The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 5.3 May / June 2000

Issue 5.3 May / June 2000

This issue of KDP is sponsored by:


Feature Review: FileFlow (MAC/WIN)

FileFlow is an innovative technology for moving exceptionally large files (and many of them in a single operation) from point-to-point over a network...any network, including the Internet. It produces smaller file sizes that require less disk space, less download time, and lower bandwidth cost and server loads.

FileFlow, a cross-platform solution, is a development of a Norwegian company, and is based on more than ten years of academic research. It addresses the high-security, large file, and time-compressed transmission and storage needs of digital publishers, corporate workflow customers, and digital photographers. It facilitates the movement of digital components such as photographs, illustrations, and fonts, as well as composed work, such as advertising materials, including ads, catalogs, brochures, posters, etc. It is capable of compressing a 37 MB file to under 600 KB and uploading it in under 2 minutes on a 56 KBPS line. FileFlow products consist of the following two parts:

FastSend. FastSend is a Web-based file transmission technology rated as the world's fastest and most secure. Its core compression engine, which uses the company's proprietary FAST Image Transfer (FIT) technology can also support open standards such as JPEG, JPEG 2000 and PNG. It is so efficient that there are no practical limitations to the file sizes that can be transmitted. In general, FIT, which uses a single image file for both thumbnail and full-size image, will produce a file that is 2-6X smaller than a comparable JPEG file. The format supports spatial scaling of displayed images and a variety of color models including grayscale, RGB, CMYK, and LAB.

FastSend transmissions are executed transparently using a small, automatically downloaded applet or plug-in. The helper application is used for client side compression and military-grade encryption (using a full key size of 2048 bits).

FastStore. FastStore is a software-based secure virtual media asset management (V-MAM) system. It supports FastSend, and consists of a Web-based virtual hard disk with user-friendly search and browse capabilities. The graphic user interface can be customized using the program's Online Template Technology.

FastStore is a highly efficient storage system for digital media, providing off-site archiving and access to digital images. Users can download one or more files directly, or have them delivered to one or more recipients. It can be implemented either as a turnkey solution or through a participating Application Service Provider (ASP). Users have secure, anywhere access, with reliable download capability directly to PCs or a variety of consumer electronic devices.

Conducting a FastSend Session. A FastSend session is easily accomplished for any registered user directly from the FastSend Web site ( From this starting point a user can either send or download files. When sending files the user must first input information regarding the recipients, and sufficient descriptive information to identify its contents. Selecting the Advanced Options link presents the user with significantly more fields in which to specify how the session will be executed.

Files are selected using a simple window interface wherein the files are picked from folder or directory listings and added to the FastSend list. The send process is initiated by selecting the appropriate send button.

After the files have been sent, a confirmation screen appears informing the sender that the transmission was successful, and that e-mail messages have been sent to both sender and recipient advising them of that fact. The FastSend file recipient is notified of the availability of the file transmission and is provided with instructions on how to retrieve it. The recipient can use either an applet or browser plug-in, and links are provided to retrieve the file for each of these options.

The use of one of the links contained in the e-mail message leads the user to a prompt to select a folder in which to save the file. When the folder is selected the download begins immediately. A small progress window (similar to the window that the sender sees during the compression process) shows the decompression progress. When the transmission is complete the recipient is informed that a message will be sent to the sender to inform him or her that the transmission has been successful.

Contact: FileFlow Inc. (U.S. Sales & Marketing), 409 Fortune Blvd. Suite 201, Milford, MA 01757, 877 879-9909, 508 473-3728,, e-mail:, fax: 508 473-3680. FileFlow AS (R&D Headquarters), Sandakerveien 24 C, Bygg 4, N-0473 Oslo, Norway, 47 2322 6500, fax: 47 2322 6501.

Productivity Reviews

Z-Write 1.1 (MAC)

Z-Write 1.1 is an innovative word processor that is differentiated by a unique file structure that allows for the creation of an unlimited number of Sections. Each of the Sections, which appear by name in a panel on the left side of the screen, can contain as much text as needed. The concept of Sections helps the user to organize information, dividing it into chapters, other logical divisions, or random lists of topics. Regardless of the number of Sections, all of the text for a given project can be maintained in a single compact file.

This feature-rich program is characterized by its non-linear nature, making it possible to keep a significant amount of related information in one file, and organize and access it through the use of hyperlinks and electronic bookmarks. It extends the notion of what a word processor is, blurring it into the area of data management. A good example is the program's capability to import an entire folder full of text files, such as an archive of e-mail messages, and contain them within a single Z-Write file.

One of the most useful features of the program is its capability to allow the user to select which Sections of a given file will be printed or exported.

The program does not support graphics, tables, footnotes, tabs and other elements of a WYSIWYG product, but is, nonetheless, a flexible tool for both creating complex organizations of text, and manipulating and editing large numbers of imported text files. Although the program can serve as an individual's only word processor, its limited formatting capabilities make it a logical companion, rather than a replacement, for a conventional word processor.

Among the program's major features are: export as text, HTML, or RTF; text conversion capabilities to accommodate text from a PC or from e-mail messages; print preview; "hot" e-mail addresses and URLs; glossary auto-expansion; flexible rearrangement of the section name order; control over the structure of headers and footers; and much more. $20

Contact: Stone Table Software, POB 66831, Scotts Valley, CA 95067,, e-mail:

Addition / Extension Reviews

CADtools 2 (MAC/WIN)

CADtools 2 is a plug-in for Adobe Illustrator 7, 8 or 9 that provides the first and only precise technical drawing and dimensioning tools. Many of these functions are peculiar to CAD applications, and bring a new level of precision and usefulness to Illustrator.

The plug-in provides drawing, dimensioning, labelling and calculation functions. Most of these will be familiar to drafting and architectural professionals, and they serve to extend the sophisticated set of native Illustrator tools and functions. Among the most significant are the capabilities to: draw in any scale; draw linked dimensions that update with changes to the artwork; transform, move, and repeat objects in scale; set dimensions and labels within custom styles; measure and dimension artwork with a single mouse-click; create shapes through numeric input; instantly add labels; and measure length, area and perimeter. The plug-in tool palettes are enhanced by new floating palettes, CADattributes and CADtracker, for interactive control of objects, dimensions and labels. A free trial version is available at http://www.hotd for Macintosh users, and http://www.hotd for Windows users. $199

Contact: Hot Door, 101 West McKnight Way, Suite B, Grass Valley, CA 95949, 530 274-0626, 888 236-9540,, e-mail:, fax: 530 274-0626.

Cutline Filter (MAC/WIN)

Cutline Filter is a sophisticated Photoshop-compatible plug-in that produces stylized screening and woodcut effects reminiscent of mid-twentieth century printing. The effects simulate professional engraving techniques which have been popularized by the style of high-contrast illustrations used in the Wall Street Journal.

The filter works by replacing the gray tone components in a photo, illustration, or gradient, with black and white lines. In the shadow areas these lines may be crosshatched as the lines become thicker. In the highlight areas they may approximate a dot pattern as the lines become thinner.

The digital engraving effect, appearing as wavy or straight lines or ellipses, is applied selectively at an lpi of from 10 to 35. A specialized tool, called the Stamper, is used to set a direction for the angles and curvature of the engraved lines. The filter offers a high degree of creative flexibility. $69.95

Andromeda is offering an exclusive deal to Kleper Report subscribers. Any two (2) boxed products for $99.00 plus S&H through July 31, 2000. Call 1-800-547-0055 to order.

Contact: Andromeda Software Inc., 699 Hampshire Rd., Suite 109, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361, 805 379-4109,, e-mail:, fax: 805 379-5253.

Three-D Luxe Version 3.0 (MAC/WIN)

Three-D Luxe Version 3.0 is a robust Photoshop-compatible filter that provides 3-D compositing and rendering of digital images or type. The program provides several primitive shapes onto which textures, images, or both, can be wrapped. The program essentially offers the Photoshop user a 3-D design studio composed of two workspaces. The first is the 3D Sculpting User Interface, wherein the basic shape and texture are selected. The user can adjust various settings, such as the depth of the texture image bump. The program provides a library of attractive textures, and interesting combinations can be saved as presets. The second workspace is the 3D Geometry User Interface, in which the user can adjust the position, perspective, and other parameters of the subject. Together, the two workspaces provide the user with a very capable set of tools for wrapping grayscale, RBG or CMYK images around various surfaces; illuminating them; rotating, scaling or positioning them; changing their perspective; colorizing the background, grids or surface; and much more.

In addition to its primary use as an image processing program, it is equally capable handling three-dimensional typographic effects. The user has all of Photoshop's typographic capabilities to start with, and the Three-D Luxe filter to take typographic designs to the next level.

Digital publishers will be impressed both with the high degree of control and the wide range of effects that are achievable. The program is as fascinating as it is productive, and serves both as an imaging laboratory, and an experimental creative playground. The program can pay for itself in a single use. Well worth $99.

