_ ____ ___ ______ _______ _ d# ####b g#00 `N##0" _agN#0P0N# d# d## jN## j##F J## _dN0" " d## .#]## _P ##L jN##F ### g#0" .#]## dE_j## # 0## jF ##F j##F j##' ______ dE_j## .0"""N## d" ##L0 ##F 0## 0## "9##F" .0"""5## .dF' ]## jF ##0 ##F ##F `##k d## .dF' j## .g#_ _j##___g#__ ]N _j##L_ _d##L_ `#Nh___g#N' .g#_ _j##__ """"" """"""""""" " """""" """""" """"""" """"" """""" *---== Amiga Report International Online Magazine ==---* """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" "The Original Amiga Online Magazine" from STR Publishing """""""""""""" [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport April 16, 1993 No. 1.05 ========================================================================== ----------------------------------------- * THE BOUNTY BBS * Home of STR Publications * RUNNING TURBOBOARD BBS * 904-786-4176 USR DS 16.8 24hrs - 7 days ----------------------------------------- * NOVA BBS * Amiga Report Headquarters * RUNNING STARNET BBS * FidoNet 1:362/508 615-472-9748 USR HST 14.4 24hrs - 7 days ------------------------------------------ ____________________________________________________________________________ > 04/16/93 STR-Amiga 1.05 "The Original * Independent * Online Magazine!" """"""""""""""""""""""" - The Editor's Desk - CPU Report - New Products - Dealer Directory - STR Confidential - Amiga Tip of the Week - PPI's A500/040 - STR Online - Usenet Reviews - Visionaire Review - ASDG's T-Rexx Pro - Scala MM210 Review -* Another new A1200 Accelerator! *- -* QuarterBack Tools Deluxe *- -* Major Pirate BBS Busted! *- -* And much more! *- ============================================================================ Amiga Report International Online Magazine From STR Publications [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport The Original * Independent * Online Magazine -* FEATURING WEEKLY *- "Accurate UP-TO-DATE News and Information" Current Events, Original Articles, Tips, Rumors, and Information Hardware ~ Software ~ Corporate ~ R & D ~ Imports ============================================================================ GENIE ~ DELPHI ~ NVN ~ BIX ~ PORTAL ~ FIDO ~ INTERNET ============================================================================ :HOW TO GET YOUR OWN GENIE ACCOUNT: _________________________________ Set your communications software to Half Duplex (or Local Echo) Call: (with modem) 800-638-8369. Upon connection type HHH (RETURN after that). Wait for the U#= prompt. Type: XTX99587,CPUREPT then, hit RETURN. GEnie costs only $4.95 a month for unlimited evening and weekend access to more than 100 services including electronic mail, online encyclopedia, shopping, news, entertainment, single-player games, and bulletin boards on leisure and professional subjects. With many other services, including the biggest collection of files to download and the best online games, for only $6 per hour. MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Any time during your first month of membership if you are not completely satisfied, just ask for your $4.95 back. GEnie Information copyright (C) 1991 by General Electric Information Services/GEnie, reprinted with permission **************************************************************************** > From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!" """""""""""""""""""""" Last week, I suggested that Commodore needs to concentrate on marketing, now that they have a new line of machines, and are starting to build back their market share. Shortly after the last issue went to press (e.g. was uploaded), I received a letter from someone on GEnie with an interesting idea. Why not gather letters via Email from users around the globe, and send them all to Commodore President Jim Dionne. After all, isn't that he wants? Below is a reprint of a letter from Mr. Dionne to the users, as published in the GEnie 5-Minute News from March 26. __________________________________________________________________________ | | | | | Commodore Business Machines, Inc. | | | | | | | | Dear Valued Customer, | | | | We appreciate your business; | | We appreciate having you as a customer! | | | | By now you should be deeply involved with using your new Amiga. As | | you continue to learn more about the Amiga's capabilities, Commodore | | wants to add a few words of personal encouragement and issue you a | | special challenge. | | | | The Amiga has been acclaimed in dozens of publications as one | | of the very best personal computers for multimedia available. | | Whether you selected your Amiga for the exciting graphics, | | animation, and video capabilities, or for desktop publishing | | or business productivity, you will find it to be an extremely | | capable assistant. | | | | In future correspondence Commodore will aggressivley promote the Amiga | | Advantage. You will also be receiving information about product updates | | and enhancements. And as an Amiga owner, you can be eligible to take | | advantage of Commodore special offers. | | | | Now for the challenge. When you have something positive to say about | | your Amiga, let us know about it. Don't keep it a secret. | | | | Many of you are involved in creative applications using features that | | only the Amiga can provide. We want the rest of the world to discover | | the ease of use and the cost saving benefits of Amiga technology. | | Share your ideas! Share your applications with us and other Amiga | | users. Sharing and communicating your applications can only lead to | | expanded acceptance of the Amiga among people who are looking to do | | better with computers and who haven't yet used an Amiga. | | | | Send all comments, questions, and applications to: | | | | Commodore Marketing | | Dept. #480 | | 1200 Wilson Drive | | West Chester, PA 19380-4251 | | | | And, while you're at it, let us know if we're performing up to your | | expectations. Your comments, suggestions and helpful criticisms will | | help guide us to make the Amiga an even better value than it already | | is today. Keep those cards and letters coming. | | | | | | Jim Dionne | | President | | Commodore Business Machines, Inc. | | | | | | | |__________________________________________________________________________| So if you have any comments or criticisms for Commodore, send them to us here at Amiga Report, at one of our Email addresses. I'll wait until the end of the month for them all to get in. Then, I'll print them out individually, and include them with a letter from us. Some have suggested that individual mailings would be more effective. That may be true, so why not do both? Send one in yourself, and send us a copy for us to include in our group letter. That way, perhaps we can effect a change, and educate the world as to what computer really is the best! A new feature beginning this week are our "Usenet Reviews." On Usenet, there is a newsgroup called comp.sys.amiga.reviews. It is a moderated group where people submit reviews they have prepared. I contacted the moderator and arranged permission to reprint some of the reviews each week. These reviews are unedited, except for line-length requirements. A quick note... Mike Troxell has taken this week off to study for finals, so there will be no Rendered Reality column in this issue. Wish him luck, and he'll be back next week! Rob @ Amiga Report International Online Magazine """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Amiga Report's Staff DEDICATED TO SERVING YOU! """""""""""""""""""" Editor ------ Robert Glover Technical Editor Graphics Editor Contributing Editor ---------------- --------------- ------------------- Micah Thompson Mike Troxell Tom Mulcahy GEnie: BOOMER.T M.TROXELL1 FidoNet: 1:362/508.5 1:260/322 Delphi: 16BITTER Bix: HELMET Contributing Correspondents --------------------------- Dan Barrett Sherman Chan John Deegan Kerry Emerson PC DIVISION ATARI DIVISION MAC DIVISION ----------- -------------- ------------ Roger D. Stevens Ralph F. Mariano R. Albritton IMPORTANT NOTICE """""""""""""""" Please, submit letters to the editor, articles, reviews, etc... via E-Mail to: Delphi........................ ROB_G GEnie......................... ROB-G Internet.......................ROB_G@Delphi.COM """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > CPU STATUS REPORT LATE BREAKING INDUSTRY-WIDE NEWS ================= CSA ANNOUNCES 50 MHz ACCELERATOR/SCSI COMBO Amiga 1200 owners are trapped and running out of time. Large image files and long animations are filling up their hard drives. And there's no room to grow. Why? Because the A1200 doesn't work with currently available mass-storage peripherals -- like floptical drives, removable media and multi-Gigabyte replacement hard drives. All of these devices (along with CD-ROM drives, tape backups and other high-tech add-ons) use a standard SCSI interface. The A1200 only provides an IDE interface for a single hard drive. To solve this problem, CSA has developed the TwelveGuage, a 50 MHz accelerator card for the A1200 that features -- you guessed it -- a SCSI interface. Now you can use your A1200 with such devices as CD-ROM drives, Syquest removable media drives, a wide choice of standard SCSI hard drives, floptical optical drive systems and tape back-up systems, and hundreds of other SCSI compatible add-ons. Raw speed is another requirement for processor-intensive activities like rendering, animation and desktop publishing. Built around a 50 MHz Motorola 68030 microprocessor, CSA's TwelveGuage runs 7 to 10 times faster than a stock A1200 with its earlier-generation 14 MHz 68EC020. In addition to its faster clock speed, the TwelveGuage also utilizes Burst Mode for processing, a faster, more efficient way to manage the flow of data from 32-bit memory. The result: more completed projects, sooner than otherwise possible. For even faster processing, the TwelveGuage also supports the addition of a 50 MHz 68882 math coprocessor. In addition to its speed, CSA's TwelveGuage also goes a long way to ease the necessary expense of adding memory. Instead of requiring expensive, proprietary RAM chips, the TwelveGuage uses industry-standard A4000-type 32-bit SIMMS, which are less expensive. What's more, RAM upgrades can be made in affordable stages (to 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32 Megabytes). CSA's TwelveGuage installs easily into the A1200 trap door slot and can be ordered in several alternate configurations, depending on how much RAM you need, and whether you need a math coprocessor. You could even order one without the SCSI interface (if desired). A less expensive 40 MHz 68EC030- based version can also be ordered. Available in April 1993, CSA's TwelveGuage carries a retail price of $699 (with 50 MHz 68030, SCSI interface, 68882 socket and without RAM). Learn more by contacting Computer System Associates, 7564 Trade Street, San Diego, CA 92121, telephone 619/566-3911, fax 619/566-0581. __________________________________________________ RETINA: The AMIGA HIGH RESOLUTION DISPLAY CARD MacroSystemUS announces the release of the Retina(TM) High-Resolution Display card for the Amiga. The Retina provides a way for Amiga 2000, 3000 and 4000 owners to upgrade to true High-Resolution display capability at an affordable price. It is a 24-bit frame buffer with 16-bit display modes and 8-Bit Workbench display modes, with a full one year warranty. The Retina has the ability to display Workbench and any AmigaDOS compliant program in resolutions up to 1280x1024 non-interlaced with up to 256 colors on screen. The Retina can also display higher resolutions in interlaced format. The Retina supports monitor frequencies from 15 KHz to 75 KHz. The Workbench Emulation on the Retina will run 1280x1024 in 16 colors as fast or faster than the standard Amiga output at 724x482 in 16 colors! The Retina is also a true 24-bit display card! It can display 24-bit resolutions up to 800x600 non-interlaced and greater than 1024x768 interlaced. The Retina can run Workbench in high-resolution and have other programs running on their own custom screen on the Retina AND still be used to display 24-bit graphics simultaneously. The Retina allows you to simply hotkey between any screen currently running on the display! It gets even better, too. The Retina installs into the standard zorro slot and does NOT use the video slot. You can have up to FOUR Retinas installed in one computer. The Retina is compatible with versions 2.0 and 3.0 of the Amiga operating system. The Retina is compatible with the Video Toaster for True 24-bit display. The Retina has a suggested retail price of $599.95 with 2MB and $699.95 with 4MB. The Retina with 4MB is also available with TVPaint Professional. Features include: o Standard BD-15 VGA Connector - Analog RGB output. o Supports 15 - 75 KHz Horizonal Freq. and 50 - 100 Hz. Vertical Freq. o Compatible with Amiga 1950, 1960 and any multisync monitor. o 800x600 full 24-bit 16.7 million color display non-interlaced or interlaced o Allows multiple 24-bit resolutions. The following is NOT a complete list of modes: Non-Interlaced: 800x600, 768x 482, 724x482, 640x480, plus many more Interlaced: 1152x862, 1032x774, 1100x566, 1024x768, 800x600, 768x482, 724x482 o RAM configurations 2 megabytes or 4 megabytes. User upgradable to 4MB o 4MB allows double buffering for animations and screens larger than 800x600 in 24-bit. o The Retina can have more than one 24-bit image in memory at the same time and you can toggle between screens. You can actually toggle between 24-bit screens and 8-bit screens. o The Retina can be used to display 24-bit graphics while emulating Workbench. o XIPaint is a realtime 24-bit paint program that comes with the Retina to get you going in 24-bit quickly. o Installs into any 100 pin Amiga slot; does not use the video slot. o Compatible with the Video Toaster, OpalVision and the VLab(TM) Real-Time Video Digitizer. o Compatible with programs such as AdPro, Morph Plus, MultiFrame-AdPro, TVPaint 2.0, ProPage, ProWrite, PageStream, DynaCADD, Imagine 2.0, VLab, to name a few. o TVPaint 2.0 is a professional 32-bit painting program that runs directly on the Retina. Perfect for use as a Real-Time 24-bit paint box for the Video Toaster. o Compatible with the A2000, A3000, and A4000 series Amigas. Required the 2.0 or greater operating system. Workbench Emulation o Display Workbench and your programs in real usable high-resolution on 14" through 21" monitors. o Replace your Flicker Fixer with a True High-Resolution Flicker Free Display Card. o Full Workbench Emulation with resolution such as 1024x768 or 1280x1024 