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Article #696 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report: 10-Apr-98 #1414
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Sat Apr 25 11:14:31 1998





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04/10/98 STR 1414 "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!"

CPU Industry Report               April Fools' Hoaxes          Spam Bill in Meat Grinder
AntiTrust for Credit Cards?       Hacker's Spit Balls          All in One Studio Review
Mobile PII To Debut               WombWare?                    Seiko's PC Watch
ST Informer to Return?            People Talking               Classics & Gaming



                                DOJ May Bring New MS Charges
                                   Hackers Wipe Out ISP!
                               APPLE TOOK BITE OUT OF AMELIO



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    From the Editor's Desk...

    It's that time of the year again.... Easter and Passover. Easter
    Vacation for the schoolkids and a preview of what the motorists
    will face this summer as far as the new bicyclists are concerned.
    Drive carefully folks they're everywhere!

    Last week we talked about Ken Starr possibly being Joe McCarthy
    reincarnated. The more I study Starr's activities, the more I'm
    convinced this guy's motives may not be all that's shining and true
    blue he'd like everyone to believe. In fact, I'd go so far as to
    say he's playing a very dangerous game that can take him out if he
    makes one slipup. Additionally, I'd love to see Starr's and
    Gingrich's telephone records publicly compared. The Republican war
    waged against just about everything the Democrats have tried to do
    is astonishing. As hard as they try, they have yet to put a dent in
    Clinton's approval rating or the "mere" fact that Clinton's plan
    has indeed balanced the Federal Budget.

    Newt Gingrich by the way, has while Congress is in recession, been
    carrying on in New Hampshire.  (Talk about Primary Fever) He's very
    busy staging "book signings" for his new book. (Wasn't the LAST
    BOOK enough trouble for him? Or, is this book destined to pay back
    Dole the $300,000 loan?) What I cannot understand is why he
    seemingly is covertly campaigning for the Presidential Nomination
    of the Republican Party. Doesn't he realize he sealed his fate
    politically when he was nailed by the Ethics Committee over the
    last book? Guess not. This is one clown we need not concern
    ourselves with in the year 2000. The man to watch as far as the
    Republican Party is concerned is Colin Powell.

    Please let me wish all of you the very best of the holidays.....

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                  Justice May Bring New Microsoft Charges

        Justice Department investigators believe they have enough
        evidence to bring a new antitrust case against Microsoft
        before the end of the month, The Wall Street Journal
        reported today. The new case, if it went forward, would
        allege "illegal maintenance and extension" of Microsoft's
        control of personal - computer operating software, in
        violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Journal said,
        citing unnamed people close to the probe.

        It also would repeat an existing charge that Microsoft
        violated a 1995 antitrust settlement by "bundling" Internet
        software with Windows, extending to Windows 98 a 1997 charge
        that Microsoft used Windows as a weapon against business
        rivals, the newspaper said. The investigators were taking
        final depositions from senior Microsoft officials and issued
        new civil subpoenas last week to major personal computer
        makers, including Compaq Computer, company spokesmen told
        the newspaper.

        They were racing to complete their work before Microsoft's
        planned May 15 release to computer makers of Windows 98, the
        next version of its PC operating software, the Journal said.
        If the case moved forward, prosecutors were expected to ask
        a federal court for immediate temporary restrictions on
        Microsoft's practices plus unspecified permanent sanctions,
        the newspaper said.

        The temporary restrictions are likely to include a
        requirement that Microsoft give PC makers a choice of
        whether to install Windows 98 with or without Microsoft's
        Internet software, as well as relief from alleged
        exclusionary contract terms imposed on PC makers and
        companies that provide Internet services, the Journal said.
        Antitrust chief Joel Klein was weighing legal tactics and
        had not decided whether to file a new case, the paper
        newspaper said. Klein is expected to give Microsoft's
        lawyers a final opportunity to head off new charges against
        the company in a face-to-face meeting late next week.

                Antitrust Chief To Meet With Microsoft Friday

        The Justice Department's top antitrust official and his
        staff will meet with Microsoft representatives Friday to
        discuss a possible new antitrust case against the software
        giant, a person familiar with the case said. Some in the
        Justice Department believe there is now enough evidence to
        bring a new case against Microsoft under the nation's
        antitrust laws, according to the source.

        In such instances, the assistant attorney general --
        currently Joel Klein -- traditionally has met with
        representatives of the company or companies involved so they
        may offer their views. At the same meeting, the antitrust
        chief listens to the opinions of his staff, which may be
        divided. Justice Department officials who favor bringing the
        case would like to do so as soon as possible, before the
        release of Windows 98, an update to Windows 95 that
        integrates the operating system and Internet capabilities
        more tightly than ever.

        Microsoft is expected to release so-called "gold code" of
        the operating system to manufacturers by mid-May or early
        June to meet a targeted June 25 retail availability date. A
        Microsoft spokesman said the Redmond, Wash.-based company
        remains confident Windows 98 will launch as scheduled June
        25. "We don't believe there's any scenario that would delay
        the release of Windows 98 with all of its Internet
        capabilities included," said the spokesman, Mark Murray.

        However, in an apparent signal that the company has softened
        its hard-line approach, Murray said Microsoft would be
        willing to negotiate with the Justice Department over any
        problems the agency has with Windows 98. "We would like to
        see these issues resolved and put them behind us," Murray
        said. The Justice Department's Klein said last month he
        wants to carefully define any major case before he brings it
        to prevent litigation from dragging on for years. A federal
        lawsuit against computer giant IBM lasted for years before
        it was finally dropped.

        So far the Justice Department has not given Microsoft any
        indication of its view on Windows 98, Murray said. In
        December, the antitrust regulators won a court order that
        forced Microsoft to offer computer makers a version of
        Windows 95 without any easy methods of access to its
        Internet Explorer browser. Murray said it was not clear
        whether the Justice Department would seek a similar option
        for Windows 98.

        Justice Department officials sent out civil subpoenas --
        known as civil investigative demands - to some PC makers
        last week. "Justice hadn't spoken to the OEMs (original
        equipment manufacturers) in four or five months and they
        wanted to get fresh information," the person familiar with
        the case said.

                 Computer Execs Propose Limits On Microsoft

        Computer-industry executives have approached the Justice
        Department with 10 proposals they believe would help rein in
        the monopoly power of Microsoft, the New York Times reported
        today. The proposals, contained in a document circulating
        among industry executives, include forcing Microsoft to
        divest its applications businesses from its operating-system
        business and establishing a monitoring system to track
        Microsoft's business practices, the Times said, citing
        unnamed industry executives and the document.

        The Justice Department was not considering breaking up
        Microsoft, one industry executive told the Times, but it was
        looking at a range of other possibilities. Microsoft
        officials dismissed the proposals, saying that they had
        responded to many of the points previously. This is a wish
        list from Microsoft competitors with no basis in the facts
        of this industry or the laws of this country, " Microsoft
        spokesman Mark Murray told the paper.

        The industry's proposals were put forward this month after
        informal conversations between Joel Klein, the head of the
        Justice Department's antitrust division, and
        computer-industry trade associations that have expressed
        concerned about Microsoft's economic power, the Times said.
        The paper said other proposals offered in the industry
        document include:

             Forcing Microsoft to be more open in describing
             parts of the operating system to which programmers
             have access.

             Prohibiting Microsoft from tying new products to
             the Windows operating system.

             Divesting Microsoft's software compatibility
             laboratories, which offer a Windows 95-approved
             logo to certain products.

        "A dominant operating system should not be used to favor
        Internet content that is owned, offered by or preferentially
        licensed to the operating-system vendor," the document said.
        Separately, the Justice Department now believes that it has
        enough evidence to bring a new antitrust case, a source has
        told Reuters. The department's top antitrust attorney and
        his staff will meet with Microsoft officials on Friday, the
        source said Monday.

                   States To Probe Microsoft, Credit Cards

        Several U.S. states are preparing to take their own
        antitrust action against Microsoft and have opened a new
        investigation of alleged antitrust abuses in the credit-card
        industry as well, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
        About a dozen state attorneys general are actively involved
        in each effort, pooling their resources and often working in
        parallel with federal antitrust officials, the Journal said,
        citing state and industry officials.

        In the Microsoft investigation, however, officials told the
        paper they plan to take action with or without the Justice
        Department. A draft complaint is circulating among 11 states
        and could be filed by the end of the month before U.S.
        District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, who handled the
        Justice Department's suit against the Redmond, Wash.,
        software giant last year, the paper said.

        In the credit-card inquiry, the states have asked Visa
        U.S.A. and MasterCard International to talk with
        investigators next week, industry lawyers and executives
        told the Journal. The move comes as the Justice Department
        prepares to wrap up an 18-month investigation of the two
        leading credit-card associations and decide how to act on
        its findings, the lawyers and executives said.

        The long-running credit-card probe by the Justice Department
        is headed for a showdown early next month, the paper said.
        The staff has recommended that antitrust charges be brought
        against Visa and MasterCard over their joint control by the
        same big banks and bylaws that prevent member banks from
        issuing competing cards.

                  MS Deal With Schools Runs Into a Buzzsaw

        Microsoft Corp. is learning -- the hard way -- that dealing
        with colleges and universities can be as dicey a proposition
        as dealing with Janet Reno. The company, which last week
        signed a four-year $6 million contract to supply Indiana
        University with software, is poised to strike similar deals
        with dozens of universities across the country. Proponents
        have applauded the agreement, saying it would serve as a
        model for cash-conscious universities looking to give their
        students a technological edge. Aleisa Spain, Microsoft's
        director of higher education marketing, said her office has
        received calls from about a dozen colleges looking for
        similar deals. Thousands of students lined up for the
        products on Tuesday, according to the university's paper.
        The newspaper also posted a poll showing that supporters of
        the plan outnumber detractors by a two-to-one margin.

        But campus protests against educational institutions getting
        into bed with a big powerful vendor like Microsoft are
        escalating. Critics say that agreements like the one signed
        with Indiana University effectively lock campuses into using
        Microsoft software. The Cal State University System -- the
        largest conglomeration of four-year colleges in the country
        -- is also considering a public-private partnership that
        would flood campuses with software from the Redmond, Wash.,
        company. The proposed California Education Technology
        Initiative, or CETI, would form a corporation -- that would
        include Microsoft Corp., GTE Corp., Hughes Electronics, and
        Fujitsu - to spend $300 million on technology at CSU schools
        during the next four years.

        College officials insist the deals do not preclude students
        and faculty from using non-Microsoft software. But they also
        note that students using applications sold by other vendors
        might find their programs are incompatible with the
        campus-wide computer system. Some people also fear Microsoft
        is dumping software onto campuses with the intention of
        raising prices later-an accusation also leveled against the
        company in the corporate market by critics such as the U.S.
        Department of Justice and Nathan Newman, program director of
        Microsoft watchdog group NetAction.

        "Will they hike the price later? The question is, what
        happens to Indiana, and campuses like it, five years down
        the line?" Newman said, pointing attention to Microsoft's
        recent change in licensing agreements. The company now
        charges customers by the total number of software users.
        Before the change, Microsoft charged customers only by the
        amount of people using the software at one time, usually a
        lower number because not everybody uses their software
        24-hours per day.

        Has Microsoft met its match? But campus protests are
        becoming an obstacle to Microsoft's push into higher
        education. The company is in negotiations with colleges to
        develop an education-specific licensing agreement after
        campus administrators said the revised agreement was too
        expensive. "They railed on us, and we listened," said
        Rebecca Needham of Microsoft's higher education group. "It
        was a healthy debate." The new licensing plan-set to be
        unveiled within two weeks-will be similar to Indiana's,
        requiring an up-front fee and taking into account the large
        amount of mobile users on campus, Microsoft said.

        Protests also have stalled the CSU deal. Accusations of
        behind-the-door dealings have drawn the ire of state
        lawmakers, who have insisted on more public hearings on the
        issue. A revamped plan -- scheduled to be released Wednesday
        -- already has been delayed, and there are rumors that
        several companies are considering pulling out of the deal.
        Jim Smith, a spokesman for the California Faculty
        Association, said faculty and student opposition drew
        attention to the plan.

        "We raised questions there weren't answers for. That raised
        other questions that made people uncomfortable with the
        agreement," Smith said. John Santoro, director of education
        marketing at Apple Computer Inc. - which traditionally has
        claimed the education market as its own -- said Microsoft
        may have met its match in the college environment. "Students
        are fundamentally opposed to something that locks them in.
        They're not lulled into the promises of up-front money,"
        Santoro said. "Anything that restricts choices is against
        the university spirit."

                  Outlook 98 Filter Goes Too Far, Some Say

        Microsoft's efforts to protect you from spam may be going
        too far, blocking e-mail from friends, families and news
        groups, according to analysts and free-speech advocates. In
        an attempt to block unwanted e-mail, an automatic function
        on the company's new Outlook 98 messaging software filters
        messages based on a preset list of words and punctuation.
        The feature blocks messages that have an exclamation point
        and question mark in the subject line, as well as such words
        or phrases as "for free!" and "removal instructions" in the
        body.