Andromeda is offering an exclusive deal to Kleper Report subscribers. Any two (2) boxed products for $99.00 plus S&H through July 31, 2000. Call 1-800-547-0055 to order.

Contact: Andromeda Software Inc., 699 Hampshire Rd., Suite 109, Thousand Oaks, CA 91361, 805 379-4109,, e-mail:, fax: 805 379-5253.

Printing Reviews

PowerRIP 2000 v5.3 (MAC/WIN)

PowerRIP 2000 v5.3 is a software-based PostScript 3 interpreter that supports the output of PostScript files to a wide variety of non-PostScript desktop inkjet printers, most notably the Epson Stylus line. The application is sufficiently capable to produce contract quality prepress color proofs suitable for client approval. It incorporates industry standard color controls to ensure that proofs conform to expected press output.

The program incorporates several productivity features that enhance the digital workflow process. Among the most significant are the facility to share the PowerRIP over a network, so that other users can print to the enabled printer; support for Web printing, meaning that the contents of a watched FTP folder will be printed automatically; and the capability to generate hot folders into which PostScript, PDF and EPS files can be dropped for automatic printing.

The program's Print Queue can be set to maintain ripped jobs for predefined periods of time. Any retained job can be printed again from the queue, without the need to re-interpret its file contents. Jobs in the queue listing can be reordered, changing their priority, or can be paused or cancelled. Jobs can also be held for output at a later time, from a few minutes to weeks in the future.

After the software has been installed, the enabled printer has been selected, and the PowerRIP 2000 application is running, the user simply prints in the normal way. The PostScript job is diverted, transparently, to the PowerRIP, rather than being sent directly to the printer. Provided that the user has made any necessary settings, the operation takes place in the background. While the job or jobs are processed, the user can view the Print Queue window to see the progress. A log is maintained of all print processing operations.

Within the PowerRIP environment the user has several options that control such things as defined spot colors, and independent CMYK channel adjustments. The software can recomposite pre-separated CMYK and spot color DCS files, and show traps. Calibration settings can be applied to individual queues, which are independently selectable.

The PowerRIP 2000 application is part of a complete prepress proofing system that includes PressProof paper stock. iProof proofs are said to rival those made with the Matchprint and Cromalin proofing systems. ICC, SWOP, FOGRA/Eurostandard and Japan Color source profiles are provided for PressProof paper as well as all printer manufacturers' papers. The initial price includes free updates for 12 months. $249

Contact: iProof Systems, 2401 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Suite 4, Melbourne, FL 32935, 407 254-4401,, e-mail:, fax: 407 254-6899.

Image Collection Reviews

Virtual Trees & Foliage Clip Maps (MAC/WIN)

Virtual Trees & Foliage Clip Maps is a library of royalty-free images created by 3D artist David Campbell. They are derived from high resolution (1200x1600) digital photos, and provided in a variety of sizes (100%, 66%, and 33%) and file formats (JPG, TGA, and others). The images, consisting of tree textures, plants, flowers, shrubs, grasses, barks, and leaves have alpha channel transparency, and can be added to both 2D and 3D projects.

A visual index of the contents are included on ten pages of JPGs showing thumbnail images of all of the textures, categorized by type (trees, branches, etc.).

The 2-CD set also includes two high-quality Viewpoint ( models of a palm tree and a Joshua tree, in DXF, 3DS, LWO and COB file formats. These models alone have a value of $495.

The clip maps, which are also known as opacity maps, billboards, transparency maps, and alpha channel textures, contain a transparent channel as part of their file format construction. The transparency feature can be applied to 2D image composites or to three-dimensional objects. $179

Contact: Marlin Studios, PO Box 122248, Arlington, TX 76012, 817 860-0596,, e-mail:, fax: 817 265-6636. ?

Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Premium Image Collection (WIN )

Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Premium Image Collection is unique in several ways. The massive collection of royalty-free images, billed as "the next generation of clip art" consists of photographs that have clipping paths around the pictured objects, producing a transparent background. The "masked" images can be composited seamlessly, and combined with other page elements in the most versatileway. Each 24-bit photo-object has a built-in 8-bit alpha channel, and measures 600 x 600 pixels. Hemera uses a proprietary compression algorithm to pack ten times as many images on a disc as the leading industry file compressor. This makes it possible for them to fit as many as 7000 images on a single CD as compared to the 700 that would fit otherwise.

The images are photographic, not drawn artwork. They are, therefore, much more realistic, detailed and captivating. The sizable image collection is managed using a proprietary search engine developed by Hemera. The images in the collection are also grouped into 80 categories, so that users can browse classifications as well as search for particular images.

Another unique feature of the collection is the capability to produce PhotoFonts. A PhotoFont consists of photo-realistic drop caps and words that are typed into the text window, a font is selected, and a texture is applied. Textures are provided with the collection, and the user can add their personal photos as well. Like the photo-objects, the text background is transparent and can be composited within virtually any type of document. The export process is simplified with the Export Wizard, which provides options for resizing the photo-object or PhotoFont, merging it with a background, and/or saving it with its transparency mask. All-in-all, quite a remarkable product for such a reasonable cost. $79.99

Contact: Hemera Technologies, 490 St. Joseph Blvd., Hull, Quebec, Canada J8Y 3Y7, 819 772-8200,, fax: 819 778-6252.

CD-ROM Reviews

Manuale Tipografico (MAC/WIN)

Manuale Tipografico by Giambattista Bodoni, was originally published in Parma in 1818. This two-disc set brings to life what has been called the "greatest type specimen book ever printed." Digital publishers with an appreciation for the rich history of the typographic form will marvel at the beauty and detail of its pages. Octavo has done another commendable job of preserving a gem from the treasury of printing history. $50

Contact: Octavo Corporation, 580 Second St., Oakland, CA 94607-3543, 800 754-1596, 510 251-3880,, e-mail:, fax: 510 251-2153.

A Monograph of the Testudinata (MAC/WIN)

A Monograph of the Testudinata by Thomas Bell was originally published in London, in 1832-1836. It represents a landmark publication in the study of tortoises, terrapins and turtles. This digital reproduction is another fine example of the reproductive art and science of Octavo Corporation. They have taken this rare book from the collection of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and made its pages available in high-fidelity, to today's reader. $35

Contact: Octavo Corporation, 580 Second St., Oakland, CA 94607-3543, 800 754-1596, 510 251-3880,, e-mail:, fax: 510 251-2153.

Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, de Diverses Couleurs et Figures Extraordinaires (MAC/WIN)

Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, de Diverses Couleurs et Figures Extraordinaires by Louis Renard, was among the first serious scientific books to come out of the Age of Enlightenment. Published in Amsterdam in 1754, Renard considered his book ""one of the most precious works to enrich natural history since the birth of literature."" This digital edition includes high-resolution images of every page, as well as the binding, and offers the reader the digital advantages of an English translation, flexible searching, variable size page viewing, printing, and more. $35

Contact: Octavo Corporation, 580 Second St., Oakland, CA 94607-3543, 800 754-1596, 510 251-3880,, e-mail:, fax: 510 251-2153.

Internet Reviews

AMP Radio 1.6.7 (MAC)

AMP Radio 1.6.7 is a multi-purpose application that supports Internet radio streaming and MP3 file playing. The interface is attractive, and resembles a high-tech deck faceplate, with controls for power, rewind, play/pause, stop, fast forward, timer, record, tracker, playlist, bass, treble, mute and volume. MP3 files are played by simply dragging them onto the AMP window. Files in the MP3 playlist can be organized into groups, searched, shuffled, or repeated. Each file can be categorized by title, artist, album, year and genre. The ID3 tagging information is sensed automatically, and missing tag information can be entered manually.

The AMP Radio supports Shoutcast and Icecast protocols for Internet Streaming Audio. AMP Radio can also remotely open MP3 files that are stored on a server. Radio stations are located by opening the Tracker, finding a station, and double-clicking it. Alternately the radio station's URL can be entered by using the Open URL menu option or pressing Command-L. Station settings can be saved using the bookmark option. The Stop Timer feature can be used to end station playing at a specified time.

The Record feature can be used to record a stream as it is played. Recording is initiated by clicking on the Record button, and it is stopped in the same way.

A new feature of AM Radio, the Broadcast plugin, provides the capability to broadcast live streams created by the user. Users can set up their own Internet radio station, and listeners from all over the world can tune in. $10

Contact: Subband Software, Inc., 1175 Harrington Place NE, Suite 214, Renton, WA 98056, 609 655-5293,, e-mail:, fax: 734 264-0527.

LiveMotion (MAC/WIN)

LiveMotion is an easy-to-use, yet very sophisticated, object design tool for producing animation and interactive Web graphics. It addresses the need to enhance Web sites with motion and interactivity, and seduce visitors into staying longer. Although it is vector-based, like Macromedia Flash, it does support several raster effects, such as 3D.

LiveMotion shares a similar user interface with other Adobe products, and is therefore somewhat intuitive to anyone familiar with using programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or After Effects. The toolbox contains tools for selecting, drawing and editing elements that constitute a LiveMotion composition. The LiveMotion environment is also populated by several floating palettes, which contain the TimeLine and several palette groups.

