Softpanorama, March-April 1997; v.9.No.2(91a) Compiled by N.Bezroukov

Softpanorama Technology News

P166 with MMX will cost less that $100 in November 97

In August, Intel will slash prices on those processors by as much as 50%. As part of the cuts, Intel will lower the price of the 133MHz and 150MHz Pentium to well below $100. In November Intel will cut prices again on Pentium and Pentium with MMX, sources said. At that time, 166MHz Pentiums will be priced below $100, sources said. The 233MHz and 266MHz Pentium II will be lowered about 10% to about $520 and $650.

Intel will not lower the price of its Pentium Pro. It will be the third round of pricing actions by Intel in which Pentium Pro pricing has not changed.

Cheapest books on the Internet

Barnes & Noble took the offensive against, launching its World Wide Web site discount most books 40%.

At the same time quality of B & N WEB-site is still much behind

Computer Technology Outpacing Standards

Phone bonding

(5/15/97,Houston Chronicle, )

IBM intoduced 4 and 5G drives for laptops


Corel will go for niche markets with WordPerfect

The Corel will introduce in July an edition of its WordPerfect software for lawyers. There will be one for the medical profession and another for the building trades, too.

These niche markets, Corel hopes, will help it take back some of the ground it has lost to Microsoft Corp. in the $5 billion North American market for word processing and related software.

``Corel concluded that word-processing buyers are less interested in technology and more persuaded by simple value,'' said Jeffrey Tarter, who publishes Softletter, a software industry newsletter based in Watertown, Mass. The very size of Microsoft, though, generates some ill will. ``There's certainly an antipathy to Microsoft,'' said Tarter. ``At its mildest, there's a concern that Microsoft will end up monopolizing the business, and no one wants to rely on a single supplier.'' Corel would be very happy to be the beneficiary.

Despite of its enormous success of Office 97 MS Word is in trouble. MS Word proved to be very vulnerable for macro viruses and this additional costs are rising. Also HTML compatibility is low.

Most word processors, including Microsoft's market-dominating Word, take the steamer trunk approach, packing in every imaginable tool and accessory for an enormous variety of writing tasks.

Now, without abandoning the mass market, Corel is zeroing in on its niches. The company believes health care professionals will make good customers. ``There are 250,000 medical words not in the traditional dictionary. We recognize that there is a special need for such material,'' said Michael C.J. Cowpland, the chairman and president of Corel, which is based in Ottawa, Canada. The first three special editions -- for lawyers, health-care professionals and engineers -- are ``a good opportunity to carve more niches out of the Microsoft market,'' he said.

Throughout even the darkest days of WordPerfect lawyers have been faithful customers. A lot of lawyers prefer WordPerfect to Word. From the Supreme Court of the United States to the smallest law firms. Conversion from Word Perfect to word is not perfect that this is another reason preventing switching sides.

Among the WordPerfect features that lawyers like are the many legal forms and templates easily summoned on screen and filled in, like pleadings and motions.

Currently Word has share 82.5% in units sold and 86.9% in revenue, said Corel had 12.8% and 10.4% respectively. But recently Corel has been making some gains in both word-processing and with its WordPerfect suite 7, which includes Quattro Pro, Presentations and the Paradox relational database. Suite 8 is due out in June.

The company is betting its new niche marketing will help it claw back even more ground. Pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors, there's about 12 million workers in health-care industry, compared with 2 million in the legal profession. The construction and engineering industries also employ about 12 million people.

The medical and pharmaceutical edition offers such specialized tools as Stedman's Medical Dictionary and spellchecker, health-care templates, style guides for submitting research papers to medical journals, medical images and Internet links. The construction and engineering edition includes Corel Visual CADD, a design and drawing program; house plans; constructions forms; building specifications and other tools.

One feature he particularly likes is the construction safety templates with the latest standards from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Microsoft executives say they're still happy with their broader approach. Rather than going after niche markets they try to look at what tasks, say, the medical community does in a day and built them into Office.

this material is partly based on Bloomberg News coverage. See )

Novell released Replication Services(NRS) 1.0

NRS 1.0 is the first file replication system for NetWare, gives administrators a powerful and efficient means to disseminate corporate data or roll out Web sites to geographically dispersed servers.

You can download this extension of NetWare from Novell Inc.'s Web site ( It's free until the end of the year.

It gives administrators greater control of data and resources, provides users efficient and timely access to data regardless of location, and maximizes the efficiency of WAN links. While file- and folder-level security is maintained on replication servers, they must be in the same NDS (Novell Directory Services) tree.