in 16 colors or even more! Up to 2400x1200! A few samples: 2400x1200, 1900x1426, 1600x1200, 1280x1024, 1024x768, 800x600. o The Workbench display on the Retina at 1280x1024 in 16 colors can operate as fast or faster than the standard Amiga output of 724x482 in 16 colors! Display modes in both interlaced and non-interlaced. o The Retina allows you to specify the size that you want to use for Workbench and then you can use a different size for other programs that display on their own custom screens. o The Workbench can be set to a resolution of 1280x1024 non-interlaced and you could have AdPro running on its own screen at 320x200. o The Retina software has screen modes which are called groups. A group screenmode is used for programs that ask for a specific screen resolution when they start. If the group is selected then the Retina will open the program on its own screen at the resolution that it wants. o Any program can be selected in software to be displayed on the Retina output or the Amiga output. o You can change the output resolution for any program simply by choosing the program name and then selecting a different screen resolution for that program. For more information contact your authorized Amiga dealer or MacroSystemUS, 17019 Smugglers Cove, Mt. Clemens, MI 48038, telephone 313/263-0095, fax 313/263-9639. __________________________________________________ VLAB REALTIME VIDEO DIGITIZER MacroSystemUS announces the release of VLab(TM) -- RealTime Video Digitizer for the Amiga computer. VLab digitizes a full frame in 1/30th of a second or 1 field in 1/60th of a second. It digitizes in full color, NTSC or PAL. It will save images as 24-bit, YUV, or any Amiga format including AA modes like HAM8. (Saving the image in YUV retains all digitized information in about half the space of 24-bit IFF files.) Inputs 2 Composite NTSC or PAL connectors Software selectable for either input Allows you to grab sequences You can select the number of frames that you want to grab in series and the VLab will Framegrab them at up to six frames per second. The speed at which the VLab can grab frames in sequence is governed by many things of which some are the screen size that you select, the resolution that you select, as well as the speed of the computer that you are using. The VLab will work in either the A2000, A3000 or A4000 series Amiga computers. The VLab installs into any standard Amiga 100 pin slot and does not use the video slot There is also a VLab1200 that allows owners of the A500, A600 and the A1200 to also use the VLab. The VLab does not require a frame accurate video player to hold the image still to digitize. The VLab will in real-time digitize any frame from the video source that you have connected. You can digitize images from cable TV, Broadcast TV, VCR, Video Disk Players, and Video Cameras. Software Support The VLab is supported by popular graphics software such as ASDG's Art Department Professional, Image Master by Black Belt, TVPaint by TechSoft. The VLab software allows you to do frame grabbing, sequencing and a certain amount of image manipulation. The software can switch between one of the two inputs. You can select the size of the grab that you want to perform. The software has built-in color, contrast, gamma, luminance and chrominance correction. The software also has luminance and chrominance filters. There is a special monitor window that allows you to see the video signal that you have attached to the VLab in a window on the VLab screen in up to 16 gray scales at up to 15 frames per second. With the Retina display card you can have the monitor in full screen in either grey scale or color. The VLab software requires the 2.0 operating system or higher and is fully ARexx compatible. VLab is compatible with the Video Toaster, OpalVision, Retina, Harlequin. It is also supported by the Nucleas Personal SFC. Suggested retail price for the VLab is $499.95. For more information contact your authorized Amiga dealer or MacroSystemUS, 17019 Smugglers Cove, Mt. Clemens, MI 48038, telephone 313/263-0095, fax 313/263-9639. __________________________________________________ ASDG ANNOUNCES T-REXX PROFESSIONAL ASDG Incorporated, the leading innovator in color imaging technology for the Commodore Amiga, announce the availability of T-Rexx Professional Version 2.0. T-Rexx is a system integration tool with special emphasis on the NewTek Video Toaster. Large collections of Toaster Framestore images can be previewed, managed, browsed, and converted to IFF/RGB. All framestore operations, including the conversion to and from IFF/RGB, are performed in full broadcast color without requiring the Video Toaster hardware. T-Rexx enables you to read and write custom Toaster effects (both ActionFX and OrganicFX). You can turn an ANIM file into a Toaster effect, or take an existing Toaster effect and turn it back into an ANIM file. T-Rexx even includes high speed special effects processing which allows a single ANIM file to create dozens of different Toaster effects. And, of course, you can create and edit Toaster projects to build the Toaster configuration which best meets your needs. T-Rexx's scripting capabilities are unparalleled. ARexx scripts are displayed in plain English and can be created and edited using a simple point-and-click interface which requires no programming knowledge. You can create scripts for any product which is ARexx, serial port, or parallel port controllable. ARexx commands for different products can be freely combined giving users the ability to merge the capabilities of multiple tools into a single application. There's even a unique real-time mode which speeds script development by allowing you to test the script (with instant feedback) as it is being written. Using T-Rexx, you can create interactive or automated multimedia presentations by linking the Video Toaster to other hardware and software products. T-Rexx comes with ready-made command sets for: AmiLink, Art Department Professional, BCD-2000A, DQ-Taco, MediaPhile, MorphPlus, PC-VCR, Personal SFC II, Personal TBC III, Pixel 3D, SunRize Studio 16, and VISCA. T-Rexx Professional carries a suggested retail price of $249 and requires Kickstart 2.0 and a minimum of 2 megabytes of system memory. For more information about ASDG's color imaging solutions contact Gina Cerniglia at ASDG Incorporated, 925 Stewart Street, Madison, WI 53713 or call (608) 273-6585. __________________________________________________ QUARTERBACK TOOLS DELUXE Central Coast Software is pleased to announce our new Quarterback Tools Deluxe package, and would like to extend an upgrade offer to all registered Quarterback Tools users. The all new Quarterback Tools Deluxe package includes Quarterback Tools version 2.0. This is not just a cosmetic upgrade to Quarterback Tools, but a totally revised and and rewritten program. We've completely rewritten Quarterback Tools from the ground up, and added many new features: File system. Optimizing disks. But there's more! In addition to the Quarterback Tools 2.0 program, Quarterback Tools Deluxe includes several new programs -- programs that make managing files and disks easier than ever before: Copies of a source disk, using up to four floppy drives simultaneously. You can even save an entire disk image as a file, and load it for later duplication. Individual drawers or entire disks for files that match a name or pattern you specify. For each file found, you can see the file's location, creation date, size, comments, and contents, so you can quickly determine if it is the file you are looking for. Encryptor, you can encrypt and decrypt your files using a password that only you know. People who don't have a file's password will not be able to read the file's contents. Portion of your disks, or the entire disk's contents. When a disk is erased with Disk Eraser, not even Quarterback Tools can recover the contents of the disk. There is no better way to make sure no one will be able to access your deleted files. There is even an option for using Department of Defense specifications when erasing! When you erase a file with File Eraser, not even a program like Quarterback Tools can recover the file's contents. And like Disk Eraser, File Eraser includes an option for using Department of Defense specifications when erasing. Need to press to type any character. An indispensable tool if you ever use special characters such as copyright symbols or accented characters. System files -- such as fonts, printer drivers, system libraries, and CLI commands -- from one disk to another. System Mover shows you version information of the files you are moving, so you can make sure you are using the latest versions of your system software. Renders a floppy disk inaccessible from AmigaDOS--without affecting the contents of the disk! When a disk has a "Brain Cloud", not even the Amiga's "Format" command can affect the disk! Perfect for protecting your disks from inadvertent use by others. With all these new features, Quarterback Tools Deluxe has a new suggested retail price of $125.00. However, as a registered Quarterback Tools owner, you can get the complete Quarterback Tools Deluxe package for only $40 plus shipping -- a savings of $85 over the retail price. Registered owners of Quarterback Tools will shortly be receiving an upgrade notice in the mail. However, if you prefer, you can order your upgrade now for faster response. Call us for details or to place an order (if you order the upgrade over the phone using your VISA or MasterCard, you will need to have your current Quarterback Tools disk handy, since we will need the registration number from the back of the disk). Quarterback Tools Deluxe will be shipping in late April/early May, and as always upgrades are processed in the order they are received. We are sure you will be as excited about this new package as we are! James Bayless, President Central Coast Software A division of New Horizons Software, Inc. Telephone: (512) 328-6650 P.S. If you are a registered owner of Quarterback, our best-selling backup program for the Amiga, you can purchase a copy of Quarterback Tools Deluxe direct from Central Coast Software for $75.00. Call us for more details. __________________________________________________ Computer Products Update - CPU Report ------------------------ ---------- Weekly Happenings in the Computer World Issue #15 By: John Deegan COMPAQ SUPPLIES DOS 6 - Compaq Computer Corp. says it will start sup- plying its new desktop and portable computers with the new Microsoft DOS 6 at no extra charge, replacing the MS-DOS 5 version currently included on Compaq PCs. IBM OFFERS PC-TO-MAINFRAME LINK - The IBM Programming Systems unit says it will offer a Windows-based client/server application to link PC computers to mainframes via a graphical user interface. The program, to be available in August, is called Current OfficeVision/Multiple Virtual Storage Workgroup. APPLE CUTS PRICES ON CERTAIN POWERBOOK DUO NOTEBOOKS - Apple Computer announced today it has reduced prices in the United States on selected PowerBook Duo notebook computers from 10% to 18%, effective immediately. IBM UNVEILS NEW VALUEPOINT UNITS - IBM has unveiled 40 new low-priced PCs in its PS/ValuePoint line. The new models are powered by Intel's '486 microprocessor and can be converted to Intel's new Pentium micro- processor. The models range in price from $1,080 to $3,579 and are said to "offer enhanced graphics, truer colors, more power and a broad ability to upgrade." HP UNVEILS NEW LASERJETS - Hewlett-Packard has announced two new net- work laser printers that can work concurrently with PCs, Macintosh computers, Unix-based workstations and multiple networks. Both printers can print at 17 pages-per-minute at a 600 dots- per-inch resolution, four times the effective resolution of most office laser printers, says HP. The HP LaserJet 4Si printer costs $3,749 and replaces the HP LaserJet IIID and HP LaserJet IIISi printers. The new printer includes 2 meg of standard memory, expandable to 36 meg, and two expansion slots for op- tional HP JetDirect interfaces. The HP LaserJet 4Si MX printer sells for $5,499. Its standard 10 meg memory is expandable to 26MB. The printer also includes Adobe's PostScript Level 2 language, a LocalTalk interface and an HP JetDirect Ethernet interface that can be connected to as many as 10 different network operating systems simultaneously. BACKLOGS - Reports say that PCs are selling so well that IBM has a $1 billion order backlog for its ThinkPad 700 notebook computers; Apple Quadra servers and PowerBooks are also on back order; the wait for some Compaq computers is about a month; AST Research has an eight-week back- log; and other companies have similar delivery problems due to component shortfalls. IATA URGES BAN TO LAPTOP COMPUTER USE DURING AIRCRAFT TAKE-OFFS AND LANDINGS - Business travelers who spend airborne time using their laptop computers to write a report or crunch numbers on a spreadsheet may soon have to find another way to occupy their time while jetting from one city to another. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced today from Geneva, Switzerland that it will warn its 213 member airlines to not permit passengers to use electronic devices, including laptop computers, during aircraft take-offs and landings. The move is viewed as a precautionary measure until further research can provide more conclusive evidence as to the possible interference with navigational equipment caused by passengers' use of electronic devices while airborne. It is feared laptop computers and video games interfere with aircraft autopilot systems. Some airlines already restrict the use of electronic devices during flights. COMPUTER INDUSTRY LAYOFFS CONTINUE - While some other U.S. industries are slowly recovering, the computer industry laid off more workers in March than any other industry segment according to a study conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Of the 30,428 layoffs nationwide in March, 9,030, or nearly 30%, were in the computer industry. IBM Corp. was the leader with 4,500 employees dismissed during the month, followed by Wang Laboratories Inc., which laid off 3,300. Other industries particularly affected by layoffs are aerospace, re- tail and health care. New York state led the nation in the number of layoffs in March, followed by Massachusetts and California. GATES WARY - Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates says that while he welcomes the Clinton administration's support for a nation-wide high- speed data network, he is wary of too much government involvement. Speaking to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Seattle recently, Gates said there is intense interest in the software and computer industry in developing program and hardware for such a network, but that he is concerned individual companies will use their influence with the government to promote their products and services over those of their competitors. Gates said, "It is very positive to have politicians who understand the potential for technology. Then again, generally, government involve- ment is subverted by special interests. I do believe the government has to be very careful how they get involved." Both President Clinton and Vice President Gore have said they want to link the nation with a fiber optic cable system to allow information to flow rapidly throughout the country. Gates said it would be better to let private industry and the market place decide how the network will be designed and built. Said Gates, "There's no shortage of commercial money to build these networks and do these applications, no shortage at all." The government would do the most good developing the network for education and funding long-term research projects, he said, and "if it's done the right way, I think it can be a very positive thing." ___________________________________________________________ US MEMORY CHIP MAKERS GET DARPA BOOST WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1993 APR 13 -- DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the group which has been at the forefront of military-civilian high-tech development for decades, has, according to a report in The Washington Post, targeted memory chips with a $5 million grant to pursue production of 256-megabyte memory chips. The grant, made to Advanced Technology Materials of Danbury, Conn., will be used in conjunction with another $5 million from chip makers IBM, Texas Instruments, Micron, and AG Associates (a semiconductor manufacturing hardware supplier) and North Carolina State University. Japanese and Korean companies are already far ahead in this multi-billion-dollar market, regularly making announcements about new production or development milestones in the large-scale DRAM (dynamic random access memory) arena, and some insiders question whether a $10 million investment in this expensive technology will actually make much difference. The US is almost a non-player in the world and domestic memory chip market but, through TI, Motorola, and Intel, virtually dominate the world microprocessor market, with smaller US companies specializing in custom advanced ASIC, or application specific integrated circuit, microprocessors. DRAM is very important in the computer industry because ever- larger amounts of memory are needed to run any of the advanced operating systems such as Windows NT, Unix, OS/2, or even the MS- DOS version of Windows. In the past, MS-DOS programs seldom required more than a four-megabyte memory, but the minimum acceptable system for running programs under OS/2 and other new operating systems will be larger than 10 megabytes. While a desktop computer will only need one CPU, or central processor unit, such as an Intel 80486 or Motorola 68040, they will need many memory chips both for the computer's main memory and accessory boards such as accelerated video boards and caching hard disk controllers. By way of comparison, the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Intel, Jamar Technology, and Ultratech Stepper will be spending $25.5 million on the development of a new chip lithography process using weak X-rays. Also, last year DARPA provided $8 million to The Optoelectronic Technology Consortium, which consists of General Electric, Honeywell, IBM and AT&T, to test the feasibility of developing optical interconnections for high-speed data transmission, an area where the US is already in the forefront of high-tech development. ___________________________________________________________ CABLE VS. PHONE UPDATE WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., 1993 APR 12 -- After years of fighting to win higher rates so they can invest in digital services, the nation's phone companies face a new threat -- cable companies with money to spend. Plans reported by Newsbytes last week by TCI, the nation's largest cable operator, to sink $2 billion into replacing its copper-based coaxial cable with fiber and dramatically increase capacity, is an example of what's happening. TCI said it will re-wire its systems in major cities over the next five years, while most regional Bell companies claim they'll need 30 years. TCI can justify its investment with digital compression that will let it offer up to 500 channels at once, with fast data services piggy-backed on top of it. Phone companies are presently prohibited from running cable services on their wires. TCI is not alone. Time Warner, the second largest operator, will upgrade its Orlando, Florida system with fiber early next year, which should be a first step toward upgrading all its systems. The Infostructure Network, as TCI executives call their new systems, could become a prime component of the Clinton Administration plan to upgrade the data-handling capacity of the nation's phone nets, and bring the cable industry as a whole needed goodwill lost in the battle over basic cable rates. The question for phone companies is whether to compete or join the cable outfits. Pacific Bell indicated last week it was talking to cable operators there about forming joint ventures in the area. The alternative is competition. Bell Atlantic has been among the most aggressive in this area, winning new rates in New Jersey that will let it replace that network with fiber, upgrading a Pennsylvania network in cooperation with a local cable operator, and testing delivery of TV signals in the Washington, DC suburbs. Bell Atlantic Chairman Raymond Smith said that one provision of the 1992 Cable Reregulation Act, requiring that shows owned partly by cable operators be made available to cable competitors, will help in that area. But to get into cable officially, Bell Atlantic still needs some restrictions removed. Until they are, the only way into the business is the route taken by Southwestern Bell, which said it would buy a Washington-area cable operator. The purchase is acceptable to regulators because the operator is outside SW Bell's normal service area, in the Midwest and Texas. But many politicians say the Bells are poor-mouthing their finances, citing studies showing the Bells earn as much as 20 percent per year on their equity. The latest such study, from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, covers Bell Atlantic's largest service area, and claims a statewide wide-band network will only cost ratepayers about 30 cents per month. The study was issued in response to Senate Bill 2, a Bell-supported move that would raise rates 25 cents per year, indefinitely, in order to pay for improved services. For years, the regional Bells have been fighting in state legislatures for new rate-making ability which they say will justify the delivery of digital services and the replacement of copper cable with fiber. Ameritech won new powers in the Michigan legislature, but other states have yet to act on its behalf. It's forced to watch a Wisconsin study commission aimed at finding a way to funder a higher-capacity network, which is supported by the state's Wisconsin State Telephone Association. Under their plan, a major fiber trunk line will link major cities, and other lines will feed into it. The problem for the Bells is simple. If they fail to win the rates they want from states, they could be by-passed by cable operators in major cities where upgrades would otherwise be profitable. This could leave them with low-speed monopolies only in underserved, rural areas, and in poor financial shape. ___________________________________________________________ OPTICAL DISK TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH TOKYO, JAPAN, 1993 APR 13 (NB) -- Researchers at Kyoto University report they have developed the technology to store over 100 times more data on an optical disc. They report that as much as 10,000 times more data could theoretically be written on this disc. The research team led by Assistant Professor Kazuyuki Hirao of Kyoto University is using a completely new material for the disc, based on samarium ion and glass. It is said this material is like photochemical hole burning (PHB). The research team created this material with some unique compounds. Existing PHB material needs to be cooled down to minus 196 degrees centigrade. However, the research team's material can be used at room temperature. Another unique aspect of this material is that it accepts data written to the same place over and over. In other words, the data can be piled up vertically on the same area on the disk. It can be done with different wavelengths of semiconductor lasers. With different wavelengths of lasers, data can also be read. It is said the disc storage capacity could be 200 to 300 times more than that of current optical discs. The research team is trying some new methods using red and green lasers. With this technology, 10,000 times more data can be written on this disk in theory. ___________________________________________________________ MAGNETIC DISK TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH TOKYO, JAPAN, 1993 APR 13 -- NEC has developed the technology to create what it claims will be a 1.3-inch 5-gigabit magnetic disk (5 gigabits = 600 megabytes). This is almost 100 times more memory storage than current magnetic disks allow. NEC reports that it is planning to create a prototype version of this disk in the near future. NEC has developed a magnetic head, which will write 10 gigabits of data per square inch on a disk. NEC has applied a micro-machine processing technology to create a special mothership-type silicon slider, which is a head-support spring. With this slider, the firm has reduced the distance between the magnetic head and the disk to only 0.05 micron, or about a third of that of current disk drives. NEC's mothership-type silicon slider has a 200-square-micron-sized slider on top of the 1.7 square millimeter silicon chip. With this extra slider, the distance between the magnetic head and the disk has been narrowed. As a result, more data can be written on the disk. Also, NEC has applied vertical magnetic recording technology to write data on the disk. NEC reports another benefit to this disk. The mothership-type slider is very economical when produced in quantity -- 600 units of the sliders can be cut from a single silicon board with a diameter of 5 cm. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > ONLINE WEEKLY STReport Online People... Are Talking! ============================= From GEnie: ---------- From FNORD in the Showbiz RT about Star Trek: The Next Generation... The most annoying thing about ST is the ubiquitous BS device/field/particle/radiation... "Captain, if we reroute the hydrolazine framistat, we can produce a sporkon field, drain the Romulans' glapicrotic generators, and reverse the spin on tonight's plot complication." "Make it so." A reply from R.GIBSON13... "Umm, sorry, Fnord, but you cannot produce a sporkon field by rerouting the hydrolazine framistat. You have to refigure the hyperbizataline nelodratisctic flow converter so that it can handle the overflow from the dynastic compression module first. "But only if the Romulan glapicrotic generators are the old models. The Fed doesn't know enough about the current state of Romulan technology to know if the current theories on sporkon fields would apply. "Otherwise, your idea is pretty good, though..." -------------------- From DAVESCHMO in the Amiga RT... Again, Commodore really seems to be trying to change. Our user group received the following today from Commodore. The User Group contact there is Mary E. Berry. - A sample tri-fold flyer from Amiga Atlanta Inc. used to promote their user group. Meant to be used as an example for designing a flyer for our user group. - Announcement of the new "Show Time!!" program for user groups. Briefly put, it allows you to borrow computers from Commodore for use at computer shows. Unless the show expects an attendance of 1000+, they will limit you to one of each model. CBM pays shipping both ways, and supplies a 75 MEG demo on the hard drive of the A4000. Items that can be requested: * A4000 with demo software * CDTV with selected titles * Amiga 1200 or Amiga 1200HD * 2' x 6' Commodore banner * A500 upgraded + A570 * Amiga 600 or Amiga 600HD * Monitors * 50 spec sheets for each current product - Hints from the Concho Valley Computer Users Group on how to organize a successful computer show. - A very complete description from SMG about their Gold Service and Extended Warranty programs. Answered all the questions I had about how it worked, Examples: the Extended Warranty plan covers many third party products. And they have a Parts Only support agreement that promises fast part supply for the technically inclined. - Some special prices. As far as I can tell, these are open to anyone. Just call 1-800-448-9987. Prices good through June 30, while supplies last. * Factory-new A2286 Bridgboard (AT performance). $99 * New 1084S monitor $309 * New A501 RAM expander (512K RAM, clock) $34.99 * New A570 CD-ROM Drive for the A500 $299 * CDTV (inc. Grolliers Encyclopedia and Lemmings disks) $299 * CD1500 for CDTV (keyboard, mouse, floppy, appetizer) $99 * Bundle: New 1084S Monitor Factory Reconditioned A500 New A501 Ram Expander (all includes one year CommodoreExpress warranty) $380 -------------------- From ICD about potential power supply limiations of the A1200... "Rob, I will have more details on that over the next few weeks. It is a good question and I do have a few comments. "First, a 40 MHz Viper will draw about the same power as a 40 MHz GVP A1230. The memory modules are available using 4Mb or 16Mb DRAM ICs. Using the 16 Mb IC SIMMs will give more RAM for less power but presently cost a healthy premium. "The FPU also draws a bit of power. "If the power supply can't handle it, there are always A500 power supplies which have almost twice the power. They are 100% compatible. "At this point it is an unknown whether the stock A1200 (A600) power supply can handle a 50MHz Viper with FPU 32 or 64 MB of RAM, a Viper S2, an internal HD, I am guessing that will end up being the ultimate system of