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Article #682 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 10-Jan-98 #1401 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (aa778 - Fred Horvat) Date: Wed Jan 21 15:40:05 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) January 09, 1998 No.1401 Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.01? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-978-670-5896 01/09/98 STR 1401 "Often Emulated, But never Excelled!" - CPU Industry Report - Mr. Christian, AGAIN? - CPU Addict? - DOJ "dares" MS. DUH! - Automotive PNA Debut - VCR TBU?? - JOBS Walkout @ CNBC - Linux Advocate - MS Palmistry - 200Mhz HP PAV - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Netscape Takes a Dive! LESSIG HAS TO GO! Cellphones & Cars=Death! STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 01/03/98: five of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... Where are the AControl Freaks@ when you NEED them?? I=ll wager I know. They=re busy yapping on the Cellular Phone while on the road driving on the highways, Freeways, and Expressways of our Nation. Here=s a chance for all the CF=s to do the right thing. Its getting very scary driving these days watching the fools with these Cell Phones crammed to their ears with one hand while driving along at fifty to seventy miles per hour. This past week, I had the "rude awakening." I was driving on I-95 in Jacksonville, southbound just past Baymeadows Road when I spotted this slow moving late model Explorer drubbing along in the left lane. As car after car was forced to pass this SOB on the right, I slowly moved up to pass this vehicle on the right myself. Once along side this vehicle, I peered over to see just what we were dealing with. Friends, I was SHOCKED! I had all to do to stop from pulling in front of this inconsiderate clown and bringing the whole thing to a halt! This bonehead was actually talking on his cellphone, holding it to his ear with his shoulder and reading something cradled in the steering wheel, holding it and the wheel with both hands... all while moving along in the left most lane at approximately forty miles per hour in the high speed lane on Interstate 95! While some may say talking on a cellphone while driving is an isolated incident.. it is, by far, more the norm than most are willing to admit. Anywhere you drive its almost a lock that within fifteen minutes you=ll come upon one or more slow moving cellphone yappers driving along apparently oblivious to the traffic problems and dangers they are causing. While motor vehicles are not ordinarily considered to be weapons... in this particular scary scenario they become a projectile of five thousand pounds of steel and glass traveling at a high rate of speed with little or no responsible guidance. I=ve actually seen cars swerving in and out of their lane because one of these clowns dropped the cellphone they were bleating on while driving. Better yet.... to watch an individual, while driving along crowded San Jose Blvd.., for example, gesturing with one hand while holding the cellphone with the other hand in the course of a rather animated conversation is a real mind-blower. It only takes a split second of distraction to cause a deadly vehicular accident. Knowing what I=ve seen so far, I cringe at the thought of the high tech equipment manufacturers are about to release. How about a combo cellphone, newscaster, autoPC, weather caster, Emailer and GPS ( Ground Positioning Satellite Receiver) in an Aall in one@ dashboard unit? This one is deadly! It has something to distract every driver!! (On display at the Vegas CES Show) We NEED legislation NOW! Control Freaks, Congress Critters, State Senators, Reps and Council Members... PLEASE enact emergency legislation making it a misdemeanor or greater to drive while either talking on a Cellphone that=s not totally hands free and/manipulating, operating, reading or viewing anything. This should be an infraction that carries as stiff a penalty as DUI because the results from doing so can be just as deadly. A rapid and conclusive STOP must be put to the blathering on cellphones, reading and/or playing with gadgets while operating a moving vehicle. Is it going to take multiple tragic deaths on the road where its proven these acts, including the use of a cellphone by the vehicle operator while underway is at fault?? I hope and pray not. Nobody should have to die to get this legislation enacted. Friends, please write your political reps and ask for help! ...Ralph Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB, FTP and NewsGroup Sites, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Randy Noak Lloyd E. Pulley Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet firstname.lastname@example.org STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Lawmakers Fear Millennium Bug A Republican congresswoman says the U.S. still is unprepared to deal with the year 2000 computer bug that threatens to wreak havoc in everyday lives. In the GOP's weekly radio address yesterday, Rep. Connie Morella of Maryland said, "Is our nation ready for this millennium bug? Frankly no. At their current pace, many federal agencies will simply not be ready for the new millennium." The Reuter News Service notes Morella called on Clinton to use the "presidential bully pulpit" to spur the government and private sector to give the highest priority to addressing the Year 2000 problem, adding Clinton should issue an executive order to federal agencies, and appoint a senior administration official to direct efforts to correct the looming computer problem. "Time is running out," she said. "We are facing an unforgiving deadline." The lawmaker said that, unless corrected, computers will read the year 2000 as 1900 and could affect many areas such as the air traffic control systems, veterans' benefits, home security systems and building elevators. "The consequences could be catastrophic," she said, "rendering useless much of the nation's date-sensitive computer data." French Promise Bug Insurance While others promise to prepare us to sidestep the "millennium bug" in computer systems when we reach the year 2000, one French firm is offering bug insurance. Reporting from Paris, the Reuter News Service says Axa Global Risks, a unit of Axa-UAP, announced today it is offering large companies coverage for their software exposure to "millennium bug" risks. A new product called Dat+net.2001 will offer companies coverage "for the possible loss of or damage to information or programming as well as the financial consequences of doing business in a crisis period," the wire service reports. The insurer released a statement saying, "Companies which have made the necessary adaptations to their systems for the passage to the year 2000 can also benefit from the guarantees of the Dat+net.2001 insurance, including cases of non-functioning programs or changed information." As reported, concerns about widespread disruption at the turn of the century stem from design of most computers and programs, which read only the last two digits in a date and risk seeing Jan. 1, 2000, as Jan. 1, 1900. Site Counts Down to Year 2000 A new site on the Internet's World Wide Web is going into the new year with its attention focused two years hence and the arrival of year 2000. Countdown2000.com (http://www.Countdown2000.com) will concentrate exclusively on the millennium, providing a comprehensive resource on all millennial topics, says United Press International. Adds the wire service, "The website will offer information on the various festivities, exotic cruises, and tours around the world and provide relevant links to millennium tour operators, travel agents, hotels and more. The website also will catalog plans to save the earth's environment, and create everlasting world-peace." Justice Department Dares Microsoft The U.S. Justice Department is daring Microsoft Corp. to file a bias claim against Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, appointed recently by federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to review charges against the software publisher. In its latest court filing -- part of what reporter David Lawsky of the Reuter News Service characterizes as "a nearly nonstop salvo between the Redmond, Washington, software firm and the government" -- the Justice Department contends Microsoft has made "unfounded and overblown" accusations against Lessig. But Microsoft officials are quoted by business writer George Tibbits of The Associated Press as saying Lessig has shown "extreme bias" in e-mail messages to the company's archrival. Tibbits says Microsoft is demanding Lessig immediately disqualify himself from the case. The Justice Department's filing does acknowledge that last year Lessig e-mailed a senior lawyer he knew at Netscape Communications Corp. to question whether Microsoft's Web browser might have "screwed up" his Web page bookmarks. Bookmarks are used to keep track of Web pages and are an important part of Web browsers. Says Reuters, "In a letter to Lessig, quoted in the court filing and then posted on the Internet by Microsoft, the software giant said the e-mail exchange shows Lessig has 'actual bias against Microsoft' and proves he is or may reasonably be perceived to be 'a partisan of Netscape.'" Microsoft contends Lessig failed to disclose his "relationship with a senior lawyer at Netscape" and should step down. The Justice Department says if Microsoft wants Lessig to be disqualified, it should file a formal motion and supporting evidence with Judge Jackson. Says the government filing, "If Microsoft believes that any basis exists to disqualify Professor Lessig, it should move promptly to do so and present whatever evidence it has to support the motion. Indeed, if Microsoft has such evidence but fails to present it promptly, it will have waived any claim based on the appearance of bias." As reported, Microsoft has resisted Jackson's actions at every turn in the case in which the Justice Department accuses the software giant of violating a 1995 consent decree aimed at increasing competition in the software industry. The government says Microsoft has competed unfairly against Netscape in the so-called "browser war." Meanwhile, AP says Richard J. Urowsky, Microsoft's outside legal counsel, has written a letter to Lessig saying, "In light of the evidence that has now come to light demonstrating your actual bias against Microsoft, it is difficult to see how you can in good conscience preside over further proceedings in this matter." Microsoft late yesterday (Monday) released the Urowsky's letter and contends of Lessig's e-mail messages, which, according to Urowsky's letter, were sent by Lessig and Netscape officials, the last dated July 29, 1997. Here's a summary: ˙ The first message was to Peter F. Harter, global public policy counsel for Netscape. In it, Lessig complains that when he installed Internet Explorer on his Macintosh computer, it messed up the "bookmarks" -- addresses of favorite Internet sites -- on his existing copy of Netscape Navigator. ˙ "OK, now this is making me really angry, and Charlie Nesson thinks we should file a lawsuit," the e-mail says. In reference to the decision to install Internet Explorer, the e-mail says: "sold my soul. And nothing happened." Nesson, Urowsky said, is Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson, a coordinator of a February 1997 Harvard forum on the Internet that included a session titled, "Should Microsoft Be Allowed to Swallow the Net?" ˙ The second e-mail, Urowsky said, was Harter to Lessig, in which Harter said he had passed Lessig's complaint along to Netscape's general counsel, Roberta Katz, and to Eric Bradley, Netscape's senior network systems administrator. In the third message, Bradley wrote that he has never installed Internet Explorer on his Macintosh, but had heard "horror stories from other people" who did. The message accuses Microsoft of "blatant anti-competition strategy" and adds, "I really do hate that company." Microsoft said that message was sent to Harter, with copies to Lessig and Katz. Lessig Rejects Microsoft Request Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig has rejected Microsoft Corp.'s request that he disqualify himself as a special adviser to the judge in the anti-trust suit brought by the U.S. Justice Department. As reported earlier, Microsoft contends Lessig has shown "extreme bias" in e-mail messages to the company's archrival and has been demanding Lessig immediately remove himself from the case. Reporting from Washington, writer David Lawsky of the Reuter News Service says Lessig spoke with Microsoft and the Justice Department in a conference call yesterday and, according to Microsoft, decided to continue with the judge's plan for him to review the matter. Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray told the wire service, "We learned in the conference call today that Professor Lessig does not plan to disqualify himself. We think that's very unfortunate. We continue to have serious concerns about Professor Lessig's lack of objectivity in this matter." As noted, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson appointed Lessig to conduct hearings, gather facts and make recommendations to him by the end of May concerning government charges that Microsoft violated a 1995 consent decree. Murray told Reuters his employer believes Judge Jackson should not have appointed anyone to conduct separate hearings and has filed a motion asking Jackson to end the process with Lessig or anyone else and has also filed an appeal. Lessig has left a message on his voice mail saying he does not comment on Microsoft matters. Meanwhile, as noted, the government earlier dared Microsoft to file a motion accusing Lessig of bias if it believed he was guilty of it. Asked if Microsoft planned to make such a motion, Murray said: "My sense is no." AOL Files Junk E-Mail Suit America Online Inc. has filed suit against three junk e-mail firms in its continuing battle against unsolicited bulk e-mail, also known as "spam." The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and seeks an injunction to prevent the companies from continuing their practice of sending large quantities of unsolicited junk e-mail to AOL members. The suit also seeks damages from all three companies. The companies named in the suit are: IMS of Knoxville, Tennessee; Gulf Coast Marketing of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and TSF Marketing and TSF Industries of Riverside, California. The move follows a federal court ruling in favor of AOL in its suit against Over the Air Equipment Inc. In that case, AOL won a court order barring Over the Air Equipment from sending unsolicited e-mail to AOL members. Later, Over the Air Equipment dropped its challenge to the order barring it from spamming and agreed to pay AOL an unspecified sum of money in damages. AOL says its new suit builds on the precedent established in the Over the Air Equipment case. According to court papers, the three companies have sent America Online and its members tens of thousands of unsolicited and unwanted e-mail messages. AOL charges that the companies not only refused to stop their mailings but used a number of deceptive techniques designed to evade AOL's junk e-mail detection and filtering mechanisms, including forging "aol.com" within their e-mail messages so the messages falsely appear to originate from an AOL member. AOL is also charging that TSF Marketing and TSF Industries have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in their harvesting of AOL screen names. Another Mutiny by a Mr. Christian Two hundred years after the famed mutiny on the Bounty, a descendant of mutineer Fletcher Christian has sparked another controversy, this time over plans to register the Pitcairn islands as a domain name on the Internet. The Reuter News Service notes the islanders who set up home on the remote Pacific outpost after their mutiny on the high seas "are now launching a cyberspace rebellion." Sixty-two-year-old Tom Christian, the great-great-great grandson of the mutinous first officer on the famed ship, "has enraged his fellow islanders by registering Pitcairn as a domain on the information superhighway," Reuters reports. "They say the profits should be shared." The wire service says Christian plans to sell the PN electronic