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Article #691 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 13-Mar-98 #1410
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Tue Mar 17 16:59:23 1998




                           Silicon Times Report
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March 13,1998                                                     No.1410
                                     
                                     
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                           R.F. Mariano, Editor
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 03/13/98 STR 1410 "Often Imitated, But never Surpassed!"
 
 - CPU Industry Report       - Linux Advocate    - OFFICETALK 2.0 
 - Cisco to buy Netspeed     - Verity SUES Lotus - AOL Lists Worst Spammers 
 - Wireless Marriage         - Drudge Test Case  - Cisco to buy Precept
 - Hasbro BUYS Atari Rights! - People Talking    - Classics & Gaming
  
                     U.S. DOJ May Not Block Windows 98
                  Microsoft Says U.S. View Makes No Sense
                  Senator Hatch Not Through With Microsoft
                                   

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The Publisher, Staff & Editors
                                   

Florida Lotto - LottoMan v1.35
Results: 03/07/98: two of six numbers with no matches



>From the Editor's Desk...

I see where there are some comments about my editorial quips concerning the
"good Senator Orrin Hatch".  Oh well... the young man said he was compelled
or something.  While I openly admit I admire Microsoft and their manner of
doing business, I make no effort to hide or ignore my bias in favor of MS.
  In fact, in plain english; I ask:  "Where would Hatch, the US Government
and all its abogado lackies be without Microsoft Windows 95 or whatever?
Righ Back groping, fumbling and mumbling with DOS and stumbling along
building batch files until their collective faces turned old and grey!  Its
amazing that Barksdale and friends opened their collective cry baby mouths
at all.  After all, if MS and Windows were NOT there, Netscape would never
have been thought of let alone conceived.

The bottom line is the same in any competitive situation. "You Run what you
Brung!"  Any interference from control freaks and the competition is no
longer competition.  It becomes the same as a rigged table!   There's no
talking around this fact.  No matter how hard anyone tries.. the moment
there's controls and restrictions introduced, a competitive situation is no
longer competition.  Its a watered down act... much like wrestling (WWF).
It then easily screams from the background; "The Joke's on You!"

All those who are proponents of governmental interference and controls upon
the competitive process in the world of computing must now brace themselves
as they will easily see everything become twice if not three times as
expensive, bloated and rife with runaway redundancy.  After all is said and
done, we must take a lesson from history.  In most cases, when the US
Government attempted to control growth patterns in fast growing industries,
two things happened.   First, the major players relocated outside the
jurisdiction of the control freaks thus effectively driving the industry
and its wealth to another nation(s). (Can you say.. Pacific Rim Nations)
Anybody remember MICRON's crying all over Congress about DRAM??   Where did
most of the DRAM, SIMM,DIMM, SDRAM and other CHIP  development and
production remain?  Anybody know why?    Second, the growth was
slowed to a snail's pace with those companies that remained within said
juridiction thus yeilding the real growth factor and ultimate profits (no
mentioning of Careers and jobs) to the relocated entities.  History
has already proven this.  Of course nobody bothered to make mention of the
gouging CARTELS we pointed out last week.  Not the Glorious... Hizzonner
HATCH.  Or anyone else for that matter.  You hatch lovers are welcome to
forward these editorials to his office. Perhaps he will be the
representation he claims to be and take up the Gauntlet.  Please,
Senator Hatch... tell us all about;  BFI & CONAGRA.   Talk about MONOPOLIES!
 
Now, on to some sensibility;

This issue is the third we've produced in html. So far, I'm overjoyed at
the smaller sizes while still being able to provide the interesting and
informative content with rich color and graphics. Acrobat was wonderful and
I'm certain there are many great uses for it. But. since they felt the
Atari and Amiga platforms and few other older and somewhat obscure
platforms weren't worth their efforts. we were obliged to make some
changes. Not to mention the problems we were experiencing with the graphics
side of 3.2 distiller and ps. all part of Acrobat.
Please let us know what you think of our new format and if you have any
suggestions for enhancing our use of html.



