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Article #684 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 23-Jan-98 #1403
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Fri Feb 20 17:44:30 1998



                                     
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 January 23, 1998                                                 No.1403

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 01/23/98 STR 1403  "Often  Imitated, But never Surpassed!"
 
 - CPU Industry Report - Linux Advocate  - MS, EU Agree?
 - Nscape will be Free - RCN buys Erol's - Net Addiction?
 - DOJ & MS Settle     - Jason's Jive    - Lucient, 3Com Team
 - Online Groceries?   - People Talking  - Classics & Gaming
 
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                    Seagate to Layoff 10,000
                         FTC WARNS SONY!

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Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 01/17/98: three of six numbers with no matches







>From the Editor's Desk...

     A few weeks ago I made mention of the life threatening dangers posed
by those fools who insist upon yapping on Cellphone while they are driving.
Today while proceeding southbound on San Jose Avenue I saw the net result
of these selfish inconsiderate cellphone yapping dolts.  It took me almost
three quarters of an hour to reach the accident site which was just before
BayMeadows Road.  I had just passed the junction of Old Saint Augustine
road and San Jose.  Friends, there were three automobiles involved.  In my
opinion all three were totaled.  One car was sitting up on the right
shoulder of the road resting on top of the privacy fence in someone's
backyard, the rear was smashed, the from was hit so hard the bumper and
nose assembly was laying in the road some twenty feet away from the car.
Another car was literally "T-Boned" (nailed dead center on one side between
the front and rear seats)  This one was horrible looking. the third one had
no rear end and no front end all there was to be clearly seen was the
passenger compartment.  The real shocker was the obvious. out in the middle
of all this vehicular carnage in plain view laying in the road was one of
those Cellphones!  Now, I don't know if it was in use at the time of the
collision.  Nor do I know to what extend the occupants of the cars were
injured. but  I do know this much.  On any given day one need only drive
for about fifteen minutes and its certain you'll come across a "cellphone
yapper."  Yapping away completely oblivious to the fact they're obstructing
the free flow of traffic or so distracted as to be a serious detriment to
those around them.

     Please folks for your sake, mine and everyone else's make a PIA of
yourself with your local political Rep.  Please ask for legislation making
it a ticketable offense with points assessed for operating a motor vehicle
while using/talking on a cellphone.  Who knows, the life you save may be
one of your own family members, yourself or me!  Help me with this one.  It
screams for immediate attention.





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                     LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson


                        Microsoft Goes After Lessig

An appeals court has been asked by Microsoft Corp. to suspend federal Judge
Thomas Penfield Jackson's use of Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig as a
special adviser in the Justice Department's anti-trust suit against the
software publisher.  Reporting for the Reuter News Service, writer David
Lawsky says Microsoft is calling Lessig's appointment "incompatible with
basic principles of American jurisprudence."

As reported earlier, Judge Jackson recently rejected Microsoft's bid to
remove Lessig from the job, which requires him to collect evidence and
report back to Jackson by the end of May, advising him on facts and the
law. It is this courtroom defeat Microsoft is appealing.  Jackson wants to
use Lessig's advice to help him decide if Microsoft has violated a 1995
consent decree, as the Justice Department charges. That decree was supposed
to help foster competition in the software industry.

In its appeal, Microsoft says it objects to Lessig because:

    He has sent an electronic mail message that "compares installing a
  Microsoft product on his computer to selling his 'soul.'"
    Sent the messages to an employee of Netscape Communications, which
  the software giant described as "a fierce rival of Microsoft in developing
  and marketing Internet-related software."

Microsoft also contends Jackson improperly delegated his authority to
collect evidence to a private citizen.

                    Justice Department Continues Quest

In new written arguments, the Justice Department contends Microsoft Corp.
bypassed a simple solution to Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's order on its
Internet software, instead coming up with a "senseless result" that amounts
to contempt of court.  The Associated Press reports the motions, filed late
yesterday in a Washington, D.C., court, "essentially sum up the arguments
made by Justice in earlier written complaints, as well as in two days of
hearings before a federal judge earlier this month."

      Microsoft also has filed a written brief stating its position.

The government wants Microsoft held in contempt for how it reacted to the
order last month in which Judge Jackson told Microsoft not to require
computer makers to pre-install its Internet program as a condition of
licensing Windows 95.  The Justice Department argues Microsoft failed to
seek clarification of Jackson's Dec. 11 order "before taking the extreme
step" of offering a crippled version of Windows 95 to manufacturers.
Microsoft also told computer makers it could install an older version of
Windows 95 that lacked the Internet program.

The government says Microsoft could have complied by simply telling
computer makers to use a common Windows program to delete unwanted
software. but since it offered a commercially unviable response, Microsoft
is "for all practical purposes" continuing to require installation of
Internet Explorer as a condition of licensing Windows 95.  Adds the Justice
Department motion, "Microsoft construed the preliminary injunction to
require what it knew would be a senseless result."  Meanwhile, in its own
written summation, Microsoft contends it complied with the court's order
and warned the Justice Department that its request to separate two highly
integrated software programs -- Internet Explorer and Windows 95 -- would
disable the Windows program, effectively crippling a PC.

Also, says Microsoft, the government's expert witness "could not identify
any other list of files that Microsoft could or should have given computer
manufacturers the option of removing" in order to comply with the court
order.  If Microsoft is found in contempt, it could face a fine of $1
million per day for violations of a contempt order.

                      Microsoft Settles Part of Suit

In a surprise move, Microsoft Corp. today agreed to offer the latest
version of its Windows 95 operating system without requiring easy access to
its Internet Explorer software, thus avoiding contempt of court.
Associated Press writer Rob Wells says the offer -- accepted by the U.S.
Justice Department and by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson --
settles part of the larger antitrust suit accusing Microsoft of violating a
Dec. 11 court order. That order requires the company not to force computer
makers to install Internet Explorer software as a condition of licensing
the Windows 95 operating system.

Microsoft attorney Richard J. Urowsky told the wire service today's
agreement leaves other issues in the larger case unresolved, including
Microsoft's claim that it has the right to integrate its Internet software
with its Windows 95 operating system. An April 21 hearing has been set on
the company's appeal of Jackson's order to separate the two programs.

Microsoft Vice President William H. Neukom said the publisher "will
continue to defend the software industry's right to updates and enhance
products without unnecessary government interference."  Wells says
Microsoft has agreed to let computer makers install Windows 95 but delete
the Internet Explorer icons -- the graphical pictures that launch a program
with a click of a computer mouse -- from the computer's desktop or opening
screen.

"That procedure," adds Wells, "leaves the bulk of the Internet Explorer
program on the computer, but not visible to the average computer user.
Internet Explorer files are integrated with Windows   95 to allow other
programs, such as Intuit's Quicken personal financial software, to access
the Internet. ... Computer makers will be able to delete the Internet
Explorer files via the 'Add/Delete' program that comes with Windows 95."

Joel Klein, assistant attorney general in charge of Justice's civil rights
division, is claiming a victory, telling AP, "Microsoft has agreed to
immediately make available the most up-to-date, fully functional version of
Windows 95 without forcing computer manufacturers to take its browser as
well. This will increase consumer choice and will also send precisely the
right message to the market."

                      Seagate to Cut Force by 10,000

Disk driver maker Seagate Technology Inc. plans to lay off about 10,000
workers -- 10 percent of its work force -- as it continues to experience
stiff competition.  Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning,
reporter Don Clark says the cuts "form part of a broad restructuring that
the company had already said would cause a $300 million charge in the
fiscal second period, ended Jan. 2," adding, "Including operating losses
and inventory charges, the disk-drive maker is expected to post a net loss
of as much as $500 million for the quarter."

This largest independent maker of disk drives has been "rocked," says
Clark, by the effects of several large competitors rolling into a niche in
high-end storage devices that it once had largely to itself.  "The new
competitors slashed prices to win contracts from computer makers, and
churned out millions of drives that created a glut of inventory and
production capacity," Clark adds.  Look for the job cuts to fall largely in
the Asian countries where it produces most of its products, including
Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and China. About 1,400 of the job cuts will
come as part of a previously announced plan to close a manufacturing plant
in Clonmel, Ireland.

                       Microsoft Cuts Sidewalk Group

As it prepares to launch its Internet-based Sidewalk entertainment guides
in 40 more cities this year, Microsoft Corp. is cutting about 30 to 40 jobs
from the service or about one-fourth of its U.S. work force.  Reporting
from Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters, The Associated Press
says the cuts involve mostly administrative positions, with few reductions
on the editorial side. Many of the affected employees should find other
jobs within the company, Microsoft says.

With offerings include restaurant reviews and event listings, Sidewalk was
launched last April in Seattle and has expanded to eight more U.S. cities
since then and has staff in Chicago, though service hasn't begun there yet.
Matt Kursh, business unit manager for Sidewalk, told the wire service
Microsoft will cut three or four full-time employees in each of those 10
cities, plus some contract employees, leaving about 10 full-time people in
each location. He added the company is pleased with Sidewalk's advertising
sales and consumer response.

However, analysts tell AP they think the jobs cuts suggest trouble for the
service. Says Bill Bass of Forrester Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
"If they're having to cut people back, the business model isn't working. My
sense is that Sidewalk is going to get shut down."  Analyst Gregory Wester
of The Yankee Group added that one problem for services such as Sidewalk is
that Internet users aren't numerous enough yet for them to make money, but
they risk being locked out of the growing market if they don't invest now.

                      NEC Delays 12-inch Wafer Chips

Production of computer chips using 12-inch wafers has been postponed by
Japan's NEC Corp. until at least 1999/2000 because of high costs and a need
for further research.  Reporting from Tokyo, the Reuter News Service notes
NEC had planned to start trial production using 12-inch wafers, which can
double the chip output of plants currently using eight-inch wafers, at its
Sagamihara plant in Kanagawa Prefecture, outside Tokyo, in 1998/99.  An NEC
spokesman told the wire service his employer decided to postpone production
for one year because the equipment needed to make 12-inch wafers was still
too expensive and the company needed to improve its  12-inch wafer
technology.

"Using the larger wafers," says Reuters, "could cut chip-making costs by
more than 30 percent from the current level -- but a plant capable of using
12-inch wafers for mass production could cost 150 billion yen or more."
The wire service says the postponement means a one-year delay in the
launch of mass production of chips using 12-inch wafers at an NEC plant in
Kyushu, southern Japan.

                     Netscape Will Offer Free Browser

Netscape Communications Corp. says it will begin offering its Netscape
Communicator and Navigator Internet client software at no cost.  The
Mountain View, California, company says its new "Unlimited Distribution"
initiative will allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Internet
service providers (ISPs), telecommunications companies, Web content
providers, information publishers and software developers to download and
redistribute its software "no strings attached." In addition, the company
is launching a promotion to encourage individual PC users to download
Netscape Communicator or Navigator for free.

"Now that we have taken the aggressive step of making our client software
free, our goal is to add millions of new users to our current client
installed base of 68 million," says Mike Homer, Netscape's executive vice
president of worldwide sales and marketing. "The Unlimited Distribution
program is aimed at doing just that -- making it easy for thousands of
partners to freely distribute and millions of individuals to freely choose
Netscape Navigator and Communicator. We have also just made it easier for
our OEM partners to include Netscape Navigator and Communicator on both
servers and desktop computers, so their customers no longer have to settle
for anything less than the market-leading browser."

