernutrition" discusses its applications more specifically.

BACKGROUND
Pycnogenol (pronounced pick-nah-geh-nol) is a patented blend of nutrients
found in fruits, vegetables and other plants.  Pycnogenol works
synergistically with vitamin C as a vitamin C "helpmate" - enhancing its
activity.
In 1534, Quebec Indians cured French explorers led by Jacques Cartier of
scurvy by feeding them tea from the needle and bark of certain pine trees.
The 110-man crew was blocked by ice in what is now known as the Gulf of St.
Lawrence. They were forced to subsist on a diet mostly of salted meat and
biscuits, completely devoid of fruits and vegetables. Soon scurvy killed
Cartier's crew. The needles contained a small amount of vitamin C and the
bark contained flavanols which potentiate the antiscorbutic effect of
Vitamin C.

Although the bioflavanoids of pycnogenol can be extracted from grapes and
other fruits and vegetables, the patented commercial source is the bark of
the European coastal pine (Pinus maritima or Pinus pinaster).  Flavanoids
are members of the flavanol family of compounds. Flavanoids are semi-
essential, secondary food factors. There are over 20,000 bioflavanoids
registered in Chemical Abstracts. Research through the years has led
scientists to particular members of the flavanoid family that are believed
to be the most effective vitamin C potentiators. This family of non-toxic
water soluble, highly bioavailable bioflavanoids differs from other
flavanoids, and hence, has its own family name, :proanthocyanidins are
found in saliva within one hour after ingesting them by capsule.

Proanthocyanidins include catechins, epicatechin, flavon-3-ols, and
oligomers of the A and B series of condensed tannins. The oxidation index -
the ratio of oxygen to hydrogen in the heterocycle is one-to-five.
Pycnogenol is actually a blend of oligomeric and monomeric
proanthocyanidins and 7% water.  There are dozens of published studies of
pycnogenol's safety and benefits. Its safety and toxicity has been fully
tested, including mutagenic and carcinogenic studies at expert centers such
as the Pasteur Institute.  Pycnogenol has been found to be non-toxic, non-
teratogenic, non-mutagenic, non-carcinogenic and non-antigenic.

Proanthocyanidins have been used for more than 30 years with no signs of
toxicity. The LD 50 is three grams per kilogram of body weight. Nutritional
supplementation is usually 30 to 150 milligrams daily. The safety of
pycnogenol was reviewed in depth by Dr. Peter Robdewald of the Pharmacology
Institute of the University of Munster (Germany) during the October 1990
International Pycnogenol Symposium in Bordeaux.

ANTIOXIDANT
Free radicals are chemicals fragments that cause body damage that can lead
to nearly fifty disease conditions including accelerated aging, cancer,
heart disease and arthritis. Pycnogenol may turn out to be one of the most
powerful free radical scavengers available as a nutrient.  Studies have
shown that pycnogenol is 50 times more powerful than vitamin E and 20 times
more potent than vitamin C in standard tests.

In a standard in vitro (test tube, not in the human body) test, pycnogenol
proved to be 50 times more powerful than vitamin E. This test measures the
ability of compounds to scavenge (neutralize) free radicals such as DPPH.
[2] The researchers also demonstrated that pycnogenol also was a potent
scavenger of oxygen free radicals such as superoxide, hydroxyl and peroxide
radicals.

In another standard in vitro test, pycnogenol proved to be 20 times more
powerful than vitamin C. This test measures the ability of compounds to
counteract oxygen free radicals by measuring the amount of TNB dye
decolorized.  Pycnogenol was also shown to be a powerful antioxidant in
vivo (animal models and tissue cultures) as well.

BLOOD VESSELS
Pycnogenol improves peripheral circulation, restores lost capillary
activity, and strengthens weak blood vessels. Blood vessels become more
resilient with adequate proanthocyanidin nourishment. By reducing capillary
fragility, pycnogenol helps prevent bruising and improves varicose veins.
Pycnogenol enhances vitamin C activity in capillary wall membranes and
strengthens collagen in the capillaries. Also, capillary resistance and
permeability are improved by pycnogenol.  In addition, pycnogenol reduces
venous insufficiency, reduces restless legs and diminishes lower leg blood
volume.

A single 100-milligram supplement of pycnogenol increased capillary
resistance by 140 percent. Vascular sensitivity was improved 82 percent by
a single supplement of pycnogenol.  Improved circulation also enhances cell
vitality helping to restore vitality and vigor.

ATHEROSCLEROSIS "ANTIDOTE"
The collagen-rich, connective tissue in artery walls is protected and
stimulated for repair by pycnogenol.   Studies show that pycnogenol is
protective against early atherosclerosis.   Pycnogenol reduces histamine
production, thereby helping artery linings resist attack by mutagens,
oxidized LDL-cholesterol and free radicals.

As discussed earlier, recent research by Dr. David White of Nottingham
shows that pycnogenol reduces cholesterol and foam cell formation and is
thus an "atherosclerosis antidote."  Many researchers think the initiation
of atherosclerosis today, including Dr. White and myself, results from
injury to the layer of endothelial cells which normally form the luminal
surface of blood vessel walls. Such injury disturbs local vascular
homeostases resulting in platelet deposition, aggregation and release of
factors which promote smooth muscle proliferation and eventual fibrosis.
The damaged endothelium also becomes permeable to lipoproteins,
particularly low density lipoproteins (LDL) and macrophages which invade
the site of injury, accumulate cholesterol as cholesterylester, and develop
into foam cells.

Eventually, a rather complicated structure, the atherosclerotic plaque,
develops consisting of lipids (fats), complex carbohydrates, blood, blood
products, fibrous tissue and calcium deposits. A raised blood LDL-
cholesterol concentration has been recognized by many as a major risk
factor for heart disease because it appears to be the donor of cholesterol
deposited in the atherosclerotic plaque.

The accumulation of LDL-borne cholesterol by macrophages is something of a
paradox however, since the cell has few LDL-receptors and is able to down
regulate the receptor number when the LDL-cholesterol concentration is
increased. The resolution of this paradox may lie in the observation that
certain modifications of LDL produce a molecule which is no longer
recognized by the LDL receptor but by a non-regulated scavenger receptor.
Macrophages can then accumulate cholesterol from this modified LDL.

Antioxidants can prevent or slow the accumulation of cholesterol that is
due to the modification or oxidation of LDL. I discussed this in my
previous article where I reported on the beta-carotene study. Dr White has
found that pycnogenol inhibits the in vitro oxidation of human LDL.

SKIN
Collagen is the main skin protein and is responsible for skin texture and
elasticity. Pycnogenol reactivates damaged collagen and protects it against
further attack by free radicals and the collagen-degrading enzymes, the
elastases and collagenase.  Pycnogenol binds to collagen fibers and
realigns them to a more youthful, undamaged form. This protective action of
pycnogenol helps to prevent the early facial wrinkles that occur due to
skin inelasticity.

Thus, pycnogenol is an oral cosmetic to help keep skin smooth and elastic.
Actually, it was dermatological and phlebological disorders that started
Dr. Jacques Masquelier of Bordeaux University to begin research with
pycnogenol. He treated 45 patients having eczema, ulcerated varicose veins
and related disorders.

BRAIN FUNCTION
Pycnogenol is important to brain function, not only because it protects
blood vessels, but also because it is one of the few dietary antioxidants
that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier to directly protect brain
cells. The strengthening of capillaries and other blood vessels helps
protect against stroke. Pycnogenol has significantly increased the lifespan
of rats that are genetically hypertensive and prone to early death due to
stroke. [2] Protection of brain cells will help memory and reduce senility.
There are indication that even sluggish memorues are improved, perhaps due
to better circulation and cell nourishment.

DIABETES
Diabetics are prone to vascular fragility. Pycnogenol reduces vascular
fragility. Pycnogenol has been licensed in France for years for treating
diabetic retinopathy. German medical researcher Dr. H.C.W. Leydecker found
that pycnogenol compares favorably with any other current treatment for
diabetic retinopathy. [29]

EYESIGHT
In addition to improvement in diabetic retinopathy, a small-scale clinical
study conducted by Dr. Emilio Balestrazzi of the University of Aquila
concluded, "the overall clinical judgement on pycnogenol compared with the
control groups treated with placebo and taking account of all the clinical
and instrumental tests and the absence of side-effects, is to be considered
beneficial, in as much as all patients benefited to a varying degree from
the treatment. In fact, the effects on the resistance and the peripheral
capillary permeability of the vessels have shown themselves to be positive
in improving the functioning of the retina.

INFLAMMATION AND SPORTS INJURIES
The ability of pycnogenol to improve joint flexibility and repair the
collagen in connective tissue should be of interest to athletes. Plus
pycnogenol reduces inflammation due to injury. Many bioflavanoids inhibit
the enzymes and prostaglandins that lead to inflammation. Pycnogenol
inhibits histamine release and thus reduces inflammation, stress ulcers and
arterial damage.