Of Special Note:
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STReport's managing editors DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU!
              Ralph F. Mariano, Publisher - Publisher, Editor
                 Dana P. Jacobson, Editor, Current Affairs
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Classics & Gaming               Kid's Computing
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                          STReport Headline News
                     LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS
                  Weekly Happenings in the Computer World
                       Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson
                     Compaq 1Q Seen Below Expectations
Personal computer maker Compaq Computer Corp. said it expects first quarter
results to fall below Wall Street's expectations after stiff competition in
North America forced the company to cut prices. Compaq expects first
quarter sales to be about the same as last year and earnings to be break-
even. The earnings warning follows recent, pessimistic earnings outlooks
from Intel Corp. and Motorola Inc. Wall Street analysts expected Compaq, a
bellwether among technology stocks, to earn 35 cents per share, according
to First Call, which monitors such estimates. Compaq said it has launched
first and second quarter price cuts and aggressive promotions to claw back
lost sales in the North American market.
              Compaq Warns of 1st Quarter Below Expectations
PALO ALTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Compaq Computer says it expects its first-
quarter earnings to be far below what Wall Street was expecting because of
weak personal computer demand and plunging prices. After the market closed
Friday, the world's biggest maker of PCs said its first-quarter sales
likely will be about the same as last year's $4.81 billion and that it will
only break even. It was the third bellwether technology company in three
days -- following Intel Corp. and Motorola Inc. -- to warn of weak first-
quarter results. There now is strong evidence that the worldwide computer
industry, one of the engines of economic growth, is facing fundamentally
lower demand, analysts said.
"There is real trouble in the sector," said John Rossi, managing director
at investment bank BancAmerica Robertson Stephens. "We're looking at a
pretty tepid market this year." Demand from Asia has collapsed amid the
region's economic troubles, corporate buyers are putting off purchases
until Microsoft releases a new operating system late this year, and
corporate technology departments are throwing all their money at fixing
their Year 2000 glitches, Rossi said.
That caught Compaq by surprise. The Houston-based company was expecting
robust sales in the first quarter, so it dropped prices and pushed lots of
PCs to resellers and distributors late in the year. But the resellers are
still burning off old inventory and are not buying any more. In a
conference call with analysts, Compaq said European sales were on plan,
Asian sales were weak and Latin American sales were fine. But North
American sales, particularly among corporate buyers, were weak because of
collapsing sales.
"We found that the North American commercial market was very price
competitive," said Earl Mason, Compaq's chief financial officer. PC vendors
were slashing prices aggressively to make way for new products, while
demand was weaker than the industry expected, Mason said. He said the
company does not yet know how long it will face these conditions, but it is
moving quickly to increase promotions and cut prices to get sales going
again.
Wall Street had expected Compaq to earn 35 cents a share for the quarter
ending March 31, according to a recent survey of analysts by Zacks
Investment Research. "We're talking about a huge sales miss here, well over
$1 billion," said Steve Dube, analyst at Wasserstein Perella Securities.
"It's cataclysmic from Compaq's point of view." Several analysts said they
planned to slash their earnings estimate for Compaq and lower their rating
on its stock. The stock, as well as much of the rest of the market, will
suffer on Monday, analysts said.
"The likelihood of additional pre-announcements is high, so the likelihood
of investors running for cover is also high" for the next few months, Dube
said. Compaq's dismal forecast was a big surprise to some analysts because
the company had managed to report better-than- expected results in the
fourth quarter, when concerns about Asia's economic troubles were highest.
But personal computer prices steadily have been eroding in the past three
months.
"There's very little in the market that's priced about $2, 000," said James
Staton, analyst at market researcher Dataquest. What's more, corporate
buyers, which usually are willing to pay top-dollar for high-end machines,
have been putting off purchases in anticipation of Microsoft's release of
Windows NT 5.0, expected in late 1998 or early 1999. The falling prices
have forced market researchers to slash their growth projections for the PC
industry to about 10 to 12 percent for the year, down from 1997's growth
rate of 16 percent, analysts said.
Still, some investors said there are plenty of bright spots in technology.
We're hoping a few of the babies get dragged down with the bathwater," said
Neil Hokanson, principle of Hokanson Capital Management in San Diego. He
said he plans to buy high-quality stocks like PeopleSoft Inc. and Cisco
Systems Inc. as their stocks get dragged down with the rest of the market.
Compaq's chief rival Dell Computer also said its business remains strong.
"Our demand in major markets is firm and no different from normal seasonal
patterns for us," said Michelle Moore, Dell spokeswoman.
                  Network Computing in 3-year Intel Deal
Network Computing Devices Inc. said Monday it has signed a three-year deal
with Intel Corp. to make desktop computers, and the computer chip giant has
bought 4.4% of its stock. The desktop deal, which involves Pentium-based
hardware integrated with the two companies' software, is not expected to
benefit Network Computing's 1998 first-half operating results, the company
said. Network Computing said Intel's equity stake is 750,000 shares of
common stock, for about $10.1 million.
Under the terms of the non-exclusive agreement with Intel, Network
Computing will develop a "reference platform design" that consists of
Pentium-based lean client hardware integrated with software technology from
both companies. Intel will supply it with Pentium microprocessors,
associated logic components, and related software. Network Comuting will
create, manufacture, and market "lean client systems and enhanced operating
software, the company said.
                  Cisco To Buy Netspeed For $236 Million
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - Cisco Systems said today it agreed to buy
privately held NetSpeed of Austin, Texas, in a stock deal valued at $236
million. Under terms of the deal, between 3.7 million and 4.0 million Cisco
shares will be exchanged for all outstanding shares of NetSpeed, a
developer of digital subscriber line technology. Cisco said it will take an
after-tax charge of 13 to 18 cents a share in the third quarter to cover
the cost of the acquisition, which is expected to be completed next month.
The deal has been approved by both companies' boards, it said.
               Cisco To Buy Precept Software For $84 Million
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - Cisco Systems said it agreed to buy Precept
Software, whose products distribute video through computer networks, for
$84 million in stock. The acquisition will help Cisco, the world's biggest
maker of computer networking gear, gain more expertise in sending video and
voice conversations between computers, the company said. It is also Cisco's
second acquisition in two days. On Wednesday, Cisco said it agreed to buy
networking equipment vendor NetSpeed for $236 million.
Under terms of the latest acquisition, Cisco will issue between 1.15
million and 1.35 million shares of its common stock for all outstanding
shares of Precept Software. Based on Cisco's closing stock price of $62.63,
the price would be about $84 million. Cisco said it plans to include
Precept's technology in its networking products geared toward big
corporations and telephone companies. It also will continue to sell
Precept's IP/ TV product separately.
The 50 Precept employees will become part of Cisco's IOS technology group
and sales organization. Cisco also appointed Precept Chief Executive Judith
Estrin as Cisco senior vice president and chief technology officer. Cisco
makes electronic devices and software that manage the flow of information
between computers operating in networks. Part of its strategy has been to
acquire dozens of smaller companies to keep abreast of technology
developments.
                 Senator Hatch Not Through With Microsoft
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has finished his
congressional testimony, but Sen. Orrin Hatch -- who chaired the hearing
Tuesday -- is still looking closely at the Redmond, Wash., software giant.
The Utah Republican asked Gates for a letter that will help open the door
for Senate Judiciary Committee investigators to talk to many of Microsoft's
customers. Gates agreed.
In addition, experts say the hearings may have an effect at the Justice
Department's antitrust division, which is considering bringing broad new
charges against Microsoft. "Clearly, the fact of the hearings and the
coverage of the hearings sends a strong signal to the Department of Justice
that there is an appetite in this country for further enforcement of
antitrust laws against Microsoft," said Steve Axinn of Axinn, Veltrop &
Harkrider in New York.
Don Kempf, an antitrust lawyer with Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, agreed,
saying the hearings "will likely embolden the antitrust division of the
Department of Justice." The letter Hatch requested is needed because
Microsoft has nondisclosure agreements with its customers preventing them
from disclosing confidential materials. The Justice Department long ago
expressed concern such agreements might interfere with its investigation of
the company. But, after assuring Microsoft its secrets would be guarded,
the agency obtained a letter from the company clarifying that its
nondisclosure agreements do not apply to the Justice Department.
Microsoft and the Judiciary Committee are still negotiating the terms of a
similar letter, a company spokesman said. Once Senate Judiciary Committee
investigators have such a letter, they can talk more freely to Microsoft's
customers. Hatch has not said what exactly he will do with the letter. But
by Hatch's own account, he is involved in helping to change Microsoft's
practices.
At the hearing, the senator took partial credit for helping pressure the
company into changing some of its marketing tactics. Hatch said it was
partly because of his panel that Microsoft agreed to change its contracts
with 30 Internet providers in Europe and 12 in the United States to allow
them to promote rival Internet browsing software. But a Microsoft spokesman
played down the role of the committee. "The modification of our of cross-
promotion agreements with Internet service providers was actually something
that has been in the works for three to four months and was not
specifically related to the Judiciary Committee's inquiries," said Mark
Murray.
Gates told reporters on Monday that the European Union had influenced the
decision. "We made a change in some of the requirements of our ISP
(Internet service provider) agreements based on a business review," he told
reporters. "There have been some informal questions from the European
Commission." The EU wrote Gates on March 17, 1997, making a "formal
request" about the conditions under which it licensed its Internet Explorer
Web browser to Internet service providers. But that request never became a
formal inquiry, a Microsoft spokesman said. Instead, the company never
heard anything formal again about the matter.
                  Microsoft Says U.S. View Makes No Sense
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft claims that a U.S. judge's order requiring it
to offer its Windows 95 operating system without its Internet browser
components is based on a legal interpretation that "does not make sense."
In final written arguments to a federal appeals court, the computer
software giant said the order should be vacated because it is based on a
mistaken interpretation of its 1995 agreement settling federal antitrust
charges. No pro-competitive purpose would be served by blocking Microsoft's
integration of Internet-related technologies into Windows 95," Microsoft
said in its 19-page brief filed with the Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia in Washington.
Microsoft is asking the appeals court to vacate the Dec. 11 order issued by
U.S. District Judge Thomas Jackson and to dismiss the U.S. Justice
Department's charges that the company is in violation of the antitrust
settlement. Microsoft contends the case should have ended when Jackson
failed to find Microsoft in contempt for violating the consent decree, as
the Justice Department had asked. Instead, Jackson issued a preliminary
injunction requiring that Microsoft offer computer manufacturers a version
of Windows 95 without the Internet Explorer browser.
Jackson also appointed Harvard law Professor Lawrence Lessig as a special
master to gather more facts in the case, but he has been sidelined pending
Microsoft's appeal. "Every software company, including Microsoft, must have
the ability to continually innovate and continually create new features for
consumers," Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said. "We believe the
preliminary injunction would have a chilling effect on innovation
throughout the software industry, " he said. Microsoft is scheduled to file
a separate brief outlining its arguments against Lessig's appointment as
special master before the appeals court in Washington hears oral arguments
April 21.
                     U.S. Hires Point Man on Microsoft
The Justice Department has hired Jeffrey Blattner, a former chief counsel
of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as special counsel for information
technology, a sign that the department's antitrust confrontation with
Microsoft may be escalating. Blattner, 43, whose appointment is expected to
be announced today, will serve as the ''point man inside Justice on the
Microsoft case,'' a Justice Department official said Tuesday.
The Justice Department in December hired David Boies, a leading antitrust
litigator, to work on the Microsoft case. Blattner, a public policy expert,
will be the person in the department coordinating the antitrust division's
expanding investigation of Microsoft, as well as shaping policy on other
high-technology cases. His appointment does not necessarily mean that the
department will bring a broad antitrust case against Microsoft. ''But this
is clearly another step down the path,'' said a former Justice Department
official.
                  U.S. May Not Block Windows 98, WSJ Says
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Justice Department probably won't block
Microsoft's Windows 98 software from coming out with a version that
includes Internet browsing software, the Wall Street Journal reported
today. While anti-trust enforcers continue to gather evidence for a new,
wider case against Microsoft, their next legal step is likely to be narrow,
according to the Journal.
Citing people close to the case, the Journal said the government may ask a
U.S. District Court judge to order the company to also offer a separate
Windows 98 version without Internet software. The Judge, Thomas Penfield
Jackson, issued an order in December covering Windows 95, the current
version of the program. A Justice Department spokesman said no decision has
been made on the government's next step, the newspaper said.
This move wouldn't derail a separate, broader antitrust case against
Microsoft, the newspaper said. However, the probable requirement that
Microsoft offer the separate version of Windows, with access to the browser
hidden, would likely be fiercely resisted by the company, according to the
Journal. The company says it hasn't violated antitrust law and that move
would further limit its ability to innovate.
                 U.S. Newspapers Dissolve Internet Venture
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A group of leading U.S. media companies say they
have pulled the plug on a partnership that helped put America's newspapers
on the Internet. New Century Network (NCN), a venture of companies
including the publishers of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the
Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post, served as an Internet advertising
network for about 140 newspapers, offered news and acted as a search engine
for the papers' Web sites.
The closing came Tuesday just two weeks after NCN said it would stop
displaying news on its NewsWorks site (newsworks.com) and cut its editorial
staff. "It will be unwound starting today," said Harry Chandler, director
of new business development at the Los Angeles Times. The estimated 40
employees remaining from the original 70 would be laid off, Chandler said.
Started in 1995 as a cooperative venture to create a single point of
business development for the Internet, NCN fell victim to its members'
diverging goals. "It got more and more complicated as each of these member
partners got further and further ahead with either their own (projects) or
joint ventures," Chandler said in an interview. "NCN was left with a
smaller and smaller plate, which had more and more conflicts with its other
members."
Chandler said there had been an effort to maintain the advertising network,
but that the members could not agree. "By the end of the last month or two,
we'd been trying to see if it didn't make sense to at least keep the ad
network," he said. "While we all need national advertising on our Web
sites, there wasn't sufficient support on the board to sustain an ad
network." The member companies had been putting about $1 million a year
each into the venture, the online technology news service ZDnet reported.
Chandler would not comment on the venture's financing.
While the NewsWorks site had drawn a faithful following, the overall goal
may have been too ambitious, said Sreenath Sreenivasan, a new media expert
at New York's Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. "Anytime
you're trying to get so many corporations together in one spot and trying
to get them to agree and work together, it's not an easy task," he said.
"They may have been more ambitious than was possible."
         Verity Sues Lotus, Alleges Misappropriation Trade Secrets
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Reuters) - Verity, a maker of Internet software, said
Wednesday it filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Delaware against Lotus
Development Corp., alleging copyright infringement, unfair competition,
breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. The company also
alleges that Lotus, a unit of International Business Machines, breached a
1992 license agreement in which Verity licensed certain search software to
Lotus.
Verity said it has terminated the agreement. "Lotus, in violation of the
license agreement, threatens and has commenced to breach that agreement by
using Verity's software far outside the scope permitted by its contract
with Verity," according to the complaint.
            Intel, Microsoft Pushing Shift To High-end Systems
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft and Intel are announcing new incentives aimed
at getting software developers to shift their efforts to the high-end
"Wintel" platform from rival Unix-based systems. Anand Chandrasekhar,
general manager of Intel's workstation products division, said the
Migration Assistance Plan is aimed at speeding the shift of high-end
engineering programs to systems that use Intel's processing architecture
and the Windows NT operating system.
"The idea is to accelerate the number of (independent software vendors)
developing natively on the Intel architecture NT platform," he said in an
interview. Intel is also announcing plans to expand an existing program
under which it helps developers optimize software for the Intel-NT system.
"All of this is wrapped into our broader strategy of moving into the
workstation market, particularly for the midrange and high end," said Bill
Calder, an Intel spokesman.
Until now most complex engineering tasks, including the design of
processors used for Windows-based computers, have been done on machines
running variations of the Unix operating system and manufactured by
companies such as Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics. "1997 was the year
this really took off," said Chandrasekhar. Microsoft group manager Graham
Clark agreed, saying availability of new advanced Intel processors has
enabled Windows NT systems to compete with rival minicomputers used by
engineers for electronic design automation, mechanical design and digital
content creation.
            Hitachi, NEC Unveil Mobile PCs Based On Windows CE
TOKYO (Reuters) - Hitachi and NEC today unveiled new mobile personal
computers, both based on Microsoft's new Japanese operating system for hand-
held PCs. The announcements, made separately, came on the same day as
Microsoft's launch of the new operating system, Windows CE Version 2.0.
Hitachi said in a statement that shipments of the new PCs, called Persona,
will start on April 20 with a price tag of 138, 000 yen in Japan.
Persona will be equipped with a 100 MHz central processing unit (CPU), a
six megabit random access memory and a 8.1-inch color screen, it said. NEC
said it would start shipments of its new mobile PCs on March 20. Two
versions of NEC's new Mobile Gear PCs will be available, one with a retail
price of $950 and the other $700, NEC said in a statement.
                 Sun Java Network Station To Ship in March
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Sun Microsystems' long-awaited Java station
network computer should be in general release at the end of this month,
Steve Tirado, director of product marketing for Sun's Java Systems Group,
said. "At the end of this month we will release the Java station, " he told
a Latin American computer industry conference here. A developer version of
the product, Sun's first generation network computer, was released in
October 1996.
Tirado acknowledged that the industry has been waiting for a wider release.
"It's been kind of a while," he told Reuters. Network computers are scaled-
down forms of personal computers without hard drives that do not store data
or applications, but rely instead on high-powered network servers. Tirado
said the machines would be priced at $742 for the machine alone, and $995
for a machine with a monitor.
                  Microsoft, China Telecom Build Browser
Microsoft said today it will help China's main telecommunications carrier
develop its internet capabilities as part of a long-term co-operative
project. Microsoft China, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the U.S. computer
giant, signed a deal on Thursday with China Telecom to develop a special
version of its Internet Explorer, a company statement said. Internet
Explorer is Microsoft's "browser" program used to navigate the global
computer network.
The deal would help spread Internet Explorer among Chinese users, said
Clifford Lee, director of Microsoft China's Internet Customer Unit. "China
Telecom has its network and access, we put our core strengths together and
create some good content and good services for the Chinese market," Lee
said by telephone. China Telecom, part of the soon-to-be-defunct Ministry
of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), is the parent of China Telecom,
which recently listed on the Hong Kong stock market.
The agreement also included the transfer of software platforms, other
Internet technology and training in online skills, Lee said. Microsoft
declined to say how much the deal was worth. "We have not even started
talking about monetary values," Lee said. Microsoft did not say if a
government restructuring plan that will ax the telecoms ministry and
subsume it under a new "super-ministry" would affect the deal.
Analysts said it was not clear how the restructuring plan, detailed on
Friday at an annual meeting of parliament, would affect the operations of
ministry-run companies. The statement said the agreement was the result of
an exchange of visits between Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and MPT
minister Wu Jichuan. The company's billionaire founder last visited China
in December.
                      Apple in Entertainment Project
Apple Computer Inc. is working on a project to develop a new generation
computer-entertainment device, according to an industry analyst. "There are
signs that Steve Jobs over the next 120 days will shake up the computer
industry by introducing a very low-cost system," said Richard Doherty,
director of the Envisioneering Group in Seaford, N.Y. Doherty said Jobs,
Apple's co-founder and interim chief executive, is spearheading the bid to
develop a low-cost portable device combining a set-top cable TV box,
Internet access and a CD or a DVD player.
               Yahoo! Most Popular Web Site In Feb - Report
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yahoo!'s Internet site was the most popular single Web
location again in February, with special events like the Olympics spurring
more people to surf the Web, an industry report said. More than 31.2
million "unique" users traveled last month to http://www.yahoo.com, where
they accessed Yahoo!'s search engine, news, personal e-mail and other
products, according to a report by Internet research firm Relevant
Knowledge. The company, in its report, "Top 25 Dot.com Domains," said it
counts "unique visitors," or individuals who may travel to a site, or "hit"
it, rather than the aggregate hits, so as to more accurately measure
Internet traffic. Sites operated by software companies Netscape
Communications and Microsoft were the second and third most trafficked, the
study said, with 23.1 million and 17.9 million unique visitors,
respectively.
The company said that about 55.4 million people in the United States used
the Web in February, with many drawn to information about the Winter
Olympics in Nagano, Japan. News sites enjoyed increased visitations due to
the Clinton scandal, while sites related to Valentine's Day also saw a rise
in traffic. Yahoo!, Netscape and Microsoft, in that order, were also the
top-ranked sites in November, December and January, Relevant Knowledge
said. Yahoo!'s system of sites, which includes multiple domains that fall
under the Yahoo! brand on the Internet, was also the most popular in
February, the study said.
          New Internet Address System Does Away With Dots/Slashes
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A startup Silicon Valley company today will launch
a new internet address system that does away with the multiple dots and
slashes and replaces them with web site addresses even a child can
remember. Looking for Disney's Bambi page? instead of typing in
www.disney.com/DisneyVideos/masterpices/shelves/bambi , you now only need
one word: bambi.
The new system was developed by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Centraal Corp,
which has so far signed on 150 customers, like Walt Disney Co. For $40 a
year, they buy the right to use the simplified address in print and media
advertising and other company materials. The hope is that the new addresses
will bring more people to web sites that currently have long,
unintelligible addresses.
Centraal has also built a directory of 200,000 other popular internet
addresses of companies that are not currently clients. Although the
companies themselves can not advertise these names unless they buy the
rights to them, internet users can find them in a directory
(www.realnames.com) and use them to simplify the online experience.
Centraal founder and president, Keath Teare, said the system was designed
to make the internet more consumer-friendly, by replacing cumbersome
addresses with easy-to-remember brand names. One of the company's slogans
is: "No more www.dots/slashes/more slashes." Among its customers to date
are Amazon.com Inc, Federal Express Corp, and Volkswagen AG. Under the new
system, Volkswagen's web site about its new Beetle model car can be
accessed with the address "new beetle." The company said it will announce
partnerships with internet search engines over the next several months and
hopes to build its customer base to 50,000 by the end of this year.
               AOL Issues Anti-spam List of Worst Offenders
Internet service America Online Inc. has bolstered its anti-spam efforts
with a "Most Wanted Spammer" list, detailing what it claims are 10 of the
worst purveyors of unsolicited, bulk e-mail on the Net. AOL (AOL) CEO Steve
Case touts the list as the company's newest attack on junk e-mail, or spam,
which has become a major headache for e-mail users. "Like the online
consumer, we're fed up with spam. We are adopting a block-and-tackle
strategy against spammers," Case said. "That is, we're going to block as
many of their e-mails at the gateway as we can, and we're going to tackle
them in court."
The list includes junk e-mailers such as The LoseWeight Center and porn e-
mailers such as Lovetoys Productions and CN Productions. AOL has also
announced a new suit against a spammer it accuses of misusing AOL's trade
name to direct users to a porn site. The online services provider has sued
spammers successfully before, and the new suit is similar to actions it has
filed in the past.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of
Virginia, charges that Eddie Davidson used domain names such as AOLsex.com
to lure people to his site. Davidson allegedly used spam to promote his
businesses. AOL is a popular target for spammers, mainly because of its 11-
million-strong user base, which provides a convenient, captive audience for
commercial messages. Case also reiterated AOL's support for legislation
that would make spam illegal. AOL spokespeople said the company does not
support a specific bill, but has been working with legislators to find a
solution to the spam problem.
                 AT&T's Worldnet Mulls Session Time Limits
NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T's Internet service provider business Worldnet is
considering ways to deal with heavy network use, including automatically
logging subscribers off after a certain amount of time online. AT&T
spokesman Mike Keady said the service was looking at several options to
reduce network loads during peak times.
AT&T has tested a variety of methods to deal with very high usage by a
small percentage of its subscribers, Keady said. One of those involved
terminating sessions after a fixed period of time, such as three hours.
"What we found were there were a small percentage of users taking up a
large percentage of the facilities," Keady said.
Session limits would be one way of dealing with that, he said. Subscribers
would still be entitled to unlimited use and would be free to immediately
log back on the service, he said. The company expects to announce its
decision after completing a review of various methods it has tested on the
service, he said.
Other Internet service providers are struggling to deal with the same
issue. America Online recently raised its monthly access fee to $21.95 per
month from $19.95, citing higher usage by its members as a main reason. AOL
also automatically shuts down sessions that are inactive for extended
periods.


