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November 10, 1995

MINIGRAMS EXTRA

By CBR Staff Writer

Power Computing Corp is making power waves in the Macintosh world with its new Power Wave 604 machine – especially the 150MHz model since Apple Computer Inc does not offer such a thing yet (almost certainly because there aren’t enough 604 chips available yet to meet the instant demand such a Macintosh would generate) – but the key attraction is the $250 Stargate add-on board that enables users to mix two NuBus and two PCI boards in the same machine – something Apple does not offer, despite the fact that Power Computing allegedly developed the thing with support from Apple (CI No 2,782), leaving many users frustrated that they can’t carry forward their NuBus boards to the latest highest performance Macs.

IBM Corp’s China personal computer unit says sales will probably double next year, after growing 140% in January to September this year, still a growth rate sharply lower than for the previous two years, when IBM achieved consecutive 400%-plus growth rates: IBM says the percentage growth rate may continue to slow although unit sales will keep rising, but it declined to give actual unit sales or revenue figures; in 1994 IBM was the fourth selling brand in China with a 7% share of an estimated 650,000 unit market, which the company forecasts will rise to between 750,000 and 850,000 units in this year alone.

Canon Inc said it will launch its first two colour laser printers, which print three full-colour pages per minute with resolution of 600 by 600 dots per inch, faster than the company’s inkjet colour models, next spring: the LBP-2030 model will go on sale in Japan from March at $6,883, and the LBP-2030PS, a PostScript printer compatible with Windows and Macintosh computers, will be available from April at $15,581; Canon said it plans to produce 2,000 LBP-2030 and 500 of the LBP-2030P printers each month; it also has an OEM agreement with Electronics for Imaging Inc, San Mateo, California for its Fiery XJE controller for use in the printers.

Zenith Electronics Corp shareholders approved the agreement under which LG Electronics Inc is acquiring majority stake in it for $351m.

Motorola Inc’s Motorola India Ltd will introduce pagers in Hindi and Gujarati by the middle of next year with encoders and decoders for translating, as part of its focus on private paging services in India: it said there should be more than 100,000, pagers in India within the first year of starting and it will start buying Indian equipment for its pager assembly factory in Bangalore when sales justify it. It is pretty important to Computergram that business hours in the UK do not move any closer to those on the continent, because as they are at present, while there is still only a brief window with the Far East, they maximise the overlap with the working day in both the Americas and Europe (which are these British companies whose interests are so narrow that they only do business on the continent – in our experience, most companies still look first to the English-speaking world when they start to expand overseas, and only afterwards look to the continent) and it turns out that the people that want to move Britain onto Central European Time (and a glance at the map shows you what an absurd idea that is) are at one with those that thought it a wonderful idea to hand the livelihoods of Britain’s fishermen over to the continentals: a report from the Land of Hesse, home of Frankfurt-am-Main, concedes that the idea of Frankfurt overtaking London as Europe’s leading money market was an impossible dream – benefits such as language and time zone advantages kept London ahead.

Qualix Group Inc, based in San Mateo, California has added SecureWatch to its family of systems administration and security products, saying that the product is a high availability secure Internet access and communications offering: the company says that the product is currently available on Unix workstations from Sun Microsystems Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co Unix, and prices for it start at $25,600.

In a ground-breaking agreement, CompuServe Inc agreed to settle charges that it infringed copyrights by letting its subscribers copy music recordings without paying royalties: the H&R Block Inc unit said it agreed to pay Frank Music Corp $568,000 to settle the class action suit which was supported by the Harry Fox Agency Inc, a licensing agency for music publishers: the suit alleged copyrights to the Righteous Brothers version of Unchained Melody, whose copyright is owned by the principals of the Harry Fox Agency, and more than 900 other songs owned by the agency were infringed by CompuServe; the settlement may be used as a model for other on-line service providers, legal experts said, since it helps define how owners of copyright material such as music can get paid for work appearing in cyberspace; CompuServ said it will work with the Harry Fox Agency to enable licensing of its music so that users can upload and download it; the National Music Publishers’ Association said it has spoken with other major on-line service providers about copyright infringement, but it is not clear whether they will voluntarily comply with CompuServ’s terms; the pact will likely make on-line services more costly.

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Three-dimensional virtual reality is dismissed by critics as so hard to maneuvre through that many who try to do it crash into walls – and as the computer can’t update images as fast as the human eye, walking through three-dimensional cyberstores usually feels like staggering, which literally makes some people sick; needless to say, Sun Microsystems Inc’s Scott McNealy gets the last word – If you want 3-D, get your head out of the computer: it’s all around you.

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