The Best Deal, the Best Prices The Mall @ 17 Million Products and services

Go to:
STORIES from Current stories, 4/1-3/28, 3/21-3/11, 3/10-2/23,
The online MacinStuff Times

Breaking Macintosh News & Stories Published Daily

Award Winning, The online MacinStuff TimesThe online MacinStuff Times
Currently ranks is 148 out of 158,067 sitesrated in the top 1% of all Web Counter sites
Averaging 1,000 readers a day
Up 119 places since March 11, On Web Counters
Web Counter Top "10"
Selected as Aprils Hot Site of the month by
Nominated as "Coolest Site" by IndustryNetIndustryNet Online Achievment Awards
The online MacinStuff Times
has had
Digital Counter

New Features

Index of News Stories! We have added an index with hyperlinks to each story published. You can browse by individual stories back through February 25, and by date from February 25-13, 1996.

You can win prizes with MacinStuff Frequent Reader Award Contest, look for **number**!

Complete list (with links) of Apple Web Sites.

Send us comments, suggestions, rants, raves, news, thoughts, etc.

Give back to MacinStuff:

Make MacinStuff a c|net "Best of the Web" site!
Vote for MacinStuff, make us a a "Top 5%" site!
Vote for MacinStuff in the iworld Awards

April 8, 1996

Early Observations of Atlas (Navigator 3.0)

Netscape Communications Corp. continues at the forefront of the browser race with the release of Atlas. Atlas has many add-on features but its core functionality remains basically unchanged from Navigator 2.0.

Atlas Preview Release 1 is designed to show off technologies planned for the next version of Navigator. Including the ability to view VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) and to conduct audio and data conferencing over the Internet. Most of the new additions are add-ons.

For an early preview release, Atlas is fairly stable but it has crashed my Mac a few times during use. I for one have mostly stuck to using Navigator 2.0 or 2.01. Netscapes major competitor, Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer currently does not support VRML 2.0.

One feature that is included in Atlas that is sorely missing in 2.0 is the enhanced frames support, making it possible to move back and forth between frames using the Back and Forward buttons, Atlas also supports a new tag allowing background colors to be viewed from within table cells.

Atlas new features are a step in the right direction, but (in this authors opinion) its current iteration is not worthy of a full jump in its version numbers (2.0 - 3.0)

In Ironic Twist Apple Ships Most PC in 3rd Q

Following the huge loss that analysts have projected for Apple two reporting agencies have stated that Apple has shipped 795,000 computers during the July-September 1995 period, according to
International Data Corp. of Framingham, Mass. The company shipped 788,000, according to
Dataquest Inc. of San Jose, Calif. The third quarter is historically a good one for Apple because of strong sales to schools and parents
of school-aged children.

The research firms differed widely on who was second. Dataquest said it was Compaq Computer
Corp. with 727,000 computers shipped while IDC said it was Packard Bell Electronics with
705,000 shipments. Dataquest said Packard Bell was No. 3 with 711,000 shipments while IDC said Compaq was No.3 with 679,000 shipments. IBM was fourth in both rankings and Hewlett-Packard, not ranked a year ago by Dataquest and No. 10 for IDC, jumped to No. 5.

Both research groups base their estimates on conversations with PC manufacturers. They rely on
shipments to wholesalers and retailers as a measure of demand rather than actual sales, which
would be hard to gauge because of the large number of distributors and stores involved.

Overall U.S. shipment growth was 21%, according to IDC. Dataquest, which did not provide a
growth estimate for U.S. shipments, said the worldwide PC market was up 21% from a year ago.
Dataquest only provided a ranking of the Top 5 manufacturers. IDC ranked the Top 10. Its second five were Dell Computer Corp., Gateway 2000 Inc., Acer America Inc., Toshiba America Inc. and Digital Equipment Corp.

Based on preliminary estimates of third-quarter shipments by research firm here is here is the ranking by sales (in ascending order) of personal computer manufacturers;

Dataquest Inc. ranking 1. Apple: 788,000
2. Compaq: 727,000
3. Packard Bell 711,000
4. IBM: 493,000
5. Hewlett-Packard: 328,000

International Data Corp. ranking
1. Apple: 795,000
2. Packard Bell: 705,000
3. Compaq: 670,000
4. IBM: 490,000
5. Hewlett-Packard: 305,000
6. Dell: 295,000
7. Gateway 2000: 288,000
8. Acer: 198,000
9. Toshiba: 190,000
10. Digital: 111,000

Adobe Publishes WWW Magazine

Adobe Systems, Inc .has begun publishing an online version of its bi-monthly Adobe magazine. The adobe.mag editor Karen Fisher stated " I think, that the Web is becoming a true business medium." " So, as we cast ourselves into **39259** the endless ocean of the Internet, we can only tell you that we've worked hard and hope we're starting off with an adobe.mag that is useful to you and others like you."

Adobes addition of its online magazine joins the ever growing fray of publishers ie. Publish, MacWeek, PCWeek that are jumping into the new medium.

Apple Releases 3 Software Updates

PowerTalk Manager 15 you can download it here.

Telephone Manager 2.0 you can download it here.

MegaPhone 1.0.3P you can download it here.

Two Winning games for Macs only

If you own a Macintosh, by now you're probably feeling a little shaky. Fears of abandonment.
Interminable harangues from Microsoft Wind-bags. A mouse-click away from Beta-blivion.

Take heart; here are two CD-ROM delights strictly for the faithful, unavailable to Windows'
legions, and a chance for Macophiles to again feel superior (for a moment or two):

Power Pete (*** 1/2 out of four, MacPlay, about $30 in stores) harks back to the best of the
Nintendo and Super NES scrolling arcade games. In a toy store run amok at night, you're Pete, the
G.I. Joe-like action figure who has to save the escaped fuzzy bunnies from marauding toy
dinosaurs, cavemen, gingerbread men and killer clowns. Check your radar to find the bunnies, and
make your way through each level's maze, dodging and trashing toys as you go.