address for 100 pounds a time to boost his income after his salary as the island's communications officer was halved by British administrators. Of the islanders' protests, Christian told the wire service, "I am upset by their moves to stop me. Maybe the blood of the mutineers still runs in my veins. My salary is about to be halved and I will have to take a big salary cut in April so I am looking for an alternative source to keep my income up." He says he will meet with British government officials in a bid to resolve the dispute. Washington Programmers Lose Overtime In Washington state, a new rule that goes into effect Feb. 1 will mean some highly skilled computer professionals will be exempt from overtime pay. Reporting from Olympia, Washington, The Associated Press notes companies in the state -- including Microsoft Corp., headquartered in Redmond, Washington -- will no longer be required to pay the overtime rate of time-and-a-half to computer analysts, programmers and developers earning more than $27.63 an hour. Instead, those workers could be paid "straight time" for extra hours. AP says the rule was adopted earlier this week by the state Department of Labor and Industries. The exemption was proposed by the Washington Software and Digital Media Alliance, whose largest member is Microsoft, which is estimated to have 3,500 to 5,000 such workers as part of its Puget Sound-area work force of 16,000. "Some software programmers earn as much as $40 or $50 per hour -- often out-earning their permanent, salaried co-workers," says AP. "But some temporary employees in the software industry, who are not organized or represented by labor unions, said overtime pay is one of their incentives to work under contracts that allow them to be dismissed at any time and do not provide benefits such as health insurance, vacation and stock options." The state agency said it received more than 750 comments during the extended comment period, most of which raised questions or opposed the rule change. However, the agency concluded that the adoption of the rule, which brings Washington in line with federal law, was appropriate. Agency Director Gary Moore said in a statement, "Premium pay for computer professionals is a decision that should be made between the employer and the professional -- not the state." Supporters say the rule change gives employers and workers more flexibility in setting hours, and ensures that companies employing temporary workers aren't at a disadvantage with competitors in other states. Handheld Car Navigator to Debut Datus Inc. is preparing to introduce the first all-in-one portable car navigation system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas later this month. The Windows CE-based RouteFinder PNA (Portable Navigation Assistant) will use GPS satellite positioning technology and text-to-speech voice instructions to safely guide drivers to their destination. The handheld device, which will sell for about $1,000, offers address-to-address route generation on a 4.1-inch LCD screen and spoken turn-by-turn driving directions. "The RouteFinder PNA represents an important breakthrough for car navigation systems," says Andy Khanna, president of the San Jose, California, company. "Its lower price point will make car navigation affordable and acceptable to a much wider market for both commercial and consumer use. And, since the PNA is easily transportable between cars, it enables owners to spread its cost over multiple vehicles." The RouteFinder PNA production is set to begin in May. More details are available on Datus' Web site at http://www.routefindergps.com. Microsoft Shows Dashboard System Software that will power a new class of dashboard-mounted, voice-activated automobile computers is being unveiled by Microsoft Corp., in what observers characterize as its latest bid to expand its market far beyond the desktop. Reporting from Seattle, writer Martin Wolk of the Reuter News Service says Microsoft also plans to ship a version of its Windows CE operating system for hand-held devices that will compete directly with 3Com Corp.'s popular PalmPilot. Both products will be made by a variety of manufacturers and begin to show up in retail stores by midyear. "While Microsoft labeled the dashboard-mounted system an Auto PC," says Wolk, the first-generation devices will have more in common with car stereos than personal computers," adding that Microsoft Vice President Craig Mundie is quick to quash any notion that drivers would use them to surf the Internet while commuting. Speaking with Reuters before a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Mundie said the product will feature an AM-FM stereo and CD player, but also will be able to accept voice commands and translate text messages to a synthetic voice output. That will allow users to listen to electronic mail messages, traffic reports or navigational directions. Mundie said future applications will allow the devices to be integrated with cellular telephones, pagers and the diagnostic system of the car itself, predicting taxi and bus fleet operators and traveling sales representatives were among the potential customers. Wolk says the devices will come from manufacturers including Clarion Corp. of America and could start at less than $1,000, adding, "Microsoft is in discussion with auto manufacturers, though because of long design cycles the devices will not be available as factory options until the model year 2000 at the earliest." Meanwhile, Microsoft labeled its second new platform the Palm PC, says Wolk, "to the great irritation of executives at 3Com's Palm Computing unit, who said their lawyers would be watching carefully to ensure its trademarks and copyrights are protected." Mundie said 500,000 hand-held personal computers had been shipped since the launch of Windows CE in October 1996, including 170,000 in the past two or three months. The hand-held PCs feature a "clamshell" opening, Windows-style screen and a tiny keyboard and include versions of Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel. Device Turns VCR Into Backup Unit Danmere Ltd. has introduced Backer 32, a product that allows PC users to store up to 4GB of information on a standard videocassette, using a VCR or camcorder as the backup device. With a transfer rate of 9MB per minute, Backer 32 is considerably faster than most storage devices for the home market, notes the Los Gatos, California, company. "Almost every home has a tape storage device, the VCR. Danmere just figured out how to connect it to the computer," says Danmere spokeswoman Julie Austin. "Since most VCRs are built to higher specifications than the average tape backup unit, they are dependable storage devices." "The home market for CD-ROM equipped computers, which has grown approximately 177 percent per year since 1993, is extremely vulnerable to data loss," says Gary Gabelhouse of Fairfield Research. "Home businesses and PC users do not tend to follow the same regiment of backing-up data that corporations do. Loss of data for a home office could lead to a severe loss in business and countless hours of re-acquiring and re-entering data. A product like this could be an attractive data backup solution for home business as well as home computer users." Backer 32, for Windows 95 or 3.X, retails for $69 internal, or $89 external. More details are available on Danmere's Web site at http://www.danmere.com. HP Enters Low-End PC Market Hewlett-Packard Co. today unveils its first line of personal computers to use Intel Corp.'s latest MMX technology and cost under $800. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Jim Carlton notes, "Previously, PCs costing less than $800 were only available from a major vendor if they used older technology or were cloned versions of less-powerful Intel chips. HP ... said its HP Pavilion 3260 being introduced today will be its first at that price to be based on Intel's powerful 200-megahertz Pentium chip." The chip uses Intel's MMX technology for advanced display of graphics and other multimedia features. (Note, though, that HP's $799 suggested U.S. price doesn't include a monitor, which would cost an additional $200 or so.) The Journal says the machines are expected to become available later this month worldwide as part of a new product line-up that will include two other Pavilion models: ˙ One with a 233-megahertz Pentium chip with MMX technology for $1,099. ˙ The other with a 266-megahertz Pentium II for $1,699. Analysts tell Carlton the move also signifies chip giant Intel "is mounting an offensive against rivals whose cloned chips now proliferate at the very low end of the PC market." Lately, PC makers such as Compaq Computer Corp. and IBM have been turning to Intel rivals Cyrix Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. for the chips to run their low-priced systems. Editor: (ps; isn't the Intel 200mhz Pentium now discontinued??) rfm Adobe Unveils Image Library Adobe Systems Inc. has unveiled the Adobe Image Library, a series of digital imagery for creative professionals. The product debuts with 39 titles: 30 for photography, three for illustration and six for video. Additional titles are scheduled for release on a quarterly basis. The Adobe Image Library represents Adobe's high-end entry into the royalty-free, digital image market. The digital images are edited into thematic collections and are offered in multiple industry-standard file formats to ensure that they may be easily used in any medium, print or electronic. "The Adobe Image Library underscores Adobe's commitment to offer end-to-end solutions for creative professionals," says Paul Anderson, Adobe Systems' vice president of type and content. "Our customers are facing increasing pressure to produce visually rich material on shorter deadlines for a wider variety of media. The Adobe Image Library allows the creative professional to realize his or her designs more quickly and easily by providing high-quality imagery." Compaq Uses Intel Rival's Chips A processor from Intel Corp. rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is being used in several models of Compaq Computer Corp.'s new family of Presario computers, to be unveiled this week. Reporting from San Francisco, the Reuter News Service notes the announcement about the use of AMD's K6 chip "would confirm a rumor that has been around the PC industry for almost two months." Also, one of the new PCs from Compaq, which is Intel's biggest customer, will be an upgrade of its current $799 model, Reuters says. Some analysts say they don't expect the Compaq deal to be a huge boon to AMD and that Intel will strike back with even further price cuts on its chips. As reported, Intel recently cut prices on entry level Pentium II chips by 33 percent, an effort, says Reuters, "to rejuvenate PC sales at the beginning of the year. More price cuts are expected to follow." Integrated Surgical Systems Signs Software Development Agreement with Major Prostheses Manufacturer Additional Line of DePuy Implants to Be Available for ROBODOC Surgeries Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc. (ISS) (Nasdaq: RDOC), a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of computer-controlled, image-directed robotic products for surgical applications, today announced that it has signed a software development contract with DePuy Orthopaedie, GmbH, a leading provider of surgical implants. ISS will develop software enabling orthopedic surgeons to plan and execute hip replacement surgeries using DePuy's European line of implants in conjunction with ISS' ROBODOC(R) Surgical Assistant System (ROBODOC). "This contract significantly increases our capability to meet the growing needs of our customers," said Dr. Ramesh C. Trivedi, president and chief executive officer of ISS. "The new software will add DePuy's Vision 2000 line of hip prostheses to the ROBODOC implant software library and offer users a choice between DePuy's AML line of straight stem prosthesis, more commonly used in the United States, and the new line of prosthesis, which is more widely used in Europe. ISS can now further offer the benefits of the ROBODOC System to surgeons by enabling them to select the most appropriate line of DePuy's prosthesis for the patient." The ISS implant software library provides a database containing the size, height, weight and shape of different hip prostheses. The ORTHODOC(R) preoperative planning system allows the orthopedic surgeon to choose one particular prosthesis from the library that is most suitable for the patient, and then directly translate this information to the ROBODOC System to mill the exact size of the cavity in the femur. Dr. Trivedi continued, "Orthopedic companies are responding to the high degree of interest from surgeons and hospitals for the ROBODOC System and are planning to gain a competitive edge by including their implants in the ISS implant library. The DePuy Orthopaedie, GmbH contract further represents a strong and continued commitment by the orthopedic companies to take advantage of their business relationships with ISS." Development of the software for DePuy's Vision 2000 line is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 1998. ISS announced similar software development contracts with Johnson and Johnson Professional, Inc. in December 1996 and Howmedica International in June 1997. Automated System for Alerting Emergency Responders Begins Beta Testing at Dow Chemical "There has been a chemical release at unit 16..." the recorded message announces. "Report as soon as possible to your emergency response station with level B equipment." The phone call is from the TeleSafe(TM) Automated Notification System from GeoSphere Emergency Response Systems, Inc. The Windows NT version of the TeleSafe system will begin beta testing later this month at the Dow Chemical Texas Operations plant in Freeport. DOS and Windows 95 versions are already in operation. GeoSphere Emergency Response Systems, Inc. is an expert system software developer with offices in Doylestown, Pa. and Palo Alto, Calif. GeoSphere also offers the PlantSafe(TM) Emergency Response System, a comprehensive incident command and emergency response management system which is in use at industrial facilities across the U.S. and in Europe. The TeleSafe Automated Notification System can stand alone or be integrated with the PlantSafe system, which uses highly sophisticated expert computer technology to provide emergency response personnel with guidance and instant access to data bases of information about their facility and the materials involved in an incident. According to Daniel Hillman, president of GeoSphere, "The TeleSafe system enables a dispatcher or emergency response manager to quickly initiate activation of the response team, and then be free to devote full attention to handling the emergency." The TeleSafe system can place hundreds of individualized messages within minutes of the onset of an emergency by telephone, fax or pager. With the new NT version, alpha-numeric pagers can be provided with detailed information and updates as an emergency unfolds. The TeleSafe system can also provide updated information to responders who call without involving personnel already on the scene. The TeleSafe system can serve multiple clients on a plant's server network. Each client develops lists of the responders required to handle possible emergencies, and can activate the system if an incident occurs in their area. The system will repeat notification calls as many times as necessary to reach every responder, and records the receipt of the message when the responder enters an authorization code. Emergency response managers can tell at a glance how many of the responders are on their way to the plant. "The TeleSafe system is designed for industrial plants, hospitals or even municipalities which have to reach large numbers of individuals to get ready to handle an emergency," Hillman points out. "It's the first automated emergency communications system to use the powerful Windows NT operating system." Amazon.com Offline for 12 Hours The mighty Amazon.com online bookstore, cited by many as the Internet's brightest success story, was offline for nearly 12 hours yesterday because of an unspecified technical problem. Starting about noon Pacific noon, those attempting to access the site (http://www.amazon.com) were greeted with the message, "We're