The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing - Issue 6.1 January / February 2001

Issue 6.1 January / February 2001

This issue of KDP is sponsored by:


Productivity Reviews

ThinkFree Office (MAC)
ThinkFree Office is a Java application that has been optimized for the Internet, and consists of a family of Microsoft Office-compatible productivity solutions. The applications are fully functional both online and offline, and usable from dial-up and broadband connections.

ThinkFree redefines the notion of work, moving from a "desktop" to a "Webtop" metaphor. In the Webtop world the user no longer has to install and maintain software. They simply download the ThinkFree Office (less than 10 MB) from the Internet, and use it, online or offline. This method lets the user work from any computer, and access and work on any files, anywhere.

The recent announcement of Macintosh support includes the following applications:
* Write, a WYSIYWG Microsoft Word compatible word processor/HTML editor.
* Calc, a Microsoft Excel compatible spreadsheet.
* Show, a Microsoft PowerPoint compatible presentation graphics program.
* Webtop, a file manager similar to Microsoft Windows Explorer used to navigate and manage documents in local folders or in the secure ThinkFree Cyberdrive.

This anytime, anywhere computing application, usable from any browser, from any computer, and any platform, is $49.95 per user, per year.

Contact: Corp., 19200 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 100, Cupertino, CA 95014, 408 861-9494,, fax: 408 861-9595.

Scriptology FileMaker Pro Demystified (MAC/WIN)
Scriptology FileMaker Pro Demystified, by Matt Petrowsky and John Mark Osborne, is an instructional book and companion CD for learning advanced FileMaker database techniques related to scripting, calculations, interface design, and relationships. The hands-on book shows how to perform hundreds of useful processes that enhance FileMaker databases and make them more useful and productive. Some examples are a calculation that formats phone numbers correctly regardless of how they are input; a calculation that generates a random number between user selected values; a calculation that generates registration numbers for a FileMaker solution to prevent pirating; a combination that validates credit cards using a script; a combination that generates random passwords; an interface technique that generates a progress bar when a long task is conducted; a scripting technique for sending e-mail to everyone in a database; and many more. $79.99

Contact: ISO Productions Inc., 6600 Silacci Way, Gilroy, CA USA 95020, 800 958-8999, 408 848-1054,, e-mail:, fax: 408 848-5784.

Scriptology Developer's Tool Kit (MAC/WIN)
Scriptology Developer's Tool Kit is a set of four CDs, three video (over ten hours of QuickTime movies) and one audio, that provide advanced instruction by one of the most competent and respected FileMaker experts, Matt Petrowsky. The kit is aimed at providing FileMaker database developers with the necessary information to construct better solutions, and to do so quicker and more efficiently. The package includes ready-to-use templates, resource tools, and interface resources. In addition, several useful databases are included: The Code Database, containing calculations and scripts which can be added to a user's databases; The Graphics Database, consisting of hundreds of icons for adding to an interface design; The Layouts Database, consisting of layout components that can be copied and pasted; The Conversion Database, containing tools to convert AppleScript code into calculation compatible forms; The Plug-in Database, consisting of an external-function statement generator that can be used to take advantage of powerful third-party plug-ins; and the Documentation Database, for controlling the development process. This is an entire course in a thin compact package. $499.99

Contact: ISO Productions Inc., 6600 Silacci Way, Gilroy, CA USA 95020, 800 958-8999, 408 848-1054,, e-mail:, fax: 408 848-5784.

Project KickStart Version 3.0 (WIN )
Project KickStart Version 3.0 is a management program designed for brainstorming, planning and scheduling the elements that compose a project. The program leads the user through eight steps:

One. Name the project. Although fairly obvious, this step, like all others, includes an Advisor button that presents useful information. In this case the suggestion is to use a short but descriptive name and to avoid vague or unclear project names.

Two. Break the project into logical phases or sequences.

Three. Enumerate the goals and objectives.

Four. Compare to similar projects. The user can drag and drop task listings from previous projects.

Five. Identify the people who will perform the tasks.

Six. Determine the obstacles and risks and then consider how to avoid them.

Seven. Assign the tasks to the people.

Eight. Examine the overall plan and list of tasks.

Using the Gantt chart tab the user can enter start and finish dates and interactively drag the task bar to adjust the estimated completion times. The program is suitable for most small to mid-sized projects and can be linked to more full-featured and heavy duty programs such as Microsoft Project, FastTrack Schedule and Milestones 2000.

Elements of the project can be included in a variety of reports by using the built-in Reports editor, or by using direct links to Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel. $129.95

Contact: Experience in Software, Inc., 2000 Hearst Ave., Suite 202, Berkeley, CA 94709, 510 644-0694, 800 678-7008, fax: 510 644-3823.

Power Drawers 2000 (WIN )
Power Drawers 2000 is an interface enhancement for the Windows OS that provides a faster and easier method of organizing and accessing all Windows files. Although it doesn't replace the Windows Explorer, users will gradually migrate to Power Drawers 2000 due mainly to its unique PowerOrganizer feature, which makes it possible to arrange files for easier access, while simultaneously removing desktop clutter.

Among the program's other features are: content viewers that show a preview of graphic, document, folder, and drive contents without actually opening them; a screen saver with password protection to lock down the workstation; a precise display of the free and used space for folders and drives; quick access to recently-used files, programs and folders; VirtualFolders which make it easier to view large folders; and the Start Button Desktop Menu to reach and file or folder faster. The program has its own site at $34.95

Contact: Dynamic Karma, Inc., P. O. Box 53506, 310-777 Royal Oak Drive, Victoria, BC Canada V8X 5K2, 250 721-2206,, fax: 250 721-1191.