OTHER PROMISING APPLICATIONS
Pycnogenol also has been shown to inhibit tumor promotion in skin.  As
mentioned earlier, recent research by Dr. Stewart Brown of the University
of Nottingham shows that pycnogenol's radical scavenging effect slows
cancer mutagenesis. Because pycnogenol prevents excessive histamine
release, it has been shown to reduce stress ulcers in the stomach and
intestine by 82 percent.  This has been confirmed by Dr. Duncan Bell of
Ipswich Hospital as mentioned earlier.

In Finland, pycnogenol is very popular for alleviating hay fever symptoms.
Several anecdotal reports claim that arthritics feel improvement overnight
with a bedtime dose of 120-150 milligrams of pycnogenol.


                     Fairborne Pycnogenol Monograph #2
                  Relative To Attention Deficit Disorder

The data within this monograph is detailed solely for our own professional
use and by our associates who practice in the field. The purpose of this
information is to further disclose facts obtained regarding the compound
Pycnogenol, and particularly its efficacy for alleviation of the signs and
symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Also known as Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.


Introduction:
Pycnogenol is a patented and trademarked, naturally occurring compound that
is produced in its basic form by Horphag Research Ltd. in France. It is a
water processed extract from the bark of the French Maritime Pine tree. The
compound is not a drug. Moreover, it is not herbal.  Composed of forty-plus
subcompounds, reports demonstrate it to be the single, most potent
nutritional antioxidant discovered by science. The compound is relatively
new to health care professionals in North America.

COMMERCIAL SOURCE OF THE COMPOUND:
The commercial source for the compound that we continue to utilize, is the
same formulator in Colorado we had referred to in our first monograph. The
only reason we continue to use that source is because their proprietary,
blended formulations of Pycnogenol have significantly greater
bioavailability than basic Pycnogenol sold over the counter in pharmacies
and other sources. ("Bioavailability" refers to the total percentage of a
dose that first can be absorbed by the intestine, then ---of equal
importance --- actually absorbed and utilized by the body's cells).

However, physicians in the field may prefer to obtain the basic Pycnogenol
from local pharmacies or stores. If using those as your source, simply keep
in mind the differences in bioavailability mentioned above.  Thus, you may
need to increase the patient's daily dosage quantities by a factor of as
much as 3.5 to 4.5 times more of your locally-obtained brands, to achieve
the same degree of patient relief. (Depending upon comparative purity and
volume of fillers utilized in blending; both of which can vary
significantly from brand to brand).

INDICATIONS:
As explained within a former internal monograph regarding general use of
the compound, Pycnogenol has been efficacious for a wide variety of health
problems, particularly of the chronic degenerative type. However, regarding
the signs and symptoms of ADD/ADHD refer to separate professional
literature.

For further study on the background of the compound and its multiple
indications for use with various conditions, (as well as additional, more
in-depth safety documentation than that stated below) you may obtain the
following book: "Pycnogenol, The Super Protector Nutrient" by Richard A.
Passwater, Ph.D., published by Keats Publishing.

BASIC SAFETY INFORMATION:
According to researchers at the Pasteur Institute and the Huntington
Institute, Pycnogenol is virtually nontoxic to humans and mammals. Water-
soluble, it is also a non-allergenic, non-carcinogenic, non-mutagenic, non-
antigenic and non habit forming nutritional antioxidant. Consumed in Europe
under medical supervision for more than a decade, it is now available in
the U.S. and Canada without a prescription.

Chronic toxicity studies reveal no adverse effects in man, from massive
daily doses of up to 35,000 milligrams for more than six months.
Considering that recommended daily dosage of Pycnogenol for a 300 pound
patient and at "double saturation" level would still only involve 840
milligrams, as an example, this compound should be viewed as completely
safe. Pharmacologically, Pycnogenol is classified within the same class of
therapeutic compounds as is vitamin C.

KEY FACTS:
Very interesting to note is the fact that even though, over the years, many
so called "nutritional" approaches to ADD have been attempted, with the
exception of reducing refined sugar in the diet, no nutritional methods had
heretofore produced significant alleviation of symptoms.  However, not only
is Pycnogenol proving to be exceedingly efficacious for ADD, from the
anecdotal results reported from the field it is becoming a very attractive
first-line method of choice by many physicians, in preference to
conventional drug administration. Also, in most cases, traditional drug
therapy can usually be discontinued entirely after the patient has been
consuming Pycnogenol.

MODE OF BIOLOGICAL ACTION:
First, remember that Pycnogenol is not a drug. However, with Pycnogenol,
there is much the same situation as with traditional drugs such as Ritalin,
Dexedrine and Cylert: There is as yet, no conclusive explanation as to the
exact mode in which Pycnogenol renders its beneficial effects within ADD
sufferers.

The most logical current theory is that its efficacy is due to Pycnogenol's
outstanding and potent antioxidant quality. That ability of the compound
wherein it intercepts and scavenges corrosive free radicals within the
blood stream, before they can attack, degrade and irritate the body's
cells. In cases of ADD, before free radicals can bombard and irritate nerve
cells within the brain and central nervous system.

In a recent paper by Bruce Ames, M.D., Director of the National Institute
of Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of California at
Berkeley, Dr. Ames estimates that every cell within the body sustains over
10,000 oxidative "hits" each day, from free radical bombardment. Thus, it
would seem logical to assume that a potent free radical scavenger of the
caliber that Pycnogenol exhibits, would then have the pronounced beneficial
effect of enhancing normal function of the brain and CNS.

TYPICAL RESULTS WITH ADD PATIENTS:
    A generalized calming effect.
    Significantly increased mental alertness and increased ability to
  remain focused upon a given task or problem.
    Activities and plans much more organized.
    Far less impulsiveness of behavior.
    Decreased aggressiveness.
    A subjective feeling of being "at ease".
    More in control of one's thoughts.

Particularly exhibited in young children and teenage ADD patients, as well
as the above:
    Improved grades in school.
    Improved recognition of and cooperation with requests from teachers
  and parents.
    Less noisiness and disruptive behavior in class, at home, among
  siblings and peers.
    Marked improvement in the ability to remain still. (Decreased
  restlessness).

SOURCE OF DOSAGE RECOMMENDATIONS:
The dosage charts that follow are based upon the combined use of two of the
special source's formulations of Pycnogenol, and the information we had
obtained directly from the patent holder's document filed in Washington
D.C. Note that Professor Masquelier's patent specifically indicates (after
metric conversions) that 1.4 milligrams of Pycnogenol per day, per pound of
body weight constitutes a full "saturation" dose and .7 milligrams per day,
per pound of body weight yields an average "maintenance" dose.
Misinformation in the field has it that 1 mg and .5 mg per day per pound
constitute the dosage for "saturation" and "maintenance").

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION:
The compound is usually best consumed twice daily with meals or shortly
after meals. Pycnogenol tablets can be pulverized and mixed with food or
beverages for children, if there is difficulty swallowing tablets.  In our
first monograph on the general uses of Pycnogenol, we had detailed combined
use of a grape-extract antioxidant compound along with that of Maritime
Pine Pycnogenol. Administering both compounds, in combined equal milligram
daily doses has proven very effective for most general health applications.
Also, that combination has the additional benefit of lowering overall daily
cost to the patient.

However, for the specific, most efficacious administration to ADD patients,
we have found (and reports from physicians in the field confirm) that
rather than supplementation with the grape-extract compound the following
should be used: Tablets containing Maritime Pine Pycnogenol PLUS Beta
Carotene, Ester C, Vitamin E, Zinc Gluconate, Selenium, Bioflavenoids and
Ginkgo biloba. Those should be supplemented with: 20-mg tablets of Maritime
Pine Pycnogenol.

IMPORTANT: For ADD patients specifically, it is vital that the Pycnogenol
tablets also containing the other nutrients be the primary Pycnogenol
dosage source.  The Zinc Gluconate and Ginkgo biloba within them add
extraordinary enhancement to Pycnogenol's benefits upon the ADD patient's
central nervous system. The very small amounts of C, E, Beta Carotene,
selenium and bioflavenoids are of secondary importance. Also, if the
patient is already taking a balanced multi-vitamin-mineral supplement" the
added vitamins and minerals in this formulation's tablets will still only
produce a combined intake well below that of overconsumption.

REGARDING SPEED OF ALLEVIATION:
Up to the present time, most doctors in the field had been starting their
ADD patients at one of the full, daily "saturation" dosage levels listed in
the chart above. Because of that, their patients often noticed various
degrees of relief from Pycnogenol in as few as 24 to 48 hours; and would
then --- almost immediately --- either begin gradually decreasing dosage of
Ritalin (and/or other drugs) or stop drug dosage entirely.

