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Article #688 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 20-Feb-97 #1407
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Tue Mar 17 16:52:12 1998



                          Silicon Times Report
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February 20, 1998                                                No.1407

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                        Microsoft WINS One!
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                         Gates to Testify!

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>From the Editor's Desk...

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                         STReport Headline News
                                   
                    LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS

                 Weekly Happenings in the Computer World
    
                      Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson



Five Years Ago This Week

Here are the leading computer and information industry news stories, as reported by CIS' Online Today's
Monitor section five years ago this week:
                                   
COMMODORE POSTS $77.2 MILLION SECOND QUARTER LOSS (Feb. 5): Commodore
International Ltd. has posted a second quarter net loss of $77.2 million, or $2.33 per share. This compares with
earnings of $40.1 million, or $1.18 per share, a year ago.

QUICKEN PUBLISHER GOES PUBLIC (Feb. 5): Intuit, the Menlo Park, California, publisher of Quicken
personal finance software, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for
an initial public offering of 1,500,000 shares of common stock.

FTC DEFERS MICROSOFT CASE ACTION (Feb. 6): The Feb. 6 meeting of Federal Trade Commission
reportedly dealt with its 2 1/2 year antitrust investigation of Microsoft Corp., but the FTC apparently deferred
any action. Microsoft chairman/co-founder Bill Gates met earlier this week with commission members to
discuss the case.

VIRUS CASES IN JAPAN INCREASE (Feb. 7): In Tokyo, the government-backed Information Technology
Promotion Agency says computer damage caused by viruses in 1992 quadrupled to 253 cases. Officials attribute
the increase to active international exchanges of computer software and an increased availability of used
software through discount outlets.

GIANTS TO SET STANDARDS FOR PERSONAL COMMUNICATORS (Feb. 8): In what is
seen as an unprecedented alliance, a half- dozen major technology companies -- Apple, Sony, Motorola,
Matsushita, Philips and AT&T -- have started a firm called "General Magic" to develop standards for hand-held
personal communicators.

GATES SUGGESTS IBM BREAKUP (Feb. 8): Microsoft Corp. chief Bill Gates has told U.S. News and
World Report he thinks IBM needs to break up into smaller firms in order to get ahead of the pace of change.

LOTUS UNVEILS NEW VERSIONS OF 1-2-3 AND FREELANCE FOR OS/2 (Feb. 8): Lotus
Development Corp. has unveiled updated versions of 1-2-3 for OS/2 and Freelance Graphics for OS/2. Both
applications exploit OS/2's Workplace Shell graphical environment and 32-bit technology, providing users with
improved performance through features such as drag-and-drop, faster navigation, quicker screen refresh and
multi- threading.

NEXT TO STOP MAKING WORKSTATIONS (Feb. 9): NeXT Computer Inc. will stop
making workstations and instead focus on its NeXTStep software. The company is negotiating to sell its
hardware business to Canon Inc.

COMPAQ EUROPEAN SALES INCREASE 48 PERCENT (Feb. 9): Compaq Computer Corp. announced
Tuesday that European shipments climbed 48 percent in 1992 to $1.9 billion. This represents 46 percent of
Compaq's total worldwide revenues.

DELL CUTS PRICES ON 14 SYSTEMS AND PERIPHERALS (Feb. 9): Dell Computer Corp. Tuesday
lowered base prices on 14 of its PCs by $50 to $500. Systems affected include desktop, floor- standing and
notebook models, specifically four portables and 10 i486-based systems introduced Dec. 1.

EGGHEAD REPORTS LOWER EARNING; NAMES NEW LEADERS (Feb. 10): Egghead Software, the
Issaquah, Wash., computer retailer, announced Wednesday lower third quarter earnings. The company has also
named Richard Cooley its new chairman and Timothy Turnpaugh its new president and chief executive officer.

CANON CONFIRMS IT MIGHT PURCHASE NeXT HARDWARE BUSINESS (Feb. 10): Canon Inc., the
Japanese camera maker, today confirmed news reports that it is considering purchasing the hardware business of
the privately held California-based NeXT Computer Inc.

SAM'S CLUB TO CARRY DELL COMPUTERS (Feb. 10): Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Sam's Clubs stores will
market Dell Computer's Precision PCs. Shipments of the systems to the stores are scheduled to begin in April.

IBM JOB CUTS TO EXCEED 25,000 (Feb. 11): Analysts are predicting IBM will cut more than the 25,000
jobs already announced for this year. In fact, one analyst estimates the total will be 40,000 or more.

AT&T SUES MCI, SPRINT, WILTEL (Feb. 11): AT&T has sued competitors MCI,
Sprint and WilTel, alleging they offered secret deals to customers by failing to publicly file their rates, depriving
AT&T customers the benefits of open competition.



              Congress (orrin Hatch) Asks Gates to Testify

Bill Gates has been invited by Congress to testify at a March 3 hearing, but a Microsoft Corp. spokesman says
the CEO has a previous commitment and may not be able to attend.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman
Orrin Hatch has invited Gates and two other top computer executives to testify about competition and the
Internet.  Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray has told David Lawsky of the Reuter News Service, "Bill has a
previous long-standing commitment but we look forward to participating in the hearing, either with Bill if we
can change his schedule, or with another very, very senior Microsoft executive."

As reported, Hatch has been looking carefully at Microsoft, which has been charged by the Justice Department
with violating a 1995 consent decree aimed at increasing competition in the software industry.  The Utah
Republican also invited President/CEO Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems and President/CEO Jim Barksdale
of Netscape Communications, both seen as bitter rivals. In fact, Sun currently is in litigation against Gates and
the Justice Department has cited Barksdale's company in its action against Microsoft.

Hatch said in his statement that the hearing would "provide an important step in our consideration of how
antitrust policy could best serve consumers and the long-term health of the software industry and the Internet
generally." He added the CEOs could testify about the Internet and the promise of new software for the
computer industry.  Said the senator, "I believe it will be very instructive to the committee to hear first-hand
from the industry players who are themselves driving these developments. This hearing will present an
opportunity for industry to educate the committee about competitive dynamics in the marketplace."

                    Gates to Testify Before Congress

It appears Microsoft Corp. chief Bill will be testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee after all.  As
reported earlier, Gates is among three computer industry rivals invited by Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch to
testify at a March 3 hearing. Originally a Microsoft spokesman says the CEO had a previous commitment and
might not be able to attend.  Now, though, Jeanne Lopatto, spokeswoman for the committee, tells the Reuter
News Service, 

"The committee is pleased that Mr. Gates has accepted the invitation to testify on March 3."
The Utah Republican also invited President/CEO Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems and President/CEO Jim
Barksdale of Netscape Communications, both seen as Gates' bitter rivals. In fact, Sun currently is in litigation
against Gates and the Justice Department has cited Barksdale's company in its action against Microsoft. Hatch
said in his statement that the hearing would "provide an important step in our consideration of how antitrust
policy could best serve consumers and the long-term health of the software industry and the Internet generally."

                    Texas Nixes Microsoft Injunction

Microsoft Corp. has won a round in Texas. A federal judge has rejected arguments by the state's attorney general
that provisions in Microsoft's licensing agreements interfered with Texas' antitrust investigation of Microsoft
marketing practices.  Judge Joseph Hart refused to grant an injunction sought by Texas Attorney General Dan
Morales, who challenged the nondisclosure agreements Microsoft requires of computer makers and others that
license its software.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal this morning, reporter David Bank quotes Morales as saying his probe of
Microsoft's business practices has been hampered by companies' fears that they will have to report to Microsoft
about any information they share with investigators.  Microsoft contended Morales produced no evidence that
the nondisclosure agreements, or NDAs, had interfered with his investigation.

As noted, last December, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson dismissed a similar complaint by
Justice Department officials in the separate federal antitrust case against Microsoft.  "In the federal case," says
Bank, "Microsoft provided letters to the Justice Department confirming that the company didn't interpret the
NDAs to prevent its licensees from cooperating with federal investigators. A Microsoft spokesman said the
company had offered to provide a similar letter to Texas authorities if the state addressed its concerns about the
confidentiality of documents that might be produced."

The Microsoft spokesman said Texas state law contains fewer such confidentiality protections than federal law
and that Texas didn't respond to the letter.  Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Texas attorney general's office
said Morales had not decided whether to appeal the judge's ruling, but that the state's wider investigation of
Microsoft will continue.  As reported, Texas is among 11 states that have issued subpoenas to Microsoft for
information about its bundling of Internet technology with its Windows operating systems.

                       Congress Eyes Net Subsidies

Two more Republican senators have joined Arizona Sen. John McCain in efforts to make more accountable to
Congress a program to provide schools, libraries and rural health care facilities with discounted hookups to the
Internet.  In fact, says Associated Press writer Jeannine Aversa, the fight pits the Republican-run Congress
against the Democratic-controlled Federal Communications Commission, which is to hand out the subsidies.

McCain (R-Arizona) is joined by Ted Stevens of Alaska and Conrad Burns of Montana -- all on the Senate
Commerce Committee that oversees the FCC -- in saying they are troubled by the FCC's decision last year to
create two not-for-profit corporations to administer the Internet subsidies: The Schools and Libraries Corp. and
the Rural Health Care Corp.  AP says it has obtained a copy of a General Accounting Office report that says
Congress has no direct oversight over these corporations.

"Instead," writes Aversa, "the corporations are accountable to the FCC.  While Congress controls the FCC's
budget, Republican aides insist it is exceedingly difficult for Congress to have power over the Internet subsidy
program as it was set up by former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt."

