Difference between revisions of "Personal Systems Magazine - January/February 1997 - What's New?"
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Revision as of 22:30, 18 October 2017
This regular feature of Personal Systems brings you a variety of products designed to enrich your computing environment. Find out about the latest in file management software, bulletin board system software, and networking hardware solutions, just to name a few. Also, read about products that let you make telephone calls and route faxes over the Internet, as well as books that show you how to profit from the Internet, create interactive Web pages, and much more.
File Manager for OS/2
Clear & Simple, Inc. offers The DiskJockey, a powerful, easy to use file manager for OS/2. Navigate your disk drives, directories, and files through The DiskJockey's clear, logical interface, then with the click of a button, you can view, copy, move, edit, or delete them.
The DiskJockey's Make Directory, Attrib, Rename, Copy, Delete, Move, Zip, and Unzip facilities eliminate the need for the command prompt. Plus, The DiskJockey retains HPFS long filenames when copying files to FAT partitions and diskettes--it even displays the long name when selected in The DiskJockey's list of files, restoring it when the FAT copy is restored to an HPFS volume.
Named for its unique multimedia capabilities, The DiskJockey contains a built-in jukebox that plays sound and video files. The DiskJockey queues and plays these files continuously, displaying the name of each file as it plays. Controls let you play, stop, pause, replay, skip forward, and control volume level.
The DiskJockey works with OS/2's Workplace Shell to give you fast navigation, combined with drag-and-drop capability (both inside The DiskJockey and to and from Workplace Shell folders) and has been designed for compatibility with OS/2 Warp 4.
With The DiskJockey's systemwide duplicate file search and clean-up routine, you'll see how much of your disk drive is being wasted by duplicate files. Mark the duplicates and delete them with a single button click.
Performance PLUS V4
Clear & Simple also offers Performance PLUS V4, a tuning kit for both novice and advanced OS/2 users. This performance oriented package consists of two parts: a book and a collection of software programs.
The book instructs you about elements of your system that will improve performance. The software is a collection of utilities that make it easier for you to update your system, providing you with simple tools that help you implement the tips and techniques described in the book.
Additionally, the utilities have grown beyond performance tuning and now include productivity utilities to simplify many OS/2 tasks. Performance PLUS V4 (PPV4) includes four tuning utilities:
- Optimize, SimpleCT, and Stats--This trio forms the performance tuning heart of PPV4. Optimize places all of the CONFIG.SYS file's performance-oriented parameters on a single screen. SimpleCT tests the system before and after each tuning effort. Stats graphically reports SimpleCT's results, showing the effects of your tuning.
- DOS BlackBox--Drag and drop your DOS/Windows applications to the BlackBox, and it creates a desktop icon with optimum settings.
- SeeSwap--This small PM utility monitors Swap file growth.
- VidPerf and DiskTimer--These benchmarking programs help identify performance bottlenecks.
Five productivity applications for viewing bitmaps, backing up files, playing sounds, archiving the desktop, and creating emergency boot diskettes are also included.
Bulletin Board System Software
From Clark Technologies, a division of Clark Development Company, a developer of interactive information software, comes PCBoard 15.3M, bulletin board system (BBS) software that lets you either develop your own BBS or connect with existing systems.
PCBoard 15.3 offers new functionality in several key areas of the software. Modifi-cations include greater than 4 GB totals allowed in the user record for total bytes uploaded and downloaded, modified "SLOW DRIVE" support to enhance performance on systems using CD-ROM changers, and added MIME and multiple file attach support to UUCP.
The PCBoard 15.3 upgrade is available to all PCBoard systems operators whose download access is current on the Salt Air BBS system. Clark Development is offering promotional pricing for PCBoard products, including the PCBoard Internet Collection, which allows dial-up SLIP and PPP access, plus a full range of standard text-based Internet applications. This collection allows an operator to sell Internet access rather than lose users to Internet service providers. The promotional pricing also allows PCBoard users to upgrade at a discounted price to MetaWorlds, an Internet server with full BBS capabilities and the newest product from Clark Technologies.