many. "Possibly an internal SCSI drive might be in order as well." -------------------- A post from Denny Atkin (DENNYA) about his new IBM compatible... Okay, as many of you know, I've recently purchased a PC. (Absolutely NO reflection on the Amiga; it has to do with some non-Amiga Resource responsibilities with my job, as well as the fact that as a journalist I need to keep abreast of the ins and outs of the PC and Mac markets as well.) Let me tell you, it's a LOT easier dealing with the Amiga. Things I've encountered in the last week that make me hate the PC even more than I used to: (1) No autoconfig. Getting a number of expansion of cards to work together is a nightmare of IRQ and Port settings; conflicts can cause VERY weird things to happen. Figuring the best way to set port addresses is not for the faint of heart, and if you move something (such as a sound card) from its default address, many programs won't find it. (2) Companies cheapen hardware to remain price-competitive. The joy- stick port on my local-bus IDE multifunction card doesn't support a second stick (necessary for throttle and rudder control); it also can't be disabled. If they can't resolve this, my system has to go back. Over a stupid joystick port. Also, many companies that advertise great deals on local-bus systems include really cheesy video cards with them; even the ones with good video cards only populate them with 512K of RAM, meaning you have to expand the RAM to get more than 256 colors in high resolutions. (3) Even before you expand it, your machine is a morass of parts from a number of different companies. You're dependent on one company for support for your video card, another for your drive controller, another for the IDE drive of the week... You can buy something like a Zeos with integrated components, but there's no guarantee that Zeos is gonna be around next year. (4) Even with the fastest local-bus video cards around, PC video speed is a joke. Those who claim that PCs update the screen faster can only substantiate that with simple window movements. Just watch Video for Windows and you'll realize why Microsoft at least had the decency not to give it a name with the work "Quick" in it. (5) PCs don't support high-speed serial I/O from the factory. If you're not using an internal modem, you have to replace the UART chips to get good, reliable performance with a >2400 bps modem. (6) You can't get the expert help online that you can with the Amiga, since chances are that the 5% of the online populace who happen to be whiz- gurus have a vastly different hardware configuration than you do. There ARE advantages to integrated systems. (7) With the incredible variety of hardware/software configurations out there, there are an incredible variety of potential incompatibilities. (8) Going to a real OS, such as OS/2 or NT, on the PC isn't really viable due to lack of drivers for devices like CD-ROMs and video cards, and incompatibilities with entertainment and multimedia software. If you're willing to settle for a small smattering of the available hardware and software choices, why not just go for an Amiga in the first place? I could go on, but I'm getting angry, thinking of ways I'd rather have spent the money... -------------------- A theory from ZEPHYR as to why people buy more PC's than Amigas... I think alot of the reason people choose to get an IBM/clone is because of all the "free" software available. Me: "You should get an Amiga!" Them: "Well, so-and-so has a clone and he said I could make copies of any programs he has. Plus, we have IBMs at work and I can make copies of all the neat stuff there. I can even get a copy of AutoCad...thats a $1500.00 program!." Me: "You really would be much happier with an Amiga ...(tells all the virtues of the Amiga).." Them: "Do you have alot of stuff I could get?" Me: "No, for one thing its stealing and for another its against the law." Them: "Right...see ya later." Me: (sigh) -------------------- From FidoNet's Amiga Tech Echo: ------------------------------ Num: 164 Date: 6 Apr 93 02:12:03 From: John Benn To: Greg Macdonald Subj: Nonaga blitter vs Aga blitter ------------------- GM> But the blitter has always had as many cycles as it wanted has it GM> not?. GM> Just turn on blitnasty and the blitter would have precedence over the GM> cpu. GM> I can't imagine the blitter could be faster unless it runs at 14mhz or GM> has GM> been made more efficient. Like no blank cycles etc. And if they are no GM> blank cycles, then the cpu would stop completly while the blitter went GM> about it's work. GM> According to myself, if the aga blitter performs significantly faster, GM> then GM> it must be running at 14Mhz. While it is true that the blitter could be given more access at the expense of CPU access, such a thing is not desirable. Coders would never give the blitter access at the expense of vital CPU time , the main reason being that you can't move anything unless you calculate first where it is supposed to be moved. In any case the AGA blitter does NOT perform significantly faster than the ECS blitter but can handle the new modes quite well and may give you a small speed increase on top of that. I'm a registered developer and can assure that the AGA blitter is not 14 Mhz. The AAA2 blitter will be clocked at 14Mhz, and the AAA4 blitter will be clocked at 28Mhz, as well as be enhanced. The AGA is really an intermediate step between ECS and AAA in order to get everyone to start using the OS so that all the old software won't break on AAA and above machines. News: The AAA2 was originally lacking chunky pixel mode, but complaints from developers have encouraged Commodore to make support for chunky to planar conversion hardware a part of the OS. In other words when the AAA2 ships it will probably ship with an extra little processor to do chunky to planar conversions and this will be supported in OS 3.01 and above. See ya --- Xenolink 1.0 Z.3 * Origin: Darkstar BBS (519) 255-1073 Call Today (1:246/46) Num: 176 *s Date: 9 Apr 93 15:39:11 From: John Benn To: Blake Patterson Subj: Re: Nonaga blitter vs aga ------------------- BP> Well, how is it that the AGA blitter has a "4-fold" increase in BP> performance? Also, what exactly is a "chunky-pixel" mode? Also, does BP> the AGA A1200/A4000 support "chunky-pixels??" The AGA blitter doesn't have a 4-fold increased in performance. The only real advantages the AGA has over the ECS are the new display modes, the enhanced display chip(Lisa) and the 4xbandwidth for the display chip to access chip ram. The Alice still only has a 16bit blitter clocked at 7.14Mhz. Where you can see an increase in blitter performancei is because if you were say going to fetch a two 16bit sprites with the display hardware before it would take 2 cycles whereas now it only takes 1 cycle. This means that if you wanted to perform blitter operations you would get to use that extra cycle the diplay chip no longer needs. This in effect means the blitter MAY be able to perform its work faster as it will get to use more clock cycles every second to perform operations. But, the Blitter itself is not improved. The Amigas display is planar, meaning that the display data is read one plane at a time(up to 8 with AGA). Chunky pixels is how the clones and MacIntoshes read their display data. Chunky pixels are read one pixel at a time, where in an 8bit display the color of each pixel is read 8bits(1byte) at a time. Their are advantages and disadvantages to both systems. In a planar system there is more overhead in reading display data and so games that you use Texture mapping are somewhat slower, but Chris Green (CBM's graphics programming engineer) has shown that when done properly it can still be quite speedy. Also moving windows in a planar system is slower as all of the full screen planes must be read in and then irrelevant portions of the screen masked out whereas under a chunky system you simply define the area of the screen you want to move and then move it with no overhead. The main disadvantage in a chunky system is that if you have 32bit reads and writes from display memory(chip ram on the amiga) then if you are reading a 24bit display you can only read 3 bytes at a time for each pixel and you lose a 1/4 of your speed whereas under a planar system since the data is continuous you can read 32bits at a time. Another disadvantage of chunky pixels is no dual playfields, no paralax scrolling or other such neat effects. Currently the Amiga only has planar, but the Amigas of the future(1994) will have both. --- Xenolink 1.0 Z.3 * Origin: Darkstar BBS (519) 255-1073 Call Today (1:246/46) Num: 192 *s Date: 8 Apr 93 15:41:50 From: Mark Wilczynski To: All Subj: Re: Re: Nonaga blitter vs Aga blitter ------------------- The AGA blitter IS the regular blitter that has been used in the Amiga since 1985. There is NO difference!! I got this info directly from some programmers on Usenet and most speed results confirm this. The only thing running at 32-Bit (besides the CPU) is the data fetch DMA for updating the screen. This is a requirement because 16 Bit data fetch is too slow to allow 8 bitplanes. This 32-64 bit screen update leaves more DMA time for the rest of the system. That's why the blitter appears to run a little faster than on a regular Amiga (it's free to use the bus more of the time). The faster data-fetch also allows for bigger sprites. The AGA chipset is basically the same old chipset and is a depressing development for 7 years work. ___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12 --- CNet XFIDO 2.60 * Origin: Power Windows 201-492-9748 HST/400 megs/multi-line(1:2606/543.0) """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Amiga Tip of the Week ===================== By Micah Thompson Have you ever typed a long command in the shell, and hit ENTER, only to it bombed, because you mispelled something? Did you know that if you hit the UP arrow, you can move to the last typed line? If you continue to tap the UP arrow, you can move back through a history of your past commands. The DOWN arrow will move you forward through them. But there's more! Let's say that you typed a long 'dir' command a few minutes ago (specifying a long path), but in the meantime, you've typed many more commands. Moving the UP and DOWN arrow, you're frantically searching for it, with no luck. Here's what you do: You know that it started with 'dir' right? Okay, type dir on the command line, then hold down SHIFT and press the UP arrow. The shell will automatically find the last occurrence of 'dir' and display it. If that's not the right one, do it again, and it'll continue searching. Isn't that handy? """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > MAJOR PIRATE BBS BUSTED! STR Spotlight SPA Spearheads Investigation! ======================================= RUSTY & EDIE'S BBS NAILED! ========================== Reprinted from STReport #9.15 FBI raids major Ohio computer bulletin board; action follows joint investigation with SPA. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, on Saturday, Jan. 30, 1993, raided "Rusty & Edie's," a computer bulletin board located in Boardman, Ohio, which has reportedly been illegaly distributing copyrighted software programs and files. Seized in the raid on the Rusty & Edie's bulletin board were computers, hard drives and telecommunications equipment, as well as financial and subscriber records. For the past several months, the Software Publishers Association ("SPA") has been working with the FBI in investigating the Rusty & Edie's bulletin board (BBS), additionally, a major part of the investigation involved downloading numerous copyrighted business and entertainment programs from the board. SPA's investigation commenced shortly after the receipt of numerous complaints from SPA members reporting their software was being illegally distributed to the public through Rusty & Edie's pay BBS. Rusty & Edie's bulletin board was among the largest private (PAY) bulletin boards in the country if not the world. It boasted of 124 nodes available to callers and over 14,000 subscribers throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Up to the day it was busted, the board had recorded in excess of 3.4 million phone calls, with new calls coming in at the rate of over 4,000 per day. It was set up and established in 1987 and had continually expanded to well over 19 gigabytes of file storage comprising 100,000 plus files available to subscribers for downloading. The BBS had paid subscribers throughout the World. The United States and several foreign countries, including Canada, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom were among those in the system's records. A privately owned and operated computer bulletin board, better known as a BBS, permits personal computer users to call and access a host computer system by a modem-equipped telephone to exchange information, including messages, files, and computer programs. The systems operator (Sysop) is generally responsible for the operation of the bulletin board and determines who is allowed to access the bulletin board and under what conditions. For a fee of eighty nine dollars per annum, subscribers to the Rusty & Edie's bulletin board were given access to the board's contents including the "hot" file area where many popular copyrighted business and entertainment packages could readily be found. Subscribers were able to "download" or receive these files for use on their own computers without having to pay the rightful copyrighted owner anything for the software packages. "The SPA applauds the FBI's swift action today," said Ilene Rosenthal, General Counsel for the SPA. "This action clearly indicates the FBI recognizes the harm theft of intellectual property causes to one of the U.S. A.'s most vibrant industries. It clearly demonstrates a trend that the government understands the seriousness of software piracy." The SPA is actively working with the FBI in the investigation of computer bulletin boards, and similar raids on other boards are expected shortly. Whether the programming is copied from a software package purchased at a neighborhood computer store or downloaded from a bulletin board thousands of miles away, pirated software adds greatly to the overall cost of computing in general. According to SPA's figures, in 1991, the software industry lost $1.2 billion in the U.S. alone. Losses, internationally, are several billion dollars more. "Many people may not realize that software pirates cause prices to be much higher, in part, to make up for