The report by the GAO, Congress' investigative branch, contends:

    The FCC exceeded its authority by creating the two corporations. The FCC disagrees.
  That the FCC violated a 1945 law forbidding agencies from establishing or acquiring a corporation unless
Congress has granted it specific authority to do so. The FCC says a 1996 telecommunications law gave the
commission such authority. The GAO disagrees.

Look for Burns' communications subcommittee to hold a hearing on the matter Feb. 25.  And Stevens says, "I
take GAO's findings very seriously.... From the beginning, this program has been fraught with controversy. Not
only were the corporations created without authority, the collection rates have raised havoc and consumer rates." 
As reported, the subsidies are funded through fees on telecommunications companies that typically pass along
those fees to their customers. The FCC maintains the subsidies should not cause phone bills to go up because of
reductions in other fees those companies pay. But the commission acknowledges telephone customers have been
complaining over some charges and says it is investigating.  Stevens says he doesn't want to kill the subsidy
program, but does want Congress to have greater control over it. One option could be to dismantle the
corporations and fold their administrative duties into the FCC or another government entity.

                      Intuit Pays AOL $20M for Deal

In order to become the main source of original programming for the Personal Finance Web Channel of America
Online's AOL.COM Web site, Intuit Inc. has agreed to pay AOL a total of $30 million over three years. 
Reporting from Dulles, Va., the Dow Jones news service quotes America Online officials as saying the deal
calls for:

  $16 million of the total will be paid upon the signing of an agreement. 
  AOL to be eligible for a share of revenues generated through Intuit's offerings once certain undisclosed
revenue thresholds specified in the agreement have been met.
  Intuit becomes the major anchor tenant in the Personal Finance and WorkPlace Channels, which makes it
the main source of financial programming on the Tax, Insurance and upcoming mortgage areas of those
Channels on the AOL service.

                       Net Fraud Detector Readied

After almost a year at work, the National Association of Securities Dealers says it is ready to launch a high-tech
Internet search engine that will patrol investment-related Web sites and bulletin boards for potential fraud. 
Elisse B. Walter, the chief operating officer for the NASD's regulatory arm, told Rebecca Buckman of the Dow
Jones news service the new NetWatch engine, first discussed by NASD officials last March, will be
programmed to troll the Internet for suspicious phrases and terms, such as descriptions of stocks as "guaranteed
moneymakers" or "the next Microsoft."

Says Walter, "We think it will be very helpful in trying to pinpoint troublesome activity." Right now,
surveillance of the Internet's World Wide Web is manual and "reactive," and, says Walter, "it's impossible to do
on any sort of a consistent basis."  An NASD spokesman told the wire service the search engine should be
online sometime in the first half of this year.  As reported last year, NASD Regulation Inc. President Mary
Schapiro has said regulators need to do a better job patrolling the web because of its increasing popularity as a
source of stock information and discussion.

                     Pixar Sues Over E-Mail Message

An anonymous e-mail message that revealed the salaries of its 400 employees is at the center of a suit filed by
officials of Pixar, the company that produced computer graphics for the movie "Toy Story."  Reporting from
Richmond, California, The Associated Press notes the e-mail distributed via computer two weeks ago was
attributed to company CEO Steve Jobs, who has denied sending it.  Filed in Contra Costa County Superior
Court, the suit asks for:

  A restraining order barring the e-mail's unknown author from further publication or use of the information,
which the company considers a "trade secret."
  Unspecified damages against the unidentified defendants.

Adds AP, "Pixar officials reportedly blame Michael Murdock, a former employee who received a prank e-mail
from Jobs two months ago. But Murdock denies it."  Murdock, a Burlingame, California, computer consultant,
has told The San Francisco Chronicle, "I don't have anything to hide. I had nothing to do with this."  As reported
here two months ago, Jobs and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison recently sent a prank e-mail to Murdock appointing
him chief executive officer of Apple Computer. As noted, Murdock, who had campaigned for Apple's top job,
took the messages seriously and responded that he could start Jan. 5.

The Chronicle reports Jobs later posted an electronic message to Murdock saying, "Please do not come to
Apple. You will be asked to leave, and if you don't, you will be arrested."  Murdock worked for Pixar for six
years and left in the early 1990s. He says he knows company officials blame him for releasing the salary list,
adding, "I've been told by sources at Pixar, which I won't reveal, 'Watch your back, they're going to put you
under a microscope.'"

AP quotes the suit as saying the message was accurate in identifying every employee's position and pay and
claiming Pixar could lose its edge in "attracting and retaining the best qualified employees to maintain superior
market position in developing computer animated feature films and animation software."  The suit also says the
company could be held liable by any of its 400 employees for violating their privacy by leaking his or her salary.

                     Programmer Accused of Sabotage

A computer programmer who was dismissed from a defense contractor has been arraigned on charges he zapped
his the firm's computer system in retaliation, causing losses of $10 million.  United Press International says
Timothy Lloyd of Wilmington, Del., worked as the computer network programmer for Omega Engineering
Corp., in Bridgeport, New Jersey (The company, which has offices in Stamford, Connecticut, and elsewhere in
the world, produces high-tech measurement and control instruments used by the U.S. Navy and NASA.)

UPI says Lloyd was fired from Omega on July 10, 1996, after working there for about 11 years.
"Twenty days after his dismissal," says the wire service, "he allegedly activated a computer 'bomb' that
permanently deleted all of the company's design and production programs, costing the company about $10
million in sales and contracts."  

Danny Spriggs, head of the Secret Service in Philadelphia, told the wire service the $10 million in damages is
believed to be one of the most expensive computer sabotage cases they have ever investigated.  Also Lloyd is
charged with stealing $50,000 in computer equipment from Omega and taking it home.  U.S. District Judge
William Walls set bail at $25,000 and scheduled trial for April 20. If convicted, Lloyd faces up to five years for
the sabotage count and up to 10 years for the theft count. He also could be ordered to pay restitution and fines.

                      Sanitizer Cleans Hard Drives

Stratfor Systems Inc. is offering a program that prepares PCs for recycling, reuse or donation by completely
obliterating data in every part of the system's hard drive.  The Austin, Texas, company's Sanitizer software
overwrites the hard disk up to 999 times. Sanitizer verifies each sanitizing layer and prints out a report,
including identification number, date sanitized and other valuable documentation.  According to Stratfor
Systems, Sanitizer meets the requirements of government agencies, organizations and corporations for hard
drive security.  A free Sanitizer demo program is available on the Web at http://www.stratfor.com.

                      Seagate Unveils New Data Idea

A way to use lasers, microscopic lenses and tiny mirrors to potentially pack 10 to 20 times more data onto
computer hard disk drives is being unveiled by Seagate Technology Inc.  "More importantly," says writer
Kourosh Karimkhany of the Reuter News Service in a report from San Francisco, "the new mechanism, called
Optically Assisted Winchester technology, will allow Seagate to sidestep a massive engineering problem that
looms over the $50 billion data storage industry in the next decade."

The wire service notes that in recent years, disk drive makers have been able to boost the amount of data that
can be stored magnetically on a disk's storage area by 60 percent a year. That has been a key reason why
computers double in performance every two years or so.  "But at the current rate of progress and with the limits
of magnetic technology," adds Karimkhany, "engineers expect to hit the theoretical maximum density for data
storage in about 10 years. That is like the oil industry not having room to drill new sites."

Seagate Chairman Alan Shugart told the wire service that with the help of lasers and tiny optics, his company
will be able to avoid that wall, adding the first product using the new technology will be announced later this
year.  Said Shugart, "This technology is going to permit us to increase storage density, which will reduce the
cost to the customer and continue the growth of the computer industry."

Karimkhany notes the OAW technology is not new. Actually, it is based on the principle behind special drives
that use sensitive magnets, guided by laser beams, to record data in spaces as small as a few atoms. But the
magneto-optical drives are slow and expensive, partly because they rely on cumbersome lenses and mirrors.

"The key to Seagate's approach is tiny optics," says Karimkhany. "Seagate has figured out how to make mirrors
and lenses no bigger than the head of a pin, using the same techniques that chip makers use to etch tiny circuits
on semiconductors. The optics sit on the drive's recording head and shine a tiny swath of laser light on the
drive's recording platter. That swath acts as the boundary within which magnetic signals are recorded."

                     Test on Faster Modems Completed

Wasting no time embracing a common technical standard, modem kings 3Com Corp. and Rockwell
International Corp. both say they have completed tests of compatible 56K modems.  "The move begins to put an
end to the conflicting standards for faster modems that had confused Internet users over which modems to buy,"
The Associated Press observes. "Immediately following the announcement, 3Com said it began shipping the
first modems that work with the new technical standard, and they would appear on store shelves this week."

Of course, manufacturers already produce 56K modems, but they have used two competing standards that
prevent their products from working with each other.  As reported earlier, the new international standard
replaces the current fastest standard for modems in common use over phone lines, which operates at 33,600 bits
per second.  Analysts expect the new modems to boost industry sales significantly, to 75 million a year by the
year 2000 from 50 million last year.

                         TV Data Delivery Tested

Microsoft Corp. is working with a dozen broadcasters and cable programmers in a series of nationwide trials to
broadcast data and program enhancements into U.S. homes via a portion of the television signal known as the
vertical blanking interval (VBI).  The software giant says Windows 98 broadcast-enabled PCs will be capable of
receiving and displaying this data, as will current Web TV Plus boxes with a free WebTV Plus software upgrade
scheduled to become available later this year.

According to Microsoft, participating broadcasters will be able to send data -- such as tickers with national
news, sports, stocks, headlines and programming news -- to computer users tuned to their channel. The VBI
delivery system allows stations to send data in the form of Web pages that can be stored on a computer's hard
drive and viewed later. Data can also be delivered upon request via late- night data downloads that don't tie up
consumers' phone lines.

