The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 3.6 November/December 1998

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing
Issue 3.6 November/December 1998

This issue of KDP is sponsored by:


Feature Review

FAST Image Transfer (MAC/WIN)

FAST Image Transfer. FAST is a proprietary lossy image compression format technology that provides four to six times the compression performance of JPEG, with equal or better image quality.

FAST was developed by FAST Search & Transfer ASA. The FAST Image Transfer technology is based on research conducted primarily at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, and Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

FAST provides several unique imaging features which distinguish it from other file formats, and which make it an attractive alternative. First, is the progressive, multi-resolution image display of Web images. Unlike other file formats, which either display slowly from top to bottom, or through interlacing the entire image, FAST appears as an entire image, at reduced size. As more of the image information is received, the size of the complete image increases, until the entire image, at full-size, is displayed. This method lets the user decide early in the download process if the image being received is the one that he or she wants. So, not only is the image received faster, since the image is smaller due to the sophistication of the FAST compressor, but the image is recognizable faster, eliminating the time wasted by waiting until the image can be verified as the correct target image.

Second, the FAST file format embeds a thumbnail image as a standard component of the file. This capability eliminates the need to create a separate thumbnail image for Web applications, as is the case for JPEG. The thumbnail information is typically one-tenth the size of the file.

Third, FAST Image Transfer decompresses and displays images within a Web browser without the need to download and install a browser plug-in. This capability ensures that virtually every Web user can view FAST format images. It should be noted that although the file size for FAST is significantly smaller than for JPEG, the decoding time, the time it takes for the image to appear, is slightly longer.

FAST images are encoded using the FAST plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. With the FAST plug-in installed, FAST images can be opened and/or saved in the FAST file format. Images may be in either RGB or CMYK (soon to be implemented) mode. FAST images are decoded and displayed in a browser application through the use of a Java decoder applet. The Java decoder applet is usually downloaded to the client during the initial visit to a page referring to the applet. Thereafter, the applet is usually stored in the browser cache.

Contact: FAST Search & Transfer ASA, Brynsveien 3B, N-0667 Oslo, Norway,

DTP Reviews

LivePix SOHO (WIN )

LivePix SOHO is a simple-to-use template-centered application for producing a wide range of home and office materials for print and Web publishing. The program is picture-centric, supporting the use and application of digital photos and scanned images for each project. Elementary tools are provided for image manipulation, tonal adjustment, and color correction. The range of templates includes brochures, flyers, labels, letterheads, business cards, and postcards. $49.95

Contact: Live Picture, 5617 Scotts Valley Drive, Suite 180, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, 408 430-4315, 800 724-7900,, fax: 408 438-9604.

Productivity Reviews

Enfish Tracker Pro (WIN )

Enfish (ENter-FInd-SHare) Tracker Pro is presented as the world's first information tracker. It provides an interface for automatically organizing, finding, and keeping track of almost any kind of information, from any source: a local hard drive, a network, an e-mail archive, of the Internet.

The program "reads" and organizes all target information according to user-selected topics and projects, and provides instant access according to key word searches (or a number or phrase). It makes use of "Trackers" that monitor for new information that matches pre-set interest profiles. The Trackers create pointers to the information...they never physically move it. In practice, about half of the Enfish users use the program as their main information gateway, using it on a daily basis; the other half use it only when they are in search of specific information.

Enfish uses its patented DEX (TM) technology search and organize engine to monitor, cross-reference, and link information from all sources into a logical matrix that can be accessed from a single place. $79.95

Contact: Enfish Technology Inc., 135 N. Los Robles Ave., Suite 650, Pasadena, CA 91101-4500, 626 660-2300,, fax: 626 660-2399.

The Spanish Teacher (Version 3.0) (WIN )

The Spanish Teacher (Version 3.0) is a 2-CD set of language instruction lessons consisting of vocabulary, grammar and conversation, presented in a multimedia environment. The program makes use of the Individualized Spaced-out Reinforcement Methodology, which incorporates an advanced algorithm to monitor each student's progress, and initiate reviews of completed materials over longer and longer intervals, until the student has acquired long-term retention. Studies have shown that using this method, the average student can retain more than 95% of all material that has been studied, a year or more after having completed the exercises.

The curriculum contains over 2500 vocabulary builder lessons and 12,500 excercises; a grammar book with over 140 units, 1500 examples, and 3000 exercises; a conversational module with 18 videos providing real-life conversations with native speakers; and an on-line, bilingual, translator/tutor with 25,000 terms. $120

Contact: Opus Educational Software, 1776 N. Pine Island Rd., Suite 218, Plantation, FL 33322-5233, 954 452-0020, 800 600-9097,, e-mail:, fax: 954 452-0908.

1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Reference Suite (WIN )

1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Reference Suite is a 5-CD package crammed with valuable, up-to-date information. It begins with the reknown 1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, provided in the deluxe 2-Cd edition. It also includes the Hammond Atlas of the World, with thousands of digital maps and a database of over 230,000 names; Barlett's Familiar Quotations Expanded Multimedia Edition Version 2.0, with 22,000 searchable quotations; and the Wall Street Journal Almanac of information. SRP $89.99

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

OmniPage Pro 9.0 (WIN )

OmniPage Pro 9.0 further enhances this best-in-class optical character recognition program with improved accuracy, now surpassing 99% (from good quality original documents). The program uses Predictive Optical Word Recognition Plus (POWR+) technology, which incorporates a mathematical, probabilistic infrastructure that dynamically "investigates" all of the different possibilities of characters that make up each scanned word. By processing words rather than characters, the program produces a higher level of accuracy. POWR+ can recognize standard typefaces, without training, from 4 to 72 points in 13 languages. The AnyFont technology uses topographical data to retain all font information, such as size and style. Several other OmniPage-specific technologies, such as De-skew and True Page, work together to produce highly accurate hardcopy-to-electronic document conversions. This program eliminates the need to rekeyboard any document of any kind.

Users can now scan color documents, maintain the integrity of scanned tables and spreadsheets, and further maintain the format of scanned documents.

Color graphics are now maintained in all program views (thumbnail, image and text) and the program stores the color images in a format appropriate for the user's word processor or other compatible application. This feature makes it possible to maintain a closer approximation between the original page and the scanned and converted page image.

Table-formatted data can be captured accurately, and displayed correctly in Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect. OmniPage Pro 9.0 can automatically detect gridded tables (having vertical and horizontal rules dividing the table cells) as well as non-gridded tables. Improved spreadsheet recognition makes it possible to output captured pages directly to Excel and other spreadsheet applications.

Single column documents, which contain a column of numbers along the left margin, common in legal documents, are usually interpreted by OCR programs as two columns, which they are not. OmniPage Pro 9.0 can correctly process this type of composition.

The program also has improved recognition of reverse text, i.e. white type on a dark background. The user maintains the option of training the program to recognize special characters and symbols. Any character image can be mapped to any keyboard character or string of characters.

Bundled with the OCR software is PageKeeper Standard (a $39 value) which provides users with the capability to organize, use, and retrieve both scanned and electronic documents in a single desktop. Pages scanned in OmniPage can be saved in PageKeeper and for easy access.

New users will appreciate the enhanced OCR Wizard which prompts the user with questions that will determine the best scanning mode and options. After the page is scanned, the user can re-size the OCR Proofreader so that he or she can see both the scanned image and the processed result on the same screen. $499

Contact: Caere Corp., 100 Cooper Court, Los Gatos, CA 05030, 408 395-7000, 800 535-7226,, fax: 408 354-2743.

