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Article #683 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 16-Jan-98 #1402 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG) Date: Fri Feb 20 17:41:43 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) January 16, 1998 No.1402 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 Drop us a message requesting access with your real name, phone# Address and preferred 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 4.01 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 01/16/98 STR 1402 "Often Emulated, But never Excelled!" - CPU Industry Report - Jackson kinda Justice? - Paper Thin `Puter - Smurfing Clogs Net - AOL hurt Sailor? - NY Sues Book Docs - Yahoo the Leader"? - HiTech Dream House - HOT `Puter Site - Email Use on Rise - People Talking - Classics & Gaming Netscape to Lay Off 400 Microsoft Softens Court Rhetoric Must Jackson & Lessig Go? 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: 01/10/98: five of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... Last week, I went on about Cellphones and Automobile safety. How many of you, because of the article, noticed the cellphone yappers more easily? Not to beleaguer the issue, but we must make certain our elected officials take particular notice of these dangers (operating a motor vehicle while talking on a cellphone or operating any other highly distractive gadgets) and legislate measures to prohibit such actions. One of my colleagues made mention of me and the northeast. We (myself and the NE) have been apart for so long that I would be totally out of place there. One small point of information though. Here, in North Florida we do have four seasons. Four wonderfully mild seasons. Its "Winter" here now. it might be shirtsleeves during the day but at night. it gets chilly enough to warrant a warm jacket and an extra blanket. Of course for us, Spring is right around the corner. In fact, we were cleaning out the filters and getting the pool ready. Sunday, we plan to do a little ocean fishing too. Grouper filets should go real well next Sunday for snacking during the Super Bowl. 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 Microsoft Softens Court Rhetoric In a bid to rein in the discourse in its ongoing anti-trust court fight with the U.S. Justice Department, Microsoft Corp. is expressing regret for its recent barbs against the government. Microsoft Vice President Robert J. Herbold, who is the company's chief operating officer, told Associated Press writer Rob Wells, "We need to do a better job of toning down the rhetoric." Wells says Herbold's remarks "reflect an effort by top Microsoft executives to rework the company's public image after a series of legal setbacks last month." Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray is quoted by AP as saying, "Over the past two months, some people have perceived Microsoft as being disrespectful to the court and the Department of Justice, and we are very sorry to have created that impression." Wells cites as an example Microsoft's court filing last month in which the company described Justice Department attorneys as "poorly informed lawyers (who) have no vocation for software design." But, despite a softer tone, the software publisher is not retreating from a long-held position that it must be allowed to integrate its Internet Explorer program into highly popular Windows 95 software. "Microsoft considers the case's outcome critical to its future, as it concerns the company's ability to add new features to the Windows program," Wells says. As reported, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig has rejected Microsoft's request that he disqualify himself as a special adviser to the judge in the case. Murray said Microsoft has "received a lot of questions" from computer industry professionals objecting to the company's stance in the court case, but as part of its consumer research, "We are not seeing any erosion of support for Microsoft among general public or general consumers. We have not seen any impact whatsoever on our sales." Meanwhile, Herbold told the wire service Microsoft has done an inadequate job of explaining why Internet Explorer became tightly woven into Windows. Many new software programs -- ranging from computerized address books to tax preparation software -- offer users access to the Internet. Microsoft included parts of the Internet Explorer program in Windows 95 so these companies would not have to include similar software coding in their programs as well. "What Internet Explorer is," Herbold said, "is a set of components to make the operating system more Internet-friendly." Microsoft Asks for Clarification Microsoft Corp. has asked a court to direct the U.S. Justice Department to more clearly define the "other product" it says the software publisher is forcing computer makers to install on their PCs as a condition of licensing Windows 95. Reporting from Washington, Associated Press writer Rob Wells says the new legal papers allege the government uses inconsistent and conflicting definitions of the Internet software technology that it seeks to separate from Windows, making it difficult for Microsoft to mount a defense and comply with the judge's orders. As noted, the Justice Department sued Microsoft in October, claiming it was forcing computer manufacturers to pre-install its Internet Explorer program, which allows users to view and download information from the Internet, if they license Windows 95. The latest filing comes as Microsoft and the Justice Department are set to square off in court next week. The government is seeking to find Microsoft in contempt of court for violating a 1995 antitrust settlement. Microsoft asked Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson to order the Justice Department to "provide a definite description of the `other product' that the Justice Department contends Microsoft forced computer manufacturers to license along with Windows 95." The company said the government's definition of the program it wants separated from Windows 95 "changes from week to week and from brief to brief." Says the brief, "Simply stated, the DOJ alters its description of the `other product' to suit its changing litigation positions," adding the confusion makes it difficult for the court to rule on the case, since the court has issued a ruling "requiring Microsoft to offer a version of Windows 95 to computer manufacturers -- a result no one is happy with." Net Browser Claim Contested A computer analyst has demonstrated in court that Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer browser can be separated easily from the Windows operating system, contesting Microsoft's claim that the two are integrally connected. Analyst Glenn Weadock, testifying for the government in its anti-trust hearing yesterday, used part of the Windows 95 program itself to remove the Explorer program, which allows users to view the Internet, Associated Press writer Rob Wells reports. However, notes Wells, under questioning from Microsoft lawyers, Weadock was unable to identify which Explorer files were embedded in the Windows operating system and which would run the browsing function. AP notes Microsoft Vice President David Cole opened the company's rebuttal late yesterday and continues today. As reported, Microsoft is under court order to stop requiring computer makers to install the Explorer software as a condition of licensing Windows 95. The U.S. Justice Department contends Microsoft flouted that order and is seeking to have the company held in contempt and fined $1 million a day if it fails to comply. The contempt charge came after Microsoft told manufacturers that because of the court order, they would have to either use an old Windows version, without Explorer, or a newer version that wouldn't work because of file deletions ordered by the judge. In court yesterday, Microsoft attorneys told U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson the government had been warned beforehand of that result. Said attorney Richard J. Urowsky, "This is not a case where the government was taken by surprise by the consequences of the order it sought. The government got what it wanted, knowing full well what the consequences would be." But instead of providing a simple solution, said Justice Department attorney Phillip Malone, Microsoft "opted for this extreme measure" of offering a version of Windows that doesn't work, adding, "Microsoft, through its actions, defied rather than complied with that order." Microsoft lawyer Brad Smith said Windows has 14 million lines of computer code -- more than is used to run the nation's air traffic control system -- and "we simply can't slice and dice it with a legal meat cleaver." Jackson Nixes Microsoft Bid Microsoft Corp.'s attempt to remove a special master overseeing its anti-trust legal battle with the U.S. Justice Department has been rejected by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who further castigated the company for "defamatory" allegations of bias. What The Wall Street Journal this morning characterizes as Jackson's "harshly worded order" was released last night, after two days of hearings on contempt charges against the company. Journal reporters John R. Wilke and Don Clark observe, "His written remarks, and pointed questions during the trial, suggest that the judge has lost patience with the software giant and its legal strategy." And in another development, a Microsoft witness has disclosed the company's controversial, hardball response to a recent court order in the case "was crafted by Chairman Bill Gates and a small group of lawyers and software developers," the paper adds. As noted, Judge Jackson's court is considering the U.S. Justice Department's allegation Microsoft defied the court by offering computer makers a non-working version of its Windows operating system after it was ordered to remove the Internet software. Jackson, who earlier ordered Microsoft to separate the two products, yesterday skeptically questioned Microsoft Vice President David Cole, who testified company managers had no choice under the order but to offer Windows that way. In court, the judge asked Cole, "It seemed absolutely clear to you that I entered an order that required you to distribute a product that would not work -- that's what you're telling me?" Said Cole, "In plain English, yes .... We followed the order, and it wasn't my place to consider the consequences." In cross-examination, Cole testified Gates and a small group of lawyers and software developers discussed that response the day after the court ruled Dec. 11 and in a second m eeting over that weekend. Look for closing arguments in the contempt hearing a week from today. Meanwhile, a three-judge panel has been named to hear Microsoft's appeal of the judge's December order, with an initial hearing set for April 21. In that motion, Microsoft argues Jackson overstepped his bounds by restricting the marketing of its Internet software and that complying with the order as written forced Microsoft to offer software that won't work. Wilke and Clark comment, "Apparently acting with an eye on that appeal, Microsoft decided to follow the letter of the judge's order, which requires that all Internet Explorer software files be deleted from Windows for computer makers who want it that way. The approach disables Windows because the two products share certain overlapping software files. Instead of seeking a clarification of the order, Microsoft offered its customers the disabled version of Windows and filed its request for an immediate appeal." Judge Jackson has said the threat of Microsoft using its monopoly in Windows to build another monopoly in Internet software required that Microsoft's practice of tying the two products be halted while he reviewed the case. "The company has challenged his every move," says the Journal, "including the appointment of a Harvard University expert in Internet law, Lawrence Lessig, as special master in the case." As reported, Microsoft argues Lessig sent an e-mail message to Microsoft competitor Netscape Communications Corp. that complained of problems with Microsoft software and seemed to compare installing its Web software to "selling his soul." On this issue, Jackson says Lessig submitted a declaration explaining the circumstances of his remarks and assured the judge of his impartiality. The Journal says the judge wrote, "The bases given for those accusations are both trivial and altogether non- probative. They are, therefore, defamatory, and the court finds that they were not made in good faith. Had they been made in a more formal manner they might well have incurred sanctions." 'Smurfing' Clogs the Internet With a new technique called "smurfing," computers cranks vandalize corporate networks and Web sites, jamming Internet traffic and raising security questions over the design of the network. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Jared Sandberg notes smurfing doesn't allow vandals to gain access to sensitive information, "but it does allow almost any Internet user to harness the resources of hundreds of computers on the network to flood an unwitting victim with data, crippling the victim's network connection and degrading the speed of neighboring Internet connections." Concern is high enough that the Computer Emergency Response Team watchdog group has issued a warning and potential solutions for smurfing, also often known as "a denial-of-service attack." Dale Drew, senior manager of security engineering at MCI Communications Corp., told Sandberg he has been receiving roughly four complaints a day from Internet customers victimized by such attacks. "Anyone with a modem is now able to launch an effective denial-of-service attack against pretty much anyone on the Internet," he said. "You don't need any knowledge whatsoever. You just pick your victim and press go." The Journal says vandals are exploiting a common Internet feature called "pinging," which allows network administrators to query remote machines to see if they are operating correctly. The machines being pinged respond by sending a message back to the person making the query. The smurf program directs the responses to the intended victim's computer, not the vandal. Also, the vandal uses a feature of pinging that broadcasts the request to as many as several hundred associated machines at once. All these responses from the machines trigger a digital deluge, clogging the pipeline to the victim's machine. Adds Sandberg, "This latest Internet vandalism once again raises questions about the design of the network, which wasn't initially conceived as a global marketplace. Hackers, often amateurs, often exploit features of the network to deface online businesses. Though problems caused by smurfing and similar antics can be fixed in a little more than 20 minutes, such outages can take their toll on businesses that depend on online transactions." VDTs No Threat to Pregnancy Following a three-year study of 2,400 telephone operators, government researchers say women who work at computer terminals do not have any higher risk of giving birth prematurely than other women. According to the Reuter News Service, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says the research showed no differences in the rate of premature births between those who worked with video display terminals and those who did not. In a statement, NIOSH director Dr. Linda Rosenstock added, "NIOSH's landmark findings have helped alleviate many concerns and uncertainties once raised about working with VDTs." Reuters notes NIOSH researchers earlier said VDT workers did not have a higher risk of miscarriages, either. A decade ago, several studies indicated pregnant women might be at risk from working with computer terminals, "but results were mixed," Reuters notes, adding, "U.S. and British government studies have since given computer displays the all-clear." New York Sues Net 'Book Doctors' New York has sued a firm of "book doctors" alleged to have created a network of fake agents and publishers to lure aspiring writers into spending thousands for editing manuscripts. Edit Ink, operated by husband and wife William Appel and Denise Sterrs, is accused of fraudulently generating $5.5 million in fees, according to the civil suit brought by New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco, who contends the firm lured would-be authors through ads placed on the Internet and in literary publications such as the New York Times Book Review. Adds the Reuter News Service, "Form letters that blatantly played to the fragile egos of writers were sent to each of thousands of would-be authors who submitted manuscripts. They were told their work showed 'great promise and excellent commercial possibilities, but needed professional editing before it could be published.'" The suit says letters referred writers to Edit Ink, which would bring the manuscript "closer to publication" for $5 a page. Adds Reuters, "While hopeful authors were told only the most promising submissions were referred to Edit Ink, the same form letter was sent to every writer and manuscripts were not read. The supposed publisher or agent would then receive a 15 percent kickback from Edit Ink for every manuscript submitted for editing. ... Once the manuscript was edited and supposedly submitted for publication, authors received a letter saying the work could not be published after all." Vacco says the scheme unravelled when writers started checking with the publishers to whom they had been told their work had been submitted, and learned that not only had the manuscripts not been received, but the publishers had never even heard of the agents. "One established author beat the sham firm at its own game, however," says Reuters, "submitting a fake manuscript described as 'a series of blatantly incoherent pages,' only to receive the standard form letter saying the manuscript was 'close to marketable' and referring him to Edit Ink for a final edit." Also named in the suit were three people who posed as publishers and agents. A temporary retraining order has been granted by a state Supreme Court judge prohibiting Edit Ink from hiding its financial relationship with the agents and publishers. AOL at Center of Sailor's Dismissal The U.S. Navy plans to dismiss a sailor after finding out from his America Online online user profile that he is gay. Reporting from Washington, the Reuter News Service says Senior Chief Petty Officer Timothy McVeigh has been given an honorable discharge effective tomorrow. A Navy official told the wire service McVeigh violated the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on homosexuality because of the online profile. Reuters says the investigation of McVeigh (who has no relation to convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh) began after the Navy obtained a copy of his AOL Internet user profile, which indicated that he was gay, the official said. Speaking with The Washington Post this week, McVeigh did not deny writing the profile, which allows users to view biographical information about another user that has been listed voluntarily, but he did not confirm whether he was gay. Ann Brackbill, AOL Networks senior vice president for communications, told Reuters her employer considers any other user information confidential and will give it out only to the account holder. Added Brackbill, "We feel very confident, while we're still looking into it, that our policies were followed in this case." She said AOL members' services operators verify they are talking to an account holder by checking facts about the member such as the member's mother's maiden name and the last four digits of their social security number. Brackbill added the only other way AOL would give out member information is by a court order which the Navy did not have. Reuters says the Navy official declined to comment on how the Navy obtained McVeigh's profile, saying the information was part of the Navy's ongoing investigation. McVeigh, who has been in the Navy for 17 years, is to receive full veterans benefits and an involuntary separation payment. He will not be eligible for a pension. Meanwhile, Associated Press writer John Diamond says McVeigh's online screen name -- "'Boysrch,'" presumably meaning, 'boy search'" -- "bothered the recipient" and "set in motion a chain of events that led to the dismissal. Diamond also reports gay rights and privacy advocates are contending the Navy and AOL violated the sailor's privacy and possibly broke the law. McVeigh told AP he plans to appeal his discharge to Navy Secretary John Dalton. McVeigh told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, "I find it incredible that such blatant disregard for regulations occurred and then were endorsed by the Navy at higher levels." Adds AP, "McVeigh's supporters say it was the Navy that violated the don't-ask, don't-tell policy by asking AOL for information about McVeigh. According to records of McVeigh's discharge proceeding dating from last November, a Navy officer said he called AOL and asked for the full name of a 'Tim' listed in the biographical profile page under the screen name 'Boysrch.'" The witness, who was unidentified in the records, is quoted at the hearing as saying, "I called AOL and talked to a gentleman named Owen at Tech Services. I said that I am the third party in receipt of a fax and wanted to confirm the profile sheet, who it belonged to. They said it came from Hawaii and that it was from `Timothy R. McVeigh' on the billing." Assisting McVeigh's lawyers, attorney David Sobel, legal counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says this conversation may go beyond a possible violation of the don't-ask, don't-tell policy. Adds Sobel, the Navy may have obtained evidence about McVeigh illegally when the officer that phoned AOL failed to say he was calling from the Navy. AP notes the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act bars service providers from providing government agencies with information without a search warrant, court order or subpoena. Attorneys and officials familiar with the situation told AP said the case began when McVeigh sent a routine e-mail to a Navy spouse serving as an onshore ombudsman for sailors aboard the Chicago and their spouses. "The woman knew McVeigh to be the author of the e-mail, which covered such things as buying presents for Navy children for an upcoming party," says the wire service. "But the woman noticed the 'Boysrch' screen name. She then went to the profile page in the AOL system that provided more background information. There, she saw that the author of the page identified himself as 'Tim' from Honolulu and, under marital status, wrote 'gay.' Under hobbies the profile page listed 'driving, boy watching, collecting pictures of other young studs.' The woman turned this information over to the Navy, which initiated an investigation." SEC Wants Year 2000 Clarification Companies need to tell investors their plans and costs for converting computers to handle the switch to the year 2000, says the Securities and Exchange Commission. Writing for the Dow Jones news service today, writer Paul Beckett quotes new guidance from the SEC's division of corporation finance that also says companies that have not yet made assessments of Year 2000 issues must disclose that uncertainty to investors as well. As reported, the Year 2000 presents corporations with with what the wire service characterizes as "potentially huge problems" because many computers were designed to recognize only dates beginning with 19 and need substantial work, or replacement, to cope with the change in century. Dow Jones says the SEC has been urging companies to consider those potential problems in disclosures they make to investors through regular filings with the agency, adding, "Companies are required under securities laws and SEC rules to disclose in those filings any factors that may have a material impact on their business, financial condition or results." These latest guidelines are contained in a staff legal bulletin and coincides with the filing period for many companies' annual reports. The guidance has not been voted on by the full commission. In general, says the division of corporation finance, disclosure of Year 2000 issues should be made if they are material to a company's business or financial condition, regardless of whether remediation programs or contingency plans are in place. More specifically, it says, a company should "at least" disclose its general plans, timetable, and cost estimates, if they are material, relating to Year 2000 issues. The division added that the disclosure must be "reasonably specific and meaningful, rather than standard boilerplate." Also the division says investment advisers and investment companies, which are regulated under their own statutes, may be required to disclose to clients and shareholders if Year 2000 issues pose operational or financial obstacles. Says the legal bulletin, "Disclosure of the Year 2000 issue is necessary if it is materially misleading to shareholders to omit the information." Microsoft Sets Win98 Home Preview Microsoft Corp. has begun a limited consumer beta preview of its Windows 98 operating system. The software giant says the program's objective is to let computer-savvy home users of Windows 95 try Windows 98 Beta 3 before the product is widely available. The preview will be made available to approximately 100,000 home users and will be rolled out in stages over the next few months. According to Microsoft, the program's initial stage began earlier this week, with e-mail sent to a select list of targeted consumers inviting them to join the program for $29.95 plus shipping, handling and tax. The price covers the cost of product support as well as a Beta Preview Program Kit, which includes a CD-ROM with Windows 98 beta software, the Getting Started Guide, Product Release Notes and a program brochure. Microsoft says the program will be expanded via e-mail and the Web over the next few months with a maximum of 100,000 participants. A Web page with questions and answers about the program can be found on the Windows 98 Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows98/info/previewqa.htm . "We developed this program based on feedback from users of Windows 95 that home users, just like corporations, wanted a chance to preview the next version of Windows before release," says Jonathan Roberts, Microsoft's director of Windows marketing at Microsoft. "The Windows 98 Consumer Beta Preview Program will give thousands of home-computer enthusiasts the opportunity for an early test drive of Windows 98." 'Print on Anything' Printer Debuts Seiko Instruments USA Inc. says it has a new printer that can print on virtually anything. The company, based in San Jose, California, describes its Specialty ColorPoint Plus an "industrial-quality, dye-sublimation and thermal-wax color printer designed to withstand the rigors of a commercial production environment." The $5,249 unit can transfer images onto a wide range of materials, including glass, metal, ceramic, wood, cotton and polyester fabrics and high temperature plastics. "At roughly a dollar an item, a screen printer or an ad specialty house using the ColorPoint Plus can offer customers caps, mugs, T-shirts, ties, mouse pads and other specialty items that are individually personalized or unique -- something silkscreening can't do," says Seiko Instruments USA spokeswoman Darlene Long. The Specialty ColorPoint Plus is compatible with both PC and Macintosh systems. The printer has an output rate of approximately 3 minutes per page. More details are available on the Seiko Instruments USA Web site at www.did.seiko.com. Study: Lower Digital TV Prices Sales of digital television sets would quadruple if manufacturers would lower prices, according to a new survey sponsored by A.T. Kearney Inc., a global management consulting firm. Results of the consumer survey, which polled 1,000 households before the holidays, showed that price is the most critical variable driving consumer purchases of digital television sets. At a premium of $1,000 over analog television sets, only 6 percent of respondents said they were likely to buy a digital set. But when the premium fell to $500,the number of potential buyers jumped to 24 percent. "Consumers are excited about digital television, but right now the premium prices that the sets are expected to command will keep consumers out of the stores," says Joseph Kraemer, vice president of the communications practice at A.T. Kearney, which is based in Arlington, Virginia. "The lower the price, the faster the penetration of digital television in the United States. Price is the one factor that many manufacturers can control to accelerate penetration." The survey also found that a sizable percentage of consumers would drop their cable or satellite service if they could receive numerous channels free through digital television. "This new piece of information about the willingness of consumers to drop other television services could be used as a marketing tool to boost consumer interest in digital television," notes Kraemer. Other survey results: z Asked whether they would access the World Wide Web through their digital television, 63 percent said yes, potentially doubling Internet penetration in U.S. households. z Asked to name what will most influence a decision to buy a digital television: 42 percent said cost; 22 percent said analog service terminating; 