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Article #702 (730 is last):
From: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.mags
Subject: ST Report 15-May-98 #1419
Reply-To: aa789@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Bruce D. Nelson)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Mon Jun  8 15:12:48 1998




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05/15/98 STR 1419

                     "Often Imitated, Never Surpassed!"

CPU Industry Report          Corel Linux FREE           Taming of the WEB
Texas AG a "Twister"         3D Modeling                Computer Crime
STReport MailCall            Runaway Gov't              WS_FTP Pro V5
JTS OFF Amex List            People Talking             Classics & Gaming



                             APPEALS COURT SIDES WITH MICROSOFT
                            SBC COMMUNICATIONS TO BUY AMERITECH
                       WINDOWS 98 TO RELEASE TO MANUFACTURING MONDAY



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    From the Editor's Desk...

    This month is not flying by... its roaring by at breakneck speeds.
    I guess its because the excitement over the NEW Windows 98 simply
    will not go away. NOT. I then woke up. In all honesty, I thought my
    embarrassment with the US Government had reached an all time high
    with the "Ken Starr Show". But I must admit Ken Starr's antics pale
    when compared with Janet Reno's Department of Justice. It becomes a
    mind boggling affair when one attempts to understand why its
    Microsoft's "turn in the barrel" when outfits like BFI, Conagra,
    Phillip Morris, General Foods, etc., continue to brazenly go
    forward with their agendas of price fixing, shelf space hoarding,
    etc.. Oppressive competitive practices are each of these gigantic
    conglomerate's middle name. Yet a corporation like Microsoft who
    brought real profitability, solid conformity and golden opportunity
    to untold scores of people either in or associated with the
    computer business. Perhaps the DOJ feels too many of the little
    guys are making good money instead of simply surviving.

    A clear cut answer as to why its Microsoft's "turn in the barrel"
    is not available. But it would appear that the "mighty trustbuster"
    AAG Joel Klein under Janet Reno's "masterful" guidance would've
    gone after the super BIG FISH that are hammering each and every one
    of us on a daily basis. No... they decide to chew on MS because its
    an easy, clearly defined target and definitely on Senator Orrin
    "Hatchet" Hatch's (R-Utah) "hit list". No, you won't find anything
    agricultural, directly or remotely, on Hatch's list. Check out what
    his home State is known for. (Besides Word Perfect that is)

    We look further into the goofy procession of State AG's jumping on
    the grandstanding bandwagon. Especially the Texas AG. AG Morales
    seems to have a real problem making up his mind. Maybe he has far
    too many distractions dodging questions about the flow of Killer
    Drugs and Illegals, virtually unchecked, through Texas from Mexico.
    Diversions aren't they wonderful? Mr More-or-less (Morales) has
    real dilema; "do the right thing" or, "divert attention away from
    his miserable Law Enforcement record by dancing on MS." Looks like
    he still can't make up his mind. These are people sworn to serve
    and protect? Would someone please pass the barf bag?

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                   Weekly Happenings in the Computer World

                        Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson





            Microsoft Asks Appeals Court For Help On Windows 98

        Microsoft said it has asked a federal appeals court to
        overturn a preliminary injunction that prohibits it from
        bundling its Internet Web browser with Windows 98. The
        motion filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals Tuesday would have
        no effect on possible new legal actions under consideration
        by the Justice Department and state attorneys general. Such
        new actions under the Sherman antitrust act may be filed in
        a matter of days. The Sherman act is aimed at preventing
        monopolies from unfair competition practices.

        Microsoft said it has a separate set of concerns because of
        the existing preliminary injunction, which was issued last
        December by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.
        Microsoft appealed against that preliminary injunction on
        Dec. 16, asking the higher court to overturn it. Written and
        oral arguments ended last month but the appellate court has
        yet to issue its decision. Microsoft said when it decided to
        appeal the decision it did not know when it might be
        releasing Windows 98 and so it made no arguments about the
        new product.

        But, the company argued, it will be giving computer makers
        Windows 98 on May 15 and sell to the general public on June
        25 and that release could lead to new legal problems under
        the injunction. The December injunction bars Microsoft from
        bundling its Internet Web browser with Windows. Microsoft
        noted in its argument that the judge's injunction, as
        written, "included Windows 98." And so the company asked the
        appellate court seeking to stay the preliminary injunction
        as it applies to Windows 98.

        "In order to comply with the preliminary injunction insofar
        as it relates to Windows 98, Microsoft would have to create
        a whole new operating system that did not provide support
        for Internet standards," the company said. It said that Web
        capability was so central to Windows 98 that removing it
        would result in a product that "would bear little, if any,
        resemblance to Windows 98." A Justice Department spokesman
        said: "Our response will be filed promptly."

        However, a Justice Department official noted that the
        judge's order last December was valid until further orders
        were given by the court. That, he said, was "essentially an
        invitation to come back and seek clarification in the
        District Court. Microsoft has avoided doing so and instead
        has contrived an 'emergency' where none needed to exist." In
        its brief, Microsoft said the Justice Department had
        "refused to enter a definitive agreement immunizing Windows
        98" from being included under the preliminary injunction.

        The Justice Department official said that kind of immunity
        was not up to the department. He said the injunction "is a
        judicial order, not a contract. It is up to the judge to
        decide what his order means. The department has offered to
        join in an effort to obtain a determination by the District
        Court."

                         DOJ Scoffs at MS's Appeal

        The U.S. Department of Justice today cited procedural errors
        by Microsoft Corp. as the reason the U.S. Court of Appeals
        should deny a request that Windows 98 be excluded from last
        December's preliminary injunction. The DOJ's charge was part
        of a reply brief filed two days after Microsoft submitted a
        "stay of the preliminary injunction insofar as it related to
        Windows 98" with the appellate court. That filing is an
        attempt by Microsoft to keep U.S. District Court Judge
        Thomas Penfield Jackson's December ruling from forming the
        basis of a DOJ move to block the release of Windows 98.

        In its brief, the DOJ said Microsoft should have asked the
        district court for a "further order" rather than go directly
        to the appeals court. The DOJ argued that Microsoft had
        considerable time to seek advice from the district court
        about whether Jackson's preliminary injunction applied to
        Windows 98 but instead waited until the last minute and has
        yet to ask the district court for further clarification.

        The reason for the flurry of action: Judge Jackson's ruling
        stated that Microsoft is "enjoined and shall cease and
        desist from and after the date hereof the practice of
        licensing the use of any Microsoft personal computer
        operating systems software [including Windows 95 or any
        successor version thereof] on the condition, express or
        implied, that the licensees also license and preinstall any
        Microsoft Internet browser software [including Internet
        Explorer 3.0, 4.0 or any successor version thereof] pending
        further order of the Court."

        As part of its filling, the DOJ included new depositions
        given last month by Microsoft's General Vice President of
        Platforms and Applications Paul Maritz and Senior Vice
        President of Personal and Business Systems Jim Allchin. Both
        Allchin and Maritz said in their depositions that Microsoft
        has never considered or planned to create a browserless
        version of Windows 98. Both said the decision to focus
        solely on a single, integrated version of Windows 98 was
        primarily theirs. Allchin's deposition was taken on behalf
        of the Attorney General of Texas, rumored to be one of the
        leading states driving an investigation of Microsoft.

        The week's filings come against the looming shadow of a
        major legal showdown between Microsoft and the DOJ and close
        to a dozen state attorneys general. While no action has been
        taken against the Redmond, Wash., company, sources close to
        the investigation now say it is likely that antitrust
        actions will begin next week. Microsoft is due to ship the
        final version of Windows 98 to OEMs on May 15.

                  Microsoft Files Brief In Windows 98 Case

        Microsoft argues that the Justice Department has failed to
        present any reasons why a December court order should apply
        to its forthcoming Windows 98 operating system. "In these
        circumstances, no possible basis exists for enforcing the
        preliminary injunction against Windows 98," Microsoft said
        in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals in
        Washington. Microsoft is asking the appeals court to rule on
        whether a Dec. 16 injunction issued by U.S. District Judge
        Thomas P. Jackson applies to Windows 98.

        Microsoft is appealing the injunction, which referred
        specifically to "Windows 95 or any successor version
        thereof" but apparently is trying to get specific
        clarification before Windows 98 goes on sale June 25. The
        Justice Department argued this week that Microsoft should
        have sought the clarification sooner and should have gone
        back to Jackson rather than to the appeals court. Microsoft
        responded in its brief that those arguments do not address
        the fundamental issues of whether Jackson had the authority
        to issue an injunction against Windows 98 that had not been
        requested by the Justice Department.

        Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray said the company could not
        predict when the Appeals Court might rule on Windows 98. "We
        still plan to ship the product to computer makers on May 15
        and to consumers June 25," he said.

               Microsoft-Sponsored Poll Backs Win 98 Release

        An opinion poll released Wednesday showed widespread
        opposition among U.S. adults to the state attorneys general
        reported intent to block the release of Microsoft Corp.'s
        Windows 98 operating system. The poll, which was paid for by
        Microsoft, recorded the opinions of 1,002 adults between
        April 29 and 30.

        Tom Riehle, partner with the polling company Hart/Teeter,
        contrasted the survey results with other polls on the
        attorneys general efforts on tobacco. "If these attorneys
        general were leading an army of people on the tobacco issue,
        in this case they were leading a small squad," he said.
        Pollsters at Hart/Teeter asked adults, "Do you think your
        attorney general should bring a lawsuit that blocks
        Microsoft from releasing Windows 98 in your state, or should
        they not bring a suit?" Of those polled, only 12 percent
        supported a lawsuit. Sixty-four percent opposed it and 24
        percent had no opinion.

        Few adults responded positively to the question, "Do you
        think that it is a good use or bad use of tax dollars for
        your attorney general to bring a lawsuit that blocks
        Microsoft form releasing Windows 98 in your state?" Thirteen
        percent said a lawsuit would be a good use of tax dollars,
        while 68 percent said it would be a bad use. Another 13
        percent said they were not sure and 3 percent said it would
        be neither bad nor good.

        Pollsters also asked participants about Microsoft's
        contribution to the economy. The question: "Do you feel that
        Microsoft is currently contributing to economic growth in
        the United States, or are they holding back economic
        growth?" Seventy-nine percent of adults answered that
        Microsoft was contributing to growth, 8 percent said it was
        holding growth back and 13 percent said they were not sure.

        Microsoft rivals said the survey's wording was irretrievably
                                  biased.

        "This action by Microsoft seems very desperate," said
        Netscape Communications Corp. spokeswoman Chris Holten.
        "Polls can say anything you want them to say." Netscape's
        Holten suggested alternative questions. "We'd like to ask
        questions like: 'Do you feel your attorney general should
        enforce the antitrust law of this country? Do you believe
        that [companies] breaking the laws of your country should be
        prosecuted?'"

                    SBC Communications To Buy Ameritech

        SBC Communications is set to acquire fellow U.S. telephone
        company Ameritech in a stock swap valued at over $55
        billion, the companies announced today. The merger would be
        the biggest deal ever in the takeover-crazed
        telecommunications industry. The merger would value
        Ameritech stock at 15 percent above its closing share price
        Friday of $43.875.

        The Wall Street Journal today quoted people familiar with
        the merger talks as saying the boards of the two companies
        met separately to consider the merger over the weekend. If
        the deal goes ahead, SBC would emerge as by far the biggest
        local phone monopoly in America, with annual revenue of more
        than $40 billion and over 57 million local lines in 13 U.S.
        states, it said.

        Now, the merger will have to pass a review by the Federal
        Communications Commission and various other authorities. SBC
        management, led by chairman Edward E. Whitacre, will lead
        the combined company, while Ameritech chief executive
        Richard Notebaert would relinquish control, enriched with
        big exit payments.

        Notebaert would receive a paycheck equal to at least three
        times his $1 million annual salary, plus lavish stock
        holdings. He and his top four executives could leave with
        more than $33 million in payments, according to the Journal.
        The newspaper said the U.S. local telephone companies
        appeared to be trying to put back together the old AT&T
        monopoly they once constituted. American Telephone &
        Telegraph Co (AT&T) was broken up in 1984 on antitrust
        grounds with its local networks split into seven bells.

           Apple Unveils Jetson-like Mac For Consumers At $1,299

        Apple Computer unveiled a $1,299 Jetson-like computer aimed
        at consumers called the iMac, in a bid to regain its lost
        position in the consumer market. Apple also introduced a new
        line of sleek, black PowerBook notebook computers designed
        around its powerful G3 microprocessor, starting at $2,299
        and available now.

        "We have an incredibly great shot at coming back in the
        consumer market," Apple interim Chief Executive Steve Jobs
        told a packed news conference at the Flint Center. "We have
        a great brand. The brand is known around the world. ... We
        think iMac is going to be a really big deal."

        After showing the faster new G3 PowerBooks in demos against
        rivals based on Intel's Pentium II chip, Jobs, ever the
        showman, took the drape off the new consumer iMac amid
        audible gasps from some in the audience. Jobs asked a video
        cameraman to shoot up close to the system, so that the
        details could be seen on the video screen behind him on the
        stage. Thunderous applause and cheers followed.

        The iMac is an all-in-one system, with only an external
        keyboard, and a built-in 15-inch monitor. The computer,
        which will be available in 90 days, has a 233 megahertz
        PowerPC chip and comes with 32 megabytes of memory, a
        4-gigabyte hard drive, a built-in CD-ROM drive and built-in
        speakers. It does not have a floppy drive. It comes in a
        dual-toned aqua and clear plastic enclosure, with a carrying
        handle at the top, much like the old Macs.

