Contents | < Browse | Browse >

/// CPU Status Report                     Late Breaking Industry-Wide News
    -----------------


  

COMMODORE UK INTRODUCES 32-BIT CD CONSOLE: CD32



             "We could bring a 32-bit console out tomorrow...
             but the problem is the price -- and I don't think
             that problem will be solved this year or next year."
                                                        -Sega US, June 1993

                      Great Britain -- June 16, 1993


The machine of "tomorrow, this year, and next year" is here now.
  
Commodore's Amiga CD32, the world's first 32-bit CD console is officially
launched today.
 
Incredibly it retails for just GBP 299.99 (US $400.00).
  
The launch leaves Sega, with its price problems, and Nintendo, with no
discernable interest in developing a CD console, trailing in the dust.
  
And it sets up this ground-breaking new games machine to take the world by
storm when it hits the shelves worldwide at the end of August.
  
David Pleasance, Commodore UK's joint managing director, said, "The Amiga
CD32 simply blows away the opposition. It's considerably more powerful, has
better software support and, best of all, costs less."
  
Third party software publishers are united in their support for the CD32.
They include, among others, Gremlin, Millenium, Ocean Software, Psygnosis,
Team 17, Mindscape, and Virgin Games.
  
The top loading Amiga CD32 comes with an 11 button joypad. This tiny
(approximately A4-size) [thats 8.5" x 11" to us yanks -Quarters] machine is
packed with computing power.
  
It includes the Motorolla 68020 processor and comes complete with 2 Megabytes
of RAM.
  
The internal "engine" is based on the same AGA chipset which has established
Commodore's Amiga 1200 home computer as the UK's market leader.
  
So, like the Amiga 1200, it is capable of displaying 256,000 colors on screen
from a total palette of 16.8 million colors. That's hugely superior to any
existing games CD player.
  
The console also has a built-in operating system (Commodore's own Amiga
"Workbench") which means it can be expanded into a fully functioning
computer.
  
The machine can also play audio CDs, CD + Graphics, and Commodore's CDTV
format. It contains an expansion capability for Full Motion  Video based on
the world standard MPEG.



                      ------------------------------



NEW FEATURES OF IMAGINE v3.0 FROM IMPULSE


         From the "Impulse Graphics World" Newsletter, Summer 1993


New Features of Imagine v3.0 include:
  
BONES:  This amazing function will allow you to build a skeleton that you
will associate to the object that you want to manipulate in a smooth method,
unlike the process that is now used in the cycle editor.
  
BRUSH TACKING:  Presently when you wrap a brush to any object you can not
morph that object and retain the position of the brush on that object. The
brush stays at the same position in the real world while the object moves.
Very confusing and not real handy. Now with Brush Tacking, brushes or
pictures will be mapped directly to each face of the object, so that when
that face moves, the part of the brush that was tacked to the face will move
with the face. Doing things like snake skin and then animating the snake with
the Bones function will make the snake look real. No more sliding textures.
  
KINEMATIC MOVEMENTS:  There are several high end software products that have
this feature. Now Imagine 3.0 has the feature as well. Kinematics in its
truest form is the study of motion, and how things move. Within the cycle
editor we have had a form of Kinematics without the more intelligent
association of the hierachical relation of the objects that are in the cycle
group. Now with the new Kinematic information you can contstrain movements so
that when you move some portion of the group the other objects will be less
or more effected by one single movement. Making more realistic cycles will
now be possible.
  
FONT AND IMAGE EDITOR:  Over the years it has become apparent that many of
you make your living creating what we have all come to know as flying logos.
The only real problem with this has been that the conversion of images to
objects has lacked the kind detail needed to make the fonts and incoming
images as crisp as they need to be for professional use. Hence we have added
an entire new editor. The Font and Image editor will allow you to read
Postscript fonts as well as one bit plane images. The difference is the fact
that these objects will use splines to create the borders of the objects that
you create. This gives you much more detail and control over the object. Once
you have the object the way that you want it, you simply save it and load it
into the Detail editor to add its final touches, such as color and texture.
  