NRS lets selectively replicate data files across servers automatically, and this can be scheduled to occur during off-peak

Users gain quicker, more reliable access to critical information as centrally created data is automatically and transparently updated to their local server. To disseminate information to co-workers regardless of location, users could simply save their files to a replicated volume or directory.

NRS also eliminates the need to depend on inefficient and costly file distribution mechanisms of attachments via E-mail and slow WAN links.

NRS is very easy to install. It installs as a single NLM (NetWare Loadable Module), and the updated C library required to use it. Then running a small executable file quickly updated the NWAdmin program, adding three new tabs that can be used to configure NRS.

One potential drawback is that NRS cannot replicate open files. However, it can log off users in order to close those files.

Apache: freeware WEB server that outshines commercial products

Small group of dispersed Unix developers who maintain Apache, a freeware program that has won the trust of thousands of companies and organizations worldwide.

But Apache's main draw isn't just free. Users say they prefer the software's power and manageability.

IBM used Apache instead of Domino for covering Kasparov match.

The software's band of developers, known as the Apache Group, last week posted Apache Version 1.2, which adds support for HTTP 1.1, new APIs, improved logging and Common Gateway Interface debugging.

And the server won't be just for Unix lovers for much longer: The developers plan to port Apache to Windows NT and add Java API support and a graphical configuration interface to Version 2.0, due in beta this year.

The birth and growth of Apache is a refreshing departure from the headline-grabbing, overhyped software industry and a throwback to the Internet's early days.

With no official leader, the Apache Group makes decisions by committee, with deliberations and voting on features done over E-mail. The dozen or so developers who make up the core team act as overseers, but product development is in the hands of thousands of users who work with Apache daily.

Contributions and fixes are accepted from anyone. The core team conducts tests, determines viability and integrates additions into a free upgrade -- source code and all -- on the Web site.

"Since there is no business justification, we're free to make the server cooler and cooler," said Ken Coar, a member of the Apache Group, whose day job is a principal at Process Software, in Framingham, Mass.

The group has nonprofit status, with all developer time donated. Turning Apache's success into cash has crossed the developers' minds, but for now the group is satisfied to have incorporated as a nonprofit for legal reasons.

That business-free attitude is paying great dividends. This month, a survey of more than 1 million Internet Web sites shows that 44% are running Apache. Trailing far behind is Microsoft's Internet Information Server, at 16%, and Netscape Communications Corp.'s family of servers, at 12%.

The survey conducted by NetCraft Inc., of Bath, England, does not take into account servers hosting intranets behind firewalls. Nevertheless, Apache's user list is impressive. McDonald's, UUNet Technologies Inc., HotWired, Yahoo Inc., JavaSoft, CBS and the FBI are among the 400,000 sites running Apache.

Each site puts Apache through performance-intensive operations. In the process, it has won over some Netscape customers. For example, a Web site consultant and provider, runs CBS' Web site and hosted this year's National Collegiate Athletic Association Final Four basketball tournament site on Apache.

"We had to get off [Netscape]. It didn't perform the way we had wanted," said President Malcolm Mead. "Portions of [Netscape] were good, but it started to unravel."

Service providers are as impressed as content suppliers. "[Apache] has never, ever crashed on me," said Patrick Ward, Webmaster at UUNet, in Fairfax, Va., which is running some corporate Web sites on Apache.


Users also are enamored with the server's flexibility.

Since the development group gives away Apache source code with each server, users can customize the software to its maximum potential (see analysis).

The source of Apache's power is no secret. The group formed in 1995 to add "patches" to the first free Web server developed by the NCSA. The resulting upgrade of NCSA's httpd 1.3 was thereafter known as A PAtCHy server.

"The whole motivation was to fix some bugs in NCSA," said Brian Behlendorf, an Apache coordinator and chief technology officer at Organic Online, in San Francisco. "We just found each other over the Internet."

While Apache has seen phenomenal success, even its biggest supporters admit that it's not for the faint of heart.

Anyone unfamiliar with hard-core Unix programming will not be able to get Apache running, said users.

And since there is no brick and mortar headquarters of Apache, there's also no 24-hour support system. But that doesn't mean support is lacking. Technical assistance is driven by users via or E-mail, and there are dozens of books and newsgroups devoted entirely to Apache.

That communal spirit is the reason why so many Apache developers devote their free time to coding and tweaking the software.

"It's like the older spirit of the Internet. We're giving something back," said Chuck Murcko, one of the core developers of Apache by night and a Web developer for Infonautics Corp., Wayne Pa., by day. This material is digested from PC Week article <a href="> PC WEEK