GIF News Issue 22

September / October 1992

GN9209.TXT

                             GIF News
                       September/October 1992
                            Issue #22
                   (C)1992 Hsiao & Hunter, Inc.
                 Release date: September 7, 1992

------------------- From the Desk of the Editor -------------------------

Hi, this is Eric Hsiao, the creator of GIF News.  Thanks for taking the
downloading GIF News.  This is a special issue covering tele-
communications, covering everything from modems to term programs and
bbs software.

   If you find the information in this issue of GIF News useful and 
helpful, please consider a small donation of around $5 to help cover 
long distance telephone charges incurred from the distribution 
of GIF News.

So, sit back and enjoy the issue.  Please feel free to send me any
comments and questions you may have.

Our next issue will be November/December.  Look for it around Nov 1st.

                                   Thanks,
                                   
                                   Eric Hsiao
                                   

Files in this archive:
          GN9209-1.GIF     --- Page 1 (SVGA 640x480 256 color page)
          GN9209-2.GIF     --- Page 2 (SVGA 640x480 256 color page)
          GN9209-3.TXT     --- Page 3 (Text page: Modem Survey Details)
          GN9209-4.TXT     --- Page 4 (Text page: SupraFax Review)
          GN9209-5.TXT     --- Page 5 (Text page: USR Sportster Review)
          GN9209.TXT       --- This file (From the Desk of the Editor)
          GIFNEWS.ADS      --- How to advertise in GIF News
          BACKISSU.TXT     --- Description of all back issues of GIF News
    ------------------
         8 Files Total

    Again,  GIF News is released as "Like-ware".  Feel free to copy and 
give it to friends, and if you like reading GIF News, please consider a
small donation to cover my long distance bills.  Again, copying GIF News
is permitted, provided no modifications of any kind are made to any of
the files in this archive.  This includes the addition or deletion of
files to and from this archive (i.e. no unauthorized BBS ads allowed).

    Please upload GIF News to a couple of your favorite boards.  Any bit 
of distribution helps. By the way, a PostScript Laser Printer would really 
be appreciated here.  It would enable us to send hardcopies of GIF News to 
those who want it on paper.  If you know of any office/computer supply 
auctions, please let me know.  

    Free  advertising  continues...read  GIFNEWS.ADS  for more details.  

    Special  note  to  Internet  readers:  If you  would  like  to be a
GIF News  subscriber,  just  send me  E-mail  and I will add you to the 
mailing list.  GIF News  will be  uuencoded and sent to you via E-mail.  
Many  uudecoders exist  for both unix and ms-dos platforms.  If you are 
unable  to handle  the .ZIP format  on your machine,  let me know and I
will send you the file in an LHARC, ARJ, ZOO, or ARC format.
    Also, if you're anonymously FTP'ing, and come across some files you 
think  might be  GIF News.  You can  easily tell  which issue  is up by 
looking at the filename.  For example, the filename is:

    gn92-09.zip  <-- The gn stands for GIF News, the 92 re-
                     presents the year, and the 09 is the
                     month (September in this case).

So be sure to look for gn92-11.zip in the beginning of September.
Several FTP sites you might want to look for GIF News are:

media-lab.mit.edu /pub/
wuarchive.wustl.edu /graphics/gif-news
netserv1.its.rpi.edu /pub/misc/gif-news

For the easiest way to contact me, please check out the following:    
Note: Besides US Postal Mail, I check my Internet E-Mail most often.

How to reach me:

US Mailing Address #1
  Eric Hsiao
  7 Fair Way
  Poughkeepsie, New York 12603-5014
  USA

US Mailing Address #2
  Eric Hsiao                                                              
  406-A BARH Mailroom, RPI         <------------------                                       
  Troy, New York 12180-3590                           |
  USA                                                 |
                                                      |
Note: Both above addresses will reach me, but address #2 will reach me quicker
      from September '92 to May '93. 
      
