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Article #664 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 26-Sep-97 #1338
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Wed Oct 15 17:30:31 1997



                                     
                           Silicon Times Report
                                     
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 September 26, 1997                                               No.1338

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>From the Editor's Desk...

     I'd like to apologize for the lateness of this issue and for its
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                     LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson


                      IBM Announces Chip Breakthrough

IBM is announcing discovery of a way to wire semiconductors with copper
instead of aluminum, a development that could cheapen the cost of computers
and speed up calculations.  Business writer David E. Kalish of The
Associated Press notes aluminum has been the metal of choice since the
microprocessor industry was born more than three decades ago, adding,
"Copper carries electrical signals faster but is harder to apply to the
silicon surface of chips."

Officials with Big Blue's Armonk, New York, headquarters told the
wireservice switching metals could speed up a microprocessor by up to 40
percent while cheapening its cost by up to 30 percent, resulting in
computers that think faster and store more information.  "The technology
will enable chips to operate on less electricity, making them useful for
laptop computers and other battery-operated electronics products," AP adds.

                       Intel Offers 65-Megabit Chip

A 65-megabit flash memory chip, in which the data storage capacity of each
memory cell is double that of conventional chips, is being launched by
Intel Corp. Volume shipments will begin in the first quarter of 1998.
Reporter Yuzo Saeki of the Reuter News Service says the new chip employs
multi-level cell technology,  enabling multiple bits of information to be
stored in one transistor, cutting production costs of the chips. Vice
President William Howe of Intel's Computing Enhancement Group told the wire
service the company sees new  applications opened by the chip, including
digital voice recorders, larger capacity digital cameras and digital
television's set-top boxes.

The company expects to ship one million to 10 million units of the new
StrataFlash memory chips in 1998,  Howe said, adding all of the company's
older flash memory devices would eventually be replaced by those  based on
the new StrataFlash technology.  Howe said many industry observers
predicted the value of the flash memory market would reach $5 billion to $9
billion in 2001, adding, "Our prediction is closer to $9 billion."
Reuters says Intel currently holds a 30 percent share in the $2.5 billion
global flash memory chip market.

                    Xerox Offers HP Printer Cartridges

Xerox Corp. has launched a line of recycled toner cartridges for
Hewlett-Packard LaserJet printers. The move marks the first time Xerox has
offered supplies for a competitor's products for retail distribution in
North America.  According to Xerox, the cartridges are manufactured from a
recovered hulk that is stripped down and rebuilt with new components. Each
unit is supported by a one-year warranty.  "The customer deserves the right
to choose," says Larry Wash, vice president and general manager of Xerox's
New Ventures supplies group. "A Xerox toner cartridge assures
Hewlett-Packard printer owners of high quality. Our distribution plan will
provide them with broad availability and our pricing strategy will ensure
greater value."  The cartridges are available now at Staples office
superstores throughout the U.S. The products are scheduled to reach Staples
outlets in Canada within a few weeks.  Xerox estimates the market for
post-sale toner cartridge products at over $3  billion.  Xerox's Web site
is located at www.xerox.com.

                        Internet Fax Service Debuts

A new service that promises users the ability to send faxes over the
Internet at substantial cost savings has been introduced by .comfax.  The
service allows documents sent from a Windows-based PC to bypass the
traditional long distance telephone networks and travel the Internet,
potentially trimming users' fax bills.  ".comfax is both the Volkswagen and
Mercedes Benz of faxing," says Ben Feder, president and CEO of the New
York- based company. "On the one hand, it's a low-cost Internet faxing
alternative for everyone -- you don't have to be a Fortune 500 company to
enjoy low prices. On the other hand, the service offers top-of-the-line
features that allow people to work more productively."  Users can register
on-line at www.comfax.com for a free trial account and download the .comfax
software at no cost. The trial includes 10 minutes of free faxing within
the continental U.S. After the trial period, users pay 10 cents per minute
for faxing anywhere in the U.S. International fax rates vary by country.

                      PC Postage Stamp Beta Set to Go

A Hayward, California, company is awaiting word from the U.S. Postal
Service to begin beta testing PC-generated electronic postage stamps.
Neopost's PC Stamp will produce electronic postage, represented as
two-dimensional bar-coded stamps or "indicia," that can be printed by a
standard PC and printer.  "We've had very strong interest in the PC Stamp
beta program -- a solid indication of the product's 'best in class' status
and momentum of the emerging electronic postage market," says J.P. Leon,
Neopost's product manager. "Once the USPS finalizes the beta test details,
we can commence testing."  Leon adds that he expects the USPS to approve
the start of beta testing in the San Francisco and Washington markets as
early as December. The test will involve usage of the product by small
businesses and home offices, as well as mail processing by the USPS.  After
final approval by the USPS, Neopost plans begin bundling PC Stamp with
office software packages.  More details are available on the Web at
http://www.pcstamp.com .

                      Steve Jobs is Apple Interim CEO

Apple Computer Inc.'s board today named company co-founder Steve Jobs as
interim CEO while it continues the search for a permanent leader.  As
reported, Jobs has been serving as an adviser to the board, but is  said to
have insisted he doesn't want to remain as CEO.  Reporting from Apple's
Cupertino, Calif., headquarters,  United Press International reports the
board also expects to hire a chief executive by the  end of the year.  As
noted, previous CEO Gilbert Amelio, forced out in July, was hired to turn
Apple around, but the company posted losses totaling about $1.6 billion
during his year-and-a-half in the job.

Jobs was elected CEO at the first meeting of Apple's new board. Last month
four leading computer industry executives agreed to join the board in a
show of support for the struggling personal computer manufacturer. The new
directors include Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison; Intuit Corp.
President Bill Campbell; Gareth Chang, senior vice president of Hughes
Electronics and president of Hughes International; and Jerome York, former
chief financial officer of IBM and Chrysler Corp.  They joined holdover
board members Jobs and Edgar Woolard, chairman of the board of E.I. DuPont
de Nemours and Co.

                      Gil Amelio Suspects Steve Jobs

Former Apple Computer Inc. CEO Gil Amelio says he suspected Apple
co-founder Steve Jobs played a role in his demise at the computer maker.
Earlier this month, Amelio, who was ousted by Apple's board in July, had
told The New Yorker he harbored no malice toward Jobs and that Jobs had
nothing to do with the board's decision.  However, Amelio has told The San
Francisco Examiner, "Now, what I'm saying is if Steve had absolutely
nothing to do with it, he would go on the record in the press and say that,
and he would acknowledge my real contributions to the company in getting
things fixed. And since he hasn't done either, it makes me suspicious."

The Reuter News Service says Jobs -- who was hired back by Amelio as an
adviser to Apple last December and is now interim CEO of Apple while the
company continues to look for a chief executive to replace Amelio -- said
through a spokeswoman he declined comment on Amelio's observations.  Amelio
says he also questions some of the actions of Oracle Corp. Chairman/CEO
Larry Ellison, who told the San Jose Mercury News in an interview last
March he was considering buying Apple Computer, citing mismanagement of the
company, but  he never launched a bid.

"If you've got a problem with the way a CEO is running a company, you pick
up the phone and talk to him," Amelio said. "The fact that he did that all
in the press was outside the bounds of normal business ethics."
Amelio told the paper he was giving himself until the first of the year
before making his next career move. Amelio's severance package is
reportedly worth $7 million.  For now, watch for Amelio to be speaking as a
"technology evangelist" on "technical issues that have social
ramifications."  He told the Examiner he would not mind being a CEO again
but is also evaluating possibilities as an investor/adviser to technology
startups.

                          Apple Sued by Chipmaker

Chipmaker Exponential Technology Inc. has filed suit accusing Apple
Computer Inc. of sabotaging its business to hobble competitive efforts by
Macintosh clone manufacturers. Exponential recently closed its headquarters
and laid off most of its staff.  Reporting from San Jose, California, The
Wall Street Journal this morning reports the suit, filed in California
Superior Court, accuses Apple of fraud and breach-of-contract and seeks
$500 million in damages.   The Journal observes this "is the latest in a
series of conflicts regarding Apple's Macintosh clone business, which
co-founder Steve Jobs recently ended. In 1994, Apple agreed to help fund
Exponential's efforts to design an advanced version of the Macintosh's
PowerPC chip, which the tiny company was expected to supply for use in
future Apple machines."

The paper says Exponential worked on two unusually fast chips, but missed
its performance targets. Analysts say that, along with Apple's own
worsening financial situation, contributed to Apple's decision not to buy
large quantities of the Exponential chips.  The Exponential suit contends
the firm obtained separate agreements from two clone manufacturers, Power
Computing Corp. and Umax Computer Corp., to buy Exponential's chips.
However, Exponential alleges, Apple refused to allow any such transaction
out of fear the clone machines would vastly outperform Apple's and
exacerbate Apple's declining sales.

                      Dataquest: Apple Seals Its Fate

Apple Computer Inc.'s decision to halt the licensing of its Macintosh
operating system to clone makers will lead to the computer maker's demise,
reports Dataquest Inc.  "Dataquest believes this action raises the risk
factors for participating in the Mac market to new highs and will have
serious detrimental effects on Apple," notes a new report issued by the San
Jose, California, market research firm. "Our conclusion is that Apple has
started down a path that will lead to its demise as a serious player in the
PC market."

Apple recently purchased the license and assets of Power Computing Corp.,
the biggest Macintosh clone maker, for $100 million. Last week, both
Motorola Inc. and IBM Corp. announced they would no longer license the
Macintosh operating system from Apple.  "Apple's actions will now initiate
a firesale of existing clone Macintosh inventories from Motorola, Power
Computing and others," observes the study. "This firesale will inevitably
cost Apple a few points of market share in the third and fourth quarters."
The report concludes, "We do not believe Apple will survive its next
downturn, which will presage the company spiraling into insignificance as
it loses any advantage of scale."

                      Apple to Make Network Computers

Low-cost network computers that run Macintosh software and are specifically
designed for the Internet reportedly are to be introduce by Apple Computer
Inc. at next January's Macworld Expo.  The San Francisco Chronicle, citing
unidentified sources, reports today that Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO,
has approved the design and manufacture of the simplified personal
computers.  The newspaper says Apple's network computer will cost about
$750 and should be available in the spring.

An Apple spokeswoman told The Associated Press the company is evaluating NC
as a future technology.
People familiar with the project told the Chronicle the Apple NCs will use
a PowerPC microprocessor code-named Arthur. Adds AP, "They likely will run
the current Mac operating system and be connected to server computers
running Rhapsody, Apple's future-generation OS. The machines will be aimed
at the education and publishing markets."

                     Survey Says TV, PC Not Combining

Even though TV tuners for personal computers have been available for almost
10 years now and despite the current hype of PCTV, a survey says most U.S.
home PC users still are more likely to have a separate TV in the same room
they have their PC.  Also, says the quarterly study of 15,000 U.S.
households from Media Metrix, nearly 40 percent of all home PC households
will have the TV on at the same time they are using their PC.  Says a
statement from the pollsters, "The acceptance of the PCTV, the ability of a
single device to operate as a TV and a PC, appears to be unlikely as U.S.
home PC users are much more likely to have both devices
running simultaneously."

The survey indicates that:

z    Out of the 38.4 million households that have working PCs in their
  households, 17.7 million have their PCs in the same room as a TV.
z    15.2 million households have the TV on at the same time the PC is in
  use in the same room at least sometimes. In fact, 8.1 million households
  use their PC and have the TV on at the same time often or always.