        The filter is intended to block annoying mass e-mailings
        that often contain promises of free trips and get-rich-quick
        schemes, but it also may filter out other messages. For
        example, a message with "Hey! Guess What?" in the subject
        and "I'm getting tickets to tonight's Giants baseball game
        for free!" could be blocked if a person chooses Outlook's
        automatic filter. The company came up with the phrases by
        studying more than 2 million pieces of spam, Microsoft
        Outlook Product Manager George Meng said.

        "It's not an exact science yet," said Meng, adding that the
        company is working with third parties to develop more
        advanced filters. A free version of Outlook 98 is available
        on the company's Web site, with a final version set to ship
        in the first half of this year. People who don't want to use
        the automatic filter can build a customized blocking
        program, choosing specific words and domain names to block.
        But the automatic filter cannot be adjusted. The program
        also has a feature that turns spam a different color on a
        user's screen instead of just deleting it.

        But some analysts say users of the automatic filter aren't
        warned of the text-based feature. "A lot of people put
        question marks and exclamation points in their messages,"
        Peter Ghosh, senior consultant with Philadelphia systems
        integrator JVC Technologies Inc. "The other problem is
        there's nothing that allows you to edit it."

        Stanton McCandlish, program director for free-speech group
        Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Microsoft's list may be
        going too far. "It sounds like they've not really thought
        through what the key words are," said McCandlish, who
        himself filters out messages with multiple, consecutive
        exclamation points.

        But Microsoft isn't the only company grappling with new ways
        to intelligently filter unwanted e-mail. Spammers are
        increasingly finding ways to get around the popular domain
        name-based filters, forcing messaging software to develop
        more creative ways to deal with the problem, such as
        Microsoft's text-based approach. Ron Rassner, a consultant
        with Palo Alto, Calif.-based consulting firm Creative
        Networks, expects more companies to come out with text-based
        filtering systems in the coming months. But he said people
        should always customize their blocking features instead of
        just relying on automatic filters. "Of course the spammers
        will just respond by figuring a way around it," Rassner
        said.

              Top Democrats Ask Clinton To Junk Encryption Plan

        A dozen leading Democrats in the House of Representatives,
        including minority leader Richard Gephardt, asked President
        Bill Clinton to abandon strict U.S. exports limits on
        encryption. "The administration can hardly control the
        proliferation or direction of technology in the digital
        age," the 12 Democrats wrote in a letter dated April 2. In
        recent weeks, the administration has revived negotiations
        with the high tech industry over encryption policy.

        In their letter, the lawmakers said the talks would succeed
        "only if the administration commits itself in these
        discussions to a major overhaul of its current export
        policies and to policies that do not mandate or compel
        domestic controls on encryption." Encryption products, which
        scramble information and render it unreadable without a
        password or software "key," have become an increasingly
        vital means of securing electronic communications and
        commerce over the Internet.

        But the Clinton administration, fearing encryption will be
        used by criminals to thwart law enforcement surveillance,
        strictly limits the export of powerful products. The
        administration opposes legislation pending in the House that
        would dramatically ease the export limits and prohibit
        domestic restrictions. A leading sponsor of the bill,
        California Democrat Zoe Lofgren, was among the signers of
        the April 2 letter.

        Earlier this week, the Economic Strategy Institute, a
        non-partisan think tank, issued a report estimating losses
        to the U. S. economy due to the encryption export
        restrictions at between $37 billion and $96 billion over the
        next five years.

              California Spam Bill Going Through "Meat Grinder"

        A bill that would give California Internet service providers
        the power to sue unauthorized spammers began oozing its way
        through the legislative meat grinder this week, winning
        unanimous backing in a California Assembly committee.
        Assembly Bill 1629 would allow California companies affected
        by spam to sue spammers for $50 per message, up to a maximum
        of $15,000 per day in which the spamming takes place.

        The bill by Republican Gary Miller received an ironic boost
        two weeks ago when unprecedented spamming led to disruptions
        of email service to thousands of Pacific Bell Internet
        Services customers. At the time, an aide to Miller cited the
        law as a potential weapon Pac Bell could use to fight back
        against spammers, and the advocacy group Coalition Against
        Unsolicited Commercial E-mail speculated the incident might
        "bring on board some of the constituencies that have been
        vehemently opposed to anti-spam legislation in the past, and
        could negate the rabid anti-free speech activist camp."

        Miller's bill, which would also make it a crime to use
        another person's Internet address without their permission,
        passed the Consumer Protection Committee by a 9-0 vote. It
        now moves onto the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

              Hackers Hit Their Mark With Electronic Spit Balls

        Teen-agers have always pulled pranks but in the '90s they
        are hurling electronic spitballs that have crippled an
        airport, shut off phone service to an entire town and
        punctured the Pentagon's computer system. Israeli National
        Police placed Ehud Tenebaum under house arrest last month
        after the U.S. Justice Department notified them the
        18-year-old had broken into computers at the Pentagon and
        hundreds of commercial and educational institutions.

        The same month, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts
        announced the arrest of a 14-year-old boy who pleaded guilty
        to hacking into a phone system's switching facility, where
        he shut down vital systems at Worcester Regional Airport and
        cut off all phone service to a nearby town for six hours.
        "This wasn't just a case of Aunt Susie not being able to
        call her friend," explained one official. "This was a case
        of Aunt Susie not being able to call the fire department or
        an ambulance or the police."

        Despite warnings from parents and educators and arrests by
        law enforcement officials, hacking appears to be just too
        tempting for some teen-agers to ignore. "Kids have always
        wanted to have fun, from putting tacks on the teacher's
        chair to breaking windows and painting windows, letting the
        air out of tires. It may be malicious but in some sense it
        is fun," sociologist James Teele said.

        Hacking presents "a challenge. They're smart and they're
        proving it to themselves and to others. It must give them
        quite a high," the Boston University professor said. Kate
        Delhagen, a senior analyst at technology consultants
        Forrester Research, said these "lords of the files" frighten
        adults who are shocked at their fluency with computers.
        "These are teen-agers who have grown up with computers.
        Teen-age boys are comfortable with the technology. They get
        it. They want the power," she said, adding that hacking is
        also "one of the new things that kids do to get attention."

        At the same time, Delhagen said, most hackers break in "to
        just prove they can do it ... there's the thrill factor.
        Sort of like kids who shoplift versus the kid who actually
        goes in and does an armed robbery." Computer programming
        professor Azer Bestavros, at Boston University, said he has
        "noticed the level of sophistication among freshmen classes
        going up significantly from one year to the next."

        "You would expect them to know how to load a program or
        write a program for a spreadsheet application," Bestavros
        said. "But now they're getting into programming their modems
        and doing funky things with their answering machines.
        They're getting into operating systems and getting into
        networks." He said there are networks of hackers who
        exchange tips on how to break into computer systems. "It's
        sort of like a game and it's much more interesting than
        playing with your Nintendo. It's a real-life Nintendo.

        The Boston University professor also said one of the first
        challenges teen-agers will overcome are efforts parents make
        to censor their Internet access. "The first thing a
        teen-ager will do is figure a way around it," he said. But
        Jeff Schiller, who is in charge of the computer network
        system and security at the Massachusetts Institute of
        Technology, does not blame just the hackers. Indeed, he
        notes, they are providing a service by pointing out security
        flaws in computer systems. "The truth of the matter is these
        systems are wide open, and developers of these systems don't
        want to make them secure if its going to add 10 or 20
        percent tothe product or delay the product getting out the
        door. And the end users don't ask for security," he said.

        "Mostly they don't ask for it because they think they
        already have it. They think since they don't know or can't
        remember their passwords, it must be secure. But that's a
        Wizard of Oz attitude. Any 14-year-old can break into your
        computer these days if it's attached to a phone," he warned.
        But Bestravos, who calls these young hackers the cyber
        generation, believes that as they grow up "and assume
        positions of power, and they have systems to protect, they
        will do it in a better way than we do now. The technology
        will get more secure as they mature."

                             April Fools' Hoaxes

        April Fools' Day never fails to bring out hucksters and
        their hi-jinks. And this year, more shysters than ever are
        practicing their craft on the Internet. Anti-virus experts
        say April 1 is a favorite among pranksters, who pass along
        virus hoaxes to alarm their friends and colleagues, taking
        sick pleasure in watching the phenomenon spread. "We're
        trying to get the word out that most of these viruses are
        urban legends, like alligators in the sewer," said Anne
        Beitel, vice president of marketing for Burlington,
        Mass.-based Dr. Solomon's Software (SOLLY), a maker of
        anti-virus products.

        Alex Haddox, director of Symantec Corp.'s AntiVirus Research
        Center, said hoaxes spread because they're passed along by
        friends, and people don't want to admit they've been
        tricked. "Once someone's been duped by a virus hoax, they're
        very reluctant to let people know it's a hoax," Haddox said.
        "People are afraid of looking foolish." To quell fears about
        viruses, Symantec publishes a Web site devoted to viruses
        and hoaxes, featuring about 14,000 documented viruses and
        only 15 to 20 hoaxes. Haddox said most virus hoaxes
        surfacing today are some mutation of an existing one.

               Hackers Wipe Out an ISP During Hacking Contest

        A small ISP and its 5,000 customers were innocent casualties
        of a hacker wargame last Thursday and part of Friday. For
        almost 36 hours Rt66 Internet and its customers were
        off-line, courtesy of a hack attack that erased the ISP's
        operating system. It all began when Carolyn Meinel, creator
        of a hacker wargame, challenged the Net community to "Hack
        this Site" two weeks ago. Since then, it's been under almost
        constant attack, receiving an average of 1,000 hack attempts
        a day.

        The ISP, Rt66 Internet, fought off almost all the attacks,
        which were primarily IP-spoofing attacks that hide the
        identity of the attackers. But last week, one hacker was
        able to gain root access at the server level and erase a
        substantial amount of information, including the operating
        system itself. The barrage of attacks is in response to the
        mid-March launch of Meinel's "King of the Hill" Web site,
        which encourages participants to hack into a "designated"
        system, then defend it from future intruders. Attacks not
        unexpectedRt66 expected hackers to go after it -- and not
        just Meinel's Web site -- and has devoted two people full
        time to maintaining its service. It actually thought hosting
        the contest would help identify any weaknesses in its own
        system.

        "We went into this project with our eyes open," said Mark
        Schmitz, vice president of Engineering International and
        co-founder of Rt66, based in Albuquerque, N.M. "Since we
        didn't have anywhere near as many attacks before the game, I
        have to assume (the uptick's cause) is the hosting of
        Carolyn's site." Schmitz said that Rt66 backs up an entire
        year's worth of information, and as such, downtime was the
        only damage.

        "Nothing replaces good backup," he advised. "That's your
        number one safeguard against attacks." How the attacks
        workedMeinel said the attacks on her site were initially
        "denial of service" or "teardrop" attacks which, if
        successful, could have the effect of simply shutting down
        the system. Meinel characterized those attacks as
        "amateurish," "pitiful" and "laughable."

        But after a few days, the "big boys came in," Meinel said.
        "Instead of attacking the Web site, they went upstream and
        tried to take out the ISP." Meinel taunted the successful
        hacker, saying, "Someone is up for a felony now. If I were
        responsible for causing the loss, I would be wanting to get
        an identity transplant." Why the hack attacks? Such strong
        opinions, and Meinel's self-promotion, have probably
        increased the frenzy of the attackers. They also make her
        the target of considerable criticism -- much of which
        predates the King of the Hill contest.

        "People don't like her because she ... tries to appeal to
        the media as some all-knowing hacker," claimed one hacker
        using the handle "fh" in an e-mail sent to ZDTV's
        CyberCrime. A number of other hackers have sent highly
        anti-Meinel e-mails to CyberCrime. An anti-Meinel Web site.
        There's also at least one anti-Meinel Web site , which
        includes archives of many of her publications along with
        point-by-point criticisms.

        The site claims, among other criticisms, that Meinel "does
        not have the required skill set to adequately teach
        hacking." "I'm not just inventing this stuff -- this stuff
        is all common knowledge," Meinel said. "I am a research
        engineer. The majority of books are not filled with 100
        percent original stuff." As for her contest, she said "to my
        knowledge, this is the first actual hacker wargame open to
        the public that includes instructions, and allows the
        contestants to practice defensive skills as well as break-in
        skills."

        A vote for Meinel Rt66's Schmitz doesn't consider Meinel's
        wargame, her e-zines, or book illegitimate. "I've never seen
        anyone take the time and organize this information and frame
        it like this book," he said. He added that he considers her
        credible. In the meantime, Rt66 continues to monitor
        activity 24 hours a day.

           Global Village To Sell Modem Business To Boca Research

        Global Village Communication, giving in to competition in
        the modem industry, said it agreed to sell its modem
        business to rival Boca Research for $10 million in cash and
        notes. Global Village, which specializes in making
        communications gear for Apple Computer's Macintosh
        computers, also said it will rename itself later this year
        and focus on a new business, making networking equipment for
        small and medium businesses.

