MAG Disk (Sep 1993) : StuffToRead / 5min9-7


  
  
  
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                                         Special thanks to...
  
                                    Denny Atkin, Journalist Extraordinaire
                                    Tim Walsh, AmigaWorld Senior Editor
  
                               For generous assistance to the 5-MINUTE News!
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
                         DateLine: September 3, 1993
           This 5-MINUTE Newscast presents the following stories:
           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  
 1.  Babylon 5 TV Pilot Wins an Emmy!
 2.  Acer to Distribute Commodore PCs throughout Europe
 3.  Warner Bros. to Premier New Animated TV Series at WOCA
 4.  Next Week's *StarShip* Amiga Conferences
 5.  Video Production Kit May Be Best Thing Since Sliced Bread For Amiga
 6.  MicroTouch Systems Introduces Low-Cost Touch Monitor for the Amiga
 7.  Socket delivers 1st PCMCIA Ethernet Adapters for ... Commodore Amiga
 8.  HP Offers $200 Rebate on Color Scanners
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             1st of 8 Stories
  
  
                     Babylon 5 TV Pilot Wins an Emmy!
                     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 _        _              by J. Michael Straczynski
( \  /\  / )                 August 27, 1993
 \ \/  \/ /
  \      /
   \_/\_/e just received word the other day that Foundation Imaging, Ron's
company, which did the CGI EFX for the Babylon 5 Pilot [*StarShip* News Note:
using, among other things, the Amiga/Toaster combination], was notified today
that they have received an Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences. We are now an "Emmy Award Winning Show for Best Special Effects in
a Television Movie."
  
The CGI special effects -- yes, the very ones Jeff Jarvis called "cheesy" in
TV Guide, along with a few others -- just won an Emmy from the Academy of
Television Arts and Sciences for Best Special Effects in a Television Movie.
  
It's practically *unheard of* for a pilot to win an Emmy in this category.
Best of all, it's not a popularity contest award, it's a tough panel,
examining everything. You can stuff ballots a bit by having lots of people
working on the show in this category vote, but that doesn't work with a jury
like this. It's given strictly on the merits.
  
We haven't even gone on the air yet with the regular series, and we've got an
Emmy under our belt, thanks to the very hard work of some very dedicated and
talented people -- and that ain't *nothing* compared to what's going to be in
the series!
  
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                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             2nd of 8 Stories
  
  
             Acer to Distribute Commodore PCs throughout Europe
    ____     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   / ___)          New York, NY -- September 1, 1993
  / /
 / (__
(_____)ommodore International Limited (NYSE: CBU) and Acer Incorporated
announced an agreement for Acer to distribute and market Commodore brand PCs
throughout Europe.
  
Acer, with its ability to assemble PCs in Europe, is in a strong position to
expand the volume and penetration of Commodore's strong brand name and
distribution network in Europe.  In line with its restructuring plan,
Commodore will focus on its proprietary Amiga multimedia product line,
including the recently announced CD-32 game console.
  
For more information contact Commodore International Limited, 215-431-9100.
  
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                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             3rd of 8 Stories
  
  
          Warner Bros. to Premier New Animated TV Series at WOCA
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                   GVP's ImageFX used in Creation of a
     _____      New Animated TV Series called Animaniacs!
    / ____)
   / /___          King of Prussia, PA -- August 31, 1993
  / /(   )
 / (__) /
(______/VP and Warner Bros. are pleased to announce a world premier for
Animaniacs, Warner Bros. new animated TV series at GVP's booth during the
Pasadena World of Commodore Amiga trade show.  Rusty Mills, an animation
director for Warner Bros., will be presenting a clip of Animaniacs in a
seminar that explains how Warner Bros. has been using GVP's ImageFX image
processing software to create portions of the exciting and technically
advanced animation program.
  
The seminar will be held on Saturday, September 11th at 11:00am and is open
to all trade show attendees; seating is limited to 300. The animated series
is scheduled to begin airing on national TV during the week of September
13th, 1993.
  
