RAndY's RumOR RaG
NEWS IN YER FACE
What can I say about the IBM-Lotus merger? Everyone in the
press is fawning over IBM's acquisition of Notes, but I think
they're more interested in SmartSuite. Lotus is the only major
software developer doing work on OS/2.
Intel is saying that the P6 processor will bring 3-D
graphics and voice recognition into the mainstream. Eventually,
they anticipate a wide variety of game titles to be optimized for
For the first time since ??????, Toshiba's long-held spot as
number one in laptop sales has been taken over by IBM. Tied for
third place are Apple and Compaq. I've played with some IBM
laptops and they're pretty excellent machines. Wish I could
IBM has been saying that OS/2 Warp would be a better Windows
than Windows. Well, now they're going back on that statement
saying, "What's the value of running Windows 95 applications
With Packard Bell and Hewlett-Packard set to announce new
Windows 95-based systems in July and early August, some vendors
fear that they will jump the gun and sell those systems before
the official Windows 95 rollout.
WINDOWS 95 NEWS
As we approach the release date, some of the smaller details
are beginning to trickle out about Windows 95.
The Schedule+ module will incorporate the Timex software
which sends information to one of those cool Timex Data Watches.
There will be two different Windows 95 products depending
upon your needs. There is the upgrade version available on disk
or CD which requires that some version of Windows be installed.
Included on the CD will be "bonus bits", which include network
administration tools, the 1,200 page Windows Resource Kit, demos
of applications, games, and more.
The second version will be available only on disk and will
be fully bootable - for those who need to install Windows 95 on
systems that have no pre-installed operating system.
Microsoft has set a minimum advertised price (MAP in dealer
lingo) of $89.95 on individual shrink-wrapped packages of the
Windows 95 upgrade. This pricing scheme will run through the end
of the year. They're also allowing resellers to begin
advertising the product on July 15. Between July 15 and August
24, resellers can take orders.
If you're one of those who sent Microsoft $32 for the
privilege of getting a pre-release copy of Windows 95, sometime
before Mid-July you'll be getting an update/bug fix to that
software. I can't figure out why they're wasting the time and
money just a month before the real things hits the streets, but .
THE REAL REASONS
From AOL comes this top 10 list of why IBM is buying Lotus:
10. IBM Finance could not run their Visicalc spreadsheets in OS/2
9. IBM wants to show Microsoft that they have better anti-trust
8. IBM thought they were buying the auto company.
7. Lotus CEO Jim Manzi mooned Lou Gerstner on the Lotus Home
6. IBM's own e-mail product, ccProfs, never caught on.
5. It was the easiest way for IBM to acquire copies of Windows
4. Bill Gates double-dared Lou Gerstner.
3. Lotus Warp rhymes with basketball guard Otis Thorpe.
2. IBM will rename Lotus' spreadsheet program to 1-2-3.3 billion.
1. The Notes server in Armonk is down.
So now you know. My favorite is #1. Everybody is all
worked up about IBM acquiring Notes but I'm betting they're
really after SmartSuite. After all, Lotus is the only major
software vendor doing significant OS/2 development.
ON THE NET
It's official - RAndY's RumOR RaG is now on the Internet.
The computer store where I work is now an Internet Access
Provider. I had not been particularly looking forward to this
for several reasons. Since everyone else working there is
already busy with their particular areas, Internet administration
and support falls largely on me. That's not a problem, but in
reading magazines and other sources, it looked like navigating
the net was going to be a complicated thing. Also, I didn't see
that I would find anything of significant interest out there.
Whoa, was I wrong on both counts!
With the right tools, navigating the net is extremely easy
as is understanding the rest of the Internet. Secondly, there is
information on any subject you want - and it's not too difficult
to find it.
With Internet sign-ups we provide the tools necessary for
using the Internet. Your provider may use different tools, but
the principle remains the same.
The first thing you have to do is have a TCP/IP stack
installed. This sounds like complicated technical stuff, but
programs like Winsock give you an easy way to achieve the
necessary support. Unlike a traditional communications program
where you pick the name of a BBS from a list, the computer dials
it, the modems scream at each other, and you're on your way -
Winsock will dial the number of your provider, connect with them,
then send your ID and password. After that, Winsock remains in
the background for whatever you're doing on the Internet. It's
possible to FTP a file while you're navigating with Netscape,
although your performance may vary.