Addition / Extension Reviews

Effects Packs (MAC)
Effects Packs are a series of inexpensive special effects, filters and transitions that can be applied to QuickTime movies from within such popular video editing programs as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, QuickTime Player Pro, and Movie Player Pro. The packs include:

QuickTime Effects Pack consisting of six effects and four transitions. The effects include Color Pass, which changes all except one color to black and white; Camcorder, which puts the camcorder viewfinder image framing corner marks on a selected scene; Video Noise, which adds a grainy quality or simulated static effect; Contrast and Brightness, which can be changed over time; Negative, to invert images; and Color Replace to change a selected color to another color. $30

Effects Pack #2 includes ten effects, including Flip, which lets the user flip the image horizontally, vertically, or in both directions; Gamma, which changes the gamma of the movie for better viewing on a particular computer platform; Jittery TV, which simulates the look of an old TV with poor reception; Median, which eliminates dust and scratches while maintaining image quality; Mosaic, which converts the movie into a pattern of tiles over all or a selected part of the movie (such as to conceal a person's face); Polar, to bend and warp the image; Psycho Spin, to add a psychedelic spinning trail; Scoreboard, to simulate a scoreboard or theatre marquee; Strobe, to create the illusion that the image was filmed under strobe light conditions; and Texturizer, to apply any image as a texture to a given movie. $30

Effects Pack #3 is composed of ten video components. Among the filters is Invert HSV, to create a variety of off-beat color effects; Fractal, to create computer generated image effects such as the Mandelbrot Zoom and the Julia Exploration; Filter Factory, which is provided as a series of sliders that can be set to produce custom filters; and Motion, to pan around a still image or to transition between two clips. The pack also includes six video compositing tools including Blue or Green Screen, Luminance Key, Difference Matte, Super Chroma Key, Garbage Matte, and Super Alpha Compositor. $30

The Web site includes examples of most filters as well as trial versions.

Contact: Buena Software, 1621 Whitehall Ct., Wheeling, IL 60090, 847 537-4629,

Image Collection Reviews

Art Explosion 750,000 for Macintosh (MAC)
Art Explosion 750,000 for Macintosh is big by every descriptor that can be applied. It is the heaviest software box that we have encountered, and contains 48 CD-ROMs (or optionally five DVD-ROMs), containing 29 gigabytes of digital assets, and an 1800 page, two-volume, indexed image catalog. Eighty percent of the royalty-free images are in color, and 65% are in vector (EPS) file format, so that they can be scaled to any size. The remainder are in TIFF, JPEG, and GIF file formats. Each graphic has a full-length Macintosh name rather than a cryptic 8-character DOS name which is typical of other collections.

Images can be browsed in an on-screen image browser, and dragged and dropped directly into a compatible application. Included in the breakdown of images is 5000 CAD graphics and symbols, 72,000+ high-resolution classic and traditional black-and-white images, 195,000+ vector images, 35,000 raster images, 113,000 24-bit color photos, 15,000 high-resolution (240 dpi) photos, 8,000 backgrounds, 300,000 Web graphics and animations, and 1800 TrueType and PostScript fonts from Agfa and Bitstream. As an added bonus the package includes the standard edition of Deneba's Canvas 7, a complete creative environment for page layout, illustration, Web design, and image editing.

Unlike other image packages that boast an incredible number of graphics in their collection, but require the user to download a significant number from a Web site (and often limit the amount of time in which users are allowed to do so), Art Explosion 750,000 for Macintosh includes all of the images in the box, without restrictions or the need to pay an additional amount for on-line access.

The package is an embarrassment of much for such a modest amount of money. It is a wise investment for the savvy digital publisher. $199.95

Contact: Nova Development Corporation, 23801 Calabasas Road, Suite 2005, Calabasas, CA 91302-1547, 800 395-6682, 818 591-9600,, fax: 818 591-8885.

Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Premium Image Collection for Mac (MAC)
Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Premium Image Collection for Mac is unique in several ways. (Here we repeat our review of the original Windows version.) The massive collection of royalty-free images, contained on eight CDs, is billed as "the next generation of clip art." It 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 versatile way. 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. $84.99

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

The World of Special Backgrounds (MAC/WIN)
The World of Special Backgrounds is a collection of 50 royalty free images, each approximately 4961 x 3508 pixels, CMYK. The images are bright, contemporary and colorful. They represent natural textures, scenes, designs, and objects that serve as effective backgrounds for a wide variety of applications. Pricing information is available directly from the publisher.

Contact: Dance & Jump Software Co., Ltd., 8F, No. 8, Lane 7, Wu-Chuan Road, Wu-Ku Industrial Park, Taipei County, Taiwan, R.O.C., 886-2-2298 ex. 327,, e-mail:, fax: 886-2-2298-2266.

Autograph Series-Proto:Type (MAC/WIN)
Autograph Series-Proto:Type is one of a number of new royalty-free CDs in a refreshing and innovative collection from London. This volume, consisting of 85 totally unique images (50 images and 35 color-separated backgrounds), all involving the creative use of type, was photographed and designed by Paul Price. Digital publishing professionals will appreciate that the images are provided in CMYK TIFF format for accurate and rapid imagesetting, and to eliminate the problems inherent in RGB-toCMYK conversion. The Proto:Type images defy description, and should be previewed on-line ( The images incorporate vivid color, movement, style, and digital intervention. Users will recognize that these eye-popping images are just what they need for attracting attention, and communicating a dynamic message.

The Proto:Type 2-CD set is one of a 30 volume library in the Fusion collection, which comprises over 2000 images. It was created specifically for the multimedia and graphic design professional. Fusion is one of several collections from Digital Vision, the largest independent publisher and producer of royalty-free images in the world. As the name implies, the collection represents a fusion of illustration, 3-D imagery, typography, digital photography, and digital manipulation. $399

Contact:, India House, 45 Curfew St., London SE1 2ND, 020 7378 5500,, e-mail:, fax: 020 7378 4433.