"This is an exciting opportunity for GVP to showcase its cutting edge ImageFX
image processing system and related peripherals to an audience keen on seeing
real life uses for their Amiga and GVP add-ons," said Steve Peoples,
Marketing Manager for GVP.
  
Rusty Mills will also be at the GVP booth throughout the day on Saturday and
will be answering questions about his use of ImageFX.
  
GVP is a privately held company that was founded in 1988. Today it is the
world's largest developer of peripherals for the Commodore Amiga.
  
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                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             4th of 8 Stories
  
  
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                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             5th of 8 Stories
  
  
     Video Production Kit May Be Best Thing Since Sliced Bread For Amiga
     ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                   By Dan Gillmor, Detroit Free Press
 ______            Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News
(__  __)            Detroit, MI -- August 23, 1993
  / /
 / /
(_/ake one Amiga, one Toaster and a remarkable artist from Livonia, Mich. Put
them together and you get "Robo Jr" - and a demonstration that high-tech
media innovation isn't solely the province of New York and California.
  
The Amiga is a computer, an underappreciated machine from a struggling
company, Commodore Business Machines Inc. Commodore has sold more than than
3.5 million Amigas worldwide, including about 700,000 in the United States,
since 1985. Those numbers are dwarfed by sales of Apple Macintoshes and IBM-
compatible PCs, but Amigas have a legion of vociferous, if worried, fans.
  
Despite the relatively low sales for machines that range in price from $299
to $2,790, Amigas dazzle technical observers. For example, the Amiga offered
true multi-tasking - the ability to have the computer do more than one task
at a time - long before it was available on Macs or PCs.
  
"It can do incredible graphics, animation and video," says Stephen Porter,
editor of Computer Graphics World, a trade magazine. "If you're in those
fields and don't look at the Amiga you're crazy, because it's an inexpensive
way to do high-quality work."
  
The Video Toaster, made by NewTek Inc. in Topeka, Kan., is a combination of
hardware and software for desktop video production, and it's clearly helping
to keep the Amiga alive. Gear that lets you do the same things with
IBM-compatible and Apple Macintosh machines costs much, much more for the
same capabilities.
  
Dale Myers is the artist. He's writer, animator, producer and director of
"Robo Jr," a new six-and-a-half-minute animated video. He hopes to sell it
for broadcast or showing in movie theaters.
  
Myers played "Robo Jr" for me the other day. The animation is an amusing
piece in which a robot pilots a flying saucer to a rural setting, beams down
to scavenge for food and leaves a child robot in the saucer. Robo Jr gets in
plenty of trouble, naturally, but everything turns out just fine.
  
The pictures and animation are absolutely spectacular. Myers created his sets
and characters from hundreds of video elements that combine to produce an
intricate three-dimensional image. At 30 frames per second, it took about
12,000 frames, or separate still pictures, to make up the motion-filled
video. A clever original score was composed and performed by Martin Liebman
of PM Productions in Southfield.
  
Myers, a 38-year-old Detroit native, has worked in radio and video since
1975. He jumped into computer animation in 1989 after seeing the Amiga and
Video Toaster in action at Slipped Disk in Madison Heights, Mich.
  
Included with the Toaster was software that used the hardware to perform
heroic three-dimensional artistry, once possible only on very expensive
equipment.
  
His reaction when he saw what it could do: "My God." Myers runs a Livonia-
based company called Microtech Graphics and Animation. He's used the Amiga
and Toaster to produce graphics and animations for several corporate clients,
including Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. He says he's had trouble
overcoming the "Livonia factor" - what he calls the misimpression among
potential clients that a small shop in the Detroit area can't possibly create
images and animations as well as the big boys in New York and LA.
  
He started work on "Robo Jr" last year, and worked almost full-time from
January to July this year, aiming to complete it for the big computer-
graphics show. With immense effort he succeeded.
  
Building the robots and spaceship interiors took several weeks. Then came the
tedious task of putting together the scenes and having the computer create
each frame.
  