20 percent said to replace a broken set; 11 percent said for quality and/or service. z Assuming a reasonably priced set, two out of three households said they would buy a digital TV within five years of introduction. Hertz Expanding Car Navigation Hertz Corp. has announced the expansion of Hertz NeverLost, its in-car navigation system, to over 50 locations in 35 cities. Hertz began offering the system in 1995. The route- guidance system provides directions to any destination by means of an in-car, four-inch video screen and computer-generated voice prompts. "We have widened the geographic availability of Hertz NeverLost by increasing the number of cities where customers may rent a unit," says Robert J. Bailey, a Hertz senior vice president. "This broader deployment of units is a response to customer reaction and demand." Customers can reserve cars equipped with Neverlost for an additional $6 per day charge. Manufactured by Magellan Driver Information System Inc. of Rochester Hills, Michigan, NeverLost combines global positioning system (GPS) satellite technology with map matching technology. Navigation Technologies Corp. of Sunnyvale, California, developed NeverLost's map database. Microsoft Scores Set-Top Deal In what is being called a major victory in its push to lead the convergence of television and the Internet, Microsoft Corp. has won a contract to supply the core software for at least 5 million advanced set-top boxes for cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. The deal, says reporter Martin Wolk of the Reuter News Service, was hammered out in negotiations that lasted until 2:30 a.m. yesterday and comes just a day after Microsoft rival Sun Microsystems Inc. announced TCI will use its Java programming language in the boxes, which will give consumers access to a wide range of services from home shopping and banking to high-speed Internet access. But, despite the Sun victory, TCI Chairman John Malone "made clear," says Wolk, "that Microsoft's Windows CE operating system would be included in each of up to 11.9 million boxes it plans to deploy over the next several years, while Sun's technology would be included only if economically viable." Malone said in a conference call with analysts and reporters, "We chose Microsoft because we felt they were the furthest along in terms of convergence between the Internet and the TV set. This is the horse on which we're going to put our money." One analyst estimates TCI, the nation's largest cable provider, will pay Microsoft a licensing fee of $25 per box to include a special version of Windows CE, the software giant's growing family of software for consumer electronics. Reuters adds, "While TCI has committed to a minimum of 5 million units in the non-exclusive deal, Malone said the cable giant plans to include Windows on all the 6.5 million to 11.9 million boxes it expects to buy for itself and affiliates over the next three to five years." Malone told reporters that part of what set Microsoft apart was its WebTV technology, some of which will be included in the boxes, which TCI hopes to begin deploying to its customers late this year. WebTV, which Microsoft bought last year for $425 million, supplies Internet service through the television set to about 200,000 subscribers. The TCI boxes will go further and will include cable modems, allowing users to get high-speed Internet access through their personal computers as well. Sharp Eyes Paper-Thin Computers Liquid crystal display technology that will make it possible to develop paper-thin computers has been announced by Japanese electronics firm Sharp Corp. and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co. Reporting from Tokyo, the Reuter News Service says the technology -- called continuous grain silicon -- will allow the development of a large glass panel that incorporates both chips, such as LCD drivers, and thin-film-transistor LCD displays. Sharp President Haruo Tsuji told reporters today he expects products incorporating the new technology to begin contributing to its profits in the fiscal year that starts on April 1. "The CGS technology also allows LCD displays and chips to be manufactured in the same process," Reuters adds. "This would enable the development of high-speed multimedia terminals, including personal computers and credit card-sized communications tools, formed on a single glass sheet of any size... The CGS panel can also produce high-resolution images because of high electron mobility." The new process enables electrons to travel through semiconductors in LCDs about 600 times faster than they do in amorphous silicon TFT LCDs widely used at present, Sharp says, adding it used the technology to develop a prototype of a 60-inch video projector, incorporating LCD drivers with a speed of 13.8 MHz, the fastest in the industry. Look for Sharp to start mass production of such projectors within a year. Dell Unveils High-End Notebook Dell Computer Corp. has added a high-end model to its Inspiron 3000 notebook line. The system, priced from $3,299, includes Intel's new 266MHz Pentium processor with MMX technology and a 13.3-inch active-matrix screen. Dell says the system, which is scheduled to begin shipping this week, is designed for small businesses and individual users who require high performance computer systems at aggressive prices. The $3,299 Inspiron 3000 M266XT offers the 266MHz Pentium MMX, 32MB of RAM, a 2.1 GB hard drive, a 20X CD-ROM drive, a 13.3-inch XGA active-matrix display, Microsoft Office 97 Small Business Edition software and a one-year limited warranty. Dell has also announced price cuts on existing models in the Inspiron 3000 line. The price of an Inspiron 3000 with a 233MHz Pentium MMX and a 13.3-inch XGA active-matrix display has been lowered 9 percent from $3,399 to $3,099. A version with a 200MHz Pentium MMX and a 12.1-inch SVGA active-matrix display has been reduced 7 percent from $2,799 to $2,599. "As notebook PC component prices continue to fall, especially for large active-matrix displays, Dell's short inventory cycle allows us to quickly adjust prices," says Stephan Godevais, vice president of the Inspiron line. Additional information on Dell Inspiron notebooks can be found on the company's Web site at http://www.dell.com/products/notebook/inspiron/index.htm. Microsoft Ships SQL Server Beta Microsoft Corp. has begun shipping Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Beta 2, the first broadly available beta release of its updated Windows NT database software. Microsoft notes that the new release will allow independent software vendors and customers to build and deploy fully scalable branch automation, mobile, e-commerce and datamart database solutions more quickly, simply and cost-effectively. The beta was made available to 1,500 Microsoft customers and independent software vendors. Microsoft SQL Server is the leading database software for Windows NT Server, according to International Data Corp. statistics, with 44 percent of license shipments compared to 28 percent for second-place challenger Oracle. IDC's latest research shows Microsoft SQL Server license sales growing at more than 100 percent annually and projects that the market for Windows NT-based databases will "explode" with more than 50 percent total growth between 1997 and 2001, compared to a largely flat market for UNIX database software. New Company Targets Convergence Four technology industry veterans -- including three technical, marketing and management experts formerly with Intel Corp. -- have formed ShareWave Inc., a company that aims to take a new approach to digital convergence in the home. ShareWave, based in El Dorado Hills, California, says its long-term goal is to develop practical, innovative and affordable products that help establish the home PC as the "information furnace" that centrally connects and controls computing power and digital information among the growing number of smart, digital appliances and sophisticated audio/visual products now becoming prevalent in today's homes. These devices include home entertainment systems, game consoles, telephones, kitchen appliances, electronic notepads, home security systems, digital satellite systems (DSS) and digital versatile disc (DVD) players. "Over the last few years, there has been an increasing focus on bringing digital content into the home, either through internal means, such as CD-ROMs or DVDs, or through external means, such as telephone lines, cable modems, and satellite feeds," says Bob Bennett, co-founder and president of ShareWave. "No one, however, has developed a coherent strategy for what to do with this content once it enters the home. ShareWave is developing products that establish the PC as a central 'information furnace' in the home. This information furnace will centrally aggregate digital content and computing power, then wirelessly distribute them to appliances throughout the home that are ideally suited for user interaction with that content." Besides Bennett, a former marketing director at Intel, ShareWave co-founders include Geoff Bland, vice president of finance and business development, formerly a partner of REP, L.P., a $200 million institutional investment fund; Amar Ghori, vice president of engineering, who most recently was the architecture manager for Intel's microprocessor division; and John White, vice president of strategic planning, whose decade at Intel culminated in his role as a senior product planner defining next-generation microprocessors. The company has raised $7.5 million in two recent rounds of financing led by industry giants Microsoft Corp. and Vulcan Ventures, headed by entrepreneur Paul Allen. SharWave identifies other investors as an anonymous "large microprocessor company based in Santa Clara, California," and venture capital firms APV Technology Partners, L.P., Softbank Holdings Inc. and Draper Richards L.P. Additional information on ShareWave can be found at the company's Web site at http://www.sharewave.com. E-Software Distrubution Analyzed Electronic software distribution (ESD) holds many opportunities for software companies that fully exploit the new medium, finds a new International Data Corp. study. The Framingham, Massachusetts, market research firm defines ESD as the process by which end users test, purchase, pay for and receive software electronically across the Internet. The study notes that software vendors looking to offer ESD must work with a large number of companies to fulfill infrastructure, services and enabling products requirements. "A company must develop its ESD strategy in concert with existing reseller and complementary channel partners in order to maximize opportunity and avoid possible channel conflict," says Stephen Graham, IDC's vice president of software channel and alliance strategies. "ESD has forced distributors to re-evaluate their positions as providers of time and place utility and to examine the benefits of providing other value-added services." An abstract of the study is available for review on IDC's Web site at http://www.idc.com. One Million Faces Served! Miros' TrueFace Access witnesses one millionth face worldwide, single entrance system designed for small office users Miros, Inc., the market leader of face recognition technology, today announced that more than one million faces have passed through its TrueFace Access systems. Using Miros' patented technology, TrueFace Access mimics how the brain recognizes faces. When a facial match occurs, access is granted to an entrance way, while time and attendance is documented. Throughout the world, TrueFace Access has allowed organizations to create a more secure and efficient work-force. Miros' one million faces have passed through TrueFace Access systems worldwide. The India Oil Company, one of the largest employers in India, installed the system last May to test TrueFace Access in nearly half of its entrances. Integrated with a turnstile, the refinery identifies hundreds of employees entering the refinery. TrueFace Access protects the facility by allowing only enrolled employees access. At the same time, Miros' technology monitors time and attendance for their employees in a quick and efficient manner. The system deters "buddy checking," ensuring that one person does not "punch" another person in or out of work. Due to the success of this trial-run, the oil company will be fully implementing TrueFace Access early in 1998. Ram Ratan Gupta, chief general manager of Datamatics Limited, an access control and time and attendance VAR, sold TrueFace Access to the refinery. "Biometric systems are slowly starting to replace access control systems which were previously reliant on keys and pin numbers," said Gupta. "For customers looking for the highest level of security, biometrics offers protection that can't be bribed, stolen or forged." "With so many employees working different shifts at the refinery each day, it had been impossible to accurately document time and attendance," said P.S. Rao, chief executive officer of the India Oil Company. "TrueFace Access will not only keep track of our employees' hours, but will also prevent intruders from entering the refinery premises." "Miros has proved, a million times over, that no matter the location, TrueFace Access is the most effective, non-intrusive means of security and identification in the world," stated Miros president and CEO, Dr. Michael Kuperstein. "Miros' successes have prompted us to expand our customer base by developing a single entrance system for small office users." TrueFace Access Single Entrance System In celebration of its millionth recognition, TrueFace Access has been made available as a single entrance system. Small businesses now have the ability to use the TrueFace technology in their offices. This new module allows access into a single door and provides the user with all the hardware and software needed to install the system. This system incorporates all the great traits of the original TrueFace Access system for one low price of $4,995. TrueFace Access can not be fooled by a photograph or slight change in appearance. Two cameras view the face, searching for depth. A live video image is then compared to a picture previously stored in the database. The match is based on a scale of zero to ten, with ten being a perfect match and a score under five denying access. The varying degrees of matches allow the user to alter his/her look, such as growing a beard, cutting hair, gaining or losing weight. Tele-Direct And Philips Speech Processing Announce Voice Command Restaurant Guide Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc., one of the world's leading directory publishers, today announced its development agreement with Philips Speech Processing, a division of Philips Electronics N.V. to