E-mail
  Internet:
    hsiaoe@rpi.edu 
  Bitnet:
    userha6g@rpitsmts.bitnet
  Compuserve:
    ADDRESS:>INTERNET:hsiaoe@rpi.edu
  MCI Mail:
    TO: Eric Hsiao (EMS)
    EMS: Internet
    MBX: hsiaoe@rpi.edu
    MBX: [press ENTER key]
  Prodigy:
    XPJD96B

The following bulletin boards are GIF News distribution sites, which means
you can call them up and get the latest issue (or older issues)

Bulletin Boards:
  AmeriCall          (212) 876-5885 Dual Standard
  Radio Daze         (219) 256-2255
  IDS DataForum      (401) 884-7564 Internet FTP/TELNET access 155.212.1.2
  Strat's Asylum     (407) 269-2495
  Software Creations (508) 368-4137 Dual Standard
  Cygnus' BBS        (508) 343-8848
  Quandra BBS        (602) 527-8895
  Channel 1          (617) 354-8873 50 Access Lines
  DataCOM            (813) 796-5627 USR 16.8K HST/v32bis
  Patchbay           (818) 441-3965 Dual Standard
  MMT-80/SF          (914) 297-2915 USR Dual/Standard
  PC Pitstop         (914) 298-1914 USR 16.8K HST/v32bis
  Executive Network  (914) 667-4567 

   Remember, just do a search for GN*.* for GIF News files.  On Compuserve,
go to the GAME forum and go to the online electronic magazines file section 
and search for keyword GIF NEWS.

   Sysops: If you want your BBS on this list, please let me know.  

   If you are interested in hiring a full time graphics artist or computer
systems engineer, please contact me.  I have experience with creating
computer graphics and video as well as skills in Windows, Lotus 123, Word
for Windows, Modems & Communications, Unix, Pascal, C, and PC Hardware &
Peripheral Installation.  I'm also interested in working in the field of
multimedia.

Contact me and I will send/FAX you a resume.

--------------------- Thank-you for downloading and reading GIF News,
                              Eric Hsiao
                              Editor-in-Chief
                              September 7, 1992

BACKISSU.TXT

                                BACKISSU.TXT
                                ------------
   ** Descriptions of every single issue of GIF News that has come out **

     If you want any of these issues, just send a Self-Addressed-Stamped-
  Envelope and a blank floppy (5.25 or 3.5) and I'll copy them over for you.
  Each issue is around 100K zipped.  Please don't forget to include the 
  FLOPPY and S.A.S.E. 
  
     Or send a check/money order (see GN9209.TXT for the address)

     Cost per each 360K disk (5.25) = $ .75
     Cost per each 720K disk (3.5)  = $1.25
     Add $.75 for shipping - average size of an issue is around
     80,000-100,000 bytes.  
     
     Or call any of the bulletin boards listed in the GN9209.TXT file.
 
  Issue #     Date           Description
  -------     ----           -----------
    01        Nov/Dec 1988   Reviews of Leisure Suit Larry II, Fire Power,
  GN88-11                    and Sentinel Worlds, a short autobiography of
                             Hsiao & Hunter, Inc.

    02        Feb/Mar 1989   Virus protection safeguards, review of Police
  GN89-02                    Quest II, "Are MS-DOS Games Getting Better"
                             editorial, game hints to Leisure Suit Larry 2.

    03        May/June 1989  Industry news, Space Quest ]I[ review, 1st
  GN89-05                    annual Sight & Sound Awards, "Taito Games Are
                             Terrible" editorial.

    04        July/Aug 1989  Nintendo Game Hints (Super Mario Bros 2, Rad
  GN89-07                    Racer, Karnov), Reviews of 4 different driving
                             simulation games (Vette, Test Drive 2, Lombard
                             Rally, F40 Pursuit Simulator), Review of the
                             game Caveman Ugh-Lympics, a short overview of
                             Lotus 123 Release 3.

    05        Nov/Dec 1989   Review of Maxis' Sim City, the new Tears For  
  GN89-11                    Fears CD "Seeds of Love", and a review of
                             Sierra's Manhunter II.

    06        Jan/Feb 1990   A Look back at the eighties, review of Sierra's
  GN90-01                    the Colonel's Bequest, and a overview of music
                             cards (AdLib, GameBlaster, SoundBlaster, &
                             Roland), the best VGA games.