publisher losses from piracy," says Ken Wasch, Executive Director of SPA. In addition, they ruin the reputation of the hundreds of legitimate bulletin boards that serve an important function for computer users." The Software Publishers Association is the principal trade association of the personal computer software industry. Its over 1,000 members represent the leading publishers in the business, consumer and education software markets. The SPA has offices in Washington DC, and Paris, France. CONTACT: Software Publishers Association, Washington Ilene Rosenthal, 202/452-1600 Ext. 318 Terri Childs, 202/452-1600 Ext. 320 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Visionaire from Impulse Inc. STR Review ======================================= By Tom Mulcahy Visionaire is the latest morphing program to enter the Amiga market. There are no fewer than four morphing programs for the Amiga, I don't think any other platform can claim this. You may already be familiar with Blackbelt's Imagemaster, GVP's Cinemorph and ASDG's Morph Plus. Impulse has already established themselves in the 3D rendering market with their standard setting Imagine 3D renderer, so they have proven their ability to produce professinal quality software. Visionaire brands itself a 'Professional 2D Image Morphing and Deformation System' and that it is. System requirements are rather slim for a program of this caliber. It will run on any model Amiga with Workbench 2.0 or higher and at least 1Mb of fast memory and 1Mb of chip memory. Although for optimal performance a lot more machine will be required. The recommended system should be equipped with a hard drive, 4Mb of fast memory, 2Mb of chip memory, an '030 or higher CPU and an FPU. The manual is quite sufficient although they could have gone into more detail on the 'Localized Mixers,' which I will get into later and included a few more tutorials. The manual for ASDG's Morph Plus still gets my vote for best manual. Full ARexx support is included, and Visionaire supported commands are well documented. A small Q&A section is also included in the back of the manual. Getting started with Visionaire couldn't be easier. After reading the Basic Concepts section, which is just a few pages, I was able to do a simple morph using the included sample images in under 15 minutes. The interface is very clean and uncluttered. There are two windows for the work images with two gadgets in each for zooming and unzooming. All other options are available in the menus. The screen preferences can be changed to any of the usual workbench screen modes ranging from Lo-Res to Super Hi-Res laced in either NTSC or PAL. I found the screen to be tolerable in it's Hi-Res laced mode on a 1084S monitor. Adjusting the screen pref colors would help reduce flicker in this mode on non-VGA/Multiscan monitors. The actual morphing is done by selecting the 'From' Image, and it's destination or 'To' Image. Like GVP's Cinemorph, a mesh system is used for the deforming. A mesh which is placed over each image and the points on the 'To' Image must be manipulated in such a way that corresponds with the 'From' Image. Some like this method, but others prefer the real-time vector plotting method of Morph Plus. While it can bug your eyes out at times, Visionaire includes some features to simplify the meshing. Mesh densities can be increased globaly AND/OR locally. Yes, AND/OR. Localized support is provided for meshing... what this does is allow you to adjust selected columns and/or rows. Although not independent of the 'To' or 'From' Image, it is a nice feature that greatly assists the sometimes monotonous task of meshing a morph. The preview images which are visible on the screen can be color, greyscale or dithered with or without their full pallete. Once your meshing is done you can output your project. Output is separated into 3 distinct categories: Morph, Warp and Dissolve. Although all 3 may sound similar, they are all different in distinct and important ways. Morphing is the smooth transformation of one image into an entirely different image. Warping is any arbitrary deformation of one particular image. Dissolving, like morphing, involves 2 images but is simple the fading out of one image and the fading in of another image. Once you decide what you want to do it's time to select your options. Visionaire provides for output in either Anim Opt5 format or ILBMs in HAM, HAM Interlaced, HAM8, HAM8 Interlaced (*NOTE - HAM8 projects can only be output to ILBM's, 24bit, 12bit, 8bit ILBM's, 24bit SUN rasterfiles and 8bit SUN rasterfiles.) Other options allow you to select palette locking, mesh smoothing, auto scripts, anti-aliasing, shape/color mixing and alpha channel support which is some of the most extensive I've seen. Once the desired options are selected 'Project/Use' from the menu will initiate the rendering. A bar will indicate the time elapsed and time remaining for the current morph. Morphing is generally quick although varying the options can quickly change this! As I stated earlier, Visionaire has exclusive mixing features. Here, mixing is a way to graphically control the evolution of a transformation. While existent on other morphing packages as a an x/y graph, Visionaire takes it one step farther providing for full localized control. This allows you to attach a different user definable mixer to each vertex of a mesh. Not only is the shape mixer localized but the color is as well and they can be applied independently of each other. This is an extremely powerful feature that can provide for some stunning realism. These features can be applied globally as well. (*NOTE - Use of local mixers increase rendering time by as much as 50%. Much time should be invested to mastering this feature.) Now the problems... no program is without faults. First of all, there is no HD install program, contrary to what the manual states. To install the main program you must create a directory and assign the main disk and it's accompanying examples disk to a dir of your choosing. This means a quick alteration to your user-startup. Ok, done. A double click on the main program icon... a guru. A warm-boot and another double click yields another guru. A quick peruse of the icon info shows that the default stack is set at 20,000. Once I reduced it to 5,000 the program willingly started. On my configuration of an A1200 w/GVP A1230 Turbo the program seemed a little less than stable. I was a little surprised at the number of times it crashed while I attempted to multitask. Even a simple trip to DOpus to do some file dir scans sometimes crashed it. Also, loading the sample meshes and quickly selecting a menu option would some times cause a crash. Until an update arrives, which is bound to be soon my best advice would be to simply not multi-task, especially while it is rendering. As is, I believe the pros far outweigh the cons of Visionaire. Once the bugs are ironed out, it should compare favorably with other morphing packages. While as simple to use as Cinemorph, it can produce results on par with Morph Plus, although it is no where near feature ridden. It is a dedicated morphing and deformation package, that is what it does and it does it well. It is quick. It is simple to learn and use yet powerful at the same time and it can produce for you professional quality results. Impulse Inc. 8416 Xerxes Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55444 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Usenet Review: ScalaMM210 ========================== By Adam Benjamin (email@example.com) PRODUCT NAME ScalaMM210 BRIEF DESCRIPTION A comprehensive multimedia presentation/creation program. AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Scala Inc. (USA arm of Scala AS Norway) Address: 12110 Sunset Hills, Suite 100 Reston, VA 22090 USA Telephone: (703) 709-8614 LIST PRICE I'm not sure what the list price is; mail order is around $300 (US). ScalaMM200 was included with the Amiga 3000P [A3000 packaged with some software], so find someone who got it for free and buy it from them! The upgrade to 210 is $40 (US). SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE RAM: 1 Meg of Chip RAM (2 Meg for some wipe effects) 2 Meg of Fast RAM Hard drive is not required; but for creating new scripts, (Scala's term for the presentations you create) I would HIGHLY recommend one. An accelerated processor is not required; but like most video programs, the faster the better. SOFTWARE ScalaMM200 will run under Workbench 1.3. The 210 upgrade requires Workbench 2.0 or higher. Version 200 would crash constantly under Workbench 3.0, but the upgrade seems quite stable, and I have been able to crash the ANIMLAB utility program only a few times. (The main program has never crashed since my upgrade.) COPY PROTECTION Dongle (hardware device attached to either mouse port). It could be worse, but I dislike dongles, and I have heard that this dongle makes using GVP's G-Lock troublesome if not impossible. (I don't own one so I can't confirm this.) The dongle is invisible as far as the user is concerned (unless it is missing of course). It is a small, approximately 1-inch-square red device, and it has a pass-through; but the manual warns of using any program that writes to the mouse ports (hence the trouble with G-LOCK). My main gripe against this dongle will follow in the DISLIKES section. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Amiga 4000, 2 Meg Chip RAM, 10 Meg Fast RAM. NTSC monitor. REVIEW If you think ScalaMM is only for multimedia presentations, think again! Here are the features, and just about ANY animation/video user can get some real muscle out of ScalaMM: * Video backdrops/titling (includes over 75 backdrops and 15 fonts). It uses standard BITMAP fonts! You can even title over your animations * WIPES (transitions between screens): OVER 80 different kinds, and each item (text brush, or whatever) can have its own wipe both on and off the screen. Scala dynamically changes the screen palette during the transitions. This allows it to be the ONLY Amiga program (that I know of anyway) to fade from one picture into another with completely different palettes. You have to see this to appreciate it. * Play animations anywhere in your script, and even chain them together easily. Plays anims directly from the hard drive too. Also includes ANIMLAB a utility program to: Build anims from pictures Convert anims to Scala's own 32bit anim format (which plays much faster I might add!) Rip pictures out of anims Index anim frames for playing directly from the hard drive * IFF sampled sound and music MOD file support. (And you can sync your presentations to the music with the click of the mouse! * On the multimedia side of things, you can make completely interactive presentations with buttons, loops, etc. Scala supports MIDI, laser disks, Canon ION still video, CDTV links, and is ARexx addressable. * ScalaMM comes with the main program (the editor), a runtime player which still requires the dongle, Animlab for building and converting animations, and ScalaPrint which prints out the pages of your presentation. * ScalaMM210 has complete AGA support including 24-bit palette "sliding", Scala's term for its cool fading technique. ScalaMM200 tries to support AGA, but it is very buggy at doing so. * Completely multitasking and OS friendly. Reads DEVS:Monitors to work in all video modes of the system it is running on. (See BUGS for some video hiccups.) Building presentations could not be easier. The editor is very well designed and simply lists all the pages you have made. To create a new page, just click on "New." The program then asks for a background. If you don't want one just click on OK, and the program will ask for screen format (size, colors etc.). Then, it opens that page and you get a flashing cursor waiting for you to enter whatever text you want. (You can also load brushes or symbols and they are treated just like text.) Even making interactive presentations is all done in the editor graphically with no programming knowledge required. At any time during your creating process, you can click on "SHOW" to see the current page or the complete presentation so far. The main program also has what Scala calls the "Shuffler" which replaces the line-by-line text listing of your pages with little thumbnail pictures of each screen. This is great for storyboarding or for getting a quick overview of your presentation. DOCUMENTATION The documentation is EXCELLENT! It even tells you on the first few pages where to start reading based on your computer knowledge and previous Scala experience. Of course, it has a "quick-start" at the beginning for all us impatient people who read manuals only when we can't figure out something. The promotional version that ships with the 3000P comes with a cheap, paperback-style bound manual, while the retail version's manual has a nice 3 ring binder. The only problem with the manual comes (I assume) from the translation to English because there are a lot of misspelled words. But even so, it is very easy to understand and very complete. LIKES AND DISLIKES LIKES: The capabilities of ScalaMM210 and the range of applications for this program are enormous! If it has anything to do with getting video on the screen and music out of the speakers, ScalaMM can do it. I have seen some of the multimedia presentation programs for the PC world and this puts them to shame easily. (For a lot less money than some PC programs as well). The speed at which Scala can do things (even on stock machines) is phenomenal. With the 32-bit anim format, even 150K delta 256-color anims play at a good speed. (Around 15 FPS.) DISLIKES: I still have some trouble building 256-color anims with the ANIMLAB program. Sometimes it will result in a crash, but usually it errors out. They do play fine, but only ANIMLAB can build/convert to Scala's 32bit format. (It is not anim8.) Anim-5 works OK, but of course it's not as fast. My main complaint is that there is NO freely distributable player for the animations. So making presentations for clients means they have to fork out the full price for the program just to run my scripts. If CBM can fix AmigaVision for this, then anyone can. I hope Scala changes this soon. COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS I have never used AmigaVision, which is probably the closest thing to Scala. I know it lacks some of Scala's features, but AV is cheaper. So if you can, I would suggest checking out both at a local dealer to see if Scala is worth the extra money to you. BUGS