Says Vice President Bruce Ryon, chief technology analyst at Media Metrix,
"Convergence of the PC and TV may be but a pipe dream of the computer
industry. This new Media Metrix data suggests that people will follow the
already established technology usage trend of purchasing and using multiple
devices rather than a single merged device. It isn't just computers that
multi-task."

                     Repeat Buyers Lead Home PC Sales

Repeat buyers continue to account for the vast majority of home PC sales,
finds Odyssey Inc.'s latest Homefront study.  According to the study, home
PC penetration continued its slow, steady growth to reach 39 percent of
U.S. homes, compared with 37 percent six months ago. The study adds that 68
percent of consumers who  purchased a home computer during the previous six
months were repeat buyers. In 1994 and 1995, repeat  buyers and first-time
buyers each accounted for roughly half of home computer sales. However, in
1996 the proportion of first-time buyers began dropping and by the second
half of the year they accounted for only 32 percent of home PC sales.
"Thirty-nine percent does not indicate market saturation," says Odyssey
President Nick Donatiello. "There is  plenty of room to  grow, but only if
computer manufacturers begin to make the kinds of machines that consumers
demand: PCs that are easier to buy, easier to set up, easier to use and
that deliver entertainment value."

                       Household Online Use Doubles

A new survey finds that household use of online services and the Internet
has almost doubled in the past year, despite the declining image of service
providers.  According to Odyssey Inc.'s latest 1997 "Homefront" survey,
households using online services or the Internet now spend an average of
12.8 hours a week online compared to 6.5 hours a year ago. The survey also
finds that 48 percent of U.S. households with computers are now online.

Odyssey notes that the dramatic increase in online usage comes at a time
when consumers' opinion of  online/Internet service providers is at an all
time low. The San Francisco-based firm adds that the increase in usage also
is surprising because of the accompanying growth in penetration. "Often,
when market penetration of a technology product or service increases,
average usage falls because the heaviest users lead the way in adopting the
product or service," says Odyssey President Nick Donatiello. "There are a
number of possible reasons for this remarkable increase in usage, including
the fact that there is more to do online than ever before and that people
are becoming increasingly comfortable with this new medium."

                       51 Million U.S. Adults Online

A new survey conducted by IntelliQuest Information Group Inc. finds that 51
million U.S. adults, ages 16 and  older, were online as of the second
quarter of 1997.  The figure represents a 46 percent growth rate from the
35  million users reported online one year ago. The majority of the growth
occurred in the second half of 1996, when the online population increased
by 34 percent in six months.  Although growth of the online population
slowed in 1997, the market is far from saturated, notes the Austin, Texas-
based market research firm. An additional 8.5 million adults intend to
begin accessing the Internet or online services by the end of the year. If
these people follow through with their intentions, the number of wired U.S.
residents could reach 60 million by year's end.

According to IntelliQuest, the most startling new result is in the
emergence of online shopping. In the new survey, 17 percent of users (8.6
million adults) claimed to be online purchasers, with a median monthly
expenditure of $50. The online commerce market is running at a $5.1 billion
annualized rate, notes IntelliQuest. These results are more than three
times the findings from the levels found one year ago, when a projected 2.6
million individuals were purchasing at a $1.6 billion annual rate.

Other IntelliQuest findings:

z    The majority (66 percent) of users go online from home, but the
  population of users accessing from work is large and growing fast. In the
  second quarter of this year, 23.3 million people were going online while at
  work, a 57 percent increase from the same period in 1996.
z    There is a relatively small proportion of extremely active users (20
  percent) who spend 10 hours or more per week online, but nearly 40 percent
  of all users said they were spending more time online than they did a month
  ago. Most said by watching less television.
z    The online population continues to move toward the mainstream. Females
  now account for 47 percent of Internet and online service users, compared
  with 36 percent a year ago. This trend should continue, says IntelliQuest,
  as females make up 58 percent of non-users who intend to go online in the
  future.

                         MSNBC Cancels 'The Site'

Ziff-Davis Inc. and MSNBC say they have reached an agreement to discontinue
airing "The Site" on the MSNBC cable network.  Ziff-Davis produced the
nightly show, which focused on Internet-related topics, for  MSNBC. MSNBC
is a joint venture of NBC and Microsoft Corp.  "In light of MSNBC's
increasing focus on an all news format, the successful program, which is
only partly news- oriented, will not remain part of the MSNBC schedule,"
notes a statement issued by Ziff-Davis and MSNBC. "MSNBC and NBC News will
seek to make other programming arrangements with Ziff-Davis and ZDTV in the
area of news coverage on the technology arena."  Ziff-Davis, which is
preparing to launch ZDTV: Your Computer Channel, says it will use key
resources of "The Site" in its 24-hour cable channel on computing and the
Internet.  "The Site" won two Emmy awards and was recently named the best
overall TV program by the Computer Press Association.

                         MSNBC Employees Laid Off

Trying to cut costs at its World Wide Web publishing businesses, Microsoft
Corp. is laying off up to 40 of the 230 employees of MSNBC's Internet
operation.  MSNBC spokeswoman Debby Fry Wilson told The Associated Press
all but one of the workers being laid off are temporary contract employees.
Some, she said, were hired specifically to launch a now-completed redesign
of MSNBC's Web site. Others are being laid off because Microsoft and its
partner in the venture, NBC, are finding "efficiencies" in both technical
and editorial areas.
Said Wilson, "It was always part of our plan to rely on contingent staffing
during the redesign process."  AP comments, "Microsoft executives have said
they are taking a tougher stance toward Web ventures that aren't making
money. MSNBC is the company's most visible and most expensive Web project."

As noted, MSNBC launched the site and 24-hour cable-television news
network, based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in July 1996, with Microsoft and
NBC agreeing to a five-year commitment. Microsoft agreed to invest about
$200 million up front and another $200 million over the five years. NBC
supplied people and equipment for the start-up and likewise agreed to spend
$200 million over five years.  The wire service notes MSNBC last spring
laid off about 10 contractors from its Internet operation. Executives also
scrapped plans to greatly expand the site's sports staff in an even closer
partnership with NBC Sports. Microsoft this year also laid off about 100
contract workers who had been producing interactive "shows" for The
Microsoft Network. Many of those people found other jobs within the
software company.  As reported earlier, Ziff-Davis Inc. and MSNBC also have
decided to discontinue airing "The Site" on the MSNBC cable network.

                      Borland, Microsoft Settle Suit

Borland International Inc.'s suit accusing Microsoft Corp. of
systematically hiring its chief programmers to cripple it has been settled
out of court for undisclosed terms.  Reporting from Borland's Scotts
Valley, California, headquarters, the Reuter News Service says
representatives of both companies declined to provide details.  Last May,
Borland sued Microsoft for unfair competition, saying the software giant
was recruiting and hiring key Borland employees specifically to destroy
Borland's ability to compete.  Borland had said that in the past 30 months,
Microsoft had hired at least 34 of its programmers and executives.
Microsoft had denied any wrongdoing.  Adds Reuters, "U.S. software
companies are facing a serious shortage of seasoned programmers. Other
companies, including Informix Corp., have accused bigger rivals of unfairly
raiding their employee rosters as a way to cripple the competition."

                      Piracy Case Reaps Novell $4.3M

A federal court in California has awarded software publisher Novell Inc.
$4.3 million plus attorney's fees in a piracy case.  Reporting from
Novell's Provo, Utah, headquarters, the Dow Jones news service quotes the
company as saying it had argued in the case that Frank Vanderputt,
president of Vandy Micro Corp. of Southern California, defrauded Novell and
its customers.  Last February, Novell filed civil lawsuits against 17
California-based companies, alleging that the defendants were fraudulently
obtaining Novell upgrades and/or counterfeiting NetWare boxes to give the
appearance of new product.

                     Internet Piracy Debate Continues

Who should bear the burden of protecting movies, magazines and records from
Internet piracy? The debate continues in Washington this week.  As reported
earlier, the U.S. and 95 other countries signed two treaties late last year
at the World Intellectual Property Organization aimed at protecting
material that travels on the Internet. Now Congress is considering two
bills that would implement the treaties.  Reporter David Lawsky of the
Reuter News Service notes House Judiciary subcommittee on courts and
intellectual property has launched a hearing on the issue.

Squaring off on the issues are:

z    Movie makers, publishers, record producers and software publishers,
  who favor tough standards in the bills. They want to limit the manufacture
  of devices that could be used to reproduce or access encrypted information
  and want Internet providers and telephone companies to police the bits and
  bytes on their networks.
z    Telephone companies, schools and libraries on the other side, who are
  concerned that the legislation might make it more difficult for them to
  exercise "fair use" rights that permit them to use snippets of copyrighted
  material.

Larry Kenswil, executive vice president of Universal Music Group, speaking
for a coalition of record producers, told Congress yesterday, "There must
be a real commitment by Internet-access providers to curb the very serious
problem of Internet piracy."  Speaking for the other side, Prof. Robert
Oakley of the Georgetown University Law Center said, "Unfortunately,
educators and librarians will not be able to fully exploit the creative
benefits of new technology if they are subjected to unwarranted online
service-provider liability or are unable to purchase or use devices
essential for displaying or recording."

Lawsky says Assistant Secretary of Commerce Bruce Lehman, who also serves
as commissioner of patents and trademarks, testified that the
administration was essentially looking for quick ratification of the
treaties.  "I wish that we could present you with a solution to this
perplexing issue that could be embraced by all the parties, both content
and service providers," Lehman said. "We are not able to do so."

                      CompuServe Has Anti-Spam Filter

CompuServe has installed a powerful filter that allows individual members
to restrict the flow of unsolicited e- mail or "spam" that can reach them
online.  The spam filter, is automatically "on" unless a member chooses to
turn it off.  "We won't divulge the specifics of how the filter works any
more than a bank would disclose its security system, but it has  an
excellent success rate in restricting spam," says Teemu Kolehmainen,
CompuServe's e-mail manager. "Personal e-mail will not be affected by this
filter."

"CompuServe's new e-mail filter is restricting more than 30 million
unsolicited messages per week in its testing phase," adds Denny Matteucci,
president of Interactive Services for CompuServe. "Our members want to
choose whether or not they receive solicitations. With the filter
activated, a large percentage of the e-mailed solicitations will not get
through. This is a significant step in providing technological solutions to
the huge spam problem that all online consumers are experiencing."
CompuServe has also updated its policy on unsolicited e-mail.

The new policy, which can be found at
http://world.compuserve.com/online/policies.asp, prohibits unauthorized
third parties from using any CompuServe facilities or equipment to
process, store or send unsolicited e-mail. The revised policy follows
CompuServe's success in U.S. federal court in preventing a spammer from
using  CompuServe equipment or fraudulently using the CompuServe name in
spam. CompuServe's Member  Agreement already prohibits members from sending
unsolicited advertising or promotional e-mail to other  CompuServe members.

CompuServe says it is working closely with the Federal Trade Commission on
an e-mail industry task force. One goal of the task force is to recommend
industry-wide technological solutions to stem the flow of spam to
consumers' mailboxes, and to ensure that online/Internet companies'
equipment is not overburdened by spam. The online/Internet industry hopes
to recommend long-term solutions to manage spam that regulation and
legislation alone will not provide. There are currently three bills
circulating in Congress that address the unsolicited e-mail problem. The
Center for Democracy and Technology and the Voters Telecommunications
Watch, in cooperation  with the FTC, have created a Web site
(http://www.junkemail.org) where consumers can forward spam and report
e-mail that they think is fraudulent.