Microsoft describes the capability as an immediate way to begin adding enhancements to television programs
before digital television is introduced. The enhancements will consist of Web-based content that is synchronized
and broadcast with television programs.  According to Microsoft, the current trials allow the participating
companies to explore consumer interest and develop business models for enhanced content to prepare for digital
television when it is widely deployed next year.

Television broadcasters and cable programmers involved in the trials include Capitol Broadcasting Co. Inc.,
Citytv, Cox Broadcasting, The E.W. Scripps Co., Guthy-Renker, KCTS- PBS, MuchMusic, New England Cable
News, Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Paramount Stations Group, Sinclair SBGI and WFLA-TV.  Microsoft
supplied the broadcasters and programmers with the hardware and software necessary for the trials. Each
received a PC server running the Windows NT Server 4.0, the hardware required for VBI injections and
broadcast server software developed by Microsoft that uses standard Internet IP multicasting protocols.

                     FrontPage 98 Shipments Top 500K

Standalone sales of FrontPage 98, the most recent version of Microsoft Corp.'s Web site creation and
management tool, exceeded 500,000 units during the product's first three months of availability.  According to
Microsoft, the total number of FrontPage users now number over 1.5 million.  The latest retail figures from PC
Data, the Virginia-based software market research firm, show that in December, the first full month in which
FrontPage 98 was available, the product accounted for 81 percent of all sales in its category. Overall, FrontPage
held a 64 percent market share in 1997.

A recent study by Zona Research found that FrontPage's success also extends into the corporate Internet arena.
The firm's results show that 67 percent of Fortune 500 companies that use a Web authoring tool chose
FrontPage to create and manage their Internet presence.  "We're delighted by the success of FrontPage in both
the retail and corporate markets, and are particularly encouraged by the rapid adoption we're seeing for corporate
intranets," says Pat Kirtland, Microsoft's FrontPage group product manager. "We see this as a strong
confirmation that our design goals for FrontPage 98 -- ease of use, support for the latest Web technologies, and
tight integration with Microsoft Office -- answer the needs of corporate users."


                                    





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











                           The Linux Advocate 

Column #7 - written 19FEB98

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

LOGIN:

Hello again.  Things haven't been going that well for my family and I.  My wife Shelly was admitted into the
hospital this past Saturday because she is suffering from a strong depression, which is something she has been
dealing with much of her life.  I've been busy taking care of my son and attempting to fill in for her on some of
her duties (I'm a poor substitute) as well as keep up with school where I've fallen a little behind.  In any event,
please feel free to contact with comments or suggestions on this column.

                               Linux News

Item #1: Linux Weekly News - I recently ran across an absolutely wonderful news and editorial site dedicated to
Linux.  If I lifted some of the news presented by this site, I'd have a really nice Linux News section BUT, I'd
rather readers visit this site directly and get more involved with the Linux movement.  It's called LINUX
WEEKLY NEWS and can be found at the following URL:

http://www.eklektix.com/lwn/

Item #2: Boston Globe offers Netscape some advice? - The day after I finished the last installment of this
column, where I listed several recent Linux in the media items mostly relating to Netscape's decision to
announce that they plan on releasing the source code to their browser... I ran across yet another online story.  A
writer for the Boston Globe took the same approach as a few of the previous articles but he went a step further
stating that he thought that Netscape should take a stand behind Linux and release a distribution branded under
their name.  For full details, please read this fine article which can be found at the following URL:

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe/globehtml/036/A_new_tactic_for_browser_war.htm

Item #3: Getting Fired for choosing Linux? - Jesse Burst, ZD-net's AnchorDesk columnist, ran an online article
on Monday, February 16th entitled, "Could You Get Fired for Choosing Linux?"  In the article, Mr. Burst starts
off with, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM was the mantra of the 70s and 80s. IBM didn't always have
the latest and greatest, but it was always the safe choice."  You can probably guess the course the article takes
after that.  I'm not hear to damn the article and one good thing it has done is raise the issue and get some debate
going about it.  You can find the article as well as dozens of reader comments (mostly against the contents of the
article) at the following URL:

http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/story/story_1774.html


                          Linux Myth Dispelling

As admitted many times before, I'm borrowing completely from the
Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage
(http://www.KenAndTed.com/KensBookmark/linux/index.html) for this section
of the column.  This installment's topic myth is: "Linux crashes frequently" 

[Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage on]

Hardware is often ignored by other operating systems. On the other hand, Linux takes advantage of all the
hardware it can. Sometimes, if you have defective hardware that other operating systems don't take advantage
of, Linux will crash. This is to be expected. Claiming an OS should remain stable when your memory doesn't
retain information is unrealistic. A properly set up Linux system that is running on good hardware will nearly
never crash. This is because if the operating system doesn't bring itself down, nothing will. Programs can never
crash the system under Linux, because of the way it's built with things like memory protection, instruction
monitoring, and other devices built in to any true kernel. For example, in Linux the "General Protection Fault"
error can only be triggered if your computer's memory is simply not keeping its information (in which case, you
should return it to the factory).

[Quoting Linux Myth Dispeller Homepage off]

                       Linux Application Spotlight

While I had been hoping to cover The Gimp program this installment, as noted at the LOGIN section above, I've
run into a few personal snags and have to postpone writing about The Gimp.  On a positive note, I have enlisted
the aide of a Linux enthusiast who is very familiar with Adobe's Photoshop... who is going to put the latest
version of The Gimp through its paces and compare and contrast the two applications.  I think it is actually a
good idea for me to postpone this spotlight given the fact that I'm barely familiar with Adobe's Photoshop and
can't even scratch the surface of comparing The Gimp to it.  Hopefully, taking some extra time on this spotlight
will yield a more worthwhile column. :)

LOGOUT:

I am not looking forward to all of the homework I need to get done before class today, and although this
installment of the column is rather brief, I hope it can be appreciated that I at least made an effort to produce
something. :)  In any event, again, I'd like to encourage every reader of this column, rather you are Linux pro or
con, to take a look at all of the online resources I mentioned this time.  The Linux Weekly News site is really,
really informative and well done... and the ZDnet resource has something for those still clinging to Microsoft
products. :)  Enjoy!

Thanks for reading!
Scott Dowdle




EDUPAGE STR Focus      Keeping the users informed

                                Edupage 

Contents

Speedier Net Access, Yes;  Higher Prices, No
Another Delay For California Virtual U.
Justice Targets Microsoft Content Plans
Nielsen Readies New Media Measuring System
IBM Supercomputer Contract
Drugstore Database Use Raises Privacy Issues
Hey, A Lot Of People Like Spam
Expansion Of Phone Calls Over Internet
Analog Reborn
Mitsubishi To Wait On Development Of Advanced Memory Chips
Salary-Snitching At Pixar
Hate E-Mail Conviction
"Push" Found To Be Too Pushy
New Search Software From Autonomy Inc.
COBOL Veterans Reenlisting To Solve Year 2000 Problem 
Create The Hype, Then The Product
Another Delay For California System Pact
The Internet High On The Hill
More FCC Auctions
Computer Associates Launches $9.18 Billion Takeover Effort
Preventing Illegal Copying Of Movies And Music
The Increasing Cost Of Surfing
Effort By States To Regulate Internet
U.K. Survey Of Computer Crime
Price Gap Between Dell, Other PC Makers, Narrows
Rockwell, 3Com Complete Joint Testing Of New Modem
IBM Bonuses


              SPEEDIER NET ACCESS, YES;  HIGHER PRICES, NO

With the proliferation of ISDN and DSL telephone lines, and satellite and cable Internet access, Web users are 
beginning to enjoy Web surfing at speeds many times what they've grown accustomed to via plain old telephone
service -- the only hitch is, they don't really want to pay for it.  A recent Yankee Group survey of more than 
2,900 U.S. households found that while more than two-thirds want faster access, only 10% are willing to spend 
even $40 a month for it.  "For us to drive the kind of penetration that's possible, we have to drive the cost
down," says a U S West VP.  (Business Week 16 Feb 98)

                 ANOTHER DELAY FOR CALIFORNIA VIRTUAL U.