build telephony-based speech recognition applications. These applications will allow consumers to access Yellow Pages(R) directory information by telephone, using natural speech recognition. The agreement will also allow Tele-Direct to build and sell speech recognition applications to other companies as a Value Added Reseller of Philips speech products. The first application being developed by Tele-Direct using Philips' speech recognition technology is Yellow Pages VoiceNet(R), a restaurant guide for the Greater Toronto area of Canada. Consumers will be able to talk to VoiceNet using normal sentences such as: "I am looking for an Italian Restaurant, in the Downtown area". VoiceNet is available to callers by dialing 416-412-2000. Philips is a world leader in speech recognition. A central focus of the speech processing group has been the development of natural language, speaker independent speech recognition. A natural language interface allows callers to access information, via telephone, in a variable and colloquial language. "This agreement with Philips addresses one of Tele-Direct's key strategic challenges; to find new and innovative ways to connect buyers and sellers -- anytime, anywhere," said Doug Renwicke, Tele-Direct's President for New Media and New Marketing Services. "We are excited about partnering with Tele-Direct, because it expands our ventures into North America through our advanced speech technology, but also because this signals the proliferation of telephony-based speech applications for the mainstream market," said Bruce Cooperman, Senior VP Sales, Philips Speech Processing. Tele-Direct is Philips' first major North American partner for telecommunications applications. Philips has successfully implemented projects for Swiss Federal Railways, Dutch PTT Telecom, Lufthansa, as well as several other European companies. Trend to Offer HP Virus Protection Trend Micro Inc., a specialist in server-based virus protection, has been tapped by Hewlett-Packard Co. to provide integrated virus protection technology for OpenMail, HP's enterprise-wide messaging system. The deal's terms weren't disclosed. Trend says it will adapt its e-mail scanning technology to provide an anti-virus product called ScanMail for OpenMail. Trend has similar alliances with Oracle Systems Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Netscape Corp., Lotus Development Corp., Microsoft Corp. and other vendors "Companies are increasingly realizing that they need to have e-mail virus protection in place to protect their messaging infrastructure from the significant productivity losses that result from virus outbreaks," says Dan Schrader, Trend's director of product marketing. "By working with Hewlett-Packard to provide integrated virus protection that is easy to implement, we are helping customers to more easily adopt this core protection technology." More information about Trend's enterprise virus protection products can be obtained from the company's Web site at http://www.antivirus.com. Yahoo Leads List of Web Sites A report by an Internet research firm says more Net surfers visited the Yahoo search engine in December than any other single site on the World Wide Web. The Reuter News Service quotes the research by Relevant Knowledge Inc. as finding more than 16.7 million "unique" users traveled last month to http://www.yahoo.com, where they accessed Yahoo's search engine, news, personal e-mail and other products. Sites operated by rival web browser publishers Netscape Communications Corp. and Microsoft Corp. were the second and third most trafficked, the study said, with 13.5 million and 10.5 million unique visitors, respectively. The company's "Top 25 Dot.com Domains" report says it counted "unique visitors," or individuals who may travel to a site, or hit it, rather than the aggregate hits, so as to more accurately measure internet traffic. Researchers says Yahoo, Netscape and Microsoft, in that order, also were the top ranked sites in November. Also, RelevantKnowledge found: z Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN Sportzone had the Web's highest concentration of male visitors, which reflects the appeal of that niche site to a specific target audience. z Internet bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc.'s site had the highest concentration of female visitors. z Also ranking in the top 10 in December were aol.com with 9.4 million visitors; excite.com, 9.2 million; geocities.com, 7.9 million; infoseek.com, 6.8 million, lycos.com, 5.5 million, altavista.digital.com, 4.6 million, and msn.com, 4.2 million. U.S. Has Half of Net Population The latest figures show the U.S. continues to have an overwhelming lead -- more than 54 percent -- in the number of Internet users. However, the nation's share is dropping rapidly as a growing number of other countries come to the Net. In a statement from Glenbrook, Nevada, officials with the Internet Industry Almanac say the U.S. share of the Net was nearly 65 percent in 1994 and more than 80 percent in 1991. It is projected to dip to 40 percent by the end of year 2000. "This is a common trend in the computer industry," adds the statement, "as the U.S. normally is the pioneer in a new market segment. As the technology spreads, the U.S. market share declines and usually drops to less than 30 percent when the technology reaches the mature phase." The company says countries with the most Internet users are the large industrialized countries plus some of the smaller industrialized countries that were early adopters of the Internet. Examples are Finland, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. "Over time," adds the statement, "these smaller industrialized countries will be replaced by the most populous countries such as China and Russia." Here is a list of the top 15 countries, including business, educational and home Internet users, based on 1997 year-end estimates, listing number of users and percentage share of the total: 1. USA, 54.68 million users, 54.7 percent. 2. Japan, 7.97 million, 7.97 percent. 3. United Kingdom, 5.83 million, 5.83 percent. 4. Canada, 4.33 million, 4.33 percent. 5. Germany, 4.06 million, 4.07 percent. 6. Australia, 3.35 million, 3.35 percent. 7. Netherlands, 1.39 million, 1.39 percent. 8. Sweden, 1.31 million, 1.31 percent. 9. Finland, 1.25 million, 1.25 percent. 10. France, 1.18 million, 1.17 percent. 11. Norway, 1.01 million, 1.01 percent. 12. Spain, 920,000, 0.92 percent. 13. Brazil, 860,000, 0.86 percent. 14. Italy, 840,000, 0.84 percent. 15. Switzerland, 770,000, 0.77 percent. The top 15 countries account for 89.76 percent of the world Net usage, says the company, with Europe making up 21.97 percent. Net Yellow Pages Market Soars Internet yellow pages generated $21.8 million in revenues in 1997, up from $3.9 million in 1996, finds new research from Cowles/Simba Information. The 459 percent growth rate in 1997 is due to several factors, notes the study, including new entrants into the highly competitive Internet yellow pages market and revenue gains from existing services. The Internet yellow pages market includes print yellow pages publishers, start-up online directories and niche services. Cowles/Simba Information projects the industry will reach $164.9 million in 2000. The report points out that niche directories and search engines represent competitive threats to Internet yellow pages services. "Internet yellow pages services from print publishers and start-up companies face tremendous competition from niche services, which have already begun siphoning away advertisers in key yellow pages headings, such as autos, restaurants and attorneys," says Tom Maguire, a Cowles/Simba Information editor. Search engines, which command significant usage and advertising dollars, act as yellow pages directories by referring consumers to business Web sites, allowing them to bypass Internet yellow pages, he notes. Cowles/Simba Information, based in Stamford, Connecticut, is a leading provider of news, analysis and market research reports on the media and information industry. The company's Web site is located at http://www.simbanet.com. Microsoft Unveils IT Aptitude Tool Microsoft Corp. has unveiled an online aptitude tool that's designed to help individuals identify and prepare for an information technology career. The software publisher says the tool, located at http://www.microsoft.com/skills2000/jobs.htm , is part of the Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative aimed at addressing the IT workforce shortage by bringing individuals into the IT industry. The tool includes a series of questions aimed at identifying an individual's aptitude for eight career categories developed by NorthWest Center for Emerging Technologies and the Regional Advanced Technology Education Consortium. Once an individual's aptitude has been evaluated, the tool provides a road map for technical training, enabling users to easily understand how to develop the technology skills and knowledge needed for the identified career categories. "Our goal is to reach out and bring new individuals into the computer industry," says Nancy Lewis, general manager of worldwide training and certification at Microsoft. "Many people simply don't realize they may have the skills or an aptitude to succeed in this industry. There are many myths about the types of IT jobs available and the requirements to obtain those jobs. This tool aims to dispel those myths." More information on the Microsoft Skills 2000 initiative is available at http://www.microsoft.com/skills2000 . Stolen Computer Registry on Web Now that computers top the list of most-often-stolen equipment, the Stolen Computer Registry, a worldwide clearinghouse for serial numbers of stolen gear, is stepping up its efforts to fight theft. The firm's new free database will enable victims of computer theft, as well as computer traders, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies, to list serial numbers of stolen equipment and compare serial numbers of suspicious gear. Praised by law enforcement agencies as "a valuable service," the Stolen Computer Registry has been tracking stolen gear since 1990. When stolen gear is located, the Registry assists in its recovery and returns it to the rightful owner. The database can be reached at http://www.nacomex.com. Netscape to Lay Off 400 Word is Netscape Communications Corp. is set to lay off some 400 permanent and contract workers, as it adjusts to slowing growth and rising competition with Microsoft Corp. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Kara Swisher says, "The potential cuts, disclosed in internal estimates prepared by Netscape officials, represent 12.5 percent of the Mountain View, California, company's total work force, which includes 2,600 full-time employees and 600 others who work under long-term contracts." As reported, Netscape had predicted an undetermined number of job reductions in response to an estimated fourth-quarter operating loss of between $14 million and $18 million, or 15 to 19 cents a share, which the company attributed largely to price pressure from Microsoft. The Journal says the layoffs will be finalized when Netscape officially announces its results on Jan. 27, adding they bring "to a halt a major expansion over the past several years and is the first time that it has shrunk its staff." The software publisher's full-time work force mushroomed from 757 in March 1996 to 2,637 at the end of 1997. "But," says Swisher, "because of an intense attack by Microsoft in the Internet-software market, Netscape has seen substantial declines in its market share." 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 BOTH Lessig and Perhaps, Jackson MUST GO!! What the HELL is * REALLY * Going ON here?? An opinion by Ralph F. Mariano Please read the diatribe of a "Ruling" offered by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. Where, at the end of the ruling, he admonishes Microsoft by offering that they, in all probabilities, would have received a favorable ruling had they been more respectful in their description of Lessig's glaringly obvious bias against Microsoft. What is wrong with this picture? Jackson is already very busy punishing Microsoft!! He readily admits there are grounds to dump Lessig based on MS's charges of bias. But because Microsoft was highly descriptive in picturing Lessig's bias they must now endure Jackson's Judicial Wrath and Lessig's bias while running the Gauntlet of "true, unbiased Justice" according to Jackson-Lessig. Are we still in the USA? Please, no mail from anyone comparing Jackson to a 17th Century "Powdered Wig" pompous ass who is a power drunk lackey of "The King" (DOJ). Even if it is an accurate comparison. "In a sharply worded order, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has denied a motion by Microsoft Corp. to remove his special adviser on computer issues. Judge Jackson's order, released late Wednesday, described the Redmond, Wash., company's filing as "defamatory." He said the reasons Microsoft gave for trying to remove Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig were "trivial and altogether non-probative. They are, therefore, defamatory, and the court finds they were not made in good faith." Jackson appointed Lessig as special master last month to research the issues of the current case between the U.S. Department of Justice and Microsoft. The latter sought Lessig's ouster after discovering he had sent an E-mail complaining about Microsoft to a lawyer at rival Netscape Communications Corp." Only hours after Jackson adjourned the hearing concerning Lessig, he issued an order responding to Microsoft's charges that Harvard professor Lessig had shown bias against Microsoft and might reasonably be perceived to be "a partisan of Netscape," a bitter rival of Microsoft in the market for Internet Web browsers. "The basis given for these accusations are both trivial and altogether non-probative," Jackson said. "They are, therefore, defamatory and the Court finds that they were not made in good faith." Jackson said if the accusations had been made in a more formal manner "they might well have incurred sanction." Friends, since when does "good faith" have anything to do with the offering of truthful submissions concerning the possible tainting of the administration of Justice? Jackson makes it very clear that Microsoft had grounds but because they didn't "pussy-foot" around with Lessig's attitudes, Jackson decided to push aside true Justice and play the silly "Tip-Toe through the Tulips" game of who may have offended whom. Jackson should have simply separated the wheat from the chaff and made an INFORMED decision on whether or not Lessig could indeed perform his duties unbiased against Microsoft. Most everyone will agree that