                       'Spamford' Wallace Loses Net

Premier junk e-mailer Sanford Wallace -- self-anointed "Spam King,"
sometimes calling himself "Spamford" -- has lost his Internet connection,
at least temporarily.  Reporting from Philadelphia, the Reuter News Service
says the high-speed Internet access account for Wallace's Cyber Promotions
Inc. has been cancelled by Apex Global Internet Services Inc. (Agis) of
Dearborn, Michigan.

This means Cyber Promotions can no longer use Agis to send out the tens of
millions of unsolicited e-mail messages it normally distributes in a given
day, a practice known to some as "spamming."  The terse explanation offered
by Agis marketing analyst Jason Delk is, "Outstanding security issues are
the reason Cyber Promotions was disconnected from our backbone." He noted
several other bulk e-mailers were turned out by Agis at the same time.

Reuters comments, "Wallace, who enjoyed notoriety as a junk faxer until
Congress outlawed the practice, has  since become one of the most reviled
figures in Cyberspace. Critics say he and other bulk mailers clog the
worldwide computer network with millions of unsolicited advertisements,
usually for obscure companies. He also has been accused of using
'web-scraping' software to strip e-mail addresses from websites and
Internet newsgroups."  Wallace has not yet commented on the disconnection,
but Reuters notes his efforts have been shut down by high-speed Internet
providers at least twice before, last October by Sprint Corp., and again in
June by WorldCom Inc.

                     Baby Bells Join Encryption Fight

A coalition urging Congress to reject a proposal that would give U.S. law
enforcement agencies access to otherwise secure computer files now has the
support of five influential "Baby Bell" regional telephone companies.
Reporter Aaron Pressman of the Reuter News Service says the five have
joined dozens of high-tech companies and business groups in signing a
letter opposing proposed limits on encryption technology used to protect
computer files from outside access or interference.

As reported, FBI Director Louis Freeh is urging Congress to enact the
limits.  Reuters says the opponents sent  their letter to U.S. Rep. Thomas
Bliley, Republican of Virginia, chairman of the House Commerce Committee.
"Later this week," notes Pressman, "the committee is expected to consider
an encryption bill authored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican.
Prompted by Freeh, the committee is currently leaning toward amending
Goodlatte's encryption bill to impose new limits."

The five Bells -- Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, SBC Communications
and US West -- signed the letter opposing the restrictions. Other signing
the letter ranged from civil libertarians at the Center for Democracy and
Technology to conservatives at Americans for Tax Reform.  CDT Director
Jerry Berman who helped organize the letter signing told the wire service
the bill "would be a direct hit at the telecommunications infrastructure.
It's an unmitigated disaster."

Pressman also notes the letter was even signed by IBM, "which had
previously been seen as one of the few companies not openly opposing the
Clinton administration's policy restricting encryption exports. But the
domestic limits being considered by the Commerce Committee would go well
beyond current policy."

                     House Committee Nixes Encryption

Cyberspace's anti-encryption forces have won a round. A House committee has
rejected a bill that would give police greater ability to unscramble
encrypted computer files.  Voting 16-35, the House Commerce Committee
yesterday rejected an attempt to require U.S. software companies to make
sure computer programs manufactured or imported into this country have the
ability to be decrypted when required under court order.

Associated Press writer Katherine Rizzo reports the committee instead
adopted milder language offering to help law enforcement break complicated
computer codes through a new high-tech research center at the U.S.
Department of Justice.  Adds Rizzo, "The Justice Department didn't ask for
such a center, and opponents pointed out that no funding for it has been
discussed, but the electronics industry preferred that alternative."

AP sees the vote setting up a showdown over the controversial bill, noting
that House Rules Committee  Chairman Gerald Solomon, R-New York, has
pledged not to allow an encryption bill on the House floor without the
unscrambling provisions that were rejected Wednesday.  FBI Director Louis
Freeh, Drug Enforcement Administrator Thomas Constantine and Treasury
Undersecretary Raymond Kelly all unsuccessfully appealed to the committee
to adopt language offered by  Rep. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio.  However, Rep. Ed
Markey, D-Massachusetts, successfully argued that the law enforcement
approach unnecessarily jeopardized the privacy of every computer user.

                       FTC Investigating Intel Corp.

A broad inquiry into Intel Corp.'s dominance in the PC industry has been
launched by the Federal Trade Commission, which is sending formal demands
for information to key computer and chipmakers.  The Wall Street Journal
reports this morning, "The FTC's civil investigative demand, sent by
overnight-mail Tuesday, seeks information on whether Intel violated the law
'by acting to monopolize, attempt to monopolize or otherwise restrict price
or non-price competition in the development or sale of microprocessors or
other computer components or related intellectual property.'"

The paper says the investigation follows allegations Intel was bullying
customers and competitors through its licensing practices and by
threatening to limit customers' supplies of chips, or their access to key
technical information needed to keep pace with new generations of chips.
The paper notes this brings "both pillars of the PC industry ... under
federal investigation," noting that Microsoft Corp. has been under
antitrust scrutiny by the Justice Department since late 1993.

The report -- prepared by Journal staffers John R. Wilke, Dean Takahashi
and Jon G. Auerbach -- adds, "While there's no guarantee that the FTC will
ultimately bring a case against Intel, the investigation is likely to
constrain the company's behavior in the marketplace. Now, as has been the
case with Microsoft, any aggressive behavior by Intel will come under
immediate and intense government scrutiny."

Last night, Intel issued a saying it had received notice of the
investigation and a spokesman adding such a probe isn't unusual "since we
have been investigated in the past by the FTC and have been cleared in the
past," saying,  "We're confident we're in compliance with all the laws in
this area and have an extensive detailed program of training and briefings
to ensure that Intel and its employees continue to comply with the laws in
these areas. We will cooperate on any investigation."

The Journal says that among the practices under investigation are Intel's
alleged "disciplining" of customers that cross the big chip-maker, either
by purchasing from its few competitors or taking other action against its
interest.  Digital Equipment Corp., a Maynard, Massachusetts, computer
maker, was told shortly after it became involved in a legal dispute with
Intel that it would be cut off from its supply of Intel chips. Intel backed
off after Digital raised antitrust issues. Digital confirmed yesterday it
received a demand for information from the FTC.

                     Wyoming Senator Wants His Laptop

Republican freshman Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming has run afoul of the
Capitol Hill luddites, all because he wants to take his laptop computer to
work, to take notes and maybe do a little research for presentations.  "I'm
aware that we don't move rapidly and don't want to, that's part of the
tradition of the Senate," Enzi told Deborah  Zabarenko of the Reuter News
Service. "I don't want to undo that tradition. But the Senate has changed
... and  computers could be part of it." However, comments Zabarenko,
"Anti-laptop senators have called the devices ugly, distracting and a
damper on untrammeled debate."

She notes:

z    Sen. Robert Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat, worried discussions
  will be "scripted" if members had access to laptops.
z    Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, said those who
  absolutely must use them should keep them in the cloakroom.
z    Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia "responded to a Senate Rules
  Committee report on the subject with characteristic courtliness and disdain
  for the new," said Reuters. Said the senator, "I will read your report
  eagerly. Then I will cast my vote against it."

Besides tradition, laptop opponents argued lobbyists might use the
computers to communicate with senators during crucial debate or votes,
raising questions of undue outside influence.  However, Enzi dismissed the
criticism, saying he never proposed using his laptop modem to communicate
with the outside world and that in any case, simple security measures could
be instituted to prevent this.

Says Zabarenko, "As the only accountant in the Senate and a former computer
programmer, Enzi had come to rely on his laptop as an essential tool in
business and in Wyoming's state legislature, and that did not end when he
entered the Senate last January. He figured that since he and others in the
Wyoming legislature and other states had used laptops to good effect for
years, it would work the same way in the Senate. So far, it has not."

After being sworn in this year, Enzi asked the Senate parliamentarian if he
could bring his laptop computer onto the Senate floor and was referred to
the Senate's sergeant-at-arms, who has the authority to permit "mechanical
devices" if they are deemed "necessary and proper."  Sergeant-at-Arms
Gregory Casey needed guidance from the Senate, and referred Enzi to the
Senate Rules Committee, which in turn asked Casey to write a report on the
matter. The report was presented to the committee on July 31, and later
distributed to all senators.

In a letter introducing the report, Casey suggested that laptops could be
allowed on the Senate floor under current rules as long as they were not
connected to networks outside the chamber, and as long as there were no
"large screens, obnoxious beeps or buzzers" to distract the lawmakers.
However, Casey's decision is not final. The Rules Committee is expected  to
hear debate on the matter later this month or next, Reuters reports.

                      Fear of 2000 Spreads Among Feds

The federal government says the number of its computer systems needing to
be fixed or replaced before the year 2000 has jumped, along with the cost,
now estimated at $1 billion.  Reporter Aaron Pressman of the Reuter News
Service quotes officials with the Clinton administration as saying some
agencies have not finished assessing the problems they face with the
"millennium bug," a glitch in computers that means only the last two digits
of the year are recognized, so the year 2000 might be read as 1900.

As noted, if such programs are left uncorrected, they could generate
errors, denying benefit checks to millions of Americans, or cause vital
systems including air traffic control to crash. Sally Katzen, head of the
administration's year 2000 preparedness program, said the most serious
problems as of last month were the departments of Agriculture, Education,
and Transportation and the Agency for International Development.

"For fiscal 1999," says Pressman, "the four will have to spend all
information technology funds on the year 2000 problem unless they can
demonstrate money is needed for other critical projects. Another 12
agencies could face spending all money on solving the problem if they do
not show progress in reports due Nov. 15."
The report says the government will need to spend $3.8 billion fixing the
problems, up from $2.8 billion estimated in a previous report.





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EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


                                  Edupage
Contents

Lawmaker Warns Internet Funding May
Fall Short
Compaq, Intel Eye The Ethernet
Concert Targets Laptop Users
European Official Cites Need For
Data Protection Agency
Netscape Chief Predicts PC
Give-Away
Apple's Plans For Macintosh Network
Computers
Does More Time Online Mean Less
Time At Tube?
Microsoft, PBS Team Up On
Interactive Barney Show
IBM Forges Computer-Chip
Breakthrough
Sun Wants Java As A Standard Of Its
Own
Electronic Commerce
IntraLoan Targets "Sneaker Net"
WebTV Pilots Full-Motion
Commercials
IBM Adopts 3Com Palm Pilot
PC Users Ignore Most Programs
Online Suggestion Box In California
FTC Targets Intel
Microsoft Tries To Derail Java
Accounting Firm Merger Creates
Technology Powerhouse
FCC Likely To Offer C-Block Bidders
Four Options
State Education's Out
Beefing Up Computer Security
Efforts On Campus
Maybe Banner Ads Work After All
New Opposition To Government's
Encryption Plans



              LAWMAKER WARNS INTERNET FUNDING MAY FALL SHORT

Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R.-Wisc.), chairman of the
House Science Committee, says funding  for the Clinton Administration's
Next-Generation Internet project likely will be only about half of the $100
million requested, because project leaders took too long to draft plans on
how the money would be spent.  The  project involves six federal agencies,
covered by five separate appropriations bills.  "The sad state of where we
are in appropriations is a result of the fact that the appropriations train
left the station before we got any type of  a real concrete request from
the Administration on where this money should go," says Sensenbrenner.  The
Next-Generation Internet project parallels the university-led Internet 2
project.  George Strawn, a National  Science Foundation networking expert,
says failure on Congress's part to fully fund the NGI could result in  some
universities being restricted in the research they can conduct over the
high-speed network.  (Chronicle of Higher Education 19 Sep 97)