California State University administrators say they will hold a 45-day comment-and-review period following 
disclosure of the final details of a technology partnership they plan to forge with four major companies.  This
latest delay, which is in response to complaints about the deal, pushes back the signing date until at least May.  
The partnership with Fujitsu, GTE, Hughes Electronics and Microsoft would bring $300 million in funding for
computers, networking gear and support services, but critics say the university system would give up too much 
control over university decisions. (Chronicle of Higher Education 13 Feb 98)
                                    
                 JUSTICE TARGETS MICROSOFT CONTENT PLANS

The U.S. Justice Department, already at odds with Microsoft over the inclusion of its Internet Explorer software 
in its Windows operating system, now is suggesting that the company's plans for providing Internet content
could possibly violate antitrust laws.  "The best way to make people switch browsers is to make sure they have 
to, in order to get the best content,"  said a Microsoft VP in a 1996 memo.  The latest version of Microsoft's
Internet Explorer and Windows 98 create attractive "channels" for content suppliers that appear on the PC user's 
initial screen.  Justice will investigate deals that Microsoft cut with its most prominent content suppliers 
requiring media companies to customize their sites with Microsoft's technology and commit to promotional 
plans that advocate Microsoft's browser over Netscape's.  (Wall Street Journal 13 Feb 98)

               NIELSEN READIES NEW MEDIA MEASURING SYSTEM

Nielsen Media Research has developed a new media measurement service, co-developed with Microsoft for the 
Windows 98 platform.  The new, unnamed service will bolster Microsoft's efforts to attract advertising to its 
new Intercast service by validating viewer numbers -- a difficult sell at this point.  The Intercast service, which 
has not yet been launched, will enable TV viewers to read supplemental material about programs and products 
via their computer links.  The new Nielsen system will tell advertisers who ordered the Intercast data and what 
they did with it.  (Broadcasting & Cable 9 Feb 98)

                       IBM SUPERCOMPUTER CONTRACT

IBM has an $85 million deal with the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 
to build a computer capable of 10 trillion calculations per second.  The IBM RS-6000 SP supercomputer will be 
delivered in 2000 and housed at the Livermore Lab.  (Investor's Business Daily 13 Feb 98)

              DRUGSTORE DATABASE USE RAISES PRIVACY ISSUES

CVS Corp. and Giant Food Inc. are using a computer database marketing specialist to send personalized letters 
to customers who haven't refilled their prescriptions, reminding them to keep taking their medicine and  pitching
new products that treat the customer's ailments.  The editor of the Journal of the American Medical  Association
calls the practice a "breach of fundamental medical issues" and asks:  "Do you want ... the great  computer in the
sky to have a computer list of every drug you take, from which can be deduced your likely  diseases -- and all
without your permission?"  CVS and Giant Food say their efforts are merely intended to help  customers stay
healthy.  (Washington Post 15 Feb 98)

                     HEY, A LOT OF PEOPLE LIKE SPAM

An evolution in Internet marketing is the entry of bulk mailers who send targeted ads only to people who ask for 
them;  one example is Steve Markowitz, a San Francisco entrepreneur whose "BonusMail" system rewards
people with airline bonuses and various kinds of gift certificates when they agree to read ads that are relevant to 
their interests.  Markowitz says, "We do not send spam.  We send targeted bulk mailings to consumers who 
have asked to participate in the program... I hope that the combination of what we're doing and legislation will 
push out spam."  (New York Times CyberTimes 15 Feb 98)

                 EXPANSION OF PHONE CALLS OVER INTERNET

The Israeli company VocalTec, which pioneered the first gateways for Internet-based phone calls, is developing 
software that can be used with hardware from ECI Telecom to handle 480 calls simultaneously (compared to 
the current maximum of 96 simultaneous calls);  when the product is available next year, it will be linkable 
through multiple gateways to handle an unlimited number of calls.  (USA Today 13 Feb 98)

                              ANALOG REBORN

A researcher whose work at IBM gained him an international reputation is founding a new company called 
Innovative Network Technologies Inc. to use analog technology to develop techniques for high-speed computer
communications over phone lines using existing wiring.  Whereas digital technology represents information in 
discrete "on/off" states (usually pictured as a series of 0s and 1s), analog technology represents it in a continuous
spectrum.  The designer, whose name is R. Andrew Heller and whose company will be based in  Austin, Texas,
says the technique will be allow transmission of as much data as a typical 100-megabit Ethernet.   He also says
that the company's first product will be aimed at school buildings: "One of the issues for schools is  how to get
Internet data from the point it connects to the school into the classroom."  (New York Times 17 Feb 98)

                  MITSUBISHI TO WAIT ON DEVELOPMENT OF 
                          ADVANCED MEMORY CHIPS

As a result of the continuing slump in prices for memory chips, Mitsubishi has decided to slow down on (but 
not completely abandon) its plans to compete in the development of next-generation memory chips.  The plunge 
in memory chip prices has been attributed to competition from rivals in South Korea and Taiwan, as well as 
slowdown in the Japanese personal computer market.  (San Jose Mercury News 17 Feb 98) 

                        SALARY-SNITCHING AT PIXAR

The management of Pixar, the Steve Jobs-led computer graphics company that created the movie "Toy Story," 
angered by a widely distributed anonymous e-mail message that accurately revealed the salaries of its 400 
employees, has filed suit in California seeking a restraining order barring further publication of the information, 
as well as compensation for damages suffered because the company could lose its edge in "attracting and 
retaining the best qualified employees."  An internal investigation is proceeding to determine the identify of the
salary-snitch.  (USA Today 16 Feb 98)

                         HATE E-MAIL CONVICTION

A U.S. federal jury convicted a former University of California at Irvine student, Richard Machado, of a civil 
rights violation for sending threatening e-mail to 59 Asian students, the first conviction for hate mail sent in 
cyberspace.  The government said the conviction will have an impact across the United States because it 
establishes legal standards for conduct on the Internet. (Hamilton Spectator 16 Feb 98)

                      "PUSH" FOUND TO BE TOO PUSHY

Industry analyst Ross Rubin at Jupiter Communications summarizes the situation this way:  "Push has gone 
from the most popular buzzword of 1997 and late 1996 to something verboten on business plans."  Recent 
months have seen the demise or reinvention of many of the many start-ups hoping to make a success of push 
technology (software that "pushes" information out to Web  users rather than waits for them to "pull" it down 
after surfing to find it).  The reason?  Many consumers have decided that the cure was worse than the illness, 
and that instead of solving the problem of information overload, push technology just makes it worse.  (New 
York Times CyberTimes 16 Feb 98)  

                 NEW SEARCH SOFTWARE FROM AUTONOMY INC.

Autonomy Inc., a spinoff of a British software firm, has developed new search software that it says can 
efficiently identify patterns of data in any computer archive and automatically link the results to related
information in other archives.  Autonomy's Knowledge Server goes beyond the "keyword" search strategy now 
used by most search engines, and can process fields of data not included in structured databases, such as news 
releases, company documents, electronic filings by employees, and e-mail posted to a public system.  
Knowledge Server is being tested by Barclays Bank and Hartford Financial Services, and will be shipped this 
spring.  (Wall Street Journal 17 Feb 98)

                  COBOL VETERANS REENLISTING TO SOLVE 
                            YEAR 2000 PROBLEM

Retired programmers in their 60s are rejoining the workforce to man the front lines in battling the Year 2000 
glitch.  "To be called back to work is rather flattering," says one.  "We had thought of ourselves as
archaeological, as rather unique archaic beasts."  Indeed, at least one high-tech temp service staffs only seniors 
-- the Senior Staff 2000 located in San Jose, Calif., specializes in exclusively over-50 workers. "Sixty-three 
percent are looking for something to do because they're bored or because their spouse said 'get out of the house 
or else,'" says Senior Staff's CEO, who adds that the biggest advantage to hiring older workers is that they'll 
stick with the job till it's done, rather than jumping ship for a better offer.  "They don't need to beef up their 
resumes.  They don't even have resumes anymore."  (TechWeb 16 Feb 98)

                    CREATE THE HYPE, THEN THE PRODUCT

High-tech venture capitalist Ann Winblad says the days of creating a product, then getting funding to market it 
are over.  "Now you must take money quickly, or there will be many companies saying they do the same thing.  
you need to take the money and declare victory immediately.  Then create a product."  (Upside Mar 98)

                ANOTHER DELAY FOR CALIFORNIA SYSTEM PACT

California State University administrators say they will hold a 45-day comment-and-review period following 
disclosure of the final details of a technology partnership they plan to forge with four major companies.  This
latest delay, which is in response to complaints about the deal, pushes back the signing date until at least May.  
The partnership with Fujitsu, GTE, Hughes Electronics and Microsoft would bring $300 million in funding for
computers, networking gear and support services, but critics say the university system would give up too much 
control over university decisions. (Chronicle of Higher Education 13 Feb 98)  Note:  This item ran in the Feb.
15 issue of Edupage with the wrong headline. there is no relationship between the CETI project and the 
California Virtual University (CVU);  the CVU project is on schedule.

                      THE INTERNET HIGH ON THE HILL

Your congressperson is heeding your e-mail, and will respond as soon as he or she can find a stamp (or the 
franking machine).  An American University survey of Internet use by members of Congress has found that 
90% of 270 offices surveyed used both the Internet and e-mail messages, but that most prefer to use snailmail to 
send a reply.  The reason?  A belief that you would like to have your reply printed on genuine watermarked 
Congressional letterhead.  (Washington Post 17 Feb 98)

                            MORE FCC AUCTIONS

The Federal Communications Commission is auctioning off another segment of radio spectrum to be used for 
local multipoint distribution service (LMDS), a broadband, point-to-multipoint technology that will be used to 
offer video programming, teleconferencing, wireless local phone service and high-speed Internet access.  The 
technology is expected to cost less than comparable services offered through fiber optic or cable networks: 
"You don't have to wait to have the phone company dig up streets to put in lines, and the quality is much better 
than current copper wire phone technology," says one telecommunications analyst.  The government is hoping 
to reap $4 billion from this latest round of auctions, but analysts say the take will probably be closer to $2 
billion, because major telecommunications companies are prohibited from owning licenses in their service areas 
for three years.  (TechWeb 18 Feb 98)

               COMPUTER ASSOCIATES LAUNCHES $9.18 BILLION 
                             TAKEOVER EFFORT

Computer Associates International has offered the shareholders of Computer Sciences Corp. $108 per share in a 
hostile bid to acquire the computer service company, and a spokesman says Computer Sciences plans to 
respond later this week.  Industry observers call Computer Associates' move a risky maneuver, because the 
computer-services business requires loyal employees, and CA could end up spending a lot of money and 
antagonizing its future employees.  (Wall Street Journal 18 Feb 98)

             PREVENTING ILLEGAL COPYING OF MOVIES AND MUSIC

Intel, Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba and Hitachi have developed an encryption plan that will prevent the illegal 
copying of digital movies or music received over satellite services, cable networks, or the Internet.  (Los
Angeles Times 19 Feb 98)  

