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Optiquest' bills its monitors as consistent performers for reasonable prices, and the excellent Optiquest V75 and V95bear this out. Both are among the best in their respective size classes and perform handily in a wide variety of applications. PC /I/agazine, October 6,/998- page202

It's one thing for a company to claim its products are the best. But when a publication like PC M ~ a azine honours it with Iheir rsspeoted Editors' II a• TI a• I Choice, you sit up and take notice. Optiquest took I •P I I the concept of a large screen monitor, combined it II • with a small footprint, and designed a winner — the I ~ 19e (18.0e viewable) V95. Imagine! A screen image large enough to handle business, graphics, gaming and Internet applications for PC and Mac environments, yet small enough to fit into the footprint of a17e (various viewable) monitor.

Backed by a limited 3/3/3 year warranty (3 years on CRT, parts and labour) the Optiquest V95, V75 and Vl 15 all offer impressive performance with their super fine 0.26mm dot pitch for sharp, crisp images; OnView' controls for simple on-screen Plicg & Sky+ adjustments; for easy installation with Windows® 95 and Windows' 98 and TCO and Energy Star' compliant for power efficiency — all this and more at the affordable Optiquest price. Why settle for less? The Editors' choice should be your choice in size, performance and price. Call 800-843-6784, to obtain the name of the dealer nearest you.

EDI'IQRS '

CIIOICE

tftt6 . 1I98 19'/18.0 21'/20.0 17"/16.0 Size/Iewable 0.26mm 0.26mm Dot Pitch 0.26mm 1600 x 1280 Max. Resolution 16 00 x 1200 1600 x 1280 0 timal Resolution 1280 x 1024O89Hz 280 x 1024@88Hz 1280 x 1024 I 88Hz

Optiquust V95 O rul e 1999

All decisions should be this easy!

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Corporatenamesandtrademarks slatedhereinarepraperly oftheir respechvecompanies. Specificalions subjectto changewithout notice. Copyright © 1998,Vlewsonic Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsott, Windows,WindowsNTand the Windows logo areregistered trademarks of MicrosoaCorporation in the U.S.and oiher countries.


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ow get the flexibility of truly customized PCs with the consistent quality and value of AOpen Certified Components. Built-to-order configurations actually ready-todeliver in 43-hours! And, your dl AOpen Custom PC, like the super- i fast Pentium® II processor-based Pentium d TBS-M450,indudes your choice of Microsoft Windows® 98, Windows 95® or Windows® NT operating systems. With AOpen you also get the power, service and support of a highly-respected multi-billion-dollar worldwide conglomerate. So if you' re in the market for just a few Custom PCs or enough systems to globally support an entire company, check-out the benefits of AOpen. You might be surprised at how much more your money can buy with AOpen's Custom PCs.

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FEATURES a

TCP's 5th annual gaming guide

o+

QP

92

Gord Goble reviews best of '98 software,hardware

The 1998 holiday buyer's guide Computer-aided fitness: a testimonial

20

The gift that keeps surfing: online services

108

Techno toys

22

Girl-friendly software ideas

110

Barbie camera, Lego robot are toys with a difference

Gifts for the notebooker Software gifts for growing minds

57

I'm dreaming of a silicon Christmas

60

Full-featured multimedia systems-for the whole family

A little something for your mouse

34

Family systems survey

40

NEWS R REVIEWS The search for bigger PCsound AltaVista naturally upgraded

13

Sony embracesconvergence

27

What's New

30

Microsoft revamps creativity line

46

Miniaturization big at Tokyo expo

47

1 GB PCCard storage in production

48

CBT addressesprofessional needs

69

Learning tailored to user preferences

earning

Gemini CBT developers share love of l

73

LAN Line: Heterogeneity a fact of network life

74

Needed: single view for e-messages

78

Are businessemail apps coping with digital deluge?

Letters „,

ISPCon 98 report

137

Tone of conference reflects vitality of ISP industry

MP3: The next audio frontier?

139

Top 10 Beatles' Web sites

146

t

Download some indoor entertainment

140

143

egKI

Qel PC guide for newly wired families

147

A nearly complete guide to dHTML

148

On the Go: Overseasphone adventures

82

Lawyer outlines digital property rights

149

Canadian payroll software

IKK9555

TCPs survey findsincreasein features,easeof use 126

RES

Presario 1230 costs little, delivers a lot

Weaving your own Web site: Part 39

150

Automatic text and images

152

ISI I

HP helps put web content on paper

Calendar ...

132

TCP looks at drive copying utilities

79

I

Classified ...

Don't copy it, clone it

SOHO: Prosand cons of extending credit

Canadian payroll software survey

What's New ...

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M acromedia's Design in Motion for print, Web

Electric Mail Co. thrives on solving clients' hassles

From the Editor ...

lKK<KHKI

Email vendors seekconverts

DEPARTMENTS

131

Logitech enhancesQuickCam

Microsoft introduces smart phone

129

Sonlab PC audio kits offer range of price, performance

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The last best computer Christmas?

116

164

Emb edded systems are the real millennial nightmare

User Groups ..... Computer Directory...„ .„..160

COMING UP IN GREATER TORONTO EDITION •

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You shouldn' t, of course. You should expect more. You should expect the kind of innovation, quality, and compatibility offered by Compaq, the industry leader in desktop computers. Case in point — our Deskpro EP. It's upgradable and has been tested for over 10,000 hours to ensure reliability. And, with Compaq you' re guaranteed exceptional service and support. Right now, the Deskpro EP with the Intel® Celeron

Processor 300 MHz is available for $1,495 — or $1,865 with a Compaq V55 15" monitor. Either way, you'd be hard pressed to find such a reliable solution at such an affordable price. Which is cause for some genuine happiness. For more answers, better answers, reach us at www.compaq.ca or

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

Continued froni page lO

cation that the drive can'tfind tire disk's zero track. In Canada, an lomega spokesperson says

lauded by practically every technology writer around.

ceased operations.Even though some stores still have some stock, good luck getting disks and current drivers, let alone support, as time goes on. 2. I was surprised that there was no reference to the Zip drive "click of death" controversy. Regardless of what you believe the scope of the problem to be, I believe it at least deserves a mention. The jury is still out on the reliability of this drive. 3. As for the SparQ, I have personal experience with just how unreliable this drive is â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I am on my fourth unit, as the first t hree failed. I f y o u c h eck ou t t h e alt.syquest newsgroup, you will see that my experience is far from unique. Also, it appears that there is a good chance that Syquest will be in the same boat as Avatar in the very near future, I wish the author

that, "If a customer hears anabnormal, repetitive

And speaking of the SparQ

had done a bit more digging before calling the SparQ a "better choice." John Meadows

clicking noise, Iomega technical service can walk the customer through a diagnostic process to dete rmineifthe clicking noiseis associated with a fimctioning problem." As well, Iomega has a service depot in Canada (Adtech)that honors the Zip wananty and has, "when necessary and appropriate, replaced out-of-warranty drives. The best place to read more about the COD and even download a free utility that will test your Zip or Jazdrive is the Unofficial Click of

I was disappointed in the way Rod Lamirand so easily glossed over the virtues of Syquest's SparQ drive in the October 1998 "Taking your data offline" piece. His comment suggesting that it be included in "high side of the price scale" category is a disservice to your readers. The figure used in the article for the cost of the drive was $300. One ad in the same issue offers it for $255. I bought my internal EIDE version at the April Death Homepage(blip://wwwthirdeyesp.corn). Computer Fest for even less than that. The 1 Regarding your comments about SyQuest, yes, it GB cartridges can be had for as low as $42. has had a serious nai on its stock and could ulti- The cost per MB here is an incredible $0.04. niately fail although the company is doing well with I think these numbers compare quite its i Mac SparQ USBand other products. This doesn' t favorably to the $450-$800 quoted for CD alter the fact that tire perip/reral is excellent and recorders or the drive and media costs for becoming widely supported. I visited the newsgroirp Sharks, Zips, SuperDisks, HiFDs, Syjets, you ment ioned and othersand fi nd no more com- DynaMOs, Jaz, Orbs, tapes or whatever else is plaints than with any other removable storage out there now. As for performance, wow. device.The SparQ has been and continues to be Average seek time is 12 ms, and the maximum

Rod Lamirand replies: It is true Avatar has unfortmiately gone out of business even tlrough they liad an excellent product that received good press. It is still (are(ear at this time if anyone will try to carry the product forward. And yes, the "click of death" (COD) issue is important to consimiers. Iomega has recently aimounced it is willi>ig to consider replacing or repairing Zip drives, even those no longer under warranty, on an individual basis in response to what has been called the click of death. lt is my understanding that COD is a tenn beingused to describe a nuinberof differentscenarios tliat result in the read heads seeking the cartridge's initial track. The noiseitselfis only an indi-

data transfer rate is 6.9 MBps. Aside from the limitless storage, applications run as fast off the SparQ drive as the computer's hard drive. It might sound like I'm very pleased with my SparQ drive. Well, Rod was right about one thing, big, fast and removable, it is where all the excitement is. Matthew Rapus

Creat advice I just caught the CBC show with Graeme Bennett and wanted to give him a congratulations on his demeanor and advice.(Editor's note: Graeme is a regidar giiest on tlie CBC AM noon to 2 p.m. prograni in the Vancouver listening area.)I have been working in computers since 1968 and have been in the technical end for the past 12 years and I think this man is great for the industry as a whole. I don't sell systems but do advise some folks as to what might suit their needs and I would and will recommendTCPas

a great place to get advice. Thanks again. Shayne Smith

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 199&

W INTE L C O M P U T E R S

icroso t intro uces s mart o n e

Hours: Mon-Fn 10AM-8PM SAT. IOAMWPM

88

with the phone, for example, is "delete mes-

By Ceof Wheelwright

Microsoft product will suffer any such probet's see now: Microsoft has so far made a lems, but it is an issue that will undoubtedly bid to include software in your comput- come to light quickly if they exist. A feature that seems to be immediately e r, your c h ildren's toys ( with i t s Actimates range), your car (with the AutoPC quite useful is the Call Manager's voice mail developed in conjunction with Clarion), your system, which allows you to create individual watch (the product it developed in conjunc- voice mailboxes for family members, business tion with Timex) and on your television (with calls and any other group of individuals you

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specify, as well as store thousands of messages on your hard disk. Messagescan be retrieved

RNlcrosoft CordlessPhone System From: Microsoft Canada http: //www.microsoft.corn Suggested retail price: $289

WebTV). What's next? Turns out it's the humble telephone. At

the beginning of October, Microsoft Canada announced the introduction of the company's first telephone: the $289 Microsoft Cordless Phone System. It's a 900 MHz phone that

hooks up to your PC and uses Caller ID technology to your handle calls and phone messages. And, not surprisingly, PC-based software is what Microsoft uses to do this. The software creates what Microsoft calls an Enhanced Caller ID system that lets you create "personalized greetings for different callers and block unwanted callers, while letting high-priority callers ring through." In addition, it includes a Caller ID Announce feature that lets you

via the Microsoft handset or from any outside phone. The software also automatically logs all incoming and outgoing calls on the PC.

To use the Microsoft Cordless Phone System software, you' ll need a PC with at least a 90 MHz Pentium CPU running Windows 95 or 98

The Microsoft Cordless Phone System includes a 40-channel, 900 MHz cordless handset, a charging cradle that can be placed anywhere in the home and a base station that connects to the phone line and the PC serial hear who's calling through the handset speak- port. The unit also features a hold button, a er before you pick up the phone. redial button, volume control, an out-ofWell, you may already have all that just by range alert and a low-battery warning. virtue of having a Caller ID box on your teleTo use the Microsoft Cordless Phone phone line, a good memory for numbers and System software, you' ll need a PC with at least a basic answering machine. So Microsoft has a 90 MHz Pentium CPU running Windows 95 strengthened its proposition with something or 98. The PC must have an available serial it calls Call Manager Voice Command. No port, 16 MB of available RAM (32 MB recomprizes for guessing what this does — it lets you mended), 30 MB to 100 MB of hard disk space, placecalls and check messages by speaking a CD-ROM drive, a 256-color monitor and simple commands into the cordless handset. adapter, and a 16-bit Windows-compatible

Merely saying, "call Hughie," will immedi- sound card with a microphone and speakers or headphones. have previously stored as Hughie's number. To use Voice Command, Caller ID or voice One thing to note here is Microsoft's claim messaging, the PC must be tumed on and be that the voice-recognition technology used in running the Call Manager software. To use its Cordless Phone System can correctly recog- Caller ID features, the user must subscribe to nize voices from different users without Caller ID service from their local telephone "training" the system's voice-command func- company. 0 ately put you through to the number that you

UP G R A C3E

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One of the major improvements to the site is AV Full View Searching, made up of two current and one new search techniques. The new Ask AltaVista lets users search the Web by asking natural language questions. The site then checks the question with the six million questions already on file to provide a single answer. AltaVista research editors have already sear'ched the Internet to hand-pick Web sites that best answer users' most popu-

lar questions, Francis said. Compaq had already used index search and directory search for AltaVista. Both of those techniques are included in AV Full View Searching. Family surfing is easier now through AltaVista Family Filter, which uses technology from Spyglass Inc.'s SurfWatch Software division. AltaVista Family Filter screens out objectionable material, such as pornography and hate or violence-related materials. AV Family Filter first checks to see if the

page belongs to an objectionable category, then reviews information on the page with SurfWatch technology. AltaVista also incorporates editorial filtering, givin'g users the power to help identify potentially objectionable pages which they can submit to AltaVista for review. A new feature exclusive to AltaVista is the

AV Photo Finder, which can search some 10 million pictures and images on the Web. With AV Photo Finder, users type a request and results are immediately delivered as thumb-

nail sketches ranked by relevance. Websurfers can then link to the Web page where the image is located, or just to the image. The new AltaVista guide also has 8simpler address, http:l/www.altavista.corn, after Compaq settled a two-year legal battle with the previ-

ously known AltaVista Technology Inc. over the trademark and Web address.The new address for the search engine is now in opera-

tion at http: //www.av.corn. 0


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G IFT G U I D E

DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

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n the home computing market, as in all consumer markets, the season leading up to Christmas is the biggest buying and selling period of the year. Computer hardware and software developers gear up to launch new products in time for the season. Retailers advertise their speciais, merchandise their product lines in fancy store displays, and, increasingly, go onto the Web to market or sell.

ble, enlightened, creative and enjoyable. This issue's Holiday Gift Guide aims to present a sampling of the best of the season' s offerings in computer hardware, software, books, online services, and related products. Even if you have no intention of buying a tech product or service this holiday season, it should be a fun window-shopping expedi-

We consumers check the products and prices in the ads in this publication and

Some assembly required?

friends, family and yourself iooms large on millions of Canadians' to-do lists. No matter what our religious beliefs, and no matter whether or not we personally find the materialistic mania of the holiday season exciting or excruciatingly

quickly can one get to the fun, or the productive part of a hardware or software product, and how little hassle does one have to go through to get there'? ln many of our families, there is almost always a quiet period during the holidays, when everyone just relaxes, and amongst

tion.

One of the principal factors determining elsewhere, and look for the biggest bang for what got into our guide this year was overall the budget. As the dock ticks down to Dec. usability. A big part of that, in our testing, 25, the question of what gifts to choose for was the "out-of-the-box" experience. How

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obnoxious, it's hard to escape it. Here at The Computer Paper,the

other things, tinkers with the presents they

December issue is both a received. Almost inevitably, a computerchallenge and an oppor- related product requires some attention, tunity. The challenge whether it is hours spent learning a new lies in trying to help game, or installing an internal graphics card our readers find out

or modem, or getting an external printer or

what is most benign,

scanner to work.

enjoyable and affordj

S e,

The Windows/intel (Wintel) PC is still

able in the flood of high-

nowhere as simple as it should be, and prod-

tech products and services. The opportunity, as we look u p fr o m the trenches of the "feeds and speeds" obsess ion wit h t h i n g s

ucts that have been well engineered to overcome the inherent flakiness of the Wintel p latform earned special attention in o ur

guide. This year we' ve also put an emphasis on affordability. Most of the software products

faster, o f hi g h er and online services listed here fall in the $20 capacity and lower cost, is to $70 range, while most of the hardware to consider aspects of comput- productsare in the $100 to $400 range. ing that may make life more sociaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jeff Evans


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Computer-aided fitness: A personal testimonial actually possible to morph that sloth-inducing pile of metal and plastic on the computer desk into a fitness-control centre, and to morph the slothful PC user into a more active, healthier computerist. I was given a CD-ROM title called Active Trainer, by LaserMedia

eral months ago. I installed the program on a 200 MHz Pentium PC running Windows 95, and checked out its basic features. The Active Trainer program is nicely laid out, with a logical step-by-step approach to assessing your fitness level, and designing a program "to (http: //www.lasermedia.corn/trainer) to review sev- lose weight, build muscle, or improve general

t could be argued that the sheer amount of time spent sitting and staring at a computer screen — to the extent that it displaces physical exercise, reading„and interacting with loved ones — is potentially a serious danger to one's quality of life. However, this writer has found that it is

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Our I44o dpi lets you see this poster is made from fresh vegetables. And the farmer's market that sells them was just as particular selecting their printer. Sure, other printers might show heads of lettuce. But with an Epson' printer,

they'd see every leaf of Radicchio, Bibb and Boston. And so would their customers.

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health." I' ll admit I was intimidated by the f riendly, sleek, buff athletes who appear in the onscreen videos giving demonstrations, advice and encouragement. I didn't actually begin using Active Trainer seriously until several months later. After stepping on the bathroom scales one beautiful June morning, I decided to see if this product could actually help me get back into shape. Over my 15-year history in the computer industry I had consistently gained about six pounds a year due to a combination of a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. (I was addicted to the Four Fast Food Groups: grease, sugar, salt and chocolate.) So I got with the program, doing the v ideo-guided fitness test that is the first stage of the Active Trainer program. I learned t o m easure m y own pulse and to use the (included) tape measure and fat calipers, and set up my own customized nutrition and exercise program on the computer. Active Trainer is very helpful in all these activities, with an included feature for printing out monthly and weekly schedules. I don't have any exercise equipment nor do I belong to a gym, so I settled for a program of better nutrition, following the Active Trainer suggestions (this must be the only piece of software that comes with a virtual cafeteria, plus a stretching area, aerobics studio and weight room). I eventually settled on a combination of healthier meal planning coupled with lots of walking, and aerobic and stretching exercises. Over the next four months, I lost 47 pounds and took seven inches off my waistline. For the first time in years, I can climb stairs and run without puffing. I still have about 40 pounds to lose, which I expect will take another six months or so (that last 10 pounds are said to be the toughest). I intend to move on to a second title in the Active Trainer series, the Active Body Blast program from Laser Media, to work on improving my abdominal muscles and to begin to improve my upper body strength. Much of the progress I' ve made so far is directly attributable to the Active Trainer program. To be honest, though, my progress is also due to a variety of personal factors. I have to thank my family for their continual encouragement and positive reinforcement throughout the process. As well, Scarlett, the family dog, has been my endlessly available walking companion. She makes sure I don't miss my daily morning and evening walks, even when I'm feeling lazy and the weather is lousy. So there you have it: fitness synergy, consisting of the Active Trainer software program, a Pentium 200 MHz PC, a laser printer for printing my schedules, love and encouragement from my family, and a tireless pooch for a companion, equals a fitter lifestyle. I still have a fairly serious substance abuse problem with chocolate, but we won't go into that.

—/eff Evans


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DECEMBER 'I 998 THE COMPUTER PAPER CREATERTORONTO EDITION

www.tcp.ca

ec no "to s" Toy makers and software developers have teamed together to produce two unbelievably great techno/computer toys for kids this holiday season By Jean Allen-Ilteson arbie Photo Designer with D i gital Cainera and the Lego Technics robotics system with external sensors and a RCX programmable controller are of superior quality and their technology is beyond even the high end of kids' toys, While they are to be played with, calling them "toys" is an understaternent. You need deep pockets I' or both of these items, yet they are bargains considering their sophistication. I put my 12-year-old to bed at 11 p.m. still trembling with excitement after three hours of studying, building and testing his first "robot." The I I-year~id girl and her mother who tested the Barbie Digital Camera were equafly pleased with its technical quali-

B

.

1.5 million pixels lactuaf size}.

ty and fun value. Barbie Photo Designer: Dlllltal Camera 8r CD-ROM

-

-

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From: Mattel Media Tel: 888-633-4211, http:f/www.maltelmedia.corn For. Windows 95 System requirements: PCwith 90 MHzPentium CPU, serial port (9-pin cable included; 25-pin adapter required Ior PCs with a 25-pin serial part); color printer recommended; minimum of a Pentium 98 List price: $99.99

'PS + Ca

T he Bar b i e Photo Designer comes with a real digital caine ra that w i l l

store up to six M w

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p ictures at a time. It can also be used connected t o a

corn put er,

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which allows users to take 20 shots before having to decide which ones are keepers. Pictures may be taken indoors or out and no flash is necessary. In this respect, it performs exactly as advertised. To view the photos, simply connect the camera to your computer via the supplied serial cable and download pictures. Children are drawn to cameras but par-

Now put your eyeballs back in.

ents often avoid giving them to children because of the cost of film and developing. With a digital camera, both parents and children are satisfied â&#x20AC;&#x201D; there are no film and

developing costs, and the pics are viewable

immed iately,which really appeals to kids.