                      COMPAQ, INTEL EYE THE ETHERNET

Compaq Computer and Intel are teaming up to develop 100-megabit Ethernet
equipment, challenging 3Com's  lead in the development of higher-speed
Ethernet adapters for PCs.  "The market is in transition right now,"  says
the head of a California research firm.  "Now is the time for new entrants
to strike."  The first jointly  developed products will become available
later this year, and the two companies plan to extend their alliance to
the next generation of Ethernet products, which will operate in the
1,000-megabits-per-second range.  (Wall Street Journal 19 Sep 97)

                       CONCERT TARGETS LAPTOP USERS

Concert Communications Services, the joint-venture company of British
Telecom and MCI, is offering a  Remote Internet Access service that allows
mobile computer users to hook up to the Internet via a network of  local
points of presence (POPs) in 50 countries.  The service could enable
multinational corporations to provide  Internet access to their overseas
employees without having to incur the expense of international phone calls
to a  home server.  In addition, smaller Internet service providers could
use the Concert network to expand their  international POPs without the
expense of building their own infrastructure.  (InfoWorld Electric 19 Sep
97)

                       EUROPEAN OFFICIAL CITES NEED
                        FOR DATA PROTECTION AGENCY

The head of the free flow of information unit at the European Commission
says the growth of global electronic  commerce has created the need for
transnational regulation of personal data carried over computer networks.
"I  consider it is now desirable to have an independent European
data-protection agency to meet European treaty  demands."  Although the EC
writes the rules for data protection in Europe, it's up to individual
countries to  interpret and enforce those rules.  The call for a
transnational group signals the EC's concern that some  countries are not
implementing data-protection legislation as strictly as they should.
(TechWire 19 Sep 97)

                   NETSCAPE CHIEF PREDICTS PC GIVE-AWAY

Netscape Communications CEO James Barksdale says his company will begin
providing computers and other  hardware at no cost to customers within a
year.  "In various parts of the country you will be definitely seeing
trials within a year -- within a year from now -- of these kind of
distribution models for appliances, network  computers and personal
computers."  The company's strategy is to generate revenue through
advertising, subscriptions, and a percentage of each online purchase made
by subscribers.  "We learned early on, give them  a phone," he says of his
earlier days at AT&T Wireless Services and McCaw Cellular.  "They might use
it."   (Computer News Daily 19 Sep 97)

               APPLE'S PLANS FOR MACINTOSH NETWORK COMPUTERS

Sources close to Apple say that early next year the company will introduce
a Network Computer (NC) using  Mac OS-based client machines communicating
with servers using Apple's new Rhapsody operating systems.   Targeted
principally at the education market, the NC will be sold in the $700-800
range and will run Macintosh application software.  (MacWeek 18 Sep 97)

               DOES MORE TIME ONLINE MEAN LESS TIME AT TUBE?

AOL Networks online service division president Robert Pittman says that
people using online services seem to  be spending less time watching TV and
movies.  An America Online survey found that 37% of AOL  subscribers watch
less TV than they used to and 22% less video, while only 7% watch more TV
and 6% more  video.  "It has had no effect on radio, no effect on
magazines, and little effect on newspapers."  (AP 19 Sep 97)

             MICROSOFT, PBS TEAM UP ON INTERACTIVE BARNEY SHOW

Microsoft and PBS are collaborating on a series of "Barney & Friends" that
will include a specially encoded  signal that activates an interactive
Barney doll.  The signal is picked up by a Microsoft-made set-top receiver
called ActiMates, which then relays it to the doll.  The doll can then
interact both with the show and with the  child watching it.  The shows are
scheduled for broadcast beginning Nov. 3.  (Investor's Business Daily 19
Sep 97)

                   IBM FORGES COMPUTER-CHIP BREAKTHROUGH

IBM researchers have developed a way to successfully substitute copper for
aluminum in making  semiconductors, using a patented "fusion barrier" that
keeps the copper from "poisoning" the silicon.  The  company expects that
using the new process, dubbed CMOS 7S, will enable them to make
high-performance  PC chips at prices about 20% lower than conventional
chips. "This is really fundamentally different," says a  senior analyst at
MicroDesign Resources.  "There was general industry agreement that copper
was the way to  go, but until now it was just too hard.  Now everyone will
have to move to copper, willingly or kicking and  screaming."  The new
chips promise to perform at least two to four times faster than
conventional chips.  (Wall Street Journal 22 Sep 97)

                  SUN WANTS JAVA AS A STANDARD OF ITS OWN

Sun Microsystems is accusing Microsoft of trying to cripple the
Sun-developed Java computer language by  leading Intel, Compaq, and Digital
in a call for Sun to turn Java over to the Geneva-based International
Standards Organization (ISO).  "Every single thing that Microsoft says and
does is designed to protect their  monopoly," says Sun executive Alan
Baratz.  Sun wants to win ISO approval for Java as an industry standard and
yet retain ownership of Java by Sun.  (New York Times 23 Sep 97)

                            ELECTRONIC COMMERCE

Research by International Data Corporation suggests that the level of
electronic commerce conducted over the  Internet will increase from this
year's estimated $10 billion to more than $220 billion by 2001, with
business-to-business transactions accounting for almost 80% of business
volume.  "Commerce is the Internet's  killer application," says IDC
executive Frank Gens.  (Financial Times 23 Sep 97)

                      INTRALOAN TARGETS "SNEAKER NET"

A new electronic banking service marketed by IntraLinks is aimed at
eliminating "sneaker net" -- the use of  messengers, couriers, overnight
mail, telephones, faxes and the U.S. Postal Service to shuffle the
mountains of  paper involved in completing a multi-million dollar loan.
The IntraLoan service, based on IBM Lotus Notes  Domino technologies,
coordinates loan documentation over the Internet.  The technology was
recently used in a successful test by BancAmerica, involving a $4-billion
transaction for Compaq.  That deal is the largest  loan-syndication
contract ever completed over the Internet, says a BancAmerica VP.  (TechWeb
22 Sep 97)

                   WEBTV PILOTS FULL-MOTION COMMERCIALS

WebTV is looking more like conventional TV all the time -- the first thing
subscribers will see when they log  on is a series of short video ads
produced by 15 national advertisers.  "The service is really moving the
online  experience toward television," says WebTV's VP of sales.  "TV
functionality and online functionality are going  to be married together."
The ads use a proprietary VideoFlash technology, which streams at 30 frames
per second.  (Broadcasting & Cable 15 Sep 97)

                        IBM ADOPTS 3COM PALM PILOT

IBM will relabel 3Com's popular PalmPilot pocket organizer and sell it as
an IBM WorkPad for $399.  The  move marks IBM's first foray into the
personal digital assistant arena, and the company has decided to play it
safe by repackaging a proven product.  (Wall Street Journal 23 Sep 97)

                       PC USERS IGNORE MOST PROGRAMS

The average home PC owner has about 48 software programs installed, but
uses only about 6.3 a month,  according to surveys conducted by Media
Metrix Inc. The report also indicates that business productivity  software
is used more than twice as often as entertainment programs.  "Personal
computers are clearly a tool for  getting work done," says a Media Metrix
VP.  "While entertainment plays a strong role in PC usage, the variety  of
packages used in any given month is much more narrow than the common
perception."  (St. Petersburg Times 22 Sep 97)

                    ONLINE SUGGESTION BOX IN CALIFORNIA

California has passed a law requiring state agencies with Internet sites to
allow citizens to make complaints  through e-mail directly to agencies.
The law also requires the agencies to include their Web addresses in
telephone directories and to let people know that they can use computers at
public libraries to lodge complaints about government services.  (AP 22 Sep
97)

                             FTC TARGETS INTEL

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into Intel's business practices,
focusing especially on the company's  reportedly aggressive tactics in
sales to computer manufacturers.  "The scope of the investigation is to
determine  whether Intel Corporation has engaged in or is engaging in
unfair or deceptive practices in or  affecting commerce by acting to
monopolize or otherwise restrict price or nonprice competition in the
development of microprocessors or other computer components or intellectual
property," states the FTC's  subpoena.  An Intel spokesman says the company
endured a previous probe in 1991-93, which recommended no  further action,
and it assumes the current investigation will produce similar results.
(New York Times 25 Sep 97)

                      MICROSOFT TRIES TO DERAIL JAVA

In a move aimed at deflating the impact of Sun Microsystems' Java
programming language, Microsoft has  developed a rival product called
Windows DNA, short for Distributed Net Applications.  DNA uses Component
Object Model technology to combine pieces of software written in any
programming language, including Java,  and is geared toward users of
Windows 95 or Windows NT software.  "The benefits of Java that have been
claimed are something that we are delivering, but we're delivering it
within the  existing environment that  people already have," says a
Microsoft VP.  The company hopes to prevent programmers from migrating to
the  Java alliance, which is supported by Sun, IBM, Oracle and Netscape.
(Wall Street Journal 24 Sep 97)

                      ACCOUNTING FIRM MERGER CREATES
                           TECHNOLOGY POWERHOUSE

The proposed merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand will create
the second-largest technology  and business consulting firm, with Andersen
Consulting maintaining its number one position.  "This was not  driven by
accounting...  Accounting is a commodity," says an industry observer.
"Firms know that while  accounting is where their roots are, fuel to grow
is in (technology) consulting."  Driving the merger is  companies'
increasing desire for one-stop-shopping for technology assistance, says the
president of Yankee  Group.  That trend will put pressure on the remaining
Big Three to team up with technical partners in order to  continue to
compete with the Top Two.  (Investor's Business Daily 24 Sep 97)

             FCC LIKELY TO OFFER C-BLOCK BIDDERS FOUR OPTIONS

The FCC will probably end up offering four options to wireless bidders who
are complaining that they can't  raise the cash to pay for the licenses and
build out their networks at the same time.  The decision reverses an
earlier statement by outgoing Chairman Reed Hundt that they would leave the
problem for the four new  commissioners expected to be confirmed by the
Senate early next month to settle.  The four options are:  1)  bidders
could just resume installment payments on the full bid amount next year;
2) bidders could return half of  their licenses in exchange for a reduction
in debt, and the FCC would reauction the returned licenses;  3) bidders
could return all of their licenses for reauction and be exempt from
penalties,  4) bidders could pay immediately  for as many licenses as they
could afford, and return the others for reauction.  Still to be resolved is
whether any  discount will apply to the license prices, in an effort to
better reflect their market value.  Experts say lawsuits   are likely no
matter what the government does.  (Wall Street Journal 24 Sep 97)

                           STATE EDUCATION'S OUT

Lewis J. Perelman (author of "School's Out"), the maverick thinker on
education and technology, sees no hope  for state-supported education:
"The longer our government keeps the U.S.'s $600-billion academic sector
and  its denizens insulated from the market economy, the more economically
crippled they will become, and the  deeper will be the difficulty of
ultimately adapting to market forces. Anyone who wants to argue that should
first visit Belarus, or even just chat with the veterans in a telephone,
cable TV, or electric utility company who  are struggling to make it in a
competitive marketplace after decades of regulatory protectionism.  The
sooner  and more thoroughly we do to state education what most of the world
has accepted as necessary in other state  industries -- manufacturing,
mining, housing, telecommunications, transportation, electricity, and other
would-be utilities -- the better off everyone involved is going to be."
(Technos Quarterly Fall 97)