    07        Mar/Apr 1990   "Do Sound Cards Really Sound that Good?" 
  GN90-03                    editorial, a profile of the Channel 1(tm) BBS
                             in Cambridge, MA, review of Access' Crimewave
                             and Bitmap Bros' Xenon II, look at digitizing
                             sounds.
                             
    08        May/June 1990  Detailed look at the VGA and VESA video
  GN90-05                    standard, the Ultima VI built-in cheat, the
                             World of Amiga show in New York City.

    09        July/Aug 1990  Request for BBS distribution sites, Computer
  GN90-07                    Industry News, a look at the Sound Blaster card,
                             a review of Spectrum Holobytes' Faces game.
                                
    10        Sept/Oct 1990  Review of the games Atomix & Puzznik, a look at
  GN90-09                    Battlechess II and future game releases, v.42
                             & v.42bis - what their advantages are.

    11        Nov/Dec 1990   Look at the TrakBlaster program, new Flight
  GN90-11                    Simulator scenery disks, Reviews of games
                             Spellcasting 101 and Jones in the Fast Lane,
                             the Amiga Video Toaster by NewTek, Being a
                             Game Designer for Electronic Arts.

    12        Jan/Feb 1991   V.32bis standard, XGA, LaserDiscs, the   
  GN91-01                    controversial Lotus-Equifax CD-ROM CD, "Boo to
                             Disney Software" editorial, FD-Format, review of
                             the game Hard Nova.

    13        Mar/Apr 1991   Look at Workstations, BBS's pay business rates
  GN91-03                    on their phone lines, JMPlayer review, Amiga 24
                             bit graphics, the first VGA page ever.

    14        May/June 1991  The Prodigy STAGE.DAT controversy, review of 
  GN91-05                    TrakBlaster v2.0, MediaVision's Pro-Audio
                             Spectrum, Amiga News, Review of Lemmings.

    15        July/Aug 1991  The PC Expo in NYC, look at Creative Labs'
  GN91-07                    Voice Edit program, hints to the adventure game
                             Time Quest, a review of the game Armor Alley,
                             Internet News, and the first-ever GIF News
                             contest.

    16        Sept/Oct 1991  Sound Blaster Pro Vs. AdLib Gold, "High Prices
  GN91-09                    for Game Software" Editorial, Internet News,
                             Contest Winners Announced.
    
    17        Nov/Dec 1991   Closer look at AdLib Gold, Windows 3.1 news,
  GN91-11                    Wing Commander II Built-in cheat, Police
                             Quest III, WordTris, Internet sites, new
                             releases for various computers.

    18        Jan/Feb 1992   AdLib Gold Delayed, Brief Windows 3.0 program
  GN92-01                    review, Oh No More Lemmings!, 1992 planned
                             releases, best graphical adventure game company,
                             first SVGA page, Internet Archie Server.

    19        Mar/Apr 1992   Reviews of two VGA shareware games: Scorched  
  GN92-03                    Earth and Galactix, short look at two multi-
                             media groups, the new US Robotics 16.8K Modem,
                             SupraCorp's v32bis modem, industry news, 
                             coming Apogee releases, $49 CD full of share-
                             ware and public domain software.

    20        May/June 1992  IBM/compatible sound cards reviews.  Pro Audio
  GN92-05                    Spectrum 16, AdLib Gold 1000, Sound Blaster Pro
                             comparison chart.

    21        July/Aug 1992  PC Expo #10 - news straight from the show!
  GN92-07                    Reviews of Dagger of Amon Ra & Classic Tetris
                             Soundcard news on Gravis Ultrasound and 
                             telecommunication news on V.fast standard 
                             and US Robotics new line of modems.

    22        Sept/Oct 1992  Special Telecommunications issue, covering
  GN92-09                    modems, BBS software, and communication
                             terminal programs for PC's, Amigas, and Macs.

GIFNEWS.ADS

* FREE ADVERTISING * FREE ADVERTISING * FREE ADVERTISING * FREE ADVERTISING *

Policy updated for May 1992, subject to change.

