Online Services - Without any Cyberspace Hype!
West Coast Online
Version 3.04 (# 28)
Circulating 40,000 Copies
A Zip Winner
maker of the Bernoulli removable drive, has a winner with
its new Zip Drive. This drive packs 100 MB on each 3.5-inch cartridge,
at a street price of $200. Blank removable cartridges retail for $20
each. The 3.5 inch cartridges are slightly thicker than a floppy
The external Zip drive is about the size of a modem. The SCSI
version of the drive is compatible with PCs running DOS/Windows, and
Macintosh System 7+. Access time is 29 ms, adequate for launching
and running most software applications. Its real strength is in
archiving large files and backing up your hard drive.
The Zip drive may dominate the removable-media market on price
alone. Its closest competitor is a Syquest 88 MB ($350, with
cartridges about $52).
Rupert Murdoch, whose newspaper, television, and film
empire spans four continents, recently traveled to Finland to "beg
for paper" amid a global newsprint shortage. After
returning empty-handed, he vowed that all the newspapers in his
News Corporation stable would soon be published electronically.
"Whether people will pay for them, whether people will use them,
we don't know".
There are many possible uses of the electronic highway, Murdoch
said. "No one yet has found a way to make a profit on
it - I believe one day somebody will. The trick is to get into the
business without losing too much money for a few years".
Murdoch's power, acquisitiveness, and deep pockets have often
prompted critics to lament about his possible media stranglehold.
Murdoch believes the rise of electronic media could shatter
current media monoliths.
"The great thing that's happening - and the electronic
revolution is bringing it about to some extent - is to open
up the possibility of newspapers being started on very little
capital, he said. No one's going to be able to
have any monopolies - the bigger you are, the more vulnerable you'll
be to attack from someone around the corner with
a better idea. And they won't need a lot of money to start
Having trouble finding an Internet Service Provider? Check out
the list of providers at http://thelist.com. Besides
searching for ISPs, this site lets you rate your provider (from 0
to 10) or add providers to the list.
Durand Communications Network
has released MindWire,
their new Internet Client/Server software package. MindWire is a
native Windows application for creating a multimedia online
service accessible by dialup modem, across a network, or
through the Internet.
The MindWire Server software runs on Windows 3.1, Windows for
Workgroups, Windows NT, or a Windows NT Server. MindWire includes a
system of keys that ease billing for an online service. A
complete audit trail records all user transactions
on the server with reports to monitor system activity.
MindWire options include a toolkit for developing interactive
Windows applications with Visual Basic, Visual C++, and other
The MindWire Client software (and a single-user version of the
Server) is free. A 4-user version of the MindWire Server
is $295 for 4 nodes, $495 for 8 nodes, and $295 for each additional
Modem Voice Game Chips
Phylon's new PlayLink chipsets and internal modem boards are designed
to enhance remote PC game play and interaction over normal
The PlayLink system works with existing titles such as DOOM 2,
Heretic, Falcon 3.0, Descent, Indycar, Nascar, and other
two-player mode games. A sound card is required to hear game
music and sound effects - mixed with the remote player's
Phylon's chipset includes features
such as voice and realtime game data communications, talk-first
mode for game setup, games synchronization, and call
The first version of the PlayLink PC internal card includes 14.4
kbps fax/ modem capability and headset, and is software
upgradable by visiting their website:
The PlayLink PC product is available from Phylon, and has an
introductory price of $150 each or $200 for two,
plus sales tax and shipping.
Phylon's website offers lets players find opponents from
around the globe, obtain listings of remote games, hot game
tips, announcements of new game releases, answers to
hardware/software questions, and PlayLink software upgrades as they
The University of California Santa Cruz
will host a hands-on
introduction to Photoshop 3.0 for Macintosh in a weekend
workshop to be held July 15 and 16 in Santa Cruz. Participants
earning the course certificate will learn the skills
necessary to work as entry-level or freelance production artists.
