MAG Disk (Sep 1993) : StuffToRead / AR123.guide

Amiga Report 1.23, September 3, 1993

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                       International Online Magazine

                
September 3, 1993                                                  No. 1.23
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                            From STR Publishing

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Where to find Amiga Report Table of Contents WHERE TO FIND AMIGA REPORT -------------------------- Click on the button of the system nearest you for more information. FidoNet Systems --------------- OMAHA AMIGANET ........................................Omaha, Nebraska NOVA BBS ...................................Cleveland, Tennessee IN THE MEANTIME BBS .....................................Yakima, Washington CLOUD'S CORNER BBS ..................................Bremerton, Washington BIOSMATICA BBS ...............................................Portugal AMIGA JUNCTION 9 .........................................United Kingdom BITSTREAM BBS ....................................Nelson, New Zealand REALM OF TWILIGHT ........................................Ontario, Canada METNET TRIANGLE ............................Kingston Upon Hull, England Non-FidoNet Systems ------------------- FREELAND MAINFRAME ....................................Olympia, Washington LAHO BBS .....................................Seinajoki, Finland FALLING BBS .................................................Norway COMMAND LINE BBS ........................................Toronto, Canada RENDEZVOUS BBS ............................................New Zealand
See the end of this document for numbers to each BBS. ___________________________________________________________________________ /// 09/03/93 Amiga Report 1.23 "Your Weekly Source for Amiga Information" -------------------------- · The Editor's Desk · CPU Report · New Products · Dealer Directory · AR Online · AR Confidential · SimLife AGA · MBX1230XA · Brilliance » Cortland AmigaFest « » Delphi Takeover! « » Soft-Logik Announces TypeSmith 2.0 « =========================================================================== Amiga Report International Online Magazine "Your Weekly Source for Amiga Information" » FEATURING WEEKLY « Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware · Software · Corporate · R & D · Imports =========================================================================== PORTAL · DELPHI · FIDO · INTERNET · BIX · NVN · AMIGANET =========================================================================== From the Editor's Desk Table of Contents /// From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" ---------------------- Some interesting things have been happening this week in the Wonderful World of Computers. Delphi is being purchased by News Corporation, there was a big conference of BBS sysops discussing the pornography issue, and there has been a rumor going around that Commodore is going to sell off the Amiga line of computers to RJR Nabisco, who intends to turn the entire platform into an automated cookie control system. Just kidding! The first two are true, but I doubt Nabisco would know what to do with a system as advanced as the Amiga. <big grin> The Delphi takeover should prove very interesting in the coming weeks. The new services being added should help Delphi grow considerably. Being fifth largest isn't bad, but when you have the likes of Compu$erve and GEnie above you, it makes for a nice challenge! Delphi is one of the best online bargains available today, and we'd like to see it get even better! We wish you well! On another note, we a have a new treat for you beginning this week. We have a new proprietary AmigaGuide Brush Viewer which will allow us to include pictures in the magazine, tied to buttons just like the normal text! Check out Robert Niles' story on it for more details. Rob @ Amiga Report
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AR Staff Table of Contents The Amiga Report Staff Dedicated to serving you! ====================== Editor in Chief =============== Robert Glover Portal: Rob-G Delphi: ROB_G FidoNet: 1:285/11 Internet: ROB_G@Delphi.COM Associate Editors ================= Technical Department -------------------- Robert Niles Portal: RNiles Delphi: RNILES FidoNet: 1:3407/104 Internet: RNILES@Delphi.COM Graphics Department ------------------- Mike Troxell Portal: One day, maybe? FidoNet: 1:362/508 Internet: M.Troxell1@genie.geis.com ________________________________________ Contributing Correspondents =========================== Jun Akiyama Peter Ingham Brian King Marc Rifkin John A.Scotto PC DIVISION ATARI DIVISION MAC DIVISION =========== ============== ============ Roger D. Stevens Ralph F. Mariano R. Albritton
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CPU Status Report Table of Contents /// CPU Status Report Late Breaking Industry-Wide News ----------------- DELPHI TAKEOVER ANNOUNCED! NEW YORK, September 1, 1993 -- The News Corporation Limited (NYSE: NSW; ASX; NCP; LSE: NEWCP) announced today an agreement in principle to acquire Delphi Internet Services, Inc., the fifth largest online service in the United States. Based in Cambridge, MA, Delphi is the largest provider of full Internet access to home PC users. It is also the fastest growing of the industry's "Big 5" consumer online services including Prodigy and CompuServe. Delphi will become a part of News Corporation's News Technology Group, which is headed by Stanley K. Honey. Terms of the agreement were not released. "Delphi's leading technology will enhance The News Corporation's role in the rapidly evolving worldwide interactive media marketplace. It will provide a series of additional products and services, including an electronic newspaper unlike any other and an electronic version of TV Guide, which will empower consumers to deal with the ever-increasing number of channels," said Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The News Corporation. With the acquisition of Delphi, News Corporation, for the first time, can give consumers a convenient and practical way to enjoy and use the wealth of information and services available to them, including resources within News Corporation's global media empire," said Gus Fischer, Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation. Delphi offers home PC users an easy and inexpensive way to access and utilize the Internet -- the data superhighway connecting an estimated 20 million people and nearly two million computers. With the guidance of Delphi's 300 online experts, or moderators, even the novice computer user can easily browse through the world's largest electronic "community" and information resource. These Delphi moderators also act as online librarians by cataloging valuable Internet databases onto an easy-to-use menu system. "We have gained a tremendous competitive advantage in joining the News Corporation global media family," noted Daniel J. Bruns, President and CEO of Delphi. "In turn, because of our leading state-of-the-art technology, we provide a key part of the strategic interactive media marketplace for News Corporation as it expands its information network on a worldwide basis." "Consumers will soon have an unlimited number of choices for accessing information because of the many changes in the industry," said Robert A. Young, Delphi's Vice President of Business Development. "Delphi can give consumers ease of use, whether it's interactive cable TV, PCs or hand-held computers, coupled with the innovation and scope of News Corporation's media offerings." ------------------------------ SOFT-LOGIK ANNOUNCES TYPESMITH VERSION 2.0 TypeSmith is described in the new August 1993 issue of DTP World. Version 2.0 of the font creator and editor adds these new features: 1. Create Bitmap fonts for both Adobe Type I fonts, Soft-Logik DMF fonts, Amiga Bitmap and Windows PostScript (.FON). You can also load in bitmap pictures and save them as bitmap fonts. 2. Automatic hinting. TypeSmith will load hints created by other programs and will save them without changing them. 3. Auto Tracing. Just select a picture and TypeSmith will autotrace it quickly turning in into an outline font. 4. Screen redraws are up to 100% faster. 5. Rulers, draggable guides, improved Print Preview, clipboard support, version tracking and more ARexx commands. Upgrade for existing TypeSmith customers is $50. TypeSmith 2.0 Retail price is $199.95. Available September, 1993. Requires AmigaDOS 2.0, 2 MB Ram and Hard Drive or 2 floppy drives. TypeSmith supports Adobe Type I, Soft-Logik, CompuGraphic intellifont and Amiga Bitmap font formats. To order, call Soft-Logik at 800-829-8608. Kevin Davidson, Asst. Moderator AmigaZone Vendor Support - PORTAL <soft-logik@cup.portal.com> SOFT-LOGIK BBS (PCP MOSLO) (314) 894-0057 ------------------------------ WARNER BROS. TO PREMIER NEW ANIMATED TV SERIES AT WOCA GVP's ImageFX used in Creation of a New Animated TV Series called Animaniacs! King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, August 31, 1993 -- GVP and Warner Bros. are pleased to announce a world premier for Animaniacs, Warner Bros. new animated TV series at GVP's booth during the Pasadena World of Commodore Amiga trade show. Rusty Mills, an animation director for Warner Bros., will be presenting a clip of Animaniacs in a seminar that explains how Warner Bros. has been using GVP's ImageFX image processing software to create portions of the exciting and technically advanced animation program. The seminar will be held on Saturday, September 11th at 11:00am and is open to all trade show attendees; seating is limited to 300. The animated series is scheduled to begin airing on national TV during the week of September 13th, 1993. "This is an exciting opportunity for GVP to showcase its cutting edge ImageFX image processing system and related peripherals to an audience keen on seeing real life uses for their Amiga and GVP add-ons," said Steve Peoples, Marketing Manager for GVP. Rusty Mills will also be at the GVP booth throughout the day on Saturday and will be answering questions about his use of ImageFX. GVP is a privately held company that was founded in 1988. Today it is the world's largest developer of peripherals for the Commodore Amiga. Kermit Woodall Nova Design, Inc. __________________________________________________ INTEL LOSES ULSI APPEAL, AMD NEW TRIAL SCHEDULED SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA -- In the court battle saga between Intel and its microprocessor chip rivals, two milestones have been announced. A date for a new trial in the microcode case between Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) case has been set and the United States Court of Appeals in Washington DC has declined Intel's petition to rehear the Intel versus ULSI patent infringement suit. In the battle with AMD, Intel claims AMD does not have a right to use microcode for its 80C287 processor. The battle is over whether or not the statement "microcomputers and peripheral products" in a 1976 agreement renewed in 1982 gives AMD the right to Intel microcode. However, there is concern in the computer industry that if AMD loses here, it could mean the end of clones of Intel microprocessors. It appeared late last year that AMD had lost until the company convinced the court that Intel had withheld documents that would have proven AMD's assumption that the original intent of the statement included the microcode. Intel calls the documents "press releases" which have no bearing on the case. AMD calls the documents "key" to the case and claims the jury may have decided differently had it seen the documents. The new trial date has been set for November 1, 1993. In the ULSI case, Intel lost in its claims that a former Intel employee, who became an employee of ULSI, brought over documents that were Intel's private property. In the trial that ended in June, a jury ruled the documents were not private property but were public documents, vindicating ULSI. However, ULSI also denies the documents were used in the development of its math coprocessor products. Intel announced at that time it would take the case to the United States Court of Appeals, but has now been denied. ULSI's Vice President of Sales and Marketing Robert O'Brien said: "The court mandate effectively slams the door shut on Intel's attempt to restrain ULSI from selling it's Math Co family of math co-processors for the 386 and 486-SLC/DLC systems." Intel officials said it isn't over yet, however, as Intel has asked the US Supreme Court to review the case. No word is forthcoming as to whether or not the Supreme Court will agree to do so and no time frame for a decision from the highest court is available, Intel officials said. ------------------------------ UPCOMING IDC CONFERENCE TO FOCUS ON PC MARKETPLACE FRAMINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS -- Recognizing that the PC industry has become an increasingly global market, International Data Corp., (IDC), is planning a one-day conference in San Jose, California, which will examine the current status of the PC marketplace and offer a preview of where that market is headed. IDC's PC Market Outlook will be held September 28 and, according to the company, will provide "comprehensive market and technology forecasts, fresh primary research on emerging markets, access to IDC's expert analysts from around the globe, and a forum for discussion about the hot topics in the PC market today." A company spokesperson told Newsbytes that the conference registration costs $495 for the whole day. IDC clients get a break because it only costs them $295, the spokesperson said. The company says that Compaq's recent introduction of the home market-oriented Presario illustrates the new strategies vendors are adopting to adjust to the shifting topography of the PC market. According to IDC, "With Pentium chips becoming more available in desktops and servers, and with IBM's expected new product launches across the PS/1, PS/2, ValuePoint, and Thinkpad PC families, this market will continue to evolve." The ability to design, source, manufacture, deliver, and price products competitively are the key factors contributing to success, according to the company. It also says that PC Market Outlook will offer "reliable, accurate, worldwide expertise to help identify and target opportunities for growth." In announcing the conference, John Gantz, IDC's senior vice president for Personal Systems and Workgroup Applications, said: "One of our goals is to make the conference as interactive as possible. PC and peripheral hardware manufacturers, software vendors, marketing executives, channel partners, end users, and anyone else who wants access to the latest expert analysis of the PC market should attend." More information about PC Market Outlook can be obtained from Mike Ault at 800-343-4952. ------------------------------ APPLE SHIPPING NEWTON MESSAGEPAD IN QUANTITY CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA -- Apple Computer has announced that its Newton MessagePad personal digital assistant (PDA) is shipping in quantity to dealers, computer superstores, campus resellers and K-12 institutions nationwide. The product is expected to be available by the Labor Day weekend, priced from $699 to $949, depending on configuration. The company says that the nationwide introduction follows a a sell-out introduction in the New York and Boston areas, after its introduction in Boston on August 2, 1993. Apple claims that the Newton MessagePad's communications capabilities - faxing, wireless messaging, electronic mail, beaming, and printing - allow users to send, receive and share information through telephone lines, wireless networks, and computer networks. In announcing the quantity shipments, Ted Briscoe, general manager of PIE Sales, Apple USA, said: "The MessagePad is the fastest-selling new product Apple has ever offered. Our resellers in the Northeast have been inundated with orders for the MessagePad. We have ramped up our manufacturing and are excited about extending shipments to all areas of the US." MessagePads were first sold on the trade show floor at Macworld Boston and then by resellers in the New York and Boston areas. Apple says that the Newton products and accessories will carry Apple's standard one-year limited warranty on parts and labor along with mail-in service. The company also says that "built-in up-and- running support is also provided for as long as the customer owns their product." Up-and-running support includes set-up and installation, Newton operating system support, and assistance with configuration, compatibility and troubleshooting. The company plans to provide all service and support through the Apple Assistance Center at 800-SOS-APPL during the hours of 6 am to 6 pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. As reported extensively by Newsbytes previously, the Messagepad is 7.25-inches high by 4.5-inches wide by 0.75-inches deep and weighs 0.9 pounds. It is powered by a Advanced RISC Machines reduced instruction-set computing (RISC) 610 processor running at 20 megahertz (MHz), has 4 megabytes of read-only memory (ROM), 640 kilobytes (KB) of RAM, and offers Apple's own custom system application specific integrated circuit (ASIC). The PDA has a low-power, reflective liquid crystal display (LCD) display at a resolution of 336 by 240 picture elements (pixels) covered by a transparent tablet with passive pen for handwriting input. For communication and translation of data between desktop machines the unit offers a Localtalk compatible serial port; a single Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) 2 card slot; and a low- power, half-duplex, infrared transceiver which can transfer data from one Messagepad to another at 9600 baud from a distance of no more than 1 meter. ------------------------------ INTUIT & CHIPSOFT TO MERGE MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA -- Intuit Inc., and ChipSoft Inc., have announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge. The companies maintain that the merger is expected to be completed by December, 1993. However, it is subject to approval by the stockholders of each company and other "customary conditions." Samantha Lagerlof, spokesperson for the companies, told Newsbytes that the two companies thought it would be a "perfect merger" because their product lines were "very complimentary." The companies have been doing business with each other for some time. Intuit's products include the Quicken personal finance software, and the QuickBooks small business bookkeeping software. ChipSoft markets the TurboTax and MacInTax individual tax preparation software products and the TurboTax ProSeries tax preparation software. Lagerlof also told Newsbytes that the two companies have "been bundling TurboTax and MacInTax with Quicken for sale during tax season for four years." According to the companies, ChipSoft