                     THE INCREASING COST OF SURFING

Several online magazines -- Slate, Business Week Online and Marvel Comics -- are beginning the transition 
rom a free to paid subscription basis.  Slate, for example, plans to charge a regular price of $29.95 for an annual
subscription, and the magazine's publisher explains:  "Nothing that I have seen in the past one-and-a-half years 
has dissuaded me from the notion that we need subscriptions to have a viable business model.  The longer you 
stay a free site, the harder it becomes to switch to paid.  For us, it's not question of if, but when."  (Interactive 
Week 18 Feb 98)

                  EFFORT BY STATES TO REGULATE INTERNET

American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Ann Beeson complains that, in spite of the fact that the U.S. Supreme 
Court struck down the Communications Decency Act, individual states are now introducing similar laws. 
"These state legislatures don't seem very interested in reading Supreme Court opinions... Like any new medium, 
we are seeing this urge for lawmakers to want to regulate it."  New laws are being considered by Tennessee, 
Rhode Island, Illinois and New Mexico.  The Tennessee law, which is the most sweeping, would create a 
special domain code for adult-oriented sites;  require schools and libraries to use filtering software, with 
criminal liability for teachers and librarians who fail to comply;  and make Internet service providers liable for 
distribution by their customers of harmful material.  (New York Times 19 Feb 98)

                      U.K. SURVEY OF COMPUTER CRIME

An Audit Commission survey of computer misuse such as fraud and use of unlicensed software in the United 
Kingdom indicates that the proportion of organizations reporting such crimes rose from 36% in 1994 to 45% 
last year.  (Financial Times 19 Feb 98)

            PRICE GAP BETWEEN DELL, OTHER PC MAKERS, NARROWS

Dell Computer has built a huge business on its much-ballyhooed price advantage -- a result of its direct sales 
strategy that enables it to avoid costly inventory storage and management.  Last year, prices on Dell machines
were running about 15% lower than comparable PCs from other sellers, but that differential is quickly 
narrowing, as Compaq, IBM and Hewlett-Packard adopt some of Dell's price-saving techniques.  The result is 
that Dell's advantage, percentage-wise, is now down into single digits:  "We have a significant and continued 
price advantage.  But we think there's a preoccupation with the price of the box," says a Dell spokesman who 
notes that customization and direct contact with users are also key to their success.  (Investor's Business Daily
19 Feb 98)

           ROCKWELL, 3COM COMPLETE JOINT TESTING OF NEW MODEM

Rockwell International and 3Com Corp., once bitter rivals over the next generation of computer modems, 
surprised everyone by unexpectedly announcing that they've finished joint testing of their once-incompatible 
56Kbps equipment and pronounced the products compliant with the electronic protocol approved two weeks 
ago by the International Telecommunication Union.  "We feel that this has been a major move forward for the 
modem market after a difficult 1997," says the president of Rockwell's Semiconductor Systems unit.  (Wall
Street Journal 18 Feb 98)

                               IBM BONUSES

In spite of an uneven financial performance last year, IBM is paying out $1.3 billion in bonuses to most of its
270,000 employees.  The bonuses will range from 4.5% to 25% of 1997 salary.  (Atlanta Journal-Constitution
19 Feb 98)





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                            A TRUST BETRAYED?

Fla. man held on porn charge after computer repair
 
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Reuters) - Police have arrested a Florida man on charges of possessing child pornography after
technicians repairing his home computer found material he had downloaded from the Internet, police said Wednesday. 
Robert Gordon Edris, 52, of Jacksonville, had left his personal computer for a hardware upgrade, said Jeff Hall, a
technician at Computer Renaissance, the independent computer store that contacted police.  Hall said an image of
children having sex came onto the screen when the computer was turned on. "We respect our customers' privacy, but in
this case it just happened to pop up," Hall said.  

Store employees called police, who asked them to tell Edris his computer was ready to pick up. When Edris arrived,
detectives asked him to sign a consent waiver so they could search his computer files and then arrested him when they
found the allegedly illegal material, a spokesman for the Jacksonville Police Department said.  Geoff Smith, a
Washington attorney with the Blue Ribbon Campaign for Internet Free Speech, said arrests like Edris's were rare but
should remind people that personal computers were not as secure as many assumed.  "...Computer technicians could just
as easily investigate your financial portfolio or proprietary information if you keep it on your hard drive. You have to
 be
careful," Smith said.

AN OPINION

By Ralph F. Mariano

  Can you believe this nonsense???  What would happen to a lawyer or a Doctor or, any other professional with whom
people entrusted their innermost secrets??  You and I both know the answer.  They'd soon lose their license to practice.
 
Please read the above very carefully . It is, in itself, a contradiction.  The "technician", Jeff Hall says the porn jus
t
"popped up".  But the cop had to ask permission to "search the hard drive" to "find" the porn in question!

  I'd like to hear from you on this one . How many agree  the "technician" entrusted with the computer had no
business prying into the personal data on the drive.  His responsibility and duty was to effect the repair or upgrade no
t
search through the hard drive.  Or, do you feel the "technician" was acting entirely within the scope of his
responsibilities?

  My opinion is; "the tech was way, way outta line."  He had no business looking through that customer's drive or any
other computer or hard drive entrusted to his care.  Further, if he had to look it was immediately incumbent upon him to
adhere to the trust he, directly or indirectly, assumed when he accepted the assignment to work on that computer. 
Additionally, since he did look over and/or discover whatever  he had no right "blowing the whistle".  His actions reek
of "Big Brother" snoop tactics or, worse yet  of Germany's Gestapo encouragement of neighbor snitch on neighbor. 
His actions in my humble opinion were ghastly. Being a computer professional myself  I find many different computers,
from professionals, Attorneys, Doctors etc., entrusted in my care.  That trust being an "implied trust" I dare not betra
y.  I
feel personally violated by this young man's actions.  Obviously, he is either inexperienced or, has a great deal to lea
rn.   

  As an aside, I am personally acquainted with the owner of the branch store where the young man is employed along
with a number of good folks who work in another branch store owned by the same party here in town.  I find it hard to
fathom that the owner of these two stores would have gone along with such a repulsive action.  I am especially convinced
after having been told by a number of other employees "they had received a large volume of comments and complaints,
both pro and con, relative to the young man's actions.  Let us hear from you!  What's your opinion on this matter?







Dear ThumbsPlus User,

We're now shipping ThumbsPlus on CD-ROM! Registered users can purchase the CD for only $7 plus shipping.

Here's what's included:
ThumbsPlus version 3.20-R (32-bit), for Windows 3.1, NT, 95, 98. 
ThumbsPlus version 2.1-R (16-bit), for Windows 3.1x. 
The ThumbsPlus CD-ROM Developer Kit (for personal use & commercial evaluation). 
Mandelbrot for Windows 3.0b (Careware). 
Hundreds of high-quality JPEG and TIFF images for personal use. 

Please visit our Web site  for more information on obtaining the CD.
Thank you for your continued support for ThumbsPlus and Cerious Software!
Please visit our Macintosh beta web page  to download the latest Macintosh beta. 
It's quickly approaching reality!

Important note: 
The database format has changed in beta 8. You cannot use thumbnail databases from prior betas with this release!
Further information on this change, and regarding sharing databases with PCs, is available on the web page.

 Major Fixes Since Beta 7:
  Many crashes have been eliminated
  Support for PhotoCD and KDC formats
  Database compatibility with PC version
  Database sharing via AppleShare 
  New toolbar appearance
  Web Wizard now works
  Batch conversion step selection on MacOS 8

Thank you to everyone who has responded to the survey. I'm "surveying" the results and will report back as soon as I can
.
One note with regard to the survey: please do not use it to report problems. I can only keep up with so many sources of
problem reports!

If possible, please use our Mac beta newsgroup to report problems, at
. If you don't have access, please feel free to e-mail me directly at
. I've gotten somewhat behind on my responses to both, but I promise I am attending
to each one of them. 

Thanks to everyone for helping make this product happen!

Kind regards,
Phillip Crews
Cerious Software, Inc.
http://www.thumbsplus.com





 


Imagine a world of intense beauty and mortal danger where your slightest move can trigger cataclysmic events. As
Luther, the son of the evil sorceress Scotia, you must rid yourself of an ancient curse that could mean the  destruction
 of
the Lands. Set in a Reactive Environment, this real-time, role-playing/adventure game features   3-D high resolution
graphics perfected after years of development.
            
Key Features:
  Highly-reactive environment allowing the player 360 degree horizontal movement with the ability to look up or down 
  High resolution game play with hours of full-screen, full-motion cinematic sequences in 256 colors 
  A fully-configurable, easy-to-use interface 
  An awesome array of spells and effects such a calling down firestorms, devastating lightning strikes or  summoning
forth spirits of the dead who will help slay those who oppose you 
  An epic journey with over 15 challenging and enchanting realms filled with frightening creatures like Double-
Headed Panthers, Visceroids, Hive Warriors, Wild Ones and the incarnation of the evil god Belial 
             
Highlights:
  A spectacular soundtrack from Westwood's own composer and musician Frank Klepacki, along with renowned new
age composer and musician David Arkenstone 
  Sequel to the highly-acclaimed Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos 
  Developed by Westwood Studios, the creators of the award-winning Command & Conquer Universe of Games 
            
There can be little doubt, even among the skeptics, that ancient gods once visited our earthly
plane. Records are rare or non-existent (after all this was a very long time ago), but the
persistence and urgency of the various  legends keeps the memories alive. The creation mythos
of virtually every known civilization credits immortal beings in some form for laying the
foundations upon which our mortal existence is based.  So, we can be fairly certain that
something special did happen, but just who were these Gods, and why are they no longer here?
The  answers are to be found in the story of the Guardians of Destiny. 
            
