Murph's VAPORWARE Column for September 1991

Murph's VAPORWARE Column for September 1991

Post by Murph Sewa » Fri, 30 Aug 1991 00:40:07



                         VAPORWARE
                       Murphy Sewall
              From the September 1991 APPLE PULP
       H.U.G.E. Apple Club (E. Hartford) News Letter
                          $24/year
                       P.O. Box 18027
                  East Hartford, CT 06118
            Call the "Bit Bucket" (203) 257-9588
 Permission granted to redistribute with the above citation

                  These are rumors folks;
           we reserve the right to be dead wrong!

"This is the closest thing to a Mac that I've ever seen." - unnamed beta
tester of Word Perfect for Windows 3.0 (Gee, I coulda had a V-8!)

Six New Macintoshes.
October 21 (some rumors say "early October") is said to be the date
Apple plans to announce the 25 MHz 68040 (see May's column) Mac tower
($7,600) and desktop ($6,000), the 16 MHz Classic/30 (from $1,995), and
three notebook Macs.  The least expensive notebook ($1,995) will be a
5.3 pound no floppy model with the same 16 MHz 68000 CMOS chip in the
current portable.  The middle model ($2,995) will be a 6.8 pound system
with a 16 MHz 68030, 20 MByte hard drive, and 1.44 MByte Superdrive.
The top of the line ($5,500) will be built around a 25 MHz 68030 with
68882 math coprocessor and a monochrome active matrix display.  The
minimum configuration for all six machines will be sufficient for System
7 (at least 2 MBytes).  Rumors also indicate that the first maintenance
upgrade of System 7 (System 7.1?) will be released with the new CPUs.
- PC Week 5 August

Ten New Compaqs.
Compaq plans a major renovation of its product line between now and
early 1992.  Ten new CPUs headed by a line of upgradeable (from 386 to
486 and beyond) Deskpros.  Among the other new machines will be new
tower configured 386 and 486 servers which are expected by the end of
the year.  - InfoWorld 12 August

One New PS/2.
Another PS/2, the Model 56 which will combines the compact form factor
of the Model 35 with the 2.88 MByte super floppy and SCSI hard drive of
the Model 57, is in the works.  IBM plans to introduce a proprietary 20
MHz 80386SX with an 8K cache in the Model 56.  Sources say IBM's 386SX
derivative delivers somewhat more than 25 percent more performance than
the Intel original.  IBM also plans to make the chip available as an
upgrade for the Model 57.  Analysts expect a price tag of around $3,000
for the the Model 56, and indicate that another reduction in the price
of the 16 MHz model 55 to make room for the Model 56 is likely.
- PC Week 5 and 12 August

No New Apple II?
Rumor has it that a "major Apple II CPU announcement" is scheduled for
September 25.  Apple had been beta testing a 2 Mbyte, 40 Mbyte internal
hard drive IIgs model with the 1.44 Mbyte Superdrive that the Mac also
uses - in other words, a machine ready out of the box to use HyperCard
GS, a second generation of which is already being worked on.  However,
at KansasFest in July, there were comments from Rob Barnes among others
that this CPU was yet another of Apple's beta might-have-beens.  There
are some new Apple II goodies coming including a 1.44 floppy drive card,
GSOS 6.0 (it's late, see last May's column, a beta version was being
shown in Kansas) with the all new finder written by Andy Nicholas, read
only Pascal FST (File System Translator), Apple II DOS 3.3 FST (read
only), and at long last Mac FST (read and write) which will read Mac
CD-ROMs as well.  An MS-DOS FST won't make it into this release.
- found in my electronic mailbox

Mac Plus Sony Equals Less Than $600.
One of the year's less plausible rumors (see May's column) turns out to
have more than a little credence as Apple and Sony are on the verge of
closing a deal for Sony to make and mass market an under $600 consumer
electronic product incorporating a version of the Macintosh ROM.
Although the Motorola 68000 based device won't run the Mac's new System
7, it will ship with 1 MByte of RAM, a CD-ROM, a joy stick port, a high
capacity floppy drive (no hard disk), and run "many Mac titles" (System
6 Finder compatible).  - InfoWorld 12 August

