New trackball focuses on precision
There's a new member in the large family of Logitech trackballs. The TrackMan Marble FX is a four button finger-operated trackball that provides high precision and reliability, and virtually maintenance-free operation.
The TrackMan Marble FX trackball has four assignable buttons and a large ball that permits access from two sides. This enables finger operation for normal work and finger-plus-thumb operation for high-precision tasks. Logitech's Marble optical sensing technology means there's no need for the wheels and rollers underneath conventional trackballs.
The bundled software, MouseWare 8.0, permits one click in all Windows 95 applications and Web browsers, as well as scrolling and zooming in Office 97. It also includes utilities for easy access to popular Windows 95 and browser menu commands. TrackMan Marble FX trackball retails for $189.
Tel (02) 9417 9740 Fax (02) 9417 9797
Norton goes for Gold
Following the success of the multi-platform Norton AntiVirus Gold Edition last year, Symantec has released Norton Utilities Gold Edition, a local product that incorporates multi-platform versions of Norton Utilities.
The Gold Edition now features the newly released Norton Utilities 3.0 for Windows 95 and Norton Utilities 2.0 for Windows NT, as well as Norton Utilities 8.0 for DOS/Windows 3.x.
The product has advanced problem solving, disaster recovery and optimisation capabilities that are designed to optimise systems for crash protection and correction of software and hardware problems.
Multi-platform products have proven successful in the Asia-Pacific region, and Symantec says there will be more in the future.
Included in the Gold Edition is Norton WinDoctor, a new stand-alone utility that has extended problem solving capabilities. It detects software errors and ensures Windows applications are installed and working properly. It monitors and cleans the system, and detects and fixes problems within system files and software applications. WinDoctor can fix the problems automatically or manually with user authority.
Other Norton programs bundled with the Gold Edition include Web Services and LiveUpdate Pro, CrashGuard 3.0, Zip Rescue and System Doctor. The Gold Edition also includes optimisation tools including Speed Start, an Optimisation Wizard, and Speed disk. Norton Utilities Gold is available for an estimated street price of $129.
Tel (02) 9850 1000 Fax (02) 9850 1001
Get switched on with FORE Systems
FORE Systems has introduced the TS-2800 Token Ring Access Switch, a high-speed switch that provides token ring LANs with a direct connection to an ATM backbone while boosting the overall performance of the existing network.
The product is the result of an agreement with IBM, in which FORE will sell, service and support IBM's 8270 Nways LAN Switch Model 800 as the FORE Systems TS-2800.
The TS-2800 is a chassis-based system providing switched access to ATM networks for legacy token ring client/server connections. FORE says the switch is ideal for workgroup and desktop switching applications. It uses high-performance, "cut-through" switching, and "store and forward" switching to boost the performance of existing token ring networks.
The switch provides dual ATM uplinks to ensure the token ring LAN will remain up and running if a path to the ATM network fails.
Its ATM uplink automatically configures itself to join the existing token ring network. It supports transparent bridging and source-route switching for true plug and play compatibility.
Support for ATM Forum LAN emulation (LANE) version 1.0, allows the TS-2800 to operate in a transparent manner to preserve existing applications and network protocols.
Tel (02) 9954 6111 Fax (02) 9954 6101
Plug and Play network scanner
The release of the AXIS 700 Network Scan Server heralds Intelligent Technologies' entry into the document management market. The product can be installed and ready for use in a matter of minutes. It's a matter of plugging the scanner into any supported SCSI document scanner and connecting to the network. Users can scan documents, photographs, reports and other information directly into the network and send the information to individual users or distribution lists via e-mail or ftp.
The scanner is also a convenient method for document storage and retrieval, eliminating the need for bulky paper storage.
The AXIS 700 Scan Server is compatible with HP, Fujitsu and the Canon DR-3020 scanner. It can auto-detect the attached scanner brand and model on connection. It will also support major imaging and OCR applications. It uses Thin Server technology and will operate independently of any file server or PC, keeping network traffic to a minimum.
The AXIS 700 supports Netscape 2.0 and higher, Netscape Communicator, Internet Explorer 3.0 and higher, and other HTTP 1.0 and HTML 3.0 compatible browsers. It will operate in any windows, Unix or IntranetWare environment.
It will be available in February and its RRP is $2750 inc tax. All scan servers come with a three- year return-to-base warranty.
Tel (02) 9891 6611 Fax (02) 9891 5532
Share and share alike
A new print server which allows users to transparently share printers over the network has been introduced by switch and networking specialist D-Link Australia.
The Multiprotocol 10/100Mbps Dual Speed Print Server has guaranteed flexibility to accommodate a full range of platforms and network speeds. The DP-300 has a 10Base-T/100Base-TX "Nway" interface.
Files are printed transparently to the users, regardless of the software in use. The DP-300 can be monitored from any network man- agement software platform including HP's OpenView and Sun's SunNet Manager.
The DP-300's configuration program makes it easy to set up the print server, which can be configured in either a Windows 3.x, 95 or NT environment. It supports two parallel- and one serial-port printers. A Telnet version of the configuration program is available for computers not operating under a GUI Windows environment.
The DP-300 Multiprotocol 10/100Mbps Print Server is locally available for $695 (RRP).
Tel (02) 9417 7100 Fax (02) 9417 1077
Your troubles are over
A PC troubleshooting program that retails for around $80 allows users of all levels to repair problems and ensure their system is operating at its full potential. TouchStone Software's CheckIt v5 provides tools that pinpoint and solve computer problems, backup and restore critical system files, install new hardware components, uncover hidden conflicts and optimise system performance.