        "There wasn't one great compelling product under $2,000,"
        Jobs said referring to current consumer offerings that he
        said are slow, use older-generation input/output devices,
        and have lousy displays. "These things are ugly," Jobs said
        smiling. "It's like the New Beetle. I think people will feel
        the same way," said Lou Mazzucchelli, an analyst at Gerard
        Klauer Mattison & Co., adding that this system will play
        into some nostalgia for the old Mac among current Mac owners
        who have not upgraded their system, and want a sleek, new,
        innovative design. "They nailed the price point. I want one.
        ... It's way cool."

        Apple said it is planning for big demand for the iMac, but
        executives declined to provide any volume projections or
        unit shipment numbers. Judging by the reaction of the crowd
        in the audience -- which was mostly the Macintosh faithful
        -- the iMac is likely to be well received, at least by Mac
        owners. The system is completely Internet-ready with a
        built-in Ethernet card, a 33.6-kilobit modem, and
        pre-installed America Online software and Microsoft's
        Internet Explorer.

        "We are going to plan for a big success," Anderson said in a
        brief interview following the news conference. "We are going
        to put in place the capacity to respond to a big success. We
        think the demand will be huge." Both Anderson and Jobs said
        Apple hopes to regain market share with the iMac, its new G3
        Powerbooks and a yet-to-be named portable product using some
        eMate technology that Jobs said will be unveiled sometime in
        1999.

        With the iMac, Apple hopes to upgrade many of its current
        installed Mac user base and attract some PC users as well.
        Jobs said Apple's share of the personal computer market grew
        to 4 percent in the March quarter, from 3.4 percent in the
        December quarter, according to International Data Corp. "We
        expect it to rise quite a bit more based on some of the
        things we will show you here today," Jobs said.

        "I think it's exciting," said Tim Bajarin, president of
        Creative Strategies, a consulting firm. "The Mac users
        waiting to upgrade will gobble it up." The Cupertino,
        Calif.-based company also struck out at Intel, saying
        Apple's new computers would outperform current PCs based on
        Intel's Pentium processors. Jobs unveiled another new
        television ad for the new G3 PowerBooks, called
        "Steamroller," where a steamroller runs over a row of
        Pentium II-based laptops in all shapes and sizes, to the
        theme of the old "Peter Gunn" television show.

        Apple said all its new systems have "Pentium-toasting ...
        performance." The new G3 PowerBook outperforms Pentium and
        Pentium II notebook computers and could be built to order in
        more than 1,000 possible configurations. Apple also expanded
        its online store to the education market, launching the
        Apple Store for Education (www.apple.com/education/store)
        and The Apple Store UK ( Bajarin said he had not felt this
        same energy and euphoria at another Apple event since the
        company launched the original Macintosh in 1984.

              Another Influential Software Maker Releases Code

        Following in the steps of Netscape, beleaguered Canadian
        software developer Corel Computer Inc. said Friday it will
        release the source code it develops for its new NetWinder
        Linux Computer, which runs the Linux operating system. The
        company also said it plans to port all its applications,
        including WordPerfect, to the Linux operating system.

        NetWinder is a network computer based on Red Hat Linux, a
        popular distribution of the GNU/Linux open source operating
        system. Its code will be available for peer review and
        evaluation soon, the company said. The computer was
        demonstrated last night for members of the Ottawa Carleton
        Linux Users Group (OCLUG) in Ottawa, Ontario by Corel
        executives Michael Cowpland and Eid Eid. Spectators came
        away impressed.

        "Corel, a mainstream corporate entity with no special ties
        to open-source hacker culture, has completely accepted the
        logic of open source," said Eric S. Raymond, whose "The
        Cathedral and the Bazaar" essay helped spur Netscape into
        freeing the source code of its Communicator browser. "The
        combination of Corel's source code release and planned Linux
        support, plus this new piece of hardware, will present a
        tremendous networking, desktop package that will be
        irresistable for a lot of business environments, on both a
        cost and technology basis," said Dave Neil, founder of
        OCLUG.

        Originally conceived as a Java thin-client Network Computer,
        Corel's NetWinder Linux Computer is really a full-featured
        desktop machine. All of the software Corel writes to power
        the machine will be "copylefted"-meaning the owner retains
        copyright of a work, but then gives away the restrictions
        forbidding distribution or modificiation of the work-under
        the GNU General Public License.

        Other software included with the machine will be the X
        Window System and a number of GNU tools, including the GNU
        Image Manipulation Program or GIMP, a full-featured
        Photoshop-like imaging program. Designed around Digital's
        StrongARM microprocesser, the NCs are very fast but require
        extremely little voltage. Corel spokesman Oliver Bendzsa
        reported that hardware hackers who demonstrated the unit got
        it running with only a 9-volt battery.

                Linux users were delighted by Corel's move.

        "Corel's adoption of the open source model, using our fully
        GPL'd Red Hat Linux distribution as the base OS for their
        machine, means that they can rope in their full user and
        developer community to help them advance their
        technology-without incurring the cost directly themselves,"
        said Bob Young, president of Red Hat Software. "The economic
        benefit to the developers who will help with the project is
        simply that they, too, get to use the more reliable, more
        advanced tools they help build-without losing control of the
        tools they've helped develop to Corel, or Red Hat, or anyone
        else," Young said.

        Other stock features in the NC include 32MB of RAM, 16-bit
        sound with built-in speaker and microphone, dual Ethernet
        interfaces and NTSC video. The company also sells video
        cameras for the unit. Bendzsa said that the machine will
        sell for around US$800 to $1,200, without a monitor. "They
        put the right things in the NC, and it will solve a lot of
        problems for a lot of people," said Russell Nelson,
        president of Crynwr Software, an open-source
        software-support and development company. Nelson noted that
        with its built-in telecommunications features, including a
        phone handset jack, it will be possible to build a free
        software PBX system around these boxes to power small
        offices, as well as handling all the other business tasks
        that require a computer.

        "It is a network computer that runs Java, but make no
        mistake about it-you can buy one of these things and run it
        by itself," he said. Many hardware vendors openly embrace
        free software-including Mylex Corporation and Best Power,
        Inc.-and there are dozens of companies that sell complete
        systems with free software installed. But this is the first
        time an OEM vendor has built a system specifically based
        around it.

        "They're a perfect example of what I call the 'widget
        frosting' model for open-source success," Raymond said. "A
        hardware outfit for which software development is nothing
        but a cost center that begs to be outsourced to the Internet
        community as much as possible." Corel's Bendzsa explained
        that feedback from customers and industry partners was the
        genesis of this cutting-edge operating system. "We want to
        be perceived as a technology leader, and things like Linux
        are pretty cool technologies," he said. "So let's be a
        leader and a participant in this field, and see what comes
        out."

                    Seniors Flocking to Web, Study Says

        The newest Web demographics study suggests that seniors are
        using the Internet in greater numbers than was previously
        thought, with sites devoted to travel planning, search
        engines and freemail sites reaping the bulk of the benefits.
        RelevantKnowledge Inc.'s monthly Top 25 Web Properties and
        Domains survey showed striking increases in both the
        frequency and duration of Internet use for Americans age 50
        and over during the month of April. The study breaks down
        Web site traffic by a number of different metrics including
        minutes spent on the site, and volume of traffic to overall
        domains comprising popular individual sites such as CNN.com.

        The 50-and-over age group, highly attractive to advertisers
        because of its generally high disposable income, surfed 19
        percent longer than all other Web users combined during
        April, and spent nearly an hour more on the Web last month
        than they did in March, the survey said. Web goes mainstream
        Women over 50 used the Internet on an average of 9.9 days in
        April, 20 percent more than in March, according to the
        survey.

        "This is evidence that the Web is becoming increasingly
        mainstream and is no longer just the domain of the
        technologically sophisticated," said Tim Cobb, president of
        RelevantKnowledge, in Atlanta. The top 10 overall domains by
        average days viewed for Americans age 50 and older during
        April were (from 1-10) pointcast.net, infobeat.com,
        hotmail.com, att.net, search.com, washingtonpost.com,
        ebay.com, ESPN Sportszone.com, netscape.com and
        microsoft.com, the survey showed.

        The top 10 overall domains by duration in minutes for
        American women age 50 and over during April were (1-10),
        previewtravel.com, hotmail.com, nasa.gov, msn.com,
        yahoo.com, marthastewart.com, cnn.com, earthlink.net,
        bluemountain.com and hallmarkconnections.com, according to
        the survey. The top 10 In the category of most
        highly-trafficked individual Web sites for all Americans
        during April, the top 10 sites were:

           * Yahoo.com, with about 32 million users
           * Netscape.com, with about 21 million users
           * AOL.com, with about 19 million users
           * Microsoft.com, with about 18 million users
           * Excite.com, with about 16 million users
           * Geocities.com, with about 14 million users
           * Infoseek.com, with about 13 million users
           * Lycos.com, with about 11 million users
           * MSN.com, with about 10 million users
           * Altavista.digital.com, with about 7 million users.

        Data for the surveys is collected from RelevantKnowledge's
        panel of survey participants through a Java-based automated
        reporting tool that transmits information about
        participants' Web surfing patterns. A full explanation of
        the company's survey methodology is offered on its Web site.

         fonix-Acuvoice Text-To-Speech Synthesizer Tops Industry For
                            Second Straight Year

        CT Expo '98 'Best of Show' Winner Complements fonix Suite of
        Products

        AcuVoice, recently acquired by fonix corporation, was
        awarded "Best of Show" at the Computer Telephony Expo '98.
        It's naturally sounding text-to-speech synthesizer won for
        the second year in a row it was announced by Stephen M.
        Studdert, chairman and CEO of fonix corporation. In the
        April 1998 edition of Computer Telephony magazine,
        fonix-AcuVoice's AV1700 text-to-speech synthesizer is said
        to have "amazingly human-sounding speech" and "spooky
        naturalness." fonix-AcuVoice speech synthesis is an
        intelligent system which emulates the mechanics of the human
        mind in the complex process of reading and voicing text.

        Studdert said, "We are extremely excited about the award. We
        feel we have the best text-to-speech products on the market
        and this award shows the tough industry critics agree." He
        also added, "With the recent acquisition, (fonix-AcuVoice)
        we are poised to become even more superior in
        text-to-speech, having the fonix technologies enhance the
        AcuVoice products. We believe the synergy these technologies
        create will accelerate new fonix applications in a wide
        range of fields."

        Other fonix-AcuVoice awards include "Best Speech Application
        Product" at the AVIOS '97 Conference as well as "Best of
        Show" at the CT Expo '97. AcuVoice, Inc. specializes in
        natural sounding text-to-speech software, achieved by an
        innovative approach. AcuVoice speech synthesis is an
        intelligent system which emulates the mechanics of how human
        beings read and speak text out loud. A robust, rule-based
        expert system analyzes the syntax of input text, and
        determines how each word must be pronounced to bring out the
        intended meaning. The system then replicates how humans
        convert a line of text into a pronunciation stream. In this
        way, AcuVoice technology enables computers to tap the power
        of mankind's most natural mode of communication -- speech!

        fonix corporation produces proprietary automatic speech
        recognition (ASR) technologies based on the human auditory
        model. Together with proprietary neural networks, the
        fonix(TM) technologies provide enhanced multi modal
        human-computer interfaces. As a technology provider, fonix
        licenses and will integrate its proprietary speech
        recognition technologies through strategic alliances, joint
        ventures, acquisitions and co-development efforts, for use
        in electronic and computer devices for the Internet,
        commercial, professional and industrial markets.

          ILE Awarded Patent for Unique Natural Language Processing
                                 Technology

        System Makes Re-Use, Search, and Retrieval of Multi-language
        Text More Efficient

        A patent for a new technology that makes it easier to
        retrieve and re-use text-based information was recently
        awarded to International Language Engineering(R) (ILE(R)), a
        translation and localization company located in Boulder,
        Colo. The patent, which was issued March 3, 1998, in the
        category of machine-assisted translation tools, describes a
        unique search engine that allows users to query a database
        of single- or multi-byte text for the purpose of reusing it
        in another document or file. ILE is the only translation
        company or software tool developer that owns a patent in
        this type of technology.

        One of the most powerful applications of the technology will
        be to provide true, multi-language search and retrieval for
        Internet search engines, intranet data search and retrieval,
        and internationalized data mining applications. The fact
        that the search is fuzzy in nature provides a capability in
        multi-language search and retrieval that has not been
        previously available. The core technology of this
        natural-language search engine was invented by Yves
        Savourel, director of research and development, and Jim
        Hargrave, senior software developer, both with ILE. Their
        invention allows newly authored text (for example, text from
        product documentation that is in English) to be compared
        against databases of previously translated information (such
        as text from a previous version of the product documentation
        that is in French). Text that is found to be the same or
        similar can then be re-used rather than re- created. This
        process works with any set of languages and does not require
        that English be one of them.

        "The true genius behind this patent is Jim and Yves' concept
        and their tremendous dedication in developing their vision,"
        said Bernard Gateau, chairman and founder of ILE. "This kind
        of technical excellence is not only a valuable company
        asset, but we feel it's verifiable evidence of our
        world-class skills in this arena." This patented technology
        differs from similar existing systems in two unique ways.
        First, the core technology is statistical in nature, rather
        than linguistic. With this method the system can circumvent
        the complex language issues that cause problems for other
        systems. Secondly, becauseof its statistically based
        functionality, ILE's technology has the capability to
        retrieve text that is a "fuzzy match," in other words, text
        that is not exactly the same as what has been queried but
        which is very similar, as defined by set parameters. For
        example, the sentence, "Can't find the file in this
        directory" is a fuzzy match of the query "Cannot find this
        file in this folder." In addition, the fast speed at which
        the technology can perform this function and the large size
        of text databases with which it can work successfully are
        also distinctive.

