Contents | < Browse | Browse >

%%                         Computer Product News                        %%

                ** Motorola's 4th Quarter Earnings Up **

   Motorola Inc. reported its fourth quarter earnings rose 87.8% due to
record sales and continued export growth. Reports say that the company's
profits rose to $340 million (or $1.15 a share) in the three months
ended Dec. 31, up from $181 million (or 64 cents a share) for the same
period a year ago. Sales rose 35% to $4.99 billion from $3.71 billion in
the last quarter of 1992.

                    ** NEC, Toshiba Develop DRAM **

   A new low-voltage 16-megabit DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip
for portable PCs has been developed by NEC Corp. and Toshiba Corp.

   Officials of the companies said the 3.3-volt chips have a 16-bit in-
put and output structure that makes them more efficient, prolonging PC
battery life.

   A Fujitsu Ltd. spokesman Said that firm is developing a similar chip
and plans to begin production in the first half of the year.

        ** PC World and Newsweek Plan Joint Computing Reports **

   PC World and Newsweek magazines have announced that they will jointly
publish four special computing reports in 1994.   The special sections
will focus on developments in the small office, home office (SOHO) com-
puter market. They will be prepared by the editors of PC World. The four
sections will appear in issues of both PC World and Newsweek in April,
June, September and December.

   "We estimate that by 1996, SOHO computer users will account for more
than $15.5 billion in U.S. PC purchases, over 55% of the anticipated to-
tal PC market in the country," says PC World Publisher Rich Marino. "It
is increasingly important for high-tech marketers to reach this growing

             ** Compuserve Lowers Hourly Charges by 40% **

   CompuServe announced this week it is lowering connect charges by 40%
for hourly-priced services, such as forums, travel services, financial
services, reference databases and entertainment offerings.  Reports say
that the lowered charges, which are for those members subscribing under
CompuServe's Standard Pricing Plan, take effect Feb. 6.

   The new rates are $4.80 per hour for 300, 1,200 and 2,400 baud rates
and $9.60 for 9,600 and 14,400 baud rates.

   In addition to hourly-priced services, CompuServe members have access
to more than 50 basic services for a flat fee of $8.95 per month. Compu-
Serve offers access at modem speeds of 14,400 bits per second in many
major cities, the only major online service to do so, and at the same
cost as access at 9,600 bits per second.

      ** Compuserve to Provide Local Customer Support in Mexico **

   CompuServe Inc. also announced this week that it will provide local
customer support and network access to CompuServe Information Service
members in Mexico beginning this spring.

   CompuServe provides local-dial access through its own network nodes
from 17 major cities in Europe and has member support offices in
Bristol, England, Munich, Germany, and Paris. CompuServe also has
licensing or affiliate agreements in Japan, Australia, New Zealand,
Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Israel, Hungary, Chile, Venezuela and

                 ** Nintendo Settles Copyright Suit **

   A copyright infringement suit between Nintendo of America Inc. and
United Microelectronics Corp. has been settled out of court. Terms calls
for UMC to take steps to combat piracy of Nintendo video games, the
firms said.

   The settlement ends litigation of a federal suit filed in 1991 by
Nintendo against UMC, of Hsinchu City, Taiwan, and its U.S. subsidiary,
Unicorn Microelectronics Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., and several
individuals associated with the companies. In that action, Nintendo
alleged copyright and trademark infringement in the sale of counterfeit
Nintendo video games.

   The case was dismissed "with prejudice," which prevents either side
from bringing another action in the matter.

                 ** IBM Awarded Most Patents in 1993 **

   IBM Corp. reports that it ranked first in the number of patents awar-
ded in 1993 by the U.S. government, marking the first time since 1985
that an American company has headed the list.  IBM received 1,088
patents, followed by Toshiba Corp., Canon KK and Eastman Kodak Co.,
according to IFI/Plenum Data Corp. In 1992, the first four companies
were all Japanese.

   The IBM patents were almost exclusively in the field of information
processing, with an increase in software-related inventions.

                  ** World Workstation Market Soars **

   The world workstation market will more than quadruple in revenues and
grow by more than 10 times in unit sales by the end of the century,
reports Frost & Sullivan/Market Intelligence, the Mountain View, Calif.-
based market research firm.

   The company states that sales will swell from $10.6 billion in 1992
to $20 billion in 1995 and $48.7 billion in 1999 at a 24% compound
annual rate.

   Enterprise workstations will pace the market's growth, increasing
from 32% of all worldwide workstation revenues in 1992 to 51% by 1999.