        "Since Global Village doesn't have the financial resources
        to become a modem industry consolidator, we believe finding
        an appropriate partner was the best path to accomplish the
        strategic objectives for our modem business," said Chief
        Executive Officer Neil Selvin. Under terms of the
        acquisition, Boca Research, a modem maker based in Boca
        Raton, Fla., will receive Global Village's brand name, modem
        technology, distribution agreements and about 60 employees,
        the companies said. Global Village's modem business
        accounted for almost all of its $90.2 million in revenue for
        the fiscal year ended March 31, 1997.

        Boca Research also will receive a warrant to purchase up to
        425,000 shares of Global Village's common stock. Global
        Village said it expects to fire about 25 employees in the
        restructuring and expects to take a $400,000 charge to cover
        the costs. The acquisition is expected to be completed by
        June, the companies said.

        Global Village, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., will concentrate
        on its One World communication servers, a line of products
        that let small offices set up small computer networks for
        e-mail and Internet access. The company said it will use the
        money from the transaction to fund development of similar
        product lines. The new products and a sales strategy will be
        introduced later this year, Selvin said.

        Global Village had reported erratic financial results and
        two big annual losses in the past five years, mostly due to
        the sharp decline in Macintosh sales. Because of its small
        size, it also could not compete effectively in recent
        quarters with much bigger rivals, such as 3Com. In a
        conference call with investors, Selvin said the acquisition
        was the best deal to boost shareholder value. Boca Research
        said the acquisition will increase its manufacturing
        capacity, lower its costs, increase its market share and
        help the company enter the "solid" Macintosh market.

                     Lycos Signs Deals Worth $30 Million

        Lycos said today it closed on six new electronic commerce,
        advertising and sponsorship agreements totaling more than
        $30 million in fees. The company, which operates a World
        Wide Web guide service and electronic community, said the
        deals, with CDnow, E-Loan, GetSmart, HomeShark, Preview
        Travel and Realtor.com, cover commerce in travel, music,
        real estate and personal finance. Lycos posted total
        revenues of about $12.6 million in the quarter ended January
        31, 1998.

                       Microsoft, Sony To Collaborate

        Microsoft and Sony announced plans today to collaborate and
        cross license technology to create a home networking
        environment that links personal computer and consumer
        electronics products. Sony will license Microsoft's Windows
        CE operating system for consumer electronics products and
        hand-held computers, the companies said in a joint
        statement. Microsoft, meanwhile, will license Sony's Home
        Networking Module for use with certain versions of Windows
        CE. Sony's Home Networking Module supports home networking
        standards currently being proposed.

        "The time has come for the personal computer industry and
        the audio-visual industry to shake hands," said Sony
        President Nobuyuki Idei. "Sony supports ... the seamless
        integration of PC and AV products. The cooperation between
        Microsoft and Sony will play a key role in making this
        happen."

        As part of the pact the two companies will endorse various
        digital television standards including the support of 1080
        interlaced as the preferred format for high definition
        television and ATSC transmission formats. "We hope our
        combined efforts will give birth to even more exciting
        products and applications in both the computer and audio
        visual entertainment arenas," said Microsoft Chief Executive
        Bill Gates.

                 Spyglass Joins Microsoft Windows CE Program

        Spyglass says it has become a systems integrator for
        Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. Spyglass, based in
        Naperville, Illinois, said it is already involved in a
        number of projects that use Windows CE. "We're finding the
        demand for Microsoft's Windows CE operating system to be
        growing tremendously and joining its systems integrator
        program will be a valuable asset for our customers using
        Windows CE-based devices," Wayne Yurtin, director of
        business development for Spyglass, said in a statement
        received here. Spyglass provides technology and services to
        make everyday devices work on the World Wide Web.

                       Mobile Pentium II Due to Debut

        Notebook makers are gearing up for Thursday's formal launch
        of a mobile version of Intel Corp.'s Pentium II processor,
        code-named Tillamook. Among companies readying announcements
        are Gateway 2000 Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer
        Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Toshiba
        America Information Systems Inc. and Acer America Corp. The
        new processor reportedly gives notebooks a 30 to 35 percent
        speed boost, compared to the Pentium with MMX systems. The
        speed increase comes at the expense of power consumption,
        however, with mobile Pentium II processors using about 8
        watts of power, compared to 5.3 watts for a 266MHz
        Pentium-MMX processor.

        Toshiba's Tecra 780DVD, with a 266MHz processor, 13.3-inch
        XGA resolution display, 64MB of RAM, 8.1GB hard drive and
        DVD-ROM drive, will be priced at about $5,500. Toshiba will
        also offer a system without the DVD drive. Digital's HiNote
        VP 765, which will cost below $4,000, features a 266MHz
        processor, 13.3-inch XGA-resolution thin-film transistor
        display, 32MB of RAM, 4GB hard drive and a 24-speed CD-ROM
        drive, sources said.

        Gateway is offering systems with 266MHz and 233MHz versions
        of the processor. A Solo 9100XL with 266MHz processor, 64MB
        SDRAM, 14.1-inch TFT XGA display, 5GB hard disk and DVD
        drive will be priced at $4,699. On the low end, a Solo
        5100SE with 233MHz processor, 32MB SDRAM, 14.1-inch TFT XGA
        display, 2GB hard disk and 8X/20X CD-ROM drive will be
        priced at $2,899. Dell is planning to launch a Pentium II
        system in both its Latitude CP and Inspiron lines.

                       A Bidder to Buy Apple's Newton?

        A small Texas developer is making a bid to acquire the
        rights to the Newton from Apple Computer Inc. The company,
        Austin-based Planet Computing, says it made an offer for the
        Newton operating system and associated technologies three
        weeks ago. Company CEO Mark Collins declined to say how much
        Planet Computing offered to pay for the Newton, adding that
        Apple's response was to "ask for the moon." So far, he said,
        Apple has not replied with a written counteroffer.

        Apple declined to discuss the matter in detail and would not
        confirm offers for the Newton. However, a spokeswoman said
        the company -- which has not actively sought out a buyer -
        would consider doing so "if an attractive value is
        presented." At the end of February, Apple cut off further
        development of Newton-based products, putting a coda on a
        ballyhooed project that began in 1993. The 60 or so people
        working on the Newton have been since transferred to other
        parts of Apple.

        Analysts have variously estimated the number of people using
        the Newton between 100,000 and 200,000. The Newton, which
        enjoyed popularity among a fiercely loyal user base,
        ultimately lost its lead in the PDA (personal digital
        assistant) market to U.S. Robotics' PalmPilot, which was
        introduced in 1996. Collins said he decided to go public
        with his offer after the news leaked and began spreading
        over the Internet. "The next thing you know, there were
        rumors everywhere," Collins said, adding that Newton-based
        products could yet have a bright future in the educational
        market.

        "It's funny -- you have a technology that was finally going
        mainstream and gets good press, and then they kill it," said
        Collins. In particular, he cited the popularity of the
        Newton with educators. "Apple's decision to discontinue
        Newton products has left its Newton customers and developers
        high and dry. If Apple doesn't want to continue Newton, so
        be it. Just sell it to us and we'll keep it going."
        Privately held Planet Computing makes work-flow software for
        handheld devices.

                    New Windows to Open in Homes and Cars

        Microsoft Corp. plans to use Windows CE as a vehicle to
        expand into your home and car. At its third annual Windows
        CE Developers Conference here, the company said it hopes to
        dispel the myth that its mini-OS is only for handheld
        computers. "We are not a handheld-PC-only platform, although
        that was our first device," Frank Fite, director of
        Microsoft's Windows CE products unit, told the conference's
        2,000 attendees.

        Now Microsoft hopes to leverage its dominance in the desktop
        software market into a wider array of PC-synchronized
        portable devices and machines connected to servers. The
        company said CE 2.1 -- which is scheduled to ship this
        summer -- would contain support for real-time processing,
        better security and Japanese handwriting recognition. "This
        will allow us to go into multiple areas people don't think
        Windows CE can go today," said Harel Kodesh, general manager
        of the company's consumer appliance group.

        Microsoft's enhancement of CE pits it against companies such
        as Sun Microsystems Inc., which hopes to make Java the
        dominant platform for portable and non-PC devices. At stake
        is a high-growth market. According to Microsoft, the number
        of handheld PC sales is growing at a quarterly rate of 34
        percent, and new types of devices are sprouting up every
        week. Also, the company expects such machines eventually to
        outnumber desktop PCs, as users buy them for their office,
        car and home.

        The company also spent much of its time touting CE as a
        platform to drive autoPCs, which are machines inside cars
        that deliver information such as weather, traffic, e-mail
        and navigation instructions to drivers. Microsoft is in
        talks with such high-end car makers as BMW and Infinity to
        install the devices. "We believe the autoPC will change the
        experience of driving in a car," Kodesh said. "It hasn't
        changed a lot over the past 20 years." To that end,
        Microsoft released a software developers kit for programmers
        who want to write applications for autoPCs.

        The company also plans to release a version of its Internet
        Explorer 4.0 browser for CE in the coming year. In addition
        to IE, future versions of CE will contain better graphics
        and games support, paging capability, and the ability to run
        on an expanded variety of processors. Companies such as
        Sybase Inc. and Oracle Corp. also are developing
        mini-databases for CE, which will allow mobile users to take
        certain chunks of information -- such as addresses or
        schedules -- on the road, and then replicate them with their
        computers upon return.

                Steve Jobs in Las Vegas to push QuickTime 3.0

        Fighting off a new advance by Microsoft Corp., Apple
        Computer Inc.'s "interim" CEO, Steve Jobs, told broadcasters
        Monday that QuickTime is the best technology to bring video
        and other multimedia to the Internet. Jobs was here in Vegas
        to extol the virtues of Apple's recently released QuickTime
        3.0 to broadcast executives at the National Association of
        Broadcasters convention.

        Apple's high-profile push into the broadcast market follows
        an announcement by Microsoft and eight other companies, who
        are developing their own digital video standard. On Friday,
        the Microsoft-led consortium unveiled the formation of the
        Multimedia Task Force and its digital video standard called
        the Advanced Authoring Format. The Microsoft software
        specification is aimed at delivering a unified way of
        producing video audio and other multimedia on the Net.

        That kind of technology rings a bell here as broadcasters,
        cable services and digital satellite companies all wrestle
        with the difficulty of converting video and audio into
        digital Internet and DVD content. Jobs said that while
        Microsoft is just announcing a specification for a
        technology, QuickTime has been tested in the market and been
        improved significantly with the latest version. And he took
        a swipe at Microsoft, which in the past has been perceived
        by broadcasters as trying to bully the television industry
        into accepting its technology.

        "We think we might have a solution, but we would like to
        work with you to make sure it's right," said Jobs. Jobs also
        showed a QuickTime testimonial video featuring two of
        Microsoft's archrivals: Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) CEO
        Scott McNealy, and Oracle Corp.'s (ORCL) top executive,
        Larry Ellison. "We know a little about digital and we're
        trying to work with you," said Jobs. With the motto at this
        year's NAB show being "The Power of Digital," Jobs' message
        most likely will be listened to closely.

              Intel Sees Low Prices For Pentium II Notebook PCs

        Intel expects aggressive pricing by manufacturers of
        notebook personal computers using its new Pentium II mobile
        computing processor, officials of the chip maker's Japan
        unit said today. John Antone, general manager at Intel KK,
        said he expected notebook PCs with the Pentium II chip to be
        priced as low as $3, 000 in the United States and 350,000
        yen in Japan. He added that by September of this year prices
        could slide further to as low as $2,000 and 250,000 yen.

        Intel on Thursday unveiled a version of its Pentium II
        processor for the mobile computer market. The new processor,
        available in speeds of 233 megahertz and 266 megahertz, is
        substantially smaller, lighter and consumes less power than
        versions now used in desktop models. Antone said Intel also
        expected to launch a 300 megahertz version of the mobile
        computing Pentium II later this year.

                   Postmaster Licks First Electronic Stamp

        With mouse in hand, Postmaster General Marvin Runyon Tuesday
        created the first electronic stamp and proclaimed, "This is
        the future. Postage directly from a personal computer." The
        ceremony at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC,
        was held to unveil the US Postal Service's move toward
        electronic postage, 78 years after postage meters were
        approved and 151 years after the United States issued its
        first postage stamp.

        The SmartStamp system developed by E-Stamp of Palo Alto,
        California, was approved for testing last year and may one
        day let businesses and individuals print their own postage
        using PCs and the Internet. The electronic stamps will
        include the postage amount, name and ZIP code of the local
        post office, date the postage was printed, and rate
        category, such as "first class." The system also produces an
        electronic bar coding of the same information as well as the
        ID number of the printing device, and a digital pattern that
        will make each envelope unique and hard to counterfeit.

        Installed on a Windows PC, E-Stamp's envelope-printing
        software allows a user to send postage stamps as though they
        were printing jobs. In this case, the network connection not
        only queues a printing request, it also debits an account
        set up with E-Stamp along the way. The E-Stamp Postal
        Security Device - a peripheral that uses a chip to hold
        information for a user's postage account - deducts the
        amount of postage and tracks a user's running tally of
        postage. The device is connected to the network, between PCs
        and the printer. The PSD is also what generates the
        electronic postage - 32-cent stamps and other amounts,
        depending upon the weight of a package or envelope.