However, we suggest a more gradual approach to both Pycnogenol dosage and
in reducing --- then eliminating --- drug treatment.

Thus --- if you follow our more conservative approach --- do not expect
that the patient will begin to experience noticeable relief of symptoms
until the full, daily Pycnogenol "saturation" dosage level has been
achieved at Pycnogenol dosage day 10. Then understand that the results from
Pycnogenol usually increase gradually during another 30 to 60 days' time.
Thus, our recommendation consists of four phases:

                        PHASE 1: THE FIRST 10 DAYS
First determine the patient's weight then refer to the daily "SATURATION"
dosage level to achieve, as shown in the chart. Having obtained the two
Pycnogenol formulations mentioned, the patient should plan out a gradual
increase in daily dosage of both, until achieving full "saturation" daily
dosage on day 10.

The daily, increased increments in dosage do not have to be calculated with
mathematical precision. Just use roughly estimated increases from a very
low dosage on day one, to the full "saturation" dosage on day 10. The
patient may split the tablets in half or even in quarters to assist in
doing this. The gradual build up to "saturation" dosage is for these
reasons:

Though Pycnogenol --- itself --- is not at all toxic in the dosages listed
on the chart, it appears to have the additional, very beneficial quality of
displacing and flushing many stored, environmental chemical toxins out of
the body. Environmental toxins that are typically stored or retained within
the body's adipose tissues, liver, etc..

Because the liver, kidneys and colon need to either convert and/or expel
those chemical toxins -- after they are released into the bloodstream --
one should give those organs sufficient time to do so, gradually. The
physician will not want excessively large volumes of stored body toxins to
become suddenly released. Thus, by gradually increasing the daily
Pycnogenol dosage, one will avoid what has been referred to as a mild
"healing reaction" that sometimes occurred with about 10% of patients who
were started at the full "saturation" dosage.

        PHASE 2: MAINTAIN "SATURATION" DOSAGE FOR THE NEXT 60 DAYS.

                PHASE 3: DRUG REDUCTION AND/OR ELIMINATION
For ADD patients currently being treated with drugs such as Ritalin, Cylert
and Dexedrine, as you know, those drugs are often withdrawn gradually, to
avoid drug-dependent withdrawal symptoms. (Refer to your PDR). It is
entirely up to the physician as to when to begin gradually decreasing daily
dosages of "Ritalin" etc.. During Pycnogenol administration. However, keep
this in mind:
    The patient's response to PYCNOGENOL usually starts to become
  noticeable at dosage day 10 then gradually continues to increase up to a
  plateau, after approximately 60 days more. Thus, the physician may wish to
  wait until Pycnogenol dosage day 30, day 45 or perhaps day 60 before
  actually starting to decrease drug dosage. This gives the body time to gain
  maximum benefit from Pycnogenol, before incurring the potential stress of
  drug withdrawal.
    Reports from physicians in the field indicate that as Ritalin, etc..,
  is gradually decreased over a number of days, for most patients it can be
  entirely eliminated. However, a very small percentage of patients may still
  require some drug intervention as well. And then, in most cases, only at
  peak stress periods such as afternoon school sessions and so forth.
  Moreover, the drug dosage required at those peak stress periods is
  significantly lower than formerly required before initiating Pycnogenol
  dosage.

          PHASE 4: POSSIBLE REDUCTION IN DAILY PYCNOGENOL DOSAGE
At the conclusion of "Phase 2" (after the patient has been on the daily
"saturation" dosage for 60 days), and provided that drug therapy has been
successfully discontinued at that point, consider the following:
You may test gradual reductions in dosage of Pycnogenol (in daily
increments), downward each day from "saturation" level, toward the average
"MAINTENANCE" dosage level indicated on the chart.   Note, however, as you
begin reducing Pycnogenol dosage, that the actual daily "maintenance" dose
for each patient, will become the least daily amount of Pycnogenol required
to maintain maximum alleviation of symptoms.  As one experiments with
gradual reduction, that may - in fact - prove to be "saturation" dosage in
many cases. In others, that may be the average "maintenance" dosage
indicated on the chart, or somewhat more than that.

Keep in mind that finding the ideal, minimum daily Pycnogenol dosage for
ADD, is solely to render the lowest possible cost to the patient. Realize
that Pycnogenol is so safe to use, some physicians suggest ongoing
"saturation" dosage for disease preventative purposes. Moreover, many
recommend ongoing double "saturation" dosage for serious health challenges.
Knowing that complete safety to the patient is assured. However, for ADD,
we recommend the least daily dosage to maintain symptom-free status.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
The only occasionally reported, actual side effect of Pycnogenol is a
tendency toward very slight decrease in firmness of patients' stools.
(However, do read the "chemical toxins elimination" discussion in "Phase
1").

     So there you have it, a reasonable alternative to the HARD DRUGS being
POURED down our Children's Throats in ever increasing numbers.  Scary isn't
it?  You bet!  For the last few years, we've been raising generations of
drug dependent youngsters.  Soon. our entire society, (except for the
control freaks), will be walking around with IV drug trees on wheels so
that they will not be without their pacifier.  Who do we have to thank for all this?  Ourselves!  We've been allowing ou
rselves to be lulled into open
permissiveness by the soothing story of it being good for our kids and
helping them to get a better education.







Jason's Jive

Jason Sereno, STR Staff
jsereno@streport.com







     Hello everyone, I'm Jason Sereno.  You may have seen my reviews in
this magazine this past year.  I have been given the opportunity by my
Uncle Frank Sereno to have my own column in the magazine.  My uncle has
been quite busy over the last few months with a new baby on the way in his
family.  This is a huge honor and responsibility bestowed upon me but I
will try to live up to expectations and the high standard set by him.

     For those of you that do not know, I am a fifteen-year-old.  Although
some might find me to be inexperienced, others that are looking for a new
perspective in reviews will find it here. Within the last month or so most
of my reviews have been about games.  However, I will try to cover
educational software and other applications in my future efforts.

     I have been using computers since I was seven years old.  I began with
a Commodore 64 and worked my way up to a PC.  Along the way I have used
Macintosh computers and mostly all of the home gaming systems.  My computer
now is a Pentium 100.  Although a couple of titles I will review in the
future may require 3D acceleration, I will however, try to review games
that average computer owners can use.  This would include owning a 4X CD-
ROM and about 16MB RAM.  The average amount of HD space needed for most of
the games will be around 45MB.  Some games will require more and some will
require less, it varies depending on the game.  Each game will have the
requirements posted so you know what is required for the games in advance.

     I hope you will enjoy reading this column as much as I will writing
it.  This is truly a great opportunity and I will try to make the best of.
In weeks to come you will see reviews of iF-22 Raptor from Interactive
Magic, Carmageddon from Interplay, Obsidian from Segasoft, and Formula 1
97' and Wipeout XL both from Psygnosis.  In this week's issue we take a
look at two titles from Accolade.  They are Jack Nicklaus 4 and Test Drive:
Off-Road.

Enjoy!

Jason

                                     
                                     
                              Jack Nicklaus 4
                              Windows CD-ROM
                           Street Price: $49.95
                               for all ages
                                     
                                 Accolade
                         5300 Stevens Creek Blvd.
                            San Jose, CA 95129
                              1-800-245-7744
                             www.accolade.com
                                     
                           Program Requirements
                                     
                                                             OS:
Windows 95
                                                          CPU:
Pentium 90
                                                    HD space:          45
MB free hard disk space
                                                     Memory:           16MB
RAM
                                                     Graphics:
SVGA
                                                    CD-ROM:          2X
Speed
                                                         Audio:
Supports most popular sound cards
                                                         Other:
Keyboard or mouse


Review by Jason Sereno



     He's been called the "Golfer of the Century" and his self-entitled
golf series has truly set the standard of golfing games on both computers
and home gaming systems.  Jack Nicklaus 4 contains a simple yet innovative
course designer and Intensity Control swing. The fourth game in the series
from Accolade has been a pleasant surprise to fans of the 3 previous games
and other golf enthusiasts. This is the only golfing sim that gives you
hints from the Golden Bear himself on five of his favorite courses.  The
game displays cinematic scenes and ABC like video overviews of each
individual hole. You can have friends over to play with a shared keyboard
or use the devices like the Internet and modem to challenge other
competition.  The different types of play located within the game range
from skins to shoot outs and side games like Bingo, Bango, Bongo.  The
moveable camera angle can range from 3 to 150 ft. Add-on courses are
available on the Internet including hundreds created for the previous
versions of Jack Nicklaus Golf.  Are you ready for the next step in golfing
simulation?