More on the PowerPC CPU.
Motorola has barely started the design work on the single chip version
of IBM's RISC CPU technology and already Intel and AMD have expressed
interest in second sourcing the chip.  Motorola's 88110 CPU may yet
appear under the hood of a Mac.  Apple has asked Motorola to make the
PowerPC both pin and bus compatible with the 88110.  A little known
reason for Motorola's participation in the Apple-IBM pact is the firm's
proprietary chip-masking technology which allows it to integrate
disparate chip elements onto a single megachip.  Since IBM has a license
from Intel to manufacture the 80386, Motorola could fuse it along with
its own 68040 and the IBM RS/6000 chip into an all-in-one super CPU.
The PowerPC may turn out to have far more power than most people
contemplated when the deal was announced.
- InfoWorld 29 July and 5 August and PC Week 22 July

Information Warehouse.
IBM is scheduled to announce a plan to turn its mainframe computing line
into massive database servers over the next three years.  IBM will offer
connectivity software and graphical data-management query tools to make
an "information warehouse" out of the mainframe.  As part of its deal
with Apple, IBM will include Apple File Protocol in its multi-protocol
strategy making it possible for an ES/9000 mainframe to be the World's
largest AppleShare server.  - InfoWorld 29 July and PC Week 5 August

More i586 Details.
Intel's i586 CPU plans are back in the news (see the Aug and Oct 1989,
Jan, Feb, May, and Dec 1990, and Jan and June 1991 columns).  Reliance
on Intel's own RISC core instruction set and "pipelining" (more than one
instruction per clock cycle) will push the three million transistor CPU
to over 100 MIPS.  The i586 (Intel's internal codename is the "P5") will
include logic necessary for backward (seems an appropriate adjective)
compatibility with 80X86 systems.  Intel's architecture and applications
group general manager, David House, says the P5 (i586) is definitely
scheduled for a formal introduction during the second half of next year.
- InfoWorld 1 July

Object Oriented Operating Networking.
Not to be outdone by IBM and Apple (see last month's and July's
columns), Sun and Hewlett-Packard have announced that they will team up
to develop an object oriented environment for networked applications
running on all major desktop operating systems.  The Sun-HP technology
will reside between operating systems and applications and provide
network transparency.  Delivery is expected over the next two to three
years.  - InfoWorld 29 July

Apple's "Other" Platform.
Procyon, Inc. has introduced an alpha release of GNO, a multitasking
environment for the Apple IIgs.  GNO, an extension to the native
operating system, is the first such product for the Apple IIgs
microcomputer.  Unlike the Macintosh MultiFinder, GNO provides true
preemptive multitasking.  It will not allow multiple desktop programs to
run concurrently, but will permit one desktop program with any number of
text applications.  A growing Unix compatibility package will be
distributed along with GNO.  Procyon hopes for an October release date
of the production version of the $80 product.
- Procyon press release forwarded by Jawaid Bazyar

Which DOS is The DOS?
The purchase of DRI (Digital Research Inc., makers of the DR DOS
alternative) gives Novell a network OS and a desktop OS to compete with
Microsoft which will be putting networking hooks into DOS and Windows.
IBM has a deal with Novell that lets the Blue resell NetWare, and that
might carry over to reselling DR DOS. Many people think DR DOS is
technically better than MS-DOS, so IBM could show its displeasure with
Microsoft even more than before by terminating the agreement with
Microsoft (which produced PC-DOS) in favor of DR DOS.  - TidBITS 29 Jul

LAN Manger Upgrade.
Microsoft is not about to concede network dominance to Novell and will
introduce a major LAN upgrade this quarter.  LAN Manager 2.1 will have
Windows 3.1 and Macintosh client support, Netware connectivity, TCP/IP
internetworking, Simple Network Management Protocol, and support for
Unix, OS/2, VMS, and SQL servers.  Meanwhile, Apple has disclosed plans
to include advanced messaging technology into its Macintosh operating
system over the next 12 to 18 months.  - InfoWorld 29 July

Who Needs OS/2?
Microsoft DOS 6.0 (see last month's column) will feature preemptive
multitasking, a flat memory model (no more 640K barrier requiring
contorted work arounds), improved networking support, and an installable
file-system architecture.  Microsoft has not made final decisions about
whether to combine Windows with DOS 6.0 or dropping the low-end real
mode from Windows.  Present plans are to have two DOS 6.0s, a real-mode
release for 8086 and 80286 systems and a protected mode (real
multitasking) version for 80386SX systems and higher.  The time line for
this next major MS-DOS upgrade is twelve to eighteen months.
- PC Week 22 July