OmniForm 3.0 (WIN )

OmniForm 3.0 is a valuable tool for converting printed forms into electronic forms that can be filled-in and added to an on-line database. This new version will convert any printed or electronic form into an editable, electronic form that can be processed on a computer screen, or printed. New forms can also be designed from scratch.

The program uses the Logical Forms Recognition (LFR) technology which recognizes form elements and recreates an editable, electronic version while maintaining the integrity of the original. It recognizes and properly converts graphics, vertical text, circle text objects, grouped check boxes, etc. The Caere OCR engine is highly accurate, providing high productivity.

Electronic forms can contain calculation formulas, type ahead capability (to fill in fields after only a few characters have been typed), and fill-in using a mailable run-time filler (a license for 100 free Mailable Run-time Fillers is included). $149

Contact: Caere Corp., 100 Cooper Court, Los Gatos, CA 05030, 408 395-7000, 800 535-7226,, fax: 408 354-2743.

Addition / Extension Reviews

Kai's Power Tools 5 (KPT 5) (MAC/WIN)

Kai's Power Tools 5 (KPT 5) is the latest version of the legendary set of plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop (and 100% plug-in compatible applications). KPT has a well-deserved reputation for providing extensions to the Photoshop environment that considerably extend the creative limits of the program. With this set of ten new plug-ins (the originals from KPT 3 are included (there was no KPT 4)), the professional designer and illustrator, digital artist or photographer, will find the tools for creating attractive and eye-catching effects, Web and multimedia buttons, banners, backgrounds, and more.

The tool set is divided into three parts: real-time 3D tools, particle growth effects, and professional blurs. The user now has extended control, with both real-time interactive previews and specification by precise numerical values.

New to KPT are the ShapeShifter which creates shapes and objects with refracting glass edges; KPT Orb-IT, which explodes a shape into thousands of spheres; KPT FiberOptix, which creates fiber growth from a selected object; KPT Blurrrr, which contains nine filters to zoom, spin and otherwise distort; KPT RadWarp, which distorts the edges of an image to produce a "barrel distortion"; KPT FraxFlame, which adds real-looking flame effects; and more.

The KPT Smoothie plug-in was originally created as a way of cleaning up a "dirty" fax or scan. It uses inner and outer edge controls to smooth edges and refine lines. A very useful utility to be sure. The SRP is $199; upgrades to registered users are $99.

Contact: MetaCreations, Inc., 6303 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, CA 93013, 805 566-6200,, e-mail:, fax: 805 566-6385.

Xenofex 1.0 (MAC/WIN)

Xenofex 1.0 is a collection of 16 special effect filters for use with Adobe Photoshop and compatible programs. The filter effects are appropriate for print, Web, and multimedia projects, and support CMYK, RGB, grayscale and duotone modes.

The filter effects are truly amazing, yet easy-to-use and control. Among the most incredible are: Lightning, which draws a glowing lightning bolt across the image, with control over the branching, color, and other parameters; Little Fluffy Clouds, which creates a wide range of cloud shapes, and can also generate a variety of snowy, liquid and plastic surfaces; Puzzle, which creates a jigsaw puzzle effect; Baked Earth, which creates a dried, cracked earth effect as well as a range of textures from peeling paint to reptile skin; Television, which simulates the appearance of an old television screen image; Stain, which creates a realistic spilled liquid appearance and can also be used to create realistic burned edges; and Flag, which generates a 3-D rendering of a rippling surface.

All of the filters can be scripted using Photoshop's Actions palette, and the library ships with over 160 preset effects. $129

Contact: Alien Skin Software, LLC, 1100 Wake Forest Rd., Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27604, 919 832-4124, 888-921-SKIN, Internet:, e-mail:, fax: 919 832-4065.

Re:mark (MAC/WIN)

Re:mark is a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat that supports the features necessary for editorial mark-up, revision, and editing of a workgroup document. The software extends the capabilities which are inherent in Acrobat for the electronic gathering of input related to a PDF document. All input from reviewer's becomes a part of the document which are returned to the originator for consideration. The comments can be controlled though several security levels, and up to two sets of passwords can be applied.

Text highlighting tools can be used to select a passage for comment, which would be entered in a comment box which appears when double-clicking over the highlighted area. In addition to indicating corrections and editorial changes in the text using highlighting, strikeout, pop-up comments, and rubber stamps, the user can use a variety of drawing tools to sketch, circle, cross-out, or otherwise draw attention.

Predefined electronic rubber stamps let the user quickly indicate that the document is "approved," "Confidential," "Draft," "Final," "Top Secret," or any of several others.

A reviewer also has the option of attaching any picture, bitmap, sound, movie, spreadsheet, or text file in any position in the PDF document. The attachments become a part of the document and can not easily be separated, although they can be extracted as separate files at any later time.

Sound annotation is easily accomplished using the sound annotation tool. A reviewer can record their comments by voice, in addition to writing or drawing them.

When the document originator receives marked-up documents, he or she can consolidate all of the comments from all reviewers into a master review copy. The comments can be viewed by individual reviewer name, can be grouped together, can be filtered, or can be rendered into the document so that they can be viewed with an ordinary Acrobat reader. $129 for one user.

Contact: Ambia Corporation, Infodata Systems Inc., 12150 Monument Dr., Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033, 800 336-4939,, e-mail:, fax: 703 934-8161.

Aerial (WIN )

Aerial is a plug-in for Adobe Acrobat that provides seven new navigation tools. These tools are Index Manager, which helps to find words rapidly; Quick Tags, which assists in locating page references easily; Go To Document Page, which jumps to an actual page number; Paper Clips, to earmark pages for quick reference; Print View, which prints selected page areas; Copy Table to Clipboard, to copy tabular data into spreadsheets; and PDF to RTF Converter, to extract text and graphics for use in other software. $49

Contact: Ambia Corporation, Infodata Systems Inc., 12150 Monument Dr., Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033, 800 336-4939,, e-mail:, fax: 703 934-8161.

Compose (WIN )

Compose is a production tool for Acrobat documents that automates many valuable tasks. The user can create bookmarks quickly and easily by using the "Bookmarks By Example" tool to scan the document for chapter and section headings, and automatically create a bookmark listing based on the font and style of the example headings. The result is a well-organized set of hierarchical bookmarks.

The "Copy HyperText Links" makes it possible to copy a link, such as "next page," repetitively, on as many pages as needed. This can significantly reduce the time it would take to add such links manually to hundreds or thousands of pages.

The "Document Composer" tools can be used to merge several PDFs into one file. The newly composed document is repaginated and renumbered.

The "PDF Launcher" provides an optional way of opening documents by replacing Acrobat's file selection dialog by a listing of document titles. $495

Contact: Ambia Corporation, Infodata Systems Inc., 12150 Monument Dr., Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033, 800 336-4939,, e-mail:, fax: 703 934-8161.

ScriptMaster XT 1.1 (MAC)

ScriptMaster XT 1.1 is a QuarkXPress Xtension that records actions in the program and produces editable AppleScript. The program contains 16 Power Scripting Dictionaries with features that QuarkXPress itself doesn't support. The program provides virtually unlimited control over the automation of operations in QuarkXPress, offering the potential for savings in both time and money. The program is used by many large publishers, such as the Los Angeles Times which uses it to create 18 editions of their television supplements, totalling 1,500 to 2,600 pages. Production is accomplished with a staff of only eight people. $149

Contact: Jintek, 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123, 619 654-3355,, e-mail:, fax: 619 654-3366.