Younger girls, aged six to 10, who are Barbie fans will enjoy being able to use their photos with Barbie crafts. They can create

The Fuji MX-700. Can you believe somethingthis compact can deliver the high quality i magery of I.5 million pixels, easily

Barbie postcards, a personalized scrapbook, or develop an animated Barbie movie using their

merge images of brilliant quagty into documents, presentations,

webpages, or the Internet, and still cost under $10007 Seeing is believing. Call Fuji at I-800-461-7380 for more information.

kiilal

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photo subjects. A real benefit is that it encour-

ages girls to view thecomputer as a tool that they can manipulate with other objects such as cameras to create fun activities and projects. The downside of this exciting tool is its limited target market. Where is the camera for boys? What about girls who have grown a little


THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

too old for Barbie, as the 11-year-old tester has? She loved the camera and how it worked but didn't want to be associated with what she perceived'as a younger girls' toy. As well, the resolution of images taken with the camera is fairly mediocre compared to~ok(Re digital cameras (what do you expect

fckO$99); Tbg orl-screen controls are all icons so girls in the'six to seven year age group won't need special reading skills to get the most out of their camera. However, learning what the symbols mean does take some time. Parents should expect to spend some time with their children helping them learn how to use the camera and software. There are some additional bonuses with this package. The camera comes with a timer so girls can set up the camera to take pictures of themselves. And just like "adult" imaging software, Barbie Photo Designer allows girls to play with special effects and filters. Photos can be printed on color inkjet or laser printers. Parents may also preselect the amount of space reserved on the PC for pictures so the entire hard drive will not be filled with the creations of your budding Annie Liebowitz. The software includes an excellent help function with suggestions by Barbie on taking pictures. Altogether a rather fuJR and inexpensive introduction to picture taking and using the computer as a creative tool.

GIFT G IU I 9 K

RoboSports, which will allow kids to create robots that can shoot hoops, flick pucks, and kids. Suddenly, the $299 price tag becomes FIRST (hllp://www.usfirst,org), a non-profit dart through an obstacle course; and Extreme reasonable for the level of technology and robotics competition in the U,S. that attracts Creatures, which will provide the parts to value in hands-on training for future engi- entries from hundreds of high schools, is spon- build "animals" whose movements and neers, programmers and designers. soring a competition for middle school kids behavior mimics those of nearly any member of the animal kingdom. The original sets are In fact, Mindstorms was developed by using Mindstorms as the basic components. LEGO over 10 years with Massachusetts So what can kids do with their robot7 They required to use the expansion sets. LEGO has also created a Web site just for Institute of Technology (MIT), whose world can create everything from a light-sensitive renowned Media Lab (http://www.media.mit.edII/) intruder alarm to a robotic rover that can follow kids to share their Mindstorm ideas, which includes Web page design, chat rooms, mesconducts advanced research into a broad range a trail, avoid obstacles or even pick up a can. LEGO is also releasing two expansion sets: sage boards and on-line tutorials. CI of information technologies including artificial design challenges in high school and university, but is structured enough for middle school

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THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

NEWS ggg

www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

on em races conver ence Sy Jeff Evans ony is a name most people are familiar with, but not necessarily in connection with computers. They are probably more familiar with this pioneering technology manufacturer for its premium products in professional and consumer video and audio markets, and in name brand consumer electronics. Sony invented the first portable transistor radio, the first portable video tape camera system, the f i rst v i deocassette player, the Walkman portable cassette tape player, and the first commercial compact disc player. Sony has been an innovator in product design and miniaturization of consumer electronics. In the computer field, Sony is known for components and peripherals: the Trinitron cathode ray tube (CRT) and monitor lines; digital cameras, including the Mavica models which use floppy disks for storage; CD-ROM, floppy, and mass storage drives; and digital media supplies. Although Sony has a long history as a PC vendor in Asian markets, it has only recently been linked with consumer PCs in North America. In Canada, its high-end video audio integrated operation (VAIO) line of consumer PCs was expanded in July to include notebooks.

Why Jump into a dogfight? Many observers wonder why Sony, at such a late date, would jump into the notoriously ruthless, low-margin consumer PC market. After all, competition has become fiercer than ever recently, as prices for entry-level PCs plunge under $1,000. Only a handful of companies — Compaq, IBM, Dell, NEC/Packard Bell and Toshiba — account for about 60 percent of the entire market. Why doesn't Sony just stick to selling monitors, drives, cameras, and other, more profitable parts of the computing puzzle? The answer is Sony believes it has something unique to offer as video, audio, telecom, and computers move to a common digital format — a process known as convergence. The mother of aii miniaturization Founded in the economic ruins of post-war Japan in1946, the company that became Sony displayed a strong interest early on in commercializing the latest technologies in the form of high-quality, leading-edge electronics products. Sony's original team of technicians adapted magnetic tape technology (acquired during the Second World War from Imperial Japan's technology partner, the Third Reich) into Japan's first magnetic tape recording system. Soon after the invention in America of the . exotic new transistor, Sony paid cash for the Japanese license and created a high quality transistor radio. Sony thereby created a whole new market for portable consumer electronics

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Nswlll AccelGraphics GMX 3D 2000 96MB AGP $3,9$5 Newlll AcceIGALAXY 52MB Dual Screen AGP $3,205 Newlll AccelGALAXY 36MB Dual Screen AGP $2,995 AcceIECUPSE42 w/15MB 3DRAM+16MB AGP $2,205 AccsIECLIPSEN2 w/15MB 3DRAM416MB PCI $2,005 AccelECLIPSE-20 w/15MB 3DRAM+4MB AGP $1,695 AcceLSTAR 0 w/BMB SGRAM OpenGL AGP/PCI$250

MATROX DigiSuite Quad Stream 60MB/sec RT $CALL MATROX DigiSuits LE Dual Stream 30MB/sec w/SR40 $8,795 MATROX DigiSuits LE Dual Stream 30MB/ssc RT $7,405 MATROX DigiSuits incl. Digimix, DigiSoft, CAV Cable $6,005 MATROX DigiMix Video Breakout Box Desktop/Rack $1,050 MATROX DigiMix Audio Breakout Box Desktop/Reck $1,395

COLORGRAPHIC Evolution Quad Display PCI $1,0$5 COLORGRAPHIC Pro Ughtning Quad Display PCI $805 COLORGRAPHIC Twin Tuna Dual Display w/TV $1,005

3D Labs / Dynamic Pictures OXYGENWMX 96MB $2,995 3D Labs / Dynamic Pictures OXYGEN-RPM 84MB $1,995 Dynamic Pictures OXYGEN 402 32MB SDRAM $1,705 Dynamic Pictures OXYGEN 202 16MB SDRAM $1,405 Dynamic Pictures OXYGEN 102 3D 8MB SDRAM $550

Newl DPS Perception RT Real Time Dual Stream NLE $8,505 DPS Perception Video Recorder PVR-2500 PCI Digital $2,4$5 DPS Perception Live Video Capture Daughter Card $1,1$5 MIRO Video DC50 PRO Video Editing KN w/Component $2,795 MIRO Video DC30 Plus Digital PRO Video Editing Kit $1,2$5 MIRO Video DV300 Digital Video Capture Fire-Wire Kit $$95 Truvision Targe 2000 DTX for Win NT with Cable $0,3$5 Truevision Targe 2000 Pro Component Video In/Out $5,$$5 Trusvisien Targe 2000 Cemposit 6-VHS Video In/Out $0,190

ELSA Gloria-XXL GMX-1000 16MB+24MB AGP $2,595 ELSA Gloria-XL Glint MX 16 VRAM 24 EDO PCI $2,195 ELSA Glerta4/MX Glint MX 8 VRAM 16 EDO PCI $1,205 ELBA Gloria Synergy BMB S-VideoIn/Out PCI/AGP $205 SYMMETRIC Glydsr MX16 GUNT 500MX 16MB $1,105 SYMMETRIC GLyderMax' 84bit 8MB SDRAM PCI $225

:g::IRAPHICI" NewTek Ughwave 3D 5.6 Intel/Mac, SGI, Alpha $2,005 NewTekLighwave 3D Upgrade 5.0to 5.6 Intel,Ma c $750 NswTsk Inspire 3D Version 1, Intel, Macintosh $750 NewTekAura Paint Version 1 Intel, DEC Alpha $1,050 NewTek Calibar Portable Signal Generator $075 Softlmage v3.8 Extreme WinNT/Alpha/SGi $CALL 3D StudioMaxv2.5/3D Studio Vlx v2.0 Intel/Alpha $Cag Quark Express v4.0 Desktop Pubgshing Sofware $1,150 Discreet Logic EDIT vs for Mstrox DigiSulte LE $CALL Discreet Logic EDIT v4.0 for Targe DTXIRTX/SDX $CALL Inscriber CG Titter for Non<inner Video EdiEng $1,605 Inscriber CG Titter Motion Effects for NLE ~. $1,005 In:Sync Speed Razor 4.0 RT Video Editing Soft. $7,595

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Sony 21" Multlscan 500PS Trinitron .25dp $2,005 Sony 19" Multlscan 400PS Trinitron 25dp $1,325 Mitsublshi 19" Diamond Pro 900U 25dp $1,250 .'

ELBA ERAZOR-LT BMS 250Mhx nVIDIA12BZX $150

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TuNe Beach Pinscle Project Studio MIDI/Digital SPD/IF $625 Turtle Beach Multi Sound Fiji with Digital I/O Kit SPD/IF $450 Turtle Beach Montego A3D PCI 18bit Stereo Sound Card $140

OLYMPUS OL<00 OIBICsmsra Corno $000 AQFA OUOBCAN 12000 XLMAC/PC $0,990 AQFA OUOBCAN PC - FULL PB 4.0 $3,090 AGFA OUOBCAN SOLO MAC/PC $3,400 AGFA STUOIOBTAR PC- LE PBHOP $?00 AGFA EPHOTO 1000X1300 1.3M PIX $1~0 MICROTEK BCANMAKER 0 30bit$CALL 3IICROTEK X6LE SCSI 000X1200 30blt $3?0

WACOM ARTZ 0 13xls Tablet w/Psn $0?5 WAGON ARTZ 6 tzx12 Po/Msc Tablet $700 WACOM ARTZ 6 BXB Po/Mao Tablet $000 WACOBI ARTZ 0XB Po/Mao Tsbtst $450

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REAL 3D Laser Camera Subsystem $43,000 HITACHI MPEG Camera Bundle $2100 NswIKODAK OC-200 Otgttat Camera $CALL

MATROX Marvel G200-TV 154nens 2D&3D $30$ MATROX 0SLLENNIUM G200 0MB AGP 3D OEM $160 MATROX MYSTIQUE Q200 BMB AQP 3D RETAIL $1$5 MATROX BMB UPGRADE - MILLENNIUM G-200$$5

EPBON STYLUS COLOIL90001?x32 $3,390 EPSON STYLUS COLOR Photo EX $000 EPBON STYLUS COLOR Photo?00 $300 EPBON STYLUS COLOR4I901400dpi $400 EPSON STYLUS COLOR-740 1400dpi$390 EPSON STYLUS COLOR4I40 720dpt$305 EPBON STYLUS COLOR440 Tzsdpi $339

HEWLETT PACKARD lASER 0000N $3,790 HEWLETT PACKARD lASER 0000N $CALL HEWLETT PACKARD LASER 4000T $1,090 HEWLETT PACKARO LASER 0USP $CALL ;

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DVD CresEon Sys. $16$,4$5 Altec Lansing ADAGIOS/ ADA?0/ ACSM1 $265/ $219/ $129 CREATIVE lABS GRAPHIC BLASTER TNT 16IEB $229 COMPLETE PIONEER DVD40ECORDER SCSI$23,905 Cambridge MlcroWorks Stereo Speakers with Subwoofsr $340 CREATIVE lABS 3D BLASTER BANSHEE 18MB $150 PANASONIC 4X / 8X Ide/SCSI CD.R $350 Cambridge SoundWorksStereo Speaker with Subwoofer $105 CREATIVE LASS 3D BLASTER VeeDee2 BMB 5175 PANASONIC 32X E4DE CD4tOM $79 PLEXTOR CD-R' 4X/12X SCSI INT. $5?5 SonicFoundry ACID Loop-Based Music Production Tool $450 STB VELOCITY 440-TV16MB AGP RIVA TNT $275 PLEXIOR 32X CD-ROM SCSIINT.$250

Sonic Foundry ACID PH Loopklased Music Production $129 STB VELOCITY 440 16MS AGP nVIDIA RIVA TNT $260 Sonic FoundrySound Forge 4.5 Pro Sound Editing $550 STB VELOCITY 120 BMB AGP nVIOIA RIVA 120 $149 Sonic Found Sound For s / ACID Plu -ins Libraries $CALL REAL 3D STARFIGHTER INTEL l740BMB AGP $150

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e Genuine Intel 440BX-2 Pentiwn-II INaln Board + 100 Mhz Bus, 512k Cache, AGP, Virus Protection e 128MB 144Mhz SORAM, 1A4k Panasonic Floppy e 14AGB IBM Deskstar Ultra43MA Hard Drive e 8.5ms 7300 RPM 512k Cache 33MB/sec + Mid-Tower ATX Case 250Watt Power Supply e ELSA ERAZOR4I SD16MB AGP RIVA TNT e 19" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 900U-.25dp Trinitnrn e PnP N.l. SVGA TCO MRP-II 1600X'l200 O75Hz + Creative Labs Sound Bisster Live Value Stereo + 256-VoicePolyphony,3D Stereo,48pk Output e CambridgeSoundWorks 32W Speakers with Sub. e Hi-VAL/Kenwood 40X E-I D E CD-ROM 6MB/sec e 104K Keytronic Keyboard IL Logitech USB Mouse e USRobotics 56.6K X2 v,90 Fax I Modem / Voice Windows98 on CD with Manuals Preinstalled Add: Microsoft ONce 07 Pro $295

e Ablt BH4 Intel 44QBX Pentlum4l illsin Board e 100 Mhz Bus, 512k Cache, Virus P93tection + 64MB 144Mhz SDRAM, 1.44k Panasonic Floppy e 7.568 ilaxtor Diamond Max Plus Hard Drive e gms 7,200 RPM 512k Cache 33MB/sec e CreativeLabs 3DBlaster 16INB AGPTNT e 17" Viewsonic OptiQuest V-71 .27dp Monitor + Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live Value Stereo + Altec Lansing ACS%5 Stereo Speakers w/SUB + Panasonic 32X E-IDE CD-ROM 4,600KB/sec + 1Q4K Keytronic Keyboard 8, Logitech Mouse e USRobotics 56.6K X2 v.90 Fax lModem /Voice e Windows98 on CD with Manuals Preinstalled • Gorel WordPerfect Suite 6, Coral Photo House e Microsoft Encarta 96 Encyclopedia on 2 Cd's e 3D Movie Maker, Ms Golf, Ms Cinemania, Money e Acclaim Foresaken, Mighty Math, Science House

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e ASUS P28 440BX Penttum-II Main Board e 10QMhz Bus, 512k Cache, AGP, Virus Protection + 6.4GB Quantum Fireball EX U-ATA Hard Drive + 9.5ms 5,400 RPM 512Kb Cache 33MB/sec + 64MB SDRAM 144Mhz,' f.44 Panasonic Floppy e ELBA ERAZOR LT 3DSMB AGP 128bltVideo e 17" Viewsonic OptiQuest V-71 27dp Monitor e PnP N.l, SVGA TOO MRP-li Low Radiation + Creative Sound Blaster Live Value 3D Stereo e PCI Bus, 256-Voice Synthesis, Multi-Speakers + Panasonic32X E-IDE CD-ROM 4,600Kb/sec e 120 Watts Powered Stereo Speakers + 104K Mitsumi W95 Keyboard 8 Logitech Mouse e AGER 56.6k Flex V.90 Fax/Modem/Voice e Windows98 on CD with Manuals Preinstalled

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USROBOTICS COURIER 56K X2 v.SQ INT. $319 USROBOTICS COURIER 56K X2 v.90EXT. $389 USROBOTICS SPORTSTER 50K VOICE INT.$130 USROBOTICS SPORTSTER 58K VOICE EXT.$279 ACER 56k vrlg ITU-50 PnP-FAX/ilodem/Voice $89 SEAGATE Cheetah 1868 Uitra2/Wide SCSI 7ms $1,995 Diamond SupralNax58K v.00Fax/Modem/Voice $85 SEAGATE Cheetah 968 Uitra2/Wide SCSI 7.5rns $1,095 SEAGATE Cheetah 4.568 UltraWide SCSI 7.5ms $750 ORV / CPS"., SEAGATE Barracuda 1868 UltraWIde SCSI Sms $1,705 SEAGATE Barmcuda 0.1 Uitra2/Wide SCSI 7ms 7200R $050 M E IN 0 R Y SEAGATE Medalist Pro 9.168 USTA IDE 7200 RPM Sms $375 Shelhrsv lOO / 1 4 4 af i l ez QUANTUIN ATLAS QI10268 U2/W SCSI 7200 RPM Sms $1,595 NIGN OUAIJTY ULTRAIST uODULm tSauna QUANTUIN ATLAS SIS.168 U2/WIDE SCSI 7200 RPIN Sms $050 256MB PC.100INHZ SDRAIN $1,305 QUANTUM FirebaS EX 12,1 68 U-ATA IDE 5400 RPM Sms $495 128INB PC-100MHZ SDRAM $305 QUANTUM FlrebaS EL 10.5 68 USTA IDE 5400 RPIN Sms $305 64INB PC-100ilHZ SDRAM $250 QUANTUil FirebaS EL 7.8 GB USTA IDE5400 RPIIII Sms $320 32INB PC-100ilHZ 8DRAM $125 QUANTUIN Firebas EX 6A GB USTA IDE 5400 RPM Sms $279 QUANTUIN FirehaQ EL 5.1 68 U-ATA IDE 5400 RPM 9ms $235 32MB PC-100MHZ SDRAM $09 64MB PC-1 QQMHZ8DRAIN $139 Newlti SINART VldsoRAID 4068 High Speed Disk Array $2295 128MB fsC-100MHZ SDRAM $24S SMART VldeoRAID 2068 High Speed Disk Array $1,295 S INART V i d e o R A I I ? 2 Q G B U p g r a d e $ 90 5 32INB SDRAM 10ns w/eprom $65 04MB SDRAM 10ns w/eprom $135 -'MMI I S M S S' " i 128INB SDRAM 10ns w/ eprom $245 ASUS P28 Intel 4408X Pentlurrhtl PCI/AGP 233%50Mhz $229 ASUS P28 CI 440BX Pentium41 PCI/AGP U2/W SCSI $475 e P U ASUS P284IS 440BX DUAL Pentlum.ll U2/W SCSI $650 INTEL PENTIUSINI450Mhz $930 ASUS P2L07426 440LX U/W SCSI DUAL 233Q33Mhz $305 INTEL PENTIUM4I 400Mhz $505 ASUS PSA Super7 AGP 100Mhz Main Board 233-350 $149 INTEL PENTIUM4I 350Mhz $395 INTEL PENTIU004I333Mhz $305 ABIT TX-5440TX Pentium PCI SoftMenu 75-266Mhz $125 INTEL PENTIUM41 300Mhz $350 ABIT BH4 4408X Pentlum41 AGP SoftMenu 233450 $169 INTEL PENTIUIIIINI 268llhz $325 ABIT BX4I 4408X Pentfum4l AGP SoftMenu 233450 $209 INTEL CELERON 333Mhz $245 INTEL INS440GXXEON Technology 1QQMhz Up-to450 $1,3S5 INTEL CELERON 300A Mhz $225 INTEL N4408X Dual Pentium4I 100Mhz w/SCSI+LAN $095 INTEL SE440BX-2Penttum4l 100Mhz w/yamaha Sound $275 AIND KS 2 3D MMX 350Mhz $235 INTEL SE440BX-2 Pentlum4l 100INhz without Sound $250 AIND KS-2 3D INilX 333Mhz $175 IBM Ultrastar 9.1GS Ultra2/Nde SCSi 0.5ms 7200RPIN $950 IBM Deskstsr 14.468 Ultra-DMA IDE LQms 7200RPM $095 IBil Deskstar 10.168 Ultra-DMA IDE L5ms 540QRPM $450 IBM Dsskstar 8AGB Ultra-DMA IDE 0.5ms 5400RPIN $395

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp,ca

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Photo Statlosi edits images via TV developed four new printers to help meet TOKYO (NB) — Canon Inc.'s new digital photo these demands. They range in price from editing unit, the Digital photo Station pA-200, $2,495 to $7,995. allows users to edit, store and print digital The Phaser 740L is a "color-capable"' unit, images using a conventional television set as a which means that for $2,495 the customer monitor. The new system eliminates the need buys a monochrome printer that can be

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fourth generation printer in this category. The

image rotation, image enlargement and $4,295 printer is rated at 10 ppm for color and reduction, sepia and monochrome photo black and white. The company says it has retouching, color adjustments, effects includ- developed a new ink formulation, and claims

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ing oil paint and watercolor, illustrated photoframe overlays and text input. The entire unit can also be operated by remote control and with an optional infrared wireless keyboard. The unit will be released in Japan in mid-November. International release dates have not been announced. Canon, http: //www,canon.corn

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COivIPUTER PARTS SUPPLIER/COMPUTER SYSTEM.INTEGRATOR .