CD-ROM Reviews

FileMaker Pro 5 Video/CD Training Series (MAC/WIN)
FileMaker Pro 5 Video/CD Training Series is an integrated set of either six CD-ROMs or videotapes that cover the every major production element of FileMaker Pro 5. Instructed by Keith Keil, an expert programmer and skilled teacher, the series both shows and tells how to accomplish the tasks necessary to build, maintain, and deploy a workable database. The CD-ROM-based series, which we reviewed, is presented as a series of narrated QuickTime movies, providing the user with controls to easily access any lesson, and to stop, rewind, and repeat any section. Each disc includes a self-test which consists of true or false or multiple-choice questions that are scored in real-time.

The series begins with Database Design & Data Entry, covering the installation of the software and continuing with the process of defining the database structure and the manner by which records will be composed, and how the data will be processed. Volume 2, Creating Layouts & Forms, deals with the process of creating a workable user interface, and formatting the database information in the most useful way. Volume 3, Data Management, deals with moving data into or out of the database, and using it with spreadsheets. It also covers how to publish a database on the Web. Volume 4, Creating Relational Databases, does a good job of explaining the complex ways in which various databases interrelate, and why proper planning, using E-R (Entity Relationship) diagrams, is essential. Volume 5, Introduction to Scripting, shows the importance of FileMaker scripts, and how they can be created to perform almost any task. Scripting is a programming art, and this volume does a good job of instructing the new user how to create scripts that will make the use of their databases more reliable and easier for the user to input, process, and output data. Volume 6, Advanced Formulas & Functions, deals with complex procedures that can be incorporated into a database to make it do very sophisticated calculations.

The series not only provides a full courseload worth of content, but Keith Keil provides expert insight into how to make the program perform at its full potential. He frequently provides tips and tricks that the user can incorporate immediately in their database designs to make them more efficient. Having the CDs or videos available on a bookshelf provides a ready reference for accessing valuable information that can quickly address a "how to" question, and make database designers, administrators, and users, more productive. The six volume set of either CD-ROMs or videotapes is $283.20. Each individual volume is $59.

Contact: MacAcademy, 100 East Granada Blvd., Ormond Beach, FL 32176-1712, 904 677-1918, 800 527-1914,,, fax: 904 677-6717.

Galapagos Font Library (MAC/WIN)
The Galapagos Font Library consists of more than 2000 digital typefaces. The Galapagos type design team includes Steve Zafarana (formerly of Compugraphic Corporation, Bitstream, Inc.), Dennis Pasternak (formerly of Compugraphic Corporation, Autologic, Inc., and Bitstream, Inc.), Alex Kaczun (formerly of Linotype-Hell, Bitstream), George Ryan (formerly of Mergenthaler Linotype Company, Bitstream, Inc.), and Michael Leary (formerly of Compugraphic Corporation, Bitstream, Inc.), under the leadership of Larry Oppenberg (formerly of Mergenthaler Linotype Company, Bitstream, Inc.). The five year old company has experienced a growth rate of 20% per year.

Among the latest designs, for display and text uses, are: BaltraGD-Roman (Pasternak) is a mix of Copperplate Gothic and Latin Condensed designs. $35

Beatnik (Kaczun) is designed to reflect the unconventional character of the beat generation. $35 per font, $59 for the family

Caltex Nova Sans (Kaczun) is a stark sans serif design, very clean and unambiguous. $35 font, $59 for the family

Kennedy (Ryan) is a highly original design inspired by 16th century cartography and reminescent of Dutch Oldstyle typefaces. The family consists of the bold, bold italic, book, book italic, medium, medium italic, and small caps. $35 per font, $129 for the family

Maiandra (Pasternak) is a family of typefaces that were inspired by an early example of handlettering done by Oz Cooper, circa 1909. Cooper's work was fashioned after Greek inscriptions that he ha studied. The family includes black italic, demi bold italic, black, demibold, regular, and italic. $35 per font, $100 for the family

WakefieldGD-Regular (Zafarana) a design inspired by a lake in Wakefield, MA, it is both inviting and resplendent at the same time. $35

Contact: Galapagos Design Group Inc., 256 Great Road, Suite 15, Littleton, MA 01460-1916, 978 952-6200,, e-mail:, fax: 978 952-6260.

Internet Reviews

Internet Security for Macintosh (MAC)
Internet Security for Macintosh is a suite of three products that serve to provide the user with a controlled and safe Internet experience. First is Norton Personal Firewall for Macintosh which protects against hackers and security breaches; second is Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh which protects against known and unknown virus threats; and third is Aladdin iClean, which removes Web surfing tracks and helps keep the desktop neat and organized.

Users can set-up the Norton Personal Firewall so that only selected applications can access the Internet, and so that the user will be notified if an intrusion, such as a Trojan horse, attempts to send information from the computer. The program maintains a log of all denied and allowed accesses. Like other Symantec programs, this one includes LiveUpdate for easy automatic updating via the Internet.

Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh can find and repair viruses both on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X Public Beta. It scans e-mail, a common route by which viruses are spread, and is even aware of compressed files and unknown viruses.

iClean removes the unnecessary files that on-line activity produces...things like cookies, the browser cache, and Internet history files. $99.95

Contact: Symantec Corp., 20300 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014, 408 253-9600, 800 441-7234,, fax: 408 446-8152.

Utility Reviews

Aladdin Transporter (MAC)
Aladdin Transporter is a digital workflow utility that allows users to apply any of 26 customizable actions to drop boxes. Files that are placed in the drop boxes can undergo a series of automated tasks including file compression and FTP, Web, and e-mail transfers. The use of a drop box can result in a choice of user alerts, including custom dialogs, text messages, sounds, pictures, and QuickTime movies.