CheckIt's QuickCheck function automatically tests for and locates problems such as hardware glitches, setup conflicts and changes in performance. CheckIt Professional version is aimed at professional technicians and is the first 32-bit hardware troubleshooting utility to offer a complete PC diagnostic kit. The package includes versions for Windows 95 and DOS, antivirus software and 24 hour technical support.
CheckIt v5 has an RRP of $79.95 and the Professional Edition retails for $169 RRP. Both products are distributed by Marketing Results.
Tel (02) 9899 5888 Fax (02) 9899 5728
Twelve new models for Compaq
Compaq has announced the release of a new range of notebooks based on the Intel 266MHz MMX Pentium processor, and a newly-designed Armada 4200 family. The new Armada 4200 range includes two of the world's first ACPI-compliant portables with improved power management.
The changes cover the Armada models 7000, 4200 and 1500. The 7000 series of desktop notebooks now includes two models based on the 266MHz chip.
The Armada 7792DMT has a 13.3in colour display, a 5GB hard drive (expandable to 10GB) and an integrated AC adapter. The 7380DMT is a thin, lightweight notebook with the same performance as the 7792DMT. The base model weighs in at just 2.5kg and 1.5in thin. It has a 12.1in colour display and a 4GB hard drive. The Armada 7380DMT is priced at $8995 (RRP) and the 7792DMT is priced at $9995 (RRP).
The new Armada 4200 provides up to 500 hours of standby capacity and a 25 per cent increase in battery life.
The 4220T has a 266MHz MMX processor with a 4GB hard drive. The 4210T comes with a 233MHz MMX processor and a 3GB hard drive. Both notebooks come with 32MB of standard RAM (expandable to 96MB), a 64-bit graphics subsystem with 2MB EDO Video Ram and two 32-bit CardBus PC Card slots. RRP starts at $6195 (ex tax).
The Armada 4200 is designed for Windows 98 with full support for Windows NT.
The armada 1500 range has three new additions including the 1560 which has an RRP of $3495. Features include a 166MHz MMX processor and 2.1GB hard drive.
Tel (02) 9911 1999 Fax (02) 9911 1800
MathSoft has expanded its stable of products to include the S-PLUS Software Development Kit (S+SDK) for Unix. The new product gives users the ability to embed the statistical data mining and graphical engine within other Unix-based software applications. It can also be embedded into other applications or interfaces and stored centrally on a server for broad access by multiple end users.
S-PLUS is an effective tool for exploring corporate data and enabling precise, knowledge-driven decisions. MathSoft now offers full support for customising and deploying S-PLUS analytics across the major desktop environments throughout an organisation.
S+SDK is designed for C and C++ programmers, and allows them to incorporate analytical capabilities into software programs. The package provides an application programmer interface (API) for enhancing new and existing C and C++ programs. By providing an interface to S-PLUS, S+SDK allows the end user access to statistical and graphical capabilities.
It provides a general-purpose C and C++ library, allowing users to create, modify, and access and destroy arbitrary S-PLUS objects.
Pricing for the kit is $2700 RRP.
Tel (02) 9325 3175 Fax (02) 9325 3200
CoSession provides protection
by Mark Joseph Edwards
Being able to view and control a remote PC desktop is something many of us need on a daily basis for remotely configuring an application, or providing end-user technical support and so on.
Artisoft's CoSession Remote 32 V8 is a remote-control and communications package designed for Windows NT and Windows 95 systems.
The product can give you complete control over a remote system regardless of the location, and can be used for a multitude of different activities. The software also supports file transfers and live voice-chat communication.
CoSession supports WinSock; runs on Netware and LANtastic networks; and can make its connections via modems and other Microsoft-Intel Telephony API-compliant devices. These include parallel ports, ISDN devices and wireless LAN systems. CoSession works over NetBEUI, IPX/SPX and TCP/IP networks.
The software sports robust file access with easy drag-and-drop functionality. CoSession also has a related time-saving file feature called Intelligent Transfer, which only sends the changes to a file that has been edited.
So if you're working on a 5Mb file using a slower modem link, you won't have to wait nearly as long during "save" operations.
Other nifty file-related features are synchronisation and cloning, which keep files in sync between systems.
Playing it safe
On the security front, CoSession provides access protection via passwords, automatic callback, and encryption -- with keyboard and mouse locking features included for added protection. Users can control a wide variety of functionality and features, including limiting which components may be used during a session, limiting remote access to the mouse and keyboard, restricting remote file and directory access, and mandating CoSession-specific users and passwords.
CoSession also sports a phone book that makes configuring and establishing remote connections a breeze.
Additionally, CoSession includes live voice chat between systems that have sound cards and microphones -- a nice touch that could save you money on long-distance charges.
The nitty gritty
To set up the phone book entry, I needed to select the various components I wanted to use for this particular connection, such as File Transfer Client and Server, as well as Remote Control Viewer and Host.
I also needed to define a connection method and establish some security-access settings.
This whole process was very easy and straightforward, taking only a few minutes on each of the two machines on which I tested the software (I used one running Windows 95 and one running Windows NT Server; both of them were on a local 10MB Ethernet connection).
I found the performance to be pretty reasonable, with screen draws and menu navigation.
I discovered I could use the remote system just as though I was sitting directly at its key-board -- that's what I call remote computing power!
Overall, I found CoSession 32 Remote V8 to be everything the vendor says it is and more. The product is flexible and provides everything you need to control systems remotely. I highly recommend this product.
Artisoft's CoSession 32 Remote V8
This PC access package brings complete remote control of Windows NT and Windows 95 systems across many linksPros: Easy installation and configuration; robust feature set; compatible with many network protocolsCons: NonePlatforms: Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 95Price: $95 (ESP), one-PC version; $155 (ESP), two-PC version; $730 (ESP)Digital SolutionsTel (07) 3883 1851 Fax (07) 3283 1217www.artisoft.com