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upgraded to color. It is rated at 16 pages per minute (ppm) and offers a resolution of 1,200 dots per inch (dpi). The internal processor

runs at 133 MHz, and it comes with PostScript 3 and PCLS, 16 MB of RAM, and also has 10Base-T networking built in. YYhen customers upgrade the 740L to Users can create an album file and edit color, they essentially create the Phaser 740, images taken with digital cameras and, once which is also available as a separate model. the images have been organized and manipu- The $3,495 printer is rated at 5 ppm for color lated, they can be stored on a 120 MB and has a duplex-printing option. Other specs SuperDisk. Images can also be printed out are the same as the 740L when a compatible Canon inkjet printer is Tektronix is often associated with solid ink

QN SITE UPGRAM 4, REPAIR Certi5ed Technicians

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for a personal computer and opens up the digital camera market to any consumer. It supports both Compact Flash and Smart Media memory cards and can also accept images from floppy disks and RS-232C compatible cameras. The CIFF and EXIF memory formats are also supported.

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the 840 has (with the exception of the Phaser 740) the lowest cost per page of any color printer. It also claims the 850 has the fastest time for first page out. The Phaser 780 will handle up to 13x19 in. paper, allowing for full-tabloid bleeds. The $7,995 printer Is aimed mainly at the graphic arts proofing market, with a second market being business users who need large-format output (for s preadsheets, for example).

Tektronix rolls oat four color prlssters Calling it a "defining moment for us in work- Output from the Phaser 780 is about $.50 per group printing," Pat O' Brien, Tektronix's vice- page, according the company.

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Case ATX Tower From $65. AT Tower From $30. Keyboard From $11.CPU: intel. AMD, Cyrix/IBM. Cd-Rom 24x Fram $55. 32x From$62. 36x From$69. 40x From $85. Hard Drive 2.1gTa 10g. Flappy 1.44mFrom $22. MOdem 33.6k From $30. 56kFrom $59. MOuSe From $5. Moaitor 14" From$150. 15" From $189. 17" From$328. Rata 30pins 72pms 168pins.Printer Canon, Epsan.Motherboard Abit, Acer, Asus, Gigabyte. Houston, Saya, FIC And Others.CPU Faa From $4. Network: Card, Hub dk Cable. Nic From $5. Sound Card 16bit From $13. SCaaaei' From $85,VideO Card Ati, Matrax, Diamond And Others.Speaker From $12.

4.36 Maxtor$4$9

ielIWOOiSI iso~ w.L ave Prices Change Everyday. For Latest Prices, Availability Aad System Quotation

president of color printers for the Americas, Tektromx was founded in 1 947 and introduced the company's new line of color presently has 8,000 workers and approximateprinters in mid-October. ly US$2 billion in annual sales — 75 percent of O' Brien said research has indicated that 85 which is from products introduced in last two percent of monochrome printer buyers say years, The 15 year-old color printing division they' ll move to color printers within five accounts for about 35 percent of the compayears. However, the biggest barrier to switch- ny's business. The company also makes video ing is the cost of color printers. O' Brien said post-production equipment (Tektronix says it customers also want color printers that are has won eight Emmy Awards) and measurefaster, higher resolution and able to print on ment equipment such as oscilloscopes and TV tabloid-size (11x17 in.) paper. They also want testing tools.— DT better economy, in terms of lower cost per Tektronix, Tel: 800-835-6100 page or the ability to conveniently print on http: //www,tek.camcoior printers/

both sides of a sheet. The Wilsonville, Oregon-based company

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www,tcp.ca

Continued from page$0

DECEMBER 1998

phone answering machines and speaker- appropriate software bond both modems for a According to the company, by providing a phones, which are important facilities in the higher transfer rate. Rockwell, htlpJ/www,rss.rockwelLcom USB modem system, its chipsets not only sup- retail modem market. that doesn't require an external power supply.

New Marble Mouse ambldesrtrous In addition, the finn says its USB modem port V,90, KS6fiex and all other industry-stanFREMONT, Calif. (NB) — Logitech has introW3C recommends OOM Level 'I will also include new telephony features that dard modem modulations, but also include duced the newest member of its rodent famiwill further add functionality to the modem MINNEAPOUS (NB) — The World Wide Web ly, the Marble Mouse. The flrm says the device industry-standard voice and fax capabilities. Rockwell says its USBmodem chipset fam- and create new applications for it, One appli- Consortium (W3C) has reportedly released ily includes support for features such as DSVD (digital simultaneous voice and data), tele-

cation would be to add the Rockwell USB modem as asecond modem, and through the

the Document Object Model level 1 speciflcaContinued on page$0

e

e

Coteeh 106 Walton St. 416-977-8778

MPX Data System 100 Wingold Ave. 416-7854656 Perfect Electronics 315 Oueen St. W. combines the best features of a mouse and a

416-598-2831

trackball and is equally comfortable for right-

OTA Computer Center 326 College St.

handed and for left-handed users.

416-922-1177

"Marble Mouse works with the convenience of a trackbaII and uses our patented

marble optical technology, which, givessuperior precision, reduced wear, excellent motion and eliminates the need for regular cleaning,"

Artie Computer Distribution ¹23 - 145 Royal Crest Ct. 905 =305-6161

a logitech spokespersonsaid. Regular mouse users who are ambidex-

ICCT Computers ¹16-20 Crown Steel Dr.

trous can change hands easily with t h i s device, which has a trackball marble in the centre and b uttons t o e ach side. The

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Computer Precision Induslries ¹8 - 20 Crown Steel Dr. 905-940-2562

spokesperson described Marble Mouse as a "comfortable, ergonomically designed device" which, when used, reduces hand and wrist movement and lowers the potential for repetitive motion stress, a potentially disabling risk associated with use of PCs.

Greytech Computers ¹110 - 550 Aidan Rd, 905-470-1425

ABC Computers ¹16 - 7170 Warden Ave. 905-947-0595

Logitech's patented Marble optical technology senses user hand movements in a manner similar to the way the human eye works and then sends this information to the

• s e

computer. In Marble devices, a laser-like beam lights up a random pattern of dots printed on

The Computer Edge 3369 Lakeshore Blvd. W.

the marble's surface so that motion of the ball

4 16-252~ 6 8

can be tracked by an optical sensor. To use Marble Mouse, users need an PC running Windows 3,1, 9S, 98 or NT and an available PS/2 or serial port (PS/2 to serial port

adapter needed for serial port use). It will sell for an estimated street price of US$39.95. Logitech, http: //www.logitech.corn

USB added to V.90 chlpset NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (NB) — Rockwell

Why surf when you can fly.' Reliability: Features:

Semiconductor Systems has zipped ahead to

pole position in the modem chip marketplace by adding support for USB (universal serial bus) technology in its range of V.90 chipsets. The move illustrates the growing impor-

tance vendors are placing on USBcompliance, According to Rockwell, the enhanced V.90 chipsets can be used to create retail modem products that plug directly into the increas-

ingly popular and easy-to-access USB port, which is now included in the majority of new PCs. Rockwell says that, by combining its full-

featured data/fax/voice chipset with USB's ease of use, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will be able to create modems that

take advantage of USB's plug-n-play flexibility "outside the PC." This will eliminate all the

guesswork about which serial port or IRQ (interrupt request) to use. Unlike a legacy serial modem, Rockwell's

USB modem is billed as a bus-powered device

20'" Year in Business 56K V.90 Modem • Speakerphone • Professional Voicemail • 14.4 Fax (PC Card models are fax modems only)

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During your flight do stop by atwww.gvc.ca WW~ Nlociems are new available at:

usiness Depot, Radio Shack, Aplus Software Hits ComPuter I 1-888-818-HITs

K.V. Computers 454 Browns Line 41 6-253-9594

Computer Image 964 Scarlett Rd. 416-248-0016

ICA Computer Ltd. ¹3- 1706 Dundas St. E. 905-276-1919 The Computer Edge ¹2 - 55 Dundas St.Z. 905-281-3893 0 0 g

e

Brampton Computers ¹1A - 22A Stratheam Ave. 905-793-9111 The Computer Edge 10069 Hurontario St. 905-8404902 •

0

e

8

Signa Computer Systems 1358 Kennedy Rd. 416-755-1590 ABC Computers 4810 Sheppard Ave. E. 416-332-0814


T CP TEST L A B S

DECEMBER 1998 TkE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

www,tcp.ca

, NE 0 a I' s

'm reamin o a si i con ristmas

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It's that time of year again, snow on the ground, icicles hanging from the roof, children both big and small diving into snowbanks, skating and sliding around on the ice, and coming. back inside soaked and freezing ...ready to warm themselves while having fun with the family PC

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Introducin g Daytek's DTseri es- new f 1998! Our engineers have developed an

innovative vision of the future, presenting value pricing in a highly reiiabie series of monitors. Formaximum performance and features, choose the upscale VISTAseries. Every modal is fully loaded, featuring superior specifications and picture controL As a leader in display technology, Daytek also offers a range of LED panel monitors, setting a new milestone in the display market. Your satisfaction is assured with full support and a 3-year warranty, offered through the Daytek nation-wide service network.

' ll

patible with CDs (this was problematic in For this month's test, ALC Micro has sent us some cases with first-generation DVD drives), an A Open custom system wi th a ton of goodswith any other field, the holiday gift Even though they add a bit to the cost of the ies in it. season is a very busy time of year for systems, DVD drives are a great choice for two the computer industry, with people reasons. They seem to be the optical storage Highlights buying software, add-on gadgets, and even choice of the n'ear future, and they won't ren350 MHz Pentium il processor complete systems, This month, our test lab der all your current CD-ROMs obsolete. • Contains both an 6 MB AGPvideo card and a 12 offers a few suggestions for those looking to MB Voodoo2 card. both from AOpen. purchase a complete system to put under the The testing The sound card is the recent Sound Blaster 128 tree on Christmas morning. Because the focus of this month's lab was a PCI card, and the Aitec Lansing speakers offer In most of our tests, we emphasize perfor- computer for the whole family, we took the excellent reproduction. mance. For this month's roundup, however, emphasis off of pure performance. Because of • Contains DVD for the optical drive and VCD Power we wanted to look each system as a whole that, we have eliminated the usual Editor' s Player for DVDmovie playback. instead of just focusing on speed. In that spir- Choice award for performance, although we • 56Kbps PCI modem. it we requested systems aimed at the family, still ran th'e usual benchmark test on the • Monitor is the 17-inch Acer 76e, which has a including monitor, for $2,500 or less. machines. Performance still factored in to the great display quality. The variety of machines in this roundup is remaining awards, although to a much lesser • System comes with the Logitech wheel mouse, interesting. As expected, all of the systems we extent than usual. and aspecialmicrophoneheadset. received shipped with a modem, and options Benchmarking was done using BAPCo's • The software package included is designed to for getting connected to the Internet. All SysMark32 software, with monitor resolution complementthe Voodoo2,and has a numberof came with a set of speakers. Also as expected, set to 800x600, with a 16-bit color depth. The game demos, including Flight II, JSF, there was a variety of p rocessors, with remainder of the testing involved setting up Commandos, Stratosphere. SpecOps, Myth, Pentium II, AMD's K6-2, and the Celeron the complete system to see how everything Turok, Tomb Raider 1 and 2, ForsakenandFinal chips represented= and the G3 in the iMac. worked together as a whole package. Fantasy VII. Also included is the AOpenBonus What was surprising this time out were Now, on to the systems! disc, which has Norton Anti-Virus, the choices made for monitors and optical storage. The majority of systems in this Al.g Micro Armed with a DVD drive, this system is roundup came 17-inch monitors, instead of Model: AOpenTBC-M350 ready for the next wave, being able to handle

I' 3 2 9 8 3 $

Web: http:/jwww.daytek.ca

E-mails infoidaytek.ca

DAYS% Oa(ias• Montreal w Toronto • Vancouver

the 15-inch models we expected to see, Also Street price:$2,499 notable was the split between the more traditional CD-ROM and the newer (and more expensive) DVD-ROM format for optical stor-

full-motion video playback and large-capacity data storage. The video and sound components in this system are well-suited to take

age. This is not to say consumers should be wary of systems shipped with a DVD drive; quite the opposite. For those unfamiliar with the technology, it's similar to CD-ROM technology, but allows 11iore data — up to 17 GBto be stored on a single disc of the same size. Because of the similarit of the technologies, the latest DVD drives are backwards com-

both CD-ROMs and DVDs. It is well-suited for

advantage of the multimedia possibilities

-'jKVPX ". +.~kfjr„~gv

DVD allows, and are also great for gaming. Software-wise, the TBC-M350 seems to have too much of an emphasis on gaming to appeal to all families, but for the family with older children who love to take on monsters, the game pack offers a great sampler that shows off the systems capabilities. Continuedon page 38


Talk about photogr aphic development!

0 quantum leaphas been taken in the way people take pictures — vvith Kodak digital

cameras. You need the high quality, ease of use, affordability and reliability of Kodak. True, ourbusiness is pictures. But we are also in the business of making imaging tools for your business So take a closer look at the Kodak 200 series digital cameras and you' ll understand why we t ake pictures further — much fut thei.

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mII

DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

T CP TEST L A B S

I'm dreaming of a silicon Christmas Continued frrpm page34

Apple

larger thanmost 15-inchmonitorsl • Setup of the machiisneincredibly easy:flip open

Model: IMac Street price: $1,899

Powered by 233 a MHzG3 processor.

themouse can beconnected throughthe key-

It is very compact: the 15-inch display and the computer part are all incorporated into a unit no

board instead of to theside of the computer, leavIng one oftheside panel USBports freefor another device.

the door on the side of the unit, attach the keyboard, attach the mouse, attach the power cord to the back of the machine, plug into the wall, and

Touted as the savior of the Madntosh line,

the IMac is certainly an impressive little unit, and may be ju st t he perfect Christmas present for the family that stll Highlights lovesthe Mac. • It's a Mac!

• • •

The keyboard has a USB port on either side, allow-

ing two additionalUSBdevices to beconnected without having toopenthe sidepanel. Alternately,

Only onepowercord! The IMac comes with both a 56Kbps internal

modemanda10/1008ase-TEthernetconnector, tomakethemachineInternet-readybothathome

you' redone. •

The front of the display has a 4Mbps infrared port.

and at the office.

Software bundleincludes:AppleWorks(formerly ClarisWorks), FAXstf,Kai'sPhotoSoapSE,MDK, Quicken Deluxe 98, Williams-SonomaGuide to

GoodCooking,andInternetoptions. Even though wecan'tbenchmark Macs with our current software, it's always nice to

see Apple products in the test lab, if only to offer an alternative to the PC world. The iMac is definitely a notable difference from the other computers we saw this month: compact,

colorful and remarkably easy to set up. Additionally, the iMac comes with a ton of extra features that make it a truly remarkable

machine: an infrared port, built-in modem and 10/100Base-T Internet. When you condense the whole package into a package the size of a traditional 15-inch monitor, it's even

more impressive. When all of this is available at a street price of $1,899 including a generous software bundle, it becomes a steal of a deaL There are a few d own sides to t h e. machine, however. Because of its compact all-

inwne nature, the iMac has very little room for upgrading inside, other than the RAM.

There isn't even a floppy drive inside the m achine! Anything to b e added to t h e

v' E;(

machine must be done via a USB peripheral device, which could potentially clutter up the desktop. At present, the number of USB devices is fairiy limited, but there is a potential

explosion around the corner. Because of that, it's hard to say whether going with a USB

model for all connected devices is a shrewd move or a miscalculation.

The biggest downside for some will be the aesthetics of the machine. In a row of PC clones, the design of the iMac certainly stands out, with its transparent, white and turquoise

plastic case. Someare worried that it's a bit too hip for its own good, and won't look quite so hip three years down the road. Apple is likely hoping the design of the iMac will become to computers what the Volkswagen Beetle is to cars. Detractors, on the other hand, may have their vote on it becoming the AMC Pacer of computers. Again, time will telL The bottom line for the iMac? For Macheads and beginners, the features, pflce and simplidty make this a great machine for the whole family for Christmas. People more com-

fortable in the PC world may not be convinced, but this one will certainly catch their eye.

Compaq Model: Presario5050 Suggest retail price: $2,517

PERIPHERAL INC.

Compaq continues to impress with its Presrnio line. The 5050 is a sleek-looking machme with a number of nice features.

Highlights • Uses a 333 MHz Celeron processor, but with 128KB ofLevel-2 cacheto boost performance. I

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enabled, with specialkeysfor speakerandCD control, andprogrammablekeysfor favorite

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Inte rnetfunctions. • The monitor, at 15 inches, is smaller than mostof the other monitors this month, but has excellent Continued on page42


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+ •

ing is with thelarger monitor), whichoffered very good displayquality, Thesystemwith the 15-inch monitor is cheaper.

It came with its own surge-protection power bar.

Even though a power bar isn't an expensive item,

it's really nice to havewhen setting up.

T CP TEST l A B S

BIB

the Zoo,FreddiFish, andOddworld). Packanl-Bell is offering softwarethatwill convert thelanguage used by the computertofTench from English. This may ship with the product, but

IncludesAT1'sDVDsoftware, Corel WordPerfect Suite 8 (WordPerfect 8,Quattro 8, Presentations 8, PhotoHouse),andmore. • The warranty onthe machineincludes six years

if not, will be available ondemand.

for labor and three years for parts. a:: •

The multimedia speakers included are okay, but users wanting to play music or games with good

sound may want to consider abetter set. •

For most, the iNet Pro is a great machine

to have: good software bundle, a DVD drive, Although the system performance is lower greatsound, and more. Some people may be than many of the other systems tested this concerned about the use of the Celeron chip,

Software with this system includes Norton AntiVirus, Lotus SmartSuite and PCDoctor.

While not necessarily a machine oriented to the whole family, the Aptiva E2U makes a good starting point. As shipped, with reasonable performance, a built-in modem, and Lotus SmartSuite included, the E2U makes a

better case for purchase as a home office machine. With extra bays for expansion and USB connectivity, there's room for more hardware to be added to down the road. With the

month, and the price is at the top of our range,

but with 128KB of cache on the newer

theJBM-623001 system hasagoodselection of Celerons, performance is much better. With features that make it worth consideration. The the lower price and the longer labor warranty, most interesting option is the choice of a even Celeron detractors may find the machine 56Kbps modem or a network card — with many an attractive alternative. It's worth noting that the iNet Pro was more areas now wired for cable modem technology, it's nice to have the choice to purchase unable to finish the benchmarking tests a system that is cable-modem ready. With the because of problems in the database portion of rest of the features (especially a kickin' sound the tests (which uses the program Paradox). system), this is an impressive machine. This kind of problem can crop up for any number of reasons, including a slight incompatibilLCF Advanced Technology ity of the hardware with the scripting used in Model: INet Pro the benchmarking suite, conflict between the Street price: $2,228 scripts and resident software on the machine,

Definitely an eye-catching system, the Packard-Bell Platinum 7800C is easy to set up, comes with a good monitor, and features a great software bundle. While it's not the most high-performance machine of the bunch (and

really could use better speakers), it is still a great overall package with something to appeal to everyone in the family. Samtack M odel: Pine400 MHz Street price: $2,499

purchase of a few games or children's pack-

etc. This is most likely somethirig that will

ages, the whole family should find this to be a The iNet Pro system submitted for this month's test has a distinctive design, and a useful addition to the household. number of attractive features.

never affect users of the machine, and in every One of the hot-rod" systems received this other section of the benchinarking, the iNet month, the Samtack machine emphasizes Pro's results were quite good. power and expandabalty.

)aha System

j.. "4tK<P~" "

, Model: JBM-623001 Street price: $2,495

Packard-Bell Model: Platinum 7800C Suggested retail price; $2,299

This month's entry from Iaba Systemfs a The Packard-Bell is certainly one of the most

nice, well-rounded machine with something for both the gamer and the home office user.

interesting-looking systems of the month,

and it comes with a ton of software, too. Highlights • 300 MHz Pentium II processor. • 17-inch Daytek monitor has good picture quality. • Sound is courtesy of theonboardSoundBlaster card.