Beginning January 23, Netscape's Web site, located at
http://home.netscape.com. will feature a link to a page of instructions for
enrolling in the online distribution program.

                    WordCruncher 'Auctions' Technology

A small Provo, Utah, software company wants to auction to the highest
bidder a license for its search engine software, highly touted technology
developed by Brigham Young University researchers for finding computer
information.   WordCruncher Publishing Technologies last week faxed what
reporter Mark Boslet of the Dow Jones news service describes as "rather
breathless bulletins, without the company's name attached, to the chief
executives of 41 prominent technology firms, including Microsoft Corp.,
Cisco Systems Inc. and Internet navigation market leader Yahoo Inc."

These faxes, to be followed this week by a more detailed mailing that will
identify the company and include a software sample, "made the claim that
come Groundhog Day, the day of the auction, all other Web search technology
will become obsolete."  Adds Boslet, "It's no surprise that industry
executives find the assertion hard to believe."

 Still, the wire service notes  Mark Cannon, a former project manager at
General Electric Co.'s Schenectady, New York, research center, was sent by
GE to examine WordCruncher, and came away impressed.  Cannon, who now runs
a small business in Utah, told Boslet, "Nobody has done what they've done.
They've still got a couple years lead" on other search technologies.  Says
Boslet, "Any advantage would clearly be valuable to Internet surfers,
increasingly frustrated by the hundreds, and many times thousands, of
responses they get to Web queries."

Cannon told him the software stands out for its ability to search in
numerous languages.  "Beyond English," says Dow Jones, "it understands
Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Eastern European languages and many other
tongues."

                        PacBell Promotes Net Safety

A public service campaign to provide parents with information about
Internet safety issues is being launched by California's Pacific Bell
Internet Services.  Reporting from San Francisco, United Press
International says the phone company's Safety Net provides advice on
keeping children from accessing inappropriate materials, online crime, chat
room interactions and secure business transactions.

President/CEO Steven Hubbard of Pacific Bell Internet Services told the
wire service that with public attention focused on problem areas, parents
can forget that the Internet is a gateway to education and entertainment
opportunities, adding, "Our goal is to make it easy for every Internet user
or potential user to access the information they need to safely use the
information superhighway."

Pacific Bell recommends parents:

    Instruct children not to pursue face-to-face meetings with strangers
  and to reveal immediately if someone asks for a meeting.
    Make the Internet a family activity rather than rely on filtering
  software.
    Tell the family to avoid any web site claiming to offer prizes but
  requiring an up-front fee should be avoided, as well as sites that seek
  unusual amounts of personal information.

UPI notes Safety Net can be accessed online at http://www.pacbell.net.

                       Study Warns of Net Addiction

A new study warns Internet addiction is a rapidly growing epidemic on
college campuses.  Reporting from Larchmont, New York, United Press
International cites an article in a new journal called CyberPsychology and
Behavior, in which researchers point to:

    A University of Michigan study that shows freshmen and sophomores
  average 10 hours per week online, with 18 percent on the Internet at least
  20 hours per week.
    Alfred University administrators discovering a relationship between
  high Internet use and a more than doubled rate of academic dismissals.

UPI says some schools are taking action to combat Internet addiction. For
instance, the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Texas
at Austin, Marquette University and several others have established
counseling centers, while the University of Washington now limits the
amount of Internet time available to students.  The wire service notes
article's author, Jonathan Kandell, also runs the University of Maryland's
counseling center.

                    Congress Eyes Net School Regulation

A plan now being talked up on Capitol Hill would require schools with
subsidized Internet access to restrict students from cruising the seedy
sections of cyberspace.  A bill to make this happen is being drawn up by
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the Senate Commerce Committee chairman whom
Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa calls "an ardent critic of the
Federal Communications Commission's Internet subsidy program."

The subsidies in question come from payments imposed on telephone companies
and some of their customers and provide schools, libraries and rural health
care specialists with discounted hookups to the Internet.  Aversa notes the
Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FCC, is to hold a Feb.
10 hearing on indecency and pornography on the Internet.  McCain said in a
statement outlining his legislative agenda for this year that his bill will
ensure that schools and libraries most in need of federal subsidies get
them first. He did not say how this would be accomplished.

Meanwhile, telecommunications lobbyists and Democratic aides in the Senate,
speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, told Aversa they doubted McCain's
proposal could pass Congress or win the support of the Clinton
administration.  As reported, when Congress tried to restrict children's
access to smutty materials on the Internet as part of its 1996
telecommunications law, the Supreme Court threw the provisions out as
unconstitutional. Since then, the administration has been pushing the
online industry to take actions voluntarily to shield youngsters from such
sections of the Web. Among the possibilities are giving parents greater
access to software that screens out potentially objectionable material.
"Under pressure from Republicans in Congress and telephone companies,"
says AP, "the FCC agreed Dec. 16 to slow the phase-in of its Internet
subsidy program. The FCC agreed to provide $625 million in subsidies to
schools and libraries and $50 million to rural health care providers for
the first half of 1998. The FCC will consider later what to do for the
second half of 1998."  In May, the FCC said it would give schools and
libraries a maximum of $2.25 billion a year in subsidies and rural health
care providers up to $400 million a year.

Editor Note:
     How about that folks??  The bux have YET to make it to the schools and
the Congressional Censorship Control Freaks are already hard at work
wanting to make certain THEY tell the recipient schools what they can and
cannot do on the Net.  This is the CRIME of the Congressional CON Game!
Our tax dollars coming back at us with razor blades between the fingers.
Please Mr. Congress Critter don't pat us on the back anymore.  We've had
enough over the last three decades.  Congress should provide the money for
Net Access to Schools without any insidious STRINGS ATTACHED!  School
Personnel, Principals, Teachers, Professors etc., are quite capable of both
monitoring Net Activity and offering guidance as to what is or is not
acceptable use of the Net.  These Congressional Censorship Control Freaks
area ROYAL PIA!  Let them find other ways to immortalize their lackluster
activities and names.  If they have to have strings attached to the money,
let `em keep it!  Each University, State Colleges, Graduate Schools and
School Districts are capable of drumming up their own support for Net
Access.  If Congress want to control it .forget it!  We all know what that
will lead to... Big Brother Personified!

                        Case Questions ATM Security

Security of automated teller machine cards has been called into question in
Germany by a case in which a computer intruder drained about 500,000 marks
from a small Nuremberg bank.  Reporting from Frankfurt, the Reuter News
Service notes that while bank industry groups maintain the cards and
four-digit codes are secure, the break-in at Noris Verbraucherbank has set
off complaints from consumer groups.  Spokeswoman Helga Kuhn with the AgV
federation of consumer groups told a news conference today, "It's too easy
to decode the security codes," adding the group also criticizes banks for
moving too quickly to adopt computerized payment systems.  In a statement,
AgV said, "Electronic payment methods are being constantly pushed by the
banks in order to save costs. They should carry the responsibility for
system failures."

However, Reuters notes, banks maintain their systems are sufficient. "Our
security barriers are up to date," said Wolf Schoede, a spokesman for the
DSGV association of German savings and credit banks.      The wire service
says that last month Noris discovered that hundreds of thousands of marks
had been shifted from 208 private bank accounts, and changed security codes
to prevent additional manipulations. Last week, an unidentified blackmailer
contacted the bank, saying he had access to customer data and demanding one
million marks.  "Police suspect the account manipulations and blackmail
demand are related," Reuters says. "They also have a photograph of a
possible suspect. A security camera at a Noris branch office in Duesseldorf
recorded a withdrawal later proved to be illegal."

                     Web Site Contents Leads to Firing

A consultant brought in to teach computer technology at a marketing company
has been fired because the violent, sexually-orient content of the Web site
he suggested his trainees visit apparently shocked and offended some
workers.  "I said, `If you're interested, you may go read it,'" Cameron
Barrett told The Associated Press regarding the site on the Internet's
World Wide Web that contained some of his own fictional writings. "But at
no time did I make it part of their training, and I only said it once. Do
you think Stephen King is going around his neighborhood killing people
because that's what he writes about?"

AP writer John Flesher, reporting from Traverse City, Michigan, notes  that
while the First Amendment prevents the government from stifling speech,
private employers are under no such constraints.  Adds Flesher, "Companies
can fire people for comments deemed inappropriate, and experts warn that
personal Web sites, even if done at home, are public venues that employers
can use to determine who is suitable for the company."  Some experts have
argued Web sites should be considered private, like the books and magazines
read at home, "but," says Flesher, "a lot may depend on whether the
employee erases the line between personal and professional."

In this case, says University of Michigan law professor Deborah Malamud,
Barrett "essentially invited people to look at a Web page. There's a real
difference between that and being held liable for having a copy of Playboy
in your home."  Nonetheless, the 24-year-old Barrett says he thinks it is
unfair he was fired by Knorr Marketing in Traverse City because two members
of the all-female staff he was teaching "were uncomfortable working with me
after seeing my fiction."

However, Vice President Jim McIntyre told the wire service, "There's no
doubt in my mind" Barrett wanted the women to read the fiction, adding, "On
several occasions he said, `I urge you to look up my own home Web page.'"
Flesher says such firings may become more common, as "businesses,
especially those leery of sexual harassment lawsuits, will use the
Internet to check on employees and prospective hires, they say.

Said professor Daniel Kruger of industrial relations at Michigan State
University, "Increasingly our employers are looking at our off-duty conduct
in terms of how it can affect them."

                       Navy Delays McVeigh Dismissal

The U.S. Navy is delaying the planned discharge of a sailor it believes is
homosexual because he listed "gay" in a user profile stored online.
Reporting from Washington, the Reuter News Service says the Navy released a
brief statement issued late yesterday saying its action came as a result of
a lawsuit filed by the sailor in U.S. District Court and was aimed at
giving the Justice Department time to develop a response to the lawsuit.

As reported earlier, the Navy says it will dismiss Senior Petty Officer
Timothy McVeigh (who is not related to the convicted Oklahoma City bomber
Timothy McVeigh) on the grounds that he breached the military's "Don't ask,
don't tell" policy on homosexuality by listing in his America Online online
user profile that he is gay.  Christopher Wolf, the sailor's Washington
lawyer, tells Reuters the postponement will put off the dismissal until at
least Wednesday so a court can weigh the sailor's claims that his rights
were violated during a Navy investigation.

McVeigh filed suit yesterday alleging the Navy violated the federal
Electronic Communications Privacy Act by requesting and receiving
confidential subscriber information from AOL. The suit was filed in U.S.
District Court in Washington.  Wolf told Reuters, "We can't let the
government use the fruit of that poisonous tree to discharge a decorated
sailor."  McVeigh, 36, is a 17-year Navy veteran stationed in Hawaii.
Reuters notes his AOL profile did not identify him by name or indicate he
was in the Navy.  Meanwhile, the Electronic Privacy Information Center,
which monitors civil liberties issues on the Internet, told the wire
service McVeigh's suit is the first to challenge governmental access to
sensitive subscriber information maintained by an online service.