those who are using computer on the MAC platform blame Microsoft for the current state of affairs Apple and its proprietary platform is in regardless of the highly inflated retail prices of its hardware and gross mismanagement Apple has "enjoyed" for the last four years. Jackson said Lessig had given him a declaration with assurances of the Harvard professor's impartiality. The ruling comes at a critical time for Microsoft, which can expect action on the contempt motion soon. Why must we as taxpayers and voting citizens of this nation watch such shenanigans by Jackson the DOJ and their high priced hirelings? We must all take a step back and take a good long hard look at the big picture. Microsoft put an end to the gouging, the nickle and diming, and the constant incompatibilites that were commonplace a few years ago. We must not forget that Microsoft with its aggressive competitiveness, virtually eliminated a great deal of the superfluous, practically useless programs that were being foisted upon the computing masses before the advent of Win95. Its sad to see the short memories many have. Better yet, perhaps Jackson and Lessig would like to have MS remove the smooth transition Win95 and its successors will offer when the year 2000 rolls around? Certainly, its beginning to appear that BOTH Lessig and Jackson must go!! Are there any who are both qualified and available who would truly be unbiased?? I don't think so. The publicity hungry dolts at DOJ who insist upon hounding MS have made certain of that. The entire world is aware of the DOJ's "pursuit" of Microsoft, with most all vocally expressing their opinions to whomever will listen. Wouldn't it be "nice" if the entire world were aware of the DOJ's pursuit of the giant conglomerates who LOCK the prices of fuel, food, and power along with competitive shelf space in the nation's supermarkets and shopping malls. The very same ones who create artificial shortages to keep prices up?? Ah .but to find the DOJ actually taking on the gigantic fuel and power cartels, grain cartels, meat cartels and dairy cartels is a blatant fantasy! These powerful groups are calling the shots in and for the US Government. Now, take a good look at the huge defense contractors. Ever notice when there is slump in the USA's raw materials and defense industry there is suddenly a need for US Military action somewhere in the world? Coincidence?? I think not. How about you? Back to the present; Gates and Microsoft are mere newbies, upstarts. when compared to the ultra wealthy and powerful beasts that have wielded the power in this country for decades. Any one of the above three, at any time, has at least 2/3rds of our elected federal officials in their pockets. Why does the DOJ find it ever so comfortable to HOUND Microsoft while they seeming ignore the severe Civil Right violations going on every day in this country?? I feel MY Civil Rights are trampled every day of the week when I observe the ease of which I can spot the transactions, use and transporting of illicit drug on an almost daily basis. Where the hell is the ever so-taxpayer conscious DOJ now?? Better yet, where is Janet Reno when it comes to offering "Justice for All". Is that meant to read "except Clinton?" Keating's Co-Defendants, Like the Bush Kids etc.? What's with this selective justice Reno is meting out? Perhaps history will compare her to Nixon's Mitchell or Germany's Elsa Koch. It must be noted that after all that's transpired with Reno's weird statements, actions and decisions the clear thinking, justice minded taxpayers of this nation must be totally ashamed of the DOJ and Reno's brand of "Justice". Still, we must all wonder, just how these matters, from the Vince Foster affair, to Colby's strange, if not bizarre death stretching the Whitewater "thing", the campaign bux matters and finally the Jones nonsense seem to wallowing in a "no-action" swill pool. To further brighten the clarity, please picture the possibility of a "coupla old school chums, debate rivals, a simple case of professional admiration or plain old, mesmerized by the "Harvard affiliation" syndrome (he can't be bad. he's from Harvard).. Suddenly, Thomas Penfield (Penfield?) Jackson's high handed actions, punitive rulings and obviously lopsided opinions are easily understood. However despite the obvious that's already been presented, including that LESSIG uses an Apple Macintosh, not a PC and has repeatedly made it abundantly clear he holds Microsoft in an extremely contemptible view, despises himself for having used Microsoft Explorer. must we believe this guy's alleged affidavit that will be fair towards Microsoft?? Perhaps Lessig does sell bridges in NYC and we all have webbed feet! While Microsoft strenuously objected to Lessig's appointment on the grounds that he was put on the case without the company's first having an opportunity "to make an informed decision as to whether Professor Lessig is a suitable candidate," the government responded in a court filing that the company had no right to choose the special master. "Just as a judge should not be excused on the basis of innuendo or the preferences of a particular party, a special master should not be disqualified on such grounds," DOJ officials said in Monday's brief. However, the company "remains free to file a motion to disqualify [Lessig] on the basis of bias." That unfortunately sounds like an invitation to receive more judicial abuse at the hands of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. Microsoft did claim in its earlier filing that Lessig had "preconceived notions" about the company and about "the government's proper role in the development of software products," based upon an E-mail exchange between Lessig; Eric Bradley, a senior systems administrator at Netscape Communications Corp.; and Peter Harter, Netscape's public policy counsel. In the exchange, released by the DOJ as part of the brief, Lessig writes: "OK, now this is making me really angry, and Charlie Nesson thinks we should file a law suit. But please tell me whether this is true. When I installed Internet Explorer 3.0 on my Mac system ... the next time I went into Netscape, all my bookmarks screwed up. Did IE do this?" EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents TCI Picks Microsoft For TV Set-Top Boxes But Microsoft Fails To Keep Java Outside the Box Governor Requests Funds For California Virtual University Dell Slashes Computer Prices, Cites Lower Component Costs Information Technology Investment Plans Remain Strong But Are Executives Souring On Internet? Escaping The "Year 2000" Problem Gay Sailor On AOL: "Spamming" Or "Informing"? Administration To Spend $28 Million On Tech Training Educom Offers To Manage ".Edu" Addresses States Likely To Target Internet In '98 Legislation Court Advisor Again Accused Of Anti-Microsoft Bias E-Mail Use On The Rise Sun Set To Debut Lower Cost Workstations S&P Unveils Online Investment-Advisory Service Yahoo!, MCI Team Up On New Online Service "Dirty Secrets" Of Chip Industry SAFE Act Still In Danger California State Postpones Industry Partnership Microsoft Loses Bid To Dump Special Master Slate Tries Subscription Model High-Tech Dream House Retailers Happy With Online Sales Forget Push Technology -- Now It's "Pull-Casting" Women Like Books, Men Like Sports TCI PICKS MICROSOFT FOR TV SET-TOP BOXES Tele-Communications Inc., the nation's largest cable television provider, has decided to use a consumer version of Microsoft's Windows operating system to control the next generation of set-top boxes that TCI will begin deploying in 1999. TCI Chairman John C. Malone said of the decision: "This is the horse we're going to ride... This is Internet meets television so that impulse behavior can be entered into from the couch instead of the desk." (New York Times 11 Jan 98) BUT MICROSOFT FAILS TO KEEP JAVA OUTSIDE THE BOX Microsoft had been pressuring TCI not to solidify an arrangement with Sun Microsystems to also use its Personal Java software in addition to Microsoft's Windows CE. TCI and the rest of the cable industry have tried to prevent any one supplier from gaining a lock on the new market, and have decided to use different vendors for different layers of the boxes' technology. "The cable industry by and large is very wary of Microsoft and very wary of any proprietary standards in the set-top box arena, so it makes a lot of sense for them to be talking with us on PersonalJava," says a Sun spokesman. (Wall Street Journal 9 Jan 98) GOVERNOR REQUESTS FUNDS FOR CALIFORNIA VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY Governor Pete Wilson has budgeted $3 million in 1998-1999 for seed money to help the state's higher education systems bring their courses online as part of the California Virtual University project. The CVU already boasts some 500 courses offered through 65 private and public colleges. In addition, Wilson has proposed spending $3 million on a University of California digital library. "This has to be one of the largest, if not the largest, investments in online education in this country," says the executive director of the virtual-university design team. "We're way ahead of the curve." The governor has called for an additional $6-million in funding over the next three years for the CVU. (Wall Street Journal 7 Jan 98) DELL SLASHES COMPUTER PRICES CITES LOWER COMPONENT COSTS Dell Computer is cutting prices by 15% on its OptiPlex PC line, which is marketed primarily to large businesses and government agencies. The company says unexpectedly swift declines in the prices it pays for Asian- manufactured components have enabled it to pass those cost savings onto consumers. (Los Angeles Times 9 Jan 98) INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT PLANS REMAIN STRONG Companies may be cutting back on paper clips and office space, but information technology spending is still full speed ahead. A survey of 250 senior information technology managers indicates that two-thirds of the respondents intend to boost their budgets, by an average of 18% over last year's spending. "People are not building traditional factories or oil wells, but they're spending a huge chunk of money on information technology," says an chief economist at Standard & Poor. For most managers,Year 2000 conversion is at the top of their IT list, with PC purchases and upgrading to Windows NT 5.0 second and third. (Information Week 5 Jan 98) BUT ARE EXECUTIVES SOURING ON INTERNET? A survey by the Deloitte Consulting says that the Internet is falling out of favor with a growing number of North American corporate executives. Why? Because of poor online business. Despite a rise in corporate Internet use, a majority of chief information officers (CIOs) are disillusioned with the Internet's perceived inability to improve their companies' bottom line. Barbara Kieley, a Deloitte partner, says that 69% of executives questioned say Internet costs are a "significant concern," up from 16% in 1995. As a result, executives are cutting back on Internet spending, with the number of CIOs planning to increase Internet spending dropping from 65% to 31%, and 17% of CIOs expecting no increase in spending while 1% forecasting a decrease in Internet spending. (Ottawa Citizen 7 Jan 98) ESCAPING THE "YEAR 2000" PROBLEM Seventy-seven-year-old Bob Bemer, co-designer of the COBOL programming language and the man responsible for developing ASCII text and the escape sequence, thinks he knows an elegant way to deal with the "year 2000" problem (which arises because older software programmed with two-digit year designations will not know if "00" means 2000 or 1900). Whereas most companies are planning a painstaking rewrite of perhaps billions of lines of applications-level code, Bemer's idea is to work below that -- at the level of object code. Though a number of large companies are skeptical, Bell Atlantic is testing Bemer's proposal. (New Yorker 12 Jan 98) GAY SAILOR ON AOL: "SPAMMING" OR "INFORMING"? A sailor who is being charged from the Navy because he used the word "gay" in his profile on America Online lost his AOL account after using that service to send appeals for support to other individuals he found had described themselves in their AOL profiles as gay. America Online had warned the sailor that sending chain letters was a violation of its service agreement, but he denied it was a chain letter, saying: "I wasn't asking people to send it indiscriminately. AOL's terms of service agreement also says the service is supposed to be informative and interesting. I thought it was informative to let people who might be interested know about my situation." (New York Times Cybertimes 11 Jan 98) ADMINISTRATION TO SPEND $28 MILLION ON TECH TRAINING The U.S. Labor Department will offer $3 million in grants to schools, businesses and local governments to retrain laid-off workers as programmers, and an additional $8 million to construct a World Wide Web site to facilitate job searches. In addition, the Commerce Department has allocated $17 million to train poor people and give them access to technology resources. (Washington Post 12 Jan 98) EDUCOM OFFERS TO MANAGE ".EDU" ADDRESSES Educom has offered to assume responsibility for overseeing all ".edu" e- mail addresses -- a task currently performed by Network Solutions Inc. under contract to the National Science Foundation. That contract will expire this March and a number of companies are vying for the opportunity to assign Internet addresses. If its proposal is approved, Educom would appoint a "blue-ribbon panel" of college presidents and information officers to determine whether applicants qualify for the .edu designation. Network Solutions recently made a statement to the effect that its system currently is self-policing and that generally, anyone who applies for an .edu address receives one -- a situation that has led to increased fraud on the Internet as fly-by-night operations attempt to lure students for worthless diploma programs. (Chronicle of Higher Education 16 Jan 98) STATES LIKELY TO TARGET INTERNET IN '98 LEGISLATION Lawmakers and Internet lobbyists are predicting that 1998 will be a big year for Internet legislation, with a revisiting of online pornography and privacy issues, as well as Net taxes and access. According to the head of the United States Internet Council, "consumer protection" issues such as privacy, content regulation and Net fraud will dominate the agenda - more than 100 bills on these topics were held over from last year's sessions, and more are being introduced this month. Fueling the surge is realization among legislators that the Internet not only is increasingly important to their constituencies, but also that it is a potential source of revenue. Ohio Governor George Voinovich is leading the charge with a bill