sorry! Our store is closed temporarily. If you enter your e-mail address, we'll notify you as soon as we reopen." Speaking with Martyn Williams of the Newsbytes computer news service, Amazon.com officials said the long outage was because staff wanted to make sure everything was working perfectly before the site went back online. And spokeswoman Kay Dangaard told the Reuter News Service the site was closed after an unspecified technical problem was discovered during an unscheduled maintenance check. "It is small problem but has nothing to do with our security system or databases," she added. Dangaard said the outage was the longest since a day-long shutdown in June, when a problem was discovered during a routine maintenance check. Reuters notes Amazon.com had sales of about $38 million in its latest quarter, or some $420,000 a day. WebTV Faces Connect Problems Officials with WebTV Networks Inc. said that some users may face occasional service outages of as much as an hour as it deals with an increase in users following the holiday season. The Wall Street Journal's interactive edition reports the company, which provides Internet access through inexpensive set-top boxes, has upgraded its network servers to handle anticipated increases in usage and that unscheduled local maintenance outages are necessary to keep the quality of the service high. A WebTV spokeswoman wasn't sure how many users are affected, the paper notes online discussion groups "have been bursting with complaints from users about spotty service over the past few weeks." The Journal says WebTV anticipated solid sales during the holiday season, and early reports suggested that WebTV boxes quickly moved off store shelves. "WebTV said it is on track," says the paper, "to have 250,000 users by year-end 1997, up from just under 60,000 users as of April, when the company was acquired by Microsoft Corp. An enhanced version of the set-top device, WebTV Plus, was introduced in early December, but most of the holiday sales were likely of the older WebTV model." Netscape Takes a DIVE Netscape Communications Corp.'s stock fell to its lowest price ever Monday after the Internet software maker announced that competition from Microsoft Corp. will result in a fourth-quarter loss. Netscape, headquartered in Mountain View, California, also stated that it plans to lay off some workers -- a first in the 3-year-old company's history -- and hire outside contractors to manage some of its operations. Best known for its Navigator and Communicator Web browsers, Netscape says it expects to report a loss from operations of $14 million to $18 million, or 15 cents to 19 cents a share. With $52 million in acquisition charges and $35 million in restructuring costs, Netscape will report a total loss of $85 million to $89 million for the quarter. It would be the first time Netscape has reported a loss from operations since going public in August 1995, notes the Reuters News Service. Reuter, citing a recent survey by Zacks Investment Research, notes that analysts had expected Netscape to report a profit of 14 cents a share. Netscape stock plunged $4.75 to $18.625 in early afternoon Nasdaq trading of 10.2 million shares, making it the second most active issue in U.S. markets. Earlier, the stock traded at an all-time low of $17.75. Apple Stock Jumps 20 Percent Apple Computer Inc. has gotten a belated Christmas present. Buoyed by optimism over next week's MacWorld trade show -- and the feeling that prices have bottomed out -- Apple stock climbed 20 percent yesterday after reaching a low of 12-3/4 last month. Noting Apple's stock was "beaten pretty hard last year," analyst Lou Mazzucchelli of Gerard, Klauer & Mattison told the Reuter News Service, "I think people are saying the year-end tax-selling is over and there is a bit of a run-up to MacWorld, which is historical." Even though Apple jumped 2-1/4 to close at 15-3/8, most insiders told the wire service they are not expecting any big news at MacWorld, such as an announcement of a new chief executive. "But," adds Reuters, "analysts point out that interim Apple CEO Steve Jobs likes to make surprise announcements, so there may be some anticipation by investors of unexpected news on Tuesday, when Jobs is scheduled to make his keynote address." President Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies Inc. says he expects Jobs to discuss software upgrades, a new version of QuickTime video editing software and an update on sales at its online store. Apple Sees Renewed Profits At last, Apple Computer Inc. estimates it has returned to profitability in the just-completed quarter, telling those at the Macworld Expo trade show in San Francisco strong new products and cost-cutting contributed to net income exceeding $45 million. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Jim Carlton says, "The surprise profit projection for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 26 came in a theatrical conclusion to a keynote speech by Steve Jobs," Apple's cofounder and interim CEO, adding, "About 4,000 Macintosh fans responded with a roar, and investors also cheered." Wall Street approved. Apple's stock rose a whopping 19 percent yesterday, closing at $18.9375, up $3.0625, in heavy Nasdaq Stock Market trading. In fact, the stock has risen 44 percent since Friday morning, when Apple's shares began swelling on investors' anticipation that Jobs would make some favorable announcement at the annual gathering of people tied to Apple's Macintosh industry. "Precise financial results, including per-share earnings estimates, are to be released by Apple next Wednesday," Carlton notes, but a preliminary estimate has Apple's profit of more than $45 million coming on revenue of $1.58 billion. Says the Journal, "While the expected revenue total represents a 26 percent drop from the year-earlier quarter, it amounts to roughly the same level as the prior quarter, in an indication that Apple's long slide in sales may be ending. If sales do stabilize at a rate of about $1.6 billion a quarter, that would make Apple a $6.4-billion-a-year company, nearly half the size it was when it entered its long fall in 1995. Apple hasn't recorded a profit since the quarter that ended in September 1996." Jobs Walks Off CNBC Set Steve Jobs walked out on a live TV interview with CNBC yesterday when asked if he had ruled out taking the CEO post at Apple Computer Inc. for good. The Associated Press reports Jobs, who has been running Apple as interim CEO since a management shakeup in July, ended the interview saying CNBC had agreed not to ask him that question. The cable channel denied that such an agreement existed. AP reports the question of who will lead Apple was much on the minds of many Mac users and industry analysts attending the MacWorld Expo trade show in San Francisco, "but it was a question Jobs and Apple left unanswered." As noted, Apple ousted Chairman/CEO Gil Amelio in July. Jobs -- who left Apple in 1985 but returned as an adviser in late 1996 -- became interim chief as the company began to search for a new leader. Rumors suggest Jobs will become permanent CEO, but he has said he doesn't want the position, though he is working full time and says he will continue to do so for the time being. Fred Anderson, Apple's chief financial officer, is quoted by AP as saying, "Steve will stay as interim CEO until we find the word-class executive to lead this company." Only "Powder Puff" Questions Please.. Does Jobs suffer from an attitude problem?? Ed.. rfm IBM Services Head Takes Leave The executive in charge of IBM Corp.'s fast-growing services business has taken an open-ended medical leave of absence. The move has prompted several management shifts at the world's largest computer maker. The Reuter News Service reports that IBM didn't disclose the nature of the medical problem afflicting the executive, Global Services General Manager Dennie Welsh, 55. The development, and the resulting management changes, were outlined in a memo from IBM Chairman Louis Gerstner. "Succeeding Welsh, who ran the services business basically since its inception, is Sam Palmisano, 46, whose rapid ascent to IBM's top tier of management has led some IBM- watchers to consider him the heir-apparent to Gerstner," notes Reuters. IBM says David Thomas, who once headed the precursor to IBM's PC company and most lately ran its Global Industries group, will succeed Palmisano in running the Personal Systems Group, which includes personal computers, consumer products, network computers and terminal displays. Linda Sanford, formerly head of the System/390 Division responsible for IBM's mainframe business, will become general manager of Global Industries, and David Carlucci will step into Sanford's previous role. IBM says it will name a successor to Carlucci as corporate chief information officer and vice president of business transformation later this month. Study Analyzes Home-Based Workers More than 40 percent of American home-based workers -- self-employed or working for an employer -- plan to purchase new office equipment for their home offices this year, finds a new survey from Smith Corona Corp. According to the study, the groups most likely to purchase SOHO office equipment are males, self-employed and those between the ages of 18 and 34. Men said they would spend an average of $3,100 and women an average of $1,700. Respondents named office products retailers (19 percent), discount mass merchandisers (18 percent), consumer electronics stores (17 percent), computer retailers (12 percent) and warehouse clubs (10 percent) as places they'll most likely purchase electronics products for their home offices. The study notes that while an increasing number of Americans work from home to gain independence and relief from corporate pressures, 75 percent of those surveyed indicated that they find juggling business demands and personal or family life issues to be "very" or "somewhat challenging." Respondents who are younger, female or living in the Northeast were the most likely to say they feel pressured by such demands. Justice dares Microsoft to file bias claim The government dared Microsoft Corp. Monday to file a bias claim against Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, appointed by a federal charge to review charges against Microsoft. The Justice Department said in its latest court filing Microsoft made unfounded and overblown accusations against Lessig. The government also revealed that last year Lessig e-mailed a senior lawyer he knew at Netscape to question whether or not Microsoft's Web browser might have "screwed up" his Web page bookmarks. Microsoft says the e-mail shows Lessig has bias against it and may be perceived to be "a partisan of Netscape." EDITOR NOTE: If Harvard Law Professor L. Lessig were all that upstanding, he'd walk away simply to remove the controversy and diversion his presence is generating. Besides, Mr. Honorable's Emails tell the whole tale. He isn't BIASED. He's dead against Gates, Microsoft and anything that has or will threaten his ever so precious Mac! STEP DOWN LARRY, DO THE RIGHT THING!! The entire Computing Community is watching!! Maybe the DOJ is wearing blinders but the rest of us are NOT. By the way, have you ever heard of Conflict of Interest?? This whole thing with you, the DOJ and MS is beginning to smell like it's all from Denmark. rfm Microsoft says Lessig continues as adviser Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig had rejected its request he disqualify himself as a special adviser to the judge in the Justice Department's case against the computer giant. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson appointed Lessig to conduct hearings, gather facts and make recommendations to him by the end of May concerning government charges Microsoft violated a 1995 consent decree. Microsoft asserts Lessig is biased against it. Lessig spoke with Microsoft and the Justice Department in a conference call Tuesday, and will continue to review the matter. Netscape blames Microsoft for 4Q loss Netscape Communications Corp shares fell about 22% Monday after the company said pricing pressure from Microsoft Corp had cut into stand-alone retail sales of its flagship Navigator and Communicator software and will result in a loss for the fourth quarter. "While our products are doing extremely well in the marketplece and we're fighting the market-share battle effectively, the revenue is what is being diminished based on price pressure from Microsoft's free bundled browser," Mike Homer, Netscape vice president of sales and marketing, said. Netscape estimated its stand-alone client revenues fell from about 18% of total revenues in its third quarter to about 13% in the fourth quarter because of the increased pricing competition. Editor Note. Maybe Mr. Barksdale want to try his hand at Selling Bridges in NYC???? Or, maybe, just maybe. the long anticipated Browser "Shakeout" has begun?? rfm 'Virtual pet' faces rivalry from 'virtual lover' After the "virtual pet" on a keyring, make way for the "virtual lover." The Japanese electronic pet toys which took the world by storm in 1997 face rivalry from "My Lover," which went on show at the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair this week. The new gadget requires owners to court "virtual partners" with gifts such as flowers and chocolates, karaoke dates and love letters to win affection and earn "affinity points." Players can win a "virtual kiss" and a "virtual marriage" if they score enough points. But if they shirk in their affections, their partner may snub them in favor of a third party. Editor: PT Barnum said; "There's one born every minute!" Do you Fit?? rfm Online sales play small role in Apple profits Apple Computer's online sales may be playing only a small role in the company's attempted comeback, according to some analysts. Apple's announcement late Tuesday that it expected strong first quarter profits gave its stock a shot of adrenaline, and acting CEO Steve Jobs attributes the growth to cost-cutting and new sales tools, including its much-hyped, custom-built Web store. Analysts, however, say that while the online sales service is an important part of Apple's Net presence, it is playing only a small role in the company's possible comeback. Apple officials said Tuesday that sales from the company's online store had reached about $20 million since the site's launch on Nov. 10. The figure represents a slight slowdown from the site's first month of operation, during which it garnered close to $12 million in sales. Microsoft plans debut of Palm Pilot rival Microsoft Corp. is expected to announce Wednesday its own specifications for a product to rival 3Com Inc.'s popular Palm Pilot personal-digital assistant. The Redmond, Wash.