For some reason, the 210 version will not display non-interlaced overscan pictures full screen. I'm not sure, but this may be OE (operator error 8^)). I don't think Tech Support knew what I meant when I was trying to explain it to them. (They were helpful, albeit a little curt with me, I thought.) If an overscan non-lace screen comes up, Scala will display it quarter-screen size, centered in the middle of the monitor. Scala uses the monitors in the DEVS: drawer, so that must have something to do with it. Also, as mentioned elsewhere, I managed to crash the program every now and then trying to build AGA anims from stills, and sometimes if fails to convert anim-5 format anims to Scala's 32-bit format. VENDOR SUPPORT Scala Inc. sent me the 210 upgrade 2nd Day Air, and the whole process took only 5 days. (I had to mail in my registration and upgrade money.) I was impressed. I called about the non-lace overscan problem, and they kind of blew me off since I was going to genlock the output anyway; they said I would have to use an interlaced screen. (My Super-Gen does this internally automatically, so it was NOT the answer I wanted to hear.) For now, I am using the MM200 version Player which works fine. CONCLUSIONS I am very happy with ScalaMM210. It makes syncing my anims to MOD music a snap, and the titling software is the best I have seen. It is a bit pricey, but I got it from a 3000P buyer. If you can see it at your local dealer, the demo scripts that come with Scala will knock your socks off. **************************************************************************** IMPORTANT NOTICE! ================= 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 Basic Plan offers access for only $6.00 per hour, for any baud rate. The $5.95 monthly fee includes your first hour online. For more information, call: DELPHI Member Services at 1-800-544-4005 DELPHI is a service of General Videotex Corporation of Cambridge, MA. Try DELPHI for $1 an hour! For a limited time, you can become a trial member of DELPHI, and receive 5 hours of evening and weekend access during this month for only $5. If you're not satisfied, simply cancel your account before the end of the calendar month with no further obligation. If you keep your account active, you will automatically be enrolled in DELPHI's 10/4 Basic Plan, where you can use up to 4 weekend and evening hours a month for a minimum $10 monthly charge, with additional hours available at $3.96. But hurry, this special trial offer will expire soon! To take advantage of this limited offer, use your modem to dial 1-800-365-4636. Press
once or twice. When you get the Password: prompt, type IP26 and press again. Then, just answer the questions and within a day or two, you'll officially be a member of DELPHI! DELPHI- It's getting better all the time! **************************************************************************** > Usenet Review: PPI's A500/040 Accelerator ========================================== By Kerry Emerson (Batman@amigans.gen.nz) PRODUCT NAME Progressive Peripherals A500/040 accelerator BRIEF DESCRIPTION The PPI A500/040 is an accelerator especially designed for the Amiga 500. It comes standard with WB2.04 ROM, 68040 from Motorola, and either 4MB or 8MB of 32-bit Fast RAM. COMPANY INFORMATION Name: Progressive Peripherals Incorporated Address: 464 Kalamath St Denver, CO 80204 USA Telephone: (303) 825-4144 Fax: (303) 893-6938 LIST PRICE I paid $1079 (US) in mid-October 1992. This was the cheapest price I had seen for it anywhere. (Mail me if you want to know the company name) Since this time, the price has apparently dropped by about $200. I also paid $108 for "overnight" shipping. Unfortunately, due to the fire at PPI, the board didn't actually arrive until December! I was very annoyed. Now that PPI is back on its feet, I expect they'll be able to send them overnight now for real. SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS HARDWARE An Amiga 500. Depending on the model of your 500, the Technician (yourself) that installs the board will need to remove the RF shield, since the 040 is too big to fit under it. This is the only modification to the computer you need to make. Its a simple operation of removing approximately 4 screws, and it does nothing to harm the computer in any way. SOFTWARE Version 2 of Kickstart and Workbench. A Kickstart ROM is supplied with the board, but the Workbench distribution is NOT! You will need to purchase a 2.04 or 2.1 Workbench distribution separately. MACHINE USED FOR TESTING Before installation of the A500/040: Amiga 500, Kickstart/Workbench 1.3 1 MB Chip RAM. GVP A500-HD+ SeriesII 105MB hard drive with 2MB 16-bit Fast RAM. DCTV 2 extra floppy drives. After the installation, the machine is running version 2.0 of the operating system and has 4 MB of 32-bit Fast RAM. DOCUMENTATION Due to the unfortunately fire which left PPI up the creek for several months, the manual which I received with the 040 was a photocopied one. This had with it a note saying that due to their current position [blah blah blah], they could not send me the proper manual, but that if I wanted one, I could get one when I sent in my Warranty form. Thats fair enough I suppose. The photocopied manual was bound and did its job very well, so I have no complaints there. The documentation/manual I received goes into a lot of detail to explain what the 040 is all about and how to install both the hardware and the software. It also refers to programs which are 100% compatible with the 040 and how to use the operating system version 2.0x. It has technical support notes and various other Trouble shooting notes. It's very easy to read with "nice" pictorials and was well laid out, highlighting important points, etc. One problem with the documentation I found is that it doesn't help the user move from a 1.3 system to a 2.0 system. When I first tried using the accelerator, I had the 2.0 Kickstart ROM installed but no 2.0 Workbench. As a result, my startup-sequence for my 1.3 system had nothing like IPrefs or ConClip or ANY of the 2.0x commands. This posed a problem as my computer kept crashing EVERY time I put the computer into WB2.0 and booted up. Not having used 2.0 before, I had NO idea what was happening, and the manual said NOTHING! (I live in this little place called New Zealand, so calling the Technical Support line would have cost me the earth!) But once I got and installed the WB2.0 software, everything worked fine. Note: If you have already got WB2.0, then there will be no problem; but for those who are upgrading from WB1.2 or WB1.3, be warned: WB2.0 is very different!! THE HARDWARE The 040/500 is a pretty small and sophisticated piece of hardware. It consists of a small PCB [printed circuit board] which has simply attaches directly onto where the old 68000 was. On its surface is has the main 68040 (the "Beast Master" :-)) which has no heat sink, but has a FAN on top of it to keep it cool (gives your Amiga 500 some air-conditioning). This fan is quiet, almost silent. There are 2 banks of 4MB ZIPs which are both full if you buy the 8MB version, or only one is full if you have the 4MB version. The WB2.0 Kickstart ROM is also on here, along with CMOS technology supply regulators and detached CPU custom chips (FPU etc) for minimum power consumption and greater performance. All chips are surface- mount technology except the 68000 socket, in which the old 68000 chip sits (on the board) for fallback mode. The Motorola 68040 usually has a limit of 25 MHz data speed; but due to the 040/500's custom implemented unique FAN-COOLED CPU, the 040 can be safely driven at a roaring 28 MHz WITHOUT data corruption! [MODERATOR'S NOTE: This is a controversial topic. Some people believe that "overclocking" a 68040 CPU -- running it faster than its intended speed -- is risky, whereas other people believe it can be done safely. So the above claim should be treated as opinion. - Dan] The entire accelerator is approximately 20cm x 10cm in size and fits *VERY* snugly inside the A500. It is not permanently stuck there though, so you can easily remove the card when you want to show it off at a User Group, and simply plug it into someone else's A500. (READ THE WARRANTY WARNING, BELOW.) THE SOFTWARE The software which you get with the 040/500 is good and very useful. You receive a program to switch the CPU between 68040 and 68000 mode, and between Native ROM and On Board ROM. These mean you can have any com- bination of CPU and operating system, except 68040 booting from WB1.3! This is due to speed and caching modes which don't exist on (aren't supported by) WB1.3. These changes take effect after rebooting, and you are prompted to reboot the machine after you've selected a different configuration. I assume that this configuration gets written to the hard drive or somewhere, because even after a week, it still remembers which mode you last booted in. There are various other CPU and memory speed testing programs that tell you how fast your system now is. There is one other program which is used to initialize the 68040. This means when the board is in 68040 mode, it is in fact running a 14 MHz 68000 until you initialize it which switches it into 68040 at 28 MHz. This seems weird, but all you do is run the program "Init040" in your startup-sequence, near the beginning. No hassles. The Data Cache, Instruction Cache and CopyBack Data Cache can be turned on/off independently also. The software seems to be stable, and hasn't crashed on me yet. LIKES AND DISLIKES This accelerator is FAST! I have used SysInfo(TM) by Nic Wilson (great plug there :) ) and it said... SysInfo V3.11 by Nic Wilson --------------------------- CopyBack Mode.................................. ON Instruction Cache.............................. ON Instruction Burst.............................. ON Data Cache..................................... ON Data Burst..................................... ON Central Processing Unit Type................... 68040 CPU speed in MHZ............................... 25 MHz Memory Management Unit Type.................... 68040 (Disabled) Floating Point Unit Type....................... 68040+68882 Vector Base Register (VBR) Address............. $08000020 Ramsey Chip Revision (A3000)................... N/A Gary Chip Revision (A3000)..................... N/A DMA/Gfx Chip................................... ECS AGNUS - 1Meg Display Mode................................... PAL:High Res Display Chip................................... STD DENISE VBlank Frequency in Hz......................... 50 Power Supply Frequency in Hz................... 50 Horizontal Frequency in KHz.................... 15.60 Card Slot Installed............................ NO Hardware Clock installed....................... CLOCK FOUND EClockFrequency in Hz.......................... 709379 SPEED COMPARISONS AGAINST KNOWN MODELS & PERIPHERALS A500 512k or A600 with 1MB CHIP ONLY........... 33.75 B2000, A2000, A1000 or A500 with fast ram...... 28.31 A1200 68EC020 ................................ 15.28 A2500 A2620 68020 14MHZ card.................. 9.62 A3000/25 SCRAM ICACHE IBURST DCACHE NODBURST... 4.27 A4000 68040 ICACHE DCACHE COPYBACK............ 1.08 CPU Million Instructions per Second............ 20.65 FPU Million Floating Operations per Second..... 5.23 Speed of Chip Memory vs A3000 Chip Memory...... 2.50 Dhrystones per second...........................20177 Nics Comment................................... MOTOROLLIN' I like its speed! The fallback mode is handy (both 68040 to 68000 fallback and WB2.0x to WB1.3 fallback). It is compatible with virtually EVERY program I have used (PD, Shareware and Commercial), especially since you can switch the 68040 on/off and similarly with the WB2.0! I have (with the help of a local software distributor) compiled a list of programs which work with the 68040 and WB2.0x switched on. This is by NO MEANS the full list of programs!!! Shareware/PD: ASwarm AniMan Arq Bell Bell Cfx CfxWin DMS DarkPlay DiskMaster v3.0 DreamTerm FKey FractalBlankerFFP.lha KCommodity LHA LHArcA MED v3.11 Mach2 MagicFileReq MultiRipper v2 MultiRipper v3 NComm v2.00 NickPrefs NoisePlayer oSnap PCopy PM PMore PSX PowerPlayer PowerSnap ProTracker v3.01 ReOrg ReqTools2_1 ScreenX Silicon Menus SmartPlay SnoopDos Spliner Sploin SysInfo v3.11 TinyClock ToolmanagerV2 Turbo Imploder v4.0 (although the music doesn't play, DAMN!) TurboLayers UPD V8 VCLI Virus_Checker (all versions) WBGauge WizardClock Commercial: AmigaVision Art Department Professional ArtExpression AudiomasterIV Audition4 BCD Frame Controller BME Cinemorph v1.00 Cygnus Ed v3.00 DCTV DCTVPaint DCTVProc DPaint III DPaint IV DPaint v4.1 DigiView Digital Sound Studio DirectoryOpus v4.00 (nice work John) DiskMaster v1.3 FinalCopyII FrEd HAM-E HotLinks IMP ImageFX Imagine 2.00 MorphPlus PC-Task v1.1 PageLiner PageStream v2.2 Pixel3D PowerPacker V4.0 Professional Page Quarterback Tools v5 Scene Generator Scenery Animator v3.04 Super Gen Video Toaster 2.0 VistaPro VistaPro2 Word Perfect XCopyPro v6.xxx(?) And there's more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DISLIKES: I have no reason to buy a HARDWARE 286 emulator now! :) PC-Task v1.1 on my 040/500 runs as quick as a 25 MHz 286. I have not been able to get Windows V3.1 going yet, but DOS programs like Debug and A86 Assembler work perfectly. PLUS, it's multitasking :) :) :)! The only request I have for a newer version of the PPI 040/500 is for a FASTER one, I want to go faster, Faster, FASTER, *F*A*S*T*E*R*, (slap), oh, sorry about that. I got a bit carried away. Give a man 25 MHz and he'll want 50 MHz! :) COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS I take it you ALL know what an A3000 is. Well, mine's faster. :) I have performed side-by-side speed tests with a friends A3000 and my 040 is about *4* times quicker. I have not tested any other similar products except an A600, no comment. :P BUGS None, other than the fact that IDIOTS program lovely/incredible track-loading demos with ILLEGAL CODE and they don't work when my 040's at full speed :(. But that's no fault of Progressive Peripherals. WARRANTY Their warranty is laid out on the first page of the manual, and it's written in plain English/American so there's no confusion. As the manual is Copyrighted and "cannot be reproduced in any way/shape/form (including electronic store or retrieval or translation into foreign language) without prior agreement and express consent from PPI Incorporated" (whoops) here's the Warranty in brief form... - Limited ONE year