Software Servers for OS/2 Warp
IBM's Directory and Security Server (DSS) is now available for OS/2 Warp. Based upon open, scalable industry-standard technology, DSS provides businesses with a global directory and security solution to allow more users to easily and securely access distributed network resources on an OS/2 Warp Server Version 4 network.
DSS broadens the scope of OS/2 Warp Server and OS/2 LAN Server 4.0 by allowing easy, seamless access by thousands of users to system resources such as applications, files, printers, and modems anywhere in the distributed network environment, regardless of physical location. DSS benefits network administrators by allowing them to more easily manage a large number of users. With DSS, you can administer resources, users, and groups according to the way your company is structured, rather than making your organization fit into the limits of existing directory technologies.
DSS for OS/2:
- Eliminates the need for unified administration and usage procedures for multiple organizations with a network.
- Provides the ability to integrate distinct groups into an enterprise network over a wide geographical area.
- Easily integrates with Warp Server and LAN Server 4.0 by using and extending a similar graphical user interface and drag-and-drop system management tools.
- Eases installation by providing the option to use either a command-line install path or the graphical user interface and allows for "staged" migration, letting you install DSS on just one computer initially to quickly take advantage of its global directory benefits.
- Provides easy to use, smart migration tools that take existing Warp Server or LAN Server directory and security databases and merge them into the DSS databases.
- Provides multi-platform integration and support for transparent, secure access to other systems in heterogeneous, multi-location networks.
OpenDoc Capabilities for Spreadsheet Software
OpenDoc, one of the impressive new technologies included in OS/2 Warp 4, enables users and developers alike to "build" cross-platform custom solutions using components such as Sundial Systems' Mesa 2 for OpenDoc.
Mesa 2 is similar to traditional spreadsheets in terms of layout, available features, and fundamental behavior but is unique in that it is designed to take full advantage of OS/2's advanced capabilities.
Mesa 2 for OpenDoc 2.1.6 brings substantial improvements to Mesa 2, including a reduced memory footprint and a faster recalculation engine. You'll find improved support for international settings and full REXX support for Mesa's feed/signal interface. Graphic objects can now be DDE-linked into other applications. The new release includes additional formula functions, scripting functions, and enhanced import/export support for other spreadsheet formats.
New Networking Hardware Solutions
IBM has announced an array of new and enhanced networking hardware solutions for networks of all sizes, especially in the area of intranets. These new solutions allow IBM to offer a complete asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) campus backbone solution and help you build on the significant investments you have in your existing communications equipment and applications, especially those running the IBM-developed Systems Network Architecture (SNA) protocol, as well as the Internet Protocol (IP).
These new products and enhancements include the following:
- 3746 Nways Controller 900 and 950--New functions, such as rapid transport protocol (RTP), give the 3746 full high performance routing (HPR) capability.
- 2220 Nways Broadband Switch--Enhancements increase capacity and flexibility with double the T1/E1/J1 port density, four to seven times more voice capacity, and E3/T3 support added to current 155 Mbps ATM support.
- 2216 Nways Multiaccess Connector 400--This product offers a complete solution in a single device for data center and branch office access and concentration. It extends your SNA, IP, and LAN-based applications with support for virtually any protocol.
- Four New 2210 Models--With four new models and the addition of HPR support, the 2210 is one of the few devices in the industry with primary ISDN support and BRI and PRI capability all the way up to the host data center.
- 9729 Optical Wavelength Division Multiplexer--This product provides highly cost-effective, high-speed data consolidation and backup and recovery capability using a single fiber for up to 20 simultaneous data channels.
- ATM and Fast Ethernet LAN Switches--These new Nways switches and enhancements add ATM, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, FDDI, and CDDI support for any-to-any switching across a wide range of workgroup and backbone configurations.
- MSS (Multiprotocol Switches Services)--This IBM-developed technology implements multiprotocol services for multiprotocol networks, including distributed routing, broadcast management, ATM Forum-compliant LANE, and IETF Classical IP. The stand-alone IBM 8210 Nways MSS Server can be used with any ATM switch, IBM or non-IBM. MSS is also available as a module that can be installed in the 8260 Nways Multiprotocol Switching Hub.