     The course designer is unparalleled in power with a user-friendly
interface. It is a simple yet innovative feature that is mostly mouse-
orientated.  It can be compared to drawing shapes and objects on most paint
programs. The user is allowed to stretch and bend while creating the
desired shapes.  They may choose to elevate or lower the shape and give it
a type of texture too.  Adding obstacles like rocks, sandtraps, and trees
is as easy as clicking and dragging them to a desired location. You must
first choose the basic layout of the hole from tee to green.  You can then
let your creativity run wild as you determine the length, width and
placement of obstacles of the hole.  You can also change the backdrop to
reflect the topography of the hole's location. The user may toggle between
the top view from which you create your course or pick a place to stand on
the ground level and admire your work.  This is an exciting feature that is
really great for someone that has ever dreamed of having their own country
club or just playing on a course that is less traditional.

     Each hole features Jack Nicklaus' narration of a cinematic flyby
depicting hazards and shot-making strategies. The courses themselves are
remarkable and surprisingly life-like.  When playing these courses you may
view them with a moveable camera that can range from 3 ft to 150 feet from
where you stand.  It gives you a chance to see what may lie ahead of you
and let's you look at your pleasant and surreal surroundings.  From the
startup screen and all the way to the 18th, the graphics are just
remarkable.   The screen displays an unlimited amount of 16.7 million
colors at once.

     The only thing that could surpass the SVGA graphics may be the
gameplay.  Although the means of hitting the ball are not too dissimilar
compared to most golfing Sims, Jack Nicklaus 4 does add some variation to
the triple click approach.  In the patented Shot Intensity Control, the
mouse controls are basically a simple three-click concept.  The first click
will start the swing. The next click you make will determine the strength
of the swing: The later you decide to click the stronger the swing you will
have.  If you do not click the mouse at all, you will swing at full power,
which is not always good. This is true because the third click will
determine the accuracy the path the ball will travel.  Your goal when
making the third click is to hit a line on the bottom of the swing meter.
If you wait too long to click the ball will travel far right and if you
click prematurely it will travel left.  If you decide to hit the ball your
farthest it will be more difficult to click on the accuracy line for the
third click.  It is much like real golfing in this way.  The harder you try
to swing, the harder it is to get a solid hit on the ball.

     While playing Jack Nicklaus 4 you will see many more options than just
playing the front or back nine.  You can play with friends or golfing
rivals over the Internet, LAN, modem, or serial cable as well as a shared
keyboard and mouse in the privacy in your own home.  You can play a skins
game, handicap tournament, gross tournament, shoot outs, and side games
like Bingo, Bango, Bongo.  I never knew golf could have so many different
ways to play!

     In addition to the many playing options, Jack Nicklaus 4 contains five
courses: River Plantation, Country Club of the South, Muirfield Village,
Winding Springs and Cabo del Sol.  Each of the courses is remarkably unique
in their layout and topography.  People who have desire for generating new
and exciting courses will (hopefully) make them available on the Internet.

     Jack Nicklaus 4 is a must-buy for any golf lover or for your favorite
duffer.  The finished product represents the results of obvious hard work
and dedication.   Accolade has proved again that when we all think
something is at its pinnacle, there is always room for addition and
improvement.  They have done both with Jack Nicklaus 4 with the enhancement
of the course designer and the 24-bit color. This is the next step in
golfing simulation and is a must-buy for anyone that has love the previous
three titles. You can pick up a copy of what is without a doubt the best
golfing sim on the market today, Accolade's Jack Nicklaus 4, in stores now!



                           Test Drive: Off-Road
                                 PC CD-ROM
                           And Sony PlayStation
                           Street Price: $49.95
                               For all ages
                                     
                                 Accolade
                         5300 Stevens Creek Blvd.
                            San Jose, CA 95129
                              1-800-245-7744
                             www.accolade.com
                                     
                           Program Requirements
                                     
                                                             OS:
DOS 5.0 or Windows 95
                                                          CPU:
Pentium 90
                                                    HD space:          45
MB free hard disk space
                                                     Memory:           16MB
RAM
                                                     Graphics:
SVGA
                                                    CD-ROM:          2X
Speed
                                                         Audio:
Supports most popular sound cards
                                                          Other:
Keyboard and mouse

most popular joysticks


Review by Jason Sereno


Have you ever played an Indy or NASCAR racing game?  Did you control the
same cars traveling on a level asphalt track for sometimes 500 miles?  Do
you ever find yourself wanting more in a race?  You want more terrain, more
obstacles, more vehicles, more of a challenge, and definitely more fun when
you sit down and play?  Well, have you ever played an Off-Road racing game?
Ever battled competitors while contending with harsh terrain including
sand, dirt, and snow along with rocks and other obstacles of all sizes?
Off-Road racing is where the track is not a straight path to the checkered
flag, it is the entire area between the starting and finishing lines.

     It is not as popular with spectators because you will not see many Off-
Road races coming to your town like Indy or NASCAR events.  However, Off-
Road racing is very appealing.  You never know what path you will have to
take to come out on top. This is the main reason being an Off-Road driver
must be so fun. The sport may not be as popular on television as others may
but it makes a great PC game.  One is a lot more fun and challenging than
other available racing Sims on the market today.  This PC game I am
speaking of is Test Drive: Off-Road from Accolade.

     Accolade's Test Drive: Off-Road is the newest racing simulation in the
Test Drive series that started over ten years ago.  Test Drive Off-Road, in
tradition with the Test Drive series, brings four real high priced off-road
vehicles to twelve treacherous tracks.  It contains an abundance of options
to modify your race and you receive bonus tracks and vehicles after wining
tournaments.  While racing you will notice external damage occurring to
your vehicle and your competitors' as well.  The game displays three types
of graphics as well as 9 camera angles to choose from.  It also has a
soundtrack from the Alternative group Gravity Kills.  This game is just as
exhilarating as it is fun to play.

     Test Drive: Off-Road contains four high priced real Off-Road vehicles.
The vehicles are the Land Rover Defender 90, Hummer, Jeep Wrangler, and the
Chevrolet K-1500 Z71.  All four vehicles vary in control, acceleration, and
speed. If you switch from driving the Land Rover to the Wrangler, you will
notice the increased speed.  However, you will miss the Land Rover's
control and you will quickly learn the Jeep has an increased tendency to
flip over in comparison to the British brute.  When you are choosing a
vehicle you can look over its stats and toggle between its four separate
paint jobs.  This is a way to personalize your car from the other racers.

     Before you choose your Off-Road vehicle, you will first choose in what
type of race you will participate.  There are class tournaments when only
four vehicles of the same type can race.  Mixed leagues are also available.
They may have any combination of the four vehicles in a given race.  In
both leagues six races make up each complete season. Whoever has the most
points at season's end will be the winner.  Each 1st place finish will
receive 10 points.  Second will get 8 and so on down the line.  Dropping
off after each round will be the low one or two drivers.  You will have to
race well the entire season to win. When not racing, you can practice on a
course of your choice against mixed competition. You must win mixed
tournaments to gain access to all twelve courses though. You must win each
of the class leagues seasons on the hard difficulty setting if you wish to
receive the four bonus cars in Test Drive: Off-Road.

     The twelve tracks vary in design and in terrain.  One track, entitled,
"Jet Jump," actually contains a half-buried airplane that you can jump over
while racing.  Some have pyramids and other interesting backgrounds as
well.  The three basic types of track are deserts, winter settings, and
dirt tracks.  The track designs are configured so you must to cross the
start/finish line at least three times to win.  There are checkpoints along
the track that your vehicle must cross directly over to count as a lap too.
If you bypass checkpoints or the start/finish line, you will have to put
your vehicle in reverse or turn around and cross over it, and continue.
This does restrict where you can travel on the track, but there is still
room for creativity.

     Each track contains at least two shortcuts that you can take to pass
up your competition.  These are not always necessary, but they do sometimes
help.  You may see that the computer racers that choose the shortcuts have
a hard time getting back on the track.  They may have to slow down to make
a checkpoint or the required turn onto the path.  This is where the
shortcuts sometimes do not pay.  There are some parts on the track where
you can choose between either a high or low road.  One of the less crowded
side paths could give you a clear path to first place.  Even though there
is a basic path you should follow, these shortcuts and different racing
path options succeed in making the game truly seem off-road.

     Test Drive: Off-Road contains visible external damage as well.  You
can see the damage on the body of the off-road vehicles as they hit each
other or flip over on their back. They will not undergo any internal
damage, however. These let's you bump the other drivers and knock them off
the paths without having to worry about your tires or engine being damaged.
In other racing simulations you might notice that when you run into
someone, your vehicle would acquire damage as well as your opponents.  In
Test Drive: Off-Road the bumping or "rubbing" is necessary in parts of the
game to squeak by the competitors and win.