Aladdin Transporter drop boxes can represent a complex series of steps, making it possible for less skilled workers to conduct sophisticated operations, such as stuffing files, uploading them to a password-protected FTP site, and then sending out an e-mail notification. Transporter represents a substantial cumulative time savings for anyone who uses it. Drop boxes can be shared with co-workers, customers, family and friends to help insure error-free file transfers.

Aladdin recognizes several specific work environments in which Transporter can be used as an effective agent. For example, service bureaus can provide an easy method for customers to submit files; educators can simplify the process by which assignments are distributed and collected; Web masters can simplify the manner by which files are uploaded; IT managers can manage the ways in which work groups communicate both within and outside the enterprise; and technical support managers can use a drop box to receive e-mail forms to standardize on help desk support. $149

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

Virtual PC 4.0 with Windows 98 (MAC)
Virtual PC 4.0 with Windows 98 is a program for the Macintosh that emulates a fully working Pentium PC running a standard Intel processor, and supporting standard components. It runs in its own window, permitting the user to run both Macintosh and Windows software simultaneously. In addition to Windows 98, the Virtual PC environment can support the full range of x86 operating systems, including Windows 2000, Me, and 95, Windows NT, DOS, IBM OS/2, and Linux. Connectix OS Packs are available for adding a new operating system simply by copying it to the target folder. The user can also run multiple PC operating systems concurrently, either different OSs or two copies of the same OS.

Virtual PC (VPC) installs like any other Macintosh application, and automatically makes use of the Macintosh environment. For example, it automatically recognizes the user's Internet settings (using its Shared IP technology), and allows the immediate use of the browser that is installed with the Windows' OS. It uses the Mac CD drive or other removable media drive, to install new software, and to store files. Files and data can be moved easily between the Windows and Mac environments.

Version 4.0 is up to twice as fast as previous versions, which impacts directly on program performance, networking speed, the use of multimedia, etc. The user can now allocate up to 512 MB of RAM without the need to quit the program. The program's virtual hard disk only takes up the amount of space it needs (up to 127 GB), rather than a preset amount as in previous versions.

There are many reasons for a Macintosh-based digital publisher to need access to a Windows PC. Virtual PC 4.0 can be used efficiently to run Windows software that is not available for the Mac, or is, but the user already owns the PC version. It can be used to test how Web pages composed on the Mac will appear on the PC screen. It can be used to capture screen grabs on the PC that will be used in a publication that is composed on the Mac. For these, and several more reasons, every serious Mac-based digital publisher should own a copy of Virtual PC 4.0. $199

Contact: Connectix, 2655 Campus Dr., San Mateo, CA 94403, 800 950-5880, 415 571-5100, Internet:,, faxback: 800 571-7558, fax: 415 571-5195.

SystemWorks for Macintosh (MAC)
SystemWorks for Macintosh is the first integrated suite of utilities for Macintosh. It incorporates Norton Utilities for Macintosh 6.0, Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh 7.0, Spring Cleaning 3.5 from Aladdin, and Retrospect Express Backup 4.0.3 from Dantz.

Norton Utilities for Macintosh is the standard for disk repair, data recover, and disk optimization. It is the world's best-selling Macintosh product of its kind. A new feature in version 6.0 is the capability to scavenge and rebuild directories to recover lost data, and customized Speed Disk optimization profiles that allow a user to arrange data on their drive to meet their particular needs. Norton Disk Doctor is an absolute essential tool for every Macintosh owner in that it can fix disk problems that would otherwise render the computer unusable. The product can be updated automatically, on a regular schedule, using LiveUpdate 1.6.

Norton AntiVirus for Macintosh provides automatic virus definition updating and product patches over the Internet using LiveUpdate 1.6. Protection has been extended to cover e-mail scanning, which will recognize viruses and perform necessary repairs.

Aladdin Spring Cleaning has the single objective of freeing up disk space by removing unnecessary programs and their related files. Users can also easily remove unneeded cache files, cookies and history logs.

Dantz Retrospect express provides the means to execute scheduled, automatic, unattended backups to a wide range of removable media, as well as a secure site over the Internet. $129.95

Contact: Symantec Corp., 10201 Torre Ave., Cupertino, CA 95014-2132, 408 253-9600, 800 441-7234,, fax: 408 252-4694.

Everything CD for FileMaker Pro, Vol. 4 (MAC/WIN)
The Everything CD for FileMaker Pro, Volume 4 is a two-CD set containing over one gigabyte of resources related to this popular database. The Everything CD provides an attractive, flexible and easy-to-use interface making it possible to quickly locate any of the resources. Users will find templates; freeware, shareware and commercial demos; tips, tricks and techniques; recent issues of the ISO FileMaker Magazine; and searchable archives of major mailing lists. Matt Petrowsky, President of ISO Productions, has created several unlocked royalty free templates that alone would sell for over $1000. $67

Contact: ISO Productions Inc., 6600 Silacci Way, Gilroy, CA USA 95020, 408 848-1054,, e-mail:, fax: 408 848-5784.

Pocket Hub (MAC/WIN)
The Pocket Hub is a miniature USB hub supporting four simultaneous USB connections. The unit is very compact and lightweight, a perfect accessory for a laptop computer. The innovative design hides the USB cable that connects to the computer. It is shipped with one clear sleeve and two colors. LEDs on the front indicate connection status. Although many USB devices are powered through the hub, some require that the hub itself be powered. For that purpose an optional AC adapter is included. $59.99

Contact: Belkin Components, 501 West Walnut Street, Compton, CA 90220, 800 223-5546,, fax: 310 898-1111.