 
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EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

                                  Edupage
Contents


 
Computer  Privacy Coalition   Car Shopping
Associates Gives Fights Administration On   On The Web Is A
Up The           Encryption         Hit
Chase
Wireless  CompuServe Targets  EC Extends
Marriage European                   Antitrust Inquiry Of
                 Businesses         WorldCom 
Groceries The Rich Are        Technology
Go Off-          Different From You And     Gender Gap
Line     Me
The       Nearly Half Of      Local Leaders
Coming Of The    U.S. Homes Own A           Asked For Input On
Euro     PC                 Internet
                                            Bills
Third     University          Learning Co.
World Protests   Administrators Meet To     To Acquire Mindscape
Tax-Free         Discuss Microsoft          Inc.
Internet Pricing
Book      Online News         Gateway To
Party    Partnership Breaks The     Offer Flat Rate
                 Connection         Internet
                                            Access
Drudge    California Bill     Java -- With
Case Tests Cyber Would Block Spam   One Teaspoon Of
Journalism
l>
Intel     Banks Back Digital  Internet
Wants To         Signature Law      Stock Prices
Serve
Somewhere Digital Strongarm   Crackdown On
Over The         Could Prove Intel's        Computer
Rainbow  Secret Weapon      Counterfeiters
                                   

                  COMPUTER ASSOCIATES GIVES UP THE CHASE
Computer Associates International has ended its hostile pursuit of Computer
Sciences Corp. "This is the right thing to do," said CA Chairman Charles
Wang. "...There will be no higher offer and no Hilton offense," he noted,
referring to Hilton Hotel's ploy of appearing to withdraw and then coming
back with a higher offer in its bid for ITT Corp. CA's surprise
capitulation ended what would have been the largest hostile takeover ever
in the computer industry. (Wall Street Journal 6 Mar 98)
           PRIVACY COALITION FIGHTS ADMINISTRATION ON ENCRYPTION
The Clinton Administration's computer encryption policies will be the
target of a new group called Americans for Computer Privacy, which is
supported by Silicon Valley and other major U.S. companies and which
includes in its membership both liberal Senator Barbara Boxer (D-
California) and the conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. The coalition
has planned a $10-million media campaign denouncing what they call a
"Digital Age Attack on the Constitution." California Congresswoman Zoe
Lofgren (D-San Jose), whose bill in Congress serves as the focus of the
group's activities, says: "The right to privacy of every American is more
seriously threatened now than at any time in history. If the FBI has its
way, banking, e-mail, medical records ... will be monitored surreptitiously
by the U.S. government." (San Francisco Chronicle 5 Mar 98)
                     CAR SHOPPING ON THE WEB IS A HIT
According to market researcher J.D. Power & Associates, 16% of new-car
buyers last year used the Web to gather information, up from 10% in 1996.
Industry observers say 2% of the 15 million new cars purchases last year
were directly attributable to online shopping, and those numbers are
rising. "Realistically, we think two years from now half of all new-car
buyers will use the Internet in this shopping process," says a director at
J.D. Power. Chrysler Corp. and General Motors Corp. both are experimenting
with Web sites that link shoppers to dealers in their areas: "For the first
time, the customer is going to control the retail system," predicts
Chrysler Chairman Robert Eaton. (Business Week 9 Mar 98)
                             WIRELESS MARRIAGE
RF-Link Technology has developed a Wireless PC@TV product that allows an
Internet link via a PC in one room to be displayed on a television in
another. A scan converter translates the PC's video display signals into
signals that a TV can process, and wirelessly sends the audio and video
signals using a radio-frequency transmitter and receiver. The signals can
travel up to 100 feet, and a wireless keyboard allows the user to
manipulate the PC while watching the action on the TV in another room. The
cost is about double that of a set-top WebTV receiver, but does not require
a special Internet service. (Popular Science Mar 98)
                  COMPUSERVE TARGETS EUROPEAN BUSINESSES
In an effort to differentiate itself from expansion efforts by new owners
America Online and Bertelsmann AG, CompuServe is eyeing European businesses
and professionals for its niche market. "We believe there's a very clear
area where CompuServe fits in this market," says the executive VP of
CompuServe Europe, "and that is well-educated professionals that are
looking for specialty products and high-quality service." Meanwhile, AOL
and Bertelsmann are targeting the consumer market for their online
offerings. (Wall Street Journal 6 Mar 98)
                 EC EXTENDS ANTITRUST INQUIRY OF WORLDCOM
The European Commission extended its antitrust investigation of WorldCom
Inc.'s US$41.8-billion acquisition of MCI Communications Corp. amid concern
the combined company will carry most of the world's Internet traffic.
WorldCom, the No. 4 U.S. long-distance company, and No. 2 MCI each have
extensive Internet and data operations worldwide. The investigation, which
will last until July, is not expected to scuttle WorldCom's purchase of
MCI, analysts said. (Toronto Financial Post 5 Mar 98)
                           GROCERIES GO OFF-LINE
OnCart will no longer a service which allowed customers in various U.S.
cities to use the World Wide Web to order groceries delivered from Kroger's
supermarkets. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution 7 Mar 98)
                  THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND ME
New York's Trump Towers, a luxurious Fifth Avenue complex owned by Donald
Trump, has sent the following letter to its residents: "You will be given a
set-top box at no cost and a list of approximately 600 movies and programs
available ... The set-top box plugs into any single telephone line so there
is no need for any additional cabling or other interruptions. There is no
interference or interruption to your telephone services, and there are no
charges whatever to your telephone bill. Also available at a nominal cost
($29.95 per month) is a high-speed access to the Internet. This access will
be approximately 100 times faster than the fastest modem now available,
and, in fact, no modem whatsoever will be required in the residence." (New
York Times 7 Mar 98)
                           TECHNOLOGY GENDER GAP
The National Center for Education Statistics says that the percentage of
women college graduates in computer science has fallen from 37% in the
early 1980s to 28% in 1994-95. (USA Today 9 Mar 98)
                          THE COMING OF THE EURO
Dealing with the "Year 200 Problem" is not the only major (and potentially
disastrous) conversion that lies ahead for business programmers; another is
the European Monetary Union's introduction on 1 January 1999 of the euro,
as a common European currency. One Gartner Group executive says that "the
magnitude of the problem the euro poses is unbelievable" and another says:
"Think about it. We're talking about taking all of this information and
changing it all. It's crazy... They are more than just technology issues.
They are strategic business issues." (New York Times 9 Mar 98)
                    NEARLY HALF OF U.S. HOMES OWN A PC
Computer Intelligence reports that more than 45% of U.S. homes now own
personal computers, up from 40% in 1996. As might be expected, households
with the highest incomes and those with children are more likely to be PC
owners: 80% of homes with annual incomes of $100,000 or more own PCs,
compared with 25% of homes with income under $30,000; and 60% of families
with children own PCs, compared with 38% of childless households. (Wall
Street Journal 10 Mar 98)
              LOCAL LEADERS ASKED FOR INPUT ON INTERNET BILLS
Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) told the meeting of the
National League of Cities that the Senate would not act without the group's
support on Clinton-proposed legislation that would place a moratorium on
efforts by state and local governments to tax Internet transactions and
online services. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) also addressed the
group but made no similar promise. (AP 10 Mar 98)
                  THIRD WORLD PROTESTS TAX-FREE INTERNET
A coalition of developing nations, led by Egypt, India and Pakistan, are
protesting a World Trade Organization proposal for an Internet "free trade
zone," saying that such a development would reinforce the dominance of
North America and European countries in the online world. The coalition is
proposing that no decisions regarding the creation of a tax-free Internet
trading zone be made until the problem of Western dominance of the Internet
is resolved. Trade officials predict that negotiations on creating the free-
trade zone will begin next year at the earliest. (TechWeb 9 Mar 98)
        UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS MEET TO DISCUSS MICROSOFT PRICING
A group of 28 education-technology administrators met recently with
Microsoft officials to discuss a controversial change in the company's
licensing policy, but a company official says no changes will be made
immediately: "There was no 'ta-_da' result." Microsoft's licensing policy
used to be based on how many users could access a Microsoft program at any
given time, but now is based on how many computers are linked to the
school's network, costing some colleges thousands of dollars more. The
initial protest of the new policy occurred at last year's CAUSE conference
in Orlando, Fla. (Chronicle of Higher Education 13 Mar 98)
                  LEARNING CO. TO ACQUIRE MINDSCAPE INC.
Educational software maker Learning Co. has agreed to purchase Mindscape
Inc. for $150 million in cash and stock from owner Pearson PLC. The move is
expected to give Cendant Corp. some serious competition for the No. 1 spot
in the rapidly consolidating educational software industry. Pearson had
bought Mindscape in 1994 for $462 million, but times have changed in the
past couple of years, points out one market analyst: "Companies are no
longer commanding the huge premiums they did when all the market share was
up for grabs." (Wall Street Journal 9 Mar 98)
                                BOOK PARTY
Two major booksellers -- Borders Group and the German media conglomerate
Bertelsmann AG -- are preparing to engage in direct competition with Amazon
and Barnes & Noble for the online bookbuyer's purchasing dollar. Amazon
founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos claims not to be too concerned: "I'm
paranoid about Barnes & Noble's purchasing power, and I'm paranoid of
Bertelsmann's marketing skills, extensive customer base and their
publishing background. Our advantage is that we know more about e-commerce
than anybody else. We've been doing it longer, and we've already leveled
the playing field." Publishers are happy with the tendency of electronic
customers to prefer older "backlist" titles (such as those written by many
of the Edupage honorary subscribers!) to current best-selling authors; for
example, aided by electronic search engines, Amazon customers bought at
least one copy of 90% of the Penguin Group's backlist. (New York Times 9
Mar 98)
               ONLINE NEWS PARTNERSHIP BREAKS THE CONNECTION
Unable to agree on a direction for the business, a consortium of nine major
newspapers formed to make the publications available on the Internet is
dissolving. Called New Century Network, the group included Advance
Publications, Cox Newspapers, Gannett, Hearst Knight Ridder, New York Times
Co., Times-Mirror, Tribune Co., and the Washington Post. (USA Today 10 Mar
98)
                GATEWAY TO OFFER FLAT RATE INTERNET ACCESS
Gateway 2000 plans to offer unlimited Internet access through its
Gateway.net service at a flat rate of $16.95 a month and a low-use rate of
$9.95 for 20 hours. Previously, the company charged $12.95 for 30 hours.
Gateway launched its Internet access business last November for buyers of
its desktop and notebook computers. (Wall Street Journal 10 Mar 98)
                    DRUDGE CASE TESTS CYBER JOURNALISM
The libel lawsuit brought by Clinton aide Sydney Blumenthal against cyber
journalist Matt Drudge is testing the rules of the Internet and the rules
of journalism. Drudge, a self-styled gossip columnist, reported a rumor
about Blumenthal that turned out to be incorrect; he issued a retraction
the next day and apologized to Blumenthal, but Blumenthal demanded to know
his sources for the story. (More recently, Blumenthal has won attention by
objecting to Kenneth Starr's inquiries into Blumenthal's own dealings with
the press.) Asked by other reporters such questions as, "Are you a
reporter? Do you check sources?" Drudge answered: "I'm a working reporter
who has written thousands of stories and driven dozens of news cycles. I
check all sources." (New York Times 12 Mar 98)
                     CALIFORNIA BILL WOULD BLOCK SPAM
A bill introduced in the California legislature would allow Internet
service providers to establish any policy they choose against junk e-mail,
including blocking it altogether from their machines and suing e-mailers
who violate their guidelines. "This approach offers a market-based solution
to spamming," says Rep. Jim Cunneen. "We can avoid the Pandora's box of
government designing the rules and procedures for unsolicited commercial e-
mail advertisements." The bill would enable ISPs to sue spammers for $50
per e-mail message, up to $15,000 per day. At least a dozen states have
introduced anti-spam legislation in the past two years, but only Nevada has
passed a law. Starting July 1 in that state, junk e-mailers will be
required to use real return addresses and remove recipients from their
lists if requested. (Net Insider 11 Mar 98)
                  JAVA -- WITH ONE TEASPOON OF MICROSOFT
In a move that will anger Sun, Microsoft has released new programming tools
to allow software developers to write Windows applications in Microsoft's
version of Java, the computer language developed by Sun. Java was
originally conceived as a language that could allow software to run on all
computer platforms. Sun is suing Microsoft for allegedly misappropriating
the language by creating a version that will run exclusively on computers
using Microsoft's Windows operating systems. (AP 11 Mar 98)
                           INTEL WANTS TO SERVE
Intel is branching out into the computer help center business, offering an
"AnswerExpress" service combining software and three months of standing by
the phones for your questions about the kind of hardware and software you
use. Intel executive Jim Johnson says the typical customer question is: "I
lost my tool bar and I don't know how to get it back." Johnson says: "This
is not rocket science." (USA Today 11 Mar 98) http://www.answerexpress.com/
                     BANKS BACK DIGITAL SIGNATURE LAW
A group of banks and credit card companies has endorsed the Digital
Signature and Electronic Authentication Law sponsored by Sen. Bob Bennett
(R-Utah). The law would enable financial institutions to use new
technologies in serving their customers. "Authentication technology is
critical to enabling two important Visa initiatives -- Internet payments
and smart cards," says a senior VP for corporate risk management at Visa.
More than 40 states either have or are considering electronic
authentication legislation, but the federal bill would provide uniformity
to these efforts and speed up the mainstreaming of electronic finance.
(TechWeb 11 Mar 98)
             INTERNET STOCK PRICES, SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW
The 25 most valuable Internet companies, including America Online, have a
combined value of $37 billion, but 20 of the 25 are still operating in the
red. Yet Internet stocks continue to scale new heights, and Silicon Valley
venture capitalist John Doerr says that the Internet stock boom is the
greatest legal creation of wealth in human history, and is still in its
early stages. (Financial Times 12 Mar 98)
            DIGITAL STRONGARM COULD PROVE INTEL'S SECRET WEAPON
As part of the settlement last year between Digital Equipment Corp. and
Intel, Intel received licensing rights not only to Digital's well-known
Alpha chip, but also to a more obscure family of Digital chips -- the
Strongarm. Strongarm, which may turn out to be the hidden gem in the deal,
is a high-speed processor that runs at very low power, making it ideal for
use in battery-powered portable devices, such as palmtop computers. The
chip is "an absolute technical tour de force," says an analyst with
consulting firm MicroDesign Resources. "For $29 to $49, you get performance
that rivals a Pentium at about one-tenth the price. And it uses one-tenth
the electricity... I think it's going to scare a lot of the other chip
companies. Now Intel is armed to enter the consumer electronics industry."
(Investor's Business Daily 12 Mar 98)
                   CRACKDOWN ON COMPUTER COUNTERFEITERS
With computer counterfeiting on the rise, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin
and the Secret Service Counterfeit Division want the laws changed to make
it easier to imprison amateur counterfeiters caught making just a little
bit of fake money. In the past, first-offenders (often high school
students) got away with a scolding, but a Treasury official now says: "The
ballgame has changed. People are going to jail." (New York Times 12 Mar 98)