The Timeline, which is fashioned after the Adobe After Effects timeline, is used to position, control and animate each object independently over a period of time. The user is provided with controls for rotation, opacity, scale, skew, and special effects. The motion path of each object can be set easily, and modifications can be made at any point in time. The program automatically creates the animation between keyframes (Auto Tweening).

A key feature of the program is the fact that it is essentially self-contained, so that original content can be created within the LiveMotion environment. This speeds production and saves the cost of purchasing complementary applications. LiveMotion contains the several creation tools, including: polygon, ellipse, and rectangle; Bézier Pen; support for object aliases; Pathfinder Operations capability (to combine objects); non-destructive Photoshop Filters; integrated raster effects; and a sounds palette. In addition, the program is seamlessly integrated with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (with support for layers), meaning that both file types can be placed in a LiveMotion production, and can be updated without the need to create new versions.

Static images can be converted easily into interactive graphics, with rollover effects and dynamic behaviors that not only result in graphical changes, but initiate animations, sounds, and other effects.

Users can enhance existing pages effortlessly by using the HTML Tag Replacement and Insertion option. Text in HTML pages can be replaced with stylized graphics by simply identifying the HTML tag. The program searches a Web page or an entire site and automatically replaces the plain text with the stylized text. The original text is maintained so that future changes and modifications can be made. This feature makes it possible to "freshen" and up-date a site without creating new images or re-writing code.

A LiveMotion project can be previewed at any time, either within its own environment or in a Web browser window. When the project is completed it can be output in any of a variety of formats, including Flash (.swf), HTML, GIF, JPEG, PNG, PSD, and Animated GIF. $299

Contact: Adobe Systems Inc., 345 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95110-2704, 408 536-6000, WWW:, fax: 408 537-6000.

WebCatalog 4.0 (MAC/WIN/UNIX)

WebCatalog 4.0 is an application that supports the construction of an unlimited number of sophisticated eCommerce Web sites right from a browser (see our previous coverage of WebCatalog Builder 3.0). This version adds a set of StoreBuilder templates that help to streamline the design, updating and administration of online stores directly from the Web broswer. $3,495

Contact: Smith Micro Software, 51 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656, 714 362-5811, 800 964-7674, WWW:, fax: 714 362-2300.

Microsoft FrontPage 1.0 Macintosh Edition (WIN )

Microsoft FrontPage 1.0 Macintosh Edition is a visual Web editor that is capable of opening existing sites so that they can be modified or enhanced. It uses an interface that is similar to Microsoft Word, providing a high degree of familiarity for users of that program. Imported RTF documents retain much of their formatting, relieving the user of manually restoring style changes to their text files.

The program incorporates IntelliSense, which simplifies the creation of hyperlinks. The inclusion of page content, and its linkage with other elements, is made easier with pervasive support for drag and drop placement.

The program's Hyperlink View provides a graphic representation of all links, with their relationships and types. This makes it easy for the user to ensure that all page elements have been connected properly.

Although FrontPage is a visual editor, an HTML view is provided for those who may occasionally want to edit their code directly. $149

Contact: Microsoft Corp., One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399, 206 882-8080, WWW:, fax: 206 93MSFAX.

PositionWeaver 3.10 Gold and Pro (WIN )

PositionWeaver 3.10 Gold and Pro are utility programs that produce HTML doorway pages. Doorway pages are composed of HTML code that serves to help get a site ranked highly by Web search engines, and therefore has the potential to bring increased traffic to a site.

The programs serve to bring targeted visitors, safely, responsibly and quickly, "without spamming or abusing the search engines." They are easy to use and quite effective in generating the code necessary to represent all possible keywords and phrases related to a target site. They submit their pages to the top six search engines (AltaVista, Infoseek/GO, Excite, HotBot, Lycos, and Northern Light), although the user can add an additional engine of their choice using the Custom Tab. No knowledge of HTML is necessary. The programs use a simple wizard interface to process thousands of pages in a matter of minutes. A free trial version is available. The Pro version features a spellchecker and thesaurus as well as filters for the producing keyword lists more efficiently. The Gold version is $69.95, the Pro is $112.95.

Contact:, POB W21, Westfield Shoppingtown, Sydney, NSW 21 45, Australia,

Hogwasher 2.1 (MAC)

Hogwasher 2.1 is a newsreader application for accessing Usenet, an Internet news system wherein e-mail messages, called "articles," that are posted to public forums, can be read. There are literally tens of thousands of articles that are maintained, for short periods of time, on Usenet. The articles are categorized by newsgroup, of which there are thousands, covering virtually every area of interest. Digital publishers can find a goldmine of information there, and can also post messages to solicit input, advice, or the answer to a specific question or problem.

Hogwasher makes it possible both to read and to post articles. Articles can be read on-line, or can be marked for scheduled download at any future time. The program contains a powerful filtering capability so that only articles of high interest will be downloaded. The articles that are downloaded are likely to contain various threads consisting of a series of replies to a particular article, and replies to the replies. These thread tree hierarchies can be displayed in graphical format, making it easy to navigate to the particular article of interest. Any article can be saved for future reference in the Hogwasher archive.

It is common practice to attach files, such as sounds, images and movies, to a Usenet article. Hogwasher has the native intelligence to properly decode these attachments, even if large attachments have been split into multiple parts. All of the image formats supported by QuickTime are supported, including JPEG, GIF, PICT, BMP, and several others. This is the best newsreader that we have seen. $49

Contact: Asar Corporation, 3169 Brockport Spencerport Rd., Spencerport, NY 14559,, e-mail:

HTML Creator 2.2 (MAC)

HTML Creator 2.2 is a shareware program that assists the user in creating Web pages through the use of more than 35 built-in assistants that prompt the user for particular kinds of information, and then generate the appropriate HTML code in the editing window. The New Document Assistant, for example, contains fields for the user to input the document title, author, and select from values from pop-up menus for the base text size, text color, background color, link color, active link color, and visited link color. In addition, this assistant has advanced settings and Meta Tags options. The completion of an assistant panel results in the appropriate HTML code.

The use of assistants serves to speed the creation of Web pages, and to instruct the new user in the proper code structure for HTML. Certain assistants, such as the Insert Character Window, simplifies the process of including accented characters on a Web page, a process that is not at all intuitive, and would ordinarily require some sort of reference material.

Some of the assistants, such as the Insert Marquee Assistant, inform the user about differences in the way that various browsers will interpret the HTML tags. The Marquee tag in Internet Explorer, for example, will move text across a page. In Netscape the code will have no net effect, and the text will be displayed but not move.

Although the assistants are useful and instructive, once they produce code in the editing window they can not be used to modify it. The code can only be edited manually. $10

Contact: Aram Kudurshian,, e-mail:

VSE Be Found 2.0 (MAC)

VSE Be Found 2.0 is the second generation of this useful utility that assists in the management of Web site promotion. The self-updating program consists of several features that are used not only to accomplish the entire process of getting pages listed with search engines, but also to assess their quality and competitiveness.

The program helps the Web administrator or HTML author in the preparation of pages for submission to search engines with the objective of getting the best possible ranking. The user selects the pages that are to be submitted, and uses Be Found 2.0 to either add or edit the entries for the page title, its keywords, its description, its image texts (ALT tags), and additional administrative information, such as the author, publisher, and copyright holder. As information is entered in the various fields the program analyzes it and returns its assessment and comments at the bottom of the window. An Analysis window, which is displayed after the current document has been prepared, shows a summary of the fitness of the page components.

After all of the pages have been processed, the user can move the pages to their Web site using the built-in FTP client.

Pages are submitted to the user's choice of more than 180 search engines using the "Submit your Web page URL to search engines" button in the main window of the program. The user must first fill-in a submission profile that contains the information that search engines typically need. Pressing the Submit button begins the process of submitting pages to the list of selected search engines. The program also supports the submission of pages to dozens of Internet directories.

After pages have been submitted, the user can check the position of their Web site on given search engines by clicking on the "Check your search engine ranking" button in the main window. Users can also check the popularity of their site by checking to see how many other sites link to them. This is done by using the "Check Link Popularity" button.

An interesting feature of the program is its "Check your competitors" option, which lets the user input the URL of a competitor to see the title, keywords and description that they have used in their search engine submission. The program also includes guidelines for good Web page design, and suggestions for how to get a good search engine listing. $89.95

Contact: Voget Selbach Entertainment, Reuterweg 71, D-53332 Bornheim, Germany,

Freeway 3 (MAC)

Freeway 3 is a true WYSIWYG Web page design tool that provides desktop publishing-style control over page layout and typography. It is a logically designed product that should appeal to digital publishers due to its rich feature set, its inherent design architecture, and intuitive user interface. It shares many keyboard shortcuts with QuarkXPress, and incorporates many DTP program features, such as multiple Master pages.