QuickMenus XT 1.1 (MAC)

QuickMenus XT 1.1 is an Xtension for QuarkXPress that provides user control over the placement, arrangement and contents of the title bar menus. The program extension enables the user to customize their menus with the options and features that they use most. $29

Contact: Jintek, 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123, 619 654-3355,, e-mail:, fax: 619 654-3366.

Twister XT 1.1 (MAC)

Twister XT 1.1 is an Xtension for QuarkXPress that enables users to create two-dimensional typographic effects directly within the Quark environment. Some of the options are setting type on a path, circle, arc or trapezoid; and adding scalable, vector-based drop shadows. Twister-created type can be saved in EPS file format for use in other applications. $49

Contact: Jintek, 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123, 619 654-3355,, e-mail:, fax: 619 654-3366.

3DXPress XT 1.1 (MAC)

3DXPress XT 1.1 is an Xtension for QuarkXPress that enables users to create three-dimensional typographic effects directly in the Quark environment. 3D type can be rotated, colored, filled, kerned, and resized all in its own EPS frame. The Xtension frees the user from creating the effect in a 3D program and importing it into Quark. $99

Contact: Jintek, 3883 Ruffin Road, San Diego, CA 92123, 619 654-3355,, e-mail:, fax: 619 654-3366.

Image Collection Reviews

Design Elements 2.0 (MAC/WIN)

Design Elements 2.0 is a grand collection of stylish, tasteful, and professionally executed EPS format images, all sharing the same sense of graceful, yet precise, design. This is the design library that belongs in every digital publishers personal arsenal of layout and design devices and elements. Each design has a contemporary look, and razor-sharp edges. They are logically grouped into eight sets consisting of Stars, Moons, Suns and Zodiac; Flourishes, Accents and Typographic Devices; Borders and Rules; Motifs, Shapes, and Design Devices; Printers' Ornaments, Dingbats and Designs; Pointers and Arrows; Circular Designs; and Shapes, Designs, and Geometrics.

The selection of design elements in this collection is appropriate for almost every project, making it the essential set of graphic images for every shop, studio and office. The 3,064 images are royalty free, and are held on a single cross-platform CD-ROM. Each image is fully editable in EPS and WMF formats. The user can easily access the images using either a 132-page printed catalog, or an indexed on-screen PDF catalog. Users can simply click on an image in the PDF catalog to have it open automatically in Adobe Illustrator, ready for use as is, or for editing.

The collection has a history dating back to 1981-1984 when four hardcover design reference books, introducing the symbols, from worldwide sources, were published to critical acclaim. Computer users are now fortunate to have the collection available for their own use.

A sampler of 50 free images can be downloaded from the Ultimate Symbol website at $249.95

Contact: Ultimate Symbol Inc., 31 Wilderness Drive, Stony Point, NY 10980, 914 942-0003,, e-mail:, fax: 914 942-0004.

Nature Icons (MAC/WIN)

Nature Icons is a stylized collection of bird, insect, sea life, and plant life images designed primarily by master illustrator and naturalist, Paul Singer. Mr. Singer is the creator of the Audobon Guides, and has herein created a set of 634 royalty-free EPS and WMF images that are scientifically accurate in every essential detail.

Nature Icons is provided on a single cross-platform CD-ROM, with both a printed 32-page catalog and an on-screen Acrobat catalog. Images can be resized to any scale, and can be edited using most vector-based draw programs. Each file has been named using a simple reference system, and, as appropriate, each image is identified by species.

The images are of the quality that would be seen at the best museums and zoos in the world. Ultimate Symbol is known for the consistent quality and value of their graphic collections. $149.95

Contact: Ultimate Symbol Inc., 31 Wilderness Drive, Stony Point, NY 10980, 914 942-0003,, e-mail:, fax: 914 942-0004.

Official Signs & Icons (MAC/WIN)

Official Signs & Icons is an impressive collection of 1,410 EPS/WMF images contained on a single cross-platform CD-ROM. Here in one place the designer and digital publisher finds virtually every sign and iconic representation related to transportation, recreation, warnings, regulation, priority, danger, direction, accommodation, and electronic labeling. This image library is the first attempt, and a very successful one at that, to gather together in one place, with complete design integrity, virtually all of the contemporary symbols used for official marking of environmental and industrial applications.

The images are derived from official sources, including: The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices; The United Nations Conference on Road and Motor Transports; The Society of Environmental Graphic Design; The American Institute of Graphic Design/Department of Transportation; and The Transit Cooperative Research Program/Americans with Disabilities Act.

The symbols were drawn with the oversight of the originating organizations, thus ensuring accuracy. Some of the symbols, such as those in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act, are now available for the first time as a result of this collection.

The royalty-free images are provided in editable vector format which can be processed using most illustration programs. The Macintosh version includes color thumbnails of the files. The 80-page printed catalog not only shows each symbol, but includes some background information on the derivation and use of many of the images. $149.95

Contact: Ultimate Symbol Inc., 31 Wilderness Drive, Stony Point, NY 10980, 914 942-0003, 800 611-4761,, e-mail:, fax: 914 942-0004.

WebPage Graphics (MAC/WIN)

WebPage Graphics is an impressive collection of almost 16,000 royalty-free files and images suitable for Web publishing. The user is provided with 14 page design templates to get the Web site publishing process underway quickly and painlessly. The cross-platform CD-ROM also includes seven other volumes consisting of: Buttons, Tiles, Bullets, Rules, Graphics, Animations, and Sounds (animal, artificial, human, mechanical and musical).

The value of this collection is based on three factors. First, it comes from Ultimate Symbol, one of the most respected sources of graphic design elements. Second, it represents a cohesive set of complementary files that work well together, and help to ensure that a Web site maintains a characteristic look and feel. Third, it is priced reasonably.

A catalog of all of the images is provided in HTML format. Web applications and utilities, including BBEdit, DeBabilizer, GIFConverter, and others are included, as well as try-out versions of several commercial programs. $149.95

Contact: Ultimate Symbol Inc., 31 Wilderness Drive, Stony Point, NY 10980, 914 942-0003, 800 611-4761,, e-mail:, fax: 914 942-0004.

WebSpice 1,000,000 Page Design Edition (ALL)

WebSpice 1,000,000 Page Design Edition is, obviously, a massive collection of digital image assets. It is contained on six cross-platform CD-ROMs. The royalty-free images are provided in a variety of colors, sizes and styles, eliminating the need to manually edit any of the images. All of the images are ready to be pasted, or dragged-and-dropped, into a Web page design.

WebSpice includes a Step-by-Step Design Guide that leads the user through the design process. In addition, an Image Selection Wizard is provided to assist with the task of locating the correct image for a particular need. MRP $149, ESP $99

Contact: DeMorgan Industries Corporation, 618 Serpentine Court, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, 408 782-5900,

WebSpice Objects ()

WebSpice Objects is a collection of GIF objects that are categorized according to subject matter (law, space, nature, etc.) and consist of photos, clipart, backgrounds, rules, words, buttons, arrows, and more. MRP $149, ESP $99

Contact: DeMorgan Industries Corporation, 618 Serpentine Court, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, 408 782-5900,,

WebSpice Themes for Microsoft FrontPage (WIN )

WebSpice Themes for Microsoft FrontPage 98 contains 1,250 professionally-designed themes and templates for applying a professional and consistent look to a single Web page or an entire Web site. It includes color-coordinated Web elements for the rapid creation of personal or business pages. Theme categories include real estate, law, small business, education, dining, etc. MRP $149, ESP $99

Contact: DeMorgan Industries Corporation, 618 Serpentine Court, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, 408 782-5900,,

CD-ROM Reviews

VTC Training CDs (MAC/WIN)

VTC Training CDs are among the best personal training tools available for learning popular computer applications and technologies. Titles which we have recently reviewed include Macromedia Director 5 Lingo ($49.95), Macromedia Director 5 ($49.95), WebMaster (HTML) ($49.95), Adobe FrameMaker 5.5 ($99.95), Adobe Premiere 4.2 ($99.95), Claris FileMaker Pro 3 ($49.95), and Photoshop 4 Techniques ($49.95). Each cross-platform CD contains an entire self-contained course.