-based software powerhouse has made a habit of developing products that mirror the offerings of other software developers. Most recently, Netscape Communications Corp. saw its quarterly earnings negatively affected by Microsoft's aggressive entry into the Web browser market. Working models for the PalmPC, Microsoft's ersatz electronic organizer, will built by Casio Inc., LG Electronics USA Inc., and NEC Computer Systems, and they are expected to be shown at a Las Vegas trade show tomorrow. The PalmPC is expected to ship in April, with a price tag between $299 to $499, according to a Tokyo-based marketing firm. Cell phone driving risk needs more study - U.S. agency Cellular phones and other wireless accessories distract drivers but much more research was needed to determine the size of the problem, a U.S. safety agency said Wednesday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said concern about the problem had been heightened by the rising popularity of cellular phones and other on-board equipment like navigation systems and portable faxes. The agency noted that the number of cell phones in the United States had exploded from 345,000 in 1985 to 50 million today. Seagate to post 'substantial' operations loss Seagate Technology Inc. said Wednesday it will report a substantial operating loss in its second quarter because of severe pricing pressure and weaker than expected disk drive demand. The world's largest disk drive maker had already warned in November it expected a shortfall for the quarter, and it said Wednesday it expects to report restructuring and other charges of $250 million for the quarter ended Jan. 2. Total revenues, which include software, service and support, are projected to be $1.65 billion, it said. That compares with $2.4 billion a year ago. Dell cuts PC prices, cites Asia Dell Computer Corp said it would reduce prices on selected desktop personal computers by up to 15% and linked the move to cost benefits it is reaping from the Asian economic crisis. Several major personal computer makers have announced price cuts this week, but Dell was the first to specifically cite lower component costs due to the ongoing economic crisis in Asia as a factor in its pricing move. Flat TVs, and bicycle phones at Las Vegas show While most consumers are still adding up the cost of their holiday gift- giving, electronics manufacturers are trying to tempt them with the latest in TVs, camcorders and computer gadgets. The Winter Consumer Electronics Show, which boasts about 1,800 exhibitors, opened Thursday in Las Vegas with everything from televisions and stereos to phones and pornography on display. The show is expected to draw 100,000 people to see the latest in electronic products. On Thursday, virtually every major TV manufacturer unveiled digital televisions that they hope will spur industry growth in the coming decades. Teen Channel debuts on AOL America Online's nearly 2 million connected teens will find an online place of their own today with the debut of The Teen Channel - an interactive gathering place jam-packed with features on cool movies, hot celebrities, popular books, fashion, dating, parents and other topics that affect today's teens. AOL members can access The Teen Channel beginning today at keyword: Teen. AOL created The Teen Channel for the more than 50% of connected teens that access the Internet through AOL. With special programming from teen "authorities" including Seventeen, The Book Bag, Plug In, and Youth Tech, as well as anagreement with Teen People which makes the magazine available online exclusively on AOL, The AOL Teen Channel iswell- positioned to become the most lively and popular teen hang-out in Cyberspace. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Texas Court Overturns Part Of Telecom Act Group Threatens To Post AOL Subscriber Addresses DOE Aims For 30-Teraflops Computer Microsoft To Buy Hotmail Intel, Exponential Business Devt. Invest In ILINC Will Advance Technology Program Fund Online Education? Reconciliation In Cyberspace China's Definition Of Computer Crimes With Acquisition Of S.N.E.T., SBC May Enter Long-Distance Market Networking For The Home Apple Status Report Williams Cos. Signs Deal With U S West Computer Dependency HP Unveils Low-Cost MMX PC Internet Gaming League Computerized Bingo Game Nabbed In Oklahoma Year 2000 Problem ... The Lawyers Are Finding Door No. 1 AOL Goes To Court Over Spamming China Imposes New Controls On Internet Access Opinions Differ Over Adviser In Microsoft Antitrust Case Good News From Apple Microsoft Palmistry Unisys Abandons PC Business Internet Start-Ups May Get "Crushed By Progress" Answering Machine Does E-Mail, Too TEXAS COURT OVERTURNS PART OF TELECOM ACT A federal court in Texas has ruled that portions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 preventing local phone companies from offering long-distance service to customers in their region were unconstitutional. "The special provisions prevent the (Bell companies) from engaging in a lawful business for what the court only can conclude were the sins of the parent, AT&T, or for what offenses Congress believes the (Bell companies) may (without any evidence) commit in the future," says the ruling, which was made in response to a lawsuit filed by SBC Communications and U S West earlier this year. The ruling is subject to appeal. (TechWeb 1 Jan 98) GROUP THREATENS TO POST AOL SUBSCRIBER ADDRESSES The National Organization of Internet Commerce has warned America Online that if AOL doesn't allow it to send bulk e-mail to AOL subscribers, it will post the addresses of 5 million AOL subscribers on a Web site. SF Marketing, which was founded by the same person who heads up NOIC, is a "prolific junk e-mailer" says AOL's general counsel. "We know that TSF has generated thousands of complaints by AOL members." AOL has taken steps in recent weeks to combat the growing problem of junk e-mail on its network. (Wall Street Journal 2 Jan 98) DOE AIMS FOR 30-TERAFLOPS COMPUTER The U.S. Department of Energy is teaming up with Lawrence Livermore, Sandia and Los Alamos National aboratories in a "Pathforward" project to develop a high-speed system-level interconnect capable of hooking up clusters of supercomputers to produce processing speeds ten times faster than is possible today. "In 2001, we're aiming for a 30-teraflops system," says a chief scientist at Lawrence Livermore. "Around the 2004 or 2005 time frame, we want to achieve 100-teraflops systems." Pathforward will coordinate its efforts with work currently in progress under DOE's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative, which has already produced a single-teraflops-class supercomputer, dubbed the ASCI "Red" machine. Two "Blue" 3-teraflops computers are slated for 1998 and 1999. (EE Times 1 Jan 98) MICROSOFT TO BUY HOTMAIL Microsoft will acquire closely held Hotmail Corp., one of the leading providers of free e-mail service. The reported deal calls for Microsoft to hand over $300 million to $400 million in stock for the service, which boasts 9.5 million subscribers, but has yet to post a profit. Microsoft will offer Hotmail as part of a collection of free content services, which includes Expedia, CarPoint and an online stock trading and tracking site. (Wall Street Journal 2 Jan 98) INTEL, EXPONENTIAL BUSINESS DEVT. INVEST IN ILINC Intel Corp. and Exponential Business Development recently joined GeoCapital Partners in financing ILINC, a creator of instructor-led online learning software. ILINC, founded in 1994, has developed software for Office Depot, FlightSafety, Lucent Technologies, Kent State University and Chrysler Financial Services. (AlleyCat News Dec 97) WILL ADVANCE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM FUND ONLINE EDUCATION? The Commerce Department is expected to decide early this year whether to provide funding to learning technology ventures through the Department's Advanced Technology Program, which has funded such things as better refrigeration technologies and improved health information systems. Program manager Richard W. Morris says: "If we migrate to the Web, all of a sudden the economies of scale change dramatically. If we do the technology right, we can re-use and update and integrate the pieces of instruction in almost an infinite number of ways so all the advantages of the Internet make for a new economy of learning." (New York Times Cybertimes 4 Jan 98) RECONCILIATION IN CYBERSPACE A Web site established by Bishop Desmond Tutu's Truth & Reconciliation Commission < http://www.truth.org.za > is accepting confessions and apologies from white South Africans. An example: "On behalf of my family I wish to apologize to our servants for ill-treating them, especially to the family of the woman known by me as 'Liesbet' who worked for us many years when we were living in the Free State. She came from Lesotho and lived in a little hut outside our own property. To this day my parents cannot tell me what happened to her when my father was transferred. I know that they would also wish to apologize for not treating her properly." (Manchester Guardian, via Atlanta Journal-Constitution 4 Jan 98) CHINA'S DEFINITION OF COMPUTER CRIMES The Chinese government has issued a detailed list of computer crimes, which include the use of the Internet to defame government agencies, "split the country" (by encouraging supporters of the Dalai Lama or of independence for Taiwan), divulge state secrets, transmit or receive pornography, or break into networked computers. A government official justified the new rules by saying that "the safe and effective management of computer information networks is a prerequisite for the smooth implementation of the country's modernization drive." (New York Times 31 Dec 97) WITH ACQUISITION OF S.N.E.T., SBC MAY ENTER LONG-DISTANCE MARKET SBC Communications, parent of the Southwestern Bell and Pacific Bell local telephone service companies, is acquiring Southern New England Telecommunications Corporation (S.N.E.T.), for $4.4 billion in stock; the acquisition could allow SBC to become the first regional Bell to enter the long-distance company, because S.N.E.T.'s status as a non-Bell company would allow it to sell long-distance service, an activity from which the Bells are legally constrained until they have opened up their local markets to real competition. (New York Times 6 Jan 98) NETWORKING FOR THE HOME Now that networking companies have successfully wired the corporate market, they're targeting residential users in 1998. "The potential is huge... Bay, Cisco, 3Com are rubbing their hands and dying to get into it," says a sales director for Bay Networks' NetGear product line. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems is a little more conservative in its forecast: "Residential networking will be on the front page of all the papers next year, but it won't be material (in terms of sales)," says the company's chief technology officer. Key to the success of selling networking products for the home will be simplicity, something the current products are not known for: "You need a Ph.D. in networking for a Cisco router. Consumer networking products have to be like running your toaster or your blender. It's that simple," says a spokesman for Compaq, which also has expressed an interest in the field. (Investor's Business Daily 5 Jan 98) APPLE STATUS REPORT At the Macworld Expo that starts today Apple is expected to show a new version of Mac OS (version 8.1) that improves performance and supports new DVD ROM devices for playing movies. The company says it will not be unveiling a network computer at the Expo nor announcing a new CEO. (San Jose Mercury News 4 Jan 98) WILLIAMS COS. SIGNS DEAL WITH U S WEST Williams Cos., a Tulsa, Okla., natural gas pipeline company, has signed a five-year agreement with U S West Communications Group to provide long-distance transmission and other services, laying "the groundwork for them to be a major player" in communications, according to one investor. Williams' announcement came one day before a noncompete agreement with WorldCom expires -- an agreement signed three years ago when the company sold most of its nationwide fiber optic network to WorldCom for $2.5 billion. Williams says it never intended to exit the communications field entirely, and also has deals in the works with Intermedia Communications Corp. of Tampa, Fla., and Concentric Network Corp. of Cupertino, Calif. (Wall Street Journal 6 Jan 98) COMPUTER DEPENDENCY A Central Florida counseling group called LifeStream Behavior Center in Eustis, Florida has begun to offer treatment for people whose compulsive use of the Internet causes them to withdraw from reality and "create a false cyberworld to inhabit." A LifeStream counselor says, "We're going to be learning a lot about this as we go along because there really are very few treatment programs for Internet addiction. The community and some colleagues might be skeptical, but we feel like this is definitely a real problem for some people." (AP 4 Jan 98) HP UNVEILS LOW-COST MMX PC Hewlett-Packard is selling a $799 computer based on Intel's popular 200 MHz Pentium microprocessor, complete with MMX technology. The price doesn't include a monitor, which must be purchased separately. HP's previous lowest-cost PC sold for $999, excluding a monitor. "Our goal is to be No. 1 in this category," says an HP general manager. (Wall Street Journal 5 Jan 98) INTERNET GAMING LEAGUE The Professional Gamers' League began its first season this past fall, with more than 1,000 PC game aficionados signed up to participate in the first pro organization for online computer game players. The PGL boasts a commissioner, referees, playoffs, big-name sponsors and player endorsements. Separate tournaments will be held in two categories: action, featuring the game Quake, and strategy, using Command & Conquer: Red Alert. The single-elimination tournaments will last about two months, and the games will be available for viewing in real-time on the Internet. Cash prizes will be awarded the winners. Forrester Research estimates there are 6.9-million online gamers, with that number expected to more than double by 2001. (St. Petersburg Times 5 Jan 98) COMPUTERIZED BINGO GAME NABBED IN OKLAHOMA The FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma raided the headquarters of Multimedia Games Inc., and seized its main computer. The authorities contend that the company's MegaMania bingo game is really a slot machine, and therefore illegal in Oklahoma. Regular bingo, on the other hand, is legal. Multimedia has protested the seizure, saying, "There was absolutely no criminal intent." (Wall Street Journal 5 Jan 98) YEAR 2000 PROBLEM ... THE LAWYERS ARE FINDING DOOR NO. 1 A survey of 108 technology managers by the Cap Gemini consulting firm has found that 7% have already experienced computer failures related to the year 2000 problem. The chief economist of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell says "You can read this two ways. Either there hasn't been enough recognition of the problem, or it's not really such a big deal. I pick door No. 1." And the lawyers are finding that door; technology lawyer Barry D. Weiss says, "I didn't expect the extent to which lawyers who previously did not specialize in information technology have looked on the year 2000 as an opportunity." (New York Times 5 Jan 98) AOL GOES TO COURT OVER SPAMMING America Online has filed a federal lawsuit against three companies, which it says have been sending large quantities of unsolicited and unwanted commercial e-mail messages to AOL subscribers. The suit seeks an injunction preventing the companies from sending any more junk mail as well as unspecified damages for mail already sent. (Wall Street Journal 8 Jan 98) CHINA IMPOSES NEW CONTROLS ON INTERNET ACCESS New rules against "defaming government agencies," spreading pornography and violence, and revealing state secrets have been imposed by the Chinese government. The rules, which are said particularly to target Internet users, call for criminal punishment and fines of up to $1,800 for Internet providers and users who are found to have spread "harmful" information or leak state secrets via the Internet. In announcing the rules, China's assistant minister for public security noted that Internet links had increased China's cultural and scientific exchanges around the world, but that "the connection has also brought about some security problems, including manufacturing and publicizing harmful information, as well as leaking state secrets." (Chronicle of Higher Education 9 Jan 98) OPINIONS DIFFER OVER ADVISER IN MICROSOFT ANTITRUST CASE Legal experts are divided over whether Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig should be disqualified from serving as a court-appointed adviser in the Justice Department's antitrust suit against Microsoft. At issue is whether Lessig demonstrated that he is biased against Microsoft when he sent e-mail to a Netscape lawyer in June suggesting that his copy of Microsoft's Explorer software may have "screwed up" and destroyed some of his files. He also indicated that he had downloaded Explorer only in order to enter a contest, and that in doing so he said he sold his soul. (USA Today 8 Jan 98) GOOD NEWS FROM APPLE Apple co-founder and interim CEO Steve Jobs surprised a gratified Wall Street by announcing that the long-besieged company is posting a $45 million quarterly profit on revenue of $1.575 billion, leading Apple stock to rise promptly by 20%. However, Jobs cautioned Apple enthusiasts that there was much more work to be done before the company is turned around: "Who knows what's going to happen next quarter? We're going to be burning the midnight oil." (New York Times 7 Jan 98) MICROSOFT PALMISTRY Microsoft has developed specifications for a new product category it is calling the Palm PC, which is designed to use a pared-down version of Windows CE. Handheld computers based on the specifications will be manufactured