        The technology has the unique capability to query text
        databases for nearly matching text across multiple languages
        and retrieve it for appropriate re-use in other documents or
        files. The technology is a component of translation memory,
        a process by which a database of translations is created as
        they are performed and stored along with the source language
        equivalents of those translations. Such a database can serve
        as a usable archive of the text developed for a specific
        purpose or product, and can be leveraged for subsequent
        translations where the text is identical or similar to the
        source language text. The objective of using translation
        memory is to save money that would otherwise be spent in
        rewriting or retranslating large amounts of text that have
        already been written or translated. Re-use also allows
        greater consistency of text from one use to another.

        ILE currently uses the patented technology in its
        localization of software. The company's research and
        development group is working on other facets of natural
        language processing that will further expand the
        capabilities in this area. International Language
        Engineering Corporation is a leading software localization
        and internationalization firm with headquarters in Boulder,
        Colo. One of the foremost providers of technology-based
        development and localization services, ILE partners with
        software, hardware, medical technology, and
        telecommunications companies. ILE also has offices in Santa
        Clara, Calif., and Boise, Idaho. ILE is ISO-9001 certified.

             What If ... Gates, Microsoft Had Never Been Born?

        It may sound a little silly -- especially amid the
        seriousness of what now swirls around Microsoft and Intel.
        But then again, if Frank Capra's conceit was that
        superfluous, why is it that we've all watched his classic
        "It's a Wonderful Life" over again? And we'd so willingly
        sit through it again. It's not so much the movie that
        endures but, instead, that one central "what-if" question
        Clarence the Angel applied to George Bailey's life. What if
        he'd never been born? In the end, the Christmas gift George
        really received was clarity and perspective.

        It was in the cause of clarity and perspective that we
        decided to eprise the Clarence role, and ask the same
        what-if when it comes to antitrust controversy in which
        Microsoft has become the central player. Just as New Bedford
        would have been someplace else entirely without George
        Bailey, the modern world just wouldn't be the same without
        Bill Gates, Microsoft and Windows. But how would things have
        changed if they'd never existed?

        For an answer, we first we went to Paul Saffo, who's
        practiced at imagining the world as it isn't. He's a
        forecaster who's watches technology trends from Institute of
        the Future. The scene he unreels: Bill Gates is a business
        genius -- not a technological visionary. Thanks to his
        dollars and sense, PCs are cheaper, more plentiful, and have
        proliferated far faster than they otherwise would have. But
        because Microsoft tends to "embrace," not invent, the now
        ubiquitous PC is probably far less sophisticated than it
        otherwise be.

        Then we went to W. Brian Arthur. As a former professor at
        Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., he's been studying
        the high-tech economy for 18 years. Now at the Santa Fe
        Institute, he's propounding a new theory of the dismal
        science, which doesn't make it so dismal anymore: In the
        new, high-tech economy, the old law of "diminishing" returns
        hold sway no longer. Now the economy's most precious natural
        resource, knowledge, is accretive.

        These circumstances of "increasing returns" provides the
        perfect for dominant companies. So his conclusion is that if
        Microsoft hadn't been born, then another company, just like
        it, would have. Finally, we went to Ted Johnson, who
        co-founded Visio Corp., which makes Windows-based drawing
        and diagramming packages. Instead of forecasts and theories,
        he traffics in the concrete world of real products for
        customers and users.

        And he thinks the world would be a mess without Windows. As
        the market's de facto standard, it has been a great unifier.
        Without it, moving information from one application to
        another becomes a nightmare. It takes not one, but several
        OSes to run different applications. And you can only do one
        thing at a time. Of course, Bill Gates, Microsoft and
        Windows were born. We have them -- for better or worse. They
        will continue to be with us for a good long time. Still,
        doddering Clarence always had a way of clarifying the real
        issue...







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

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







EDUPAGE STR Focus Keeping the users informed

  [Image]                                      EDUPAGE



Contents



  The Taming Of The Web                        English-Only Approved For Georgia Tech Web
                                               Site In France

  FCC Wants To Combine Internet Support        U S West-Qwest Deal Raises Questions
  Agencies

  Paper In Perpetuity                          AT&T Rolls Out Flat Rate For Heavy Cell
                                               Phone Users

  Telecommuting Adds To Work-At-Home           Magazine "Lifestyle" Choices: GQ, Vogue,
  Employment                                   Vanity Fair ... Or Wired

  Student Suspended For Web Name-Calling       SBC To Acquire Ameritech

  Technology Tops Senate Agenda                Corporations Target Academic Market

  Rhapsody Ended, But The Melody Lingers On    States Lining Up Against Microsoft
  (As OS X)

  HP's "Express" Web Service                   Motorola, IBM Split On PowerPC

  Computers Are Better For You Than Wonder     Texas Attorney General Does About-Face On
  Bread                                        Microsoft Suit

  Sun Extends Java Dispute To Windows 98       American Express Teams Up With Data Mining
                                               Company

  Gore Wants An "Electronic Bill Of Rights"    Regulators Out To Block Murdoch's Satellite
                                               Sale

  Senators 99, Slammers 0                      3D Modeling

  Computer Crime                               Ullman On The Dumbing-Down Of Programming



                                   THE TAMING OF THE WEB

A team of researchers at Cornell University and IBM's Almaden Research Center have
developed a way to narrow down the responses to a Web search inquiry, based on hotlinks
rather than just words in a text. Links embedded in a Web page provide "precisely the type
of human judgment we need to identify authority," says Cornell's Jon Kleinberg. His
software program conducts a standard search based on text only, which is then expanded to
include all the pages to which those documents are linked. Then, ignoring the text, the
program looks at the links and ranks each page based on the number of links to and from it.
After several iterations, the compilation is boiled down to an essential list of
information sources on the topic. IBM has applied for a patent on the underlying algorithm.
(Science News 2 May 98)

                  ENGLISH-ONLY APPROVED FOR GEORGIA TECH WEB SITE IN FRANCE

A French appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a Web site run by the Georgia
Institute of Technology's branch in Lorraine, France can use exclusively English-language
content. In December 1996, two organizations dedicated to protecting the French language
had sued Georgia Tech over the site, citing a 1994 French law that mandates French-language
advertising for products or services sold in France. The Web site is essentially an online
brochure for the Lorraine campus, and has since been altered to offer information in
English, French and German. (Chronicle of Higher Education 8 May 98)

                       FCC WANTS TO COMBINE INTERNET SUPPORT AGENCIES

In response to criticism from Congress and the GAO, the Federal Communications Commission
is proposing the merger of the Schools and Libraries Corporation with the Rural Health Care
Corporation. Both agencies are designed to provide discounted Internet service through fees
paid telecommunications companies and passed on to customers. (AP 8 May 98)

                            U S WEST-QWEST DEAL RAISES QUESTIONS

The recently announced plan for U S West to market long distance services provided by Qwest
Communications International is coming under fire from critics like MCI Communications,
which says: "Whether U S West is selling long-distance itself or acting as an agent, it is
providing long-distance service" without meeting key requirements for opening its networks.
The other Bell companies are watching these developments carefully, and Ameritech has
confirmed that it recently distributed a "request for proposals" to companies with which it
could forge a similar relationship. Officials at the FCC say they need more information
before they can issue an opinion on the deal, which calls for U S West to receive a fee for
every customer that it signs up for Qwest's service. The move essentially circumvents the
prohibition against Bell companies offering long-distance service in their own territories
without first opening their local markets to competition. "If you play by the rules, you
get nothing," says an analyst with Legg Mason. "U S West's move was brilliant." (Wall
Street Journal 8 May 98)

                                     PAPER IN PERPETUITY

A recent report funded by the Electronic Document Systems Foundation concludes that despite
the ubiquity of desktop PCs, we're no closer to the "all-digital workflow" today than we
were to the "paperless office" 20 years ago. The major obstacle is neither technological
nor economic, but rather "sociotechnical" -- people prefer paper. "It came out that one of
the things people really like about a book is the way it smells when you open it. It would
certainly be hard to replicate that digitally," says the president of Interquest Inc.,
which, along with the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science,
conducted the research for the report. The "Network, Screen and Page: The Future of Reading
in a Digital Age" predicts: "Over the next 15 to 20 years, we are likely to observe a
gradual evolution, not a sudden shift... [and] reading, printing and publishing will still
be recognizably similar to what it is today." http://www.inter-quest.com  (CIO 1 May 98)

                     AT&T ROLLS OUT FLAT RATE FOR HEAVY CELL PHONE USERS

AT&T Wireless Services is now offering its high-end customers a flat, $89.99-a-month rate,
with no extra charges for roaming or long distance. The move is designed to prevent
customer defections, lure new customers away from competitors, and "change the way people
use wireless communications," says AT&T chairman Michael Armstrong. (Wall Street Journal 8
May 98)

                        TELECOMMUTING ADDS TO WORK-AT-HOME EMPLOYMENT

The U.S. Census Bureau says that previously published data from the 1990 Census indicate
that almost three and a half million people were then working at home -- a jump of 56 %
over the previous census. A Bureau population expert says: "The decade of the 1980s marked
a rebirth of work at home in the United States. It is noteworthy that this impressive
growth occurred before the expansion of the Internet." Since then, a 1997 survey for
Telecommute America estimated the number of people "telecommuting" to work via computer had
reached 11 million. (AP 8 May 98)

              MAGAZINE "LIFESTYLE" CHOICES: GQ, VOGUE, VANITY FAIR ... OR WIRED

After being on the market for some time, Wired magazine has finally been sold to an
undisclosed price to one of its investors, Advance Magazine Publishers, which owns the
Conde Nast group of lifestyle magazines, including GQ, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. The sale
will allow Wired's parent company, Wired Ventures Inc., to pay off-short-term debt and fund
its online business. Co-founder Louis Rossetto says the online business has accounted for
the greatest percentage of the company's overall revenue growth over the past two years.
(San Jose Mercury News 8 May 98)

                           STUDENT SUSPENDED FOR WEB NAME-CALLING

A Miami-area high school senior has been suspended and may be prevented from graduating
because school authorities discovered that his Web page called the high school "one of the
worst schools within a 10-state radius" and saying it is "the melting pot of the world's
most disgusting people - from the cafeteria to the principal." The case has drawn the
interest of the American Civil Liberties Union. (AP 8 May 98)

                                  SBC TO ACQUIRE AMERITECH

SBC Communications is close to an agreement to acquire Bell sibling Ameritech in a stock
swap valued at more than $55 billion. The deal, following on the heels of SBC's acquisition
of Pacific Telesis a year ago and its recent $5-billion purchase of the Southern New
England Telecommunications Corp., would result in a telecom Goliath, controlling more than
57 billion local lines reaching homes and businesses in 13 states. It's expected that
review by the Justice Department and the FCC will delay the acquisition for up to a year.
(Wall Street Journal 11 May 98)

                                TECHNOLOGY TOPS SENATE AGENDA

The U.S. Senate has dubbed this week "High-Tech Week," and plans to address several
technology-related bills, including the Consumer Anti-Slamming Act, the American
Competitiveness Act (which would make more temporary work visas available for foreign
high-tech workers and provide 20,000 scholarships for study in high-tech fields), and the
Next Generation Internet Act. (Los Angeles Times 11 May 98)

                             CORPORATIONS TARGET ACADEMIC MARKET

High-tech firms, including Cisco Systems, 3Com, Oracle, IBM and others, are boosting their
efforts to teach teachers the latest technologies, hoping to reap the benefits of a highly
skilled labor force of new college graduates. "You're seeing the beginning of computer
vendors going after the academic market," says the VP for business development at Digital
Education Systems. Rather than selling products and services to schools - the old route to
growing market share - companies are now developing curricula for schools and giving them
the equipment to aid the learning process. And while most four-year colleges are reluctant
to offer credit for vendor-developed courses, that may be changing -- students at the
University of San Francisco can take a Cisco course in networking and a database course
from Oracle, both for credit. "Our goal isn't to buy our way into schools," says 3Com's
director of global education markets, "but to help create a generation of the work force
with networking skills." (Investor's Business Daily 12 May 98)

                     RHAPSODY ENDED, BUT THE MELODY LINGERS ON (AS OS X)

Apple Computer has decided against its risky strategy to develop the Rhapsody operating
system for Macintosh computers. Instead it will continue to enhance its Mac OS software,
making it easier for Apple software developers to continue supplying applications that run
on Macs. "It became clear that we had 12,000 existing applications and developers who had
written them who did not want to rewrite them," says Apple's senior VP for software
engineering. "If they hadn't done this, we would have left the Macintosh," says the chief
technical officer of Dantz Corp., an Apple software developer. (Wall Street Journal 12 May
98) Steve Jobs created OS X by deciding to strip out about 10 percent of the old Mac OS
application programming interfaces and adding some new ones. "X" is the Roman numeral for
"10." (New York Times 12 May 98)

                             STATES LINING UP AGAINST MICROSOFT

The 13 states considering a federal antitrust case against Microsoft are asking other
states to join their lawsuit, which claims that Microsoft is illegally using its
marketplace power to limit competition, especially in the Internet browser market. This
action by a collection of states is independent of one being considered by the U.S. Justice
Department, which says it has still not made a decision whether to file an antitrust
complaint against Microsoft. (AP 12 May 98)

                                 HP'S "EXPRESS" WEB SERVICE

Hewlett-Packard is trying a new way to speed service to its best customers, via software
that provides a "fast lane" for repeat buyers. The software collects data on Web buyers'
shopping habits and can be set up to tell buyers how long a transaction will take. "It
addresses a basic value that the Internet community needs a 'faster button' for guaranteed
service," says an analyst with Zona Research Inc. The company also plans to work with Cisco
Systems on technologies that will combine Cisco routers and HP software to provide speedier
Internet transactions. (Investor's Business Daily 11 May 98)