                      AOL Says It Was Tricked by Navy

America Online alleges the U.S. Navy duped it into disclosing data about a
subscriber who now is at the center of a wide-reaching privacy lawsuit.
The Dulles, Virginia, online service says in a statement the Navy
"deliberately ignored both federal law and well-established procedures for
handling government inquiries" and used trickery instead in the case of
Senior Chief Petty Officer Timothy McVeigh.  As reported, the 36-year-old
McVeigh (who is not related to the convicted Oklahoma City bomber of the
same name) is suing the Navy and the Defense Department for allegedly
unlawfully obtaining confidential subscriber data without a court order.

Writing for the Reuter News Service, reporter Jim Wolf notes the Navy on
Jan. 5 ordered McVeigh's discharge for allegedly violating the "don't ask,
don't tell" policy that bars U.S. military personnel from declaring
themselves to be homosexual. (McVeigh never publicly discussed his sexual
orientation, but he reportedly had listed himself as "gay" in the marital
status section of an AOL online user profile.)  Reporting on the results of
an internal investigation, AOL says a Navy investigator fooled a customer
service representative by posing as "a friend or acquaintance" of McVeigh
to confirm information the Navy had gathered elsewhere.

Says AOL's statement, "Our member services representative did confirm
information presented to him by the Navy. This clearly should not have
happened and we regret it."  Meanwhile, Navy officials last night told
Reuters it had gathered enough evidence to begin McVeigh's discharge on
homosexuality grounds even without the AOL-provided information.  A Navy
statement added, "There was no intentional violations of any  federal laws
or regulations by Department of the Navy personnel."

Last week government lawyers agreed to delay the planned administrative
discharge of McVeigh until at least Friday, giving Judge Stanley Sporkin
time to rule on McVeigh's emergency injunction motions seeking to prevent
his discharge.  McVeigh alleges Navy investigator Joseph Kaiser and his
supervisor, Lt. Karen Morean, breached his rights under the 1986 Electronic
Communications Privacy Act, which bars Internet service providers from
knowingly releasing confidential information gathered online to law
enforcement officers without a court order.

Wolf adds, "McVeigh's lawsuit was the first to challenge government access
to sensitive information maintained by an online service, according to the
Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based group that
monitors civil liberties issues on the Internet."  Meanwhile, AOL says it
its statement it is "instituting additional measures" to "reinforce our
privacy policies and procedures" to employees who handle its more than 1
million subscriber calls a week.

                       Unified Messaging on the Way

Unified messaging is moving from dream to practical reality, finds a new
report from market research firm Ovum.  According to the report, unified
messaging -- a system that allows users access all of their messages,
regardless of location, communication device or type of connection used --
will grow strongly and eventually replace separate e-mail, voice mail and
fax systems. But the report also concludes that existing unified messaging
products are still relatively immature and users are confused about exactly
what unified messaging is.

"Vendors are using a variety of different names for the same functionality
or conversely claiming their messaging system is 'unified' when it clearly
is far away from being unified," David Bradshaw, a senior consultant at
Burlington, Massachusetts-based Ovum and the report's lead author. "This
confusion is unnecessary and sends the wrong message to prospective
adopters."  Ovum's report predicts that unified messaging mailboxes will
grow from around 200,000 worldwide at the end 1997 to more than 110
million by 2003. Growth will initially be strongest in North America, but
it will catch-up in Europe. Asia-Pacific will remain a distant third
market, although certain countries in the region will grow strongly.   A
free white paper on unified messaging is available from Ovum's Web site,
http://www.ovum.com/news/ums/umswp.html.

                      Computer Art Called New Career

Will computer animation be the "career of the millennium?"  That is the
conclusion of Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas
Inc., which has issued a study reporting a multitude of employment
opportunities with high starting salaries in the field of computer
animation.  According to United Press International, the study cites U.S.
Department of Commerce figures saying colleges are enrolling only a quarter
of the technology-trained workers that employers need each year.

"A survey of art institutes that train computer animators," says the wire
service, "found that graduates of the top schools practically find a job
the day they receive their diploma."  For instance, Pratt Institute's Dina
Slothower told the firm that many students at the New York City school have
landed jobs before they graduate. And administrators at the Ringling School
of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, said entry-level salaries range from
about $30,000 to $50,000,  with the exceptionally talented starting at
twice that.

John Challenger, vice president of the firm, said new technology may put an
end to the "starving artist" stereotype, adding parents should start
nourishing the artistic side of children and stop looking at medicine and
law as the most lucrative professions.  Ringling officials said the film
and television industries, corporations and interactive software developers
are some of the top employers of computer animators.

                         Intel Pushes Slower Web?

Online publishers are angry over an unusual plan chipmaker Intel Corp. is
promoting that they say could slow down the World Wide Web for most users.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, reporter Thomas E. Weber says Intel has
persuaded major Web sites -- including those of CNN and computer publisher
Ziff-Davis -- to add features that slow down all but the newest and most
expensive machines with the latest Intel chips.  These sites are being
asked to identify themselves by running a notice that says, "Content on
this page benefits from the performance of the Intel Pentium II processor."

"In other words," says Weber, "if that Web page seems too slow, it's time
to buy a new Intel-based personal computer. Intel is backing up the unusual
request with a promise to pay bigger subsidies to advertisers who place
'Intel Inside' ads on these sites."  Dubbed "Optimized Content," the
program is roiling some big Web publishers, who are outraged at the notion
of making their sites less friendly to the vast majority of their readers.
President Kelly Conlin of International Data Group Inc., which publishes PC
World and other computer magazines along with some 200 associated Web
sites, calls this "unusual and untenable," adding, "There is a line that we
cannot and will not cross in regard to respecting the interests of our
readers."

In addition, since Intel's program requires these power-hungry features to
be part of a site's editorial content -- not its ads -- some publishers
complain it is an encroachment on their editorial independence.  "It's like
requiring TV producers to have programming that only looks good on a
35-inch set," says Philip Lemmons, editorial director of PC World, who told
Weber he wants no part of it.  For its part, Intel says it is simply trying
to encourage the adoption of features and technologies that users will find
exciting, such as three-dimensional "virtual reality" scenes.

And the company disputes the notion that its program impinges on the
editorial freedom of Web publishers.  Says Intel Vice President Jami Dover,
director of the company's cooperative marketing program, "We're not asking
them to adjust at all. If there are sites that are interested in working
with us and expanding the types of compelling information they can deliver,
that certainly fits with our marketing interests."  She says sites that
decline to participate continue to benefit from the basic 50 percent
subsidy.

                      Intel Promises to Speed the Web

A system called Quick Web Technology, aimed at speeding up navigation for
millions of Internet users, is being unveiled today as an extra-cost
service by chipmaker Intel Corp.  Writing in The Wall Street Journal this
morning, reporter Lisa Bransten says QWT allows Internet service providers
to speed up their customers' access to Web pages containing graphics,
adding, "The technology compresses some of the information from graphics so
that there is less data to transmit. The result is lower quality graphics,
but served at a higher speed."

Also, the technology offers Internet services a way to cache (that is,
store) copies of Web pages downloaded by their users, another way to
achieve a speedier response.  "When users request such pages again," says
Bransten, "they can be delivered directly from the Internet-service
provider, rather than the Web site that produced it."  Already, two
Internet-service providers -- Erols Internet Inc. and Netcom On-Line
Communication Services Inc. -- have agreed to offer the product, as has
GlobalCenter Inc., the data-distribution company and Internet-service
provider that agreed last week to be acquired by Frontier Corp. Look for
the service to be available to consumer as early as today at about $5 more
in monthly charges.

Intel officials told the paper they expect 10 percent to 20 percent of Web
users might be willing to pay for the service.  QTW coincides with a
controversy over an Intel advertising-subsidy program that rewards Web
publishers for producing content that looks best on computers using Intel's
latest Pentium II chip. As reported earlier, some publishers objected to
the program on grounds that it could slow some Web pages for consumers with
older machines.

                      Venture Seeks New, Faster Modem

Three giants of the computer industry and most local telephone companies
are working on a venture to develop a new type of modem to access World
Wide Web pages at speeds 30 times faster than the usual several seconds to
minutes it now takes.  The New York Times today quotes executives at Intel
Corp., Compaq Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. as saying the product
would plug into normal phone lines, which would remain connected to the
outside world.  "Consequently," adds The Associated Press, "users would not
need to dial a service and could conduct normal voice conversations over
the same line."

The planned technology is called a "a digital subscriber line," or DSL.
The Times notes it has been in development in the telecommunications
industry for years, but a lack of agreement on   technical standards has
held it back.  The newspaper said further details will be announced next
week at a Washington communications conference.  AP observes, "To date,
such speedy access has only been available to users whose PCs -- usually in
the workplace -- are connected to cable modems. The phone-based competitors
could be on the shelves by Christmas."  Managing director Howard Anderson
of Boston's Yankee Group consulting  firm told the Times, "Once you get
this stuff, you will sell your first-born before you go back to a normal
modem. It's such a better service."

AP characterizes the three-company consortium as "a first-strike in what
promises to be a long battle between telephone and cable companies for
bringing high-speed Internet access to consumers," adding, "Such access
likely will broaden Internet commerce because of the wider array of
services -- such as television-quality video -- that is offered."  While
Bell Atlantic is keeping its distance from the group (it apparently leans
toward a different DSL standard), most phone companies, including U S West,
already have deployed DSL in limited areas around the country. The
installation fee for service in the Phoenix area costs $200 and a monthly
subscriber fee starting at $40.

                         Lucent, 3Com Test Modems

A new technology that unifies incompatible standards for high-speed modems
is being tested by 3Com Corp. and Lucent Technologies Inc.  From Berkeley
Heights, New Jersey, the Reuter News Service terms the new standard a
compromise that combines technology from 3Com's x2 standard and K56flex, a
rival modem standard developed by Rockwell International Corp. and Lucent.
These standards control the functions of 56-kilobit modems.

"For the past year," notes Reuters writer Kourosh Karimkhany, "modem makers
have had dismal sales because of a standards war. One camp, led by Santa
Clara, California-based 3Com had backed x2 while another, led by Rockwell
and Lucent, backed K56flex. Until now, computers equipped with x2 modems
could not communicate with K56flex modems. Consumers had put off purchases
of high-speed modems until the industry could come up with a unified
standard."

The new tests are steps toward establishing a new unified standard, called
V.pcm. The International Telecommunications Union, a standards-setting
body, will study the new standard at a plenary meeting in Geneva early next
month.  Reuters says 3Com and Lucent expect to have V.pcm modems on the
market shortly after the meeting. Modem manufacturers have said owners of
current high-speed modems can upgrade to the new standard with a simple
software upgrade.

                        IBM Targets Automated Homes

IBM Corp. has unveiled Home Director Professional, a product line that's
designed to help new home builders construct automated homes.  Home
Director Professional will allow homeowners to remotely monitor and control
security, electrical and heating/cooling systems via the Internet. IBM
notes that Home Director Professional's open architecture can provide the
foundation for future capabilities, such as distributed home entertainment
systems, PC local area network connectivity and real-time energy
management.

IBM is working with several new home builders on test projects. The company
plans to make Home Director Professional solution generally available by
this summer.  "Prior to Home Director Professional, consumers could spend
over $25,000 for a custom-configured home automation solution," says Rick
Thompson, director of IBM's consumer options and solutions unit. "With Home
Director Professional, IBM will offer new home builders a functional,
easy-to-use, high-tech home of the future for a substantially lower cost."