Like a desktop publishing application, the program supports the direct import of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files. Photoshop plug-ins can also be used to import and export non-native graphic file formats, and the Photoshop scanner plug-ins can be used to scan images directly onto a Freeway page. Graphics can be optimized within the program, with dynamic control of the number of colors in GIF images, and the level of JPEG compression...all with real-time viewing of the image quality, and numerical feedback of the image size in bytes.

A new feature is the Rollover editor that supports the production of JavaScript rollovers directly within a page. The rollover can be composed of graphics, text, or a combination of the two. Just as with all graphic text composed in the program, rollover text remains editable at all times. Speaking of text editability...headlines, banners, etc. can be created using any font, and the text can be designated for conversion to anti-aliased GIF bitmaps, yet remains editable. Futhermore, through the use of Cascading Style Sheets the user can control letter and word spacing, indents, leading, type size and justification.

The Link map, another new feature, provides an overview picture of the hyperlink structure of the site, giving the site designer a unique and helpful view. This helps ensure that pages are properly linked, and that the site visitor will not encounter broken or illogical links. In addition, the program has a link-checking utility that can be used to validate external links.

Much of the complex scripting and custom HTML that is associated with sophisticated sites is eliminated through the use of a set of plug-and-play Actions, which are JavaScripts that are provided either by SoftPress, or other Freeway users. A collection of new and contributed Actions is maintained at http:/ /

Legacy sites can be imported into Freeway where they can be converted for further development. The program is very tolerant of a wide range of HTML content and formatting. However, the HTML code produced by Freeway is not standard, and therefore has limited usefulness to those who might want to try to edit it by hand. $249

Contact: SoftPress Systems Ltd., Jarn, Old Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5JQ, UK, +44 (0) 1865 735655, 800 853-6454,, e-mail:, fax: +44 (0) 1865 327119.

PowerMail Version 3 (MAC)

PowerMail Version 3 is a compact and efficient e-mail client that requires a smaller memory allocation, and executes faster, than other popular e-mail clients. It has been designed to accommodate a smooth transition by users of Claris Emailer, OE 4.5, Eudora, Netscape Communicator and Powermail 2.

The mail browser window resembles the Macintosh Finder, and can incorporate colored labels for folders and messages. It can also be customized to show multiple operations. The program is capable of fetching mail from several accounts, and shows all such activity in a Background Tasks window.

Among its primary features are support for multi-lingual messages, using Unicode standards. It is highly flexible, with unlimited message filtering, high-speed indexing, and the capability to export message content in a variety of standard file formats. In addition, high-volume mail users will appreciate its advanced find-by-content feature which uses the same AIAT technology incorporated in Apple's Sherlock(?) 2 search engine.

A 30-day demo version is available. A single license is $49, a five-user license is $149.

Contact: CTM Development, POB 629 000, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762, 800 424-9933,, e-mail:, fax: 800 582-8000.

IntelliNews 2.0 (MAC)

IntelliNews 2.0 is an information delivery system that provides access, in a single application, to news headlines, weather, Macintosh industry news, and sports and stock information. The program consolidates valuable information, eliminating the need to search separately for the data, and providing continuous, up-to-date information that is refreshed every 15 minutes (although stock quotes can be updated every 15 to 1200 seconds). The program runs separately from a Web browser, and has its own toolbar interface. $20

Contact: Aladdin Systems, Inc., 165 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076, 408/761-6200, 800 480-4011, Internet:, fax: 408/761-6206, WWW:

Utility Reviews

Retrospect Express Backup (MAC/WIN)

Retrospect Express Backup is an easy-to-use application for conducting routine software backups, and making archival copies, to removable disks, CD/DVD discs, cartridges, or file servers. The program also includes custom drivers for implementing back-ups to packet-recording CD-R/RW drives, and will support backup to an FTP site, provided that TCP/IP is available. Each backup set can contain as many pieces of backup media as are required, and multiple back-up sets, supporting media rotation, help to ensure that several copies of important data are maintained.

The program's IncrementPLUS technology efficiently backs up only new or changed files, and its built-in compression algorithm optionally reduces the size of files as they are saved (up to 2:1). Confidential or sensitive information can be encrypted as it is backed-up, to provide data security, and the catalog of a backup set can be password protected. In addition to providing a reliable copy of mission-critical files, it relieves the user of the burden of conducting backup sessions by using EasyScript, which automatically creates a backup script in response to answers to a few simple questions. The EasyScript can be used to schedule unattended backup sessions on an on-going basis.

Each backup session is archived with a digital Snapshot that records the exact location and detail of each disk-bound element. The restoration process, which is employed when the original files are damaged or lost, is simple, and can be implemented on the basis of one or more files, or an entire hard drive.

The program also produces archives of files that no longer require on-line presence. This serves to ensure that the files are saved on off-line media, and no longer take up space locally. When individual files are needed they can be restored easily. $49.95

Contact: Dantz Development Corporation, 4 Orinda Way, Building C, Orinda, CA 94563, 800 225-4880, 925 253-3000,, e-mail:, fax : 925 253-9099.

TextBroom (MAC)

TextBroom processes ASCII (plain text) files, performing many functions that are useful to digital publishers. These functions include Pick String, which will locate words or lines containing a particular character; Delete Duplicate Lines, which will remove duplicates (optionally along with the original line as well); Replace Multiple Tabulators, which will replace odd numbers of consecutive tabs with one tab; Replace Multiple Spaces, which provides options to convert a series of spaces into a tab; Replace Multiple Returns, which provides options to convert consecutive returns to a specified number of returns; Remove Line Breaks, which can be used to remove hard returns at the end of certain e-mail messages, or files in which the creator manually ended each line; Delete Hyphens Within Words, which will remove superfluous hyphens; Remove Superfluous Spaces, which can be used to remove unnecessary spaces before commas, periods, colons, question marks, etc.; Add Missing Spaces, which will add missing spaces after commas and periods, but will retain decimal separators and thousands separators; Delete E-mail Quote Symbols, which will remove the ">" symbol at the beginning of each sentence; Replace Funny Thousands Separators, which will either remove all thousands separators or replace erroneous separators with commas; and Upper/Lower Case, which switches between cases (upper case, lower case, sentence caps, word caps, and correct two-letter caps typos). $15

Contact: Blue Line Studios, Hueningerst 18, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland, ++41 61 322 3555,, e-mail:, fax: ++41 61 322 3555.

Transverter Pro 3.2.5 (MAC/WIN)

Transverter Pro 3.2.5 is a multi-purpose PostScript utility that can be highly useful to almost all digital publishers. The prevalence of the PostScript language makes the program highly practical, and potentially invaluable. It provides five major functions: RIPing, Editing, Viewing, Proofing and Placing.

The RIP function can be used to convert any PostScript, PDF or EPS file into TIFF, JPEG, of GIF file format. This capability can help to ensure that files destined for large format printers, and other output devices, will print properly. Files can be batch-converted and, when necessary, can be opened and edited in Adobe Photoshop and other image manipulation programs.

The RIPing function is flexible due to Transverter Pro's robust PostScript interpreter. Options include output to 32-bit CMYK for process color imagesetting, 24-bit RGB for multimedia and 35mm slides, and 1-bit black-and-white for high quality faxing.

The elements in a PostScript file can be converted into a visually editable form that can be manipulated in popular programs, such as Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, Deneba Canvas, or Adobe Photoshop. The user can extract single or multiple pages from PostScript or PDF and convert them to EPS with a screen preview. The user gains access to paths, text and bitmaps. The conversion function makes it possible to edit any EPS file, including those saved in exported EPS format from Adobe PageMaker or QuarkXPress.

Users can convert Macintosh EPS to Windows EPS and vice versa. EPS files can also be converted into a universal format, with a color TIFF screen preview.

PostScript, in the form of native files, EPS and PDF, can be displayed on-screen. An Internet Viewer is also provided for Web users, providing the capability to view PostScript files directly through their Web browser.

The viewing function (softproofing) helps to ensure that files will print-out properly. This capability will help to reveal missing or incorrect fonts, poorly formed PostScript, and improperly linked files.

PostScript and PDF files that have been converted into EPS format can be placed in any program that can accept them. This opens up many options, since most programs will not support the direct placement of PostScript or PDF files. $395

Contact: Vivid Image Technology, 2726 Loker Ave. West, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 438-0335,, e-mail:, fax: 760 438-0343.

EZSurvey 99 (WIN )

EZSurvey 99 is a flexible tool for creating and distributing electronic questionnaires, and collecting the responses for summarization and analysis. The user can create a survey in an e-mail text message and distribute it through an intranet, the Internet, or any e-mail system. The results, returned via e-mail, are processed by the Raosoft Postmaster and saved in the associated database. The data can be exported in fixed, tab-delimited, or comma-delimited formats for use in a wide variety of complementary software. The program includes instant preconfigured statistical templates, so that the data can be interrogated immediately. Survey results can be posted to a Web page, saved in an Acrobat PDF document, or saved in Raosoft's free UShow viewer, an executable program that captures screen images for distribution.