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Kids Computing Corner
Frank Sereno, Editor
fsereno@streport.com


                        The Kids' Computing Corner
                    Computer news and software reviews
                       from a parent's point of view
                                     

                             From Frank's Desk
                                     
I'd like to wish a happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. It's the one day of
the year when everyone is Irish. So may we all catch that leprechaun and
find his pot of gold!
It's primary election day in Illinois next Tuesday, March 17th. Make your
voice heard by casting your vote conscientiously and wisely. Participating
in our democracy by voting is just not a right, but a responsibility.
Thanks to Lissy Polaris for sponsoring my sons' roller hockey team. The
team is in second place with a 5-2 record. It has been a lot of fun for the
kids and even the old man has learned a bit more about hockey. The regular
season ends this Friday (March 13) and the playoffs will be March 21st. So
that will be one less distraction to keep me from my appointed duties.
Just when I had been bragging to friends from coast to coast about the mild
Illinois winter and our record-low snowfall for February (ZERO snow), we
got socked with more than six inches of the white stuff on Monday. It was
the biggest blizzard locally in more than eight years. My duties as chief
snow removal officer for my family cut back on my time for research and
writing this week, but we do have a review from Angelo Marasco. Welcome
back, Angelo!
                              Featured Review
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reviewed by Angelo Marasco

I think that a lot of the problem with textbooks is that they're not a
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is aimed at seventh through ninth graders.
I've spent a couple of weeks with this program and I can tell you two
things about Astro Algebra from personal experience. First, it is very
challenging. Second, it covers enough topics that your child will not be
getting through this one quickly.
Astro Algebra puts you at the helm of the star ship Algebra Centauri. As
the captain, your mission is to answer the distress calls of various
aliens. Each alien's situation involves a problem that must be solved by
working through the algebra problems presented to you. You may be doing
anything from plotting the answer to an equation on a number line to
solving an inequality and graphing it.
I was a little disturbed that the aliens' troubles and the way the problems
are presented are not applications of the algebra facts with which you're
working on. For example, in one scenario the Obscurians have come across a
cloud of machine parts floating in space. They want to capture and sort the
parts in order to make use of them. However, the parts are marked with
different types of numbers. Some are fractions, some decimals. Your job is
to capture the parts and sort them by equivalent numbers in the cargo bay
of the ship. This is a wonderful challenge, but it doesn't really apply
fractions and decimals to some real-world use. You are grouping similar
expressions, but you are not using the expressions in any way. In another
scenario, an alien has damaged his space charts and can't figure out which
of his ships he has sent into the "no-go zone." You can determine the
borders of the zone by plotting equalities on a graph. Naturally you are
the one who must plot the equalities. Again, it is a great challenge to
learn how to plot equalities, but the plotting of equalities is not
applied. You are simply learning to plot equalities and doing it, which is
similar to the way you would work from a textbook. You never use plotting
for anything.
Now, before you jump to conclusions, let me tell you this: that the algebra
facts are not applied does not make this a bad piece of software. I would
like to have seen the algebra facts the program covered being applied, but
at least Astro Algebra makes learning the facts fun. In addition, the
program is loaded with tools that make it not only fun but fascinating to
work with. Edmark does a great job of actually making you "feel" algebra
with these tools because the tools allow you to manipulate the algebra fact
that you're working with. Let's take a quick look at the tools.
VariaBlox are blocks with, for lack of a better term, chunks of equations
and inequalities. One block may contain a variable and another may contain
a number. You can combine the blocks to form different expressions. For
instance, add an "x" variable block to another "x" variable block and you
create a "2x" block. Multiply the two "x" blocks and you create an "x
squared" block. Break the blocks with the hammer and you break them down to
lower terms. You can use the VariaBlox to create equations and inequalities
or to simplify or solve them.
Cargo Bay is used to translate between different types of expressions. It
is here that you will associate fractions with percents and decimals. Here
you will learn to translate from one expression to another. Again, just
like VariaBlox, you get to "feel" the relationships.
Grapher allows you to plot solutions on a number line or graph equations or
inequalities on a coordinate plane. Here you will see the effect that
changes in the values of variables have on the slope, intercepts, rise and
run of a line. You will learn how to graph an equality or an inequality and
how they relate to each other. I really liked Grapher. It turned out to be
my favorite tool. You can plot a line and then grab it and move it around
on the plane and watch the equation change with the position of the line.
What a blast!

Astro Net is a simulation of the World Wide Web. It is a unique way of
presenting in depth information on the algebra fact being covered. Depress
the Astro Net button and it comes up with information on the current topic
with hyperlinks to other related items. Wandering around through the
hyperlinks will give you a very good overview of the fact and how it fits
in with other facts. The "web pages" have some interactive demonstrations.
I did find one disturbing item in the Astro Net. While looking through the
basic algebra facts, I found a mistake in the inverse property of
multiplication. While the explanation is correct, the example is glaringly
wrong. It states that "a x 1/a = a" and "5 x 1/5 = 5." The example should
say that "a x 1/a = 1" and "5 x 1/5 = 1." This really disturbed me because
it was a lack of knowledge of these very properties that contributed to my
nearly failing freshman algebra. This kept me from getting the degree I set
out for after high school. I didn't have time to search every math fact in
Astro Net for other such errors. It's my suspicion that this was a simple
mistake and that there are no others like it. The software I was reviewing
was an early version and perhaps Edmark corrected later versions. However,
I really feel that a company like Edmark should be doing a better job of
catching errors like this, especially an error in such a basic fact.
Otherwise, Astro Algebra stands up to the test. Its graphics and sounds are
excellent. The detailed graphics are colorful and interesting. Sounds are
very realistic. Astro Algebra deserves high marks for this attention to
detail. A big plus is the fact that the program ran so well on my poor old,
cranky 486. There were some delays, but not as many as I would expect from
software with such rich detail.
Play value is very good. Astro Algebra allows you to go "off duty" and
wander around the ship. This gives you a chance to play with the tools
without being limited by time or by an alien's problem. I would have rated
the play value as excellent if it wasn't for the fact that my eighth-grade
daughter lost interest in the program pretty quickly. Some of this can be
attributed to some computer problems that popped up after I installed the
program, but the software also deserves some credit for the loss of
interest. The story line didn't seem to be too attractive to her. I
sometimes wondered myself if this story line wasn't more appropriate for a
slightly younger age group. By the time kids reach their teens they have
started to lose some of their "willing suspension of disbelief." On the
other hand, to Edmark's credit, there is plenty of humor in this program.
Some of the aliens are really kooky and some of the comments made about
them in the captain's log book are hilarious.
The educational value of Astro Algebra is excellent. If we were still
putting numbers on our ratings I would have to give the program a fifteen
out of ten. The variety and quality of tools that Edmark put in this
program combine to make it a great piece of educational software. The
program covers 92 separate algebra facts, creating a scenario for each one.
Another thing that wins Astro Algebra such a high mark for educational
value is the presence of what Edmark calls a "grow slide." This allows the
program to advance in difficulty as the child masters algebra facts and
also allows you to control the level your child is working at. I've seen
this feature in other Edmark software and it never ceases to impress me.
Finally, bang for the buck gets an excellent rating. According to the
paperwork I received from the boss (respectfully referred to by me as
"Chief" because he thinks I'm Clark Kent) the approximate retail price is
$35. That's near the top of my comfort range but the quality of the program
is very high. I'm sure that you can find it for less than $35, but even at
that price I would be happy to add Astro Algebra to my collection of
educational software.