All VTC titles include an easy-to-use interface, composed of dozens of lessons, and totalling 6 to 12 hours of QuickTime movies. The movies show the actual application or technology in use, while the narrator clearly explains each operation. The user can start or stop a movie at any point, and can review sections as many times as necessary. Of particular value is the fact that the user can keep the actual software application open while viewing the training lessons. This provides the option of viewing a lesson and then trying it; or when encountering a problem while using an application, then going to the training CD to see how to solve it.

VTC also has one of the most user-friendly upgrade policies in the industry. If the user needs to upgrade to a newer version of their training CD, they may do so for one-half the current retail price, provided that they have registered their original product.

The format of the training CDs makes them a valuable resource for employee training, since they can be accessed for short periods by anyone who has the need. They can be used for learning or reviewing any of the major functions of the applications or technologies which they support. In addition, VTC has started the The Virtual Training Company Online University, wherein Web site visitors can view their choice of training lessons directly from the Web for $25 for 25 hours per month. At $1 per hour, this option is among the most cost-effective available. The Intranet rate, based on a yearly rental, is $500 per application course for up to 500 people (with an additional $1 per seat beyond 500).

A number of demos are available online at no cost.

Every digital publisher should become aware of the training options offered by VTC.

Contact: VTC, 2328E Walsh Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95051, 408 492-1051, 888-TRAIN-CD,, email:

Internet Reviews

Around the Web in 80 Minutes (WIN )

Around the Web in 80 Minutes is a CD-ROM-based instructional program that claims to be the only computer-based training program that interacts with the user in the same way that a real instructor would...that is, by customizing the instruction to the student. The program uses Criterion Referenced Instruction and monitors the student's progress, evaluates what they have learned, and provides the appropriate additional instruction.

The program covers more than 30 different topics, including Internet basics, browsing and searching, e-mail, discussion groups, troubleshooting, and more. $29.95

Contact: GK Intelligent Systems, Inc., Marathon Oil Tower, 555 San Felipe, Suite 625, Houston, TX 77056, 713 840-0301, 888 581-9307,

Freeway 2.0 (MAC)

Freeway 2.0 is perhaps, the most DTP-like Web design tool, providing precise page element placement, and a full set of layout and typography tools. It has proven to be the program of choice for print designers who find it necessary to design for the Web, and especially for QuarkXPress users who will find the interface familiar. Although it is a full-fledged Web tool, no knowledge of HTML coding is necessary. Previous versions of Freeway have been used to produce many truly impressive sites, mainly in Europe (see the gallery at

This new version of Freeway contains over 100 new features and improvements, including: Cascading Style Sheets; built-in FTP uploading; direct importation of HTML from sites produced using other programs; an easy-to-use and powerful implementation of tables; insertion of graphics in HTML text; Distribute command to arrange layout items; customizable Actions to simplify complex scripting for dynamic and interactive Web sites; simplified processes for integrating FileMaker 4 databases; and more. These features are added to a raft of features that were introduced in Freeway 1.0, which included: the Page and Pasteboard environment familiar to designers; dynamic reduction in the number of colors contains in graphics; fine typographic control; support for a wide variety of graphic file formats; multiple master pages; and a full text processing suite with spell-checking and search and replace. $299

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

WebExpress 3.0 (WIN )

WebExpress 3.0 is the latest version of this feature-packed Web site development tool. The program works along side the user's choice of text and image editors, and can support up to two browsers for previewing the final output. Novice users will appreciate the intuitive wizards which support rapid site development, and the WYSIWYG editing tools for manipulating text and graphics. MicroVision has also launched The Web Resource Center, providing resources and valuable links. $69.95

Contact: MicroVision Development, 2185 Faraday Ave., Suite 140, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 438-7781, 800 998-4555,, e-mail:, fax: 760 438-7406.

Utility Reviews

bFAX Pro 4.0 (WIN CE)

bFAX Pro 4.0 is the industry standard fax application for handheld computers running Windows CE 1.0 or 2.0. It supports the easy and efficient faxing of any file that can be printed. The cover page can be customized with a company logo and personalization information. The program has capabilities that are common to full-featured fax programs for desktop computers, including: full send and receive; integration with a contacts database; batch processing of multiple faxes to the same recipient; fax preview to ensure proper formatting and appearance; and the faxing of Pocket Word, text, bitmap and TIFF files. $69.95

Contact: BSQUARE Corporation, 888 820-4500,, e-mail:

HiJaak PRO 4.5 (WIN )

HiJaak PRO 4.5 is a very valuable tool for converting, capturing and organizing digital images. The program supports 85 file formats in raster, vector, metafile and 3D formats. Users can easily convert between formats, and process batches of files without scripting or coding. Support is provided for Macintosh files and PostScript levels 1 and 2.

One of the program's most valuable capabilities is the conversion of raster (bitmap) images to vector. This feature is essential for any work that is printed on wide format printers, or for images that need to be printed in sizes larger than that in which they were created.

The custom screen capture feature supports grabbing full screens, selected screen areas, windows, objects, menus, and most error messages. Timed captures can be programmed in order to grab specific activities. $99.95

Contact: IMSI, 1895 Francisco Blvd. East, San Rafael, CA 94901-5506, 415 257-3000,, fax: 415 257-3565.

BBEdit 5.0 (MAC)

BBEdit 5.0 is the latest version of this leading Macintosh text and HTML editor. BBEdit has a well-deserved reputation for providing a very rich set of text editing tools, enabling the user to perform virtually any text-based manipulation with ease. Early in its product life it was recognized that its text editing capabilities were well-suited to creating and modifying HTML code, and the program has evolved to include many powerful HTML tools and commands.

New to this version is the context-sensitive Tag Maker and the Edit Tag command. These two commands are context-sensitive, and work with an underlying SGML parser that implements an HTML syntax checker. Users are presented only with markup options that are valid within the current working context.

The program contains a built-in FTP feature so that HTML code can be transferred easily to and from a Web server.

A very useful multi-file search feature allows users to "Exclude Matches," that do not conform to a given search criteria, so that only those which do, can be isolated.

The new "Set Menu Keys" command lets the user assign keyboard equivalents to the standard BBEdit menu items, reducing the time and effort necessary to perform operations that are repetitive or used frequently.

Other key features are "Find Differences," which compares files or entire folders; Web page preview in the user's choice of browser; an HTML-aware spell-checker; support for the Web-safe color palette; and the capability to open and display Unix, DOS and Mac text files.

The value of the program as an accessory for Web development tools has been well-proven. Bare Bones provides a discounted cross-upgrade price of $79 to owners of BBEdit Lite, Adobe PageMill/SiteMill, Claris HomePage, GoLive CyberStudio, Microsoft FrontPage, NetObjects Fusion, Metrowerks CodeWarrior, and other qualifying products. $119

Contact: Bare Bones Software, Inc., POB 1048, Bedford, MA 01730, 781-687-0700,, e-mail:, fax: 781-687-0711.