Five levels and a strong twitch quotient keep the action pumping; the only drawback is you have to
shoot in the direction you're running, instead of being able to shoot behind you. Not rated but
intended for ages 5 and up; violence in the Mario vein. Marathon 2: Durandal (*** 1/2, Bungie
Software, about $50) is the sequel to the game that did for Mac what Doom did for PC. And even
now, when Doom has finally crawled its way to the Mac platform, Marathon 2 stays a stretch
ahead. It offers many of Doom's guilty pleasures: smooth-scrolling first-person perspective;
texture-mapped 3-D environments; networked play. But in M2 you aim up and down, not just
horizontally, and you can glance side-to-side at a button's touch.

It seems to have superior sound, sharper graphics and a bit more responsiveness than Doom (at
least on my Power Mac). And each copy is licensed for both a main Mac and a second networked
machine, so you don't have to buy doubles to battle a friend. Networked games include
cooperative mode, plus "King of the Hill'' and "Kill the Guy With the Ball.''

Compared with Doom, M2 is a bit less gore-filled (insectoid enemies die in green globs) and
somewhat less paranoid: Civilian "Bobs'' materialize to help you occasionally. But shoot them
indiscriminately and they'll shoot back at you. Not rated, but probably OK for older kids.
Story from USA Today

April 7, 1996 Happy Easter

Confusion Re: Free 7.5.3

There has been confusion and contradictory stories regarding the "Free" System 7.5.3 update 2.0 from Apple . Here is the definitive answer: Apple is not charging customers in the U.S. for the
upgrade, even if they told you they would. (This was decided on April 2nd.) The free offer
runs only through May 31, 1996. To order the upgrade you must Call (800) 293-6617 or fax (408) 644-2008. You'll need to provide name, mailing address, and daytime phone number. You will not need to supply a credit card is necessary.

MacHack '96 Conference

Save $100 by responding this week!
Come and enhance your Mac development skills the most effective way: in a nonstop, immersive, around-the-clock-for-three-days environment, MacHack '96.June 19 - 22, 1996 Holiday Inn, Dearborn, Michigan

Learn from the experts in dozens of sessions on tools, platforms, hacking, running a software business, emerging technologies. Share your techniques and collaborate on developing a "hack" that contributes to the community and wins awards from your peers. Get valuable feedback on your
development technique in the roundtables and code clinics. See papers presented on keytechnological topics - and change the way you think about development.

Steer the Platform: Help Apple do the right thing for developers through your feedback and input in the ever-popular "Bash Apple" session and on the Top Ten Issues balloting. Don't miss your chance to learn and play with Copland with some of the top developers in the country, in an interactive, two-way environment.

Like other conferences, there are sessions and papers, but MacHack's 24-hour, hands-on focus requires more than just sitting in sessions or listening to papers being presented. Every year a machine room is provided on a 24 hour basis. Last year, the machine room had one hundred machines available for programming and all connected to the Internet. Apple lent Newtons to those interested in developing software for the Newton.

The highlight of the conference, reflecting its hands-on nature, is the Hack Show. Attendees have the opportunity to amuse and amaze their peers with feats of technical wizardry and creative chicanery. Some of this new software inspires new system software features, some becomes third party commercial products, and some is just for showing off and having fun.

We lock the doors after 300 attendees sign up (to keep the quality of the experience high for all participants), so register today! Normally $475, but save $100 if you register by April 15 (a few slots also remain for discounted student registration); some discount airfares into nearby Detroit airport are also available through April 12. Registration fee includes three lunches, one banquet, conference sessions (starting with a keynote at midnight the morning of June 20) and Machine Room admission, T-shirt, and proceedings on paper and CD-ROM. And the opportunity of a lifetime.

"I've pretty much given up on WWDC -- too much marketing-speak. MacHack is by far the best way to learn what's happening on Macintosh TODAY, not just two years from now." -- Eric Gundrum, The Mac Group

"The best conference I go to each year." -- Keith Stattenfield, Apple

If you are interested in speaking, e-mail to share your expertise with the Mac developer community.

MacHack '96 can also be reached at 313-882-1824.

Scripting for BBEDit Available

People have built a lot of websites just with BBEdit, without a database and without macros. I've seen what these websites look like. All those hard-coded URLs! It's amazing that these websites work. They're hard to maintain.

When I understood how people are doing it, and then after getting to know Rich Siegel, the lead developer of BBEdit, it became clear that we could solve a lot of these problems by connecting Frontier and BBEdit very closely together. That's what we did.

Frontier is a scripting platform with an object database. It supports lots of protocols for connecting to Macintosh apps. BBEdit also supports those protocols. You will not need a new version of BBEdit. Amazing! It all works.

  • An extensible database of glossary terms, that you can refer to in "double-quotes" in your HTML text
  • A powerful macro language that runs while your pages are being built
  • Automatic enabling of URLs and mail addresses
  • Automatic substitution of special Macintosh characters for the equivalent HTML codes
  • An easy connection, via Fetch 3.0, to servers running on Unix and Windows NT and other operating systems
  • Support for web authors who can access their server disk thru Macintosh file sharing
  • Full source for all scripts are included, so all the features can be customized. The scripts have been designed to be modified and extended

Requirements, Downloading

This package requires BBEdit 3.5.2 or greater. It will not work with BBEdit Lite.

To get started, download the Frontier package now.
You'll also need Netscape 2.0 or greater to preview your pages, and Fetch 3.0 or greater to upload the resulting text to your server.

For addditional inf go to "the Web site"

April 6, 1996 (US readers, don't forget to turn your clocks ahead)

Reported Prices Cuts on 2 Apple Macs

Apple recently cut dealer prices on two Power Mac models, a move sources feel will clear the way for faster models expected later this month.

Power Mac 7200/75 and 8500/120 dropped by about $400. Apple though denied it had cut prices, explaining that dealers can set their own price tags on retail models.Additional price cuts are expected in the next few weeks to clear out dealers current inventory, and make way for the faster models

The PowerMac 7200/75 has been seen at many dealers for $999, and the Power Mac 8500/16 1 gig
for $3,400.

DayStar Cuts Staff & Prices Upgrades

DayStar Digital Inc. last week again announced additional staff layoffs, affecting the company's Mac clone operation. DayStar laid off an additional 15 to 20 people, bringing the combined layoff to more than a third of the work force. This added to the 16 positions eliminated earlier due to their lagging accelerator-card business. DayStar now employs about 50, down from 89 a month ago.

