In Brief

In Brief

Distance among servers makes a difference in CyberspaceBy Niall McKayWhile the Internet is international, at least one company has found that it needs to move its server geographically closer to its main market.

Ideas International, an Australian-based company that sells software to computer consultants and technical laboratories, has moved its World Wide Web site from Sydney to Silicon Valley, California, to save its customers download time.

"We sell most of our software over the Internet," said Stephen Williams, European sales director for Ideas. "So while most of our technical staff will remain in Australia, we wanted to move our servers because most of our customers are in America and Europe."

By moving its server, Williams said, Ideas was able to greatly reduce the time it takes to deliver software to the customer over the Internet.

"To download software from a server in Australia, you have to pull the software over somewhere in the region of 20 servers on the Internet, and that takes time," he added.

The company plans to set up a second server in Europe by the end of the year, according to Williams.

Ideas International produces software called Competitive Profile that enables users to compare the features of a number of variant computer systems.

Ideas International

Tel: 02) 498 7399ÊFax: (02) 498 5249

Hordes of new products at Internet WorldBy Kristi EssickThe Internet World trade show held in California in early May set the stage for scores of new software and hardware products, many aimed at developing collaborative World Wide Web applications for the burgeoning corporate intranet market.

Web traffic monitors also made an appearance, with several companies introducing new products.

Performance Technology announced the release of Instant Internet 3.1, a LAN-to-Internet connectivity server with support for ISDN, a 32-bit Winsock connection enabling Windows 95 users to run Java applications and also offering newsgroup filtering capabilities and automatic importation of Novell Directory System (NDS) databases. The product acts as an IP-to-IPX gateway and allows users to set up an intranet or Internet service on an existing LAN. Priced at $US4,195, it is due in the US in mid-June.

Performance, based in San Antonio, Texas, can be reached at or at Tel: +1-800-784-4638.

Process Software Corporation released a suite of intranet development tools called the Purveyor IntraKit, designed to let developers migrate files and databases from an existing LAN to a corporate intranet. The IntraKit works with the company's Purveyor Web server. The product is available now in the States, and pricing depends on the number of user licences.

Process, of Framingham, Massachusetts, is at Tel: +1-800-722-7770 or +1-508-879-6994 or www.process.comAllaire Corporation will begin selling a $795 Intranet product bundle consisting of an updated version of Cold Fusion Professional 1.5 for database Web application development and the new Allaire Forums Enterprise for Web conferencing. The package, which now has support for Microsoft BackOffice 2.0 and will integrate Java and ActiveX technologies, enables developers to incorporate existing ODBC compliant databases into a corporate intranet. It is available now in the US.

Allaire, based in Minneapolis, is at or at Tel: +1-612-830-1090.

WcExchange, a system option for the Wildcat 5 Web server from Mustang Software, now works with Microsoft Exchange to allow any remote messaging, including e-mail and newsgroups, to be funnelled into Exchange's Inbox, according to the company's announcement. WcExchange is priced at $499 and is available now in the US.

Mustang, based in Bakersfield, California, is at or at Tel: +1-805-873-2500.

Distinct Corporation announced the release of NetRover, a software package from its Intranet Suite of products that will allow users to transfer files between two remote systems. The $99 package includes Distinct Email/News with support for MIME attachments and an FTP client allowing multiple connections for file transfer. Availability has not yet been determined.

Distinct, based in Saratoga, California, is at or at Tel: +1-408-366-8933.

Dimension X announced Liquid Motion, a $99 end-user tool for creating Java applications. The multiplatform program gives artists and consumers a drag-and-drop interface for creating two-dimensional Java animations. The company did not specify a delivery date.

Dimension X, based in San Francisco, is at or at Tel: +1-415-296-0100.

SoftQuad announced version 3.0 of its HTML authoring software, Hotmetal Pro for Windows, which will incorporate Wysiwyg forms for adding images, drag-and-drop editing, graphical tables and frames, and support for ShockWave, Java and ActiveX applications. Hotmetal Pro, priced at $159 and due in the US this month, is designed for users who want to create Web sites or corporate intranets without having to learn HTML. SoftQuad also announced that its Hotmetal Lite authoring tool will be bundled with Novell's new InnerWeb Publisher server for intranets.

SoftQuad, based in Toronto, is at or at Tel: +1-416-239-4801.

Aimtech Corporation released Jamba, a tool for creating Java applets and applications. The Windows 95-based visual authoring tool lets users incorporate Java into their Web sites and intranets through the use of a point-and-click interface without entering any code. Jamba is priced at $495 and due in the US at the end of June.

Aimtech, based in Nashua, New Hampshire, is at or at Tel: +1-603-883-0220.

Caravelle launched WebWatcher Executive, a real-time monitoring tool allowing corporate managers to see who is accessing their Web pages and which pages are being accessed most frequently. The software works on any Windows NT, Solaris, or Silicon Graphics Inc server. WebWatcher is priced at $595 and available now in the US.

Caravelle, based in Nepean, Ontario, is at or at Tel: +1-613-225-1172.

Imperative Internet Solutions announced ManageIt 1.0, a Web application tool that enables developers to create information services to track users through their visits to a site. The tool also allows managers to create dynamic Web sites that personalise information based on the user who visits the site and incorporate data from standard SQL databases, from any desktop browser. ManageIt is available now in the US, and its base price is $9,500.

Imperative, based in Pittsburgh, is at or at Tel: +1-412-688-9696.

Wear jeans for children's genes

The 1996 "Jeans for Genes" campaign, in aid of the Children's Medical Research Institute, is being sponsored by Intel. This is Intel's first major sponsorship within Australia. The CMRI wants to raise more than $2 million for research into genetic disorders by asking people to make a donation in order to wear jeans to work. "Jeans for Genes" day is Friday, 2 August. The CMRI is asking people to buy a $2 or $5 badge and wear it, with their jeans, to work for the day.

CMRI (contact Kayley Eustace)

Tel: 1800 677 260ÊFax: (02) 687 2120

It's all in the mind

Mindflux has been appointed the NSW distributor for Forte Technologies' virtual reality products. Their latest product offering is the VFX1 Headgear Virtual Reality System, which consists of a fully immersive and stereoscopic Head Mounted Display (HMD) with a hand-held controller called the Cyberpuck. You need an IBM-PC 386 or better, and an add-in card connected to the VESA feature connector on the existing video card, which controls the tracking of the headset as well as the Cyberpuck. The VFX1 is compatible with games and apps such as Mechwarrior 2, EF2000, and Hexen. It works in 3-D with Descent 2, DukeNukem3D and others. It's bundled with a games CD and a one-year warranty. Marketed as "Virtual Reality for the Home", the system retails for $1,599 RRP, which is apparently a big step away from the HMD's previous confinement to high-budget laboratories.


Tel: (02) 416 9619 Fax: (02) 416 9029

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