Hard Disk ToolKit 3.0 (MAC)

Hard Disk ToolKit 3.0 is the newest version of this perennial disk utility favorite, now providing compatibility with Mac OS 8.5, iMac and G3. The program can be used to format, mount, test and configure fixed disk and removable cartridge drives. It now features RAID array creation, full HFS+ support, and significant additions to IDE/ATA support, including the capability to alter IDE drive operational settings.

The RAID tools support RAID Levels 0 and 1, as well as device spanning. Free space from two or more devices can be combined to create a single high-performance storage volume. This feature, from the $299.99 RAID ToolKit, is now a part of Hard Disk TookKit 3.0, and at a lower cost.

Other features include: an option for creating Photoshop Scratch partitions; a new and improved user interface; compatibility with over 1000 devices, including SCSI, Fibre channel, and Ultra SCSI-2 cards; improved compatibility with PC Exchange; one-step auto-initialize; native Power PC drivers; password and encryption protection; crisis protection control (bootable CD and diagnostic and drive monitoring tools)and an improved user guide and online help.

The software is provided on a bootable CD that can be used to start-up any G3 or iMac model. $199

Contact: FWB Software, 2750 El Camino Real, Redwood, CA 94061-3911, 650 482-4800,, e-mail:, fax: 650 482-4858.

Investigator 1.2 (WIN )

Investigator 1.2 is a security tool that records a keystroke-by-keystroke log of all keyboard and mouse activity on a given PC . Each activity is time-stamped, and can be installed to run either with, or without, the knowledge of the system user. When invisible, Investigator can not be detected nor turned off by the user. The databases that it produces can be exported to a variety of other applications for further analysis and reporting. $99

Contact: WinWhatWhere Corporation, 925 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336, 509 585-9293,, e-mail:, fax: 509 585-9294.

Conflict Catcher 8.0 (MAC)

Conflict Catcher 8.0 is the best solution for managing, controlling, and maintaining Macintosh system extensions. It is one of the essential programs for the efficient control of any Macintosh running OS 7.5 or higher, providing diagnosis of system crashes, freezes, and performance anomalies. New features include: clicking on a start-up icon to see a description of its use; easy merging of a previous system folder into a clean system folder; on-line usage tips; scanning of any folder for corrupt files; easy updating of system files through direct Internet links to their publishers; and more. $79.95

Contact: Casady & Greene, 22734 Portola Dr., Salinas, CA 93908-1119, 408 484-9228, 800 359-4920,, Internet: c&, fax: 408 484-9218.

QuickView Plus (WIN )

QuickView Plus is a utility that provides the capability to view, copy, and print almost any file or e-mail attachment, regardless if the user has the originating application or not. The program supports over 200 Windows, DOS, Macintosh and Internet file types, displaying the file in its original formatting; with fonts, styles, columns, tables, headers, footers, pages numbers, footnotes, embedded graphics, and OLE objects. The opened document remains searchable, and all or part of the file can be copied and pasted to create a new one. The program, originally published by Inso Corp. is now distributed by JASC. $59

Contact: JASC, POB 44997, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-0997, 612 930-9800, 800 622-2793,, Internet:, fax: 612 930-9172.

Text Cleaner 1.5 (MAC)

Text Cleaner 1.5 is the latest version of this powerful search and replace engine which serves the text formatting requirements of print and Web publishers. It now supports the retention of font styling information, paragraph formatting and entire style sheets when using QuarkXPress tags. Web publishers will appreciate that the program changes text characters with no direct HTML conversion. The program provides control over many text-based tasks, such as removing multiple spaces, returns and tabs; creating curly or straight quotes; creating or removing en and em dashes; removing page breaks, removing email quote symbols; correcting foot and inch measurement marks; and much more. $95

Contact: Studio 405, 6930 Carroll Ave., Suite 710, Takoma Park, MD 20912, 301 270-8445,, e-mail:, fax: 301 270-8446.

Multimedia Reviews

WebSpice Animations (ALL)

WebSpice Animations is a collection of more than 35,000 original and royalty-free images provided on two cross-platform CD-ROMs. The images, which are animated words, objects, buttons, arrows, etc., are typically less than 10K in size, and are provided in a variety of colors, styles, and motions. MRP $149, ESP $99

Contact: DeMorgan Industries Corporation, 618 Serpentine Court, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, 408 782-5900,

Flow! (WIN )

Flow! is an easy-to-use application for creating all sorts of charts and data-flow diagrams. It features a Microsoft Office-compatible interface and ships with predesigned templates and over 6000 pieces of clipart. The design environment is enhanced with over 1000 drag-and-drop symbols, and provides tools for drawing primitive shapes such as rectangles, polygons, ellipses, and stars.

Documents can be exported in several different graphic file formats, including PCX, JPG, TIF, EPS, and PCT. In addition, any chart or diagram can be exported as HTML and posted directly on the Web. Any object or icon in the document can be designated as a hyperlink. $69.95

Contact: IMSI, 1895 Francisco Blvd. East, San Rafael, CA 94901-5506, 415 257-3000,, fax: 415 257-3565.

Multimedia Fusion (WIN )

Multimedia Fusion, derived from Corel's Click & Create program, provides direct access to the production of multimedia applications for the Web, computer-based training guides, games, personalized screen savers, interactive kiosks, and more. The program does not require programming nor scripting.

The package includes thousands of multimedia images, music clips, animation, and sound files that can be assembled in projects by dragging-and-dropping them into the Frame Editor. Completed projects can be delivered to any Windows platform (3.1x, 95, 98, NT) or to the Web using the Vitalize browser plug-in. $99.95

Contact: IMSI, 1895 Francisco Blvd. East, San Rafael, CA 94901-5506, 415 257-3000,, fax: 415 257-3565.

Cool Edit Pro 1.1 (WIN )

Cool Edit Pro is a digital audio recorder, editor, and mixer supporting up to 64 tracks. The program is sophisticated enough to work with virtually any sound card, and essentially converts a PC into a competent recording studio, with many professional capabilities. The program supports the importing and exporting of more than 20 file formats. The user has access to more than 30 DSP effects (more than any other wave-editing program), three kinds of noise reduction, and six kinds of filters and equalizers. It also supports ActiveMovie and DirectX plug-ins, so that it can take advantage of third-party extensions. A demo version is available at their Web site, and a shareware version, Cool Edit 96 is available for $50. $399

Contact: Syntrillium Software Corporation, POB 62255, Phoenix, AZ 85082-2255, 602 941-4327,, e-mail:, fax: 602 941-8170.

Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Effects (WIN )

Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Effects is a low-cost application aimed at the home market, but containing effects that are useful for professionals. Among the effects and manipulations possible are: edge effects; paint-like transformations; addition of artistic or classic frames; antique, digitize, mural, spotlight, soft focus, jigsaw puzzle, shadow, emboss, duotone, enhanced black and white, and other effects; darkroom effects, such as dust, scratch, and red-eye elimination; special text effects; and more. A selection of stock photos and creative home projects are included. $49.95

Contact: Streetwise Software, 2116 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 230, Santa Monica, CA 90403, 30 829-7827,, fax: 31 828-8258.

Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Artist (WIN )

Professor Franklin's Instant Photo Artist is the kind of program that can easily help to sell digital image capture devices, such as cameras and scanners. The program lets the user easily convert a digital photo into an image that appears to have been painted, in any of a variety of different classic styles. Very neat, very fast, very easy. After the conversion is complete the user can enter the Design Studio and select from a variety of personal projects, such as calendars and greeting cards. $39.95

Contact: Streetwise Software, 2116 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 230, Santa Monica, CA 90403, 30 829-7827,, fax: 31 828-8258.