Jason's Jive





Jason Sereno, STR Staff
jsereno@streport.com
Well, look who's back in action. Yes it's me, Jason again. Just here to
prove all the rumors wrong. No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
Actually, these last few weeks have been very hectic for me. Here in the
Midwest we have just been hit with a heavy dose of "el nino". I have also
been vigorously rehearsing for my school musical, "Me and My Girl". These
things along with extra Driver's Ed courses I am taking (I'll be sixteen in
two months), the Illinois Goal Assessment Program which is being
administered by my school currently, and a weekend camp about leadership in
young adults I attended this last weekend, I have been near the brink of
total exhaustion. I just couldn't find the time to actually sit down and
type at my PC.
However, I will soon be back in action and ready to start pumping out
reviews again. Some of the titles that will appear in the near future are:
Photo Creations from Creative Wonders, Activision's Interstate '76 Nitro
Pack, and Red Baron II which was just released from Sierra. I have also
decided to add some things to my column, such as passwords or hints to the
games I showcase. So look for me next week, hopefully back in the swing of
things!
Jason






Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles

                         File Format for STReport
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following format. Please use the format requested. Any files received that
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fonting only and at Twelve (12) points.
      No Indenting on any paragraphs!!
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Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use the space
bar.
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    There is no limits as to size, articles may be split into two if
lengthy
    Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP, WMF file formats
    Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent along with the
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preferred. (VERY Strong Hint)
If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call. On another
note. the ASCII version of STReport is fast approaching the "end of the
line" As the major Online Services move away from ASCII.. So shall
STReport. All in the name of progress and improved readability. The amount
of reader mail expressing a preference for HTML as opposed to our Adobe PDF
enhanced issue is running approximately 11 to 1 over the PDF edition.
Cited are size, graphic quality and speed of download.   I might add
however, the requests for our issues to be done in HTML far outnumber both
PDF and ascii. HTML is now a reality.  On our web download page is a
selection ofr HTML. As you can see, STReport will not be caught in the old,
worn out "downward compatibility dodge" we must move forward.
If, however, the ASCII readership remains as high as we see it now, you may
rest assured. ASCII will stay. Right now, STReport is offered on a number
of closed major corporate Intranets as "required" Monday Morning reading..
Our ascii readers have nothing to worry themselves about. It looks like it
is here to stay.
Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic co-operation and
input.
Ralph F. Mariano, Editor
rmariano@streport.com
STReport International Online Magazine






                        ThumbsPlus Macintosh Beta 9
 Dear ThumbsPlus/Mac Aficionados,
ThumbsPlus Beta 9 for Macintosh and PowerMac is available now from our Web
pages at: http://www.cerious.com/macbeta.htm
 Here are some of the things fixed or changed in beta 9;
         Several more causes of crashes eliminated.
    Thumbnail databases are now shareable between PCs and Macs.
    Removable media is better handled (including viewing off-line
thumbnails, and recognizing inserted/removed disks and CDs).
    Added support for BioRAD Confocal (.PIC) files (including R/G, R/G/B,
and stacks).
    Fixed several color adjustment and gamma correction problems.
    ThumbsPlus will show the creator application's icon for files it does
not recognize.
    Thumbnail | Scan System is now operative (you can scan all your disks
in one pass).
    Some file types now load faster.
    Picture | Edit (or the paintbrush button) now opens a file in the
creator application.
    The Cerious-DC120PPC library installs to the proper folder.
    Lots of other clean-up and fixes!
I plan for the Macintosh version to be for sale within a three or four
weeks. I'll provide details on pricing and distribution in a few days. The
Online Help will be in HTML initially. I will probably provide Apple Guide
help as well, but perhaps not until a subsequent release.
PDF was also requested a lot; however, using it for online help requires an
additional markup step after the file s generated. We may provide a
printable manual as PDF, but we don't have the resources to mark everything
up (again) to generate an online, hyperlinked manual. (I create links in
the document before generating HTML or WinHelp; these are ignored by
Acrobat Distiller.)
Thanks to everyone who has tried or is using ThumbsPlus! I'm going through
the hundreds of surveys that have been filled out, and I'll post the
results here. If you haven't filled out the survey yet, please do -- we'll
be selecting users from the survey to receive free registered copies.
Sinceriously,
Phillip Crews
http://www.cerious.com


                            The Linux Advocate
March 12th, 1998
by Scott Dowdle
dowdle@icstech.com
http://www.icstech.com/~dowdle

LOGIN:
Ah, it has been a busy three weeks since the last column... and a _LOT_ has
been going on in the Linux community. I've been making some contacts that
will have a direct impact on this column. I really do not enjoy doing
something halfway and want this column to be weekly rather than an almost
every other week afair. To reach this goal I've asked the folks at the
Linux Weekly News site (http://www.eklektix.com/lwn/) if I could reproduce
their weekly content here in Linux Advocate... which would widen their
distribution and help me out with the column too. I've gotten a "thanks for
asking for our permission" and "we're looking into the idea and will get
back to you right after we publish this week" email so far and I'm hopeful
it's going to happen. Stay tuned... maybe next week!
I just feel compelled to address some of Ralph Mariano's commentary from
last weeks STR. First of all, this isn't meant to be a personal attack on
Ralph... whom I have the utmost respect for, especially considering he
allows this column and Linux coverage in his wonderful magazine in the
first place.
Ralph seems put off by the fact that the Department of Justice is
investigating and pursuing litigation against Microsoft. He seems to write
it off as some sort of misguided preoccupation of our government who would
be better off focusing harder on other, more real problems such as illegal
drugs. While I don't want to get into side discussions regarding our
government, I do feel that with regards to our nation's massive drug
problem the government DOES NOT hold the answer. Even if the government
were to completely stop foreign drugs from hitting American streets, sadly
enough, Americans would quickly find some other substance to abuse... and
our problems would still exit. Alcohol abuse is a chronic human problem but
prohibition didn't solve anything. Don't let my comments be misconstrued
into an argument for the drug legalization because that's a completely
different issue. I'm talking about addressing the cause of our problems
rather than the symptoms.
Anyway, getting back to the whole computer thing... while I don't know what
it was that Senator Orrin Hatch said that prompted Ralph to bring him up,
nor do I care... I feel that the real issue has been totally overlooked. I
watched the DoJ's 2nd in command (can't remember his name) on some TV show
(can't remember which) on PBS last week and he set the record straight on
what the real issues are with Microsoft and why it is important that the
government protect us from them. Unfortunately, I do not think many people
were listening to him. The real issue here is not that Microsoft has a
monopoly in Operating Systems on micro computers, it's that they have been
abusing their power. The DoJ's 2nd in command referred to it as Microsoft
having their "finger on the scale." As it stands, the DoJ does not want to
break Microsoft up. What they want to address is Microsoft's abuse of their
monopoly status... you know, those business practices that have been
brought into issue... like Microsoft's threat to Dell and other despicable
business practices that are a flagrant abuse of their monopoly status. The
government isn't going after Microsoft because it is so successful, rich,
powerful and monopolistic... it is going after Microsoft because Microsoft
has been a bad boy. The reason it is important that the government keep an
eye on Microsoft is because it is in OUR (the computer industry members)
best interest, otherwise Microsoft would surely continue their, "it must be
legal if it ain't illegal" arm twisting.
I could go on and on with anti-Microsoft comments but I think that wouldn't
serve my purpose here... to give an honest and reasonable portrait of the
situation... rather than my biased opinion. Yeah, I'm sure there remains
some traces of bias above, but I'm only human.
Linux News
I will limit news items in this edition of the column to personal news. It
has the potential to be boring but it will only be for this column as
future columns I hope to be able to use LWN. :)
News Item #1: I phoned my brother-in-law (Steven Burton) two weeks ago to
tell him that Linus Torvalds would be speaking at the March meeting of the
Silicon Valley Linux Users Group meeting. You see, Steven lives in
Sunnyvale (he works for Hewlett Packard as a network administrator slash
internal support tech) and was within reasonable driving distance to the
SVLUG meeting. I nicely told him that if he didn't attend the meeting as a
proxy for me, I would find some way to beat him up long distance. That of
course was a joke and Steven was kind enough to attend the meeting and
pleasantly answer my questions as I grilled him about it afterwards. I'll
not attempt to give a second hand accounting of Linus' talk but rest
assured that detailed reports are available. In fact, you can find one at
the following URL:
News Item #2: A personal testimony about how bad it has gotten - Yesterday
in my Rapid Application Development in Visual Basic class I was subjected
to a rather uncomfortable commentary by my very knowledgeable instructor.
First let me say that Julio Sanchez (the instructor) is one of the most
intelligent and computer knowledgeable people I know, and I respect him
greatly BUT... he basically said that Microsoft controls everything and if
you can't beat them, you have to join them. He then said he was contacted
by a person writing a book on Visual Basic and was told by that person, who
had done much research, that there are over 2.2 million Visual Basic
programmers in the United States... a figure Julio didn't even question.
The personal irritation I felt was great as I "did the math" and
immediately decided that the 2.2 million figure is insanely incorrect
because that would mean that 1 in every 114 people in the US (given a 250
million population) is a Visual Basic programmer, yeah, right. Anyway, the
point of this paragraph isn't to debate the number of Visual Basic
programmers in the USA... it's to point out how seemingly brainwashed even
the most intelligent computer industry members are to the idea that there
is no alternative to Microsoft. I've been trying my best to get my
instructor interested in Linux, and although he has a concept of what it
is, he has really been too busy writing a new book and with other projects
to pay much attention to me about Linux. That's ok, I can respect that but
I'll keep working on him. :)
Linux Application Spotlight

Last time I mentioned that I would be doing a decent comparison of the GIMP
vs. Adobe's Photoshop but the person I found to volunteer to help me with
it has been unavoidably busy and it hasn't gotten done yet. I don't feel
too bad because the current version of GIMP is 0.99.19 and the GIMP
developers recently announced that they anticipate to have the production
version (1.0) released on March 20th. Regardless of whether or not they
make the planned date or not, 1.0 will be out soon enough so why bother
with a spotlight on a pre-release version when the production version is
close at hand?
Don't let the fact that there aren't tons of screenshots this column keep
you from checking out the GIMP. GIMP is one of the premiere graphic arts
applications in the world of free software and it has a really nice GUI
based interface. In fact, they engineered their own GUI library called GTK
(Gimp Tool Kit) that has been adopted by a few other application
development teams because it is robust enough. One of the projects that
have adopted GTK is Gnome (http://www.gnome.org) and considering that Gnome
is slated to be a free complete Desktop Environment from people who are
experienced with developing Linux applications, it's only a matter of time
before the GUI environment you find in GIMP will be elsewhere in your X
Window System life. :) I've included the obligatory screenshot (if you get
the graphic edition of STR) just to give you an idea of what GIMP looks
like before you check it out elsewhere.
Linux History
We all know what Linus Torvalds is the primary father of Linux... and
anytime he speaks about it, it's pretty much part of Linux history. Linus
was recently interviewed in an online Linux magazine. You can find this
interview at the following URL:
http://mercury.chem.pitt.edu/~angel/LinuxFocus/English/March1998/article2.h
tml
Speaking of Linux magazines, there are a number of truly fantastic online
magazines dedicated to Linux. Check out the following URLs for hours and
hours of periodic pleasure.
Linux Gazzette -
Linux Focus -
LOGOUT:
I hope you enjoyed this edition and I hope to be able to share the
wonderful Linux Weekly News with you next week. I've got my fingers
crossed.
Thanks for reading!
Scott Dowdle - 1998