The survey form, which can be enhanced with JavaScript and embedded HTML, can also be posted on a Web server, and accessed through any Web browser. The results are entered directly in the DBF EZSurvey database. The program includes an unlimited use license. $399

Contact: Raosoft, Inc., 6645 NE Windermere Rd., Seattle, WA 98115-7942, 206 525-4025, BBS: 206 325-7695,, e-mail:, fax: 206 525-4947.

Raosoft SURVEYWin for Windows Version 4.2 (WIN )

Raosoft SURVEYWin for Windows Version 4.2 is a complete database information system that supports the design, dissemination, collection and analysis of surveys, questionnaires, and other forms of data gathering instruments. The results are stored in a DBF format database, providing exceptional flexibility in utilizing and repurposing the data.

The user can easily design a survey instrument composed of questions and statements in yes/no, multiple choice, open-end comment, weighted score, date, time or numeric format using the self-guided Question Wizard. Bitmap images, used for question reference and clarification can also be inserted. The electronic versions of the forms can incorporate user-friendly features, such as push-buttons, user help, and mouse or keypad entry. Forms can be distributed and returned over any network. Forms can also be published in paper form, and returned via fax or smail, and scanned into the computer for processing. In addition, the form can be served in kiosk mode for unattended data entry.

Data analysis is facilitated by built-in statistical operators (total, average, minimum/maximum, median, quartiles, standard error and standard deviation, multiple cross-tabulations, Chi-square, ANOVA, correlation analysis, simple regression, and hypothesis testing), the results of which can be plotted on graphs or displayed in tables. Results can be shared using the free USHOW utility for distributing survey results on disk. The package is a flexible tool for digital publishers to gather all kinds of survey data and publish it in any required format. $495

Contact: Raosoft, Inc., 6645 NE Windermere Rd., Seattle, WA 98115-7942, 206 525-4025, BBS: 206 325-7695,, e-mail:, fax: 206 525-4947.

Gif,gIf,giF (MAC/WIN)

Gif,gIf,giF is a very handy utility that records on-screen activity as an animated GIF. It produces efficiently compressed files that retain their visual integrity. A movie consisting of about 100 frames would occupy only about 100K.

The program provides an easy way to capture on-screen movement and publish it on the Web quickly. This is especially useful for training, software demonstrations, help desk procedures, and tutorials. The program does not have built-in editing capabilities, but those functions can be performed using compatible applications. $28

Contact: Pedagoguery Software, 4446 Lazelle Ave., Terrace, B.C. V8G 1R8, Canada, 250 638-8606,, e-mail:, fax: 250 638-8606.

VMware 2.0 for Windows NT and Windows 2000 (WIN )

VMware 2.0 for Windows NT and Windows 2000 provides the capability to run multiple operating systems, simultaneously, on a single PC. It does so by creating one or more virtual machines, each running its own operating system. Rather than emulate an operating system, the program simulates an entire PC, with a virtual BIOS, ports, video, sound, network adapters, etc. The installation does not require partitioning the hard drive or initiating any activities that might threaten the host computer software configuration. Each virtual machine can be running simultaneously, and the user can easily toggle between them, without rebooting. The concept is engaging for many obvious reasons, and users are likely to think of more that relate specifically to their particular situations. In a general context it means that a user can install an additional operating system, and try it out, without negatively impacting on the host operating system, or risk disturbing their current set-up. This makes it relatively painless for a system administrator to try out a new operating system that may be considered as an upgrade, such as moving fromWindows NT 4 to Windows 2000, or as a conversion, such as switching from Windows 98 to Linux. In addition, a version is available for Linux OS users, providing them with the capability to run mission critical Windows applications on their machines.

The application runs in a window, and has its own graphical user interface that supports fast and easy movement (one keystroke) between applications, or operating systems running in virtual machines. The software runs as an application on top of the existing OS, and supports full virtual machine networking, sound, multimedia, and suspend/resume functionality. The operation of the virtual machine is totally independent from the host computer, which will not be affected, even if the virtual machine encounters the "blue screen of death." The virtual machine can run either in its own window or in full-screen mode, and can toggle between the two using a hot key. The minimum host system requirements are a Pentium II/266 MHz processor and a minimum of 96 MB of RAM.

Among its many uses is for software developers to test the compatibility of their applications on various versions of Windows, or to develop their products for multiple platforms. Digital publishers can benefit by creating a new OS environment that can run OS-specific versions of software that their native OS can not run. Users can effortlessly cut and paste between the virtual machines and the host computer, and can perform virtual networking and file sharing. In addition, users can download files from the Internet into their virtual machines without risk to the host PC.

The Suspend and Instant Restore feature allows the user to save the state of the virtual machine session to disk or memory, suspending its operation. It can be restored immediately without the need to reboot.

VMware virtual machine technology is sold as a standalone product environment into which a user installs their copy of the OS that they have chosen. VMware has an OEM agreement with Microsoft, announced in late March, 2000, that will allow them to distribute Microsoft Windows 98, Windows NT, and Windows 2000 with their software in Ready to Run products. This will reduce the time and effort required to install the OS. The VMware 2.0 virtual machine application (exclusive of the Microsoft OS) is $299 for the electronic version and $329 for the boxed version (which includes SuSE Linux 6.3 and Turbolinux 6.0 pre-installed in Virtual Machines).

Contact: VMware, 3145 Porter Drive, Bldg. F, Palo Alto, CA 94304, 650 475-5000,, fax: 650 475-5001.

Retrospect Workgroup Backup 4.2 (MAC/WIN)

Retrospect Workgroup Backup 4.2 is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use back-up solution that can protect files on any 20 Macintosh or Windows computers, notebooks or servers. The application installs on either a Macintosh or PC that has a large storage device attached, and the client software is installed on the computers that will connect for routine back-ups, either manually initiated or executed through an established schedule. No matter when it is initiated, it can be conducted automatically and unattended. The number of supported computers can be expanded by purchasing 5, 10, 50, or 100 user packs.

Dantz has a U.S. patent pending for the process of using a Macintosh or PC as a Backup Server. The software intermittently polls the network to find computers that are in need of back-up, and performs the process automatically. It also senses the connection of a laptop computer and initiates prescribed back-up procedures immediately. Not only can the client computers initiate the process when they choose, but the backup server can block out connections whenever necessary.

Retrospect not only makes incremental back-ups, which intelligently copy only new or revised files, but it can do so to multiple back-up sets, providing an added degree of data security (along with optional compression averaging 2:1). Files that are a part of a back-up set can be restored individually or as a complete group. To ensure that the back-up data is accurate, Retrospect compares it to the original, byte by byte.

In the case of a complete hard drive failure (Mac version only), the Retrospect disk can be used for start-up. This is the kind of protection that every digital publisher must have. $339.95

Contact: Dantz Development Corporation, 4 Orinda Way, Building C, Orinda, CA 94563, 800 225-4880, 925 253-3000,, e-mail:, fax : 925 253-9099.


Tri-CATALOG Images is a flexible cataloging utility that maintains a listing of file names and thumbnail images for both on- and off-line volumes and all forms of removable media. The program builds a database of such information that can be used to easily locate given files or images quickly. The complete database contents, or the results of a search, can be exported as a tab delimited text file for use in a database program, such as FileMaker.

Volumes are entered in the Tri-CATALOG database either by dragging and dropping their icon over the Tri-CATALOG icon, or selecting a mounted volume from the Scan menu. When the program is open, any newly inserted media will be scanned automatically, and ejected when the process is complete. This makes it easy to add CDs, Zip, Jaz, Orb, and other forms of high-capacity media. The scanning process records all files, folders, applications, and images.

The program supports multiple databases, and there is no practical limit on their sizes, aside from limitations on available hard disk space. There is also no limit on the number of volumes nor the number of files, folders, and images in each volume.

The main browser window lists the volumes on the left (either all of them, or groups organized by function or project by the user), folders and root level files in the center, and first-level folder contents on the right. The lists can be sorted by name, size, date, etc. The user can double-click any file to open it. If the volume is not mounted, the user will be prompted to do so. If the Control key is held down during the double-click, the file will be revealed in the Finder, but not opened. If the Command key is held while clicking on an item, a popup menu will open to reveal the item's path.

Searches are conducted by inputting the search term(s) and pressing the search button. Searches are either "Simple," operating only by name, or "Expert," which offers several search criteria. In addition, searches can be conducted to find duplicate files, and popular searches can be saved for reuse.

Several operative functions can be performed on items that have been found or manually selected. Images can be displayed, items can be memorized (so that the user can return to them easily), items can be opened, items can be masked (or de-masked) so that they won't be displayed in the list or in the search result, items can be identified by adding a comment, selected items can be moved to the trash (provided that the volume is mounted), and more.

Digital publishers will be most interested in the Images window, which shows thumbnail images of either selected files, based on a search, or all files contained in a given volume. Each image can be displayed with its file type, file size, dimensions, and file name. $99

Contact: TRI-EDRE, 22 Place de L'Eglise, BP111, 83510 Lorgues, France, 33 04 98 10 10 50,, fax: 33 04 98 10 10 55.