                               MOTOROLA, IBM SPLIT ON POWERPC

Motorola and IBM are diverging on their development of the PowerPC chip, after IBM said it
would not be supporting Motorola's latest rewrite of the instruction set that will be part
of the upcoming PowerPC G4 core scheduled to sample later this year. "We have participated
in the discussions about the extensions," says an IBM spokesman, "but we made a business
decision not to offer them. We believe our customers are better served by a rapid increase
in clock frequency than by a more complex instruction set." The split over the G4
generation of CPUs is bad news for Apple, which is faced with ignoring the latest Motorola
improvement or having to ask developers to write two sets of software -- one that supports
the AltiVec instruction set and one that doesn't. (EE Times 11 May 98)

                       COMPUTERS ARE BETTER FOR YOU THAN WONDER BREAD

Social critic Todd Oppenheimer, an associate editor of Newsweek, says that, in spite of the
fact that "there is no good evidence that most uses of computers significantly improve
teaching and learning," a poll taken last year indicates that "U.S. teachers ranked
computer skills and media technology as more 'essential' than the study of European
history, biology, chemistry and physics; than dealing with social problems such as drugs
and family breakdown; than learning practical job skills and than reading modern American
writers such as Steinbeck and Hemingway or classic ones such as Plato and Shakespeare."
(Washington Post 11 May 98)

                  TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL DOES ABOUT-FACE ON MICROSOFT SUIT

After opting out of a multistate antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, Texas's attorney
general Morales has changed his mind and now plans to play a key role in leading upcoming
negotiations, along with attorneys general from New York and Wisconsin. Microsoft has
agreed to delay shipping its Windows 98 operating system until Monday in return for a delay
in the states' antitrust litigation. The states are now scheduled for talks with Microsoft
tomorrow, and sources say the negotiations could last all week. (Computer Reseller News 14
May 98)

                           SUN EXTENDS JAVA DISPUTE TO WINDOWS 98

Sun Microsystems is expanding a long-running contractual dispute with Microsoft, filing
motions with a U.S. district court judge to order Microsoft to ship a version of Java with
Windows 98 that is compatible with Sun's version of the software. Microsoft first licensed
Java from Sun in 1996, but then began tinkering with the code, adding "refinements" that
can be used to write programs that only work with Windows. Sun sued Microsoft over the
refinements last fall. "The problem is that Microsoft has breached the licensing agreement
and is delivering an incompatible implementation of Java into the marketplace," says the
president of Sun's software division. Although it is unlikely that Sun's latest move would
delay Microsoft's release of Windows 98, scheduled for Friday, Sun is arguing that
Microsoft should be held in contempt of court if it proceeds with its plans. (Wall Street
Journal 13 May 98)

                     AMERICAN EXPRESS TEAMS UP WITH DATA MINING COMPANY

American Express has formed a relationship with a "data mining" company called
KnowledgeBase Marketing in order to be able to sell merchants detailed information on which
people are most likely to purchase which products and services. KnowledgeBase obtains its
information from public sources, and keeps data such as home values, ages and sexes of
household occupants, etc. Privacy advocates are worried about ventures of this kind, but an
AmEx executive says that by helping retailers and marketers more closely target their most
likely customers, the ultimate result of the project would be to cut down on the overall
quantity of junk mail and junk phone calls. (USA Today 13 May 98)

                          GORE WANTS AN "ELECTRONIC BILL OF RIGHTS"

An "Electronic Bill of Rights" presented by Vice President Gore in a commencement speech at
New York University calls for Congress to pass legislation protecting the privacy of
medical records, announces establishment of a Web site that consumers can use to delete
their names from direct mail and telemarketing lists, requires that each federal department
and agency create a privacy officer to ensure compliance with existing laws, and announces
a privacy conference in June sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department. (New York Times 14
May 98)

                      REGULATORS OUT TO BLOCK MURDOCH'S SATELLITE SALE

U.S. antitrust regulators plan to go to court to block the $1.1-billion sale of a key
television satellite slot by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and MCI Communications Corp. to a
group of cable operators. News Corp. and MCI had hoped to sell a slot suitable for a direct
broadcast satellite to Primestar Inc., which is owned by TCI Satellite Entertainment,
Time-Warner Inc., MediaOne Group Inc., Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc. (Toronto
Financial Post 13 May 98)

                                   SENATORS 99, SLAMMERS 0

The Senate has voted 99-0 in approval of a measure that imposes stiff fines and penalties
on phone companies found guilty of "slamming" -- the practice of using subterfuge to switch
the long-distance phone service of customers without their permission from their present
service provider to that of the company engaged in slamming. A study prepared by the
Federal Communications Commission has reported that slamming complaints rose from 16,000 in
1996 to 44,000 in 1997. (NY Times 13 May 98)

                                         3D MODELING

Using the San Diego Supercomputer Center's Laminated Object Manufacturing machine,
researcher Mike Bailey has been producing detailed, accurate solid models of such things as
complex protein molecules (at a scale of 20,000,000:1) for Salk Institute and Scripps
Research Institute; terrain maps of the surface of Venus, the Earth's ocean floor, and
active seismic zones for planetary scientists and geologists; mathematical functions and
abstract shapes; and prototypes of mechanical objects. (Discover June 98)

                                       COMPUTER CRIME

Criminal Justice professor David Carter of Michigan State University predicts that criminal
gangs will turn to cyber-terrorism in the next century -- tapping into corporate computers
for data such as product information and marketing lists, and then threatening to destroy
the files unless money is paid. "They could even hack into a traffic control computer and
change things as simple as the programming of street lights and traffic signals, as you see
in movies." (Ottawa Citizen 13 May 98)

                          ULLMAN ON THE DUMBING-DOWN OF PROGRAMMING

In the first part of a new two-part Salon magazine essay called "The Dumbing-Down Of
Programming," software engineer Ellen Ullman says: "We build our computers the way we build
our cities -- over time, without a plan, on top of ruins." Ullman's recent book, "Close To
The Machine," published by City Lights Press and excerpted in Educom Review and Harper's,
has received wide praise from the critics and is being translated into several other
languages, including Japanese and German. http://www.salonmagazine.com/21st/







                                     The Linux Advocate



- Column #11 - April 30th, 1998
by Scott Dowdle
email: dowdle@icstech.com

Login:

Greetings STR readers.  I originally wrote the bulk of this column about two eeks ago.
Then I went on vacation for about 10 days only to return to find out that that the copy I
sent to Ralph somehow didn't make it too him after all... so I ended up doing some
updating.  Taking a vacation can really get you behind, let me tell you. :)

This installment of Linux Advocate is very heavy with news items and many, many URL
references.  I hope all of the URLs work but if you find a broken URL or two, sorry. :)

I don't see why everyone thinks that if Windows 98 gets delayed there will be some sort of
financial crisis.  About the only thing that will be affected is Microsoft's potential for
short term gain.  There aren't that many substantial differences between Windows 95 and
Windows 98, pretty much everyone agrees... especially if you are talking Windows 95 with
MSIE 4.x.  Like I said before, I really don't care whether Microsoft gets its hand slapped
nor if Windows 98 is delayed or not.  In fact, I'd much prefer to see Windows 98 released
on time so people can plunk down their $100 for the upgrade... and then hear all of the
feedback from the user community.  I don't expect to hear many Windows 98 rave stories but
who knows. :)

Oh, btw... I noticed the DEC Alpha article in last weeks STR... you know the article... the
one about how DEC Alphas were used to create the special effects for Titanic the movie.
Gee whiz, I reported that fact what seems like months ago, except I was a little more
complete in my reporting... or perhaps more correctly, the URL I gave for further
information contained a more detailed story about the networking cluster that was created
using well over a hundred DEC Alpha boxes running Linux.  Somehow DEC's official
promotional stories on the whole Titanic graphics issue completely leave out the fact Linux
was chosen for the project, not their own Digital Unix.  Kinda odd, huh?

Oh, speaking of network clusters and Linux, Red Hat has released a new product called
"Extreme Linux."  Extreme Linux is essentially a convenient, CD-ROM package containing Red
Hat's Linux distribution bundled with all of NASA's Beowulf clustering software... for an
off the shelf super-computer OS.  Beowulf has been getting a lot of press lately although
I've not necessarily been covering it all here in Linux Advocate.  Anyway, you can read the
press release for Extreme Linux at the following URL:
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/980512/nc_red_hat_1.html

Linux News:

Item #1: Linux Advocacy issues addressed - A rather good article was published recently in
the pages of Linux Gazette regarding Linux Advocacy.  In my opinion, this article is on the
mark.  It can be found at the following URL: http://www.ssc.com/lg/issue27/wagle.html

The main source of Linux Advocacy information can be found within the digital pages of the
Linux Advocacy mini-HOWTO which can be found at the following URL:
http://www.caldera.com/LDP/HOWTO/mini/Advocacy.html

Item #2: Corel Computer & Linux - I reported some time ago about how Corel Computer had
decided to make Linux the OS of choice for its network computer.  Well, Corel has made some
additional announcements lately.  While WordPerfect has been available for Linux for
several versions now, Corel has seen fit to decide to port their other titles to Linux as
well.  The Corel News has also been reported upon heavily by various online sources.  I'll
provide the various URLs for this item below starting with the press release directly from
Corel. http://www.corelcomputer.com/products/announcement.htm
http://linux.mit.edu/cgi-bin/corel.cgi http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/980511/corel_1.html
http://slashdot.org/articles/9804071946216.shtml
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/content/pcwo/0508/315031.html
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,21986,00.html
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,21929,00.html
http://www.wired.com/news/news/business/story/12187.html
http://www.canoe.ca/OttawaBusiness/19_b1.html

Item #3: National Public Radio (NPR) did a talk show with the Free Software movement and
Open Source movements as the focus.  The featured speakers were R chard M. Stallman of the
Free Software Foundation and Eric Raymond, author of the Cathedral and the Bazaar paper.
This talk is available in Real Audio format at the following URL:
http://www.npr.org/programs/totn/archives/1998/980417.totn.html

Please note that the broadcast is an hour long and that the story on free software takes
place in the second half of the broadcast... so you can use Real Player's time scrollbar to
advance the program past the first story.

Item #4: John C. Dvorak is at it again.  In a recent online commentary for ZDNet, Mr.
Dvorak asks the question, why upgrade to Windows 98?  Check out his commentary at the
following URL: http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/content/pcmo/0428/310887.html

Item #5: Inter@ctive Week has discovered that it's hard to buy a computer without Windows.
In fact, they claim that it can not be done.  Check out their article at the following URL:
http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/filters/tthrelkl.html

In reality, there are a number of vendors that sell PCs with Linux installed. They aren't
at the top of the PC food chain but they are reputable dealers.  For a list of these
vendors, check out the following URL: http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/linux03.html

Item #6: CEO of Caldera Inc. makes a charge - computer OEMs are scared of Microsoft to such
a degree that they refuse to offer the computer consumer a choice in operating systems.
Check the online media reports on this at the following URLs:
http://www.techweb.com/wire/story/TWB19980428S0025
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/content/inwo/0427/310649.html
http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/daily/980427h.html
http://www.msnbc.com/news/161590.asp

Item #7: Open Source Software: The Real Grassroots Movement! - O'Reilly Books, a major
computer book publisher and supporter of the Open Source software movement, has written an
article that contrasts the grassroots movement that Microsoft was attempting to implement
as reported by the L.A. Times a few weeks ago... and the REAL grassroots movement... the
Open Source movement.  You can find the article at the following URL:
http://www.oreilly.com/news/opensource_0498.html

Item #8: Netscape's Andreessen receives a lot of media coverage - Marc Andreessen, one of
the founders of Netscape Communications, has been on a speaking tour lately.   Many say
that he is promoting Linux more than Netscape.  A speech he gave in Boston has gotten quite
a bit of press coverage.  To read more, visit the following URLs:
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,21466,00.html
http://www.infoworld.com:80/cgi-bin/displayStory.pl?980424.ecandreesen.htm
http://www.pcworld.com/news/daily/data/0498/980424133938.html
http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/content/zdnn/0424/310228.html
http://msnbc.com/news/161080.asp?NewGuid=dc0d4f4fdf7d11d19a9008002bb6a6bb
http://www.crn.com:80/dailies/weekending042498/apr24dig03.asp

Item #9: KDE Beta 4 released - The K Desktop Environment team released KDE Beta 4 to the
Unix community on April 19th although it took a few days for all the package files to get
posted and distributed around the world to the various KDE mirror sites.  You can find the
KDE Beta 4 press release at the following URL: http://www.kde.org/beta4announce.html

In a related story, a Slashdot user posted a review of KDE Beta 4 to the Slashdot site
(http://slashdot.org) which sparked a ton of user comments and opinions, much relating to
the debate about GNOME vs. KDE and GTK vs. Qt.  While the noise to signal ratio is rather
high, a lot of worthwhile commentary can be found at the following URL:
http://www.slashdot.org/features/9842792020.shtml

Item #10: Linux office packages reviewed - 32 Bits Online (http://www.32bitsonline.com) has
produced a series of articles that review the various office suite packages for Linux.  The
overview and reviews can be found at the following URLs:
http://www.32bitsonline.com/Issues/april98/officesuite_intro.shtm
http://www.32bitsonline.com/Issues/april98/applixware437.shtm
http://www.32bitsonline.com/Issues/april98/staroffice4.shtm
http://www.32bitsonline.com/Issues/april98/andrew_user.shtm
http://www.32bitsonline.com/Issues/april98/verdict.shtm

Item #11: Barksdale not greedy - It was reported recently that Netscape CEO, Jim Barksdale,
opted to return 300,000 stock shares back to the company... which was estimated to be worth
some $13 million.  This is amazing to me in the ethically challenged world of corporations
and CEOs.  Check out the full story at the following URL:
http://www.news.com/News/Item/0,4,21177,00.html?st.ne.fd.gif.k

Item #12: One Body Running on Many Legs - O'Reilly recently published a news article that
talks about the various platforms that Linux is available for.  To the best of my
knowledge, Linux is the most widely available and developed Operating System and its high
portability should make it the first platform available on virtually all new hardware.  You
can check out the article at the following URL:
http://linux.oreilly.com/news/oram_0498.html

Application Spotlight - KDE Beta 4

Being crunched for time, I'll not be able to devote the space to exploring the K Desktop
Environment that I'd like to. Most MicrosoftWindows users don't seem to have a concept of
exactly what a Window Manager is.  An excellent site (receiving about 350,000 hits a week)
dedicated to window managers for the X Window System can be found at the following URL:
http://www.PLiG.org/xwinman/

One of the key elements in the design of the X Window System for Unix systems i   that the
user should be free to pick the interface they want.  This means that the X Window System
isn't tied down to any particular GUI interface... and there are dozens (a low estimate) of
Window Managers and Desktop environments a user can pick from.   Some window manager
developers try to clone existing environments, others try to take the best from all worlds,
and still others try to come up with totally new designs.   As a result,  you can find
Window Managers that are like the NeXT, the Amiga, the Macintosh, Windows 95, etc... along
with many independent and unique designs.  It should be noted that a Window Manager doesn't
limit one to what X based programs can be run as X applications aren't  specifically built
with any particular window manager in mind although there are a couple of exceptions to the
rule.  This means that you can run all of your X based software from within any window
manager although it might look slightly different as a window manager controls the look and
feel of most window controls such as the title bar, scroll bars, title bar buttons, etc.
Window Managers also are traditionally in charge of managing virtual desktop pagers,
minimizing and maximizing running applications into icons or an entry on a task bar, etc.
While different window managers handle things differently,  most of them have similar
functionality and most differences are in perceived ease of use, implementation, and design
style.

