|The Atari SIG Historical Archive|
|Created and hosted by: atarimax.com|
|[ HOME | GO ATARI | 8-BIT | ST/TT | PORTFOLIO | LYNX | JAGUAR | LIBRARY ]|
Article #687 (730 is last): From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags Subject: ST Report: 13-Feb-98 #1406 Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson) Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG) Date: Fri Feb 20 17:55:50 1998 Silicon Times Report "The Original Independent Online Magazine" (Since 1987 - Our 11th Year) February 13, 1998 No.1406 Silicon Times Report International Magazine Post Office Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32236-6672 R.F. Mariano, Editor STR Publishing, Inc. Voice: 1-904-292-9222 10am-5pm EST FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs STReport WebSite http://www.streport.com STR Publishing's FTP Support Server 10gb - Back Issues - Patches - Support Files (Continually Updated) ftp.streport.com Anonymous Login ok - Use your Email Address as a Password Check out STReport's NEWS SERVER NEWS.STREPORT.COM Have you tried Microsoft's Powerful and Easy to Use Internet Explorer 4.01? Internet Explorer 4.0 is STReport's Official Internet Web Browser. STReport is prepared and published Using MS Office 97, Corel Office Perfect 8 & Adobe Acrobat Pro 3 Featuring a Full Service Web Site http://www.streport.com Voted TOP TEN Ultimate WebSite Join STReport's Subscriber List receive STReport Via Email on The Internet Toad Hall BBS 1-978-670-5896 02/13/98 STR 1406 "Often Imitated, But never Surpassed!" - CPU Industry Report - Corel NewsWire - 450Mhz Pentium - Montezuma's Return - Adobe NewsBits - Intel inside Barbie - DirecTV Delays - New Intel 3D Chip - ISO OKs QuickTime - N64 "Nagano 98" - People Talking - Classics & Gaming NETSCAPE LOOKING FOR A BUYER? FTC WARNS JUNK E-MAILERS! REMAIN CALM, NETSCAPE STAFF TOLD!! STReport International Magazine Featured Weekly "Accurate UP-TO-THE-MINUTE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, Gossip and Information Hardware - Software - Corporate - R & D - Imports Adobe Acrobat Pro 3.0 Please obtain the latest issue from our Auto Subscription, Web Site or FTP Site. Enjoy the wonder and excitement of exchanging all types of useful information relative to all computer types, worldwide, through the use of the Internet. All computer enthusiasts, hobbyist or commercial, on all platforms and BBS systems are invited to participate. IMPORTANT NOTICE STReport, with its policy of not accepting any input relative to content from paid advertisers, has over the years developed the reputation of "saying it like it really is". When it comes to our editorials, product evaluations, reviews and over-views, we shall always keep our readers interests first and foremost. With the user in mind, STReport further pledges to maintain the reader confidence that has been developed over the years and to continue "living up to such". All we ask is that our readers make certain the manufacturers, publishers etc., know exactly where the information about their products appeared. In closing, we shall arduously endeavor to meet and further develop the high standards of straight forwardness our readers have come to expect in each and every issue. The Publisher, Staff & Editors Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35 Results: 02/07/98: three of six numbers with no matches >From the Editor's Desk... Editorials are sometimes so painfully unclear it's a wonder anybody ever "gets the message". As one of many younger computer users two and a half decades ago. (25yrs is a long time) I began on an 8bit wonder of a computer with color graphics that at the time were stunning and sound with music! (Atari800) I enjoyed it so much I stayed with the Atari platform and all its incarnations of computers etc., until the platform was so dead that others on the same platform began sniping at each other. It (the entire scenario) was not a pretty picture. As of 1987 I had, of course, migrated to a vibrant, very much alive platform. (The PC MSDos Platform.) I am still here and luvin' it.. (Windows 98 now) Many have asked me. why, since I am so heavy into graphics and midi music, I didn't go with a MAC. My answer is short and to the point. At the time I was making the changeover, I had just been severely burnt on a 680xxx machine. I wasn't ready for another, uncomfortable "rotisserie ride". Besides, the Macs at that time were as outrageous in price as they are now. I believe the MAC had a heckuva shot at real marketshare,,, but they priced themselves "slap" outta reality. Now I don't have an axe to grind or really give a hoot about another's preferences in just about anything in life as long as it doesn't harm me or mine.
So, when I mouth off about my past prefs as far as a computer are concerned. its strictly for informational purposes. I enjoyed almost every minute on the platform I learned computing and command line cryptology on . I have no real regrets other than perhaps the original choice I made to stay on that platform out of some sort of misguided or misplaced loyalty to a product. Especially when one loses their proverbial butt! Yes indeed, I learned a great deal from those formative years. After having met many wonderful people at each of the seminars I gave. I am now in position to look back and see where I made some truly "enlightened" decisions. Sometime in the future I'll tell ya about `em. Talk about "setups"! If you are still computing on a so-called "dead platform" and are enjoying yourself. then, by all means stay there and have a ball! At the same time, if you're there only because you feel you can't afford the changeover, either in dollars or time to learn the new platform, stop kidding yourself!! You can do it and the learning curve is a cakewalk. You already have the basics down pat.. the rest is merely association and that takes about a week. Gotta tell ya. 333Mhz mmx is impressive to say the least. Ralph... Of Special Note: http://www.streport.com ftp.streport.com news.streport.com ICQ#:1170279 STReport is now ready to offer much more in the way of serving the Networks, Online Services and Internet's vast, fast growing site list and userbase. We now have our very own WEB, FTP and NewsGroup Sites, do stop by and have a look see. Since We've received numerous requests to receive STReport from a wide variety of Internet addressees, we were compelled to put together an Internet distribution/mailing list for those who wished to receive STReport on a regular basis, the file is ZIPPED, then UUENCODED. Unfortunately, we've also received a number of opinions that the UUENCODING was a real pain to deal with. You'll be pleased to know you are able to download STReport directly from our very own FTP SERVER or WEB Site. While there, be sure to join our STR AutoMailer list which allows a choice of either ASCII or Acrobat PDF. STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs Section Editors PC Section Mac Section Shareware Listings R.F. Mariano Help Wanted Help Wanted Classics & Gaming Kid's Computing Corner Dana P. Jacobson Frank Sereno STReport Staff Editors Michael R. Burkley Joseph Mirando Victor Mariano Vincent P. O'Hara Glenwood Drake Contributing Correspondent Staff Jason Sereno Jeremy Sereno Daniel Stidham David H. Mann Angelo Marasco Donna Lines Brian Boucher Leonard Worzala Please submit ALL letters, rebuttals, articles, reviews, etc., via E-Mail w/attachment to: Internet email@example.com STR FTP ftp.streport.com WebSite http://www.streport.com STReport Headline News LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson Dilbert Heads to TV Dilbert, the comic strip hero of the office workplace, will soon become a weekly prime time TV series. Dilbert creator Scott Adams and Larry Charles, producer of such sitcom hits as Seinfeld and Mad About You, will serve as executive producers of the animated series, which will debut on UPN this fall. "Dilbert is a perfect fit for prime time animation," says Adams. "The readers have been begging me to bring it to TV. It's exciting to find the talent and resources to make it happen." "Like the Dilbert strip, the television series will explore the surreal subculture of the corporate world, with its rigid rules, rituals, languages and customs, thereby revealing the absurdity of the society at large," notes Charles. According to the producers, Dilbert's modest home will be seen in the series, along with familiar characters from the comic strip including Dogbert, Ratbert, Catbert, the pointy-haired Boss, Wally and Alice. Microsoft Shifts Browsers Unit Regulators already are sniffing the wind as a reorganization at Microsoft Corp. brings the company's Internet browser business unit into the same group as its Windows operating system. The move, company spokeswoman Heidi Rothauser tells reporter Martin Wolk of the Reuter News Service, is part of a shift to focus the company's efforts on two broad initiatives that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has dubbed the "digital nervous system" for business and the "Web lifestyle" for consumers. As noted, Microsoft has been battling antitrust charges stemming from its efforts in the Internet browser market. Says Wolk, "In reams of documents and at a two-day federal court hearing last month, Microsoft has argued that its Internet Explorer browser is an integral part of the Windows operating system. But until the realignment disclosed Friday, the products were handled by separate units under Group Vice President Paul Maritz, who is in charge of platforms and applications." Now, though: O Microsoft Vice President David Cole will move to the company's personal and business systems group, where he will oversee continued O development of the browser. O Brad Chase, a high-profile marketing vice president, also will move to the personal and business systems group, which includes Windows, developer relations and the company's BackOffice server applications for computer networks. O Bob Muglia, a vice president in charge of server applications, was promoted to senior vice president in charge of the newly named applications and tools group formerly headed by Brad Silverberg. The company also created a new Web Essentials unit under Group Vice President Pete Higgins, who is in charge of interactive media. The new unit, under John Ludwig and Laura Jennings, will aim to consolidate the company's Internet Services including its Internet "start" pages, Microsoft Network, and Outlook Express, an electronic mail product, Wolk reports. Rothauser said the goal of the Web Essentials unit is to "focus on a core set of services and content that will make the web a powerful and essential service for computer users," adding it had taken a lead role in the company's shift to focus on the Internet beginning in late 1995. Managers Want Separate Win, IE A new InformationWeek survey of 200 information technology managers finds that corporate America may not be eager to adopt the integrated Web browser/operating system that Microsoft's upcoming Windows 98 and Windows NT 5.0 releases will deliver. Contrary to Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates' assertions that customers want his company to integrate the Internet Explorer Web browser into the Windows operating systems, the InformationWeek research found that 34 percent of corporate information technology (IT) managers want the browser to remain separate. Another 28 percent of the respondents said they do want see the products integrated, while 22 percent said they were unsure and 16 percent said they don't care. The results closely mirror the results of a survey conducted by InformationWeek last October. Last year, 37 percent said that they do not want to see Explorer integrated into Windows. The survey also finds that a year from now IT mangers feel that Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 will overwhelmingly be the predominant operating systems deployed in the enterprise. More than half (51 percent) said that Windows 95 will be the most common operating system installed, 39 percent said it will be Windows NT 4.0, while only five percent said it will be Windows 98 and another five percent said Windows NT 5.0. To view the complete study, visit InformationWeek's Web site at http://www.informationweek.com/bizint. Remain Calm, Netscape Staff Told Amid takeover speculation, employees of Netscape Communications Corp. are being urged by CEO James Barksdale to remain calm and focused on their jobs. As reported earlier, insiders say Netscape, facing ever more intense competition from Microsoft Corp., may decide to sell some or all of the company. Now The New York Times reports Barksdale has sent an e-mail message to employees, saying, "These rumors are damaging to us and extremely distracting." The paper says Barksdale also spoke to more than 2,000 employees last week, saying, "We have defied the odds before and we can do it again." The web browser pioneer's stock jumped last week on speculation Sun Microsystems Inc. or another technology company might buy the company. Last month, though, Netscape posted a $115.5 million loss for 1997 and has plans to lay off 400 of its 3,200 workers. AOL, CompuServe Realign America Online today announced it is realigning responsibilities among its senior executives and taking a series of restructuring actions at its CompuServe unit that will lead to a cutback of 500 jobs there. In Dulles, Va., AOL officials also told the Reuter News Service it will boost its monthly charge for unlimited use of its service to $21.95 from $19.95, a move termed necessary in order to keep pace with increased online usage by its subscribers. In other developments, AOL said it will: O Speed up development of the next generation of CompuServe software, known as version 5.0. O Suspend work on a Web-based CompuServe service called "C." O Review alternatives for Sprynet, CompuServe's Internet service provider unit. AOL said in a statement the 500 CompuServe employees affected by the cutbacks will be offered "generous severance packages" ranging from six months' to one year or more in salary, based on length of service with the company. As reported, AOL has said it planned to continue to operate CompuServe as a separate service headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. $9 Billion Software Offer Made Business software maker Computer Associates International Inc. is offering $9 billion in cash to buy Computer Sciences Corp., a computer services concern. Reporting from New York, The Associated Press notes Computer Associates had $4.5 billion in revenue last year while Computer Sciences generated more than $5.3 billion in revenue last year from providing services for a variety of computer systems used by business and government. "The combined company," adds AP, "would employ more than 50,000 people and generate annual revenues of $11 billion a year." Wall Street is interested. Computer Sciences stock shot up 21 percent on the news before easing somewhat, up $13.06 1/4 a share at $150.25 in midday trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. Meanwhile, Computer Associates shares were down a sharp 11 percent, or $6.43 3/4 at $51.62 1/2, on the NYSE. Computer Associates says it made the offer in a letter to Computer Sciences' Chairman/CEO Van B. Honeycutt. States Hold Firm on Net Taxes A showdown is imminent between state legislators and the federal government over the lucrative issue of taxing the Internet. Writing for United Press International, reporter Denise Kalette notes the National Conference of State Legislatures is worried the proposed federal Internet Tax Freedom Act could cost them revenue if it limits their ability to tax goods sold on the Internet. As reported, a bill proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) would impose a five-year moratorium on "discriminatory" Internet taxes, which would apply only on the Internet. Elaborating on his proposal, Wyden said, "If you buy sneakers in a store and pay 6 percent sales tax, the bill says that if you buy them over the Internet, you pay 6 percent" rather than 10 percent. He said the proposed "time-out" would: O Allow new businesses to continue to grow on the Net, without getting tangled in taxes and conflicting regulations from 50 states. O Give state and federal experts time to work out a tax policy that would share Internet revenue. O Would avoid what Wyden says happened with the direct mail industry -- "20 years of nonstop litigation" -- over which states are entitled to taxes. Arkansas legislator Myra Jones says more and more companies are shifting operations to the Net, adding she supports a moratorium but "the interpretation" of the bill worries her because it might justify taking more money from states. Also, U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), says the bill is so broadly written that it could snatch state money, calling