Most theologians propose that the great immortals either came to or fabricated our world as a
means for them to create the one experience unavailable to omnipotent beings: Not being In Charge.  The life of an
Ancient God  is, unfortunately, horribly boring. There are no surprises for an Ancient God, no mysteries... 
            
           


Our mortal world is then perhaps like a vacation spa for the gods, created in order that these all-powerful creatures co
uld
find a seam that allowed them to leave their powers behind and experience the feeling of Not  Being IN Charge. (This
phenomena is also known as being At Effect, in counterpoint to being At Cause).   Being At Effect is certainly a delirio
us
good time to an individual who has had to slog through the monotony of  endless eons of being At Cause. Pleasure itself
is, as an emotion, impossible for an all powerful being to experience. And therefore, our world, a dude ranch for the
Ancients, was created.  Although divine intention was required for the creation of our universe, at some point in time i
t
became common knowledge that Such an arrangement, such a mixing of mortal and immortal, could only function if  left
alone by the immortals. Effect cannot work if constantly interrupted by Cause.  And so, by agreement among the
Immortals our world, the world of Effect, was not to be interfered with by the all powerful Gods.  Effect could be
watched as it slithered over the surface of our new planet. Effect could even be experienced by  those individuals who
chose to leave their immortality behind and join with the mortals, but no God was allowed to reach into the fishbowl.


 
            

After additional untold eons, the novelty began to wear thin, and certain individuals, indifferent to the delicate  bala
nce
between mortal and immortal life, began to think of making the toy even more exciting.  Proscriptions, prohibitions, and
the heavy weight of moral concern notwithstanding, the unthinkable did occur: One particularly Evil Ancient God was
the first to break the sacred rule of non-interference. 



Belial, in an effort to add sport to his jaded existence, looked down and selected the Dracoid race as those  mortals wh
o
would be favored with his attentions. A sickly sweet smile on his face as he strolled among the  awestruck Dracoids, the
horned Ancient dispensed fabulous new weapons and bits of Ancient magic as if they  were lumps of candy thrown to
mobs of adoring children. 

Heretofore, the mortals had been content to settle what national disputes there were with the equipment at hand;  bows
and clubs were fashioned from the wood that could be harvested from the forests, spearpoint and swords  were forged
from the metals dug from the earth, and even the mundane natural magic s were summoned for the   efforts of defense. 
But now the new weapons and awesomely powerful Ancient Magic s fanned the dormant flames of militarism  among the
peaceful Dracoid, and they became a people possessed.


            
             


Ancient Gods are not in the habit of criticizing each other, and so Belial's first ventures with the Dracoid drew  littl
e
notice among the other immortals. But as the favored Dracoid race began to lay waste to the other nearby  civilizations,
certain Gods politely requested that Belial desist, and stop his interference among the mortals.  

As so often happens, courtesy has a strange reversing effect on malevolent souls, and the more politely his  fellow gods
requested that he mend his ways, the more savagely Belial equipped and encouraged the now warlike Dracoids. 
             
Even the official censure from the revered Council of Ancients drew nothing more than a contemptuous chuckle  from
Belial, and his visits and gifts to the Dracoids did nothing but increase. 

The closest neighbors to the Dracoid were the Hulines, and they bore the brunt of the fierce storm that swept out  of th
e
Dracoid land. Valiant though their warriors were, the mundane Huline weapons were no match for the  awful and
wondrous new magic s the Dracoids threw at them. Wave after wave of courageous Huline troops  fell in a futile attempt
to protect their homeland. But their struggles were to no avail, and soon what had been a glorious countryside smoldered
like the last embers of a dying campfire. 

The pathos of the Huline cause did arouse sympathy among the Ancients, but the credo of non-interference still  held
firm, and no immortal could stoop to lend a hand.  Several generations passed, and still the heavy weight of the Dracoid
s
and their powerful Ancient Magic  weapons ground the remnants of the once proud Huline race into the bloody mud of
the battlefields. 

Finally, when the Hulines were reduced to a meager few individuals, and the possibility of total extinction  became a
probability, another of the Ancient Gods could stand by no longer. Anu, known later to his mortal  acquaintances as the
Draracle, determined to save the Huline race from annihilation.  Ancient magic s now  found their way to the Huline
camps as well, and the fighting lost its lopsided character. 
             
As right and just as this action may have been, it was still a violation of the immortal code of non-interference,  and 
the
Draracle paid a heavy price for his assistance to the Hulines, for now his hands were stained as well, and in the eyes o
f
the Ancient law, both Belial and the Draracle were equally guilty of the crime of interference. As equal as their crimes
were in theory, the Ancients did understand the good intentions of the Draracle. But  Belial's crimes could not be
rationalized, and his actions embarrassed the entire community of Ancients. 

Indignant that their official censure had been so rudely ignored, the Council of Ancients met again, and determined to
take whatever steps necessary to end Belial's mortal interference forever.  No Ancient had ever taken the life of anothe
r,
but nonetheless a resolution was passed which sentenced Belial  to death.  To wrap up their solution in a tidy package, 
the
Draracle was chosen to carry out the execution. After all, his hands were already dirty, and what more efficient means
could be found? The Council of Ancients would use one criminal to erase another, and leave the rest of their community
unsullied.  Knowing that his execution was imminent and unavoidable, Belial developed a plan that would allow him to
be resurrected after his death. In his chambers beneath the magnificent City of Ancients he created a huge magical
Mother Beast. 

This Mother Beast was intended as an enormous antennae which would accumulate the radiation s from the magic of the
Ancients. When sufficient Ancient Magic was acquired, the Mother Beast would focus this power towards the creation of
a new god, and Belial would be reborn.  The problem in Belial's plan became apparent when, after his execution, the
immortals decided to leave the City of Ancients, and the mortal plane, entirely. Without Ancients nearby, the radiation'
s
of Ancient magic became extremely scarce. When no sufficient amount of Ancient magic was available, the Mother
Beast lapsed into a state of dormancy, and waited.  All of  the Ancients departed, and the City of Ancients sank beneath
the waves. 

             
            

 


The Draracle, convinced that someone should watch over the mortal plane to insure that Belial would be unable to fulfill
his resurrection plans, took it upon himself to be that watcher.  Determined that our world should enjoy  its own fate,
unmolested by the further machinations of an Evil God.



            

The hibernation of the Mother Beast and the vigilance of the Draracle continued uneventfully for several  thousand
mortal years.  The Draracle left the Southern Continent and took up residence near the human kingdom of Gladstone, and
spent his time dispensing cryptic agricultural advice and weather predictions to the  local farmers. Over the years all
mortal knowledge of the Ancients was forgotten. 

The story might have continued into nothingness forever, but was revived again due to the greed of Scotia, late  sorcere
ss
of the Dark Army.  Spurned as a lover during her youth by the then Prince Richard of Gladstone,  Margarithe Fiston
nursed a natural grudge against the royal house. She eventually married a prominent local  landowner, and bore him a son
named Luther. 

After years of peace, the war between the evil Dark Army and the opposing White Army of Gladstone flared  anew. One
of the first victims was Luther's father, slain by a raiding party as he accompanied the wagons to market along
Gladstone's main road.  Margarithe was enraged. Blaming the lax security of Gladstone for the   loss of her husband, she
combined this hate with her previous grudge to form a psychosis that deprived her of  all normal reason. Turning 
enthusiastically to the dark side, she took the name Scotia, and buried herself in studies of the dark and magical arts.
 

Poor Luther, then but halfway through his teens, kicked casually at the weeds for a year or so, but then left the farm a
nd
the unpleasantness of Gladstone to seek his fortune elsewhere.  His mother Scotia proved a good student, and soon her
magical skills and unswerving hatred for Gladstone earned her the respect of all the Dark Army. She reigned supreme as
the most powerful sorceress of her time. Still, her success brought her little solace, and she was determined to use her
new talents to bring about the death of King Richard. 
             
Richard was no fool however, and access to his person was guarded jealously, lest a traitorous Dark Army agent  should
poison his food or engineer some such other treachery. Scotia's attempts to get close enough to do him  harm were all in
vain.  Acting on rumors mentioned in several of her magic tomes, Scotia began hunting for the  legendary Ancient Magic
artifact known as the Nether Mask. Surely the powerful Shape changing properties  reputedly bestowed upon the
possessor would finally allow her the disguise she required to kill Richard. 

Unbeknownst to Scotia the Nether Mask was one of the last major sources of Ancient Magic left in the world.  When she
finally unearthed the mask from the deep mud where it had lain safely for centuries, the Ancient Magic radiations
emanating from its activation awakened the long dormant Mother Beast.   Just on the verge of  complete success, Scotia
saw her evil plans fail, and she was herself slain by one of the heroes of Gladstone.  In  her dying moments she attempt
ed
to send her most valuable possession to her son Luther. But the transmission  became garbled in the ether, and Luther
received a mangled version of the Shape changing magic. 


            

At a moment's notice, and without warning, he would leave his human form behind and manifest as a lizard, a  hideous
beast, or other deformed creatures.  Struggling back to Gladstone to seek a cure for his affliction, Luther was captured
 by
soldiers of the White Army, and thrown into the Gladstone dungeon. Confused and in  great pain, Luther lay stunned in
his cell, imprisoned for the crimes of his mother. 
             