will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intuit, with operations continuing in San Diego, Tucson and Boca Raton. Intuit operations will continue in Menlo Park, Palo Alto and London, England. Under terms of the deal, the holders of ChipSoft common stock will receive on a tax-free basis .446 of a share of Intuit common stock for each share of ChipSoft common stock in a transaction valued by the companies at about $225 million. Approximately 7,250,000 shares of Intuit stock will be exchanged for ChipSoft stock representing approximately 39 percent of the combined company on a pro forma basis. Intuit will also assume all outstanding ChipSoft options. The transaction will be accounted for as a purchase. In announcing the deal, Scott D. Cook, CEO and president of Intuit, said: "We are excited about creating a complete financial software and services company with this merger of equals. ChipSoft's strengths in tax preparation software are extremely complementary with Intuit's strengths in personal finance and accounting software and related services." Charles H. Gaylord Jr., chairman and CEO of ChipSoft, said: "We now have the opportunity to develop seamlessly integrated products which marry tax with personal finance and accounting." According to the companies, Cook will continue as CEO of Intuit, and Gaylord will continue as chairman of ChipSoft, remaining responsible for ChipSoft's new business operations. He will also become executive vice president of Intuit. William H. Harris Jr., currently president and COO of ChipSoft, will assume the title of executive vice president of Intuit and general manager of the ChipSoft subsidiary. The plan is for Cook to remain chairman of the Intuit board of directors, which will consist of three of the current Intuit directors and two of the current ChipSoft directors. The companies say that the holders of approximately 38 percent of the outstanding ChipSoft common stock and about 48 percent of the outstanding Intuit common stock have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. ChipSoft has also granted Intuit an option to purchase newly-issued shares equal to approximately 19.9 percent of its currently outstanding stock. Lagerlof told Newsbytes that the companies do not expect any products to be discontinued as a result of the merger. Also, she added that they do not expect any layoffs. On the contrary, she said, they expect "they will require in the future more technical support staff." ------------------------------ COMPAQ TO HOST INDUSTRY TECH SUMMIT HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Compaq Computer Corporation will host a conference and exhibition this month that it says will offer "the broadest and most unique array of technical programs to take place at an industry gathering." Called Innovate '93, the show will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from September 13 through 17. Compaq says more than 300 technology specialists, many from major corporations, consulting firms, and the media will conduct the seminars and tutorials. "The impressive line-up of technology sessions offered at Innovate '93 truly demonstrates the spirit of this worldwide technology summit - a gathering of the industry to share thoughts, insight and information on the trends of today, which are fast becoming the computing standards of tomorrow," says Joe Nahil, Compaq VP of corporate communications. The 125 technical sessions will be divided across four tracks, including enterprise and corporate strategies; operation, service and support; technology development, and technology integration. Compaq says some of the highlights of the event include a discussion of mobile companion products, the engineering issues and marketing impact of low energy, or "green" computing, and a roundtable discussion of wireless computing issues. The implementation of multimedia technologies on local area networks and future trends in server technology will also be discussed. Compaq spokesperson Mike Berman told Newsbytes Innovate '93 will feature four keynote speakers. Compaq President Eckhard Pfeiffer will be speaking at 9AM on Tuesday. Microsoft Executive VP Steve Ballmar will speak Tuesday afternoon at 3 PM. Ballmar will discuss the role partnerships play in Microsoft's strategic direction. On Wednesday morning Intel President and CEO Andy Grove will talk about how companies can re-engineer their corporations with advanced PCs and microprocessors. Thursday morning Novell Chairman and CEO Ray Norda will share his thoughts on how to survive in the decade of the 90s. Berman said registration for the complete conference, including keynote speeches, seminars, and exhibits costs $600 if the registration is made prior to September 10. At the door the cost will be $700. If you just want to attend the keynote speeches and view the exhibits the cost is $10 for pre-registration and $20 at the door. (Jim Mallory/19930902/Press contact: John Sweney, Compaq Computer Corporation, 713-374-0484; Reader contact: Compaq, 713-374-1459, 800-345-1518 (general information) or 800-235- 2133 (800-932-0804 in Texas only) for show info or registration) ------------------------------ NEW IBM GROUP TO FOCUS ON EASE OF USE SOMERS, NEW YORK -- By a combination of pulling together existing work and launching new initiatives, the IBM Personal Computer Co. is creating a Center for Natural Computing that will focus on making computers easier to use. The center, which starts its formal life with a staff of about 36 people, according to company spokesman Michael Corrado, will explore ways to let computing build the innate and cognitive aspects of human behavior, the company said. In other words, it will try to make computers work more the way people naturally expect them to work. An example of the kind of thing the center will do is the Trackpoint, a pointing device that IBM introduced a few months ago for some of its notebook computers, Corrado said. It consists of a tiny lever mounted in the middle of an ordinary computer keyboard, and serves the purpose of a mouse while allowing the user to keep his or her fingers on the keyboard. The new center's function will be not only to do its own research but to pull together research from a variety of sources and help turn it into IBM products, Corrado added. He would not say how much money IBM plans to put into the effort, but "it's a big push here and it's coming from Bob Corrigan's office down." Robert Corrigan is president and chief executive of IBM Personal Computer Co., a business unit of IBM. The center will investigate a variety of hardware and software including mice, keyboards, touch screens, and pen computing. ------------------------------ NEC SUPPLIES COLOR LCDs TO APPLE COMPUTER TOKYO, JAPAN -- NEC will supply Apple Computer with color TFT (thin film transistor)-type LCDs in what amounts to the largest color LCD shipment to a third party firm for NEC. NEC will ship 9.4-inch-type multi-color TFT LCDs to Apple Computer in the US this October. This is a 640 x 480 pixel-type LCD. NEC expects to ship 30,000 units to Apple's plants in the US including the Fountain plant in Colorado. The color LCD costs 120,000 yen ($1,200) per unit. Apple Computer will use this LCD on its new color notebook-type personal computer. Currently, Apple Computer obtains a supply of color LCDs from Japan's Sharp. The units are shipped to Apple's Irish plant. NEC has been expanding its LCD business and has already announced plans to set up additional LCD production lines at its plant in Northern Japan. According to the firm's business plan, NEC aims to gain 40 billion yen ($400 million) in sales in fiscal 1994. This is 2.5 times more than what it expects to make this year. NEC currently sells only 10 percent of all its LCDs to third party firms, but will increase this percentage to 30 percent by the end of this fiscal year. NEC hopes its Apple deal will go a long way toward achieving that goal. NEC is also planning to manufacture the color LCDs at its US plant in Roseville, California, in the near future. One plan is to convert semiconductor chip production lines to LCD production there. ------------------------------ SEVEN MILLION US TELECOMMUTERS PREDICTED BY 1997 WASHINGTON, DC -- According to some statistics pulled together by telephone equipment maker PhoneMate, the number of home offices is growing at a steady rate due both to telecommuting and new businesses. BIS Strategic Decisions reports that the company's latest data shows 4.5 million people in the United States now telecommute at least part-time, a 15 percent increase from last year and the research firm sees 7 million telecommuters by the end of 1996 Telecommuting improves productivity, cuts commuter driving time and consequent air pollution, and reduces office space requirements, according to BIS Strategic Decisions' Jon Hulak. The research firm also claims that there are now about 39 million home office workers in the United States, including both owner- operated businesses and telecommuting installations. More than 12 million of those workers were either fired or encouraged to leave companies under early retirement plans and opened up their own businesses either to tide them over until permanent positions opened up or as permanent careers. Unsurprisingly, the PhoneMate sponsored report quotes Noramae Munster, owner of a small home-based, San Pedro, California graphic design firm as saying that the basic tools for a home office include a good telephone, an answering machine, and fax capabilities. Jim Oblak, vice president of marketing for PhoneMate, which makes telephone answering machines and portable phones, says: "Home office workers really don't need to spend a lot on business equipment, with a little research, outfitting a modern home office can cost as little as $2,200." Of course most home office experts also say that the average home business will also need at least a basic computer. ------------------------------ JUDGE DENIES MICROSOFT INJUNCTION AGAINST STAC LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Stac Electronics is gloating over the denial of Microsoft's motion for a preliminary injunction against its compression product Stacker 3.1. Judge Edward Rafeedie in US District Court in Los Angeles, California, said the issues in the case need to be decided at trial. The battle began when, spurned by Stac Electronics, Microsoft made a deal with Verisoft to include a modified version of its software compression product, now called Doublespace, in the MS-DOS 6.0 operating system. Stac filed suit when pre-release copies of the DOS 6.0 operating system were distributed in January of this year, claiming the compression product is in violation of two of its patents. Microsoft filed a countersuit against Stac and company president and chairman of the board, Gary Clow, for patent infringement, breach of contract, conspiracy to commit fraud, and other claims. Microsoft claims both Stacker 3.0 and the new Stacker 3.1 products are in violation of its copyrights, but sought only to enjoin Stacker 3.1 as the 3.0 version had been on the market for some time. Stac officials claim Microsoft timed the injunction to coincide with the release of Stacker 3.1, but Microsoft officials deny Stac's allegations. Stac has reported losses, layoffs, and lower earnings and is vocal in blaming Microsoft for its woes. Gary Clow, president and chief executive officer of Stac said, concerning today's announcement: "We are very pleased that Judge Rafeedie agreed with us, ruling in our favor against Microsoft's motion, and we now look forward to going to trial in December on our original complaint." John Mason, senior corporate attorney for Microsoft said: "The ruling is not a determination of the merits of our case. It means only that the court declined to enjoin sales of Stacker v. 3.1 prior to trial. We will continue to aggressively pursue all aspects of our case, including issues not covered by our motion for preliminary injunction. We look forward to presenting our entire case at trial." The trial date is currently scheduled for December 14, 1993. ------------------------------ SEGA ORDERS FRAM CHIPS FOR GAMES COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO -- Electronic games maker Sega Enterprises has placed a multi-million order for ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM) chips from Colorado Springs, Colorado-based Ramtron International Corporation. The chips will be used in Sega video game cartridges. Sega says it selected the FRAM chips to replace its present non-volatile memory method, a combination of a lithium battery, a controller chip, and a static RAM (SRAM) chip. The new order is the second from Ramtron, following a 100,000-chip order about three months ago. It's the largest FRAM chip order for Ramtron to date. Jack Morgan, Ramtron's marketing VP, says FRAM will be the next generation of semiconductor memory. "We expect FRAM memory to be included in additional SEGA game titles as well as in countless other consumer products as Ramtron moves forward." FRAM chips retain the information stored in them when the power is turned off or interrupted, and holds promise for non-volatile personal computer system memory as larger capacity chips are developed. Ramtron spokesperson Lee Brown told Newsbytes that the agreement with Sega precluded him from disclosing the total value of the deal, but did say the order is for about two million units. Brown said the chips will be used in games that have not been introduced to the market yet. "We are building the chips now and plan to ship them before the end of the year." ------------------------------ BBS OPERATORS PONDER ADULT IMAGE ISSUE COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO -- When more than 2,000 BBS system operators (sysops) got together at the prestigious Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs recently for the second annual ONE BBSCON trade show, one of the issues they discussed was user access to and downloading of adult images. About 100 sysops and other interested parties attended a panel discussion about adult images online, trying to find out how to walk the fine line between making a service available that their customers obviously want and staying clear of the police. Panelists for the workshop, which was chaired by EXEC-PC Vice President of Operations Greg Ryan, included Jim Maxey, founder and president of Event Horizons Inc., and operator of Event Horizons BBS, a board specializing in graphic images; electronic frontier Foundation's Shari Steele; Larry Wood, forum administrator of CompuServe's Graphics Forums; and Lee Noga, owner of Lion's Den International, Inc., a worldwide distributor, producer, and publisher of CD-ROMs, many of which include adult images. Sysops are concerned about the adult image issue because the stakes are high. Law enforcement officers have swooped down on several board bulletin board locations across the country, confiscating all of their hardware, software, and business records. In Des Plaines, Illinois a board operator was arrested recently in what is believed to be the first prosecution of its kind in that state's history More and more boards are including the X-rated material for a simple reason - their subscribers want it. The question is how to offer what users desire and still stay clear of the law. The panelists, some of whom have had close up and personal encounters with federal and state law enforcement agencies, said there are still a lot of questions unanswered. However it appears that more boards will add adult images to their offerings, but are looking for ways to keep it legal. It's also a source of big money. With thousands of users accessing the estimated five percent of the nation's boards that offer adult material at annual fees of $25 to $50, hundreds of thousands of revenue dollars are at stake. Suggestions from the panelists included doing everything possible to assure that subscribers accessing the adult material area over 18 years of age. Users accessing adult material on BBS systems can expect to be asked to mail in a copy of a document that establishes age, such as a driver's license. If they aren't already, they can also expect to start paying for connection to boards that carry adult material with a credit card. Jim Maxey says both Secret Service and FBI agents have told him that if a board user has a major credit card, there's a good probability he or she is over 18. What can you, the board users, expect in the future? Look for dazzling graphics, faster data transfer, and continued access to adult theme material. But you better be over 18 years of age, and be able to prove it. We've come a long way since Playboy Magazine came in a plain brown wrapper. ------------------------------ BELLSOUTH APPEALS MTel NWN AWARD JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI -- BellSouth filed an appeal of a Federal Communications Commission order which gives Mobile Telecommunications the right to build what it calls a nationwide wireless network, or NWN. The NWN would use Mtel's proprietary messaging technology and software and enable people to both send and receive messages on notebook and palmtop computers, or devices like the Apple Newton. In addition, the system enables subscribers to confirm receipt of messages, using pocket-sized acknowledgment receivers currently under development. BellSouth owns MobileComm, which like MTel's SkyTel, has a nationwide satellite-fed paging service. Its appeal of the FCC order, based on a "pioneer's preference" given because MTel risked money proving its NWN technology, was filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. BellSouth was joined in the appeal by Freeman Engineering Associates Inc., which also wants to create something like the NWN. Separately, Freeman and Global Enhanced Messaging Venture, filed petitions with the FCC asking that it reconsider the award. Both assert they meet the standards which MTel met when it was given its "pioneer's preference." That designation was created under the guidance of former FCC chairman Al Sikes, now with Hearst Corp., to encourage risk-taking by technology firms. Under the rules, companies which prove they have pioneered the creation of new technology get first crack at licenses. In a press statement, MTel stated that these filings would not impede the company's plans to develop, construct, and operate NWN. The company won its preference in June, and intends to file a formal license application to construct NWN as soon as permitted under the FCC's rules, and commence commercial operations once it gets the license. "These filings are not unexpected and unfortunately are a common response to unsuccessful applicants in the regulatory process," said Chairman John N. Palmer, in a press statement. "We will continue our efforts to make NWN a commercial reality within two years." The preceding stories are (c) 1993 by NewsBytes. Reprinted with permission.