it "a goofy piece of legislation." UPI says 12 states and localities now collect more than $50 million from Internet operations. FTC Warns Junk E-Mailers The Federal Trade Commission and postal inspectors say they have sent more than 1,000 warnings to businesses suspected of sending illegal junk mail and operating shady moneymaking schemes over the Internet. According to The Associated Press, the largest categories targeted by the federal enforcers are: Chain letters, in which the e-mail recipient is urged to send some money to a list of people, remove the last name on the list and add his own before forwarding it to friends. Pyramid setups, in which participants put cash into a pool with the promise that their money will multiply as more people join. AP says other e-mail solicitors receiving written warnings include those offering "cash grants," deceptive diet and medical aids, credit repair and "guaranteed" credit cards. Says the wire service, "Every day, consumers forward about 500 e-mails they believe are fraudulent or deceptive to the FTC for investigation." As reported, the FTC maintains an electronic address -- http://www.uceftc.gov -- for such purposes. Consumers also send volumes of unsolicited e-mail received to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Bill to Make Schools Block Smut A bill introduced by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain would specify that schools and libraries wouldn't qualify for federally subsidized Internet hookups unless they kept youngsters away from the smutty sections of cyberspace. McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, is what Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa characterizes as "an ardent critic" of the Federal Communications Commission's Internet subsidy program. As reported, the subsidies come from payments imposed on telecommunications carriers and some of their customers and provide schools, libraries and rural health care specialists with discounted hookups to the Internet. The McCain bill would require that as a condition for receiving a subsidy, a school would have to certify that it was using screening software to prevent children from accessing Web sites with indecent materials. The measure does not recommend a specific screening device, but leaves it up to schools to decide. Says Aversa, "A school in New York City, for instance, might decide to use a screening technology that blocks out fewer Web sites, while a school in Mesa, Arizonz, might opt for heavier blocking. Commercially available software such as CyberPatrol, SurfWatch, NetNanny and CYBERsitter have different standards for blocking." Also, public libraries wanting subsidized Internet access also would have to certify that at least one computer available for public use would be equipped with screening software. The bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, senior Democrat on the committee, told the wire service, "It gives schools and libraries an added financial incentive to filter children's access to the Internet when children are not under parental supervision." Also signing on as co-sponsors of the McCain legislation are Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, and Sen. Patty Murray D-Washington. AP notes the subsidy program provides $675 million for schools, libraries and rural health care providers for the first half of this year. The subsidies are set to be disbursed for the first time in the spring. "Supporters deny the bill infringes on the Constitution's guarantee of free speech," says Aversa, "arguing that it doesn't directly force schools or libraries to use screening technology. They said the courts have upheld past efforts by the government to require people or groups to do certain things as a condition of receiving monies through a federal program." But, of course, as widely reported, but when Congress tried in a 1996 telecommunications law to restrict children's access to smutty materials on the Internet, the U.S. Supreme Court threw the provisions out as unconstitutional. (The CONTROL FREAKS are at "IT" Again!!) Israel Uses Web to Calm Fears A site on the Internet's World Wide Web launched by Israel's military seeks to provide information to jittery Israelis fearing an Iraqi attack in the standoff over U.N. weapons inspections. Reporting from Jerusalem, the Reuter News Service quotes an Israeli army spokeswoman as saying, "The site includes information on defense-related issues including shelters, sealed rooms, gas masks and provides phone numbers of information centers around the country." The site, located at http://www.idf.il, also includes facts and figures about the Israeli Defense Forces. Reuters notes, "Israelis have packed gas mask distribution centers fearing a threatened U.S. strike on Iraq over U.N. weapons inspections could push Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to unleash chemical or biological weapons on Israel." The wire service notes the Israeli government initiated an information campaign earlier in the week to try to reduce public anxiety. Says the website, "The Israeli defence, civil defence and medical establishments are ready for any eventuality and the protective kit, coupled with protected areas/sealed rooms or shelters, offer excellent protection against biological and chemical weapons." Fraud Fears Threaten Net Business Business on the Internet could soar from $2.6 billion in 1996 to $220 billion in 2001, but "consumers must feel confident that the Internet is safe from fraud," the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission has told a Senate panel. Citing remarks prepared for delivery to the investigations subcommittee of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, United Press International quotes FTC chairman Robert Pitofsky as saying his group has filed more than 25 law enforcement actions against alleged fraud on the Internet. Pitofsky, one of a number of witnesses testifying this week about the Internet, is telling the panel the commission first held public hearings about the problem in 1995. "It concluded," says the wire service, "that consumer protection must be coordinated, private and public officials must act in 'partnership,' and consumers need to be educated 'through the combined efforts of government, business and consumer groups.'" Pitofsky said that while alleged frauds are dressed up in high-tech garb, most were just old-fashioned scams, such as pyramid schemes, business opportunity schemes and credit repair scams. 'Trojan Horse' Detector Offered Symantec Corp. says its Symantec AntiVirus Research Center has developed a new Trojan Horse detection engine that's designed to address the growing threat of this type of malicious code. Trojan Horses are programs that appear to be legitimate but actually are designed to carry out malicious activities when activated, such as stealing passwords or destroying data. Symantec is offering the detection engine to users of its Norton AntiVirus software. According to the software publisher, pproximately 90 percent of Trojan Horses found in circulation today are from online services. Significant numbers of Trojan Horses are designed to steal a user's login ID and password and then e-mail it to someone else who then makes use of the account at the user's expense. Other Trojan Horses may display obscene messages on the user's screen or delete the contents of their hard drive. Users typically get Trojan Horses by downloading a program that seems benign or promises the user something like free online time. Once it is downloaded and executed, the malicious code begins to work. The difference between Trojan Horses and traditional computer viruses is that Trojan Horses do not replicate themselves and spread on their own. They can only be transmitted intentionally via e-mail or disk or downloaded directly onto a PC. This means that, unlike a traditional computer virus, users are typically only affected once by a specific Trojan Horse. Symantec says its Trojan Horse detection engine operates on a type of signature-based scanning, pulling from a database of hundreds of previously identified Trojan Horses. It compares a variety of carefully calculated identities for each known Trojan Horse to potential malicious code on the user's computer and deletes any offenders that match. To guard against Trojan Horses, Symantec recommends that online users should be wary of programs that make promises too good to be true in order to avoid being attacked by a Trojan Horse. Also, users should not install programs sent unsolicited through e-mail or sent by someone they do not recognize. PC-Enhanced Toys in the Works Intel Corp. has signed a letter of intent with Mattel Inc. to develop "PC-enhanced toys." According to a statement issued by the companies, Mattel designers would work with Intel engineers "to combine toy design know-how with innovative technologies to deliver fresh and unique play experiences." "Smart playthings are the future of the toy industry," says Doug Glen, Mattel's chief strategy officer. "By teaming up with Intel, we intend to combine the world's leading technology with the world's favorite toys. The smarter and more interactive our toys become, the better we are able to foster children's thinking skills as they play." "Interactive play has always been one of the key drivers of personal computer technology," adds Ron Whittier, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's content group. "Our vision is to work with toy companies to enable this remarkable new category of playthings that are more fun." Intel to Offer 450MHz Pentiums A new top-speed 450- megahertz Pentium II chip is to be rolled out by Intel Corp. in the second half of the year. It will follow 350 and 400MHz chips expected on the market in the first half of this year. Writing for the Dow Jones news service, reporter Mark Boslet notes, "The planned lineup of high-performance chips illustrates Intel's new strategy of designing and adapting its processors for specific market segments, both at the high and low-end of the market." Boslet says the chipmaker also plans to release 233 and 266MHz Pentium IIs during the first half of the year for personal computers selling at less than $1,000. Intel Vice President Albert Yu, in charge of microprocessor design, says the chips will sell at a "competitive price" and target a market segment that has grown faster than expected. But, says Boslet, they won't have some of the advanced technology planned for top-of-the-line chips in order to keep costs down, including memory caches and faster buses that transmit digital signals inside computers. Also look for: O The 400 and 450MHz chips also to include a Slot II architecture, increasing their ability to interact with other processors installed in the same computer. O Intel to bring out a 333 megahertz Pentium II by the end of the year for laptop computers. Intel Unveils Graphics Chip Chipmaker Intel Corp. is releasing its long-awaited I-740 graphics chip designed to bring sophisticated three-dimensional images to mainstream personal computers. Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter Dean Takahashi, says the chip "once again ... will make life difficult for smaller competitors," adding, "This time, however, the chip giant is moving into a market where dominance isn't a sure thing." The paper notes the Federal Trade Commission already is investigating Intel's business practices, "including exploiting its near-monopoly in microprocessors to move into adjacent markets." Takahashi says the regulators recently approved Intel's purchase of graphics-chip maker Chips & Technologies Inc., "but pointedly reserved the right to re-examine the deal later." The I740, to be placed on $189 to $249 circuit boards for PCs that cost $1,500 to $2,500, includes two-dimensional graphics and video features from Chips & Technologies. "But the heart of the product," says the Journal, "is 3-D circuitry developed by Real3D, a spinoff of defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. that adapted technology used to create realistic scenes in military simulation systems. (Intel controls 20 percent of Real3D.)" Analyst Peter Glaskowsky at Micro Design Resources Inc. in Sunnyvale, California, told the paper the I740 is the fastest product yet that combines multiple graphics functions on a single chip, but it will have had a bigger jump on competitors if it arrived last fall as originally scheduled, adding, "At least two or three rivals will be faster." Takahashi says companies known to be working on advanced 3-D products include start-ups Nvidia Inc., Chromatic Research Inc., 3Dlabs Inc. and 3Dfx Interactive Inc. Sony Debus VAIO Tower Models Sony Electronics has added two new models to its VAIO Tower Computer line. The PCV-230 and PCV-210 feature Pentium II processors running at 300MHz and 266MHz, respectively. The systems are the first models in Sony's VAIO line to debut at less than $2,000. The PCV-230 is priced at $1,999; the PCV-210 sells for $1,699. Standard features on the PCV-230 include 3D graphics acceleration through a 64-bit Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP), PCI audio, 64MB of SD-RAM, a 6.4 GB hard drive, a 24X CD-ROM drive, a 56K modem and more than 30 software titles. The PCV-210 features 32MB of SD-RAM, and a 4.3 GB hard drive. The rest of its features are identical to the PCV-230. Both models include VAIO Space II, Sony's proprietary application interface that gives users single-click registration, information on pre-installed software and dynamic Web-based technical assistance. Sony is also offering 90 days of free Internet access with no credit card required. The promotion gives VAIO customers Net access for up two hours per day, a maximum of 50 hours total. More details are available on Sony's Web site at http://www.sony.com/pc. ISO Adopts QuickTime File Format Apple Computer Inc., IBM Corp., Netscape Corp., Oracle Corp., Silicon Graphics Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced that the International Standards Organization (ISO) has adopted the companies' joint proposal to use Apple's QuickTime File Format as the starting point for the development of a unified digital media storage format for the MPEG-4 specification. The six companies now plan to collaborate with other companies and industry bodies to further refine the specification and the QuickTime file format, ensuring that MPEG-4 quickly gains market acceptance. "MPEG's decision to utilize the QuickTime file format for the MPEG-4 specification has huge benefits for users and the industry", says Ralph Rogers, Dataquest's principal multimedia analyst. "This strategy will leverage the broad adoption of QuickTime in the professional media space, speed the creation of MPEG-4 tools and content while providing a common target for industry adoption." The current MPEG-2 is the industry standard for entertainment-quality video and audio and is the format of choice for DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) and DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting). MPEG-4 is an emerging digital media standard currently being defined by ISO's Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) that will enable users to select, view and manipulate audio, video and other forms of digital content. Tactile Mouse: What a Feeling! A mouse-like PC peripheral that gives users the ability to physically feel Web pages has been developed by Immersion Corp. Using a technology known as "force feedback," the FEELit Mouse can realistically simulate physical sensations that are presented to the user as forces applied to the device's built-in handle. "When using the FEELit Mouse, the cursor becomes an extension of your fingers," says Louis Rosenberg, Immersion's president. "Anything the cursor encounters is felt as if you touched it with your hand. And it feels profoundly real -- textures, surfaces, springs, liquids, friction, magnets ... almost anything is possible." Immersion has developed Windows software that allows the FEELit Mouse to interact with Web pages accessed through Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. The San Jose, California, company has also developed software tools and a software protocol known as the FEELit API that can be used to add sophisticated feel sensations to standard HTML files. "We are opening a new channel of communication between users and computers," says Rosenberg. "The FEELit Mouse has the potential to change the way people think about computing, making the digital world of software tangible and accessible. A well-designed Web page will no longer just look good and sound good, it will feel good -- intuitive and satisfying, just like the real world." Immersion expects to begin shipping the FEELit Mouse by year's end for about $139. Additional information is available on the Web at