                                Version 2.0

A small peek at...
By Ralph F. Mariano
                              OfficeTalk 2.0
                    The Enterprise Information Manager
Leading edge
         Full 32 bit, with optional browser access.
    Closely integrated with Microsoft applications
    Written in Microsoft Visual C++.
    Fully Windows 95 and NT compliant.
    Uses the Microsoft JET engine as its default database.
    Optionally uses Microsoft SQL Server.
    Database communication via ODBC.
    MAPI compliant.
    Optionally uses Exchange Server messaging transport.
Optional Browser access
         Via Microsoft Internet Information Server, plus
    the OfficeTalk API running on Microsoft NT Server
Network independent
      Runs across Microsoft NT, Novell or any network providing shared
     access to a DOS volume.
Desktop independent
      32 bit and 16 bit Microsoft Windows clients for NT Workstation,
     Windows 95 and Windows 3.1x.
    Optional browser access for other desktops.
Provides fast access to all current information across the enterprise
      All information for each workgroup is stored centrally.
    Provides multiple workgroup access for full enterprise information
sharing.
Scaleable regardless of infrastructure
      OfficeTalk can be used with full client/server SQL database engines
     via ODBC.
    Workgroup databases may be replicated and then periodically
synchronised quickly and easily in three ways.
         Direct synchronisation over a WAN.
    Buffered synchronisation over dial-up.
    Synchronisation via Internet E-mail.
    Diary Mode
    Private and shareable Diaries
    Appointments in 5,10,15 & 30 minute intervals
    Reschedule Appointments to other days
    Multiple Appointments
    Cut, paste & copy Appointments between days and users
    Private, public and tentative Appointments
    Resize Diary and background activities windows
    Diaries for unlimited resources
    Attach Notes to Diary Appointments
    Repeat booking on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis with
conflict checking
    Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Custom Views
    View Diary with Task List or full screen
    Where utility to locate other users
    Configurable security access to Diary
    Drag and drop style Appointments to different times & dates
    Reminders for bookings
    Printing of Diary and group views
    Record location when away from desk
    View Planners as background activities and / or show through and / or
block out
    View due Task, public holidays, personal events and public events as
background activities
    Automatic Links from Meeting Management
    Link Appointments to other data
    Import and Export Appointments as CSV files
    Add reminders, RTF notes, UDFs and categories to Appointments.
    One click to return instantly to own Diary
    One click to return to current date
    Second time zone
    View / sort / filter bookings in list view
    View and edit information in weekly & monthly view
Tasks
         Task List
    Task folders available to store Tasks, and may be defined as archived
    Nested Task outlining facility
    Task deadlines by date and time
    Task prioritisation
    Private Tasks
    Definable Task classification
    Multi-level Task sorting
    Task status shown by markers and colour
    Attach RTF notes to Tasks
    Task Delegation to multiple users
    Schedule Tasks by drag and dropping into Diary
    Multiple scheduling with cumulative scheduled time calculated
automatically
    Find scheduled Tasks in Diary with a single click
    Create follow up Tasks from Contact Management
    Assign Tasks from Projects, user can decide which folder to assign
Tasks to
    % complete of Tasks is recorded
    View Task List with Diary or full screen
    Print Task Lists
    Link Tasks to other OfficeTalk data
    Import and export Tasks as CSV Files
    Can copy, cut and paste Tasks between users
    Groups
    View multiple Diaries simultaneously
    View local and external groups
    Keep track of people and resources
    Personal and public groups
    Access Rights on groups
    Tabular view from 1 - 7 days
    View start and end times
    View Duration
    View Planner bookings
    Add, edit and delete Appointments
    Bar chart view from hours to months
    Print Group views
Meeting
         View availability of many users concurrently
    Invite local and external OfficeTalk users
    Invite local and external OfficeTalk Groups
    Invite external contacts and contacts groups by E-Mail (Internet, VIM
and MAPI) and receive acceptance / decline of the meeting request
    Show members of OfficeTalk groups and contact groups
    Book resources for meetings
    Book meetings in 5,10,15 & 30 minute increments
    Place tentative bookings in invitees Diary automatically
    Automatic meeting request via Mail and Notify
    Attach Rich Text agenda with embedded documents to a meeting request
    View a users Diary by clicking on the user key
    Provisional bookings for conflicting meetings
    Automatic scheduling option finds free slots
    Single and Repeat Meeting
    Optional Automatic Reminder for Meeting
    Access rights to individual meetings
    Add minutes to a meeting
    Add and delete meeting members
    Reschedule meetings
    Group, sort and filter meeting details
    View external OfficeTalk workgroups meetings
    Add UDF's to Meeting Detail dialog boxes
    Add UDF's to Meeting Members dialog boxes
    Create UDF's that link to a specific meeting
Planner
         1,3,4,6,12 Month Views of Year Planners
    Drag and drop style management of Planners
    Schedule long term tasks & background activities
    Schedule holidays and training courses
    Print Planners
    Create Personal Planners
    Block out time in users Diary
    Show through Planner onto users Diary
    Link Planners to other OfficeTalk data
    Colours and patterns for keys
    Automatically generate keys from user and resource list
    Roll up of Planners for combined overview
Project
      Outline based with bar chart and tables
    Create Personal Projects
    Attach Notes to Project Tasks
    Plan Tasks using drag and drop
    Assign Tasks to local and external OfficeTalk users
    Assign Tasks to contacts
    Add milestones to projects
    Create and view baselines
    Show slack, overdue Tasks & other data
    Track Task completions & monitor progress
    Link project Tasks to other OfficeTalk data
Mail
      Send and Reply with CC and BCC addressing to users and groups
    Send Rich Text messages to any OfficeTalk user
    Send Internet E-Mail using Internet Mail service
    Send Mail to contacts and Contact Groups
    Check Mail addresses
    Optional Read acknowledgement
    Routing with optional sign off
    Attach any file to a Mail message
    Create Mail Rules
    Optional Notification of Urgent Mail
    Public Folders with threads
    Resizable Windows
    Copy attached documents
    Search incoming and outgoing mail and folders
    Archive & tracking of sent mail
    Task delegation by E Mail
    Integration with Meeting, Project and Contact Mode
    Mail out using Microsoft Mail (MAPI) and cc:Mail (VIM) address books
    Link mail to other OfficeTalk data
    Ability to check for new mail
    Automatic tracking of sent mail against contact
    Automatic creation of address for new contacts
    Mail rules
Notify
         "Flying Post it" instant messaging
    Pop up "instantly" over any Windows application
    Simple, Phone, Respond, & Yes/No templates
    Snooze and Mail "Post it" facility
    Ability to `pop-up' pending and saved Notifications
    Notify time may be defined
    Notifications may be sent to Internal OfficeTalk users, OfficeTalk
contact groups, External Workgroups, External Contacts, External Contact
Groups
    Sound alarm facility
    `View' option to see who is currently logged on
Supervisor
         Create users & control access rights
    Create Resources
    Create Public Projects
    Create Private Projects
    Create groups
    Create Classifications
    Create Standard Workgroup Custom Day
    Create public holidays
    External Workgroup Connection and Synchronisation Scheduling
    Multiple Profile creation & editing
    Automatic distribution of Profiles
    User Definable Field Creation
    Dialogue box creation
    Event type creation
    Category creation
    Define access rights to modes
    Modal Access Management
    Mail service administration
    Publish OfficeTalk diary, task and contact information to the Internet
Contact
         Workgroup-wide or personal Contacts
    Multiple Contacts by Company
    Multiple centrally held E-Mail, Fax and Telephone details per Contact
    Directory, History and Pending views
    Active search and retrieval of Contacts
    Automatic dialling via modem
    Create Contact Groups for Categorisation and Mail-Merges
    Companies and Contacts can be members of multiple groups
    Store rich text notes and attach files against Contacts
    Automatically store communication transactions for detailed, centrally
held Contact history
    Document archiving by Contact
    Create follow up tasks for any user or Contact
    Attach files to Conversations
    Copy and paste to and from conversations / history
    Automatic Mail-merging from Contact mode into word-processor using rtf
    Flexible printing options
    Assign tasks directly to users from Contact mode, automatic tracking
of status of task
    Contact
Functions:
         Active search and retrieval of companies or Contacts
    Automatically dialling via modem
    Create Contact Groups for Categorisation and Mail-Merges
    Companies and Contacts can be members of multiple groups
    Store rich text notes and attach files against Contacts
    Automatically store communication transactions for detailed, centrally
held Contact history
    Document archiving by Contact
    Create follow up tasks for any user or Contact
    Attach files to Conversations
    Copy and paste to and from conversations / history
    Automatic Mail-merging from Contact mode into word-processor using rtf
    Flexible printing options
    Can sort, group, filter and store the filters created for re-use
    Dynamic filtering of companies and Contacts using right-hand mouse
button
    Can sort, group, filter and store the filters created for re-use
    Can print results of a sort, group, filter etc
    Multiple selection of Companies / Contacts and drag into Contact
groups
    Unlimited number of user-definable Contact groups
  



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



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

Phew! What an interesting week for Atari users - past, present, and
possibly future: Atari Corporation has been sold to Hasbro!
Every now and again, patience wins out and one can usually find a few
meaningful messages on the Usenet, unlittered with spam or get-rich-quick
schemes. The message that I found contained the news of Atari's sale, along
with a web address pointing to the SEC filing report. Naturally, I had to
see for myself!
Sure enough, there it was in all its glory. On March 9th, it became
official - a $5 million sale. I think Hasbro got a real bargain.
Already the speculation is rampant in the Atari newsgroups. What are
Hasbro's plans for Atari? It's really too early to tell; and I'm certainly
not ready to guess. I'm still recovering from the news! In fact, the news
hasn't made the media, including any of the online sources I've researched.
I'm hoping that Hasbro will be making some kind of statement in the days to
come. In the meantime, we'll be doing some investigation of our own here at
STReport.
I'm going to include some of the filing report below - those parts which
_I_ felt were key. I have not edited any of these; they're all cut directly
from the SEC report. If you're interested in viewing the entire report, set
your browser to the following url:
http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/941167/0001047469-98-009085.txt
Otherwise, here are what I saw as the "important" points to the sale:
[Editor's note: All items below are taken directly from the SEC filing
report]
"Atari Hardware Platforms" means the following hardware platforms:
Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx hand-held and Jaguar game system hardware,
Atari 800, ST and Falcon 030 computer family hardware, TOS operating
system, 8-bit operating system, and Portfolio palmtop computer.
"Excluded Assets" means the following assets:
     i.   inventory, receivables, furniture, fixtures and equipment;
ii.  any tax assets of Seller, including pre-paid taxes, tax credits and
tax carryovers;
iii. all tax returns and tax records whether or not related to the Acquired
Assets;
iv.  the $45,000 balance of the royalty guarantee owed to Seller on
December 31, 1997 by Interplay Productions, Inc. under Amendment One to the
Game License Agreement dated July 29, 1996, between Atari Corporation and
Interplay Productions, Inc. and as otherwise identified in SCHEDULE 3;
v.   software developed by or for Seller or its predecessor under license
of intellectual property rights from a third party or third parties for use
on the Atari Hardware Platforms to the extent that such software is not
related to or associated with any of the trademarks and copyrights set
forth in SCHEDULE 1 or any of the game titles set forth in SCHEDULE 3;
vi.  Hardware embodying Intellectual Property (other than Seller's
Intellectual Property) that is licensed from third Persons.
vii. all assets associated with or related to Seller's disk drive business.
"Hardware" means equipment, components, circuitry, integrated circuits,
processors, casings, layouts (including synthesizable code), mask works,
manufacturing data, and all designs, schematics, tooling, formulae,
processes, and know how therefor (whether or not any such items are
presently embodied in physical components) and related Intellectual
Property.
"Intellectual Property" means any or all of the following and all statutory
and/or common law rights throughout the world in, arising out of, or
associated therewith:
  i.   all patents and applications therefore and all reissues, divisions,
     renewals, extensions, provisionals, continuations and continuations-in-part
     thereof;
ii.  all inventions (whether patentable or not), invention disclosures and
improvements, all trade secrets, proprietary information, know-how and
technology;
iii. all works of authorship, "moral rights", copyrights (including
derivative works thereof), mask works, copyright and mask work
registrations and applications;
iv.  all industrial designs and any registrations and applications
therefor;
v.   all trade names, logos, trademarks and service marks, trademark and
service mark registrations and applications together with the good will of
the business symbolized by the names and the marks;
vi.  all computer software including all source code, object code,
firmware, development tools, files, records and data, all media on which
any of the foregoing is recorded;
vii. Uniform Resource Locators, World Wide Web site addresses and domain
names;
viii.     any similar, corresponding or equivalent rights to any of the
foregoing;
ix.  all documentation related to any of the foregoing; and (x) all
goodwill associated with any of the foregoing.
"Key Marks" means each of the following marks: Atari, the Fuji logo,
Asteroids, Battlezone, Breakout, Centipede, Combat, Crystal Castles,
Millipede, Missile Command, Night Driver, Pong, Ultra Pong, Tempest,
Warlords and Yar's Revenge.
"Knowledge" means actual knowledge of
      the senior executives of Seller or
    John Skruch.
"Registered Intellectual Property" means all United States, international
and foreign:
  i.   utility and design patents, design registrations and utility models
     and all pending applications (both regular and provisional) for any of the
     foregoing;
ii.  registered trademarks, service marks or trade names, applications to
register trademarks, service marks or trade names, intent-to-use
applications, or other registrations or applications related to trademarks,
service marks or trade names;
iii. registered copyrights and applications for copyright registration;
iv.  any mask work registrations and applications to register mask works;
v.   Uniform Resource Locators, World Wide Web site addresses and domain
names and
vi.  any other Seller Intellectual Property that is the subject of an
application, certificate, filing, registration or other document issued by,
filed with, or recorded by, any state, government or other public legal
authority.
"Seller Hardware" means Hardware included in the Acquired Assets.
"Seller's Intellectual Property" means Intellectual Property of Seller that
constitutes an Acquired Asset.
"Seller's Products" means
  i.   those products of Seller acquired by Seller pursuant to the merger of
     Atari Corporation, a Nevada corporation, with and into Seller on July 30,
     1996, and any other products of Seller thereafter derived therefrom,
     including products relating to or associated with the trademarks set forth
     in SCHEDULE 1 (including video and computer games, games for handheld
     devices, consoles, Internet play, all other games for play on any platform
     whatsoever (subject to the License Agreements), and merchandise bearing any
     Intellectual Property relating to or associated with the foregoing, whether
     now offered for sale or license by Seller or discontinued) and
ii.  all of Seller's products that are listed on SCHEDULE 3.
A. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.
1. To the Knowledge of Seller, SCHEDULE 1 contains a list of all trademarks
and service marks and applications therefor included in the Acquired Assets
that have not lapsed and that are, except as qualified therein, Registered
Intellectual Property (the "Registered Marks"), all patents and
applications therefor that are included in the Acquired Assets that are
Registered Intellectual Property (the "Registered Patents"), and United
States copyrights included in the Acquired Assets, certain of which are
Registered Intellectual Property. SCHEDULE 3 contains certain game titles
that are included in the Acquired Assets. To the Knowledge of Seller, (A)
the description of the Registered Marks on SCHEDULE 1 contains, to the
extent set forth and except as qualified therein, the true and accurate
date of registration, registration number, registered owner and the class
of the Registered Marks, (B) the description of the Registered Patents on
SCHEDULE 1 contains the true and accurate patent number and file date of
the Registered Patents, and (C) the description of the United States
registered copyrights on SCHEDULE 1 included in the Acquired Assets that
are Registered Intellectual Property contains the
number of such copyright registration.
A. SELLER INVENTORY. Seller owns certain unsold inventory of games bearing
the Atari and/or Fuji trademark, and certain other Registered Marks and
containing other Seller's Intellectual Property (the "Inventory"). Buyer
hereby grants to Seller an irrevocable, worldwide,
royalty-free license, for a period of one year from the date of the Closing
to use the Registered Marks and other applicable Seller's Intellectual
Property relating to such Inventory solely for the purpose of selling the
Inventory. Except as set forth in the previous sentence, after the Closing
Seller shall have no right to exploit the Seller's Intellectual Property.
Without limiting the foregoing, Seller shall not, following the expiration
of the one-year license period set forth above, sell any product referred
to in clause (e) of the definition of "Excluded Assets" set forth in
Section 1. Seller warrants that the Inventory sold pursuant to this Section
5(c) shall be of like kind and quality to that previously sold by Atari
Corporation in the ordinary course of its business.
So, in the coming weeks, we hope to learn more about this potentially good
news for Atari users. I can only hope that this sale will prove to be
positive for the Atari name and its products. My initial guess is that
Hasbro will simply take advantage of its newly-acquired gaming licenses and
produce some new games or "re-introduce" many of the old ones.