For your viewing pleasure, check out the Amazing Linux Desktops homepage.   The Amazing
Linux Desktops homepage is a source for many user submitted desktop screenshots... and it
can give you a visual clue as to how flexible and configurable both Linux and the X Window
System is.  Be forewarned though, it  has a lot of graphic images which can take some time
to xfer. You can find it at the following URL:
http://www.info.polymtl.ca/ada2/coyote/www/linux_desktops.html

The KDE project is an effort to provide a high quality and extremely functional, desktop
environment that includes many common application programs, utilities and games.   One of
the key design elements of the KDE project is that there should be a common user interface
among the KDE software components...  that everything should have the same look and feel.
To this end, KDE, although still in beta release, has been very successful. There aren't
many significant differences between the KDE Beta 3 and Beta 4 releases other than bug
fixes and a fuller fleshing out of the environment.  As it stands, KDE Beta 4 is rather
polished and complete although various parts of the system are at different maturity
levels.  Since the goals of the KDE team are very high and include writing a custom browser
that handles everything from local file "exploring" to the WWW and remote files via FTP,
the KDE project is a major undertaking.  With this installment of my KDE review I'll
concentrate on where KDE stands out, and where it needs a bit more work.  My point here
isn't to criticize the KDE development team, who is constantly updating the system and
hasn't set a target date for the official production release... but rather, my intention
here is to give the prospective KDE user an idea of what to expect  with the current
release.

The KDE browser, aka KFM, is very impressive but when compared to Netscape (or Microsoft
Internet Explorer on Windows), it isn't quite done yet... well, with respects to browsing
WWW documents.  The changes in KFM between Beta 3 and Beta 4 are significant and KFM has
improved greatly.  It is obvious that the authors of KFM are top notch programmers and I
look forward to seeing how it progresses with future releases... but as it stands, KFM
isn't ready to replace your tried and true WWW browser.  KFM does support animated images,
forms, frames, multiple windows and the gambit of more modern WWW browser features but it
doesn't currently support the plethora of newer WWW related technologies like JavaScript,
Java Applets, dynamic HTML, etc.  To me it is debatable about the usefulness of much of the
newer WWW technologies, especially for the traditional, bottle-necked, modem-using home
user... but the fact of the matter is, you never know what all a WWW page is going to have
on it until you access it.  KFM does a fantastic job of presenting most WWW pages... and it
was very noticeably faster than Netscape especially with regards to pulling pages from the
cache.  KFM does choke on some pages, either by shutting down or having a screwy looking
display.  Whenever KFM shuts down, it doesn't effect the stability of the rest of the KDE
environment.

My main point here is that not every KDE component is a suitable replacement for all of the
software you were already using before KDE came along... ie you don't want to get rid of
Netscape in favor of KFM just yet.  Generally, most of the applications, utilities and
games included with KDE are ready for prime time usage but a few of them have noticeable
bugs still... and such is to be expected in a beta release.   Considering all of the bugs
that are to be found in the production releases of Microsoft's OS products, as a whole KDE
looks like a second or third generation production release by comparison.  The KDE project
has been in development for slightly over a year and the progress the KDE team has made is
more than commendable, it is amazing.   The progress that the KDE team has made is
comparable to the following: Just imagine if you will if Microsoft would have release
Windows 95 within a year of the initial release of Windows 1.0 back in the 80's... RATHER
than 10 years later.  I think you get my point, right? :)

Anyway, I hope to do a better job of reviewing KDE with future columns, rather than
offering up editorial like diatribes... as well as more screenshots.

Logout:

Regarding week before last's issue of STR and the email from me that Ralph reproduced and
rebutted regarding Microsoft, ethics, Netscape, Linux, etc... I'd like to thank Ralph for
giving me the opportunity to discuss the whole thing publicly and for his detailed
response.  I got an email from him not too long ago asking if I was going to come up with a
response to his response but I've opted not to for the time being.  As I said earlier, I've
been so busy over the past week, I simply haven't had the time and I've decided that
concentrating on more proper methods of Linux Advocacy (see News Item #1 above) would more
productive than trying to point out how Microsoft sucks. :)  Yeah, yeah... I know... I
started the whole thing and now I don't seem to want to keep up my end of the debate... but
rest assured that I will continue to bash Microsoft, errr, make that --- point out some
valid information important to the computer user at large as time goes by.  I do think that
Ralph made quite a few valid points but I don't agree with him on much of his response...
and as I've always said, different opinions are a good thing... and the truth usually lies
somewhere in-between the extremes.

Since I wrote that last paragraph I ran across an article on ZDNET that talks about how it
is virtually impossible to find venture capital for a startup company who wants to make a
product that competes directly with a Microsoft product.  I mention this just as evidence
that my assertion a while back wasn't so far fetched.  You may find the article in question
at the following URL: http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/printhigh/51198/biz511.html

As usual, feel free to send me email with any comments, suggestions, or whatever.   Thanks
for reading!

Scott Dowdle







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  [Image]                                              [Image]                                             [Image]











STReport is proud to award the Blue Ribbon Editor's Choice 1998 to WS_FTP Pro 5.0

Here are just a few more great reasons to buy or upgrade to WS_FTP Pro 5.0

Highlights

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Baha'i International Community
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"Remote to Remote" Transfers with WS_FTP Pro

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                                     GOVERNMENT (STATE & FEDERAL)

                                   RUNNING UNCHECKED and DERANGED?





An Opinion

Part 3

By R.F. Mariano

Here we are, at the third segment and the DOJ and a FEW of the State AG's are making noises. Texas
AG, Morales, is seemingly a joker or "Court Jester" to be more accurate. He jumps a few weeks ago
and claims he gonna do this and that to Microsoft and then, states that Texas is no longer
interested in the MS matter. Now, once the DOJ makes a few aggressive noises, Morales is all set to
go again. Personally, if I were a taxpayer and citizen in Texas, I'd jump all over this
grandstanding fool and ask him loud and clear "WHAT ABOUT THE BORDERS OF TEXAS THAT ACT AS A SIEVE
AS FAR AS ILLEGAL ALIENS AND DRUGS ARE CONCERNED?? One has to wonder if perhaps the tasks of the
real world of law enforcement are too great for AG Morales of Texas. His state, like New Mexico, are
major gateways into the USA for all sorts of illegal drugs, like China White and Mexican Mud Heroin,
Cocaine, powder, paste and cookies, Pot, Hash (Lebanese Blonde and Opiated Black) and a host of
designer drugs. Then we have the illegal aliens, taking jobs away from both aliens holding green
cards and US Citizens. Come On, AG Morales, knock off the "grandstanding"... Belly Up to the table
and take on the real problems facing your State and the USA. Like I said... I feel its far too big a
task for you.

Look at the glee among the Gates Haters over the three day delay of Win98! Isn't that amazing? It
takes so very little to turn these people on. Or, is it that they already know they are on the short
end of the stick of reality. By the end of the month, all the laundry will be hanging out to dry. By
then we'll know if there is any fairness left in this country.

What do I mean? Well.... Back in the first segment I asked the readers to check out BFI Industries,
(they collect garbage, refuse and recyclables), ConAgra (monstrous food and grain conglomerate) and
now, joyfully add one more to the list... Phillip Morris Corp. yep that's right the cigarette
people. But did you know hoe much ELSE they outrightly own and control?? Do the homework friends...
do the checking. Once you do on these three... you'll soon realize the nonsense against MS is truly
politically driven. Asst. USAG Joel Klien has either been sent on a "snipe hunt" or, he's part of
the "Gameplan." What game you say? Why naturally, to keep the DOJ in the public's eye, proving Janet
Waco/Ruby Ridge Reno is doing "her job" and perhaps taking the "heat" off the Starr/Clinton
Crusades.

Agree? - Disagree? Let us know drop us a line or two at rmariano@streport.com





                                        They're STILL at IT!!



                                               [Image]

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the three-day truce showed the government
clearly had the upper hand.

"The fact that Microsoft is negotiating with the Justice Department and apparently is prepared to
make substantial concessions certainly undermines any argument that Justice has no case," Hatch
said. "Microsoft would not be at the table unless it felt that Justice had a very strong case."

Yet Washington state Republican Sen. Slade Gorton drew the opposite conclusion, giving a spirited
defense of Microsoft's claim that its 95 percent market share in PC operating systems is a result of
consumer choice, not raw market power.

"Today's agreement between Microsoft and the Department of Justice is the latest in a series of
backpedaling by the Justice Department and the states attorneys general," Gorton told reporters
assembled on the lawn of the Capitol. "The state attorneys have abandoned the slightest pretense
that they are representing consumers. There is no damage to consumers."







                              Microsoft Confirms Continuing Discussions
                                           with Government

Windows 98 on Schedule for June 25 Launch, but Microsoft to Delay Until Monday Release to PC
Manufacturers

Redmond, Wash. - May 14, 1998 - The Microsoft Corporation confirmed that it has completed all work
to develop Windows 98, but has agreed with the Department of Justice and State Attorneys General not
to release the product to computer manufacturers until Monday. The company confirmed that it has
taken this step so that discussions with the Government, which have been proceeding for over a week,
can continue. The company said it continues with plans for the commercial launch of Windows 98 to
consumers on June 25. Microsoft will have no further comments at this time on its discussions with
the Government.

 Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal
computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use,
each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage
of the full power of personal computing every day.





                           Appeals court sides with Microsoft on Windows 98

A U.S. Court of Appeals sided with Microsoft Corp. Tuesday by preventing a lower court decision
issued last year from interfering with the release of Windows 98. The appellate court order, which
will have no effect on any new antitrust case that states or the Justice Department may file, said
the government had a very weak chance of winning a permanent injunction against Windows 98 under the
old U.S. District Court case from last year. The three-judge appellate panel ruled on a narrow
Microsoft motion that is part of a large, complicated case involving a 1995 consent decree the
company signed.

                                 Lucent starts digital radio venture

Lucent Technologies Inc. said Monday it is developing digital audio broadcast systems that will
provide listeners with greatly enhanced sound quality for AM radio and near-CD quality for FM radio.
The Lucent Digital Radio venture will develop In-Band On-Channel systems, a digital enhancement to
current analog radio broadcasting systems, the company said in a statement. There are more than
12,000 radio stations in the United States (AM and FM combined), and the number of radios owned in
the United States is more than 500 million, or more than 5 per household. Digital audio broadcasting
systems are expected to be commercially available starting in 2000, the company said.

                                  Imation to develop SuperDisk drive

Imation Corp. and Panasonic Industrial Co. said they will develop the first SuperDisk drive for the
Universal Serial Bus, a type of link for computer peripherals. The announcement follows Wednesday's
unveiling by Apple Computer Inc. of its new consumer Macintosh, iMac, which will feature two USB
ports for peripherals. iMac will begin to ship in August, the same time-frame in which USB SuperDisk
drives also are expected to be available to iMac purchasers, Panasonic and Imation said in a joint
statement. The USB SuperDisk drive, like other SuperDisk drives, will be fully read/write compatible
with today's PC-formatted 120 MB SuperDisk diskettes, 1.44 MB diskettes and 720 KB diskettes. It
will also read and write existing Mac-formatted diskettes and Mac-formatted SuperDisk diskettes, the
companies said.

                          Hewlett-Packard to introduce new Internet products

Hewlett-Packard Co. was scheduled to unveil Monday its new "e-business" strategy with a line of
products designed to help more companies, including itself, make better use of the Internet. While
HP describes the new products as "mission-critical" for online transactions, analysts say they could
be equally critical to HP. The company, which is best known for things like PCs and printers and
calculators, has been slow to make some of its products relevant to the Internet. Without a clear
strategy in this area it risks losing business to competitors like IBM Corp.