- Integrated Nways Network Management--IBM is providing a broad range of enhancements and additions to its network management solutions, including support for new hardware, virtual switch management, and integrated RMON support for the 8230 and 8238 Token-Ring hubs, plus inclusion of Tivoli's TME 10 Mid-Level Manager and ATM Forum-compliant LAN emulation.
- 8260 Nways Multiprotocol Intelligent Switching Hub--Ten new backplane modules have been announced for the 8260 Nways Hub, a high-performance, multifaceted superhub that serves as the cornerstone of large ATM campus high-performance backbones.
- 8235 DIALs Model I40--New, industry-exclusive Token-Ring support (in addition to existing Ethernet capability) adds flexibility to the wide range of IBM remote access solutions.
Fax Router for the Internet
Send faxes over the Internet with the award-winning IP/FaxRouter from Brooktrout Technology, Inc., provider of software and hardware products for telecommunications and networking environments.
The IP/FaxRouter saves you expensive telephone charges by letting you transmit faxes via wide area TCP/IP networks such as the Internet or intranets. Winner of the Best of Show award at Supercom '95 for its innovation and cost savings benefit, the IP/FaxRouter routes fax traffic to worldwide destinations using a combination of data networks and telephone systems.
The IP/FaxRouter is a small network peripheral with one Ethernet port (RJ-45), three analog modem ports (RJ-11), one fax loop start port, 425 MB disk storage, and one serial port. It moves faxes over the telephone and digital data lines using the standard international dialing plan as the basis for addressing. Routing tables reference these phone numbers and the IP address of each IP/FaxRouter. The Windows-based Configuration and Network Management System (CNMS) software automatically creates these tables from data entered by the system administrator. After these routing tables are downloaded to the fax routers, they automatically route faxes over the WAN based on destination phone numbers. The IP/FaxRouter can operate with dial-up or dedicated wide area links.
EC-Compliant - Backplane System
Microstar Laboratories, Inc. offers a family of industrial enclosures based upon analog and digital backplanes optimized for data acquisition and control applications.
This product line meets or exceeds the strict European Community standards on electromagnetic compliance. A full range of accessory termination and expansion boards is planned for this industrial packaging, with features that include counter/ timer operations, simultaneous sample and hold, analog isolation, and digital isolation.
Also included is expansion and termination for 12-bit resolution A/D and D/A, 16-bit resolution A/D and D/A, and digital input and output.
An interface card plugs into the backplane and connects by a cable to a data acquisition processor (DAP) board in a PC. The PC is not in the same enclosure; it may be a laptop, for example, or it may be an industrial PC in its own enclosure. Microstar Laboratories makes a range of DAP boards, from entry-level boards with a maximum of 32 analog inputs to high-end boards that can sample up to 512 analog inputs at an aggregate rate of 3.2 million samples per second.
Engineered Data Products, Inc. delivers high-density, multimedia storage capabilities through Multi Media Extreme (MM*EX). MM*EX offers high multimedia capacity for 8mm and 4mm cartridges, optical disk, CD-ROM, and TKs, while maximizing valuable floor space.
MM*EX provides optimal storage flexibility through a variety of removable and interchangeable injection molded pacs. MM*EX eliminates unnecessary space between cartridges and levels, maximizing available space within the rack footprint. Each pac holds 10 media formats in individual slots to prevent damage and to extend a durable and efficient storage system. Depending upon media needs and configuration, each single-sided rack will hold between 720 optical disks and 960 4mm or 8mm cartridges.
Additional storage is available through add-on slider units, which can be installed in minutes and can increase storage capacity by up to 89 percent (depending on configuration). The add-on sliders include reliable, proven brake systems for smooth, easy operation.
Network-Ready Fax Machine
A cost-efficient, plain-paper laser fax machine designed specifically for the busy office with a local area network is available from Panasonic Office Products Company.