With theCambridge Soundworks PCWorks speakem atbiched (with subwoofer), the sound is incredible. • The user hasthechoice ofa 56Kbps US Robotics

modem, or anIntel EtherExpressPro10/100 network card, which can be usedfor cable modem • • •

Highlights Highlights

• • •

333 MHz Celeron chip with 128KBcache, and128

• •

MB of RAM to help boost performance. Creative Labs DVDdrive is included. Sound Blaster 128, and Soundlmage multimedia

35 0 MHz Pentium II processor.

Cablesarecolor-coordinated, for easiersetup. 6.4 GBhard drive. The multimedia speakers included are a bit quiet. -

Users with alove ofsound should consider buying a higher-octaneset.

speakers(with subwoofer), providegreatsound.

Highlights • 400 MHz Pentium II chip helto psyield the best performanceof the bunch. • Multimediaspeakersinclude 3Dsurround setting. • Good collection of components, including 56Kbps

17-inch TVM monitor is good, although changes

connections.

in refresh rate orscreenresolution mayrequire

The system includes the Microsoft Natural keyboard, and the PS/2 IntelliMouse. It comes with the Microsoft Sidewinder GamePad. Software includes the Microsoft Office 97 Small

more adjustment at the monitor end than others.

BusinessEdition, andMicrosoft Encarta 99.

fectly fine after the adjustment.

Switching theresolution from 640x480to 800x600threwthe vertical andhorizontal alignments fairly far out ofwhack,but picturewasper-

modem, 32x CD-ROMddve, and an 8 MB ATI

• The 17-inch monitor has higah-quality display. •

Extensive software bundle includes a Microsoft

package(Word97 andclipart, Works 4.5, Encarta 98, EntertainmentPack,andGreetings Workshop),

Xpert 98 videocard. • •

MGI PhotoSuite, Quicken Basic 98, BDE Multipath Movies, and a children's package (Putt-Putt Saves

Good quality 17-inch Imago monitor. Software bundle includes 1998 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Ultimate Photowizard, My Mail

Manager,PrlntMasterGold, MyAdvancedLabel

If,you thOught MitSubiihi mOnitOrS Were Only far demanding COrPO rate CuStamerS... think again. True, for more than 25 years, Mitsubishi monitors have beenselected by professionals and major corporations for their superior quality, exceptional performance and long-term reliability. 8ut now, our new DIAMOND SCANseries provides you with Mitsubishi'8 proven quality at a PriCethat'S affOrdable far eVeryane. FeatureSlike adVanCedanti-glare treatmentS aitdTCO-95 COmPlianCeaSSureS you of the strictest health and safety standards available. Bright, crisp images reduce eyestrain and fatigue. Arid our proven long-term reliability Will PrOteCtyOur inVeStment long after the COmPrehenSiVe 3-year Warranty eXPireS.Sofar your neXt mOnitar, inSiStOna MitSubiShi arid eXPerienCe SuPeriOrquality and PerfOrmanCefar yaurSelf.

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

T C P T EST LABS

I'm dreaming of a silicon Christmas Continued from page43 Designer, Best Photo Scenery and Windelete Essentials. This month, Samtack's Pine System is definitely powerful, with a good collection of components and one of the best benchmarking

scores turned in. The performance is largely owing to the 400 MHz Pentium ll inside the system, which makes this a great starter system for power users who want a basic system to

card, with a whopping 16 MB of memory. • The sound card is the brand newSound Blaster Live! Card, which offers true 3D sound, and the Altec Lansing speaker system (with subwoofer)

TK-IDM Technology Model: Darius AMD 3DMultimedia Suggested retail price: $1,880

offers excellent reproduction. • • • •

Althoughnotaspacked withgoodiesassome of the other systems this month, the Darius

7.5 GB hard drive US Robotic sv.90 56Kbps mo dem Power switch is located next to the CD-ROM open/close switch, which could be problematic. Excellent software bundleincludesCoral WordPerfect Suite 8 (WordPerfect 8,Quattro Pro 8,Presentations 8, Icential 8, andPhoto House), lVlicrosoft package (Encarla 98, 3DMovie Maker, Golf, Cinemania,

system offers a good alternative for the family on a budget.

Highlights • 350 MHz Pentium II processor • The system features aDVD-ROM,for data needs in throw additional components into. For those the future, and for multimedia andmovie playback. • The 17-inch Cybervision monitor is excellent. users, there is a lot of room to expand, with Works,Money,InteractiveCOsampler, andScenes), extra slots on the back, and extra bays up front. Prody Parrot, Foresaken,Unreal, Mighty Math, • System includes GVC v.90 56Kbps PCI-bus For most families, the system would probably Strategy Challengesvol.1, Imagination Express(Rain modem. • The QDI motherboard has asecurity feature, be overkill, but performance fans will love it. Forest andCastle), andScienceHouse. which allows the user to lock the whole system, Smartmachine Priced at the top end of our range this month, including the power switch. Model: Viper M350 the Viper M350 packs in a lot of value. This con- • Software includes PCcillin anti-virus software, and Highlights • Very competitive price. figuration may be overkill for a lot of families, but Street price: $2,495 MS HomeReference Plus (Encarta 98, Virtual if there's aserious gamer iri the family, this might Globe, Bookshelf 9&, Entertainment Pack 98, and • With the inclusion of the AMDK6-2 CPUand its This Viper has bite, degnitely. Srnartmachfne s be the right choice. Both the 3D Blaster TNI' and Puzzle Collection). built-in 3D capabilities, the system is aimed at the the Sound Blaster Live cards are excellent choices • System performancewas excellent. entry into our lab test this month has an 3D multimedia market. • The monitor and speakers included are good, impressive selection of multimedia compo- for high-intensity 3D games, and the speakers • Price point is quite good. nents, with i erformance. and monitor are perfect for taking advantage of although usersmaywant to consider an upgrade them. That's not to say that that's all the system The CompuPartner system this month shows on both, to take full advantage of multimedia. has going for it: the software bundle has alot for why STD systems are favorites around the lab, • 6.4 GB hard drive. everyone, including both office and children' s balancing price, features and performance. With • Case is horizontal, which allows the user to set the software in addition to the games. For those with DVD as the next optical standard, the indusion monitor on top to save space. the money, this is a great system. of a DVD drive here is nice, especially with the • CD-Fun Pack includes 1998 Grolier Multimedia price point of the system. When you throw in an Encyclopedia, How Your BodyWorks, STD exceHent monitor like the Cybervision C72 and a Chessmaste r5000,MavisBeaconTeachesTyping, Model: CompuPartner 350E nice software bundle, you' ve got a great allPrintMasterGold, USAtlas & Almanac,andWorld Street price: $1,999 around system that's sure to beuseful to everyone Atlas 8 Almanac. in the family. The only complaint is that the • Includes v.90 56Kbpsmodem. We always enjoy seeing STD's submissions speakers don't quite perform up to the standards Highlights • 350 MHzPentium II processor. into our lab tests, and this month's offering of the rest of the machine. Despite that, a great While not flashy, the Darius system has a • Video card Is the Creative Labs 30 Blaster TNT is no exception. system at a great price. good collection of components, and a set of

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DECEMBER 'l998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

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ence, games, creativity, and children's edutainment software, gaming hard* ware, and the latest version of the WebTV Internet system. Of particular interest was the newly reorganized line of creativitywriented software, and the latest version of the WebTV Internet system. M icrosoft's Creativity s o ftware l i n e includes the Greetings 99 card creation title

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mail-in rebate). Perhaps the most intriguing of the latest Microsoft reieases is th e e n t irely n ew PhotoDraw 2000 title ($239, with a $55 rebate for registered owners of Microsoft Office 97, Microsoft FrontPage 97 or Corei Draw 6 or later). Photo Draw 2000 is a very sophisticated, yet simple-to-use package that combines vector-based illustration tools (such those

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iniaturization Sy Jeff Evans

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Weighing about a pound, the C1 comes with an XGA color screen, 3GB hard drive, Windows 98, a built in

modem, 32 MB of RAM, a microphone, stereo sound, and a fingernail sized high resolution video camera

he recent PC Expo in

Tokyo, h e l d i n l ate September, showcased all the latest products the high-tech giants of Asia will bring to the world market in 1999, as well as inventions from the West that Asia seems prepared to adopt. In short, the direction is towards radical miniaturization. Since I' ve already seen many of the new products from American manufacturers, such as Compaq, I concentrated my time at the show on discovering new products from the other side of the Pacific Rim. Handheld computers with ingenious connectivity options were everywhere at the show, including the ultra-tiny, ultrathin Wlntel (Windows-operat-

!

E lectronics, an d H P . C o l o r screensare also becoming standard on higher-end handheld devices. Most CE devices were shown with add-on hardware such as wireless and wired modems and bar code readers. Software for contact management, specialized point of s ale, database Web browser, and email programs were also shown. It all added up to complete, powerful corporate business solutions in tiny pack-

o ex o

drive, Windows 98, a built-in modem, 32 MB of RAM, a microphone, and stereo sound. It comes with a f i n gernail-size, high-resolution video camera for use in still photography, videoconferencing, and v ideo and audio recording. The Cl also has a Firewire IEEE data port, and a full range of multimedia editing, telecom, and business software. Sony showed off the digital video muscle of its new VAIO 505, by hooking it up to a digital video camcorder via its Firewire IEEE 1394 port (Sony's implementation of Firewire is named i-

dressed in airline hostess-style corn'pany uniforms, or — shockingly — bikinis. Among the North American

f irms at

t h e s h o w w e re

Symantec, with its anti-virus and utility software Compaq which has made great inroads into the Japanese PC market in the last several years; MetaCreations and Adobe, both with their graphics and pub l i shin g sof t w are; Wacom, with it s new I n tuos touch-sensitive graphics tablets; ages, and iMation, whose latest USB There was a huge number of (universal serial bus) version of flash memory products aimed at the SuperDisk drive was present meeting m o b il e c o m puting Link). in many booth displays. users' demands for portable data Different models of digital Although Japan is suffering storage.Sony's data Stick was a cameras were also in abundance the serious effects of Asia's econotable new entry in this prod- at the show, with particularly notnic crisis, its computer indusuct category. strong d isplays f ro m S o ny, try is showing great strength and The standard for new note- Olympus, and Fuji. staying power. Driven, no doubt, book computers is now, literally, Apple had a re m arkably by strong exports to the West, edlintel-powered) notebooks n ot e b o o k - s i z e d — abou t strong presence at the show with If PC Expo Tokyo is any indiwith a host of t iny, powerful 20x25x2.5 cm (Sx10xl in.). The its n e w i Ma c s a nd G3 cation, by this time next year accessories for increasing the most radical new super-compact Powerbooks. Appie was unique there should be a profusion of productivity and power of these notebook was the Sony VAIO Cl in h aving c asually d r essed, powerful, relatively inexpensive, miniaturized info gadgets. (not available in Canada at time California-style n e r d/hippie m iniaturized n o t ebooks o n Microsoft's W i n d ows CE of writing), which is about the demonstrators showing its prod- Canadian store shelves. And the operating system seems to have a size of Toshiba's Portege hand- ucts. By contrast, the booths of drive towards a f u ndamental very strong following in Japan, held computer. other exhibitors were staffed by morphing of the personal comgiven the bewildering profusion Weighing less than 500 g male demonstrators wearing puter into the connected personof handheld PC form factors (about 1 lb.), the Cl comes with company outfits or suits, and al portable computer may be well from Sharp, Sony, NEC, LG an XGA color screen, 3GB hard female d emonstrators o f t en under way. 0

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Newsbytes notes IBM announced i n September a breakthrough Type II microdrive that has only a 340 MB capacity and that will able for people who need high-speed laptop not ship until mid-1999. Like IBM's Microdrive, the Callunacard CT back-up and data transfer to another device 1040 RM incorporates a tiny hard drive into a and want to do it without cables, connectors or extra boxes." The other PC Card, though the Type Ill

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need any s o f tware, b ut instead uses a s t a ndard Windows 95 driver. When plugged in, the system looks or e rt v e ' a n p r omp s the user to insert the disk with thedriveron it. Once the driver assigns a drive letter the slot becomes available for users to hot swap drives if they need even

audiences include original C~~aC~f~ F7 P Y more sto r age on the fly. No equipment manufacturers bi<b©~f reboot is needed. (OEMs) that make portable ~~ Y The Callunacard carries a PCs, handheld terminals, C US$699 price tag. OEMs can telecommunications equip-

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

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Continuedfrom page 93

Sierra Wireless,http://www.slerrawlreless.corn

Et Tu,Nerdus: ancient role playing An intriguing new edutainment series develreflects cross-industry agreement on a stan- oped by U.K.-based Anglia Multimedia (pubdard API (applications programming inter- lished in North America by Cambridge face) for manipulating documents and data Research Group) consists of two titles, Ancient through a programming language, such as Egyptians and Ancient Romans. The two CDROM-based games allow Windows. users to Java. tion as a W3C Recommendation. The organization says the specification

A W3C Recommendation reportedly means that a "specification is stable, con-

tributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its adoption by the industry."

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Roman town, and gain some feel for what it must have been like to actually live in these

ancient societies.—JE Anglia, http://www.angna.corn.uk/education Cambridge, http: //www.cambrldgeol.corn

AirCard CE is targeted at handheld computers that use the Microsoft Windows CE platform,

Canada's virtual bookshelves filling up Chapters, the largest Canadian book chain, in

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almost 20,000 authors, book-related news, The AirCard CE comes with Watcher and Globe and Mail book reviews for the last 20 WirelessExpert for Windows CE, utilities that years, and — perhaps most importantly — pricallow for simple modem installation, configu-, ing in Canadian dollars. Continued on page$2 ration, and use.

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THE COMPUTERPAPER CREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

The UofT

Gifts for the notebooker By Ross Macdonald ne of the less appreciated aspects of the computer revolution is how much easier it has made Christmas shopping. Anybody you know with acomputer either needs or wants something, largely in response to the industry's perpetual release of newer, faster, cheaper versions of just about everything that has gone before. Those who know desktop owners are particularly fortunate in this regard because there's always a newer sound card, faster modem or cheaper chip to chase after. But much under-appreciated are the portable owners — those intrepid souls who have committed a lot more money and a lot more trust to a far less modular machine. However, third-party manufacturers are gradually realizing the market potential of add-ons for portables and have come up with a number of products in a variety of price ranges specifically suited to the computer on the go. A caveat, however, must stand that there are very few "stocking stuffers" of note to be had, so the giftor will be necessarily indicating more than a passing fiscal regard for the giftee. I'ollowing is a scattershot list of goodly suggestions suitable to, if not specifically created for, notebook computers. It should be noted that where specific brands, products or prices are mentioned, they serve only to indicate the "kinds" of i t ems available and approximate costs. They are not intended to exclude a look at alternate competing products. All products have been spotted on retailer shelves in Canada in the price ranges cited.

Carrying case ($2S-$200)

even the inclusion of adequate locks. Of course, it's doubtful that the perfect case will ever be found for each individualoutside of custom construction — but many manufacturers offer a variety of quality, sizes, materials and movable interior dividers to accommodate even the most persnickety computerist on the go.

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Canon BJC-50, an item that sells for around 5500. This 30.5x11.4x5 cm (12x4.5x2 in.) bubble-jet is capable of photo quality color output on a variety of common and exotic media, and will fit exceptionally well into most carrying cases. It includes an IrDA (infrared) interface, and a universa! power adapter for use anywhere in the world. Options include a sheet feeder (which, unfortunately, nearly doubles the dime'nsions of the machine) and a lithium ion battery pack. Another handy option that fits this and other Canon portable printers is the IS-12 color scanning cartridge ( )150), which fits into the ink cartridge housing and turns the printer into a reasonable (but not terrific) sheet feed scanner. There are other portable printers on the market, from Canon and competitors, but all will be recommended by the price tag to only the rich and in love.

Portable printer ($3$0-$$$0)

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lf the computerist on your list already has a portable printer or doesn't particularly need one, a portable scanner might be in order instead, and will cost you a lot less. Scanners of all types have become surprisingly affordable and extremely popular for all types of

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As portable computing has become more popular, many manufacturers have come up with printers specifically designed to go along for the ride. These often have the same abilities as their larger cousins but squeezed into units not much bigger — and occasionally smallerthan the notebook computer itself. The newest entry into this category is the

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The most logical place to begin, perhaps, is with carrying cases. It's likely that your intended already has one. However, there is an astounding variation in quality and utility among cases that makes this a very good gift. The primary consideration for a good case is padding. Despite the care normally taken by notebook owners, there always seems to be some banging and jarring going on. Many c heaper cases paradoxically stint on t h e padding, which should completely encompass all sides of the computer inside. Although soft-sided cases are the current fashion, rigid cases are also available. Next, make sure the capacity and pocket configuration suit the intended user's needs. Many carry cases have only room for the computer and a few disks, while many notebookers might also have extra equipment to take along — like storage devices, mini scanners, portable printers, etc., which, unfortunately, means a plethora of power bricks, a cobweb of cables and a battalion of battery packs must tag along too. Other things to consider are material (nylon, leather, aluminum or even titanium), quality of construction (how the handles and

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

work and play applications, but they are generally of more dimension and weight than anyone would want to cart around. The only drawbacks to portable versions at this point is that they cost a bit more and are necessarily sheet-fed (originals have to be fed in individually) as opposed to the larger footprint flatbed configuration. As mentioned above, those with specific Canon printers have the option of purchasing a special tiny scanner cartridge that will convert their printer into a reasonable scanner.

www.tcp.ca

where a printer usually connects and is little ful for proving that any recovered items are respected as a thoroughfare for demanding actually yours. input and output tasks, because it's regarded as too slow. Microsolutions, however, claims PC Cards ($100-$$00) to have gotten around these limitations As with storage devices, these credit card-sized through both hardware and software develop- addwns perform a variety of functions that let ment so speed and efficiency are maximized. the portable owner squeeze more out of their Limitations of the port aside, parallel connec- machines. The most common PC Cards are tion has the great advantage of being quick, undoubtedly modems, which many users pureasy and universal to all computers. chase for upgrading to newer, faster technoloAlso available for those with older porta- gies. Also available in PC Card format are netbles are CD-ROM players with little sound sys- work cards, SCSI interface cards, sound cards, even recordable CD-ROM drives that connect tems built in that can connect either by spe- at usually high prices. to the notebook in a variety of ways. cial cards or, in the case of Microsolutions, Very new t o t h e m a rket from A DS The most popular of these is what's known through the parallel port. These $300-plus Technology is a card that adds two USB (unias a high-speed/high-capacity floppy replace- devices add ful l m u l t imedia capability. versal serial bus) ports to notebooks for $110. ments, the most common being the lomega's However, notebooks made in the last two or USB is a relatively new interface system but Zip and Imation's SuperDisk drive. These are three years already support multimedia. expectations are high that most add-ons of very handy for storing and backing up large Due to the variety of devices and interfaces the future will use it. There are very specific files and directories but with limitations to available, it is advisable to covertly determine compatibility issues defined for this card, capacity and speed. Sony also announced a before hand which configuration of which however, so you' ll have to check against the 200 MB floppy replacement (which is incom- device your giftee will most appreciate. machine you' re buying it for. patible with both the Zip and SuperDisk forOne of the more appreciated PC Cards to mats), and it may soon be available in stores, Security system ($3$-$'I$0) hit the market are those designed to connect Such devices can connect to the computer Notebook security systems approach the prob- joysticks and game pads — an interface virtualin several ways, and may be sold as distinct lem of theft and/or access in a variety of ways, ly ignored by notebook manufacturers but models depending on the kind of connection the most common being a lock and cable sys- demanded by g arners. New Media Corp, is a they use (parallel port, PC Card adapter, SCSI). tem to make it at least difficult to liberate the major PC Card manufacturer and provides a This is a serious consideration for the pur- machine from its resting place. These are good example in its GamePort joystick conchaser — make sure you buy the device that cheap and easy to apply. nector for $100. will work with your giftee's system. On a more sophisticated level you' ll find One company, called Microsolutions, has devices like the DefCon Security System from IIlscellaneons introduced a whole line of readily available Targus/Port Inc., which cables a beeper-sized External numeric keypad: For the accounexternal devices including: floppy drives, hard motion alarm to the computer or carrying tant, $50-plus. drives. 8 GB tape drives, CD recordable drives, case. If it is moved, it screams. Also on the External speakers: Most notebook builtand even a PD drive — adata storage technolomarket are marking systems that let you apply in speaker systems are abominable. Amplified gy with a lot of potential that never really identiflers that can only be detected with a UV portable speakers are cheap and readiiy availcaught on. light (usually included in the kit). However, if able and sound is dramatically better, $20All the Microsolutions devices connect you' re using one of these, you' re computer plus. through a computer's parallel port — which is has already left the building. They' re only useContnrued onpage 67

For those who can't take advantage of that, Visioneer has produced the Strobe — a beautiful little color sheet-fed scanner no bigger around than your wrist and only 30.5 cm (12 in.) wide.