CEO Andrew Lewis said additional staff cuts were needed because the market is soft for the
company's Genesis line of multi processor Macintosh clones. "We're scaling down to wait it out," hesaid. The company will continue to engineer and ship new products, he said.

DayStar also cut $400 from its PowerPC upgrades for 68030-based Macs. Now $499, the Turbo 601 board houses a 66-Mhz PowerPC 601 processor and takes advantage of the computer's existing on-board memory. Three models of the Turbo 601 are available: one for the IIci; one for the IIsi; and a third for the IIvi, IIvx and Performa 600-series machines.

Now Your PCI Mac can "Reply" in Pentiumese

Reply Corp., has announced a new series of Pentium cards for PCI Macs. The new cards are called DOS on Power Mac PCI, they will be offered with Pentium processors ranging in speed from 100 to 200 Mhz. A Mac-compatible DIMM will offer a maximum Ram of 128 Megabytes also included is SIMM socket for a Level 2 cache. An additional **39259** module will provide a serial and parallel ports and will be SoundBlaster-compatible. Additional options will included, Reply NetPack, which will add support for Ethernet and token-ring networking. Users will have the capability to establish simultaneous network connections under different TCP/IP addresses for their Mac and DOS or Windows environments. A $195 upgrade for existing Apple and Reply cards was also announced.

DOS on Power Mac PCI card owners will have their choice of support for Microsoft Corp. operating system, including Windows NT; as well as IBM Corp.'s OS/2.

Apple and Orange Micro Inc. has also shown prototypes of PCI cards with Pentium and Cyrix 5x86 processors.

Cypress to Bundle Megaphone with US Robotic Sportster

Cypress Research Corporation has announced that US Robotics is bundling a version the MegaPhone telephony software with the Sportster Voice 28.8 fax modem for the Macintosh. MegaPhone for Sportster offers on-screen full-duplex speaker phone, a digital answering machine, and Caller ID.

The Sportster utilizes a pared-down version of Cypress Research's MegaPhone, including a full-duplex speaker phone, contact manager, digital answering machine, drag-and- drop dialing, keyboard dialing, Call Timer, Toll Saver, and remote message retrieval. MegaPhone supports Caller ID where available.

MegaPhone for Sportster get a free 30-day trial offer of the full version of MegaPhone, similar to Apples original GeoPort. Additional features in the full version are, call logging and scheduling, Smart Speed Dial, MegaDial dialing management, PowerTalk integration, Touch Tone Navigator, expanded contacts information, and synchronization with personal information managers (PIM) and databases. You can upgrade directly from Cypress for $49.95. The US Robotics Sportster Voice 28.8 fax modem for Macintosh is list priced at $329.

Excite Shares Rise 18% in First Day of Trading

Internet search engine Excite had a good, but not great first day of trading. Excite was the second Internet company this week to go public.Two days after rival Lycos went public, Excite opened with 2 million shares of common stock at $17 each and closed at $20 per share. The company's initial offering price was significantly higher than analysts' estimates of $12 to $14.

Lycos, share fell to $18, it had started out at $16 on its Wall Street debut Tuesday and closed the day at $21.94. Excite, has 10.7 million shares outstanding, filed its registrationfor an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 11, 1996.

April 5, 1996 Happy Good Friday

Apple Agrees To Sell Fountain Manufacturing Facility

Apple Computer, Inc. and SCI Systems, Inc. announced today that they have entered into an agreement to sell Apple's manufacturing facility in Fountain, Colorado, to SCI. Under terms of a three-year agreement, SCI will assume responsibility for manufacturing Apple products at the Fountain site. In describing its evolving business strategy, Apple has previously discussed the Company's intentions to make optimal use of outside resources. "As we move forward, Apple will apply the Company's own resources where we can add most value while leveraging the assets and expertise of third parties where they have outstanding competencies," said Apple Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gilbert F. Amelio.

"By outsourcing the manufacturing activities of our Fountain site to a company of SCI Systems' size, experience and broad business base, Apple has the opportunity to benefit from SCI Systems' economies of scale," said Fred Forsyth, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide operations. "In addition, this arrangement offers Apple an opportunity to reduce both our product costs and inventory carrying costs."

"We're delighted to become a larger part of the Apple community and to expand our presence in Colorado," said Olin B. King, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SCI Systems. "Our previous experience with several plant acquisitions from large high-tech companies makes this opportunity a natural fit for us."

Since 1991, Apple's 360,000 square foot Fountain facility has manufactured subassemblies and finished computers. Apple currently has approximately 1100 employees in Fountain. SCI plans to offer employment to the majority of Apple employees currently working in the Fountain facility, and subject to customary due diligence and approvals, expects to take possession of the plant during June 1996.

Apple Announces QuickTime VR Tools
Free Beta-Level QuickTime VR Tools

Apple Computer, Inc. today announced a significant advance in the creation of virtual reality
environments with the immediate availability of new, beta-level Apple Macintosh tools for creating QuickTime VR objects and panoramas. With these tools, Make QTVR Object and Make QTVR Panorama, Web site creators, computer graphics program users, and photographers can more easily create fast, efficient QuickTime VR virtual reality content for their Web sites, CD-ROM titles, and other delivery vehicles such as kiosks. The tools are available today on the QuickTime VR Web site.

"These tools integrate several steps in creating QuickTime VR content and make it much easier for higher-level users to create both objects and panoramas," said Michael Radu, CEO of Mind Expansion Technology, a provider of QuickTime VR-related services.

Along with the new standalone tools, Apple is making available information to help developers incorporate QuickTime VR functionality in computer graphics and multimedia authoring applications. This information includes the source code for the new tools and the file format for QuickTime VR 1.0 panoramas and objects. One example of how this information could be used is to extend a computer graphics program to include menu items for one- step creation of QuickTime VR panoramas and objects. This information is available from the Apple developer Web site .

In addition to providing tools and information for QuickTime VR 1.0, Apple is beginning the process of creating the next release of QuickTime VR. Apple has shipped to key developers and partners the QuickTime VR 1.1 API Specification for review and comment. Apple will gather feedback on this specification and intends to announce the features of, and schedule for, QuickTime VR Version 1.1 at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in May.