        When the PSD runs out of postage, users can use secure
        credit-card forms and other electronic payment to purchase
        more from the E-Stamp Web site. The E-Stamp software
        notifies the PSD of the purchase. E-Stamp said the system is
        likely to support an e-cash scheme eventually, but only when
        such systems reach mainstream status. The USPS said security
        was the main concern in e-stamp development since the
        ability to print stamps is equivalent to printing money.

                      DirecPC to Get Direct Competition

        DirecPC, until now the sole choice for satellite Internet
        access, is about to get some competition. A startup called
        Internet Satellite Systems Inc. on May 1 will unveil its
        service to the continental United States. ISS is a hot topic
        these days in the DirecPC Usenet group. Unlike DirecPC,
        which offers various speeds and access times for various
        prices, ISS is promising 400K-bps download speeds for all
        customers for $25 per month. For $40 per month customers can
        receive Web site storage space and multiple e-mail
        addresses, according to officials at the Dallas company.

        ISS customers can lease or rent a satellite dish, connector
        card and other necessary equipment for $25 to $30 a month or
        buy it for $699 to $1,299, officials said. The company plans
        to start with 5,000 customers on one 6M-bps channel,
        officials said. DirecPC officials said they're not too
        concerned about the threat of ISS, if only because the
        company is based in a Howard Johnson's Express motel. A more
        powerful contender may be an upcoming service from Loral
        Space and Communications Ltd. called Cyberstar, which the
        New York company will unveil at the National Association of
        Broadcasters show in Las Vegas next week.

        Loral's plans for Cyberstar include multicasting, content
        streaming, electronic commerce, two-way communications and,
        of course, Internet access. Initial Cyberstar service,
        including multicasting and Internet access offerings of 200K
        bps to 400K bps, will be available in September, officials
        said. For frustrated users of DirecPC, which is run by
        Hughes Networks Systems, the competition comes not a moment
        too soon. As reported last week by PC Week Online, DirecPC
        is hastening to improve its customer service center, which
        draws numerous complaints from customers.

                National Semiconductor Intros "PC on a Chip"

        National Semiconductor today plans to announce a way to
        combine most of the chips used in personal computers into a
        single chip, which could bring PC prices under $500 and lead
        to a host of new computing devices. National, the country's
        fourth-largest chip maker, said its new chip will replace a
        dozen or more separate chips typically found in PCs and
        combine technologies that it has developed and purchased in
        recent years.

        "Everything we have been doing is putting all the pieces
        together," National's Chief Executive Brian Halla said in an
        interview. National, based in Santa Clara, Calif., completed
        a $500 million merger with Cyrix, a maker of Intel.
        compatible clone chips, in November, giving it an arsenal of
        products to create a PC with one chip, excluding system
        memory. Other key moves included its purchase of Mediamatics
        in March 1997 for its graphics and television encoding
        technology and Pico Power in August 1996 for system logic.

        National said its new chip will lead to even lower cost PCs
        and other low-cost "information appliances." Halla predicted
        PC prices could fall to $400 to $500 with National's new
        chips. "The pricing is up to the PC suppliers, but what we
        are trying to do is ... put more functionality on the chip
        by putting more and more intelligence on the chip," he said.
        Halla will discuss plans for the new chip at a semiconductor
        industry conference in Phoenix, Ariz., Monday. He said
        National will have the first working version of its chip by
        year-end and it could be in volume production by June 1999.

        Analysts said the new chips were significant and could lead
        to development of other computing gadgets. "I view it as a
        progress report. It's not just back of the envelope stuff
        anymore," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Dataquest
        Inc., a market research firm in San Jose, Calif. "It
        requires a lot of chip work but also a lot of software
        work." "This sub-$500 PC can take the forms of some very
        consumer friendly devices," said Richard Doherty, director
        of Envisioneering, a research firm in Seaford, N.Y. "It's
        the whole PC, not a PC in four packages. That was a very
        smart decision (for National) to have made a few years ago."

        National's Cyrix already makes processors that power PCs
        that sell for less than $1,000. When Compaq Computer
        launched its first sub-$1,000 PC in February 1997, a Cyrix
        processor was inside. Since then, sub-$1,000 PCs have become
        one of the fastest growing segments of the PC market, using
        lower-cost Intel clone chips from its rivals National and
        Advanced Micro Devices. Intel, under pressure because of its
        lack of a product for that market, is expected to introduce
        its entry, a family called Celeron, in the next week or so.

        "I think we are about a year and a half ahead of them,"
        Halla said of Intel, whose chips dominate the PC industry.
        "I think we have a good plan to stay ahead of them." "You
        will be surrounded by PCs," Halla said of machines that
        could use National's new chips. "You will get into your car
        and say e-mail please, you will have a flat panel display on
        the wall above your bedroom. It could be impossible to
        predict what will happen by the year 2000."

                     Is Yahoo!'s Bubble About to Burst?

        When it comes to Yahoo!'s true believers, Newton's law of
        gravity does not apply: What goes up will continue to climb.
        End of discussion. And for the better part of the last year,
        Yahoo!'s investors have had a field day, reaping the reward
        as the company's stock has soared. But with profits in only
        half the last eight quarters, naysayers contend that Yahoo!
        is drastically overpriced and heading for a big fall. Of
        course, that's exactly what some of the shorts were saying
        late last year -- only to be proved dead wrong.

        But just one day before the company releases first-quarter
        earnings, Yahoo!'s (YHOO) shares got trounced Tuesday --
        along with other Internet stocks -- dropping more than 5
        points to $93.25. "These stocks were almost going vertical.
        There wasn't much in the way of analytics going on, it was
        almost pure emotion," Piper Jaffray technical analyst Ed
        Nicoski said. When such powerful rallies enter correction
        phases, even briefly, he said, the move "is almost always
        just as dramatic on the way down."

        A rising - or bursting - bubble? But despite the pullback,
        many analysts don't view Tuesday's stock gyrations as a
        harbinger that Yahoo!'s bubble is about to burst. Yahoo!
        reached $103.87 on April 2, a full 50 percent higher than
        the stock's $69.25 closing price on Dec. 31. For Web-based
        services such as Yahoo!, the name of the game is visibility.
        Investors are valuing a company with just $67 million as if
        it had revenues of about $4 billion.

        A striking example of irrational exuberance?

        Perhaps, but measured by the number eyeballs it is
        attracting, Yahoo! is a resounding success and far removed
        from the static definition that applies to a Web search
        company. 25 million monthly visitors By transforming itself
        from a Web directory to a full-featured Internet service,
        Yahoo! now reels in more than 25 million people during a
        typical month - easily tops on the Web, according to a
        recent survey by Mediamark Research.

        Not only is that twice the traffic of the closest
        search-engine competition, it's more than the number of
        visits to Internet pages operated by Netscape Communications
        Corp. (NSCP) or America Online Inc. (AOL) For that matter,
        it also surpasses the circulation of National Geographic,
        Newsweek and Reader's Digest. Looked at another way: More
        people now visit Yahoo! than watch either MTV or Showtime in
        a given week.

        Wall Street, which has rewarded the company for its street
        smarts, expects the company to post profits of 5 cents a
        share, flat with the results from December. It began as a
        bookmark site Yahoo!'s site began life in 1993 as an
        extended list of Web bookmarks, and now includes an immense
        database of sites from across the Internet, gathered and
        categorized by a staff of around 30 professional surfers.

        The strategy of offering a hand-picked catalog of the best
        of the Web was initially enough to push Yahoo! past the
        ranks of search-engines Excite (XCIT), Lycos (LCOS) and
        Infoseek (SEEK), which use automated Web-crawling software.
        But Yahoo!'s directory service is now just a small part of
        the company's business, which includes such features as
        news, maps, personal Web pages, chat rooms, free e-mail,
        instant messaging, stock quotes and shopping. In fact,
        Yahoo! is now less a Web directory than an online service
        comparable to America Online or the Microsoft Network.

        Diversification The Yahoo! crowd is also extending its brand
        far and wide beyond. On Tuesday, the company launched an
        online insurance service offering content from ''InsWeb,'' a
        major Internet insurance marketplace. And last month, Yahoo!
        held an invitation-only showing in San Francisco's tony
        fashion district to announce plans for its own line of
        designer clothing.

        "It's like an airport," said Yahoo! COO Jeff Mallett. "It
        doesn't matter where you're going, you always start at the
        airport, and you always come back to the airport. (The new
        features are) more things to do in the airport while you're
        waiting for the plane." So how does Yahoo! plan to keep up
        the pace? More partnerships are in the works, and the
        service will continue to add new content. But Mallett says
        the company will stick with the strategy it's had from the
        beginning - putting a human face on the Web. "What we
        fundamentally do isn't going to fundamentally change," he
        said. "We're going to continue to be an aggregator. ... We
        want people to say, 'I may not know exactly where I'm going,
        but I know Yahoo! can get me there.'"

              Internet Search Engines Inefficient, Study Finds

        If you use a search engine like Lycos or HotBot to search
        the Internet, you may not get as much coverage as you think,
        computer science researchers said Thursday. Steve Lawrence
        and Lee Giles of the NEC Research Institute said their study
        found people who rely on the major search engines to find
        information on the Web only get a small proportion of the
        available documents. This means that people cannot use just
        one engine to get the full benefits of the World Wide Web,
        they said. But combining the six engines in the study
        covered about 3.5 times as much of the Web as one engine,
        they wrote.

               Playboy Awarded $3.74 Million in Internet Case

        Playboy said Thursday a federal judge in southern California
        has awarded the media company what it believes to be the
        largest Internet-related damages award to date. The award
        was made against a commercial Internet service that used
        almost 7,500 Playboy-owned pictures on its Web site without
        authorization. The $3.74 million award, plus attorneys' fees
        and court costs, was assessed against San Diego-based Five
        Senses Productions and its owner, Francesco Sanfilippo,
        Playboy said. It said the judgment is a landmark legal
        victory for the company, which spends millions of dollars
        annually on photography and design to produce its images.

                          Intel, the New Utah Utes?

        I would rather submit to prolonged Chinese water torture
        than utter the words 'paradigm shift,' but there's something
        happening here, and -- my apologies to Buffalo Springfield
        -- what it is happens to be exactly clear. Times are
        changing and we may soon need to dust off the 'P word' to
        describe the rapid fading out of the PC -- or more
        precisely, the PC-centric era. If you want a more concrete
        mental picture, think back to how the University of Utah
        appeared at the end of Monday night's NCAA finals. You get
        the idea.

        Undeniably, the eleven-year period between 1985 and 1996 was
        a feast royale for scores of computer and chip companies.
        Serious fortunes were made everywhere from Palo Alto to
        Pensacola as customers willingly bought into the promise of
        'faster, cheaper, smaller.' That was then, this is now. Just
        as the minicomputer and mainframe-driven market fell victim
        to the PC in the early 1980s, the business that grew up
        around the PC is giving way to a new "hot" industry which is
        comprised of companies developing products and services for
        the Internet and wireless communications.

        Industry watchers believe this is one of those rare points
        in time when converging trends are forcing a fundamental
        reshaping of the high-tech terrain. Consider current events:

             PC prices are falling and so is unit growth.

             Microprocessors have turned into commodities.

             The growth in the number of transistors per
             machine is 'maxing out.'

             Internet stocks are going ga-ga.

        In the hardware market, oversupply and weakening pricing are
        now the norm. That's not the case with Internet issues,
        where companies like Yahoo! are trading at nosebleed P/E
        ratios that continue to defy the laws of gravity. All this
        is causing hearts to flutter on Wall Street where stock
        pickers wonder whether a bellwether company like Intel will
        stay the course. Or, will it wind up wheezing and puffing as
        quicker competitors elbow it aside?

        This is a tough one to call. Intel is one of the best
        managed companies in the world, but it's difficult arguing
        with data suggesting that the salad days are nearing their
        end. Even without the negative impact of ebbing demand in
        Asia, you can kiss the days of 15 percent annual unit growth
        a fond farewell. The go-go days are history. If it's lucky,
        the PC industry will maintain the 10 percent rate of growth
        logged in the first quarter (and that was half the pace of a
        year ago!).

        Most analysts estimate that the slowdown will accelerate, a
        prediction which if true, spells bad news for Intel. The
        chipmaker's sales are expected to only grow fractionally
        this year and at best, somewhere in the high single digits
        in 1999. Newly-appointed Intel CEO Craig Barrett is going to
        have his hands full proving he's a worthy successor to Andy
        Grove. By the way, wasn't it interesting that in turning
        over the reins, Grove said he planned to think a lot about
        bandwidth, network applications, and "the delivery of
        network computing products and services" to small
        businesses.