warranty. - The warranty is for the PURCHASER !!ONLY!! - If you discover a fault with your 040/500 within the warranty time, PPI will replace the unit or faulty component ASAP at THEIR EXPENSE! In Other Words: they pay for the replacement of the unit, etc. - Their liability is SOLELY for the 040/500 unit ONLY! i.e., if you blow you Paula or something during installation or there's a power surge, etc, that's NOT COVERED! - If a fault is discovered, you simply send/deliver the unit to PPI (Progressive Peripherals Incorporated) WITH the original sales receipt. You pay for delivery/postage there, they pay for delivery/postage back to you (method of delivery/postage is at PPI's discretion. Any EXTRA shipping costs are YOUR responsibility! - Before sending the fault unit back, you MUST first ring PPI and get an RMA number (Return Merchandise Authorization number). They will NOT accept units returned to them without the RMA number attached. - NO unit/component(s) will be replaced if the 040/500's serial number is damaged, altered, or missing! - The software which comes with the 040 are NOT under any kind of warranty, so if certain software does fail, then the returning and replacement of said programs is ENTIRELY at the owner's expense. - In NO WAY can PPI be liable for any amount more than the recommended retail price of the 040/500 unit at the current moment! - The Disclaimer is a mother of a paragraph to read, but I think they're trying to say that they will only accept Warranty forms within 90 days of the initial purchase of the item. I think, but don't quote me on that; if the Manual wasn't copyrighted, I could have let YOU try and understand it, but it is, so I can't. WARNING!! - Damage whilst being installed by an unauthorized person is NOT covered by the warranty. My suggestion is pay the extra $20US and get an AUTHORIZED technician to install the unit, then if it stuffs up, you DON'T pay for it! CONCLUSIONS To conclude, this product is one of the fastest and most powerful accelerators for the A500. I thought the leap from a floppy-based system to a hard-drive-based system was big, but it's NOTHING compared to the quantum leap you'll discover when going from a 7.14 MHz 68000 to a 25 MHz 68040! It could almost be called a Revolution, a Paradine Shift! On scales from 1 to 10, I would have to give this accelerator... Speed: 10 Goes like a "Bat outta hell!" Compatibility: 9 Both WB1.3 and WB2.0 have their incompatibility problems, but overall compatibility is around 90% - 95%. Hardware Compatibility: 9 MegaCHIP, GVP HDs, tape drives, CD-ROMS work fine, although it would pay to check with PPI first! Performance: 10 While I'm writing this review, I have SmartPlay, TinyClock, Performance Monitor, NComm, Edit, DiskMaster, AlarmingClock, Bell, KCommodity, ToolManager2, Virus_Checker, PowerPacker v4.0 and WBGauge going (wow!) and the CPU is running at 7%! THAT'S performance! Easy of installation: 9 The Technician said it was easy, took 20 mins. Easy of use: 10 Easy-peazy lemon-squeezy! Expandability: 7 Upto 33 MHz and 8MB of 32bit FAST. Value for money: 9 For $1000US, you just can't beat it! Overall: 9 Well done PPI for showing us A500 users the way to make the PC lovers of the world GREEN with envy! Seriously, this unit is possibly the single BEST peripheral I have bought for my Amiga! LEGAL MUMBO-JUMBO This review may be freely distributed in any shape or form including via telephone, electronic mail, snail-mail, telegraph, Morse code, archiving onto an FTP site, saving in a cold dark place on your hard disk to read on a rainy day, backed up onto 880K floppies, translated to any other language (French, German, Australian, Fijian, South Africa, American, Spanish, Italian, Indian, Russian, Mexican, Moari, PolyGlot, Swedish, Danish, Finish (not just yet :) ), Japanese, Malay, Arabic, Chinese, etc.), ported to the PC/Mac, printed out using a Dot Matrix, DeskJet, Laser, Daisy Wheel, WaxJet, PaintJet, Thermo printer, played through SPEAK: and recorded onto C60 or C90 audio cassettes, written out by hand, or dictated outloud whilst bungy jumping. It MAY NOT be used as a promotion for Coca-Cola or Trojan Ribbed! Freeware 1993 Kerry Emerson. No rights reserved. Just remember to credit me if you quote from this review. p.s. Write to me if you have (or are thinking about getting) a PPI 040! Kerry Emerson. User: `Darknight Si' UUCP: Batman@amigans.gen.nz Co-SysOp of Silent Imperium: +64 06 3471763 2400bps (3pm-8am). """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Warez Out There =============== By Tom Mulcahy File: tstat.lzh Author: (C) Copyright 1990-93 Commodore-Amiga, Inc. ARR. Status: Public Domain Where to find: BIX: Amiga.Exchange Tstat v37.10 (C) Copyright 1990-1993 Commodore-Amiga, Inc. All Rights Reserved TSTAT is a tool that allows you to snoop on the activity of other tasks. Tstat prints out information from the specified named task or CLI number's Task control block, including processor stack frame information containing the PC and registers the task had when it was last switched out. Optionally, TSTAT can show the contents of the top of the stack (SHOWSTACK) the instructions (in hex) at the PC (SHOWPC), and if SegTracker is running, the seglist/hunk/offset of the PC or an address on the stack found in a seglist (SHOWHUNK), and a hex dump of 16 longwords starting with the longword prior to that hunk and offset. - This cli driven util from C= is similar to Snoop Dos. Gives usable if not difficult to read output of what programs are poking around within the OS. Performs on OSs' up to and including 3.0. ------------------- File: Forcemon.lha (9359k) Author: Michael Illgner Status: Freeware Where to find: Bix: Amiga.Exchange ************************************************************************* *This program is dedicated to the poor souls which own a brandnew A4000,* *but cannot afford a real MultiScan monitor. It can change some Monitor-* *IDs to a given ID, which allows to use most non-games Amiga-Software on* *cheap, standard VGA-monitors. KickStart 3.0 or better is required. * * * * Michael Illgner * * Theodorstr. 27 * * W-4790 Paderborn * * Germany * * Tel.: 05251/26488 or 05251/60-2331 * * * * email: firstname.lastname@example.org * * * ************************************************************************* * * * F o r c e M o n i t o r V1.0 * * * ************************************************************************* ForceMonitor is written as a commodity, so it should belong to your WBStartUp-drawer and will be started and used as any other commodity. ForceMonitor patches OpenScreen and OpenScreenTagList, to open most screens in a given displaymode. Using Exchange you can disable ForceMonitor, which will restore the old routines. History : V1.0 ForceVGA is based on ForceNTSC V2.0 Initial Release on Oct 23 1992 V3.0 Changed to ForceMonitor, complete rewritten, can now switch to any MonitorID V3.1 fixed small bug in LoadConfig() V3.2 fixed small bug in determining the fontsize V3.3 recompiled using SAS/C 6.2 (no new SAS/C bugs found, yet ;-) V3.4 change the highlighting method in renderhook V3.5 fixed some small bugs. The NewLook flag was always set. ForceMonitor now checks ToolTypes from the icon it was started from, not from the program icon itself. Thanks to Markus Stipp (email@example.com) for discovering these. V3.6 The ConfigWindow now gets to the front if opened. V3.7 Implemented the Reject-Screens-and-Tasks ListView, now you can specify some Screens and Tasks, where ForceMonitor will not work. Changed the SaveConfig() routine, now >all< unknown ToolTypes are saved, not only "DONOTWAIT" !! The version string is updated on every compilation now !! ForceMonitor now uses 68020 code instead of 68040, so Amiga 1200 owners are happy :-) V3.8 Implemented some menus. Corrected the Reject-Screen-and-Task Gadget enabling and activation. Removed bug in MyOpenScreenTagList() which caused enforcerhits on screens without title. Removed ugly bug in GetMonitorList() ForceMonitor will now popup the ConfigWindow, if no correct configuration could be read from the icon. - There's the self explanatory docs. Just one of a handful of similar programs that help A4000 and as of THIS version A1200 owners who are unable to afford a Multiscan monitor. Take note though you still won't be able to play those games of course! """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > Usenet Review: Blazemonger =========================== By Dan Barrett PRODUCT NAME BLAZEMONGER BRIEF DESCRIPTION BLAZEMONGER is an extremely fast, highly violent action/arcade game. Features include multiple virtual joysticks, 18-dimensional hyperparallax scrolling, 160-decibel digitized sound effects, and live dynamite. WARNING: some graphic scenes may be too upsetting for casual users, or even for experienced axe murderers. AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION Name: BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED Address: 666 Satan Speedway Chickenmilk, WI USA Telephone: (900) EAT-DEATH [$195.00 per minute] FAX: Get REAL! Fax machines are for WIMPS. E-mail: BLAZEMONGER@blazemonger.blazemonger.blazemonger.bm LIST PRICE $9.95 (US dollars). To quote the outside packaging, "REAL software doesn't have to be EXPENSIVE; and with BLAZEMONGER, you PAY FOR IT LATER!! (Heh heh.)" Most stores sell it for full list price because it's so cheap. SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS Despite the (widely advertised) fact that BLAZEMONGER breaks every known rule of "correct" Amiga programming, the game runs properly on all Amiga models under all versions of the operating system. The literature claims that BLAZEMONGER can run on other brands of computers, and even on other household appliances, but we didn't test this out. COPY PROTECTION This game has the heaviest multi-level copy protection scheme that I've ever seen, even in my dreams! It was obviously devised by a sick mind, and is a little difficult to describe, since I'm still not completely sure what it is. But I'll try. The master disk has a non-standard format which cannot be read by DiskCopy nor any of the existing hardware or software copiers. Believe me, we tried! My dealer and I used every copying mechanism he had in the store, and all that we accomplished was to melt several disk drives and an Amiga 4000. (He was NOT pleased.) The next level is a "look up the word in the manual" scheme which, considering the effectiveness of the disk-based protection, seems unnecessary. But the manual lookup is pretty well integrated into the game, and you quickly get used to typing the 255-letter keywords as needed. (The manual, BTW, is the largest I've ever seen for *any* computer application, let alone a game! It's HUGE! Have you ever seen the complete set of DEC VMS manuals? This is bigger!!!) The next level is where things start getting weird. After the game boots from the master floppy (this takes about 0.00001 nanoseconds), you must remove the disk from the drive and -- I'm serious here -- plug it into the parallel port! Yes, you plug the DISK into the PORT. In this way, the disk acts as a "dongle" to insure that you can't use the disk in a second Amiga while you are playing on the first. The remaining 9 or 10 levels of protection get progressively tougher and stranger. Frankly, I don't really know how to describe them. One of them looks like a big, black, sticky, rubber blob that covers the entire monitor, and yet somehow allows the graphics to show through without any interference. Another is a small box of yellow dust (spores, perhaps?) that must be sprinkled around your room before you boot the game for the first time. (This only needs to be done once, unless you move your computer to another room. The company will send you more dust free of charge.) A third mechanism consists of two large iron "walls" or "monoliths" with hundreds of steel spikes sticking out. While you are playing, these monoliths must be standing on both sides of you. Now, they don't appear to DO anything... and they aren't CONNECTED to anything... but still I get the creepy feeling that they are built to SLAM together, with me in the middle, if I try something illegal. Needless to say, I have *not* tried copying the game with these babies installed. (However, the game won't boot without them.) I know this all sounds pretty strange, but it's not really that inconvenient when you consider how much fun the game is! After a while, you don't even notice the protection any more. Some of my less patient friends have purchased a second Amiga just for running BLAZEMONGER so they don't have to do the "protection ritual" all the time. Just for fun, I gave the program to some of my super-hacker friends to see if they could break the copy protection. Their confident smiles soon turned to frowns of frustration, and then screams of agony, as they attempted to get past the various deadly mechanisms. Nobody was successful, and one of them had to spend a few weeks in a mental hospital! Personally, I think that BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED could invent a whole new computer game whose object is to crack this bizarre and twisted puzzle! :-) REVIEW After reading about BLAZEMONGER for years in comp.sys.amiga.advocacy, I finally decided to check it out! I was surprised at how inexpensive it is! I managed to get the last copy on my dealer's shelf. After doing the whole copy protection ritual, I popped the disk into my A500 and booted up! Folks, the opening animation is AWESOME. I don't think I've ever seen a more terrifying use of a pair of tweezers anywhere. Even if you never play the game, you MUST check out this intro. Once the game begins, BLAZEMONGER quickly takes off. The arcade action is fast and furious as thousands of deadly enemy menaces divebomb you. The game takes place on a series of dungeons and worlds, each one with an unknown number of levels (rumored to be up in the hundreds of thousands). It's unbelievable how much stuff they packed onto a single disk! You can make your "hero" character male, female, or one of several thousand different alien races and sexes. The character generator is very sophisticated, and can "roll up" your character entirely automatically (the fastest method), or you can do it manually, or a combination. All the usual features are there: height, weight, strength, intelligence, armor class, hit points, etc. But there are also some unusual ones: blood type, preferred musical instrument, hat size, number of fish, etc., and some of these come in VERY handy in the