Externalstorage device ($200-$$00) These are also big ticket items, but extremely useful in many cases. Portable computers come with a hard disk and floppy disk but many power users find these inadequate for serious storage and data transfer in the long run. Several companies have addressed this by producing external versions of hard drives and floppy drives to augment what's already there. But they' ve also designed some very nice large capacity disk drives, tape drives and

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o tware its or rowin min s Kid's software makes an ideal gift. Not only can it provide hours of entertainment, it can lay a foundation for learning with activities that help develop logic, spatial relationships, memory, and basic letter and number skills Sy Jean Allen-Itseson little People Discovery Farm From: Davidson/Fisher Price Tel: 800-545-7677, http: //www.education.corn For: Windows, Macintosh Price. $29 Fisher Price's Little People, for decades one of the most popular toys sets for toddlers, have come to the little screen. With a computer and the Discovery Farm disc, kids and their mom or dad can now playand sing along with their favorite Little People. This software is "lapware," a category of programs for the very young to be played while sitting at the computer on a parent's lap. This particular game is rated for children AL= = !. 18 months to three years of age: Discovery Farm has four activities: matching farm animal mothers to their babies, feed- and helping Farmer Jed plant, water and haring animals, singing with a barnyard chorus, vest his crops. The commands are very simple

and help kids become familiar and comfortable with computers. In one activity, for example, Jed asks the tot to help him water crops. To do this, the child can push any key on the keyboard. The game activities that use the mouse to make selections are good for three year olds beginning to develop their coordination. Discovery Farm offers loads of colorful animation, cheerful songs and a printable coloring book. It also includes a bonus sing-along CD called Barnyard Rhytlnn 8 Moos, which will provide amusement for children up to five or six years of age with counting and word recognition tied into favorite animal songs. Travel the World with Timmy From: Edmark Tel: 800-691-2985, http: //www.edmark.corn For: Windows, Macintosh Price; $39

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In Travel the World with Timmy, the title character, a frog, takes players on a hot air balloon ride to Japan, Argentina and Kenya. This disc from Edmark, IBM's educational software division, is completely different from the usual edutainment fare for the four to six year old group. Besides learning early reading and math skills in English, they can learn the equivalent skills i n S panish, Japanese and Swahili. On their journey they learn fun songs, information about animals, plants, cities, landmarks and the culture of the three countries. Travel the'World with Timmy includes coloring books and crafts from each country that may be colored and printed out. Kids learn why each craft — kites, paper dolls, masks, puppets, belt buckles, and more — is unique to that country. Kids will have fun counting in each lan-

guage and learning a few basic vocabulary Continued on page64


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GIFT GUIDE

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

Software gifts for growing minds Continued frow prfge 60 words. For more practice, the disc also links to an online dictionary. Great Adventures Castle From: Fisher Price/Knowledge Adventure Tel: 800-545-7677, http;//www.knowledgeadventure.corn For: Windows, Power Mac Price: $35

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Great Adventures Castle is a gentle game that keys into a love of historic super heroes, in this case knights and their castles. The game, for four to seven year olds„challenges players to find the hidden knights and protect the kingdom from Vigor the villainous Viking. Also included are seven activities such as designing and printing a knight comic book, a certificate of knighthood and special stickers (Avery Kids inkjet sticker paper comes with the Great Adventures disc). The graphics are colorful and encourage

kids to explore and test their critical thinking skills, There are also five sing-along songs that kids of this age will enjoy. To properly span this age range, Fisher Price has included multiple levels of game play for 12 play areas, which will provide hours of variety and fun.

www.tcp.ca

Street Price: $24.99 Sky Island Mysteries offers equal parts entertainment, mystery and education for eight to 12 year olds. Parents who have purchased Thinkin' Things titles in the past will like this new program. Like the others, it provides

hours of play involving complex logic and Sky island Mysteries From: Edmark Tel: 800-691-2985, http: //www.edmark.corn For:. Windows, Macintosh

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+ UMA: , ru e $(s Qr< r ;:dI Ii'0e ftntt-vlrui "scaons from Trend ,, NB — Trend Micro's Internet-based virus scanning service,.HouseCall, has been updated to include a check for the '

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THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

GIFT GUIDE g fg

www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

A little something for your mouse based on earth-tone American Indian flatweave rugs) to TCP for review in August, and while lean't attest to the claim that it will keep moves f ather t h a n y o u r my mouse healthier (I started using a new desktop, think of the. mouse during this period), it hasn't done it any thousands of kilome- harm, and the MouseRug has garnered "Wows" tres your mouse has from almost everyone who has seen it. travelled on your behalf. So, how do you reward this kind, faithful creature? How about by giving it a luxury carpet of its own? High Voltage Graphics, based in Colorado, has developed a line of MouseRug mousepads that look like luxury Oriental and Persian carpets — complete with fringe. Not only will they dress up your desk, the company claims they are good for your mouse, with the pile of the "carpet" continually cleaning the mouse's ball mechanism. High Voltage says the MouseRug fibers are also treated with a conductive finish that helps ground the mouse by drawing static electricity. The fibre surface is permanently cast into the rubber backing so the two surfaces will not peel apart. High Voltage sent a MouseRug (a design rt never

Real hand made rugs — including flaws and stores, MouseRugs are available in many museum and design stores across North America. imperfections — were scanned and digitized so the miniature versions of the carpets looked as They can also be ordered from the MouseRug g enuine as possible, High Voltage says. New pat- online store (http: //wyyw.mouSerug.COm), or by terns to be released this winter are the Turkish p hone (800-896-2314). MouseRugs are US$19.95 each, not including shipping and handling. Star Ishak (seen here) and a Celtic pattern. — Megan Jolrffston While not yet carried widely in computer

ODDLYENOUGH,GETTING YOUR SCHEDULE STRAIGHT HELPSYOU KEEP YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT.

Clfts for the noteboolter Contifrrfed f romage p $8 Digital image capture device: A very small device that makes the injection of images and movies from a VCR, video camera or digital camera into any computer extremely easy. Examples are Play Inc.'s Snappy and ArcSoft's ZipShot, $150-$300. Video/digital image camera: These are very small cameras that clip to the lid/screen of your notebook to capture and send either still pictures or video into your computer. Some even facilitate v ideo p h oning a n d c onferencing on t h e Internet with the right modem and software set-up, $125-$250 The m ost well known of such cameras come from Connectix, which makes several models in several price ranges with varying quality and abilities. Connectix was recently purchased by Logitech. Software {$100+) There are only a few applications specifically created for portables. Symantec, for example, publishes two applications (PC Anywhere, Mobile Essentials) to simplify backup, access and data transfer between your portable your home/office computer files and manage any network tasks from remote locations. Another application, Network/Unplugged from Mobiliti Inc. in Edison, N.J., maps your network connection and allows you to specify which network folders and files you need to work on offline. Once you' ve logged off the network, you still have access to those files and folders, just as though you were still logged onto the network. When you do log back on, the application performs a synchronization between the files on the notebook and those on the network. This sounds very cool, although we haven't yet put it through its paces. A trial version can be downloaded from the compa-

ny's Web site (http: //www.mobilitl.corn). CI

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It fits in your pocket. It's elegantly simple. The Palm Ills connected organizer keeps names, phone numbers, schedules, memos, and e-mail right at your fingertips. And HotSync'technology lets youexchangeall that information back andforth with your PC. You canevenpersonalize your organizerwith thousandsof available applications. Wherever your life takesyou, your PalmIII organizer cancomealong. PalmComputing' connected organizers start as low as$349'. Toleam morevisit www.palm.corn or call 1-800-861-2529.

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THE COMPUTER PAPER'S

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The prosandcons of extendingcredit...........TE-79

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BOtle tees for s4eeeel

The Internet can be agold mine of in'forma-

Overseasphoneadventures.... TE-82

tion for businesses, but the sheer volume ci

info that often has to be waded through before striking paydirt often discouragesbusi ness people for whom time is moneyftom 'even trying to use the Web.~ : ."Biz-Zone Internet Group„a Stou lie, Ont.-based firm, has published CanadaOne;

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free Web site aimed at making useful Internetbased information accessible in an efficient way. The site gathers over 450 Canadian busi ness information resources in one location, including a searchable trademark site, an links to business publications, association

and g overnm ent agencies. ~

CBT addresses professional needs

information online — information that w relevant to Canadian companies. Our solu tion...was to create two distinct scarc

Learning tailored to user preferences

engines. 'Resources' provides links to the business information online, and 'Directo Is a piece where businesses can list their sit

Another study conducted for Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) revealed that the increasing use of CST in the worknter the future of professional development: you can sit comfort- p l ace has caused "a general 'upskilling' of existing jobs." The findings ably at your computer in your home or office, go online, insert a lso backed earlier views that, as this type of training becomes more your CD-ROM, be asked a variety of questions to determine how ingrained into business operations, not only do the number of skilled

Sly INchelle Schoffro 81 Ceertls pooh

for free'." — Je/f'Evans Tel: 905-8884Q02, jiilie@biz-zone.com, -~~ jittirjtwww.canadaone;coin~.- :- »,. -"

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you leam best (through graphics, audio, hands-on quizzes, etc.) and jobs increase (and the number of unskilled jobs decrease), but the skill the know-how — for these jobs increases as welL walk through learning that has been customized to your unique needs. requirements — Upskilling is not the only Through computer-based training (CBT), that "future of professional

UL (NB) — 8amsung Electronics Co. Ltd . has unveiled a handheid computer based o Microscdt's new Windows CE 2.1 oyeratin -,' -™.e system. -

.

development"' is now a reality. Multimedia technology is having an incredible impact on learning and training, It can enrich the entire learning environment, creating

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! ~ ~ The Ego-Note abased'8'h'a" Toshlb TX3922 series 324it RISC (reduced instrucg ' tion set compute' r)microprocessor nmning a 6: 148 MHz and features an 82 inch color LCD.'.

truly interactive experiences where students are fully engaged in the learning process. And as the global economy becomes increasingly

i

knowledge-based, it is Bkely that the role of CBT will grow in step.

' screen. It comes with 16 MB of RAM, whic

Professionals who have put in a busy day at the office can choose

can beupgraded to 48 MB. Key features'-. mclude a 56Kbps modem, mmpact Flasfj'',

whether they want to train at home or in a classroom during the

evenings and weekends. CST is creating options for people who want

CaN plot, PC-Card slot,.USB port, RS-232G-"

to maintain or upgrade their skNs to stay competitive in the workforce.

serial port, fast IrDA port, video, output socks. et,modem jack,and mouse, keyboard;an4"' parallel ports. It measures 22.7x19,7 cm anrI weighs in at just under 1 kg, It will run off reg ular AA batteries for a maximum of three and a half hours or for up to'loon a rechargeabl L;,

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The Information Highway Advisory Council (IHAC) recognizes and training holds in Canada's future, the integral role l particularly as it tries to build the knowledge economy. The council recommends "an environment for Bfelong learning in which

earning

This is the federal government's way of saying that knowledge

is the key resource for competing in a global economy, and that the

SlN hetros Vldeio'ceeetereetdNN feemlry ~ QONG KONG.{NB)-3M's visual systems ' I divistor't recently strengthened its family or

quality of the workforce is a critical factor. And CBT is a perfect fit

for the required "lifelong learning," because it can offer independent,

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Continued onpage 72

and skills.

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RESELLERS GOVERNMENT 5 CORPORATE CUSTOMERS CALL 905-660-1400


DECEMBER1998

IjEI T ECH ENTERPRISE

THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATERTORONTO EDiTiON

Iweasurlng the benefits of CST

If you are lucky, your training needs may be grams. But these companies should not rule met by a reasonably priced, off-the-shelf prod- out CBTuntil they have considered exactly

CBT addresses professional needs Continued frompage 69 benefit of using CBT in t h e w orkplace. Probabiy one of the most common arguments in favor of CBTis a variation on the following: people remember 20 percent of what they see, 40 percent of what they hear and see, and 70 percent of what they see, hear, and do. More detailed studies have illustrated that the return on investment (ROI) for a company using CBT goes beyond enhanced learning retention.

Investing in CST But consider the investment. Upfront, development of custom CBT will likely be more expensive than a couple of training sessions

on a specialized topic led by an outside expert.

www.tcp.ca

what their training needs are and have taken a critical look at the potential benefits. CBT is available anytime you need it. It can be delivered on demand, putting you and your employees in control of your own time and learning processes. It also provides a consistent presentation of learning materials, training session, or pay travel expenses or exposing every user in every training session dassroom fees to accommodate employee to the same learning environment and quality learning needs, so the costs per user remains of information. A good CBT application will alsoallow you to measure thereturn on your stable each time the application is used. Small- and medium-sized companies may training investment through tests or other find their CBT options are restricted by their feedback mechanisms, Or, if you are like budgets. They may be limited to off-the-shelf Newbridge Networks Corp., you get right products or customizable programs, and may down to the bottom line to determine what uct from a local computer store. If you cannot fulfill yourtraining needs in this manner, the primary costs for your CBT will be incurred during development. Costs to maintain and deliver the training are minor in comparison. tA/ith CBT, there is no need to prepare new materials, hire or train an instructor for each

Training is a high priority at Newbridge, and the company decided to measure this considerable i n vestment i n it s emp l oyees. Newbridge determined that each employee contributes, on average, almost $300 worth of goods for every hour on the job. Conversely, every hour an employee is off the job for training, the company lost the same amount. Newbridge adopted CBT for some of its technical training and discovered employees were learning more in less time. And for Newbridge, less training time means more productive time. The company expects to

recover the upfront expense of implementing the CBT in two years. Still, not all businesses are as quick to jump on the CBT bandwagon.

not be able to afford fully customized pro- CBT can do for your company.

Computer-based training has been a slow

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However, the huge growth in Internet use occurred in the market for CBT products. It' s still a struggle. Openness to computer-based training has mental in familiarizing people with working and learning with computers and online. been predominantly in any industry or busi"People are just now becoming more comfort- ness sector with a high level of existing tech-

but steady sell for small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada. The industry is very young, most of the companies are less than 10 years old and are small in terms of sales and number of employees. And while the industry is in a growth stage, those veterans who have survived have faced an uphill battle. Like any business with a new technology or product, CBT developers had to create an awareness among potential users that the new technology was effective, efficient and the best use of training resources.

in the last couple of years has been instru-

able with [the Internet]" says Kim Adolphe, nology and technological skill within the workforce, as well as a history of recognizing the value of training its employees. A recent Industry Canada study pointed to the health has seen many CBT companies fail since she services, banking, environmental, printing founded Gemini i n 1 9 91, and she has and publishing, and electrical and telecomContinued onpage 7$ watched the painfully slow change that has president of Gemini Learning Systems Inc. in Calgary. As that happens, they open up to the concept of learning via technology. Adolphe

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

T ECN EN T E RP RI S E

etero enei act o networ LAN LINE

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either speed. The most convenient and use-

ful ports are the auto-sensing 10/100 variety, which d o

e xactly what t h e n a me

implies.

Switches segment traffic on one port from traffic on the others, which has many benefits. It's possible to connect users directISSIE RABINOVITCH ly to a port on a switch, in which case they get dedicated bandwidth. A user connected hope I made aconvincing argument on behalf of Fast Ethernet in my November to a 10 Mbps hub, which is then connected column (viewable online at http: //www. to a port on the switch shares 10 Mbps with tcp.ca). In the case of a new local access net- the other users on that particular hub.

r

work (LAN), it's a simple decision to choose That's still an improvement over sharing the Fast Ethernet over Ethernet as the somewhat

higher cost is offset by the dramatic performance boost. In the more common scenario, where a substantial i nvestment i n 10

Mbps Ethernet has already been made, the choices are more compiex. This is l argely due to a single fact: networks don't have

to be homogeneous.

same bandwidth with the entire network.

Bandwidth, and the efficiency with which traffic is routed on the LAN, increase in direct proportion to

Dependingon actual habit/ and needs,

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sible to upgrade a network, while taking the first step in a migration to Fast Ethernet, without trashing what is already in place. My own test network started off very small: two computers with 10Base-2 cards connected with 3 m (10 ft.) of thin coax cable. By the time it had grown to four computers, I was more interested in 10Base-T, but rather than replacing what I had, I built on it. I bought an eight-port 10Base-T hub with a BNC port, connected my coax segment to this port, and my newer computers

(with auto-sensing 10/100 Ethernet cards) to one of the other eight ports. With additional hubs, this could become

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the

n u m ber of

i t h d p Q,, b t , does the price of the Let's take a look at t wo models on t h e market, and discuss

how they might be u sed. I' ve found i t

appropriate to suppress brand names, since we' re concentrating o n ge n eric capabilities. Switch 1: This is an eight-port, dualspeed switch with 10

Mbps and 100 Mbps on every port. This can handle a large

number of users, since each port can connect to an individual user or a hub. On the other hand, in an office of seven users, each

user can be connected directly, and receive dedicated bandwidth corresponding to the

speed of his/her NIC. Over time, as older computers are retired, more of the ports will be configured at the higher speed, and the total bandwidth of the LAN will increase. To accommodate growth in t h e n umber of users, Fast Ethernet hubs can be added. It will be a long time before this switch needs

to be replaced. Switch 2: This has eight 10 Mbps ports and two 10/100 ports. It has an uplink button on the eighth 10 Mbps port and anoth-

a very large network. Unfortunately, unless er uplink button to one of the 10/100 ports. the architecture was changed, users would These buttons toggle between normal and continue to share the same 10 Mbps of band-' wi'dth. Although I visit offices with 30 and

uplink mode, the latter being used to con-

make your network bandwidth-hungry. Switches are a very good way of improving the efficiency of networks and adding bandwidth. Switches can have as few as two ports, and as many as 24 (or more). Ports can be 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, or 10/100. Dualspeed ports can be configured to operate at

trusive upgrade that is done entirely in the wiring closet. No desktop visits required. 0

nect to another hub. One way this could be

more users that are quite happy sharing 10 used is to connect the server or servers to Mbps, many modern applications are band- the fast ports, and users to the slow ports, width-intensive. Depending on actual habits directly or via a hub connection. This model and needs,10 Mbps can be inadequate foras is less expensive than Switch 1, but still few as three users, even if only mainstream gives a boost to performance that will be business applications are being used. It does- obvious to everyone. No visits to the desktop are required. This is a speedy and unobn't require desktop videoconferencing to

Issle Rablnovltch ls aToronto-basedcomputer consultant and technology journalist. Hewelcomes comments andquestions at drlan@irtechnogroup.corn.


CBT addresses professlonai needs Continued from page73 munications sectors as the best candidates for the future growth of CBT. Many of these industries experience rapid and continuous change in the products and services they offer, requiring constant skills upgrades. Still, organizations are hesitant to jump on the CBT bandwagon. This is particularly true of government and educational institutions. Organizational politics and traditional views on training hinder efforts to implement CBT. Many companies and government departments are still trying to support fullblown t r aining d epartments, i ncluding instructors, on e v er-decreasing budgets. Adolphe relates three main r oadblocks Gemini encountered with-potential clients even aslate as the early 1990s: • the lack of infrastructure required to support CBT; • th e paradigm shift required to move to CBT; • and the need for a fundamental understanding of what CBT meant. Adolphe believes standardization within her industry may help demystify CBT for

everyone. Standard Issue Standardization of the CBT architecture or delivery platform is an increasing concern to many developers and content providers. By creating standard formats for text, graphics, audio, video, animation and simulation, changes in course content can be made at any time b y an y o n e w i t h ou t di f f i culty. Standardization also becomes a business issue

for CBT companies looking to expand overseas to European or other markets, where ISO stan-

dards may be more widely recognized and implemented, and creating products to ISO standards may be required to conduct business. This is just one product and design issue

CBT companies will need to address as the industry grows. Another is the creation of a truly valuable learning tool. Many companies sacrifice learning techniques and the more

educational aspects of content development and rely more heavily on the glamorous technical tools and the programming perspective. "When multimedia took off three years ago,everyone jumped on that bandwagon as we all know and the majority of them are not around today," says Adolphe. "They were only doing the multimedia part and the glitz, and they weren't thinking about the

effectiveness and the pedagogy and the instructional design." She adds that they didn't consider "how important the content is; they were more interested in the entertainment end of it.", The result is a poorly designed product that has bells and whistles yet ends up being more frustrating then helpful. Clearly CBT is not the be all and end all of training, and most CBT developers will admit there are t raining areas — certain human and managerial skills for examplethat probably benefit from more traditional methods. But when it is designed thoughtfully, it is a powerful training tool. According to Adolphe, effective CBT incorporates many different learning principles. She states that

"90 percent of an interface should already be familiar to the user [because] it's very important that the learner concentrates on the content and doesn't spend all their time try-

ing to learn, yet another, new interface." The software should provide feedback

that's specific to the learner's interactions. It

should provide a large variety of question types, not just be limited to true and false or multiple choice. There should be short answers, graphical tests, matching, or other questions. Adolphe suggests that the best content for any type of learning tends to be in a t h ree-tier hierarchy, which simply means that there are three different levels of content, possibly: Topic, Module, and

be provided in different ways to accommodate different learning styles. And, the whole thing must be adaptive to each individual's learning strengths and weaknesses. Learning is not simple. There are so many variables that can reduce its effectiveness, and that costs a company when it is training people to help them grow and to help your business grow. CBT gives you an opportunity Concept. There should also be examples and to reduce those variables and to create an supplemental instruction that lead people interactive learning environment available on to more information. Concepts need to on demand.In the knowledge-based econo-

my of the future, this may be your company's greatest asset. So, as you enter the future of professional development, remember that the old saying still rings true: "Tell me and

I' ll forget. Teach me and I' ll remember. Involve me and I' ll learn." 0 Michelle Schoffro 0 Curtis Cook are international business consultants who can be reached at Global Trade Solutions at 613-234-0538, by email at mjs@go-glob-

al.net or ccook@go-global.net, or theirWebsite at hltp:Iiwww.go-global.net.