__________________________________________________ AlertPatch v2.19 Table of Contents ALERTPATCH v2.19 AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE AlertPatch - replacement patch for exec.library/Alert() VERSION Distribution version 2.19 AUTHORS David Swasbrook E-mail address: dswa1@cs.aukuni.ac.nz (expires 01-Jan-94) DESCRIPTION AlertPatch replaces the system exec.library/Alert() with two custom routines to give the user a choice of how the alert is to be displayed, either as an intuition window or a system alert with additional information. FEATURES 1. Alerts now displayable as windows. With options to Continue, Suspend or Reboot for all alert types. 2. Displays description of alert and name of the offending task. 3. Dumps contents of CPU data and address registers and displays a text representation. 4. Can list or get information on alert numbers from cli or listview. 5. Sound support through a sound daemon such as MSD or UPD. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OS release 2.04 or newer is required. "matrix.library" version 23.557 required. (included in archive) Hypertext compatable document. (ie. MultiView/AmigaGuide) Distribution is archived with lha so program to un-archive them is needed. UPDATE This archive is an update of the AlertPatch217.lha archive. New features: * Sounds for Custom and Window Alerts * Timeout of Custom and Window Alerts HOST NAME Software has been uploaded to the Aminet Site: wuarchive.wustl.edu 128.252.135.4 pub/aminet/ and will be readily available on other Aminet sites. DIRECTORY /pub/aminet/util/misc FILE NAMES AlertPatch219.lha - AlertPatch binaries and documentation PRICE Shareware. Contributions are gratefully accepted. DISTRIBUTABILITY Freely distributable as long as the contents of the archive are kept in tact. AlertPatch is shareware, and may not be included in any other distribution or used for commercial use without my express permission. OTHER E-mail address for bug reports and fixes: dswa1@cs.aukuni.ac.nz (expires 01-Jan-94)
------------------------------ Less v1.6z Table of Contents LESS 1.6Z AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE Less -- An Amiga-ized Unix-style Text Reader VERSION 1.6Z AUTHORS Raymond Zarling E-mail address: rayz@csustan.edu DESCRIPTION Less is a flexible Text Reader, descended from the Unix program of the same name. All of the Unix features are present in this Amiga port, plus some Amiga-specific enhancements. FEATURES 1. Forward and backward movement through the file, by lines, pages, half pages, percentage, etc. 2. File being viewed may be larger than avaiable memory. Can view multiple input files of any cumulative size, since they are read seqentially. Works well with pipes, too. 3. Searches based upon Unix-style regular expressions. 4. Flexible positioning of output window, or you may choose to use the existing CLI or AUX: window for output. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OS release 1.2 or newer is required; Less has been tested with OS releases through 3.0. Distribution is archived with lha so program to un-archive them is needed. UPDATE This is a small update to Less 1.5Z, which received limited distribution, and a major update to version 1.4Z from Fish disk 511. HOST NAME Software has been uploaded to the Aminet Site: wuarchive.wustl.edu 128.252.135.4 pub/aminet/ and will be readily available on other Aminet sites. DIRECTORY /pub/aminet/text/misc FILE NAME Less16Z.lha PRICE There is no charge for use of this software. DISTRIBUTABILITY Freely distributable as long as the contents of the archive are kept intact. OTHER E-mail address for bug reports and fixes: rayz@csustan.edu
------------------------------ MUI v1.3 Table of Contents MAGIC USER INTERFACE v1.3 AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE MUI - MagicUserInterface RELEASE 1.3 AUTHOR Stefan Stuntz (stuntz@informatik.tu-muenchen.de) SHORT A system to create and maintain GUIs. DESCRIPTION MUI is an object oriented system to create and maintain graphical user interfaces. From a programmers point of view, using MUI saves a lot of time and makes life much easier. Thinking about complicated terms like window resizing or font sensitivity is simply not neccesary. On the other hand, users of MUI based applications have the ability to customize nearly every pixel of a programs interface according to their personal taste. This distribution is interesting for both, users and programmers. Please have a look at the supplied demo programs and at the documentation to see what MUI has to offer. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS MUI requires AmigaDOS 2.04 or higher. For developers, MUI comes with C, Oberon, Modula, Amiga-E and Assembler interfaces. NEW FEATURES *** Important news since version 1.0 *** - Added system configuration switch to adjust window refresh type, possibilities are simple refresh and smart refresh. - Speeded object creation about 10%. - Included Manx, Assembler, Modula, Oberon and Amiga-E interfaces. - Implemented MUIA_Window_Screen attribute. This allows opening a MUI window on an explicitly defined intuition screen. - Rewrote the image caching mechanism. This should fix some bugs and system crashes with non existing external image files. - Better MOUSEMOVE and INTUITICKS handling to improve performance. - Attention... very powerful feature... :-) Implemented two new attributes for group class: MUIA_Group_PageMode (TRUE/FALSE) group is a page group. MUIA_Group_ActivePage (0...numchilds-1) display this child. Page groups always show exactly one of their childs. The number of this child can be changed dynamically, even in an open window. New demo "Pages" demonstrates the new page groups. - Included AppWindow support. See MUIA_Window_AppWindow, MUIA_Application_DropObject and MUIA_AppMessage for details. New demo "AppWindow" for demonstration. - ... and lots of other bug fixes ... HOST NAME Aminet (e.g. wuarchive.wustl.edu) DIRECTORY /pub/aminet/dev/gui FILE NAME mui13.lha FIDO FILE REQUEST 2:246/46 (+49-8151-78880 ) magic name "MUI" 1:267/131 (+1-518-883-5326) magic name "MUI" PRICE Registered versions of MUI are available for $15US. See documentation for details. DISTRIBUTABILITY The archives are freely distributable in original and unmodified form. See documentation for details. MUI is (c) Copyright 1993 by Stefan Stuntz.
------------------------------ Window Daemon v1.0 Table of Contents WINDOW DAEMON v1.0 AVAILABLE FOR FTP TITLE Window Daemon - Control Intuition Windows and Screens VERSION Distribution version 1.0 AUTHOR David Swasbrook E-mail address: dswa1@cs.aukuni.ac.nz (expires 01-Jan-94) DESCRIPTION Window Daemon gives extended control to intuition windows and screens through HotKeys and Arexx. FEATURES 1. Commodities Support. 2. HotKey and Arexx support to manipulate the currently active window and screen. Standard window controls are avalable such as Zip, Close, Size, ToFront, ToBack, NextScreen, etc... 3. Able to close the parent window of a drawer when opened on "Workbench" if CONTROL is held down. (Only available under kickstart V39 or higher) 4. Specialized options to forcefully close windows and screens, and also to remove tasks that own the active window. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS OS release 2.04 or newer is required. "matrix.library" version 23.668 required. (included in archive) Hypertext compatable document. (ie. MultiView/AmigaGuide) Distribution is archived with lha so program to un-archive them is needed. HOST NAME Software has been uploaded to the Aminet Site: wuarchive.wustl.edu 128.252.135.4 pub/aminet/ and will be readily available on other Aminet sites. DIRECTORY /pub/aminet/util/misc FILE NAMES WindowDaemon1.lha - Window Daemon binaries and documentation PRICE Shareware. Contributions are gratefully accepted. DISTRIBUTABILITY Freely distributable as long as the contents of the archive are kept in tact. Window Daemon is shareware, and may not be included in any other distribution or used for commercial use without my express permission. OTHER E-mail address for bug reports and fixes: dswa1@cs.aukuni.ac.nz (expires 01-Jan-94)
------------------------------ WhiteLion v1.3 Table of Contents WHITELION v1.3 AVAILABLE VIA FTP TITLE WhiteLion VERSION 1.3 AUTHOR Martin Grote chandler@uni-paderborn.de REQUIREMENTS WhiteLion should run on any Amiga with OS 1.2 or higher. OS2.04 is required for Settings requester. DESCRIPTION WhiteLion is an Othello/Reversi playing program where the main effort has gone into making it both fast and strong. There is a built-in usage and rules explanation and a Settings requester. FEATURES - different strategies on different levels - speed, move search time < 5 sec on 68000 machine (FD version) - animation when drawing new disks - small 'busy window' during search process - support of PAL, NTSC and Interlaced resolutions - GadTools driven Settings requester (OS 2 required) - introduction story, explanation of usage and rules - full multitasking support HOST NAME Aminet sites, such as ftp.uni-paderborn.de DIRECTORY pub/aminet/game/think FILE NAME WhiteLion13.lha PRICE WhiteLion is ShareWare, so some options are preserved for the registered version. The registration fee is US $7, DM 10 or 4 british pounds. The FD version on Aminet is free.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Online Weekly Table of Contents /// ONLINE WEEKLY Amiga Report Online The lines are buzzing! --------------------------------- From the Interactive Forum on Delphi ------------------------------------ 1-SEP 18:06 DELPHI/News Corp News Corporation plans to acquire DELPHI From: RUSTY To: ALL We're pleased to announce agreement in principle for The News Corporation Limited to acquire DELPHI. The announcement was made this evening (September 1, 1993) by News Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Rupert Murdoch, during a speech broadcast via satellite to company locations in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Sydney, Australia. News Corporation is a multinational media company headquartered in Sydney. Some of News Corporation's well known businesses include Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Television, HarperCollins Publishing, TV Guide, Mirabella Magazine, Sky TV, Star TV, and large number of newspapers in Great Britain, the US, and Australia including the Boston Herald, the New York Post, and the Times of London. It's important to note, however, that in many ways it will be business as usual for DELPHI -- just on a larger scale. DELPHI's management team will remain the same, we'll be operating out of the same facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and we'll remain committed to providing high-value innovative services with an emphasis on personal interaction. Maintaining the community feeling of DELPHI is important to us and it is important to News Corporation. We're all very excited about this transition because it ensures a dominant and expanding role for DELPHI in the interactive future. We've created this forum to provide a place for members to air questions about News Corporation and the future of interactive media in general. We're eager to receive your input and to hear your comments. It may be a while before we can arrange a personal appearance by Bart Simpson, but rest assured we're working on it ;-) Thanks for your input and support. There are some very exciting times ahead! Rusty Williams VP/General Manager of DELPHI ------------------------------ 1-SEP 19:19 DELPHI/News Corp RE: News Corp/DELPHI press release (Re: Msg 2) From: WALTHOWE To: ALL Exciting news indeed! I look with great interest at the the tidbits in the releases such as "electronic newspapers" (individualized?), online TV Guide, and interactive cable TV. I've been wondering how DELPHI was going to move beyond the Sprintnet and Tymnet dependence, and this seems to open all sorts of new possibilities for the future. We're in the big leagues now, and we're leading the way! O-O- J ) Walt ( ) ())
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Amiga Tip of the Week Table of Contents /// Amiga Tip of the Week --------------------- by Robert Niles (with special thanks to Matt Schultz) Alot of you have wondered why the Amiga displays those grey screens upon it's start up, or you may have seen from time to time, the computer lock up and there's a red screen staring you in the face. Or have you ever heard that so-and-so's computer wouldn't work and the caps-lock key kept flashing? Well it's doing this for a reason...and it's trying to let you know about it. Thanks to the informative posting on FidoNet's Amiga Technical Echo by Matt Schultz, he simply, and in lay-man's terms provides an outline of the process that the Amiga goes through during it's start-up procedure. His message is below (edited for clarity): ------------ I captured this message a few months ago. You may want to print it out. I keep a copy in my wallet. :-) Amiga system test is a complicated set of routines which it must go through before you can do any work on it. During the system test the Amiga is attempting to let you know if the system is well. Here is a list of the start-up activities: 1. Clear all chips of old data 2. Disable DMA and interrupts during the test. 3. Clear the screen. 4. Check the hardware ....checks to see if 68000 is functioning. 5. Change screen color. 6. Do a checksum test on all ROMS. 7. Change screen color. 8. Begining of system startup. 9. Check RAM at $C0000,and move SYSBASE there 10. Test All CHIP RAM. 11. Change screen color. 12. Check that software is coming in ok. 13. Change screen color. 14. Setup CHIP RAM to receive data. 15. Link the libraries 16. Check for additional memory and link it 17. Turn the DMA and interrupts back on. 18. Start a default task. 19. Check for 68010,68020, and or 68881. 20. Check to see if thee is an exception ...processor error 21. If so do a system reset. During this system test the Amgia is sending vital information to the screen with colors. If the system checks out ok, you will see the following sequence that you have seen so meany times. DARK GRAY : The initial hardware tested OK. the 68000 is running and the registers are readable. LIGHT GRAY: The software is coming in and seems OK. WHITE : The intialization test have passed. If something is wrong with your system, you may see the following: RED : If an error was found in ROMS. GREEN : Error found in the CHIP RAM. BLUE : Error was found in the custom chips. YELLOW: If 68000 found an error before the error trapping software (GURU) was running. The Keyboard has it's own processor, RAM and ROM. A selftest is peformed on power-up in the following sequence. 1. Performs checksum on ROM's 2. Checks 64 bytes of RAM. 3. The timer is tested. 4. Performs handshake with computer and gives results of selftest. If the keyboard does not pass the test it will notify you that it is not working properly. This information is indicated with the blinking of the CAPS-LOCK light. One Blink : Keyboard ROM check failed. Two Blinks : Keyboard RAM checked failed. Three Blinks: Watch dog timer failed Four Blinks : A short between two row lines or special control keys. If you are having problems with the Amiga, perhaps these codes will help you and your repairman. This article was first authored by Roy Frisque and published on the newsletter Scanlines. Roy obtain his information from the Amiga Transactor.