    Advertising in SIMPLE and EASY in GIF News, and very very affordable.
 Basically a small ad, roughly under 1/5 the size of a full page, will be
 free of charge.  Often times these are ads for Bulletin Board Systems.
    GIF News is read by thousands of readers throughout the world.  Besides
 the standard way of distribution through Bulletin Board Systems, GIF News
 travels by means of the worldwide Network of Internet which reaches many
 countries such as Japan, Australia, Norway, Finland, Canada, USA, France,
 Great Britain, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, and more.  GIF News can also
 be found on the Compuserve Game Forum in the Magazines download section.  

 Here are some guidelines to follow for advertising in GIF News:   
            
       1. If short and small, the ad is free of charge.  I may add
          some simple graphics to make the ad a little more interesting.
       2. If advertising a BBS:
           a. Send me a normal-access user acount pre-registered.  In  
              other words, add an Eric Hsiao to your user roster and
              pick a password and send it to me (along with your ad).
           b. Sysops must let me know before each and every issue comes
              out that they want their ad in it.  This will help me keep
              track of which boards are still up and which ones have gone
              down.  This will save our readers from the trouble of dialing
              long distance to a board and getting a "Sorry, the number you
              have dialed has been disconnected..."  I am unable to accept
              requests that say "Please put my BBS ad for the next 10
              issues."  If you want your BBS ad in the next 10 issues, you
              much notify me before the deadline of each of the 10 issues
              that you want the ad in it.  
       3. If contributing money for an ad:
           a. A full page with customized drawn graphics by me will general-
              ly run around $75 - add $25 for each additional issue that you
              want the ad in.
           b. Pre-supplied/drawn graphics full page size will generally 
              be around $50 - add $25 for each additional issue that you
              want the ad in.
           c. Half a page of custom graphics will run around $30 - add $10
              for each additional issue that you want the ad in.
           d. Pre-supplied/drawn graphics half size will be around $15 -
              add $10 for each additional issue that you want the ad in.
           e. Please keep in mind that these are only general numbers, I am
              very flexible and will negotiate.  Also, unlike the FREE BBS
              ad policy, you can request that your ad be in for a certain
              number of issues (ex. "Please put my full page ad in the 
              January issue for a contribution of $50, plus I would like 
              to see it in the March/April and May/June issues for an 
              additional contribution of $50 (2 x $25).  See above for
              contribution guidelines.  
           f. Contributions not need be in the form of monetary units   
              (money).  Instead, products of interest to me such as a
              PostScript Laser Printer, v32Bis Modem, etc. would really
              be appreciated.
          
       4.  Any legitimate commercial/business/organization/group/individual 
           can advertise in GIF News.  GIF News retains the right to refuse
           any advertisement due to content, space considerations, or
           other reasons.  We try to screen all advertisers for legitimacy.
           Complaints against advertisers should be directed toward the 
           advertiser or the Better Business Bureau, not GIF News.
            
       5.  The final deadline for the next issue is 10 days before the issue
           is to come out.  In other words, for the Nov/Dec 1992 issue,
           I must have the ad in my hands by October 21, 1992.

* FREE ADVERTISING * FREE ADVERTISING * FREE ADVERTISING * FREE ADVERTISING *

GN9209-3.TXT

   GN9209-3.TXT Issue #22                           GIF News               
   Page Three - September/October 1992              Hsiao & Hunter, Inc.
                  
   Editor's note: Advertisements are between the equal bars and the \/
                  /\ symbols.

   =====================================================================
   \/                  From Sunny Spain, comes:
          \    /        
           \__/       ooo oooo  ooo  ooo   ooo      ooooo  ooooo   ooo
           /  \        O  O    O   O O  O O   O      O   O  O   O O    
       ---|    |---    O  O    OoooO Ooo  O   O      Oooo   Oooo  Oooo
           \__/        O  O    O   O O  O O   O      O   O  O   O     O
           /  \       oOo Oooo O   O O  O  OoO      oOooo  oOooo  OoooO
          /    \
                      Open 24 hours/day, running on a v.32bis modem.
                      Sysop: Emilio Castellano (2:341/1.0)
                      Co-Sysop: Jose Pedro Moro (2:341/1.1)
                                CIS: 100021,176
                           Internet: 100021.176@compuserve.com
       BBS dedicated to OS/2, games and programming. LucasFilm Games
       support BBS, Official ASP approved BBS, Home of the Spanish
       OS/2 echo area, running on Binkley and Maximus/2 under OS/2 2.0.
       300 Megs online.  Membership fee of 3000 pesetas ($30 US) gives
       unlimited access.  
                      El numero del telefono: 34-1-519-4645
                      Saludos y bienvenidos!
   /\
   =====================================================================
                    _________________________________________
                    >                                       <
                    > More on the Telecommunications Survey <
                    >_______________________________________<