Among UCSC's summer quarter-long courses are Multimedia, Fundamentals
of Newsletter Design, Desktop Publishing, QuarkXPress, and
courses on Adobe's Photoshop, Premiere, and Illustrator. Most
courses are held at UCSC's Santa Clara facility at 3120
De La Cruz Blvd.
Chip Theft Epidemic
A crime wave is sweeping the West Coast. Estimates of reported
robberies of computer and chip resellers, as well as package
delivery vans exceed one per day. These invasion-style
attacks are becoming brutal.
Several stores in the Bay Area have been robbed over the
last year, with no end in sight. The problem
extends past the Bay Area - on May 16 1996, armed robbers stole
an estimated $5 million of chips from Centron
Electronics in Irvine, CA.
Law enforcement has been unable to make a dent in this crime
wave, partially because stolen chips are more valuable
than gold and are easy to fence through established gray-market
channels. Intel has begun marking its larger chips with serial
One way resellers can reduce the incentive to steal is to put
controls on parts purchases, and keep an accurate
paper audit trail to the original source of the parts.
With the razor-thin margins in the electronics
industry, the extra paperwork has some resellers worried. If
they had to prove to the customer that the
parts purchased were from the wholesaler or manufacturer,
the extra expense and paperwork might cause the customer to
bypass the reseller.
To combat this problem (and to avoid the potential risk of being
arrested) individuals should avoid buying parts that might be
Recently it was disclosed that Apple sells more than fifty
percent of its products outside the United States.
"To do business in large foreign markets", said Apple USA
President James Buckley, "American corporations have to set
up homespun operations there. This year we decided to invest in five
emerging markets around the world - China, India, South Korea, Mexico,
and Brazil - because the growth in the business we're in
will hit a wall in a couple of years".
Buckley used Brazil as his example. "Of the nearly 1 million personal
computers sold annually in Brazil, only 3 percent are Apple
Macintoshes. But through a series of actions, Apple expects to
increase its sales in Brazil by an average of 80 percent a
year and attain a 10 percent market share in
This year Apple established a Brazilian subsidiary,
opened a sales office, developed a distribution channel,
approved advertising programs and is working on deals with
software developers, manufacturers, warehousers, and third-party
customer support providers in Brazil."
"It doesn't mean we're not an American company anymore.
But we've opened operations in Shanghai to help us operate
locally in China and we're doing software development in India".
The worldwide sales (prices) of 16 and 32-bit microprocessors had doubled
in the last two years, and has reached almost $11 billion, according to
a report from the Semiconductor Industry Association
The Year 2000
For many computer and software systems, the year 2000
will bring a host of expensive problems related to software
programs that record the year using only the last two digits.
Hosting a continually updated clock showing the time remaining
until the year 2000, The Year 2000 Information Center
allows Internet users to get
the latest facts and information on the year 2000 computer
crisis, and provides a forum for the discussion of possible
Managing Internet Information Services, (O'Reilly & Associates,
$29.95, ISBN 1-56592-062-7) by Cricket Liu, Jerry Peek, Russ Jones,
Bryan Buus, and Adrian Nye, is a must-have for those new to
setting up publicly accessible Internet sites.
About half the book (630 pages) is devoted to Gopher and
the WWW, with the balance covering finger, telnet,
email, FTP, and WAIS services, with a few pages
devoted to discussions of security and intellectual property.
Managing Internet Information Services is intended for
readers already possessing some Unix literacy. It is
especially helpful for those responsible for
installing and configuring server software, and for the data
librarian who maintains information resources.
For those responsible for providing information over
the Internet on a new Unix server, this book is a great place to start.
Even if you're working with another OS, this
is a lot of book for $29.95, and is worth a look.
Lowell Darling's Art Page
Sonoma County artist Lowell Darling, who once battled Jerry Brown in
the hope of becoming the Democrats' choice for
gubernatorial candidate in 1978 - capturing 67,000 votes - is
now weaving his zany art into a world wide forum, the Internet.