MOTION GRAPHICS:  It has been near impossible to create animation where
action occur at different rates. In the Action editor you could assign a
starting and ending speed to objects that travel along a path. But you could
apply only one set of numbers. Now with Motion Graphics you can deal with
each segment of the path as a different motion speed. Not only can you apply
more information to the path, you can also see what your doing by way of a
graphic motion sine wave display. No more tricky math calculations to
consider, just call up the actor and plot your graphs with the mouse.
  
HIERACHY CONTROL AND POP UP ACTION BARS IN THE STAGE:  To say the least going
from one editor to the next can be a real pain. Now from the Stage you can
move any object no matter if it is part of a group or individual and stand
alone. Also from the Stage you can call up the Action bar directly so that
you don't have to go to the Action editor to make any changes. This gives you
total control over object movement. If you don't like the way an object is
moving, you don't have to go back to the Cycle editor to make these changes,
do it right in the Stage.
  
SOUND:  Not just sound added to digital animations, but the ability to load
your sound track of music or voice right into the Action Editor. Instead of
making a guess at when things happen and trying blindly to time your
animation to a preset sound, now you can actually see when its happening and
make the changes in movement that correlated directly to the sound. The
incoming digital sound must be in certain formats, once in that format they
are loaded into the Action header bar for your viewing. You cannot edit here
the sound is for reference only.
  
AMIGA AA CHIP SET SUPPORT:  For those of you with the new Amiga computers,
Imagine will now render in those formats that extend your computers visual
power.
  
IMPROVED ANTI-ALIASING:  Jaggies just aren't any fun, and they don't look
good either. One of the most suggested improvements for Imagine has been to
make the anti-aliasing better. There is not much to say when it comes to the
improvements we have made here, it's another one of those "You must see it to
believe it" new features. Suffice it to say that you will appreciate this
improvement.
  
REAL TIME GRAPHICS:  Other software vendors have offered a form of real time
or symbolic real time movement of objects or real time movement of the
camera. We have implemented these features into Imagine 3.0. In the
perspective window you can choose your movements based upon several viewing
options. You can then move things around in real time and see the results
more immediately. Caution. Real time is always misleading. In order to do
this real time the objects are given a more symbolic representation like
bounding boxes. This feature used in the Stage can create paths in real time,
which can then be followed by other objects as well as lights and the camera.
Also this new feature allows you to create your Key Cells on a much quicker
basis with a single key stroke.
  
DEFORMATIONS:  It has always been fairly easy to deform objects, but to do
them in a perfect manner has eluded many users. Now with the new deformation
tools you will be able to. Twist, Taper, Bend, Shear and Pinch objects to
create even more unique and interesting objects as well as use them in some
very amazing animation effects. These deformations combined with Brush
Tacking will make animations that will move you to the next level of reality.
  
MATERIALS:  We have long thought that there were two sets of properties which
aside from the shape of the object should be applied by you the user. Color,
specularity, reflectivity, refraction are all attributes, where as brush, and
textures and shaders are all properties that could better be called
Materials. Now instead of just a massive attribute editor we have broke it
down and enhanced the two separate editors. Materials stands alone so that
you can gain even finer control over your brushed brass pots and pans or
polished chessmen.
  
FORMS EDITOR ENHANCED:  Now in the Forms editor you will be able to
manipulate the slices of the object with the new magnetism system. Each point
on the slice is a control point which you can move to create objects that
have just the right look and feel.
  
FIELD RENDERING:  Digital animations are generally done by showing a frame at
a time or recording those frames directly to a single frame VCR. In most
cases these animations, depending on the amount of frames and the distance of
movement of the objects, can look very smooth. The truth is that due to the
fact that the human eye and brain function under a process called Persistence
of Vision, it fools you into seeing motion. This process however is discrete
enough to see a jerking or quickness to movement. With Field rendering, your
animations can be almost perfect completing the illusion of motion. When you
see field rendering you may never use frame animations again.
  
CAMERA AND LIGHT MARKERS:  This feature makes it easier to visualize the
effect lights will have on your scene as well as what the camera is looking
at and just how much of the scene the camera is seeing. This feature is
accomplished by extending markers from the center of a light as well as the
camera. These markers form a triangle that shows the area of effect.  Now as
you move lights and the camera you will have a very definite idea of what you
are lighting and what you are looking at.
  