PhotoMontage (WIN )

PhotoMontage produces the interesting effect of selecting and arranging thousands of tiny micro-images to recreate the detail of a single image. From a distance the montage appears to show the detail of the original photo...up-close the viewer can see that the image is composed of thousands of micro-images. This effect has been used on movie posters, magazine covers, and national advertisements. The program includes the ArcSoft Mega Collection of over 20,000 micro-images, to which users can add their own images. The finished PhotoMontage can include captions, personal signatures, logos, and even a "hidden treasure" image. The completed image can be printed on a color inkjet or laser printer, or as a full-sized poster using a service provider. $79.95

ArcSoft also sponsors the PhotoIsland Web site The site amasses information and resources of interest to digital photographers and imagemakers.

Contact: ArcSoft, Inc., 46601 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538, 510 440-9901, 800 762-8657,,, fax: 510 440-1270.

Auraline Multimedia Creation Kit 1.6 (WIN )

Auraline Multimedia Creation Kit 1.6 is a low-cost multimedia authoring environment that supports the creation of Java-enabled special effects, animation, sound and interactivity on any Web page. Among the program's features are: extensive control over GIF animations; conversion of GIF animations as Java applets; an integrated FTP capability; a media library of over 1000 GIF and JAVA animations, plus templates, sound effects, buttons, backgrounds, and more. The program uses an innovative Timeline event scheduling window interface that uses icons to symbolize graphics, text, sound, interactive links, logic commands, Web links and hotspots. A separate Page Layout window lets the user position these elements on the screen. No plug-ins or scripting are required. $49.95

Contact: NEC Technologies, Inc., 1255 Michael Dr., Wood Dale, IL 60191, 708 860-9500, 800 366-0476.

Liquid Pics (WIN )

Liquid Pics is an image manipulation program that supports the liquidification of digital images. Faces can be distorted in humorous to grotesque ways by using any of more than 30 effects. Photos can be loaded from a digital camera, video source, scanner, or from a file (BMP, FlashPix, JPEG, Photo CD, Targa, TIF, or PNG). Basic image enhancement tools are provided for brightness, contrast, color balance, size and rotation. Morphing effects can be saved as filmstrips and used in presentations or as screen savers. Finished effects can be printed or sent as e-mail. $49

Contact: Software Dynamics GmbH, Am Fallturm 5, 28359 Bremen, Germany, +49 (0)421 20266-6,, e-mail:, fax: +49(0)421 20266-99.

ThumbsPlus (MAC/WIN)

ThumbsPlus is a low-cost digital asset management application that supports the storage and retrieval of over 70 file formats, plus offers several collateral file utilities. A user can store detailed information about each image, edit images, batch process, apply watermarks, print catalogs, create contact sheets, generate Web pages of thumbnail images, and more. $79.95

Contact: Cerious Software, Inc., 1515 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 1000, Charlotte, NC 28209, 704 529-0200,, fax: 704 529-0497.

Visual Thunder for Presentations Version 2.0 (WIN )

Visual Thunder for Presentations Version 2.0 is a collection of over 400 professionally-designed presentation slide templates for use with Microsoft PowerPoint (Versions 7.0 and 8.0). The images are provided with an easy-to-use interface that simplifies the process of transferring them into PowerPoint. The package also includes headers, clip art, buttons, textures, photos, and sounds. $89.95

Contact: Muddy Shoes Software, LLC, 342 Lageschulte St., Barrington, IL 60010, 847 381-3695,, fax: 847 381-7762.

PhotoRecall Deluxe 2.0 (WIN )

PhotoRecall Deluxe 2.0 is a digital asset management system that supports the storage of digital photos and other images and asset types either within the program's database, or with links to the actual asset location. The main storage and retrieval function is supported with the Darkroom, in which elementary image enhancement can be performed, and the UtilityRoom, where images can be compressed, repaired, backed-up, or restored. $49.95

Contact: G&A Imaging Ltd., 975 St. Joseph Blvd., Hull, QC, Canada J8Z 1W8, 819 772-7600,, e-mail:, fax: 819 772-7640.

Paper PhotoCube (WIN )

Paper PhotoCube is the computer-generated printed version of the familiar plastic photocube that is used to display snapshots. This photocube is produced from digital photos that the user selects from the Paper PhotoCube visual interface, and then prints, cuts, and assembles. The resulting creation is ready for display. $29.95

Contact: TriVista Technologies, Inc., 1444 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora, IL 60505, 630 820-5750,, e-mail:, fax: 630 585-1903.

3D ImageCube (WIN )

3D ImageCube is the computer version of the plastic photocube used to display snapshots. This display of photos, however, is interactive, and displayable on the Web. The user simply selects the digital photos to be placed on the faces of the cube and generates the Web-ready file. The Web visitor can manipulate the cube using the mouse, or simple controls. Each of the images can be linked to other Web locations. $19.95

Contact: TriVista Technologies, Inc., 1444 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora, IL 60505, 630 820-5750,, e-mail:, fax: 630 585-1903.

3D ImageScene (WIN )

3D ImageScene is a novel program for sharing digital photos on the Web. The user selects up to 32 digital images, which the software automatically crops and reduces to display in a 3D scene, such as a carousel card rack, billboard-lined highway, photo album, or an art gallery. The user uses a wizard interface to produce a Web file which appears as one of the selected 3D environments when published. The Web site visitor simply clicks on one of the small images to reveal the full-sized photo image. $49.95

Contact: TriVista Technologies, Inc., 1444 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora, IL 60505, 630 820-5750,, e-mail:, fax: 630 585-1903.

Paint Shop Pro 5 (WIN )

Paint Shop Pro 5 is a sophisticated graphics program aimed at the prosumer, professional designer, and the business user. It contains tools and functions to design and produce graphics for print, Web, and presentation applications; utilities to import, enhance, and export in a wide variety of file formats; and manipulation and adjustment tools to optimize image appearance.

Among the professional features in the program are: support for multiple image layers; redo and multiple-level undo, with a viewable history window; support for Adobe file format plug-ins; a free-form deformation tool controlling scale, rotation, skewing and perspective; retouching brushes with dodge, burn, saturate, and hue modes; Smart Edge selection options; output and printing of CMYK color separations; and much more. A full evaluation copy is available for download at $99

Contact: JASC, POB 44997, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-0997, 612 930-9800, 800 622-2793,, Internet:, fax: 612 930-9172.

Color It! 4.0 (MAC)

Color It! 4.0 is a low-cost, yet feature-rich image editing program appropriate for both print and Web publishing. Among its features are: support for the creation and editing of animated GIFs; radial gradients; clipping paths; creation and editing of image maps; support for several files formats, including Progressive JPEG and PNG; 16 levels of undo; Photoshop-compatible import and filter plug-ins; CMYK four-color separations; the Auto Enhance filter, used to improve image quality; filters to remove dust, scratches and red-eye; direct access to images through image thumbnails; support for Wacom pads; and much more.

The program requires only 3MB of RAM, and can run on older Macintoshes (68020 or greater). $49.95

Contact: MicroFrontier, 3401 101st St., Suite E, Des Moines, IA 50322, 515 270-8109, 800 388-8109,, e-mail:, fax: 515 278-6828.