     To watch all of this action, Test Drive: Off-Road displays a bunch of
graphical options.  To start things off, Accolade has given you three
levels of resolution for your racing pleasure.  You may notice if you do
not have a 3D accelerator the SVGA mode does not run smoothly.  You can
also choose to race in VGA mode or Mode X.  You should see an increase in
the speed of the game but the graphics will of course be lacking.  You can
toggle among nine camera angles while playing the game.   The camera
positions range from behind the steering wheel, high above the vehicle, on
either side, level with the vehicle, and from all sorts of angles and
distances.  While racing I rarely used more than just one camera angle
because I could not free up my hands long enough while racing.  The angle
that is best to use while racing, I believe, is the free floating above
camera angle.  This allows you to see the course in front of you so you can
plan your turns or passes in advance.

     The other camera angles are fun to use in the Instant Replay feature
of the game.  You can save your favorite races to view them whenever you
wish and you can use all 9 camera angles while watching the races.  Other
options in the game include multiplayer capabilities over LAN, modem,
serial cable, and two-player split-screen racing.  Both players can use the
keyboard in preset configurations or one may use a joystick or any
combination of the two.  The screens are significantly smaller and are
sometimes hard to see.  The booklet was not very clear on how to switch
camera angles in the two-player mode either.  There are also certain
buttons that you cannot use to control your vehicles in two player modes.
When I was to use the keyboard and my opponent was using a joystick, I was
not able to use the arrow keys to move my car in the configuration menu.
The controls have to be a combination of the letter keys.  I am just not
comfortable using letters on the keyboard when racing.  They do not align
correctly because the configuration of the letters is on the keyboard.  It
feels awkward when using them. When two players race, two joysticks are
available in case other gamers feel the same way I do.

     The game features a lot of options for the overall game play as well.
You can choose to add realistic friction so when you go through heavy snow,
mud, or sand the vehicle's speed will decrease.   You may want to add power
steering or other features as well to make the game easier or just to suit
your racing style.  There are many options that deal with control and
gameplay.  Certain combinations of variables will work better with certain
people as opposed others.

     The sounds in the game are a mix of three things. The sound effects
include a coach of some sort that speaks to you while you are playing. When
you are behind, he will be heard saying, "Hurry up! Or Awesome!"  when you
jump over a land made ramp .  The sound effects also include your engine
noise, the crunching of metal, and your horn honking if you feel the need
during the race, as well as many others. The other sound you might hear is
the soundtrack by the TVT recording artists, Gravity Kills.  They most
known for their self-entitled album debut released last year.  The
soundtrack to Test Drive: Off-Road contains their singles from the record
as well as instrumental versions of their less popular songs. Twelve songs
in all are included within the game.

     Accolade's Test Drive: Off-Road is a great racing game for any racing
fan or gamer.  It stays with the tradition of the Test Drive series because
of the high priced luxury vehicles but adds the off-road feel very well.
With the options that range from graphics, sounds, gameplay, as well as
multiplayer capabilities, the possibilities are endless.  The four very
unique vehicles along with the four bonus vehicles and tracks make the game
really interesting and give you something to shoot for.  The soundtrack is
something new in racing games and actually contains about as much music as
the average CD these days.  Test Drive: Off-Road is an excellent addition
to the Test Drive Series and to your software library at home.  Pick up a
copy for the PC or the Sony PlayStation from Accolade today!










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                         STReport International Online Magazine













Gaming Hotwire STR Feature - The World of Contemporary Gaming






Classics & Gaming Section
Editor Dana P. Jacobson
dpj@streport.com


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

     Wow!  Bill Gates saves Apple from extinction!  That's how it appears
if Apple continued to slide down that hill toward obscurity.  I have mixed
feelings of Bill Gates and Microsoft.  There's no denying the impact that
Microsoft products have on today's computing experience.  I use a number of
their software packages on my PC at work and love them; I use them everyday
and my position isn't one that demands that I use a PC.  But, having one
has made my job easier.  "Simple" things like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
have made projects a breeze.

     Okay, so I like the software that I use.  And, they're primarily
Microsoft products (recommended by our I.S. department).  But just how
"powerful" is Microsoft getting?  Is that a good thing, or bad?  Are we
just jealous of the "filthy" rich and powerful?  I don't know.

     What I do know, or presume, is that this appears to be breathing life
back into the Mac platform.  It was headed toward the orphanage.  As an
Atari user, I can relate to that.  Imagine someone like Bill Gates putting
in place support for Atari!  How would we react?  I think the answer is
obvious; and it's a positive one.  Now if we only had a savior for the
Atari platform!  Fantasy is a wonderful thing...

     Well, I really must resume packing.  Only three weeks until the big
move!  I still have lots to do; and I hope to still maintain close to my
current level of online activity for as long as possible before I shut down
for awhile.  So much to do and so little time to do it...

Until next time...



                        Press release 3 August 1997

                         ATARI COMPUTING MAGAZINE

A 60 page printed magazine published, written and distributed "By
Enthusiasts for Enthusiasts"

Atari Computing will be a year old in September and with issue due to hit
doormats around late August we look set to fulfill our aim to deliver six
printed issues each year. Atari Computing magazine was launched during
September 1996 at the Goodmans Atari shows in London and Birmingham and
completely sold out on both days! Delighted by the response we reprinted
Issue 1, and increased the print run for all subsequent issues. Issues 2
and 3 have also subsequently sold out. Atari Computing is published by the
Atari Computing Group (A|C|G).

Publisher: Mike Kerslake
Editor : Joe Connor
Art Editor : Darryl Godsmark
Advertising Sales : Mike Kerslake
Online Editor : Bob Paton
A|C|G Team : Mike Kerslake, Joe Connor, Brian Stanton, Al Goold, Andy
Wilson, Sandy Thomson, Neil Martin, Denesh Bhabuta, Chris Good, Ian
Braby, Martin Milner, Norman Bland.

THE HISTORY OF ATARI COMPUTING

In 1996 Mike Kerslake, the publisher, with over fifteen years experience in
the industry teamed up with Joe Connor, ex Reader Disk and PD/Shareware
editor for Atari World, and a group of on line Atari enthusiasts to create
this new printed bi-monthly Atari magazine. The aim from day one was to
create a professional quality magazine "by enthusiasts for enthusiasts".
Issue 5 was published in June, and currently back issues of numbers 4 and 5
are available. Issue 6 will be available from around the end of August.

So far Atari Computing has featured contributions from respected and well
connected Atarians including: Frank Charlton (STF features editor), Graeme
Rutt, Jon Ellis, Nial Grimes, Mark S Baines, Denesh Bhabuta, Carl Lofgren,
Harry Sideras and Kev Beardsworth (Atari World regulars), Colin
Fisher-McAllum (42BBS/AtariPhile/FFF), Howard Carson (Current Notes), Xav,
Thomas Binder (ST Computer), Al Goold and Ed McGlone (STAG), Roy Goring and
Chris Good (WAG), Richard Spowart and Chris Holland (Maggie), Steve
Llewellyn (Calamus User), Jim Hornby (Wrinklies), Martin Milner (999
software), Colin Polonowski (Atari Times), Neil Martin, Mark Wherry, Andrew
Harvey, David Stevenson, Bob Paton, Thomas Mains, Colin Munro, Doug Little
(Black Scorpion Software)... (Apologies to those we have missed out)

We've also signed deals with two of the leading disk based magazines,
AtariPhile and Maggie, to publish regular sections within the magazine.  If
you've never seen a disk magazine before we think you'll be amazed to find
out how much you've been missing!

BACKGROUND TO THE LAUNCH OF ATARI COMPUTING

     The closure of Atari World and ST Format during 1996 left the UK
without an Atari specific newsstand Atari magazine for the first time since
1987.  The men in grey suits expected us to move onto other platforms but
hang on a minute, let's take stock of the situation...

-    Atari machines can be purchased and repaired on a shoestring
-    Atari machines can produce superb printed output
-    Atari machines can surf the Internet and run BBSs
-    Atari machines can form the nucleus of a digital music studio

     New software of better quality than ever before is still being
released!  That doesn't sound like a dead platform! The Atari platform has
been emulated by just about every other platform, we're owners of cult
machines! Have you ever noticed ex-Atarians animatedly talking about the
'Good old days' it's a feel good factor missing from all the current
machines.

     We don't need a new platform but we do need information and a printed
magazine is undoubtedly the best way to ensure we see in the millennium!
Apart from a darn good read the other thing most of us like is some new
software to play with. The Reader Disk concept offers all readers the
chance to get their hands on the hottest new software around along with
exclusive versions not available anywhere else. We offer a Reader Disk to
accompany each issue, buy it or not, the choice is yours! What we need is
your support, it's going to be tough to keep going and it really up to
*you*! Instead of wishing us luck, post us a cheque to order your copy
today!