                              Yeltsin eyes world stage in Internet debut

Russian President Boris Yeltsin, turning his attention to foreign policy, is to make his debut on
the Internet Tuesday to field questions about a summit of world leaders in Britain later this week.
But his new cabinet, finally in place after weeks of political turmoil, will be wrestling with the
many economic problems at home that still hamper Russia's efforts to be treated by the West as an
equal on the world stage. Yeltsin was scheduled to fly Friday to Birmingham, England, for the annual
gathering of the Group of Eight (G-8) main industrial nations in the English city of Birmingham. His
Internet interview will focus on the Birmingham summit, where Yeltsin will be hoping to build on his
good personal ties with other leaders.

                            Apple touts new system, to retain MAC OS core

Apple Computer Inc. said it would combine the core of its Macintosh operating system with elements
of its high-end Rhapsody software in a new operating system that would be Apple's biggest leap in
technology since 1984. The new operating system - Mac OS X (10), - is due out in 1999. Apple said
its advantages will include memory protection when the system crashes, much faster networking and a
faster launch time. "The Mac OS has 22 million customers," interim Chief Executive Steve Jobs told
the Apple Worldwide Developers' Conference.

                             Microsoft expects Sun to sue over Windows 98

Microsoft Corp. officials said they expect rival Sun Microsystems Inc. to file a lawsuit seeking to
block the shipment of the forthcoming Windows 98 operating system. Tod Nielsen, manager of developer
relations, said Microsoft remained confident it would ship Windows 98 to computer manufacturers as
planned this Friday (May 15) for retail sale beginning June 25. (Reuters)

                             Yeltsin takes to cyberspace ahead of summit

President Boris Yeltsin took to cyberspace Tuesday to announce he was in excellent health and to
pledge that Russia would never return to what he called the "Communist psychosis." The 67-year-old
president also told surfers of the World Wide Web he did not think Russia was ready to be led by a
woman. Shortly before making his Internet debut, Yeltsin used the much more traditional setting of
Russia's foreign ministry to outline the country's international priorities at a forthcoming summit
of world leaders in Birmingham, England.

                             Intel opens Europe's first 0.25 micron unit

U.S. microprocessor Intel Corp. opened Europe's first 0.25 micron microprocessor production factory
in Leixlip, east Ireland, costing $1.3 billion. The new factory, called Fab 14, will produce
advanced microprocessors, Intel said. It also plans to convert its existing facility Fab 10 to the
0.25 micron process technology to be completed next year at a cost of several hundred million
dollars, it said.

                               German court starts CompuServe porn case

A German court opened proceedings Tuesday in a case that could define local responsibility for
pornography available through the Internet. After nearly three years of investigations and pre-trial
hearings, the former head of the German division of CompuServe on-line service, spent his first day
in court to defend himself against charges of distributing child pornography and other illegal
materials. Prosecutors alleged Felix Somm, 34, should be held responsible because CompuServe
provided access in Germany to illegal pornographic pictures and Nazi texts that were available via
the Internet from computers in other countries. Somm said he expected to be cleared of the charges.





                                        Who GETS The Last Word



I can think of at least three good reasons why Windows 98 should be allowed to ship as scheduled,
but none of those reasons includes a national economy lying in tatters because Microsoft was barred
by the feds from shipping an upgrade to Windows 95.

No comment was met by more head scratching in my travels last week (which included San Francisco,
Silicon Valley and NetWorld+Interop in Las Vegas) than Gates' attempt to buttress his right to ship
an unfettered version of Windows 98 as a type of economic elixir that if bottled up by the
regulators will send the economy into a tailspin (see "Gates: Windows 98 delay would be a
disaster").

Here are my three good reasons;

        * First, Windows 98 is a decent upgrade to Windows 95.
        * Second, it does not overstep any real or imagined monopolistic boundaries that the
          company has not already crossed. Microsoft could hardly usurp any more browser market
          share than Netscape is currently shedding by continuing to engage in a strategy du
          jour that is leaving even the strongest Netscape loyalists unsure of what kind of
          company it really wants to be.
        * Third, I do believe that the outcome of a government blockade of the Windows 98 ship
          date would be to discourage innovation rather than to encourage competition.

The episode has to be perplexing and a business nightmare for Gates. For someone whose favorite
disparaging remark is to discount someone as not being sufficiently "technical," finding one of his
company's main products in the hands of chest-thumping legislators has to be beyond his
understanding. Maybe that is why the company seems to be flailing about in its attempts to present a
coherent stance against the Windows 98 blockaders. But arguing that a shipping delay of Windows 98
might unhinge the economy is weak on two levels.

        * First, if Windows 98 really is that vital to the economic engine, it only adds more
          fuel to the argument that Microsoft holds monopolistic sway over the computer
          industry.
        * Second, Microsoft's record of shipping major products on time is so spotty that, if
          you believe a delayed Windows 98 will engender an economic drag, you could argue the
          company has all along been a drag rather than an engine of economic growth.

The best news last week for Microsoft came from a company senior vice president, Jim Allchin, who at
NetWorld+Interop said the Microsoft's NT 5.0 release is advancing briskly and will indeed offer all
the important components, including Active Directory and IntelliMirror, that are essential to the
success of the product. Perhaps Gates' time would have been better spent championing NT among the
technical folks in Las Vegas rather than trying to orchestrate support for Windows 98 around an
economic argument that rang a bit hollow.





  [Image]





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





                                           Editor's MailBag





                                 Messages * NOT EDITED * for content



From: Bill [billh@radix.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 10, 1998 11:47 AM
To: Ralph F. Mariano
Subject: Wazzup ???

Behave Mr. Mariano.

I have no "closure" on the bad old Atari days. I had captured several megs of messages from
Compu$erve during the Nathan and Darlah days, but never was able to ascertain for sure just what
happened to Atari. It was a good thing that was constantly sandbagged; was it Father Jack, or was it
his offspring? I also can't figure out what became of the minions. Do you have this to read in one
inclusive summary? It would make a good beginning-to-end story.

I notice on TV ads for classic Atari games on ?Sega? that the copyright seemed to be Atari/JTS. God
help us all.

I have now and then talked with Ron Luks, to me one of the good guys who tried so hard to be
objective in the face of all the obfuscation.

Believe it or not I once had a complete collection of Current Notes, from the beginning (had bought
them at Novatari meetings). Last time I moved I threw out all but a half dozen. I often wonder what
became of the magazine.

Was the Atari ST known to be a one-trick pony all along (that it would never evolve) by those who
promulgated its virtues? (I have no idea what that word means other, make these voices stop). They
seemed to embody the worst virtues of a corporation; constant cheapening of the product, layoffs,
everything but quality, oursourcing, on and on.

Ah yes, I once had a single line Forem BBS called "The LoyaliST" and carried your magazine on the
main menu. It would be nice to have BBSes make a return of some sort. Maybe.

Hope all is well with you!

p.s. who will police the police, monitor the monitors? Also, I'm having a bad time getting Big D/Ls.
I'm thinking about throwing $20 at my ISP for a month's worth of drive space so I can ftp to my
shell account, then download at X2 speed fromt here. Beats this fragmented packet stuff. Saw a post
from a guy with cable modem who said it took him 23 minutes to pull a similar sized item.

I had ISDN for a year and half and disconnected it for financial reasons, and they keep jacking up
federal this and that charges. It's a good service, always rock solid instant connections, but it's
not priced for po folks. (We have no true "flat" usage pricing, there are packages but they are
still expensive). Flat here is $249/month!!!! Flat cable modem is $64 but I can't do that as they
have no server storage for web pages.

Hiya Bill! Good to read you and hope all is well with you too!



Subject: Win 98 Will Cost - Msg Number: 431736
From: Frank Shallenberger 76447,3002
To: Ron Asche 71167,126
Forum: MSWIN95 Sec: 02-Freestyle Chat
Date: 11-May-98 19:33

>> The cost for the Upgrade Version will be $110.00. The cost for the Full Version will be $200.00.
<<

I heard, on a computer talk show recently, the opinion that Win98 is mostly Win95 with bug fixes,
and that most changes are cosmetic. Therefore, the opinion went, to upgrade from Win95 should cost
about $30, while an upgrade
from Win 3.1 should cost about the same as Win95 (about $90).

-Frank



Here Folks, is the typical bleating of mis-information being proffered about the computing world as
fact.  Its sad, because this writer "heard" some yahoo "blowing smoke" it became fact upon fact.
These so-called analysts, mavins or whatever simply have to be taken with a grain of salt.



Subject: Win 98 Will Cost - Msg Number: 431817
From: John Kaufmann 71562,1015
To: Ralph @ STReport 70007,4454
Forum: MSWIN95 Sec: 02-Freestyle Chat
Date: 12-May-98 12:58

Ralph,

I don't want to get into an argument on the merits of MS products in general (which you apparently
regard highly, without reservation), nor of Win98 in particular (which earns superlatives and
exclamation points in your review), nor of Win95 (which you apparently regard as the next best thing
to Win98). MS products are certainly not the worst ever produced, and represent, at least, a triumph
of the principle that mediocre products with great marketing will beat great products every time.

> Thank God its [sic] a free country [USA - this *is an international forum,<

Indeed it is. The purpose of government action to ensure free markets is to keep it that way - a
principle recognized since this country's founding, and codified a century later in the Sherman
Anti-Trust Act. Of course, there is a constant tension, between too much and too little government
action, in the balancing act to maximize freedom for all, a tension classically summarized by
Theodore Roosevelt. But it's as silly to trivialize the issues and rail against the evil forces of
doj, as it is to maintain that only government can do what is best for all; neither extreme rises
above the juvenile.

FWIW, it's amusing to see someone rant against "the Control Freaks" -- and then argue *against
diversity and for uniformity under the banner of MS (your points a, b, c). Most major software
engineering innovations in the past 18 years have come from outside MS, as one would expect. Many
have been incorporated into the design of Windows. Many more have been lost or not yet incorporated,
despite technical superiority. But why complain about the "geek programmers" who have developed
*every* major application advancement, as well as systemic advancements like O-O design, CUI and DDE
(all incorporated in sub-optimal implementations in W95) -- as if somehow only the superior market
presence of MS matters?

Tell you what: If you really want to evangelize for MS products in general, and Win98 in particular,
rather than flacking:

>People you need to know that Windows 98 is superb... its faster, much   more stable [than what? -
earlier Windows? is this truly a *compliment?] and despite all the rumor mongers and naysayers, it
IS a MAJOR upgrade...<

> Windows 98 is a MUST upgrade ... I'll continue to use Win98 and Never look back!<

try this: Hang around here and answer questions -- real operational questions. I admit to being new
to W95 [which, BTW, despite your strange aversion to DOS, seems to be still a DOS application]. But
I've been around computers for 30 years and seen perhaps a dozen major operating systems (if you
include several flavors of Unix) and I know that W95 is probably the most used system. (The only
contender, in terms of numbers of users, would be the rest of the DOS family.) So I'm really shocked
at the number of *basic questions that go unanswered here, among people who are relatively
knowledgeable and are trying to get to answers. Wander around the other OS forums in CIS, and see if
you find people having so much trouble getting answers. So here's the deal: If you know something
about this system that others do not know, by all means share your knowledge, and help people solve
their problems. You will win more friends for W95, and by extension W98, than by ranting and raving.

- John

For a guy who doesn't want to get into an argument... he sure is trying real hard 



Subject: Win 98 Will Cost - Msg Number: 432082
From: Ralph @ STReport 70007,4454
To: John Kaufmann 71562,1015
Forum: MSWIN95 Sec: 02-Freestyle Chat
Date: 14-May-98 7:49

>> As I said, I don't want to get into an argument on the merits of MS products, and did not. That's
for another time, if you like. My point was simple: Obviously you want to build support for Win98;
OK. You would do much better by providing support for Win95 [a mess of an operating system for which
many *basic questions go unanswered, even here among conscientious and relatively knowledgeable
users], than by flacking for Microsoft and attacking the competition and "the Control Freaks and
Gates Haters" and "geek programmer"s and "DOS babies". It was unseemly and unhelpful. If you want
credibility for your position, help. <<

Agreed.....

And, I might add, that's exactly what I do. Now, When Win98 hits... I'll be right here and many
other places offer advice and help where needed. As for; "the Control Freaks and Gates Haters" and
"geek programmer"s and "DOS babies" the answer is simple.... if the shoe fits wear it and if those
who find a fitting shoe care to advance their computing endeavors, I'll be there to help them too. I
don't know you John, nor have I seen many of your posts in this or other forums but I'm glad you
raised the points you did. At least you had the chutzpah to do so. I, and I'm certain many others,
will be more than eager to assist when Win98 hits the streets. It is a marvelous upgrade to Win95.
There simply aren't enough positive things that can be said.

Ralph F. Mariano @ STReport International Magazine

- CompuServe & Internet Explorer 4.01+ - ISDN, Simply the best!
- WEB Site; http://www.streport.com  - STR NEWS Server; news.streport.com
- Email; rmariano@streport.com  - STR FTP Server; ftp.streport.com



Subject: Win 98 Will Cost - Msg Number: 432136
From: John Kaufmann 71562,1015
To: Ralph @ STReport 70007,4454|
Forum: MSWIN95 Sec: 02-Freestyle Chat
Date: 14-May-98 15:14

But why should users who are still looking for *basic answers on a relatively mature Win95 want to
open another can of worms? -- on the basis of assurances from people who did not deliver the first
time? There's an old adage about that ("Fool me once ...") -- which is to say, it does not take
"chutzpah" to ask these questions, merely a healthy sense of proportion.

If you have answers about Win95, giving them =now= will improve your credibility WRT Win98. If not,
it is difficult to credit assurances that things will magically improve with the expenditure of a
couple hundred more dollars.

- John

STILL TRYING!!  Gotta give him an A for effort. 

From: Jim Vaughan jvaughan@jps.net
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 1998 7:17 PM
To: rmariano@STREPORT.COM
Subject: Win 98

You asked for feedback. Well here you go.......