-------------------- Amiga Report Mailing List Table of Contents /// Amiga Report Mailing List ------------------------- Are you tired of waiting for your local BBS or online service to get Amiga Report each week? Have you been spending more money that you want on long distance phone calls to download it from one of our Distribution Sites? If so, have we got a deal for you! If you have an internet mailing address, you can receive Amiga Report in UUENCODED form each week as soon as the issue is released. To be put on the list, send Email to Amiga-Report-Request@gnu.ai.mit.edu. Your account must be able to handle mail of any size to ensure an intact copy. For example, GEnie has a limit of about 40K per message, and most of our issues are well over that limit. Please do not send general Email to Amiga-Report-Request, only requests for subscription additions or deletions (or if you are not receiving an intact copy). All other correspondence should be directed to the editor at ROB_G@Delphi.COM. Many thanks to Bob Caron for setting this service up for us! P.S.: Please be sure to include your Email address in the text of your request message, it makes adding it to the list much easier. Thanks!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AR avail via the WWW Table of Contents /// Amiga Report Available via the World Wide Web! ---------------------------------------------- By Michael Witbrock (mjw@cs.cmu.ed witbrock@x25.bix.com) Although AmigaGuide is still the best way to browse Amiga Report, the magazine is now also available in a form which may be more convenient for people with direct Internet access. Amiga Report is being converted weekly to a document readable via the World Wide Web, allowing immediate access without the chore of dearchiving and downloading to an Amiga. Within a day (often less) of its release, each Amiga Report starting from AR118 will be converted into an HTML hyper- document that behaves as similarly as possible to the AmigaGuide version, and will be made available at this URL: <a href="http://www.cs.cmu.edu:8001/Web/People/mjw/Computer/Amiga/OnlineMags.htm l"> OnlineMags </a> For those who don't recognize that, a URL is a Uniform Resource Locator, which specifies access method and location information for information readable with WWW browsers such as NCSA mosaic. NCSA mosaic is a self contained program running under the X window system, and is available for anonymous FTP from ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu in directory /Mosaic. Even if you don't plan to read AmigaReport by this means, I strongly recommend that you get a copy of NCSA mosaic and play with it. The amount of information (in the form of pictures, sounds, text, and mpeg movies) it makes easily available is astounding, and the program itself is a marvel of good user interface design. I hope that someone will use the recent attempts at PD TCP/IP networking solutions and port the program to the Amiga. Happy browsing!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Amiga Fest Table of Contents /// Show Report: Amiga Fest at SUNY Cortland ----------------------------------------- By John A. Scotto This is an unofficial report on the goings on at last week's (22 August) Amiga Fest at SUNY Cortland. First let me explain what the Amiga Fest was to start off. The Central New York Amiga Aggregate (local user group) arranged the Fest as a way for Amiga users, sales people, and technical people to be brought together under one roof for one day of Amiga talk and info. The main thrust was to show the average user how to get more out fo his/her computer. SUNY Cortland was chosen as the site as it was reasonably centrally located and cooperative toward the group's aims. The events kicked off at 10:00 and included the following: Video Toaster Demos - both taped and live OpalVision Demo - Live EMPLANT - running MAC software Animations - Award Winners continuously running Multimedia Demos - AmigaVision and SCALA AGA Graphics Displays 12 Amiga Computers - 10 AGA, 2 OCS/ECS 2 Amiga Dealer Displays - ICL and Computer Cents Amiga Developers The above were spaced across 8 hours and were well received by the 100 or so participants. The Toaster and OpalVision demos were eyepopping as were many of the animations and AGA graphics. Both of the developers present were pelted with questions about Commodore software, and etc. The dealer displays were limitied to info or software demos - no sales on site. Of course, there was also plenty of music playing on the various systems which provided quite a good display by itself even if not planned that way. That is a capsule summary of the Fest, next follows my personal assessment of the Fest's effectivness. The official participant numbered no more than 100 or so, however, being a University campus there were plenty of unofficial participants and a lot of my conclusions are based on the reactions I saw in them. Toaster, OpalVision, AGA graphics got them looking but was almost always followed by questions about what the "average user" could do. The truth is that is a valid question since most of the high end graphics are marketed toward a selective audience. However, the answer was there on the 22nd. MULTIMEDIA - people who started by saying that the "Amiga (once they figured out what an Amiga was!) was really nice for games but not much else" were silenced and impressed by the likes of SCALA and AmigaVision. Multimedia is the latest PC buzzword and everyone from novice to expert associates it with "professional" computers. As people who knew very little about Amigas or PCs learned how easy it was to take those high end graphics and sound and build office presentations or interactive classroom lessons on an Amiga they looked at the computer in a different light. Many folks were also amazed to see MS-DOS and MAC software running on the same platform. Does this sound too bright? Actually the response to seeing average computer users able to take the various bits and pieces and put them together with relative ease brought quite a few compliments for ths Amiga. One flub though - the EMPLANT due to operator error crashed several times con- siderably dimming the initial excitment it generated. By the time the problem was corrected most of the MAC interested folks were gone. I believe that overall this Fest served as very useful way to gain some exposure for the Amiga to people who do not usually even know it exists. My experience also reinforced the idea that the Amiga can compete on a level playing field with IBM/MAC - if the presentation is right. Multimedia, Cross Platform Performance, and Graphics as a tool not an end seemed to be a winning combo. Now the problem is that most of these people will go to there local PC hack and ask about Amigas and they will bad mouth Commodore and then try to sell a 486DX (plus soundblaster, plus SVGA card, etc). Hey that's enough of me on the soap box. Overall, a good time was had by all. Amiga enthusiasts in CNY rarely have had such an opportunity to share good info and tips. The Amiga got some well earned respect as a "serious" computer. With more of these type events and a higher profile for those who use their Amiga for professional ends who knows what we might accomplish?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UseNet Review - Brilliance Table of Contents /// Usenet Review: Brilliance -------------------------- By Marc Rifkin (MarcR@cup.portal.com) PRODUCT NAME Brilliance 1.0 BRIEF DESCRIPTION Brilliance is a paint and animation program which supports AGA, ANIM-8, and is capable of true 24-bit painting (displayed as HAM). COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Digital Creations Address: PO Box 97 Folsom, CA 95673-0097 USA Telelphone: (916) 344-4825 Fax: (916) 635-0475 BBS: (916) 983-3288 LIST PRICE $250.00 (US) SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS Brilliance works with all Amigas with a minimum 1 megabyte of RAM. COPY PROTECTION A hardware device (dongle) must be plugged into the joystick port. Also, the user must enter a serial number the first time Brilliance is installed. The dongle makes this copy protection quite annoying, but Brilliance is still worth it. MACHINES USED FOR TESTING Amiga 4000 (040, 10MB RAM) Amiga 1200 (GVP 40Mhz 030, 10MB RAM) Amiga 3000 (12 MB RAM) FEATURES Brilliance is actually two programs. "Brilliance" is register color only (no HAM) with 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and Extra Halfbright (EHB); and on AGA 64, 128 and 256 colors. "TrueBrilliance" is true color (15-bit or 24-bit) in memory and uses HAM (or HAM8) for display. A single program would seem to make more sense; but considering how differently they treat some of the functions, one program would be too large. Many people have Deluxe Paint, and several are using the AGA version. DPaint has become the benchmark to which any other paint/animation program is compared. The biggest difference with Brilliance is speed; the magnify mode comes up instantly, the menus can be toggled off and on easily, and the drawing tools are very responsive. I'll make other comparisons with DPaint as I discuss other features. Brilliance's user interface is composed of stackable, button-only, slices of screens. There are no drop-down menus; and as you move the pointer over various tools, a window tells you the name of that tool. This makes it very easy to get working quickly. You can stack slices all the way up to the top of the screen and still make them vanish with the tap of the SPACE bar. In Brilliance, drawing operations occur in real time, but in TrueBrilliance, there is a lag after you finish a drawing operation when it is updating its 24-bit internal image. Also, brush and filled tools will do a temporary preview before you release the button. For example, if you have a gradient-filled rectangle with transparency turned on, Brilliance will draw the rectangle, transparency and all, if you hold the mouse still. But then you can still move the pointer and reshape the rectangle before committing it. Brilliance has all of the standard drawing tools, but some have extensive control. The rectangle and circle/ellipse tools allow you to draw either from the center or the corner. The curve tool has a Bezier curve mode where you place four control points and can then move them freely before committing the drawing with the right mouse button. I wish all of the tools could use the control point approach. The Text tool supports scalable fonts, and unlike Deluxe Paint (where you type right on the screen), you type into a requester and the text becomes the current brush. But just like DPaint, you cannot create text with a gradient -- you have to place it down first then fill it. Although the airbrush tool is more adjustable than DPaint's, providing radius, focus and shape, it is still just a sprinkle-brush and not a true airbrush. It is virtually impossible to get a soft looking line -- it always gets over-dithered. This is a particularly major disappointment with TrueBrilliance where a soft airbrush should be possible (all other 24-bit paint programs have it) and was done in Digital Creations' own DCTVPaint. If you make a mistake, there's an UNDO button. And if you made two or more mistakes, you can keep hitting UNDO again and again, removing parts of your drawing. Then you can REDO and add back what you just took away. UNDO/REDO is modified by sizing the buffer that holds your changes. Brilliance has a good variety of drawing modes, all of which are well implemented. They are: (Solid) Color, Tint, Colorize, Brighten, Darken, Stencil (Draw), Mix, Smooth, Smear, Avg Smear, Range, Cycle, Random, Dither 1 and 2, Negative, Halfbright (in EHB mode) and Not. Stencil lets you modify the shape of the stencil with drawing tools, Range cycles colors you draw over according to the current gradient. Dither is a selectable (usually checkerboard) pattern. You can always toggle between Color and whatever mode you have selected. Gradient modes are: Horizontal, Vertical, Linear, Highlight, Spherical and Radial. Gradients are created by clicking and placing colors on a scrollable clothesline. You can alter a numerical value that will give more apparent colors than the ones you place down. That relieves you from having to select all of the colors of a range in the palette -- you could just pick the two ends. Brushes can be sized, flipped, bent, sheared, rotated or outlined. You can have eight alternative brushes, each represented by an icon on the brush screen. Brushes can be loaded from or saved to the Clipboard. Animbrushes are fully supported with morphing. You can really appreciate the buttons-based design if you've used DPaint's menus and windows for animbrushes. The morphing is not bad, but the regions that are created in the process are divided by what looks like lightning bolts. For real morphing, you'll want a real morphing program. The Stencil operates in two ways -- by colors and by drawing shapes. Color selection is easy by toggling on the ever-present selection palette or you can lasso an area on the screen and all the colors inside get chosen. Switching between color selection and drawing shapes is a breeze. TrueBrilliance has a color variance feature to get a range of colors by selecting just one. One interesting effect is that the stencil will warp gradients that are drawn overlapping it. For those of you who use DPaint, animation is probably either a practiced science or a mystical art. With Brilliance, it is straightforward and fast. DPaint AGA is notoriously slow and even locks up when you try to play some animations. A drag-bar in Brilliance allows you to scroll through the frames; and if you move too fast, it skips until you stop on one. Frames can be created, added, deleted and copied. Similar to the Move Requester of DPaint is the Tween screen. Tweening allows you to animate a brush over all or part of an animation in X, Y, Z movement and rotation as well as opacity. Each aspect can be independently set for ease-in or ease out. And the best part is you can edit the position and rotation of the start and end values both numerically and visually (with a special editing screen). Unfortunately you cannot load or save these numbers, which would allow more complex paths. You can do a wireframe preview and if you don't like it after rendering, you can UNDO it, frame by frame. Brilliance uses custom file requestors which have various buttons relevant to different types of files. One common function is an Info button that will tell you about a file you have located with the requestor (like image format or number of frames). Brilliance can load register based images with up to 256 colors, grey scale images , and DCTV display images. TrueBrilliance can load HAM, HAM8, and 15 or 24-bit pictures. Both can read/write ANIM OPT5 (the old standard) and ANIM OPT 8. DOCUMENTATION Documentation is a single, small, spiral-bound book. It contains Installation, Tutorials and Reference for both Brilliance and TrueBrilliance. The Tutorials are comprehensive but not exciting. The Reference is extremely useful in explaining the few things that aren't apparent just by using the program. LIKES AND DISLIKES Everything is well organized and operates smoothly. I just wish they had gone a little further in some areas, rather than just doing what everyone else already had in a paint program (like more flexible animation frame editing). Also, there's no ARexx or support for third party graphics boards. Here's one complaint about Brilliance. I enjoy the way that DPaint lets you interrupt anything with the SPACE bar or ESCape. You could also switch from a rectangle to a line to a circle in mid-action. You can't do either with Brilliance. Not everything can be aborted or changed. COMPARISONS TO OTHER PRODUCTS I have been comparing this to DPaint a lot and my verdict is: keep DPaint on your hard drive for a few weeks while you get used to Brilliance. But soon you won't need DPaint. Since TrueBrilliance lacks a real airbrush as well as alpha (transparency) mapping, you'll still need a program like ADPro, ImageFX or OpalPaint. Those programs also have many more drawing modes and file formats. BUGS None found. VENDOR SUPPORT I haven't had any problems serious enough to call Digital Creations yet. I also own DCTV, which also was very stable in its first release- and soon the 1.1 version came out which added the features many thought were missing in 1.0. I expect the same to happen with Brilliance. WARRANTY The warranty is 90 days and requires the customer to pay all shipping charges. THE REVIEWER Marc Rifkin - Graphic and Multimedia Production MarcR@cup.portal.com 121 Shasta Road Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 USA Phone: 215-825-4149 Fax: 215-825-3966
*************************************************************************** AR_Viewer and Amiga Report Table of Contents /// We have a VIEWER! ----------------- by Robert Niles With special thanks to John Enright, author of the future GameSmith (TM) Development System, we are happy to present to you the first edition of Amiga Report with pictures and a proprietory viewer. John was nice enough to work with me on this viewer, letting me nit-pick at it, getting it to where we both fealt it was good enough to be released. The viewer is compatable with 1.3/2.x/3.0 operating systems and can view picture files up to and including HAM8 and 256 color AGA pictures. AR_Viewer should be placed within your C: directory, your current working directory or somewhere within your searched paths. It opens up on the WorkBench screen with a border around the picture file. All standard gadgets can be used, and the picture can be moved around as well. When displaying a picure on the Workbench screen, the picture must use the same colors assigned to the Workbench screen, making some pictures look ...well... not all that good (but hopefully to be corrected in a future version). There is a pull-down menu with the option of "Custom Screen". Selecting that will bring up a custom screen, and the picture will be viewed as it was meant. ...as demonstrated here with this picture button of the @{" CD32 " system "AR_viewer CD32.bru"} console. Now this may be a strange way to view picture files, but it gives us the flexability needed to control the size of the pictures that we wish to include with Amiga Report. You won't have to download an additional 100k Amiga Report file when it could have been kept down to something smaller. With this viewer, you can continue to browse through and read Amiga Report while the picture is still being shown. This is good were an item in the text is describing something in the picture. Also you may view as many pictures as memory allows at once. Good for comparisons. We hope you like this addition to Amiga Report, if you have any comments, suggestions, or complaints, please feel free to send us a note .