WHO ARE THE ATARI COMPUTING GROUP [A|C|G] ?

The launch of Atari Computing was financed by the Atari Computing Group
[A|C|G], based on CiX, and dedicated to supporting the Atari platform -
We're delighted with the response from our readers and are working hard to
ensure future issues maintain and improve the same high standard!

Atari Computing is an enthusiasts' magazine compiled and distributed by
Atari enthusiasts. We're not a publishing company so our efforts have to be
directed towards getting the magazine out on time - we do not operate an
Atari 'helpline' but are pleased to help wherever possible via the Q&A
pages in the magazine.

ATARI COMPUTING ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB

Unfortunately our original online editor, Frank Charlton, has not been able
to update our original web pages so we've put a new set of pages up on
Zetnet due entirely to the hard work put in by Bob Paton. We're naturally
delighted to have online presence again and hope you find these pages worth
revisiting regularly. We're keen to know whether you find these pages
useful and what you'd like to see online so please do take the time to send
us some feedback...

You'll find the new pages on http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/ataricomputing/

ORDERING

As we're sure you'll appreciate publishing a magazine in a declining market
was a very risky venture and our print run has had to remain conservative -
we can't afford to maintain a stock of back issues for long, so we only
print what we need.

We're not a newsstand publication so don't bother looking in the shops. The
Atari platform needs this magazine and we need your subscription so do
yourself and us a favor, take out a subscription or order an evaluation
copy today! If you decide to subscribe you will receive the first available
issue, if we've sold out of an issue your subscription will start with the
following issue.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

                          Money back Guarantee!!!

Many of you (and most of us) lost money following the Atari World debacle,
and we're determined not to make the same mistake. Atari Computing
subscriptions are refundable at any time. Cancel your subscription in
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We are continually receiving new subscriptions. As we only print "what we
need" of each issue, this means that if we have run out of a particular
issue, your subscription will start from the following issue. Remember
Issues 1, 2 and 3 are now SOLD OUT. (all reader disks are still available
though)

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Submissions:

We're always on the lookout for talented new contributors so if you've got
an idea for an article please do get in touch. Enquiries:

All enquiries about any matter concerning Atari Computing MUST be made in
writing either via email or by snail mail, and sent to the following
addresses. It would also be helpful if letters, subscription enquiries and
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Ideally letters and editorial should be on disk in ASCII format, or via
e-mail or netmail if you have that facility. Unfortunately we cannot enter
into personal correspondence on general Atari matters, or guarantee that
your question or letter will be published due to the volume of mail we
receive.

General enquiries shall be sent to:
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either e-mail or on a disk!!
Subscription Payments:
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subscription forms, which are available via email or snailmail.
Receipting subscriptions:
Just like every other magazine, your payment being cashed is your receipt.
We cannot issue receipts by e-mail, SA, postcard etc. because of the
additional work this would place on the volunteer staff.
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Write/email the office or leave a brief message on the answerphone on 01206
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this number for any other reason - we won't respond anyway so save your
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Advertisers:
Atari Computing carries adverts on behalf of the major Atari outlets.
Please support them, and mention that you read their advert in Atari
Computing. It helps them, it helps us, and it helps you.

Best wishes
The Atari Computing Group A|C|G
E-Mail:ataricomputing@cix.co.uk
[http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/ataricomputing/]
Regards
Al Goold
[A|C|G]

  ATARI COMPUTING - the new 60 PAGE printed magazine for all Atari users
     NEWS - GOSSIP - FEATURES - REVIEWS - HUMOUR - HOW TO DO IT - Q&A
         email for subscription details and further information to
      e-mail:ataricomputing@cix.co.uk or ataricomputing@zetnet.co.uk
                       or NeST:90:100/315.0@nest.ftn




                               PRESS RELEASE

          "Kevin & Kell" Now Available to Individual Subscribers

"Kevin & Kell," the world's first commercial online comic strip, is
exploring new directions in Internet delivery. Beginning August 4, readers
will be able to have the strip waiting in their Email every weekday
morning.  For a $20 annual fee, subscribers will receive 260 strips in
which Kevin, Kell and their children struggle with the absurdities of
online life. Memory hogs, Spam attacks and flame messages take on literal
meanings as this rather unconventional family approaches the Millennium.
This groundbreaking strip has established a loyal following since its debut
in September of 1995, which grows daily.

"Kevin & Kell" started life as the first mainstream comic strip syndicated
to online services instead of  newspapers. When the strip debuted it was
immediately bought by about fifty websites and Forums looking for ways to
attract readers on a daily basis.  While not all are equipped with download
counters, one (The Business Basic site at http://www.gdma.com/kk) reports
over 1000 hits per strip. Already, "Kevin & Kell" has inspired a screen
saver, a line of merchandise including a paperback book entitled "Quest for
Content," T shirts, coffee mugs and mouse pads and a mailing list in which
fans discuss the Dewclaw family and their computer age doings.

The strip's creator, Bill Holbrook, sees the subscription service as the
next step in the evolution of the comic strip art form as it adapts to the
new ways in which information comes to the public.  "Newspapers are
changing, " says Holbrook, "And cartoonists have to change along with them.
As papers expand onto the Web, the comic strip is sure to follow!"

Bill Holbrook is the creator of two widely syndicated newspaper comic
strips, "On the Fastrack" and "Safe Havens." His work has been in
newspapers for over 14 years. His partner, Doug Pratt, operates the Funnies
Forum on CompuServe (GO FUNFOR) as well as seven other Forums.

Credit card orders are welcome. For further information, contact:

                   Doug Pratt - Online Feature Syndicate
                            2513 Iron Forge Rd.
                             Herndon VA  22071
                              (703) 689-3541
                       Email: DPRATT@compuserve.com



                              Gaming Section

"Hercules!"
"G Police!"
Nichimen at Siggraph '97
And more!



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


                Disney's Hercules For The Sony PlayStation
                          Allows Younger Players

IRVINE, CALIF. (Aug. 5) BUSINESS WIRE -Aug. 5, 1997--Sony Computer
Entertainment America (SCEA) and Virgin Interactive Tuesday announced that
Disney's Hercules Action Game for the PlayStation game console, launched on
July 4 weekend, is one of the few PlayStation games to target a younger
demographic than the 18-34 year-old males SCEA has monopolized since the
1995 roll-out of its console system.  Targeted primarily at boys eight to
14 years of age, the new game is also the first Disney property available
for SCEA's 32-bit game console system in the United States.

"From our market research, we've realized that there are a substantial
number of boys under 14 years old who play games on the PlayStation," said
Simon Jeffery, vice president of marketing, Virgin Interactive. "With
Disney's Hercules, we're able to leverage our past successes in publishing
Disney titles to deliver a terrific, immersive new game to this emerging
audience."

"Disney's Hercules will help further PlayStation's commanding leadership
position by delivering top quality entertainment to a younger audience in
addition to the established older, core market. This great game delivers
Disney quality to the PlayStation and helps attract a new family
entertainment audience and offers outstanding value for money," said Phil
Harrison, vice president, third party relations and R&D, Sony Computer
Entertainment America.

In the game, players follow the film's storyline as Hercules, fighting
animated enemies and villains taken from the movie, including the Hydra, a
monster with up to nine huge heads that regenerate if decapitated; the
Cyclops, a one-eyed giant with a terrible temper; and other evil characters
as they attain Hercules' one dream -- to become a hero and live on Mt.
Olympus with his father Zeus.

To make the game as close to the Disney film as possible, several of the
movie's characters voiced by Danny DeVito, James Woods, Rip Torn, Matt
Frewer of Max Headroom fame and "BobCat" Goldthwaite, produced separate
dialogue for their characters' roles in the PlayStation game that taunt,
tease and challenge the player throughout the game.  This is the first time
a Disney movie voicecast returned to the studio to produce additional lines
for a game based on the specific film.  The game also features more than
10,000 frames of hand-drawn game animation and actual film clips, so it
will come to life for gamers at home on their Sony PlayStation.

Developed by Disney Interactive and Eurocom Developments Ltd., the game
design features a sophisticated blending of 2D and 3D object, real-time
generated 3D landscapes and 3D special effects, further absorbing players
into Hercules plight.  For unpredictable gameplay each time the title is
played, Disney's Hercules action game features a "Z" axis so players can
move the main character in and out of the background scenery, enhancing the
3D effects of the game.  The "Z" axis feature also gives Hercules the
ability to dive and jump into the scenery while dodging obstacles.