Software and content developers will continue to use the QuickTime VR Authoring Tools Suite 1.0 for creating photographic panoramas from multiple photographs ("stitching"), for adding clickable hot spots, and for creating complete virtual reality experiences. The QuickTime VR Authoring Tools Suite 1.0 is available from the Apple Catalog at 1-800-282-2732.

QuickTime VR Tools Benefit Photographers, Computer Graphics Users

The new beta-level QuickTime VR tools shipping today are Make QTVR Object and Make QTVR Panorama. Make QTVR Object is used to create a QuickTime VR object movie from photographs or computer-generated images of an object such as a piece of jewelry, a human figure modeling clothing, or a car. It converts a QuickTime movie with frames consisting of images of the object into a single QuickTime VR object. The resulting QuickTime VR object can be rotated by the user to see all sides of the object. Object files generated from a single row of photographs around an object are typically about 500KB in size.

Make QTVR Panorama is used to create a QuickTime VR panorama from a panoramic photograph or a computer-generated image of a scene. Make QTVR Panorama converts a panoramic PICT file from a computer graphics program or a scan of a panoramic photograph into a QuickTime VR panorama. The user can pan and zoom within the resulting QuickTime VR panorama. Panoramas generated from photographs can be as small as 150KB.

The new tools bring new capabilities to photographers and owners of computer graphics applications. "We are very pleased with the expanded capabilities the new Apple QuickTime VR tools bring to owners of our real world 3D development application, Bryce 2," said John Wilczak, chairman and CEO of MetaTools. "It is clear that Apple has now provided the Web world with important new enabling technology for the creation and easy integration of virtual reality scenes into Web sites."

Both of these tools create content that can be made part of a Web site, a CD-ROM title, or other program such as a kiosk presentation. This content can be used with the QuickTime VR Authoring Tools Suite or authoring programs such as Apple Media Tool, Macromedia Director, or mFactory from mTropolis.

QuickTime VR Developer Information Available

Effective today, all Apple developers can access updated information about QuickTime VR 1.0 on the Apple Developer Web site. This information includes source code for the new tools, Make QTVR Object and Make QTVR Panorama, and Apple Technotes explaining the QuickTime VR 1.0 Object and Panorama Movie File Formats. Developers can use this information to add QuickTime VR content creation functionality to their programs.

Developers who have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple can also receive the QuickTime VR 1.1 API specification for the upcoming release of QuickTime VR 1.1. For more information, registered Apple developers can contact Developer Seeding. Please provide your name, company name, mailing address and phone number. To become a registered Apple developer, call the Apple Developer Hotline at (408) 974-4897.

"We expect this combined tool and information release to have several positive effects," said Bud Smith, Apple product marketing manager, QuickTime VR. "We foresee an immediate increase in the amount of Web and CD-ROM QuickTime VR content that people will see. We expect QuickTime VR to be integrated into additional content creation and authoring applications. And we expect many more developers to commit to longer-term projects that integrate QuickTime VR with the upcoming availability of the QuickTime VR 1.1 API."

Features and delivery dates for the next release of QuickTime VR are expected to be announced during the Apple World Wide Developer Conference, May 13-17, 1996 in San Jose, California. The announcement is expected to include seeding and final delivery dates for the next release of QuickTime VR along with its feature set and details of the seeding program.

April 4, 1996 Happy Passover

General Magic May lose Sony, AT&T

A Securities and Exhchange Commission filing states that General Magic may lose two of its biggest partners. Sony is suspending plans to develop a handheld computer based on the company's Magic Cap operating system. AT&T might pull the plug on its PersonaLink online service, which carries General Magic's Telescript software.

Both Magic Cap and Telescript got off to a slow start. Magic Cap is available in only two handheld devices including thenew Envoy 150 . The Envoy 150 will utilizes General Magic's Magic Cap 1.5. The new 150 has three times the memory as the original Envoy. Reportedly it uses a new screen that offers back lighting and a "holographic reflector. " (see related story)

Sony's PIC-2000 device includes an earlier version of Magic Cap, and Sony said it might consider Magic Cap version 2.0 when it is released but is talking with other vendors.

Tips on System 7.5.3

A site with System 7.5.3 tips, usually updated daily.

New Book, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha (Special Pricing)

As readers of The Mac Bathroom Reader know, Apple Computer is celebrating its 20th anniversary on April Fools' Day, 1996. In keeping with the spirit of the day, I'm offering another one of my books, The Macintosh Joker, at an unbelievable price of just $6. That's 70% off the list price of $19.95; a deal too good to pass up.

Yup, just six measly bucks for a cool book with a disk containing 33 harmless prank programs to play on other Mac users. What a great way to seek revenge on anyone who pulled an April Fools trick on you.

For your very own autographed book(s), send cash, check or money order (drawn on a U.S. bank) payable to Owen Ink. All prices include 4th Class service within the United States; surface delivery elsewhere. For Priority Mail service within the United States, add $3 per book. For Air Mail service outside the United States, add $7 per book. For proper fulfillment, you must specify the book(s) you are ordering. Mail your order to: Owen Ink 2227 15th Ave. San Francisco, CA 94116-1824

You may also send questions/comments and get a detailed description of the books contents via electronic mail .

Lycos Goes Public IPO Nets 1st Day Increase of 37%

Lycos has become the first Internet search engine to go public. Yesterday IPO brought the company's market value to almost $300 million, and demonstrated to investors that Internet stocks are still a sizzling segment of the "Street."

The stock opened at $16 but quickly shot up to $29.95. It closed the day at $21.94, an increase of 37 percent. The company's first day out didn't reach the level of trading mania as Netscape's astronomical IPO in August. Lycos's gains bode well for its two other search engines, Yahoo and Excite which are both scheduled to go public later this month. An estimated 3 million of 13.6 million outstanding Lycos shares were traded yesterday.

Claris Hires VP of Development

Claris Corp. has hired Bill Sudlow as vice president of product development, he will report directly to President Guerrino De Luca. Sudlow will be managing Claris complete product line including all cross-platform products, and oversee the integration of Apple-brand software which is currently managed separately by Apple.