   ** Magazine Says Pentagon Proposes Limiting Internet Army Links **

   A computer magazine says it has learned U.S. defense officials, fear-
ing the possibility of computer intruders, are moving to limit military
links to the international Internet network.

   The magazine, Network World, reported a plan to add a protective
gateway or relay to the worldwide Defence Data Network (also called
Milnet) has caused an uproar among computerists in and out of the

   The publication says a notice from the defense department's network
planning group said the gateway's introduction was due early in 1994,
but that so far the plan has not been implemented and Internet users
still have direct links to the Milnet.

                   ** Smart Device Shipments Soar **

   New York-based market researcher, LINK Resources, reports that ship-
ments of all types of "smart" handheld devices -- including high-end
organizers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), personal communicators
and some handheld CD-ROM products -- grew from 600,000 units in 1992 to
779,000 units in 1993.

   LINK Resources forecasts a 45.7%t compound annual growth rate over
the next five years for these devices, with over five million units
shipping to business and home users in the U.S. in 1998.

   LINK forecasts that annual shipments will increase in value from $454
million to $3.3 billion during this period, while the installed base
grows to 9.5 million devices.

             ** Canadian Teen Accused of $500,000 Fraud **

   An unidentified Toronto teenager has allegedly used a computer to
defraud cellular phone network of $500,000 worth of long distance calls.

   Authorities are quoted as saying the teen changed the greetings in
the voice mailboxes so the new greetings could be used to approve calls
billed to the Rogers Cantel Inc. network.

   "About $200,000 worth of calls were billed to a single phone number
over a 17-day period". "Cantel blames Bell Canada's new automated long-
distance billing service, and is fighting with the phone company over
who should pay for the losses."

   An industry analyst estimated long-distance fraud costs North
American companies $2 billion a year, much of it by computer intruders.

                       ** Who's a 'Butthead'? **

   It all started when famed scientist Carl Sagan reportedly complained
to Apple Computer Inc. that he didn't appreciated his name being borrowed
as the internal code name for a new Apple computer.

   Reports say that after receiving the complaint, Apple changed the
internal code name of the upcoming model from "Carl Sagan" to "Butt-Head

   Sagan supposedly asked the company to stop using his name after an
article about the new model appeared in MacWEEK magazine.

   Reportedly, the Butt-Head Astronomer system -- well, "BHA" for short
-- is one of three Apple models to use the PowerPC microprocessor
developed by Apple, Motorola Inc. and IBM.

                 ** Practical Peripherals Cuts Costs **

   Practical Peripherals this week cut prices by up to $100 on eight of
its high-speed data and fax modems for PCs and Macintosh computers.

   Practical says its PM14400FX PKT pocket modem, formerly priced at
$499, has been reduced to $399.

   Meanwhile, the PM14400FXMT V.32bis desktop modem offering 14400bps
data and 14400bps fax capabilities, was reduced to $259 from $299.

   Other PC modems affected by the price reduction are the PM14400FX,
reduced from $259 to $229; the PM9600FXMT, down from $249 to $219, and
the PM9600FX, from $229 to $199.

   Three Macintosh modems in the price cut are the PM14400FX PKT/Mac,
from $529 to $429, the PM14400FXMT/Mac, down from $299 to $279, and the
PM9600FXMT/Mac, cut from $269 to $229.

   Practical notes all the modems feature DTE (computer to modem) speeds
up to 57,600bps, both Class 1 and Class 2 fax support, V.42 error cont-
rol, V.42bis data compression, send/receive fax and are compatible with
the Hayes standard AT command set. Each comes with data and fax
communications software.

               ** Atari Jaguar Grabs Top Awards at CES **

   Atari Corp. announced this week that the Atari Jaguar 64-bit inter-
active multimedia game system has been named the industry's "Best New
Game System" (VideoGames Magazine), "Best New Hardware System" (Game
Informer) and "1993 Technical Achievement of the Year" (DieHard GameFan).
The awards were presented last week at the Winter Consumer Electronics
Show in Las Vegas. In addition, VideoGames Magazine selected a Jaguar
advertisement as "1993's Best Print Ad" and Electronic Games voted
Jaguar's newest software title, "Tempest 2000," the "Best Game of the

   "We are excited the industry's premier publications have recognized
Jaguar," said Sam Tramiel, president of Atari. "We developed Jaguar's
64-bit technology to raise the standard for game system performance,
making Jaguar the most powerful, affordable system on the market. It is
an honor to know that the leading trade magazines and their readers
recognize our efforts."