             Psygnosis' G Police, a Stunning 3D Flight Shooter

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Aug. 4) BUSINESS WIRE -Aug. 4, 1997 -- A stunning
futuristic 3D flight shooter set apart by its intriguing storyline,
strategic gameplay and incredible looks, G Police(TM) was first unveiled by
Psygnosis at E3 '97.

The title is truly a technology showcase as a third generation
PlayStation(TM) game and highlights Psygnosis' advanced development
expertise using the latest PC technology.  Set to release in October on
Sony's PlayStation game console and for PC computer systems (from P133 to
Pentium II), G Police will blow away gamers with its fast and furious 3D
graphics, unrestricted flight dynamics and target-rich, interactive
missions.

"Our objective was to place the gamer at the center of action as dynamic as
any Hollywood blockbuster special effects extravaganza, and give the player
total control," explained Graham Davis, head producer at Psygnosis' UK
Stroud office. "With G Police, we think we've delivered the whole package."

"A futuristic city is the perfect location for a game like this -- it lends
itself to spectacular, movie-style action, flying between skyscrapers and
under bridges, blowing up enemy craft and street-level traffic, whatever
gets in the way of your mission," confessed Davis.  "G Police has a very
believable flight model, without being inaccessible to the average gamer.
But the emphasis is on action, in a well-constructed, densely populated
world, with a plot line that's very involved using mission briefings."

With 360 degree, fly-anywhere freedom in new world urban environment, this
all-action flight-shooter lets you patrol the skies of futuristic domed
cities as a member of the newly created G Police law-enforcement agency.
As veteran pilot, Jeff Slater, you fly a fully armored DASA-Kamov Havoc jet
gunship, having at your disposal an awesome supply of combat weaponry.

You'll need it, as more than 35 varied missions test both flight skills and
battle instincts to the fullest.  The action is set in four campaigns
throughout more than 50 bio-domed cities -- some urban, some industrial,
some agricultural -- on a colonized moon of Jupiter named Callisto.

The plot line, which unfolds in fully computer-generated FMV sequences and
via interactive, in-game radio briefings controlled by the advanced
artificial intelligence in the game, involves multi-national corporate
espionage, sabotage and murder.  Earth's resources are completely depleted
and a race is on to claim every ore-bearing rock in the Solar System.

After a war between nations, military resources are wiped out and the
powerful multinational corporations unite to take control and exploit other
resources in the galaxy.  As the 'Corporations' begin to demilitarize the
colonies, the G Police, essentially a crew of war veterans, are born to
keep the greedy bunch in check.

G Police's true 3D flight model allows for awesome inner-city, mid-air
shoot-outs and lots of strategic 'copter action.  This, combined with
spectacular lighting effects, a highly specialized collection of ballistic
weaponry and multiple selectable camera views, create a game that is rich
with gritty 'urban jungle' ambiance and electrifying, seat-of-your-pants
action.

The PC version of G Police will be compatible with most Pentium computers
with a minimum recommended spec of P133 and up to Pentium II. Although the
game runs non-accelerated, it will also be optimized for a wide variety of
3D accelerator cards through Microsoft(R) Direct 3D(TM).

To play G Police, players will need to download Microsoft Direct X 5 which
will be provided in the game.  A two-CD game, G Police is also one of the
first PC titles to take advantage of Intel(R)'s AGP (Accelerated Graphics
Port) interface on the same sku, which will soon be available on new PC
computer systems.

Both the PlayStation and PC skus will have an approximate retail price of
$50.  More information on the game can be found on the G Police webpage at
www.gpolice.com .

               Alias/Wavefront Provides Maya Progress Report

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- At SIGGRAPH, Alias/Wavefront, a
subsidiary of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: SGI), demonstrated impressive
progress on the development of its next-generation 3D animation software
product, Maya(TM).  Along with providing an update on the IRIX(TM) version
of Maya, Alias/Wavefront announced development plans to implement Maya on
Microsoft(R) Windows NT(TM).

Maya is a dramatically new approach to character animation and further
strengthens Alias/Wavefront's current leadership in visual effects
technology. The advanced architecture of Maya delivers unmatched system
speed and a streamlined workflow resulting in significantly increased
productivity.  Maya provides an unprecedented level of openness allowing
customers to easily extend the system to meet their specific production
requirements.

"We are very proud of our accomplishments on Maya to date and are
enthusiastic about its future," explained Tom Williams, vice president and
chief technical officer of Alias/Wavefront.  "Regardless of their size,
budget or preferred hardware platform, productivity is still the single
biggest issue for all CG customers.  Maya gives animators a real
productivity tool that helps them blast through their work to create
character animation and visual effects."

Currently, the software is installed and being rigorously beta tested at
approximately 50 customer sites worldwide.  The Maya beta testing program
includes input from these sites along with Alias/Wavefront's own quality
assurance testing and an in-house production, led by Academy Award(R)
nominee, Chris Landreth.  The Maya development team has completed all work
on the functionality and workflow and recently distributed the
full-functionality beta version to the beta sites for further testing.
Along with some targeted performance optimization work, the Maya team will
now dedicate the remaining development schedule to ensure delivery of a
robust production-ready product. Preliminary testing has confirmed that
Maya has achieved and, in some key areas, exceeded its performance goals.

"As a result of the positive response we've been getting from our beta
customers and our own testing, we have sufficient evidence that Maya
development is on-track and that it won't be compromised by the addition of
a team dedicated to creating an NT implementation," said Williams.  The NT
implementation is greatly facilitated by the unique modular design of the
Maya architecture.

Along with Maya, Alias/Wavefront's complete suite of current entertainment
products is being demonstrated at SIGGRAPH '97, August 5 - 8th in Booth 939
of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Alias/Wavefront software has been
used to create explosive effects in some of this summer's hottest new
releases, including "George of the Jungle" (Dream Quest Images), "Men In
Black" (ILM), "Face/Off" (VIFX), "Contact" (Sony Pictures Imageworks and
Warner Bros.), "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (ILM), and "Batman and
Robin" (Warner Bros.).  Many of the industry's classic FX films have
featured effects created using  Alias/Wavefront software, including "Toy
Story" (Pixar), "The Mask," "Jumanji," "Jurassic Park," "Terminator 2" and
"The Abyss" (ILM).

In the video game market, Alias/Wavefront software has been used to create
some of the hottest new titles, including "Final Fantasy(TM) VII" (Square),
"Quake(TM)" (id Software), and "Disruptor" (Insomniac Games/Universal
Interactive).  Alias/Wavefront has also been used to create some of the
biggest-selling titles in the history of game development, including
"Donkey Kong Country(TM)" (Rare/Nintendo), "Crash Bandicoot(TM)" (Naughty
Dog/Universal Interactive), and "MechWarrior(TM)" (FASA).

Alias/Wavefront provides artists with advanced computer graphics software
that helps unleash the power of their creativity.  As the world's leading
innovator of 2D and 3D graphics technology, Alias/Wavefront develops
software for the film and video, games, interactive media, industrial
design and visualization markets. Alias/Wavefront's film and video
customers include Boss Films, Cinesite, CNN, Digital Domain, Dream Quest
Images, Industrial Light +  Magic, Metrolight Studios, NBC, Pixar, Sony
Pictures Imageworks, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros.  Games and
interactive media developers include Acclaim, CAPCOM, Electronic Arts,
Iguana Entertainment, Interplay, Kronos Digital Entertainment, NAMCO,
Nintendo, SEGA, Sony Interactive, Square, Virtual Worlds Entertainment and
Williams/Bally Midway.

          Nichimen Graphics Announces First Port of Popular Game

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 5) BUSINESS WIRE -Aug. 5, 1997--  Huge Price Reductions
and Live Demonstration of Long-Awaited "Final Fantasy VII"   On Wednesday,
at Siggraph '97, Nichimen Graphics Inc. announced the first Windows NT port
of its popular N-World integrated software suite, for the creation of 3-D
graphics and animation targeted at the game-development and
interactive-entertainment industries.

N-World is the market leader, having enjoyed wide success running on the
Silicon Graphics UNIX workstations.  In addition, N-World will be
demonstrated at the booths of key Nichimen Graphics strategic partners:
Intergraph (No. 439), AccelGraphics  (No. 561) and Mitsubishi (No. 917).

The company also announced a major 40 percent price reduction on N-World,
slashing the cost from $16,995 to $9,995.  The Fast Track suite, consisting
of N-Geometry, N-Paint 2D and 3D, and Export (DirectX, VRML 2.0), has been
reduced from $6,495 to $4,995 for two weeks as a Siggraph "5plus5" show
special.

N-World contains the most advanced polygonal modeling and animation
software available today.  It consists of 2-D and 3-D painting and
texturing tools, material editor, photo-realistic render and artist's
preview tools used to create some of the world's best-selling interactive
games -- including "Super Mario 64," "Spider," "Enemy Zero" and "Beast
Wars."
It was also used extensively by Square to make the much-anticipated "Final
Fantasy VII.'

