Sony releases 200MB diskette
Sony has released a new, high-capacity disk format called HiFD.
Using the 3.5in format, the new diskette is capable of storing 200MB of data and is fully compatible with existing 720KB and 1.44MB media. The high recording capacity has been achieved through the use of a newly-developed super-thin layer coating metal disk and a narrow, discrete gap head.
The HiFD uses a double-sided disk that is similar in appearance to the current DSDD and DSHD media.
Sony has also developed a new drive, which includes a 1in-high, 3.5in mechanism with dual FD and Atapi interface, and a transfer rate of 3.6MBps. It has a dual discrete gap for read-write compatibility with HiFD diskettes, as well as 720KB and a 1.44MB disk.
It fits existing floppy slots, and the Atapi and FD interfaces are designed to industry standards and are compatible with the connections in most motherboards. With support for 2DD and 2HD disks, users can remove their existing drives and slot the new one into its place.
Sony expects the new disk to be snatched up because the drive plugs directly into a standard floppy slot and the format works in a familiar way.
Sony expects to start shipping HiFD in June. Initial drive shipments will be internal versions designed for PC manufacturers, and retail versions will follow shortly after. The drive is expected to be in the sub-$500 range and the disks will retail for approximately $40.
Tel 1800 226 429 Fax (02) 9805 1241
PC 3500 is here
Pentium II has arrived at Digital and is targeted at cost-conscious customers. The new PC 3500 is the latest addition to Digital's value line of PCs and is designed for customers who use Windows NT across an organisation.
The PC is available with either a PII 233MHz, 266MHz or 300MHz processor with Intel's 440LX AGP chip set. A 233MHz PII system with 32MB of RAM, 3.2GB hard drive and Win 95 starts at an RRP of $2324.
It ships with Digital's ClientWORKS Desktop Management Interface (DMI) software for improved desktop-to-enterprise network management. It is available in low-profile or short-tower configurations and comes standard with PCI-bus 64-bit graphics technology.
The Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) is included.
Tel 13 2393 Fax (02) 9561 7555
Polaroid's new imaging tool
Polaroid has debuted its next-generation film scanner, SprintScan 35 Plus, an imaging tool developed to meet the requirements of professionals publishing on the Internet and multimedia creators.
This user-friendly scanner does most of the work -- colour and exposure are automatically corrected and fine details are sharpened for optimal images. Yet it also allows users to crop and scale the image in a full-colour preview mode, and control resolution, image orientation, tone-scale, hue, colour and space.
SprintScan 35 Plus samples images at 12 bits per colour, captures a full 0-3.4 optical density range and has 2700dpi resolution. It is compatible, via SCSI-2 interface, with personal computers using either Macintosh or Windows environments.
For Macintosh computers, the scanners include an Adobe Photoshop plug-in module which can be used with any PIM-compatible imaging application. For Windows, each scanner has a TWAIN driver that can be used with any TWAIN compatible application, and can be used with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.
SprintScan 35 Plus has an RRP of $2600 and is available at Polaroid dealers throughout Australia.
Tel (02) 9950 7000 Fax (02) 9887 2209
It goes off with a bang
Macromedia has introduced Fireworks, the first production tool to provide a unified environment for creating, optimising and producing high-quality graphics for the Web, according to the company.
This next-generation tool aims to meet the needs of professional Web designers.
It comprises visual export preview, control over compression and colour palettes, automatic generation of button states and Java-Script rollovers, and text and effects that are editable all the time.
"Fireworks inaugurates a new category of Web graphics production tools," said Norm Meyrowitz, Macromedia's executive vice president and chief technical officer.
Fireworks also allows users to "slice" an image for faster downloading, before exporting the component graphics -- plus the HTML table -- to reassemble them in the viewer's browser. It has a built-in "Image Map Layer" to facilitate assignment of URL links, and a button generation feature which automatically produces up, down, rollover and hit states for button graphics.
A pre-release beta version of Fireworks is currently available for free download at www.getfireworks.comFireworks for Windows 95, Windows NT and Macintosh PowerPC will be available mid-1998 at an ERP of $500.
Tel (03) 9853 0900 Fax (03) 9853 0600
More divine Inspiron
Dell Computer recently announced the expansion of its notebook PC line with new systems featuring Intel Mobile Pentium II processors.
The two new models, designed for experienced users and small to medium businesses, are Inspiron 3200 D266XT -- a 266MHz Intel Mobile Pentium II processor with a large 13.3in active-matrix screen, and Inspiron 3200 D233XT -- an Inspiron notebook PC with a 233MHz Intel mobile Pentium II processor and a 13.3in screen.
Dell expects these new models will improve overall system performance of its notebook PCs by roughly 10 per cent. Both systems provide high-end multimedia performance, and the combination of Intel's Pentium II processors with NeoMagic's 128-bit video accelerator allows users to run graphics-intensive multimedia programs. An options bay means they can also configure the Dell Inspiron 3200 notebook computers to meet their specific needs.
Both models come with a lithium-ion battery, a PSION 56kbps PC card modem, a one-year warranty and a carry case.
Inspiron 3200 D266XT has an RRP of $6149; Inspiron 3200 D233XT has an RRP of $5419.
Tel 1800 808 312 Fax 1800 818 341