 Until next time... 

                               Gaming Section


       "Battlezone"!  
     "NBA Shootout '98"! 
     Color GameBoy!  
     WCW Switches! 
     And more! 


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

                Nintendo To Launch Color Game Boy This Year
KYOTO, JAPAN, 1998 MAR 10 (Newsbytes) -- By Martyn Williams, Newsbytes.
Nintendo Co. Ltd. says it will begin sales of its first Game Boy hand-held
video system with a color LCD screen later this year. The unit will be
launched in Japan, Europe and North America. Similar in size to existing
units, Nintendo says the new Game Boys will include a new proprietary
technology that is capable of displaying color graphics on a new type of
color reflective screen. The system will allows for simultaneous display of
up to 56 colors, from a palette of 32,000.
An obstacle to production of color units in the past has been the
technology and demand on battery life - something the new system overcomes,
said the maker. "As the first to surmount the technical obstacles, we're
able to introduce a whole new generation of color games to the millions of
people who love Game Boy," said Howard Lincoln, chairman, Nintendo of
America, in a statement. Other new features include the ability to be
connected to a Nintendo 64 games system. Nintendo said the new Color Game
Boy will be capable of playing cartridges from the existing monochrome
unit. They will be displayed in one of ten color hues, selected by the
user, it said. More details of the device will be announced later this
year.
Nintendo previously forecast 1998 Game Boy sales to be 9.5 million units,
with software selling 28 million units. The news follows the disclosure,
one month ago, by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. that it has developed a
miniature size "personal digital assistant" for use with its PlayStation
video games console. The system is still under development and SCEI said it
expects a commercial product to be available at the end of the year.
The release of the new Color Game Boy and SCEI's PlayStation PDA could
signal the start to a new round in the fiercely competitive computer gaming
market. Sony currently claims leadership in the home console market, with
its PlayStation. Earlier this year, Nintendo slashed the prices of its
Nintendo 64 games, from between 6,800 yen ($53) and 9,800 yen ($77) per
game to 4, 800 yen ($38) per game. PlayStation games retail for between
4,800 yen ($38) and 5,800 yen ($45). Exchange rate: $1 = 127.50 yen.
  THQ Brings Japanese Hit Game to U.S. Market With "The Granstream Saga"
CALABASAS, CALIF. (March 10) BUSINESS WIRE - March 10, 1998 - THQ Inc.
Tuesday announced that it has signed an agreement with Sony Computer
Entertainment Inc. of Japan to publish and distribute "The Granstream Saga"
for the Sony PlayStation.
The game is scheduled for release in North America in the second quarter of
1998. "The Granstream Saga" represents the first in a series of role-
playing games (RPGs) that THQ plans to introduce over the next couple of
years. It features real-time fighting action and quality animations,
intertwined with an epic storyline that takes place in a fantasy world of
futuristic knights, pirates and princesses.
"The Granstream Saga" is being developed by the reknowned RPG hit-maker,
Arc Entertainment, formerly known as The Akagawa Group, housed at Sony
Computer Entertainment Inc. in Tokyo. In addition to the classic RPG
elements of the occult, puzzle solving and rich character development, the
game incorporates a unique interactive battle capability that features both
weapons and magic.
"The Granstream Saga" was released in Japan in December 1997 and debuted as
the No. 1 selling videogame on the PlayStation. "The role-playing genre is
a top-selling game category, and we are pleased to bring a game of the
quality of 'The Granstream Saga' to the U.S. market," said Brian J.
Farrell, president and chief executive officer, THQ. "This is another
example of our close ties and strong relationships with developers and
publishers in Japan which allow us excellent opportunities to add to our
diverse product line."
           THQ and WCW Do Not Intend to Renew License Agreement
CALABASAS, CALIF. (March 10) BUSINESS WIRE - March 10, 1998 - THQ Inc.
Tuesday announced that THQ and WCW do not intend to renew the license
agreement with respect to WCW World Championship Wrestling. As previously
announced, the existing license expires Dec. 29, 1998, and allows THQ to
continue to sell products on hand and in process at that date through June
29, 1999.
"Since we have been extremely successful with our line of wrestling
products utilizing the WCW license, we fully intend to continue in the
genre with outstanding wrestling games," said Brian J. Farrell, president
and chief executive officer. "We are very excited about our product line
for 1998, which includes not only Nintendo 64 and PlayStation sequels to
our WCW products, but also 'Quest 64' and the just-announced 'The
GranStream Saga' in the role-playing genre, our 'BASS Masters' game for
PlayStation and PC, and of course, our 'RugRats' products for the fall," he
continued.
                Electronic Arts Signs Exclusive WCW License
SAN MATEO, CALIF. (March 11) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - March 11, 1998 -
Electronic Arts(TM), the leading independent interactive entertainment
software company, today announced it has signed an exclusive licensing
agreement with World Championship Wrestling Inc. (WCW) for the worldwide
interactive rights to develop and distribute computer and video games based
on the organization's wrestlers. Electronic Arts (EA) plans to ship its
first title under the five-year agreement in mid-calendar 1999. Financial
terms of the deal were not released.
The license gives Electronic Arts exclusive use of more the 100 WCW and New
World Order (NWO) wrestlers, such as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and
Scott Hall of the NWO and Sting, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Lex Luger of
the WCW. It also permits the use of WCW announcers and other talent. WCW
stars will be motion captured in EA's British Columbia studio and artfully
rendered into the game, bringing the full richness, color and action of the
sport to computer and video games players.
"World Championship Wrestling is a huge spectator sport that is growing at
an amazing rate," said Larry Probst, Electronic Arts Chairman and CEO.
"Over the past two years, WCW has established the preeminent brand in
wrestling entertainment, typically garnering audiences of 32 million
viewers per week. We believe that our world-class creative organization can
successfully translate the passion that fans feel for the WCW into best-
selling products for both video game consoles and PCs."
World Championship Wrestling is the highest rated program on basic cable
television in the U.S. In addition, WCW matches are shown in more than 50
countries worldwide through TNT network television. "The partnering of
Electronic Arts with World Championship Wrestling is an incredible
opportunity," said Nick Lambros, executive vice president of World
Championship Wrestling. "EA and WCW are the best in their respective fields
and should be able to create highly innovative and successful games for
release in 1999 and beyond. We look forward to partnering with EA on this
mutually beneficial relationship."
                   'Battlezone' Ships to Retail Outlets
SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 11 (UPI) -- Activision Inc. announced that its
new Battlezone game is now available in more than 10,000 retail stores
throughout the United States and Canada. The company says Battlezone
combines the best of action games with the best of real-time strategy games
to create a new first-person action-strategy game. It takes players to the
farthest reaches of the galaxy in a struggle for control of alien
technology between the Soviet Union and the United States. Battlezone,
based on the classic 1980 Atari arcade game of the same name, will carry a
suggested retail price of $49.95. Gamers can preview by playing a demo of
the game posted on Activision's web site:
http://www.activision.com/games/strategy/battlezone
   NBA Shoot Out '98 Delivers All-New Basketball Game  
FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (March 11) ENTERTAINMENT WIRE - March 11, 1998 - Sony
Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today that NBA Shoot Out '98,
which features all 29 NBA teams, more than 350 players and an all-new NBA
playbook, is now available exclusively for the PlayStation(TM) game
console. This year's new TV-style presentation, extensive moves and dunks,
and exclusive features like Total Control Dunking(TM) and Icon Cutting,(TM)
make NBA Shoot Out '98 look and play like no other basketball videogame on
the market.
"With NBA Shoot Out '98, we're looking for the 'threepeat' as 'best
basketball game on PlayStation,'" said Peter Dille, senior director,
product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "Our revolutionary
Total Control Dunking(TM) and Icon Cutting(TM) will continue to raise the
bar and improve the way sports games are played. In fact, our friends from
the 'PlayStation Athletic Department' will be showing off these new
features and our improved graphical look to an NBA All-Star in our newest
TV ad."
Total Control Dunking allows a gamer to control individual player dunks and
offers a repertoire of more than 30 dunks to chose from. Another unique
feature in NBA Shoot Out '98 is Icon Cutting, which allows gamers to pick
any player to cut to the basket. With an all-new TV style presentation and
large player sizes, NBA Shoot Out '98 is pure fun to play. No other
PlayStation basketball videogame has 30 different dunks or NBA style moves
like, no look, off-the-dribble and around the back passes, or the inclusion
of crossover and between the leg dribbles.
During the development of NBA Shoot Out '98, different NBA star's
movements, such as the Pistons' Jerry Stackhouse, were motion-captured to
ensure the most realistic NBA player animations would be used in the game.
In fact, all the NBA players in NBA Shoot Out '98 are rated and designed to
play to their actual ability, bringing to gamers the realism of the NBA,
PlayStation style. NBA Shoot Out '98 features NBA All-Star Hakeem Olajuwon
of the Houston Rockets on the package and will be available this March.
NBA Shoot Out '98 Key Features:
         All 29 NBA Teams and the most complete player rosters (more than 350
       NBA Players)
    All new Total Control Dunking and Icon Cutting
    New TV style presentation
    New Motion Capture animations
    All-new large 3D polygonal players designed with the motion blending
and "skinning" technique (these new development techniques deliver the best
looking graphics available)
    Realistic player performances and sizes
    New moves include: No look, off-the-dribble and crossovers passes;
spin and back down moves; turnaround, leaner and fadeaway jumpers
    Full management control: create, trade, release, sign and draft
players
    New NBA playbook
    Play modes: Exhibition, tournament, NBA All-Star game, playoffs,
finals and the NBA Championship
    New NBA arenas and rules
    Full season and game statistics
    New surround sound and camera perspectives
    Real NBA awards: MVP, scoring, rebounding, defensive player of the
year, Rookie of the Year
    Up to 8 players can play with Multi tap adapter
  
  
ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!