A spokes person for Claris, says the company "is starting to realize some of its cross-platform strategies," for example, by attempting to deliver Macintosh and Windows software versions simultaneously.

Sudlow comes to Claris from Neuron Data, where he was vice president of engineering in charge of
managing object-oriented tools development.

Claris enjoys 80 percent market share with ClarisWorks on the Macintosh. First quarter revenues rose 40 percent as compared to the same quarter last year.

Receive Special Macintosh Offers Via Email

The Idealist listserver has been created as a free service to the Macintosh community and Macintosh manufacturers and publishers. Two to three times a month the Idealist server will send subscribers an email message which contains the best Macintosh product bargains available. The offers listed in Idealist are not common sales discounts, but are very special offers made directly by manufacturers and unavailable anywhere else.

Idealist gives manufacturers a no-cost method of extending private offers to Macintosh users. Since there is no advertising costs to the manufacturer, the manufacturer can offer a steep discount to Idealist subscribers.

Benefits to Subscribers: This service is offered free of charge tosubscribers. The offers posted on Idealist are better than the typical"ten dollars off" found in most special offers. The list's organizers
only accept and post high discount offers. Many of the deals posted onIdealist are 50% or more off of the products normal price. Some of thebargains that can be found on Idealist include:

Overstocked Items: Manufacturers often become overstocked with a particular item and offer them to the public in a special private offer.

Outdated Items: Software publishers often find themselves with thousands of copies of a software product for which they are about to release an upgrade. Thousands of manuals, disks and boxes end up in the landfill because the publisher needs to update all of this material for the new release. By posting an offer for this software on Idealist, publishers can make a profit from their surplus supplies and obtain many new customers who might purchase the upgrade later. The customer benefits by receiving a huge discount on the current version of the program.

Seasonal Offers: Most businesses have their busy seasons and their slow seasons. Macintosh product manufacturers will often extend very special offers during their slow season to compensate for the decrease in business.

Cosmetically Damaged Merchandise: While a scratch on a product's box does not effect the performance or usability of a product, it is enough to force a manufacturer to discard that product since it is no longer shelf-worthy. Manufacturers will place ads on Idealist offering cosmetically damaged merchandise at unbelievable discounts. The products will be manufacturer-guaranteed as "good as new."

To subscribe to the Idealist and receive special offers through email:

Send an email message to:

In the BODY of your message, put: SUBSCRIBE IDEALIST

If you are a publisher or manufacturer and would like details on how to
extend your offer to Idealist subscribers:

Send an email message to:

In the SUBJECT of your message, put: Idealist Posting Info

Adobe COO Resigns After Only Six Months

Adobe Systems Chief Operating Officer Stephen MacDonald resigned March 30 after only six months in his new job. The company says MacDonald left to pursue other interests. Adobe President Charles Geschke willassume the position's responsibilities until a new hire is made.

Last month (March, 1996), Adobe announced a significant drop in profits for the first quarter and announced that Hewlett-Packard's would withdr from licensing PostScript technology for some of its printers.

DataDock by NicroNet

Using MicroNet Technology's DataDock for moving data among Mac, PC and Unix systems is VERY cool, because DataDock automatically handles all the technical stuff that makes moving files a chore. In fact, it's faster AND easier to move files using DataDock than it is using networks -- and here are the top reasons why:
  • DataDock supports all Mac and PC and most Unix operating systems. (i.e. DataDock supports System 6 or later on Macs; DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, and Windows NT on PCs; Sun, SGI, RS6000 and other Unix operating systems.)

  • DataDock automatically manages the names of files moved among systems. (i.e. Mac file names appear as 8.3 names when moved to DOS or Unix systems, really long Win 95 names appear as shorter names to Win 3.11 systems, and so on.)

  • DataDock automatically links files moved between systems. (i.e. WordPerfect files automatically open under WordPerfect when moved among Mac, PC and Unix systems, and so on.)

  • DataDock automatically creates custom links for files moved among systems. (i.e. Lotus 123 spreadsheets from a PC can be set to open automatically under MS Excel on a Mac, and so on.)

  • DataDock can convert files moved between Mac/PC and Unix systems. (i.e. Unix Targa graphics files can be converted to Mac and PC EPS graphics files, and so on.)

  • DataDock supports Mac and DOS partitions on Mac, PC or Unix systems. (i.e. Move Mac formatted DataDock modules to PC and Unix systems, DOS formatted modules to Mac and Unix systems, and so on.)

  • DataDock systems automatically support all DataDock modules. (i.e. Wide modules can be used with both narrow or wide DataDocks, narrow modules can be used with wide or narrow DataDocks, and so on.)

  • DataDock modules are available using most types of fixed and removable drives. (i.e. Hard drive modules are available using narrow, wide, and ultra hard drives and arrays. Removable modules are available using jaz, SyQuest, DAT, CD-ROM, CD-R, DAT, QIC, MO, and RAM disks - with more on the way.)

  • DataDock systems are available with narrow, wide and ultra SCSI interfaces. (i.e. Use narrow SCSI DataDock with compact Mac, LC or Macintosh II systems, wide SCSI DataDocks with Power Macs, PCs and Unix systems, and so on.)

April 3, 1996

Motorola Announces New Envoy 150

Motorola's Wireless Data Group announced a new version of it's Envoy line of wireless communicators. The new unit called the Envoy "150." It also announced a software upgrade for the original Envoy, and a connectivity packages for Microsoft Mail and Lotus cc:Mail.

The new Envoy 150 operating system is based on General Magic's Magic Cap 1.5. The new 150 has three times the memory as the original Envoy. Reportedly it uses a new screen that offers back lighting and a "holographic reflector. "

The new "150" utilizes a package that allows remote communications to local area network (LAN)-based e-mail systems, by River Run Software Group "

Original Envoy users an upgrade to the capabilities of the Envoy 150, by upgrading the Magic Cap system to the Magic Cap 1.5 OS. Motorola states that the software upgrade provides for faster start-up on activation, easier routine maintenance, greater control of memory allocation, and improved telephone dialing features.

The Envoy 150 should be available by mid-April, at a price level of around $1,300, the original Envoy is still available for $999. The software upgrade, which starts at $29, can be obtained by calling 800- 934-4721.