              BEEFING UP COMPUTER SECURITY EFFORTS ON CAMPUS

Colleges and universities are stepping up efforts to educate students on
the ethics of computer use, with some,  such as the University of Delaware,
administering a test on the university's computer-use policies before
students receive a password to the network.  At Cornell University,
students  are given a temporary account  when they arrive -- to get a
permanent account, they must complete a 50-minute class on the appropriate
uses of campus computers.  "Technology is developing so fast that many
people -- especially new students -- aren't  aware of what it can do," says
Virginia Rezmierski, director of information-technology policy development
at  the University of Michigan.  "They do things over a computer network
that they wouldn't do if the person was  standing next to them."
Administrators say the educational programs have helped them curb the
growth of  "nuisance problems," such as stolen passwords and flame wars,
enabling them to focus on more serious  computer crimes, which are said to
be increasing. (Chronicle of Higher Education 26 Sep 97)

                      MAYBE BANNER ADS WORK AFTER ALL

A new survey, conducted by WWP Group's Millward Brown International, finds
that the banner ads now  ubiquitous to most Web sites are actually working,
and that they're responsible for 96% of what a consumer  remembers about an
advertiser online.  Twelve people out of 100 were likely to recall seeing a
Web ad after  viewing it just once, vs. only 10 people who were likely to
remember a TV commercial after one viewing.  The June survey polled 17,000
respondents who frequented 12 Web sites.  "For the last two-plus years, the
industry  has been marching down the path that the real ad is at the
advertiser's site," says a senior VP at ESPN/ABC  News Online Ventures.
"What this research demonstrates is that the real ad is at the banner
level."  (Wall Street Journal 25 Sep 97)

              NEW OPPOSITION TO GOVERNMENT'S ENCRYPTION PLANS

A group of leading science, education and engineering organizations
(including the American Association of  the Advancement of Science, the
American Mathematical Society, the Institute of Electronics and Electrical
Engineering, and the American Association of University Professors) has
written a letter to Congress opposing  a Clinton Administration-backed plan
to prohibit the manufacture, sale, distribution, export or import of
encryption systems impregnable to monitoring by law enforcement agencies.
The group says that strong  cryptographic technology is crucial to the open
exchange of information, the progress of scientific and  technological
research, and the growth of electronic commerce.  (New York Times 24 Sep
97)


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Apple/Mac Section
Randy Noak, Editor

Coming soon now.







Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor
fsereno@streport.com

See ya next week









Jason's Jive






Jason Sereno, STR Staff
jsereno@streport.com


Hmmmmm Jason missed a week









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


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



     WOW!  There's a lot of news buzzing online this past week!  The
biggest news - at least finally in the public view - is that a good number
of CompuServe SysOps/Managers are defecting to other services,
predominantly AOL and MSN. Now, if I might speculate, it makes more sense
as to why CIS' Atari Forums guru, Ron Luks, will be shutting down the Atari
areas on that service.  While Luks isn't leaving CompuServe, he has become
an independent contractor for MSN.  All I can say is best of luck to Ron
and those going with him - he deserves this terrific opportunity to once
again become a ground-breaking forum manager.  As mentioned in last week's
issue, Atari users on CompuServe are _not_ being left out in the cold;
we've gained support in the Computer Club (GO CLUB) Forum and it's business
as usual for the most part.

     Our house is taking shape, slowly still.  Now that I'm back to work,
it's mostly been doing a few projects over the weekend and saving more
until the next one.  I was "warned" that this was going to be a long
process; I'm now a believer!

So let's get on with we're all here for - this week's edition of Atari news
and information!

Until next time...



              Microsoft Network Recruits CompuServe Veterans

REDMOND, WASHINGTON, U.S.A., 1997 SEP 16 (Newsbytes) -- By Patrick McKenna.

Much like the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), Microsoft Corp.
[NASDAQ:MSFT] always gets its man, woman, person. The world's largest
software company has now announced three top CompuServe veterans are
working the Microsoft Network (MSN).  More than two years ago, a classified
advertisement in a local Columbus, Ohio newspaper went largely unnoticed by
most of the computer industry.  As Microsoft began to build what originally
was meant to be a proprietary online service to compete with CompuServe and
America Online, Microsoft's personnel department ran an ad which called on
CompuServe employees to come to Redmond, Washington.

According to CompuServe, the ad did not create a loss of talent in the
company's ranks.  Microsoft vacated the idea of a proprietary online
service soon after the service's debut. MSN became an Internet service
provider with special content and unique integration to Windows, the
company's well-known operating system.  Yesterday, CompuServe chief
architect, Bruce MacNaughton, and Forum  Managers Don Watkins and Ron Luks
became part of "Bills troops." MacNaughton brings 18 years of top-level
online experience and Watkins and Luks combine 30 years of forum and
development experience as they begin to influence MSN.

An unnamed source, formerly with CompuServe, told Newsbytes, "A lot of the
veterans and regulars have left already and a lot of us did not know from
week-to-week if we would be around. Employment conditions have been
unstable for some time."  Microsoft's signing of MacNaughton, Watkins, and
Luks takes place  approximately one week after America Online announced an
agreement to acquire CompuServe from tax-preparation expert, H&R Block.

MSN is quick to deploy the new forum experts. By October, ten new forums
will debut, addressing: PC Utilities, PC Communications, New Computer Users
Consumer Electronics Video, Consumer Electronics, AudioHome Electronics and
Communications, Home Appliances, Palmtop and Pen-Based Hardware, and
Wireless Communications.

Luks also brought two partners, Dawn Gordon and Mike Schoenbach, to MSN.
Gordon brings more than 15 years' experience as a consumer electronics
forum manager, journalist, and consultant. Schoenbach, known for creating
and maintaining his first bulletin board system at the age of 13, is still
the youngest contracted forum manager in CompuServe's history.

                    MSN hires CompuServe forum leaders

Interactive Week Online (September 15, 1997) - The Microsoft Network, in a
bid to beef up its content offerings, has hired two longtime CompuServe
Corp. forum managers to develop communities for MSN.
Don Watkins and Ron Luks - independent contractors who have supplied
high-profile forums to CompuServe since the early 1980s - will develop at
least 10 forums related to computing and consumer electronics on behalf of
MSN.

Industry sources said Watkins and Luks may be the first in a string of
content developers to switch to MSN in the coming months as the service
attempts to address perceptions that the depth of its content lags industry
rivals, such as America Online Inc. and CompuServe.  CompuServe's
collection of more than 1,000 topic-specific forums is  considered the
crown jewel of its service and a key asset that AOL will acquire with its
planned purchase of the second largest online service.

MSN now has about 85 forums, including 23 in the computing area that will
be augmented by the 10 offerings from Watkins and Luks, slated to launch in
mid-October and early November.  "Our expansion reflects our level of
commitment to forums and our belief in these communities," said Liz
Longworth, a programming manager at MSN.  Forums are considered a
fundamental building block for online services, providing areas where
people of shared interests can gather.

Watkins will develop forums on MSN in the categories of applications,
utilities, new users and communications. His 41 computer and technical
support forums on CompuServe, which have been shut down, combined to
generate 5,000 to 6,000 messages.  Luks, a 17-year forum manager for
CompuServe, will build six computer and technology forums for MSN. While he
has shut down the high-tech areas he ran on CompuServe, he will continue
producing forums focused on entertainment and games for CompuServe.

                     More CompuServe Defections To MSN

REDMOND, WASHINGTON, U.S.A., 1997 SEP 29 (Newsbytes) -- By Craig Menefee.

Three more senior forum operators from the CompuServe (CSi) online service
signed up with Microsoft Network (MSN) this week, in what might start to
look like a general exodus but for the fact they have kept a foot in both
camps. An MSN source says the three new recruits will act as independent
contractors and will continue to operate forums on CSi while they create 11
new, noncompetitive forums for MSN.  CSi's group product manager for MSN,
Jessica Ostrow, said the recruits from CSi had approached her organization
on their own.

"We're actively expanding the community areas on MSN and we're excited that
they want to be a part of it," she told Newsbytes.  This week's recruits
are Joe Reynolds, eFriends Inc.'s Neil Shapiro and Online Services
Corporation's Joseph Katz. Together they have more than 35 years of forum
management experience, said MSN. They are expected to create forums in
areas of education, outdoor recreation and spirituality.

The signings come within weeks after America Online (AOL) announced it will
buy CompuServe from H&R Block, a tax accounting firm. Last week it was
reported that in the early 1990s, H&R Block had vetoed a deal arranged by
CSi to buy AOL for well under $100 million. More recently, H&R Block had
tried for several years to unload its CSi operation, which was not
profitable under its stewardship.  AOL gained about 8 million new users
from CSi in the rather complicated buyout.   MSN said the intent of the new
forums will be to further strengthen  community among MSN members.
Newsbytes notes many industry watchers attribute AOL's rapid success to the
emphasis its founder, Steve Case, placed on fostering a sense of community
among AOL members.

An MSN source confirmed to Newsbytes that the intent is to strengthen the
online community experience in MSN's subscription-only areas, which
include MSN Onstage, where high-profile content providers like Disney are
found, and the Communicate area where forums, bulletin boards, and other
forms of online user-to-user interactivity take place.  Not all the new
recruits from CSi will stick to the topics that first gained them online
prominence. Neil Shapiro, founding editor-in-chief of MacUser Magazine, in
1981, opened an Apple II forum on CSi. He may have been the first full-time
forum manager on any commercial network. He was certainly one of the first
to open a forum to the public. In the early 1990s he widened his interests
to include spirituality. MSN says Shapiro will lead MSN forums on
astrology, new-age mind and body, and new-age spirituality.

Stated Shapiro: "It is this ever-changing world of metaphysics that I hope
members of The Microsoft Network will be able to learn about in our new
forums." MSN's announced new forums now come to 21 since Don Watkins
defected to MSN full-time last week. Watkins, probably CSi's most famous
sysop (system operator), managed CSi's PC area, which was widely credited
with making CSi into the service of choice among many technical users. His
forums had a reputation as places where, no matter how strange or arcane
the question, someone would either know or know where to find the answer.

Also announced last week was the full-time defection of former CSi chief
architect Bruce McNaughton, who will be in charge of implementing new
community technology for all Microsoft online properties, according to
MSN's Ostrow.  CSi sysop Ron Luks signed an independent contractor's
arrangement with MSN, also announced last week. He brought with him several
other CSi veterans including BBS legend Mike Schoenbach and consumer
electronics guru Dawn Gordon.

The new MSN forums are scheduled to launch this November in the Communicate
area of MSN. They will offer advice columns, live chats and community
bulletin boards on a wide range of topics. So far MSN has
announced forums on education, home schooling, lifelong learning, high
school, outdoors, hunting and fishing, firearms, water recreation,
astrology, new age mind & body, and new age spirituality.

                       Atari Show in Dallas, Texas!

The Event:

Another reminder that the Atari Users of North Texas will be hosting an
"Atari show" at the Infomart in downtown Dallas on Saturday, October 11th.
While AUNT is primarily an ST/TT/Falcon computer users group, we invite all
Atarians - 16 bitters, 8 bitters, and gamers (like me!) to attend.
Attendance is FREE!

OK, I gotta admit it up front - the 8-bit computer line will not be very
well represented here. In fact, I think my XEGS will be the only machine in
this family around for you to fiddle with. But this is a great chance for
us all to get together and share some stories. And if you want to bring
some of your 8-bit stuff for swapping, post a note in comp.sys.atari.8bit
announcing what you have to bring - perhaps some of us can get together and
do some business on the side.

Other attractions:

We will also be hosting a pre-show dinner and a post-show dinner to give
all Atarians a chance to relax and have dinner in a much more relaxed
atmosphere. The pre-show dinner will be at the Hoffbrau in Addison, while
the post-show dinner will be at the Bavarian Grill in Plano. If you would
like to attend either or both of these dinners, contact David Acklam (see
e-mail address later in this note).