Organica (MAC)

Organica is a 3-D modeling program that features realtime rendering. It uses a unique metaball modeler that simplifies the construction of complex objects by breaking them down into smaller modules. The resulting images can be used for print, Web or multimedia projects, either for still or animated applications. $299

Contact: Impulse, Inc., 7250 Peak Drive, #102, Las Vegas, NV 89128, 702 948-1100,

Digita Camera Operating System (MAC/WIN)

The In-Camera Operating System. Although there are several methods of utilizing images stored in digital imaging devices, such as digital cameras, most of them require some degree of after-transfer processing to render the image in the form that the user will eventually use. The first in-camera operating system, called the Digita OS is extensible and upgradeable, and provides a set of on-board capabilities that interface with a companion software application called the Digita Desktop, which is installed on the host Macintosh or Windows PC. The first Digita-enabled cameras were introduced in 1998 by Kodak, Minolta, and Sharp.

The Digita OS provides a simple in-camera menu-driven interface which allows the user to modify an image, add voice or text annotations store or print images, without being connected to a personal computer. The interface is graphical and intuitive, and additional capabilities can be added by the user through the use of after-market plug-ins and scripts. Digita Script, used mainly by vendors, is the development language used to expand the capabilities of any Digita-enabled imaging device.

One of the advantages of using a Digita-driven digital camera (or imaging device) is that the software can be upgraded by the vendor, or enhanced by adding third-party features. The capability to add new camera features through software is an important innovation, one which extends the useful life of the camera which contains it, and offers vendors additional ways to differentiate their products. In addition, vendors can concentrate on the development of hardware, knowing that the Digita OS can be modified easily to accommodate any hardware feature. Users benefit too, in that all Digita-enabled cameras operate in a similar way, thus eliminating the learning curve for a new model. Likewise, devices such as printers, stand-alone storage systems, kiosks, other cameras, TVs, and other imaging peripherals can be made to support the Digita OS, thus simplifying the connection of a Digita-enabled imaging device.

The Digita Desktop, which resides on the host PC , provides the basic function of serving images to other applications that may contain sophisticated image manipulation capabilities. Although the Digita OS virtually frees the camera from the usual dependence on a host PC, users will often find that the only way to accomplish a particular digital operation will be from within a personal computer environment. The baseline capabilities of the Digita Desktop include elementary image editing, storage, on-screen, and the remote control of a tethered camera. Since the Desktop, like other components of the Digita OS are extensible, a vendor can enhance the application with whatever feature set that it elects to add.

The Digita OS is derived from software components developed at Apple Computer, Inc., based on QuickTime technology. It was conceived in 1990, and named QuickTime IC (image capture). In 1995 Apple tried unsuccessfully to interest its competitors in licensing the technology, and in 1996, sold it to Stan Fry, who hired a small group of the Apple QuickTime IC engineers and formed FlashPoint Technology, Inc.

Contact: FlashPoint Technology, Inc., 152 N. Third Street, Suite 800, San Jose, CA 95112, 888 820-3644, 408 795-4900,, fax: 408 795-5050.

Entertainment Reviews

PhotoFantasy 2.0 (WIN )

PhotoFantasy 2.0 is a consumer product for combining digital photos with a wide variety of fantasy backgrounds. This new version supports the creation of the user's own backgrounds, using scanned images from magazine covers, ads, posters, calendars, and other sources. The package includes over 200 humorous backgrounds from a wide variety of sources. Users can insert their own faces, with controls over brightness, contrast and saturation. The completed images can be printed or e-mailed. $49.95

Contact: ArcSoft, Inc., 46601 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538, 510 440-9901, 800 762-8657,,, fax: 510 440-1270.

Miscellaneous News and Reviews

Starry Night Deluxe 2.1 (MAC/WIN)

Starry Night Deluxe 2.1 is a sky simulation tool that can display an accurate recreation of the sky from any point on earth. Users can travel from 4713 BC to 9999 AD and see over 19 million stars, view constellations, trace orbits, and create star charts. Among its features are: view from anywhere in the solar system; Internet enabled; magnification up to 600,000 times; object information windows; QuickTime movie tool; and more. $89.95

Contact: Sienna Software, Inc., 411 Richmond St. East, Suite 303, Toronto, ON, Canada M5A 3S5, 416 410-0259, 800 252-5417,, e-mail:, fax: 416 410-0359.

Pilot Goodies Volume 1 (PILOT)

Pilot Goodies Volume 1 contains a large collection of programs for the PalmPilot PDA. The collection is accessed through the BreEZe Interface, which has been created to make it easier for Windows users to install Pilot software. The user simply selects from the program categories (education, communications, utilities, travel, graphics, business, leisure, etc.), selects the programs, clicks the download button, and presses the HotSync button on the connected PalmPilot. The package includes a free retractable Pilot stylus (a $19.95 value). $34.95

Pilot Island will be releasing in early 1999 the PlamParrot, a snap-on sound system for the PalmPilot that will support voice recording and playback, voice recognition, and other features. Pricing has not been announced.

Contact: Pilot Island Publishing, Inc., 123 South Woodland St., Winter Garden, FL 34787, 407 877-0017,, fax: 407 877-9171.

Book Reviews

Windows 98 Secrets Gold

Livingston, Brian; Davis Straub

A boxed set consisting of a 1200+ page book and four CD-ROMs covering virtually every aspect of the Windows 98 operating system with tips, hints, tricks and techniques for making efficient use of its capabilities. The CDs contain over 400 shareware and freeware programs, and the entire book contents are provided on a searchable electronic version.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-3207-3 1200 pp. $69.99

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

Race for Bandwidth, The

Lu, Cary

The first book dedicated to the subject of bandwidth, that essential measure of how much digital information can be transmitted from one point to another. The author covers all aspects of bandwidth, from its definition and types, to its economic value and future forms.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-57231-513-X 199 pp. $19.99

Contact: Microsoft Press, POB 3019, Bothell, WA 98041-9910

Microsoft Windows 98 Starts Here: Interactive Multimedia Training

Microsoft Press

A self-contained interactive multimedia training course consisting of three CD-ROM-based courses. This official Microsoft training program covers an Introduction to Windows 98, Communicating and Collaborating, and Keeping Your Computer Healthy. Each course consists of a series of self-paced lessons which actually use Windows 98. The package contains over 30 step-by-step video-enhanced lessons comprising over 10 hours of instruction. The learner can select specific lessons using the fast search tools, and is assisted by context-sensitive help and an easy navigation system. Self-assessment quizzes are provided for each lesson.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-57231-698-5 $29.99

Contact: Microsoft Press, POB 3019, Bothell, WA 98041-9910

Complete Idiot's Guide to Windows 98, The

McFedries, Paul

An easy-to-understand approach to using Microsoft Windows 98. The author uses a nontechnical and nonthreatening treatment to introduce Windows 98 operation and customization. Major topics include: A tour of Windows 98; What's New in Windows 98; Basic Operations; Customizatin; File Maintenance and Navigation; The Internet Connection; Basic Applications; System Maintenance and Troubleshooting; and Networking.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7897-1493-0 388 pp. $14.99

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

Alan Simpson's Windows 98 Bible

Simpson, Alan

A massive compilation of Microsoft Windows 98 information, logically arranged, and handsomely presented. Every Windows 98 task and function is covered, including several esoteric operations, such as adding multiple monitors, or using DVD. Hundreds of diagrams and illustrations help to clarify technical issues and make them easier for novice users to understand. The accompanying CD-ROM contains over 160 shareware programs in several categories.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-3192-1 1112 pp. $39.99

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

Windows 98 Installation & Configuration Handbook

Tidrow, Rob

A clear and complete guide to the technical side of Microsoft Windows 98. The author is an expert in the field of Windows system management, and provides coverage of all aspects of the Windows 98 operating system. The accompanying CD-ROM contains additional tips, techniques, and in-depth technical information.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7897-1510-4 652 pp $39.99