IBM says Home Director Professional represents a critical next step toward
its vision of a networked home. Through the integration of a central
appliance and structured wiring, a network of home entertainment
appliances, PCs, security systems and lights can be created by the
homeowner.  "IBM started talking about the possibilities of home networking
several years ago," says Jim Firestone, general manager of IBM's consumer
division. "Home Director Professional is our first evolutionary step in
delivering this capability to consumers. By leveraging IBM's networking
heritage, we are better positioned than  any other company to deliver a
system that is functional, flexible and easy to use."  More information
about IBM Home Director Professional is available on the Web at
http://www.homedir@us.ibm.com.

                      Online Grocery Shopping Studied

The number of U.S. households using online services to buy food and other
household goods and services is expected to grow from fewer than 200,000
now to 15 to 20 million by 2007, according to a new study released by
Andersen Consulting.  These households will represent a wide range of
demographics and will spend as much as $85 billion on groceries and related
purchases through online services, also known as consumer direct services.
The rapid expansion of on-line grocery shopping portends dramatic market
changes for traditional retailers and manufacturers, who must develop new
strategies immediately to be prepared, notes the study.

"Consumers across the country have made it clear that they're ready for
online grocery shopping. They see it as a way to save time and simplify
their lives," says Vic Orler, a partner with Andersen Consulting and the
study's lead author. "Consumer direct services are about to become big
business, and companies need to start thinking now about how to take
advantage of this imminent boom, or else they'll be left behind."

The study identifies six major groups of potential online grocery shoppers,
based upon survey respondents' attitudes toward time, shopping and
technology:

    Shopping Avoiders, who dislike grocery shopping.
    Necessity Users, who are limited in their ability to go to the store
  for some reason.
    New Technologists, who are typically young and comfortable with
  technology.
    Time Starved, who are insensitive to price and will pay extra to free
  up time on their schedules.
    Responsibles, who have available time and who get an enhanced sense of
  self-worth from shopping.
    Traditional Shoppers, who are older, avoid technology and genuinely
  enjoy shopping in a store.

"All except the 'Traditional Shoppers' group showed at least some
willingness to use on-line grocery shopping services, and most of the
groups showed strong interest," says Orler. "It's also important to note
that these groups cut across all income and educational levels, age groups
and locations. In other words, the appeal of consumer direct services is
broad-based and by no means limited to Gen-Xers and dual income
households."

As consumers grow accustomed to using online services for ordering
groceries and related purchases, traditional retailers and manufacturers
will face pressure to adapt to changing consumer demands, notes the study.
One advantage for retailers that the study reveals is consumers' desire for
their current, primary grocery stores to also be their consumer direct
providers -- simply because they prefer a name they know and trust. This
advantage will not last long, however, as today's emerging consumer direct
providers become more established.

"Executives should not allow themselves to be lulled into complacency
merely because the online industry is still evolving," warns Orler.
"Navigating this new market is and will be an extremely complex challenge.
Our research indicates that executives have decisions to make now to
position their companies for success."

                       Microsoft, EU Eye Compromise

An official with the European Union says Microsoft Corp. now seems ready to
change contracts with European Internet service providers.  Reporting from
Brussels, the Reuter News Service quotes European Competition Commissioner
Karel Van Miert as saying, "Microsoft seems to be prepared to offer in due
time remedies so that the Commission does not necessarily need to bring the
case to a final decision."

Van Miert told a news conference today the case had to do with "contracts
related to service providers (containing) clauses which are flying in the
face of competition."  Reuters says EU sources later confirmed Van Miert
was talking about an EU investigation into contracts between Microsoft and
24 European Internet service providers. The sources said the clauses at
stake related to the "bundling" of Microsoft's Internet browser with other
programs.  "This differs from a U.S. investigation into Microsoft's alleged
practice of forcing computer manufacturers to include the Explorer browser
with the firm's Windows 95 operating system," Reuters adds.

                       Outlook 98 to Get Fax Support

Microsoft Corp. and Symantec Corp. have announced a strategic relationship
to bring integrated fax technology capabilities to the Microsoft Outlook 98
messaging and collaboration client.  The agreement also outlines a broader
working relationship to enhance and augment each company's communication
and information management solutions.  The companies' first joint project
will be the inclusion of WinFax Starter Edition in Microsoft Outlook 98.
The product will provide integrated fax capabilities for Internet e-mail
users. The companies promise that the tool will be simple enough for use
even by people who are unfamiliar with faxing directly from a computer. The
software provides an easy upgrade path to the full version of Symantec
WinFax PRO.

"We are excited about working with Microsoft to provide customers with
software features that enhance and define the way they do business," says
Christopher Calisi, vice president of Symantec's remote productivity
solutions business unit. "The combination of Symantec's commitment to
quality software products and Microsoft's outstanding products provides
customers with the most powerful messaging and collaboration solutions on
the market today. The synergy between Symantec and Microsoft products will
provide customers with new levels of connectivity, increased compatibility
and seamless integration."  "We believe that offering an integrated fax
solution based on WinFax will greatly benefit our customers of Outlook 98
and Microsoft Office," says Jon DeVaan, vice president, desktop
applications division, at Microsoft. "We look forward to working with
Symantec on a range of projects aimed at providing the best communication
and information management solutions to our mutual customers."

                      Ballpark Construction on WebCam

Beginning today and for the next 120 weeks, online baseball fans can
witness the construction of the San Francisco Giants PacBell Ball Park from
the comfort of their own computer screen with live 24 hour, 7-days-a-week
video-capture at   The camera, provided by Basic Telepresence, gives Web
surfers the ability to watch live feeds over the Web using different camera
angles, including pan, tilt and zoom.  The WebCam is set up in the office
window of Kenwood Group, a San Francisco based industrial multimedia
company. The office overlooks the baseball stadium with an expansive,
unobstructed view of the construction area.  "We're happy to provide the
vantage point in documenting this historic event. Now everyone on the Web
can share our bird's eye view of the ballpark's progress. It's an exciting,
albeit noisy, time of rebirth and renewal for this part of San Francisco.
Go Giants!" says Gary Goodman, a Kenwood Group spokesman.

                       Nicotine Levels Posted Online

Nicotine levels in cigarettes for the first time are being made available
on the Internet.  Reporting from Framingham, Massachusetts, United Press
International says the information is required under Massachusetts' new,
first-in-the-nation law that orders tobacco companies to disclose all the
ingredients in their products.

State health officials and representatives of the American Cancer Society
told a news conference yesterday the World Wide Web site
(http://www.cancer.org) will give consumers their first opportunity to see
the true nicotine yield of the top 85 cigarette brands.  And some will be
surprised, the officials said, because the data shows very little
difference between the nicotine levels of "regular" and "light" cigarettes,
and that even supposedly "low-yield" smokes contain "moderate to high
doses" of the drug.  Those levels, they said, are "sufficient to cause and
maintain heavy dependence" on smoking.

                      Divorce Clinic Comes to the Web

They call it "DivorceNet.com," an Internet-based divorce clinic at which
two Los Angeles area law firms field online questions. Right now, the site
serves only Californians, but the no-charge service soon may be available
to United States as a whole.  "The public seems mystified by divorce law,"
says Steven L. Fuchs, co-founder of DivorceNet.com. "We're lucky to have
lawyers like Glen Rabenn and Jim Reape take an interest in pro bono work."
In a statement from L.A., Rabenn added, "Since public resources are scarce,
we are providing people with a much-needed service. At no cost, people with
family law-related questions can 'chat' with a family law specialist and
get answers quickly."  Reape said the electronic bulletin board is the
perfect forum for responding to individuals' concerns, noting, "Lack of
information increases the anxiety level of couples going through the
process."  The site is accessible at http://www.divorcenet.com.






           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







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






                            The Linux Advocate

Column #5

by Scott Dowdle
dowdle@icstech.com
http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle

                                  LOGIN:

Welcome again to the Linux Advocate.  I've decided to start numbering these
and this would be column number 5.  I wonder how high I'll get up to?!? :)

Linux News

News item #1: Caldera updated their WWW site with open letters to Microsoft
and SCO.  It seems that Caldera has the idea that Linux, properly tooled,
can beat anything those two companies throw at it. Hmmmm... and they don't
think DOS is dead... and they have added new functionality to their OpenDOS
product such as a graphical WWW browser, PPP support, networking, JAVA,
multitasking, etc.  They have decided to change the name from OpenDOS to
Open DR-DOS.  For more info, visit their homepage at:
http://www.caldera.com

News item #2: Check out http://www.seul.org ...that's the homepage of the
Simple End User Linux project.  In a nutshell, SEUL thinks that the world
needs an alternative to Microsoft operating systems and believes that Linux
is the way to go... although t hey readily admit that Linux, to truly be an
alternative to MS Windows for non-computer literates, needs quite a bit of
work on application development and user friendly issues.   It is this
lacking of Linux for non-computer literates that the SEUL  project is
attempting to address with various projects.  Pretty interesting homepage
although a certain segment of the Linux community hates the idea of what
they consider to be a "dumbing down" of Linux for the "home (l)user."

News item #3: A wonderful online essay has been written about the open
development method which was pioneered by the Linux community.  It's a very
well written paper so check it out if interested.  It can be found at the
following URL:

http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/lsf.html

Linux Myth Dispelling

As admitted many times before, I'm borrowing completely from the Linux Myth
Dispeller Homepage for this section of the column.  Check out the Myth
Dispeller Homepage at the  following URL:

http://www.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index.html

This installment's topic myth is: "Linux multitasks only as well as Windows
or Mac."

[Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage on]

Microsoft, and Apple would have you believe that their operating systems
multitask (run more than one program at once). Using the term loosely, they
do. Using the term strictly, they task switch only. Although more than one
program maybe opened, you may notice that sometimes the system stops
responding. Perhaps while mounting (detecting) a CD, or scanning a floppy
drive. That's because of cooperative multitasking, as opposed to Linux's
preemptive multitasking. A cooperative multitasker (such as Mac System or
Windows) will give a program control of the system until the program
chooses to give it back. Therefor, when a program is taking a while on a
specific procedure, it can hang up the system, and deny other programs
operating time. In a preemptive multitasker, a program is given a set
number of clock cycles, then it is preemptive, and another program has the
system for a set number of clock cycles. Linux is preemptive through and
through. Mac System has absolutely nothing preemptive about it (although
Apple   claims the new OS will be partially preemptive). Windows 3.1 has a
preemptive mouse only.

Windows 95 is partially preemptive. Between Apple, and Microsoft, their
only fully preemptive multitasker is Windows NT.

[Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage off]


Linux Distribution Spotlight

A very popular Linux distribution coming out of Germany is SuSE, currently
at release 5.1. While the official SuSE development team is located in
Germany (http://www.suse.de), there is  distributor and support for SuSE in
the U.S.A. (http://www.suse.com).  While I've not yet gotten   hold of this
distribution, I hear it is quite good and have taken the liberty of lifting
a description  from their homepage.

