close this bookTidBITS#257   19950102
View the documentMailBITS/02-Jan-95
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View the documentClone Alone
View the documentPutting DOS in the Machine
View the document1994 and 1995: Forward and Backward
View the documentReviews/02-Jan-95
View the documentFoot Notes

MailBITS/02-Jan-95

Welcome to 1995, and keep an eye out next week for the news from Macworld San Francisco. We'll be at the Netter's Dinner, of course (barring the Martian Death Flu that flattened me in Boston), and at the Hayden booth at random times during the show. [ACE]

The Netter's Dinner is scheduled for Friday, January 6th at the usual place and time and with the usual spicy Chinese food. For information and to reserve a spot, send email to Jon Pugh at <jonpugh@netcom.com>. [ACE]

PowerCity Sponsoring -- I'd like to welcome our newest sponsor, PowerCity Online, a company doing business much as we do with TidBITS - entirely online. Unlike most hardware and software resellers, PowerCity concentrates on selling to the online world. PowerCity works through email, so to request pricing and availability information, you send email to their CompuServe address <75361.532@compuserve.com> (a full Internet connection is in the works). The PowerCity folks can provide a certain amount of technical information and information on related products to help you better decide among similar products.

When I first heard about PowerCity, I was in the market for a Sonic Systems microBridge/TCP, so I sent them a query. In about a half hour (they aim for 15 minutes, but the CompuServe gateway can slow things down), I had a quote that was not only $50 cheaper than MacWarehouse (none of the other major mail order vendors carried the microBridge/TCP at the time) but was also in stock. (MacWarehouse was back ordered.) PowerCity usually charges $5 to $10 for shipping in the U.S., as opposed to the flat $3 charged by most other vendors, but my order did arrive overnight (international shipping is available). Subsequent anonymous price requests by a friend for other products turned up competitive prices.

Overall, I found PowerCity easier to deal with than other mail order vendors, although that may be due to my comfort with email (I find the phone tiresome and inefficient for this sort of work). If you do decide to order, PowerCity accepts Visa, MasterCard, and American Express only. Despite the popular belief in the insecurity of email, everything I've heard from vendors about credit card laws indicates that in almost any credit card dispute, the bank gives the benefit of the doubt to the customer, not to the merchant. If you're still uncomfortable sending your credit card number in email, all I can say is, don't do it. [ACE]

Christopher Allen <christophera@consensus.com> writes:

Everyone should know that during Macworld RSA Data Security will be at the Apple Pavilion giving out free System 7.5 DigiSign signers. Notaries will be on hand to notarize the necessary documents, so remember to bring three forms of ID (at least one a photo, and no two items may be of the same kind). This is particularly useful for those of you who may have had difficulty getting signers in other countries.

David Strom, InfoWorld's "Network Curmudgeon" columnist, is always on the lookout for new sites to test a variety of networking and communications products for his column. The tests take place at the actual end-user site, and David obtains donated, fully-functional products from the participating vendors. Those interested in getting more information and willing to test mainly network-based products should contact him at <david@strom.com>.

Patrick Pruyne <ppruyne@map.com> writes:

USRobotics has begun shipping chip swap kits to owners of USR Sportster v.34 and v.FC modems. The user-installed chip replacements are offered, in part, to address compatibility problems which can occur when either the USR Sportster v.34 or v.FC communicate with a non-USR v.FC modem. Under these circumstances the connection can collapse if a v.FC retraining sequence is initiated.

The new v.34 chip replacement kit will be sent upon request at no charge to owners of the USRobotics v.34 Sportster with a valid serial number. Similarly, owners of the USR Sportster v.FC can receive a free v.FC replacement chip, or upgrade to the more robust v.34 standard for $34.

The chip sets will not work in any non-USRobotics modems nor USRobotics modems that are not already v.FC or v.34 class.

USR Chip Swap Program: 800/543-5844
USR tech support -- 708/982-5151 -- 708/933-552 (fax)
<support@usr.com> (use the subject line: IOD LIVE)