by Phillips, Casio, LG Electronics, and Uniden. The Palm PC includes a 32-bit microprocessor chip, a connection for communication with a PC, and a tiny modem; in contrast to previous Windows CE devices the new product will use a pen-like stylus rather than a keyboard for information entry. Executives of 3Com Corp.'s Palm Computing , which sells the popular PalmPilot computer, are outraged at Microsoft's choice for a product name, and Palm's president Donna Dubinsky says sarcastically: "It's in the fine Microsoft tradition here to copy everyone else, [but] it's one surprising step beyond that to even copy the name." (Wall Street Journal 7 Jan 98) UNISYS ABANDONS PC BUSINESS Unisys has announced a decision to withdraw from the personal computer business, in which it has occupied a niche market, selling mainly to customers that also buy Unisys mainframes. The company will concentrate now on selling server computers and offering systems and programming services. (New York Times 7 Jan 98) INTERNET START-UPS MAY GET "CRUSHED BY PROGRESS" Netscape, Cybercash, and Spyglass are examples of "hot" Internet pioneers whose stock prices have fallen dramatically from their all-time highs and are now at levels below their initial public offering price. The reason? Competition from Microsoft and other established companies. Industry analyst Kevin Landers says: "As soon as innovation slows down, they are playing a game the Goliaths have been playing for a long time. There are going to be companies along the way that get crushed by progress." (USA Today 7 Jan 98) ANSWERING MACHINE DOES E-MAIL, TOO Casio PhoneMate is coming out with a digital telephone answering machine that enables users to also check and read e-mail. The IT-380 E-Mail Link supports the POP-3 e-mail standard and will be available in the spring. (Investor's Business Daily 7 Jan 98) STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. With a readership of better that 200,000 per week, this is truly an exceptional opportunity to maximize your company's recognition factor globally. (STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. (STR, STReport, CPU Report); ˙ maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. ˙ offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. ˙ presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. ˙ is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! Eighth Page - $50.00 Quarter Page - $100.00 per issue per issue Half Page - $200.00 per Full Page - $400.00 per issue issue Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 20% Discount for Advance Q2 ads. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view Featured Review JumpStart 1st Grade Math Windows/Macintosh CD-ROM $30 Knowledge Adventure 1311 Grand Central Ave. Glendale CA 91201 818-246-4400 http://www.adventure.com Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7.0.1 CPU: 486DX2/66 CPU: 68040/40 or PowerPC HD Space: 15 MB HD Space: 15 MB Memory: 8 MB, 16MB for Win95 Memory: 8 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: MPC-compatible sound card Other: mouse, printer optional review by Frank Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) JumpStart 1st Grade Math is a great new product in the math educational software field. It contains an age-appropriate curriculum that is enhanced by engaging characters, snappy tunes and delightful exercises. Children will find adventure and learning fun in a magical environment. Frankie the Dachshund is in BIG trouble. Or should I say small trouble? Because Frankie has been messing up the backyard by burying his bones, the Queen Bee shrinks him down to insect size. To be returned to his normal size, he must collect bones by making friends with the inhabitants. He'll do this by completing various math-related tasks for the creatures who live along the path in the backyard. Collect five bones and you can play the Charm Game to get a magic dog tag. Once you have six tags, Frankie returns to his normal size. Watch out for the Worm who will try to stop Frankie! This might not sound like fun to a parent, but kids love these activities. They don't even realize that they are building math skills while playing the games. The arcade games feature fun gameplay that is enhanced by gorgeous graphics and cool tunes. Children can learn number progression and pattern recognition by seating numbered spiders in the Spider Orchestra. Several spiders are placed in a row of ten seats. Children must discern the pattern, then grab spiders from above and then guide them to the correct seat. Subtraction is learned in Dragonfly Tag. A problem is displayed below while the answer is on the tail of one of three dragonflies. Tag the dragonfly with the correct answer by clicking on it with the mouse. Addition skills are covered in Set Sail, a fun game featuring floating fleas. The fleas float down a stream on a numbered leaf. Move the leaf to avoid rapids and rocks, then guide the fleas safely home by choosing the tunnel that features a math equation equal to the number on the leaf. Children will quickly learn geometry, symmetry and duplication in Beetle Sand Castles. You place colored shapes on a sand castle. At higher levels you must duplicate or mirror a given castle. If you need to hone up on your measurement and estimating skills, try your hand at Caterpillars Crawl Home. You have to quickly bridge gaps in a caterpillar's path with twigs of various lengths. Learn sorting, classifying and pattern recognition skills in the fast-paced Put the Ants to Bed. The player must direct the various ants through tunnels and lockable gates to the proper chamber. You can distinguish the ants by color, hat type and body pattern. The Worm doesn't like Frankie and has three challenges that will slow down bone collection. Children learn time with The Pocket Watch. Use the arrows to set the clock's hands to match the digital time that the Worm displays. Worm Toll asks the child select the correct change to pay a toll displayed in cents by the Worm. Ladybug Banquet teaches place value. Children must count the dots on the ladybugs, then use those dots to match a number that the Worm displays. Once children have won enough bones and returned Frankie to full size, they can continue to play the game and earn additional dog tags. The program contains enough math problems and activities for many weeks and months of learning fun. Knowledge Adventure's Adaptive Learning Technology gradually increases the challenge of each game as a child progresses or it can decrease it when he has problems mastering specific skills. The Kid's Tutor Technology provides children with logical examples to increase their understanding of math concepts. Frankie's Big Bug Book contains many sample problems that are illustrated and explained orally. The Progress Report shows how well a child is faring in each math category. As a supplement, the program includes a printable workbook on the disc. JumpStart 1st Grade Reading is a great way to teach math. It's more fun than a flea circus! The multimedia title is incredibly entertaining and has fantastic content. Knowledge Adventure backs this program with a stupendous 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. The best endorsement that I can give this program is that my son Timothy is enthralled with it. Few computer programs get his attention, but he has played JumpStart 1st Grade Reading for several hours daily for the last week. This program is an outstanding value. If you have a child ready for first grade level math, you need JumpStart 1st Grade Math. In Educational Software News What Clicks Microsoft, Unilever HPC-USA and FamilyPC are teaming up for a promotion for family computing. This Sunday, newspapers across the country will feature a brochure featuring editorial content from FamilyPC and discount coupons from Microsoft and Unilever HPC-USA. It will include tips on games, family activities and information to get the most out of home computers. The brochure will also be featured in the January issue of FamilyPC. The insert contains coupons for the following Microsoft products: Microsoft Money 98 Financial Suite, Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection, Microsoft Greetings Workshop Deluxe, Microsoft Picture It!T2.0 personal imaging software, Microsoft My Personal Tutor, Microsoft Encartar Virtual Globe and Microsoft Encarta 98 Deluxe Encyclopedia. These offers are good through Feb. 28, 1998. Unilever HPC-USA will offer money-saving coupons on 11 of its popular consumer brands, good through March 31, 1998, including Surfr laundry detergent, Snuggler fabric softener and Lever 2000r deodorant soap and body wash. FamilyPC will offer a one-year subscription for 50 percent off the annual cover price. lst Prize - $500 US Savings Bond - Eagle Kids Web Site Coloring Contest Here's a chance for kids to win U.S. Savings Bonds or free t-shirts. Head on over to http://www.eaglekids.com to find a coloring page of Tommy Talon, the site's mascot. Print out the page, color it in, fill out the form and mail it to Master Financial, Inc. by January 31. The winner winners will chosen in a random drawing with first prize of a $500 U.S. Savings Bond, second place of a $200 bond, four third place prizes of a $100 bond and six fourth place prizes of $50 bonds. The first 100 entries get free Tommy Talon t-shirts. While you are there, check out all the neat eagle information for kids, parents and teachers. Photographs, games, news and articles are all available. The newest feature is "Eagle Cards," personalized e-mail postcards that you can send via the Internet. Humongous Entertainment Set to Release New Freddi Fish Adventure On March 1st, be sure to look for Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell. Children ages 3 to 8 can help Freddi, that spunky fish detective, nab the culprit that made off with the Great Conch Shell. Available on a hybrid CD-ROM for both Windows and Macintosh, this $29.95 title will help children develop their deductive reasoning skills by exploring a colorful environment for clues. To give the game replay value, the clues and culprit change each time the game is played. The Learning Company Announces The ClueFinders' 3rd Grade Adventures Available now at a retail price of $29.95, The ClueFinders' 3rd Grade Adventures packs a year's worth of math, language arts, science, geography and problem-solving curriculum into an exciting mystery-adventure. Featuring Saturday morning cartoon-style animation and a gaggle of kid detectives, ClueFinders' challenges children's minds with more than 20 educational activities that build 75 skills including solving math word problems, identifying parts of speech, using logic and reading maps. Players must explore a rain forest to save a kidnapped scientist. This Indiana Jones-styled adventure is available for both Macintosh and Windows computers. Corel Print House Magic Corel Corporation for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 Estimated Retail Price $39.95 $10 Mail-in Rebate through February 28, 1998 http://www.corel.com Review by Donna Lines (email@example.com) Corel Print House Magic is a first rate, fun, and user-friendly program that the whole family will enjoy. You can make banners, signs, cards, certificates, envelopes, labels, business forms, and more. Use the included ready-to-print samples or make your own creations. Included in the package are 3 separate, but well-integrated programs: Corel Print House 3, Corel Photo House 2, and a new program -- Corel Family & Friends. Print House 3 is the foundation of this suite of programs. Corel has included 25,000 high quality clipart images, 1,000 ready-to-print samples, 1,000 greeting cards, 5,500 breathtaking photos, 150 borders, 200 backdrops, and 300 fonts. With the included 1,000 phrases you are sure to find just the right sentiment for your greeting cards. The user's guide provides full color thumbnails of all the included clipart and photos. The property bar is now context sensitive, automatically displaying the available commands for the object that you are editing. The menus are straight forward and you will have little trouble using the program right out of the box. Although there are several menus to work through, depending on how much you are going to add to your project or customize a sample project, the program is very easy to navigate. There are lots of options to customize your project. I found the text presets fun to use. Just highlight the text you would like to apply the preset to and double click on the text preset. You can even create your own text presets by dragging your customized text into the text preset dialog box. I liked the ability to fade an object. Fading a background allows you to add some color and graphics in the background, without overwhelming the main subject. You can add a shape to your object, skew, rotate, flip, just to name a few. There are many other features included, many from Corel's high end graphics program, Corel DRAWT. Photo House 2 is an intuitive photo-editing program. It has many of the same features found in it's "big brother," Corel Photo-Paint 7T. You can easily repair or retouch your photos with the red eye remover, or even remove dust and scratches with just a couple of clicks of the mouse. Add amazing effects to your photo like page curl, change colors, add a lens refraction, emboss, add texture, or make your photo look like a drawing. You can even use the included Auto F/X program to create a unique frame for your photo. The possibilities are endless. Family & Friends helps you organize your busy life with the Calendar, Address Book, List Book, and reminders. You can populate the Calendar with special events such as birthdays and anniversaries, then set up the program to remind you up to 365 days in advance of the special event. The Address Book is a handy reference for all your contacts. You can list each person's name, address, home, work, fax, and mobile phone number, and even their email address. You can also list special events for that person - birthday, anniversary, special notes, and tie the address record to a list created in the List Book. The List Book allows you to create lists of people or items. I created a list of all of my collectibles. The program has some limitations (e.g., you cannot sort the data once entered). I found the List Book a little difficult to use and the user's manual contains very little instruction on this feature. Family & Friends is a nice bonus program that complements the other two programs. If you purchase Corel Print House Magic before Feb. 28, 1998, you will receive a $10 mail-in rebate direct from Corel. System Requirements: 486 DX or better Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 8 MB System RAM (16 MB RAM for Windows NT) 55 MB Free Hard Drive Space 1 MB SGVA (800x600) 256 Color Monitor and Display Card Mouse or Tablet Double Speed or better CD ROM drive Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff firstname.lastname@example.org Nightmare Creatures Windows 95 CD-ROM Street Price: $49.95 For Mature Audiences (Animated Blood and Gore, Animated Violence) Activision 3100 Ocean Park Boulevard (310) 255-2000 (tel) (310) 255-2100 (fax) www.activision.com Nightmare Creatures is a brilliant new gothic scare from Activision. This wonderful action-adventure combines the maneuvers of great fighting games against a backdrop of London in 1834. The atmosphere and 3D modeled characters are brought to life with a unique camera management system. Nightmare Creatures is really a great blend of action and adventure. The story takes place in London, 1834. A brilliant scientist turned madman, named Adam Crowley, secretly seeks to revive the Brotherhood of Hectate. The Brotherhood was a secret society that threatened London with horrific monsters in the 17th century. Crowley has created twenty-one new monsters that are now ready to cause havoc on the streets of London once again. Activision's new release recreates those streets of London very nicely as well. Kalisto entertainment, the developers of this game, actually used historic maps of London when they created the battleground for the sixteen levels. They were also able to create many splendid environmental factors such as fog, rain, snow, and wind. This is a great feature that makes it very easy to immerse yourself in the game. Nightmare Creatures combines