http://www.force-feedback.com. Geneva Agrees to Modem Standard >From Geneva comes word the International Telecommunications Union has agreed on a standard on 56K modems. The Associated Press notes, "Manufacturers already produce modems that operate at that speed, but used two competing standards that prevent their products from working with each other." The wire service says modem makers have said they will quickly adopt the new standard. The union said the agreement is expected to boost modem sales significantly, to 75 million a year by the year 2000 from 50 million last year. Enhanced Web Language Proposed The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Internet's standards-setting body, has released XML 1.0, its recommended specification for an enhanced Web document language. XML 1.0 is the W3C's first recommendation for the Extensible Markup Language (XML), a system for defining, validating and sharing document formats on the Web. A W3C recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability and has been reviewed and approved by W3C members. XML was created and developed by the W3C's XML Working Group, which includes such key industry players as Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Netscape and Sun Microsystems, as well as experts in structured documents and electronic publishing. XML is intended to meet the requirements of large-scale Web content providers for industry-specific markup, vendor-neutral data exchange, media-independent publishing, one-on-one marketing, workflow management in collaborative authoring environments and the processing of Web documents by intelligent clients. XML fully supports both European and Asian languages. "The commitment of strong competitors such as Sun, HP, Microsoft and Netscape to work together on an open standard for information exchange has been a remarkable demonstration of cooperation for the common good," says Jon Bosak, Sun's online information technology architect and head of the W3C's XML Working Group. "XML represents a key technical advance in Web technology. It enables secure electronic commerce on an expanded scale thus ushering in a new generation of distributed applications." For more information on XML, visit the W3C's Web site at http://www.w3.org/XML/. Volcanoes Revisited (Forwarded via CompuServe Mail) A few months ago we had lively discussion about forecasting volcanic eruption, a notoriously difficult task. I was interested to receive the following email a few days ago and pass it along for anyone who may be interested in pursuing the techniques used. To my limited knowledge (very) of volcanology, this is the only program of its type: Dear Fellow Colleagues: Starting this year, the Southwest Volcano Research Centre (SWVRC), as an additional service to the volcanology community, is notifying the general volcano community of the volcanoes that "ERUPTION" has forecasted to have an event this year, 1998. "ERUPTION" has now been in development for over nine years with many trials and tribulations. Since late 1996 however, and to date, it has been reasonably accurate in its forecasting ability. The forecasting accuracy of "ERUPTION" for 1997, for example, was 85.71% with a reliability of 86.2%. Of the 28 eruptions of the categories that "ERUPTION" monitors, 24 were correctly forecasted. "ERUPTION" is now out of Beta testing. This software programme is intended as an additional aid and diagnostic tool and is not intended as the definitive concept in forecasting an eruption of any particular volcano. It should be kept in mind that the software package "ERUPTION" certainly, at this point, is in no way infallible, and only as good as the data used in creating it. This programme should not be used for volcanic hazard prediction or disaster mitigation by the public at this time. Further, the "ERUPTION" software package's intent is to forecast, to the nearest year possible, with relevant available data, volcanoes about the world, primarily strato, compound or complex type volcanoes, the next eruption event. Furthermore, forecasting as used by "ERUPTION" has the notion of "may or probably' and not will erupt. For further information about our research, "ERUPTION", etc., we invite you to visit out website at the URL address of: (Note: The character before ej76707 is probably a "tilde") or contact SWVRC directly. All contact information is readily available from our website under "Contact Info". The 1998 forecast can be found under the "Volcano Research" icon. It is hoped that the projections of volcanoes in your area of concern will be of interest and benefit to you. Respectfully, SOUTHWEST VOLCANO RESEARCH CENTRE "R. B." Dr. R. B. Trombley Principal Research Volcanologist e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Corel Galleria Launches Language Center Ottawa, Canada_ February 9, 1998_ Internet shoppers can now purchase localized versions of Corel's award-winning graphics and productivity software online at Corel Galleria. Corel has responded to the needs of multilingual users by providing this easy and innovative way to access language-specific software in North America. Partnered with Digital River, Inc., a leader in electronic commerce, Corel Galleria offers online shoppers a host of exciting stores where they can find Corel's full line of English language software, over 80,000 royalty-free stock photos, screen savers, reference materials, and more. Since its expansion in September 1997, Corel Galleria has experienced sales increases of 12-13 % per month. "We are extremely pleased with the results of our partnership with Digital River," said Dr. Michael Cowpland, president and chief executive officer of Corel Corporation. "We recognized e-commerce as a rapidly expanding shopping alternative and believe that offering localized software shows our ongoing commitment to its continued improvement." Corel's new Language Center will offer users the convenience of purchasing shrink-wrapped versions of their favorite Corel software in a variety of languages. Initial offerings include shrink-wrapped versions of CorelDRAW and Corel WordPerfect Suite software in Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Localized products on Corel Galleria are available in North America only. Joel Ronning, president and chief executive officer of Digital River said, "Corel's product breadth has allowed us to create one of the best commerce sites on the web. Corel is one of the world's largest software publishers, and they chose Digital River because our technology and experience has enabled them to deliver their products over the Internet with confidence." Coming Soon.... In the weeks ahead, online shoppers who visit the Photo Studio on Corel Galleria will find some exciting changes. In addition to offering over 80,000 royalty-free images for download, the revamped Corelr Photo Studio will include an array of photo collections organized around varying themes. Shoppers on Corel Galleria will be able to choose from our Individual Photo CD's, Corel's Super Ten Pack collections and the Corel Stock Photo Libraries I- IV. Internet shoppers can also visit the USA TODAY Software Marketplace at http://marketplace.usatoday.com where Digital River is showcasing a selection of Corel products. USA TODAY is one of Digital River's more than 100 on-line resellers now offering thousands of royalty- free images and popular products such as CorelDRAW and Corel WordPerfect. Corel Corporation Incorporated in 1985, Corel Corporation is recognized internationally as an award-winning developer and marketer of productivity applications, graphics and Internet software. Corel's product line includes CorelDRAWT, Corelr WordPerfectr Suite, Corelr Office Professional, Corelr WebMaster Suite, CorelVIDEOT and CorelCADT. Corel's products run on most operating systems, including: Windowsr, Macintoshr, UNIX, MS-DOS, and OpenVMS and are consistently rated among the strongest in the industry. The company ships its products in over 17 languages through a network of more than 160 distributors in 70 countries worldwide. Corel is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol: COS) and the NASDAQ - National Market System (symbol: COSFF). For more information visit Corel's home page on the Internet at http://www.corel.com. Corel, WordPerfect, Presentations, CorelDRAW, CorelVIDEO and CorelCAD are registered trademarks or trademarks of Corel Corporation or Corel Corporation Limited. Sylvan and Sylvan Learning Systems Centers are registered trademarks and Authorized Prometric Testing Centers and Sylvan Prometric are trademarks of Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., in the U.S. and Canada. All product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N LEXMARK OPTRA C COLOR LASER PRINTER For a limited time only; If you wish to have a FREE sample printout sent to you that demonstrates LEXMARK Optra C SUPERIOR QUALITY 600 dpi Laser Color Output, please send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope [SASE] (business sized envelope please) to: STReport's LEXMARK Printout Offer P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205-6155 Folks, the LEXMARK Optra C has to be the very best yet in its price range. It is far superior to anything we've seen or used as of yet. It is said that ONE Picture is worth a thousand words. The out put from the Lexmark Optra C is worth ten thousand words! Send for the free sample now. (For a sample that's suitable for framing, see below) Guaranteed. you will be amazed at the superb quality. (Please.. allow at least a two week turn- around). If you would like a sample printout that's suitable for framing. Yes that's right! Suitable for Framing. Order this package. It'll be on special stock and be of superb quality. We obtained a mint copy of a 1927 COLOR ENGRAVER'S YEAR BOOK. Our Scanner is doing "double duty"! The results will absolutely blow you away. If you want this high quality sample package please include a check or money order in the amount of $6.95 (Costs only) Please, make checks or money orders payable to; Ralph Mariano. Be sure to include your full return address and telephone number . The sample will be sent to you protected, not folded in a 9x12 envelope. Don't hesitate.. you will not be disappointed. This "stuff" is gorgeous! A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N-A T T E N T I O N "It doesn't get any better." Adobe Wins Summary Judgment in Copyright Infringement Lawsuit San Jose, Calif., (February 6, 1998) (Nasdaq: ADBE) - Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced that a federal district court in San Jose has ruled in Adobe's favor on its claim that certain fonts distributed by The Learning Company (formerly Softkey International, Inc.) infringe Adobe's copyrights. The judge's ruling analyzed one Adobe font, "Utopia," and held that the developer, Paul King of Southern Software, Inc. ("SSI"), illegally copied from Adobe's font software program, modified it, and licensed it to The Learning Company who distributed it as "Veracity." Adobe believes the ruling will apply with equal force to the more than 1100 other SSI fonts at issue in the litigation, which were developed and licensed in the very same manner. "We are very pleased with the judge's ruling. This continues our record in defending our intellectual property rights. The ruling in Adobe's favor is a victory, not just for Adobe, but for typeface designers, large and small, around the world," said Paul R. Anderson, Vice-President Type & Content. Adobe was represented in this action by the Palo Alto, California office of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. Adobe Helps Small Businesses Stand Out on the Web with PageMill 3.0 San Jose, Calif., (February 2, 1998) (Nasdaq:ADBE) -- For small businesses, being on the Web provides an opportunity to grow revenues by directly reaching customers at lower costs. Building a compelling Web presence, however, can take time and resources that quickly diminish the return on their Web investment. Today, Adobe Systems Incorporated introduced Adobe(R) PageMill(R) 3.0 software, the solution for small businesses needing to build a unique and professional-quality Web presence without sacrificing day-to-day business resources. A free preview version of Adobe PageMill 3.0 is available now for download from Adobe's Web site at http://www.adobe.com. Adobe PageMill 3.0 joins Adobe's category-leading family of complementary products, including Adobe Photoshop(R), Adobe PageMaker(R) and Adobe Illustrator(R) software, extending the power and control businesses have to communicate on the Web and in print. Adobe PageMill 3.0 enables users to easily create a unique and compelling Web presence and features a complete solution that integrates Web page authoring, site management and a limited edition of the leading Web graphics tool, Adobe Photoshop. "Adobe products have set the world standard for professional graphic design, enabling millions of customers to turn their company's marketing message into eye-catching, unforgettable content," said Kyle Mashima, vice president and general manager of Adobe's Home and Office Products Division. "With Adobe PageMill 3.0, small businesses now have a complete solution for building Web content that delivers their company's message with clarity and impact." For small businesses, successful Web marketing includes being able to build a unique and professional quality Web presence without a huge investment in time. Adobe PageMill 3.0 provides the solution, enabling them to build error-free, visually-interesting Web sites as quickly and as simply as dragging and dropping. "We wanted to put our business on-line, so I immediately turned to PageMill as a cost-effective, easy alternative," said Michael Golebiewski, Webmaster for Schroeder's Bakeries, Inc., a 50-person baked goods producer in Buffalo, New York. "With PageMill and Photoshop, we easily learned how to produce the site we wanted, ultimately resulting in orders from customers around the world. We also publish a printed newsletter with Adobe PageMaker, which we intend to convert to Portable Document Format using Acrobat software so we can deliver it to our customers on-line. With Adobe products, we have the control to build and manage the Web presence we want, all well within our budget." Unlike other Web authoring tools, which can cause users to unknowingly create Web pages only viewable in specific browsers and require end-users to install and run complex server software, Adobe PageMill 3.0 makes the task of creating and maintaining a compelling, error-free Web site fast and uncomplicated. Key new features in Adobe PageMill 3.0 include: Integrated Site Management Adobe PageMill 3.0 gives users the power to manage their Web sites the way they want. Adobe PageMill 3.0 software's complete site management capabilities enable users to update graphics, links, text, animations and any other elements across an entire site as simply as dragging and dropping. Best of all, PageMill software's site management features do not require users to install or run complicated server software. Advanced Page Layout Adobe PageMill 3.0 enables users to quickly and easily add advanced page layout capabilities to their Web pages, such as borderless frames, as simply as clicking and dragging a mouse. Visual feedback is instant and automatic. Error-free Web Pages No business wants to create Web pages that their customers can't see or that don't appear correctly in some Web browsers. Unlike other tools that can create Web pages that won't display properly for everyone, Adobe PageMill 3.0 ensures that the Web pages you create look the way you intend in today's popular Web browsers. For advanced HTML editing, PageMill's source mode passes HTML through "as is" to preserve specialized tags and formatting. Enhanced Support for Java and Multimedia Creating compelling Web sites with Adobe PageMill 3.0 is as quick and as simple as dragging and dropping. Users can embed, modify and preview multimedia elements, Java applets and animated GIFs, directly inside the PageMill editor. Professional-quality CD Content The Adobe PageMill 3.0 CD-ROM speeds the development process by providing thousands of professional-quality Web graphics, animations, page templates, Java applets and more -- all of which can be easily customized to build a unique and compelling Web presence. Adobe PageMill 3.0 also includes Photoshop LE, the limited edition version of the industry's leading Web graphics tool. Pricing and Availability A free preview version of Adobe PageMill 3.0 software for Windows(R) 95 and Windows NT(R) 4.0 is available now for downloading from Adobe's Web site at http://www.adobe.com. PageMill 3.0 is expected to ship in March, 1998, with an estimated street price of $99. About Adobe Systems Incorporated Based in San Jose, Calif., Adobe Systems Incorporated develops and supports