I think most people have no idea of the implications of the current government action against
Microsoft. It will, if successful, destroy the software industry as we know it.

I write software (I own a small software company) and I rely on Microsoft to set standards. I need a
standard to write code around. Without a standard we go back to the bad old days prior to the IBM
PC. I wrote software in the early days of PCs. We had a version of our software for the P-System,
UNIX, CP/M and DOS running on all kinds of different hardware. I spent about five days a month
writing new code, the rest of the time was spent making sure that code worked on all the different
platforms.

Just imagine what it would be like now if this had happened back in the early days of DOS. In order
to buy a working computer you would have to buy:

   * DOS
   * GUI
   * A file manager
   * tcp/ip stack and all of the dial up networking code
   * Browser
   * Java
   * Network software
   * Audio playback
   * Video playback
   * etc etc etc etc

All of these would, I assume, be offered by several sources. Each product would be different. No one
would guarantee that they all work together. Worse still, I couldn't guarantee that my software
would work with whatever combination the user had purchased. It would also cost a lot more.

The really crazy thing is Netscape needs a tcp/ip stack to work. So I assume they think it's OK to
incorporate a tcp/ip stack into Windows but the not the Browser. I am sure Trumpet disagree. Prior
to the tcp/ip stack being incorporated into the operating system, Trumpet had a nice little
business. They are still around, but I don't know anyone who uses Trumpet Winsock anymore. Sure that
was bad for them, but prior to this all on-line services used a different stack. None of them worked
together, this meant if you used CompuServe you couldn't also use Netcom (or at least no normal user
could, I figured out how to, but most could not).

I think we all need to realize that the Browser is not an application it's a API and APIs are the
operating system. What else is an operating system if not a collection of APIs. Even the application
side of the Browser has become a standard part of the operating system, can you imagine a PC without
one?

As you say, one thing is for certain. Any politician that tries to hurt Microsoft is trying hurt me
as well. I don't like being hurt and will make sure that on election day they all realize the error
of what they are doing.

Jim Vaughan
Redondo Beach, CA
ICQ 4493332
jvaughan@jps.net
jim_vaughan@csi.com



Jim,

I believe you've said the best way yet.  Thanks for reading STReport





          [Image]





        Special Notice!! STR Infofile File format for Articles



                          File Format for STReport

        All articles submitted to STReport for publication must be
        sent in the following format. Please use the format
        requested. Any files received that do not conform will not
        be used. The article must be in an importable word processor
        format for Word 6.0 and/or Word Perfect 7.... The margins
        are .05" left and 1.0" Monospaced fonts are not to be used.
        Please use proportional fonting only and at Twelve (12)
        points.

           * No Indenting on any paragraphs!!
           * No Indenting of any lines or "special gimmicks"
           * No underlining!
           * Columns shall be achieved through the use of tabs only.
             Or, columns in Word or Word Perfect format. Do NOT,
             under any circumstances, use the space bar.
           * Most of all.... PLEASE! No ASCII "ART"!!
           * There is no limits as to size, articles may be split
             into two if lengthy
           * Actual Artwork should be in GIF, PCX, JPG, TIF, BMP,
             WMF file formats
           * Artwork (pictures, graphs, charts, etc.)should be sent
             along with the article separately
           * Please use a single font in an article. TTF Times New
             Roman 12pt. is preferred. (VERY Strong Hint)

        If there are any questions please use either E-Mail or call.
        On another note... the ASCII version of STReport has reached
        the "end of the line" As the major Online Services moved
        away from ASCII.... So has STReport. All in the name of
        progress and improved readability. The amount of reader mail
        expressing a preference for HTML as opposed to our Adobe PDF
        enhanced issue is running approximately 11 to 1 over the PDF
        edition.  Cited are size, graphic quality and speed of
        download.   I'm elated that requests for our issues in HTML
        far outnumber PDF. So PDF too, like ascii, is gone. HTML is
        now a reality.  On our web download page is a selection for
        HTML (Read or Download). As you can see, STReport will not
        be caught in the old, worn out "downward compatibility
        dodge" we must move forward.

        Many grateful thanks in advance for your enthusiastic
        co-operation and input.

        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!"

        The rain has _finally_ decided to cease after the first 11
        or 12 days this month! I have to tell you, this long a
        period of wet dreariness is too much to handle. Bring on
        Spring!

        Memorial Day weekend is rapidly approaching - where have
        these past five months gone? Looking forward to getting
        caught up with some yard work: flowers and vegetables. Then
        it's cleaning up some of the "fringe" areas of the yard,
        finish re-seeding some areas, and hoping to see some more
        grass growing. Then we tackle the pool, inside the house,
        and maybe... relax one weekend! If we're lucky, we'll be
        semi-ready for our first Memorial Day barbecue with friends.
        We'll see.

        As you may have noticed earlier in this issue, the industry
        news has been decreased. I'm gradually going to faze it out
        due to time constraints. Perhaps someone will take up the
        gauntlet, or the Edupage articles will have to suffice by
        themselves. I also wish to thank Joe Mirando for his
        generous offer to convert the HTML version of STReport to
        ASCII, as I've been doing for the past couple of months.
        Ralph hasn't found a suitable converter on the PC to do the
        job; and, demand for the ASCII version is still high. The
        Atari HTML to ASCII converters aren't perfect, so once the
        issue is run through the program, it's still necessary to
        format a lot of the issue and also remove some of the odd
        HTML control codes and occasional PC-only font codes. It's
        still a laborious task and the reason why our
        mail-subscription service and online uploading has been
        delayed 12-18 hours recently.

        Well, it's getting late, so let's get to this week's issue!

        Until next time...



                         Mummies Playtime Beta V0.1

        From: Deano Deano@zetnet.co.uk

         Hi all, I have my game Mummies Playtime in a workable state
        at the moment and I am looking for people to test it.
        Download it from
        http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/sillysoftware/Playtime.zip

        Note it has only two sub games at the moment and no sound
        and its not a big file so shouldn't take too long to
        download. The colour goes a bit funny under Pacifist v0.48
        as well. Can someone test it on STFM's, STE's, Falcons, and
        Pacifist (especially V0.46) and let me know if you find any
        bugs or can suggest some improvements. Please reply to
        Deano@zetnet.co.uk

        Yours Faithfully (In a very Silly way)
        Deano (Silly Software Programmer)
        Email Deano@zetnet.co.uk
        http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/sillysoftware/





            JTS Announces Consent to Removal of Listing From AMEX

        SAN JOSE, Calif., May 11 /PR Newswire/--JTS Corporation
        (Amex: JTS), today announced that it is consenting to the
        removal of its Common Stock and 5 1/4% Debentures from the
        American Stock Exchange (AMEX).

        This action became necessary because the Company no longer
        fully satisfies all the guidelines of the AMEX for continued
        listing. The AMEX has advised that the last day for trading
        of the Company's securities on the AMEX will be Friday, May
        22, 1998.

        The Company expects that a market for its securities will
        develop over the counter following removal from the AMEX.

        AMEX Stocks With New 12 Month Low Price At 4:30 PM

        ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 12, 1998 (COMTEX) -- Today's stocks on
        the American Stock Exchange that have set a new 12 month low
        price.

        New

                          Low Last Change Volume
        JTS Corp:1/8 1/8 -3/32 2,332,500





                               Gaming Section



           * "Gran Turismo"!
           * "Devil Dice"!
           * "Yoda Stories"!
           * Electronic Arts 'Up'!





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



                    THQ Brings LucasArts' 'Yoda Stories'
                            to Nintendo Game Boy



        CALABASAS, CALIF. (May 11) BUSINESS WIRE - May 11, 1998 -
        THQ Inc. Monday announced that it has signed an agreement
        with LucasArts Entertainment Co. LLC to develop and publish
        "Yoda Stories" for the Nintendo Game Boy videogame system.

        The game, which chronicles Luke Skywalker's intriguing
        adventures as he trains to become a Jedi Knight, is
        scheduled for release in the United States in November 1998.
        "Yoda Stories," which was previously released by LucasArts
        as a mini-desktop adventure for PC CD-ROM in Spring 1997,
        will take gamers through a collection of short quests where
        they encounter a variety of well-known Star Wars characters
        in familiar environments. Along the way, gamers explore
        different worlds, collect artifacts, tools and weapons, and
        engage in combat against Imperial Stormtroopers, bounty
        hunters and alien creatures.

        "Teaming up with LucasArts gives THQ a great opportunity to
        bring a premier property such as 'Yoda Stories' to the Game
        Boy platform," said Brian Farrell, president and chief
        executive officer, THQ. "With 'Yoda Stories,' children of
        all ages will get a quick dose of pure fun and entertainment
        while once again reliving the magic of the Star Wars
        adventures." "With THQ bringing LucasArts' 'Yoda Stories' to
        Game Boy, game players will have yet another way to enjoy
        the Star Wars experience," said Jack Sorensen, president of
        LucasArts.

             Gran Turismo Drives Videogame Racing to New Levels

        FOSTER CITY, CALIF. (May 12) BUSINESS WIRE - May 12, 1998 -
        Demonstrating its ability to consistently propel the
        platform and raise the bar for videogame genres, Sony
        Computer Entertainment America announced today the release
        of Gran Turismo, the world's most advanced racing game,
        available exclusively for the PlayStation(R) game console.

        The overwhelming popularity of the videogame racing category
        continuously demands greater innovation and authenticity,
        and Gran Turismo delivers on all counts unlike any other
        game for the home video game market. It is the realism that
        marks the greatest difference.

        Players can choose from more than 150 "real" cars from
        manufacturers such as Acura, Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Dodge,
        Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and TVR.
        Each car is based on its own unique set of specifications to
        create a sophisticated physics model, allowing game players
        to "feel" the difference in the handling and driving
        characteristics of their car.

        Combined with the unprecedented realism is an incredibly fun
        game. Game players can start off with a quick and intense
        arcade-style game pitting themselves against a friend in
        two-player mode or match their skills against six "computer"
        controlled opponents. Players can also opt for the
        sophisticated and in-depth Simulation Mode where they can
        buy a huge variety of cars, race them and win money to
        customize their car with more than 200 different upgrade
        components.

        They can also qualify for three different licenses where
        players take a series of tests designed to refine and/or
        teach them new driving skills. Earning licenses allows the
        players to qualify for more advanced races where the prize
        purses are greater. With handling agility and throttle
        response that mirrors a true racing feeling, the incredibly
        realistic racing experience of Gran Turismo is further
        fueled by unparalleled 3D graphics. The television quality
        visuals are achieved through highly detailed car models and
        a revolutionary environment mapping, which utilizes
        PlayStation game console's graphical capabilities to the
        extreme.

        "The response and anticipation for Gran Turismo has been
        phenomenal, already receiving rave reviews. In Japan, the
        title has already sold more than two million units," said
        Andrew House, vice president, marketing, Sony Computer
        Entertainment America. "Gran Turismo is clearly the most
        ambitious and realistic racing videogame on the market and
        has significantly raised the bar by setting new standards
        for the racing category. The race is on."

                     THQ Expects to Roll Winning Number
                              With "Devil Dice"

        CALABASAS, CALIF. (May 12) BUSINESS WIRE - May 12, 1998 -
        THQ Inc. Tuesday announced that it has signed an agreement
        with Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) to publish
        "Devil Dice," an addictive puzzle game, for the PlayStation
        game console. The title is scheduled for release in North
        America in September 1998. "Devil Dice" is the ultimate
        multiplayer 3-D puzzle game for the advanced PlayStation
        console. Gamers can choose to beat the clock or up to four
        other players in a frantic, high-speed circus of tumbling
        dice. They can also delve into a set of 100 brain-twisting
        strategic puzzles. Enthusiasts must also contend with the
        complexities of playing with five types of dice.

        "This brilliantly simple but addictive game is a great
        addition to THQ's diverse product line," said Brian J.
        Farrell, president and chief executive officer, THQ. "We are
        excited to work with Sony in bringing a challenging puzzle
        game home to the millions of PlayStation fans here in the
        United States." "THQ's proven video-game success in the
        United States makes them an excellent partner for this
        must-have puzzle game," said Akira Sato, co-chief operating
        officer, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "'Devil Dice' was
        the hit of the recent Tokyo Game Show and is easily one of
        the most entertaining games of the year." "Devil Dice" is
        scheduled for launch by SCEI in Japan in June.

             Electronic Arts Fourth-quarter Net Rises 45 Percent

        Electronic Arts said its fiscal fourth-quarter net income
        rose 45 percent as the world's biggest video game software
        company added 15 new games for Different types of machines.
        Electronic Arts also said it expects a strong year in fiscal
        1999. Net income could rise 40 to 45 percent from fiscal
        1998 levels while revenue could rise 27 percent, Electronic
        Arts' chief financial officer Stan McKee said.

        "There's still a great growth prospect," McKee said. "People
        (on Wall Street) probably think we are being conservative."
        After the market closed, Electronic Arts said fourth-quarter
        net income rose 45 percent to $15.4 million, or 25 cents a
        share on a diluted basis, from $10.6 million, or 18 cents,
        in the same quarter a year ago. Wall Street had expected the
        San Mateo, Calif., company to earn 24 cents a share,
        according to a recent analyst survey by Zacks Investment
        Research.

        Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 rose 31 percent to
        $204.1 million from $156.2 million the year before.
        Electronic Arts writes video games for personal computers
        and popular game machines, like Sony's PlayStation and
        Nintendo's N64. The company's strong growth was tied closely
        to explosive sales of the PlayStation during the quarter,
        McKee said.