   Hardware

      Other modems owned by survey respondents include: 

   ATI, Anchor, Quicktel, Packard Bell, Digicom Scout, ZyXel,
   Global Village Power Port, Zoom, Twincomm, GVC Super Modem,
   Everex, and Microcom.

      Among the Australian respondents, Netcomm was the most popular.
   USRobotics modems are not approved by the Australian goverment,
   therefore it is illegal to use a HST or Dual Standard there.

      Some indicated that the Telebit PEP protocol works very well
   on noisy lines.  Also, Telebit is preferred in the Unix world, just
   as HSTs are in the BBS world.  However, with v32bis standardized,
   it is quickly becoming the popular choice among users.

      Since Supra and USRobotics garnished the most amount of votes, lets
   see what people had to say about these modems:

   US Robotics:

   "...very good quality, performance, and reliability."

   "...excellent.  Well documented, well engineered, no surprises.
    Overpriced for an individual user who does not have a need for the
    HST protocol, but an excellent choice for a BBS modem."

   "I prefer the Dual Standard unit, as that gives me the required option
    to communicate with as many different types of modems available."

   "I have a USR DUAL 16.8, and its GREAT!"

   "I am using a USR Courier HST Dual Standard 14.4kbps and have considerably
    good success with this modem, with the exception of trying to connect
    with a SUPRA and some Telebits."

   "Alot of the other 14.4k modems are still buggy.  USR's product has been
    stable for over 1.5 years."

   Supra:

   "Good modem, cheap, fast, but a bit buggy.  Much performance for the price,
    though."

   "Good. Inexpensive, reliable, and seems to get along well with most types
    of modems..."

   "...all advanced features, including FAX, in one package.  Low price."

   Software   
   
   1. Amiga
  
      In the software category, different users have their own
   preference for terminal programs.  

      In the Amiga area, JRComm is preferred the most.  Some general
   comments about it:

   "Easy to use, lots of features, stable."

   "I like its full Zmodem support, excellent interface."

   "...it lacks a script lanuage."

   "...better serial handshaking..."

      Another frequently mentioned program is VLT 5.517 - comments
   include:

   "...it behaves very well under AmigaOS 2.04 and looks great on a
    40x80 character screen.  It also has a nice 'phone book' utility."

   "Extensive ARexx support, completely configurable and programmable."
  
   "...Clipboard support...quick to use...good VT100 emulation...
    extensive scripting/programming capabilities."

   "Wish it had VT200 or better emulation."

   "Very versatile but a bit difficult to set up."

   2. IBM and Compatibles

      Qmodem and Telix tied for first.  Among the comments received are:

   Qmodem:

   "...wish it had mouse support, or was available in a Windows version.
    Wish it had MNP emulation in it."

   "...it's the most versatile..."

   "Key combinations makes access to functions very fast."

   Telix:

   "Very satisfied...encountered only two bugs, and these are more
    annoyances than critical errors."

   "Robust, has a decent zmodem.  Poor terminal emulations on VT-102...
    ANSI is not complete..."

   "...reliable and easy to use.  Also the scripting language is awesome..."

   "...I don't like Telix 3.15 because I can't get 'vi' (unix editor) to
    work properly...I get really annoyed when Telix can't do non-destructive
    backspace."

   "I like it's speed and reliability.  I dislike the fact that it isn't
    a Windows application..."

   "...easy to use while providing all of the power/configurability I need
    to work with a wide variety of modems and host systems...fairly
    efficient.  Unfortunately, its VT-102 emulation isn't perfect and its
    Kermit protocol implementation is absolutely minimal."