        Grove, who chooses his words carefully, knows the next big
        wave of growth will take place around the convergence of the
        Internet and communications industries. That's why Intel is
        pushing especially hard in the server and workstation
        markets where prices and profit margins are so much higher
        than they are for PCs. The Internet connection is obvious:
        Sell powerful chips for big servers that connect people and
        companies to the Web and voila! -- it's back to the days of
        wine and roses. In that light, the upcoming introduction of
        350Mhz and 400Mhz Pentium II chips this year-- and next
        year's rollout of the 64-bit Merced -- become that much more
        crucial.

                    E-zines Migrate to Paid Subscriptions

        Microsoft soothsayer and Chief Technology Officer Nathan
        Myhrvold predicted in Slate that Web readers wouldn't pay
        online subscriptions until they became both addicted to the
        medium and bored by their free options. "Imagine trying to
        sell subscriptions to HBO back in the 1950s," he wrote.
        "People clustered around their primitive sets to watch the
        damnedest things (Milton Berle for instance)."

        Slate ( http://www.slate.com ) has, at various times, heeded
        and ignored this warning. This spring, Microsoft's
        e-publication tries subscriptions a second time with a price
        of $19.95 per year. It's not alone: nearly a dozen major Web
        publications, including Salon, MSNBC, Money.com, and
        BusinessWeekOnline, have announced plans to charge
        subscriptions. Although ad sales on the Web are up
        significantly - to $597 million last year according to
        Cowles/Simba Information - most dollars go to high-traffic
        sites like search engines, as online publications struggle
        to meet payroll.

        The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition is considered a
        model. WSJ.com boasts 100,000 readers paying $49 a month.
        But subscriptions are hardly a panacea. In fact, the Journal
        lost a third of its online readers when it began charging in
        1996. So, e-zines hope to further boost their botttom lines
        with pay-per-view transactions and the sale of reader
        information. As Berle once said, "If opportunity doesn't
        knock, build a door."

                     A Digital Model for Virtual Worlds

        With digital heroine Lara Croft pushing sales of Tomb Raider
        videogames past $3 million, you would think there'd be room
        for another virtual babe to pull in a big audience. So hopes
        HoriPro, the Japanese talent agency for the ultra-lifelike
        virtual star Kyoko Date. Kyoko's bubble-gum personality and
        songs were designed to appeal to Japanese teens. While her
        CDs have sold, she hasn't translated into a cybersuccess. So
        HoriPro set her up with a day job: spokesmodel for Oz
        Interactive, a San Francisco firm that creates virtual
        worlds for PCs.

        Oz, a company with roots in dance music, plans to put a
        Euro-style spin on Kyoko, toughening her up for new
        audiences. So far, Kyoko earns her milk money as a model for
        Oz's 3-D streaming Web software Longer term, the company
        hopes to develop her into an entertainment icon, perhaps
        featuring her in concerts or ads. This may involve computer
        surgery to modify her looks. Says Oz spokesperson Daddi
        Gudbergsson: "Should the German Kyoko Date look the same as
        the Japanese? Is the American version going to be a little
        taller, a little thinner, maybe have bigger breasts? These
        are the exciting opportunities of working with a virtual
        star."







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







EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

  [Image]                                      Edupage

Contents



  Should Net Phone Companies Support            NCs Lose Market Share To Cheap PCs
  Universal Service?

  Technorealists Sound Off                      The Whole (Corporate) World In Your Hand

  Web Site Design For The Blind                 Bidding Online For Airfares

  Used PC Market Up 14%                         Apple Took Bite Out Of Amelio

  Finding A Needle (Or 7079 Pages On Needles)   Wombware?
  On The Web

  Educom Publishes Standards For Digital        Cheap Chips From National Semiconductor
  Labels

  Skirmishing Against The Power Of Microsoft    Encryption Alternative Separates The Wheat
                                                From The Chaff

  E-Commerce Potential Widely Underestimated    Paul Allen Acquires Cable Company

  Computer Census On Hold                       Nunn And Tenet Warn Of Cyberspace Attacks

  Opposition To Proposed Ban On Internet        Jobs Wants To Help Broadcasters Go From
  Gambling                                      Analog To Digital

  Free Java For Educational Institutions        Microsoft-Sony Form PC/TV Alliance

  Telecommuters Cite Higher Productivity At     Library Groups Call For New Policies On
  Home                                          E-Journals

  Virginia Judge Lets Software Filtering Case   Seiko's PC Watch
  Go Forward

  Veterans Get Scare Through Mass E-Mail        Lost Data At Stanford Business School
  Warning

  Palm Trick: Now You See A Palm PC-Now You
  See ... A Palm-Size PC





                    SHOULD NET PHONE COMPANIES SUPPORT UNIVERSAL SERVICE?

The Federal Communications Commission wants Internet phone companies to pay the same kind
of fees that traditional long-distance companies do to support universally available phone
service in the United States. A senior FCC official asks: "Does it make sense to treat
phone calls placed over Internet type facilities differently? They probably should be
treated just like any other phone call." (AP 3 Apr 98)

                             NCs LOSE MARKET SHARE TO CHEAP PCs

Network computers haven't made the big splash many in the industry expected, largely due to
the appearance of a new breed of Windows-based PCs, which are thinner and cheaper than NCs.
International Data Corp. predicts that by 2002, these slimmed-down PCs will dominate 75% of
the market for less expensive business computing alternatives. That estimate is bad news
for Sun Microsystems and Oracle, which embraced the network computer concept, but were
unable to build the machines in time to stave off the shift to cheaper PCs. Sun's initial
NCs were slow and unwieldy, taking too long to download applications programs from central
servers, and problems with the Java operating system caused shipping delays. Sun CEO Scott
McNealy still thinks the product has merit, however: "Go ahead and write that the network
computer is dead. If I can scare everybody else away, we'll own the market." (Wall Street
Journal 3 Apr 98)

                                  TECHNOREALISTS SOUND OFF

A group of 12 technology-literate writers and commentators calling themselves
"technorealists" have published a statement of principles emphasizing a common sense
approach toward technology and advocating a balanced position between opposing camps of
techno-utopians and neo-Luddites. The statement includes an assertion that the government
has an important role to play in regulating computer networks: "Cyberspace is not formally
a place or jurisdiction separate from earth. It is foolish to say that the public has no
sovereignty over what an errant citizen or fraudulent corporation does online." Other
technorealist doctrines include: "Wiring the schools will not save them," and "Information
wants to be protected." < http://www.technorealism.org > (Chronicle of Higher Education 3
Apr 98)

                          THE WHOLE (CORPORATE) WORLD IN YOUR HAND

Microsoft and Sybase are expanding their alliance on a project that allows workers to
access corporate databases via hand-held or palmtop computers to include "smaller and
smaller devices" using Microsoft's Windows CE operating system. There is a $250
billion-a-year market for devices such as hand-held computers, wireless communications and
TV set-top boxes. (San Jose Mercury News 3 Apr 98)

                                WEB SITE DESIGN FOR THE BLIND

There are a steadily growing number of the half-million blind people nationwide who
regularly use computers for work, education and pleasure, and technological breakthroughs
are occurring almost daily in text-to-voice

scanners, Braille printers and specially designed software to help overcome the barriers of
icons and other graphics of the visually oriented World Wide Web. Recently, Blind
Industries and Services of Maryland in Baltimore opened a fully accessible site --
including graphics -- that contains information for both blind and sighted people --
http://www.bism.com/ . The site was specifically designed to include graphics: "We didn't
want just a plain boring screen because sighted people use the site as well." Creating the
graphics-friendly site required "a lot of major revisions" of conventional Internet design
concepts. (Washington Post 4 Apr 98)

                                 BIDDING ONLINE FOR AIRFARES

Priceline.Com is offering a new way for flexible vacationers to buy plane tickets -- they
can set the price they'll pay, and Priceline.Com will try to find it for them among the
numerous unpublished fares supplied by U.S. and international airlines. The search takes
one hour for domestic flights and 24 hours for overseas. Priceline.Com, which launches
Monday, requires that customers be willing to depart on any available flight between 6 a.m.
and 10 p.m., and flights may include one stop or connection, making the service less
attractive for business travelers. "We're not a discount ticket warehouse, and we're not
for everybody," says the company's founder. http://www.priceline.com (USA Today 3 Apr 98)

                                    USED PC MARKET UP 14%

The market for recycled PCs is up 14% this year, according to research by International
Data Corp., with most of the growth in the education and small business sectors, where
budgets are often tight. IDC expects the market to continue its upward spiral, from 6.4
million units this year to 7.3 million in 1999. (Investor's Business Daily 3 Apr 98)

                                APPLE TOOK BITE OUT OF AMELIO

His new book "On The Firing Line: My 500 Days At Apple," in which ousted Apple chief exec
Gil Amelio takes shots at many of his former colleagues, Amelio explains that his severance
check "represented an all-in settlement for the remainder of my five-year term in the
amount of $7.7 million. What I actually kept, after taxes and other government deductions
and after paying off part of my $5 million loan from Apple was about $2 million. I still
owe $2.5 million on this loan, so my net was actually negative by about $500,000. The
130,960 shares of Apple stock I received -- plus another 50,000 shares promised -- is far
under the million shares spelled out in the original term." Amelio says that if he had
stayed at National Semiconductor he would have continued to accumulate wealth at about $5
million a year. "I made a bad decision for myself and my family. But like the majority of
major-company CEOs, I'm a risk-taker; most of the time risks pay off. Sometimes they
don't." (USA Today 3 Apr 98)

                   FINDING A NEEDLE (OR 7,079 PAGES ON NEEDLES) ON THE WEB

A study by the NEC Research Institute says the Internet has exploded to more than 320
million Web pages, an estimate that does not include millions of pages that are protected
by passwords or "search walls" that block access to browsers or search engines. The study
indicates that the HotBot search engine has the most comprehensive index of the Web, but
even so, covers only about 34 percent of the indexable pages. Coverage of some of the other
search engines includes: AltaVista (28%); Northern Light (20%); Excite (14%); Lycos (3%).
One of the report's coauthors says that the Web's data explosion may be better controlled
by the "meta-search engines," such as Meta-Crawler and Ahoy!, which have developed thinking
techniques that sense what readers are looking for and seek out pages not found on most
indexes. (AP 3 Apr 98)

                                          WOMBWARE?

The research firm PC Data Inc. says sales of software for children up to the age 5 have
increased by more than 133% in 1997. Child psychologist Corinne Rupert says, "Just as books
are adapted in both form and content to meet the needs of babies and toddlers, computers
and software can be adapted to delight and educate even the very young. There is no minimal
age level to computer introduction." But Judah L. Schwartz of the Educational Technology
Center at Harvard counters: "Computers are transforming our society in both good ways and
silly ways. And this seems to be one of the sillier ways." And Ann Stephens of PC Data
says: "What's next? Wombware?" (New York Times 3 Apr 98)

                        EDUCOM PUBLISHES STANDARDS FOR DIGITAL LABELS

Educom has devised a set of digital labels, called metatags, that can be embedded in
educational documents, making it easier for search engines to find them on the Web. The
metatag specifications are posted on the Instructional Management Systems Web site <
http://www.imsproject.org >, and documents containing metatags will provide information
about the page's contents, its title and publisher, and when it became available online,
among other things. The tags could also include information such as whether a license is
required to use a particular software program. The introduction of metatags will enable
computer companies to build educational software around a common labeling standard.
(Chronicle of Higher Education 10 Apr 98)

                           CHEAP CHIPS FROM NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR

National Semiconductor Corp. is developing a new microprocessor that integrates the
circuitry of more than a dozen additional chips needed to run a PC. This "PC-on-a-chip"
could drive the price of PCs down below the $400 price point as early as next year, says
National Semi CEO Brian Halla. In addition to lower overall costs, using a PC-on-a-chip
would enable a laptop to operate for as long as nine hours on battery power. National
Semiconductor has invested $1 billion in developing the PC-on-a-chip, and another $1
billion in a manufacturing facility in Maine. (Wall Street Journal 6 Apr 98)

                         SKIRMISHING AGAINST THE POWER OF MICROSOFT

A group of industry executives critical of Microsoft has delivered a 10-point memorandum to
the U.S. Justice Department suggesting that Justice force Microsoft to separate its
applications businesses from its operating system business; establish a system to monitor
Microsoft's business practices; force Microsoft to be more open about its description of
the operating system; prohibit Microsoft from tying new products to the Windows operating
system; divest Microsoft's software compatibility laboratories (which award a Windows
95-approved logo to products meeting Microsoft's standards); etc. A Microsoft executive
scoffed: "This is a wish list from Microsoft competitors with no basis in the facts of this
industry or the laws of this country." (New York times 7 Apr 98)

                  ENCRYPTION ALTERNATIVE SEPARATES THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF

An alternative approach to electronic privacy has been proposed by MIT cryptographer Ronald
Rivest that could render the current debate over third-party encryption keys moot. Unlike
conventional encryption programs, Rivest's new technique doesn't rely on altering message
bits; rather, each bit is tagged with a "message authentication code" (MAC) and then mixed
in with random bits tagged with incorrect MACs, called "chaff." The intended recipient can
then use a secret code shared with the sender to "winnow" out the fake bits. (Science 3 Apr
98) A description of the process can be found at
http://theory.lcs.mit.edu/~rivest/chaffing.txt.