FileMaker Mobile (MAC/WIN/PALM)
FileMaker Mobile incorporates the FileMaker Mobile conduit, a transfer component for the Palm OS hot syncing process. It facilitates the transfer of databases back and forth between a desktop computer running FileMaker Pro 5.0v3 and a Palm OS handheld device. The use of this software makes it possible for FileMaker users to carry virtually any single-user FileMaker Pro database with them anywhere, and view, modify, add and delete records. Databases are synchronized, between desktop PC and Palm device, with the push of a single button. Digital publishers, prepress technicians, and other publishing professionals will find unlimited uses for this new capability, from referencing job tickets, to recording work time data. $49

Contact: FileMaker, Inc., 5201 Patrick Henry Drive, Box 58168, Santa Clara, CA 95052-8168, 800 325-2747, 408 987-7000, 408 727-8227,

PDActivate 2.0 (PILOT)
PDActivate 2.0 is a suite of five applications for the Palm Computing platform that enhance its usefulness and ease of use. Launch 'Em () is an alternate interface that provides tabbed folders to provide an easy way to organize applications. It also includes one-touch activation of beaming, power off and lock, and hide/show private records. ListMaker () is a super list manager that incorporates a hierarchical outline structure, power sorting and viewing, and list templates. SynCalc () is an advanced financial and scientific calculator that can store up to 100 formulas (available at no cost from the Synsolutions Web site). SimpleSketch () supports freehand drawing directly on the PDA screen. It includes simple drawing tools and support for text. Today (), the last of the applications, displays the user's schedule (for today, tomorrow, or the week) along with ToDo tasks, all visible on a single screen. $49.95

Contact: Synergy Solutions, Inc., 44 Wall Street,12th Floor, New York, NY 10005, 800 210-5293, 212 461-2293,, e-mail:, fax: 212 202-4033.

ScanFont 3.1 (WIN )
ScanFont 3.1 is a bitmap-to-font converter that makes it possible to convert virtually any set of images into a font. Among the most likely images to be made into a font are handwriting, logos, clipart, symbols, and dingbats. The graphic images can be made into a custom font or added to an existing font.

The process is quite simple. The user simply scans the artwork, or imports it if it is already in digital form. ScanFont provides editing tools to refine the shapes. The program automatically recognizes the individual shapes and the user selects which are to be converted into characters. After the conversion the user can edit the glyph's control points to refine its appearance.

ScanFont is provided as a plug-in for TypeTool/Mac or FontLab/Mac, ($99) or as a standalone product for Windows users ($199).

Contact: FontLab Ltd., Box 465, Millersville, MD 21108, 509 272-3260,, e-mail:, fax: 509 272-3260.

Virtual Drive 6.0 (WIN )
Virtual Drive 6.0 is a utility program that emulates a CD-ROM drive, making it possible for a user to create a compressed CD-ROM image on a hard drive or network file server, and a virtual CD icon in the Virtual Drive Manager program. The massive size of today's hard drives makes it possible for a user to store several CD-ROM images on their system, providing fast access to the CD's contents. This eliminates the time required to find and load CDs or to change them, and also eliminates the need for a CD-ROM drive (after the images have been loaded). The use of Virtual Drive is also more than 200X faster than CD-ROM drive access, and makes it possible to run several CD-ROMs simultaneously. $49.95

Contact: Far Stone Technology Inc., 15550-B Rockfield Blvd., Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618, 888 271-7560, 949 458-3666,, e-mail:, fax: 949 458-3633.

Virtual Back (WIN )
Virtual Back is a utility that helps to ensure system performance by protecting against system crashes, virus attacks, accidental data deletion, power failure, failed software installation, or damage caused by an improper system shutdown. The program uses incremental data protection technology requiring only 5-10% of hard drive storage space.

The program is easy to set-up and automatically records any file alternation to the hard drive. Up to 31 restore points can be set, such as today, yesterday, 4 days ago, or one month ago. Any system failure can be overcome by simply restarting the computer. $49.95

Contact: Far Stone Technology Inc., 15550-B Rockfield Blvd., Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618, 888 271-7560, 949 458-3666,, e-mail:, fax: 949 458-3633.

ZipMagic 4.0 (WIN )
ZipMagic 4.0 is a utility program that compresses files by as much as 95% of their original size. It is integrated into the operating system so that file compression becomes almost transparent. For example, if the user adds ".ZIP" to the name of a folder, ZipMagic will automatically compress everything inside. ZipMagic also adds compression options directly into the Windows Explorer file menus. Other examples of integrated operations are: the use of zip files without first unzipping; automatic spanning across multiple disks; a fully integrated viewer that supports over 200 file formats; creation of self-extracting zip files; the Zip&Backup wizard for archiving files onto removable media or another hard drive; and flexible control of e-mail attachments.

Perhaps the most incredible feature of the software is the patented ZipFolders technology, which makes zip files look like folders, which users can simply open, without uncompressing. All zipping operations take place transparently in the background. $39.95

Contact: Ontrack Data International, Inc., 3030 Sterling Circle, Boulder, CO 80301, 800 645-3649, 303 245-8000,, e-mail:

Multimedia Reviews

iView mediaPro (MAC)
iView mediaPro is a highly competent digital asset management program that offers features to novices and professionals alike. On its surface it is an easy-to-use media cataloguing system, below the surface it is a very sophisticated media management system that is scriptable, and can communicate with database applications and automate file conversions and other export procedures. In addition to cataloging and displaying common file formats, such as TIFF, EPS, and JPEG, the program supports Photoshop, Quark, PageMaker, FreeHand, Illustrator, QuickTime movies, MPEG, PDF, HTML, MP3, fonts, and many more.