APPLY:  We took this feature out of Imagine when it had existed in Silver.
This command causes the information about the first object you pick in a
multi pick selection, to pass the attributes and materials of that object to
the other objects that have been picked. So now if you want to make all of
the objects in a scene have the same properties and attributes of one object
you simply use the Apply command.
  
MACROS:  With Imagine 3.0 you can take even more control of the software.
Many of you have said that you find yourself performing many redundant tasks
that lend themselves to the concept of Macro recording and playback. So if
you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again, simply make it a
macro and just push a button to make those redundant tasks happen like magic.
  
PARTICLES:  Among the newest features found in 3D software is the particle
system. Like most new features everyone has a different opinion of what a
particle system is. Simply put, Imagine particles are varied and are simple
to use, they can be morphed, brushed, textured, and animated. Even more to
the point they are very simple to use and don't slow the rendering process
down at all.
  
ALPHA CHANNEL SUPPORT:  For video users and makers of great video fare, you
have asked for Alpha Channel Support so your life would be easier and less
complicated. To wit we have added for your using pleasure Alpha support. Even
if you don't make videos for a living you may find this new feature very
handy.
  
DEPTH OF FIELD:  If you own a camera you already know what this new feature
is going to do for you. If you don't own a camera you may still know. If you
don't know, well here is a shot at an explanation. When you open the apeture
of a camera you increase the light that can hit the film plane, but you do so
at the expense of the lens to focus much beyond the object that you are
focused on. This can be a great thing for making that object stand out from
its environment. When you close the lens down you increase the focus of the
camera from point of focus to infinity. This means that the entire scene is
in focus. To date Imagine has had an infinite focused lens due entirely to
its digital nature. Now with Depth of Field you will be able to make your
images even more realistic.
  
LIGHT SOURCE CONTROLS:  More creative control for you must also include more
dramatic control over lighting. In this area there are numerous new features.
Many of you have asked for a way to control not only the color of the light
but also its power. Now you can control how much of an area a particular
light has control over. The process is simple to use and the effects make an
even better photo-realistic image than previously possible. Other new
lighting features include: Light sources that have shape or dimension to them
like Light flowing through a venetian blind.  Sure you can do these things
now but you have to go to all the trouble of setting up the blinds and
placing the light, just so.  No more, now you can just click and render. Of
course we have also implemented the ever popular Soft edge light source and
for you real Scanline die hards (faster rendering of course) we have included
shadow mapping. This feature makes it possible to have shadows in Scanline as
well as Full Trace.
  
INFINITY:  Well not really but for all intense and purposes we have added the
ability for you to have as many textures or image maps on any one object as
you want or your computer can handle. In doing this we have taken the Brush
and Texture options out of the Attributes requester and have given these
options their very own requester.
  
Imagine 3.0 has over 200 new features, a factoid for those of you keeping
track of that sort of thing. With all this quantity of new features we have
not cut any corners, making sure that Imagine meets and exceeds your needs
now and into the future.
  
Well here is the deal, if these new features have wetted your appetite and
you want to make sure that your order is placed for the 3.0 upgrade, well
then go for it. If on the other hand you want to sit back and wait to see
what other new features there are, OK so do that as well. There will be
another newsletter at the time of release that will give you a final
description of the features of Imagine 3.0. Imagine 3.0 is more than even
this newsletter can begin to expose you to in a few pages. If you have any
questions of course you can call and we will be glad to answer all your
queries.
  
Suggested Retail Price: $649.00
Upgrade from v2.0: $100.00
  
According to Impulse, "If all goes well, Imagine 3.0 will be shipping
sometime in the month of August, probably the latter part of the month."
Order#: 1-800-328-0184 (USA only).



                      ------------------------------



CYRIX, INTEL AGREE TO SETTLE PATENT SUIT


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (UPI) -- Cyrix Corp. and Intel Corp. said Thursday they
have agreed to settle a complex, 3-year-old legal fight over rights to two
patents for a math coprocessor.

The dispute over a disagreement over products Cyrix purchased from supplier
SGS-Thomson. Intel argued that Cyrix had infringed its patents, but Cyrix
said it had not because SGS-Thomson had a cross license with Intel.

A federal court in Texas held a trial in January 1992 ruled in July 1992
last year in favor of Cyrix and Intel appealed the ruling.

The settlement announced Thursday calls for Intel to make a $500,000
payment to Cyrix if the appeals court upholds the federal court decision.
But if the ruling is overturned, Cyrix will pay Intel $2 million.

In either case, Intel has agreed that Cyrix has a license to the two
patents.

The companies have also agreed to ask for a dismissal of claims that were
set to be heard at a trial in October, including allegations that the Intel
patents were invalid and unenforceable, Intel's alleged violation of
antitrust laws relating to the math coprocessor and Intel's accusations of
infringement of the patents by Cyrix.

Cyrix, of Richardson, Texas, also agreed to dismiss its claims against
Intel in a state case in which Cyrix alleged that Intel violated Texas
antitrust laws involving commercial disparagement and interference with
contractual and business relationships.

Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., has been fighting similar battles over the
rights to the design of its microprocessors, the "brains" of most personal
computers. The most notice has come from its long-running dispute with
rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

The California Court of Appeals ruled June 4 that a court-appointed
arbitrator had exceeded his authority in giving AMD the right to sell
knock-offs of Intel's popular 386 microprocessor.

AMD, which has appealed the decision, has been selling about 3 million
cloned 386 chips per quarter since 1991, forcing Intel to cut prices on its
own 386 products. Intel has said its damages, estimated by the company at
$600 million in 1991, would now be at least $1 billion.



                      ------------------------------



MICROSOFT TO SPEND $50 MILLION ON SOFTWARE FOR INTERACTIVE TV


REDMOND, Wash. (UPI) -- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates says his company will
invest $50 million and about 200 employees to work on projects involving
interactive television, which he sees as personal computers' future.

Gates told local media Wednesday that Microsoft must move to facilitate the
coming "information superhighway" if the software gaint wants to build on
its phenomenal success creating user-friendly PC programs.

"To repeat those successes, we need to do something risky -- something
that's not obvious -- and take a very long-term approach," Gates said.

The executive said Microsoft, more than any other company, has begun
developing software to help laymen navigate the vast information networks
that he believes will one day link homes and offices.



                      ------------------------------



APPLE LAUNCHES MTV AD CAMPAIGN AT COLLEGE STUDENTS


CUPERTINO, Calif. (UPI) -- Apple Computer Inc. said Tuesday it has launched
an extensive advertising campaign on the MTV Network aimed at 18-to-25-
year-old college students.

Apple USA's Higher Education Division said the ads will air more than 400
times through Sept. 12 on MTV, the top music video cable channel and a unit
of Viacom International Inc.

Diane Brundage, director of marketing for the division, said the campaign
represents a departure from Apple's previous ads on major television
networks, which traditionally targeted more mainstream business and
elementary education markets.

"MTV's remarkable success in targeting the 18- to 25-year-old market has
created a tremendous opportunity for Apple to reach the higher education
marketplace with the Macintosh message," Brundage said.

"We believe this campaign, which is the first of its kind for a computer
company and Apple's first direct response television effort, will reinforce
Apple's position as the brand leader among college students in a non-
traditional and humorous way."

Apple, the world's leading producer of personal computers, said the
campaign includes five 30-second commercials, including one with flashing
titles depicting complex questions and issues faced by college students,
ending with "A lot of stuff in life is complicated -- at least your
computer doesn't have to be. Macintosh -- It's Easy, It's Powerful. What
Else Is There?"

Another ad features a college-aged spokesman using a "frenzied" delivery to
encourage students to call an 800 telephone number for special student
pricing information.

The campaign comes as Apple has been cutting prices and reducing staff in
order to remain competitive in the ferocious price war raging in the
personal computer business for the past two years. Apple announced Tuesday
that it had cut prices on several key products by up to one third.

Apple reported last month a $188.3 million loss for its third quarter ended
June 25, compared with earnings of $131.7 million, or $1.07 a share, in the
year-ago quarter. Sales rose 7 percent to $1.86 billion from $1.74 billion.