that would impose the first tax on Net access, while others are holding off, or declaring their states "Internet tax-free zones" in the hopes of luring more Internet-based businesses. (Net Insider 12 Jan 98) COURT ADVISOR AGAIN ACCUSED OF ANTI-MICROSOFT BIAS Microsoft offered a federal judge "new evidence" of bias in Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, the court- appointed "special master" asked to review the technical issues involved in the Justice Department's antitrust suit against Microsoft. Previously, the company had introduced an e-mail message in which Lessig used the expression "sold my soul" in explaining his decision to use Microsoft's Explorer software. Yesterday, Microsoft told Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Lessig had asked a Netscape lawyer "what sort of solution he would like to see embodied in a decree against Microsoft." Lessig denies being biased against Microsoft, and refuses to withdraw from the case. (New York Times 13 Jan 98) E-MAIL USE ON THE RISE A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that 86% of the 757 human resource professionals polled now use e-mail, but 49% of their companies don't train employees in the proper use of electronic messaging and 48% don't have written e-mail policies. Sixty-three percent say their firms do not officially allow personal use of the company e-mail system, but do not monitor messages. Six percent had been asked to produce copies of e-mail messages as evidence for lawsuits. (Miami Herald 12 Jan 98) SUN SET TO DEBUT LOWER COST WORKSTATIONS Sun Microsystems is offering businesses a new line of low-end workstations -- the Darwin Ultra 5 and the Darwin Ultra 10, priced at less than $5,000 and less than $10,000 respectively. The machines are based on the high- speed UltraSparc IIi chip, and are aimed stemming the migration of low-end users to Windows NT. (Information Week 10 Jan 98) S&P UNVEILS ONLINE INVESTMENT-ADVISORY SERVICE Standard & Poor's, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. known for its stock index and debt-rating business, is venturing into a new field -- online advice targeted toward individual investors. S&P Personal Wealth, the initial offering of S&P's newly formed Investment Advisory Services unit, contains customized investment-management features, original editorial content, market commentary, analysis and research. "We're in the age of the self- reliant investor where, by virtue of self-directed pension plans and 401(k) plans, we're all being called on to take much more responsibility for our financial futures," says the president of S&P's Consumer Markets. http://www.personalwealth.com (Wall Street Journal 12 Jan 98) YAHOO!, MCI TEAM UP ON NEW ONLINE SERVICE Yahoo! and MCI are developing a new Yahoo Online service, geared toward home PC users. The service will offer Yahoo!'s existing e-mail, chat and other communications functions through its Web site, and will carry the tag line "powered by MCI Internet." The collaboration will enable Yahoo!, which started out as an Internet search engine, to compete more effectively against services such as America Online and CNET's Snap!. (Wall Street Journal 13 Jan 98) "DIRTY SECRETS" OF CHIP INDUSTRY A six-month investigation by USA Today has concluded that the microchip industry commonly endangers workers, many of them women and minorities, by failing to fully train them about the hazardous, sometimes deadly, chemicals with which they work. It also charges the industry with various other infractions of environmental health regulations. (USA Today 13 Jan 98) SAFE ACT STILL IN DANGER The Security and Freedom Through Encryption (SAFE) Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) is intended to protect citizens' right to use and sell strong encryption products, and prohibits the U.S. government from requiring citizens to give their private encryption keys to a third party. The bill, originally introduced in 1996 and modified last year, is still under attack from the FBI and national security lobbyists, who maintain that even with the modifications the bill could undermine law enforcement efforts. Goodlatte, who points out that the bill had about 250 cosponsors at last count, says: "Anytime we're dealing with anybody who claims that legislation threatens national security or law enforcement, we have to take that seriously. But we have nothing to apologize for. This is a pro-law enforcement measure." (Net Insider 13 Jan 98) CALIFORNIA STATE POSTPONES INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP California State University System officials have put a controversial partnership deal on hold until spring, citing a longer-than-expected negotiation process and a need to give incoming chancellor Charles Reed more time to acquaint himself with the details. The California Education Technology Initiative would affiliate the system with four corporate partners -- Fujitsu, GTE, Hughes Electronics and Microsoft -- who would contribute some $300 million in funds for upgrading computers, network equipment and support services in exchange for a role in overseeing the system's software and hardware purchases. The plan, which has met with opposition from some students, faculty and consumer groups, also calls for selling some excess Internet capacity to off-campus customers. (Chronicle of Higher Education 16 Jan 98) MICROSOFT LOSES BID TO DUMP SPECIAL MASTER U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has refused Microsoft's request to remove Lawrence Lessig, an expert on Internet law from Harvard University. Microsoft had charged that Lessig was biased against the company, but Jackson's written remarks called those charges "defamatory." A Microsoft spokesman said the company was disappointed, but "will continue to work with Prof. Lessig as we have." In further developments, a Microsoft witness said the company's response to a December order -- to remove all Internet Explorer files from Windows operating software, thereby disabling the program -- was devised by a small group of lawyers and software developers, along with Chairman Bill Gates. That's not unusual, according to Microsoft's chief operating officer: "Bill makes all the important decisions here." (Wall Street Journal 15 Jan 98) SLATE TRIES SUBSCRIPTION MODEL Slate, Microsoft's online periodical, is planning a move to a subscription- based business model, at somewhere between $20 to $30 a pop. "We don't believe that the advertising-only approach is sustainable for us," says Slate's publisher. Slate joins a growing number of publications that have found it impossible to generate enough revenue through Web-based advertising alone -- the Wall Street Journal is the most successful of the bunch, largely on the strength of its print reputation and the content differentiation available in the online version. "If you have something that isn't available somewhere else, that's how you assign value," says a Time New Media spokesman. Slate's original plan was to charge $19.95 a year for the weekly e-publication, but its publisher now says the price could be a bit higher, based on the number of top-notch writers it hopes to hire. Other publications experimenting with subscription pricing include The Economist, Business Week and Money.com. The New York Times has been charging overseas users for access to its electronic version, and eventually plans to charge everyone for online access. (Broadcasting & Cable 5 Jan 98) HIGH-TECH DREAM HOUSE Microsoft, Intel, Softbank Holdings and a venture-capital fund started by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen are backing a small start-up company that's developing wireless technology to coordinate various household functions and appliances. ShareWare's system uses wireless radio with a common PC as the hub. The system would enable the homeowner to access the Internet from anywhere in the house using a handheld PC, and nable seamless transition from conventional television to program-related Web sites, all on the same appliance. (Business Week 19 Jan 98) RETAILERS HAPPY WITH ONLINE SALES Cyberstores racked up record sales over the holidays, with $800 million worth of goods sold to consumers over the Web between Thanksgiving Day and New Year's, says the Yankee Group. That figure is more than double the $300 million sold during the same period in '96. "People don't have to deal with parking or going to a mall," says a Forrester Research analyst. And you never get put on hold. (Investor's Business Daily 14 Jan 98) FORGET PUSH TECHNOLOGY -- NOW IT'S "PULL-CASTING" Advertisers are still debating over how to make the maximum impact on the Web -- banner ads have fallen out of favor because they are too easy for the reader to skip over, and cookie technology, which was touted as the ultimate Web surfer tracking device, can't tell "whether one person requests a page five times or five people request it one time." Meanwhile, a former IBM advertising executive says online advertising will require an entirely marketing approach: "The consumer will be in total control. We're moving from the era when the advertiser controlled everything through broadcasting to what I call 'pull-casting' -- where the consumer decides what he wants to see and when he wants to see it." (Los Angeles Times 15 Jan 98) WOMEN LIKE BOOKS, MEN LIKE SPORTS A survey by Relevant Knowledge Inc. shows that one in five homes surfed the Web in December, with search engines being the most popular destination for all users aged 12 and over. When the results were tabulated by gender, and restricted to users aged 18-48, the top three sites visited by women were barnesandnoble.com, warnerbros.com, and switchboard.com, and the corresponding sites for men were espnsportszone.com, dejanews.com, and flashnet.com. (Investor's Business Daily 15 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. 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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 Superman Activity Center Windows/Mac CD-ROM ages 5 to 10 $20 Knowledge Adventure 1311 Grand Central Avenue Glendale CA 91201 (800) 542-4240 http://www.adventure.com Program Requirements IBM Macintosh OS: Windows 3.1, Windows 95 OS: System 7.1 CPU: 486SX/33 CPU: Performa 550 or PowerPC HD Space: 10 MB HD Space: 10 MB Memory: 8 MB Memory: 2.5 MB Graphics: 640 by 480 with 256 colors Graphics: 256 colors, 13" monitor CD-ROM: Double-speed CD-ROM: Double-speed Audio: 8-bit Windows compatible sound card Other: mouse Printer optional review by Frank Sereno (firstname.lastname@example.org) The Superman Activity Center is a challenging and interesting combination of thirteen activities that are sure to please young fans of the Man of Steel. It is not only fun to play, but children develop important learning skills. The activities are spread among the three worlds of Superman: his youth on Krypton, his adolescence in Smallville, and his dual life in Metropolis as reporter Clark Kent and as the defender of truth, justice and the American Way. The program features two modes. In active mode, children can choose any activity in any world. In the story mode, children see a video of Superman's life. To move on to the next portion of the story, they must play the activities in that world. Krypton has three activities. Children can color pictures of Superman and his family on Krypton. The Brainiac Challenge builds listening and memorization skills as children learn to repeat a pattern of sound and light to break the computer's access codes. Finally, children can build logic skills as they guide a robotic arm to retrieve rocket ship parts. In Smallville, children can paint the pictures in Ma Kent's scrapbook. In a second activity, they can use Clark's x-ray vision to find safety hazards in various settings. You have to be pretty sharp to recognize all the hazards. Metropolis is a bustling, active city. A visit to the Daily Planet Building gives kids a chance to create their own newspaper. They can write stories at Clark's desk, "retouch" pictures in Jimmy Olson's photo lab, select a front page layout at Perry White's desk and send it on to the presses for printing. Young publishers have many photos and several wire stories available for the paper. They can store five original articles, but they will have to be careful to keep the articles short or they will be too long to fit on the front page. An additional game is Word Search Challenge. Files on Lois Lane's computer have become scrambled. By finding the hidden words, children can restore the files and then see a profile of the nemeses of Superman. While your child is visiting Metropolis, he can window shop downtown. There he can play a memory game to capture Livewire as she travels between television screens. Then he can visit Lex Luthor to play a logic game much like Othello. You must surround your opponent's playing pieces to change them to your color. Finally, he can head over to S.T.A.R. Labs. There he can learn about eighteen constellations by tracing them in the night sky. The last activity is a maze game. The player must guide Superman to his anti-Kryptonite while avoiding the baddies. Once he has the suit, he must capture the villain before he escapes the maze. To give the games more play value, the patterns change each time. Additionally, the games have three levels of difficulty. My sons enjoyed all of the games except for the maze game in the S.T.A.R. Labs. Superman was just not responsive to mouse control. It was very difficult to guide Superman into horizontal paths. There is no option to use the keyboard or a joystick. The poor control made that particular game extremely irritating. This is a program that can use reams of paper. Children can print the coloring pictures as well as the newspapers and the constellations. Children can print achievement awards when they successfully discover the hazards using Clark's x-ray vision. Be sure to stock up on printer supplies! The Superman Activity Center has high production values. The graphics and audio are topnotch. The program features the voice talents of the cast of the WB animated series. These include Dana Delaney as Lois Lane and Shelley Fabares as Ma Kent. The activities are great fun and build skills too. This CD-ROM features a low price and a fantastic 90-day moneyback guarantee. If you're looking for an inexpensive, fun and wholesome diversion for your youngsters, Knowledge Adventure's Superman Activity Center is a great choice Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff email@example.com Hi everyone, I am sorry to tell all of you that I do not have a review for this issue. I have had finals this past week that have kept me pretty preoccupied throughout most of my days and nights. Some of you that have high school kids can probably