   3. Macintosh

      ZTerm 0.9 earned the most amount of votes for the most used
   Mac term program.

      Here is what people had to say about it:

   "It's fast and very useful...it doesn't download in the background very
    well."

   "...it is the best comm program for the mac...only problem is flakey
    vt100 emulation."

   BBS Software

      There are alot of different types of BBS software for the different
   platforms of computers out there.  The most popular among Amiga users
   is DLG Pro.  Here is what some people had to say about it:

   "It is fast, friendly, has many nice features like compressing mail in
    the background, Usenet support, a nice full-screen editor..."

   One respondent who runs a pre-release of DLG Pro BBS/OS says this:
   "Total modularity.  It is called a BBS/Operating System because that's
    what it is.  In fact, any DOS command can be made part of the BBS...
    Multi-line. Unlimited number of lines can be added, as far as the
    software is concerned...it is so darned rich in commands, most of my
    users are at first daunted by the sheer amount of options presented
    to them."

   For PC-based bulletin boards, PC Board and Waffle were popular mentions.
   PC Board:
   "I like it because I can do things quickly.  Without having to go thru
    a million menus, I can quickly read the new messages and see the new
    files."

   "...use PC Board, Wildcat, Binkley Term...they're all the same to me."

   Waffle: 
   "...ease of use...dislike setup."

   "Waffle on the IBM PC is powerful but hard to use."

   "It is not the easiest to learn, but once you know what you are doing,
    you can quickly access the files and messages that you want to download
    and read."

   For the Macintosh systems, Mac users had this to say about the various
   different packages:

   "TeleFinder and FirstClass BBS are both excellent examples of how BBSs
    are destined to become graphical in nature."

   "Don't like any of the PC-based boards as they are implemented
    differently...whatever happened to consistency?"

   =====================================================================
   \/
                                 Quandra BBS
                                (602)527-8895
                            v.32bis compatibility

                            All files are FREQable
   Files, online games, messages + International E-mail via FidoNet
               New shareware!  Cedar Island Link v2.15
     Current version of GIF News FREQable under magicname GIFNEWS
                        Sysop: Scott (Scooter) Fell
                               Fidonet: 1:304/7
   /\                   
   =====================================================================

GN9209-4.TXT

   GN9209-4.TXT Issue #22                           GIF News               
   Page Four - September/October 1992               Hsiao & Hunter, Inc.
              

   ======================================================================
   \/               _____         ___  ___     ___    ___   ___              
      |\  /| |\  /|   |          /    |       |   \  |   \ /                                       
      | \/ | | \/ |   |   -----  ---- |---    |---<  |---< ----          
      |    | |    |   |          ___/ |       |___/  |___/ ___/         
   
   * GIF News distribution site * Member of Skynet, 63 Conferences,
     4000+ files * Wilcat! 3.50M * OS/2 File Section  * Two Nodes *
   * Running on two USR 16.8 kbps Dual Standards * Node 1 (914) 297-2915
   * Node 2 (914) 297-5623
   /\
   ======================================================================

                  _______________________________
                 >                               <
                 >    Supra FAX modem v.32bis    <
                 >_______________________________<

                      Review by Ken Goldenberg
                      ------------------------

      I remember my first modem.  It was 300 bps and was one of the 
   first direct connect modems I'd ever seen.  I was impressed that 
   some bbses supported 2400 bps .  14400 bps may seem similarly 
   unobtainable to many people now, but with its latest offering's 
   street price of around $300, Supra may just change that.

      I purchased the external version for the Amiga, which is bundled 
   with a serial cable, the aging A-Talk III terminal software, and 
   GP FAX software.  The bundle runs about $70 more than the bare 
   modem, but the fax software alone is worth the additional cost.  
   Setup of the modem is pretty typical of any high speed modem.  
   If you've never used a 9600 bps modem before, you can plan on 
   spending a little time with the manual.  Luckily, it's quite 
   good.  Users familiar with 9600 bps modems will probably be up 
   and running after a glance or two at the quick reference card.
                             _________
                             >__FAX__<

      I liked the idea of being able to fax things to work, and the GP 
   FAX software does a really good job.  The program multitasks 
   cleanly, has an AREXX port, and sports a slick, intuitive 
   interface.  The program can convert ASCII test to fax documents, 
   or intercept data that is sent through the PRT: device.  In this 
   manner, I create a document in PageStream, and faxed it to a 
   Sharp F0-4900 plain pare laser fax.  The output was 
   unbelievable.  I'll still use the copy I printed on a LaserJet 
   as a master, but the fax was the sharpest thing I've ever seen 
   roll out of a fax machine. Ever.