New in S.u.S.E. Linux 5.1

(compared to S.u.S.E. Linux 5.0)

Kernel 2.0.33 with Pentium F00F- and Teardrop-Bugfix

XFree86(TM) 3.3.1 (X11R6.3 "Broadway") with Matrox Millennium II support

XSuSE X Server (XSuSE_Elsa_GLoria, XSuSE_AT3D, XSuSE_NVidia, XSuSE_Tseng)

Fax Server Hylafax, with X-Frontend (susefax0.7v2)

Adabas D Personal Edition (Database)

Applixware 4.3 Demo Version (English, German, and French)

New functions in YaST:

Update via ftp

Source packages in srpm-format

Revised manual

JDK 1.1.3v2

New packages:

KDE - K Desktop Environment
svgalib 1.2.12
sendmail 8.8.8
Xclass (Win95-looking GUI toolkit)
Xirc 2.0 - IRC client for X
qt 1.31
Apache 1.2.4
apassl - SSL and PHP/FI module for apache
samba 1.9.17p2 (Security Fix)
netatalk - Linux as file and print server for Apple Macintosh
bash 2.01.1
mc (Midnight Commander) 4.1.4
xephem 3.0 (astronomy program)
nedit 5.0 (Editor)
sgml Tools:
linuxdoc (minimum SGML system)
docbk30 (DocBook: DTD and DSSSL-files)
gf, jade_dsl (formatter)
...

                                 Features

Menu-driven installation in English or German

Free choice of installation size

susewm: tool that generates and updates menus, based on currently installed
program packages, for the most important window managers (including KDE's
kwm!)

YaST:

rpm-format

text search in package descriptions and contents

package contents listing

optional centralized verification of permissions and ownerships

administration of groups

configuration of network printers

configuration of the security-level

Extensive hypertext help system:

S.u.S.E. support database with keyword search documentation for all
packages uses HTML, the language of the World Wide Web (WWW)

600 MB live file system

Graphical interface XFree86TM 3.3.1 (X11R6.3 "Broadway"), comfortable
configuration with XF86Setup

Booting directly from CD-ROM (if the Bios supports this) - an additional
boot diskette is then no longer needed

All tools needed to connect the system to the Internet (mail, news, WWW)

Complete source code

Emulators for: DOS, Atari ST, Amiga, C64, C128, VIC20, PET, ZX Spectrum,
Gameboy, Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari VCS2600, Coleco Vision, ZX81
... and much more


Ok, that's the end of the lifted description.  As you can see, SuSE is
rather extensive in the amount of preconfigured software included... and
very comparable to Red Hat and Debian in that  regard.  SuSE also has
adopted Red Hat's rpm package manager for their software packaging so
that's a plus.  One thing that SuSE does excel in though, a place where it
stands out from the other Linux distributions, is in the fact that they are
actively aiding in the development of XFree86 for new video cards.

SuSE has several custom X servers based on XFree86 that they are providing
to the Linux user community for free (and you can use their packages on any
virtually any up-to-date Linux installation).  The enhancements that SuSE
makes in their XFree86 based servers a re handed over to the XFree86 people
(http://www.xfree86.org) for inclusion in their updates.  The point here is
that SuSE seems to produce support for newer video hardware in a
considerably shorter time than it takes the XFree86 organization to release
official updates and SuSE should be commended for that.

Like virtually all Linux distribution makers, the SuSE development team has
also had their hand in the development of the Linux kernel by providing a
bug fix here or there... and Linus has acknowledged their help on at least
one occasion.   In any event, even though I've not personally test driven a
SuSE Linux distribution yet, I feel confident in recommending it to anyone
looking for a quality Linux distribution.  As with all distributions,
CD-ROM is the preferred method of  installation and an official CD-ROM set
with printed manual (see above) can be purchased online via www.suse.com.
The price is US$49.95 / DM 89.  To the best of my knowledge, none of the
cheap CD-ROM duplicators have picked up SuSE yet so you won't find it for
$1.99 from Cheap*Bytes (http://www.cheapbytes.com) quite yet... BUT I
believe, if one really MUST go the cheap route, the entire distribution may
be ftp'ed from ftp.suse.com... although given the size of it  all, I'd say
that a non-CD-ROM based installation would be very time consuming and
perhaps somewhat prohibitive.


Linux Application Spotlight

Desktop Metaphor... ah, that term/phrase is considered to be of crucial
importance for any operating system these days.  Seeing that our beloved
Linux (as well as all Unix and Unix-like  systems) is perceived by many as
lacking in the user-friendly qualities one finds on the Apple Macintosh and
the Microsoft Windows environments, the application I've chosen to discuss
for this installment of the LA column is TkDesk by Christian Bolik who just
happens to be yet another German.  Complete propaganda for TkDesk may be
found on the official TkDesk homepage at the following URL:

http://people.mainz.netsurf.de/~bolik/tkdesk/

First let me note that I don't want to delve into the intricacies that are
the X Window System other than to say that the X Window System is the
standard GUI environment for Linux and virtually all of the Unix community.
For specific information on the X Window System please visit the following
URL:

http://www.camb.opengroup.org/tech/desktop/x/

XFree86 is the extremely popular, freely distributable X Window System
implementation available for many platforms including Linux.  For
information on XFree86 you may visit the  following URL:

http://www.xfree86.org

Finally onto TkDesk... to borrow a description from the TkDesk homepage:

TkDesk is a graphical desktop and file manager for several brands of UNIX
(such as Linux) and the X Window System. It offers a very rich set of file
operations and services, and gives the user the ability to configure most
aspects of TkDesk in a powerful way.  What does all that mean?  Well,
seeing as how TkDesk is a VERY FRIENDLY and POWERFUL application, a brief
rundown of some of its basic features with accompanying screenshots should
provide the answer.

TkDesk has four basic components:

1)   File Browser,
2)   Application Bar,
3)   a full featured Text Editor/Viewer,
4)   a complete, hypertext based Help System.

Provided are screenshots of each basic component as well as a discussion of
each.  If for some r eason, the screenshots mentioned here aren't included
for you, feel free to visit my Linux Advocate archive for this installment
of the column at the following URL:

http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle/LA/LA-5.html

...where you can find all of the screenshots intact. :)

Oh, one comment is needed about the screenshots --- the computer I use is a
Toshiba Satellite 105CS laptop and the display is very limited due to the
physical display of the laptop, 640x480 resolution at 256 colors.  Please
take that into consideration an d don't think that the screenshots
demonstrate some limitation of TkDesk or X or Linux.  It just demonstrates
a limitation of my particular laptop... 'nuff said.




In the above full screen shot you can see the File Browser window on the
left and the Application Bar on the right.  All of the stuff at the bottom
of the screen (the task bar, load monitor, desk window pager) are part of
my window manger configuration...  which happens to be the default
configuration provided by Red Hat Linux using fvwm2-95 window manager which
is designed to look-and-feel like MS Windows 95.  As one would  expect, the
File Browser window and the Application Bar aren't stuck in the position
you see them in the screenshot, and are windowed objects with the standard
window controls (where applicable)... and their placement and contents in
the screenshot are not indicative of TkDesk's defaults.



Let's look at the above capture of the File Browser window.  While it may
appear on the surface to be similar to various file manager products found
elsewhere (like Windows 95's File Explorer or Windows 3.x's file manager),
trust me, there are tons of sub tle features that a screenshot can't even
hint at.  Notice how the file/directory listing in the file browser is
colorized.  TkDesk recognizes various file types and is pre-configured to
associate certain applications with them.  TkDesk makes extensive us e or
the mouse and often there is a difference between left clicking and right
clicking on a window object.  For example, if one were to double left-click
on  file-browser.gif file shown, TkDesk would automatically launch xv...
which is basically the standard graphic file viewer for X.   Single
right-clicking on a file in the display will cause a  pop-up specific to
that file type to come up.  I must admit that I'm not that familiar with my
screen capture program (the standard xwd command that comes with X)  and am
not sure how to  capture pop-ups nor drop-down menus so my poor
descriptions will have to suffice.  Just what options are available for
various file types and the events that accompany mouse actions are
completely configurable... not just for the File Browser, but for the
entire program, but more on  that later.  TkDesk keeps a complete history
of all of the files and applications accessed and most  previous actions
are easily repeatable.  As one has come accustomed to with more modern GUI
application s, automatic, bubble pop-up help is available and can be
toggled on/off as desired.  If  you don't recognize the term "bubble pop-up
help," it's what I call those little help messages that automatically
appear when you leave or move the mouse pointer on to p of  an icon or
screen object for a second.  TkDesk is EXTREMELY FRIENDLY,  although, like
I said earlier, a lot of  functions are kind of subtle... only because
there are so many and the user interface has been  designed to balance
features and user-friendl iness without all of the clutter.  I couldn't
gloss over a tenth of the features of the file browser window if  I spent a
thousand words trying.  Let it be known that clicking on the directory
buttons above the listing presents an extensive dropdown specific to that
directory.


Multiple file browser windows may be opened and the number of directory
panes displayed in the browser is user definable.  If the number of
directory panes desired exceeds the screen display area for the file
browser window, a scroll bar appears so you don't loose anything.  A
special, one-pane-only browser window comes up when one double left-clicks
on a directory with the  control key pressed.  That might sound like a
complex action, Control + double left-clicking but it is a really quick and
easy way to open multiple views.

One neat feature of the file browser is that you can drag files and
directories onto the desktop background to create something similar to the
shortcuts of Windows 95.  These shortcuts are automatically saved with
TkDesk's configuration and are user unique... which is to say that since
TkDesk is running in a multi-user environment, every user on the system has
their own TkDesk configuration saved in their home directory as well as
there being a default global configuration.   Unique user configuration
real ly isn't a specific feature to TkDesk as virtually every program
stores its specific user unique configuration file(s) in the user's home
directory.




Now, onto the Applications Bar or app-bar for short, which you can see
above.  The app-bar concept is borrowed from the NeXTStep environment.  If
you left-click on an icon, a default action/application is launched.  If
you right-click on an icon, a pop-up menu is displayed of  related actions
or applications.  For example, left-clicking on the icon of the monitor and
desktop  case will launch an xterm program (command line in a window)  and
right-clicking will present a  menu similar to the Programs pop-up in
Windows 95's Start menu.  Giving an explanation of the icons presented and
what pop-ups accompany them would only explain how I have it configured and
as stated earlier, everything in TkDesk is completely customizable and the
icons presented, default act ions, pop-ups, and pop-up events are
completely configurable.  TkDesk does come with a rather extensive
default/global configuration but on my limited computer display, there were
too many icons to fit nicely on a single screen... and since I've been
using it for a while, and  have done some customizing, I didn't want to
revert back to the defaults just to be able to write about them for this
spotlight.  Suffice to say, what you seen in the pictures is a slightly
modified sub-set of the default configuration.

One of the applications TkDesk is very aware of is Xemacs and I don't
happen to use Xemacs nor do I have it installed so one of the first things
I changed on the app-bar was my default editor.     TkDesk is also very
aware of Netscape thus the Netscape-ish icon.

The bottom icon is the recycle symbol and as you might guess, it is
equivalent to the trash can on  Windows and the Mac.  This recycle feature
is very nicely done and totally customizable and  (thank goodness) the
delete file/directory option has a "delete permanently" toggle button so
deleting something doesn't have to be a two step operation... ie, 1) move
to recycle bin and 2) empty from recycle bin.