April 2, 1996

An Anonymous Letter from Apple Emlpoyee
Details Meeting with Amelio

The following is a rather long (but interesting & enlightening) letter that was sent to Guy Kawasaki listserve MacWay. We are reprinting it in its entirety.

This is a personal report on a meeting with Gil Amelio . I've tried to provide as accurate a report as
possible, but it is necessarily a subjective view.

I had the good fortune to be randomly selected to meet with our new CEO, Gil Amelio, in the first
of what will be a continuing series of monthly "Koffee Klatches". In what will serve as a model for
future meetings, it brought together about a dozen individuals, each randomly selected from within
a diverse range of corporate divisions. Mostly non-managers (deliberately, apparently) were
present from ATG, Newton, DTS, Communications, Marketing, product software development,
product hardware design, IS&T, and other groups. No pre-registration is required (or possible, so
far as I know) to participate in these meetings; selection is random within the groups. They are
Gil's attempt to obtain direct feedback from the troops, and to provide us direct access to him and
his views on Apple's direction. (This is something Gil routinely practiced at National
Semiconductor, and plans to continue here.)

I should state at the outset that I was predisposed to like what I heard, because I had just read his
book, _Profit from Experience_, as preparation for the meeting, and was quite blown away.
(Thanks to Dave Yost for pushing me to go ahead and read it!) If you haven't read this, I *highly*
recommend it. We actually have a CEO who has a clue, both technically and as a business
manager. The book demonstrates a wide and deep understanding of business philosophies and
practices, adopts its (Gil's) own eclectic synthesis of those views, and espouses specific plans of
action for fostering a healthy company. He discusses real financial records, and provides his views
on the specific financial indicators he values most and how to interpret them as gauges of the health
of the organization and its market. Throughout the book, Gil preaches what often sounds like
good, common sense--a most uncommon commodity in American business management.
Management and business books are anything but a favorite area of reading for me, but this book
was remarkably informative and interesting. And it bodes extremely well for the future of Apple. If
the creeping blues about Apple's woes are getting you down, read this book. It will help. (Gil -
You can forward my cut of the royalties to my Swiss bank account. :-)

That said, the meeting itself was quite encouraging. Too brief, to be sure, but encouraging. Gil
insisted that each person ask at least one question or offer one comment. A couple of people sat
quietly through the entire session, until, upon being notified that there were 5 minutes remaining,
Gil focused on these individuals and surprisingly gracefully drew them out as well.

First a few of Gil's initial comments: "It's fixable." While I don't think he could, in good
conscience, face us and say, "We're doomed", I believe he means what he says. Without revealing
any numbers, he indicated that financials would indeed be poor this quarter. With a mix of bad and
good news, he noted that we were heaviest hit in corporate sales, due to the intense barrage of bad
press, but that our education and home markets were not so badly affected. He holds fast to his
"100 days" target (May 15) of determining Apple's full strategic plan, but appears to have a pretty
good grasp of some of our greatest strengths and weaknesses already, and I believe he already has
at least a few plans taking shape in his mind.

What I felt was a major directional strategy was his statement that Apple would be, essentially, the
MagLite of computers. MagLites are those extremely well-made, but pricier flashlights. He said we
simply cannot compete dollar for dollar with Compaq, Gateway 2000, or (name your own
clone-maker), due to our larger R&D budget. So we must be perceived as a more desirable, more
reliable, higher value computer, for which people will be willing to pay a small premium. To make
this point at a recent board meeting, Gil brought in a $2.98 el cheapo flashlight and a much more
expensive MagLite, and noted that it was interesting that what he had in his home was the MagLite,
specifically for its dependability and durability. On the one hand, it's almost impossible to argue
with this strategy, unless you propose lopping off R&D and ceasing innovation, in which case you
might as well close the doors now. (And Gil definitely feels this way about *not* gutting R&D and
thus sacrificing the future of the company, just to make a quarterly report look good; read his

On the other hand, it scares me that an extreme form of this is just exactly how Sculley (in my
opinion) virtually destroyed the company...trying to market computers, no matter how great they
were, at double the going market price for clones. (And I hope that Gil doesn't lack perspective,
and occasionally remembers that even though *he* has MagLites at home, not everyone makes
millions of dollars a year, and lots of people buy the cheap flashlights for pretty much that
reason--the price differential.) But, frankly, given Gil's intelligence and business acumen, I'm
willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he will seek the appropriately sized
premium that balances our advantages (and we *do* have advantages) with the market's
willingness to pay for them. (And I think we still have a cost-over-product-lifecycle argument to
make; I also have a couple of MagLites at home that have far outlasted the clunkers I used to buy.)

One participant asked for a better definition, some more specifics on what was meant by the new
emphasis on "Quality", noting that the concept was a bit broad. Software stability was one key
element that was stressed in the ensuing discussion. I made the point that the kind of stability being
sought would never be achieved without true memory protection, and worried that Copland,
though making steps in the right direction, does not go far enough in addressing this most
fundamental of concerns. (Yes, there are backward compatibility issues, and, as such, may need to
be a "Blue partition", much as Copland uses, but the part of the System the user sees, the Finder,
should not reside in that eminently crashable partition, *new* apps should be able to have a user
interface yet reside in a protected partition, and there are additional steps that can be taken right now
to provide limited memory protection for legacy Blue applications--talk to Greg Robbins.) Gil's
immediate response was that he was very aware of this, agreed wholeheartedly, and had already
scheduled meetings with Dave Nagel to work on the problem. Imagine... a CEO with whom you
can talk about memory protection, and who is already taking steps to ensure its earliest possible

Another issue related to stability that Gil specifically raised was the huge number of system
software variants that are required to support our various platform configurations. He said that it
had been estimated that for all combinations of form factors, ASICs, and revisions, we must
support something like 100,000 unique configurations, with a potentially different OS for each. He
says that that *will* change. There will be a standardized interface between the OS and the basic
motherboard. Creativity can come into play in the industrial design, user interface, peripherals,
boards, or wherever we can improvise on the periphery, but that the OS will no longer be expected
to adapt to excessively creative board design with each new platform, and hence will be much
easier to support and much more stable.

One participant commented that many people in the company were "tired of learning about breaking
news at Apple from the Mercury" (quote approx.). In Gil's and his predecessors' defense, the
simple fact is, Apple management cannot legally reveal some things, certainly fiscal issues, to
employees before it reveals those things to the public. But Gil took the question seriously, and
made a point of how he expects IS&T to take a more active role in fostering interdepartmental
communication and in bringing late-breaking news to the desktop for everyone. He also is going to
require that they make financial information more readily available, though it was unclear how
much, to whom. (From his book, it is clear that Gil keeps a close, personal eye on the financials,
knows exactly what he wants to see, and wants to see it instantaneously, online.)

Gil also mentioned that there was to be an employee-wide Comm. meeting, then scheduled for
4/26. A representative from Communications noted that the communications gap was going to
strike again in that scenario, since the new financials would be released on 4/17, and with more
than a week's delay, the Comm. meeting would seem, perhaps, after the fact. On the spot Gil
decided to move the Comm. meeting forward to the 17th or 18th, and asked the Communications
person (who had apparently arranged the Koffee Klatch) to take care of making it so. They
apparently had been unable to reserve a facility large enough before the 26th, but Gil said, "We can
hold it on campus if we need to, we have the room, move the meeting up" (quote approx.). Okay,
it's a small thing, but I appreciated the responsiveness to suggestion, and the decisiveness.

And further on the subject of responsiveness to suggestions, I noticed Gil make note of action
items for himself several times, when ideas emerged that were not already part of his plans. I got
the impression that the issues would genuinely receive his attention.

A representative from the Newton division asked a question of more than passing interest to your
reporter, regarding Gil's plans for the future of Newton. I had a chance to interject a little bit about
the 140% of plan sales (suppliable at those levels!), well-received Newton 2.0 with the ATG print
recognizer, and the exciting plans for upcoming StrongArm-based products, and how well I
thought they could fit into ATG's research directions in support of ubiquitous data access. We
noted earlier plans for a spin-out vs. keeping it in-house, and asked which direction he saw things
progressing. Gil was direct and fairly commital in his support for Newton, for keeping it in-house,
and for giving it more, not less support. He noted that the complete separation from Apple (as is
currently the case) of sales, marketing, legal, licensing, management, engineering--the kit--may or
may not be the best possible arrangement. He appeared to genuinely have not made up his mind
yet, and was awaiting further input and insight. And he noted that there might still be interesting
alliances and partnering for vertical markets and the like. But the thrust was to not only keep it
within Apple, but possibly bring it even closer inside Apple, and give it the support it needs.

There were a thousand questions and comments I would have liked to have broached, but the hour
went by all too quickly. No one asked, for example, about compensation, stock-option incentives,
or profit sharing. I'm sure the "brain drain" was mentioned, but I don't recall any substantive
discussion. I did not ask specifically about the future of ATG, although that is mostly because I
didn't feel it was in any special jeapordy after having read Gil's book. I would have liked to
discuss the Internet strategy in a bit more detail. And so on, and so on.

But the end of the meeting doesn't mean that all communication has ceased! I hesitate to mention
this, because I'd hate to be responsible for causing an inundation of email that changed this
practice, but I think it's too important and positive to *not* mention: Gil Amelio reads all his email.
He stated that he had read "a thousand" email messages from concerned employees, offering their
thoughts on what works and what doesn't at Apple. He commented that people obviously care
about the company, and he is actually glad to have the input.

Bottom line... Granted I've been accused of being a perpetual optimist (gadfly and troublemaker in
equal measure, no doubt), but I genuinely believe that the company is now in the best hands it has
ever been in, going all the way back to (and including) Steve & Steve. Gil Amelio appears to be the
real thing, with deep technical knowledge and astonishing business smarts. And when you speak
with him, he's really "all there", paying attention, communicating back. If, indeed, it is "fixable",
then we appear to have the right man, a full-fledged Mr. FixIt, at the helm.

If interested in subscribing to Guys list send an email message to:

include in the body of the message the string:

SUBSCRIBE MACWAY and enter your real name

Version of NCSA Mosaic v. 3.0a2 Available

NCSA announced today the pre-release version of its Mosaic Browser for the Macintosh. Currently no additional information regarding feature set are not available. You can download the pre-release here.

Apple Decides to Give System 7.5.3/Update 2 for Free

Apple Computer Inc. has reportedly reversed its position and is no longer selling the System update for $13. They are taking orders by phone only, call 1 (800) 293-6617 for either the CD or floppy set. Apple is quoting a 2-3 week delivery time.

MacCentral Discontinues its Ezine

MacCentral announced today that one day after beginning a new format, has suspended publishing its Ezine. MacCentral was a volunteer Ezine (as MacinStuff is as well) and the founder Stan Flak had been doing most of the production himself. An excerpt from Stans announcement:

"A crisis has arisen at MacCentral and it is one that I am unable to overcome. Over the past few
months I have seen our volunteer base diminish one by one to the point that only a couple of us
remain. I had hoped that this was just a temporary setback that would resolve itself given time.
Unfortunately this has not been the case. Over the weekend another volunteer was called away
by work related obligations, leaving just myself and one other individual. I had been carrying the
lions share of writing and editing on the site for some time, but will be unable to continue this for
an extended period. Now, with just the two of us it will be impossible to continue to produce
MacCentral. I'll let you in on a little secret. For the past several months I have been obligated to
do all of the research, writing, and graphics work on the Site by myself. Thankfully, I still had
help with the editing or we wouldn't have lasted this long."

We are sorry to see MacCentral leave us, and wish Stan the best in his future endeavors.

WWW Digital Stock Exchange to be Formed

A little beer maker has new plans that could driveWall Street to drink. Spring Street Brewing Co. received dozens of telephone calls from fellow small business owners when it launched an unique system to trade its stock on its World Wide Web page on the Internet last month.

Now, Spring Streets top brewmeister, a former Wall Street lawyer, plans to take that concept a huge step forward. The company is announcing today plans to "develop and operate on the World Wide Web a digital stock exchange through which secondary trading of securities will occur."

"This is not something we're going to try to do on a small scale," said Andrew D. Klein, Spring Streets president. "Some one's going to do it. If we put together the right group of players... We have a great chance of creating something dramatic and evolutionary," Klein said in an interview.