------------ Delphi Table of Contents /// Delphi: It's Getting Better All The Time! ------------------------------------------ Amiga Report International Online Magazine is available every week in the Amiga Forum on DELPHI. Amiga Report readers are invited to join DELPHI and become a part of the friendly community of computer enthusiasts there. SIGNING UP WITH DELPHI ====================== Using a personal computer and modem, members worldwide access DELPHI services via a local phone call JOIN -- DELPHI -------------- Via modem, dial up DELPHI at 1-800-695-4002 then... When connected, press RETURN once or twice and.... At Password: type STREPORT and press RETURN. DELPHI's best plan is the 20/20 plan. It gives you 20 hours each month for the low price of only $19.95! Additional hours are only $1.50 each! This covers 1200, 2400 and even 9600 connections! For more information, and details on other plans, call DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI - It's getting better all the time!
*************************************************************************** UseNet Review - 1230XA Table of Contents /// Usenet Review: Microbotics 1230XA Accelerator for Amiga 1200 ------------------------------------------------------------ By Brian King (umking21@ccu.umanitoba.ca) PRODUCT NAME Microbotics M1230XA-50 68030 accelerator for Amiga 1200 BRIEF DESCRIPTION A 50MHz 68030 accelerator card for the A1200 with full Memory Management Unit (MMU), 68881/68882 socket, RAM SIMM socket, clock/calendar and EEPROM configuration scheme. COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Microbotics, Inc. Address: 1251 American Parkway, Richardson, Texas (TX), 75081 USA Telephone: (214) 437-5330 LIST PRICE List price unknown. I paid $399 (US) for the 50MHz 68030 version with no floating point unit (FPU) and no RAM SIMM. The unit is also available in 33MHz and 40MHz-EC versions, with and without RAM and FPUs. EC denotes the absence of an MMU. SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE Amiga 1200 personal computer, with available LocalBus belly slot. A hard drive is recommended but not required. SOFTWARE OS 3.0, 3.1 compatible. Excellent compatibility. COPY PROTECTION None. The configuration and test software is hard-drive installable. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 1200. 2 Meg Chip RAM, no Fast RAM. Kickstart Version 39.106, Workbench Version 39.29. Additional 4 Meg (70ns) Fast RAM added via SIMM socket on M1230XA. 50MHz 68882 FPU added (no oscillator necessary). GENERAL INFORMATION So you want to add speed to your new A1200? 40MHz isn't fast enough? You REALLY need that MMU... SCSI/SCSI-II isn't a priority? THIS is the accelerator for you! I've primarily been using my 1200 as a console and terminal, since the two Meg Chip RAM is not sufficient for many tasks any more. Yes, gone are the days when your Amiga could run quickly and multi-task efficiently with only two Megs of RAM. Count on 3-8 Megs for most serious applications. I had the need for 32-bit RAM expansion, knowing that this would instantly double the speed of my A1200, and also would allow the addition of a math coprocessor. My initial leanings were towards the Microbotics MBX1200Z, which came complete with clock/calendar, SIMM socket, and FPU socket. When I learned of a new Microbotics product which includes all these features, PLUS 50MHz acceleration with a TRUE 68030, I knew I had to have one. Not only has this board dramatically increased the overall speed of my machine, but also it has allowed me finally to run some of the Amiga's more sophisticated software (VistaPro, Art Department Pro, Lightwave, SAS/C 6.3, Deluxe Paint IV, etc.) which until now was out of my reach. Overall speed improvement estimates are: Item Speed Increase ============================================== Hard drive 40-50 % Graphics 70-100 % Serial port performance 10-15 % AIBB 6.0 results are as follows: Integer Graphics Floating Machine ===================================================================== 11.70 4.72 19.16 A600, 2 MB Chip RAM 4.99 2.05 9.07 A1200, 2 MB Chip RAM 1.99 1.93 2.00 A3000/25 + Fast RAM 1.30 0.66 0.60 A4000/040 + Fast RAM 1.10 1.05 1.11 A1200 - See below... Thus, as indicated, the A1200 with M1230XA is 11.7 times faster at integer math operations than the A600 (no surprise here!). The last entry needs some explanation. The M1230XA comes with excellent configuration software (SetXA), which allows setting of many board parameters including RAM wait-states. When you configure the board for 50MHz, and 70ns RAM SIMMs, SetXA sets the wait-states to 4, which turns out to be rather conservative. Instead, I set the wait-states to 3, which not only runs reliably, but also runs faster as indicated by AIBB. The machine was 1.10 times faster with 3 wait states than with 4. However, doing this IS a risk, although I've had no problems with this so far. AIBB also revealed the HUGE difference between the RAM access of the A4000 and the M1230XA. The A4000 simply cannot keep up to the 68030-equipped A1200 in sheer RAM access speed. SOFTWARE The included SetXA utility is excellent, eliminating the need for many jumper blocks from the board and providing easy configuration. However, the software is rather conservative in its settings for wait-states, as outlined above. Another problem with the software is its need. Once the board is configured, you should not have to run the SetXA utility again. Unfortunately, the M1230XA does NOT AutoConfig its RAM on startup, and the SetXA software must be placed early in your startup-sequence in order to add the Fast RAM to the system. By this time, however, your drive buffers and graphics/Intuition libraries are already in Chip RAM. The operating system will run more quickly with this data in Fast RAM. While this is a problem, it is a minor one. It would be interesting to see how having graphics/Intuition in Fast RAM would affect the above speed comparisons. Also, games that need extra memory and don't behave will not be able to access this memory. I hope that most newer games will allow hard drive installation, or not need more than 2 Megs of RAM. Kickstart/AmigaDOS 3.1 is supposed to allow full AutoConfig ability. It seems that the present PCMCIA address space is right in the middle of the AutoConfig space. This doesn't stop the GVP accelerator from AutoConfiguring, however! Seems a small slip by Microbotics. The other included software is the TestRAM program, which does cyclic testing of RAM and is great for finding that bad RAM chip or area. I used it extensively when experimenting with the RAM wait-state settings, since I was worried about changing the SetXA defaults, but no errors occurred. HARDWARE As noted above, this thing really FLIES! Also, the clock/calendar module is fully AmigaDOS compatible, allowing you to use the existing system's Time and Date commands. The full 68030 is a boon to programmers using tools like Enforcer, as well as allowing the Kickstart ROMs to be mapped into Fast RAM. Even though this gobbles up 512K of your system RAM, it is recommended for full speed processing. If memory is really tight, you can always disable the FastROM option with the AmigaDOS CPU program. The SIMM socket is excellent quality, featuring the metal-latch type connection, rather than the typical plastic catches on most SIMM sockets. The FPU socket is a typical PGA socket, and takes a fair amount of force to insert your own 68881 or 68882. This is typical, however, and good contact is made. DOCUMENTATION The included documentation consists of two double-sided 8.5" x 11" pages, the User's Guide, and a registration card. Although the production quality is low (no booklet, colour, etc.), the content is very clear and concise. The User's Guide is laid out nicely, including a detailed diagram of the M1230XA circuit card. The Guide progresses through the following sections: 1. General Description 2. Basic Installation 3. SIMM Memory Installation 4. Math Coprocessor (FPU) Information 5. Realtime Clock Information 6. SetXA Configuration Software Guide 7. Troubleshooting The only concern about any of these sections lies in the Basic Installation section, Part 3: "..firmly press it completely onto the card edge. Because the connector is so wide, it may require some strength to press the card onto the Amiga's bus." ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Wow! SOME STRENGTH??? I had to reef on the sucker with a screw-driver as a lever, along with my hands stuck in there to keep things aligned. Getting it in was extremely difficult and frustrating, and getting it out will be damned impossible. It took about 5 minutes of aggravation until a solution was ironed out. In all fairness to Microbotics, I don't believe the problem lies at their end; and once the board is fitted, it makes great contact. Commodore's L-shaped bus slot makes insertion and removal very difficult, and NOT for the faint of heart. LIKES AND DISLIKES LIKES o The SetXA EEPROM configuration software is excellent and eliminates jumper blocks. o Instructions, while skimpy, provide all necessary information. o The SPEED!!! o The RAM!!!!! DISLIKES o Non-AutoConfig RAM expansion, while not terrible, is slightly annoying! (See above review for details and explanations.) SUGGESTIONS o Two SIMM sockets would have been better, but there is not enough room. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS There are a number of other accelerator products out there, including GVPs, ICDs, CSAs and soon more. However, if you don't need SCSI-II capabilities, then this board exceeds the GVP A1230+ board in specs, and costs only slightly more. Here is a comparison chart: Board Speed RAM? RAM Amount Clock/Cal Full 68030 (MMU) ======================================================================= M1230XA 50MHz YES up to 128MB YES YES A1230+ 40MHz YES up to 128MB NO NO The clock/calendar option is worth $30 US anyway, and the MMU is necessary for the serious programmer and for virtual memory support, as well as UNIX/Linux/Mach support. BUGS None found. VENDOR SUPPORT No experiences yet. WARRANTY One year, complete. CONCLUSIONS If your need is for speed, then this board is simply the fastest right now! The RAM speed excels over that of the A4000/40, and drive speed nearly doubles due to the processor speed and FAST RAM. Until a 68040 accelerator appears for the A1200, this card will provide king-of-the-hill performance. Microbotics is said to be working on a 68040 version of this product, but cost will be prohibitive to most mere mortals. King Rating = 96% COPYRIGHT NOTICE Copyright 1993 Brian D. King. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
--------------------------- GameSmith D.S. Table of Contents Bithead Technologies proudly announces it's near completion of the GameSmith (TM) Development System. First commercial release slated for January - March '94 time frame following completion of an extensive Beta test program. The IFF ILBM (AR_Viewer) loader provided with Amiga Report is just a small piece of a professional development system for experts and novices alike who want to create truely arcade quality games, demos, etc. on the Amiga. This system has been 4 years in development, and provides unrivaled power and ease of use. The GameSmith (TM) Development System works with the 'C' or assembler development environment of the user's choice. Official press release is forthcoming, but here are just a few details: * The fastest, most complete, programmable animation system for the desktop, encompassing more than 70 independent user functions. * Interrupt driven sound system capable of playing IFF (including stereo) or raw sound samples from Fast RAM in any octave. * A utility for putting together character animations for use in your programs. Allows creation of complex data objects with "intelligence". Features binary anim file creation, source code output, compressed and encrypted data, collision detection, special effects, and more; all controllable from an easy to use graphical user interface. * FULLY AGA COMPATIBLE! * Many other features such as an easy display system, joystick polling, vector routines, AmigaDOS librarian, timer, and many more functions and utilities. * Royalty free sale and distribution of products developed with the system. * Most routines written in 100% assembler for the utmost in speed. This system provides the low-level muscle to handle even the most demanding game situation, and frees the user from months or sometimes years of development time required to accomplish these professional effects. All coding has been completed, and all known bugs removed. The manuals are being written and a Beta test phase will be initiated shortly. -John Enright- (A.K.A. Max Bithead) President, Bithead Technologies Sept. 1st, 1993
*************************************************************************** Portal Table of Contents /// Portal: A Great Place For Amiga Users -------------------------------------- Portal Communications' Amiga Zone The AFFORDABLE alternative for online Amiga information ------------------------------------------------------- The Portal Online System is the home of acclaimed Amiga Zone, which was formerly on the People/Link System. Plink went out of business in May, 1991 and The Amiga Zone's staff moved to Portal the next day. The Zone has just celebrated its second anniversary on Portal. The Amiga press raves about The Amiga Zone, when compared to its competition. If you live in the San Jose, CA area, then you can dial Portal directly. If you live elsewhere, you can reach Portal through any SprintNet (formerly Telenet) indial anywhere in the USA or through Tymnet from anywhere in North America. If you have an account on another Internet-connected system, you can connect to Portal using the UNIX Telnet programs, from anywhere in the industrialized world. Delphi and BIX users can now Telnet into Portal for a flat $19.95 a month, with *unlimited* use. Some of Portal/Amiga Zone's amazing features include: - Over 1.5 GIGabytes of Amiga-specific files, online, 24 hours a day. Portal has dedicated a 2.5 GIGabyte disk drive to the Amiga Zone. We have virtually unlimited space for files and new uploads. - The *entire* Fred Fish collection of freely distributable software, online. All of it. Every disk. Well-organized so it's easy to find exactly what you're after. - Fast, Batch Zmodem file transfer protocol. Download up to 100 files at once, of any size, with one command. - Twenty Amiga vendor areas with participants like AmigaWorld, ASDG, Soft-Logik, Black Belt, Apex Publishing, Stylus, Prolific, NES, and many others including Compute's Amiga Resource with over 4 Megabytes of exclusive Compute magazine disk stuff you won't find elsewhere. - 35 "regular" Amiga libraries with thousands of files. Hot new stuff arrives daily. Since Portal has FTP connections we can get new freely-distributable software online within MINUTES of its being announced on Usenet. - No upload/download "ratios" EVER. Download as much as you want, as often as you want, and never feel pressued doing it. Start downloading files with your first session on Portal. - Live, interactive nightly chats with Amiga folks whose names you will recognize. Special conferences. Random chance prize contests. Famous Amiga folks aren't the exception on Portal, they're the norm. Instead of stumbling around in frustration you can talk to the people who design your hardware, who write your software. - Vast Message bases where you can ask questions about *anything* Amiga related and get quick replies from the experts. - Amiga Internet mailing lists for Imagine, DCTV, LightWave, HyperAmi, Director and Landscapes are fed right into the Zone message bases. Read months worth of postings. They don't scroll off, ever! No need to clutter your mailbox with them. - FREE unlimited Internet Email. Your Portal account gets you a mailbox that's connected to the world. Send letters of any length to computer users in the entire industrialized world. No limits. No extra charges. No kidding! - Portal has the Usenet. Thousands of "newsgroups" in which you can read and post articles about virtually any subject you can possibly imagine. Usenet feeds into Portal many times each hour. There are 14 Amiga-specific Usenet newsgroups with hundreds of articles posted every day, including postings by Commodore personnel. Since Usenet is distributed worldwide, your questions and answers can be seen by literally hundreds of thousands of people the same day you post them. - Other Portal SIGs (Special Interest Groups) online for Mac, IBM, Sun, NeXT, UNIX, Science Fiction, Writers, amateur radio, and a graphics SIG with thousands of GIF files to name just a few. ALL Portal SIGs are accessible to ALL Portal customers with NO surcharges ever. - The entire UPI/Clarinet/Newsbytes news hierarchy ($4/month extra) An entire general interest newspaper and computer news magazine. - Portal featues an exciting package of Internet features: IRC, FTP, TELNET, MUDS, LIBS. Free to all Portal customers with your account. Internet Services is a menu driven version of the same kinds of utilities you can also use from your Portal UNIX shell account. - All the files you can FTP. All the chatting you can stand on the IRC. And on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) you can talk live, in real time with Amiga users in the U.K., Europe, Australia, the Far East, 24 hours a day. - Our exclusive PortalX by Steve Tibbett, the graphical "front end" for Portal which will let you automatically click'n'download your waiting email, messages, Usenet groups and binary files! Reply to mail and messages offline using your favorite editor and your replies are sent automatically the next time you log into Portal. (PortalX requires Workbench 2.04 or higher) - And Portal does NOT stick it to high speed modem users. Whether you log in at 1200 or 2400 or 9600 or 14.4K you pay the same low price. How does all that sound? Probably too good to be true. Well, it IS true. Portal Signup or for more information: 1-408-973-9111 (voice) 9a.m.-5p.m. Mon-Fri, Pacific Time 1-408-725-0561 (modem 3/12/2400) 24 hours every day 1-408-973-8091 (modem 9600/14400) 24 hours every day or enter "C PORTAL" from any Sprintnet dial-in in the USA, or enter "portal" from any Tymnet "please log in:" prompt, USA & Canada or telnet to "portal.com" from anywhere. PORTAL'S CURRENT RATES: All prices shown are in U.S. Dollars Total Total Total Total Cost Cost Cost Cost Fee 1 hr. 5 hrs. 10 hrs.30 hrs. Startup Monthly Per Per per per per Fee Fee Hour month month month month $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Portal 19.95 19.95 2400/9600/14.4Kbps, *direct 24 hrs 0.00 19.95 19.95 19.95 19.95 2400/9600bps nonprime Sprint or Tymnet 2.50 22.95 32.45 44.95 94.95 2400/9600bps prime Sprint +% or Tymnet 5.50-10 29.95 69.95 119.95 varies 2400/9600bps non prime # PCPursuit 1.00 20.95 24.95 29.95 49.95 * plus cost of phone call if out of Portal's local dialing area Direct rates also apply to connections made to Portal using the UNIX "telnet" program from an account you may already have on an Internet-connected system. % 9600 bps Sprintnet and Tymnet available in over 300 cities areas + $10 rate prevails at smaller US Cities # PCPursuit is a service of US Sprint. Portal is a PCPursuit "Direct Access Facility" thus connection to Portal with a PCP account is simply a matter of entering C PORTAL,PCP-ID,PCP-PASSWORD at the SprintNet login prompt instead of C PORTAL. Note: Portal Direct 9600/14400 bps service is availble for both USR HST modems, and any V32/V32.bis modems. There are dozens of direct-dial high speed lines into Portal. No busy signals! SprintNet 9600bps service is V.32 modem protocol only. Tymnet 9600bps services is V.32 modem protocol only. Again, Portal does NOT surcharge high speed modem users! Portal subscribers who already have an account on an Internet-capable system elsewhere, can use that system's "telnet" program to connect to Portal for $0.00 an hour. That's right ZERO. From anywhere in the world. If you're in this category, be sure to ask the Portal reps, when you signup, how to login to Portal from your existing Internet account. Call and join today. Tell the friendly Portal Customer Service representative, "The Amiga Zone and Amiga Report sent me!" [Editor's Note: Be sure to tell them that you are an Amiga user, so they can notify the AmigaZone sysops to send their Welcome Letter and other information!] That number again: 408-973-9111. Portal Communications accepts MasterCard, Visa, or you can pre-pay any amount by personal check or money order. The Portal Online System is a trademark of Portal Communications.