TkDesk comes with a built-in, full featured, text editor/reader.  The
editor doesn't include context sensitive display attributes, like those
offered by programmer oriented editors that display program source code
syntax with color-coded tags... but besides that, the term full-featured
still seems appropriate.  I won't go into an details on the editor but it
has all of the standard features in  a quick and user-friendly
environment... and you aren't limited to any preset file size like with
some editors on other platforms.




One of the major elements that can make or break any application program is
the quality of the online help system.  After using many X based programs
that offer online help, I'd have to say that TkDesk's online help
system/manual is one of the best I've seen anywhere.  It doesn't offer a
tutorial system but given the completeness of the help system and the
user-friendliness of the whole TkDesk package, a tutorial system would be a
complete waste of time.



TkDesk Summary

Although I've not really covered any specific functions of the program and
concentrated on the basic operation of the four main program elements (file
browser, app-bar, editor and help system), it should be pointed out that
TkDesk is full of features.  It has every file operation you  could imagine
and then some.  One of the most exciting things about the design of TkDesk
is the fact that it is totally customizable and is very aware of the
environment it is running in... a  multi-user, multi-tasking system.  ..
ie, just because you have the file find feature/dialog scanning  the hard
drive for matches doesn't mean the rest of TkDesk is tied up.  Quite the
opposite.  TkDesk even has a task manager of its own although I've not
found it very useful as I don't usually do more than one or two things at a
time within TkDesk.  TkDesk even has a Periodic Execute feature where it
will run a specified program/command line at your bidding.  I've included a
picture of the Periodic Execution window showing the "who" command set to
run  once a minute which would let me know who has logged in or off of the
system in a timely fashion.  This is only an small example of what could be
constructed with periodic execution and it offers advantages over the
Linux/Unix standard "cron" and "at" programs since it displays the program
output and is totally interactive.




In closing it must be emphasized again that TkDesk is COMPLETELY
CUSTOMIZABLE.   Unlike most all software that thinks it knows all of the
features you want, TkDesk was designed from the beginning to be aware of
the environment it is running in and to be to tally customizable to that
environment.  If you have sound support on your system, sounds may be
associated with various events.  The contents of dropdowns, pop-ups and the
actions associated with mouse actions is totally customizable.  How is the
customization done?  By editing the various configuration files associated
with the system, easily accessed from the configuration popout of the
TkDesk dropdown menu of the file browser.  The configuration files might be
intimidating to  those not the least bit f amiliar with a scripting
language, but enough examples are given within  the files such that
cutting, pasting and mild editing are all that is usually necessary.  I've
done a lot  of customization on TkDesk without learning anything about the
provided scripting   language, ie... the monkey see, monkey do approach
facilitated with copy/cut/paste in the built-in editor have gotten me far.
Given the lego block command approach of Linux/Unix, virtually every
program execution can be automated in a friendly way.  You may associate
files/file types with whatever programs you prefer and pass along command
line options if needed.

For those who feel extremely comfortable with the prompt of a command line,
TkDesk might not seem that attractive as it is often quicker to type a
single command line and hit enter than it is to open up a few windows and
navigate through GUI objects BUT given the configuration and customization
of TkDesk I think it still has something to offer.  For those who are less
familiar with Linux/Unix and who might be migrating from another platform,
even the default configuration of TkDesk is very  usable and a go dsend.
For those users who like a GUI  environment but aren't overly intimidated
by a command line and who grasp at least the basics of  the copy/cut/paste,
monkey see monkey do approach of the customization, TkDesk is more than an
application, it's an ex tension of the whole GUI environment.  In any
event, I consider TkDesk a must try which will often turn into a must have
for those who have given it a try.   Hmmm, I wonder if TkDesk has been
ported and is available for MS Windows and the MacOS?  :) hahahaaa


Linux History

A very brief entry for Linux History this time... since I took up so much
room with the rest of the column.  As of this writing, the Linux kernel is
up to the following versions:

[linux.kernel.org]

The latest stable version of the Linux kernel is: 2.0.33 (Dec 16th, 1998)
The latest *beta* version of the Linux kernel is: 2.1.80 (Jan 21st, 1998)

The version number output was provided by fingering linux@linux.kernel.org.
Cool, huh?

                                  LOGOUT:

Thanks for reading and feel free to drop me an email or visit my homepage.
Feedback is hereby solicited! :) Oh, btw... I've noticed that some of the
URLs listed in previous columns have been moved and are therefore broken...
but they were correct at the time of writing.  On the Linux Advocate
Archive page, I continue to do my best to keep the links up to date even in
previous  columns.  If you run into a broken URL in a column, try the
updated columns provided in html   format.  This page may be found at the
following URL:

http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle/LA/

Scott Dowdle - January 22nd, 1998






EDUPAGE STR Focus        Keeping the users informed


                                  Edupage

Contents



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
AOL Admits Mistake In Revealing
Subscriber Information
Microsoft Avoids Contempt Citation
Prodigy Gets Out Of The Content
Business
RCN Buys Erol's
Microsoft Browser Strategy In
Europe
Microsoft's Dominance
Lawyers Expecting To Profit From
Year 2000 Problem
Sun Exec Rewarded With Promotion
After Rejecting Apple's Courtship


           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  erformed 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   oints 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-cam pus  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  enable
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)

          AOL ADMITS MISTAKE IN REVEALING SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION

America Online has said it should not have revealed subscriber information
to a U.S. Navy investigator had not  obtained a subpoena in his
investigation of a sailor (and AOL subscriber) charged with violating the
military's  "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule governing gays in the service (see
Edupage 18 Jan 98).  AOL also accuses the  Navy of deliberately violating
Federal law and misleading the AOL employee who tried to cooperate with it.
(New York Times 22 Jan 98)

                    MICROSOFT AVOIDS CONTEMPT CITATION

Microsoft has agreed to offer PC manufacturers the latest version of its
Windows 95 software without requiring  them also to install the company's
Internet Explorer software for browsing the Internet.  This action settles
one  part of a larger antitrust suit brought against Microsoft by the U.S.
Justice Department, and lets the company  avoid a contempt of court
citation from U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.  (AP 22 Jan 98)

                 PRODIGY GETS OUT OF THE CONTENT BUSINESS

Prodigy has decided to terminate the activities of 50 staffers that develop
"content" for its information service,  and instead to link its users to
the content of Excite, a Web directory and search engine.   Prodigy will
now become more a pure Internet Service Provider, offering connections to
the Internet.  (Wall Street Journal 22 Jan 98)

                              RCN BUYS EROL'S

Princeton, N.J.-based RCN Corporation, a phone and cable company, is
purchasing Erol's Internet Inc., the  largest provider of Internet service
to subscribers in the Washington, D.C., area, for $83.5 million in stock
and   cash.  Acquisition of Erol's 300,000 customers will help RCN in its
plan to wire homes from Boston to  Washington for alternative phone, cable
and Internet service.  (Washington Post 22 Jan 98)

                   MICROSOFT BROWSER STRATEGY IN EUROPE

Deflating the antitrust inquiry begun by the European Commission, Microsoft
has announced that contracts with  European providers of Internet services
will be revised to drop Microsoft's requirements that the service
providers offer their customers the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser as
a condition for being listed in the  Windows 95 operating system.
Microsoft claims that the action is an independent business decision,
unrelated  to the EC's antitrust inquiry. (New York Times 22 Jan 98)

                           MICROSOFT'S DOMINANCE

A new survey of 300 corporate executives by Olsten Staffing Service shows
the extent of Microsoft's expanding  dominance in the software business.
Since 1995, the percentage of survey respondents who used Microsoft  Word
has grown from 43% to 80%, whereas the percentage using rival product
WordPerfect dropped from 61%  to 21%.  During the same period, comparable
statistics for spreadsheet, groupware, and presentation graphics  software
were:  Microsoft Excel rose from 44% to 79%, in contrast to Lotus 1-2-3's
fall from 65% to 27%;   Microsoft Exchange rose from 19% to 32%, in
contrast to the fall of Lotus Notes from 49% to 31%;  and  Microsoft
Powerpoint rose from 18% to 86%, in contrast to Harvard Graphics' fall from
27% to 3%. Microsoft  attributes its success to its "consistency of
delivering better products in the marketplace," whereas critics of the
company attribute it to the power of "bundling" - packaging separate
products into the software suite called  Microsoft Office.  (USA Today 22
Jan 98)

            LAWYERS EXPECTING TO PROFIT FROM YEAR 2000 PROBLEM

New Orleans attorney Peter Butler Jr., who specializes in year 2000
computer problems (arising from the  inability of old software to know
which century a two-digit date code designates), says:  "If there is a
problem
caused to a business, somebody is going to be responsible for that."  But
Heidi Hooper, an executive at the Information Technology Association of
America, says:  "Obviously, when there is a hint of anything, the lawyers
come out. Why worry about suing now instead of fixing the problem?  People
need to ask the questions and find out whether they have a problem."
(Washington Post 21 Jan 98)

                     SUN EXEC REWARDED WITH PROMOTION
                     AFTER REJECTING APPLE'S COURTSHIP

Apparently as a reward for his decision not to pursue Apple's interest in
considering him for the position of  permanent CEO, Sun executive Edward J.
Zander has been promoted to the position of Sun's chief operating officer
at Sun, where he will run the company's daily operations and participate in
the executive committee that develops strategic planning for the company.
(Wall Street Journal 22 Jan 98)




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Jason's Jive






Jason Sereno, STR Staff
jsereno@streport.com


                                 G Police
                                 PC CD-ROM
                           Street Price: $49.99
                       Action Adventure for all ages
                                     
                                 Psygnosis
                       989 East Hillsdale Boulevard
                          Foster City,  CA 94404
                           (650) 287-6500 (tel)
                           (650) 287-6601 (fax)
                             www.psygnosis.com

                                     



G Police from Psygnosis is a pretty wild 3D shooter.  This simulation puts
the player inside of a futuristic helicopter while patrolling the streets
of a disheartening future in 2097.  Loads of weapons, tactics, and
opposition highlight this game.  A 3D accelerator is recommended and most
likely required to truly enjoy this sim.  I strongly endorse G Police
because it is a very fun and exciting 3D adventure.

G Police takes place in a bleak future one hundred years from now.  The
independent nations of the past are no more.   After a world war, all
weapons have been destroyed and now only the G Police are left to serve and
protect the entire Earth.  Instead of nations controlling the world,
powerful corporation have been developed which lead to espionage and
murders of all sorts.

You play the game as Jeff Slater.  He is the brother of a former female G
Police officer.  Jeff is searching for answers about his sister's alleged
suicide.  He believes that someone in the G Police had something to do with
her demise so he decides to infiltrate the Police force to find the answers
he is looking for.

Once the simulation begins, the action never stops.  Enemies of all sorts
from the ground and the air try their best to destroy your havoc jet
helicopter.  They are equipped with an interesting artificial intelligence
that allows them to outmaneuver or ambush you at the right moment.

They may also try to discourage you when you try to complete your other
objectives during your missions.  Disabling destructive mining vehicles,
safely guiding a ground unit of police cars, searching cargo trucks for
illegal firearms, and deactivating out of control shuttle buses are just a
few examples of the mission objectives you will encounter during gameplay.