The program incorporates over 100 new features and enhancements over iView Multimedia and PhotoRelay, its predecessors. Among the most significant are: query-based searching across single or multiple catalogs; searching of both on- and off-line archives; customizable views for display and printing; user definable fields; photo calibration to enhance sharpness, brightness and colors; batch processing capabilities; voice annotation; automated importing using Folder Watching; synchronized annotations between QuickTime, IPTC JPEG, and Photoshop formats; royalty-free distribution of stand-alone slide show presentations; and more. $89

Contact: iView Multimedia Ltd., 36 Cambridge Mansions, Cambridge Road, London SW11 4RU, England,, e-mail:

Slide Show Commander (PILOT)
Slide Show Commander is a unique application for the Palm OS that lets a user control, annotate, and draw on a PowerPoint presentation. Various Palm screens let the user see the slide images and lets him or her draw directly on the screen to highlight any information. The user can easily navigate to any slide, or move forward or backward. In addition the screen can be made black to pause the presentation, or set to white to present freehand notes. The timer keeps precise track of elapsed time or time remaining as well as the current time of day. A 15-foot cable, to connect the PDA to the computer, is provided to registered users. $59.95

Contact: Synergy Solutions, Inc., 44 Wall Street,12th Floor, New York, NY 10005, 800 210-5293, 212 461-2293,, e-mail:, fax: 212 202-4033.

Virtual Class (WIN )
Virtual Class is a full-featured multimedia program that emulates a virtual classroom environment over a computer network. The system can be used to broadcast audio and video, and to support full interactivity between teacher and students. All group members can communicate in real-time using chatlines, white board, text, voice and graphics.

Among the instructor's capabilities are the monitoring of each student's progress and the remote control of their computer, facilitating interactive teaching. A ten user license is $737.95.

Contact: Far Stone Technology Inc., 15550-B Rockfield Blvd., Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618, 888 271-7560, 949 458-3666,, e-mail:, fax: 949 458-3633.

VideoWave Version 4.0 (WIN )
VideoWave Version 4.0 is a video editing and publishing application for home and business users. This version incorporates a new user interface, supporting a more fluid and productive workflow. It guides the user through the production process by providing templates and a StoryLine. The program incorporates Scene Detection, automatically separating scene changes into individual video clips. In addition to outputting to videotape or CD-ROM, the program outputs in two streaming video formats, Windows Media and RealVideo, both widely accepted for corporate, educational, and personal Web viewing. MGI provides access to its video sharing Web site, with up to 10MB of free storage space, and private and public viewing options. Two CDs worth of templates provide several themes and specialty clips. $99

Contact: MGI Software Corp., 50 West Pearce St., Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4B 1E3, 905 764-7000,, fax: 905 764-7110.

OCR Reviews

OmniForm 4.01 (WIN )
OmniForm 4.01 can be used to convert virtually any paper-based business form into an editable, fillable, distributable electronic form. The form is scanned using intelligent processing (Caere's color Logical Forms Recogition (LFR) technology) which automatically recognizes form fields, boxes, tables, lines, logos and colors. Text and graphics is accurately transformed using the built-in OmniPage Pro 9.0 OCR engine. The scan can be modified using OmniForm's design tools to refine or correct the scan, add or remove text, and add live form elements such as check boxes, tables, drop-down boxes, field validation, and calculation fields. In addition to the conversion of a user's inventory of forms, ScanSoft provides access to its own on-line library of form templates.

OmniForm creates a database for each form so that data can be imported or exported to ODBC-compliant databases. The completed OmniForm forms can be output in Dynamic HTML for intelligent form processing on the Web. Users can also output to OFML (OmniForm Internet Publisher Web format) and fillable PDF.

Forms can be processed and signed electronically, and form access can be limited or restricted through the use of permissions and passwords.

A new feature in OmniForm 4.01 is one year free access to, a Web hosting service that makes it easy to publish forms and collect data...all without programming. After producing a form in OmniForm the user simply clicks one button to post the form on the eOmniForm site. The posted form is assigned a unique Web address so that anyone can access it. Completed forms are saved in the eOmniForm database. Users can either upload their own forms or use the site's form design tools to create an entirely new form. The form creator can elect to receive e-mail notifications each time a form is submitted, at preset intervals, or they can retrieve all results when needed. The data is downloaded while the user has OmniForm open, and the data can be printed, searched, sorted, or exported to any ODBC database. The service is available in three variations: The basic eOmniForm service costs $49.95 per year for five forms and up to 10,000 form entries; the SOHO Service costs $89.95 for 20 forms; and the Enterprise Service costs $174.95 for posting up to 50 forms. OmniForm 4.01 is priced at $149.

Contact: ScanSoft, Inc., 9 Centennial Dr., Peabody, MA 01960, 978 977-2000,

Networking Reviews

DoubleTalk (MAC)
DoubleTalk is a new software application that provides Macintosh users with access to Windows networks, allowing sharing of Windows resources such as file servers and printers. According to Connectix, the program makes a Macintosh a better Windows client than a PC, since it is so easy to use.

For digital publishers there are the obvious advantages of transfering files easily to and from Windows workstations, and printing to PC-based PostScript printers. Access is gained through the Macintosh Chooser. An added benefit of DoubleTalk is that the performance of Macintosh laser printers, using the DoubleTalk print mechanism, is up to 50% faster than using the Mac OS alone. $99

Contact: Connectix, 2655 Campus Dr., San Mateo, CA 94403, 800 950-5880, 415 571-5100, Internet:,, faxback: 800 571-7558, fax: 415 571-5195.