classic and very original monsters very well. Everything from werewolves, zombies, fire-breathing demons, gigantic spiders, and huge blue beasts attack you during gameplay. Another great thing about the monsters is that they can still fight back once you chop one of their limbs off. The creatures actually fight minus legs, arms, or even their lower or upper torsos. Activision's new release enables the player to choose from two 3D rendered heroes in battling these monsters. The male hero, Ignatius, is a powerful priest that is armed with a staff. The heroine, Nadia, is an agile American student that is implemented with a sword. Each avenger has over thirty combos to counteract Crowley's creations. These combinations are fun to use and keeps the game entertaining throughout. In each level, the player has the opportunity to upgrade their weapon, or pick from a large assortment of power ups. Some of the power ups include freeze and fire bombs, dynamite, and even spells. One spell turns the monsters on each other so you can just sit back and watch them go at it. Other spells cause the monster to go blind so you can attack them unknowingly. The best feature in Nightmare Creatures is probably the camera system. The camera follows the character during most of their journey until an unexpected monster arrives. When this happens the view cuts to show the monster jump out of its hiding place. It then cuts back to the original view so you can battle your foe. The scene also changes if the player hits a switch to open a passage. The view will then switch to show the passage open and then back again to the original scene. This camera system is accompanied by a very spooky action-oriented soundtrack. This along with the distant moans and groans really heightens the creepy atmosphere. Smooth graphics do not hurt either. Nightmare Creatures enables you to battle four adversaries at once without compromising game speed at all. It does support 3D acceleration but it is not required because of many different resolutions. All in all, I would have to suggest Nightmare Creatures very highly. It is a very fun and challenging game at times. The abundance of creatures and ways to dismantle them is something to look forward to in all sixteen levels. If you are looking for a good scare, fight, and adventure all in one, I recommend Nightmare Creatures from Activision. Program Requirements Windows 95, 133 MHz Pentium, 16 MB RAM, double speed CD-ROM drive, 20 MB hard drive space, 16 bit color SVGA, PCI or VLB video card with 1 MB RAM hardware acceleration recommended for hi-resolution graphics, Windows 95- compatible mouse and driver, DirectX-compatible. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) points. ˙ No Indenting on any paragraphs!! ˙ No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmickery" ˙ No underlining! ˙ Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. ˙ Most of all.. PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!! ˙ There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy ˙ Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats ˙ Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately ˙ Please use a single font only in an article. TTF New Times Roman 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Well, how has "El Nino" treated you so far this winter? Imagine every type of weather "anomaly" being blamed on this "condition"?!? Up here in the "lower" northeast, it's been wet and unseasonably warm at times. Sounds like typical New England weather, to me. Sure, some areas of the country are getting more snow than usual (even if "usual" is none!), but is this an unique weather condition? Sure, blame it on something that's not too tangible nor predictable! Sheesh! Why not blame it on the real culprit - Bill Gates?? After all, isn't he being accused of wanting to take over the world? Speaking of Emperor Gates...the man has "scrotes". I can't say balls because this isn't an adult-oriented magazine. I mean, who in their right mind goes up against the Justice Department, indirectly insulting them as they go along (my opinion only), and expect to succeed - while they're being investigated? If you want to prove a point, at least try it when the government isn't focused on you! Does the Justice Department ever lose such fights? Bill, take a little advice from someone Downeast: If you've got a terrific product, people will buy it - don't ram it down their throats! What's the old saying about building a better mousetrap and people will flock to your door to get it...? Then again, Bill may have been given the same advice that I was provided many years ago: If you believe in what you're doing, stick to your guns no matter what the outcome might be... I guess I've been reading too many of Ralph's recent editorials (he said, ducking quickly) lately. Koresh at Waco... a Reverend Jim Jones at Guyana wannabe. They weren't coming out of that compound alive - martyrdom was written all over them. Ruby Ridge? A toss-up. These self-proclaimed "militias" worry me sometimes, especially the zealots. Me, I like Clinton - he's human. He's a real person. He even has a real dog!
I have to like him and 'Buddy' - I'm having similar "growing pains" with my new Lab pup also! So, what does _any_ of this have to do with computing with an Atari? Absolutely nothing. The news this week speaks for itself; I felt like talking about something totally off-topic for a change. Hey, it's a new year; I'm entitled. I could have rambled on how Ralph "screwed-up" the numbering of this year's issues by starting off with "1400" rather than "1352" or "1401" as usual, but that would be nitpicking him too much! Until next time... Hi! Matthias Jaap has just released a demo of the new HomePage Penguin v2.08. All about this web editor with links to supported webpages and a download possibility at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/penguin/ The swedish manual is available on-line and is formed in a A4 paper format, which makes it printable direct from a web browser. http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/penguin/penguin/sida1.html Another application from Matthias, Tabi is updated as a special 1.5 X-Mas release. New features include: - OLGA support (server) - Browser preview (CAB, WenSuite, Light of Adamas) - several bug fixes - enhanced manual - long filenames - 3D look for popup menus - no "tabi.inf" file required - first pieces of the Penguin protocol - recognition of TOS language on all TOS machines - RSC file stored outside the program - sample files for the beginner You will find Tabi 1.5 at the URL above. The release date of Tabi 2.0 will be in February 1998. channel Atari news pages is always available at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/channel/news/ Mille Babic email@example.com http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille channel Atari: http://hem1.passagen.se/atari/ Hi! First, this e-mail is sent by MyMail v0.51b using its mailing list feature. I usually distribute channel Atari through the MS Outlook Express, but now there4s several Atari apps that can cope with my demands, the latest version of MyMail is one of them. I will also test the ASH Emailer very soon to figure out how this app can fill out the rest of what I do with Outlook today. Thanks to that Erik Hall implemented a possibility to load e-mail addresses from a text file, I could export my mailing lists from Outlook to use with MyMail. I hope that everyone gets this mail (why shouldn't they?), if you just have nothing else to do after you read this mail, then replay it back to me. I can study the log files MyMail can produce and get a picture how things worked out. * MyMail * Yes, MyMail by Erik Hall is up to version 0.51b. This and v0.50b have a several new features to offer. One of them is as mentioned, a possibility to cope with large mailing lists. A very useful function is that you can click on a e-mail address found in a mail content (its also colored blue) and write a message to the recipient of that address. If a mail contain a small HTML-message at the bottom of the content )in the body), then this will be converted to a HTML-file named TEMP.HTM and viewable with your default web browser. Object linking with OLGA is supported. If a URL-address is stated in the mail body, you can click on it and your system (if configured, multitasking, on-line, see MyMail HISTORY.TXT) will start your browser and view that webpage directly. Use of a signature file. In a multitasking environment that use the AV_Server protocol, you can drag attached files to a suitable app (and icon on desktop) or doubleclick on them, such as MIME, Base64 or UUEncoded and MyMail can internally encode them and the content will be sent to your default viewer. There are more features also, read the supplied docs. * MyMail at my webpage * Now You can read about MyMail, some of its functions, view snapshots, download the latest version and the author contact information at my homepage. It's completely re-written yesterday. Found at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/mymail.html Erik Hall's homepage is to be found at: http://www2.tripnet.se/~erikhall/ * New STinG version * Yes, a new version of this Atari Times shareware of the year 1997 is to be released this year also. Today or tomorrow, I have no info (yet) about the modifications, what so ever, You have to stay tuned and watch out Peter Rottengatter's website or mine. I have also completely re-written my STiNG support webpage, that was yesterday again. Nice looking with thumbnails and info about the app and a possibility to download. For all of you that used STinG for a while and you other Atarians too of course, sometimes wondered how this clever young man Peter look like, then browse to my webpage, I have implemented a nice looking picture of him there. You will find this supporting webpage at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/english/sting.html * Movieplayers * You can use AVI- and MOV players for your Atari ST/STE/TT/Falcon or clone to view films attached on webpages as helper applications to CAB. TELLO Guillaume and Didier Mequignon movie applications is frequently updated. M_Player had a update Dec 28. http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/tello/tello.html * ASH Internet products * The swedish version of the CAB 2.6 upgrade is to be found at my website with a manual in HTML-format included. Due the upgrade pack also contains the FTP-client Fiffi by J'rgen Koneczny for ASH it is also translated into the swedish language by me. This also includes the new Advertising filter plug-in for CAB (CABCOM), both well documented in HTML. For you that have bought the upgrade and downloaded the swedish version from my or Alexander Clauss homepage, make a new download of the cab26swe.lzh file. I have done some minor re-translations in the FIFFI.RSC. (I can not fully understand the german language... yet). The archive now have a LZH extension, if you downloaded the ZIP-file, you know that you have the previous version. Fiffi v1.0 have some minor problems, to be fully operational. If you have visited the ASH BBS or mailbox or if your supplier of the CAB 2.6 Upgrade have posted you the new Fiffi v1.03, then I have a swedish version of this version too at my website. The ASH EMailer is released now, before I get my personal copy of it and can translate it and describe it better, you can view two snaphots, sent to me by Thomas Raukamp at the channel Atari News pages at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/channel/news/ Info about CAB 2.6, Fiffi and CABCOM and a swedish on-line manual is to be found at: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille(english/cab.html Think you already noticed my new handmade button for the ASH Internet packages at my index page. We have wait and see for how long until someone with legal rights starts to spank me. . This for now... Best Regards Mille Babic E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org WWW: http://surf.to/atari/ channel Atari News: http://www5.tripnet.se/~mille/channel/news/ MGI Software - Calamus SL 97/98 Upgrade Announcement Have a great New Year with the latest upgrade to Calamus SL. We're pleased to be able to bring you this superb upgrade to Calamus SL. Aside from the usual bug fixes and speed enhancements, you'll find new features, improved functionality, and some worthwhile interface changes. Pricing is as follows: Upgrade from 1.09n = US$129 Upgrade from any S/SL = US$99 Taxes and Shipping are extra. Orders should be sent to: Howard Carson Digital Publishing Products Manager MGI Software Corp. 40 West Wilmot St. Richmond Hill, ON Canada L4B 1H8 Tel: 905-707-3612 Fax: 905-764-7110 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.mgisoft.com Order by Visa or Mastercard via e-mail, regular mail or fax. Be sure to include the full account number, the customer name on the card, and the expiration date on the card. Of course you can order with a personal check, bank money order or postal money order. Call us for exact shipping charges. General This upgrade is an SL97/98 version. It will carry a January '98 file date. This version will be supplied on High Density floppy disks. Double Density disks must be requested. Please note that you may have to adjust your custom key bindings to reflect the new positions of some icons and menu items. Parts of the interface have been simplified and cleaned up. After selecting a 'Create Document' menu option, the 'Page Setup' window is opened automatically. Similarly, when opening a text frame without fonts loaded into the system, instead of an error message you will find the necessary dialog box. These improvements (and the rest below), will spare you lots of unnecessary mouse clicks. The Drop Down Menus The entries in the drop down menus have been altered slightly, reflecting some of the new features and functions. File Menu The 'Format Disk' option has been removed from the File Menu. Printing The Print Dialog has been changed substantially. The emphasis is now on easier handling and better accessibility to all functions related to printing. Clicking on a field with a border around it launches the function indicated in the title of the field. Note carefully that a triangle in any field marks the location of a pop up menu, where further options can be selected. Percentage values for rasters can now be set. This value determines the enlargement or reduction factor for the raster included in the document. Naturally, it only makes sense to use this setting when the entire document is reduced or enlarged during printing. Clicking on the icons associated with this setting calls the Raster Generator module, the Color Separation Module or the LIN Module (FrankLIN Lite, the new module supplied in the upgrade), to set the necessary output linearity values. The setting for the output of color planes is another interesting new feature. Color separation is activated by selecting the 'Separation' button in front of the field. Clicking on the 'Separation' field itself takes you to the familiar dialog for selecting color plane output. You can get the same results by turning the C Y M K and the + fields on or off. The '+' field represents all other (spot) color planes, so you have all output color planes within easy reach. Clicking on 'Crop Marks' opens a dialog in which you can set the working area in the frame module. The appropriate selection field activates the actual output of these values. A click on the 'Montage' field takes you to the Imposition (Mount) Module. Here as well, you can activate the settings from the module by selecting the appropriate box in the printer dialog. The 'Job List' field works the same way. Both fields are available when the respective modules are loaded. Key Bindings There is a new button in the Key Bindings dialog: 'Save list as text file'. You can now save a list of your own customized Key Bindings as an ASCII file. Window Menu This is a new menu item that replaces the old 'CDK' item. With the 'Next Window' and 'Previous Window' selections, you can cycle through all windows. Please note that open editor windows are also included in the process. Please note that Calamus is now able to handle up to 24 windows. Naturally, this number depends on your system configuration as well. Under regular TOS versions for example, the extra windows are