To combat the wide array of adversaries, the G Police has equipped all of
their combatants with the latest in peace making products.  Unguided
weapons that are at your disposal are the basic cannon and laser-type
projectiles.  However, there is a large selection of heat seeking, and
other forms of missles.  Also available are large 500kg and 1000kg bombs.
These explosives are more difficult to use because of a somewhat awkward
targeting system.  G Police does offer a pretty wide selection of weapons
that can be exploited at opportune times.  Some are only given out during
certain missions.  A reloading station is also in the game next to the G
Police headquarters that can be used one time only during gameplay if you
happen to run out of ammunition.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the game is the unique city
landscapes.  Buildings and structures of all shapes and sizes are located
in these technologically advanced cities. The architecture is very ahead of
its time but still carries the dark feeling of this futuristic earth.  It
really adds dimension to the game.

The only downside about the stellar landscapes is the obvious speed
problems some people might have.  To be honest, I don't see how anyone
could play this game without a 3D accelerator.  The speedy graphics,
violent explosions, and consequential fast frame rates really require you
to use a 3D card.  This is proof again that more and more, 3D accelerators
are a becoming a need as opposed to a want in the PC gaming industry.

G Police is a very solid adventure simulation.  I would really recommend it
to intermediate and advanced sim fans.  The high flying action and graphics
are very fun to watch.  I have to stress again that although a 3D
accelerator is not required, it will prove to be very useful while you
play.  G Police is a solid buy and should definitely be considered the next
time you take a trip to your local PC game retailer.

See you all next week!

Jason

Program Requirements
Pentium 133, 16 Mb RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, Windows 95, DirectSound 16 or
compatible sound card.  3D accelerator recommended







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                         STReport International Online Magazine







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


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

     Well, last week's storm essentially missed us here, but we're
expecting another today.  Never gets boring, weather-wise.

     Lots of "weird" news in the computing and online world these days.
Bill Gates' Microsoft is starting to feel the heat from the public, as well
as the Justice Department.   Interesting articles in recent issues of the
USA Today as well as local newspapers with national newsfeeds.  It appears
that many people aren't too sympathetic to Microsoft's problems.  And what
about AOL's bout with lack of confidentiality with regard to its members?
It seems that the U.S. Navy  wants to discharge a gay sailor after it
underhandedly found out the man's "secret".   Whatever  happened to "don't
ask,  don't  tell" and contractual ethics?  AOL is going to feel the heat
over this for quite some time.  And there's more  - be sure to read this
week's industry news - lots of interesting articles.

                            Until next time...



                  Possible AC UK Atari Show in Summer '98
From: 


Possible UK Atari Show:

Atari Computing magazine may be in a position to organize some form of
Atari Show/Convention in early Summer of this year.  Obviously such a show
takes a lot of organizing and is also very expensive. Therefore it is not
something we could afford to waste time and money on if it wasn't going to
be well-supported.

My view is that we could only go-ahead with such a Show/Convention if we
sold enough tickets in advance to cover the costs. To just hope that enough
people will turn up on the day is a non-starter TBH.  Anyway, I'd like to
get some ideas and thoughts coming back to me, so I'll ask a few questions
and ask everyone that is interested to comment, but please send actual
question responses to me via email.

,    When is your preferred weekend & month; June/July/Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov
     (please give exact dates if possible
,    Preferred day; Saturday/Sunday
,    Preferred location; Birmingham/London
,    Method of transport; Car/Bus/Train
,    What sort of admission price would you pay?  (3.00/4.00/5.00 ukp)
,    What would you like to see at the Show in order of preference?
     (demos/tutorials/sales stands/anything else?
,    What is your main interest; DTP/Music/graphics/?
,    Where will you be travelling from?
,    Further ideas/comments

Many thanks to all that respond. I'll post a summary of what is sent to me
in due course.

Basically, unless we do get a reasonable level of prior support AC will be
unable to organize an event, so this is everyone's chance to ensure that
there will be a show this year in the UK!

Best regards
Mike Kerslake

                           The Publishing House
      Magazine Production - Typesetting Services - Audio Productions
      publish@cix.co.uk - WWW: http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/publish/
          Atari Computing Magazine info: admin@ataricomputing.com





STR Editor's Mail Call    "...a place for the readers to be heard"


                             Editor's MailBag


                      Message Content * NOT EDITED *


STReport Atari Mailbag!

Hello Dana!

Just wanted to drop you a note and say a big THANK YOU for the nice write
up you gave myself and The Computer Dungeon in the latest issue of
STReport. It was very much appreciated.

It was also a surprise as I didn't even know that STR covered anything
Atari anymore (see what being away from the Atari scene for 15 months will
do to a person...grin). But now that I know they do, I'll make sure and
download each and every issue.

Again, Thanks for the write up and if there is anything I can ever do to
help you out, please don't hesitate to call upon me.

Al Horton
The Computer Dungeon


Hello!

Thank for the Email and kind words, Dana. And no problem with you quoting
my Email or whatever.

Things are picking up here as I'm getting permission from Shareware
authors in Europe to distribute full versions of their titles here in the
U.S. Right now its Shareware games, but if sales and customers request them
I'll try to handle as many overseas programs as necessary.  With commercial
support almost non-existent, we Atari users have to rely on each other to
write the programs we want/need for our machines and the Shareware method
of paying for these programs. And many, many of these Shareware programs
are as good, IF NOT BETTER, than many of the big commercial company
offerings we've Atarians have had.

I've found that many U.S. Atari users are interested in programs from
overseas but are reluctant to purchase and/or register these programs
because of the hassle of trying to find a cheap/effective way of paying for
them when the use of a credit card is impossible. I hope I can get the
rights to distribute as many of these programs as possible and North
American Atari users can enjoy these GREAT programs without having to send
for them overseas.

We need to support one another and the best way of doing so is to register
your Shareware programs. If Shareware authors do not receive compensation
for their hard word (even if that compensation is nothing but an Email
saying "Thanks for the nice program and supporting the Atari platform) then
they will have no incentive to continue writing the programs that we Atari
users NEED to keep our systems alive and up to date.  Hopefully, by making
the process of purchasing/registering Shareware programs as easy as
possible then everyone will benefit: Atari users who will get tremendous
programs and the program authors will get the compensation they deserve to
keep them supporting the Atari platform. The Computer Dungeon has
registered EVERY program that we use in running the business.

Okay... time to get off my soapbox and back to work. Keep up the good work
you've been doing, Dana, and Thanks to you for supporting the Atari
platform.

Al Horton
The Computer Dungeon



                              Gaming Section


                              FTC Warns Sony!
                   PSX Predicts: Green Bay over Denver!
                              "GEX" is Back!





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


          FTC Warns Sony Computer Entertainment Over Price-fixing

TOKYO, Jan. 20 (Kyodo) -- The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday
warned Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. about price-fixing of its
PlayStation video game software and urged it to stop the practice which it
said violates fair trade rules.   The nation's fair trade watchdog takes
issue with the company's  requirements that retailers sell PlayStation
software at suggested retail prices, refrain from selling used video game
software and from distributing PlayStation software to other retailers.

The FTC said Sony Computer Entertainment imposed these requirements so as
to keep prices of its video game software from falling when it signed
retail contracts with retailers since June 1994.  It also said the company
has ordered retailers to sell its new video game software at suggested
retail prices within two months after its release since April 1996, when an
increase in video game software products left some products unsold.

Sony Computer Entertainment, a unit of consumer electronics giant Sony
Corp., canceled contracts with retailers when they failed to stick to these
requirements, the FTC said.  A spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment
said the company has not committed any wrongdoing.   "We are confident that
there have been no illegalities and it is regrettable that our marketing
policy is not understood," the spokesman said.

              Everyone's Favorite Wisecracking Gecko Is Back

MENLO PARK, CALIF. (Jan. 21) BUSINESS WIRE - Jan. 21, 1998 - "GEX" Sequel,
Distributed by Midway Home Entertainment, Sets New Standard for Humor,
Amazing Graphics and Challenging 3-D Gameplay on the PlayStation, Nintendo
64 and PC  He's back... GEX, star of the self-named, 32-bit classic, has
returned to play the lead role in its sequel -- "GEX: Enter the Gecko."

"GEX" pushes the limits of 3-D technology with beautifully rendered
environments, awesome enemies, special effects and free-roaming 3-D
gameplay, as well as the sarcastic humor gamers have come to expect from
the quick-witted gecko. Published by Crystal Dynamics and distributed by
Midway Home Entertainment, "GEX" is appearing on PlayStations everywhere in
February.

In his latest platform adventure, Maui's main Gecko must once again battle
his archnemesis, Rez, this time in a 360-degree, free-roaming 3-D
environment.  Reluctantly recruited by secret government agents to protect
the world's television broadcasts from Rez's powerful clutches, the
hysterically witty GEX is thrust into the bizarre Media Dimension, filled
with enemies and worlds that parody some of film and television's most
popular characters and personalities from the past.

GEX will stop at nothing to foil Rez's sinister plan. Armed with his
razor-sharp tongue, whip-cracking tail and suction-cup paws, GEX must
battle his way through numerous media-themed levels of gameplay. Along the
way, he encounters his worst media nightmares in levels such as The Rocket
Channel, Toon TV and Kung-Fu Theater, among others.

"GEX: Enter the Gecko" does traditional 3-D games one better with the
addition of an entirely new dimension to the experience -- wall climbing.
With his inherent ability to stick to any surface, GEX can "go where none
have gone before," including climbing on ceilings and walls.  In addition,
"GEX: Enter the Gecko" features an intuitive in-game camera that will raise
the watermark by which future games are measured. The camera will provide
the standard chase view but will not limit players to a set of
predetermined vantage points; rather, the camera will allow the player to
look anywhere within each vast 3-D world.

Co-star of the NBC comedy "Working" and HBO comedian Dana Gould once again
provides the voice of GEX, which is actually lip-synced during gameplay.
Gould also is in large part responsible for the wisecracking gecko's
in-game personality, which takes clever jabs at the entertainment industry.
"GEX: Enter the Gecko" will also be available for PC CD-ROM in spring 1998
and for the Nintendo 64 in early summer 1998.

           PlayStation Picks: Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl!

NFL GameDay '98, the number one football videogame by Sony Computer
Entertainment America Inc. -- exclusive for the PlayStation(TM) -- was
played to predict the Green Bay Packers winning back-to-back Super Bowls.
NFL GameDay '98 is built with all the real teams and players. Players
aren't just represented in the game by a jersey number, but are rated and
designed to play to their actual ability making "PlayStation Picks" worth
paying attention to.

PlayStations NFL GameDay '98 Super Bowl XXXII Highlights  1st Q: - Dorsey
Levens rushing TD -- Brett Favre TD pass to Antonio Freeman 2nd Q: -- Favre
TD pass to Mark Chmura - Terrell Davis rushing TD 3rd Q: -- Davis fumble --
Eugene Robinson interception  4th Q: -- John Elway TD pass to Rod Smith --
Reggie White sacks Elway Final: 31-17.








ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!



                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando
jmirando@streport.com


     Hidi ho friends and neighbors. We've got some interesting stuff to
talk about this week, but first I want to brag a little bit about some of
the additions I've made to my TT this week.