                         E-COMMERCE POTENTIAL WIDELY UNDERESTIMATED

Government estimates on the future of electronic commerce fall far short of private
predictions, according to speakers at a recent Web publisher's conference. While the
government has pegged e-commerce activity at $365 billion by 2000, industry experts say the
real figure will be closer to $1 trillion. MIT Media Lab director Nicholas Negroponte said
about 70% of the transactions will be business-to-business commerce. Meanwhile, Sun
Microsystems chief scientist John Gage touted the benefits of using Java-based smart cards,
predicting that the widespread availability of such cards will serve as a catalyst for
increasing online consumer spending. (Computer Reseller News 6 Apr 98)

                              PAUL ALLEN ACQUIRES CABLE COMPANY

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is buying Dallas-based Marcus Cable, the country's largest
closely held cable-TV operator. The deal is the first in what is expected to be a series of
purchases by Allen -- people familiar with his plans say he eventually hopes to cobble
together enough smaller cable systems to allow him to build a nationwide platform for
selling services such as Internet access over cable. (Wall Street Journal 6 Apr 98)

                                   COMPUTER CENSUS ON HOLD

The Census Bureau has decided to postpone its plans to use the Internet to compile census
information, noting that security concerns have prompted the delay. The bureau now plans to
use the Internet in data gathering in 2010. (St. Petersburg Times 6 Apr 98)

                          NUNN AND TENET WARN OF CYBERSPACE ATTACKS

At a Georgia Tech forum on information security, former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (the host of
the forum) warned that "we must not wait for a cyberspace Pearl Harbor," launched by
interests unfriendly to the United States, and CIA director George Tenet said that the
Central Intelligence Agency must be able to decipher the messages that our enemies send to
each other: "When the building blows up and 30, 40, 2,000 people are killed, there will be
hell to pay, because we the government didn't think through the issue." (Atlanta
Journal-Constitution 7 Apr 98)

                       OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED BAN ON INTERNET GAMBLING

Proposed legislation to ban gambling on the Internet is being vigorously opposed both by
gambling interests (including the horse-racing industry and Indian tribes) and by computer
businesses (including software makers who joined in formation of a group called the
Committee for Freedom of the Internet). The proposed bill's chief sponsor, Arizona
Republican Senator Jon Kyl, hopes to bring the measure to a vote in several weeks, and
plans to make sure that a 1961 law prohibiting interstate gambling is extended to cover
satellite communication and virtual games such as online roulette. (AP 6 Apr 98)

                  JOBS WANTS TO HELP BROADCASTERS GO FROM ANALOG TO DIGITAL

Apple interim chief executive Steve Jobs told a convention of TV broadcasters that Apple is
"dying to work with you" in managing the change from analog to digital transmission, which
will be required of all broadcasters by 2006. He thinks he can help them deal with the
different digital standards for producing video imagines for the Internet, computers, video
conferences, and television: "The problem right now is a very simple one. What we basically
got is a tower of Babel." (AP 6 Apr 98)

                           FREE JAVA FOR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

More than half a million nonprofit academic institutions at all levels of instruction will
be eligible for free one-year software licenses from Sun Microsystems for software
development tools based on Sun's Java computer language. Sun says that the value of
software donated under this program could run into the billions of dollars. (Dow Jones
Newswires 8 Apr 98) http://www.sun.com/edu/java/free

                             MICROSOFT, SONY FORM PC/TV ALLIANCE

Microsoft and Sony have agreed to incorporate each other's technologies in both companies'
products, in an effort to achieve the convergence of PC and television technologies. Sony
has agreed to license Microsoft's Windows CE operating system for "certain future
products," and Microsoft will license Sony's Home Networking Module for use with "certain
versions of Windows CE." The future hybrid products likely will be based on the IEEE 1394
I/O standard. "We expect to create the true fusion of the PC world and the television world
and when that happens, everybody wins," says the president of Sony America. (InfoWorld
Electric 7 Apr 98)

                       TELECOMMUTERS CITE HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY AT HOME

A Kensington Telecommuting Survey indicates that nearly 75% of telecommuters say they get a
lot more work done while at home or on the road, as opposed to time spent in the corporate
home office. Most pegged their productivity level at about 30% higher. The survey also
showed that of companies that allow telecommuting, 63% don't give any formal training on
how to be a telecommuter, and few pay for telecommuting employees' PCs and accessories.
About 8 million workers telecommute regularly in the U.S. (Investor's Business Daily 8 Apr
98)

                     LIBRARY GROUPS CALL FOR NEW POLICIES ON E-JOURNALS

The International Coalition of Library Consortia, a group comprising more than 40 library
groups, has issued a statement calling for an end to the "excessive pricing" of electronic
publications and for a cease-fire in "attacks" on libraries' rights to redistribute
documents. "We're saying that, during this period, it is important not to be locked into a
pricing model that is difficult for libraries to afford," says one of the statement's
authors. The coalition's statement suggests that subscription rates for e-journals should
be lower than those for printed versions, and that libraries should have the option to
subscribe to the electronic version only. In addition, libraries should be allowed to
follow fair use guidelines in dealing with electronic material, and store archives of
e-journals on their own systems. Publishers have been noncommittal in their response to the
statement: "I don't think our pricing model is unreasonable," says a spokesman for Elsevier
Science, adding that his company is "trying to expand the options on pricing models" for
online publications. (Chronicle of Higher Education 10 Apr 98)

                   VIRGINIA JUDGE LETS SOFTWARE FILTERING CASE GO FORWARD

A ruling by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema allowed civil liberties groups to
proceed with their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Loudon (VA.) County
Library Board's Internet policy, which requires that children younger than 17 must be
sitting with a guardian or parent if they want full access to the Internet, unblocked by
filtering software. Brinkema ruled that content-based restrictions on the Internet "must be
justified by a compelling government interest and must be narrowly tailored to achieve that
end." (Washington Post 9 Apr 98)

                                      SEIKO'S PC WATCH

Seiko Instruments will introduce the world's first wearable PC on June 10 in Japan. The
$285 "Ruputer" wristwatch will be able to download data, including text and pictures, from
other PCs, and will come loaded with three programs that run on Windows 95. Users will be
able to exchange data via infrared signals. (Investor's Business Daily 9 Apr 98)

                       VETERANS GET SCARE THROUGH MASS E-MAIL WARNING

A "well-intentioned but misinformed veteran" in Minneapolis scared hundreds of thousands of
other veterans by sending out a mass e-mail communication falsely advising them that they
faced possible termination of their benefits. A Veterans Administrator spokesperson said:
"He thought he was doing the right thing by warning people, but he really disrupted
millions of people with this information." (AP 9 Apr 98)

                            LOST DATA AT STANFORD BUSINESS SCHOOL

When outside contractors failed to verify that data had been saved before attempting to
move two servers from the Stanford Business School to the university's central computer
system, 10 to 15 of the school's 200 faculty and Ph.D. candidates lost their databases,
research notes, and parts of books or dissertations. The dean of the school says, "This was
a disaster. Even though lots of people recovered their work, some people lost data
irretrievably." (San Jose Mercury News 9 Apr 98)

             PALM TRICK: NOW YOU SEE A PALM PC, NOW YOU SEE ... A PALM-SIZE PC

Faced with a lawsuit from 3Com Corporation for trademark infringement, Microsoft has agreed
to change the name of its handheld computers from "Palm PCs" to "Palm-size PCs," to avoid
confusion with 3Com's popular PalmPilot line of handheld devices. (Wall Street Journal 9
Apr 98)







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      [Image]





    Kids Computing Corner

    Frank Sereno, Editor
    fsereno@streport.com

    Happy Holidays everyone!









          [Image]





        Jason's Jive

          [Image]









        Jason Sereno, STR Staff
        jsereno@streport.com



        Before I begin this weeks review of the Photo Creation's All
        in one Studio, I would like to share with you a little
        encounter I had with a couple of MTV celebrities this
        weekend. I've only met a couple of famous people in my life.
        The one that stands out the most was Jon Astin from the
        "Addams Family". So this was a pretty big deal to me.

        For those of you that are familiar with the show "The Real
        World", you might enjoy this. Those of you that aren't part
        of the "MTV Generation" you may want to bypass this short
        narrative. Here it goes...

        Friday night, A couple of friends and I decided to go out
        and get some dinner at a local restaurant. I had never eaten
        at this place before and didn't know what to expect. I had
        no idea what kind of food was there but I knew a lot of
        friends that enjoyed eating at this place, so I thought I
        would give it a try.

        I pictured it as one of those casual restaurants that had an
        almost formal atmosphere. From the few looks at it I had
        previously, I concluded it was definitely not a McDonalds,
        but there was no valet parking either. The food was probably
        a little higher priced than normal and the titles were
        surely just on the border of cheesyness.

        As we entered the restaurant I noticed only a few open
        parking spaces. We contemplated eating somewhere else in
        case there was a wait. However, since this was the "place to
        eat" in my town I suggested we bear the small inconvenience
        and dine here regardless.

        As we entered, the person at the door informed us there
        would be a small delay. It turned out for the best though,
        since they gave us a small pager-like utility that would
        vibrate when our table was ready. We found the little device
        pretty entertaining. I wonder if it was really necessary to
        give the customer or something devised to keep them in good
        spirits and amused while waiting in anticipation for it to
        activate.

        While waiting in anticipation, I spotted someone I knew
        looked very familiar. He was a tall black man with a shiny,
        bald head and wearing a leather jacket. He was sitting with
        two other people at a table in the smoking section. I
        thought back as to where I knew this person from only to
        realize he was Cyrus, from the last "Real World" cast. Now,
        I haven't been a frequent watcher of the show, although the
        concept always seemed interesting to me, but I was very
        shocked as to why he would be eating in my town of all
        places.

        I told my friends, who were both girls, Cyrus was literally
        ten feet from us. Of course, they did not believe me.
        However, after I pointed him out, the girls both let out
        tiny screams which were quickly covered by their now sweaty
        palms. They looked at each other in a sort of disbelief. I
        was embarrassed at the reaction of my companions so I
        quickly took a few steps back and acted like I had no idea
        who they were.

        I casually strolled over to a couple of my teachers I
        recognized from school who were just getting done eating at
        the other side of the restaurant. Even across the room I
        could see where everyone's eyes were. Small chatter and
        talks of the show's events were being discussed at nearly
        every table. We talked for a while and I told them who was
        here. They told me they spotted Cyrus earlier as well, and
        also informed me that one of his companions was also from
        the show, but they couldn't remember her name.

        I shifted my head in the general direction of the table
        everyone else was glancing at only to notice that a very
        attractive, blonde hair woman who was looking out the window
        appeared to be also very familiar. She was sitting next to
        Cyrus and smoking a cigarette. She turned her head to talk
        to the gentleman across the table, who must have been an
        executive or producer or something, and I realized she was
        Genesis from the same cast. Genesis, was the "lipstick
        lesbian" with a alcoholic mom as I recalled. Okay, I saw
        more than just a few episodes.

        My friends, just realizing I had left them, eventually
        spotted me. I told them that Genesis was here also. The same
        reaction before followed and I again walked away hoping not
        to be associated with the two giddy girls I entered with. I
        walked back to the waiting area and tried to plan out how to
        approach them. It's not everyday you (or I anyway) meet
        someone famous. I at least wanted to talk to them or get
        their autographs.

        "Buzzzzzzz" That's when the device given to us before
        started to vibrate. We were going to be seated soon and we
        all hoped it would be next to the two celebrities. Sure
        enough, we were seated only two seats behind them. I
        arranged myself so I could see their table although a rather
        large man with an afro type hair du blocked most of my field
        of vision. I wasn't spying or anything, I was just waiting
        for the right time to approach them.

        About twenty minutes into our sitting, I decided to make my
        move. About ten adolescents, like myself, had approached
        them with a pad of paper and pen in their hands. Cyrus and
        Genesis were polite to each one and didn't shy from any
        questions that were asked. No pun intended, they seemed very
        "real".

        I however, was not equipped with pen or paper. So I decided
        to grab a napkin from our table along with a crayon that
        little kids apparently used on their activity sheets. I
        approached them just after a bunch of girls had left. I
        handed the napkin and crayon to Cyrus and told him my name
        was Jason.

        "Jason..., how you doing, Jason?" He asked.

        "Pretty good how about you?" I replied. I think for a second
        I actually felt like we were old friends. I mean, when you
        watch someone on a TV show like "The Real World" and they
        aren't acting, just being themselves, you get to see a lot
        of the little things about them. It also helped that Cyrus
        was so cordial and friendly towards me.

        "Oh you want me put this down with a crayon, huh guy?" He
        asked. His tone was very humorous as he looked at the man
        across the table. "Well my handwriting is bad enough as it
        is so I'll do us both a favor and write it in pen, so you
        can actually read it." We all laughed.