products to help people express and use information in more imaginative and meaningful ways, across all print and electronic media. Founded in 1982, Adobe helped launch the desktop publishing revolution. Today, the company offers a market-leading line of application software and type products for creating and distributing visually rich communication materials; licenses its industry-standard technologies to major hardware manufacturers, software developers, and service providers; and offers integrated software solutions to businesses of all sizes. For more information, see Adobe's home page at http://www.adobe.com on the World Wide Web. EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed Edupage Contents Flaw In Widely Used Security System Suit Challenges Use Of Filtering Software In Public Library Netscape Looking For A Buyer? Argentine Supreme Court Rules Software Piracy Legal Microsoft Moves Browser Unit Into Windows Group DirecTV Delays Intel Inside Barbie Spammers Warned By FTC Senator Hatch Worries About Microsoft "Proprietary Internet" Clinton Administration Proposes Transferring .Edu Control Senators Offer Support For Filtering Software Power Computing Shuts Down Web Profits Still Elusive Microsoft To Use Collier's Content In Encarta AT&T Eyeing Cable-Net Venture Indian Tribe Creates Web-Based National Lottery AOL Raises The Bridge And Lowers The Water Computer Associates Makes Hostile Bid For Computer Sciences Sprint Teams With EarthLink QuickTime Accepted As Standard Media Companies Eye Technical Training Business Kodak Invests In Internet Photo Business Virtual TV Studios FLAW IN WIDELY USED SECURITY SYSTEM A flaw has been found in a security system that has been used for a number of years to control access to restricted areas in airports, prisons, financial institutions, technology organizations, drug companies, and government agencies. Apparently caused by a programming mistake, the flaw could allow terrorists to gain control of the electronic badges authorizing access to such areas. The FAA says it has "notified our field personnel and they are examining the situation with airports that use this system." (New York Times 8 Feb 98) SUIT CHALLENGES USE OF FILTERING SOFTWARE IN PUBLIC LIBRARY The American Civil Liberties Union and a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner are among eight plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of a decision by a library in Loudon County, Virginia, to use filtering software to block certain Internet sites from its publicly available computers. The X-Stop software, which is intended to screen out obscene material or sexually explicit language, is blocking sites that include some mainstream newspapers, a Methodist church, a university women's association, and a safe-sex page for teenagers. An ACLU attorney says: "We should hold libraries to the higher standards of the First Amendment. You simply can't block books that are constitutionally protected." The chair of the library's board says: "The library has the right to choose the material in its library. We could become the financers of pornography." (AP 8 Feb 98) NETSCAPE LOOKING FOR A BUYER? Analysts are speculating that Netscape, which is embroiled in a heated battle with Microsoft over the browser market, is seeking a buyer for all or part of the company, and has held discussions with Sun Microsystems, America Online, IBM, Oracle and others. All of these companies would like to see Netscape succeed in its efforts to derail Microsoft's incursions into the Web browser arena. Netscape's browser market share has fallen to 57%, down from 73% a year ago, largely due to Microsoft's success. Industry observers say Netscape's best strategy would be to partner with someone sooner rather than later, and not wait too long to sell, like Apple and Novell. (USA Today 6 Feb 98) ARGENTINE SUPREME COURT RULES SOFTWARE PIRACY LEGAL Executives of Microsoft, IBM and Unisys are protesting a recent Argentine Supreme Court decision ruling that antiquated copyright laws don't cover computer software. Software makers point out that royalties aren't paid on about 70% of the software sold in Argentina, resulting in roughly $165 million in revenue losses annually. A recent study by Price Waterhouse & Co. indicates the biggest abusers are Argentine federal and local government agencies and small private businesses. "There's no culture in Argentina of assigning value to software," says a Unisys unit president. (Wall Street Journal 6 Feb 98) DIRECTV DELAYS DirecTV's PCTV project is now slated for rollout in late 1998, about a year behind schedule. The company has been working with Microsoft, but delays in the release of Windows 98 have slowed progress on PCTV. DirecTV is now working with Doctor Design Inc., which will develop a television-based platform for the digital data product. "We're not necessarily waiting for Microsoft," says a DirecTV spokeswoman. Meanwhile, the group manager for Microsoft's DTV group says the project is still on course. "As far as we're concerned, there's been no change in the relationship." (Broadcasting & Cable 2 Feb 98) INTEL INSIDE BARBIE Intel is working with Mattel and other toy makers to develop technical standards for creating interactive toys. The toys would hook up to a PC and could be programmed to talk, for instance, by parents or children. This latest move is part of Intel's strategy to expand the use of its microprocessors beyond PCs used strictly for spreadsheets, word processing and Net surfing. (New York Times 6 Feb 98) SPAMMERS WARNED BY FTC More than 1,000 "spammers," many of whom are suspected of being involved in fraudulent schemes, will receive letters from the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection warning them to clean up their act. The FTC is targeting people who send unsolicited junk e-mail involving illegal chain letters, business opportunities that appear fraudulent, credit solicitations and diet or medical products making deceptive claims. Others who send e-mail advertising adult Web sites will not be contacted by the FTC, which is traditionally responsible for battling consumer fraud. If the spammers continue with their activities, the FTC can request court orders to stop marketers' activities and freeze their assets. (USA Today 6 Feb 98) SENATOR HATCH WORRIES ABOUT MICROSOFT "PROPRIETARY INTERNET" Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) is worried that Microsoft may be trying to build a "proprietary Internet" that will excluded competitors, stifle innovation, and invite government regulation of global networks. Hatch told the audience at a seminar hosted by a conservative think tank in Washington: "Vigilant and effective antitrust enforcement today is preferable to the heavy hand of government regulation of the Internet tomorrow." (Wall Street Journal 6 Feb 98) CLINTON ADMINISTRATION PROPOSES TRANSFERRING .EDU CONTROL As part of the Clinton Administration's proposal to shift control over the Internet from the government to private entities, it has suggested that an unspecified nonprofit organization assume responsibility for overseeing the ".edu" addresses. Educom has offered to take over that process, and President Robert C. Heterick, Jr. has pledged "a blue-ribbon panel" of college presidents and chief information officers to determine which applicants are eligible for the .edu designation. Educom is the only organization to date to make a specific offer, and NSF officials have been "encouraging," says Heterick, who adds, "We want to make sure that somebody does it who has the best interests of higher education at heart." The government's Internet plan can be found at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/dnsdrft.htm . (Chronicle of Higher Education 13 Feb 98) POWER COMPUTING SHUTS DOWN Power Computing Corp., which until last summer was the fastest-growing PC company of the 1990s, has closed its doors, after failing to make the transition from being an Apple Macintosh clone maker to a Wintel machine maker. The company had stopped production of the Wintel machines in December, citing parts shortages, but said it planned to start back up early this year. According to a security guard at Power Computing headquarters, "The show is over, the monkey is dead, and they've folded the tent." (Tampa Tribune 9 Feb 98) WEB PROFITS STILL ELUSIVE Despite record Internet advertising revenues in 1997, most analysts are predicting a wave of consolidations and failures this year, as revenues continue to fall far short of the expenses involved in electronic publishing. And even for those publishers tenacious enough to hang on, it could still be another three or four years before they can expect to realize a profit. "I think this is the year where the contenders will step forward and the pretenders will step back," says the executive VP of SportsLine USA. The problem boils down to too many Web sites chasing too few ad dollars, and advertisers remaining wary of the new medium: "Many people are expecting the big-brand advertisers like Coca-Cola and McDonald's to pile in, but we find that this is not a great medium for brand advertisers," says a Forrester Research analyst. (Miami Herald 8 Feb 98) MICROSOFT TO USE COLLIER'S CONTENT IN ENCARTA Microsoft is acquiring the rights to use content from Collier's encyclopedia in its own Encarta CD-ROM. Encarta, which was Microsoft's first big multimedia success, has become central to the company's strategy to sell software to schools. "Collier's is in a league with Britannica and Americana," says an encyclopedia analyst. "They call them the ABC of the encyclopedia industry." Encarta has won praise for its use of video and graphics, but has been criticized for its original decision five years ago to use text from Funk & Wagnalls, largely regarded as a second-rate source. (Los Angeles Times 9 Feb 98) AT&T EYEING CABLE-NET VENTURE AT&T is talking with top cable-TV companies about getting involved in an Internet-cable-TV venture. The cable companies are considering merging Time Warner's Road Runner Internet-access unit with @Home Corp., which is backed by Tele-Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp. Although executives warn there are still numerous issues to be worked out, one familiar with the talks says, "We all have a strong desire to do something here. There's always been a natural alliance between long-distance and cable." (Wall Street Journal 10 Feb 98) INDIAN TRIBE CREATES WEB-BASED NATIONAL LOTTERY >From a five-year-old bingo hall and casino on a two-lane country road 25 miles from Spokane, Washington, the 1,400 members of the Coeur d'Alene Indian tribe launched the Web-based "U.S. Lottery," which they call "the first ever parimutuel lottery to be accessible both by telephone and Internet." The attorneys general of Missouri and Wisconsin have sued to block the activity, and Senator Jon Kyl (R., Arizona) has introduced a bill to ban Internet gambling outright. Wisconsin attorney general Jim Doyle says, "It's a crime in Wisconsin to solicit or retrieve a bet. The law is very clear. If you do it by means of telephone, or telegraph, or the Internet, you are violating Wisconsin laws. The Coeur d'Alenes have not greater standing than a bookie sitting out in Minnesota receiving phone bets from Washington citizens." (Washington Post 10 Feb 98) AOL RAISES THE BRIDGE AND LOWERS THE WATER In a two-punch move that has delighted Wall Street, America Online has raised its subscription prices (from $19.95 to $21.95 a month) while at the same time announcing a layoff of 50% of the 1,000 employees who had come from the recent CompuServe acquisition and who have mostly been customer service representatives. Industry analyst Michael Parekh says: "The Internet needs to raise prices. None of the 4,000 Internet service providers that want to grow their subscriber base can make money at $19.95." (New York Times CyberTimes 10 Feb 98) COMPUTER ASSOCIATES MAKES HOSTILE BID FOR COMPUTER SCIENCES Computer Associates, a leading supplier of software to Fortune 500 companies, is making a $9 billion bid for Computer Sciences, which supplies consulting services to the same kinds of companies. If the takeover succeeds, Computer Associates will be surpass Oracle in revenue and become the No. 2 independent software maker after Microsoft. CA chief executive and founder Charles Wang, who built the company through more than 60 acquisitions and many large layoffs, says there were won't be large layoffs this time. (USA Today 12 Feb 98) SPRINT TEAMS WITH EARTHLINK Sprint has acquired a 30% stake in Internet access provider EarthLink, and the two companies are combining their Internet services. In addition to receiving $24 million in cash and $100 million in convertible debt financing, EarthLink will gain access to Sprint's network, marketing and distribution channels. EarthLink will provide services to Sprint's Internet Passport customer base, and Sprint has pledged to deliver a minimum of 150,000 new customers a year for five years. (TechInvestor 11 Feb 98) QUICKTIME ACCEPTED AS STANDARD The International Standards Organization has selected Apple's QuickTime file format as the basis for developing a new specification, called MPEG-4, to create digital, audio, and video content. MPEG stands for Motion Picture Experts Group. The final specification of MPEG-4 is not expected to be completed until 1999, so products based on the specification are not expected until at least then. Apple does not expect big revenues from the licensing of the QuickTime file format. (Wired News 12 Feb 98) INTEL LAUNCHES 3-D CHIP Intel Corp.'s new 1740 chip is designed to bring sophisticated 3-dimensional images to desktop PCs. It includes 2-D graphics and video features from Chips & Technologies, Inc., which Intel recently acquired, as well as 3-D circuitry developed by Real3D, a spinoff of Lockheed Martin (Intel controls 20% of Real3D). An analyst at Micro Design Resources notes that while the 1740 is the fastest chip of its kind currently on the market, that situation won't last for long. "By the standards of what is coming out this spring, it's not that impressive. At least two or three rivals will be faster." Other companies working on 3-D chips include startups Nvidia Inc., Chromatic Research Inc., 3Dlabs Inc. and 3Dfx Interactive Inc. (Wall Street Journal 12 Feb 98) MEDIA COMPANIES EYE TECHNICAL TRAINING BUSINESS A new study out from Queensland University of Technology in Australia says that major media companies don't really want to replace colleges and universities as educators of students, but are more interested in supplying the technology needed for distance learning programs. The one area where corporations such as Microsoft, McGraw-Hill and News Corp. might want to compete is in technical training, where many of them have already established programs for employees. Meanwhile, technical training is also attractive to academics, because it tends to be more profitable than undergraduate teaching. The study is available at http://www.deetya.gov.au/divisions/hed/ (Chronicle of Higher Education 13 Feb 98) KODAK INVESTS IN INTERNET PHOTO BUSINESS Eastman Kodak Co. is acquiring a majority stake in closely held PictureVision Inc., which provides an online posting service for digital photographers in direct competition to Kodak Picture Network. Both services allow consumers to store and send their pictures over the Internet, but PictureVision's service is typically faster than Kodak's. Kodak plans to join the two services, and benefit from PictureVision's quicker turnaround time. The company also plans to expand the service so that it's available to people without computers via networked kiosks. (Wall Street Journal 12 Feb 98) VIRTUAL TV STUDIOS If you're like most people, you haven't really noticed that a number of TV anchor persons are now posed in front of sets that don't exist, except in the mind's eye of computer graphics. Some examples: Discovery News, WCBS-TV's 11 pm newscast, and ABC's 1996 election coverage, which was produced in its entirety on a virtual set. Designer Dan Devlin, whose set-design style tends to feature decoratively painted walls in mottled colors, says: "The viewing audience at home should not be able to tell. That's the key to good design." (New York Times CyberTimes 12 Feb 98) STReport's "Partners in Progress" Advertising Program The facts are in... STReport International Magazine reaches more users per week than any other weekly resource available today. Take full advantage of this spectacular reach. Explore the superb possibilities of advertising in STReport! Its very economical and smart business. In addition, STReport offers a strong window of opportunity to your company of reaching potential users on major online services and networks, the Internet, the WEB and more than 200,000 private BBS's worldwide. With a readership of better