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%% Amiga News %%
EUREKA's COMMUNICATOR II FOR CD32 DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED
Eureka's Communicator II makes CD32 an intelligent 2 way
computer with CD-rom controlled by the amiga.
Maastricht, 1st September 1994
You can view PhotoCD's, Create Full motion video* or Audio presentations
with the Communicator-, Scala, and Mediapoint- driver. Or you can just
use it as a 2 way CD-rom with speeds of upto 210000 baud.
One of its unique new features is the virtual CD disk concept which
enables users to configure the Communicator II in order to automatically
boot the program used most.
Also new is CD-rom device support, the integrated menu /program system and
added high speed modes.
"The Communicator is a great success and has become the default add-on
for CD32, now we've made it even better" according to Frank Hoen,
general manager of Eureka.
"The new Communicator II soft- and hardware doesn't just add a CD-Rom
drive to your system(as many people think) but it adds a complete Amiga
with 600Mb CDrom 2Mb of Ram and AA chipset to your existing machine.
The additional digital video and audio make it nothing short of
"CD32 still has the best price/performance of the interactive CD market
with the Communicator being the logical add-on for every CD32"
according to Frank Hoen.
The Communicator II speed is dramatically improved when compared against
the original Communicator. Speed can be reached of upto 210000 baud!
(on A4000). Transfer speed can be tuned and tested for optimal performance
on every amiga.
This unique new feature of the Communicator II software will change the
use of Interactive CD systems. By using the non-volatile ram of the CD32,
the user can select which menu program he wants to boot with. The next
time he inserts the Communicator II CD, the requested program start
immediately making it appear that he is working with more than 1 disk.
This prevents a lot of reboots of the CD32 and is perfect
when using the CD32 as Multi-media player or CD-rom.
The bootup Menu and Communicator program are integrated into 1 easy
to use program. Also it is now possible to test the maximum speed you
can reach with your machine. The baudrate can be reset to default
preventing locking up of the CD32.
Next to the totally redesigned user interface, visual feedback is
given when the CD32 receives commands. This enables the user to
check if the requested function is performed correctly. Examples
of visual feedback are playing CDþs, setting the baudrate, showing
when files are being transferred etc.
The Communicator II now has 3 ways of transferring files:
1.The Communicator II Zmodem file transfer enables the user
to securely transfer and start files from
and to the CD32.
2.A CD rom device driver offers an easy to use option of
transferring files from and to the CD32. This
works in the same way as accessing þnormalþ CD-roms except
for the fact that you can also send data
to the Cd32.
3.A high speed CLI orientated program enables you to transfers
files fast with speeds of upto 210000 baud ( A4000/030).
The Communicator II file transfer capabilities have improved compatibility
with ISO 9660 CDþs and are generally improved in terms of performance and
This PhotoCD program included on every Communicator CD was not changed.
PhotoLite can be started instantly using the virtual disk feature .
CD32 AGA VIEWER (also for non aga machines)
View pictures and animations from CD or amiga in 16.7 Million colours.
The viewer functions as framebuffer for non-aga machines enabling you to
view AGA pictures in 16.7 Million colours. The Viewer was upgraded
and now can make use of datatypes. Pictures can be viewed on CD32 directly
or first uploaded and then viewed.More advanced time control is now
A newer version of Workbench is installed for increased compatibility and
performance. Also Workbench can now be started from the Menu directly or
instantly started using the virtual CD concept.
Testing the Communicator II
Testing the Communicator II is now even easier with the integrated test
button which tests the quality of the connection between the CD32 and
For the popular Mediapoint program the Communicator is now
supplied with the new Mediapoint Full motion video* (Mpeg) and
Audio Xapp offering advanced audio and video control.
A Scala driver is already included.
NEW PD SOFTWARE
Eureka includes several new PD programs for transferring data
to and from CD32. Also a demo version of the animation viewer
MainActor is included.
The new Communicator II hardware case has an extra A2000/3000 keyboard
plug next to itþs standard CD32/ A4000 keyboard plug. Also the serial
cable to the amiga is now a DB25 serial to RJ10 jack (telephone) plug.
The serial cable can be easily changed and has a cable guard.
The Communicator to CD32 connector is strengthened even more and the
Communicatorþs LEDþs are now on the front for even better visibility.
This added to the steel plated case makes for a very robust design.
The low cost Communicator Lite II has the same features as the full
blown Communicator II except it doesn't have LED's, a MIDI, keyboard
interface and the advanced power control of the Communicator.
