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/// CPU Status Report Late Breaking Industry-Wide News
** Sega to Create "Next Generation Video Game" **
Sega Enterprises is attempting to steal a march on rival Nintendo by
developing a 64-bit video game machine - nicknamed the "Saturn" - and
getting it to market by the fall of 1994. Nindendo's 64-bit offering
isn't expected to reach market until 1995.
Reportedly the "Saturn" will be equipped with dual processors. One
will be Hitachi's 64-bit processor and the other a 32-bit processor. The
64-bit processor will be used to produce high quality screen movement, as
well as voice and sound features. It is claimed that the picture can be
three-dimensional and highly realistic.
Sega will set up a software development center, called the "Creative
Center", in Shibuya, Tokyo, to start creating software for its new game
system. Besides that, Sega is also planning to set up a software
development studio, called "Multimedia Studio," next April. At the
studio, Sega wants to create advanced software incorporating video and
sound technologies. Movie producers, broadcasting firms and music
companies will participate in the project. Sega has reportedly already
signed deals with movie and broadcasting firms.
** 3DO Interactive Multiplayer System Gains Major Supporter **
The 3DO Company this week gained the support Macromedia, a leader in
multi-media software tools. Macromedia announced it had entered into an
agreement to develop a software player that will allow Director Windows
or Macintosh files to port easily and quickly to the 3DO Interactive
This agreement makes it possible for Macromedia Director developers to
seamlessly port applications to a leading consumer platform. Titles
created with Director can currently be distributed on Macintosh and
Windows platforms. With the Director Player for 3DO, developers focused
on the Macintosh and Windows platforms can now deliver titles to a wider
"Our agreement with 3DO represents our strategic commitment to provide
our multimedia playback technology on the leading consumer platforms,"
said John C. (Bud) Colligan, president and chief executive officer at
Macromedia. "We believe the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system will be an
important consumer standard."
This agreement extends Macromedia's strategy to offer developers
platform optimization rather than forcing them to develop on the lowest
common denominator. The Director Player for 3DO will provide developers
with special extensions that optimize titles to take advantage of the
unique features of the 3DO platform.
"The Director Player for 3DO is the next step in providing a rich
authoring platform to 3DO developers," said Bill Duvall, senior vice
president of software at The 3DO Company. "The Director Player for 3DO,
along with the other multimedia development tools that Macromedia and 3DO
are delivering to developers, ensures that the 3DO Interactive
Multiplayer environment will have a wide selection of software titles."
"For multimedia title developers to be successful and competitive, they
need to both decrease their development time and optimize their titles
for target platforms," said Larry Miller, vice president of marketing at
Macromedia. "With our Player for Windows and now the Player for 3DO, the
world's largest installed base of multimedia developers will be able to
do just that."
The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system attaches to a television set
and delivers 50 times the graphics animation performance of PCs and video
game systems. The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer system plays interactive
entertainment, education and information software, as well as music CDs,
photo CDs and motion CDs. Designed to be a worldwide standard like VHS,
the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer is available in a CD-based version from
Panasonic under the name FZ-1 REAL(TM) 3DO Interactive Multiplayer.
** WordPerfect and Microsoft Fight it out in the Courts **
Which word processor is the most popular in the world, WordPerfect or
Microsoft Word? It appears that the courts are going to have to make the
decision on this question. WordPerfect has filed suit in U.S. District
Court in New York which challenges Microsoft Corp.'s claim that Microsoft
Word in the most poplar word processor in the world.
Microsoft executives have estimated their firm has about 40% of the
word-processing market. WordPerfect says that an independent tracking
service showed that for every 57 packages of Microsoft Word sold
worldwide, WordPerfect has sold 95 packages.
Microsoft partially bases their claim because of its practice bundling
its most popular personal computer programs for a far lower price than
buying the applications separately.
Chris Peters, general manager of Microsoft's Word unit, acknowledged
that WordPerfect does have more units installed worldwide and has been
outselling Word this year within the United States. However, Peters
defended the Microsoft ads, saying the popularity claim is based on sales
over the past year, rather than in current domestic sales or total units
installed. Saying that DataQuest and Soft-ware Publishers Association
figures both showed sales of more than 3.5 million units worldwide for
Microsoft Word and more than 3 million for WordPerfect in 1992, Peters
added, "We didn't fall off a cliff starting January 1st. The trends
** Microsoft Office 4.0 **
Microsoft has introduced version 4.0 of its Microsoft Office
software suite that includes Microsoft Word word processor, Microsoft
Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Powerpoint presentation graphics, Microsoft
Access database, and a workstation license for Microsoft Mail.
IntelliSense attempts to sense what it is the user is trying to do
and produce the desired result. Microsoft says the 100 most common tasks
performed by users can now be accomplished in a single step. IntelliSense
will automatically correct common typing and misspelling, and can format
an entire document in a single step. Excel 5.0, part of Microsoft Office,
has a tipWizard feature that offers tips on how to get the current task
done faster, and Powerpoint 4.0's Autocontent Wizard helps the user
develop appropriate content for a presentation.
All of the Office components share the spelling checker, custom user
dictionary, Microsoft Graph, Microsoft Query Tool, equation editor, clip
art gallery, font effects, graphics filters, setup, and text conversion
filters. Office uses Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) 2.0 to share
information among the applications. OLE allows the user to edit objects
such as a spreadsheet chart within another application such as the word
processor without leaving the document, then drag and drop objects across
applications. It's also easier now to insert objects.
In addition to the productivity applications in Office, Microsoft
has also included Microsoft Office Manager (MOM), a tool with a
customizable toolbar that contains icons to launch or switch between
applications. MOM also has an uninstall feature that cleans up files
associated with applications the user decides he or she doesn't want.
Two versions of Office are being offered. Microsoft Office Standard
for Windows includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the Microsoft Mail
license. Microsoft Office Professional includes all of those plus Access.
A Macintosh version of the standard version is also available, and files
created for either platform are cross-compatible. Office for the Mac is
expected to ship in the first half of 1994. Microsoft says it
is working on 32-bit versions of the Office applications that will run on
Windows NT. Intel-based versions of Word and Excel are scheduled to ship
in the second quarter of 1994, with Digital Alpha AXT and MIPS versions
scheduled for the third quarter of 94. Other platform-specific versions
are scheduled for next year also. Microsoft said Office will be available
in more than two dozen languages.
Microsoft said it will continue to offer no-cost standard support
for all its desktop applications from 6AM to 6PM PDT. Evening and weekend
support is available for $2 per minute, $25 per incident, or $195 for an
annual support subscription.
Office 4 has a suggested retail price of $750, and Office
Professional is priced at $899. Users of any Office application can
upgrade through February 1, 1994 to Office Standard for $259. Users of
competitive programs can switch to Office for $299 during the same
Various installation options are available to meet the available
disk space and memory configurations of laptop and desktop systems.
Minimum requirements include 16.5 MB of disk space and 4MB of memory.
** PicoPower Technology Granted Power-Saving Patent **
PicoPower Technology says it has been granted a patent for its PC
power conservation technology. The company reports that the U.S. Patent
Office has awarded patent number 5254888 to its "Switchable Clock Circuit
for Microprocessors To Thereby Save Power."
The patent covers technology that reduces power consumption on the
microprocessor by dynamically slowing the clock frequency during periods
when the microprocessor is idle. Since power consumption is directly
proportional to a microprocessor's clock frequency, the slower clock
frequency dramatically reduces power consumption.
The slower clock only occurs when the microprocessor is idle and there
is no degradation in performance, says PicoPower.
** Motorola Launches Law Venture **
A venture intended to help lawyers deal with mountains of legal
documents has been launched jointly by electronics giant Motorola Inc.
and accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co. The venture, called LegaLink
Services, "streamline(s) the process of searching for, managing and
analyzing legal documents."
** Now You Too Can Be a Computer Games Expert **
Baseline Publishing has announced Axis The Gamecheater, a utility
designed to enable you to manipulate your favorite game.
While the game cannot be modified, the variables in a game can be
manipulated. Just by pressing a hot key you can add points, lives, or
whatever to the game you're currently playing.
The program is memory resident and works in the background. Over 50
games are supported, including Prince of Persia, Lemmings, Hellcats, PGA
Tour Golf, Spectre & Spectre Supreme, Dogs of War, Simcity, A-Train, and
Both Macintosh and IBM compatible personal computer (PC) versions are
available. Retail price of Axis The Gamecheater is $69.95 on the PC and
$59.95 on the Macintosh. The company says the product is available
through major software retailers via distributors such as Merisel and
Baker & Taylor.
** New Chips From IBM, DEC **
Both Digital Equipment Corporation and IBM have announced additions to
their most advanced microprocessor lines.
IBM announced first production of the PowerPC 603 chip, a low-power
member of the PowerPC line that resulted from an alliance of IBM,
Motorola Corp., and Apple Computer. With lower power consumption, the 603
will be aimed mainly at the portable computer market.
Digital announced two new versions of its Alpha AXP processor,
boosting the top speed of the Alpha design to 275 MHz. The new versions
of the DECchip 21064 run at 225 and 275 MHz, joining existing versions at
150, 175, and 200 MHz.
** Hitachi Intros 2GB Magneto-Optical Drive **
Hitachi America has introduced a new, higher-capacity 5.25-inch
magneto-optical (MO) drive which allows users to store as much as 2
gigabytes (GB) of data on a single cartridge.
Hitachi's new OD152 drive is not ISO (International Standards
Organization)-compatible because there is no ISO standard for this
general capacity of 5.25-inch drives. However, it does comply with a
European standards organization, the European Computer Manufacturing
This new drive has the highest capacity of any 5.25-inch MO drive disc
and the discs formatted for this drive are not compatible with other
Unlike WORM (write-once, read-many) drives and discs, MO discs can be
erased and rewritten to a number of times, making them the operational
equivalent of very large, rather slow hard drives, with removable
Average access time for the new drive is 50 milliseconds (ms),
rotational speed is 3,000 revolutions-per-minute (rpm), and it is SCSI
(Small Computer Systems Interface)-2 compatible.
** Have Pen Computers 'dried up'? **
A survey conducted on portable computer user trends by Datapro
Information Service, a Delran, N.J.-based market researcher, shows little
interest in pen computer applications outside of some specialized niches.
The survey revealed that only a very small number of the users utilize
a pen/stylus device, and that handwriting recognition was not a leading
topic of interest.
Margaret Jacobs, a Datapro analyst, noted, "At present, pen-based
computing/handwriting recognition software is generally limited to
forms-based applications for niche markets such as the insurance and
medical fields. Handwriting recognition software must become much more
reliable and intuitive before users can adopt it for general purpose
** Sculley to Head Spectrum Information Technologies **
Less than one week ago, John Sculley resigned as Apple's CEO. This
week it was announced that the former Apple Computer Inc. chairman will
head Spectrum Information Technologies Inc.
Spectrum, which specializes in wireless data transmission, has annual
revenues of about $100 million. The firm holds patents on technology for
transmitting data over cellular phone lines. Peter Caserta will remain as
vice chairman and president.
** White Males Still Dominate **
A survey by the Computerworld trade weekly suggests white males still
dominate the computer industry, particularly in the ranks of top
management. The survey puts the top information systems manager who is a
minority at 9% of U.S. businesses. Minorities fill 10.3% of management
positions in general, according to government figures.
Reporting on the survey of 107 information systems professionals -
-:- Three percent of top technology slots are held by African
Americans, 2% by Hispanics, 1% by Asians and 3% by other groups.
-:- Women are holding 15% of the top information systems management
-:- Seventy-four percent of the repondents said the number of minori-
ties in their information systems departments stayed the same in
the past year, while 7% said the number had decreased.
Computerworld attributed the predominance of white males in computing
partly to the nation's economic slump, which has led to aggressive
costcutting and staffing reductions among information systems divisions
in many corporations.
******* General PC News *******
** IBM Adds Pentium To ValuePoint Line **
IBM Personal Computer Co. this week launched its new ValuePoint
P60/D computer. The P60/D has a Pentium processor running at 60-mhz,
which IBM said will more than double the performance of a 66-mhz
486-based computer. It comes with four expansion slots and five bays for
storage devices. Customers can choose a 424-meg or 527-meg hard drive.
The machine comes with 16-meg of memory, expandable to 128-meg, IBM said,
plus 1-meg of video memory, expandable to 2-meg.
The system also comes with PCI local bus architecture, 256-kb of
Level 2 cache, and the Mach32AX graphics accelerator chip from ATI
Technologies Inc., of Markham, Ontario. IBM said, it also will comply
with the Energy Star guidelines, consuming less than 30 watts of power in
standby mode using power-management software.
** Peter Norton Bets On Windows-NT **
In a speech this week to the Atlanta PC Users group, Peter Norton,
an author and computer guru, talked about the future of operating
systems. He seemed to endorse Windows NT was the best bet for the future.
Norton started by saying there needs to be a single standardized
operating system for PCs. The reason for that, in a word, is efficiency.
He said the three top operating systems are OS/2, Unix, and
Windows-NT. He dismissed the Apple Macintosh system, saying its best days
are behind it. He called OS/2 a dead-end operating system, and said not
many systems are running Unix. He added that Windows-NT is where the
industry is heading. But he also said that it doesn't really matter which
is the best operating system, from a technical standpoint -- what matters
is which OS wins the marketing wars. The winner there, hands down, he
said, is Microsoft.
** Artisoft Announces Home Office Networking System **
Artisoft Inc., a Tucson, Arizona based company, this week announced
that it's introducing an entry-level network operating system designed to
meet the basic networking requirements of small businesses and home
The Simply LANtastic network operating system provides basic file,
printer and CD-ROM sharing features and is specially designed for easy
installation and use.
The Simply LANtastic network operating system is scheduled to begin
shipping by early December. It will be available in software-only kits as
well as two hardware bundles, with pricing starting at $79 per node.
** IBM's 'baby' Turns Out to be a Phenomena **
The IBM ValuePoint brand was 'born' a year ago this month. In that
year, it has grown into the parent's 'pride and joy'. Since its 'birth'
the the 'new kid on the block' has turned in a phenominal amount of
The first new brand, since the formation of the IBM PC Company, to
ship more than 1 million units in less than a year.
The first to deliver the latest industry-standard technology through
four product refreshes in a development cycle spanning less than six
The first to make multimedia available to businesses at affordable
The first to offer a power-packed desktop based on Intel Pentium
The first to respond swiftly and decisively to industry price cuts
three times during the year -- and within 48 hours -- that left the
At the same time, ValuePoint has contributed to the IBM PC Company's
gain in worldwide market share, impressed industry experts, grabbed the
Number 1 spot in the dealer channel share, seen two of its models
acclaimed as the industry's "best-selling desktops" with dealers, and won
several prestigious awards from major publications.
** Dell Desktop PCs For "Techno-boomers" **
Dell Computer Corporation has announced a new line of its Dimension
PCs designed for what the company calls the "techno-boomer," the small
office or home office user who wants a good value for the money spent and
can upgrade as new technology becomes available.
The new systems are all Intel 486SX or DX-based, with clock speeds
from 25MHz to 66MHz; have system memory, or RAM, up to 64-meg; and
include 1-meg of video RAM and local bus graphics. The PCs are upgradable
to use Intel's Pentium Overdrive technology, and external cache of 128K
or 256K can be added. Options include tape backup devices, fax/data
modems, and CD-ROM drives that support Photo CD.
Dell systems come with one year of next-business-day onsite support,
unlimited around the clock telephone support with guaranteed five-minute
response, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Pricing for the new Dimension systems starts at $1,230 with a color
monitor. Dell says the new systems will begin shipping in early November
in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
** Aldus Ships First Standalone Pagemaker Addition **
Aldus Corp., has announced shipment of its first standalone Aldus
Addition for Pagemaker.
Infopublisher Database Addition is an application that links the
desktop publishing program to database management systems. "Anyone who
needs to produce graphically appealing information retained in a database
needs Infopublisher, especially if they already use Pagemaker," says
senior product marketing manager Karen Howe.
The company says Infopublisher Database Addition is an upgrade to
the Aldus Pagemaker 4.0 Database Edition. Users can now place data from
Paradox 3.5, Microsoft Access, Foxpro and Excel into documents. The
importing of ASCII text files have been improved, and Microsoft's Open
Database Communication (ODBC) protocol is supported.
Infopublisher can be launched as an Addition from within Pagemaker,
several columns can be grouped as one for use in side-by-side paragraphs,
and style and graphics compatibility has also been improved.
Infopublisher Database Addition has a suggested retail price of
$199, but Aldus is offering it at the introductory price of $129 through
the end of November. Registered owners of the Database Edition 4.0 can
upgrade for $79. If you purchased Database Edition 4.0 after June 29,
1993 the upgrade is free.
** Wordperfect Outlines New Support Policies **
Wordperfect Corp., has announced new support programs for large
accounts and says it will continue its free and toll-free end-user
The company said it will continue to provide its free and toll free
support for end users. "Alan Ashton and Bruce Bastian founded WordPerfect
Corporation with two basic objectives," said Ad Rietveld, senior VP of
sales and marketing. "The first was to write software that enables people
to be more productive, and the second was to offer the best
customer support. We hold to these objectives today."
In addition to telephone support, end users can get help through the
company's BBS, a toll-free fax-back system, and an automated telephone
system that allows the customer to navigate through the company's
technical support infobase via their Pc and a modem.
******* General Apple News *******
** DCA Ships Crosstalk for the MAC **
Digital Communications Associates Inc. has released Crosstalk for
Macintosh, a Macintosh communications program. Crosstalk has been
available for the IBM and compatible personal computer for a number of
years. This is DCA's first release of the product for the Macintosh.
"Crosstalk for Macintosh offers [features] including cross-platform
compatibility giving users a smooth migration from other operating
system environments," said William Miller, vice president of DCA's
emote access division.
A current user of Crosstalk for Windows in an IBM environment could
migrate to the new Macintosh product without resorting to the manual
conversion of scripts and other software facilities. In addition, the
software follows Apple guidelines for user interface design and operation
while maintaining operational compatibility with Crosstalk for Windows.
Crosstalk for Macintosh allows users a wide choice of file transfer
protocols which include CompuServe B+ and QuickB.
Crosstalk for Macintosh retails for $195. Users of Crosstalk or a
competitive product can upgrade to the new product for $49 directly from
For additional information, call DCA at:
800/348-3221 (voice) or
** Apple's New PhotoFinish Bundled With UMax Color Scanner **
Apple Computer's PhotoFinish, a new photo publishing software
package being unveiled this week, is being included with the UMax UC630
A UMax spokesperson said that UMax is the first scanner vendor to
bundle PhotoFinish, a product that provides image browsing, a
drag-and-drop capability for direct placement of photos, automated tools
for image adjustment, and real time "adjustment preview" that lets the
user experiment with results.
Apple's PhotoFinish is also equipped with AppleScript, a scripting
language for automating repetitive tasks, and JPEG image compression for
saving disk space, she said.
Priced at $999 and available immediately, the UC630LE/MAC bundle
includes Adobe's PhotoShop LE for image editing as well as the UC630
color scanner and PhotoFinish. PhotoFinish accepts PhotoShop plug-in
modules for import, export, and special effects.
The UC630 color scanner is a 24-bit, 600 dpi (dot-per-inch) flatbed
color scanner with a hardware resolution of 600-by-300 dpi, according to
the spokesperson. Resolution is enhanced to 1200-by- 1200 dpi through
software interpolation, she noted.
** What's New About Apple's Quicktime 1.6.1 **
Apple Computer has announced its latest version of the multimedia
extensions, Quicktime 1.6.1, at the announcement of the new Macintosh
operating system, System 7 Pro.
The company says that, key differences between this new release and
Quicktime 1.5 include less memory use, better performance, better
integration with Apple technology, new interfaces, and increased
Quicktime offers users the ability to imbed sound, video, and
animation into ordinary documents or applications on the Macintosh. While
the new version of Quicktime still takes the same amount of memory when
operating, it unloads a large portion of itself from memory when not in
The 1.5 Quicktime version took up 160 KB of RAM when installed, but
the new version only requires less than 18 KB upon installation. This
also means less memory is required for movie playback as well, Apple
The new version is also more reliable, as Apple claims it fixed all
known bugs present in the 1.5 version. For example, 1.6.1 adds tear-free
movie playback support to the image compression manager which reduces the
tearing visible when playing back movies with large amounts of background
motion, Apple maintains.
In addition, the latest Quicktime version integrates better with
Apple's technology by offering explicit support for the grayscale
Powerbook, Mac Easy Open, and Color Sync. Also, a new 3.0 version of the
Sound Manager, offered with Quicktime 1.6.1, allows for a faster movie
playback environment than under Quicktime 1.5.
Quicktime users will notice a few new enhancements in the Quicktime
1.6.1 user interface as well. For example, the movie import component is
now a drag-and-drop operation, allowing users to import compact disc (CD)
tracks as easily as they can open PICS or AIF files.
Apple is offering a toll-free order line to accommodate those who
wish to upgrade to Quicktime 1.6.1. There is a $10 charge plus tax where
applicable for the upgrade, but no shipping and handling charge,
according to staffers on the toll-free line. The new version is also now
available in the System 7.1 upgrade and upgrade kits or from Apple
bulletin boards and user groups, company officials said.
Intel to put serial numbers on chips following warehouse robb
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (UPI) -- Computer-chip giant Intel Corp. announced
plans Friday to begin putting serial numbers on its products following a
recent string of warehouse robberies.
Several such incidents have hit California's Silicon Valley in the
past six months, with thieves cleaning out wholesalers' stocks of Intel
"They (the robberies) have become a lot more violent, and that is
why we've decided to take this action," Intel spokesman John Raftrey
said. ``Until now, these chips have been perfect targets. They are
small, untracable and are in great demand.''
Julius Finkelstein, head of Santa Clara's High Tech Crime Task Force,
called chip robberies ``the gang crime of the 1990s."
He said well-organized Asian street gangs have allegedly perpetrated
Finkelstein said the gangs generally drive up to warehouse doors as
if coming for a shipment, then pull guns once inside and force warehouse
workers to the floor while suspects load up chips.
The robberies generally take just a few minutes because of the chips'
small sizes, Finkelstein said.
Last month, theives struck the Wylie Laboratories Electronic
Marketing Group in Santa Clara, netting an estimated $1 million in chips
in just 15 minutes.
"We see a trend developing here that concerns us," Finkelstein
said. "These are very violent attacks. Generally, the gang is well
armed. It's just a matter of time before someone gets hurt.
"(Chips) are just as valuable as cocaine, but they are easier to get
rid of," he said. "And if you are caught, the penalties aren't as
Intel's 486 microprocessors have been among the thieves' favorite
Raftrey said the company expects to sell more than 30 million 486s
this year, but that demand has outstripped even that large figure.
Authorities said they hoped other chipmakers would soon follow