possible only with the installation of WINX. MagiC and MagiCMac support up to 64 windows. The list in the lower portion of the menu shows all documents in memory. They can be selected directly simply by clicking on them. The Top Module Row The Top Module Row has been split up and placed in windows. The module bar can be extended in order to increase the number of simultaneously displayed modules. This is particularly useful for users with large monitors who finally can utilize the full width of their screen. To change the length of the module bar, simply click and hold the right edge of the bar. Drag the bar to the right or to the left. The measurements of the bar will automatically snap to the size of module icons. If you want to change the size of the bar freely, however (for example, in order to fit half of an icon in the bar), hold down the key while dragging the right edge. The modules can be selected as usual, with a mouse click. If you click on an empty module field while holding the key, the 'External Modules' dialog box will open and you can load, delete or replace modules. The gray area on the left side of the bar is used to move the entire bar. A double click makes the whole bar disappear; only the gray handle is displayed. Another double click restores the bar. Please note that if you want to record clicks on the top row using the macro recorder, the module row has to topped. Iconify Windows If your operating system supports this feature (i.e.: MagiC, MagiCMac, MultiTOS), you will find a button in the top right corner. With a click on this button, you can iconify a window. This means that the window is reduced to the size of an icon and placed on the lower left area of the desktop. A double click on the iconified window will restore it to full size. Try looking at the contents of an iconified window with a magnifying glass; you'll find a full, tiny rendering of the Window. Flying Dialog Boxes Another new feature is the 'Flight Corner' in all dialog boxes in Calamus. Click and hold the dog-ear, and you can move any dialog box to a more convenient spot. File Selector Box Both the drive letter and the file type are now selected from pop up menus. The file selector now supports long file names if there is an appropriate operating system. The file selection line is automatically extended when a drive with long file names is selected. The file selector box also supports multiple file selection. If you hold the key when clicking on a file name, it is added to the previous selection. If you hold the key and click on a file name, all entries between this and the previously selected entry are included. This is particularly useful if you want to load an entire font family from its own folder. Simply select the first entry in the list, hold down the key, and select the last entry. All entries in the directory are selected. System Module The System Module has also received a face lift. The new option is 'Help Message Position'. You can set the distance of the Calamus help messages from the right screen edge. The setting is measured in characters. For example, entering 10 makes the help messages appear 10 characters from the right edge. This feature is meant for users with menu bar clocks or similar accessories, so that their displays are not obstructed by Calamus help messages. Thank you for using Calamus SL. Ponder, if you will... Tell a man that there are 400 billion stars, and he'll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint, and he has to touch it. How come SUPERMAN could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him? If it was only a 3 hour cruise, why did MRS. HOWELL have so many clothes? Why is it called a HAMBURGER, when it's made out of BEEF? What would a chair look like, if your knees bent the other way? IF "Con" is the Opposite of "Pro"....then what is the opposite of PROGRESS? Why is LEMON JUICE mostly artificial ingredients.... but DISH WASHING LIQUID contains real lemons? How much deeper would the ocean be, if SPONGES didn't grow in it? Why buy a product that it takes 2000 flushes to get rid of? Why do we wait until a PIG is dead, to "CURE" it? Why do we wash BATH TOWELS-aren't we clean when we use them? Why do we put SUITS in a Garment Bag, and put garments in a Suitcase? Why doesn't GLUE stick to the inside of the bottle? Do Roman paramedics refer to IV's as "4's"? Whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have an "S" in it? What do little birdies see, when they get knocked unconscious? If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap? When sign makers go on strike, is anything written on their signs? When you open a bag of cotton balls, is the top one meant to be thrown away? Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"? Why do they report power outages on TV? If a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong? If a turtle loses his shell, is it naked or homeless? If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat? Gaming Section N64's Top Sellers Sale! Nintendo vs. Prima Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Biggest Nintendo 64 Hits Available at $39.95 REDMOND, WASH. (Jan. 5) BUSINESS WIRE - Jan. 5, 1998 - Concluding a record year in which it decisively led the North American video game industry, Nintendo of America today ushered in 1998 with a bang, announcing Nintendo 64 software price reductions for seven of America's favorite video games to a suggested manufacturers retail price of $39.95. The new pricing for the "Player's Choice" series of hit Nintendo 64 games will go into effect on Jan. 26, and apply to million-selling titles Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64, Cruis'n USA, Wave Race 64, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Through November, each of these games was among the best ten sellers in the country for all of 1997. Independent nationwide sales tracking data indicates that Nintendo led the video game industry in 1997 in virtually every meaningful measurement: each of the top five selling video games for any console; total hardware system sales; number one game publisher within all three industry categories (32/64 bit 'next generation'; 16 bit; and handheld); and a total corporate retail revenue share of market of 55% (up from 44% in 1996). "As the only video game system with 64-bit technology, a built-in joystick controller and four-player capability, Nintendo 64 has an unfair advantage," says Peter Main, Nintendo executive vice president of sales and marketing. "Our less sophisticated 32-bit competitors spent most of 1997 competing on the basis of lower software pricing. That option no longer exists." "Our industry leadership derives directly from our record of creating and marketing the world's most popular video games," says Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln. "And a disproportionate number of those games derive directly from Shigeru Miyamoto's team at Nintendo in Japan, and the N64 development teams at Rare, Ltd., in England. To my way of thinking, these two groups constitute the best game developers in the world, and they are devoted exclusively to Nintendo products." Two Rare developed products, Diddy Kong Racing and Goldeneye 007, joined Mr. Miyamoto's Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64 among the top selling games of the year for any platform. "This more affordable pricing on America's favorite video games is just a first step in what will be unquestionably Nintendo's strongest first half in history," Main says. "Our first-party lineup features Nintendo 64 titles including Yoshi's Story, 1080 Snowboarding, NBA Courtside, Cruis'n World, Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball and Banjo-Kazooie developed by Rare. On Game Boy, we'll see everything from James Bond to Warioland 2 to Bugs Bunny in addition to a limited edition Ice Blue colored hardware unit in February. And behind all of it is our biggest first half marketing budget ever." Judge Rules For Prima, Nintendo Says Case Not Closed Jan 7, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 3) -- Maps of Nintendo's Goldeneye 007 were found to be factual material not protected by copyright, a US district judge ruled. As a result, Nintendo was denied its request for a preliminary injunction against Prima Publishing's strategy guide, "Goldeneye 007 Unauthorized Game Secrets." The court ruled on Christmas Eve, the same day Nintendo submitted its documents to the judge. The judge apparently made the ruling before receiving Nintendo's documents. "We can only assume the court overlooked the fact" that Nintendo and Prima had agreed upon an extension due to the holiday season, says Rick Flamm, Nintendo's senior managing counsel. Nintendo has filed a motion for reconsideration. The console maker charged Prima with copyright infringement in November, alleging that the strategy guide publisher copied maps from Nintendo publications. Nintendo said Prima's maps contained the same mistakes that were printed in "Nintendo Power Magazine." Prima's documents include an admission that the person who created the Goldeneye maps for Prima's guide had never played the game, Flamm adds. "None of the [allegations] that Nintendo tried to prove were proven," says Prima President Ben Dominitz. As a result, the judge ruled that "factual information, correct or erroneous, is not protected. Only expression is [protected]." Nintendo is seeking lost profits, Prima's gained profits from its guide, costs and attorney's fees. The Linux Advocate by Scott Dowdle email: firstname.lastname@example.org homepage: http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle LOGIN: Greetings on this fine new year - 1998. Ah, what a good year 1997 was, especially for the Linux community. As I mentioned last column, my parents from Memphis, Tennessee are visiting my family and I here in Great Falls, Montana and boy are we enjoying the holidays. My wife and I went and saw TITANIC with a close friend yesterday and what can I say about the movie other than WOW! Oddly enough, a few hours after seeing the movie I discovered that Linux was used to generate many of the special effects in the movie and I'll get to that in the Linux News Section. Linux News News Item #1: id Software - released the source code to DOOM which will only build on Linux for X11. For specifics just get on the Internet and finger email@example.com Mr. Carmack keeps a rather extensive, informative log about the progress of their products and this log is accessible via his finger information. On an entry dated December 23rd, John announced that he had freely released the source code to DOOM. Nice Xmas present, eh? :) If you don't have a finger program and want the complete lowdown for the release of the DOOM source code, just email me and I'll reply with a transcript of said log. News Item #2: Titanic - Ah, it appears as if Linux is making some headway in the professional video production marketplace. The Titanic story is the cover of the February issue of Linux Journal but they have put the story online and it can be found at: http://www.linuxjournal.com/current/2494.html My local Barnes and Noble Booksellers happen to carry LINUX JOURNAL magazine, how about yours? If not, might I recommend a subscription? News Item #3: Red Hat's Online Software Directory - as of January 1st, 1998, Red Hat Software has put up an online directory of commercial software that is designed to run with Red Hat Linux. While most software isn't Linux distribution specific, the fact that much of the Linux community has adopted Red Hat's RPM package manager makes providing commercial software for Linux distributions that have RPM available (most these days) a snap. Red Hat's Software Directory may be found at the following URL: http://www.redhat.com/redhat/softdir/index.phtml Let it be noted that Red Hat's directory certainly isn't a comprehensive listing of all commercial software for Linux but it's a start. For a more complete directory, visit the Linux Applications Homepage: http://www.xnet.com/~blatura/linapps.shtml The Linux Applications Homepage is for all formats of application and utility software, not just the commercial variety. This page is a great resource although it seems a little dated. Linux Myth Dispelling As I continuously mention, I borrow heavily from the "Linux Myth Dispeller" Homepage which can be found at the following URL: http://www.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index.html This installment's myth is: "After you install Linux, you still don't have any everyday software." [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage on] After you install Linux, you still don't have any everyday software To some extent, this can be said about any operating system. Saying however, that Linux has less install-time software than Mac System or Windows however is laughable. Linux distributions comes with all the development software, Internet software (besides Netscape), and system-related software you'll need. While Linux does come with games, some office-related software, however they do have something to be desired, but no more than Mac System or Windows. Because Linux is really a full UNIX, it comes with everything you'd seen in a standard UNIX build too. [Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage off] Linux Distribution Spotlight Debian GNU/Linux, The Universal Operating System is yet another distribution of Linux not unlike the distribution I've already covered in a previous Linux Distribution Spotlight, Red Hat Linux. For comprehensive information on Debian, please visit their homepage at the following URL: http://www.debian.org Notice that ".org" part in their URL? Well, that's because Debian comes from a non-profit organization named Software In The Public Interest. Cool, huh? I want to keep this brief and since their homepage is such a valuable source of information about Debian, why should I botch things up by attempting to summarize it? :) Anyway, I have to note a few points to hopefully peek some interest so you Linux Advocate reader types will want to visit Debian's homepage in the first place... if you haven't already. The development of Debian GNU/Linux is very similar, and perhaps modeled after the development model of the Linux kernel... a bunch of independent developers all over the world working together over the Internet... producing a quality product in record time. Sounds odd, huh? I must admit I have much less experience with Debian than Red Hat but from the folks I've talked to in the Linux community, Debian is the cream of the crop when it comes to Linux distributions, especially when it comes to experienced Linux users. This isn't to say that Debian isn't friendly to the new Linux user but I don't think that Debian is aimed as closely at the new user as Red Hat is. Debian has built their distribution around an advanced package manager named dpkg. Since, in a previous LA column, I've talked quite extensively about Red Hat's RPM package manager I'll not waste space repeating exactly what a package manager is. Comparing Debian's dpkg and Red Hat's rpm is kind of like comparing apples and oranges as both of them are very good. It might seem that having two package managers in the Linux community would be a fracturing thing but on the contrary, it lends spirits of both competitiveness and co-operation. The Debian GNU/Linux distribution includes an optional rpm package that allows using Red Hat .rpm packages with Debian. Cool, huh? dpkg seems slightly more advanced than rpm but please don't ask me to qualify that remark because I'm not sure I can. It is believed that in the not to distant future Red Hat and Debian will merge their package formats. Although that would be great, I don't think that is really much of an issue. Debian also comes with a slew of software and lots of constant package updating for those users who like to chase version numbers. I've not done justice to Debian's wonderful Linux distribution but I have provided information about the mother of information resources (www.debian.org) as well as some very basic comments. Debian would be a great choice for a new Linux user and their is even a company that produces a commercial package of the Debian release along with a really nice online or printed manual. For more information visit: http://www.linuxpress.com Linux Application Spotlight In the News section