That part, Myers said, was "like watching paint dry." Maybe, but no newly
painted house ever looked this good. Dan Gillmor can be reached by electronic
mail through the Internet (dgillmor det-freepress.com).
  
          Copyright 1993 Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News.
                     Reprinted by permission.
  
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                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                             6th of 8 Stories
  
  
        MicroTouch Systems Introduces Low-Cost Touch Monitor for the Amiga
    _  _~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
   / \/ \            Methuen, MA -- August 24, 1993
  /      \
 / /\  /\ \
(_/  \/  \_)icroTouch Systems, Inc. today introduced the low-cost TruePoint
CA-42 Touch Monitor, a durable touch screen monitor for Amiga-based
multimedia, kiosk, training, and business applications. The TruePoint package
includes the new high-resolution Commodore 1942 14-inch display, a completely
integrated capacitive touch screen, controller, and the AmigaTouch Driver.
Now all Amiga applications can use a touch screen -- providing all the
functionality of a mouse but with a much friendlier user interface.
  
Plug-and-Play
  
The TruePoint CA-42 Monitor is a plug-and-play solution that offers greater
ease of use and convenience to VARs and systems integrators seeking to add
touch screen input to their new or existing applications. By offering a
completely integrated touch monitor, the unit addresses an important market
need for a touch system that doesn't require assembly from a touch screen
kit.
  
Superior Touch Performance
  
The TruePoint CA-42 Monitor uses MicroTouch's industry-leading patented
analog capacitive touch technology, which involves the sensing of electrical
signals generated on a conductive coating. The unique construction of the
MicroTouch capacitive sensor makes it the only touch technology that delivers
high resolution, optical clarity, speed, and durability all in on package.
(Technology Backgrounder available upon request.)
  
Computer Network, Inc., a systems integrator, has recently installed an
Amiga-based Touch Screen Kiosk in the Las Vegas Hilton. The information kiosk
allows hotel/casino visitors to learn about the hotel's services and
activities. According to Kevin Kostiner, president of Computer Network, Inc.,
"We looked at several touch screen products and selected MicroTouch due to
the high quality of their capacitive touch screns. In a hectic casino
environment we need an extremely durable touch screen solution."
  
The Power of the Amiga Combined with Touch
  
Amiga computers, with advanced graphics and enhanced audio and video
capabilities, have become increasingly popular in multimedia applications.
The recently announced Commodore 1942 monitor was specifically designed for
multimedia applications. The monitor includes built-in stereo speakers and
audio input making it more convenient for multimedia developers. Combining
the Amiga computer and the 1942 monitor with the user-friendliness of touch
screens makes Amiga systems the perfect solution for many different
multimedia applications.
  
AmigaTouch Driver Specifications
  
The AmigaTouch Driver allows all Amiga software to run seamlessly with the
touch screen and comes complete with control panel to set touch screen
preferences, including cursor offset and sensitivity. The AmigaTouch Driver
supports two-button mouse emulation, multitasking from Workbench or CLI,
simultaneous mouse and touch screen usage, and is compatible with both PAL
and NTSC Amiga computers.
  
Touch Montior Display Specifications
  
The TruePoint CA-42 is based on the high-quality, Commodore Amiga 1942
monitor. This high-resolution, Super VGA 14-inch monitor has a dot pitch of
0.28mm, a maximum resolution of 800x600 non-interlaced, a vertical scan rate
of 45-75 Hz, and a horizontal scan rate of 15.6-15.8 to 27.3-31.5 KHz. The
monitor comes complete with stereo speakers, audio input, front accessible
controls, and a tilt/swivel base.
  
Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
  
The TruePoint CA-42 Monitor is available immdiately through dealers or
directly from MicroTouch. The list price for the TruePoint CA-42 is $1,495;
volume and dealer discounts are available. The MicroTouch capacitive sensor
has a five-year warranty, the controller has a two-yar warranty, and the
Commodore Amiga 1942 monitor has a 90-day warranty.
  