        After he was finished, Genesis took the napkin and started
        to write on the opposite side. I was pleased and surprised
        that she took her time. Her penmanship was very good. It
        made me feel special in a way. Meanwhile, Cyrus and the man
        across the table started to strike up a conversation that I
        was also invited in on. They informed me that they were in
        town to speak at St. Francis University, a college about
        fifteen minutes from my house. They were going to speak on
        the format of the show and take questions from the audience.
        I got the impression that they were on a nation wide trip
        and they were probably going to stop at a lot of colleges
        and eateries along the way.

        When Genesis was finished, she gave me the napkin and
        smiled. Having bothered them enough, I thanked them and
        walked back to my table. Both my friends who now considered
        me a celebrity too, were pretty amazed at my little
        experience. I felt proud and I read the napkin while sitting
        there at the table. It read on one side: "Jason, remember to
        have fun in life and always be yourself. Love, Genesis" It
        was sort of generic but I'm sure she varied her signatures
        once in a while. The other side read: "Jason, remember to
        keep it real. And keep pimping. Cyrus."

        I know the last one may have seemed a little inappropriate
        to some people, it was meant to be read lighthearted, but it
        was definitely something that I'll remember for a long timeJ
        . Seriously, I was very pleased to find two TV personalities
        from my generation who were kind to me and everyone else
        they met. If they weren't chances are that I'd never watch
        the show, or MTV again. However, they were very nice indeed,
        and I enjoyed the experience a lot. Hope you enjoyed reading
        about it.

        -Jason









                               Photo Creations

                              All-In-One Studio

                               Windows CD-ROM

                          Suggested Retail: $49.95

                                For all ages



                              Creative Wonders.

                                P.O Box 9017

                     Redwood City, California 94063-9017



                        http://www.photocreations.com





          [Image] Photo Creations has a lot of graphic utilities for
                  the home user. Now they have put them all into one
        package. The All-In-One studio combines all of the new Photo
        Creation products into one package. Although it is a good
        idea, I for one, did not care for the interface. It does
        have some very good features though.

        Here's what I thought...

        The three products combined are the greeting card maker,
        album maker, and calendar maker. What may make the package
        attractive to at-home artists is that sold separately each
        product has a retail of $24.95. So buying this package will
        actually figure out to buying two of the individual products
        and getting the third for free.

        Each feature gives you all of the basics. All three have a
        lot of templates so you can create cards, signs, albums, or
        calendars. Many unique borders and layouts provide for a lot
        of possibilities as well. All of the setups were easy to use
        and no directions were really needed to understand the basic
        procedures to making creations.

        After deciding the look and feel you want your creation to
        express, you can also alter the picture itself. The real
        feature that stands out is the red-eye remover from
        photographs imported by scanner or digital camera. Some
        other options include converting to black and white,
        changing contrast and color levels, enhancing edges, and
        creation mosaics. All of these features are pretty common
        among most graphic enhancing products released in the last
        few years.

          [Image] What really didn't impress me much was the
                  interface that combines all of the features. It
        has won many awards but I didn't care for it much. The main
        menu is an animated desk with many tiny accessories laying
        on it. Two shelves which represent your work folder hang
        above the desk. Also in the vicinity are useless little
        objects that when clicked on come to life with small
        animations. Something else which seemed useless was a coffee
        cup sitting on the right of the table. When it is clicked it
        shows an imaginary window that gives you a scenic shot. I
        suppose this is meant to inspire the user, it had little
        effect on me. Another thing which seemed strange is a safe
        that individual users keep their most prized creations in. I
        don't see many people really trying to disturb or damage
        anyone's art work therefor it seems this accessory is just
        for fun and gives a false sense of security. If someone
        really wanted to get at your projects, all they would have
        to do is browse through their Windows explorer to tamper
        with them.

        I can understand why some people might like this interface,
        it is different from most other graphic programs. However, I
        am a fan of the simple, ordinary, and straight forward
        approach to creating artwork. In the top left corner of the
        "studio" there is a pull down menu which can be used to give
        commands. I found myself using this to bypass the small, yet
        time consuming animations.

        Perhaps this interface is geared towards children a little
        more. If so, I can understand some of the useless objects,
        but for someone just looking to make a project, it is pretty
        useless waiting for the blank template to emerge from the
        mechanical slot in the desk.

        So, that is what I think of the All-In-One Studio. It's a
        good concept and a great deal, if you can learn to
        appreciate the unconventional interface. If so, you should
        give it a try. It also has a thirty day money-back guarantee
        if you're not satisfied. Free inside is up to $99.00 in
        Kodak offers to. So you have at least that to look forward
        to if nothing else.



        Until next time,

        Jason
          [Image]




        Program Requirements

        Microsoft Windows 95 or 3.1, 486/66 MHz or better, 8MB RAM
        (16 recommended), 2X or higher CD-ROM drive (4X CD-ROM
        recommended), 20 MB hard disk space, SVGA Card, Microsoft
        compatible mouse or keyboard, SoundBlaster or compatible
        card optional, supports all major graphic file formats,
        TWAIN compliant.







          [Image]



        Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles



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        Ralph F. Mariano, Editor
        rmariano@streport.com
        STReport International Online Magazine





          [Image]





        Classics & Gaming Section

        Editor Dana P. Jacobson
        dpj@streport.com





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

        Well, it's been a week of ups and downs, and the days just
        flew by. I can't believe it's deadline time again! I don't
        have much to say this week because, frankly, I haven't had
        much free time to think about any editorial comments. So,
        I'll skip any comments and ad-libbing for this week and
        we'll move right into the news and information. After all,
        that's why we're all here for in the first place.

        Until next time...







                  ST Informer Magazine Returning to the Web



        From: Scott Tirrell 

        First of all, please excuse me for cross-posting this but I
        thought it concerned all Atari owners. ST Informer Magazine
        is set to return soon in Web format. Many previous
        subscribers probably know that ST Informer's web site has
        been stagnant for awhile. Well, I have just been appointed
        Web Editor of ST Informer and hope to change all of that
        with monthly issues of ST Informer. Issue 98 will be posted
        shortly. For those who want to be kept updated, please send
        me an e-mail and I will add you to the ST Informer mailing
        list.

        What will ST Informer include? I plan on having letters,
        Rod's trademark Potpourri column, news, interviews, and
        product reviews. What Atari products will we cover? All of
        'em with a focus on the computer line.

        This will include pictures (though they will not be
        bandwidth-busting). There will be no Java or animated GIFs
        so that we can concentrate on the information and to make
        this site available to all (even those with slower modems
        like myself).

        This, of course, cannot be a one person show. First of all,
        I don't own all Atari systems. Secondly, I just don't have
        the time to write all of the articles, lay out the pages,
        etc. I am asking for volunteers interested in writing for
        the magazine. The benefits include, er, fame and, um,
        prestige. Seriously, it is fun and those willing to put in
        the time will be first considered for review products from
        vendors. All submissions are welcome so please send your
        articles to me at stirrell@portland.com.

        For advertising information, please send requests to Rod
        McDonald at stinformer@chatlink.com. He will be happy to
        send out information. Also, to get your products reviewed,
        please contact me at stirrell@portland.com.

        I will make sure that they get to a reviewer as soon as
        possible. If you have any comments or suggestions for ST
        Informer Magazine, don't hesitate to write to me. I really
        want to hear from you and, as a community, make this new
        venture a success for all Atarians.

        Sincerely,

        Scott Tirrell



                               Gaming Section





        "Asteroids"!!

        "Sanitarium"!!

        "Rampage World Tour"!





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

         Activision to Bring Arcade Classic Asteroids to the PSX and
                                     PC

        SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Updating one
        of the best-loved and most influential arcade games of all
        time, Activision, Inc. announced today that it plans to
        release a new version of the blockbuster video game
        Asteroids for the PlayStation Game Console system and PC
        platform this Christmas. Activision previously acquired the
        rights to create updated versions of Atari's Asteroids
        property as part of an overall strategy to develop
        mass-market games.

        Originally introduced by Atari in 1979, Asteroids became one
        of gaming history's most successful coin-op arcade games. In
        1981, the game was released for the Atari 2600 game system
        and by 1982, Asteroids was one of the fastest selling home
        video games in the United States. Activision will utilize
        3-D effects and other technological advancements in its
        updated version.

        "Asteroids is one of the most legendary video games of all
        time and is sure to appeal to both those who played the game
        on their 2600 machines and in the arcades, as well as a
        whole new generation of players," said Robert Kotick,
        Chairman and C.E.O., Activision, Inc. "The remake presents
        us with an incredible opportunity to preserve many of the
        classic elements that made Asteroids a hit, while updating a
        terrific gaming premise with the features and capabilities
        that make a great game today."

        Set deep within hyperspace, the original Asteroids
        challenged gamers to shoot a path to the stars as they
        escape plummeting asteroids careening their way and take aim
        against invading flying saucers. The new Asteroids will
        recapture the non-stop dodging and firing of the original,
        but will take the classic game to an all-new level with
        vivid 3-D graphics, expansive playing areas, increasingly
        difficult space hazards and multiple modes of gameplay.

           Midway Home Entertainment Announces Rampage World Tour

        CORSICANA, TEXAS (April 7) BUSINESS WIRE - April 7, 1998 -
        Midway Home Entertainment announced today the retail
        availability of its updated version of the classic Rampage
        video arcade game, Rampage World Tour(TM), for the
        Nintendo(R) 64. Rampage World Tour can be found wherever
        video games are sold. The announcement was made by Paula
        Cook, director of marketing for Midway Home Entertainment.

        Boasting game play for up-to three players, Rampage World
        Tour for the Nintendo 64 is the eagerly awaited home game
        adaptation of the arcade game of the same name, as well as
        the sequel to the phenomenally popular classic Rampage game.
        Rampage World Tour is also currently available for play on
        the PlayStation(R) game console and the Sega Saturn(TM)
        System. All the action-packed game play from the arcade game
        translates faithfully to all three of Midway's home
        versions.

        A wild romp with universal appeal, Rampage World Tour is
        chock-full of dynamic and exciting game play depth and
        challenge yet simple enough to be played by gamers of all
        ages. In Rampage World Tour, loaded with awesome hidden
        surprises including hovercrafts, cheeseheads, a used
        elephant lot and more, up to three players will embark on a
        fun-fueled "Rampage" that goes beyond the bounds of
        imagination!

        Throughout the game, eating good stuff - such as tasty and
        nourishing humans - will provide welcome health boosts. At
        the same time, eating bad stuff will make you puke! In
        addition, a variety of secret moves allow players to help
        fend off a constant barrage of bullets, fire, and explosives
        fired-off by local residents, army soldiers, and even the
        police force!

        Bursting with special bonuses and surprises, Rampage World
        Tour's 130 standard levels, 14 bonus levels, four grudge
        match levels, three bonus match types, and numerous hidden
        levels have been created with state-of-the-art technology
        and feature spectacular 3D graphics accompanied by
        mind-blowing sound.

        According to Cook, "We are thrilled to bring Rampage World
        Tour home to the Nintendo 64. Our newest version allows
        up-to three players to participate in a fun smash 'em up
        Rampage romp around the world. Rampage World Tour's great
        classic game play is sure to appeal to gamers of all ages."

              Journey To The Brink of Insanity In 'SANITARIUM'

        DARIEN, CONN. (April 7) BUSINESS WIRE - April 7, 1998 - ASC
        Games, a leading publisher of video games for the PC,
        PlayStation and Sega platforms, will unlock Sanitarium, a
        darkly disturbing new PC CD-ROM adventure game on April 30.
        Developed by DreamForge Intertainment, Sanitarium thrusts
        players into a world of tenuous reality, mental chaos and
        abject fear.

        Deeper and more compelling than either "Riven" or "Myst,"
        Sanitarium challenges players to reassemble their shattered
        identities and escape from what they believe to be a
        nightmarish institution. "Sanitarium is the first adventure
        game of its kind," says David Klein, president and COO of
        ASC Games. "This emotional thriller combines a highly
        emotional and deep storyline that must be played to be
        understood. Imagine a major motion picture thriller - the
        less you know the better the experience. Once you've
        revealed the elements of the game, the Sanitarium adventure
        will stay with you for a long time."

        Sanitarium is the first game title that challenges players
        to solve puzzles and situations wrapped within a storyline
        driven by players' emotions - not just their intelligence.
        From the first moment the game begins, players establish a
        strong emotional connection with the main character through
        visions, flashbacks and video sequences.

        Sanitarium gives birth to an ambience of dreamlike
        uncertainty often found only in books and movies such as the
        ominous "Jacob's Ladder." With its 80 characters,
        3D-rendered environments and digital soundtrack to reflect
        the game's bizarre visual and audio style, Sanitarium is an
        immersive, cinematic experience with plot twists unlike any
        other computer game available.

        Sanitarium is a 3-CD adventure available on store shelves
        beginning April 30 for the PC CD-ROM and carries an average
        retail price of $49.99. ASC Games recommends the following
        system requirements: Windows 95, P90, 16 MB of RAM, a 4X
        CD-ROM drive, a 1 MB PCI video card, sound card, and 30 MB
        free hard drive space.







        ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!





                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

        Compiled by Joe Mirando

        jmirando@streport.com



        Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Well, this week has been
        something of a non-revelation for me.

        NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
        released pictures of the surface of Mars from the Mars
        Global Surveyor. This particular picture, or image as NASA
        likes to refer to them, is of the area of Mars known as
        Cydonia. This is the region famous for "The Face on Mars".
        The original picture was taken more than two decades ago.
        The current picture is about ten times the resolution of the
        original, and has been processed in the same manner as the
        first. Lo and behold, the new picture does not show a
        sculpture as many had supposed, but only a series of hills,
        cliffs, and plains.

        The face on Mars, or at least the first picture of it, is a
        wonderful flight of fancy that calls up images of others in
        this vast universe who are, if not wiser, at least more
        technologically advanced than we are. How wonderful it would
        be to find that there had once been titans who had taken an
        interest in us. That would mean that we were worthy of that
        notice, that there were great things in store for us, that
        we had only to advance a bit more to come of age as a
        species, that we were capable and worthy of an exalted place
        in this vast universe, that we were...special. What human
        could resist such a scenario? It's only human nature to want
        to be helped to some degree, or to believe that someone has
        faith in us. For that reason, an over-processed image
        composed of shadowy features and missing data became
        something of a banner for those who wanted to believe in it.
        The non-revelation portion is that I had believed from the
        start that a simple combination of missing data and
        fortuitous lighting conditions had produced an
        imagination-capturing spectre that would continue to cause
        discussion and debate for quite a while. I do not see this
        latest image as an ending to the story, simply a slightly
        later chapter to a story that is still being written. For
        all the accusations of conspiracy and coverup posed by
        supporters of 'The Face', it did generate interest in one of
        our nearest celestial neighbors. True, it has taken us
        decades to re-visit this neighbor, but who knows how long it
        would have taken had there not been popular interest and
        discussion. A youngster's first footsteps are almost always
        slow and faltering, but from those first steps come
        determination, familiarity, and confidence. And, along with
        those first steps, there is invariably a hand reaching out
        for something that is just out of reach... for the moment.
        We are learning to walk where we have not walked before, to
        explore beyond what we already know and, perhaps finally, to
        accept that we didn't know everything we thought we did
        about our surroundings.

        Where will this non-revelation lead? I don't know. But that
        is what makes it all worthwhile. Even though I have no idea
        of the destination, I think we can be fairly sure that what
        we will find will be, to quote Arthur C. Clarke,
        'something... wonderful'.

        Oh, and by the way, I do believe that "We Are Not Alone", I
        just don't believe that we are all that important in a
        universe of billions of galaxies, each with billions of
        stars that may have their own little blue-skied planets
        where the conditions were right for the evolution of life.

        Well, now that I've offended just about everybody, let's
        take a look at what's being said on the UseNet...



        From the comp.sys.atari.st.tech NewsGroup:



        Ken MacDonald asks:

        "Is there a speech to text program available for the Atari?
        i.e. you speak, and some smart little program converts it
        into ascii text?"

        Mario Becroft tells Ken:

        "Although it may seem like it could be some "smart little
        program", speech recognition is no trivial matter. It's
        extremely difficult to do accurate recognition. There was a
        speech recognition program of some sort for the Falcon a
        while back, but I'm not sure what happened to it or where it
        can be obtained now. I never tried it myself."



        Anthony Jacques adds:

        "Yes, a very difficult problem. IMO, its too much for a
        Falcon, even using the DSP. Probably even for a Hades + DSP.
        Somebody please prove me wrong :) It [the program] was
        called VOX, and was written for ST-Magazin. It was uploaded
        to a couple of FTP sites, but I dont remember seeing it on
        any of the usuals. It recognized (well, sometimes) a set of
        preset commands (like UP, DOWN, HELP, CLOSE etc.) and sent
        them to the "top" application/window under MultiTOS. It was
        pretty buggy though..."

        Niall Moran asks for help:

        "I've just got a mega STE and i was wondering where an
        internal hard drive plugs into the board. I pressume there
        must be an internal asci/scsi connector like the mega. Also
        what do the bank of dip switches in front of the simms
        control? I'm also having problems with the blitter. When it
        is turned on with the control panel the screen messes up. If
        the machine is booted without the blitter switched off a
        dialog comes up saying something like unable to allocate
        window memory and the screen is totally corrupt. Is the
        blitter buggered then?"

        Anthony Rudzki tells Niall:

        "When you open that side piece (to look at the simms) there
        MAY be a ASCI to SCSI card near the rear. You can't miss it.
        If it's not there, you will need to get the board and the HD
        plugs into it. I believe the only one that's used is 7(?) it
        tells the megaSTE you have a high density (1.44 Meg) disk
        drive."

        Gaven Miller asks:

        "What exactly is TOS 1.09? From the late 1980s, British
        Atari mags frequently mentioned TOS 1.09, but, AFAIK, there
        never was a TOS version labelled 1.09. From descriptions of
        it, I am led to believe that it is really TOS 1.02 "Blitter
        TOS" (or "Mega TOS", if you prefer) Can anyone enlighten me
        as to where the moniker "1.09" came from? As far as I can
        recall, none of the internal version numbers (AES, GEMDOS
        etc) in that TOS version were 1.09, so it is unlikely to be
        a case of transposed version numbers."

        James Arthur tells Gaven:

        "I seem to remember seeing this in an ST Format once, but
        it'll take me ages to sift through all the feedback/STA
        columns. I think that it was just another (wrong) number for
        a TOS version, or a TOS version that was never released. It
        doesn't exist as v1.09 anyway, but apparantly some
        programmes had trouble detecting certain TOS versions..."

        Steve Stupple tells Gaven:

        "The TOS version I think you are on about, is the disk based
        version named as TOS 1.09. I use it every now and then to
        get some programs running on other St's that wouldn't
        usually run. I can't remember why it was called 1.09 though.
        If you have come across program that do not run on STE's,
        1.4 or 1.2 machines then try using the disk based TOS."

        ---

        Okay folks, here's the story of TOS 1.09... Many years ago I
        had a 1040 STF that was damaged in an electrical storm. I
        sent it back to Atari for replacement (this was back when
        Atari still gave a thought or two about customer relations,
        well before things went soft). The computer I received in
        return had a one page addendum (Atari document number
        22-001-07 K.I.3. 1989) that read:

        IMPORTANT

        This Atari ST computer is fitted with the Atari Operating
        System ROM version 1.09. This is the latest version of the
        operating system and has been introduced to facilitate your
        ability to upgrade to future products such as the Atari
        Blitier. [Yes, that's right, they spelled "Blitter" as
        "Blitier"]

        Please ensure that you purchase software compatible with
        this operating system version. Your Atari dealer has been
        advised of the few titles that are incompatible with this
        version. The authors of incompatible software products have
        been informed and will be releasing compatible versions.
        (end of Atari documentation)

        What I find most interesting is the fact that this version
        of TOS is listed as 1.09 in Atari's own documentation, and
        that it was released in 1989... well before STE TOS and its
        subsequent error-correcting follow-up. If you recall, the
        original STE TOS was version 1.6. The version that fixed the
        "boot in medium rez" bug was 1.62. Soon after, due to a
        snafu (in the truest sense of the acronym), Atari began
        referring to TOS versions as "1.06", "1.062", and "2.06"
        saying that this had always been the official method of
        naming TOS versions. My question to Bob Brodie, then head of
        public relations at Atari, was "how could version 1.09 have
        come out several years before version 1.06?" Mr. Brodie was
        not sure of the accuracy of my statement about there even
        being a TOS version 1.09, and would not hazard a guess.

        From the comp.sys.atari.st NewsGroup

        Carsten Krumnow posts:

        "One or two weeks ago we discussed about ATARIs and the year
        2000 problem. All ATARI (esp. MagiC users) have been so
        proud that their system will have nothing to fear concerning
        the millenium bug. But now - tadaaaa - there it is!
        Yesterday I wanted MGSEARCH, the MagiC file search
        application, to look for any file created after March 22nd.
        And it found many files with GEMDOS date of 00/00/28 which
        is the result of a faulty creation routine in an old TOS
        version.

        Apparently the search program recognised these files as
        created some time in the year 2028. But the main problem is
        the following: the search mask of MGSEARCH does not allow an
        "elder than" date which is later than the parallelly given
        "younger than" date. So the two digit year mask assumes only
        19xx dates! Worse, MGSEARCH only accepts year digits in the
        range 80..99 (which means 1980 to 1999)! I understand that
        programmers in the seventies did not bother with the year
        2000 in favour to save expensive RAM and disk space. For
        MagiC 5 (which includes MGSEARCH) is developped in the very
        last years of this century (and this millenium) I think it
        is a real (though little) scandal!

        Let's hope the best and prepare for the worst!

        (The best = this bug will be fixed in the next version)

        (The worst = it won't be)"



        Andreas Kromke tells Carsten:

        "I fixed this some months ago for MagiC 6."



        Carsten tells Andreas:

        "Thank you very much - that was the answer I expected... But
        how about a cheap freshup for MagiC 5.0 users?"

        Peter Van der Noord asks:

        "How can I see which TOS version I have, and what exactly IS
        TOS? (and GEM, because I don't understand any of it)"

        Nicholas Bales tells Peter:

        "TOS is the entire Operating System, GEM is part of TOS and
        is the Graphic Evironment Manager. There are also AES and
        VDI which other parts of the OS. GEMDOS is in charge of the
        filesystem. To see which version you have, you need a
        utility such as sysinfo, but basically, if you have never
        modified anything, you can base yourself on this:

        ST,STF,STFM - 1.0 or 1.4

        Mega ST - 1.2 or 1.4

        STE - 1.6 or 1.62

        Mega STE - 2.05 or 2.06

        TT - 3.xx

        Falcon - 4.01 or 4.04

        I forgot to add: for the earlier machines, you can see if
        you have 1.4 or not by opening the Desktop/Information
        dialog box with a colour monitor or TV. If the Atari logo
        has some nice rainbow scrolling colours, then it's TOS 1.4
        (also called "rainbow TOS")."

        Peter Rottengatter, author of STinG, adds:

        "The word "other" is wrong. GEM basically consists of VDI
        and AES. TOS consists of GEM, and a part that resembles the
        conventional idea of an operating system. The latter is BIOS
        and XBIOS on the lower level (takes care of hardware), and
        GEMDOS, which uses BIOS and XBIOS, and is responsible for
        filesystems, processes, etc."



        Hugo Coolens posts:

        "I have an Atari st1040 with 4Mb RAM and TOS2.06 and also
        Magic. I would like to use this configuration as an
        X-terminal, does anyone know about software which emulates
        an x-terminal?"

        Hallvard Tangeraas tells Hugo:

        "You have to install MiNT and X-11 for that, but it's
        painfully slow!!! I don't know how you'd go about to connect
        the ST together with the rest of the network, but I'm sure
        it's possible (there seems to be no limits to what this
        machine can do!). Have a look at my "operating systems and
        emulations" section of my Atari web page. You'll find it
        from the main Atari page which is located at:
        http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/8745/ "



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



                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING





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





                              Editor's MailBag



                     Messages * NOT EDITED * for content



        ABOUT Newt...

        From: Don Acrey [dacrey@arn.net]

        Sent: Saturday, April 04, 1998 12:05 PM

        To: rmariano@streport.com

        Subject: Here, Here!

        Ralph,

        I could not agree more with you regarding your comments
        concerning Speaker Gingrich. They seem appropriate with
        regard to Senator Hatch, also! You would think that the
        "baby boom" generation would rid

        themselves of this kind of "ilk"...even in Georgia!
        (And...Utah)

        See ya....

        Don Acrey

        http://users.arn.net/~dacrey/morelink.htm



        From: John O'Hare [john.ohare@cbis.com]

        Sent: Monday, April 06, 1998 3:11 PM

        To: rmariano@streport.com

        Subject: re: Gingrich

        I couldn't agree with you more. So, other than not voting
        for him, what can the average citizen do to get rid of this
        stupid fat ****?

        -John-



        ABOUT our NEW HTML Format

        From: Darla [darla@delphi.com]

        Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 1998 3:50 AM

        To: Ralph F. Mariano

        Subject: RE: Streport - ascii edition

        Ralph,

        Thanks for letting me know what's happening. I'd gotten the
        file and it still had the *.asc on it so I couldn't figure
        out what was happening. I did go to your website and checked
        out the html version and really like it.

        Darla



        Editor Note: The magazine has received an overwhelmingly
        positive response to our new format. Obvioisly, everyone is
        able to read it and see the great fonting and graphics..







                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

               French Driver saves Virtual Pet, KILLS Cyclist!

        A French driver killed a cyclist and injured another after
        she took her eye off the road trying to save her Tamagotchi
        virtual pet, police said Wednesday. The 27-year-old woman
        became distracted when the electronic pet, which was
        attached to her car key ring, started to send out distress
        signals. She asked a companion in her car to attend to the
        Tamagotchi but in the confusion she failed to notice a group
        of cyclists on the road ahead and slammed into the back of
        them. One died instantly and another was taken to hospital.
        Police said the woman was arrested after Sunday's accident
        near the southern city of Marseilles.

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