PC MACLAN for Windows NT/2000 (WIN )
PC MACLAN for Windows NT/2000 is an application that provides IP Client support so that users can connect to AppleShare IP servers or Mac OS 9 systems using standard IP (Internet Protocol), over a LAN, WAN, or the Internet. Conversely, the software lets Mac users access PCs three times faster than AppleTalk, using the Chooser or Macintosh Network Browser. Digital publishers, prepress, and graphic design shops can use PCs as a Mac file server, a cost-effective alternative to AppleShare IP Servers.

The software also provides Macintosh users with access to non-PostScript printers that are connected to PC networks. Miramar provides an executable called Ghostscript Director that makes it possible to send PostScript files to non-PostScript printers. PC users can also print to any AppleTalk PostScript or non-PostScript printer that is connected to a Macintosh network. The software establishes bi-directional parity for file transfers and printing and should be considered to any compatible cross-platform environment. $199

Contact: Miramar Systems, Inc., 10 East Yanonali St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, 800 862-2526, 805 966-2432,, fax: 805 965-1824, e-fax: 509 757-2535.

Digital Imaging Reviews

Cleaner 5 (MAC/WIN)
Cleaner 5 is the latest version of this highly regarded application for producing quality compact streaming media supporting all of the standard formats, including MP3, QuickTime, Real, Windows Media and several other video, audio, animation and still-image formats. It is the single best solution available. This version continues the tradition of providing one of the easiest user interfaces available for accomplishing what has been considered a confusing and complex process. The Settings Wizard leads the user through several easy-to-follow screens, making it simple for a novice to produce quality output. In addition, skilled users can access all of the controls and formats necessary to produce highly professional output that meets very specific production needs.

Cleaner's unique interface lets the user see the before and after frames as the encoding is taking place. They do not need to wait until the entire process is completed to see the results of their encoding settings, and decide if they are acceptable.

Using the program's batch processing capability a user can produce any or all streaming standards, in any or all connection speeds, from a single original source, or from several sources at the same time. They can then publish the output to a streaming server using the program's StreamPublisher feature.

In addition to processing video from extant sources such as videotape, DVD, CD-ROM, VideoCD, and on-line hard drives, users can now capture video directly from their DV camera using the MotoDV application, which is included. They can also import directly from a variety of video editing applications, making possible a more fluid and productive digital workflow.

New authoring features let the user add stream navigation, add links and hot spots, insert advertising, embed \"Buy\" links, and synchronize HTML to streaming media. These post-production operations are usually handled independently of the encoding process, and involve several more production steps. $599

Contact: Terran Interactive, 2 North First St., Suite 215, San Jose, CA 95113, 800 577-3443, 408 356-7373,, e-mail:, fax: 408 356-9373.

PhotoSuite 4-Platinum Edition (WIN )
PhotoSuite 4-Platinum Edition incorporates a powerful suite of image enhancement tools for handling the entire photographic process, from the capture of images from digital cameras and scanners, to the publication of images on custom-designed Web sites. The user is presented with the tools to modify images and enhance their quality, apply special effects and stitching, organize and store them efficiently, print them in a variety of ways, and publish them as slide shows, panoramas, animations, phototapestry (tiling up to 2000 thumbnails to replicate a single photo), multimedia e-mail, and electronic albums. $49.99

Contact: MGI Software Corp., 50 West Pearce St., Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4B 1E3, 905 764-7000,, fax: 905 764-7110.

Entertainment Reviews

ZephIR (MAC)
ZephIR is a compact device that can control virtually anything with an IR signal. It attaches to a Macintosh through the USB port, and makes it possible for the user to control televisions, VCRs, CD players, mini-discs, receivers, DVDs, satellite systems, home theatre units, etc. The ZephIR software supports the creation of virtual remote controls that allow device control from the desktop. It is the perfect companion for digital publishers who are chained to their keyboard. $49.95

Contact: studioZee, 500 Fifth Ave., Helena, MT 59601, 406 442-5321,, e-mail:

Use Your Head Plus (WIN )
Use Your Head Plus is a gaming apparatus that can be used with most flight simulation, action, adventure and children's computer games. It consists of a USB PC camera (available separately) and drivers that work to track head movements and interpret them as game movements. It adds a new dimension to every game and relieves the hands of repetitive motions. It can be downloaded at $29.99

Contact: Macmillan Digital Publishing, 201 West 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290, 800 571-1097, 317 817-7290,, fax: 317 817-7025.

Miscellaneous News and Reviews

iHUG, The International HyperCard User Group, is attempting to gather grassroots support to save Apple HyperCard, and ensure that it is supported in Mac OS X. As of now, Apple has not announced if they will maintain HyperCard or not. Users of the program are encouraged to visit and submit a short paragraph detailing their use of the program, and their support for its continuance. HyperCard continues to be available in the Apple Store for $99.

Contact: International HyperCard User Group (iHUG),, e-mail:

Book Reviews

Web Channel Development for Dummies
Dean, Damon

The author provides information on various webcasting technologies and how to develop a Web channel for the Microsoft and Netscape browsers, and for PointCast and Marimba. The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains an assortment of shareware and demo software useful for Web Channel development.

Available for on-line ordering at

076450309X 344 pp. $29.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 919 E. Hillsdale Blvd. #400, 800 762-2974, 650 653-7000,

RealWorld Scanning and Halftones
Blatner, David; Glenn Fleishman, Steve Roth

The complete guide to the reproduction of halftone images. The authors include clearly defined and illustrated steps for producing quality scans, adjusting them for output, and preparing them for imagesetting and other purposes.

Available for on-line ordering at

0201696835 418 pp. $29.95

Contact: Peachpit Press, 2414 Sixth St., Berkeley, CA 94710

SML Bible
Harold, Elliotte Rusty

The author has produced a combination tutorial and reference book, chock full of information on every aspect of XML document creation and application. The major sections of the book include: Introducing XML, Document Type Definitions, Style Languages, Supplemental Technologies, and XML Applications.