The Panafax UF-550 comes standard with productivity-enhancing features such as a quick ITU-T Group 3 modem and efficient Modified Modified Read (MMR) coding protocol compression to transmit a standard page in as little as 10 seconds. It also offers a quick scan feature; after scanning a document into memory in about six seconds, the UF-550 will fax the document, eliminating the need for you to stand by the machine until the job is done.
The UF-550 conforms to ITU-T sub-address transmission capabilities, making routing inbound fax documents to an individual PC on a network hassle-free by delivering documents directly to the addressee.
This new fax machine offers high-quality, plain-paper printing on letter, legal, and A4 formats and incorporates Panasonic's Super Smoothing print technology. This technology provides sharp, legible printouts by automatically smoothing character edges eight times the standard fax resolution during fax reception and printing.
Low-Cost Internet Telephony
Gemini Industries, Inc.'s CompuNet 2000 is an innovative PC keyboard with a built-in Internet telephone connection. This new product provides an easy and efficient way for PC users to make and receive phone calls from their computer keyboard and to take advantage of the long distance calling benefits provided through the Internet.
CompuNet 2000 features an integrated telephone handset and dialing keypad in one compact, space-saving keyboard. You can make and receive phone calls, including conference calls, from your keyboard, all while continuing to type.
CompuNet 2000 is marketed by Gemini under the Magnavox brand name.
Customized Web-Based Support Service
Lotus Development Corporation's Services Group offers Personal Page, a Lotus interactive Web support service that lets you create individual Web pages to access Lotus support information personalized to your specific needs. These customizable Web pages are automatically and continuously updated with information on topics you designate. You can access Personal Page through either a Notes client or a standard Web browser.
You can receive information such as release notes, forum responses and white papers, electronic bulletins, product up-date notifications, fixes, and more. When you request a Personal Page, Lotus, using its Domino technology, automatically constructs a private default Web page on a server at Lotus that contains existing information from Lotus support data-bases, including your profile and list of products used. You can use this page or further customize it through an option menu that lets you add, delete, or modify categories of information received. For example, you might choose to receive all technical updates on Notes and Domino but not information relating to Smart-Suite. All newly published information on the chosen topics is automatically delivered to your unique support page the instant it is posted to the World Wide Web.
You can personalize your Web page interface to include tracking information about your organization's support contracts, responses to all technical questions submitted to Lotus, and problem resolution reports. In addition, you can access and search the Lotus incident database to see questions and answers from past submissions.
GUI Design Course
A new course on designing and creating effective graphical user interfaces, Effective Graphical User Interface Design, is available from ObjectSpace, Inc. This course covers usability engineering, information presentation, and window design, focusing on how object technology supports effective GUI creation. This course can benefit application developers, training coordinators, human factors engineers, and project managers.
During this three-day course, you will learn how and when to provide feedback to users and how to use design principles to ensure consistency. Added to this is instruction on usability testing, GUI trends, multimedia aspects, and World Wide Web issues. It also touches on the management aspects of creating GUIs with object technology.
During the course, students perform a series of exercises designed to provide practical experience in each phase of developing and evaluating a GUI. Most of the exercises are devoted to the design of complex, multi-window applications for a traditional business domain.
Buying and Selling on the Web
IBM recently launched CommercePOINT, the first family of products and services designed to provide end-to-end electronic buying and selling on the World Wide Web.
CommercePOINT lets consumers and merchants make electronic transactions with all the security of an over-the-counter transaction. Smaller businesses and upscale retailers can create more personalized and service-oriented online shopping environments. Mass merchandisers and wholesalers can offer their wares in virtual marketplaces that hook together distribution, inventory, delivery, and other systems. Global partners such as banks, stores, warehouses, and transport companies can blend their core operating functions into one network powered by the Internet and intranets.
CommercePOINT products and services work with open network technology and can readily expand to meet growing needs. CommercePOINT comprises seven offerings of products and services organized into three categories of Internet commerce: business to consumer, business to business, and Internet infrastructure, which includes security and encryption. These offerings are available either as stand-alone solutions or as customized, mix and match applications.
Business to Consumer IBM offers three flavors of Commerce-POINT services and products to meet the demands of businesses that need to reach new customers in captivating ways. These variations let retailers either "go it alone," obtain some help from IBM, or arrange a complete outsourcing solution.