As we come to present times, the Mother beast is still eager to accumulate enough Ancient magic to resurrect  Belial.
Awakened from her slumber, she has begun to spawn her lesser children as a prelude to her final  maternity, Grotesque
spider-like creatures drop from her womb and tunnel to the surface to search for any  remaining bits of Ancient magic.
 
Aided by a timely change into a powerful beast, Luther has escaped the dungeon, and made his way to the  Draracle,
hopeful that this strange oracle can guide him towards a cure. Still conscious of his pledge of non- interference in mor
tal
affairs, the Draracle has directed Luther to the Southern Continent.  The Gladstone mystic  Dawn, alarmed by reports of
the strange new creatures plaguing the Southern Continent, has come to the  Draracle as well. Unsatisfied by his cryptic
mumblings, she too has traveled south to forestall this danger before  it threatens Gladstone directly. 


            

Belial's mignons are anxious to kill Luther and acquire the Ancient Magic within his curse in order that Belial  can
complete his resurrection. Dawn and her allies are equally anxious to acquire the Ancient Magic in order  that they may
use it to prevent Belial's resurrection.  While Luther will be the key to this puzzle, he is yet to  learn his part.
 

            



   

            
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STReport has been using a CardScan Unit for approx two months.  We've scanned in well over two hundred
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                       STReport International Online Magazine












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


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

   It's been a bad week - no time whatsoever to really work on this week's issue.  Weekends are mine - no work
done unless I come across an interesting article or two, and grab them.  Monday, I had company and Thursday
will be tied up in an online conference for Delphi forum managers (this is actually a "paid job").  And Thursday
I also turn in my  column for release on Friday.  And yes, I have a real job on top of all that.

   And to make matters worse, this is [so far] the third week in a row that I don't have any Atari-specific
information for you.  Yes, we're working on a couple of in-depth articles, but the typical news and information
that "crosses my desk" just hasn't been there.  If I had 20 hours or so a week  more, I could certainly do some
investigating, but who among us has that kind of free time these days.  It's frustrating, to be sure.  At times, I
wonder if it's all still worth the effort.  The trouble with that question is that I can't answer it decisively.  

   You would think that it would be a fairly easy issue to resolve, either way.  But it's not that simple.  There
are certainly more reasons to stop  than to stay with it.  The reasons to stick it out would require some fresh
ideas - new ways to look at an old subject, and be able to put them "on paper" and to your computer screens. 
There's no need to point out the reasons to stop - most are quite obvious.

   And then there are the personal reasons.   With our recent purchase of our first home comes a lot of
responsibility.  Once the nice weather begins, I plan to undertake a number of projects that I'm sure most of you
who have been in similar situations have experienced.  The common factors are time and priorities.  If the
availability of Atari-related news and information continues to "deteriorate" the decision will be easier - not
welcomed, but less "painful" if you understand where I'm coming from.

   Anyway, we're still quite a way from that decision so I won't dwell on it.  And for the present, we still have
this week's issue despite the abnormally light content.

Until next time...


                            Gaming Section  


'Bio FREAK'!  
Tiger Woods & EA Sign!
Sony's Mini PDA


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


               Midway Home Entertainment Announces Plans 
                         To Release 'Bio FREAKS'

CORSICANA, TEXAS (Feb. 17) BUSINESS WIRE - Feb. 17, 1998 - Bio FREAKS(tm) to Hit Retail on
PlayStation and Nintendo 64 this Summer.

Midway Home Entertainment announced today the company's plans to release its eagerly-awaited 3D fighting
game, Bio FREAKS, direct to the next generation game platforms this summer. In a departure from the norm,
Midway will release Bio FREAKS for home play on the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 prior to the game's arcade
debut. The announcement was made by Byron Cook, president of Midway Home Entertainment. 

Bio FREAKS represents Midway's first internally developed video game to be released directly for retail sale to
the home video game market.  Midway's decision to release Bio FREAKS directly to the home is based partly
on the phenomenal success Midway Games' most recent fighting game release, Mortal Kombat 4, continues to
enjoy in the arcades and partly on pressing consumer demand for a fresh, new fighting game for the home
market.

According to Cook, "Once again we are taking our cue from gamers! With Mortal Kombat 4, and its subsequent
upgrades, continuing to collect in the arcades and consumer demand for a great new fighting game for the next
generation home systems at an all-time high, Midway has opted to bypass the arcade and release Bio FREAKS
for retail sale."

The Summer release of Bio FREAKS will provide consumers with a fresh new next generation home fighting
game in a time period traditionally devoid of any new game releases and, at the same time, give gamers the
opportunity to enjoy playing great fighters both at home and in the arcade.

Designed and programmed at Midway's San Diego development facility, Bio FREAKS features cutting-edge
video game technology, state-of-the-art graphics, and CD quality sound. With a choice of eight characters, 20
special moves, and close to 300 separate frames of animation, this combat game provides the kind of
heart-pounding realism that gamers have been waiting for.

In making the announcement Cook also stated, "We are happy to bring Bio FREAKS straight home for game
play on the PlayStation and Nintendo 64.  This unprecedented move further illustrates and solidifies Midway's
commitment to the home video game market and the next generation gaming systems."

                    Electronic Arts Signs Tiger Woods

SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., 1998 FEB 19 (Newsbytes) -- By Bob Woods, Newsbytes. A new deal
with one of the world's most notable athletes put a tiger in Electronic Arts' stock price  late Thursday morning.
On the heels of a licensing deal with golf phenom Tiger Woods via swooshy athletic shoe maker Nike,  EA's
stock was up $3.875 or almost ten percent on Wall Street in very heavy trading.  Nike stock was down $0.063 at
$44.563 in late morning trading on Thursday. Woods' stock, which fluctuates weekly depending on how he
performs in golf tournaments, is usually up. 

EA inked a four year contract with Woods through Nike, which holds licensing rights for the young golfer, EA
officials said. Financial details of the four-year arrangement were not released, but EA acknowledged the deal
"represents perhaps the most highly-prized deal in the history of the interactive sports industry."   EA President
John Riccitiello told Newsbytes said that Woods' presence on his company's products should boost EA's share
of the PC golf game market from number two to number one. EA is already number one on the PlayStation side
of the market, he said.

Riccitiello also said that he expects the interactive golf game market in general -- which is small compared to
other games like football and basketball -- to grow because of Woods' involvement. While not quoting any
specific numbers, Riccitiello said that the new Woods title could bring revenues of somewhere between a
"solid" sports title that usually makes of $50 to $100 million dollars in the first year, to a "AA" title that
normally brings in more than $100 million dollars a year. 

Initial plans call for EA's "EA Sports" brand to release a Tiger Woods golf game for personal computers (PCs)
and Sony's PlayStation game console in the summer of 1998, officials said.  Riccitiello also said that Woods'
involvement in the new game goes beyond just "slapping his name on the box." The EA president said that
Woods' golf style is utilized via motion capture technology, and that his personality is shown in the game.
Digital duffers can expect to see Tiger Woods' signature booming drives and pumping arm celebrations in the
summer product release, for example. 

He also said that Woods was involved in "how the game meets the computer;" for example, Woods said that a
prior EA Sports golf game needed to be speeded up, so that improvement will show up in the Woods-titled
program. A news release put out by EA Sports went as far as to call Woods a part of the "second generation of
co-designers" for new game titles.  Woods joins 14 other PGA Tour pros, including Peter Jacobsen, Brad Faxon,
Tom Kite, Lee Janzen, and Davis Love III in future versions of the PGA Tour product line. 

                 Sony Develops Mini-PDA For Playstation

TOKYO, JAPAN, 1998 FEB 19 (Newsbytes) -- By Martyn Williams, Newsbytes.  Sony Computer
Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) has announced the development of a miniature sized personal digital assistant (PDA)
for use with its Playstation video game console. Rather than help users organize their time, this PDA will allows
users to play games, downloaded from the Playstation. 

Little larger than a memory card for the Playstation, and with a 32 by 32 pixel monochrome LCD (liquid crystal
display), the unit won't allow  users to play the same games as they do on the console. Games and other software
will be supplied on CD-ROM disk and transferred from the Playstation via the player's memory card slot.  
Users will then take the memory card and plug that into the newly developed device. SCEI says it envisages
games and, thanks to a built-in clock, time-based software including small schedulers to be available.

The device has an ARM T7T 32-bit RISC processor at its heart, two kilobytes of SRAM, and 128 kilobytes of
flash RAM. In addition, an infrared interface will allow users to exchange data with each other.  Depending on
future developments, the infrared system may also be supported by other hardware products.  The system is still
under development and SCEI said it expects a commercial product to be available at the end of the year. Today's
announcement coincides with the release of specifications of the system to Playstation licensees in Japan. 


ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine          The wires are a hummin'!



                          PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

Compiled by Joe Mirando
jmirando@streport.com




Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Before we get into the scuttle-butt from Delphi this week, I'd like to share a 'PC
user story' with you.
 
I _know_ that it really happened  because it unfolded right before my eyes.... always the best kind of story, ain't
it? 
 
Well to begin with, a week or so ago I discovered that our office computers at my 'day job' had become infected
with several different kinds of viruses. The most prevalent one was a bothersome little bug that inserts itself into
documents written, read, or edited with Microsoft Word or compatible word processor. Once installed in the
system, this virus keeps you from being able to save a document. Your only option is to save it as a template.
Also, imbedded in the document somewhere is a phrase placed there by the virus reading something to the effect
of "this is enough to prove my point".
 
Except for the fact that it infects every document that you read from or write to, it causes no major harm to the
system. It was easily eradicated with one of the off-the-shelf PC virus killers, but my employer was worried that
there could still be other viruses lurking in the system. 
 