Once known as the Will Rogers of the art world - a mix of
artist, prankster, and political satirist - Darling, along
with his partner, computer wizard Jim Newman, have unleashed the
first web project for the Whitney Museum of
This example of web art is a collage of highlights
from the Hollywood Archaeology, including discarded films
clips picked up off the streets of Hollywood during the
1970's, stories of wrestler/film heavy Mike Mazurki
and his Cauliflower Alley pals, Hank Aaron and the "Fat Bat",
Marilyn, Mae West, and much more.
Rather than braving the streets of NYC, you can get to
this unusual Whitney exhibit by webbing to
The Coriolis Group's
new all-in-one Web Surfing kit (ISBN:
1-883577-41-1) is a complete set of tools for Web publishers.
For $79.95, you get several new-release books (totalling 1,200
pages) and a CD-ROM with some of the freshest information
and best Internet publishing tools.
In addition to a wide array of HTML editors, Word Processing (and
PageMaker!) HTML conversion tools, the kit includes an
array of popular readers, converters, browsers, templates,
and multimedia publishing tools - including Coriolis's own unique
The Rider FAQ
For those interested in the new rider-type home exercise
machines (such as the HealthRider, the expensive machine with a
loyal following in closets
and garage sales, Ira Chayut's
FAQ is an invaluable guide.
Ira's Rider FAQ is posted about once a month to the
misc.fitness Usenet group.
Internet Literacy Consultants
The ILC (www.matisse.net)
is an organization that sponsors seminars and helps
individuals and businesses use networked
communications to accomplish goals. Most ILC seminars are held at
the Climate Theater, 252 9th Street (between Folsom and Howard
Streets) in San Francisco.
Their two-part lecture/demonstration features a live Internet
connection. The introductory level workshop shows how to
use the graphic interface to the Internet. Questions and
information inquiries are welcome. The classes are designed for
those planning to have a SLIP/PPP account:
- Part 1: Getting the most from your SLIP/PPP Account, will
cover the features of IP access, tips on using
WWW browsers (Mosaic, Netscape, etc.), Telnet, FTP,
searching for information, and more.
- Part 2: Beginning HTML Authoring, will answer beginning level
questions about HTML and explain the placement of your
pages on a server, and discuss clients and servers.
Page 2 and 3 had full-page ads for WCO's Internet services.
Page 4, 5, 6, and 7 had full-page ads for Laitron Computers.
Pages 8 and 9 had ads for
the Silicon Matchmaker
Nolo Press (www.nolo.com),
and DSP Internet
The Internet and World Wide Web is growing exponentially - but not
nearly as fast as the editorial coverage of it.
At the rate every printed publication is covering the Web, it's
likely you'll soon find web sites listed on cereal
Already, there are more Web sites than BBSs. As more and more
publications maintain massive lists and print web sites, it
will soon become a situation similar to - and as useful as -
listing selected names and numbers from the white pages of
the phone book. WCO will maintain a Web list, but we won't
become a me-too, copy-cat publication.
Leadership and Labor
The true need for human labor is exponentially spiraling downward.
The first reduction of required labor was the
move from the agricultural to the industrial age. The problem was
partially "solved" when the governments of the
world slowly created complex infrastructures of paper and laws
ultimately requiring millions of administration workers,
along with many accountants, tax preparers, and lawyers.
The move from the industrial age to the
information age is displacing workers at an incredible rate. How
will our leaders respond? So far, the answer we hear
is retraining, but for what? The handwriting is
on the wall, mass employment is no longer required.
What's the answer? Reduce the work-week to 30 hours without reducing
pay, and eliminate payroll taxes. Is it
this easy? Of course not, but then again, I'm only the editor
of this magazine.
(As of January 12, 1998, it looks like
my predictions are not yet correct,
but I still believe that long-term,
these concepts have merit.)
We need a more creative solution than to increase the
administration infrastructure, and tax the remaining
workers and businesses to support it. Maybe we need new leaders.
End of page 9. Go back or go to
page 10 or to
Mark's home page.