        Electronic Arts also introduced several new games that
        quickly became best sellers. Top sellers during the quarter
        were Need For Speed III, Triple Play 99, March Madness 98
        and F- 15, the company said. Strong sales likely will
        continue in the new fiscal year on continuing strong sales
        of the PlayStation, McKee said. PlayStation sales likely
        will not dip for at least a couple of more years.

        Geographically, fourth-quarter revenue rose 59 percent in
        North America, 22 percent in Europe and 8 percent in Asia.
        The company said it expects to increase its market share of
        games for personal computers in 1998 with the introduction
        of SimCity 3000, a long-awaited update to a classic city
        simulation game. The results were released after the market
        closed. Its shares closed down 62.5 cents at $45.25 on the
        Nasdaq. For the year, net income rose 41 percent to $72.6
        million, or $1.19 per share on a diluted basis, from $51.3
        million, or 86 cents, in fiscal 1997. Revenue for the year
        rose 35 percent to $908.9 million from $673 million last
        year.



        ONLINE WEEKLY STReport OnLine The wires are a hummin'!



                            PEOPLE... ARE TALKING

        Compiled by Joe Mirando

        jmirando@streport.com

        Hidi ho friends and neighbors. Another week has come and
        gone, and as springtime looms large ahead of us things again
        begin to slow down in the Atari world. Like a child's
        see-saw suddenly left unattended, activity goes up and down.
        Each time it goes up, it goes up less than it used to.
        Eventually the tug of such esoteric things as gravity,
        resistance, and entropy will insure that the see-saw becomes
        motionless. It's just the nature of things.

        Someone asked me recently about what might have happened if
        Atari had been able (and willing) to continue producing TOS
        based computers and if each successive generation of those
        computers had been on par with what we are seeing in the PC
        world today.

        That is a tough question. First of all, even if Atari had
        continued to remain competitive with other platforms, there
        is no guarantee that the processors available would have
        kept pace with THEIR counterparts. Even though Motorola, the
        manufacturer of the venerable 68000 series of processors,
        started out with a much more advanced design, integrated
        circuits are not their only business. In fact, unlike Intel,
        ICs make up a small percentage of their overall sales so
        there isn't as much incentive to make more advanced
        versions.

        Of course, if the Atari line of computers had evolved into a
        more competitive machine alongside the average PC, Motorola
        might have found that it was worth their while to
        concentrate on processors. That's the 'chicken-and-egg'
        part. Would Atari have done better if Motorola had
        concentrated on processors more, or would Motorola have
        concentrated on processors more if Atari had done better?
        Who knows.

        One thing I _do_ know is that the die-hard Atari "fanatics"
        left (including myself) would not be the people that they
        are now. More popular machines attract more software. More
        software gives you more choices without having to fuss and
        fret over things. Without the fussing and fretting we don't
        grow as fast. Wasn't it Nitsche who said "That which does
        not kill us makes us stronger"?

        I don't know about you, but I'm fairly happy with who I am
        and the things I've learned. The great people I've met along
        the way are an added bonus. Some of them have 'evolved' into
        Windows users, some have evolved into Mac users, and some
        have even transcended the need for computers altogether.

        Just look at this magazine. Out of the editors and regular
        contributors to this magazine, more than half are now or
        have been Atari users. I know that I probably wouldn't have
        ever gotten hooked up with these characters if I'd started
        out with an IBM compatible. I would have been oblivious to
        the need for online news and help, happily plugging away at
        whatever pablum the powers that be saw fit to release as the
        latest and greatest. I might even have become one of the
        "un-computer users" because of disillusionment. So I guess
        you could say that I'm what I am today because Atari
        couldn't keep up with the other guy. And maybe that's not
        such a bad thing.

        Well, now that the Prozac is kicking in, let's take a look
        at what's being said on our favorite online service.



        From Delphi's Atari Advantage Forum

        Several weeks ago, for some long forgotten reason, someone
        mentioned a child's game known as hopscotch. Tony Greenwood
        tells us:

        "Yes it is [called] Hopscotch here in England, not a girls
        game though, the only real girls game we have here is
        rounders. Always has been for girls. Boys where not even
        allowed to play it when I was at school....I think in the
        USA its called baseball ?... I really could not resist
        that... and its true by the way."

        Our own Dana Jacobson tells Tony:

        "Baseball is a game (in England) only played by girls? That
        sounds very peculiar!  It's a professional sport here,
        as well as many other countries - why would it be any
        different in England? Is the game identical in both
        countries, or different such as is our games of "football"
        (rugby vs football)?"

        Tony tells Dana:

        "No baseball isn't played in England.. Rounders is played in
        England, usually only in Schools and invariably always by
        Girls only... Not being a Girl (honest) and never having
        seen baseball, I don't know if there are any differences...
        only that its the same game... probably bits different.
        Cricket...Now there's a game!!!"

        Dana tells Tony:

        "Cricket? Nah, that's a noisy bug. "

        "Turbo" Nick talks a bit about a service that requires
        special software... I won't give you their name, but their
        initials are AOL. :

        "I never did like the idea of an online service that
        requires the user to run their proprietary interface
        software. It seems that it would cause many people to become
        dependent on that service."

        **Yeah, and what vendor of a commercial service would want
        THAT?? Carl Barron tells Nick:

        "I don't feel hooked on AOL or CSi, because of their
        software. but I sure wish [there was] a better alternative
        to what AOL is using at present. A net access is very nice.
        and makes being connected to more than one service at the
        same time on the same phoneline possible. I do it often now
        that everyone is so much a month, rather than by the minute
        used.

        I access all the services [except genie] on one phone call
        and often more than one at once. I dislike AOL's confining
        software and their continuous snail's pace. Its ok for
        conferencing but all else its too slow..."

        Nick asks Carl:

        "How do you access more than one online service at a time?
        And what are the advantages of that?"

        Carl tells Nick:

        "Well I can download my messages from CSi, monitor and
        'speak' if desired in an aol conference and read my delphi
        messages all at once. as an example. I have even attended a
        csi and aol conference at the same time. Now that everyone
        has a so much a month plan, I don't worry about actual time
        on line:) Conferences are not 'high speed' anyway.... The
        first thing I do after getting to where I want to start aol,
        csi or netscape, is to run my offline newsreader in the
        background. All that junk mail and news is collected while I
        do something 'constructive'. I try to keep it to 3 or less
        things running at once, just to keep my sanity."

        Dana Jacobson posts:

        "I've been recently talking with former Atari VIP, Don
        Thomas about coming online some night for a chat/conference.
        Don, as usual, is more than happy to do so. However, due to
        his schedule at Sony these days _plus_ the fact that he's on
        the west coast, a weekday evening chat would be held too
        late for the majority of members here to attend. So....I'm
        recommending that we have a conference on a Saturday evening
        - probably a more conducive time for most members (textside
        and webside) to attend.

        If this sounds like a good idea to you, please reply to this
        message. I'd like to set it up well enough in advance to
        promote it here in the Atari Advantage, and Delphi's
        promotional areas both textside and webside. Thanks for your
        input. If there's a date that's really good for everyone,
        let's plan it. Sometime late May or early June would likely
        be logical choices - before people's summer vacations kick
        in! "

        ** C'mon folks! Send Dana a note to say that you think this
        is a great idea. Don was at Atari for a long time, and is
        one of the few people there that was able to 'lay down with
        dogs' without "getting up with fleas". He was a true insider
        with a unique perspective on what happened, what didn't
        happen, and why. Watch STReport for more news of this event
        as details become available!

        Rob Mahlert, author of Web Page Creator, posts:

        "I hate to say it... but I bought a PEE CEE. What the
        feelings on the PC Atari emulators? I still want to use
        PageSTream, and GFA Basic, and a others. Yes, I am staying
        in the Atari Community... I have a project in the works,
        more on that in the future..."

        Greg Evans tells Rob:

        "Get TOSBOX from the author of SilkBoot, SilkMouse, etc.
        It's only $10 and runs well in standard ST modes. No ROMS
        needed but you do need to make a TOS image of your ROMS.
        Alternatively, get GEMulator '98 but I think you need ROMS
        for that and it's over $100 to boot. It used to support
        MagiC instead of ROMS but I think that's no longer the case.
        What speed cpu did you get? Did you throw caution and your
        money to the wind and buy a 400 mhz P-II???"

        Rob replies:

        "I got a K6-233, 32megs of RAM, 4.3 gig HD, 12x CD, and a TX
        II motherboard with built in VGA and Sound. I'm using my
        SVGA and 56k modem from my TT. the system cost $500. From
        what my PC friends tell me, I got a GOOD buy..."

        Greg Evans tells Rob:

        "$500?!? Wow! Should make a nice Atari clone running
        TOSBOX!"

        Michael Burkley of Suzy-B Software tells Rob:

        "I have just bought a new PeeCee (Pentium II, etc,). I use
        both TOS Box by Mark Slagell (of SilkMouse and all the
        Silkware programs fame) and GEMulator by Darek Mihocka.
        Previous to my new computer I liked TOS Box better than
        GEMulator as it seemed that the mouse moved along the screen
        a bit more naturally, and the screen display was easier to
        see because Mark had designed it to fill up the whole screen
        rather than just the ST sized screen as in GEMulator.

        But once I upgraded the PC I also upgraded to the newest
        version of GEMulator. I've found that Derek has improved the
        emulator so very much. Of course it runs faster on the
        faster machine, but that doesn't matter so much to me as the
        improved display. It acts like a normal ST/TT now with
        smooth mouse movements, which is very important to me. I'm
        not sure how much of that is due to an improved videocard
        and faster processor and how much is due to his programming
        skills. He has made it an option to fill up the whole screen
        with the Atari screen (increasing the font size, etc.) which
        is very nice.

        I'm using GEMulator now instead of TOS Box, though since
        I've sent my $15 off to Mark for TOS Box I'm keeping it
        around (it runs some things that GEMulator doesn't). I don't
        like PaCifiST as it has been practically taken over by
        pirates who use it to run all sorts of stolen ST software.
        The author knows about it and doesn't even try to put a stop
        to it, and that's enough for me to stay away from it... The
        new GEMulator does support the use of TOS ROM images and
        MagiC as well. "

        GKIEFFER tells Michael Burkley:

        "Well.... I to have a PC[586] that I've had since 01/1993...
        OF course I still have my Atari-Mega-STe.... BUT when I've
        also used something called.... PC64 = IBM PC Commodore 64
        emulator... HOW do you get the games? DISK IMAGES OF THE
        ORIGINAL COMMERCIAL DISK & shareware of the commodore stuff.
        The same thing applies to those PacifiST emulator. You get
        the better games from the DISK IMAGE of the commercial
        ones....

        SINCE many of those commercial games won't be seen in a ibm
        1.44 high density floppy drive.... IE: Gunship.... HAVE you
        checked out something called "MAME" That EMULATOR will play
        all the COMMERCIAL ARCADE GAMES. The ones you used to supply
        with your quarters... ARE NOW FREE... BUT it's still
        ILLEGAL. Hmmmmm...... MORAL OF STORY: To be 100% on the
        legal side.... NEVER!!! use any EMMULATORS!!!"

        I jump in and tell GKIEFFER:

        "Oh, not true! Emulators are wonderful things, and can be
        used well within the law quite easily...

        If I bought a copy of Gunship back when it was one of the
        hottest, newest games around, I don't just own the manual,
        box, and disk... I own the right to use the software. That's
        the reason it's legal to make image copies of TOS from your
        own machine, but not to grab the image from the internet
        when you've never owned a TOS machine in your life, but want
        to run some of the neat STuff that's been written for TOS
        machines over the years. (I'm not pointing any fingers, you
        understand, just making a point. So please don't take it
        personally).

        If someone DOES have a TOS computer and for some reason
        can't run one of the programs to create an image of TOS, I
        _assume_ that it would be okay to grab one from one of those
        web pages. The same would hold true (again, I'm assuming
        here) for games and other programs.... If you own a copy of
        it, I see no reason that you shouldn't be able to take
        advantage of the availability.

        The no-no part to me is the "something for nothing" switch.
        That's the one where someone says "Hey, I supported the
        platform when I bought that used 520. I'm entitled to all
        those games". You'd be amazed (or maybe you wouldn't) at how
        many people have actually talked themselves into believing
        things like that. My rule of thumb is, "If you didn't pay
        for it, it ain't yours". Plain, simple, and easy to live by.

        I see very little value in TOS emulators anyway, since just
        about any application that was or is available for the Atari
        has an equal or better counterpart in the PC world. True,
        there are some things that were done exceptionally well for
        the ST that have no peer in the PC world, but they are few
        and far between now.

        I've always figured that if I ever make the jump into
        Gates-ville I'd be better off bucking the learning curve and
        going 'native'.

        Well, it's just my opinion."



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

                             PEOPLE ARE TALKING







                             EDITORIAL QUICKIES

        A fire started on some grassland near a farm in Indiana. The
         fire department from the nearby town was called to put the
          fire out. The fire proved to be more than the small town
          fire department could handle, so someone suggested that a
         rural volunteer fire department be called. Though there was
          doubt that they would be of any assistance, the call was
                                    made.

         The volunteer fire department arrived in a dilapidated old
        fire truck. They drove straight towards the fire and stopped
                        in the middle of the flames.

         The volunteer firemen jumped off the truck and frantically
           started spraying water in all directions. Soon they had
                     snuffed out the center of the fire,
           breaking the blaze into two easily controllable parts.

             The farmer was so impressed with the volunteer fire
          department's work and so grateful that his farm had been
        spared, that he presented the volunteer fire department with
                             a check for $1000.

         A local news reporter asked the volunteer fire captain what
                                     the
                  department planned to do with the funds.
          "That should be obvious," he responded, "the first thing
                               we're gonna do
             is get the brakes fixed on that stupid fire truck."

                             John Hole/WUGNET [Enfield,Middlesex,UK]

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