At this point in time, we expect ChroMagic, Crawly Crypt, Systems For
Tomorrow, It's All Relative, Emulators Inc., and Trace Technologies attend.
(This is not set in stone - more vendors may be added, and some of these
may not attend after all. I should have a more definite list for you in
about a week. But these vendors all showed a strong interest in attending.)

What there is to do:

Along with shopping the vendors, we are planning a few software & hardware
demonstrations, including an Atari internet demo (if we can get a phone
line from the room cheap enough) and a big chunk of my personal Atari
classic (and not so classic) video game collection - free to play all day,
as long as you're nice to my stuff! (I'll also be bringing a little bit of
trading stuff for any classic gamers out there.) Again, I'll have more
solid info in about a week - stay tuned! There are also plans still being
hammered out for a free raffle and some game competitions. I am welcoming
suggestions about what games you would like to play in such competitions,
and ways to structure the events. (Probably no prizes for the games - it
will just be for fun.

But here's hoping we CAN manage to scrounge up a few extra prizes aside
from the raffle - anybody got anything humorous to donate?) BTW, if you are
not a ST/TT/Falcon owner, contact our vendors and let them know what
platform you would be interested in shopping for at the show! For instance,
I know SFT stocks classic and modern Atari gaming stuff - their e-mail is
sales@SystemsForTomorrow if you want them to bring some of these items with
them.

If you can't go, ADVERTISE!

And lastly, if you're a vendor and would like to place an ad in our show
newsletter, which will be handed out free at the show, contact Dave Acklam
ASAP! Rates a VERY CHEAP for this advertising, but it goes to press very
soon so contact him NOW! Last year we attracted Atarians from all over
Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma for this show - let them know
you're there to sell Atari products to them, even if you are unable to
bring your goods to the show!

For more info, contact:
David Acklam, President & Editor: d-acklam@ti.com
Dan Mazurowski, Secretary:        smedley@gte.net

                       New TelVT102 Telnet released

For those of you who are interested, the latest, much improved and  speeded
up version is now available on the STiK page. Note that it is  e-mail-ware
now. If you use it you MUST send me an e-mail report.  It is a complete
full featured VT102. with a font selector now included. All graphics chars
are supported, including double width and double height chars and blinking
text.  It is callable from CAB, for any URL's that require Telnet.

                         New Falcon Fantasy Game!!

Conquest of Elysium II has been released. Take a look at
http://www.efd.lth.se/~d92jk/coe.html and check
out the demo version.

Fantasy Game

Conquest of Elysium is a fantasy game for the Atari Falcon. You and your
friends take control of a powerful warlord or wizard and struggle for total
control of the continent. Up to eight players may participate and the
computer can control any free players.

The Characters

There are seventeen different character classes to choose from, everyone
has different strengths and weaknesses. E.g. the barbarian has lots of
powerful men but they do not have the technology to build war engines and
are very vulnerable to magic. The demonologist collects human sacrifices
and uses them to bind the demons he can summon. If he uses too few
sacrifices the demons may get out of control and attack their summoner (and
demons are very powerful indeed). The Enchanter has the ability to animate
non-living things, the resources needed for this varies from a silver sword
for the creation of a living sword to a complete mine for the creation of a
powerful iron golem. The Necromancer can raise the dead to join his army of
undeads, but he will become more  and more insane with every attempt to do
so.

There are about three hundred different kind of monsters in the game, so it
will probably take a year or three before you have seen them all!

Tech Info

The game runs in true colour and requires 4 megs of memory. You also need a
colour monitor (both rgb and vga will do) or a tv. It takes advantage of
virtual memory and will run nicely under MultiTOS without shutting off the
other programs.

              JTS Reports Fiscal 1997 Second Quarter Results

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- JTS Corporation (Amex: JTS),
today reported a net loss of $58.4 million, or 49 cents per fully diluted
share, on net revenues of $28.4 million for the second fiscal quarter ended
August 3, 1997.  These results compare to disk drive revenues of $17.6
million in the second quarter a year ago when JTS Corporation was a private
company.

As previously disclosed, second fiscal quarter revenues were significantly
lower and losses higher than the preceding quarter.  The primary factors
impacting revenue levels were a greater than expected summer downturn in
the disk drive industry, lower-than-planned shipments of the Champion
family of disk drives, significantly higher-than-anticipated price erosion,
decline in sales of older products and price protection measures taken for
channel inventories. Initial component shortages and other shortfalls
limited Champion production on the accelerated basis the company expected
to achieve.

Losses reflected low production levels, a six week factory shutdown,
write-offs associated with obsolete inventory, as well as start-up costs
associated with the Champion ramp.  Additional expense provisions were made
for excess capacity, increased accounts receivable reserves and costs
associated with the company's simplification of its business.

During the quarter, the company took several non-recurring charges.  Gross
margins were impacted by $31.9 million of inventory write-offs. Operating
margins were impacted by a $1.4 million capital equipment write-off.
The company said disk drive channel inventories were reduced substantially
at the close of the second fiscal quarter.  For the month of August, disk
drive sales have been robust and product sell-through is exceeding
historical levels.  Indications at the close of August suggest that company
expenses are tracking to revenue targets.

Tom Mitchell, president and chief executive officer at JTS Corporation
provided the following business update, "We are currently shipping our disk
drives to first-tier personal computer original equipment manufacturers
(OEMs). We expect to significantly grow our OEM business in the third and
fourth fiscal quarters.  We continue to strategically focus on broadening
our OEM base and improving our distribution channels, thereby reducing our
exposure to distributors.  Going forward, it is our intention to
participate only in the mid-range of the personal computer market, not in
the entry-level personal computer market."

JTS has sustained an active financing program with major vendors, new
investors and current investors.  As filed with the US Securities and
Exchange Commission through form 13D on August 21, 1997, Pax Clearing
Company LP, the entity that clears for Amber Arbitrage Fund, has acquired
14,041,600 shares of JTS common stock or approximately 12% of the shares
outstanding as of August 3, 1997.  During the second fiscal quarter, JTS
completed preferred-to-common stock conversions of $19 million.  The
company said that of the $40 million in total of Series B and C Convertible
Preferred issued, approximately $4.8 million preferred stock has yet to be
converted as of September 19, 1997.


   It's a Joke, Folks!  (Thanks to Toad Hall member Mitch Myers for the
                       following bit of jocularity)

                      Microsoft New TV Dinner Product

Instructions for Microsoft's New TV Dinner Product

You must first remove the plastic cover.  By doing so you agree to accept
and honor Microsoft rights to all TV dinners.  You may not give anyone else
a bite of your dinner (which would constitute an infringement of
Microsoft's rights).  You may, however, let others smell and look at your
dinner and are encouraged to tell them how good it is.

If you have a PC microwave oven, insert the dinner into the oven. Set the
oven using these keystrokes: \mstv.dinn.//08.5min@@50%heat// Then enter:
ms//start.cook_dindin/yummy\|/yum~yum:-)gohot#cookme. If you have a Mac
oven, insert the dinner and press start.  The oven will set itself and cook
the dinner.

If you have a Unix oven, insert the dinner, enter the ingredients of the
dinner (found on the package label), the weight of the dinner, and the
desired level of cooking and press start.  The oven will calculate the time
and heat and cook the diner exactly to your specification.  Be forewarned
that Microsoft dinners may crash, in which case your oven must be
restarted.  This is a simple procedure.  Remove the dinner from the oven
and enter ms.nodamn.good/tryagain\again/again.crap.  This process may have
to be repeated.  Try unplugging the microwave and then doing a cold reboot.
If this doesn't work, contact your hardware vendor.

Many users have reported that the dinner tray is far too big, larger than
the dinner itself, having many useless compartments, most of which are
empty.  These are for future menu items.  If the tray is too large to fit
in your oven you will need to upgrade your equipment. Dinners are only
available from registered outlets, and only the chicken variety is
currently produced.  If you want another variety, call MicrosoftHelp and
they will explain that you really don't want another variety.  Microsoft
Chicken is all you really need.

Microsoft has disclosed plans to discontinue all smaller versions of their
chicken dinners.  Future releases will only be in the larger family size.
Excess chicken may be stored for future use, but must be saved only in
Microsoft approved packaging.  Microsoft promises a dessert with every
dinner after '98.  However, that version has yet to be released.  Users
have permission to get thrilled in advance.

Microsoft dinners may be incompatible with other dinners in the freezer,
causing your freezer to self-defrost.  This is a feature, not a bug.  Your
freezer probably should have been defrosted anyway.


                              Gaming Section


"Final Fantasy VII" Sales Record!
PSX Games Price Break!  Psygnosis!
"Hercules"!  And more!



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

Telegames is coming out with another one, folks!  "Zero 5" should be
hitting the streets on Monday, the 29th.  It's been awhile since the last
game for the Jaguar appeared, but true to their word...  There don't appear
to be too many more games slated to come out, but you can never tell what
might be lurking in the shadows.

In the meantime, Sony is still breaking all kinds of records with the
PlayStation; and they're offering all kinds of incentives for those of us
who haven't yet purchased a PSX.  Read on for details.

Lots of interesting news this week, so let's get right to it without any
more delay!

Until next time...



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


              Psygnosis' Hits, WipeOut and Destruction Derby
                           at Lowest Price Ever

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Sept. 22) BUSINESS WIRE - Sept. 22, 1997 - Celebrating
two years of greatest hits on the Sony PlayStation(TM) game console,
Psygnosis has teamed up with Sony Computer Entertainment offering two of
its own 'greatest hits', WipeOut(TM) and Destruction Derby(TM), to
consumers at their lowest price points ever.  Value priced at retail for
about $20.00 each, new PlayStation game console owners will hurry to add
these 'priceless' PlayStation classics to their game collections.

Having sold more than 1 million and 1.5 million copies respectively,
WipeOut and Destruction Derby are among the best selling console games in
history.  Beth Doherty, vice president, sales for Psygnosis U.S. commented,
"We are excited to be a part of Sony Computer Entertainment's 'Greatest
Hits' program.  First time PlayStation game console buyers can now
experience two of the most popular games that helped make video game
history for this excellent gaming system."

Psygnosis' futuristic anti-gravity racing game, WipeOut today still pushes
the boundaries of excitement and the technology of the PlayStation with its
realtime 3-D graphics, heart-pounding techno music and exhilarating race
tracks featuring hang-ten jumps and drops with hairpin twists.  In 1995, at
the launch of the PlayStation game console, Game Fan magazine called
WipeOut "the best home racing game ever, and definitely a reason to buy a
PlayStation."

Destruction Derby also crashed onto the PlayStation in 1995 and was
described by Electronic Gaming Monthly as "stock car racing on steroids"
with its on-the-fly realistic car crashing action and some of the first
accurate physics models to be seen on a console system. Featuring novice,
pro and expert skill levels and the famous crunch zone known as the 'Bowl,'
Destruction Derby is raw gaming excitement for gamers of all ages.

              Psygnosis Ltd. Opens San Francisco Development

SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 22) BUSINESS WIRE - Sept. 22, 1997 - Ian Hetherington,
President and founder of Psygnosis Limited, the leading entertainment
software developer in Europe, today announced the opening of the company's
first U.S. development studio in San Francisco, Calif.  The new studio is
temporarily quartered in the Financial District and will relocate to
permanent offices in SOMA's Bryant Street in October following build-out of
its state-of-the-art facility.  The U.S. office will focus primarily on the
development of accelerated 3D games for high-end PC systems.  Titles will
be produced both by internal Psygnosis teams as well as by external,
independent development groups. A wholly owned division of Sony, Psygnosis
is known for great gameplay backed by cutting edge graphics and speed.