later levels of play, so choose carefully!! I had to quit my most successful game and start over because I didn't equip my hero with enough bowling balls. Joystick control is phenomenal. Kudos to the programmers at B. INC. for the incredibly smooth and realistic handling. In fact, I had the eerie feeling several times that the *hero* was controlling the *joystick*, and not the other way around. Weird. So, how is the gameplay? In a word: HARD! This is *not* a game for beginners, or even for intermediate players. This game will give even the most advanced game gods plenty of trouble. Despite several weeks of non-stop playing, I have been unable to raise my score above "3". This is partly because of BLAZEMONGER's difficult scoring system which deducts points from your score whenever you mess up, or sometimes even at random (I think -- but it's hard to be sure, because there is so much going on). But even if the scoring were different, the playing itself is nearly impossible. I don't want to pat myself on the back, but I finished "Turrican" in 20 minutes, "Shadow of the Beast" in 18 minutes, and "Battle Squadron" in a record-breaking 655 seconds. But BLAZEMONGER is in a league by itself -- I just can't beat it! I can barely get to the second level!! Even so, the difficult gameplay has not prevented me from enjoying the game. The scenery, when there is any time to look, is beautifully drawn. It looks like every screen was raytraced in 36-bit color and then hand-edited for detail... and at 5000 frames per second, that is a *tremendous* number of screens!!! (How the @%*&$! did they get it ALL ON ONE DISK?!?!?) DOCUMENTATION As I said above, BLAZEMONGER comes with a gigantic manual. In it, you'll find every piece of information you'll ever want to know about the game (except cheats, of course!). It also includes a history of the game and the company, lists of recommended music to play during the game, maps of many other Amiga games (!!), tables of logarithms in several bases, several hundred recipes, the complete Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary (part of the copy protection mechanism), printouts of all source code and documentation from the first 800 Fish Disks, several thousand pages of legal disclaimers, and much, much more. I can't believe that you get so much information when the game itself costs only $9.95!! The paper itself is worth more than that; I don't understand how BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED makes any money. BTW, I think it's a little ridiculous that BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED recommends that you read the entire manual before playing the game. Realistically speaking, I'd be decomposing in my grave long before I'd even finished the first volume. Hell, I don't even know what is *in* most of the manual because the freakin' Table Of Contents is slighly longer than an average encyclopedia! Personally, I'd like to see BLAZEMONGER's documentation come on CD-ROM, since it's so huge. Building an extra wing onto my house to store the manual was feasible, but only because I work in construction. Some users might not have the patience for this. A ten-meter-high stack of CD-ROM discs would be much more convenient. LIKES AND DISLIKES BLAZEMONGER's graphics are the most obviously stunning part of the game. Like the TV ads say: no other Amiga game even comes close. I tried playing "Shadow of the Beast III" after a game of BLAZEMONGER, and SOBIII looked so pathetic that I tossed it into the trash. The copy protection is annoying at first, but it's not so bad once you get used to it. (Those monoliths still give me the creeps, though!!) My only real complaint is the packaging does not adequately describe the EXTREME level of violence and gore in the game. Although the box is shaped like a plastic explosive wrapped around a lit stick of dynamite, I don't think that's enough of a deterrent for innocent little kids. Also, the screen shots on the box are relatively "tame" compared to most of the game. There is a brief warning on the box, but it says only that the game is "not for the squeamish." I think they should change it to: "not for the squeamish who don't enjoy seeing human heads forcefully pressed through a meat grinder and served to carnivorous, belching slime-beings that looks like piles of flaming tyrannosaurus excrement." COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS There is NO comparison. BUGS [Minor spoiler] I thought I had found a bug on level 3. Every time I pressed the elevator button and the giant spyrochetes jumped out, the game appeared to "freeze", and nothing I did had any effect. A quick call to BLAZEMONGER "Customer Service" cleared up the problem -- my hero had been breathed on by an invisible ice monster, which froze him (and all of the surrounding countryside!) solidly in place. In later games, I learned how to avoid the ice monster, so the problem went away. VENDOR SUPPORT My experiences with BLAZEMONGER's "Customer Service" department have been mixed. Although they answered my question (above) with great efficiency, they also claimed that I owed them several hundred dollars in "protection money" for continued support. When I protested, they sent a representative to my home to "discuss" the matter, and this helped me to understand why regular, monthly payments to the "Customer Service" department were a good idea. Out of curiosity, I asked the "Customer Service" department why their name is always written inside of double quotes. They said it was for "legal reasons" but would not elaborate. And charged me another ten dollars. WARRANTY The disk media and all accessories are warranted for the first two thousand games of BLAZEMONGER. This might sound like a lot, but it really isn't, since it's normal to lose several hundred games of BLAZEMONGER before you can even plug in the joystick. But everything has worked reliably for me so far. CONCLUSIONS There is no other game like BLAZEMONGER, and there is no other experience like playing it!! I've seen various games that call themselves "Blazemonger-killers" [sic], but none of them compare to the awesome spectacle of the real thing. It's a game that inspires intense loyalty in its fans, too. Even as I lie here in my hospital bed, waiting for the burns and lesions to heal, I am eagerly awaiting my next session with the Ultimate Game. And NEXT time, I'll remember to jump BEFORE the napalm hits the beef stew! **************************************************************************** > NVN WANTS YOU! STR InfoFile Another Network Supports Amiga! 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By voice phone 1-800-336-9096 (Client Services) or via modem phone 1-800-336-9092. **************************************************************************** > Usenet Review: Double Dragon ============================= By Sherman Chan (C9TQC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU) PRODUCT NAME Double Dragon DESCRIPTION An arcade beat 'em up. Adapted from the 1985 Taito arcade game of the same name. PUBLISHER Name: Arcadia (Virgin Mastertronic) Address: 711 West 17 Street, Unit G9 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 USA Telephone: (714) 631-1001 LIST PRICE Unknown. I bought it used from a netter for $6 (US). SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS 512K Amiga, one disk drive, one or more joysticks. No mention is made of compatibility with any specific model of Amiga, processor, or Kickstart version. TEST HARDWARE Amiga 500 w/68000 7Mhz CPU 512K Chip - NTSC only 512K Slow RAM 2 Megs of Fast RAM Kickstart 1.2 A1010 External floppy drive Kraft one-button joystick COPY PROTECTION Disk based. The game does not appear to be hard disk installable, and it requires a reboot to start and exit. The ASDG recoverable RAM disk VD0: does survive the reboot to exit. The game attempts to save high scores to the disk. REVIEW I was somewhat excited when the package containing Double Dragon (and a few other pieces of software I bought from a fellow netter) arrived. Double Dragon was a milestone in the development of the martial arts fighting game as important as Karate Champ and Streetfighter II. It was also the last arcade game I spent a significant amount of money on. The arcade Double Dragon had a simple premise. The player had to battle through five levels of enemies to meet the boss, defeat him, and rescue his girlfriend. If a second player were involved, the game would be cooperative, and the players fought the gang members together. However, the players could injure each other, and a careless move often knocked down a partner, rather than an enemy. I remembered the horrible C-64 conversion, and the somewhat disappointing Nintendo (8-bit) cartridge, and hoped the Amiga version wouldn't also disappoint. To my dismay, I found that it too fails to capture the feel of the arcade version. The graphics, while somewhat grainy, are generally acceptable facsimiles of the originals. But the design team's greatest sin is not including any of the soundtrack. Any former player of the arcade game would've told you the music was an integral part of a game. It broke the monotony of the thuds of connecting punches, the groans of defeated opponents (these effects are present in the Amiga game), and helped edge the player along. If the music were present, I'd forgive some of the other gaffes; but since it isn't, I won't. First, why doesn't this game use a hi-res screen? The arcade graphics weren't particularly colorful, and 16 colors would've been sufficient, as the IBM PC version proved. The additional resolution would've allowed for more detail in the characters and smoother animation. They designers compounded this arguably minor omission by dropping animation frames present in the arcade version. This makes punches and kicks jerky and ruins one of my favorite animations in the original: when a player managed to grab one of his opponents by the hair and unleashed a barrage of knee-butts to his head, the speakers would emit a furious series of thuds, while the opponent's body convulsed with each hit. I performed the same manuever on the Amiga game, and found the game makes absolutely NO SOUND, and the animation is jerky and slow. The arcade game used a two button/joystick combination for the controls; and as Double Dragon was programmed in 1988, no provision was made for a two-button controller. The controls are adapted fairly well for a one-button joystick, with one glaring exception. The backwards elbow, the most important move in the player's arsenal, for some reason is programmed to require joystick movement PRIOR to the button press, rather than simultaneously like all the others. I often find myself performing an about-face followed by a punch when I try to elbow an opponent. The various enemies in the arcade game had "personalities" and fighting styles unique to them. They were nowhere as pronounced as the nuances in Streetfighter II (or even Streetfighter I), but they were important. While enemies could generally be defeated by some combination of a fast knock down followed by a series of elbows, there was a need to tailor-make some moves for the tougher ones. I find that the Amiga game's enemies are fairly stupid, and often stand around for me to hit. Even without a reliable elbow move, I do OK in the game and am able to get to the end of the third level without a continue. CONCLUSION Even by the standards of 1988 Amiga gaming, Double Dragon is a failure. It's a study in lost nuances. Graphically the game is only slightly below average, but the various other omissions make it an unacceptable conversion. It could be excused if the Amiga hardware were incapable of performing better (if this were a C64 port, I'd have to say it's pretty impressive), but that's clearly not the case here. I'd have to say Double Dragon for the Amiga is for the less discriminating nostalgia buff only, and only if it can be purchased for a meager price. If you must have a decent Double Dragon game in your collection, consider purchasing the Nintendo version. While it's inferior graphically to the Amiga version, it has the music and it's considerably more playable with the two button controller. Note that there are two versions of the Nintendo cartridge: an older one that only allows one player, and a later reissue that allows two. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STReport CONFIDENTIAL "Rumors Tidbits Predictions Observations Tips" """"""""""""""""""""" - Chicago, IL GATEWAY SELLS & SHIPS 3000 CLONES A DAY! ----------- Gateway, a PC clone mailorder house advertised in most big computer mags, mentioned in their newsletter that they were sorry they had been having problems with customer service (answering the phone, returning calls)etc.. To fix the problem, they had just hired ** 600 ** new employees!! They now have over 2000 employees in their South Dakota USA location, and were shipping ** 3000 ** clones PER DAY. Imagine their shipping dock. Being mailorder, they ship most of these individually, not in truckloads. A separate shipping order for each of 3000 machines, each day. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > STR Dealer Directory ==================== Armadillo Brothers 753 East 3300 South Salt Lake City, Utah VOICE: 801-484-2791 GEnie: B.GRAY MicroSearch 9000 US 59 South, Suite 330 Houston, Texas VOICE: 713-988-2818 FAX: 713-995-4994 (Dealers: To have your name added, please send Email!) """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Amiga Report's "EDITORIAL CARTOON" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" > A "Quotable Quote" """"""""""""""""" "Would you like cheese on that?" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" Amiga Report International Online Magazine ~ STR Publications -* [S]ilicon [T]imes [R]eport *- """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" STR Online! "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE" April 16, 1993 Amiga Edition Copyright (c) 1993 All Rights Reserved No.1.05 """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" 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. STReport and/or por- tions therein may not be edited in any way without prior written permission. Amiga Report, at the time of publication, is believed reasonably accurate. Amiga Report, its staff and contributors are not and cannot be held responsible for the use or misuse of information contained herein or the results obtained there from. """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""