Klein announced the formation of a new company, Wit Capital Corp., named after Spring Streets Wit brand beer. It plans to offer businesses an array of financial advisory services and act as agents in public offering of securities on the Internet. It plans to develop and promote a financial marketplace on the World Wide Web, an easy-to-use**30,000** portion of the global Internet computer network.

The proposal seeks to bypass traditional Wall Street brokerage firms and allow investors to buy or sell securities directly, without using brokers or paying commissions, Klein said. Under his plan, the companies that list on the "digital exchange" would pay fees and transaction charges.

"Our ambition is to create the location on Web where people will come to find those companies," he said. Investment banking services and a type of mutual fund based on future public offerings also will be available, he said.

While many companies want to use the Internet for expanded financial services, Klein has caught the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission for his early innovations in small business finance. In 1995, Spring Street publicized an initial public offering of its shares on the Internet, after registering the shares with the SEC, and managed to raise $1.6 million from 3,500 investors.

Last month, the company received initial SEC clearance for bulletin board trading system for the companies stock, called Wit-Trade, which works on Spring Streets Web page. Klein said Wit Capital Corp. has to navigate several regulatory hurdles and register with the SEC as a broker-dealer, and maybe as a stock exchange. He's consulting with a variety of securities dealers, investment bankers and technology companies, and plans to announce partnerships with large players in the next few days.

By Rob Wells, AP Business Writer

Sprockets Sprockets Sprockets and More Sprockets
No, Not Saturday Night Live but Apple Computer

Apple Computer, Inc. today announced the first developer release of Apple Game Sprockets--a new, software development kit (SDK) to create advanced multimedia and Internet-enabled games for Mac OS-based computers. Using this SDK, all Mac OS-compatible games can feature real-time 3D graphics, 3D sound, Internet support, speech recognition, and input device/monitor control.

Available royalty-free to all developers, Game Sprockets profoundly simplifies the creation of Apple Macintosh entertainment software. Game Sprockets includes the final release of QuickDraw 3D RAVE (Rendering Acceleration Virtual Engine), a multi-platform technology that enables
game developers to incorporate plug-and-play 3D acceleration hardware.

Apple has established a World Wide Web site to provide developers quick release and updates of these new technologies. The Web site will be open beginning March 31, 1996.

Apple Game Sprockets--named to reflect the extensible nature of the SDK--is a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) designed to work seamlessly with other Apple multimedia technologies such as QuickTime, QuickTime VR, QuickTime Conferencing, and QuickDraw 3D.
Developers can "mix-and-match" individual sprockets to best enhance and complement the existing features of their title.

Using Apple Game Sprockets, a typical "twitch" game could take on new realism and excitement with the addition of real-time 3D graphics and 3D stereo sound that reacts to the player's location and movement. A new interface makes it easy for games to implement advanced joystick
features. If desired, this game might also include speech recognition, multi-player contests across the Internet, videoconferencing, and animation. Best of all, these games can be created and enjoyed on any PowerPC-based Macintosh computer.

"Apple's Game Sprockets SDK provides incredible sound, faster graphics and smoother video, by using the powerful floating-point circuitry built into all Motorola PowerPC microprocessors," said Stan Tims, group marketing manager of Motorola's RISC microprocessor division in Austin, Texas. "Users of 3D game, Internet, multimedia, education and entertainment software can expect thrilling new application effects, enhancing and extending the capabilities of any Power Macintosh system."

The current Apple Game Sprockets SDK includes:
  • NetSprocket--Internet connectivity and multi-player gaming API
  • SoundSprocket--3D sound and Sound Manager API
  • SpeechSprocket--speech recognition API
  • InputSprocket--digital joystick control and input device API
  • DrawSprocket--multiple buffering/display control API
  • QuickDraw 3D RAVE--fast, multi-platform 3D graphics API
"Apple has combined a number of unique technologies in this development kit, with the corporate backing necessary to make it a success," said Louise Biggs, director, desktop graphics and multimedia for International Data Corporation, and one of the authors of the new 3D games market analysis. "We were impressed with the wide range of unique features being offered in Game Sprockets, especially the 3D cross platform capabilities and voice recognition technologies. This SDK should enable developers to create new titles for the Macintosh that are very competitive in the
marketplace and help drive overall sales of Apple computers."

"Games represent a key market segment where Apple can leverage its traditional strengths in multimedia technology," said Heidi Roizen, vice president of developer relations at Apple. "Game Sprockets will enable developers to easily add exciting new features to their titles that showcase the Macintosh platform. We firmly believe that our unique technology--combined with dedicated developer support--will give Macintosh customers the best new games on any platform."

A number of leading Macintosh and PC game developers are already evaluating Apple Game Sprockets for use in their titles, including Bungie Software, Interplay Productions, LucasArts Entertainment Company, PF.
agic, and Reality Bytes, Inc.

The development release of Apple Game Sprockets will be available on the World Wide Web starting March 31, 1996, concurrent with the Computer Game Developers Conference (March 31-April 2, 1996) in Santa Clara, California. Apple will be hosting a number of discussion groups at the show on these technologies, with engineers also available at the booth to answer developer questions.

"The business of making great games is a classic example of evolution--you get cooler quick, or you get left behind," said Ben Calica, senior product manager of game technologies at Apple. "Our job is to provide developers with unique, game-centric technology that shows off the power of the Macintosh by helping them create the hottest titles on the market. For most developers, the Macintosh versions of their games are already the best on any platform--now we want to help them widen the gap even further with Game Sprockets."

The initial release of Apple Game Sprockets will be delivered at the Computer Game Developers Conference on March 31, 1996--a final version is expected by mid-second quarter. Apple Game Sprockets will be issued via WWW.

3Com Offers Free ISDN Setup

Beginning April 8 , 3Com users can be up and running with ISDN ((3-6 times faster than dial-up). The service is geared to run with 3Com ISDN products, including the Impact digital modems, OfficeConnect Remote Routers, the AccessBuilder family of routers and server, and NetBuilder routers. 3Com products support most major protocols, including AppleTalk, TCP/IP, and IPX.