MicroTouch Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSI) headquartered in Methuen, Mass., is
the leading manufacturer of touch screens used in point-of-sale, information,
and self-service kiosk, gaming, industrial, multimedia, and other
computer-based applications. The company also markets fully-integrated kiosks
and digitizers for pen computing. MicroTouch, a public company founded in
1982, reported sales of over $30 million in 1992, and was recently ranked by
Forbes Magazine as the 23rd Best Small Business in the United States.
  
For more information contact MicroTouch Systems, Inc., 300 Griffin Park,
Methuen, MA 01844, telephone 508/659-9000, fax 508/659-9100.
  
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                          *StarShip* Amiga *Flash*
                              7th of 8 Stories
  
  
               Socket delivers 1st PCMCIA Ethernet Adapters
               for the HP OmniBook 300 [and Commodore Amiga]
  ____         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 / ___)
( (__                Hayward, CA -- August 31, 1993
 \__ \
 ___) )
(____/ocket Communications Inc. today began shipping PCMCIA Ethernet adapters
for Hewlett Packard's popular OmniBook 300 sub-notebook. The SocketLink(TM)
package, which includes a high-speed, 16-bit Ethernet adapter plus software,
coverts the OmniBook to a workstation for Novell's NetWare and NetWare Lite,
Microsoft's LAN Manager and Windows for Workgroups, IBM's PC LAN, Banyan's
VINES and other popular networks. The SocketLink EA handles 10BaseT Ethernet
and the SocketLink EA+ handles both 10BaseT and 10Base2 Ethernet.
  
"SocketLink is an economical way to give the OmniBook a giant boost in
functionality and performance when communicating with other PCs," says Socket
president Mile Gifford. "We see SocketLink as a companion product to
Traveling Software's LapLink, which comes bundled with the OmniBook. It's the
nature of mobile computers  that your environment keeps changing. You run
LapLink when you want to talk to a PC which isn't attached to an Ethernet
network. You run SocketLink when you have access to an Ethernet connection.
Together, these two packages give the OmniBook super flexibility for wired
connectivity."
  
Gifford states that the most important difference between SocketLink and
LapLink in a LAN environment is the different physical interfaces used by
each product. "LapLink uses the OmniBook's built-in RS-232 serial port to
talk to other PCs. SocketLink uses the OmniBook's PCMCIA interface to
implement a full-scale Ethernet connection. This gives SocketLink a big edge
in connectivity and performance. Because SocketLink uses Ethernet instead of
a serial port, it transfers files over 10 times faster than LapLink.  And by
converting the OmniBook into a network node compatible with any popular
network operating systems, SocketLink opens the door to features which
LapLink can't provide, such as printer sharing, compatability with all e-mail
programs, and a true client/server architecture." All this comes at no cost
in DOS memory, a resource which many OmniBook users are eager to conserve.
"Since our Ethernet drivers are relatively small, OmniBook users end up with
more DOS memory available when using SocketLink than when they use LapLink,"
says Gifford.
  
The key to SocketLink's high performance is its use of the PCMCIA interface
which comes standard with the OmniBook. "The PCMCIA interface makes all this
possible," explains Gifford. "PCMCIA is an externally accessible 16-bit
memory and I/O interface with roughly the performance of the popular ISA bus
found in PC-AT computers. There's almost no limit to the connectivity you can
add to a mobile computer via PCMCIA. In fact, Socket also offers a high-speed
16550 serial port option and a Global Positioning System for the OmniBook
300, and we'll be announcing some important new products at COMDEX in
November. The OmniBook 300 is a great example of how manufacturers like HP
can harness loads of features simply by designing in the PCMCIA interface."
  