"Since 1984 Psygnosis has grown with the credo 'foster the talent, yield
the product'," said Ian Hetherington, President of Psygnosis Limited.  "To
that end we focus on working with very talented people, providing them with
the best tools, and letting them do what they do best."  From its original
headquarters in Liverpool, England, Psygnosis has expanded over the last
decade to eight development studios.  The opening of the San Francisco
studio marks Psygnosis' first U.S.-based development effort.  The studio
will employ over 100 people by March 1998 to staff six development teams
and a testing department.

Vincent Hedges has been named U.S. Studio Manager, joining Psygnosis from
DreamWorks SKG.  Commenting on Studio priorities Hedges said, "We're
assembling outstanding talent and supporting them with leading-edge
equipment, technologies, and facilities built from the ground up."  Kathryn
Butters, General Manager/Administration, was the first Studio hire and
kicked off the recruitment and operations functions setting up the new
facility. Butters notes, "The new studio represents an exceptional
opportunity for experienced industry veterans to create their best titles."

Psygnosis is a top selling PlayStation software publisher in the U.S. and
plans to dramatically increase its presence on the PC side. Noted
Hetherington, "The PC market has only just begun.  The combination of three
technologies: processor speed, 3D acceleration, and Windows '95, have made
it a viable gaming platform.  Up until six months ago these pieces were not
in place."   "A key charter in the San Francisco office will be the
development of accelerated PC titles, multi-player and on-line games," said
Bert Schroeder, Head Producer of the new studio.  "The timing is right and
we are assembling teams now to see this mission through."  Schroeder
emphasized that in addition to internal development he is looking at
external properties and will work with independent development houses.

JF Prata, Program Manager for the Studio added, "Game development has
driven the software industry to new levels of achievement and with 3D
acceleration reaching home PCs this year, computer games will take
consumers to a new era of entertainment.  Psygnosis will be right there on
the cutting edge."  Graphics are a Psygnosis hallmark and Carrie Galbraith,
Art Manager for the Studio, will direct the artistic vision for the U.S.
Galbraith commented, "The Psygnosis legacy for fantastic looking games has
attracted attention and we're hiring people with a tremendous amount of
talent.  Today's graphically intense games require artists with a diversity
of skills and we are assembling teams with this kind of critical
experience."

The San Francisco Studio reports to Managing Director of Development,
Adrian Parr, at the company's world-wide headquarters in Liverpool, UK.
Psygnosis development studios house 30 development teams located in eight
offices:  San Francisco, U.S.A; Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Stroud,
London (2 studios), UK; and Paris, France. Psygnosis game titles are
published and sold by its eight publishing divisions located  in: Foster
City, U.S.A; Liverpool, UK; Paris, France; Frankfurt; Germany; Benelux,
Brussels; Madrid, Spain; Sydney, Australia, and Stockholm, Sweden.

            PlayStation's Final Fantasy VII Sets Mark for 1997


FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Sept. 25) BUSINESS WIRE - September 25, 1997 - Sony
Computer Entertainment America announced today that Final Fantasy VII,
available only on the PlayStation game console, became the best-selling
game of 1997 by selling more than 500,000 units in less than three weeks
since its U.S. debut.
Designed by the industry's premiere software developer, Square Soft, Inc.,
Final Fantasy VII has become the hottest and most anticipated game of the
year, and possibly of all time.  Due to the enormous consumer and retail
demand for the game, Final Fantasy VII is expected to break even more sales
records this year.

"In less than three weeks, Final Fantasy VII has sold more than 500,000
games, breaking all company records," said Andrew House, vice president,
marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Final Fantasy VII
demonstrates that PlayStation is a new entertainment medium offering game
creators unparalleled graphics and CD audio capabilities.  These features
-- combined with the largest installed base, strong distribution and
cutting-edge marketing -- makes PlayStation the platform of choice for
Square and the Final Fantasy franchise."

"We have been tracking Final Fantasy VII.  This product features movie-like
animation and seamless gameplay, woven together with a complex and
engrossing storyline on par with a big screen experience,"  said analyst
Walter Miao, senior vice president, Access Media International.  "Final
Fantasy VII has attracted new gamers to the RPG category now dominated by
PlayStation.  Final Fantasy VII has quickly sold in unprecedented numbers
to U.S. households."

           Steel Reign Delivers High Speed Action and Challenge

FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Sept. 23) BUSINESS WIRE - Sept. 23, 1997 - Sony
Computer Entertainment America announced today that it has shipped Steel
Reign(TM) -- available only on PlayStation(TM) -- to retail stores across
North America.  Steel Reign puts the player behind the controls of fully
loaded tanks. Once the player has chosen a vehicle, they are challenged to
a number of missions, pitting them against armies of tanks, helicopters,
ground troops, gun turrets and missile carriers.  To complement the
ferocity of the single-player action, there is a two-player split-screen
option, where opponents can hunt each other down in the ultimate test of
one-on-one firepower.

"Steel Reign puts the player, or players, in a true 3D environment that
we've created with a Real Terrain  Technology engine," said Peter Dille,
senior director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment  America.
"Beyond the realistic looking environment, it challenges players with
battlefields where each hill and  crevice is distinguishable, and can be
the difference between life or death with how the player, or their
opponent, uses the environment."

The gameplay is extremely fast-paced, with the ability to choose from a
first-person piloting perspective or two different third-person views.
Players are also able to use a unique Missile Cam(TM) which allows players
to ride and guide a missile to its target.  Steel Reign incorporates 10
different battlegrounds allowing gamers to
engage their enemy in city streets, deep forests, icy mountains, harsh
deserts and more.  While in the field, there are a host of power-ups that
can be collected allowing players to re-supply ammunition, upgrade weapons
and gather shield enhancements.

In Steel Reign, the player takes on the role of a decorated war hero who
has been re-assigned to develop a new breed of supertanks. While he works
day and night, his nemesis unites a group of militia allies who initiate a
coup to overthrow the country's government. Now, with the armed forces
turned against the rightful government, the player must -- with the aid of
his new supertank that has been in development -- get his research to the
proper authorities while deposing his adversary to re-seat the rightful
government.

       UPI Computer Comment: Smoother, faster, funnier console games

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- This is not Greek mythology as you knew it
in high school. It's not even the Greek mythology presented by the Disney
people in the movie about Hercules. It's something even more far removed
than that.  Herc's Adventures is a two-player action-adventure game for the
Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation that has more in common with Pac Man than
the legendary hosts of heaven.

I mean, this is mythology where you get to destroy the Acropolis, something
that consecutive generations of vandals and despots just couldn't
accomplish.  And it's hardly history to have Herc battling the evil
Minotaur,  seven-headed Hydra or Cyclops the same way that Hulk Hogan might
behave in a World Wrestling Federation match.

Of course LucasArts, of San Rafael, Calif., is not trying to aim for pure
history in presenting this new console game. It's an exercise in gameplay
with a good measure of humor thrown in for measure.  Most games of this
type don't spend a lot of time on humor, going instead for the jugular.
It's what young gameplayers want.   One of the quickest of the action games
-- one that includes lots of  variations, characters and scenarios is
Battle Arena Toshinden, which is now out in version three for the Sony
PlayStation.

Included are all the toughest characters from BAT 1 and 2, plus 14
additions, for a total of more than 30 characters. Fighting arenas have
been redesigned with three-D in mind, so almost every surface can be used
for something. Players can use walls, ceilings and floors to maneuver and
pounce on opponents.   Gameplay itself has been improved to allow for a
smoother feel and quicker reaction to commands.

The same programming improvements that worked so well on BAT 3 are also
used to improve speed and action in another new title from Costa Mesa,
Calif.-based Playmates Interactive Entertainment. VAX Racing is a
real-time motocross game that has quality approaching that you might find
in a real arcade game.

And for $49.99, you never have to add quarters. ---  Joe Fasbinder can be
reached on the Internet at  jfasbinder(at)juno.com or
jfasbinder(at)aol.com, fasbinder(at)prodigy.net or on CompuServe at
74431,2554.


Jaguar Online STR InfoFile    -    Online Users Growl & Purr!

Greetings. Sorry, I know it's been a LONG time since the last update, but I
have a busy life now. As some of you may know I work at a radio station
(www.wrqk.com  Weasel on the jox page) I now am the host of the morning
show so its hectic. I try to keep up on as much Atari news as I can, and im
chatting on IRC Undernet #Atari alot at night. (while getting show prep)  I
would like to welcome the new members to the Atari Underground. The list
now has almost 875 people. :) I never thought the list would grow this big,
but I'm glad it has. Some of you might not have got this from Telegames so
I'm passing it along.

                               NEWS RELEASE

DALLAS, TEXAS (September 18, 1997)  --  Telegames announces the official
release date of its next product for the Atari Jaguar, ZERO 5.  ZERO 5 will
begin shipping worldwide on September 29th.

ZERO 5 is a futuristic space shooter set in a 3-D, 360 degree playfield.
The year is 2044 and the battle for Earth has begun. On the far reaches  of
the galaxy, a massive invasion force is assembling. Scanners at  DEFCON
have alerted you to the alien threat. The Earth's best pilots are
dispatched in their BAMBAM cruisers to engage the enemy. Multiple  weapons,
driving soundtrack, non-stop combat, multiple power-ups, and 15
extended missions contribute to a shooters game with real depth.

www.telegames.com

That's all for now. I will try to update more often.

Don't forget to check out these Jaguar /msg boards.
http://www.ataricentral.com/wwwboard/jagtalk.html
http://www.magicalfox.com/ken/postit.cgi If you want to talk LIVE with
fellow Atari/Jaguar gamers just get on IRC Undernet and /join #Atari  If
your not sure how to get on IRC chat email me and I'll give you all the
directions you need.

Atari Underground
MHz@earthlink.net



                             Lower Your Price!

     Sony's announcement Tuesday about Power Pricing its new titles comes
as no real surprise. However, what is surprising is that through the end of
this year there may not be any more price drops on video game hardware. The
battle lines have been drawn, and they will be drawn on the price of
software instead of hardware.

While there's plenty of time left for someone to lower its hardware price,
what will count is the price of software. Nintendo or Sony could easily
drop to US$99, but then the other would have to meet that price almost
immediately. Both companies are doing well enough, and there's no threat
that Sega will drop its price, so this may be a year with only one major
hardware price drop (which happened in March).

What made this possible is that Sony's biggest competitor, Nintendo, is
still using the expensive cartridge format. The loser in this case is
Nintendo, who cannot possibly compete with the $39.99 price point that Sony
has set for many of its new games (Game Day '98, Crash Bandicoot 2, PaRappa
the Rapper, Bushido Blade and Intelligent Qube). If Nintendo can't price
Tetrisphere, a puzzle game, at $40 or even $50, there's no chance that any
of the Big N's games could come close.

In the end, it's all about being able to buy games. If consumers are able
to buy PlayStation games for half of the price of the newest N64 title,
more PlayStation games are going to be sold. As more and more Nintendo 64
games make it onto the market, there are going to be more titles to choose
from. Therefore, if a company releases a game that lacks quality on the
N64, it could be a sales nightmare. A $69.99 game that isn't fun is not
going to sell, and as the N64 library grows, gamers are going to notice
which games are good, and which aren't.