*************************************************************************** UseNet Review - Simlife Table of Contents /// Usenet Review: SimLife ----------------------- By Jun Akiyama (akiy@netcom.com) PRODUCT NAME SimLife, V1.00 Jun 18 1993 14:11:56 BRIEF DESCRIPTION Build your own ecosystem and give life to creatures, designing animals and plants down to the genetic level. Brought to you from the makers of SimCity, SimAnt, SimEarth, and SimFarm (well, on other platforms, anyway). AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Maxis, distributed by Mindscape International Address: 2 Theatre Square Suite 230 Orinda, CA 94563-3346 Telephone: (510) 254-9700 FAX: (510) 253-3736 LIST PRICE The list price as indicated in the Mindscape catalog included with the game is 34.99 pounds. (Mindscape is a British company.) Exchange rates as of this writing would make that equivalent to $59.64 (US). I was able to buy this product from a local store for $39.99 (US). SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE There are two versions of this software: one for AGA machines (A1200, A4000), and another for all Amiga computers. (From this point on in the article, unless I specifically refer to the AGA version or the Standard version, "SimLife" will refer to both AGA and Standard versions.) The AGA version has golden stickers on the box saying "A1200 Enhanced" and "Enhanced version for Amiga 1200/4000 only." The AGA version requires a machine which can handle AGA graphics such as the A1200 and the A4000. However, I do not know if AGA emulator boards (such as the Retina card) would be able to use this game. The AGA version also requires 2 MB of RAM. A hard drive is recommended. The Standard version for all Amigas requires a minimum of 1 MB of RAM (although 2 MB is recommended). A hard drive is recommended. There is a little ReadMe note on the disk for the AGA version with the following information: If you intend to play SimLife in HiRes Mode with only 2 Megabytes of RAM, you will only be able to play with Tiny and Small worlds. This is due to memory constraints. If you fit more memory, you will be able to play all configurations. I do not know if the above note also applies to the Standard version. If you don't have a hard drive, don't worry. The program can be decompressed onto three floppy disks. (Disk swapping is always so much fun, and can often relieve the tension in any program. Right?) A warning to those running on slower CPUs -- the game is quite CPU intensive! Although the game can run on any Amiga platform, I would not want to see this game running on a 68000-equipped machine as it tends to slow down even on my A4000. It has no problems running with my 68040, even with copyback mode on. Also, the AGA version runs in PAL mode, although this can be avoided (as explained later). SOFTWARE The AGA version requires Workbench 3.0 and above. The Standard version requires at least Workbench 1.3. COPY PROTECTION None. At all. Period. End of sentence. We should give Maxis a great big huzzah. Really. I did. The game installs beautifully onto a hard drive, without having to make any directory assigns. Another huzzah. The game boots from Workbench, and multitasks well, except for a few litle problems (see below for details). The game will save its data (save games, new species, etc.) using a file requester, so you have the power to place it wherever you wish. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 4000/040 2 MB Chip RAM, 4 MB Fast RAM Kickstart 39.106, Workbench 39.29 INSTALLATION As mentioned previously, the game is installable onto either the hard drive or onto three floppies. As in most Maxis games, SimLife comes in two different resolutions: hi-res, or low-res. The hi-res version is recommended for those with at least 2 MB of memory, and a multiscan monitor. (I guess the multiscan monitor is necessary to eliminate the flicker through DblPAL. The Standard version, although it does not use DblPAL, may use a flicker fixer instead.) Installation itself is a breeze. The installation program is started by booting up Disk 1, after which you will be asked whether you wish to have hi-res or low-res graphics and to install onto either the hard drive (in which case it also asks for a directory, creating it if necessary) or floppy drive. Then follow the on-screen instructions on which of the four disks the program wants, and after minimal disk-swapping, the game is installed. GETTING STARTED When starting up the game from Workbench, you must not leave any windows open which have tasks running. The requester saying "Could not close Workbench. Close all windows and restart!" will pop up. This means, for example, that you must not have any shells, GNU Emacs windows, nor ASokoban games running at the time you start the game. After you close the windows or iconify them, double click on the not-too attractive game icon, and start the game again. Once you start the game, you will notice a depth gadget at the top right hand corner; don't bother using it, as I found it does nothing. Use the Left-Amiga M combination to flip through the screens to get back to Workbench if you need to multitask. Be forewarned that the game takes up a lot of CPU cycles, and most everything else will be pretty slow. One of the first things you notice when you first boot the hi-res AGA version is that it's in DblPAL mode. (I don't know what the Standard version does.) For those people running in PAL, this is not a problem; for those of us running NTSC, the bottom 25% of the screen is clipped off. I use the public domain commodity ForceMonitor to promote all PAL screens to Multiscan:Productivity (my Workbench resolution), and the program seems to work fine. You might have to press Left-Amiga M to flip the screen sometimes to bring the SimLife screen to the front. In addition, if you're using a DblNTSC Workbench and wish to use SimLife AGA in DblNTSC, ForceMonitor can do that too; just be aware that you'll need to autoscroll a little bit to see the entire screen. (I also installed the low-res AGA version, and the screen opens up in PAL mode. Therefore, the same steps as above will probably have to be taken to open up a full-size screen.) After installation, the first instinct of all human beings having used a computer for more than five minutes is to dive into a program without having read the manual. Usually, only after the user has looked at all the menu items, pressed all the buttons, and basically gotten confused and frustrated do they open the manuals. In SimLife, looking at all the menu items and pressing all the buttons take a really long time, and getting confused and frustrated takes a very short one. Luckily, Maxis includes a pretty comprehensive tutorial. The tutorial world makes the user go through all of the basic functions of all of the menu items and buttons, so that the user can understand the 204 page user manual better afterwards. I thought the tutorial to be very helpful and well organized, although I found the "Click on window to continue" prompts a bit irritating. (The windows kept disappearing on me, since you're all wrapped up in placing Lucia's Llamas all across the land and clicking away, during which the window suddenly pops up and you inadvertently "Click on the window to continue." Of course, there's the "Redisplay Current Message" menu item, but it's still annoying, nonetheless.) GAME PLAY The game itself revolves basically around observation. It is no horrendously thumb-numbing shoot-'em up game, nor is it a mind-wrenching dungeon-delving adventure. (Only BLAZEMONGER can be both at the same time, and then some. :-)) Most of the time, I found myself influencing the world in some manner, then waiting to see what happened in reaction to it. I guess if there is a god, that's what he's doing at this moment. However, don't take this in the wrong way; you wouldn't buy this game if you wished for action, adventure, blood, guts, and glory. You're going to have to be pretty patient with this game; it takes a long time for something to happen, just like in real evolution! Don't expect your humpback whales to start walking on land in one minute; it takes a lot longer than that. Sit back, and observe, young ones. First, you create the earth upon which your creatures and plants will reside. Such parameters as average moisture, average temperature, numbers of rivers and lakes (and seas -- no distinction between salt and fresh water), and even the numbers of toxins and mutagens can be configured. Don't worry if the world you get doesn't suit your godly aesthetic sense; during the game itself, you can raise or sink land (a la Populous) and increase or decrease rain fall and temperature. Heck, spell your name with a land mass. You also get to choose the size of the world -- tiny, small, large, medium, and large. Continental drift does not seem to be integrated into this game, but I'm sure you can emulate it through ingenious manipulations of the land. After creating your landmasses, it's time to place your plants and creatures. The program gives several options on how to place them. You can place individual creatures wherever you wish (which is very close to painting with a paint program with a brush with the grid turned on), or you can have the program place creatures for you; the options available for you to control the computer's placement of the creatures include placing them in a group or individually scattered, on land only, in water only, or any other combination. You can also choose to place individual species or the entire catalog of plants or animals onto the map. (Of course, you can place those humpback whales on land, if you wish, or throw some ground squirrels into the water; either way, you are punished (rewarded?) by a pretty quick "Oooh" sound, signaling the demise of some of your creations.) Each one of these species consists of a group of settings corresponding to the creature's (or plant's) biological descriptions. For example, you can control whether your animal will be a high intelligence carnivore which walks and lives in the mountains and has a long gestation time but few children (like a llama), or if it will be a low intelligence filter-feeder which flies and lives in the ocean with a short gestation time and bears many children (like something from a cheap B movie). Also, you can design the picture of the creature/plant in child/seed and adult/plant modes, so you can distinguish them on the screen easily. You decide. Yes, it can get pretty silly, but I think that's one of the features of the game. Even during the game, you can pick out each animal on the screen and change its genome features. You can make one of those llamas to suddenly turn into a flying super-stealthy acute-visioned fly-sized animal, if you want. Make that humpback whale asexual! Create some immortal chickens! The program will keep track of each and every single living creature on your earth. As the days pass by, the seasons roll past, and the years flit away into history, you get to watch evolution in action as animals and plants mutate into different species. If you're feeling bored, you can really play divinity and fly a comet into the earth, induce a plague, introduce a sexually transmitted disease, or even (gasp!) bring civilization onto the land (whereupon little bulldozers start appearing, creating luxury homes and leaving pollution behind them)! While you're at it, you can start to change the basic physics of nature on your planet. If you suddenly feel that seeds should have more food value than animals, you can do so. You have total freedom to make flying take less movement costs than walking, or to raise the mutation rate. It's all up to you. Of course, all this would go to naught if the program didn't keep track of what happened when, and all other records. The game keeps track of when what species was introduced, what is eating what, the population of each species, diversity graphs, and basically all of the data a biologist would love to have on an ecosystem. Yes, there are many, many settings and variables you can change, but who said life was uncomplicated? DOCUMENTATION There are three manuals included with the game: the user manual, the SimLife lab book, and the addendum and quickstart guide. The user guide is a comprehensive 204 page text, complete with glossary and an index (which deserves the third huzzah). Many illustrations grace the pages of this manual to ease identification of the many windows, buttons, and menus in the game. All in all, I found it to be very easy to use. There is also an addendum and "quickstart" guide for the Amiga version of the game which tells you of the installation procedures and a keyboard shortcut chart in the back. Lastly, there is a SimLife lab book in which you are to "make a photocopy of it for your personal use and mark that up. No selling copies of the lab book in dark alleys to minors while wearing a trench coat." Basically, this lab book allows you to record the various settings of the program. Will I ever use it? I don't think so. If you see someone selling copies of it in dark alleys to minors while *not* wearing a trench coat, it's probably some other pervert. Not me. LIKES, DISLIKES, AND OPINIONS I really like the premises upon which this product was built. The idea of watching life evolve and being able to observe (and influence) directly the interactions of different species ("You scratch my back, and I'll eat you") can only be done on computers (for now). However, for a non-biologically oriented person like me, I felt pretty overwhelmed by the number of options, settings, and variables presented before me. Now, I'm not saying that this is a drawback necessarily (although the "However" at the beginning of the paragraph may say otherwise); it's just that sometimes, simple is best. For people who want to sit around for hours, twiddling each little gene and adjusting settings, then loading, saving, then recording each session, this program may be ideal. However, I did not have the patience to sit out decades and decades of artificial time to see what happened to a species of plant. I suppose I could play this game at a more shallow level without getting into the specifics (like manipulating the genes for water storage in a plant), but then, I would feel as though I'm not playing the game to the fullest. Maybe it's just me. I don't know. Therefore, for those people who enjoy working with many variables, and would like to have the power (and time) to adjust nearly each and every aspect of life, this game is for you. For others, it may be a type of diversion close to a fractal program; you can watch a lot of things moving on the screen, then come back a few hours later and check the history to see what's still alive and when things went extinct. Perhaps if there were some real "scoring" mechanism for SimLife as there was for SimCity (in which money was a limited resource; in SimLife, life itself can be created pretty much infinitely, and without any cost, which I find pretty unrealistic), the game could be more playable. Although the "physics" aspect of the game limits the player somewhat, the game play is hindered by allowing the player simply to say "poof" and add some more animals here and delete some plants here. In addition to the built-in scenarios, included in the directory itself are several "saved" games which are interesting. For example, one of the scenarios is as follows: The main workers are the Square Pegs, who chase the Round Wholes, and Marketers, who chase Customers. Money Trees, with golden flowers that give off a red scent, are the main food source for the workers. The Water Bottles are where the workers congregate and drink. The Executive Wash Room/Lounge (in the lower left corner) is where the executives congregate, drink and use the trees. Everyone wants to catch the Runnin' BigBucks, but they are hard to catch -- they avoid everyone but upper management. Everyone has grass growing under their feet, but tries to hide it, or at least eat it. The shopping carts are the candy dispensers and popcorn machines. Upper Management sits around and waits for the BigBucks to come. The game is an obvious port from the Macintosh platform, as the requesters are taken right from the Macintosh operating system. I found some of these requesters annoying, probably because I'm used to seeing Workbench compliant programs these days. The game play is hindered at points because of this noncompliance, as some menus (such as from the Help button) do not pop up readily, meaning you may have to click on a button multiple times, which is irritating. Because the game is pretty slow at times, the reaction time of a button press may be delayed. Maybe more care could have been taken by the people at Maxis to round out the user interface to that more suitable for the Amiga, and not just supposed that the Macintosh interface would suffice for the picky tastes of some Amiga users (myself included). I think it would have sped things up a little bit too. Lastly, let me try to warn a few people. I don't think you're going to be able to use this program to recreate the movie Jurassic Park. (There are no omnivorous animals, so it'd be hard to create humans in the first place. And, no using "frog" DNA in dinosaurs, either.) Nor do I think you are going to be able to recreate life on earth as it is today, because of such limitations. Perhaps with a lot of patience and time, you might be able to; but then again, a game is a game. Maybe Maxis will come out with SimInteractionBetweenHumansAndOtherBeingsOnEarth someday. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS Of course, in comparing this game with the other "Sim" games, I think that this game is the most "simulation"-like than the other "Sim" games. As said above, unlike SimCity, there are really no limited resources, and there is really no big objective in SimLife. SimAnt had an objective to take over the entire yard. SimEarth gave the objective of evolving a lifeform intelligent enough to go to another solar system. I guess that the main objective of SimLife would be to create a stable ecosystem through the creation of your own lifeforms. Maybe it's just me. I just might not have the patience to sit this one through. BUGS It seemed as though there was a strange bug when the program used the "autospeciate" feature to create a new species from an old one (when organisms diverge so much from their originals that they wouldn't be able to mate with the old ones) and the user deleted some of the organisms (or did something that irritated the program), the pictures for each of the organisms shifted around, the wrong image representing some of the species. Therefore, I sometimes saw sharks flying across mountains, and squirrels suddenly turned into humpback whales when it walked to the left. I haven't contacted Maxis about this, as I'm not really too sure when this occurs (except for the aforementioned approximate details). If anything ensues, I'll submit a followup article. VENDOR SUPPORT I have never talked to anyone at Maxis, as far as I know, unless they have undercover agents or something. The registration card has to be sent to England (to Mindscape), and the technical support hotline is an international call. However, I'd think calling Maxis directly (in California) would be better, so take a look at the phone numbers up above for details. I am in no way, shape nor form, associated with Maxis. I just play their games (or rather, run their simulations). WARRANTY Sending in the registration card entitles the user to "technical support, advance notification of upgrades, and special offers on future Mindscape products," says the registration card. CONCLUSIONS All in all, I feel SimLife to be a very accomplished simulation with a whole plethora of variables and a world of outcomes to be explored. On a scale from one to ten ducks (one duck being the equivalent to "Pond Scum," and ten ducks garnering a "Totally ducky!" description), I'd probably give it seven ducks. BLAZEMONGER NOTICE For you BLAZEMONGER II players out there, this review, in its entirety (including the headers), is the secret password for level 323,832,123.021. Just type it in during the .00002 millisecond title screen, and you're there. Wow. How did the BLAZEMONGER programmers know?
