Other News (April 1996)

Recovered from Archive.org – Apr 10, 1997

IBM may license the Apple operating system MacOS.
Prediction: It’s the blind leading the dumb. They have both failed separately to topple the Microsoft/Intel monopoly over the PC world. Maybe together they can be less lame. A merger with Apple is seeming more and more imminent, but will IBM be the lucky groom?

Yahoo is going public this week.
Prediction: No brainer; IPO will go up the first day settle the second. Expect better performance than other search engines.

Microsoft is encroaching upon the hardware market with it’s 1394 bus configuration and multimedia chips.
Prediction: Bill Gates will make me sick with how much money he has.

Florida initiates an Internet Tax.
Prediction: More of the same retarded garbage stifling the growth of the best new medium since the telephone. The story of the Internet will be, “It was slow going becuase the government gave everyone a hard time!” New York City charges a penny a minute per line for ISDN service plus the flat rate. Give us a break!

 

DRAM & News

Recovered from Archive.org – Apr 9, 1997

DRAM DRAM DRAM!
I remember a few months back there was this huge fire (supposedly) in Japan and DRAM went through the roof. 4 meg chips cost about $160 mail order. Today I got a quote in the back of Computer Shopper for the same chip, $65 US. If you have a computer (most of you) you need to know one thing:

RAM = SPEED
Think of RAM as blood for your computer. Back in the old days 2 megs was plenty on your 286 machine. Then the high end users of the 386/25 needed 4 megs at the bare bones. A 486/66 demanded a hefty 8 megs while the new Pentiums thrive on 16 or more. The next generation of Pentium Pros, which are specifically designed for 32 bit operating systems like Windows NT need 32 megs of ram just to keep them from hyper-ventilating. What does this mean?

It’s a good idea to think about upgrading your system while prices are so low.

In other news:
Hackers can try to win 10 grand by hacking into here.
VERDICT: (Sounds like a recruiting scheme, but not a bad one.)

Silicon Graphics is announcing a new VRML standard.
VERDICT: Great…unfortunetely most users dont have the system to handle it.
By the way, the SGI site is hella cool.

Microsoft and Netscape are trying to come up with a standard online encryption system.
VERDICT: It will take a while, but online transactions will be commonplace by 1999.

Random Prediction: Customizable sites will sprout up over the web. One or two might even be useful.

Tip o’ the day: Dont let the naysayers get on your nerves. Progress comes to those who wait.

Access Providors

Recovered from Archive.org – Apr 5, 1997

Just to keep us all up to date, here is the landscape of Online Access choices:

  • America Online: 5 Million customers, crappy browser.
    (Funny quote from Internet Underground:
    “Steve Case thinks that Marketing America Online in Europe with just the initials “AOL” is going to fool the residents of an entire continent.”)
  • Compuserve: My dad’s email is 104370.154…whats up with that?!? At Compuserve you really ARE a number!
  • Prodigy: Trying a $1 per hour deal. Yawn, how quaint.
  • AT&T: I ordered the software…six to eight weeks delivery. Can I download it? No. Click me to know what I said.
  • MCI: Still in development; so are the plans for a web design franchise. Geared towards business.
  • Netcom: Huge Network, uses Netcruiser. trying to get bigger.
  • MSN: Growing steadily, custom designed for Internet Explorer and Win95.
  • Genie: Looks cool, gets no press and costs too much.
  • Independent Service Providors: Getting pushed out by megacorps.
  • Coming soon: @Home, but not that soon.

Prediction: Online Services follow America Online model through to broadband, ISPs slowly lose market share.

Did I miss any?
Yes, Mr. Potato Head | Nah, but you’re still funny looking!

 

$500 Internet TV

Recovered from Archive.org – Apr 3, 1997

There has been a lot of news lately prophesizing the coming of the all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipotent $500 internet box. These internet boxes will be multimedia powered terminals that give the internet a friendlier and certainly cheaper face. The question is, will the public go for it?

Predictions…oh predictions. This is a tough one.

On the one hand, the price is right. 500 bucks certainly makes alot of excuses go away. Many people will see this as the opportunity to finally get online despite the dismal balance in their checking account. This box would most likely be upgraded to an ethernet type of connection once broadband becomes available. (Any day now…month…year…tap tap tap…)

On the other hand, what are we talking about here? Is it a PC or is it a TV? Or is it both? The internet has become one of the best ways to distribute software. There are dozens of different newsgroup readers, slews of mpeg players, plethoras of multimedia plugins, gaggles of themes for Windows 95, schools of thought…or is that fish? Ok, now I’m mixing metaphors.

The point is: These internet boxes lack a hard drive. You can’t download software you like and keep it for a while. You can’t pick the utilities you like and store them locally. Prediction: (Finally.)