He announced to me on the day after the 'great virus kill off' that he had found yet another strange happening
that 'must be caused by a virus'.
 
When I asked him about the symptoms he proudly recited the list of things that were happening... "The hard
drive is making a constant clicking sound, I can't save the spreadsheet that I'm working  on, if I minimize the
spreadsheet program and try to run the office database, the hard drive stops clicking, but the database won't even
run".
 
This was an interesting enough set of circumstances to warrant my attention, so I eagerly went into the office to
see what had invaded my system now.
 
As I stood at the desk that he had been working at, he maximized the spreadsheet and I heard the clicking that
he was talking about. When I tried to make a suggestion, he seemed upset that I wasn't waiting to have the rest
of the symptoms demonstrated to me. So I waited while he finished the grand tour. 
 
When he was done, he asked "Is there anything else that you can think of that we can try?"
 
I smiled for just a fraction of a second before I said "Try taking the edge of the book off of the damned escape
key".
 
Yes folks, he had rested a book from which he had been entering information on the corner of the keyboard and
it had slipped so that the corner of the book was pressing down on the escape key. This has since become known
in our office as the "No Escape" virus. This one ranks right up there on the list of known computer glitches
along with 'A loose connection... between the seat and the keyboard'.
 
Well, now that you have a better idea of how I brighten my days, let's take a look at what's going on in the Atari
forum on Delphi.
 

>From Delphi's Atari Advantage Forum


Greg Evans tells everyone to...
   "Grab Rob's dial script and the latest STinG and modules and
   you'll be able to get a PPP connection on Delphi!  When CAB
   2.7 is released supporting cookies, we'll be able to go
   completely graphical here!
   
   Thanks to Peter and Rob!
    
   On the other hand...  I tried making STinG part of the normal
   boot up process and have this side-effect -- Flash will not
   connect to Delphi when STinG is resident.  I switched back to
   STiK and Flash connects fine.  There must be something in the
   many STinG parameters which has to be set differently for
   Flash.  Anyone using both STinG and Flash?"
 
Having been a user of both for a while now, I tell Greg:
   "I'm using both STinG and Flash II (v 2.23) and Flash works
   fine for me.
   
   My only annoyance is that Flash resets the Comm port to
   19200 baud when it quits. The baud rate should be 115200.
   
   I have the dialer installed as an accessory. I do need to
   select the acc and 'enable' the port to be able to use Flash
   though.
   
   I could have sworn that I had configured the darned thing to
   automatically enable the port and lock the baud rate at
   115200, but I booted up one day and had to go back to the
   "enable, use Flash, quit Flash, re-set baud rate" thing
   again."
 
Greg replies:
   "Thanks.  I found that if I use the STinG Internals CPX to
   deactivate STinG I can use Flash to log on here.  I figured
   there was some option I could set/reset but it took a while
   to find the correct one.  I'll have a keep a lookout for that
   baud rate reset!"
 
Rob Mahlert tells Greg:
   "On the Sting and Flash problem, Do you have the Acc setup
   so that Sting is always on? I had the same problem with
   Freeze Dried Terminal, but when I changed the sting cpx so
   that I had to turn it on, the problem went away."
 
Bob Trowbridge asks Rob, Greg, and I:
   "Do you use a Falcon?  I have a very similar problem.  BUT I
    think FLASH II is resetting the COMM port when it STARTS!  I
    think it thinks the MODEM port on a Falcon is a 1040 ST
    port."
 
I tell Bob:
   "No, I've got a TT. Flash may well be re-setting the port
   when it starts instead of on exit as I had thought. That
   would make more sense since Flash 2 uses its own routines for
   accessing the serial/modem ports.
   
   The funny thing is that I _thought_ I had stopped that from
   happening.
   
   I'll have to dig through my system over the weekend and try
   to figure out what I had done to stop it."
 
Our good friend John Trautschold tells us:
   "The newer versions of Flash II (3.02) do not reset the
   port, just to solve that problem."
 
Bob Trowbridge asks Jim Collins of chroMAGIC Software, who has
recently switched to a 'real' Internet Service Provider (as opposed
to an online service offering the ability to surf the internet):
   " When  you switched to a local ISP, did you get a
   performance increase?"
 
Jim tells Bob:
   "YES!  A huge one!  Of course, the local Delphi access line
   was limited to 9600 and my ISP cruises along at 33.6K.
   
   As a matter of fact, the earlier versions of Sting weren't
   able to keep up with the 33.6K connects - I had to back the
   serial port down to 19.2K.  But the recent versions of Sting
   allow for locking the port at 115.2K and I haven't had any
   problems since the newer Stings were released."
 
This must be 'virus appreciation week'. "Turbo" Nick posts:
   "I have heard of one bad Atari virus experience.  (I have
   never had one myself.)  Some years ago a good friend of mine
   told me that one day his ST started reversing the mouse
   cursor.  That is, when he moved the mouse to the right, the
   cursor went to the left, and likewise up & down were
   reversed.  He took it in for repair, thinking he had a
   hardware problem.  It turned out to be a virus.  (No, I don't
   know anything about the virus.  Nor do I remember how he said
   he may have picked it up - probably on a floppy. If I recall
   correctly, he didn't have a modem connected to his ST back
   then.)"
 
Our own Atari Section Editor, Dana Jacobson, tells Nick:
   "You're  right - that mouse virus did affect Atari systems.
   But, it was not a "bad" virus and cause irreparable damage to
   software and files.  Those are the viri that PC & Mac users
   worry about.  We're okay in that regard."
 
I tell Dana:
   "I don't think that I've ever seen an Atari virus that did
   things like PC and Mac users have to worry about.
   
   The worst thing about the most common types of viruses on
   the ST is that they write themselves to every floppy that you
   put into the "A" drive.  I've had several that have messed up
   game disks on me because they overwrote the boot sectors of
   the game disks.
   
   I remember reading about a PC virus called The Black Hole
   that would start at a random spot on the user's hard drive
   and systematically erase data in an ever-expanding circle on
   the platter. Thank goodness our machines have never been
   'popular' enough to warrant this kind of attention from these
   twisted programmers...
   
   It amuses me that we picked this particular time to have the
   discussion about PC viruses... of course, I'm easily amused
   these days.  
   
   I just found a virus on my company's computers that was
   transferred via a MS WORD document file. It is mostly just a
   pain in the butt, however it messes things up so that you
   cannot save a file as a document in WORD. You must save it as
   a template...
   
   My boss was livid about having gotten a virus and tried to
   blame me for it by saying that I probably transferred it to
   the office with a floppy that I had brought files from home
   on.
   
   I was quick to point out to him that since I don't have a
   PeeCee and, therefore, WORD (or any other WP that would run
   under Windows), that I couldn't possibly have brought it in.
   
   I then reminded him that most of his correspondence recently
   has been via WORD documents sent over the internet. He didn't
   have much to say after that."
 
Michael Burkley tells me:
   "Ah, the magic of owning an Atari.  You can't get blamed
   (justifiably, that is!) for bringing a virus in  to work!
   Great!"
 
Greg Evans tells Michael:
   "I've brought home virus infected floppies to transfer data
   from my PC to floppy and of course "they" were powerless on
   my Falcon!  Heh, heh..."
 
Greg now tells us:
   "I took a look in the membership plans and couldn't find any
   mention of using Delphi as an ISP, just the old text based
   plans.  Has ISP service been abandoned?  How can I find out
   what's available?  I never remember early enough to call
   customer support!"
 
Gordie Meyer tells Greg:
   "Delphi sold its ISP operation (basically it was a third
   party arrangement with PSI anyway) to Mindspring (who uses
   the PSI backbone for part of its operation). You might want
   to drop an email to SERVICE and ask them if there's still a
   deal with Mindspring for ISP service."
 
Greg asks Gordie:
   "So that means Delphi is now back to text only plans?
   
   Hmmm, question for anyone who uses an ISP and Telnet's into
   delphi:  Does the Atari Telnet software let you up/download
   files here, or do you switch to some other program, or just
   use a PC package?"
 
Dana Jacobson tells Greg:
   "No, most definitely not.  Delphi is supporting both text
   and the Web side of access."
 
Gordie adds:
   "...Delphi has text access memberships still available (via
   direct dial or Sprintnet), but because they've been
   decreasing each month, doesn't push them. Almost all of the
   new Delphi members come in via the net. The Web Forum
   membership is free, has access to everything on Delphi's
   website, gets a limited homepage, and has email forwarded.
   The Web Premium membership costs money ($34.95 annually is
   the lowest rate), has access to everything on Delphi's
   website and, via telnet, everything on Delphi's text side,
   gets a big webspace and full use of Delphi's mail server.
   
   As a related note, some ISPs have telnet as part of their
   shell access package. Not all support binary file transfers.
   I know the local university, for instance, didn't at one
   time. But, if you're connecting via a PPP or SLIP connection,
   it's a matter of whether the telnet client you're using
   supports it or not. And then, whether it supports ZModem,
   YModem, XModem or what."
 
As a sidebar, according to Peter Rottengatter, the author of
STinG, ZModem cannot be used via Telnet because ZModem was
designed to take up the entire data stream for transfers and will
only work with 'direct' connections between computers, meaning
that your Telnet program would loose its link with the internet
even if you could initiate a ZModem link with the system that you
are trying to upload or download to (and even THAT would only be
if you were linked to the target computer without any intermediary
connections... a near impossibility on the internet). According to
Mr. Rottengatter, what they are using in Telnet programs on other
platforms obviously works, and it may be called ZModem, but it
can't be _real_ ZModem.
 
Well folks, that's 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




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