Spring Cleaning 3.5 (MAC)

Spring Cleaning 3.5 is a collection of 13 utilities that work together to reduce the clutter of unneeded files from a hard disk. The featured utility is MacUninstaller, rated as "the number one uninstaller for Mac." This program completely removes all software components related to a given software installation, regardless of where they may have been installed. Quite often a software installation will include the addition of files to several different locations.

Other clean-up components include iClean, to remove vestigial Internet files, such as cookies, cache files, etc.; Duplicates Remover, to find exact copies and remove them; Help Remover, to eliminate unneeded help files or store them offline; Alias Fixer, to reattach broken aliases or remove them; Orphaned Pref Remover, to remove unattached preferences; Empty Folder Remover, to remove folders that have no contents; File Checker, to remove damaged or corrupted files; and several more.

The program also includes a "Restore" option, so that the system can be returned to its prior state, in case any necessary files were removed in error. $49.95

Contact: Aladdin Systems, 165 Westridge Dr., Watsonville, CA 95076, 408 761-6200, fax: 408 761-6206,, e-mail:

StuffIt Deluxe 5.5 (MAC)

StuffIt Deluxe 5.5 is an absolute essential utility of any Macintosh digital publisher. It incorporates the StuffIt compression engine that reduces the size of virtually any file, and makes it possible to stuff multiple files or folders into a StuffIt archive, for faster network transmission and more efficient storage.

This new version, with an average of 20% better compression over version 5.0, is full of features that simplify its operation and expand it usefulness. These include the capability to create self-extracting StuffIt .exe files to send to PC users; the use of the Archive CM Contextual Menu plug-in to directly access StuffIt files within a given archive; an easy-to-use Zip compression option; expansion capability for virtually all Internet and e-mail compression formats, including StuffIt archives (.sit), Zip (.zip), BinHex (.hqx), and UUencode (.uu); a DropConverter utility to quickly convert older StuffIt archives into the more efficient level 5 format; expansion support for Symantec DiskDoubler (.dd) files; a Secure Delete option to remove sensitive files; one-step "Stuff and Mail" using Outlook Express, Eudora, AOL, and others, using Control-click on a file; the "StuffIt Browser" which supports the viewing of a StuffIt archive without the need to unstuff it; the production of StuffIt archives by simply renaming a file with the".sit" or ".sea" suffix...the files can be unstuffed by renaming them without the suffix; and more. $79.95

Contact: Aladdin Systems, Inc., 165 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, CA 95076, 408/761-6200, 800 480-4011, Internet:, fax: 408/761-6206, WWW:

Multimedia Reviews

EyeWire Footage (MAC/WIN)

EyeWire Footage is a new collection of royalty-free professional-quality digital video that is available in volumes addressing specific themes or visual effects. Each video has been digitally mastered from 16mm or 35mm film originals. The footage can be used in commercial productions, Web projects, computer games, and even products that are offered for sale. Each collection is provided in flattened QuickTime format, with full-screen movie frame dimensions: 720 x 486 pixels for NTSC, 720 x 576 for PAL. The file sizes range from 350KB to 132MB, and durations range from 13 frames to over 30 seconds. Some movies are provided with image mattes for easy compositing, and selected movies have been optimized for seamless looping.

EyeWire Footage is the digital video equivalent of clip art. It is a professional resource that provides its users with a wealth of professionally-produced moving imagery that can be incorporated into desktop video productions. It frees the digital videographer from the hassles of obtaining rights and negotiating licensing agreements. Still frames can also be used for other multimedia purposes with protection for derivative works. The EyeWire Footage Browser CD & Resource Booklet is available for $9.99. Among the new titles are:

Clouds. Clouds is a two CD set consisting of footage showing a wide variety of cloud formations and movements recorded at various times of day, and in various weather conditions. The clouds are shown in a diversity of colors, highlighted by the position of the sun and the density and composition of the clouds. The videos show rapid cloud movements and sky changes. Forty movies are included. $349.99 for NTSC, $399.99 for PAL.

Edit Effects. Edit Effects is a two volume set of CD-ROMs containing 29 movies that can be used to instill the look of cinematic editing, such as film leaders, focus frames, and lead-ins. Effects are provided that simulate the look of misprojected film, diffuse light effects, and monitor interference. Six movies are provided for transition effects. $349.99 for NTSC, PAL unavailable.

Common Characters. Common Characters includes a series of 18 movies with thematic characters in action, nine each on the two CDs included in the set. Each movie shows only the characters, with a pure white background, simplifying the use of composite effects. Characters include couples, children and single men and women involved in actions such as dancing, talking on a phone, and reading. $349.99 for NTSC, PAL unavailable.

Digital Basics. Digital Basics consists of 20 movies provided on 2 CD-ROMs. The collection is themed to hi-tech subjects such as removable media, keyboards, fiber optics, monitor displays, and computer circuitry. The set includes Adobe AfterEffects files that can accommodate user-provided graphics. $399.99 for NTSC or PAL.

Cyber Technology. Cyber Technology is a vivid collection of 21 movies documenting parts of the cyberworld. The movies include close-ups of computer hardware, circuitry and screen displays. $349.99 for NTSC, $399.99 for PAL.

Contact: EyeWire, Inc. 8 S. Idaho St., Seattle, WA 98134, 800 661-9410,, fax: 800 814-7783; EyeWire, Inc., 833 4th Ave. SW, Ste. 800, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3T5.

Emotion 3D: Web Edition (WIN )

Emotion 3D: Web Edition is an animation and special effects tool that provides Web content developers with the capability to easily produce 3D animations, rollover buttons and other effects. Its stellar performance has earned it many awards, including Web Techniques' and Web Review's 1999 Graphics Tool of the Year award. It is also a ZDNet Editor's Pick (

The program incorporates Anark's procedural animation engine, AniMesh, which applies professional quality animations to any 3D object or 2D image. The process is as simple as selecting the target object and applying the required behavior...the program automatically creates the entire animation. Among its repertoire of 60 separate animation behaviors are dance, run, bow, bounce, etc.

Among the program's capabilities are: real-time preview of color reduced GIF animations; instant JavaScript rollovers; in-depth file reduction options; a wizard-like interface that leads the user through each process; user-defined templates to apply prescribed operations to batches of files; global application of high-end effects, such as drop shadows, glows and outlines to an entire animation (as opposed to frame-by-frame); import of WMF, BMP, 3DS, and other popular file formats; and export of animated GIFs, JavaScript rollover buttons, and several other file formats. The program is ingeniously conceived, well-designed, inexpensively priced, and a snap to use. $69.99

Contact: Anark Corp., 1500 Pearl St., Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302, 303 545-2592,, fax: 303 545-2575.

A Smaller GIF (MAC/WIN)

A Smaller GIF is a utility program that significantly reduces the size of an animated GIF file without changing the quality of its appearance. This maintains the integrity of the image (using lossless technology) while making it download and play faster. The program also serves as an animated GIF viewer, with a standard set of viewer controls. $28

Contact: Pedagoguery Software, 4446 Lazelle Ave., Terrace, B.C. V8G 1R8, Canada, 250 638-8606,, e-mail:, fax: 250 638-8606.

QDesign Music Codec 2 (MAC/WIN)

QDesign Music Codec 2 is a compressor that reduces the size of digital audio files while maintaining their quality. It is considered the highest quality solution for delivering audio over the Web. The decoder and a basic version of the encoder are incorporated in Apple QuickTime 4. The professional version is available at extra cost.

The Professional Edition incorporates advanced technologies that increase the efficiency of the compression process (up to 150:1), enhance the robustness of streaming files (reducing the effects of network dropouts), and add to the program's ease of use (using pull-downs, buttons and sliders). The program produces better than MP3 quality at all levels of compression providing near CD-quality stereo audio through streaming technology. $399

Contact: QDesign, #201-1107 Homer St., Vancouver, BC Canada V6B 2Y1, 604 688-1525,, fax: 604 688-1524.

BarbaBatch v3 (MAC)

BarbaBatch v3 is a very flexible audio file batch conversion utility that supports over 30 popular sound file formats. These formats include AIFC, AIFC IMA 4:1, AIFF, Amiga IFF/8SVX, Audio CD, AVR, Dialogic telephony (.vox), Dialogic Vox µ-law, Dialogic Vox ADPCM, Dialogic Vox a-law, Dialogic Vox linear PCM, Dyaxis MacMix, Ensoniq PARIS, MACE, Microsoft ADPCM, MP3 (requires a separately purchased codec for $99), MPEG 1 layer I, MPEG 1 layer II, NeXT/Sun µ-law (.au), NeXT/Sun a-law (.au), NeXT/SUN linear (.snd), QDesign, QDesign 2 Pro, QUALCOMM PureVoice, Quicktime 3, Quicktime 4, Real Audio 5.0, Real G2, SoundDesigner I & II, System 7 Sound, VOC 8 & 16 bits, and WAV. The user can preview sound files and dynamically apply such changes as compression, noise gating, normalization, sample rate and word length reduction. Hundreds to thousands of files can be converted in a single batch.