      I am only aware of two problems with the software.  First, you 
   can only run one copy of it at a time.  If you have any plans to 
   buy more than one FAXmodem and send more than one fax at a time 
   (you want to fax urgent information to 80 offices ASAP) then 
   you'll have some trouble.  There was also reportedly some 
   trouble between GP FAX and Final Copy.  GP software is aware of 
   the problem and is supposedly working on a fix.
                          ____________
                          >___DATA___<

   Okay, the fax capabilities are nice, but you want a modem for 
   more than the fax and the neat LEDs on the front panel, right?  
   Well this is a v.32bis modem, and when connected to another 
   v.32bis modem you can expect transfers of over 1600cps over good 
   phone lines.  The Supra modem I used seemed slightly more 
   sensitive to bad line quality, but I have notoriously bad wiring 
   in my apartment.  The manual's suggestion:  use AT&T if you're 
   having problems with line noise.  The modem supports v.42bis as 
   well, MNP 2-5 and supposedly MNP 10, which is used for SEVERE 
   error correction (such as cellular communication).  I don't know 
   anyone else with MNP 10, so I can't confirm this, but a rumor 
   flying around the Internet is that the current Supra 14.4's do 
   not support MNP 10, and may never be upgraded to do so.  If MNP
   10 is a requirement of your next modem, I suggest confirming its 
   presence before purchasing the Supra. 

      Supra has promised to release free ROM upgrades to all 
   registered users (the latest promised date is late August). I 
   have had no serious problems with this modem after three months 
   of normal use and would recommend it to anyone interested in a 
   low cost modem. 

   =====================================================================
   \/              ****** Attention Internet Users ******

   Try the fastest menu program available for MS-DOS machines.
   Written in assembly to be blindingly fast.  Very versatile and easy
   to configure with included setup program.  To try it out today:
       FTP to cc.usu.edu
       Login as 'anonymous' and use your userid as the password
       Type 'cd incoming'
       Type 'bin'
       Type 'get fastmenu.zip'
       When done, type 'bye' to quit out of FTP and use a transfer
          protocol to send fastmenu.zip to your PC.
   
   Fast Menu program by InterSpect Productions. Shareware.
   /\
   =====================================================================
       

GN9209-5.TXT

   GN9209-5.TXT Issue #22                           GIF News               
   Page Five - September/October 1992               Hsiao & Hunter, Inc.

          _________________________________________________________
          >                                                       <
          >   The USRobotics Sportster V.32bis Sportster 14,400   <
          >_______________________________________________________<
                       
                          Review by Eric Hsiao


   USRobotics has always been synonymous with high quality modems in the BBS
   world.  Their Dual Standard is the dream modem of many BBS users, and is
   one of the most popular high-speed modem used by sysops.  USRobotics'
   aggressive-pricing sysop plan has made their courier line of modems very
   successful in the BBS scene.  All USRobotics modems now come with Group 3
   Fax capabilities built in.

   With the success of the Courier line given, there is another new line of
   modems titled the Sportster line.  These modems are targeted more to people
   who want a good modem but are on a budget. While the lower priced modems
   like the Boca Research and Zytel are based on the Rockwell chipset, the
   Sportster uses its own DSP chip, which works quite well.  Some users report
   problems with Rockwell based modems such as busy-signal detection, FAX
   connections, and difficulty connecting to certain brands of modems.
   However, not all users of these modems have problems, so it may depend on
   the ROM revision of the Rockwell chip, as well as the individual
   manufacturer's design around the chip.  Since the Sportster itself is not
   based on the Rockwell chipset, it does not suffer from the same problems.
   Instead, the Sportster line is designed around USRobotics' own DSP chip,
   which functions very well.