First, you've got to have some way to transfer files. Since the
Internet is network-based, you don't have stuff like Zmodem as in
a traditional communications program. You will need some sort of
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program. The one we use is very
simple and includes some popular sites you can call in to.
Adding other sites is easy. Basically, you're presented with a
screen similar to File Manager. The top part of the screen is
your computer and the bottom is the remote.
The whole thing of FTP tends to be cryptic. You usually
have to know what you're looking for and where to find it. The
process is not particularly user-friendly. And since the
Internet is based on UNIX, it's a real treat. (I've grown to
detest UNIX.) But anyway, once connected with the remote, you
can click through directories until you find what you want. Tell
the remote to send it, and that's it. If you're set up with a
shell account with your provider, you'll need to get the file to
you once it's in their host machine. Most newcomers will not
have a shell account.
The next key piece of the package is some type of E-mail
program. We use Eudora. It's easy to use, very graphical, and
is pretty much a no-brainer. As you know, some E-mail addresses
can get cumbersome to remember and Eudora provides a type of
phone book for you to put commonly used addresses. It's fast and
The frosting on the cake is Netscape. There are similar
programs for browsing the Web, but I think that Netscape is
better than Mosaic. When you first logon, you're presented with
someone's home page (usually that of your provider). These home
pages can have full motion video, sound, graphics, you name it.
Navigating with Netscape is very easy. Home pages are
similar to Windows help files. Key words and phrases are set in
a different color - click on them and you jump to information
based on whatever you clicked on. Here's the beauty of the
hyperlinks (that's what they're called). The link you click on
does not have to be contained on the host computer. You might be
jumping to information that's on a computer in India. And the
whole process is transparent to the user.
Home pages are created using a language known as HTML
(Hyertext Markup Language). Users of Word and WordPerfect can
contact these companies to get programs that attach themselves to
the word processor and allow you to easily create HTML documents.
So, the big question is always, "How do I find stuff?"
Well, there are computers out there that constantly search the
World Wide Web and catalog who has what stuff where. They've
already done the dirty work. So you just go to Lycos, Web
Crawler, or Yahoo (who makes up these names) and enter keywords
to get lists of hits based on what you typed in. These search
engines are usually pretty fast. From there, the world is yours.
OK, you get a list of stuff - but how do you keep track of
what you've looked at? Netscape maintains a cache of where
you've been and will change the color of the linked word or
phrase to let you know you've already looked at that item. This
is a very handy feature.
If you're into the NewsGroups, I'd suggest you get a
specialized program just for dealing with them. Quite often
there are binary attachements to messages which require you to
save the message, then run it through a decoding program to see
the image, hear the sound, whatever. Needless to say, this is a
royal pain. I found a beta copy of a program called Free Agent.
It's easy to use and will decode any binary file attachments that
come your way.
If you haven't done so yet, visit an Internet Access
Provider. If you're thinking of opening an account, they should
be courteous enough to give you a demonstration of what it's all
about. It's all pretty easy - if I can figure it out, anyone
Oh yeah - I guess I should give you my address so you can
check out my home page (still under construction) and download
the RaG. You can send E-mail to [email protected]
- and check out
my home page - http://www.techline.com/~rag.
One of these days, I'll get around to writing about Windows
NT. In a nutshell, it's rock solid if you've got the hardware.
We're getting closer to the Windows 95 ship date.
Meanwhile, everybody is holding back on releasing new products.
I might talk a little about 28.8 modems. We'll see.
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-
DX4-100 with 8 megs of memory, 420 MB Connor IDE hard drive,
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
Robotics HST Dual Standard modem.
Opinions expressed are those of the author. Feel free to
distribute RAndY's RumOR RaG or post it as you see fit. Comments
should be addressed to Randall Ainsworth Photography on GEnie,
via phone, analog mail, or whatever method makes you feel good.
RANDALL AINSWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY
605 W. Wishkah
Aberdeen, WA 98520-6031
GEnie Address: RAG
Internet: [email protected]
Home Page: http://www.techline.com/~rag