The program can convert files directly from audio CD tracks that are read from the host CD-ROM drive, or are held on other mounted volumes.

The program is used most often, although not exclusively, for producing smaller, lower resolution versions of high-quality audio files for use on the Internet or in multimedia productions. Under normal circumstances, as audio files are compressed, the quality level decreases...this is a predictable consequence of eliminating sound information. BarbaBatch provides the controls for producing the best possible conversions based on the chosen set of options.

Among the program's features are: Region Extraction, wherein regions of separate audio files are copied using editable fades; Channel Processing, converting mono to stereo, stereo to mono, copying left or right to mono, splitting stereo into separate mono files, or combining separate left and right files into one interleaved stereo file; and Gain and Dynamics Processing, normalizing to a user-editable ceiling in dB's.

The program alsos ships with four utility programs: NameIt, a batch file renamer; AffixIt, which renames regions of a Sound Designer II file; MoveIt, which moves files from a folder on the basis of a text file list; and JoinIt, which joins several Sound Designer II files into one file. $395

Contact: Audio Ease, Esdoornstraat 14, 3551 AJ Utrecht, The Netherlands, 31 30 2422606,, e-mail:, fax: 31 30 2438500.

Digital Imaging Reviews

ixla PhotoEasy DualCam Edition for Mac (MAC)

ixla PhotoEasy DualCam Edition for Mac is a self-contained digital photo image capture and processing system consisting of a compact digital camera, utility software, and cables.

The package contents have been well planned to make the process of digital photography simple and fun. It is reminiscent of George Eastman's promise made in 1888: ""You push the button, we do the rest."" IXLA's slogan, interestingly, is "We've got the tools, you bring the imagination." The tools, in this case, are all of the essential elements for taking pictures and utilizing them for a variety of purposes using any Macintosh computer with a USB port.

The Digital DualCam 640 is exceptionally light-weight (112 grams) and compact (95x65x35mm), and fits easily into a pocket or purse. It contains 2MB of fixed memory which can record up to 32 images (16 in high quality mode, which is 640 x 480). The image quality is suitable for Web postings and low- to medium-resolution printing. The "DualCam" designation refers to the camera's capability to be used both as a digital camera and a video camera. In video camera mode it can be used for video conferencing and other forms of on-line communication, such as serving as a Webcam. The camera has a fixed focus from 3 feet to infinity, a self-timer, and a built-in non-expiring flash and auto flash sensor. The camera also has an NTSC port for connecting to a television set for immediate viewing of the camera contents.

The camera does not have removable memory, nor an LCD preview screen. It does have an LCD function display panel with four buttons that control various camera functions such as the flash mode, quality setting and self-timer. The display is also used to show the number of pictures that have been taken or remain (depending upon mode), and reveal settings associated with its three modes: record, play and menu. Icons are used to represent the status of various camera settings such as its readiness to take pictures (record, indicated with a camera icon), its battery strength (shown by one of a series of battery icons), its flash status (indicated by a lightening bolt icon for flash on, and a line through it for flash off), and other necessary categories of operator information.

The use of fixed rather than removable memory means that once the camera is full, no more photos can be taken unless images are erased, or they are transferred to a Macintosh host computer. Users with a USB equipped Macintosh PowerBook can take it into the field with them and transfer an unlimited number of photo sessions without returning to home base.

The package includes three major software applications. Corel Custom Photo is used to enhance and manipulate photos, supporting such essential capabilities as cropping, rotating and resizing. Corel Project Designer is used to incorporate photos in a number of interesting projects, including greeting cards, calendars and posters. Canto Cumulus 5.0 LE provides an image database for storing and retrieving images easily.

The process of transferring images from the camera to the computer is simple, and is accomplished from either of the Corel applications. The transfer interface provides a preview of each image, and the option to transfer an individual image, a number of images, or all of the images. Additional functions include downloading to the computer or the application, rotating the image, erasing an image, and viewing the camera status (showing its memory capacity and current number of photos). SRP $149.95

Contact: IXLA Limited, 17 Jansen St., Danbury, CT 06810, 800 486-6704,, e-mail:

Corel KnockOut 1.5 (MAC/WIN)

Corel KnockOut 1.5 is an updated version of KnockOut 1.0, originally developed by Ultimatte (see our review of Ultimatte KnockOut 1.0). Corel has refined the program to resemble its CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT applications, assigning common names, feature behavior, menu names, menu contents, and shortcut keys.

KnockOut has the reputation of being the most incredible image masking application available, and version 1.5 continues that legacy. Like its predecessor it can mask fine wisps of hair, blurred or out-of-focus edges, glass, smoke, water, and other transparent or translucent objects that are ordinarily difficult, impossible, or just too time-consuming to mask. Some of the masks produced using the program are nothing short of extraordinary...defying what we thought we knew about the limits of digital image manipulation. Files are compatible with Adobe Photoshop PSD, Corel PHOTO-PAINT CPT, and multi-channeled TIF formats.

The program uses four main pairs of tools to separate the foreground object from the background. They are the Inside Object and Outside Object tools; the Inside Shadow and Outside Shadow tools; the Inside Syringe and Outside Syringe tools; and the Edge Feather and Shadow Edge Feather tools. The Loupe Cursor is used to interactively magnify the image and mask it at the same time. The mask can be previewed at any time, and remains interactive.

A series of QuickTime tutorials are provided to lead the first-time user, step-by-step though the various processes. The single SKU contains both the Macintosh and Windows versions of the program. Users can choose to install to either or both platforms. The upgrade pricing of $99 is available to anyone who is a registered user of any version of CorelDRAW or Corel PHOTO-PAINT, has purchased a previous version of Utimatte KnockOut, or who has purchased Adobe Photoshop 5.5. $295

Contact: Corel, 1600 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON Canada K1Z 8R7, 613 728-8200, 800 722-6735,, e-mail:, fax: 613 761-9176.

FlipAlbum CD Maker 1.0 (WIN )

FlipAlbum CD Maker 1.0 is a program that enables the non-commercial user to publish CDs containing a set of digital photos that are contained in a user-friendly, book-like interface resembling a photo album. Each CD contains a self-contained, run-time version of FlipAlbum. A major feature of the virtual photo album is the incorporation of animated turning pages.

The program automates the process of producing a digital album that is composed of an index, overview pages containing thumbnails, a table of image contents, and the actual pages. The end-user can insert digital bookmarks to easily access specific images, and can add personal annotations.

The album publisher also has the option of adding background music, outputting on alternate media (such as Zip disks), and printing images in a choice of sizes. A business edition is also available to create and distribute a licensed number of FlipAlbum CDs for commercial use. $49.95

Contact: E-Book Systems, Inc. 1500 Wyatt Drive, Suite 15, Santa Clara, CA 95054, 408 919-6675,, fax: 408 919-6677.

Entertainment Reviews

Mensa Ultimate Challenge (WIN )

Mensa Ultimate Challenge is a collection of over 300 stimulating games, puzzles and riddles from Mensa Ltd. The collection is highly graphic, intriguing and visually stimulating...the perfect diversion for the intense digital publisher. The puzzles can be presented in an ungraded practice mode, or through the randomly selected Lucky Dip. A reference section is provided for self-analysis and personal mind power improvement. $39.95

Contact: Grolier Interactive, 90 Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816, 203 797-3530,, fax: 203 797-3835.

Miscellaneous News and Reviews

AAA Map'n'Go 6.0 (WIN )

AAA Map'n'Go 6.0 is a time and travel planning application that includes route directions plus listings of places to stay, restaurants, and attractions along the way. Up-to-date information is provided from the AAA TourBook, consisting of over 66,000 entries. Information from the program can be transferred to a Palm Computing or Windows CE handheld computer using the optional DeLorme Solus Pro 1.5 application, sold separately. The CD includes one million miles of routable roadways in the US, Canada and Mexico. Other features include: a multimedia slide show previewing points of interest; kids travel activities that can be printed for use on the trip; GPS compatibility; weather, events and road construction updates via the Internet; and much more. $29

Contact: DeLorme, Two DeLorme Drive, POB 298, Yarmouth, ME 04096, 800 452-5931, 207 846-7000,, e-mail:, fax back: 207 865-7083, fax: 800 575-2244.

Topo USA: Fly-Fishing Edition (WIN )

Topo USA: Fly-Fishing Edition, produced in partnership with Trout Unlimited, is a specially produced CD-ROM that combines a digital angling journal with the extensive set of DeLorme topographic maps. Special features include: information on Trout Unlimited members' top 100 recommended streams; StreamNotes, a journal for recording location, date, time, species, length, weight, etc.; access to NetLink, an exclusive DeLorme online feature that connects to USGS stream-flow data; and more. $119.95

Contact: DeLorme, Two DeLorme Drive, POB 298, Yarmouth, ME 04096, 800 452-5931, 207 846-7000,, e-mail:, fax back: 207 865-7083, fax: 800 575-2244.