     First off, I got tired of looking around for the seemingly very rare
30 pin SIMMs needed for upgrading the TT's memory with the standard Atari
TT-RAM board. Since these SIMMs have not been state-of-the-art for many
years now, they have become much harder to find and more expensive per
megabyte than their younger brethren... if you can find them. The TT-RAM
board that came in my TT can be upgraded to 16 Megabytes by using four 4
Meg SIMMS, but they must be 30 pin SIMMs, they must support "nybble mode",
and they must be no faster than 70 nanoseconds. These things, all put
together, make the SIMMs hard to find.

     While leafing through the Best Electronics Catalog (a must-have, by
the way) I found an entry for a "64MEG FASTRAM Board". According to the
description, it would use one or two 72 pin    SIMMs of up to 32 Megabytes
each, giving a maximum of 64 Megabytes. Since the price did not seem to be
excessive I ordered the board and patiently waited for it to arrive while I
searched for   the best prices on 72 pin SIMMs. Once the board arrived, I
found the instruction sheet (which I  had been told was entirely in
german), looking for any diagrams or tell-tale descriptions of what type of
SIMMs I would need. When I found none, I painstakingly typed the
instructions into a text editor and used Ruftrade to translate them from
german into english. Since the sentence   structures of these two languages
are somewhat different the translation was less than perfect. I found that
the passages pertaining to they type of SIMM needed were either vague or so
jumbled by the translation that they made no sense. I decided to take the
plunge anyway and buy two 32 Meg SIMMs.  I decided the safest course would
be to buy non-parity memory, since that is the  most common. I was quite
surprised by the price of memory today. Each of these 32 Meg SIMMs cost me
less than the SIMMs I used to upgrade my first STE to 2 Meg. As a matter of
fact, if you  add the cost of the two SIMMS and the price of the memory
board, it still cost me less to upgrade  my TT to 64 Megs of RAM than it
did to upgrade my STE to 2 Megs.  Incredible, huh?

     The installation was simple... just pop the old board out and the new
one in, install the SIMMs, and turn the computer back on. It worked without
a hitch the first time. The computer recognized  all 64 Meg of memory and
booted normally without so much as a hiccup. I ran a benchmark program and
checked the statistics on the memory. According to GemBench the new memory
is  about 36% faster than "TT normal". I'm not quite sure of exactly what
this is based on, since my  "TT normal" memory had tested out at 105%. At
any rate, this new board is faster... Faster is better.  

     I have no idea of what I might ever use all of this memory for, but
this pretty much puts an end to upgrading memory for me. 64 Meg  of TT RAM
and 10 Meg of ST RAM is more than even most PCs with Windows95 use. And I
don't even need any of it for the operating system, so unless Microsoft
moves into the Atari arena with Windows98, I'm safe. Needless to say,  I'm
quite happy with the new board, new memory, and the looks on the faces of
the people who ask me how  much memory my "little Atari" has in it when I
answer them.

     So if you have a TT and yearn for an obscene amount of memory, call
Brad at Best Electronics and tell him that you want "One of those 64 Meg
FASTRAM boards like Joe Mirando bought". I'm sure he'll be more than happy
to sell you one.

Okay, let's get to the good STuff...


                   From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup


Our old friend Greg Evans asks for help using HDDriver, the outstanding
Hard Drive Software by Uwe Seimet:
     "I just partitioned a new drive with HDDRiver 6.0 .  I
      created partitions which are 514 mb on my TOS 4.04 Falcon
      and used the minimum sector size option.  The problem is
      Diamond Edge and Knife ST don't seem to like the new
      partitions.  Knife crashes and halts the drive when I try to
      search a file.  Diamond Edge finds a bad cluster.  Noedesk
      also is confused about cluster size, reporting it as
      16384-32767 (on 2 lines).

      My question is, is the problem the partitions > 512 mb or
      the minimum sector size or both.  I can begin experimenting
      but restoring the partitions from backup is slow work."

The author of the program himself, Dr. Uwe Seimet, tells Greg:
     "The problems seem to be Diamond Edge and Knife ST. The
     maximum allowed cluster size is 32768 bytes. Partitions > 512
     MByte are perfectly legal on TOS 4.04."

David Snowdon adds:
     "I found that ST-Tools also has problems on my
     Falcon and SyJet 1.5 Gig drive. So I guess we now need a
     volunteer to create a new version of ST-Tools, since I doubt
     we'll see an updated version of Diamond Edge."

Claes Holmerup tells Greg:
     "The problem is that Diamond Edge can't handle larger
     partitions than 512MB (which comes to 8kB sector size when
     you use the "minimum sector size" option). If you make larger
     partitions, the sector size becomes 16kB, which can't be
     handled by Diamond Edge (or Cubase Audio for that matter).
     If you use HDX for your partitioning, you can't even use
     larger partitions than 256MB if you want to keep the sector
     size to 8kB, since you can't choose "minimum sector size"
     like in HDDriver.

     If you need to defragment larger partitions, use the old
     CHKDSK3 instead - I know several people who use it on their
     Cubase Audio systems all the time without any problems."

Terry May throws a bit of a monkey wrench into that thought:
     "Of course, CHKDSK3 only defragments your free space; it
     doesn't defrag your files (i.e. put them in contiguous
     order)."

Greg gives us an update on his progress:
     "I repartitioned the drive into 441 mb partitions and the
     Diamond Edge problem went away.  Knife ST doesn't bomb any
     longer but it has problems finding the end of a file.  I
     switched to using DADE, which I've had for years but avoided.

     My cluster size is now 32767.  What would choosing the
     "minimum sector size" option have done?

     I'll be upgrading to HDD 7.12 wehn Systems for Tomorrow gets
     it in.  Is that fully Afterburner compatible?"

Uwe tells Greg:
     "...These programs obviously don't support partitions larger
     than 512 MByte.

     32767 is impossible because cluster sizes are alwasy a power of 2. So
32768 is likely. With minimum sector size you get half this size.

Yes, I think [this version is Afterburner compatible], because I
know Afterburner users running this version.  Note, however, that
the Afterburner will always be a potential problem because of its
wrong processor cache handling during the boot phase."

Douglas Zander asks for information about ST users:
     "I have three separate questions I am curious about.  I
     would like to write some software and release it as shareware
     or freeware.  Please give me your best estimate concerning
     the following questions.

     1)  How many users of AtariST computers are there who have
     Internet access?  (at least email access)

     2)  How many additional people exist who own AtariST
     computers but do not have access to the Internet?  (do not
     have email access)

     3)  How practical is it to release a software as shareware;
     what percentage of users pay the shareware fee?"

Tony Greenwood, a damned fine programmer in his own right tells
Douglas:
     "1) World wide ?...Sorry too difficult to answer for anyone.

     2)  In the UK more people do not have Internet acces than do.

     3)  This realy depends on what you are thinking of making?,
     Games?  applications?, Internet software? what?, no one could
     answer this without knowing the type of software, Will your
     software be something new that we don't already have,
     remember we have been around for longer than most and just
     about everything has been made, although always looking for
     new stuff if thats what you have ?, If its something we
     already have then is yours going to be better, in fact so
     much beter that we dump the tried and tested stuff in favour
     of yours?

      there are opening and space out there if you have something
     the ATARIan wants, so don't let me put you off, but to
     answer your question 3 (the important one) then we realy
     would need more info.

     In my humble opinion, the ATARI is a Hobbyist platform and
     not the place to make your fortune. "

Ben Hall asks for help getting his ST to talk to his new ZIP drive:
     "So after a story too long and frustrating to relate here (let's just
     say I'm never buying anything from PC World again), I finally have my
     Zip Plus connected to my ST, but nothing works yet :(

     My system: Atari --> Link 2 --> SystemSolutions MiniS -->Zip
     Plus (via "autodetect" cable and an Iomega 25-to-50 adapter
     from Maplins)

     With the Zip Plus plugged in to the MiniS (even with the Zip not
     turned on), the ICD driver software doesn't even register the Link as
     connected, and neither drives work. Unplug the Zip, and the Link/MiniS
     works fine. (MiniS SCSI ID 1, Zip ID 5)

     Now I'm pretty sure I ordered a Link2 - anyone who has one, does it
     say "The Link2" on it, or just "The Link"? Mine says the latter, which
     made me think that maybe I have the first one, which doesn't support
     parity, and can't be used with the Zip. (When I originally ordered the
     Link+MiniS drive I had to wait about three months because SysSol
     didn't have any Link's left, and I was told that the ones that were
     coming in were Link 2's, and that I would get one of those with my
     drive.) The ICD floppies (v6.5.5) have "The Link, The Link2" written
     on it, and HOST.TOS registers the host adapter thusly:

     ICD Determine Host Adapter  Type Version 2.08
     Copyright 1994 ICD Inc.

     ID  Drive Type                 Adapter Type
     1  MAXTOR  7213-SCSI          Link/AdSCSI/AdSCSI Micro

The Zip Plus (apparently) sets it's own termination automatically,
so I dunno how I can access and therefore test this. The MiniS has
no termination settings on the back panel, and I've never figured
how to open it up to see whether there's any jumpers in side, so
that draws a blank too. I don't have the necessary leads to connect
the Zip directly to the Link and bypass the MiniS, so I can't try
that either.

Leaving aside defective equipment, I can only think that it could
be the Link or the MiniS termination settings causing the problem.
So, anyone got any ideas..?"

David Knight tells Ben:
     "When I added a normal zip drive to my falcon at the end of
     the scsi chain I had problems.

     I don't know if this is correct but in my case it seemed the
     termination on the zip didn't work (even with the switch set
     to on).

     The solution was to swap my cd drive and zip drive over so
     the termination was on the cd drive."

Claes Holmerup tells Ben:
     "I believe you have a problem with the TERMPWR (termination
     power), which isn't supplied by the Zip (which is normal).
     The last unit on the SCSI-chain has to supply TERMPWR to get
     power to the Link and that's probably why it fails when you
     have the Zip connected. I believe it would work if you
     connect the Zip closest to the interface and the harddisk as
     the last unit on the chain, with a termination plug
     connected.

     Otherwise you should get it working if you make a cable that
     takes the +5V from a port on the computer and supplies it to
     the TERMPWR pin in the Zip's second SCSI-connector.
     Naturally, the Zip must be terminated in the normal way with
     the switch on the back too."

Terry Ross asks for help with hooking up a 33,600 baud modem:
     "I just went out and bought a 33.6 modem.  But SERIAL.CPX
     won't let me select a speed higher than 19.2 - what do I need
     to reconfigure to allow me to use 28.8 or 33.6?  HSMODEM?
     anything in my DIAL.SCR or DEFAULT.CFG?  I've tried changing
     HSMODEM, but it's telling me that it's an invalid baud rate
     (I've tried 38400 and 57600)."

Steve Hammond tells Terry:
     "If you are using Modem 1 then all you can get is 19200. See
     if you can change Modem 2 to 38400 or Ser.2/LAN to 57600 or
     115200 with the SERIAL.CPX. If you can't change either of
     these it means that something is not configured correctly
     with HSModem or incorrect modules are loaded. FastSerial v096
     also works fine - it is a lot easier to set up but will not
     give you 230400 bps on Ser.2/LAN. E mail me if you have
     further questions."

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




                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING

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