that 200,000 per week, this is truly an exceptional opportunity to maximize your company's recognition factor globally. (STReport is pronounced: "ES TEE Report") STR Publishing's Economical "Partners in Progress" Plans! "Partners in Progress" Program.. Call Today! STR Publishing, Inc. (STR, STReport, CPU Report); ú maintains a commitment to utilizing the power of the Internet and Web to keep computer users, worldwide, both private and commercial, informed of new trends in equipment, upgrade reports and future planning. ú offers highly informative Hardware and Software Reviews, Press Releases, hands-on stories, user experiences and show reports. ú presents the NEWS about new hardware, new software and how-to publications within HOURS of its being made public. ú is dedicated to keeping the users informed of what your company has to offer at incredibly, almost the moment its offered! Take full advantage of STReport's Exciting "Partners in Progress" Programs! MAXIMIZE your Company's Presence Worldwide. TODAY! Eighth Page - $50.00 Quarter Page - $100.00 per issue per issue Half Page - $200.00 per Full Page - $400.00 per issue issue Your company's color ad, as described/submitted by you or designed by us, will appear in STReport International Magazine. STReport is published and released weekly on Fridays Evenings. All sizes based on a full color, eight and a half by eleven inch page. Trade-outs and Special Arrangements are available. Email us at or, for quick action call us at: VOICE: 904-292-9222 10am/5pm est FAX: 904-268-2237 24hrs Or, write us at: STR Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 6672 Jacksonville, Florida 32205 20% Discount for Advance Q3 ads. Kids Computing Corner Frank Sereno, Editor email@example.com The Kids' Computing Corner Computer news and software reviews from a parent's point of view In the News Comfy Licenses Sesame Street Characters For New Children's Phone Comfy, Inc., a maker of children's computer peripherals, has announced a licensing partnership with the Children's Television Workshop. They have created an interactive toy telephone that uses speech recognition technology to allow children to speak to the stars of Sesame Street and play games on an included CD-ROM. The toy hooks up to the computers sound card. By speaking into the phone or pressing numbers on the handset, kids can converse with Elmo, Big Bird or Bert and Ernie and play games. The suggested retail price is $49. The interactive phone will be bundled with different CD-ROM character discs that will include age appropriate material. If you want to learn more about the phone or Comfy, Inc., check out the company's Web site at http://www.comfyland.com The Learning Company Proclaims "Codie" Award Finalists The Learning Company has been informed that four of its products are finalists for Codie awards for excellence in software design. The Codies are awarded by the Software Publishers Association, the industry's leading trade organization. The programs nominated for awards are: * Paint, Write & Play! for "Best Curriculum Software for Early Education" * Schoolhouse Rock: Math Rock for "Best Curriculum Software for Early Education" * Ultimate Writing & Creativity Center for "Best Educational Software" * Storybook Weaver DELUXE for "Best Educational Software Upgrade" The awards will be announced at the SPA's Annual Spring Symposium, March 21- 23 in San Jose. Carmen Sandiego Stars in New Math Adventure Broderbund has released the newest edition of the Carmen Sandiego series. This time, children must develop their math skills to foil the criminal mastermind in Carmen Sandiego Math Detective. They will learn to solve word problems as well as multiplication, addition, subtraction, fractions and more. Designed for children in the fourth through sixth grades, the game will develop numerous math skills and help kids to develop problem- solving strategies. You can visit http://www.carmensandiego.com for a great online resource for game hints and for discount offers and product announcements on the Carmen Sandiego software series. Carmen Sandiego Math Detective is available for $39 at finer retailers everywhere. Panasonic Interactive Ships Secret Writer's Society Panasonic Interactive Media is now shipping Secret Writer's Society, an interactive CD-ROM intended to teach seven to nine-year-olds the fundamentals of effective writing. This fun, seven-level activity teaches the five-step writing plan: planning, drafting, revising, editing and presenting as well as proper grammar including capitalization, punctuation and sentence structure. Most of the program uses text-to-speech technology (the player is given feedback for each word typed) to quickly teach children the basics. After completing enough levels, children gain membership into the Secret Writer's Society. This also includes access to a special Web site where children can get more missions and send coded messages to other members. Secret Writer's Society is retailing for $34.95 at many software outlets. Video Highway Xtreme Preview AIMS Labs has just introduced a product that has the promise to be the Swiss army knife of video accessories. Just pop this Plug and Play card into an open PCI slot in your computer, connect it to your video card and then watch the games begin. This card combines so many features that it is overwhelming! The Video Highway Xtreme (VHX for short) offers a television tuner, an FM radio tuner, still video capture and full-motion video capture all in one card. You can watch your favorite TV show in a window or in its full- screen glory. The tuner is Intel Intercast-ready for the latest in interactive television and features Intel's Smart Guide, a program guide to the 125 available channels. If you love to whistle while you work, you can hear tunes from one of the 99 possible stations on the FM tuner. If you are looking for a capture board, the VHX has many great features. It has both RCA composite and S-video inputs. You can hook video game consoles, DVD machines, video recorders or video cameras. You can create digital still images or capture video at 30 frames per second. The AVI files from real-time video capturing can be uploaded to Web sites or transferred to removable media. Create presentations, slideshows, demonstrations, home videos and more. Your only limitation is your own imagination! Another feature is the ability of the unit to work as an Internet videophone. By connecting a video camera and the included VDO software, you have a fully functioning videophone for live videoconferencing over the Internet. Wouldn't this be a cool way to stay in touch with family and friends as well? The VHX has a suggested retail price of $129.95 and AIMS Labs is offering a $30 rebate. This places the VHX in direct price competition with Play, Inc.'s Snappy 3.0 and Snappy 3.0 Deluxe. The VHX offers many more features for the price. The card requires a Pentium 90 CPU, 16MB of RAM, an open PCI slot, Windows 95 DirectDraw and a video card with 2MB VGA memory The Video Highway Xtreme is a very affordable and useful multi-featured card. To find out if the VHX is as amazing as it press release, I hope to do an in-depth review of this product in an upcoming issue. Jason's Jive Jason Sereno, STR Staff firstname.lastname@example.org Driver's Education `98 Windows 95 CD-ROM Approximate Retail: $49.95 For all ages Sierra Online 3380 146th Place SE, Suite 300 Bellevue, WA 98007 (206) 641-7617 http://www.sierra.com Over half of the automobile accidents in the US each year involve teenage drivers. Many people feel this fact makes it clear most driver's Ed classes are not very efficient. Some states are even contemplating raising the driving age to eighteen. Politicians feel that drivers at sixteen are not mature enough to operate a vehicle correctly. Perhaps, the large classrooms and small amount of individual time may also be a part of it. Sierra Online has recently published a title that gives the user a one-on- one driving experience. Driver's Education '98 lets any would-be driver exit the busy Driver's Ed classrooms and sit down in the comfort of your own home, in front of your PC. This program is separated into individual lessons. Each contain a virtual city with hundreds of possible situations and detailed objectives. They also have short written tests which must be passed before you may proceed unto the next lesson. All of this, and Sierra even guarantees that you will past your test or you can get your money back! Driver's Ed '98 is broken down into lessons that deal with unique parts of driving. Each lesson has two parts: A written and virtual. The written section gives information that will be asked in the test for that unit. The tests themselves are not very lengthy. They are usually five to seven questions long. You have to read the written part to answer these questions usually, but some are just common sense. If you miss just one or two questions though, you must retake the test to pass the lesson. The virtual test takes place in the virtual city. This city contains a wide array of landscapes. It has busy streets, country roads, and highways. Grading in this portion is done by the amount of mistakes you make. You begin at one-hundred points and you are deducted for each driving error you commit. For instance, failing to check your mirrors when switching lanes or not checking intersections are small deductions. Enough of these and you will have to take the virtual test again. Blowing red lights or getting in accidents are huge deductions which require you to take the virtual test again automatically. When driving in the virtual city, you will see many kinds of automobiles. Dodge Neons and classic Ford Mustangs are just a couple of the cars you may spot while driving. Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and school buses may also be seen during your sessions. The importance these vehicles are crucial. You will need to know what to do when an ambulance comes from behind you or a school bus stops in front of your car. All vehicles prove to be helpful as well when you need to learn your right of ways rules. You may not be able to get a true feel of this game with the regular version though. It was given a Deluxe edition of this program. Driver's Ed '98 Deluxe also includes a Thrustmaster Grand Prix 1 racing wheel. This seventy dollar wheel adds a lot of realism and makes the user more familiar with the actual feel of steering when driving. However, this racing wheel doesn't come with a pedal system. You have to use a pair of keyboard buttons to accelerate and brake. It is still a good accessory over all. One thing you should check first is your state's policy on getting your license. Some states demand that a person takes a specified number of classes if they are offered in their town. This only applies to driver's under eighteen years old, but it varies from state to state. So for some people, this program may not replace the actual classes, but it sure does add to the learning experience. I have to recommend this program to anyone that is or knows someone who is planning to get their license soon. It offers a lot of information and the virtual city is very fun to travel in. People who are not satisfied using their joystick or keyboard may want to purchase the Deluxe Edition. The wheel does add a lot to gameplay. So if you or someone you know is about to embark on the great adventure we know as, driving, pick up Sierra's Driver's Ed '98 or Driver's Ed '98 Deluxe today! Program Requirements Pentium with 16 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, SVGA 256 color monitor, 1 MB PCI video card, WIN compatible sound card w/DAC, Windows '95, 50MB free hard drive space. Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles File Format for STReport All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be sent in the following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that do not conform will not be used. The article must be in an importable word processor format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.. The margins are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used. Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12) points. ú No Indenting on any paragraphs!! ú No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmicks" ú No underlining! ú Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only. Or, columns in Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space bar. ú Most of all.. PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!! ú There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if lengthy ú Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats ú Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the article separately ú Please use a single font in an article. TTF Times New Roman 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint) If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail expressing a preference for our Adobe PDF enhanced issue is running approximately 15 to 1 over the ASCII edition. I might add however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both PDF and ascii. HTML is now under consideration. We'll keep you posted. Besides, STReport will not be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward. However, if the ASCII readership remains as high, rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, since STReport is offered on a number of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading.. Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it is here to stay. Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and input. Ralph F. Mariano, Editor email@example.com STReport International Online Magazine Scenes from the upcoming realtime 3D game Montezuma's Return! Montezuma's Return Game Overview: Montezuma's Returnis a first-person realtime 3d action adventure game for IBM PC compatible computers. It features real-time immersive 3D graphics and fast action gameplay. The game is spiced with humor and many full-motion video (FMV) interludes. Unlike other 3D games, the focus of Montezuma's Return is jumping, puzzle-solving and obstacle maneuvering, rather than destruction. Montezuma's Return will give hours of entertainment for the entire family, and will offer excitement for even the most experienced game player. The Story: The Year 1348. The Aztec war is near an end. King Montezuma's army has been defeated and his empire has crumbled. Montezuma hid his treasures deep beneath the ground underneath the Aztec grand temple. In desperation, he assembled his greatest sorcerers together and instructed them to place a curse upon the land which contains the treasure. From that day and for ten thousand years forward anyone who set foot on this ground would be stricken with the wrath of the curse. For even the soul of any trespasse would be trapped within the walls of the temple forever. The king's sorcerers were powerful, but were no match for the combined forces of the Spaniards and the neighboring tribes. King Montezuma and his few remaining consorts abandoned their land and were never seen nor heard from again. Over the years, several groups have heard about the lost treasure of Montezuma. Paying no heed to the curse, they have attempted to raid the temple of its treasures. With one exception, all of these previous adventurers have never been seen of again. In 1932 an aristocrat by the name of Horace Armstrong Green assembled a team of 12 mercenaries in an expedition to retrieve the legendary treasure. Horace was the only one of the thirteen who returned, but he was not the same. Those who know him reported that Horace spent his final days rambling on about zombies, aliens and huge deformed rodents involved the death of his twelve compatriots. Clearly affected by madness, he survived for three only weeks. An autopsy concluded that his death was due to an infection of rare brain parasites. The Year 1998. The adventurer, Max Montezuma (the only surviving direct descendant of the legendary Aztec king) returns to the land of his ancestors to claim the treasure to it's rightful heir. No one knows exactly where he's from, and no one knows exactly where he's going, but one thing's for certain - if there's danger and loot, Max will be there. Some people think he's a bounty hunter, some people call him a mercenary, and others say he's an international spy. Even when he's not looking for it, trouble follows Max like a fly to a horse's tail in the summer and Max wouldn't have it any other way. Game Description: Montezuma's Return is an immersive realtime 3D action adventure game for PC CD/ROM. The game stars YOU as Max Montezuma, the daring adventurer and rumored descendant of the legendary Aztec Emperor. Escaping from a doomed flight, armed only with a flashlight, survival will be his first challenge. Our hero must discover the secrets of a lost civilization while