The World's Greatest Museum (MAC/WIN)

The World's Greatest Museum is a collection of 150 masterpieces selected from the holdings of 70 of the most renown museums in the world. The concept is quite put together in a virtual museum, the best paintings, sculptures and frescoes, ranging from prehistoric cave drawings to contemporary art. A student can admire and study the works at their own pace, and benefit from the descriptions, three hours of impressive animation, and art-related games. $39.95

Contact: Grolier Interactive, 90 Sherman Turnpike, Danbury, CT 06816, 203 797-3530,, fax: 203 797-3835.

Microsoft Windows 2000 (WIN )

Microsoft Windows 2000 is the long-awaited successor to Windows NT. It has been devised as Microsoft's high-end, professional operating system, built firmly on NT technology, yet incorporating many of the ease-of-use features of Windows 98. Anyone familiar with Windows 98 can make a smooth transition to Windows 2000. In addition, Windows NT and Windows 98 users can upgrade to Windows 2000 and maintain their current applications and documents. There is no assurance, however, that the applications will be compatible with the new OS. A further benefit of the new operating system is that it is approximately 30% faster than Windows 98 on systems with at least 64 MB.

There are several features that are of special interest to digital publishers. The two most significant are system level color management and native PostScript Type 1 support (Adobe ATM need not be installed).

Billed as the next generation in PC computing, its major claim is as a reliable and stable OS for desktop PCs, laptops, and servers. It incorporates several features which help it achieve that status, such as the automatic replacement of critical system files, clean uninstalls with no residual files, and protection against system crashes. It also incorporates Plug and Play technology, making it significantly easier to install new hardware and peripherals.

Windows 2000 is code base ready for 64-bit applications, a status that it should realize later this year. 64-bit applications will run faster, with more robust computational power, and support for up to 16 terabytes of memory. Current 32-bit applications will be compatible.

The operating system is closely aligned with Internet technology, supporting the access, use, and sharing of Web-based resources whenever possible.

Although Windows 2000 was designed as a workstation OS, with administrator and user privileges, the management of the client desktop is now decentralized, although the administrator maintains remote access over the network. User access to data and applications can be set by the administrator, providing a high degree of control and security.

Windows 2000 is available in two versions: Windows 2000 Professional, the successor to Windows NT, and Windows 2000 Server, the successor to Windows NT Server. Windows 2000 Professional, $319, upgrade from Windows NT Workstation 3.51 or 4.0, $149, upgrade from Windows 95 or 98, $219. Windows 2000 Server is $1199 with ten Client Access Licenses.

Contact: Microsoft Corp., One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399, 206 882-8080, WWW:, fax: 206 93MSFAX.

Page 2 Stage (WIN )

Page 2 Stage is a word processing application written specifically for the purpose of composing screenplays and scripts. It can keep track of content in standard page divisions, or by scenes, and can provide the writer with an outline view showing the script as a continuous it will be filmed or staged.

The program has sophisticated features for formatting work to conform to screenwriting standards. A proficient user can easily compose their work with very little overhead effort. The program integrates several features that streamline the writing process, such as providing pop-ups that list all characters, and make it easy to enter their dialog.

As a specialized application it contains features that are quite unique, such as the Cheat feature, that can be used to add or remove minute amounts of space, and adjust typographic parameters, to make the script go longer or shorter. This is a program that any serious writer should have. $79.95

Contact: Windward Studios,

MagicScroll (MAC/WIN)

MagicScroll is a teleprompting program that supports color, mixed fonts and sizes, stylized text, bookmarking and paperclipping. It is compatible with nearly all currently available video output cards. The horizontal/vertical image flipping capability makes the program compatible with a broad range of video monitors and specialized prompting displays. The Macintosh version supports an optional remote hand controller ($299).

The teleprompting process makes it possible for a speaker to enhance their eye-contact with the audience or camera, and to focus on delivery rather than memorization. The prompter displays the speaker's script as scrolling text. MagicScroll also provides several features, including: Point & click GUI interface, line numbering, closed captioning, stopwatch, estimated and actual running times, a movable pointer, white or black text background, script queuing/ordering, forward or backward movement, find and replace editing, and more. $2499

Contact: Magic Teleprompting, Inc., 1390 Waller St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 800 646-MAGIC,, e-mail:

Book Reviews

Active Server Pages 3.0 By Example

Reselman, Bob

A tutorial-based book containing numerous examples of the use of VBScript to create applications using Microsoft's Active Server Pages technology. The technology can be used to generate applications that can perform logical operations, calculations, data access, etc.

The book has a companion Web site which has all of the code contained in the book as well as additional tutorials. It is available at ies/by_example/.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-7897-2240-2 575 pp. $24.99

Contact: Que Corporation, 11711 North College Ave., Carmel, IN 46032,

Microsoft Publisher 2000 Bible

Plumley, Sue

The author effectively covers all aspects of the use of Microsoft Publisher 2000. Major topics include: Publisher Basics, Working with Page Layout, Working with Text, Adding Graphics and Objects, Producing Publications, Printing, Using Mail Merge, and Designing for the Web. The text is supported with numerous illustrations.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-7645-3343-6 877 pp. $34.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610, San Mateo, CA 94402, 800 762-2974,

Microsoft Office 2000 for Dummies Value Pack

Wang, Parker, Dornfest, Lowe

A box set of three volumes: Microsoft Office 2000 For Windows For Dummies; Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 For Windows For Dummies; and Microsoft FrontPage 2000 For Windows For Dummies. These books present Office 2000 applications in an easy to learn format.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-7645-0518-1 1197 pp. $49.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610, San Mateo, CA 94402, 800 762-2974,

Teach Yourself Macintosh in 24 Hours

Baldwin, Howard; Anita Epler

A set of 24 easy-to-follow lessons, each of which can finished in an hour or less. The content covers the use of MacOS 8.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

1-56830-408-0 392 pp. $19.99

Contact: Hayden Books, 4300 West 62nd St., Indianapolis, IN 46268

Presenting XML

Light, Richard

A clearly written introduction to the concepts and applications of XML. The author shows how to create XML documents, and tells why XML will strongly influence Web publishing.

A companion Web site is maintained at o/1-57521/1-57521-334-6.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

1-57521-334-6 414 pp. $24.99

Contact: Sams, 201 West 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

Photoshop Web Magic Vol. 2

Foster, Jeff

A cookbook of backgrounds, navigation bars, buttons, animations, and special effects presented in step-by-step, illustrated format. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains filters, plug-ins, completed effects, sample animations, and demo software products.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

1-56830-392-0 220 $45.00

Contact: Hayden Books, 4300 West 62nd St., Indianapolis, IN 46268

Practical Microsoft Windows 98, Second Edition

Wempen, Faithe

A clearly written and easy-to-follow guide to the use of Microsoft Windows 98. Heavy emphasis is placed on the use of the Internet.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-7897-2202-X 523 pp. $24.99

Contact: Que Corporation, 11711 North College Ave., Carmel, IN 46032,

Dynamic HTML for Dummies, 2nd Edition

Hyman, Michael

The dummies guide to implementing dynamic HTML in Web pages. The reader can learn how to implement multimedia easily.

The accompanying Windows CD-ROM includes Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, HomeSite, Paint Shop Pro, and author files.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-7645-0467-3 389 pp. $29.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610, San Mateo, CA 94402, 800 762-2974,

DSL for Dummies

Angell, David

A handy guide to evaluating the potential usefulness of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service. The author provides insight into the technology, its pros and cons, and its application in the Windows environment.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-7645-0475-4 321 pp. $24.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610, San Mateo, CA 94402, 800 762-2974,

HTML 4 for Dummies, 2nd Edition

Tittel, Ed; Natanya Pitts

An easy-to-follow guide to implementing HTML 4 technology in Web page design. It contains numerous examples, with complete and concise explanations.

The accompanying PC CD-ROM includes NetObjects Fusion 4.0 trial version, Visual Page 1.1 trial version, and a variety of shareware programs.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-7645-0572-6 408 pp. $24.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 155 Bovet Road, Suite 610, San Mateo, CA 94402, 800 762-2974,

Teach Yourself Adobe LiveMotion in 24 Hours

Holzschlag, Molly E.

A collection of 24 one-hour lessons that take the learner from elementary to sophisticated operations using Adobe LiveMotion. The book is an excellent way to become proficient in the use of the program quickly.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0-672-31916-0 473 pp. $24.99

Contact: Sams, 201 West 103rd St., Indianapolis, IN 46290.

Visual Basic 6: Error Coding and Layering

Gill, Tyson

A guide to the contruction of good Visual Basic coding based on the author's 20 years of software experience. He analyzes the common underlying causes of project failure, and explains the best techniques to avoid them.

Available for on-line ordering at 1.

0130172278 240 pp. $34.99

Contact: WinResources Computing, Inc., 5966 La Place Court, Suite 200, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 710-2100,, fax: 760 710-2101.

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