New Apple Scanner.
If you can wait until fall, Apple plans to introduce a "new and
innovative scanning product," or you can get a 400 dpi HP Scanjet IIc
for $1,995.  The 'c' stands for color.  The new HP scanner can recognize
16.7 million colors and 256 levels of gray.
- TidBITS 22 Jul and PC Week 5 August

Dial-up AppleTalk.
According to members of the development team that is working on Apple's
976 project (see last month's column), it is up and running with a few
remaining bugs to be resolved. The developers think it will be done in
time to be released with the new AppleShare that is due out in the Fall.
- TidBITS 22 Jul

Type Manager on a Chip.
Adobe Systems is developing an outline processing chip which will
improve font rendering speed and increase printing performance by up to
tenfold.  According to Systems Division marketing manager Jill Kyte the
chip will include all of the functionality of Adobe Type Manager.
- PC Week 22 July

Mini CD.
Sony is pushing a new 2.5" audio disk technology that supports read-only
mechanically mastered media plus magento-optical read/write media. The
idea is to do to cassettes what CDs did to vinyl, and the advantages
over DAT and DCC are obvious.  The disks use a 5 to 1 slightly lossy
compression system to fit as much playing time as a regular CD; expect a
mini-CD computer drive to hold something like 60 MBytes.
- found in my electronic mailbox

A New Place for MarketPlace?
A new company calling itself variously "American Business Information"
or "Online Information Network" was marketing a product at the recent
Comdex show almost the same as the controversial Lotus MarketPlace. ABI
is offering a dialup service which, for a $35 subscription fee, $1 per
minute, and 17 cents per name, retrieves names from databases of over
ten million U.S. and Canadian businesses, or over 4.5 million "high
income" families. ABI plans to make the same databases available on
CD-ROM as well.  - TidBITS 29 Jul

QuickTime Coprocessor.
Apple is investing in International Meta System's programmable
coprocessor as a multimedia development tool for the Macintosh.  At 70
MIPs, the chip and tools, including capabilities such as frame grabbing,
could substantially improve the performance of Apple's Quicktime (see
July's column).  - InfoWorld 29 July

Economy Versions from Borland.
Sources close to Borland say the firm will introduce low end versions of
the company's spreadsheet and database software.  Quattro SE and Paradox
SE will carry $79.95 list prices.  Borland also plans a minor upgrade
for the DOS version of the recently acquired dBase IV program (an
improved Control Center front end).  A specific version of dBase for
Windows is under development.  - InfoWorld 29 July and 5 August

Betaware.
Word Perfect for Windows, originally scheduled to ship last summer and
now planned for October (see last January and March's columns), is said
to be "wowing" beta testers.  One impressed source is quoted at the top
of this column.  Claris's MacWrite Pro beta testing has uncovered enough
unexpected glitches to delay introduction until after the first of the
year.  Also not expected until after Christmas is Claris's long finished
FileMaker Pro for Windows.  Ventura Publisher will add advanced color
capabilities to version 4.0 of its Windows product by the end of the
year.  Word for Windows 2.0 with drag and drop editing, an interface
that consolidates the ribbon and ruler bars and adds an icon bar, and
object linking and embedding (OLE) is slated to appear by year's end.
Beta testers are raising serious doubts that OS/2 2.0 we be able to
deliver on IBM's promise of a "better DOS than DOS and better Windows
than Windows" by the end of the year.  Lotus 1-2-3 Mac has complete
keystroke compatibility will the PC version as well as System 7
compatible floating palettes and customizable menus.  1-2-3 Mac also
features the 3-D spreadsheet permitting layering up to 256 spreadsheets
deep and true 3-D charting.  The current beta of 1-2-3 for Windows
cannot run under Windows 3.1; a better beta has been promised shortly.
Beta testers also are waxing enthusiastic over the "SmartMasters"
presentation templates in Lotus's forthcoming Freelance Graphics for
Windows program planned for the fourth quarter.  Harvard Graphics for
Windows (scheduled for February) and Harvard Draw for Windows (due in
time for Christmas stockings) are both beta testing.
- InfoWorld 5 and 12 August and PC Week 29 July and 5  and 12 August
-------------
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