The accompanying CD-ROM includes PDFs of the book content, code for all of the numbered listings in the book, the W3C SML standards, and various shareware tools.

Available for on-line ordering at

0764532367 1014 pp. $49.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 919 E. Hillsdale Blvd. #400, 800 762-2974, 650 653-7000,

Design Essentials, Third Edition
Cohen, Luanne Seymour

A beautifully illustrated how-to book written by the former creative director at Adobe Systems. The author shows how to use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to execute a variety of special effects and graphic treatments including dashed line effects, natural media effects, cast shadows, gradients on a path, embossed type, and many more.

Available for on-line ordering at

1568304722 122 pp. $39.99

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

Animation Tips and Tricks for Windows and Mac
Foley, Don and Melora

A full-color, richly illustrated, how-to book that presents dozens of step-by-step techniques that are representative of expert work. The authors are highly skilled at producing professional animation, and show how it can be done using off-the-shelf tools.

The accompanying cross-platform CD-ROM contains models, sounds, textures and backgrounds.

Available for on-line ordering at

0201696436 143 pp. $44.95

Contact: Peachpit Press, 2414 Sixth St., Berkeley, CA 94710

UNIX for Dummies
Young, Margaret Levine; John R. Levine

An annotated fingertip reference guide to UNIX commands, with easy-to-understand definitions and examples.

Available for on-line ordering at

0764503014 207 pp. $14.99

Contact: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 919 E. Hillsdale Blvd. #400, 800 762-2974, 650 653-7000,

Inside Microsoft Visual Basic, Scripting Edition
Hillier, Scot

A complete guide to programming interactive Web pages using Microsoft Internet technologies. The accompanying CD-ROM includes the full VBScript software, ActiveX controls, wizards (written by the author), and more.

Available for on-line ordering at

1572314443 466 pp. $39.95

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

PC Upgrades 10 Minute Guide
Grimes, Galen

A series of 24 PC upgrade lessons, each taking no more than ten minutes to read, that show how easily the procedures can be performed by most users. Among the upgrades covered are: adding memory, replacing a disk drive, upgrading the OS, and adding peripherals.

Available for on-line ordering at

0789715724 197 pp. $14.99

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

HTML Artistry: more than code
Ibanez, Ardith; Natalie Zee

A nicely designed book showing the application of HTML code in well-designed sites. The authors show how to overcome many of the apparent limitations of HTML to produce attractive and eye-catching Web pages.

Available for on-line ordering at

1568304544 286 pp. $40

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

Fireworks 3 for Windows & Macintosh
Cohen, Sandee

The Visual QuickStart guide to Macromedia Fireworks 3 by training expert, Sandee Cohen. Ms. Cohen takes the reader, step-by-step through all of the basic, and some advanced, techniques and procedures that are fundamental to the successful use of the program. As with all VQS books in the series, there are plentiful illustrations and a concise text.

Available for on-line ordering at

0201704528 304 pp. $18.99

Contact: Peachpit Press, 2414 Sixth St., Berkeley, CA 94710

Dreamweaver 3 for Windows & Macintosh
Towers, J. Tarin

One of the longer volumes in the Peachpit Visual QuickStart series, the author capably covers virtually all of Dreamweaver's capabilities. Each operation is clearly illustrated and supported with step-by-step instructions that are clear and to-the-point.

Available for on-line ordering at

0201702401 524 pp. $19.99

Contact: Peachpit Press, 2414 Sixth St., Berkeley, CA 94710

Official Adobe Electronic Publishing Guide, The
Adobe Press

Adobe's view of the new world of electronic publishing. This colorful and well-designed book is profusely illustrated with excellent examples of the best of all forms of electronically composed, arranged, and distributed publications. Chapters include: What is Electronic Publishing?, Elements of Electronic Publishing, Preparing Text and Graphics, Working with Color, Making Publications Interactive, Converting Print to Electronic Publications, Managing and Distributing Electronic Publications, and Customizing Adobe Acrobat. A section of electronic publishing terms is included.

Available for on-line ordering at

1568304692 214 pp. $35

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

Official Adobe Print Publishing Guide, The
Adobe Press

The complete printing process, clearly explained, beautifully illustrated, and cast within the PostScript workflow. Adobe has done a world-class job of showing the modern print production job cycle to help the reader understand how to produce successful printing jobs.

Available for on-line ordering at

1568304684 238 pp. $35

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

SQL: A Beginner's Guide
Houlette, Forrest

A self-paced, project-based introduction to the fundamentals of the Structured Query Language (SQL). Programming concepts (accessing the database, retrieving data, inserting data, updating data, etc.) are presented in logical modules, each devised to provide the reader with specific programing skills. Free code is available at the author's companion Web site.

Available for on-line ordering at

0072130962 424 pp. $29.99

Contact: Osborne McGraw-Hill, 2600 Tenth St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510 549-6600, fax: 510 549-6603.

A Word From Our Sponsors

If you use a Mac and you're on the Internet, give NetBots a try:

Copyright and Distribution Information

Copyright and Distribution Information

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing is (c)opyright 2001, Graphic Dimensions, Pittsford, NY, all rights reserved. You may distribute the SoftLocked version of this document, unmodified and in its entirety. You may distribute portions of this document, up to 200 words in length, unmodified, provided that you also include this copyright notice and subscription information.

The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing is published in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, using SoftLock technology. Each issue costs $4.95, with a 6 issue subscription costing $24.95. The free Acrobat reader and the free SoftLock plug-in and registration program are required for viewing.

Past issues (more than 60 days old) of The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing are available on the Web at: Comments and inquiries should be directed to: The Kleper Report on Digital Publishing, P.O.B. 20213, Rochester, NY 14623 USA. E-mail: