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/// CPU Status Report Late Breaking Industry-Wide News
** Atari's Loses $17.6 Million in Third Quarter **
Atari Corp. reported Thursday a third- quarter loss of $17.6 million,
compared to earnings of $1.9 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-
Revenues for the video-game company, which recently released its
leading-edge Jaguar game system, were off sharply to $4.4 million,
compared with $34.5 million in the 1992 quarter.
Atari said the loss was substantially larger than expected, primarily
due to write-offs of $7.5 million of inventory of personal computers and
older video game products. It also incurred restructuring costs of $6.4
million from the wind-down of Australian operations and the decline in
value of company-owned real estate in Europe.
Sam Tramiel, president, said the company is in the process of comp-
leting its transition from older technology consisting principally of
16-bit personal computers and 8-bit video game systems to the 64-bit
Jaguar, which began shipping last month.
"While we are highly encouraged by the early sales of Jaguar, we do
not expect to achieve profitability until at least such time as ship-
ments of Jaguar are made in substantial volume," Tramiel said.
The executive also said the company was working to resolve start-up
production and supply problems which led to delays in production and
shipment of Jaguar. He estimated the company will ship approximately 20,
000 Jaguar systems during the fourth quarter and 500,000 during 1994.
Atari originally planned to ship 50,000 Jaguars to stores in the New
York and San Francisco areas before Christmas, then stage a national
rollout in January.
** Microsoft Called Nation's Most Innovative Firm **
A Fortune magazine survey of nearly 1,000 senior executives in the 60
metro areas has named Microsoft Corp. as the most innovative company
operating in the United States. Microsoft received 39% of the votes to
lead the list of the 10 honored companies.
** Toshiba to Boost DRAM Output **
Spurred by a relatively strong demand for use in high-end personal
computers, Toshiba Corp.'s expects to increase it's monthly output of
16MB DRAM chips will be boosted to 2 million by the end of 1994. Cur-
rently the monthly production is just above 500,000.
It is expected that the firm's output of 4MB DRAMs, currently around
8 million per month, will stay at that level.
** Hitachi-TI Chip to be Shipped **
A 64-megabit DRAM chip developed jointly by Hitachi Ltd. and Texas
Instruments Inc. will start sample shipments this month. Plans are to
launch mass production of the new chip either in 1995 or 1996 depending
on domestic demand.
** TI Develops New Microcomputer Chip **
Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) announced this week its scientists have
developed a new microcomputer chip that is capable of operating at room
Reports say that the quantum-effect chip, which once would only work
under extremely cold temperatures of minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit, is
said to operate over three times faster and hold three times more func-
tions than conventional chips.
The new chip will only need a third of the transistors to provide the
same computing power as the current state-of-the-art semiconductor.
** Hitachi & Matsushita Develop Advanced Memory Devices **
Hitachi claims that it has developed a significant single electronic
memory unit which can store 1,000 times more data than that of current
semiconductor memory chips. Matsushita Electronics has also developed a
highly integrated optical circuit device, which reportedly has consider-
able potential in multimedia devices.
Some electronics firms, including Hitachi, have already developed a
single electronic memory. However, these existing single electronic mem-
ory devices should be used under temperatures at minus 273 degrees. Un-
less the memory units are cooled down, the data is lost due to excessive
Hitachi has overcome this problem by putting the electronic device
into a silicon container. As a result, this single electronic memory
unit can function in room-temperature. It is reported that the data will
not be lost even when the switch is turned off.
Meanwhile, Matsushita Electric has developed an optical electronic
integrated circuit (OEIC), which has 64 units of semiconductor lasers
and a driver transistor. It is a two-tier structured IC, and the tran-
sistor is placed on the semiconductor laser.
With this structure, each laser unit is controlled directly. As a re-
sult, the processing speed is increased almost 10-fold. The size of the
IC unit is just one third of a current IC.
** CD-Rom Interactive Training to Ship in January **
Wilson Learning Corporation has announced it will begin shipping the
first of several CD-ROM-based interactive training programs for Macin-
tosh and PCs in late January.
The company says the interpersonal, sales, and management skills dev-
elopment training programs are being developed in conjunction with Sony
Electronic Publishing Company. A total of 10 titles will be produced in
the joint project with Sony, while Wilson will also develop further
The first programs, scheduled to ship January 24th, are "Connect for
Success: Connect With Others and Influence Them;" Sell to Needs: Sell
the Way People Like to Buy;" Relate with Ease: Build and Keep Interper-
sonal Relationships;" and "Decide For Sure: Add Certainty to Your
The first four titles to be released will be available through retail
outlets such as Computer City and Software, Etc at the suggested retail
price of $69.95.
** Prodigy, NYNEX Announce Electronic Yellow Pages **
NYNEX said it will offer its 1.7 million business listings on the
Prodigy service next year and sell ads alongside those listings. The
companies said it is the first true electronic yellow pages offering,
including advertising, on an on-line service.
** Software Sales up 30%, Revenues Only up 16% **
North American shipments of application software are up 30% over last
year, but, says the Software Publishers Association, "aggressive pricing
held revenue growth to a more moderate 16%."
The SPA also says that leading the growth in the third quarter were
drawing/paint and desktop publishing programs.
Breaking down the figures, the SPA says:
-:- Windows applications still pace the industry, hitting $808 million
in the third quarter, a 70% increase from the same period last year. For
the year to date, Windows application sales totaled $2.26 billion, a 74%
-:- DOS applications sales continued to decline, recording $471 mil-
lion for the quarter, and $1.46 billion for the first three quarters.
DOS sales were 26% lower for the third quarter and 22% lower for the
first three quarters compared with '92 sales.
-:- Apple Macintosh software sales were $276 million for the third qu-
arter and $713 million for the first three quarters, up 11% for the qua-
rter and 7.4% for the three quarters.
-:- Word processors and spreadsheets remained the largest categories,
with revenues of $219 million and $182 million in the quarter,
-:- Sales growth in the database category slowed from the previous two
quarters, as the product introduction blitzes of the first two quarters
ended. Database sales in the quarter were up 25%, to $108 million.
-:- Drawing/painting and desktop publishing software were the fastest-
growing categories in the third quarter. Drawing and painting sales were
up 110% to $124 million, while sales of desktop publishing products were
up 106% to $67 million for the quarter.
** Apple Given Reprieve by Texas Commissioners **
The county commissioners in Georgetown, Texas, this week reversed
themselves and voted 3-2 to approve a modified financial incentive pack-
age for Apple Computer. Last week, the board voted 3-2 against the pack-
age because of Apple's policy of giving health benefits the partners
of gay employees.
The financial package grants Apple some reimbursements on taxes in
exchange for free right-of-way on future county improvements. The tax
savings will help pay for a planned $80 million customer service center
that eventually is to employ 1,700 people.
** N.J. Busts Alleged Credit Scam **
Fifteen salespeople at a New Jersey car dealership have been accused
of using the credit records of more than 450 people to steal hundreds of
millions of dollars. The 15 salespeople were arrested arraigned this
week on federal fraud and theft charges.
Secret Service agent Peter A. Cavicchia is quoted as saying the
salespeople are alleged to have tapped into credit reports through their
computers, used the information to change the victims' addresses, and
then ordered credit cards and ran up charges. They also allegedly used
the credit information to obtain bank loans and cash advances.
The dealership, Autoland in Springfield, N.J., alerted authorities
when they discovered unauthorized use of computer terminals.
** BSA Catches Firm Using Pirated Software **
An audit by the Business Software Alliance found that Comptronix
Corp. Inc. was using unlicensed versions of software produced by Aldus
Corp., Autodesk Inc., Microsoft Corp., and WordPerfect Corp. The company
has agreed to pay $232,500 in penalties.
** Novell Introduces Multimedia **
NetWare Video 1.0, software to deliver multimedia audio and video
signals over PC networks, has been introduced by Novell Inc.
Company officials are quoted as saying the software will enable its
NetWare customers to view and interact with multimedia information in
Microsoft Windows and will give multiple users access to audio and video
data simultaneously from a central server linked to networked computers.
The product, which costs $1,100 for a five-user format and $2,975 for
a 25-user format, is the first to result from Novell's July acquisition
of Fluent Inc.
Novell says it expects to have technology next year that will allow
live video information to be sent over the network, with video confer-
encing to follow.
** Lotus Seeks Customer Feedback **
Lotus Development Corp. announced today that it has established a
toll-free telephone line and a forum on CompuServe to receive sugges-
tions from customers regarding ways to enhance its products.
The software publisher states that its toll-free line and the Compu-
Serve forum will complement other means the company has for gathering
customer ideas for review by product teams.
Customers in the U.S. and Canada can call a toll-free number (1-800-
5MY-IDEA) to leave a phone mail message. The suggestions will be entered
daily into a Notes database and will be automatically routed to members
of the appropriate Lotus product team for review and consideration.
** Claris Claims 'Filemaker Pro' Easier to use than 'Access' **
Claris is pleased to report its Filemaker Pro for Windows 2.1 out-
scored Microsoft's Access 1.1 for Windows in usability tests conducted
by Usability Sciences Corporation of Irving, Texas. While Claris commis-
sioned the tests, it says this is the second test in which its product
outdid Access, the other being a set of tests for ease-of-use conducted
by Software Digest/NSTL.
The main claim Claris is making for Filemaker Pro for Windows is ease
of use. In the Usability Sciences study novice database users were able
to complete an identical set of tasks 20% faster with the Claris product
than with Microsoft Access. The tasks were: creating a database, enter-
ing records into the database, querying the database, creating a form,
adding two new records into the form, adding a scroll bar to the record
field, and stamping a system date onto the form.
While it took both groups of participants well over an hour to comp-
lete the tasks, participants using Access took nearly 17 minutes longer.
Study participants were intermediate PC users with little or no database
Claris the software subsidiary of Apple Computer, has cut the price
of Filemaker Pro 2.1 for Windows to $129, and is offering upgrades for
$20, and competitive upgrades from other database software products for
$99. A Macintosh version of the product is available for $399.
Microsoft Access 1.1 is retail priced at $495, however Microsoft has
frequently offered the product for $99 since its introduction over a
** Book Aids DOS Users With Wit, Cartoons **
The latest book intended to make using MS-DOS easier to use and un-
derstand is a book titled DOS for Dummies written by Dan Gookin, part of
the MS-DOS 6.2 Upgrade for Dummies package that also includes the MS-DOS
Gookin's book DOS for Dummies is supposed to be easy to read and a
gold mine for the millions of PC users who are secretly - and in many
cases openly - intimidated by PC software. "The book covers 100 percent
of the tasks users will be performing with their computers" according to
Gookin. He describes the style of the book as engaging, informative and
In addition to instructions on how to turn on the computer -- some
people actually have a problem finding the power switch -- Gookin
includes topics such as "Ten Common Beginner Mistakes," "Ten Things You
Should Never Do," and "After You Panic, Do This."
So if your favorite computer user is willing to admit he or she is a
dummy, this book might be just the thing for the Christmas stocking. MS-
DOS 6.2 Upgrade for Dummies has a suggested retail price of $77.95.
** Newton News **
Apple Computer says it is launching the Newton Industry Association
at the first International Newton Development Conference being held this
week in Apple's home town of Cupertino, California.
Apple says the Newton Industry Association is aimed at promoting gro-
wth and inter-operability of the Newton platform and associated devices.
Standards is another focus for the association in the areas of wireless
communications, telephone support, and office automation.
One of the areas receiving attention right now is infrared communi-
cations between personal digital assistants (PDAs). Infrared standards
do not currently exist, meaning that even though the Newton Messagepad
and the Zoomer PDAs from Tandy and Casio both have infrared sensors, the
devices use conflicting standards. The upshot is Apple's PDA won't talk
to a Zoomer and vice versa.
Apple representatives were unavailable to comment as to what the
company or the Newton Industry Association are planning to do concerning
Apple listed beginning participants in the Newton Industry Associa-
tion as licensees, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), component
suppliers, and marketing partners. Companies represented included:
Alcatel, ARM, Bellsouth Mobilecomm, British Telecom/Cellnet, Cirrus
Logic, Deutsche Telecom, GEC Plessey, LSI Logic, Matsushita, Motorola,
Paragraph, Scriptel, Sharp, Siemens/ROLM, Telia, Toshiba, Traveling
Software, and US West.
While the Newton has been well-received by enthusiastic users who
have snatched up 50,000 units since the product was launched in August,
reports from mainstream media have expressed disappointment and sharp
criticism for the PDA. It appears, however, that things may be turning
for Apple as four industry publications have awarded the unit top
honors. PC Laptop Computers Magazine called the Newton the "Most
Promising Portable," PC Magazine awarded the Newton MessagePad first
place in its "Design Category," Byte gave it the 1993 Byte Award of
Excellence, and Reseller magazine called it the "Best-To-Sell Products
of the Year."
In new announcements concerning the Messagepad, Apple said Newtonmail
is expected to be available in a final commercial release throughout the
United States in January 1994. Newtonmail allows Newton users to ex-
change text messages easily with each other and anyone who can be
reached through online services available on the Internet and is cur-
rently available in a limited commercial release in the United States.
Newtonmail requires the Newton Fax Modem Card, a credit-card sized
Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) modem,
for communication via online services as well as the ability to send
** Interactive CD-ROM Vietnam From CBS, Apple, NY Times **
Joining forces with the formidable reporting resources and archives
of the New York Times and the CBS television network, Apple Computer
will publish and market "The Vietnam War" late in 1994. Chief reporters
on the interactive CD-ROM will be veteran reporter Dan Rather, anchor
and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, and R.W. Apple Jr., Wash-
ington bureau chief for the New York Times.
Other Vietnam War-oriented CD-ROM publications have been available
for years from Quanta Press and Wayzata Technologies but these have been
more in the nature of archives of data related to the War. While they
are highly useful to historians and as reference materials, they lack
the immediacy of war reportage which the publisher apparently expects
this new disc to bring to the educational environment.
The multimedia disc will include more than 700 news articles from The
Times and film and video from CBS News' archives. Maps, and even audio
recordings will also be included on the CD-ROM, along with the names of
US military personnel either killed or missing in action.
** Fast Real-Time Video Codec Board For Mac AVs **
New Video, makers of the Eyeq series of video compression boards for
the Macintosh, have announced, what the company claims is, the first
compression and processing board for the Macintosh Audio/Visual (AV)
line of computers.
The company claims its new Eyeq AV board will allow real-time, 30
frames-per-second (fps) full-screen video recording and full-screen
playback at the same real-time frame rate.
New Video representatives said the Eyeq board has the advantage of
incorporating the Intel i750 chip for video compression and playback. It
is also claimed to be thousands of dollars less, at the retail price of
$1,895, than other video compression hardware add-on products.
The board is specifically designed for use in the Quadra 840AV or
660AV and will interface directly with the AV's Digital Audio Video
(DAV) connector. It will allow for up to 16-bit graphics over video, 16-
bit stereo audio with a sampling rate of up to 48 kilohertz (KHz), sup-
ports displays up to 16-inches in size at 832 by 634 picture element
(pixel) resolution, and supports the most common video standards inclu-
ding NTSC (National Television Standards Committee), PAL, and SECAM
using the Macintosh AV's built-in Composite and S-Video out.
The board is also fully compatible with Apple's multimedia software
extension Quicktime and most popular multimedia authoring tools, offers
resizable windows, software playback, and supports algorithms that
require an average of only nine megabytes (MB)-per-minute of hard disk
storage, company officials said. The board can also produce files with
data transfer rates that are low enough to play back from a compact disc
read-only memory (CD-ROM) drive over a local area network (LAN) in real
time with full-motion and full-screen size.
The Eyeq AV requires a Macintosh Quadra 660AV or 840AV, any Apple
display up to 16-inches or any 832 by 634 pixel multisync display, a
hard disk drive with a recommended storage capacity of 200MB, 8MB of
random access memory (RAM) is also recommended, and the System 7.1