*************************************************************************** Table of Contents /// Holonet: Inexpensive Internet Access ------------------------------------- *** HOLONET *** HoloNet is an easy to use Internet Access BBS. HoloNet is based on custom BBS software which provides an easy to use menu driven interface. HoloNet is ideal for those looking for an easy way to use Internet services. HoloNet does not currently provide UNIX shell access. Services include: o Convenient Access A local call in 850+ cities nationwide. o Online Publications Include USA Today Decisionline, Newsbytes, Datanet Computer News, Eeeekbits, and Boardwatch Magazine. o USENET Averages over 30MB of USENET news per day. The following news readers are available: NN, TIN, and RN. o Internet E-Mail Members have an Internet E-mail address similar to: member@holonet.net o Internet Access Access to telnet, talk, finger, IRC, and FTP. (note: you must comply with the policies of any networks you use) o Single and Multi-player Games Board, card, fantasy, and puzzle games. o Support for Eudora Excellent off-line Macintosh e-mail reader. o UUCP E-mail and USENET feeds Link LAN E-mail systems and BBSes to the Internet. How to try HoloNet for FREE: Telnet: holonet.net Modem: 510-704-1058 (Berkeley, CA) at 1200, 2400, 9600, or 14400 bps. There are free demo numbers nationwide, for an automated response containg a list of access numbers, send e-mail to access@holonet.mailer.net How to get more information: E-mail: info@holonet.net Modem: 510-704-1058 at 1200, 2400, 9600, or 14400bps Voice: 510-704-0160 Fax: 510-704-8019 HoloNet is a service mark of Information Access Technologies, Inc. Copyright © 1992 Information Access Techologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
*************************************************************************** Lost Treasures of Infocom Table of Contents /// Usenet Review: The Lost Treasures of Infocom --------------------------------------------- By Peter Ingham (ping@ping.actrix.gen.nz) PRODUCT NAME The Lost Treasures of Infocom BRIEF DESCRIPTION A collection of the more significant Role-Playing Games (RPG's) originally published by Infocom in the late 70's/early 80's. The original Zork was developed at MIT by Dave Lebling and Marc Blank and inspired by "advent". Like advent, Zork is a text-based adventure with an English-like parser, so you type in English sentences to control the game. They formed/joined Infocom to market microcomputer implementations and extend the genre. AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Activision / Infocom Address: PO Box 67001 Los Angeles, CA 90067 USA LIST PRICE Unknown. Price paid $NZ 160 (approximately $90 US). USA mailorder prices are around $40-50. SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE NONE. Very little RAM is needed. Remember - this stuff was written to run on the microprocessors of the early 1980's. "Hitchhikers Guide" for example uses only 175K. Hard drive not required, but can be used. Works on 68000 Adspeed accelerator. I haven't heard of any problems on other CPU's. SOFTWARE NONE. Runs under Kickstart 1.3 and 2.0. (I've not tried any others; there are no documented incompatibilities). COPY PROTECTION None. Installs on a hard drive. Saves games as ordinary AmigaDOS files in the directory the particular game is run from. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 500 Rev 6 1MB Chip RAM, 2MB Fast RAM Commodore A590 hard drive AmigaDOS 2.04 REVIEW The package includes 20 of the "classic" text-based adventure games released by Infocom in the early 80's: Zork Zork II Zork III Beyond Zork Zork Zero Enchanter Sorcerer Spellbreaker Deadline Witness Suspect Lurking Horror Ballyhoo Infidel Moonmist Planetfall Stationfall Suspended Starcross Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy The games utilise the Infocom "Zork Interpreter" and data files which control the operation of the game. These are set up to run from Workbench with a simple icon click. Whereas in the original implementations (at least my experience with them on Apple II) the data file was continually accessed off the disk, in this incarnation, the files are read into memory. This explains why a game that ran on a 32K Apple II needs a massive 175K to run on an Amiga 500! Most of the games (particularly the earlier ones) run in a text window on the Workbench screen and seem to multitask quite happily. Some of the later games include graphics and sound and run on their own screens. DOCUMENTATION Two printed manuals are provided: The Manual The Hint Book The Manual contains the original printed material for each of the games in a single book. This provides special instructions understood by each game, background information and scenario for each game. The Hint book provides tips, and answers to get you going once you get stuck. This is full of spoilers. In the original release, this information was NOT provided with the games, but was available from Infocom should you get hopelessly stranded. Nice to have it provided. A set of maps for the games is also included (and like the hint book, this was available as an add-on originally). Does it tell you everything you NEED to know? Yes, but you have to hunt for it sometimes (this is not a criticism!!). Everything you WANT to know? Definitely not!!! That's the point of an adventure game. The hint book (which a REAL adventurer would never use) DOES give the answers to most of your questions (including those you don't know you need to be asking... yet). LIKES AND DISLIKES The games cover a range of difficulties. Unfortunately, the documentation does not give any indications as to which games are advanced and which are better for novices. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS These Infocom games are the originals (or close to them). Most other computer-based RPG games trace their ancestry back to them. The games were renowned (in their day) for the power of their text parser. For example, it understands commands like "press all but the blue button." CONCLUSIONS Want to buy a 15-year old computer game??? Want to buy 20 of them??? YES... in my case. If you want flashy graphics, sound tracks and spoon feeding, then this product is not for you. If you want solid puzzles, a lot of mental gymnastics, strategy and a variety of scenarios, get it. COPYRIGHT NOTICE Copyright 1993 Peter S. Ingham. All rights reserved. This review is freely distributable for non-profit use.
*************************************************************************** NVN Table of Contents /// NVN WANTS YOU! Another Network Supports Amiga! -------------- National Videotext Network (NVN) National Videotext Network (NVN) has recently added an Amiga Forum to it's growing lists of available services. The Amiga Forum is ready and waiting for you! Order an extended NVN Membership of 6 or 12 months, pay for it in advance and receive a bonus in connect time at no additional charge. Choose from two subscription plans: 6-Month Membership ------------------ Pay just $30 for a 6-month Membership and receive a usage credit that entitles you to $15 of connect-time in the Premium services of your choice. Your total savings using this plan would be over $20!* 12 Month Membership ------------------- Pay $50 for a full year's Membership and get even more free time online. We'll give you a $25 usage credit to use in your favorite Premium services or try out new ones. You could save as much as $45.* For more information about either of these plans, give us a call at 1-800-336-9096. -=* 9600 BAUD USERS *=- $6/hour non-prime time - $9/hour prime time You can join NVN one of two ways. By voice phone 1-800-336-9096 (Client Services) or via modem phone 1-800-336-9092.
*************************************************************************** BIX Table of Contents /// BIX - Byte Information Exchange Lots of information! ------------------------------- BIX is the premier online service for computing professionals and enthusiasts. While other online services cater to computer novices, BIX is the place for knowledgeable people to go for answers to tough questions. You're likely to find many others in similar situations who can offer advice, give technical assistance, or point you in the right direction. BIX is divided into areas called conferences, each devoted to a particular area of interest. They range from algorithms to windows, from writers to amiga. Conferences are categorized into groups, usually referred to as exchanges, so that you can browse through whatever groups interest you and see a list of the conferences it contains. These are some of the exchanges on BIX: amiga.exchange - the place for Amiga developers and enthusiasts byte - the full text of each issue of BYTE magazine; source code too e.and.l - Entertainment and Leisure; music, pets, games, more ibm.exchange - everything from OS/2 to PC clones mac.exchange - Mac news, support, software, advice professionals - consultants, engineers, financiers gather here programmers - some of the best brains in the business! wix - the Information Exchange for Windows; Windows Magazine online writers.ex - the professional and amateur writer's exchange ************FULL INTERNET ACCESS!************ BIX also features access to the Internet - you can use FTP to transfer files from sites all over the world, telnet to log on to other online services, schools, and research sites, and send Internet mail to millions of people at services like DELPHI, CompuServe, America Online, MCI Mail, and other sites and services. Services like "WHOIS" and "Finger" are also available, with more features on the way (like USENET newsgroups; our newsreader is currently being tested and should be available very soon!) There are no usage fees or special charges for Internet access - it's all part of your BIX subscription. ================================ Rates and Connect Information: ================================ BIX membership costs $13 per month, plus connect time. There are several different ways to connect: SprintNet* $3/hour evenings/weekends $9/hour weekdays Tymnet:** $3/hour evenings/weekends $9/hour weekdays (SprintNet and Tyment rates shown are for 48 contiguous US states only.) Tymnet Canada: $4/hr eves/wkends $9/hour weekdays Tymnet Hawaii: $10/hr eves/wkends $20/hour weekdays Telnet(via Internet): $1/hour, round the clock Direct dial (Boston): $2/hour, round the clock (up to 9600 bps) * SprintNet daytime hours are from 6am to 7pm, M-F, ET. ** Tymnet daytime hours are from 7am to 6pm, M-F, ET. To find your local SprintNet number, call SprintNet at (800) 877-5045, ext. 5. Internationally, call (404) 859-7700. To find a local Tymnet number, call Tymnet at (800) 937-2862. Internationally, call (703) 442-0145. ================ There is no surcharge for 9600 bps access via either telecom carrier. There is no surcharge for up to 10mb of Internet mail per month (sent and received). There will be a charge of $1 per 100,000 bytes thereafter. ================ 20/20 PLAN OPTION (for USA-48 users only): Volume users can choose the 20/20 Advantage Plan, which is $20 per month and includes the first 20 hours of access by any combination of methods from the contiguous United States. Additional use is $1.80 per hour (additional use for telnet access is $1 an hour). The 20/20 Plan's cost is in addition to the $13 monthly fee. INTERNATIONAL USERS: If you wish to connect internationally through Tymnet or SprintNet, please contact your local PTT. BIX accepts prepaid international calls, direct dial, or telnet connections. In order to make a "collect" (not prepaid) call to BIX, your account must be verified before the charges are accepted. When you complete the registration, we'll mail you a BIX Membership Agreement by regular US Mail. Whe you receive it, sign it and return it to us by mail. When we receive it here, we'll authorize your account to make reverse charged calls. If you want to access BIX right away, contact your local PTT to set up a prepaid account. You'll pay your local carrier for your calls to BIX in advance, so there's no waiting period or verfication needed. Or, connect at BIX via telnet to x25.bix.com. SprintNet international calls from most locations are $24 an hour. Tymnet international charges vary, but are generally between $20-$30 an hour. ========================= Billing Information: ========================= You can charge your monthly BIX membership fees to your Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express card. You may have your company invoiced for one or more BIX memberships with a BIX Corporate Account. To do so, send by US Mail or fax a Purchase Order including a Purchase Order number, invoice address, contact person, a phone number where we can reach the contact person, and the company's fax number. Please direct it to the attention of Connie Lopes, who handles corporate accounts. Our fax number is 617-491-6642. Your corporate account will generally be set up within 24 hours. ======================== To Sign Up For BIX: ======================== Dial by modem 1-800-695-4882 or 617-491-5410 * (use 8 data bits, no parity, full duplex) Press a few carriage returns until you see the Login:(enter "bix") prompt, then type bix At the Name? prompt, type bix.amrpt * Users already on the internet can telnet to x25.bix.com instead. At the USERNAME: prompt enter bix, then bix.net at the Name? prompt. Once your account is registered, you can connect the same way, except at the Name? prompt you'll enter your BIXname and then your password. Using the above procedure will allow users in the 48 contiguous United States to take advantage of our special "5 for $5" offer. This offer lets you use up to 5 hours of evening/weekend time on BIX during the current calender month (whatever month you sign up in), for $5. Additional time is $1.80 per hour ($1 per hour for telnet). At the end of the calender month, you will be placed into our standard rate plan, at $13 monthly plus connect charges. You may also join the 20/20 Plan at this time. If you have other questions, please contact BIX Member Services at (800) 695-4775; send a fax to BIX at (617) 491-6642; or send Internet mail to info@bix.com. BIX Member Services hours are 12pm - 11pm, Monday through Friday, ET.