   "We created the 'Best New Game System' award specifically for
Jaguar," said Chris Gore, editor of VideoGames Magazine. "Atari
developed a new game system with innovative hardware and software that
delivers a performance level currently not available in the market at a
price people can afford. It eclipses 3DO as the best bang for your

   On Game Informer's decision to vote Jaguar "Best New Hardware
System," Editor Andy McNamara said, "With enough raw processing power to
take out the big boys, Atari has a winner on its hands. Of course, it
will need great software, but if games like the pack-in Cybermorph set
the standard, Atari is definitely on its way."

   Atari Corp. manufactures and markets 64-bit interactive multimedia
entertainment systems, video games and personal computers for the home,
office and educational marketplaces. The Sunnyvale-based company
manufactures the Jaguar products in the United States.

         ** Atari Jaguar Poised to Pounce Nationally in 1994 **

   Atari Corp. also announced this week that the company plans to roll
out Jaguar(TM) -- the world's first 64-bit interactive multimedia home
entertainment system -- in the first half of 1994. In addition, Jaguar
and its first four software titles, "Cybermorph," "Raiden, " "Evolution
Dino-Dudes" and "Crescent Galaxy," will continue to ship steadily to
stores in New York and San Francisco.

   "We look forward to extending Jaguar's success in the New York and
San Francisco markets by implementing a nationwide rollout of the pro-
duct in 1994, " said Sam Tramiel, president of Atari. "What is espec-
ially rewarding is customer response to Jaguar -- it's great to see how
people react to the system. We are committed to making Jaguar the
world's number one game platform and this is a powerful start."

   "Sales of the Jaguar couldn't better. All of our units sold out in
one day and we've got a list of more than 100 people waiting for our
next shipment," said Gary Jockers, general manager, FAO Schwarz, San

Francisco. "The new titles we received are selling out as fast as the
systems. Our customers are clamoring to get these new games. Now that
we've got all of the current game titles available for Jaguar, the
demand is only increasing for more units."

   Atari Jaguar is the world's first 64-bit interactive multimedia home
entertainment system and is the only video game system manufactured in
the United States. Atari expect to deliver its Jaguar CD-peripheral in
the second half of 1994 at a suggested retail price of $200.

                 ** IBM Cuts Pentium-Based PC's 10% **

   Prices of all the IBM PCs built around Intel Corp.'s Pentium micro-
processor are being cut by more than 10%, according to officials with
IBM's wholly owned Ambra unit.

   Analysts said the competing PowerPC chip -- developed by IBM, Apple
Computer Inc. and Motorola Inc. -- costs less than the Pentium because
it is easier to make.

   Last month Intel said it will cut prices on its Pentium chip by 14%
to 18% this year to build market share as production speeds up.

   Also, IBM is introducing two new high-performance options for its
Pentium-based systems: a Matrox MGA II+ video card and the Adstar 1GB
hard drive.

                 ** Tandy to Open More Supercenters **

   Tandy Corp. is set to open 24 Computer City SuperCenters and six new
Incredible Universe consumer electronics stores this year. Sources quote
Tandy as saying the stores will add 3,600 new jobs throughout the United

          ** Packard Bell Moves Tech Support to Magna, Utah **

   Packard Bell's technical support operations is moving from Los
Angeles to Magna, Utah. The company also considered sites in Tucson,
Arizona, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Portland, Oregon.

   Utah state officials said the move will create about 600 jobs, with
the PC maker using 35,000 square feet of space.

                ** First MAC Nubus Hardware Announced **

   Digital Communications Associates (DCA) says it will deliver token
ring and coaxial adapters for Macintosh NuBus machines.

   DCA believes these are the first interface cards available for
Apple's seven-inch form factor NuBus computer systems.

   The MacIRMAtrac NuBus Token Ring and MacIRMA NuBus Coax are network
adapters designed for the Centris 610, 660 av and the Quadra 610, 660 av
series of Macintosh computers. They also work on older NuBus machines.

   The Token Ring card features its own memory for downloading microcode
and to provide higher performance levels. The Coax card features RAM-
based hardware which allows product upgrades through software updates.

   Both DCA products will be available next month through DCA's standard
distribution network. The Token Ring adapter carries a suggested price
of $895. Retail price on the Coax adapter is $1,195.

   Additional information is available from DCA at 800/348- 3221.
International customers may fax product or pricing requests to