   Looking at the Sportster V.32bis, one can see the compactness and the
   ergonomic design.  The modem features the CCITT V.32bis standard, V.42
   error correction, and V.42bis 4:1 data compression.  The modem is also
   backwards compatible with 9600, 2400, 1200, and 300 baud.  However, this
   modem does not have the HST protocol in it.  Since most high speed boards
   are running on Dual Standards anyway, connecting at 14.4bps is not too
   difficult nowadays.  The Sportster is capable of handling a DTE rate of
   57.6 kbps, good for V.42bis compression.  On the outside are nine LED
   status lights, typical of most external modems.  The front of the modem
   features an easy to adjust volume knob, and the power button is
   conveniently located on the left side of the modem.  Transfer rates with
   this modem at 14.4 kbps yield around 1650-1700 characters per second, using
   the Ymodem-G protocol.  The modem handles extremely well under line noise
   conditions.  The hardware is very stable and I have yet to come across any
   problems with the modem itself.

   Using the modem itself is easy.  The only hardware installation involved is
   plugging it in and turning it on.  Make sure you have a 25-pin serial
   cable, as the package does not come with one.  However, it does come with
   telephone wire.  When installing, make sure the connection marked TELCO
   goes to your wall jack and the one marked PHONE goes to your telephone. On
   the software end, the modem comes with a information on setting up popular
   PC communication packages for the modem.  Most of the registers and dip
   switch settings can be left mostly at the factory defaults, however, the
   manual clearly defines them so if you do need to change any of them, you
   will know what you are doing.  A nice feature of the modem is the ability
   to save your new settings, even if you power off the modem.  This feature
   uses the modem's non-volatile ram (NVRAM).  The modem takes the standard
   "AT" command set, making it Hayes-compatible.

   In regards to software, the modem comes with BlastFax, a DOS-based FAX
   program.  Installing BlastFax is easy with the installation program.
   However, I noticed a small bug where the installation program asked for
   disk 2 twice, even though it was already in the drive.  The Fax program
   itself is fairly easy to use, with most of the commands done by the mouse.
   Besides the standard FAX program features like keeping a phone book, a
   send/receive log, and outgoing fax scheduling, BlastFax has the ability to
   import other file types to be faxed.  For example, you can create a logo
   using a paint program, save it in .PCX format, and use it on the cover
   sheet of your fax.  BlastFax also takes in HP PCL level 4 and 5,
   which means you can create a document in Windows, then print in HP format
   into a file.  That file can then be sent as a fax.  BlastFax comes with
   licensed fonts from the Agfa Division, Miles Inc.  If you are not into
   using DOS, Winfax Pro by Delrina works fine with the Sportster modem.
   However, both these programs do have drawbacks.  The first being that
   neither lets you preview faxes using what-you-see-is-what-you-get
   (WYSIWYG).  You can view outgoing faxes with BlastFax, but only after
   sending the FAX.  In Winfax Pro, you cannot view cover pages at all.  A
   good fax program should allow a person to arrange the text and pictures on
   the screen, much like a desktop publishing program.  Neither BlastFax or
   Winfax Pro allows you to change the location of a image, such as a .PCX
   file, on the cover page.  One should be able to place a logo or image where
   they want and write text at any preferred place.  A fax program that has
   some basic desktop publishing features would make composing faxes so much
   easier, and users could see exactly what they are faxing before they
   actually fax it.  Other fax programs do exist such as Intel's Faxability
   Plus, Eclipse for Windows, and BitFax.  However, I have not gotten a chance
   to try them out yet.

   Overall, the USRobotics Sportster V.32bis 14,400 Baud modem is a very
   sturdy product that comes from a company that knows modems.  It comes with
   a 5-year warrantee,  an 800 tech support number, and is made in the USA.
   USRobotics operates its own bulletin board as well as having a
   representative on the Relaynet RIME USRobotics conference.  Basically, this
   modem is for anyone who wants a competitively-priced modem with USRobotics
   quality. The hardware works very well and does not suffer some of the
   reported symptoms of Rockwell-based modems.  The list price on the
   Sportster is $529, but street prices are around $350-$400.