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ou'd think that with the development of Internet-based email standards, the world of messaging would become a little simpler and less confusing. In fact, the Net has actually created a far more competitive and thus, even more complicated, market-

place. Since Internet protocols allow any email system to talk to any other — and include file attachments, formatted text and links to Web and intranet locations within messages — you might think the case for going with a single

messaging efforts more closely with Outlook, the reality is that Outlook is really only the "client" software that allows you to access Microsoft Exchange, which is the "business end" of this particular horse. There have been a lot of developments around Exchange in the past year. At a major E xchange conference in Boston in m i d September, Microsoft unveiled the results of a survey by Giga Information Group that would seem to boost the fortunes of Exchange.

Microsoft says the survey showed that large organizations can substantially boost their return on investment by switching from

messaging software supplier has actually been "legacy messaging systems" (i.e,, those proweakened. After all, if any email system can duced by it s c ompetitors) to M i crosoft

COm a PnSI I iO123I

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By Geof Wheelwright

co n m a

talk to any other, why not just let people use whatever email package they want to use? The answer to this question lies in the fact

that messaging these days goes far beyond simply handling email. Many messaging systems, such as Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes, are now actually complete environments in which entire applications are developed, making it a lot harder to simply jump

Exchange Server., Microsoft said a survey of 26 large organizations conducted by Giga found that migrating to Exchange Server from legacy mail envir onments, such a s L o tus c c:Mail a n d Microsoft Mail, provides companies with aver-

age annual savings of US$2,393 per employee,

from one email package to another.

Microsoft suggested that the savings were due to lower budgeted costs, lower indirect costs associated with downtime, less need for end-

You not only use these systems for sending and receiving email, but also for scheduling

user peer support, and employee productivity gains.

group meetings, carrying out project manage-

Microsoft also announced the availability of a free suite of tools that make it easier to migrate from cc:Mail and Lotus Notes to Exchange. The tools, which can be downloaded f r o m M ic r osoft's W e b si t e

ment work and managing your database of contacts. And in the case of both Notes and Exchange, there are also a number of corporate resources(such as online discussion groups and share project folders) that are built around these systems and cannot easily be placed elsewhere. In order to get some perspective on what is happening with each of the two major messaging systems choices in the market, we offer

(http: //www.microsoft.corn), are supposed to make it faster and cheaper for users to move from cc:Mail and Lotus Notes to Exchange. Lotus Notes/cc:Mail At its European conference in Berlin in

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While you may associate Microsoft's latest

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Notes and the company's Domino server

product. Lotus has extended its Trade Up to Lotus Messaging to customers with licences for products such as Microsoft Mail, Microsoft Exchange, Novell Groupwise, Banyan Mail, Netscape Mail, HP OpenMail, Eudora Pro, DaVinci eMail, MEMO from Verimation, Digital ALL-IN-1, and Emc2/TAO from Fischer International. Lotus says all these users can now upgrade to the Lotus Messaging Licence at a discount of around 30 percent.

The company suggests Lotus Messaging Licence, combined wit h t h e p r eviously announced L o tu s P assport A d v antage Messaging Software Subscription, provides a "complete solution" to enable cc:Mail customers with mixed messaging environments to move all users to Notes and Domino at their own pace. In addition, the company says customers who hold paid licences for qualified messaging products are eligible to purchase upgrades to th e L otus Messaging Licence, which is available through the Lotus Lotus explains that the Messaging Licence is a new offering that entitles customers to use cc:Mail or the Notes client licensed for messaging. It also includes a Domino Mailbox CAL, which gives users access to the industryleading Domino Mail Server. Features available on the Domino Mail Server with the Domino Mailbox CAL include email and Web mail; calendaring and scheduling; agents for filtering and archives; and discussion databases including Web discussion forums. Trade Up to Lotus Messaging became available on Oct. 5 and is valid through Dec. 31, 1998. Customers with users who have "paid for" messaging products already installed can trade-up to the Lotus Messaging Licence with Software Subscription for US$24 per seat. This price includes the right to upgrade to future versions of Lotus messaging clients during the first year. 0


Scarborough

Richmond Hill iasn Ave

Pickering

Scarborough:

Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm Sunday: 12pm -4pm

4BIO

Richmond Hill:

Sheppnw fast

4810 Sheppard Ave. E. I58~4Y Unit 224, mugh

See the current prices in: ygyg~ fhI'Orle Co~

We provide high quality components and upgrade service uith a ffordable prices! •

Str e et

5

9

e

s

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TERMS

QDI Legend V, Intel 440LX chipset mothesboard 2 Serial ports and 1 Enhanced Parallel Port 64 Meg SORAM memory CPU Heat-Sink Fan included Maxtor 6.8GB Ultra-DNIA Hard Drive Panasonic32X EIDE CD-ROM Panasonic 1.44M Floppy Drive Creative Labs Ensoniq Audio PCI sound card ATI Xpert 98 AGP 8 Nleg SVGA card with MPEG full motion video, 3D features Acer 56K V.90 internal Data/FaxNoice modem ATX Nled-Towercase wl 250W ATX Power Supply GNT 6000 Subwoofer Speaker System Keytronic 104 keys PS/2 Windows keyboard Logitech 3 button PS/2 mouse with mouse pad Daytek 15" .28 Non-interlaced Digital Control Low Radiation SVGA Color monitor One month unlimited access of Internet. w/CD Preloaded Windows 98 with manual & CD 2 years labour and 1 yeas parts depot warranty

t

AMD K6 2/266 AMD K6 2/300

$1089 $1109 $1149 $1199

AMD K6 2/333

AMD K6 2/350

C eleron Celeron C eleron Pentium II

2 6 6 $1499 3 0 0 A $ 1599 33 3 $1659 333 $1749

Mon - Sat: 10am -6pm Sunday: CLOSED

Tel: (416)609-1668 Tel: (905)8$1<299 Tel: (805)839-8333 Pic(faring: Fax: (416)609-8860 Fax: (905)881-6933 Fax: (905)839-9105 Mon - Sat 10am -Spm Email: scarborough Email: richmondhill Email: pickering Sunday: CLOSED @throne.corn NXhrone,corn @lhrone.corn

USB Cas aara ~l wjai

Acer AX59 Pro VIA chipset 1 Nleg cache motherboard 100MHz. 2 Serial ports and 1 Enhanced Parallel Port. 32 Meg SDRAM 100 MHz memory Ball Bearing CPU Heat-Sink Fan included WD/Fujitsu 4.3GB Ultra-D6IIA Hard Drive Panasonic32X EIDE CD-ROM Panasonlc1.44M Floppy Drive Yamaha 16bits stereo 3D sound card with CO Trident 4 Meg AGP Super VGA video card GVC/Niotorola 56K Internal Win modem ATX Nled-Towercase w/250W ATX Power Supply 120W Stereo Speaker System 104 keys Windows keyboard Mitsumi MS compatible mouse & mouse pad Oaytek 15" Digital Control Low Rad. SVGA monitor One month unlimited access of Internet, w/CD 2 years labour & 1 year parts depot warranty Windows 96 is not included

1211 e t on Road Unit 85. Pickerlng

ASUS, P2B, Intel 440BX chipset motherboard 2 Fast serial, 1 En. Parallel port 6 support USB True Pentium" II CPU with 512K Cache Pentium il CPU Heat-Sink Fan included 128 Meg SORAM memory (100Mhz DIMM) Western Digital 8.4GB Ultra-DMA Hard Driv Panasonic 1.44 Floppy Drive PanasonicDVD2 EIDE CD-ROM Drive Sound Blaster PCI 128 sound card with CD Logitech QuickCam VC USB Camera ATI Xpert@play AGP 8 Meg Video card With DVD video support and TV output USR 56K V.90 Internal Data/Fax/Voice Modem ATX Med-Tower case wl 260W ATX Power Supply BOFA desktop microphone Altec Lansing ACS45.1 Subwoofer Speaker System ( NEW( ) Microsoft Natural PS/2 keyboard Logitech PSI2 First Mouse Plus with wheel & pad Daytek 17" .26 Flat screen Digital Control Low Radiation Super VGA color monitor One month unlimited access of internet with CD Preloaded Windows 98 with manual & CD

Pentium II 333 Pentium II 350

$2689 $2759

Pentium II 400

$2999

Pentium II 450

$3359

QDI Advance II 512K motherboard AMD K6 2I266 CPU with CPU Heat-Sink Fan 32 Meg SDRAM memory Panasonic 1,44M Floppy Drive Panasonic 32X EIOE CO-ROM Maxtor 3.4 GB Ultra-DMA Hard Drive Cirrus Logic 2 hlleg PCI Super VGA video card Med-Tower Case 5 250W power supply 2 yearn labour and 1 year parts depot warranty Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse and Windows 98 are not included

e

I

PC Partner, Intel 440LX motherboard Intel Celeron 266 CPU with CPU Heat-Sink Fan 32 Meg SDRANI mesnory, 1.44M Floppy Drive Panasonic 32X EIDE CD-ROM Maxtor 3.4GB Ultra-DMA Hard Drive Trident 9750 4 Meg AGP Super VGA video card Med-Tower Case& 250W power. supply Yamaha 16 bits 3D sound card with speaker 104 Keys Keyboard, Mitsumi Serial Mouse & Pad Daytek 14" 1024 .28 Color Monitor 2 years labour and 1 year parts depot warranty Windows 98 are not included

386, 486 ~

C e l eron

Intel Celeron 266 CPU with Heat-Sink Fan PC Partner 440LX Motherboard 32 Nleg SDRAM memory Cirrus Logic 2 Meg PCI SVGA card Installation included 9 months parts & labour warranty Celeron 333 5 497

Pentium II 333 32Megto64MegSDRAM

5602 + 5 70

-All Prices are already 3% discounted for cash, Money Order and Certified Cheque (prewpprove only), or Direct payment (Interac). VISA, Master Cards or Government P.O. are on regular prices (Regular price = Cash discounted price + 3%). Government, educational institutions & corporate P.O. are welcome, shipping cost is extra. Prices are subject to change without notice. (Check: www.throne.corn)

QRI YES I&CONTROLLERS IDE/SCSIharddriye removable kit SCSI exlemai Case2 bays5Dpin SCSI externalCase2bays 68Pn

IDE: Maxtor3.4GB Maxtor6.6GB Maxtor 6.4 /13.6GB QuantumFireball 5.168 QuantumFireball 7.6/10.2GS SeagateMedalist Pro6.5GB Seagate Medalist Pro 9.1GS

Western Digital3.2/4.3GB

Western Oigilal 6.4 / 6.4GB

Western Digital10.1GS SCSI: Qu. Vikmgll 4.5GSU2W

Qu. Vikingll 9.1GB U2W

CASKS with Power Supply $30 Med-Tower 6bays 250W $125 Hi-Tower, 6bays250W $160 Full Tower, 10bays 250W ATX, MedTower6 bays 250W

INPUT DKYICKS

$47 $69 $99 $60 $99 $119 26/39 $50 $65

ATX, Hi Tower 7bays 250W $190 ATX, Full Tower10bays 250W $245 PowerSupply250W I300W 292/455 ATX PowerSupply250W $227 ATX PowerSupply300W 290/375 $310 $379 CPU CHIPS 202/213 ( Please call for the current price, 255/315 or refer to our WEB site ) $365 Cooling Fan for AMDand Pentium $9 Cooling Fanfor PentiumII $16

$ 479 Intel Pentium 233MMX $779 AMD K6-2/266

Qu. Altas iii 16GU2W $1544AMD K6-2/300 Seagate Barr 4.5GBST-34573W $6 69 AMO K6-2/333 Seagaie 8arr 9.I GB ST-39173W $799 AMD K6-2/350 Seagaie Barr 16.2GBST-118273W $1455 Seagate Cheetah 4,508 ST-34502LW 649 Intel Celeron 266 &Fan(retail) Seagate Cheetah9.1GB ST-39102LW 1099 Intel Ceieron300 &Fan(retail) Intel Ceieron300A128K(Retail) inlai Ceieron333126K(Retail) Panasonic 3.5 1.44Meg floppy drive $25 Intel Pent. Ii 333.Balk/Retail Panaaonic LS-120 3.5' 120Megdrive Intel Pent. Ii 350, Bulk/Retail with Super Disk Tools Kit $125 intel Pent il 400, Bulk/Retail LS-120 120MDisk $15 Intel Pent.il 450, Bulk/Retail

$ 170 $143

$159 $176 $240 $145

$159 $245 $275 335I 355 365/405 575/ 605 920/955

Acer 104keys keyboard(AT/PS2) $14 Keytonic104keyskeyboard(PS2) $24 MS NaturalKeyboard(w/Syatesn) $45 MS NaturalKeyboard(USB) $69 Salk|a 104Keyboard(USB) $62 Miisumi mouseMScompatible $9 MS inteiii Mouse(w/Systemonly) $36 MS SideWinderprecision pro(USB) $99 LogitechSe rial / PS2 /scuse $ 15 Logiiech FirstMouse>(PS2) $23

CD $3RIVES 4 WRITERS SCSI Panaaonicini 24X CDDrive SCSINEC inl32X CO Dri ve IDE Panaaonicint 32X CDDrive IDE Acer inl 36X CD Drive

$125 $141 $71 $71 IDE Acerinl 40XCODrive $63 IDE Panasonic inl DVO2 Drive only $176 IDE Toshibainl OV04 Drive only $214 IDE Creative ini DVDEncore-5 Kit $365 IDE HP int 7200i 6 by2 Rewriter Kil $369 IDE HP int 6100i 24 by 4Rewriter Kit $469 Ext. HP 7200EParallel Rewriter Kit $515 SCSI / IDEPanasonic int 6 by 4writer with Adaptec COCreator $355 SCSI Yasnahaint CDW4260 6 by 4 RewritesValueKil $545 Blank CD-disc (BASF HP) / $2/3 Blank Rewriiable COdisc (HP) $22

SOUND CARBS

IOsnega/biEC int iOE100MegZIP drive with 9/iOTHKR BOARDS Yarnaha 16bits 30 soundcard ZIP Tools Utitities $125 QOI Advance li Pentium512KVIA Soundblaater 16card PnP $69 Creative LabsEnaoniq PCI IOmegaParallel 100MegZip drive $179 QDI TitaniumPentium 512K430TX $103 IOmega100Meg ZIPdisk $ 14 Soandbiaaier AWE64 Value PSA Ali Afà $145 SoundblastesPCI 126 Syquest1GBSparQ carliage, 3 pack $140 ASUS AGER AX59 Pro 1Meg VIA 42X $119 HP inl IDESGBtape drive with Tape $265 ASUS P2L-B440LX Soundblastes Live Value (retail) $153 Soundblastes HP Exl5GB Parallel tapedrive w/Tape 349 ASUS P2LS7 Live(retail) 440LX NX $162 HP int 6GB SCSITR-4 tape drive $430 ASUS P284408X472 $216

Tape 600M I 3.2G Tape 5G I 8G

$33/42 ASUS P28-S(U2W-SCSi) /ITX $417 SPKANERS S MICS $47 /52 ASUSP28-D(Dual CPU) afX $435 Base speakers P28-DS(ovalcpu auzw-scs 6 $625 DOWA120Wspeakers IDE ISAviith 16550 I/Ocontroller $27 ASUS Pentium II 440LX $110 GNT 5000Subwooter ASUSSC-200 U-SCSIcontroller $93 PC Parlner Legend V 440LX afX $132 Aiiec LansingACS45.1Wood ASUS SC-675UWSCSI controller $159 QDI $167 Subwoofer Adaplec2940UWkit (bulk) $264 QDi Brilliant i 440BXNX lfà $259 Aliec LansingACS46Svbwoofer Adaptec2940U2W(retail ) $529 Intel SE440BXIA Headphonewith microphone DiamondFireport 40 UW(Sulk) $142

$19 $37 $41 $57 $74 $145

$275

$6 $27 $72 $135 $209 $25

ljjKI)ORY

SCANNERS

FAX BNODK(IS

( Please call for the current price, Microtek V310color (Parallel) $ 136 GVC 56Kint win Modem $60 or refer to our WEB site ) HP ScanJet4100C (USB) $289 AGER56KInl with voiceV90(ISA) $80 ATI Xpest4M(SODIMM) $60 HP ScanJei 6250C(USB/SCSi) $635 ACER56Klntwilhvoicev.90(PCI) $72 SIMM1M /4M-70,30pins $35/25 Conneclix QuickcamVC (USB) $ 135 USR 56KInt V.90 (retail) $166 SIMMSM40.72pins Reg/EDO $35/34 USR 56K Int with voiceV.90 $130 SIMM16M-60, 72pinsRag / EDO $59/49 USR 56Kinl with voiceV90 (relsii) $169 SIMM 32M-60, 72pins Reg/ EDO$116/96 VIDEO CAR$3S USR 56KExt V.90 (rerail) $194 SDRAM32M, 166pina $70 ATI TV/FMTuner $117 USR 56KExt voice V.90PRO (retail) $252 SORAM32M, 166pins 100Mhz $75 PCI: SDRAM 64M,166pinsSDRAM $145 Cirrus Logic5446 2M $ 27 NKTNORKS (Ethernet) SDRAM64M, 166pina100Mhz $147 ATI 3D XpresaionEDO 2M $ 45 OviaUnk 16bits ISA card $25 SDRAM126M. 166pins $278 ATI 3OXpressionEDO 4M $ 60 OvisLink 8ports 10BaseT hub $76 SD RAM126M, 166pina 100Mhz $266ATI Xpest@Piay96 6M $ 1 3 5GVC 16bits ISAcard (PnP) $ 30 ATi Ail-In-WonderPro 6 M $ 2 26GVC 32bits PCIcard (PnP) $ 34 INK JET PRINTERS Creabve 3DBlaaler Vaodao2 12M retail 295 PCI 10/100BaseTcard $53 IEEE Bndirecbon printer cable 6 lt $15 DemandMonster1DVeodee2 12M retail 319 Dtink 4poris1008ase Thub $165 CanonBJC-250 4 M $ 1 0 1DUnk $149 STB Nitro3D EtherExpressPRO/100+PCI $105 Canon BJC4300 $204 STS Velocity 126TV3D 4 M $ 1 4 0 Intel 3COM PCI 10/100 Base Tcard $87 Epson StylusPhoto 700 $367 AGP: 6ports 10 SThub-3016700 $135 4M EpsonStylus440/640 $ 2 24/295 Trident 9750 $ 4 4 3COM 3COM 6 ports 100 BT hub-$016722 $366 6M $ 97 Epson Stylus740/650 $419/494 ATI Xpesl96 CableRG56/10/100BT 0.40/fi HP DeskJet 695C 6 M $ 1 3 5Ethernet $249ATI XperteP lay96 8M $'226 Ethernet 10/100 BT 10ltw/Connector $12 HP DeskJet 710C $345 ATI All-in-Wonder Pro 16M retail 247 Ethernet 10/100 BT25ft w/Connecter $16 Lexmark 1100 Before Rebate $ 16 4 Creative RIVATNT RJ45) Jack $1.5 Lexmark 3200 Before Rebate $279Diamond Viper V550 1 6M $ 2 65 108aseT( Connector $3 4M retail 95 SNC Connector/ BNC T L exmask 5700 Before Rebate $ 3 7 0In(el Express3D $3 / Additional$40rebate /rom Lexmark! ) Mairox MiiieniumG200 S M $ 1 6 9 Terminator Mairox MiiieniumG200 6M retail 169 Mairox MystiqueG200 6M retail 169 S4ftWere (Microsoft OEMversions LASER I'RINTKRS Mairox Marvel G200TV 6 M $ 3 9 9 must be purchased with Systems) HP 1100 6 ppnn 2M $616 Windows 96anthinatalaion (OEM) $170 HP1100A Sppm 2M $731 Windows NT 4.0 Worksls6on (OEM) $315 HP 6P 6 ppm 2M $969 MONITORS Windows NT 4,0 Server 5 User $1090 HP6MP Sppm 3M $1169' All menitera eany 1Ntk CanadianWafsanrir MS HomeBundle 96(OEM) $ 65 HP4000 17ppm 4M $1569 14" DaytekNon-In 1024,26 $ 179 MS HomeEssentials (OEM) $196 HP 4000N17 ppm4M $2103 15' Daylek Digital 1260.26 $219 MS Office 97Small Business(OEM) $335 HP4000Ttrppm 4M $179615" imago 15HX 1260.26 $214 M S Ogce Pro97 (OEM) , $54 6 HP5000 16ppm 4M Hxrr $ 2 179 15' Sony 100ES 1260.25 $361 MS OfficePro97 (Trade Up) $469 HP 5000N16ppm 6M n xrf CA L L17'Daylek1726D 1260.26 $369 Lotus SmartSuite 97(bulk) $42 17' NEC E700 1600 .25 $ 725 $ 649 PRlNTKR ACCESSORIES 17' Sony 200ES 1260.25 $ 830 Uninterruptible Pawer 4 I 6 Meg: HP 4+/4M+/4P/5P/6P $37/66 17' Sony 200GS 1260.25 Optiqueatv75. 1600.26 $ 605 Supply {UPS) 4/6 Meg HP 4/4Si/5Si/1200 $60/66 17" V/awsonicG773 1260.27 $ 559 APC - American PowerConversion 4/6 Meg: HP5L/6L $65/123 17' 17' Yewsonic PS775 1600.25 $ 769 Personal Toutlet w/Modern 16 Meg: HP 4+/4M+/4P/5P/6P $ 1 09 $ 39 19' NEC E900 1600 .24 $1075 Backup-UPSPro420 16 Meg: HP 4000 $140 19" Optiqueat v95 1260.26 $335 $ 755 CanonSJ4300Smal lColor $ 22 19" Viewaonic PS7901600.25 Backup-UPSPro650 $445 $ 655 Sacks p-UPS Pro 1000 CanonBJ4300SmallBlack $ 8 2'l" NEC E1100+ $570 1600.24 $1533 HP Tonerfor 4L/4P/4MP Ssnarl-UPS 1000 Network $716 $95 21" ViewaonicP610 1600.25 $1560 Ssnart-UPS1400 Network $ 955 HP Tonerfor 5L/6L $86


DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

ggg T ECH EN T E R P R I S E

Needed: single view for e-messages Online newsletter subscriptions, letters from friends, business correspondence and the always-dreaded "spam" flood into your email inbox every day. And that's on top of the more conventional deluge of incoming faxes, "snail mail" letters, voicemail and pager messages. By Geof Wheelwright

NEW CO M P U T ER SYSTKM S Aa new systems include the fosowinscomponents mainboard; 512KCache, 32 MB RAM, minitower Case, I

, ~

i

MB SVGA card, 1 44 MB floppy. 2S/IP'. 2.1GB HDD; mouse WIN95 Keyboard. 2 years parts and 5 years labour wstrallty

KTX

AlvlDK6-II 300 3D $699 AMDK6-II 350 3D $769 IBM MX-233/266 $ 5 39/$569 Intel Pentium 200MMX $ 5 99 I ntel Pentium 233MMX $ 6 3 9 Intel Pentium II 266 $849 Intel Pentium II 300 $879 Intel Pentiuln II 333 $899 Intel Pentium II 350 $959

Special INTEL

PENTIUM

. U P-.; G R A 8 K 4 P A R T S UPGRADE SYSTEMS

IBM MX PR233+ $249 IBM MX I RZSS+ $279 AMD K6-266/300MMX $339/$379 AMD K611-300/350 3D $389/$529 intel Pentium 75(USED 16MB) $159 Intd Pentium 100(USED 16ME) $199 $229 Intel Pentium 133 intel Pentium 166 $259 $329 Intel Pentium 200 $309 Intel Pentium 200 MMX Intel Pentium 233MMX $319 Intel Pentium 11 266/300 CELERON $349/$389 Intel Fentium 11 300A CELERON $449 Intel Pentium 11 266/300 $549/$569 '$589 Intel Pentium 11 333 Intel Pentium ll 350 $659 $859 intel Pendum I I 400 $1199 total Pendum Il 450

AR upgradesinclude CPU, mainbeard

cooling Fan and 16 MB RAM

-- CPU 486DX33(USED) 486DX2-66(USED) 4$6DX2-$0(USED) 4$6DX4-100(USED) IBM MX PR233+ AMD KS-266/300

$35

AMD KSII 266/300 3D AMD K6n 333/350 3D

$169/$179 $1$9/$239

lrnel Pemium 75(USED) Intd Pentium 100(USED)

$65 $90

Intel Pentiutn 133 Intel Pentium 166 Intel Pendum 200MMX Intd Pentium 233MMX Intel Pentium il 266 lntd Pentium 11 300 Intel Pentium 0 333 Inml Pentium n 350 Intel Pemium II 400 lntd Pentium II 450

8 Q AR D

ASUS PENTIUM ll P2097$ ASUS PENTIUM 11 P2B

UPGRADE YOUR 386,486,PENTUIM sys to .... •

M AI N

$35 $50 $65 $99 $179/$189

$119 $129 $179 $189 $329 $349 $369 $419 $639 $999

Video Ceafsrwuran tcastCC0 Camswl

Video Capture Card

Sound Blaster 164sh 164dt Sound Card Snundblaster AWE64 Value PCI 16 BIT SOUND CARD

Soundblasrer PCI 128 Soundblaster live value

$39/$49 $49 $49/$69 $69 $$9 $199 $119 $$9 $169 $369 $1$9 $$9

$49 $29 $79 $55 $89 $149

$399 $229 $179 $229

ASUS PENTIUM n P2L97 ABIT PENTIUM II BX W/AGP A.TREND PENTIUM 11 LX A-TREND PENTIUM ll BX(AGP)

$189 $&9 $99 $139

1 MB RAM (30PIN) 4MB RAM (30-PIN) SMB EDO RAM (72-PIN) 16MB EDO RAM (72-PIN) 32MB EDO RAM(72-PIN) 8MB RAM F/P(72-PIN) 16MBRAM F/P(72-PIN) 32MB RAM F/P(72-PIN) 32MB SDRAM(168-PIN) 64MB SDRAM(168-PIN) 12$MB SDRAM(168-PIN)

$3 $19 $29 $49 $99

$35 $65 $119 $69

INTEL P233MMX CPU MOTHERBOARD 2 I GB HARD DISK 14" MONITOR

+

32 M B RAM;

0 +

SU P ER MINI TOWER CASE; 4 M B SVGA CARD

0

24XCD ROM 16BI T SOUNT CARD

+

33 . 6 FAX MODEM 1 44 MB FDD MOUSE, WIN95-KEYBOARD;

2 years parts and 5 years labour warranty. PENTIUM Il 266 + $250 PENTIUM II 300 + 8270 + $370 PENTIUM II 350 PENTIUM II 400 + $580

$149

$279

" %404DDRIVKS ' ; : ZIP DRIVE INT (R) 2.1 GB HARD DISK 2.5 GB HARD DISK 3 I GB HARD DISK 4.3 GB HARD DISK 5.1 GB HARD DISK 7.6 GB HARD DISK 10.2 GB HARD DISK 1 44 MB FLOPPY 120 MB FLOPPY

$79 $179 $189 S209 $229 $269 $339 $429 $29 $149

MONITOR KTX 14" KOMODO15" KTX 15 "(12$0X1024) Sceptre 15 (1024X768) ACER 15" (7154E)(1024X768) ACER 15" (7156C) MAG 15" 1590 KTX 17" ( 28) / (.26) ACER 17" (.28)/(.26) KTX 19" SAMSUNG IT'GLI MAG 17" Dl 700 MAG 17" DX 700T

Systems include.

$149

VX PRO ACER TX PRO KTX SUPER 7

Viewsonic P775 I MB SVGA CARD/2MB IMB ATI MACH 64 PCI MB S3 PCI /4MB ATI 3D XPRESSION PCI MB ATI 3D XPRESSION PCt MB ATI ALI. IN WONDER AGP SMB ATI XPERT 98 AGP MB SIS AGP 3DPRO 8MB Matron Mi$enium G200 1ZMB CREATIVE VOODOO 2

SYSTEM

$179 $229 $229

$259 $259 $289 $369 $369/ $419 $479/ $549 $799 $699

$669 $799 $699

' "-~ "c ""FAX /' MODEM " ' 33.6K Faa/Modem 56 K Faa/Modem (V90) ISA 56KFaa/Modem PCI 33,6 USR Fax/Modem w/vince 56K USR FAX/MODEM V90 56K USR FAX/MODEht VOICE V90 33.6K/56K PCMCA FAX/MODEM 56K KTX EXTERNAL FAX/MODEM

$59 $89 $69 $89 $129 $149 $99/159 $139

NETWORK CARDS Ethernet Adapter ISA Ethernet Adapter PCI PCMCA Ethernet CARD 10 Base-T Ethernet Hub 5/8 PORT PCMCA VIDEO CONFERENCE KITS

$35 $45 $99 849/sss $399

8// epgror/esreaf pare have oorre-yeor worsen/N /rote: Af/prices are subject ro c/tmt8e wi//rotr/mty pr/or nor/re.

pr/res are n/reedy 4/mwn w///r u396 auh sf/seen/u

CD-ROM DRIVES. k, KXl'S 20X SPEED 20X CD KITS 32X CD SPEED PANASONIC DVD CREATIVE DVD n KITS 20X CD ROM EXTERNAL 8X2 MITSUMI CDR ACER CDRW

$79 $129 $99 $199

$299 $209 $369 $419

8 .C A N N. K R $139

KTX Flatbed Scanner 9600 dpt Mustek(Gallery 4$00)

$199 $139

$299

Mustek9600EP(9600dpi)

CASE KEYBOARD MOUSE Midi Tower Case Full Tower Case ATX Mini Tower Case ATX Midi Tower Case 104 WIN95 Keyboard

$59 $89 $59 $79

$25 $69 $15/$20 $30

MS Natural Keyboard Serial / PS2 Mouse Lo8itech mouse

tj sit„ f:: P R I N T E R:S;:;: CANON BJC-4300 Hewlett Packard hp-695C Hewlett Packard HP-61 Brother Laser HL-760 EPSO14 color 640 EPSONcolor 440

$159 $219 5279 $529 $449

$299 S229

NOTEBOOK IBM TIENKPAD380D)2.1" S1549.00 SCREEN.ISMBRA$4.1.3MB HDD.FAX MODEM.SX CDROM,WIN95...

480W Sub-Woofer Speakers 300W Speakers 240W speakers 180W speaker

100W Speakers

A single view One of the great problems facing users of fax, voicemail and email is that they all "reside" in different places. Just the simple act of checking whether you have voicemail, faxes or email can require three distinct actions on your part. To combat that problem, sofiware developers over the last several years have promoted the idea that you should try and maintain a "single view" of your all incoming messages that couldbe sorted, searched and managed easily and consistently. The first widespread solution for doing this came with the inclusion in Windows 95 of Microsoft's Exchange "client" software for handling incoming and outgoing faxes and email messages. Although this bundled Exchange client was somewhat hard to use, had poor internet mail connectivity and quite limited fax handling capabilities, it was the first major commitment to put all those message-handling capabilities into one place. By this time, other companies began to see the potential of an eall-in-once approach. One of the most significant developments in this area was by Symantec, which had launched a version of its WinFax, fax send-andreceive software that could be integrated with

Exchange. Included with this product was an

KTX Flatbed Scanner 4800 DPI (ISM Color)

CANON BJC-250

e live in a connected society, but it sometimes seems that we have become so connected we are in danger of disconnecting from the meaning„sense or relative importance of any individual message or piece of communication. And that' s why it has become more important than ever that we use the very technology that allows us to receive so many messages to take control of those messages before they take control of us.

$99 $69

$59 S49 $25

«pplication called TalkWorks that also allowed you to run a PC-based telephone answering system that would store messages on your disk. Again, this was an innovative solution but somewhat limited in what it could achieve. In addition, it wasn't ideal for use in a corporate environment where dedicated fax and voicemail systems were not integrated with the PC. The flip side of this issue was that having

message sources spread out over several different technologies and devices could be something of a safety measure for corporations, lf

you move all of your voicemail, email and fax communications to being something that

"lives" on the LAN, then two things happen. The first is that the volume of data traffic over the LAN can increase dramatically when

you start moving voice and fax information around it — a serious issue if you are "bandwidth-challenged." Secondly, if you move all your fax and voicemail functions to the LAN and it fails at any time, you will have lost all

messaging systems. At any rate, there are a number of tools now available that will help you take a more

consistent and managed approach to message handling. CI


TECH ENTERPRISE g

www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

Q

TM

The ros an cons o exten in c r e i t

MOTOROLA

i1000 •

New Features

• •

Speakerphone

• See-Through Flip'Cover • VibraCall

give them credit. Unless you grant credit or accept credit cards, you could lose out on potential sales, regardless of the type of product you have, or even though you sell them at a )ower price than a larger store. • Meeting or beating competitors:If your credit terms are more attractive in terms of DOuf;tAS GRAV a lower interest rate, higher limits, or easier access to credit than your competitors, ost businesses rely on credit. Credit is these factors alone could provide you with either being extended to customers the competitive edge. or being obtained from suppliers. In • Accessing a l a r ger c ustomer hase: most businesses credit flows in both directions. Estimates show that between 65 percent 1:or many businesses, extending credit is and 75 percent of shoppers utilize credit necessary to remain competitive and to grow. to make purchases.'I'herefore, if you offer 'I'he small business owner who sells on credit credit or accept credit cards, you are going will have a higher sales volume than one who to extend the size of your customer base. sells on a cash-only basis. Of course, there are Otherwise, you will be limiting your sales advantagesand disadvantages to extending to people who are willing and can afford credit, and you will have to evaluate these in to pay cash. your own situation to determine whether the • Larger amount of customer sales: 'I'he advantages of offering credit are greater than offering of credit increases the size of the the disadvantages. average sale. Customers with credit extended to them tend to purchase a Advantages greater amount per purchase, and are llriefly, here are some of the advantages: more responsive to sales aittl displays. • increased ability to compete with larger • Orders by telephone: Credit makes it is businesses:lt is a natural tendency for easier and more convenient for customers people to shop around for the best barto purchase over the phone. gains. Many people who buy on credit limit their shopping to larger stores that

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• Goodwill for your business:Customers

sales and promotion tool:By analyzing

are more appreciative when they can buy goods with the convenience of credit. It

the information contained on pour customer's accounts, you would be able to obtain a profile of their purchase preferences, buying habits, times of purchase, and overall buying trends. This information could be utilized for sales promotions or advertising purposes, as well as direct mail.

builds customer loyalty. • Additional profit on financing: Some businessescharge a financing fee that can range between five and 15 percent higher than the conventional financing charge that one would pay at a bank through a consumer loan or a consumer line of credit. • U t ilization of credit information as a

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it, such as the cost of credit investigations, bookkeeping, mailing- out invoices and statements, Maintaining records by computer system can be efficient but expensive in terms of the capital costs of the equipment (the hardware and software) as well as the training and salary of an operator. • H i gher return of goods: Studies show that there are a higher percentage-of returns with credit sales than goods sold on a cash basis. Frequently people buy first and decide later whether they really want to keep the i tems. If n ot , t hey are returned, sometimes many months after the goods were purchased. This could result in a loss to you, as returned items may not be resalable or could be out of season. • Bad debt loss:Statistics show that despite the thoroughness of your credit application and your screening process, you are going to have a certain percentage of customers who are unable or unwilling to pay the amount they owe. Naturally, any bad debts that have to be written off will increase your operating expenses and reduce your profitability. There are many costs assodated directly and indirectiy with offering credit. These expenses would have to be deducted from any income you receive from your cdstomer. Such expenses could include: the cost of capital to finance the credit, personnel, equipme nt, supplies, professional advice, credit and collection agency fees or commissions and, of course„bad debts. 0 Oouglas Gray,LL.B.,is aVancouver-based experton small business. He is the author of 17 bostselling business books, includingThe Complete Canadian Small Business Guide(McGraw-Hill Ryerson), Start and Runa Profitable Business Using Your Computer andStart and Runa Profitable Consulting Business

(Self-CounselPress).

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billed to Fido), As it happens, Fido has no

ON THE GO

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n a nation of 125 million people, you can get lost pretty easily, especially if you are functionally illiterate. At least that's how I felt in Japan last month as TCP associate editor, Jeff Evans, and I joined several other Canadian technology journalists on a trip to see the latest gadgets from consumer electronics giant Sony. To ensure that I wasn't completely lost, however, I took along a little insurance — a Japanese digital mobile phone that allowed me to stay in touch with loved ones and key businesses in Canada. The phone came from a company in Canada called Rent Express, which specializes in renting mobile phones to business travelers for use in countries all over the world. Rent Express has found a useful niche because there are only a limited number of countries where you can use a standard Canadian mobile p hone — and Japan is not on that list. I had done this once before on a trip to France in June, where Rent Express provided the phone and I was able to charge all calls to my Canadian Fido m o b il e t e lephone account. The phone rental was around $70 per week (excluding call charges, which were

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,' Basic eofiguration Basic Pentium II

a f te r t o uring Tokyo's Akihabara district

"roaming" agreement in Japan so I arranged (known as Electric City) I quickly learned why.

Needless to say, this allowed me to liberally C anada. They were real commodity items and give out the mobile phone number to those I a l most everyone seemed to have one. thought might need to get in touch with me Gi ve n t h i s kind of demand on Japan's wireless telecommuniwhile I was away (with cations network, I was the proviso that they

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my hotel roam using a calling card, although it was comforting to know that I could make calling

cardcallson theJapanese phone and it was not

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saging system) and w orked w h enever I needed it. And for less than $100, it was a great

more than a dozen incoming calls. The line quality on those calls was also variable, but

Of cou r se, I also made extensive use of Continued on page 86

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the Microsoft Network access number in Tokyo. I was told that a special "adapter" was needed to get the hotel room phone line working with the modem, but even after acquiring get to from my notebook computer. I, also the adapter I could not get it to work. At any rate, I can certainly recommend rentused pcAnywhere to send a digital photo of my visit to my friend's house outside Tokyo to ing a mobile phone if you are traveling to Japan on business. However, before leaving for Japan, my wife and children . I did find there were some problems in you may want to ask the hotel if you will have a establishing a lecal Internet connection from way toconnect your notebook computer modem my hotel room. But that appears to have been to the hotel phone line. Otherwise, you' ll end up more of a difficulty with the way the hotel doing what I did — dialing into a Vancouverphone system interacted with my modem than based Internet "node" to check email. I'm sure with any inherent incompatibility between my the resulting charges are going to give me quite a Toshiba notebook (which, after all, likely start- fright when my phone bill arrives. But that' s ed its life in Japan) and the Japanese telecom- another Halloween horror story. 0

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TECH ENTERPRISE g

ln brief Continued from page69

The idea behind the technology is to make it easier for Web users —as well as firms with Web pages — to call a company's technical or sales supvideoconferencing products with the addition of port staff. While the usergets asan easy and lowV.35 capabilities, a videoconferencing system cost option, the company concerned saves on capability with private communication net- toll-free call costs, and offers international phone

market access to Internet services from smallscreen mobile phones.

Axent launchesNetprowler ROCKVILLE, Maryland (NB) — Fresh from per-

require users to log on and off several times during installation. suading Dell to sell its Raptor fuewall technology The product works with any telephone syswith the Dell Internet Server series, Axent tem, PBX, or call centre system. PDQCalso inteTechnologies hastaken the wraps off its Intruder grates Web-basedcustomer service with call cenAlert with NetProwler software. Intruder Alert technology, as the name

tres to enhance online customer service with the option of simultaneous personal assistance. implies, is a network intrusion detection system. htipi/www.erIcsson.se

The company says this technology is the first

.

or rS/

This system will help create applications that

Inter net services. WAPForumhill/www.wap.org Say hello to commerce NEW YORK (NB) — Nuance Communications announced it teamed with via World Network to integrate the Nuance 6 speech recognition technology into via Voice, which is billed as the trav-

el industry's leading speech recognition application. Parallel with the move, via World Network

announced it is joining the V-Commerce Alliance, a group of technology vendors and systems integrators working with Nuance to makeit easier to build and deploy voice commerce (vcommerce) applications. One step up from e~mmerce, v-commeice will allow users to employ natural language

speech recognition to perform self-service trans-

intrusion detection system (IDS) to integrate both network and host-based methods in a single product that automatically detects and

fricsson unveils two WAP apps

actions over the telephone and other connected

STOCKHOLM (NB) — After more than a year' s gestation, the wireless application protocol

devices. While the adoption of Internet exom-

responds to external attacks.