- Net.Commerce--Lets retailers run their own systems. It generates dynamic, interactive catalog pages for shopping, check-out, and ordering, as well as tracks customer statistics and purchases.
- World Avenue--An online mall on the World Wide Web, World Avenue offers retailers and other businesses a new, secure way to sell their goods and services to millions of consumers. Merchants will be able to use sophisticated search tools, advanced security features, intelligent agents, and data mining tools to take full advantage of electronic commerce.
- World Commerce--A turnkey solution that gives retailers a private-label, stand-alone site on the Web without the cost and hassle of implementing it themselves. This solution gives a store its own branded catalog site backed with the same features found in other CommercePOINT offerings: dynamic catalogs, Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)-based payments, and intensive data mining capacity.
Business to Business IBM uses the Internet to help business partners tie their core processes together through CommercePOINT's open and secure digital supply chains. Commerce-POINT has two offerings that let an enterprise of any size hook into the digital distribution chain.
- World Distributor--A service-based commerce offering for wholesale distributors and other business to business suppliers. This industrial strength commercial application handles the full breadth of the business process: account codes, purchase orders, payments, reconciliation, and catalog creation.
- World Purchasing--For large businesses and governments that do contractual buying and selling. This service--hosted either by IBM or by the customer--is accessible by Web browser or Notes client. World Purchasing allows for complete purchasing of all goods and services, from selection and ordering to messaging and payment.
Electronic Commerce Infrastructure IBM's electronic commerce infrastructure offerings are core elements of IBM's CommercePOINT suite of solutions. Built into every CommercePOINT application is the industry's leading implementation of Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)-based payment and certification. The SET standard is an open protocol jointly developed by technology companies and leading financial institutions to provide for secure credit card usage on the Internet. CommercePOINT is also designed to incorporate digital certificates--the newest form of identification for financial and non-financial transactions--as they become more widely available.
- Net.Commerce Payment--A comprehensive suite of products that allows the successful integration of the consumer's browser, merchant's server, and the acquiring bank's processor.
- World Registry--A service offering that represents IBM's first entry into the field of Electronic Commerce Infra-structure (ECI), also known as Public Key Infrastructure, an emerging set of technologies that enables secure transactions and information access over the Internet.
- Net.Registry--The backbone for World Registry and IBM's family of ECI products, Net.Registry provides packaged solutions to organizations along with components that allow customers and resellers to provide secure applications and customized solutions to problems requiring digital identification and trust.
Creating Dynamic and Interactive Web Pages
ObjectSpace, Inc. offers Web<ToolKit>, an ANSI/ISO-compatible C++ class library for producing powerful, dynamic, and interactive HTML World Wide Web pages. Web<ToolKit> supports HTML page creation using a set of C++ classes repre- senting HTML elements, including text, links, graphics, tables, forms, frames, and widgets.
The demand for interactive Web pages is growing. More companies are building Web page servers and creation utilities that provide rich functionality beyond that of static HTML pages. To meet this need, ObjectSpace developed Web<Tool-Kit> for creating sophisticated Web pages quickly and easily without requiring any HTML knowledge. Using Web<ToolKit>, developers can easily reduce the time and cost of Web page design and development by using tools already familiar to C++ object-oriented programmers.
Web<ToolKit> is particularly beneficial for companies creating dynamic Web pages using C++ that have real-time, high computing environments with large existing data sources. For example, a company wanting to display information from a constantly changing data source onto an Internet or intranet Web server can use Web<ToolKit> to eliminate hand-coding HTML elements, which is costly and time-consuming.
The core components of Web<ToolKit> support the HTML 2.0 specification with common extensions from the HTML 3.0 draft specification. The Web<ToolKit> components support:
- Pages, paragraphs, text, text markup/headers
- Images (including client-side image maps), links, lists, frames, tables, and applets
- Forms and form widgets
- Automatic encoding of special text characters on HTML output
- Automatic decoding of form field contents for CGI-bin executables using ANSI/ISO Standard Template Library