For Communicator users software upgrades can be obtained from their
dealer or directly from Eureka at extra charge.
Eureka company backgrounds
Eureka, based in Beek(L) near Maastricht, the Netherlands was founded in
1989. In 1992 Eureka started developing hardware products for the Amiga.
It's first product was the Eurocomp, a broadcast quality composite and Y/C
After some custom hardware projects for the Dutch government, Eureka
decided to concentrate on designing products for the Amiga market.
Eureka is currently also involved in custom interactive-TV hardware
projects based on PC.
Further products are the Afterburner 50mhz 68030 turbo for the A4000/A3000
and Photolite PhotoCD software for CD32.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR EVALUATION UNITS CONTACT EUREKA, MR.
FRANK HOEN AT +3146370800 FAX +3146360188
The Communicator II program was written with the powerful Helm authoring
system by Eagle Tree Software. Copies of this authoring system
can be supplied for review.
All trademarks are owned by their respective owners.
* Needs Full Motion Video cartridge.
[Expected price: US$69 for the lite version, and around US$110 for the
full Communicator II package. -Jason]
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A sampling of the equipment up for auction from Commodore's headquarters
in West Chester, PA, USA, on September 8 starting at 10:00 AM:
Electroglass 2001XA prober with pattern recognition
Teradyne z 1860 board tester
MCT 4600E PLCC handler with 68 PLCC kit
Nikon V-12A profile projector with Quatra check 2000 digital micrometer
An IBM AS400 9406-E45 System unit, with 16 megs memory, 1.28 GB storage
Digital VAX models 8600 and 11/750
"Selection of high-speed printers" and "Computers, components, parts,
monitors, modems, power supplies, computer chips, & much more!" It's
worth mentioning that the picture complementing the latter is a pile
of C-64/128 equipment, save for what looks like a 2000.
Over 40 Herman Miller late model accoustical [sic] workstations
Executive office furniture, several complete conference rooms, and various
pieces of cafeteria equipment
And, my favorite: Advance Machine 5000 BHM floor scrubber with 293 hrs.
Someone tell me who gets the floor scrubber. Ross-Dove, liquidators,
can be contacted at 617-983-7400 voice and 617-932-9290.
In my neverending quest for an information source, I first contacted
Doug MacGregor, head of Commodore Canada. He first confirmed that the
Western Canadian office had been closed. He then told me that Lew
Eggbrecht had left Commodore. (Lew was VP of Engineering)
Besides that, he had little to offer me. Both he and Duncan Fraser are
very embittered at being stranded with what they both consider to be
well-supported and supportive dealers but nothing to sell. Of course,
they both hide it well behind their Canadian accents.
He did answer my question about Jim Dionne, though. (To bring those
unfamiliar with rumors up to date: Jim Dionne was one of the last heads
of Commodore US, who left shortly after WOCA Pasadena last year. He has
been rumored to be involved with the Commodore buyout.) According to
Mr. MacGregor, Jim was involved at one point but is no longer.
I decided, just for kicks, to call up the Norristown, PA office of
Commodore. I got Tom Matson, assistant to the liquidators. Before
hanging up on me (roughly 90 seconds after answering my call), he
told me that the equipment being auctioned in West Chester was stuff
no longer being used by the R+D team. The rest of my questions were
I then called Alex Amor of Creative Equipment, (CEI), one of the
bidders for Commodore. Here's what I got:
1. CEI's bid should be finalized Monday, August 29th. They expect
a decision 4-6 weeks after that.
2. CEI will have a rep at the West Chester auction, although Amor feels
that the equipment "isn't worth $10,000."
3. The AAA chipset "won't see the day of light." (I think he was just
flustered and meant "light of day.") Instead, new Amiga models would be
based around a new generation chip that had been in development for about
4. According to Amour's information, Dionne had never been involved
in the first place.
5. If CEI were to be successful, they would boost engineering to 110
and "rush the next generation machine to market." To announce their
success, they have a PR firm on standby, ready to take out a full-page
ad in "every major newspaper" in the US.
6. In the event that C= UK's coalition is successful, CEI would be
willing to play a role as the next "Commodore US."