  • Internet browsers will get larger and more powerful. Big Bill Gates predicted in New York at the Internet Commerce Expo that eventually the browser will become the operating system.
  • The browser/operating system will start to appear in 1997 from Microsoft, SONY and Oracle.
  • Internet boxes will appear and merge with the TV market before the turn of the millenia.
  • PC’s will still be the work horse of choice for the home/office for the forseeable future.
  • A V-chip will be included in the internet box; thank you Mr. Telecommunications bill.

The problem I see with the web box is the lack of control over the system. PC’s are completely customizable with every kind of software and hardware you want all for the individual to choose. These internet boxes are TV’s that view the web. You get to change the channel but nothing else.

Prediction is: (Nutshell version) Internet boxes will threaten/expand the TV market, NOT the PC market.

 

Browser Turnaround!

Recovered from Archive.org – Apr 2, 1997

Well, isn’t this a strange turn of events. Last week, (six months in net years) Microsoft released Active X controls, a development kit and an alpha version of Internet Explorer 3.0. I thought, hey, now here is Microsoft getting with the program. They will have Visual Basic, AND Java AND plugin architecture. To me this was a brilliant move. Make a better mousetrap and the people will bang down your door. Now comes the turn of events.

Netscape released a beta (not alpha) version of their Navigator 3.0. It improves a lot of little details and bugs in security, plus adds functionality that internet explorer had cornered recently. Codenamed Atlas, this new navigator has background colors for tables, inline .avi and sound support, and an increased control of animated .gifs. In addition to these features, Atlas comes built-in with a slew of plugins, including Live3D, VRML and Cool Talk. Cool Talk is an internet telephone which allows real-time full duplex conversations over a 28.8 modem. FINALLY!

This new beta is a serious blow to Microsoft’s attempted coup. Let’s face facts; if Microsoft announces a May release, don’t expect any shipments until at least July. The Internet Explorer alpha won’t reach beta before Netscape is firmly entrenched with Atlas.

And there is also the question…Will Atlas support Visual Basic and X-Controls? I hope so. I was counting the Mountain View men as down for the count, but it seems Atlas with his mighty strength is lifting the World (wide web) on his shoulders once again.

 

BUYOUT! (1996)

Recovered from Archive.org – Apr 1, 1997

Microsoft sets to buy out Netscape Navigator!

In a shocking story, the Wall Street Journal outlined the plans of software behemoth, Microsoft Corp to bypass its internet strategy and attempt a hostile takeover of Netscape Communications. This move will virtually seal, if successful, Microsoft’s internet dominance!

Microsoft until now has been playing the internet game the hard way, by building better products in the hopes of gaining public acceptance. With the common knowledge that all Microsoft products launch late and the emergence of a viable Netscape Navigator 3.0, Microsoft decided to skip the formalities and just buy the opposition.

The SEC is looking into the buyout now to see if it violates any anti-trust acts. This move would surely thrust Microsoft into a monopoly of the most exciting new medium the world has to offer.

Microsoft has also announced similar plans to buy the Manhattan upstart, Kokopelli, Inc. This move might throw them over the edge in the eyes of the federal government.

Oh by the way…

News! March, 1996

Recovered from Archive.org – Mar 30, 1997

Netscape released thier Navigator 3.0 into beta here. OK, so now Netscape has a 2.01 release, a 2.0 Gold beta 2 that has a nifty WYSIWYG editor built in, an international version release, about 30 or so plugins and now finally the 3.0 beta code-named ATLAS. (Ooooh, holds the world up!)

Basically what Atlas is: Netscape wants to be the first browser on the block to release ANYTHING 3.0; it was a preemptive strike against Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 due this spring in beta.

I’m downloading it now, standard version is 5 megs, I’ll let you know what I think.

In other news this week:

  • Intel announced a chip with video and 3D rendering capabilites built in.
    Verdict: Need more info, sounds good, but vague. (i.e. Cost?)
  • Sony, announced this week plans to market an Internet box affordable to the masses. ($500-$1000)
    Verdict: More like a TV/Playstation than a PC. Upgrade heaven for SONY, iffy for us.
  • Cyrix is releasing a new 686 chip/motherboard. Major point: 75mhtz bus. 150 mhtz processor reaches Pentium 200+ speeds.
    Verdict: Go Cyrix! I want some price wars!
    Prediction: Cyrix announces record sales in the fourth quarter of 1996.
  • RAM RAM RAM! Prices have been falling through the floor! 4 megs advertised in a magazine for 70 bucks! I payed double 3 months ago! DOH!
    Verdict: BUY BUY BUY! (Get EDO, why not?)
  • @Home delays launch.
    Verdict: Sigh, let’s go people, we have a revolution to see….
    Prediction: 1997 will be the year broadband revolutionized the world.
  • Apple is posting a 700 million dollar loss for the quarter.
    Verdict: This is a damn shame. Macs are greats computers and Apple is falling apart.
    Prediction: Apple bought by Kokopelli within 12 months.

    Sorry for the lapse in daily articles, busy week with boring news. -glen