stranded on an uncharted tropical island. It won't take long to find out that the island is populated with many ghoulish opponents energized by an ancient curse. As the plot unfolds, the player must restore the desecrated tomb of his legendary ancestor thereby lifting the curse of the ancients. Along the way, he'll encounter some friendly characters who will help him on his mission. He'll also needs to discover the link between the ancient Aztecs and a mysterious alien race! The game combines the best elements of adventure games with jumping-climbing-fighting-swimming dexterity challenges, all wrapped up and spiced with humor. Utopia Technologies, Inc. P.O. BOX 515764 Dallas, Texas 75251 www.utopiatech.com Classics & Gaming Section Editor Dana P. Jacobson firstname.lastname@example.org >From the Atari Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" So, how many more weeks will pass before the Monica Lewinsky jokes start to abate? If the current Washington "scandal" wasn't so stupid, it'd be hilarious. With all of the current problems in the world, it's amazing that this story still makes the headlines. And I'm helping to perpetuate the topic by bringing it up here as well. Isn't anything sacred these days? I apologize... To my utter amazement (really!), we have very little to report to you again this week. I think back on many discussions some local Atari users and I used to have regarding Atari computers and Atari computing in general. It seems like little has changed over the past 7 or 8 years. True, Atari finally saw the light and gave up the ghost, but most everything else has remained the same. Many of are still using Atari computers while still holding out going PC or Mac; still "complaining" about the dribs and drabs of hardware and software available (and appreciating the STuff that does come out!); how the online community is rapidly changing (from local BBS to online services to the Internet); and whatever else seems to keep coming-up every other week. So why do we stick with Atari? I can't answer that question very well. I know why I continue my affinity for Atari computers and I'm sure many still "in the fold" would state similar reasons. I feel that its almost as much the "culture" of Atari users as it is the computing side of things. It just feels better using Atari computers. Maybe it's because I'm more of a hobbyist rather than a "power" user that keeps me in this mode - I really can't say for sure. Maybe it's the feeling of being unique that remains intriguing - of not succumbing to the mentality similar to the one of buying a new car every couple of years, whether you need one or not. Personally, I'd rather be driving a classic "Bug" than some of the new cars on the road today! Same with computers, in my case. Both get me where I want to go, when I want. It may burn more gas and oil that it used to; and it may not get me there as quickly as it once did. But it's still fun to drive/use. Sure, one of these days I'm going to want to buy a new car or a peecee, but I can almost guarantee that the old car will be a second car; and the Atari computers will continue to see some use. Long live Atari [computers]! Until next time... JTS Announces $10 Million Financing Agreement SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- JTS Corporation announced the completion of a $10 million financing line with NationsBanc Commercial Corporation, a subsidiary of NationsBank. The company intends to use the financing for working capital purposes. "We are very excited to be working with NationsBank, one of the world's leading financial institutions," said Joe Prezioso, Chief Financial Officer of JTS. "This financing with allow us to expand first quarter production to meet forecasted demand for our Champion II Desktop Product Family." The new banking arrangement with NationsBanc provides for revolving advances of up to $10 million. The advances are secured by accounts receivables, inventory, as well as other company assets. Gaming Section PSX Ships 30 Million! "Tetrisphere"! "Montezuma's Return"! "Nagano '98"! Softbank - Microsoft Split! And more! >From the Editor's Controller - Playin' it like it is! There are times that I wish that I had the ability to keep up with the gaming world; there are also those times when I'm glad that I cannot! I haven't set my Jaguar up since the move to suburbia. Just no time, as much as I'd like to get reacquainted with some of my favorite games. I'd also like to have one of the newer consoles just to see what all of the commotion is about. Week after week I see more and more news about new games coming out, the new hardware being developed, and the continued growth of this generation of console-gaming. It sounds fun. Sure, I'd still be happy with my 2600; I used to love playing the classics (and will again someday!). I'll dig out my Lynx and Jaguar eventually, as well. Will I ever get a PSX or N64? Possibly. If for anything, it would be to see what some of the hot titles are all about; or, to see how some of the classics have been translated over to this new generation of technology. But for now, I'm satisfied in knowing that the console market is still going strong and I'm enjoying the variety of news that's available. So, let's get to it. Until next time... Industry News STR Game Console NewsFile - The Latest Gaming News! Playstation Worldwide Shipments Reach 30 Million FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (Feb. 9) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 9, 1998 - Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., the Tokyo-based parent company for the North American division of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., announced that as of Feb. 5, 1998, cumulative worldwide shipments of its PlayStation game console had reached 30 million units. The following is the breakdown: Worldwide PlayStation game console shipments by region, as of Feb. 5, 1998 O North America (Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.): 10.75 million units O Japan (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.): 10.65 million units O Europe: (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd.) 8.60 million units. "PlayStation is not only the market leader in North America, but is extending its lead among all next generation video games systems on a worldwide basis," said Kaz Hirai, chief operating officer, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "As an illustration of the demand for the PlayStation, we announced that as of the end of August 1997, we had shipped 20 million units worldwide. Now, as of February 5, 1998, just five months later, we have shipped 30 million units worldwide." In addition to brisk hardware shipments, PlayStation software also experienced phenomenal growth. As a result, the following is a breakdown for PlayStation software shipments on a worldwide basis: O Worldwide PlayStation software shipments by region, as of Feb. 5, 1998 O North America: (Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.) 59 million units O Japan: (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.) 90 million units O Europe: (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd.) 50 million units. "With the abundant library of high quality PlayStation games throughout 1997, we were able to deliver the widest range of choices to consumers all year long," added Hirai. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets and distributes the PlayStation game consoles in North America, publishes software for the game console and manages the U.S. third party licensing program. Hasbro Interactive Awarded License to Produce Jeopardy! And Wheel of Fortune Interactive Games BEVERLY, Mass., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Hasbro Interactive announced today it has been awarded the rights to publish CD-ROM and Sony Playstation versions of the top-rated television game shows "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune." Hasbro Interactive will release the games this fall. The agreement with Sony Signatures, Agent for Columbia TriStar Television, will strengthen Hasbro Interactive's position as the leading publisher of all-family interactive games, giving Hasbro Interactive the rights to two of the hottest entertainment licenses in the computer games category. "Columbia TriStar Television has presented us with a tremendous opportunity to expand our family entertainment software business," said Hasbro Interactive President Tom Dusenberry. "Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have delighted television audiences all around the world and we are thrilled to give these classic TV game shows new life on the computer and the Sony Playstation game console." Since its inception two years ago, Hasbro Interactive has quickly climbed to the top of the charts in the interactive games industry and is currently ranked among the top-5 computer game publishers. (Source: PC Data) Its first title, the Monopoly CD-ROM game, is nearing the one million units sell-through mark, a milestone that has been attained by only a handful of companies. In 1997, Hasbro Interactive expanded its development to include games for the Sony Playstation Game Console. "Hasbro Interactive's success in taking the most revered entertainment brands to new heights in the interactive arena made them an ideal partner in this exciting venture," said Peter Dang, Executive Vice President of Licensing, Sony Signatures Licensing. "We are confident that this agreement will result in the best possible translations of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune to the PC and Sony Playstation platforms and deliver a whole new realm of entertainment for our fans." Created by Merv Griffin in 1964, Jeopardy! is the number-one quiz show in America. Since its 1984 debut, Jeopardy! has been the recipient of 18 prestigious Daytime Emmy Awards. The quiz show is produced by Columbia TriStar Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, and is distributed worldwide by King World Productions, Inc. For over 14 years, Wheel of Fortune has entertained television audiences old and young alike with its consonant-guessing, vowel-buying puzzle fun. It is the top rated game show in 28 countries around the world, with more than 100 million viewers tuning in each and every week. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Columbia TriStar Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company, and is distributed by King World Productions, Inc. EA's Bonding With MGM Denies Goldeneye Sequel for Nintendo Feb 10, 1998 (MULTIMEDIA WIRE, Vol. 5, No. 27) -- Electronic Arts' deal yesterday to publish four MGM Interactive titles apparently shuts Nintendo out of a James Bond license and a Goldeneye 007 sequel. MGM Interactive parent Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGM] licensed James Bond to Nintendo for 1997's gargantuan-seller Goldeneye. But Nintendo was unable to come to terms with MGM to publish a sequel to Goldeneye and talks have apparently been halted. MGM Interactive, instead, will publish a game based on current Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies." As a result, Nintendo will not publish a title based on Tomorrow Never Dies, a Nintendo official confirms. But Nintendo says it is developing a game based on the Goldeneye engine. MGM has not said which platforms its Tomorrow Never Dies-based game will reach, but it is highly unlikely it will reach the N64, says an MGM official. It is unclear why Nintendo would deny an EA- distributed title access to its console. Under the terms of the deal, EA will exclusively publish MGM titles everywhere except North America. Financial terms were not disclosed. The other games include PC and PlayStation title WarGames, which is based on the 80s movie of the same name, 3D action strategy game Return Fire II and fighting sports game Rollerball. Take-Two Interactive Acquires Publishing Rights to Montezuma's Return NEW YORK (Feb. 9) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 9, 1998 - Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO, TTWOW) announced today that it has acquired North American and European multi-platform publishing rights to the highly anticipated realtime 3D action-adventure game Montezuma's Return from Utopia Technologies, Inc. In addition, Take-Two has also acquired the rights to publish the 8-bit classic Montezuma's Revenge on the Nintendo GameBoy handheld gaming system. Montezuma's Return is the long-awaited sequel to the enormously successful Atari 800/Colecovision classic, Montezuma's Revenge. Released in 1984, Montezuma's Revenge sold over 600,000 units across various platforms, making it one of the Top 5 bestsellers of that time. Take-Two plans to release Montezuma's Revenge on the Nintendo GameBoy in July 1998. Montezuma's Return, scheduled for release on the PC-CD ROM in August 1998, recaptures the feel and magic of the original game while incorporating the most advanced technologies of the present. Montezuma's Return features an interactive 3D world allowing a full six degrees of freedom, stunning graphics detailing over 65,000 colors, and over fifty hours of gameplay in which the player must solve a series of challenging puzzles and participate in immersive combat sequences. Ryan Brant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two stated, "Take-Two is very pleased to be working with Utopia Technologies and we look forward to making Montezuma's Return every bit as successful as its classic predecessor." H2O Entertainment Tetrisphere Sales Figures CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Canadian Corp News, FEBRUARY 6, 1998) -- H2O Entertainment Corp. (H2O) is pleased to announce that Tetrisphere, H2O's acttion puzzle game for the Nintendo 64 has sold over 335,000 in North America to December 31, 1997. H2O's Tetrisphere was launched in late August 1997 by Nintendo of America and is distributed across North America through a network of over 14,000 retailers. H2O Entertainment Corp. is a content provider of quality digital entertainment software. H2O specializes in video game development for the Nintendo 64. H2O is currently working on additional N64 projects. Midway Home Entertainment Announces Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 for N64 CORSICANA, TEXAS (Feb. 10) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 10, 1998 - Midway Home Entertainment announced today the Feb. 18, 1998 home video game release of Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 for the Nintendo 64. The announcement was made by Byron Cook, president of Midway Home Entertainment. Produced as a limited-edition title release, this supersonic, international, hockey thriller captures the intense energy of the best-of-the-best going at each other in the 1998 Olympic Hockey tournament. Midway Home Entertainment's Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 for the Nintendo 64 is packed with next-millennium exclusive features that provide a sports video game experience transcending all others. Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 is truly in a league of its own! The game is an officially licensed product of the Organizing Committee for the XVIII Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998, (NAOC) and the National Hockey League Players' Association and is distributed in the United States under authorization of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 is playable in simulation or arcade modes. Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 boasts the official colors of all 14 Olympic Hockey teams, and features real rosters of all the NHLPA members participating in this historic event. Among the hockey superstars representing Canada, thrill to the big time play of Paul Kariya and Patrick Roy, while Mike Modano, Mike Richter and Brian Leetch look to bring home the gold for the U.S.A. Mats Sundin and Daniel Alfredsson play under the Swedish banner, while Valeri Kamensky and Alexei Yashin hammer the puck for Russia. Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 includes player names and physical likenesses plus all the moves you'd expect from a simulation and all the over-the-top action and excitement found in an arcade. Gamers can tear up the ice with their favorite Olympic players in fierce gameplay on their choice of either arcade or regulation sized hockey rinks. Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 presents video gamers with the opportunity to experience lightning-fast skating, blistering one-timers, and hard-hitting body checks in international rivalries and adrenaline-pumping best-of-the-best playoffs -- with full statistic-saving capabilities when used in conjunction with the N64 Controller Pak(TM). In addition, international player "cards" allow for up-to-the-minute accuracy in statistics and trade information. Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 utilizes the full potential of the Nintendo 64 game system's state-of-the-art technology and gives players a truly unforgettable, visually stunning, and lightning-fast authentic Olympic hockey game play experience. The hockey players, ice rinks, and arenas in Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 were created by using motion capture, 3D animation, and texture mapping for a super realistic sports experience that further enhances the "you are there" experience. Featuring state-of-the-art real-time rendered, 3D environments, Olympic Hockey Nagano '98 allows gamers to play and view the action from all possible angles at 360 degrees. An intelligent-camera feature automatically zeros in on important game-play moments, while a special user-selectable camera mode allows players to view the action from the angle of their choice. The Nagano Olympic hockey players themselves were created as individual 3D models to provide each team player with independent movement, and for a life-like look and feel, each model's polygonal form was texture-mapped with uniform and facial details. An extensive library of international hockey-specific skating moves was created to animate the players in their own, unique and individual, offensive and defensive positions; skating with or without a stick, checking, penalty moves, face-offs, and forward and backwards skating. The audio quality will also impress with digitized music, the better to play each winning team's national anthem; a sports announcer calling out shots, players' names, team names, and scores; plus the ambient noises of buzzer, skating, slap shots, crowd roars, and athlete grunts and clashes. "With the release of Olympic Hockey Nagano '98, Midway, under license from the NHLPA and the Nagano 1998 Olympic Organizing Committee, has an extraordinary opportunity to bring the Olympic spirit home to both hockey fans and video gamers alike," said Cook. Midway Home Entertainment Holds Position as Third Party Leader CORSICANA, TEXAS (Feb. 12) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 12, 1998 - Midway Home Entertainment confirmed today that the company sold more Nintendo(R) 64 games than any other third party publisher in 1997 based on NPD's TRSTS 1997 video game data. Furthermore, the industry report reveals that the company has maintained the lead life-to-date for total third party units sold since the debut of the Nintendo 64 console. The announcement was made by Paula Cook, director of Marketing for Midway Home Entertainment. Widely recognized as the leading third party publisher for the Nintendo 64 since the game system's retail debut in 1996, Midway released a total of five N64 titles this past holiday season; the popular racers San Francisco Rush Extreme Racing(TM) and Top Gear(R) Rally(TM), the sequel to 1996's best selling N64 sports game The NHL(R) & NHLPA(TM) present Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey '98, the fighter Mace: The Dark Age(TM), and Mortal Kombat(R) Mythologies: Sub-Zero(TM), the latest offering from the strongest franchise in video game history. All totaled, Midway has released ten titles for the Nintendo 64 with plans for many more. Among the eagerly awaited titles scheduled for release for the Nintendo 64 from Midway this year are Olympic Hockey Nagano(TM) '98 in February, Quake(R) 64 and Rampage(TM) World Tour in March. Mortal Kombat(R) 4, Bio FREAKS(TM), Gex(TM) Enter The Gecko, Blitz(TM) and others are slated for release later in the year. As part of today's announcement, the company also revealed that it is offering new, low, value prices on five of its titles for the Nintendo 64 - the Gamer's(TM) Select Value Price program. Mortal Kombat(R) Trilogy, DOOM(TM) 64, War Gods(R), NBA HangTime(TM), and Mace: The Dark Age(TM). Under the terms of the program, these games will carry a $39.95 MAP. In making the announcement Ms. Cook stated, "We are proud of our long-standing position as the leading third party publisher for the Nintendo 64 and are committed to continue our support for the system through the release of many more great games and the Gamer's Select(TM) Value Price program." GT Interactive Signs All-Star Catcher Mike Piazza NEW YORK (Feb. 12) BUSINESS WIRE - February 12, 1998 - Driven by winning major league power, GT Interactive Software Corp. has signed Mike Piazza, the Los Angeles Dodgers' All-Star catcher, to headline its first baseball video game, Mike Piazza's StrikeZone. Debuting on the N64 this spring, Mike Piazza's StrikeZone combines realistic simulation and arcade-style game play. "We are thrilled to have Mike Piazza on our team for the company's first baseball title, and believe that the game will appeal to both die-hard baseball fans and sports gamers alike," says Richard Burns, executive vice president of Domestic Publishing for GT Interactive. "Mike Piazza's StrikeZone combines the authenticity of Major League Baseball with arcade-style game play, resulting in the most fast-paced and fun way to experience baseball on the N64." GT Interactive is world-renowned for their special brand of interactive entertainment software, and I am excited to lend my baseball expertise to their premiere sports video game," says Mike Piazza. "Whether stepping up to the plate or protecting it, StrikeZone will provide players with hours of big-league fun." Developed by Devil's Thumb Entertainment, Mike Piazza's StrikeZone is an easy-to-learn, fun-to-play combination baseball simulation and arcade-style game that will immerse players in a 3D environment steeped in the subtle nuances and traditions of America's favorite pastime. Mike Piazza's StrikeZone will be available this spring for the N64 at a suggested retail price of $69.95. In addition, a Windows 95 version of the game is planned for this fall. Advanced Game Platforms Drive Sales of Home Market NEW YORK (Feb. 9) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 9, 1998 - Worldwide sales of hardware and software for the home interactive entertainment industry surpassed $23 billion in 1997, with the United States representing nearly 40 percent of the total market, according to Access Media International (AMI), a New York-based analyst firm. Propelled by the introduction of more powerful 3D technology that has increased realism in game play and by the promise of online play, the home interactive entertainment market is growing faster in the United States than the economy and will exceed $18 billion in sales here within five years. In the most comprehensive analysis of hardware, software and peripherals ever undertaken, AMI found that: The dedicated console market, comprised of the Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 platforms, and their software titles and accessories, is slightly larger than the dedicated game PC market, on a dollar basis worldwide. In the latter category, no manufacturer dominates. Global advanced interactive (GamePC and 32 bit and above) software accounts for approximately $8 billion, or 35 percent, of the in-house interactive entertainment market. In the U.S., software accounts for over $3.5 billion, or 34 percent, in retail sales volume. O The dedicated console software market is 6 times larger than the PC software market on a global basis, but only 2.5 times larger in North America. O The 1997 worldwide game controllers market accounted for just under 5 percent of the total market or close to $1 billion and the United States accounts for close to 50 percent. O Despite early disappointments, networked gaming has a bright future. By the year 2002, online game revenues could approach $1 billion in the United States alone. Walter Miao, AMI analyst and principal author for the study, predicts steady growth for all segments of the home interactive entertainment market, with graphics capabilities the decisive factor in any coming shake out. "The dedicated console manufacturers, especially Sony, have evolved their platforms to a point where they provide 3D realism that competes with the more powerful PCs and yet offer a box at a mass market price," Miao pointed out. "Console products are also moving quickly to develop next generation platforms that will integrate with the Internet." Miao expects to see 128-bit console systems as early as 1999, depending largely on moves by Sega, which is widely rumored to be developing a new system which clearly has been delayed but might still be on the horizon for late 1998 or 1999. Although sales of interactive home entertainment software have grown steadily, no one console manufacturer or publisher dominates the hardware segment, according to AMI's study. While three players -- Nintendo, Sega and Sony have shared the console market, no brand of PC system is widely known for gaming. In software, the market is even further splintered. Of the Top 20 publishers of home entertainment software worldwide, for instance, the largest company, Electronic Arts, represented less than 12 percent of the interactive entertainment/edutainment market in 1996. Microsoft, the second largest company, had 10.9 percent. Only one company outside of the United States is represented in the Top 20, Infogrames, of Lyon, France. Controller market revenues are climbing. AMI puts the retail market for game controllers at $155 million in 1996. As might be expected, almost 70 percent of that revenue came from after market sales for the PC, which does not ship with a game controller. The strongest growth category for both the PC and the console was game pad/data gloves, which represented about 24 percent of total controller revenues. While online games have not yet become a significant portion of the market -- only 4.3 percent of total revenues in 1996 -- Miao feels that this market will explode over the next five years, as hardware and software issues, such as latency, or slow on-screen reaction to another player's moves, are solved. Real 3D Introduces StarFighter Graphics Accelerator Board ORLANDO, FLA. (Feb. 12) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 12, 1998 - StarFighter Board Powered by New Intel740 Graphics Accelerator Chip; Board Designed for Mainstream Pentium Platforms Real 3D today announced the release of its new family of 3-D/2-D/video graphics accelerator boards, the StarFighter(TM). Named after the famed Lockheed F-104 StarFighter, the first aircraft to fly at twice the speed of sound, the board delivers the industry's best combination of graphics performance and image quality for mainstream PCs. Powered by the new Intel740 graphics accelerator chip, which Real 3D co-developed with Intel, the StarFighter is ideal for a range of markets and users, including corporate desktop configurations, small business desktop systems, small office/home office systems, computer game enthusiasts and entry-level workstation systems. "The StarFighter sets a new standard for graphics acceleration on the desktop," said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Associates, a market research firm in Tiburon, Calif., tracking digital media technologies. "Pay particular attention to the image quality. Real 3D's experience with high-fidelity simulation and advanced arcade graphics really shows with StarFighter and underscores the fact that consumers and corporate users do not have to settle for second-rate graphics on the desktop." The StarFighter, available in both accelerated graphics port (AGP) and peripheral component interface (PCI) configurations, offers integrated 3-D, 2-D, video support, TV, and DVD features. "Real 3D is a pioneer and innovator of 3-D computer graphics technology," said Gerald W. Stanley, president of Real 3D. "The military, Sega, and Intel all rely on proven, high-quality 3-D graphics invented by Real 3D. Working closely with Intel, we're bringing this vast experience and know-how to the mass market." The StarFighter AGP is a fully-featured AGP2x implementation, meaning StarFighter supports virtually unlimited high-resolution textures, which deliver sharper visuals and more realistic visual effects. StarFighter features an optimized 3-D pipeline to improve real-time 3-D quality without impacting system performance. Support for Direct3D(TM) and OpenGL(TM) simplifies software development. Other features and benefits of the StarFighter board include: O perspective-correct texture to preserve alignment and create realistic depth; O bi-linear MIP mapping to smooth the transition of objects from far away to up close; O Gouraud and specular shading to create realistic lighting effects and highlights; O alpha blending and fog to create interesting and realistic atmospheric effects; O anti-aliasing and dithering to eliminate jagged edges and flickering at the edge of a scene; O video scaling to provide crisp images at 30 frames per second; O z-buff ering to reduce the calculations needed for hidden surface removal; and O stipple to accelerate cut-away patterns. "Real 3D played a key role in helping Intel design and validate the AGP specification because of our experience related to high-performance graphics systems," said Ralph Nichols, vice president of products at Real 3D. "AGP enables faster graphics, pure and simple. StarFighter takes full advantage of AGP features such as Direct Memory Execution and side-band addressing. The StarFighter is AGP done right without question." For users with Pentium, Pentium Pro, and Pentium II systems, StarFighter PCI is the perfect upgrade board. Real 3D has designed an AGP-to-PCI bridge chip that interfaces to the Intel740 and converts any existing PCI system to AGP graphics performance with the addition of the StarFighter PCI board. StarFighter AGP is available in configurations ranging from entry-level boards with 4MB local memory to fully-featured performance boards with 8MB memory, full video, TV in/out and hardware DVD. Pricing for the StarFighter AGP board starts at $189.00 (suggested retail). StarFighter PCI is available in configurations ranging from mid-range boards with 4MB frame buffer and 8MB local texture to performance boards with 8MB frame buffer, 16MB local texture, full video, TV in/out and hardware DVD. Pricing for the StarFighter PCI board starts at $229.00. Both the StarFighter AGP and StarFighter PCI will be available at the end of the first quarter. To date, Real 3D has signed distribution agreements with Pioneer Standard Electronics (Cleveland, Ohio), Forefront Graphics (Toronto, Canada), Parallax Solutions (Plano, Texas), Performance Graphics Ltd. (United Kingdom) and The 3D Shop (Norcross, Georgia). For more detailed sales and distribution information, contact Real 3D at 800/393-7730 or email at real3dreal3d.com. Softbank, Microsoft End Project A computer game venture between Microsoft Corp. and Softbank Corp., a major Japanese distributor of computer software, reportedly is being dissolved because of slumping sales. In Tokyo, the Nihon Keizai business daily says Softbank's move comes amid sluggish earnings growth at the three-year old venture, called Gamebank Corp. Adds The Associated Press, "The company has been hurt by weaker demand in Japan for personal computer hardware," noting a Gamebank spokesman declined to discuss whether talks to dissolve the venture have begun. AP says Gamebank was capitalized at $3.66 million and is 60 percent owned by Softbank. Microsoft owns the remaining 40 percent. The newspaper reports Softbank likely will buy the 40 percent stake held by Microsoft within this year and restructure the company. The purchasing price is estimated at $1.46 million. Milia - More Games, Say Developers CANNES, FRANCE, 1998 FEB 10 (Newsbytes) -- By Patrick McKenna, Newsbytes. Too much multimedia and not enough games, said Foo Katan, managing director of Bit Studios of London, when asked about Milia 98. Information and edutainment developers and publishers are here in great numbers as exhibitors and attendees, but the appetites of this year's crowd wanted more excitement and more technologies. Bit Studios is a developer of games for Nintendo, Sony Playstation, and personal computers. Known best for Nintendo's Terminator 2 game, the Studio hoped Katan would find a stronger gaming presence. "I think the show producers want to have Nintendo, Sega, and Sony representation, but getting these companies here is not easy," added Katan. Why should they be represented at Milia 98? "Because game developers are the ones creating the newest content, pushing the edges of hardware," he continued. "Computer gaming earns billions of dollars in revenues per year and it is important to have the field represented here. The exhibitors have good products, but we are not seeing a lot of new, cutting edge technologies." As for gaming, Katan said, "This is still a console world." According to him, Nintendo and Sony are leading the race, with Sega holding a backseat. Coming in fourth is game playing on personal computers. PCs are set to move upward as a game platform, but every time PC technology increases, console technology increases, said he. "It goes in cycles." Another element which goes in an upward cycle is development costs. "Three years ago you could make a 16-bit console game for $200,000," maintained Katan. "Now, you have at least a million dollars to make a 64-bit game. Now you need musicians, additional programmers, more testers; it is a serious business." Perhaps the most expensive game to date is SquareSoft's Final Fantasy VII. Katan said the game is rumored to have cost more than $20 million. "But you need to know they quickly sold five million units worldwide for about $50 each," said he. Katan also said there is shortage of talent, and finding artistic people who know how to program is a constant mission for his company. Along with talent, he said, Bit Studios looks for great attitude and passion in new recruits. Another reason for bringing more gaming to Milia is a future of faster machines which will require more programmers and more designers. Katan said today's consoles render 150,000 polygons per second. Around 2000 to 2002, he said we will see consoles which use multiple processors to render three to 10 million polygons per second. For Katan, Milia could be the European event where content developers learn about gaming opportunities unfolding today and tomorrow. ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'! PEOPLE... ARE TALKING Compiled by Joe Mirando email@example.com Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Welcome back to my little column... Well, mine plus an odd comment here and there on occasion. Last week we saw a comment, a question actually, inserted asking something that had clearly been answered only a paragraph earlier. Not only inappropriate, but half-hearted to boot. Inappropriate?? How so?? I use one ..no, five in our enclave. I am more than satisfied with the manner in which my PC's run for me. About MB's little problems; 10 to one. the machine that was crashing with the mouse problem was due to a not so up to date mouse driver.. But then. its always easy to point a finger at someone and give with a hearty ha-ha. Bottom line. the PC is here to stay. even with all its warts. In fact, I profoundly apologize if I've offended anyone's petunias. Sheeesh! rfm Speaking of booting... Now that I've got this TT fully loaded with all the programs and accessories that I had on my ST, STE, and MegaSTE (I know, I know, I really should put more work into backing things up in some sort of order), and now that I've got more memory than a lot of Pentiums have, I decided to load and run everything I possibly could just to see how it would work out. Since Geneva effectively removes the 'six desk accessory limit' I loaded every accessory I have on bootup. I'm proud to say that EVERY accessory fit and ran perfectly. The downside was that it took quite a while to load 38 accessories. Many of these were things that I either purchased or downloaded and used only once or twice but decided to leave on my hard drive in case I ever needed it again. It was quite interesting to see such an interesting listing of accessories. Normally I boot with only two or three accessories and about twice as many auto programs. To continue the test, I proceded to load and run as many programs as I could. STeno, STalker, Calligrapher, Flash 2, CAB, NEWSie, SoundLab, STZip, SpeedOfLight, and several others all fit into about a third of available memory, and all ran flawlessly, if a bit more slowly than usual. I am assuming that by using MagiC as my operating system instead of Geneva I could erase the speed deficit, but as I mentioned an issue or two ago, I prefer Geneva over MagiC. Now I'm not claiming that this kind of thing is necessary or even desirable, but I had to see if it could be done. I figure that I could make due very nicely with four meg of TT RAM and 2 meg of ST RAM (You need the ST RAM for screen memory). This exercise in more-than-necessary program loading reminds me of a line from one of the Star Trek movies... "Let us re-define progress to mean that just because we CAN do a thing does not mean that we MUST do that thing". Just because I can run every program that I've ever purchased or downloaded, it doesn't follow that that is the only way to use a computer... or even the best way. While computers (even our Atari computers) are getting better and better at multi-tasking, humans are still a single-tasking mechanism. As a matter of fact, most people I know still have all they can do to manage ONE computer task at a time. Well, enough of this. Let's take a look at what people are talking about on the UseNet. From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup Charles Silver posts: "I've been trying for many months to get STinG/ppp to work for one of my ISP's, Telebyte. Finally, it works. With the new MODULES posted 22JAN, with the new SERIAL.STX, and RESOLVE.STX, all's well. I have STinG/ppp working with JPS.NET, but Telebyte has always been a problem. Not now ! Congrats Peter, I'm VERY glad to post this message as I appreciate all your tireles upgrades and efforts to educate all of us on the mysteries of TCP/IP." Peter Rottengatter, the author of STinG, tells Charles: "Thanks. I truly believe this time that with this release all major ISP compatibility problems are gone. So everybody who had problems in the past should try again, with the last SERIAL.STX from the MODULE.LZH on my web page." Neil Roughley tells Peter: "I've had 'compatibility' problems ever since PPP was supported by STinG. Today, with the latest binaries, I finally got past 'initialising link' and everything seems to be running great." Greg Evans adds: "Add my name to the list of growing STinG/PPP users! The most recent download seems to have done the trick. The only thing I have to do is toggle STinG active/inactive to be able to use my normal tele program or CAB. Great job!" Peter tells Greg: "That's only if you too saved the modem port as active in the 'Port Setup' CPX. Don't do that ! If you don't, you can keep STinG active all the time." On the subject of NVDI's print spooler, Malcolm Rigg asks: "Can anyone tell me how to print with NVDI (4.11 R6) in the background with Magic (5.03) or through a spooler? I see NVDI creates a "SPOOL" folder but it doesn't seem to use it." Roger Cain tells Malcolm: "It tells you how to do this in the 'read.me' file on the release disc. Basically you just include the line: SPOOLPATH = C:\GEMSYS\SPOOL\ (or whatever) in your NVDI.INF file." Malcolm tells Roger: "I've done this but it doesn't seem to make any difference - I still can't print in the background. I have tried using several programs to print (eg. CAB 2 and IdeaList) including one or two that have an option to print in the background but it still doesn't make any difference." Jo Even Skarstein tells Malcolm: "As far as I know, there is a interupt-driven printer-device available for MagiC. If you run this it installs something like 'u:/dev/lp'. Configure NVDI to print to this file (using the drivers-CPX) and you have background printing. There is also a similar centronics device-driver for MiNT, I use it with a 1Mb buffer and it works fine." Curt Vendel asks for help with compressed files: "I've downloaded several ST files which have .EXE extensions to them, when I double click on them I can only Print or View, when I view and look carefully I can see .IMG files contained within. What compression format is this and which program will decompress them?" Bill Pike tells Curt: "EXE is normally an [Executable] file. You may need to change the extention to PRG or TOS or TTP to get them to run. They could also be compressed executable files (these usually have the decompressor built into the file and run just like a regular file. Possibly the EXE is for TOS 2.xx or MultiTOS, I am not sure." Nick Bales adds: "Sometimes .exe compressed files are just .zip files with a little bit of autodecompress code. If that's the case, just rename them to .zip and decompress them with STZip or whaetever you're using. I did encounter an ..lzh file once on a PC too." David Cowderoy asks about upgrading to TOS 2.06 and high density floppy: "Any one know where in the UK I can get TOS 2.06, hardward TOS switcher and a 1.44 floppy upgrade kit. I wonder if some one will make an upgrade for 120mb floppy drives." Nick Bales tells David: "In th UK, look for The Upgrade Shop (01625 503448). They should have all that. There's no upgrade for LS120 drives at the moment, but you can use a SCSI ZIP, so why bother?" While you folks have heard me talk mostly about CAB and NEWSie for cruising around the internet, there are other alternatives too. "Other World" asks about one of them: "Does anyone know what is happening with developemnt of OASIS ? I am still using version 2, which works very well, but still with a slip connection, the ppp with this version I believe is problematic. It's just that I haven't seen a thread for ages about OASIS, still with Newsie, CAB and ATARIRC, full internet access is provided via Sting, which works very well and provides ppp conection." John Whalley tells Other World: "Last time I checked the Oasis home page it had reverted to being mainly a personal page for Phil Yeadon. There is information still in a sub-page: PY has bought a PC and is developing Oasis 3 for Win95. All the archives etc for Oasis 2 had been removed, with links to the Nest pages for support and directions to Demon's FTP server for the files. Looks like it's dead as the proverbial dodo. It did have something of a bad reputation in the end due to bugs/instability/high cost/poor support judging from posts in here. I myself never managed to get it to work at all, even the offline part was hopelessly buggy IMHO (on my system at least). Definitely not worth registering for me. Shame really, as Oasis 1 was promising and I used it from 1995 when it was launched until a few weeks ago, despite its limitations (eg having to revert to 1.33 from 1.35 to get a working address book under MagiC, the broken newsreader which ignored threading and broke threads for everyone else, no built-in encoding/decoding of binaries etc). If you want PPP you can use POPwatch/NEWSwatch/STinG with Oasis 2 and ditch ICE which seemed to be a major problem in itself. Another viable alternative is POPwatch/NEWSwatch/STinG/Okami, which I recently switched to from Oasis 1. Newsie is also viable and has many users in here, though I prefer Okami for offline use." Richard Elwell adds his praise for this combination: "I gave up using the ICE part of Oasis2 last year and it was the best decision I made for a while. And I continue to kick myself for not making the change earlier. I now use Sting with Gary Priest's POPwatch and NEWSwatch. They collect mail and news which Oasis2 can read. Gary Priest's software can be found on his website at http://www.the-gap.demon.co.uk" Vernon Enriques asks for help with CAB: "Please tell me where I set my paths for CAB/OPTIONS/Cache Folder? What is an .xbm file? Also under same menu option: The Editor for email? is that your computer or the ISP's?" John Whalley tells Vernon: "Depending on your version, you use the Access paths entry in the Options menu or a similar menu entry. First create a cache folder somewhere convenient on your hard drive. You may find that the install process (commercial versions) or unzipping the archive (freeware versions) creates a cache folder in the CAB directory. You can use this but you don't have to. Click on the box for the cache path and select your folder in the resulting file selector. Don't forget to set some sensible values in the Cache setup dialog, too. See the manual for advice on this. An XBM is an X Bitmap graphic file. This is a monochrome bitmap graphic, the Unix/X window equivalent of GEM .img files. It's one of the two original standards for web graphics (the other being GIF). JPEGs came later after Netscape started supporting them, as I understand it. XBMs aren't that common as being monochrome only they are a bit limited. I think they were one of the two supported formats due to the early web development being done in Unix environments. You can use an external viewer for them but CAB can also display them internally. Take your pick! The E-mail Editor is on your computer. CAB works with a TCP/IP connection, rather than a shell account which would be the only way to use an editor on a remote machine such as your provider's. You need a standard text editor (Everest for example) so you can use mailto: links on web pages with CAB. NB CAB only sends mail, it can't receive it. You will also need to set some environment variables in your default.cfg for STiK or STinG for CAB's mail to work: EMAILfirstname.lastname@example.org SMPT_HOST=your.providers.mail.host If you are already using a suitable mail program on your Atari (eg Newsie, Okami with a little ingenuity(!), any other which can take a mail URL as a parameter when being launched), you can use that in conjunction with CAB for this purpose and then keep copies etc as with the rest of your mail. You need to set this in CAB's Internet clients dialog box." Stephen Christian asks for help with his TT030: "I have a TT030 (with CaTTamaran) 16M TT RAM, 2M ST RAM TOS chip set (TOS C301927-005) I have an original 50M internal which works fine. I recently purchased a Seagate ST32430N - Hawk, 2G I want to replace my current (50M) HD with the new 2G HD. When I disconnect the current internal and connect the 2G and boot. All seems fine. I boot of a floopy with ADHI 6.061 which reports the drive as SCSI 0 - ST32430N. So all looks good. However when I run HDX (5.04 - if I remember correctly). The program loads. So I choose format the drive light continously flashes (upto this point it flashes as expected - whenever accessed like when ADHI checks). On the screen it says it's checking for devices. My machine isn't locked up because I can move the mouse (a busy bee at this point. However, it never gets to the point where I can select the device to format (after hours!!). If I run the same program with my old internal I can go threw the same process but the device list comes up. WHY!?!?!?! Currently the jumpers are set as: SCSI - 0 Enable Terminator - on Parity Option - on Terminator Power from Drive This the defaut setting. I tried setting Parity Option to off, but it made no difference. Since I had no idea what Terminator Power from meant I tried the 3 other settings: Terminator Power to SCSI Bus and Terminator Power from SCSI Bus. I've played around with various terminator Powers and Parity options. Rebooting after each. However, without any luck. None of the pins are bent. I've also made sure pin one on the mother board connects to pin one on the HD. I've even tried 2 different ribbon cables... Both of which work fine with the current internal. I only get a problem with the new SCSI device. Anyone have any sort of suggestion? The fact the light keeps flashing when scanning for the devices to me, indicates it see the device. However, it's as if the device doesn't repsond "correctly" back. So it requires the device for ever and ever (I've let this run well over 4 hours). The new HD is SCSI 2 fast but is SCSI compatible. HELP! Please. I've already had to return a previous 2G HD as it was just pain dead... (It didn't respond at all). What am I missing?" Roger Cain tells Stephen that what he's missing is... "A modern driver! Either buy HDDriver v7.xx or try out CBHD (PD). AHDI is just too old to cope with modern devices." Well folks, that's about it for this week. Tune in again next week, same time, same station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when... PEOPLE ARE TALKING EDITORIAL QUICKIES The Bitterness of Poor Quality. Remains long after the Sweetness. of the low price is forgotten!" .unknown STReport International Magazine ICQ#:1170279 [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport HTTP://WWW.STREPORT.COM Every Week; OVER 250,000 Readers WORLDWIDE All Items quoted, in whole or in part, are done so under the provisions of The Fair Use Law of The Copyright Laws of the U.S.A. Views, Opinions and Editorial Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors/staff of STReport International Magazine. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. STR, CPU, STReport and/or portions therein may not be edited, used, duplicated or transmitted in any way without prior written permission. STR, CPU, STReport, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. STR, CPU, STReport, are trademarks of STReport and STR Publishing Inc. STR, CPU, STReport, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible in any way for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained therefrom. STReport "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" February 13, 1998 Since 1987 Copyrightc1998 All Rights Reserved Issue No. 1406