On Tuesday the 30th, I contacted Amor again. The bid was finalized and he
still expects, realistically, a 4-6 week wait on a decision. He also
provided me with a bit of information about the "next generation" chip,
Essentially, from the information he gave me, it is a high-power graphics
chip in its own right, but not a CPU. Coupled with a Pentium or PowerPC,
it would make for a formidable system. The engineers have been working
on it for a year. I have not yet been able to contact C= engineers to
confirm this. He also tells me that it is Samsung's main interest in the
CEI has also made arrangements with the subcontractors that formerly
produced Commodore products and apparently would be set to go in the event
that they are successful.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FARCAST, INC. BEGINS COMMERCIAL OPERATION OF ITS NATIONWIDE AGENT-BASED NEWS
AND INFORMATION SERVICE FOR DESKTOP AND MOBILE E-MAIL USERS; THE ALL-DIGITAL
DELIVERY OF DAILY NEWS TO END-USERS ACHIEVES BREAKTHROUGHS IN CONVENIENCE AND
COST AS PERSONAL INFORMATION ROBOTS ENABLE ADVANCES IN CUSTOMIZED CLIPPING
AND PERSONAL NEWS FILTERING FOR BUSINESS USERS
MENLO PARK, CA, July 6, 1994 - Farcast, Inc., a privately-held company in the
heart of Silicon Valley's information alley, announced today that its nation-
wide, agent-based news and information service has begun commercial
operation, serving business users and individuals with up-to-date, electronic
delivery of headline news; company announcements; sports scores; weather,
entertainment, science, and political news; financial reports; and free daily
stock market quotes.
Farcast(TM) is a first of a kind news and information service. Farcast
subscribers receive access to the latest news and information from The
Associated Press, United Press International, Businesswire, and PR Newswire,
as well as a stock quote feed. Farcast's information robots, called
"Droids"(TM), present these information sources to users by performing
searches, retrieving articles, and broadcasting information. All interaction
with the service occurs through e-mail messages sent to Droids. To search
Farcast's "Newsstand," for example, a subscriber sends an e-mail message to
the Newsstand Droid. The Droid processes the message, performs the search,
and returns the results to the subscriber's e-mail inbox. Subscribers can
even maintain their own set of "personal" Droids that monitor Farcast's
information sources for articles of interest. Farcast's agent-based
information service comes at a flat-rate cost of less than $1 per day,
which includes unlimited search and full-text article retrieval.
"Farcast is extraordinary. The news is delivered to me wherever I am via
e-mail, and the power of their agent-based technology means that I have a
customized clipping service to watch my clients' companies and the subjects
of interest to me," said Dr. Marc Gerstein, Visiting Scholar, MIT, strategy
and organizational change consultant, and author of "The Technology
Connection and Organizational Architecture." "Delivery via e-mail means
that there's nothing new to learn, nowhere else to look -- a fresh copy
of my personalized newspaper is simply waiting in the mailbox 24 hours
a day. I can't imagine living without it."
With its unique combination of advanced features and low price, Farcast
challenges conventional thinking about agent-based information services.
"With Farcast, we set out to prove that you don't need to wait ten years
for an 'intelligent network' or other unworkably-complex system to deliver
the benefits of software agents to end users," said Jayson Adams, Farcast's
chief scientist, president and co-founder. "We also set out to prove that a
system of Farcast's sophistication doesn't require hundreds of thousands of
dollars worth of minicomputers and modems. Our processing plant's low cost
allows us to deliver all the benefits of software agents at an affordable
Farcast's affordability also stems from the strategy to target the millions
of e-mail accounts capable of sending messages through the Internet. "The
brute force approach to building an information service includes constructing
a dedicated communication network of modems, high-speed phone lines, etc.
With the recent explosive growth of 'Internet-aware' e-mail accounts,
however, we realized we could leverage the Internet as our communication
network. The beauty of this strategy is that almost everyone with an e-mail
account today can already access Farcast. No special service numbers to
dial, no new software clients to install and learn, and no connect time
charges to pay. Using Farcast is as easy and convenient as sending an
e-mail message to a colleague or friend," said Scott Love, Farcast's CEO
Today's announcement marks the first in a series of breakthrough personal
information services from Farcast. Farcast is a privately-held start-up with
headquarters located in Menlo Park, CA. Its mission is to deliver affordable
information access through software agent technology to business users and
To learn more about the Farcast news and information service, send an e-mail
message to email@example.com, with the subject "hello." Direct subscription
inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail) or (415) 327-5603 (fax).
Copyright 1994 Farcast, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Farcast and Droids are
trademarks of Farcast, Inc.