relate. However, I have put together a preview of some titles that will be featured in my column within the next few weeks. Next week, I'll have a glimpse at the Psygnosis title, G Police. This is a twenty-first century flight simulation that has received a great deal of critical acclaim. (Note to self: Avoid using the term "twenty-first century" anymore when describing futuristic games, the twenty-first century is only two years away!) I'll tell you what I thought about its colossal explosions and futuristic city landscapes. The following week I will share my thoughts on Sierra's FPS: Football '98. Will this title be able to retain its crown as the football sim of the year? It has some stiff competition from other PC titles, and perhaps has lost the competitive edge it once had. In more of the forthcoming weeks I will have reviews of these titles, respectively: Seven Kingdoms from Interactive Magic, Oregon Trail 3rd Edition published by The Learning Company, and Sierra's new Driver's Ed Deluxe. This title also comes with a Thrustmaster racing wheel! I hope you all have a good idea of the games that will be featured in the coming weeks. They are a pretty diverse selection. I am also planning on another Intergraph 3D accelerator review before the end of the first quarter. There should be a lot of action in Jason's Jive within the next couple of months. Hope you can be a part of it! Jason 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. z No Indenting on any paragraphs!! z No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmickery" z No underlining! z 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. z Most of all.. PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!! z There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy z Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats z Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately z 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 firstname.lastname@example.org STReport International Online Magazine Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson email@example.com >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" Ah, New England weather!! I just know that Ralph wishes he was back living in the Northeast again - the snow, sleet, rain, and all the rest of these wintry conditions! Florida must really be boring with the same weather all the time.
What a week it's been here! To the northern Boston suburbs (where I live now), it's been rainy but relatively warm - 50 miles north and west (and further up) from us, they got the ice storm of the century. My folks are in southern Maine and were some of the lucky ones; they had a power "blip" in the middle of the night last week, but that was it. There are still almost 100,000 people still without power after a week or more! The scenes from northern New England and Quebec are unbelievable! Forget El Nino - this is New England winter at its "best". Good luck to these people literally "roughing it" for this long - we take a lot for granted these days. What makes this even worse is the fact that we're due another nor'easter any moment now. In my area they're predicting about a foot of snow, and worse to the north. Talk about adding insult to injury... Sorry for the weather report, but sometimes things like Bill Gates' woes with the Justice Department, new/old computers, playing console games, etc. just have to take a back seat to real people trying to survive; it's tougher to comprehend when they're closer in proximity, but not necessarily more important than those in parts of the world in which we can only read about. Closer to home, we welcome back an old friend, and report the delay of another in this week's issue. Al Horton's Computer Dungeon is back in business after a long sabbatical due to some dear family losses. Also, it appears that the next issue of Atari Computing will be delayed for a few more weeks. Read about them both, below. Until next time... The Computer Dungeon is BACK! From: ComDungeon Date: 12 Jan 1998 THE COMPUTER DUNGEON has re-opened its doors and is once again supporting Atari users everywhere. The Dungeon is a family run retail business that supports the Atari product line. Our focus is on the entertainment side of Atari, featuring gaming software for the ST, Falcon, and Atari video game systems. Additional services may be added as our customers request them. Services we provide include: PD/Shareware disks that YOU create (we list the programs in our library and you tell us which ones to put on YOUR disk), full registered versions of Shareware/Licenseware programs, new & used software for the ST and Falcon, new and used accessories for the ST & Falcon, and systems - cartridges - accessories for the Atari Video Game systems (2600-5200-7800 plus the Lynx and Jaguar). We accept VISA and MasterCard and are in the process of setting up a toll-free telephone number. We'd like you to stop by our web site, look around, and tell us what services you'd like to see offered. Our web site is under heavy construction so please bear with us. We welcome any comments - suggestions you might have regarding the content - layout of our pages. Our address is: http://www.mcs.net/~isis/dungeon/dungeon.htm We'd like to Thank ALL of our customers, who not only supported us in the past, but for your cards and letters of support when both my wife and I lost our mothers. Thank You for taking the time to read this and we look forward to hearing from each and every one of you. Your comments & suggestions are always welcome and we love talking Atari anytime. Al Horton The Computer Dungeon 1440 Spencer Ave. Berkeley, IL 60163 Ph: 708-547-7085 FAX: 708-547-6550 http://www.mcs.net/~isis/dungeon/dungeon.htm Atari Computing Issue 8 update From: Atari Computing Date: 15 Jan 1998 Atari Computing #8 running late! Christmas celebrations, DTP holdups, and organizational changes have all contributed to this. Rest assured we're working flat out to finalize this issue and get it onto your doormats, our best estimate is at the moment is mid February. Please spread this message far and wide. For the latest information please check our web pages on http://www.ataricomputing.com Regards, Joe Connor Editor Regards Al (firstname.lastname@example.org) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- ATARI COMPUTING - THE 60 PAGE printed magazine for all Atari users Written and published "BY enthusiasts FOR enthusiasts" http://www.ataricomputing.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gaming Section New Sega Console! "Tanarus"! "GameDay '98"/Super Bowl! And more! Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Sega Confirms Work on Mystery Machine, Layoffs Jan 12, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 6) -- Sega of America appears to be trying to turn a corner on its loss in the console horse race by confirming existence of its long-rumored next-generation platform as it also corroborated significant layoffs at the company. Sega plans to introduce the new console next year, it said late Friday. It also says it trimmed 30% of its workforce "to remain financially responsible in the interim." Sega officials were not immediately available for comment. Sales of Sega's Saturn have lagged behind those of the rival PlayStation and N64. Sega is clearly hoping to get back into the console game by introducing a new platform. The company says it has begun briefing developers about the new console. It will probably cost Sega between $500m and $750m to bring the console to market, says Electronics Arts [ERTS] Executive VP of Marketing Bing Gordon. Details about the new Sega system, codenamed "Dural," have been leaking out ever since MMWIRE discovered the project early last year in documents Sega's one-time partner 3Dfx Interactive [TDFX] filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sega is said to be working with Microsoft [MSFT] on the new platform's operating system, which will be Windows-compatible and may be able to run at least some PC games (MMW, Sept. 12). GT Interactive [GTIS] CEO Ron Chaimowitz says Dural will also have more RAM than PlayStation. The Windows compatibility should make developing for Dural less expensive than otherwise since developers will be able to use existing PC technology to build the games. But Sega can't price the new console above $199 and remain competitive, Chaimowitz says. Consoles are currently priced at $149. Sega's biggest challenge will be to keep consumers aware of its brand until the new console's arrival, DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole says. It can accomplish that to some extent by continuing to publish titles for PC, he adds. The Station@sony.com Debuts 'Tanarus' NEW YORK (Jan. 13) BUSINESS WIRE - Jan. 13, 1998 - The Station Extends Its Game Offerings with an Exclusive Futuristic Action War Game from PlayStation Software Development Team Tanarus, the first online game developed by Sony Interactive Studios America (SISA) exclusively for The Stationsony.com, will debut on January 15. Tanarus is a futuristic, multiplayer, online tank combat game that pits up to 10,000 opponents against each other on a virtual battlefield. Tanarus is located at The Station (www.station.sony.com or www.tanarus.com). The subscription is priced online at $9.95 a month. "Tanarus puts action gamers on notice that The Station is there for them. We are thrilled that our premier action game comes from the creative team that has made PlayStation(TM) games the market leaders," said Mark Benerofe, Vice President of Programming and Platform Development for Sony Online Ventures Inc. "With more action, strategy and role playing games coming in '98, and with our current game show hits like Jeopardy! Online, Wheel of Fortune Online and Out of Order, The Station is the destination for games on the Web." "SISA's expertise is in game development with a proven track record developing popular games for the PlayStation(TM) game console. Now, with Tanarus, for the first time, we are bringing the excitement of an action game online to the Web audience," said John Smedley, Director of PC Development and creator of Tanarus at SISA. Tanarus allows players around the world to develop strategies that permit "real" tank commanders to set up defensive positions and organize offensive strikes without using artificial intelligence. In the beta test alone, Tanarus has been extremely well received, attracting more than 100,000 enthusiastic players. Fighting in an ever-changing, dynamic battleground ranging from post-apocalyptic cities to industrial wastelands, players can choose from five futuristic tanks and over 30 different weapons and modules. In addition, Tanarus game play is enhanced through a simultaneous chat feature on The Station. The minimum hardware recommendation for Tanarus is a PC with Windows 95 and Pentium 120 with 16 megabytes of RAM. A CD-ROM version of Tanarus, to be used in conjunction with online play at The Station, is priced at $19.95. It is now available at retail outlets, and will be available for purchase online at The Station Store. The CD-ROM adds three bonus features to enhance online play: a city editor, which offers players the ability to create and submit original cityscapes; a single player training mode; and CD quality music by multimedia musician The FatMan. Retail consumers will also receive one free month of online game play with purchase of the CD-ROM. Sony's Web Station joins Pay-for-Play Fray Interctive Week Online (January 14, 1998) - In a product launch that reflects the changing economics of the video game business, Sony Online Ventures Inc. tomorrow plans to introduce its first pay-for-play game at its entertainment-oriented Web site. Sony said it plans to charge users monthly subscription fees of $9.95 to play a new tank battle game dubbed Tanarus starting Thursday. Online users will be able to download the 6-megabyte game for free online. However, game developer Sony Interactive Studios America also plans to launch a retail version of the game at a suggested price of $19.95 - about half the price of a typical top-tier new PC software game release. The retail version will offer practice rounds to play against the computer and a free one-month subscription to the fee-based site at Sony's Station, said Mark Benerofe, vice president of programming and platform development at Sony Online Ventures. The idea is to encourage video game players to sample the product and draw them into more engaging game play available online, Benerofe said. "This business model is different for us," Benerofe said. "We're betting that we can create compelling entertainment that can retain users over time." Benerofe estimated that the Sony site will be able to support more than 10,000 users simultaneously, a scale that reflects the company's considerable expectations for online game usage. While the unit that developed Tanarus for the Sony Web site is the same division that creates games for the company's Sony PlayStation game console, the launch of Tanarus should not be considered a precursor to any Sony efforts for Web-enabling the Sony PlayStation, Benerofe said. However, the company is developing additional computer-based pay-for-play titles for the Web site, including a role-playing game dubbed Everquest, which can be seen in a test form at www.everquest.com. 