there was an item about Titanic the movie which gives rise to a discussion of Linux Network Clustering. Various computer science departments of various colleges and universities around the world have done research into networking technologies. Some of the research has actually panned out into useful software and applications used in the Linux community. One such project is the Beowulf Project. Beowulf is a project to produce the software for off-the-shelf clustered workstations based on commodity PC-class hardware, a igh-bandwidth internal network, and the Linux operating system. The Beowulf Project homepage can be found at the following URL: http://cesdis.gsfc.nasa.gov/beowulf/ Notice the ".nasa.gov" on that URL? Well, oddly enough, some of our government agencies have decided that the tax payers shouldn't be burdened with the costs of super-computers when Linux is such an advanced and powerful operating system. :) Risking sounding like a broken record, I'll again rely on online references instead of presenting inferior, filtered information in this column. Some very basic information about Beowulf follows. What is Network Clustering? In the case of the Beowulf Project, it is taking a number of desktop machines and interfacing them with network cards and providing the software support necessary for parallel computing. This can be thought of as creating a hive mind out of many minds and it allows for productivity increases that rival those of super-computers costing millions of dollars. Just imagine the money that can be saved spending approximately $25,000.00 on a cluster of 16 networked Pentium desktop machines versus acquiring a super-computer. Linux Journal recently did a cover story on the Beowulf project and since it is one of the few print articles that they have put online, please have a look at it if you are interested. It may be found at the following URL: http://www.linuxjournal.com/issue45/2392.html Linux History One of the more interesting things about Linux is the fact that it is a truly open system that has been ported to many, many hardware platforms. Just how many you might ask? Well, it's hard for me to keep up with them all. Did you know that Linux has been ported to the Nintendo 64 game console? Well, it has. I can't vouch for the availability nor the quality of the port... and there are some in the Linux community that think that it is a hoax... but you can find some basic information about the N64 Linux port at the following URL: http://www.heise.de/ix/artikel/E/1997/04/036/ I can't seem to find any current information about the status of the project and who knows, maybe Nintendo has abandoned the idea... but still, it is a fascinating concept and worthy of mention in the digital pages of Linux History. :) LOGOUT: I have a New Years resolution with regards to this Linux Advocate Column... and it deals with making promises about future articles. Let's see, I've already faltered on a review of ApplixWare in the short span of columns I've produced thus far, as well as a few other topics I don't even want to think about... so I've decided not to even attempt to provide "what'll be in the next column," information. I will eventually get around to the ApplixWare review but I'm waiting on getting a new printer (I have tax return moneys earmarked) since the one I have doesn't work well with anything Linux much less ApplixWare. As always, please feel free to email me if you have any comments or questions about this column or anything Linux... AND have a great New Year!!! Scott Dowdle - January, 1998 ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando firstname.lastname@example.org Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Sorry yet again for the lack of a column last week. I really did write one. I sent it in right on time, and even CC'd it to Ralph's other email address (and one of mine, so I could test the archive out. Well, I didn't find out until it was too late, but for some reason my ISP never sent the email. My log file shows that it was sent, accepted, and queued. But Ralph never got it at either address, and neither did I. I've taken steps to ensure that this doesn't happen again, but with technology the way it is today, I'm sure that those virtual gremlins will find another way to bite me on the butt. Here's what you should have been reading last week... Another holiday... another huge meal. For the second time in two weeks, I sit here trying to get comfortable again after gorging myself at the dinner table. Yes, I know that I'd feel better after a meal if I'd just learn to take a little less of everything than I do, but it's all so darned good. New Year's Day has always been one of those funny holidays for me. I understand the reason for the holiday, but don't quite feel that it's reason for as much celebration as others do. I'm content to take the day off and take it easy, or maybe catch up on visiting with friends and relatives that I haven't seen for a while. New Year's Eve parties are out of the question for me, since I figure that there are enough fools on the road without MY being there too. As we start this new year, I'd just like to say to all of you out there that you have my thanks for reading this column and supplying me with material for it every week. I sincerely hope that the new year brings you all that you need, deserve, and hope for. May we all enjoy peace and prosperity. Before we 'get down to it', I have a bit of info as an update to last week's column. Remember the post by "Turbo" Nick about having been burned with magazine subscriptions before? I've always wondered if there was anything any of us could do to prevent that. I had never found a magazine that could guarantee the safety of a subscription... up until now. TurboNick had posted: "I'm looking forward to seeing what the new paper version of the magazine looks like. (Whether I will subscribe remains to be seen... after Current Notes disappeared with nary a word, I'm a bit gunshy about playing "Atari magazine roulette" again...)" Mike Kerslake, the publisher of Atari Computing, sent this explanation to us about how they deal with subscriptions: "I just thought I would mention that Atari Computing magazine published by the A|C|G has made it a condition of the way we run ourselves that ALL subscribers money is held separately to our operating account and that we can therefore guarantee that we WILL refund any subscriber in full for the unexpired portion of their subscription should they cancel it. Even if we had to cease publication at any time, there is always sufficient money to refund EVERY subscriber who deals direct with us! I can assure anyone that already subscribes to AC or is thinking of in the near future that we will be around for a very long time. We've virtually filled all the advertising pages for the next six issues, and our circulation has held steady, indeed we've actually had a reasonable influx of new subscriptions from outside the UK! One thing I must add is that paper-based magazines such as AC and the new ST+ do need your support to continue. If people don't take the magazines, then it will be a severe blow to the worldwide Atari scene. Not every Atari owner has cheap or easy access to the internet, and many users are simply confused by comms as we at AC have discovered! Paper magazines are still the preferred option for many people, no matter what computer platform they operate on! Best regards Mike Kerslake (Publisher - Atari Computing) I usually don't do this in this column, but if you are interested in finding out about Atari Computing Magazine, you can reach them at the following addresses: The Publishing House Magazine Production - Typesetting Services - Audio Productions email@example.com - WWW: http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/publish/ Atari Computing Magazine info: firstname.lastname@example.org Now, let's get on with the reason for this column... all the great news, hints, tips, and info available every week all over the world. From the COMP.SYS.ATARI.ST NewsGroup Many of us are aware that CAB is now up to version 2.5 for us english speaking folks. But did you know that version 2.6 is just around the corner and that version 2.7 is already in development? Alexander Clauss, the author of CAB, posts: "There is an English version of CAB available. But even if there're many more people speaking English, only a small number of the English version of CAB is sold compared to the German version." Peter Rottengatter, the author of STinG, the 'ST Internet Next Generation' dialer/connection/TCP-IP program for all Atari 16 bit computers, posts: [This is]"Probably mainly because System Solutions is so slow. Or is it ASH being so slow shipping the english versions to SS ? I'd hesitate too buying the version 2.5 if you know from the newsgroups that 2.6 is out for a while already in germany and 2.7 is imminent." The other problem I have with CAB versions 2.5 and higher is that, if you want to use their PPPConnect program, you are basically tied to using THEIR FTP, News, and Email programs. That is why I am using STinG. STinG, along with one of the newer CAB.OVL files (not the one that comes with CAB 2.5 or better), allows you to use any internet program that worked with STiK or STinG.... The choice is now yours again. Most of these types of programs are written by people who genuinely like the ST(e)/TT/Falcon, and want to see us have the ability to surf the net. Most of them are either freeware or low-priced shareware. All of them are worth at least as much as the same types of programs offered for use with ASH's PPPConnect program. Take a look! While we're on the subject of CAB and the internet, 'Guitarra' posts: "... I was driving home and came up with this idea. I do not know if you all know this already, but I wanted to share this anyway. I did not know that it could be possible to see all the contents of a partition of my hard drive on a CAB page and also start any program from there. I came up with this idea and did not know if it would work. It works! An I was able to run Ant Mail , IRC, Telnet by clicking on its name on the www CAB Page!! :) I find this very useful as I have now on my HOTLIST a page marker that enhables me to call any of the NET related programs from with CAB!!! May be it could be useful to you too I hope. Would it be possible to have the program on a www page and by double clicking on it download it and run it? I will test this and see." Hmmm, my first thought is 'isn't that the idea behind Microsoft's Explorer 4.x? While I'm not crazy about the added overhead this type of application takes in both memory and processor speed, I can see where it could be quite useful for some people. I enjoy the heck out of being able to do the 'new whiz-bang things' that Microsoft comes up with on my old Atari.... don't you? Jim Coile asks... "About Cab OVL 12706, has anyone been able to download it? Everytime I try , I get a "memory block destroyed by user program" dialog via MagiC 5.12 and I'm summarily bounced out of Cab(2.5)and and my poor Falcon locks up. I've tried the lower case workaround with the same results." Dennis Bishop asks for help in getting on the 'net with his Atari: "I have the following ... Atari TT/030 4megs ST/4 megs TT ram, 540meg hard drive, 14.4kb infotel v42bis modem, monitor is mono in TT med rez., Geneva for multi-tasking. What files do I need for going on the web, all help is needed." Terry Ross tells Dennis: "This is from a STiK/STiNG perspective - others can give you requirements for MiNT - or even using Lynx. 1. Most likely, you'll first need HSMODEM7 - even though you only have a 14400 modem, I've found it to be a necessity. 2. You'll need a TCP/IP layer - choices are STiK, which is SLIP only, and STiNG, which supports SLIP/CSLIP/PPP. Finally, you will need a browser - I would recommend CAB (the Crystal Atari Browser) version 1.5, or 2.0 Demo, as more people are familiar with it than they are with the demos of the WENSuite or Adamas browser, and therefore more likely to be able to answer any questions you might have. And finally, you'll want to make sure you have a recent version of the CAB.OVL - I use v1.2704. You didn't state whether you currently have web access on another computer - if you do, a good source (one of many - in addition to the author's sites themselves) of the requisite software is at Mille Babic's site: http://www5.tripnet/se/~mille Since you're using NEWSie, I know you have ftp access, so you can try: ftp://126.96.36.199 Directory: /archive/atari Once you have a working setup, you might want to try this link for details on optimizing it: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Academy/2034 - It's John Dooley's 'STiNG HELP!' site. Hope this helps a little." Actually, that was a very good explanation and rundown of what you need. Thanks Terry. Neron Nesmith asks for help with CAB too: "I recently purchased CAB v2.5 and it seems after I successfully connect to my service provider via Iconnect (PPP), I run CAB and under "OPEN URL" I type www.yahoo.com and all I get is "resolving host..." and then the whole system just hangs. The only way out is to reboot. Any ideas as to what I should check?... Here is additional info: I am using MagiC v 5.03 on a TT with 4 meg ST and 4 meg TT ram hooked to an external USRobotics Sporter 28.8 Modem via Modem 2 port. When I use the terminal mode on Iconnect to login in manually to the system, I get the standard login screens for user ID and password, then I get the following: PPP session from (188.8.131.52) to 184.108.40.206 beginning....~}#!}!}!} }4} and every few seconds more "strings of garbage characters" fill the screen until it finally hangs up. Has anyone know why this is happening?" The first idea comes from the author of CAB, Alexander Clauss himself: "Make sure that preemtive multitasking is switched on(!) (using the time slice CPX)." Petter Toneff adds: "As far as I know, PPPconnect needs préemtive multitasking to run. Check your MAGIC.INF file for a line that starts with #_TSL This line must not be commented out (;#_TSL...) and the first value must be larger than 0. With the wrong setting here, Magic will run in cooperative mode. A sensible setting is: #_TSL 2 32" Terry May tells Petter: "Not quite. In fact, most veteran MagiC users would tell you to comment that line out and use the CPX to turn it on. That eliminates problems with AUTO programs that don't like running (or at least installing) in preemptive multitasking mode." Well folks, that's about it for this week. I know that this column has been a bit heavy on info about CAB and other internet STuff, but that is what I've been hearing people ask for. The few complaints I've heard offer no information about what those complaining about it would like to see instead, so I have decide to pay attention to what people tell me they _do_ want instead of what they _don't_ want. If you have opinions about what you _do_ want to see, please email me and let me know. I'm always happy to get email with suggestions. Please, 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 Teamwork 1. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an 'uplift' for the bird following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent flying range than if each bird flew alone. Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier when they are traveling on the thrust of one another. 2. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back in formation to take advantage of the 'lifting power' of the bird immediately in front. Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go. 3. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position. Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing the leadership -- interdependent with each other. 4. The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging, not something less helpful. 5. When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or dies. Then they launch out on their own, with another formation or to catch up with the flock. Lesson: If we have as much sense and compassion as the geese, we'll stand by one another in the same manner. STReport International Magazine [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport HTTP://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" January 09, 1998 Since 1987 Copyrightc1997 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1401