As part of Nichimen's participation at Siggraph '97, Kazuyuki Hashimoto,
the creative director of "Final Fantasy VII," will showcase N-World during
a key presentation in SGI's booth (No. 1139/1339) by illustrating how the
game was made, from concept to modeling to game play.  Fast Track is the
premier real-time 3-D graphics content-creation software for the Silicon
Graphics and NT workstations.  It consists of N-GEOMETRY, N-PAINT (2D and
3D), color reduction, texturing and export to VRML and DirectX.

Nichimen's software has also been fully certified on the Intergraph TD-200,
TD-225 and TDZ-410.  Support for the following boards is planned for this
quarter:  3Dlabs GLINT 500TX and 500MX; ELSA Gloria-L/MX; Mitsubishi 3D
Pro; AccelGraphics Eclipse and MX; Diamond FireGL 100; and Oxygen 202.








ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!



                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING



 On CompuServe

Compiled by Joe Mirando
jmirando@streport.com


     Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, as it always does, another week
has come and gone and it's time to  look at what's going on here on
CompuServe... and that's not much, unfortunately.  I want to bounce an idea
off  of you and have you tell me what you think.  How would you feel about
my including posts from Delphi and  the UseNet in addition to the posts
from CompuServe? As I said, there is less and less info available every
week. I'd hate to see this column dwindle down to a paragraph or two and
then disappear. It seems that if we're  to keep on producing this column,
it should at least be worth reading on a weekly basis. I'd rather just stop
writing the column than have it become a shoddy bit of filler. I've seen
that happen in other online magazines (yes, despite what you might believe,
there have been other online magazines ), and printed-on-paper
magazines as well. It's always saddened me to see this happen, and I can't
imagine what I'd feel if I saw it happen to this column.

     So, I'm opening up the floor to suggestions. I'm open to just about
anything. My only requirement is that  whatever we decide to include in the
column be Atari related.  I have the resources to gather information from
internet newsgroups, and from Delphi (because of Genie's one-time policy of
not allowing information posted  there to be published, I'd rather not get
into that. They may well have changed their policy, but I don't know either
way).  So let me know what you think. As any of you who have emailed me in
the past know, I don't publish any email without prior consent (This is not
legally necessary, but that it does make it easier to converse sometimes),
so  don't worry about your suggestion being plastered all over STReport...
that won't happen.

Please drop me a line at either at my STR address;

jmirando@streport.com
or,
73637.2262@compuserve.com

and say "Hey Joe,  why don't you check out  for stuff to
use in your column?"

                          Editor/Publisher Note.

     I'm all for the idea of an Atari "At Large" column.  After all, I'm
not going to forget my roots, however humble they may have been.     As
for Genie, forget it.  No chance anything Genie will make it here unless
there's dramatice changes and profound apologies for manner in which the
infamous Nathan and Darlah Show was allowed to do the rotten things they
did to this publication because we dared to tell it like it really was back
then.  You are correct Joe, we do not need permission to publish email sent
to us but I, like you, believe its nice to be nice and ask anyway.
                                                  Ralph.. Now, let's get to
the info that's to be found on CompuServe.

                      From the Atari Computing Forums

     "I once (and very long ago) owned an Atari 800 16k with the
     410/1010 cassette drive (purchased in 1981) and had a ball with it.
     I had some games aqqqnd the Music Composer, Assembler EditorBut
     times were a changin and the Atari didn't do WP DB and SS for me
     then.  So I abandoned it in 1984 for different ways...

     Now I've been given an Atari XE system by which the CPU and
     keyboard are split in two!  And I'm wondering ... what has happened
     in the intervening years ...  please bring me up to date ...

     Can I obtain a [modern 3.5"] F.D. Drive for it?  Where can I get
     some ROM cartridges for it?  Did anyone ever find a purpose for the
     RIGHT cartridge slot in the Atari 800?"

Kevin Tekel tells Rob:
     "You have the last 8-bit Atari computer ever designed. It's the
     Atari XE Game System, made from 1987 to 1991 or so. As its name
     suggests, you can completely remove the keyboard and just use it
     for games. In fact, some XE Game Systems were originally sold
     without keyboards.

     Most people don't use 3.5-inch disk drives with 8-bit Ataris, but
     I suppose you could hook one up if you really wanted to. But 99.99%
     of all the 8-bit software comes on standard 5.25" disks."

Peter Bodzioch adds:
     "As far as the 3.5" drive goes, I believe Best Computers sold a
     kit you could install in an XF551 drive which would allow you use
     relatively modern disks.  I'm not sure how much of the disk could
     actually be used by the Atari, nor if a special version of DOS was
     required.

     I don't know what any retailers are asking for ROM cartridges
     (would this be a buyer's or seller's market?) but you might try
     asking around in the classified message section here.  Another
     great resource is the Web; there are many people out there letting
     games go for anywhere from $0.25 to $5.00 each."

Carsten Baron fills us in on the latest addition to his software
collection:
     "I now CAB 2.5 is working on my Falcon. It works very good. But
     It's slower than Netscape or Explorer.  Sorry, but I have no Demo
     of Cab 2.5 and PPP."

>From what I hear, no one is exactly sure of when there will be an
english version of CAB 2.5 available, only that it WILL be available.
>From what I've heard, the accessories for CAB 2.5 are amazing (I'm still
not clear on whether they will be included with CAB 2.5, or available as
an add-on). I can't wait to see them.  Carsten has also graciously
uploaded several screen shots of what CAB 2.5 looks like to the library.
I have not had a chance to download them yet, but as soon as I do,
you'll hear what I think.

Meanwhile, Douglas Erickson posts:
     "I just bought Flash II, I double clicked the program and got a
     message my computer doesn't have enough memory. How much memory do
     I need to run this program?"

John Trautschold of Missionware Software tells Douglas:
     "If you purchased the latest version you need at least a 1 Meg
     system to run Flash II."

While this may sound like a real bummer, I'd like to point out that
there are not many programs in the modern computing world that will run
with only one meg of memory... JEEZ!  I can't believe that I just said
"Only one meg"! I can remember when I pondered what one would do with a
whole meg of memory back when Atari announced the 1040 ST.  "My
goodness," I thought, "half a meg is more than enough to run just about
anything you can think of". Well, maybe anything that we could have
thought of back then. Of course, we didn't need several dozen special
drivers back then either. Everything worked as is was supposed to by
simply using the routines provided in TOS and GEM. Yes, those
applications were less powerful (nobody that I know would stack
1ST Word up against PageStream), but they were quite a bit easier to use
and provided decent results.... and still do for me.

While we're on the subject of drivers, J.T. Hughes had asked last week
about finding a printer driver to allow Pro-Text to use his inkjet
printer. This week, Albert Dayes tells him:
     "I guess one solution would be to get updated printer drivers for
     Pro-Text from the manufacturer. Other than that if you can export
     your text and use another program to print seems to be your only
     other option."

J.T. tells Albert:
     "Many thanks for your help. Being somewhat out of touch with Atari
     for some years I had serious trouble in re-establishing a
     connection with the current Protext people but I am now doing as
     you suggest."

Gary "P" posts:
     "I read recently in ST Applications there is a cable/software
     package to connect the ST to a Psion computer. Does anyone have an
     address or phone no. of a dealer selling these products in the UK."

Mark Binner tells Gary:
     "Half true - you need the PC version of the Psion 3Link to provide
     the actual physical connection. It has a cable with a 9 pin AND a
     25 pin serial connector.

     Second you need a piece of software called S3-ST which you can get
     from a great many UK shareware libraries. I have it and is really
     is very good indeed, cheap too.

     Try the FAST Club in Nottingham - phone number is 0115 945 5250.
     Let me know if you cannot find it and I will copy it for you."

ken Goodwin asks for help:
     "My ST (or monitor) just started acting up.  After warming up for
     a few minutes, the computer seems to go through a continuous reset
     cycle.  This only occurs when I am using my SM124 monitor, and does
     not occur when I use my Moniterm.

     My first thought would be a power supply problem, but since the
     Moniterm works OK, can I rule that out?  What are the symptoms of a
     SM124 going bad?"

Kevin Tekel tells Ken to...
     "Check the connection to the Monochrome Detect pin on the monitor
     connector.  When this connection is broken, the ST must reset in
     order to go into color mode. If the connection is intermittent
     (on/off/on/off), the computer will reset several times in a row.
     BTW, the Monochrome Detect pin must be grounded in order to use 640
     x 400 monochrome mode."

     Well folks, that's about it for this week.  Keep those cards and
letters coming . Be sure to tune in again next week, same time, same
channel, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when...

                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING


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      Since 1987  Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved   Issue No. 1332






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