*************************************************************************** Dealer Directory Table of Contents /// Dealer Directory Serving our readers! ---------------- Almathera Systems Ltd Challenge House 618 Mitcham Rd Croydon, Surrey CR9 3AU England VOICE: (UK) 081 683 6418 Internet: (Sales) almathera@cix.compulink.co.uk (Technical) jralph@cix.compulink.co.uk Amigability Computers P.O. Box 572 Plantsville, CT 06479 VOICE: 203-276-8175 Internet: amiga@phantm.UUCP BIX: jbasile (Send E-mail to subscribe to our mailing list) Apogee Technologies 1851 University Parkway Sarasota, FL 34243 VOICE: 813-355-6121 Portal: Apogee Internet: Apogee@cup.portal.com Armadillo Brothers 753 East 3300 South Salt Lake City, Utah VOICE: 801-484-2791 GEnie: B.GRAY CLICK! Microcomputer Applications B.V.B.A. Boomsesteenweg 468 B-2610 Wilrijk - Antwerpen Belgium - Europe VOICE: 03 / 828.18.15 FAX: 03 / 828.67.36 USENET: vanhoutv@click.augfl.be FIDO: 2:292/603.9 AmigaNet: 39:120/102.9 Computers International, Inc. 5415 Hixson Pike Chattanooga, TN 37343 VOICE: 615-843-0630 Digital Arts 122 West 6th Street Bloomington, IN 47404 VOICE: (812)330-0124 FAX: (812)330-0126 BIX: msears Finetastic Computers 721 Washington Street Norwood, MA 02062 VOICE: 617-762-4166 Portal: FinetasticComputers Internet: FinetasticComputers@cup.portal.com HT Electronics 275 North Mathilda Avenue Sunnyvale, CA 94086 VOICE: 408-737-0900 FAX: 408-245-3109 Portal: HT Electronics Internet: HT Electronics@cup.portal.com MicroSearch 9000 US 59 South, Suite 330 Houston, Texas VOICE: 713-988-2818 FAX: 713-995-4994 Mr. Hardware Computers P.O. Box 148 59 Storey Ave. Central Islip, NY 11722 VOICE: 516-234-8110 FAX: 516-234-8110 A.M.U.G. BBS: 516-234-6046 PSI Animations 17924 SW Pilkington Road Lake Oswego, OR 97035 VOICE: 503-624-8185 Internet: PSIANIM@agora.rain.com Software Plus Chicago 3100 W Peterson Avenue Chicago, Illinois VOICE: 312-338-6100 (Dealers: To have your name added, please send Email!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AR Confidential Table of Contents /// AR Confidential We heard it through the grapevine! --------------- - New modem standard? A proposed standard for 16.8K bps and 19.2K bps is supposedly in the works. Dubbed V.32terbo (ter meaning three, as in the third V.32 standard), this could offer current V.32bis owners an easy upgrade path. Reports indicate that a simple firmware upgrade (possibly a chip change too) is all that would be required. More on this as it develops.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Humor Department Table of Contents /// The Humor Department Jokes, Quotes, Insults, Shameless Plugs -------------------- "Beware the man who sells remanufactured antiques."
In Closing Table of Contents =========================================================================== Amiga Report International Online Magazine September 3, 1993 * YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE * No. 1.23 Copyright © 1993 All Rights Reserved =========================================================================== Views, Opinions and Articles presented herein are not necessarily those of the editors and staff of Amiga Report International Online Magazine or of STR Publications. Permission to reprint articles is hereby granted, unless otherwise noted. Reprints must, without exception, include the name of the publication, date, issue number and the author's name. Amiga Report and/or portions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written per- mission. However, translation into a language other than English is accept- ble, provided the original meaning is not altered. Amiga Report may be dis- tributed on privately owned not-for-profit bulletin board systems (fees to cover cost of operation are acceptable), and major online services such as (but not limited to) Delphi and Portal. Distribution on public domain disks is acceptable provided proceeds are only to cover the cost of the disk (e.g. no more than $5 US). Distribution on for-profit magazine cover disks requires written permission from the editor or publisher. Amiga Report is a not-for-profit publication. Amiga Report, at the time of pub- ication, is believed reasonably accurate. Amiga Report, its staff and con- ributors are not and cannot be held responsible for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained there from. Amiga Report is not affiliated with Commodore-Amiga, Inc., Commodore Business Machines, Ltd., or any other Amiga publication in any way. =========================================================================== Only * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * _ _ __ ___ _ * * /\\ |\\ /| || // \ /\\ * * / \\ | \\ /|| ||(< __ / \\ * * /--- \\| \X || || \\_||/--- \\ * * /______________________________\\ * * / \\ * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Makes it possible!!
Amiga Report 1.23 Main Menu Table of Contents Columns and Features News, Reviews, and More! About AMIGA REPORT Staff, Copyright information Dealer Directory Dealer Addresses and Numbers Commercial Online Services Sign-up information FTP Announcements Files available for FTP AR Distribution Sites Where to get AMIGA REPORT /// 09/03/93 Amiga Report 1.23 "Your Weekly Source for Amiga Information" -------------------------- · The Editor's Desk · CPU Report · New Products · Dealer Directory · AR Online · AR Confidential · SimLife AGA · MBX1230XA · Brilliance » Cortland AmigaFest « » Delphi Takeover! « » Soft-Logik Announces TypeSmith 2.0 « =========================================================================== Amiga Report International Online Magazine "Your Weekly Source for Amiga Information" » FEATURING WEEKLY « Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware · Software · Corporate · R & D · Imports =========================================================================== PORTAL · DELPHI · FIDO · INTERNET · BIX · NVN ===========================================================================
Columns and Features Table of Contents From the Editor's Desk Saying it like it is! CPU Status Report Computer Products Update Online Weekly The lines ARE buzzing! Amiga Tip of the Week The Amiga startup procedure AR available on WWW Read it on the InterNet! Show Report: AmigaFest In "SUNY" Cortland UseNet Review - Brilliance by Digital Creations The AR Viewer We have a brush viewer! UseNet Review - The 1230XA An accelerator by Microbotics GameSmith Development System From BitHead Technologies UseNet Review - Simlife by Maxis/Mindscape UseNet Review - Infocom The Lost Treasures of Infocom AR Confidential A new modem standard? The Humor Department Jokes, Quotes, & Shameless plugs
About Amiga Report Table of Contents For Starters Where to get AMIGA REPORT AR Staff The Editors, and Contributers In Closing Copyright Information
Commercial Online Services Table of Contents Delphi It's getting better all the time! Portal A great place for Amiga users... Holonet Inexpensive Internet Access NVN National Videotex Network InterNet Subscribe to the AR Mailing List BIX For Serious Programmers and Developers
FTP Announcements Table of Contents AlertPatch v2.19 Patch for exec.library's Alert() Less v1.6z Unix-style text reader for the Amiga MUI v.13 System to create and maintain GUIs Window Daemon v1.0 Control Intuition windows and screens WhiteLion v1.3 An Othello/Reversi game
----------------------------------------- NOVA Table of Contents * NOVA BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site * Running Starnet BBS * Wayne Stonecipher, Sysop FidoNet 1:362/508 An Amiga Software Distribution Site (ADS) 615-472-9748 USR DS 16.8 24hrs - 7 days Cleveland, Tennessee
------------------------------------------ In The MeanTime Table of Contents * IN THE MEANTIME BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site * Running Starnet BBS * Robert Niles, Sysop FidoNet 1:3407/104 509-966-3828 Supra V.32bis 24hrs - 7 days Yakima, Washington
------------------------------------------ Cloud's Corner Table of Contents * CLOUD'S CORNER BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site Starnet/MebbsNet Support Site West Coast USA * Running Starnet BBS * Larry Cloud, Sysop FidoNet 1:350/30 206-377-4290 USR HST DS 24hrs - 7 days Bremerton, Washington
------------------------------------------ Biosmatica Table of Contents * BIOSMATICA BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site -- Portugal * Running Excelsior/Trapdoor/UUCP * Celso Martinho, Sysop FidoNet 2:361/9 +351-34-382320 V.32bis 24hrs - 7 days
------------------------------------------ Amiga Junction 9 Table of Contents * AMIGA JUNCTION 9 * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site -- United Kingdom * Running DLG Professional * Stephen Anderson, Sysop Internet: user_name@junct9.royle.org Line 1 +44 (0)372 271000 14400 V.32bis/HST Fido 2:253/510 Line 2 +44 (0)372 278000 14400 V.32bis only Fido 2:253/520 Line 3 +44 (0)372 279000 2400 V.42bis/MNP Fido 2:253/530 Sysop Email: sysadmin@junct9.royle.org
------------------------------------------ Table of Contents * BITSTREAM BBS * The BBS of the Nelson (NZ) Amiga Users Group Official Amiga Report Distribution Site * Running Xenolink 1.0 Z.3 * Glen Roberts, Sysop FidoNet 3:771/850 +64 3 5485321 Supra V.32bis 24hrs - 7 days Nelson, New Zealand
------------------------------------------ Amiga Report can be FREQ'd each week from the systems listed above. Use the filename AR.LHA and you will always get the latest issue. ------------------------------------------ Freeland Mainframe Table of Contents * FREELAND MAINFRAME * Offical Amiga Report Distribution Site * Running DLG Progessional * John Freeland, SysOp 206-438-1670 Supra 2400zi 206-438-2273 Telebit WorldBlazer(v.32bis) 206-456-6013 Supra v.32bis 24hrs - 7 days Internet - freemf.eskimo.com Olympia, Washington
------------------------------------------ LAHO Table of Contents * LAHO BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site -- Finland * Running MBBS * Juha Makinen, Sysop +358-64-414 1516, V.32/HST +358-64-414 0400, V.32/HST +358-64-414 6800, V.32/HST +358-64-423 1300, V.32 MNP Seinajoki, Finland Our machine is a 386/33 with 20MB of memory, 1GB harddisk and upcoming CD-ROM drive. The BBS software is a Norwegian origin MBBS running in a DesqView window. We have over 6000 files online (no CD-ROM yet) containing titles for PC and Amiga or both like GIF-pictures, music-modules and text-files. The upload/download ratio is a very lousy 1:100. (i.e. you upload a 20k file and may download 2MB). Messages are mainly written in Finnish, but English is widely used by Swedish-speaking and international callers. Download-access will be granted when asked. Also Amiga-areas are available for those who will need them to avoid 'wars' between PC and Amiga users. Access to sex pictures and stories are only for persons over 18 years and given when requested. Every user has an access to download filelist (LAHOFIL.ZIP), list of Finnish 24-hour BBS's (BBSLIST.ZIP or BBSLIST.LHA) and every issue of the Amiga Report Magazine (AR101.LHA-AR1??.LHA) on their first call. The system is 4.5 years old and sponsored by the local telephone company, Vaasan Laanin Puhelin Oy. SysOps: Lenni Uitti (Main SysOp) Juha Makinen (SysOp of the Amiga-areas) Tero Manninen (SysOp of the PC-areas)
------------------------------------------ Falling BBS Table of Contents * FALLING BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site -- Norway * Running ABBS * Christopher Naas, Sysop +47 69 256117 V.32bis 24hrs - 7 days EMail: naasc@cnaas.adsp.sub.org
------------------------------------------ Command Line BBS Table of Contents * COMMAND LINE BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site -- Canada Canada's Amiga Graphics & Animation Source * Running AmiExpress BBS * Nick Poliwko, Sysop 416-533-8321 V.32 24hrs - 7 days Toronto, Canada
------------------------------------------- Omaha Amiganet Table of Contents * OMAHA AMIGANET * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site * Running DLG Professional * Andy Wasserman, Sysop 24hrs - 7 days FidoNet 1:285/11 AmigaNet 40:200/10 Line 1: 402-333-5110 V.32bis Line 2: 402-691-0104 USR DS Omaha, Nebraska
------------------------------------------- Rendezvous BBS Table of Contents * RENDEZVOUS BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site - New Zealand New Zealand Excelsior! BBS Support Site * Running Excelsior! Professional BBS * David Dustin, Sysop Internet: postmaster@eclipse.acme.gen.nz +64 6 3566375 Supra V.32bis 24hrs - 7 days Palmerston North, New Zealand
------------------------------------------- Realm of Twilight Table of Contents * REALM OF TWILIGHT BBS * Official Amiga Report Distribution Site -- Canada * Running Excelsior! BBS * Thorsten Schiller, Sysop Usenet: realm.tdkcs.waterloo.on.ca UUCP: ...!uunet.ca!tdkcs!realm FIDO: 1:221/202 Fish: 33:33/8 24hrs - 7 days 519-748-9365 (2400 baud) 519-748-9026 (v.32bis) Ontario, Canada Hardware: Amiga 3000, 105 Meg Quantum, 213 Meg Maxtor, 5 megs RAM
------------------------------------------- Metnet Triangle Table of Contents METNET TRIANGLE SYSTEM Official Amiga Report Distribution Site UK Support for Mebbsnet * Running Mebbsnet and Starnet 1.02a * Jon Witty, Sysop FIDO: 2:252/129.0 Line 1 44-482-473871 16.8 DS HST Lines 2-7 44-482-442251 2400 (6 lines) Line 8 44-482-491744 2400 Line 9 44-482-449028 2400 Voice helpline 44-482-491752 (anytime) Fully animated menus + normal menu sets. 500 megs HD - Usual software/messages Most doors online - Many Sigs - AMIGA AND PC SUPPORT Very active userbase and busy conference Precious days and MUD online. AMUL support site.