                           PEOPLE... ARE TALKING
Compiled by Joe Mirando
jmirando@streport.com
Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Remember my little missive about El Nino
last week? Remember how I said that we were enjoying the unseasonably warm
weather and that I was wondering when and how we were going to end up
paying for it? Well, yesterday started out to be a simply beautiful day.
The temperature was in the mid fifties. By mid-afternoon the temperature
had dropped to the mid thirties and went lower as the sun went down. Just
another one of nature's little jokes, I guess.
Don't get me wrong, the low temperatures I mentioned are about right for
this time of year in my area of the world. It's just that it was a shock
(to humans, animals, and plant life as well) to have such warm temperatures
in the morning and such cold temperatures in the afternoon.
Oh, and remember that I mentioned "La Nina", El Nino's 'sister'? I heard it
mentioned for the first time on television the other night. The person who
mentioned it got it all wrong of course, but maybe now folks will start to
take notice of what's going on and wonder if we should ALL be worried.
Meanwhile, back in the Atari world, I had a chance to correspond with an
old computer friend the other day. He's a great guy, intelligent, very
straight-forward with his opinions and, by all accounts, a great friend to
have. What interested me was that he has 'gone over to the dark side' since
I last spoke with him. Yep, he got himself a Win95 machine. His thoughts
mirror my own. "I hate the way Win95 scatters files all over the hard
drive, that every program written to run on it takes up huge amounts of
memory and hard drive space to do even simple tasks, and that Win95 itself
seems to take up almost 200 meg on my hard drive."
These are all things that I and many others have noticed too. The plain and
simple fact is that Win95 NEEDS that huge amount of memory and hard drive
space simply to get an Intel-based computer to do what our Atari computers
have done for years. Y'see, our Ataris can do what they do because they
were designed to be graphically oriented right from the start. When PCs (I
mean Intel-based, of course) were first designed, Command Line Interfaces
were about all that were available. And for some things, CLIs are actually
better than a graphical system. But people today want 'easy'. That means
graphics. That means that the operating system has to be able to dig around
and figure out where, when, how, and why to draw and un-draw things. This
is not a natural thing for machines whose recent ancestors were designed
around a Command Line Interface. So Win95 has to carry around all that
extra code to do the things that our machines do 'naturally'. Sure, the
speed that these new machines bring with them is great. But that's more a
function of the faster processors than the operating system. I guess
there's always a trade-off. It just depends on which side has more of the
things you want or need.
Now, I hear you... no, not you... the other one... saying "But there are
emulators you can run on a PC so that you can use most of your Atari
software." This is quite true, but I'm of the opinion that, unless you
can't find a program in the PC world that does what you want or need it to,
you're better off using programs that were meant to run on your machine.
But heck, it's your machine... do what you want to with it. Just be open-
minded enough to see all the possibilities and you can't help but make the
right decisions.
Okay, that's enough of my sermonizing. Let's take a look at what's going on
in the Atari NewsGroups.

  From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup  

James Aubrey posts:
"I am considering getting a Mono Monitor, I use Cab and a few other
programmes with Sebra(Mono emu), and I find it hard on my eyes trying to
read the small text. Is there much difference, with a Mono Monitor, will
images in Cab be clearer and text more sharp?  Is there another Mono
Emulator out there thats better than Sebra? Will I be able to buy some sort
of socket switch to flick between colour monitor and the mono one(I don't
want to wear out plugs/socket)? Finally is it worth buying one, or should I
save my hard earned pennies?"
John Logan tells James:
"Before I got a TT I used only a mono monitor in ST High. Very stable and
very easy to read. I wouldn't consider using ST Medium or Low except for
games. If you have a proper mono monitor plugged in when you switch on, the
machine automatically boots in ST High."
Steve Stupple adds:
"If you can get hold of a hi-res monitor or try one, you wouldn't want
anything else. The screen is rock solid, and very easy on the eyes.  You
can get a box to switch between the 2 monitors, saves you unplugging. I
have one that I made myself. If you want to have a go, then let me know and
I'll dig the file out, I wrote some instructions on what to do in case
someone wanted to build one."
On the subject of accessing the Internet with CAB and NEWSie, Brian Van
Tilborg posts:
"Well ever since installing 1.2805 I cannot sustain any connections in CAB.
Getting any web page ends up in a software error many many times and
downloading a file is IMPOSSIBLE. I never had these problems to this extent
with any 1.270*. Quite frankly it is unusable for me. If I can find where I
put 1.2705 I should be operational again. I at first thought it was because
the sites were busy, but this has been pretty much 3 weeks of testing and
total failure. Anyone else have this experience? I wanted the new features
but I will be happier just getting full web pages again without the
software disconnect error.
So, I tried NEWsie browser and sure enough, rock solid fast downloading
huge files from same site. I was getting M_Player and supporting FLM:-).
Went back to CAB immediately and sure enough, it continues to not finish
receiving pages or downloads. I am under 300ms when pinging the sites. Cab
is working fast to, it is disconnecting while maintaining high transfer
rate. I am a little frustrated by this since it was working so well
before."
Mike Grove tells Brian:
"I noticed something like this using a slip connection with STiK. I tried
many MTU settings, but it looks like everything is screaming, then CAB (or
the OVL) will puke. I haven't seen this problem with PPP however (and
STiNG)."
Martin Byttebier posts:
"...I have some very annoying problems on my Hades when I use HSMODA7
(system hangs when loading ha_escc.prg) I tried to load all the HSMODA
driver from *mint.cnf*"
Mikko Larjava tells Martin:
"Hsmoda drivers have to be BEFORE MiNT. Now the driver gets all to control
commands and because it doesn't implement them one gets errors. Don't now
about the hang but on my friends Hades hsmoda drivers work great when
started before MiNT as they always should."
Martin tells Mikko:
"That's what I thought too but I've been following a tread about
HSMODA/MiNT in * maus.sys.atari.mint*. From what I understand it should be
possible to use the HSMODA drivers from *mint.cnf* For the common
communication prg's like *Connect* there isn't a problem. To the contrary.
I can now use then what wasn't the case with my normal setup. The hangs
only happens when I reset the system from the keyboard. If I switch the
power off and on the drivers loads fine.
Note: I have a newer Hades which is equiped with EDO RAM and an ET6000
graphic card. The original EDO 10 RAMROM chip wasn't working good. Since
I've changed the chip things were working great but recently I installed
newer graphic card software. Since then I've the hang problems again.
According to Medusa Computersysstem I should change the loading order of
the auto prg's. I did that but nothings seems to help. One thing helps
however. If I use the system library *Liberty* I can reboot from keyboard
without problem but... yes, there is a but again... Liberty seems to cause
some problems too."
Peter Toneff asks for help with his Atari Laser Printer:
"I've just connected an SLM605 printer to my TT, and it works great except
for one little annoying thing: If I start the TT without turning on the
printer, I loose the drive A icon and cannot access the floppy drive in any
way. Is this a known problem, and is there a fix?"
Jo Vandeweghe tells Peter:
"It's a known problem, you MUST start the printer before starting the
computer, otherwise it's impossible to not have problems ... There exists a
solution though, you can buy a little device (box) which is put between the
SLM interface and the printer itself ... this device is fed with some DC
voltage and then you can switch on and off your laser without any problem
... I bought it 4 years ago from a belgian atari computer store."
John Kolak adds:
"This has been an annoying bug since the SLM804 days. On the 804 people
were advised to open the rear hatch so the high electricity consuming parts
would be off until ready to print. Phantom of the Laser corrected this by
supplying power to the interface while the printer was off."
Derryck Croker tells Peter:
"It's quite easy to make one of these yourself. I made an adaptor with a 37
pin Dway plug and socket, connect them back to back and pin for pin with
the exception of pins 16, 17, 35 and 36 on the socket; these should be
connected together and taken to the +ve of a regulated 5V supply. Connect
the negative from the supply to pin 21 of plug or socket. This is at your
own risk of course. Then you only need turn the laser on when you print."
Brian Van Tilborg posts this about his new Falcon030:
"I just got my Falcon. Perhaps you or James could tell me what the Nemesis
does? My Falcon is STock with a 16meg ram upgrade. Don't know what type of
upgrade it is though."
Eric Hays tells Brian:
"Well, I'm not a gear head, so my explanation may not be the most
technically accurate thing. But, basically, the Nemesis speeds the whole
computer up by half-again more. The CPU runs at 24 MHz instead of 16 MHz,
but it doesn't stop there. Clock doubling of the CPU has existed for some
time, but this upgrade modifies the motherboards clock, so everything runs
half-again faster (which is why it is half-again rather than twice, some
parts of the Falcon just want to go that fast, in fact, a few bits are
carefully bypassed and continue to run at the regular speed). The main
problem with Falcon, for me, was the bus speed wasn't fast enough to
support True Color in VGA 640x480. The Nemesis fixes that. In the process,
it also speeds everything else up to 150%.
Compatibility has not been a problem for me at all. Everything runs fine.
Even if it were a problem, since the Nemesis defaults to the 16 MHz clock
speed and has to switched to 24 MHz by its auto program, you just have to
bypass that program to boot into standard Falcon mode. But no software is
worth that to me anymore -- I'll dump the program before I'll give up on
this extra speed.  I only have 4 megs of RAM in my machine (and this would
probably be my own next upgrade, the extra graphics modes the Nemesis
allows also demand extra RAM, you see), so I can't give you the details
about fitting a RAM board to a Nemesized Falcon, but my understanding is
that you should try to get a board that uses a single RAM module, rather
than the ones that use 4 modules. I've also heard that it is the RAM chip's
speed that is the issue, that 90 nanosecond RAM is too slow, and that 70 is
what you need. But all of this last paragraph is secondhand information, I
have no personal experience with it. As you already have a RAM board, you
may be forced to repopulate it or replace it."
Don Schoengarth tells us:
"I just ran across Draconis Web Package along with Adamas Web Browser. Can
anyone tell me about the use of this web browser. Is it any good? Any other
comments?"
Eric Hays tells Don:
"I've been playing with Adamas for a few months now. It gets updated quite
frequently. The latest version I used (from February 24th) is getting quite
nice. In fact, I prefer the form gadgets in Adamas to any other TOS
browser. Adamas supports frames and animated gifs (although frames are a
bit shaky in this version, it seemed to me), and now makes use of GDOS
fonts as well (although this is also a new addition and the font sizing
could use a bit of tweaking). Display speed is a bit slower then CAB, first
time around, but then, because of the way Adamas caches things, redisplay
of pages is much faster than CAB. All-in-all, CAB is still better. But
Adamas is currently free and getting close to as good as the free 1.5
version of CAB.
The downside of the whole thing is, to work on-line you must use the
Draconis tcp/ip stack. Adamas will not work with STiNG. At one time I would
not   have made much of a stink about this as the first version of it
worked, and quite easily at that. Sure, I had to configure it, but it was
straightforward and worked on the second try (I'd made a bonehead mistake
in the configuration that I had to correct). More recently, I have had
trouble. Using the same configuration file, now Draconis appears to
connect, but any attempt to resolve an offsite IP number times out.
Unfortunately, I tossed out the earlier Draconis that worked for me. Now I
can only test Adamas offline and hope that the next versions sort out the
difficulty. If you want even more information, check out my article in the
upcoming issue of Yackity-YAC (newsletter of the Yolo Atari Club) -- it
compares and contrasts Adamas, WEN Suite and CAB."
Well folks, that's it for this week. You know... This particular column is
a bit larger than normal, and I just noticed that I'd only gone through
about twenty percent of the posts. If you'd like to read more, or perhaps
post about something yourself, just point your NewsReader to
comp.sys.atari.st and read to your heart's content. I've seen a lot of old
friends in the NewsGroups lately... perhaps you will too!
Oh, for those of you who have asked what I use to gather information from
the NewsGroups, here's the answer:
      STinG (TCP/IP and Dialer)
    NEWSie v .86 (NewsGroups, Email, and FTP all in one)
    STeno (for editing and 'cut and paste')
    Spelling Sentry (for spell-checking)
I also use Geneva and NeoDesk4 from Gribnif Software as my operating
system/desktop, but this setup will work with anything from plain old TOS
to MagiC with no problems. That's why I chose each one of these programs...
versatility.
Well, that's it for this week. Tune in again next time, same time, same
station, and be ready to listen to what they are saying when...


                            PEOPLE ARE TALKING


                            EDITORIAL QUICKIES
A few thoughts from Sam Goldwin...
         "An oral contract isn't worth the paper it's written on."
                                     
   "Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined."
                                     
         "I had a great idea this morning, but I didn't like it."
                                     
                       "Gentlemen, include me out."
                                     
                   "A hospital is no place to be sick."
                                     
     "If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive."
                                     
                 "I read part of it all the way through."
                                     
              "If I look confused it's because I'm thinking."
                                     
      "That's the trouble with directors. Always biting the hand that
                           lays the golden egg."
                                     
           "Never make forecasts, especially about the future."
                                     
                     And perhaps the best of them all:
                                     
    "I don't want yes men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth,
                    even if it costs them their jobs."
                                     
                                     
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           STReport International Magazine 







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