Don't count Sega out of the pricing game either. Several of its titles have
already been available at the $39.99 price tag, like Saturn's Bomberman.
This is sure to please Saturn owners who have stuck by the system for so
long. The only problem this holiday season will be finding Saturn games,
which have been relegated to major software chains like Babbage's and
Electronics Boutique.

The sales of PlayStation games this holiday season will, without a doubt,
be big. The fact that Sony can price the games so low will bring more
consumers in. The cheaper the games, the better the chance that gifts can
remain in a favorable price range. Who wouldn't want to receive two games
instead of one during the holiday season?

The big question in all of this is "can third party publishers meet Sony's
Power Price points?" Sony says that they have no control over where third
parties price their games, and for the most part, that's true. However, if
the market for PlayStation games is lowered to just under $40, companies
may be hard put to meet that.

By Chris Johnston, VideoGameSpot









ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!



                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING



Compiled by Joe Mirando
jmirando@streport.com


     Hidi ho friends and neighbors. I'd like to start off this week's
column with a bit of good news. The  Computer Club FOrum on CompuServe (GO
CLUB) is going to be providing support for Atari 8 and 16 bit  computers.
The message bases are already in place, and the file library will be setup
as soon as the legalities are  figured out and management (I'm talking
about the really big-wigs here, not the Forum management) are  satisfied
that they've got their pink, fleshy butts covered. This may take a while
since CompuServe's legal  counsel is currently busy with this AOL takeover
silliness.

     I've been hanging around 'The Club' since I heard that there was a
possibility that we'd be moving there  since I was curious to see just what
kind of folks were around. I can gladly report that the folks there, both
forum management and staff, are nice people. I guess that since they are in
approximately the same boat as we  are, they understand the preference of
what the rest of the computer world considers 'inferior' machines. Most of
them have no idea of what an ST, TT, or Falcon is, but they understand that
these are the computers we use and wish to keep on using for a while yet.
So if you've got a CIS account and are looking for a place to find
programs and information, The Club is the place to look.

     I'm quite pleased to be able to say that the addition of The Club adds
nicely to the support that we'll be  providing in this column. Added to
posts from Delphi and the UseNet, there should be no shortage of help for
those of us trying to find it. I think that, to begin with, we'll try
alternating posts from the three; Delphi one  week, CIS the next, and the
UseNet the week after that. Since we all know that this is a shrinking
platform and  that there is less and less information available, this
should provide us with a good amount of helpful information each week.
UseNet coverage is interesting because can  currently I use either Delphi
or  CompuServe to gather the posts. This means that I'm actually using only
2 services to gather three sources of  information. If the overlay file for
CAB (the Atari Web Browser) ever gets changed to use 'cookies' (which
allow a service such as CIS or Delphi to quickly and easily check
membership status), I will then be able to  access all three sources of
info from only one service. Delphi has seen this trend coming and has
provided access in this manner for some time now. You can access Delphi
through an Internet Service Provider, which  means that you don't have to
worry about finding a local access number. I have a very good friend who
lives in   Costa Rica that had wanted access to a service such as
CompuServe or Delphi, but had only one local access  number to CompuServe,
and it was only 9600 baud.

Upon hearing that you could access Delphi through an ISP, he quickly joined
the service and has been busily  participating in conversations there.
While I've been conversing with him in email for quite a while,  there's
something different about posting online. It is very comfortable because
it's more like a conversation than  correspondence. While there are several
other folks that have made the same decision as this fellow, his
appearance comes to the front of my mind because I'm so used to our email
correspondence. If you're interested  in this kind of interaction  and have
access to the World Wide Web, then go to http://www.delphi.com and  follow
the computer section through to The Atari Advantage.  Non-members can
participate in the message  base and in chats (try Tuesday nights at 10:00
EST).

Well, let's see... we'll start with the Delphi Atari Advantage message base
this week. Let's take a look...


                       From Delphi's Atari Advantage


George Iken from the Huston Atari COmputer Enthusiasts club (HACE) tells
us that he's...
     "Currently typing in through Flash II and Tymnet, but I looked at
     Delphi from the Internet (ie from Netscape browser and an ISP).  I
     found you couldn't access your email that way (Delphi Tech support
     responded to a query, saying you had to come in textwise) Now if I
     got NetTerm, could I use that through my ISP and come into Delphi
     via text that way?"

Gordie Meyer tells George:
     "Actually, I access my email via the net all the time. It just
     isn't part of the Delphi website, per se. What you have to do is
     set up an email client program to access it. You can use Netscape
     Mail (or whatever they're calling it now) easily as it's part of
     the Netscape bundle of software. Or you can use something like
     Eudora (which I use) or Pegasus (which I think is still freeware).

     Everything on the net is a separate bit. Email, newsgroups, ftp,
     the Web, IRC, and so on. Each one needs its own specialized client
     software, which gives everyone a lot of choice. Whether that's a
     good thing or a bad thing is left up to your own interpretation.
     

     However, using NetTerm, you can telnet into Delphi, and for all
     intents and purposes, it's the same as if you accessed via
     Sprintnet or Tymnet. Well, if your ISP supports 8-bit file
     transfers, that is. Mine does and I can use zmodem to upload and
     download files. With luck, yours will too."

George asks Gordie:
     "So what do you set the mail server (in Netscape mail) to point at
     (the SMTP or pop3 server to have it talk to)?  Right now it points
     to my ISP mail server, so I would have to change that info to point
     at Delphi I guess.  But to what address?"

Mark "Folkstone" tells George:
     "As far as I know, you SEND to: SMTP.Delphi.com and RECIEVE from:
     POP.Delphi.com"

Mark is correct. As a matter of fact, all you need to define is
delphi.com and somebody's (I'm not sure if it is your software or
Delphi's) decides whether SMTP or POP is used. I've been doing this for
a while now, and it works out quite well.

Alejandro Aguilar (from Costa Rica) posts this as a test:
     "Hi Joe, I am here via Internet."

While this may not seem like an important post to most people, to me it was
sort of the equivalent of Alexander  Graham Bell's "Mr. Watson, come
here... I want you". For me it marks the beginning of a new era where
communication is easier and more fun. I tell Ale:
     "Good to see you here.  Have you signed up or are you just
     visiting?

     Either way, technology is wonderful, isn't it?  Take a look around
     and tell us what you think!"

Ale tells me:
     "I signed up last week via the Internet. I have rights to
     participate in the forums, but only that. I'll be stopping by to
     see this message base from time to time, so don't be surprised if I
     answer late (as with this message).

     This forum is very good... (congratulations Dana)."

Dana Jacobson jumps in and tells Ale:
     "Thanks for the compliments, but they should be directed to all
     of the users here rather than to me.   The folks here are
     responsible for the atmosphere; I'm just a hired hand! "

Another of our friends (Ale's and mine), Rob Rasmussen, tells Alejandro:
     "Hi Ale! I'm here too. I joined a few weeks ago, accessing Delphi
     from the net like you. I have found Gemulator to be truely awesome,
     and have installed several Atari programs into the virtual drives."

>From here, it gets a little messy. Kind of like an old-fashioned
telephone party line, with several people joining the conversation.
Michael Burkley posts to Rob Rasmussen:
     "I am typing on GEMulator right now.  It's not as nice as my STe
     or TT, but it will do!  May I ask why you are using ST virtual
     drives with GEMulator?  They used to be needed but are no longer
     needed.  I just use the Clone harddrive as an Atari drive, running
     programs and copying files wherever I wish."

ALejandro tells Michael:
     "I helped Rob in the set-up of the Gemulator96. The problem is
     that the version that Rob has is used with MagiC. With this set-up,
     the PC drives are not seeing good with the MagiC file selector. So
     we seem better offto use virtual drives (and are more secure than
     using the PC real ones).

     For my part, I am in the proccess of buying MagiC-PC. After tests,
     I find it better in terms of running and drive support (you can use
     virtual and real drives at the same time).

     Regards from Costa Rica!"

Rob tells Michael:
     "I have always enjoyed your columns in the online magazines, and
     hope you keep it up!

     As for why I use GEMulator's virtual drives, besides what Ale
     explained, this is because it seemed easier for me at this point.
     In the beginning all I could access from was drive A, because I
     kept getting error messages (the dreaded "Access Denied") when I
     tried to load/save a file from my PC's hard drive. Occasionally I
     was able to load a file, like a text file on PC drive C into
     EditPlus in GEMulator, but the directory of drive C looked very
     strange from the MagiC desktop or from the item selector. So I was
     thrilled to learn how to make the virtual drives (thanks Ale!)
     because I no longer was limited to floppy-only access. And it made
     it more like my beloved 1040 ST which along with my Falcon got
     zapped by lightning a year ago (since replaced with a CLab Mk-X). I
     am open to new ways of using Gemulator though and curious to learn
     newer ways of using it. An advantage of the way you mentioned is
     being able to access any files, like text files that had been
     written in Notepad and not stored in a virtual drive. Frequently I
     wish for this, since in this case I have to copy the file from the
     PC drive to a floppy to then be able to access it in Gemulator. I
     have to choose "Windows mode" or "Atari mode" though, so for now
     I'm staying with the latter."

Now, folks, even if you are not interested in emulating an ST on a PC,
follow these next posts... it's one of the subjects that really ticks me
off.

Rob tells Alejandro:
     "I looked for PaCifiST, and can find only the pre-release v0.47 to
     download, and it says I also need v0.46 which I can't find. I
     noticed on the Toad message board that some people think it works
     better than Gemulator, so I am at least anxious to see what it's
     like. Does it include a desktop, multitasking, 256 colors? I wish I
     could get more than just ST high rez in my Gemulator96.

     I haven't gotten MagiC 5 yet either, but I saw that Toad has it. I
     should call them to see if there is an upgrade available, and
     hopefully it won't be a pain to re-install it with Gemulator again.
     "

On the subject of PacifiST, Michael Burkley tells Alejandro:
     "I've heard that it is very good.  I'm a bit hesitant to try it
     myself because of all the piracy of commercial programs that is
     associated with it.  There are lots of links to 1000's of pirated
     programs through the home site of the emulator.  No one associated
     with those links thinks that anything is wrong with it either.
     They are all "helping the platform to survive."  Yeah, sure."

Alejandro tells Michael:
     "In fact I am using PacifiST (up to version 0.46 - I still haven't
     tried the new pre-release). It works very good. It is made for
     compatibility, not for speed (in fact is about 60-75% Gemulator
     speed.  PacifiST by itself is almost freewarwelle (the author
     encourages to send some money for his efforts). Yes, you are right,
     some people use the PacifiST "wave" to promote "legal" piracy (at
     least they call it so). But you can use the emulator with
     confidence.  One of the big things about PacifiST is the capability
     of using protected disk converted to .ST files (disk images).
     There are some PC utils to make .ST and .MSA files from standard
     disks.  Some protected disk can be converted, some can't. If
     someone could make an .ST file constructor for the ST maybe all the
     disks would work."

     By the way, Michael, I am waiting your next column. As a Shareware
     and freeware collector, I am a fan of it. Let's promote
     anti-piracy..."

Greg Evans jumps in and tells Michael:
     "I got a chill the first time I trekked through the PacifiST web
     sites seeing all thos programs available for download.  Since I own
     Zany Golf I downloaded their image copy and sure enough it had a
     screen message saying "Cracked by...".  I deleted the file even
     thoug I own the original.  I did keep PacifiST and installed it on
     my PC at work.  It looks useable to do development on it so I may
     take advantage of that.  Most of the sites seem to be on Geocities
     server.  Maybe a phone call or email can shut them all down."

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



                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

                            EDITORIAL QUICKIES







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      Since 1987  Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved   Issue No. 1338







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