'Montezuma's Return!' Available in Online Demo Jan. 30 at utopiatech.com NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- 3D adventure alert! Montezuma's Return!, the long-awaited real-time 3D sequel to the classic action/adventure Montezuma's Revenge, will be available in playable interactive SVGA and 3Dfx demos beginning Jan. 30 at http://www.utopiatech.com and various gaming sites. Featuring real-time immersive 3D graphics, full freedom of motion and an advanced physics engine, this first-person full-3D game from Utopia Technologies revolves around the efforts of modern adventurer Max Montezuma to retrieve the lost treasure of his legendary Aztec namesake. Gameplay is console-style with an emphasis on jumping, puzzle-solving and obstacle maneuvering. The game was created with a proprietary new 3D engine called UVision that was under development for three years. Among the highlights: z Max can look and move in every direction, and he has real-time 3D arms and legs that are used to solve puzzles, climb, jump, swim and fight, marking a major advance in gaming. z The game will support all 3Dfx cards as well as standard SVGA graphics boards. It also supports 65,000 colors and 800x600 resolution on a standard video card costing as little as $29. High-priced graphics cards are not needed. z Graphics are groundbreaking. Multiple moving light sources, Phong shading and other technical features add dimension and depth; chrome mapping makes certain objects appear as if they are made of shiny metal. z The physics engine makes movement more natural than ever before. Objects react and collide with each other in a remarkably realistic manner, taking into account slippery, sticky and bouncy surface attributes. z There are more than 50 hours of gameplay with hundreds of rooms to explore in Montezuma's temple, many of them containing objects like statues and various artifacts that must be manipulated to get where you're going. There are also humorous full motion videos depicting Max's witty attempts to defy death. Montezuma's Return! is distributed by Random Soft, a division of Random House, Inc. SCEA Sponsors the PlayStation(TM) NFL Players Party Sony Computer Entertainment America, as title sponsor of the PlayStation(TM) NFL Players Party, is bringing to San Diego the finest the PlayStation brand has to offer. During the VIP media/players party on the PlayStation NFL Players Party site (Embarcadero Park South) Thursday, Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m. The "Game Before The Game" is a videogame challenge that features a marquee player from each of the two contending Super Bowl teams. These two players will compete head-to-head on PlayStation's popular football videogame NFL GameDay(TM) '98, determining who will win the videogame version of the Super Bowl. For media and players only. NFL Player Motion Capture Sony Interactive Studios America San Diego 10075 Barnes Canyon Road, San Diego Friday, Jan. 23, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. NOTE: Media must RSVP in order to attend Motion capturing enhances the realism of PlayStation's sports videogames by using light-sensitive reflectors on real athletes, which enables the movements of the player to be "captured" and programmed into the videogame. Jerome Bettis was one of many players who was motion-captured at Sony Interactive Studios America San Diego for NFL GameDay '98. Media will have the opportunity to see how NFL GameDay '98 was made, as well as observe top NFL players being motion-captured for NFL GameDay '99. In addition to covering this NFL Player Motion Capture, upon request, media will have the opportunity to be motion captured. Locker Room Challenge At the PlayStation NFL Players Party site (PlayStation "Locker Room" tent area) Saturday, Jan. 24, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. During the NFL season, Playstation hosted the PlayStation NFL GameDay '98 "Locker Room Challenge" for each NFL team, which was a videogame tournament for NFL players to compete against their own teammates on PlayStation's popular NFL GameDay '98 football videogame. At the PlayStation NFL Players Party NFL GameDay '98 "Locker Room Challenge," winners from several NFL teams will be pitted against each other to decide which NFL Player is the NFL GameDay '98 MVP. During all PlayStation NFL Players Party hours, free videogame play will be available for all on the 68-foot long PlayStation mobile videogaming touring vehicle. This 68-foot attraction features 31 fully-operational PlayStation game kiosks plus an 8 foot television screen/competition arena. Additionally, there will be numerous PlayStation kiosks available for play throughout the party site. Top NFL athletes will be playing NFL GameDay '98 throughout the party. Fans and media will have an opportunity to go head-to-head with real players, as well as watch player vs. player competitions on NFL GameDay '98. Giveaways during the party will include seat cushions, T-shirts, miniature footballs and other cool PlayStation NFL GameDay '98 merchandise. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, hopefully you'll see this column on time. Isn't it funny how the very technology that is supposed to make our lives easier ends up complicating it? Before I was internet-capable I almost never missed a deadline. Now that I have this great information super highway at my feet, deadlines fall away like mile markers along the side of the asphalt. Just another one of life's little jokes, I guess. Before we get to the main part of the column, I'd like to make a comment about my choice of operating systems. In the past week I've been asked twice to explain why I "hate" MagiC, and asked once to explain why I 'prefer' Geneva to MagiC. The former question is invalid. I do not hate MagiC. I think it's an amazing piece of programming that almost everyone who uses an Atari computer would find a great enhancement over TOS. The latter question is a good one. I do indeed prefer my Geneva/NeoDesk setup to both 'stock' TOS and MagiC. While MagiC is a complete rewrite of TOS, Geneva replaces only the part of TOS that deals with how applications are handled. This portion is called AES (short for Application Environment Manager). Geneva leaves the rest of the original operating system intact. For this reason, compatibility is higher with Geneva than it is with MagiC. To be fair, since MagiC is a complete rewrite and was optimized in a way that the original TOS programmers had avoided it actually increases the speed of operations. In my opinion it is a small but noticeable increase. And let's face it... any increase in speed is a good o ne. Geneva, on the other hand, slows the system down by a few percent (my benchmarks show a decrease of between two and three percent). Even with a 1040 ST running at 8 MHz, the slowdown is barely noticeable. I'm more than willing to part with a few percentage points to get the features that this setup offers. I've been using NeoDesk for years and when Geneva became available, I quickly ordered it (my copy is serial number 111). I've used it almost constantly ever since then on my 1040 ST, 1040 STE, STacy, MegaSTE, and TT. Geneva and NeoDesk are integrated so seamlessly that sometimes I have difficulty remembering where one ends and the other begins. The same can be said of MagiC and the Ease desktop, but I do not own Ease. I know, I know, this single fact makes it an unfair comparison. But this is not about a battle of the desktops. It's about my personal preferences. While I am quite impressed with MagiC and would (and have) recommended it to others, I still prefer Geneva and NeoDesk. Before you send me mail informing me of this, yes, I know that NeoDesk can be used as the desktop for MagiC. But the fact is that it does not work nearly as well with MagiC as it does with Geneva. That is to be expected, since Geneva and NeoDesk were written by the same programmer. Another factor is upgrading. Gribnif Software, developer and distributor of both Geneva and NeoDesk, offer free upgrades for all but major, major upgrades to both Geneva and NeoDesk. Application Systems Heidelberg, the distributor of MagiC, has seen fit to charge a fee for any upgrade to MagiC (and most of the products it carries, for that matter). This wouldn't be too much of a bother except for the fact that there is usually very little said about what the upgrade contains that the previous version does not. There is also the fact that upgrades come out with surprising regularity. This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. What IS a bad thing is that you end up paying ASH each time a minor update is issued... even if you wait for two or three updates to go by, the price you pay will be about equal to what you would have paid if you had gotten each update. Now, don't get me wrong... it is ASH's product and they are entitled to handle upgrades in any manner they choose. But I can't imagine paying for this slew of upgrades for both MagiC and Ease. Well, now that I've said all that, let's get on with this week's info... >From The Atari Advantage Forum on Delphi LMCCLURE posts: "No doubt some of you have heard of the SyQuest SparQ which sells for $199, and offers 1 gig of removable storage per cart, which are available for $40 each or $33 each in a 3-pack. Well, a company called CastleWood has an even better deal on the horizon; the $199 ORB drive, which stores 2.1 gigs per *$29* cartridge! I have actually seen the SparQ in stores already, and the ORB is due in the first quarter of 1998. The bad news (for now), is that SCSI versions of both drives will not arrive until later in 1998. So for now, about the only Atari users able to take advantage of these deals would be Falcon owners who have the proper cable and setup to use a 3.5" EIDE drive. At the ORB's cart cost, even a massive fixed drive such as Quantum's 12gig TX-series Bigfoot (about $399-$425) looks to be a poor deal per meg. It will be interesting to see if the reality is relatively problem-free." Fred "Zenic" asks: "Could someone E-mail me the pin outs for the Atari RGB port,?" George Iken tells Fred: "The top 4 pins of the PORT (not the plug) for the RBG monitor are from left to right as you're looking right at it are 4,3,2,1 The next row left to right is 8,7,6,5 the third row is 12,11,10,9 and the very bottom pin is 13 1= audio out 2= composite sync 3= general purpose output 4= monochrome detect 5= Audio in 6= Green 7= Red 8= + 12volt pullup 9= Horizontal sync 10=Blue 11=Monochrome 12=Vertical Sync 13=Ground Hope that helps .." Ken in Phoenix thanks George for posting the pinouts, and Fred for asking: "...I was able to re-establish color monotor connection to my Magnavox which had lost vertical hold. Heck, if you had not asked the question, I would have thought the problem to be with the monitor rather than the cable." Ken also posts: "STWriter but prints only garbage with Film and Art Director. Was F&A Director made only for an Atari Printer or do I have a chance of getting the program to print correctly with my printer?" Our friend Greg Evans tells Ken: "I no longer have a copy of F&A so I can't be sure, but it probably printed by doing a screen dump. If I remember correctly, isn't Epson the mode used by STs for screen dumps? Try resetting the printer to factory specs and see if that helps." Bob Trowbridge adds: "Another point to consider: Is his printer a 24 pin version? I had a pgm that went in the auto folder that changed the screen dunmps so they would work on a 24 pin printer." Ken tells Bob and Greg: "NO, my printer is 9 pin. ST Writer works fine. The printer emulates Epson MX80. Art & Film Director just prints garbage. I don't see any reference in the manual so I assumed that there is or was a printer just for the ST. I was not around in the ST hey-day so I don't know about those things." Greg replies: "Your printer should be compatible then. Actually, the ST OS supports Epson FX mode directly, so maybe if you can put your MX into FX mode that would do the trick. I would expect it to already be compatible, however. Does the manual say it prints using the built-in screen dump facility or using a printer driver. If it doesn't say, then it should be doing a screen dump, which means you should be okay. But you're not, so I'm stumped! What format does A&FD save its pictures? Could you use an external printing program to print your images? You could probably get a copy of Imagecopy 1 really cheap, say $5, or maybe there's a freeware program to do the job. Check here in the databases. Here's an idea -- what happens when you press ALT-HELP? Do you get garbage printing or a good graphics output -- try it with a mostly white screen to save ink, like while in an editor or word processor. If you still get garbage, make sure you have the printer control panel set to dot-matrix and not daisy wheel." Ken tells Greg: "Thanks... for the ALT-HELP hint...I never heard of that before. I'll try it. As to setting up the printer, it must be in dot matrix because the ST Writer program prints enlarged and sub scripts as well as std. text fonts. Is the ALT-HELP combo like the shift printscreen on the XT?" Greg tells Ken: "Yes, ALT-HELP is like the PC Print Screen. KInd of a strange combo now that I think of it!" "Turbo" Nick posts: "Here is a question for you TT/other-Atari-with-SCSI users: (OK, more than one question, but at least it's one topic! ;-) What are the characteristics of SCSI hard drives that would make them compatible (or not compatible) with a TT? In particular, would a SCSI hard drive with an "ATA-2" interface (is that another term for SCSI-2?) be compatible? A bit of background.... I still have the original 80MB hard drive (a Seagate ST-96[?]) in my TT. After 5-6 years I'm finally running out of room, and I'm using a SyQuest EZ135 cartridge for extra space. So, I'm looking at getting a bigger hard drive. It doesn't have to be huge - in fact, I could probably go for a long time on a 500-or-so MB drive. Looking around on a few catalog's Web sites, the smallest (new) SCSI drive I see is a Seagate [ST91430AG] 1.44GB* "Marathon" (listed at $219.76). It is described as having a "Fast ATA-2" interface, which I would guess is SCSI-2, but I don't know. To clarify: I am looking at replacing the internal SCSI hard drive in my TT, not adding another fixed SCSI drive, nor a large (e.g. SyJet) removable (although I may replace my EZ135 with an EZ230 one of these days). I don't feel that I need a huge drive and would rather not pay for that. *(Yes, I know that hard drive manufacturers refer to 10^9 bytes as a "Gigabyte" - it's not a true GB. It really doesn't matter at this point...)" "Myers" tells Nick: "I can't tell you anything about compatability with the TT, but I can tell you that you might have trouble finding a small SCSI drive. Back a few years ago when I was looking for a 3.5" SCSI drive to mount inside my Mega ST-4, I was told that the smaller SCSI drives were getting very hard to find. I ended up with a 540 Mb, which seemed to be about as small as was still easy to come by. It might be hard to find anything new much under 1 Gb (in SCSI, that is)." Greg Evans tells Nick: "As far as I know, the ATA-2 interface is IDE only -- Atapi version 2. A SCSI or SCSI-2 drive should work, but, unfortunately, not all SCSI-2s will work and I don't know what to look for. SCSI-2 is also becoming hard to find as everything new seems to be SCSI-3, Ultra-SCSI, Wide-SCSI or Unltra-Wide SCSI." "Earl5" tells Nick: "One thing you might consider is a re-writeable CD..works as good as a huge zip drive..and as good as a hard drive...best wishes." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Remember: If you've got a comment about this column, information that you'd like to see added, questions that you'd like answers to, or even if you just want to drop me a line, go right ahead. I read every piece of email that comes my way. Heck, that's how I've made some of my best friends. Don't be bashful, just send that question or comment! 'Till next time, be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass. -Confucius 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 16, 1998 Since 1987 Copyrightc1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1402