RAndY's RumOR RaG
NEWS IN YER FACE
Rumor has it that Stephen Spielberg has been approved to be
Fall Comdex's keynote speaker. Think Bill pulled some strings
IBM's March consultant conference had IBM sending out faxes
afterwards warning that some attendees have contracted hepatitis.
Intel is trying to change the form factor for the next
generation of motherboards using the P6 chip. This new form
factor will require new case designs. They're calling it the
Baby ATX which will remain the standard 9x13-inch size, but will
be rotated 90 degrees so that the long side will face front and
back. Needless to say, convincing manufacturers to switch will
be an uphill battle.
The reason for the change is to get better cooling for the
P6 microprocessor. Add-in card will run parallel with the short
side of the board and processors can be moved farther away from
the cards and cables, resulting in getting more cooling air from
the fan.. As a bonus, there would be more edge space in the rear
form additional ports or PCMCIA slots.
In other Intel news, the company recently announced that
they would start selling their microprocessors through commercial
distribution by the fall.
Even if Microsoft makes their August deadline for releasing
Windows 95, Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows 95 won't ship until 1996.
Digital Ocean will be releasing a GPS (Global Positioning
Satellite) add-on for Newtons soon.
A panelist at the recent Wireless Datacomm conference
referred to PDAs as those "pedantic disappointing accessories".
Another panelist suggested that they'd sell better if they were
shaped like a Frisbee.
This fall Hewlett-Packard will introduce a 600 dpi, 4-page-
per-minute, small footprint laser printer code-named Spruce. It
will carry a street price of less than $500.
A recent national survey by Microsoft found that 79% of kids
would rather use a computer than watch Beavis and Butthead. Uh-
Rumors of a Borland buyout by Novell are thick, but one
Borland executive reportedly wants more money. Any guesses?
John Soyring, IBM's director of strategic relations,
personal system products recently said, "No matter what Microsoft
calls Windows 95, it's still version 1.0."
Did you know that Windows NT is not subject to the same
restrictions regarding bundling with new computers as is Windows?
If NT were to become popular, Microsoft could dredge up the same
predatory licensing practices they used with Windows preloads.
A machine at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport sells
public domain software through a vending machine. What's unique
is that you use a touch screen to find various software
categories and choose a program to buy. Then the machine gives
you instructions for paying, inserting a disk, and copying the
program to the disk. The PC-Vend company is hoping to get these
things into stores and sell commercial software.
WINDOWS 95 NEWS
Greg Fahey on CompuServe is a pretty popular guy these days.
He has a program called REMOVE95.ZIP which allows you to remove
Windows 95 from your hard drive. (Wish I had heard about this
Last month I reported on the Microsoft Plus package which
will be an add-on to Windows 95. I hear that at Microsoft
they're calling it the "Frosting Pack".
Microsoft's Brad Chase recently said that the Windows 95
rollout will happen on August 24th somewhere near Seattle with a
World's Fair-type exposition. (Hey, they're only 100 miles away
- maybe I can make it!) Wondering how to handle the return of
systems loaded with Windows 3.1 after the launch, they are
reportedly considering free upgrades if the purchase is made
within 30 days of the launch.
The company is planning to ship both Windows 95 and the new
version of Office at the same time but the two products won't be
bundled. One Microsoftie said that the two will "fit like hand
You've likely read in the papers or seen on the news where
Microsoft has set the date of August 24th as the Windows 95
launch date. But you won't be able to go into a store on August
24th or 25th and buy a copy. What will happen on August 24 is
that some geek from Microsoft will step in front of a microphone
and say that they're shipping it. You won't get your hands on
the real thing until sometime in September.
I haven't said much about OS/2 lately. I guess it's because
nothing much has been happening. By the end of this year we
should be seeing a lot more applications for Warp - and that
should help sell copies of OS/2. I think the primary thing which
will get people to pay attention to OS/2 will be the problems
accompanying the release of Windows 95.
Anyway, IBM has signed a distribution agreement with Star
Division, a German software company. They are developing an
English language version of their application suite which
contains a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation
software. The suite will run on OS/2, Windows, and Macintosh.
IBM is also testing a sofware instruction set emulator that
will run the current Intel-based version of Warp on the 604
PowerPC chip. The problem is that it transforms the PowerPC into
the equivalent of a 386 computer. Little by little, IBM is
recompiling Warp code so that it will run natively on the 604
However, IBM is continuing development on the 615
"wonderchip" which will run Intel instructions along with RISC
instructions. They're hoping to have systems based on the chip
by year's end along with a new name for the chip.
At the store we've been running Warp on a Pentium 90 with 8
megs of memory. It moves along quite nicely, but I still have
the gut feeling that it's working too hard to do what it does.
I haven't talked much about printers lately. At the store,
we sell lots of Canons when we can get them. Their printers are
excellent but the company has some real problems keeping up with
demand - whether it's printers or something as simple as black
No matter - sometime later this year (either summer or fall)
Canon will replace the popular BJC-600e with the BJC-700, a
720x720 color injket with a targeted retail price of $550. Say
goodbye to the also popular BJ-200 which will be replaced with a
300 dpi three-color unit with a street price in the $360 range.
Epson will introduce the Color Stylus 2 and the Color Stylus
2S, both of which use a new process that increases resolution.
The 2 is a 720 dpi unit with Plug-and-Play capability, 8 ppm
output, and a $499 retail price. The 2S has three-color
capability with 2 ppm output at $349.
IN THE STORE
Nothing much new happening at the computer store this month.
There continues to be a very real need for end users to
better understand the machines they use. Far too many people
expect to hit some key and have the computer perform some magical
function which only they know. They don't want to read books and
too many won't even take a class.
I probably shouldn't say it, but there are some people who
just shouldn't have computers. They don't get it and never will.
And Windows still remains a complicated beast to debug when
someone has been exercising the DEL button or otherwise tinkering
with things they don't understand. It's still too easy to mess
up the system and people just don't want to learn how to maintain
their systems so that they don't get screwed up.
Oh well, it's job security for me. The way things are
going, there will always be a need for someone to fix not only
broken computers, but computers that people have screwed up.
I had planned to discuss Windows NT this month, but I ended
up becoming both busy and sick (that's why this issue is a little
late). I'm feeling better now and hope to talk a little about NT
in the July issue. The store's Internet project is still on
track and we're still planning to go public the first week of
July (look for us at techline.com).
Other than that, there's not a lot happening with software
right now. Most vendors are holding off until Windows 95 hits
And I'd like to thank America Online for keeping my mailbox
filled with their disks; I have just one suggestion - could you
please make the labels a little easier to remove?
RAndY's RumOR RaG is published on a monthly basis by RANDALL
AINSWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY and is available on various local BBS's,
GEnie, and in Modem News.
In case anyone cares, RAndY's RumOR RaG is produced on a 486-
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105MB Toshiba IDE hard drive, TEAC 1.2 MB and 1.44 MB floppies,
Pro Audio Spectrum 16 running a Hitachi 3750 CD ROM drive,
Diamond Stealth Pro VLB (2MB) video card, Sceptre SVGA display,
Microsoft mouse, Word for Windows and transmitted through a US
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