Founded in 1992, Socket Communications' mission is to design, manufacture and
market seamless connectivity products for mobile computers. Socket holds a
leadership position in the development of mobile I/O products, having
introduced the first PCMCIA Ethernet adapter, serial adapter and Global
Positioning System. Socket is a member of the PCMCIA LAN Working Group, as
well as the Working Groups for Socket and Card Services and for the 32-bit
Card Bus. Socket's designs stress cross-platform compatibility, as
exemplified by the Socket EA Ethernet adapter. This is the only PCMCIA LAN
adapter which works on all of the following platforms: PC notebooks including
the OmniBook 300, Elonex and Librex; the Commodore Amiga; and the AT&T EO.
Socket often works with corporate partners to adapt existing communications
technology to a variety of host platforms equipped with PCMCIA slots.
  
The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the 10BaseT-only product is
$399. The MSRP for the 10BaseT/10Base2 combination is $420. SocketLink is
available in the U.S. through Tech Data.
  
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                          *StarShip* NEWS *Flash*
                              8th of 8 Stories
  
  
                   HP Offers $200 Rebate on Color Scanners
                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                     Software Vendors Join HP in Offering
    ___  ___      Lower Prices for Desktop Scanning Solutions
   (_  )(  _)
    / /_/ /            Palo Alto, CA -- August 2, 1993
   / __  /
 _/ / / /
(___)(__)ewlett-Packard Company today anounced a $200 end-user rebate on its
HP ScanJet IIc scanners. The HP ScanJet IIc scanners are high-performance,
color, flatbed desktop scanners for business professionals who use scanned
images to enhance their documents. Th rebate period runs from Aug. 1, 1993
through Oct. 31, 1993, for customers in th United States and Canada.
  
A typical business application, optical character recognition (OCR), saves
users from having to re-type dcuments. Combind with desktop-publishing,
presentation, spreadsheet or word-processing software, the HP ScanJet IIc
scanner allows user to create colorful high-impact documents.
  
In order to quality for the HP ScanJet IIc color scanner rebate, customers
must purchase the HP ScanJet IIc scanner through an HP-authorized dealer and
receive a rebate coupon. Current list price of the ScanJet IIc is $1,599.00.
The coupon, a proof-of-purchase bar code from the scanner box and a copy of
the invoice should be mailed to Hewlett-Packard Company, Scanner Rebate, P.O.
Box 1754, Greely, Colorado 80632.
  
"HP is dedicated to providing its business users with productivity-enhancing
tools at leadership price points," said Alan Housley, marketing manager of
the HP Greeley Hardcopy Division, which manufacturers HP ScanJet scanners.
"The goal of HP and its software vendors is to make it possible for more
business users to benefit from scanning for document creation and document
management. This three-month opportunity to receive a rebate on scanning
solutions is a step in that direction."
  
The HP ScanJet IIc scanner rebate offer coincides with supporting rebate
offers from Caere Corp., Calra Recognition Systms, Inc., and MindWorks Corp.
Caere is offering a $200 rebate on its OmniPage Professional OCR package, and
a $100 rebate on its OmniPage OCR software on purchases made through Oct. 15
and it also is lowering the list price on the OmniPage Dirct OCR package from
$595 to $295. Calera is offering a $50 rebate on its WordScan Plus 2.0 OCR
software, which includes new recognition technology, if purchased with an HP
ScanJet IIc scanner, through Oct. 31. MindWorks is offering a $100 rebate on
its Recollct document management software through Oct. 31.
  
Caere, Calera and MindWorks will send rebates to users who have returned the
rebate coupons and registsration forms packaged with the idividual products.
  
The HP ScanJet IIc scanner is a 24-bit, single-pass color and monochrome
scanner with 400 dot per inch (dpi) optical resolution that can be
interpolated up to 1,600 dpi with HP's enhanced rsolution technology. The
scanners are equipped to be used on IBM PC-compatible personal computers,
Micro-Channel architectures or Apple Macintosh platforms. [*StarShip News
Note: Third-party software is available for Amiga, as well.]
  
Hewlett-Packard Company is an international manufacturer of measurement and
computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and
support. The company's products and services are used in industry, business,
enginering, science, medicine and education in approximately 110 countries.
HP has 93,800 employees and had revenue of $16.4 billion in its 1992 fiscal
year. HP sales information may be obtained by calling 1-800-SCANJET.
  
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