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

Microsoft Windows 98 Companion

Matthews, Martin

A guide to the practical use of Microsoft Windows 98 for the typical office user. The author reveals the use of the operating system in a systematic and logical order for the new user, introducing more advanced topics after the reader has mastered the basics.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-57231-931-3 663 pp. $29.99

Contact: Microsoft Press, POB 3019, Bothell, WA 98041-9910

Master Windows 98 Visually


A primarily visual guide to learning the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system. Each page contains two or more screen graphics which clearly show the topic under discussion. This approach is not only helpful for the visual learner, it is helpful for any learner. Step-by-step instructions are clearly provided for accomplishing common operations which are considered important for every Windows 98 user. The accompanying CD-ROM contains a version of the book in Acrobat PDF, as well as the Web links mentioned in the book, and several utility programs.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-6034-4 713 pp. $39.99

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

Inside Windows 98, Second Edition

Boyce, Jim

A guide for the savvy user who needs to go beyond the basic operation of Windows 98. The author provides in-depth information on the sophisticated, technical details related to the advanced technologies associated with the operating system. A considerable amount of information is provided on networking and collaborative computing.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-56205-788-X 928 pp. $39.99

Contact: New Riders Publishing, P.O. Box 4846-V, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.

Windows 98 Unleased, Professional Reference Edition

McFedries, Paul

A massive tome covering all aspects of the Windows 98 operating system. The author, an acknowledged expert, covers every possible topic with an in-depth explanation. The accompanying CD-ROM contains the Microsoft Tech Net Sampler, four additional technical reference chapters, a Windows 98 Knowledge Base, and a collection of shareware and freeware.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-672-31224-7 1389 pp. $54.99

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

Using Windows 98, Platium Edition

Bott, Ed; Ron Person

A comprehensive, indexed guide to all aspects of the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system. The text is supported by two accompanying CD-ROMs which contain the Que Windows 98 and Windows NT Knowledge Base, the Windows 98 resource list of vendors, a Windows 98 library of shareware and freeware, and the Microsoft TechNet Sampler of technical support information.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7897-1498-2 1108 pp. $49.99

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

Workflow Reengineering

Poyssick, Gary; Steve Hannaford

The first serious study of the process of planning and producing text and graphic materials via digital prepress, for multimedia, press, and the Internet. The authors explain what workflow encompasses, and how it can be implemented and controlled to affect every aspect of the business operation. Several case studies are presented, as are a series of Process Improvement Points (PIPs).

Available for on-line ordering at

1-56830-265-7 254 pp. $30

Contact: Adobe Press, Prentice Hall, 113 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Pocket Guide to Digital Printing

Cost, Frank

A handy reference to the entire digital printing process, from the generation of the digital image, to the variety of printing output options. The author provides many examples and illustrations, along with clear explanations. Sections include: Digital Documents, Printing Processes, Rendering Digital Documents, and Digital Printing Applications. An extensive glossary is included.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-7592-1 258 pp. $14.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc. 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015 Albany, NY 12212

Pocket Guide to Digital Prepress

Romano, Frank

A compact yet weighty volume covering virtually every aspect of the digital prepress process. The author provides an historical base for the latest technologies. This authoritative work, written by renowned expert Frank Romano, provides a clear and understandable treatment of the technology applied to each step in the prepress process.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-7198-5 336 pp. $14.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc., 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015, Albany, NY 12212.

Delmar's Dictionary of Digital Printing & Publishing

Romano, Frank J.

A concise yet thorough collection of over 6,000 terms related to the area of digital printing and publishing. The author explains complex technical concepts with clarity, providing an insider's explanation of industry-accepted jargon. The book is an essential part of every digital publisher's library.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-7990-0 674 pp. $34.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc., 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015, Albany, NY 12212.

Graphic Communications: design through production

Greenwald, Martin; John Luttropp

A textbook covering both the historical development and contemporary application of graphic communication methods. The authors provide a very good foundation for a full understanding of the printing and publishing production cycle. Numerous photographs and illustrations support the text.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-6459-8 411 pp. $52.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc., 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015, Albany, NY 12212.

Graphic Design Solutions

Landa, Robin

A well-illustrated step-by-step guide to the process of designing graphic images. The author covers the basic components of design, the effective use of type, how to produce a layout, and how to design specific categories of work (i.e. logos, posters, packaging, etc.). Twelve pages of color are included.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-6352-4 299 pp. $49.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc., 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015, Albany, NY 12212.

Electronic Prepress: A Hands-on Introduction

Parsons, Bill

A short, yet useful, guide to the electronic prepress process. Chapters include the desktop publishing and prepress process, desktop publishing hardware, electronic prepress and service bureaus, the basics of digital color and color reproduction, scanning and image manipulation, and page layout and proofing. Appendices cover the standard graphic reproduction processes and provide a listing of associations and magazines.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-6449-0 180 pp. $39.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc., 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015, Albany, NY 12212.

Printing in a Digital World

Bergsland, David

An introductory textbook covering the entire contemporary printing process, with an emphasis on electronic prepress operations. Projects and exercises are included in each chapter. The author uses a large number of illustrations, making the introduction of new information more understandable for those new to the field.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-7280-9 514 pp. $46.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc., 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015, Albany, NY 12212.

Desktop Publishing StyleGuide

Devall, Sandra Lentz

A highly useful reference covering virtually every aspect of desktop publishing layout, design, and style. The book provides a broad foundation for the procedures and methods employed in contemporary electronic publishing. Numerous illustrations and examples are provided. Sample chapters include: Establishing a Process, Living with the Software, Type Formatting Information, Typefaces and Their Uses, Quality Control Methods, and Web Design Packages.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-8273-7900-5 453 pp. $29.95

Contact: Delmar Publishers Inc., 2 Computer Drive West, Box 15-015, Albany, NY 12212.

Training Guide MCSE Core Exams Second Edition

Maione, Dennis; Glenn Berg, Jason Sirockman, Edward Tetz

A massive four-volume library covering the core examinations which are a part of the Microsoft MCSE certification for networking. The volumes include: Windows NT Server 4 (second edition), Windows NT Server 4 Enterprise (second edition), Windows NT Workstation 4 (second edition), and Networking Essentials (second edition). A bonus CD-ROM is included which contains the complete electronic version of the MCSE Training Guide: Windows 95. Each guide includes exam tips, study strategies, step-by-step strategies, case studies, summaries, review breaks, review questions, exam questions, hands-on exercises, practice exams, and Top Score software which simulates the exam situation that the testee will encounter at the testing center.

Available for on-line ordering at

1-56205-926-2 1000+ pp. $149.99

Contact: New Riders Publishing, P.O. Box 4846-V, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.

Teach Yourself More Windows 98 Visually


An attractive visual guide to learning many of the advanced capabilities of Windows 98. The full-color illustrations are clear and easy-to-follow. The reader learns mainly from the pictures...text is kept to a minimum. Step-by-step procedures are presented for accomplishing such things as Working with Files, Using Windows Accessories, Customizing Windows, Optimizing and Troubleshooting the Computer, and much more.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-6044-1 287 pp. $29.99

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

The Official Excite Internet Yellow Pages

Robinson, Cheri; Earl Jackson, Jr., Scott Davis

A directory of over 2000 Internet resources accessed through the Excite search engine, which have been indexed, categorized, rated, and reviewed. Dozens of general categories are presented, from Automobiles to Travel. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains all of the reviews, plus quick-click access to the actual sites.

Available for on-line ordering at

0-7645-3145-X 890 pp. $34.99

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

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Copyright and Distribution Information

Copyright and Distribution Information

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