(WAP) forum has at long last had a baby in the logical step in the evolution of traveler conve-

Axent says NetPmwler is a new network

gt To vwrr.woeTh„

Joss

provide users of mobile phones and other smallscreen handheld PCs with direct access to

works. This enhancement helps those who

support facilities. demand the quality of high-speed, high-bandAdditionally, the customer can peruse the width video connections, but who do not have firm's Web site to answer at least some of their access to ISDN connections in their country of questions and would be routed across an IP teleoperations. It's also for those looking to use phony link if they need to talk to a human operexcess bandwidth on their existing private net- ator. works. The PIC client software downloads in less http J/www.3m.corn than one minute, while the firm says competitive products take as long as 15 minutes and

Q

form of the first WAP systems just unveiled by

merce continues to grow, v~mmerce is the next nience.

'• •

monitoring component for Intruder Alert 3.0, Ericsson in Sweden. According to company officials, via World which provides network-based intrusion moniWAP technology, first announced in June Network integrated Nuance 6into its voice applitoring integrated with Intruder Alert's manag- 1997, allows direct interfacing between a TCP/IP cation in August and plans to deploy its latest via er/agent enterprismlass IDS. Axent says Intruder Alert with NetProwler integrates the three most distinct, important layers of protection to stop more than 90 percent of attacks known today. These include a firewall perimeter monitor that protects the outside layer of the network from unwanted outsiders, and an automated IDS software layer that extends across

the enterprise.

communications medium and a cellphone medium, regardless of what platform the cell-

Voice technology using Nuance 6 for a major North American airline. phone system operates on. Via World Network says Via Voice, which has Ericsson has been quietly working on the been in use by business travelers since November technology for the last year, and just unveiled of 1996, is the travel industry's only fully the WAP Gateway plus a WAPservice developers' deployed speech recognition application that kit for cellular service and content providers. The books airline, car rental and hotel reservations. new products allow for development of massContinued on pageS9

0

0

0

Intruder Alert monitors the audit trails of distributed systems in real-time for footprints that

signai suspicious or unauthorized activity on aH major operating systems, Webservers, firewalls, routers, applications, databases, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps

from other network devices. http: //www.axe nt.corn

BreezeCom offers wireless LAN line CARLSBAD,Calif. (NB) —BreezeCom is shipping its IEEE 802.11compatible, inteioperable wireless networking product line, the BreezeNet Pro.11 series. The BreezeNet Pro.ll line includes access

points, single- and four~rt station adapters, building-to-building bridges; and PC cards. New BreezeNet products are the SA-PCR and SA-PCD Pro.ll frequency hopping, spread spectrum wireless local area network (LAN) PC Cards. The cards feature a 3 Mbps data rate with automatic fall-back to 2 or 1 Mbps. The SA-PCR offers a retractable antenna system that can transmit data up to 900 m (3,000 ft.) in open space and 180 m (600 ft.) in an office. Both cards are Type II PCMCIA adapters and operate on the unlicensed 2.4 GHz industrial,

sdence, and medical band. The BreezeNet Pro.ll line works with Windows 95, 98, NT, NetWare, and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Pricing

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G I FT GUIDE

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attempt to discern some of the best software titles

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annual gaming guide, where we once again

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By borg) noble

t

n the grand scheme of things, 1998 may be remembered as the year consumer PC technology finally caught up with the grand dreams of game designers. With the relatively stable Windows 9x operating system forever

banishing the mysteries of those dark and incompatible days of DOS, 3D graphic caids accelerating frame rates, and Pentium chips

From; GT Interactive Tel: 800-610-4847, http: //www.glgames.corn Street price: $60

First-person shooter Unreal has been slagged, and justifiably so, for its slow Internet multi-

player play. But the developers working hard

on patches for just such problems, have at least partially rectifying the situation. That controversy aside, however, Unreal is essentially a "thinking man's Quake," emphasizing monster quality over monster quantity. Hey, these dudes don't just stand there-and take a licking, they' ll run and hide or turn the tables and track you down too. Hot graphics and great lighting only add to the winning Unreal experience, though it might be a bit too violent for some.

Forsaken

pushing speeds to unprecedented levels, games were generally easy to install, easy to run, and danged fast too. Without further adieu then, get your chestnuts roasting by the open fire, pour yourself a tall warm one, and prepare to spend your hard-earned gaming bucks the best way we know how. On Dasher...

Continued onpage 94

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www.tcp.ca

DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

IgB GIFT GUIDE 4NI

TCP's Sth annual gaming guide

Just when you thought you'd seen the last of the side-scroUers, along comes a game like

Continued from page92

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee to show you the From: Acclaim Entertainment Tel: 516-656-5000, http: //www.forsaken.corn Street price: $60

I NTR R A C T I V E

genre still lives. Bestowed with an actual plot — in itself almost revolutionary — Abe's

Oddysee also comes packed with good humor,

Part Descent, part Extreme Assault and aU action, Forsaken is notable even to those who've never played the thing for the mysteri-

decent graphics, and a somewhat intelligent, speaking lead character. Good fun for the

young gamer.

ous and gorgeous woman featured on nearly Tomb Raider II every bit of advertising created for the game. Unfortunately for those seeking a virtual suitor, she has absolutely nothing to do with what' s inside the box. Fortunately, it doesn't matter.

In Forsaken, you' ll pilot a freewheeling airborne motorcycle, officiaUy dubbed an "antigrav pioncycle," through the subterranean caverns of a post-apocalyptic Earth. Your mission? Plunder and pillage for aU it's worth before your mercenary rivals do the same. Lots of shooting, lots of high-tech goodiesto grab, lots of gorgeous visual and lighting effects and tons of mayhem make Forsaken the thriU-a-second ride of '98.

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee

From: Eidos Interactive Tel: 415-693-0297, http: //www.eidosinteractlve.corn Street price: $50 Okay, there's two ways to look at this whole

Lara Croft thing: it's great to see a female lead in a computer game; or her ridiculously wellendowed body and none-too-prudish wardrobe are typical'of the sexism in modem

gaming. Whatever your position, she's back in the unimaginatively titled Tomb Raider II, a

difficult yet rewarding successor to last year' s Tomb Raider. And with cinematic-quality

Erin Mill Town Centre IS SSCIII I

From: 6T Interactive Tel: &00-610-4647, http;//www.gtgames.corn Street price: $40

graphics, great puzzles and an intriguing plot, Lara's never looked so good. Continued on page 96

= INDUS SYSTEMS Why should you go for Microsoft certification? H ere are atleastthree reasons ... I. Research indicates that Microsoft certification has significant benefits for both employers and certified individuals. 2. Microsoft's certification is recognized worldwide. When you tell prospective employers that you are an MCSE, they understand the level of your knowledge.

Microsoft I

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THIS WEEK

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time you' re ready to hit the stores this season, but in the meantime I can tell you that its

Believable bail action? Authentic graphics?

Real courses?. How about a course-building

Beeae Stela

immediate predecessor, NBA Live 98, is widely

utility that' ll let you play in virtually any setting you can dream up? Jack Nicklaus 5 has it

9 9 EP

all and is one of the best golf games.ever.

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.,;- regarded as the best basketball on a PC. Sporting bet ter control and more play options

NBA Live 98

and player moves than the alieady top-ofwthe- genre NBA Live 97, there is currently no worthy challenger in basketball-land.

w

From: Electronic Arts Tel: 800-245-4525, http: //www.easports.corn Street price: $50

Sims R space

NBA Live 99 should be on the shelves by the

Grand Prix legends I

.EEP

From; Sierra On-Line Tel: 800-757-7707, httpl/www.sierrasports.corn Street price; $60

Grand Prix Legends designer Papyrus Design Group has a history of building the toughest,

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last year's NASCAR Racing 2 or 1996's IndyCar •

Racing II, can prepare you for Papyrus's ultra-

C

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authentic look at Grand Prix racing back in those oh-so-dangerous days of the mid-1960s. Recommended only for those who want to •

earning

spend hours, perhaps days or weeks, l

how to drive one of these things accident-free, GPL is truly a revolutionary look at PC driving

games. Do you have the skill and the

Irw

• •

patience? If so, the rewards are multifold,

Fl Racing Simulation

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GIFT GUIOF. gg

THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

TCP's Sth annual gaming guide Continued frow page9$

during a real Fl season, Intelligent drivers and an authentic ride only add to the festivities, making this the new king of PC Formula I

Probably the best-looking racing simulation

racing.

ever released, Ubi Soft's FI Racing Simulation proves that 3D accelerator cards offer much more than improved frame rates. The superb TV-quality imaging includes environmental factors such as fog, rain and wispy douds, 3Donly effects such as lens flare and realistic

Warlords III: Darhlords Rising

couldn't be excluded this year. Longbow 2 is, by anyone's standards, one of the finest flight simulations of all time. Cutting edge graphics and immersive and exceedingly realistic flight

From: Red OrbEntertainment Tel: 41 5-382-4745, http: //www.redorb.corn Street price: $50

modeling and gameplay are just some of the The sequel to one of the finest turn-based fanreasons this should be at the head of the list tasy war games ever created (Warlords III: Age for any post-adolescent flyboy or flygirl. of Heroes), Warlords III: Darklords Rising is in many ways superior to its esteemed predecesIndependence War sor. Why? Well, with five campaigns, a couple

longbow 2

From: Origin Tel: 51 2-434-4263, http: //www.origin.ea.corn Street price: $50 es Okay, so this was technically a 1997 release, From: lnfog ram but it hit the market almost too late for last Tel: 877-463-6472, http: //www.infogrames.corn year's guide and is just so darned good that it Street price: $50

light-sourcing, and a beautiful depiction of

anything and everything you'd encounter

dozen scenarios and a scenario editor, the game's longevity cannot be questioned. And now you can rule from the dark side, tooanother great addition that h elps make Warlords II more than just another sequel,

Big time serious space simulation for those who appreciate story and gameplay over the latest visual wizardry. That doesn't mean

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From: Hasbro Interactive Tel: 800-400-1 352, http: //www.hasbro-interactive.corn Street price: N/A Board games, especially those with the long and storied career of an Axis gr Allies, often lose something in their virtual translation. Not so here. Though only in a beta (testing)

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+

RrXI GIFT GUIDE

www.tcp.ca

DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION

Neither of these titles were released at press Might 61 Magic VI: time, but if the pre-release previews are to be The Mandate of Neaven believed (and they' re incredibly positive) From: New World Computing Interplay will have two very big winners on its Tel: 81 8-889-5600, htl p://www.nwcomputlng.corn hands come holiday buying season. Fallout 2 Street price: N/A is the post-nuclear holocaust successor to the well-received Fallout, and Baldur's Gate is one of the most anticipated Dungeons 6r Dragonsstyle games of the last few years. If you know an adventure/roleplaying game fan, give these 'cc&6'. 4CSgf=. Ces a close look this Christmas.

stage at press time, Axis 6r Allies should prove

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Roleplaying Fallout 2, llaldur's Gate From: Interplay http: //www,interplay.corn Street price: N/A

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dinosaurs roamed the earth. Uh...actually that' s not quite true, but Gravis is certainly the veteran of the industry, and nowhere does itsknowlContinued onpage 104

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released a first-person 3D game controller that looked suspiciously like a trackball. The idea was to use FP's Assassin 3D in conjunction with a standard joystick: moving forward, backward and side-to-side with the stick, and turning, looking and aiming up/down with the Assassin, kind of like a two-part Wingman Warrior with vertical capabilities. This year, Mad Catz, Inc. unveiled the Panther XL, a device built on the FP technology but with extra buttons and an on-board joystick. What a c oncept — for supported games, there's nothing quite like it. Highly recommended for 3D action lovers.

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To help share in the holiday spirit, we would like to show our appreciation by offering an instant cash rebate on the award winning Sceptre Soundx 6800 Notebook computer (Recommended, CRN Test Center, Computer Reseller News, Oct. 19, 1998). Featuring an Intel® Pentium® II processor, up to 300MHz, up to a 15" XGA TFT display, and more, this is an awesome desktop replacement. Save also on the ultra thin, ultra light road warrior Soundx S7500, powered by an Intel® Pentium® II processor, up to 266MHz, and featuring a 14.1" XGA TFT display. Both of these incredible machines feature DVD-ROM and ultra high speed AGP graphics. Sceptre Soundx 6800 and 7500 series, the ultimate Christmas gift for that special someone on your list!

Here's How: Simply clip out the corresponding window pane and send with proof of purchase and

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Save on award winning Sceptre Dragon Eye™ CRT monitors and LCD monitors too! For more information on these and other fine Sceptre products visit our

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EXCELLENCE FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE


For all oI: your Laser printer needsl

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TCP'8 Sth annual gaming guide

games; and not one, but two directional pads, one of which is analog. Below are a pair of microswitch digital triggers for the third finger of each hand and two analog triggers for the indexes. And that should be enough for anyone, anywhere.

Continued from page 102

Papla Irate~ IMlaryq • •

edge and experience shine through more than in this year's wonderful Xterminator.

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Taking gamepads in an entirely new direction this year was Microsoft's Sidewinder Freestyle Pro. At first glance, it doesn't look much difWith a horseshoe-shaped design and a ferent than most pads, but inside is a motionsea of analog and digital controls, the sensor that allows you to control movement Xterminator is ready for any task other than and direction simply by tilting the unit forjoystick-oriented games such as car racing ward, backward and side-to-side. Nice? For and serious flying. On top are a half-dozen arcade racing and racing-shooting games, it right thumb buttons, tightly grouped for certainly is. That the Freestyle Pro is one of easy access; one eight-way hat; a sliding the most comfortable pads around only adds

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

Continued frompage$2

PC-DVD 266 Black System: ~eet

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According to Iris, Iris CAT (for Windows CE) is the only anti-virus product for the compact operating system. The challenge for CE software producers, the firm says, is making t he products small enough to fi t i n t h e slimmed down system while maintaining functionality. The firm says that the software protects Windows CE device users from viruses lurking inside of transferred files on the new small systems. Alan Komet, Iris' manager of worldwide marketing, said that, with Windows CE devices having the ability to send and retrieve email and attached files, it makes their desktop counterparts equally vulnerable to virus attacks. "What's more, once a virus is loaded into a CE device, the user's desktop system, and in turn, the entire enterprise is equally at risk if the file is transferred or emailed back to the desktop system," he explained. Iris CAT sells for US$29.95 and can be downloaded from the company's Web site. A 30-day free trial of the software is available via the Web site. Iris, http: //www.irisav.corn/buycatnow.html

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says that "by reducing the price of the Palm III and PalmPilot Professional Edition products we are able to make handheld computing devices more affordable to a wider range of consumers." A r ecent survey by Evans Research showed that Palm Computing products represent 77 percent of the Canadian handheld computing market. Both th e P al m I I I a n d P a l mPilot Professional come with a full suite of personal information management applications and feature Palm's innovative HotSync technology, which seamlessly synchronizes data on the organizer to a PC. at the touch of a button. Customers who purchase a Palm III before Jan. 9, 1999, will receive a mail-in certificate for a free Palm Travel Pack, valued at $199. This package includes Frommer's 10-Minute Guide to Travel Planning on t h e N et, TrekWare mapping software, World FAQ destination information software, the Concept Kitchen care kit, a custom travel case for the Palm III and an extra stylus.— KS-R 3Com Canada,Tel: 416-498-3266 Palm Computing, http: //www.palm.corn

Son of (Microsoft) Bob killed

A round of applause erupted at the recent Professional Developers' Conference in Palm ill, PalmPllot prices dropped Denver, when Microsoft product managers The Palm Computing division of 3Com Canada has reduced the suggested list prices deliberately executed the Microsoft Office of its p opular Palm II I a n d P almPilot Assistant. By execute, we don't mean "run"we mean, "kill." Any Microsoft Office user is likely familiar with the Microsoft Office Assistant, a hyperactive animated paper clip who often intrudes when you' re writing a letter or any other common function. The Assistant is a holdout from the days of Microsoft Bob, a failed product in which animated characters helped users with various tasks. While the Assistant admittedly is valuable for neophyte users of Office, it has long drawn scorn from developers who find it far too cute. Microsoft representatives Brian Valentine and Tom Rizzo showed the developers at the conference how to get rid of the Assistant Professional organizers. The Palm Ill is now list- with a simple line of Visual Basic code. Microsoft plans to make the code available ed at $499, down from $549, and the PalmPilot Professional is listed at $349, down from $429. on its Web site soon. The code enables a menu It's widely believed the price cuts are part option that says, "Kill the Assistant." When of a strategy to grab and hold onto available clicked, the paper clip says "I'm melting! I'm market share, now that significant competi- melting!" — then disappears for good.— KS-R tion has entered the market with such devices as the Casio Cassiopeia, Phillips Nino, and the Storm flies for bankruptcy protection MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (NB) — Scanner speEverex Freestyle. Continued onpage 12$ Nick Tidd, sales director for 3Com Canada

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Prices are already 4% cash discounted and sublecl IO change without notice. P ntium is registered trademark of Intel Corporation.

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BX 100Mhz AGP Main Board 32 HB SDRAN IOns 3.2 GB UDivIA H.D. 1.44 F.D. 4ivIB AGP Video Card

Mid Tower Case 250W 24 x CD S.B. 16 C. Sound Card

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M atrox G-200 BM/16M AGP C a rd.......,..........,.....~$40 / 1 1 0 LISR 58KIV.90 Ini. Voice Fax M o d em(Not WIN Modem)a - $

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Yahama Subwoofer Speaker..............,...." """-"4 $

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Creative Lsb Live Value......................................................+$55 •

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1 4" 0.28 1024x788 N.l........................................................ $1 5 Q 15" 0.28 1281x1124 N.l...................................................... $ 1 QQ 1 5" Mltsublshl Diamond Scan 15VX 1.28 1280x1024N.I. $ 2 3 5 1 5" Psnasonlc S50 0.27 1280x1024 N.l........................... $ 2 5 Q 17" VlewSonic(tDptlrtuest) V75 0.26 1610x1200 N.I........ $ 5 7 ' 9 1 7" VlewScnlc E771 0.27 1280x1024 N.I......................... $ 4 3 Q 17" Vlswgonlc P775 0.25 1600x1200 N.l........................... 5 drOQ 18" ViewSonlc PS780 0.25 1600x1200 N.l....................... $5 1 Q

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Pentium II (intel 44OEX/LX Chipset)Motherboard intel Pentium II Celeron 300 MHz CPU Best Buyll ' 32MB SDRam, 10ns, 168pins 4.3GBFujitsu Ultra DMA Hard Drive,Pan 1.44MB FD 14" .28 1024x768 N.I.Digital Monitor 58K V.90 Int. Data/Fax/Voice Modem 4M AGP Video Card w/MPEG Oar Price "32X IDE CD-Rom Drive ' Built In 16 Bit 3D Sound Card 120W Amplified Speakers System pFIEE Mid Tower Case w/230W Power Supply A rIEF ggg+$I ' Lexmark 1100 Color Printer ' Win95 104Keys Enhanced Keyboard ' Free MS Comp Mouse and Pad <years tabor Uporsdo to: 1 5" 0 . 2 8 S ca n n e r

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D Asus Pentium IIP2BDS -ATX'........$509 Asus Penaurns II P2BLS-ATX;....,.,$47 Asus Penoume II P2BS-Ay¹..........$415 Asus Penaume IIF2BL -AT OP... .....,$289 Asus Fenftuma II P20 - ATX'............621 9 Asus Ponfitdma II F2L97DS - ATX'...$46 Asus Psnaume II P2L975 - AT)P......$289 Asus Ponauma II P2I.97- ATX........$ 165 Asus Pen(tume' ll P2E-8/P2L-B....... $149 Astts Peneum PSA-0 w/512K........... $149 HoustonFaneum e II440LX -AT.......$135

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recorded and added in. Scripts with stage directions can also be printed out so girls can act out the story themselves with their friends, parents or siblings. They can also print playbills. All of the programming is sequenced and built up using a VCR-type interface so objects, actions or sounds may be added or edited frame by frame. It can be played on a simple

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Raider II, for example — tend to have a different

Women are interested in the problem-solving aspects of the game, and more often than not enjoy the online interaction with other players. Purple Moon's designers and writers decided to differentiate their games from everything else on the market by giving players a wide variety of characters to choose from, increasing the likelihood that they will identify with one of the selections. The developers also decided to focus on cooperation, relationships, and Mews from Purple AAoon conversations between characters. Tel: 888-2PURPLE,http://www.purple-moon.corn The result is a very different kind of game. Purple Moon continues to add to its list of titles, When TCP went looking for girls' software branching out into sports simulations where, this year, we quickly ran into a relatively new again, team building is a large part of the game. software line from Purple Moon. A quick Current Purple Moon offerings include: online search took us to the company's Web the Rockett series of games, which are page, and we contacted Purple Moon repre- described as friendship adventures; and the sentatives to get their take on the burgeoning Secret Paths series of puzzles and mysteries, audience for girl-friendly software. which also focus on friendship and indude According to a Purple Moon representa- characterswho share their secrets and discuss tive, before publishing its first game the com- their families and feelings. Purple Moon has tailored both lines for pany spent a couple of years doing market research on entertainment software, user eight to 12 year olds, and priced these titles at interfaces, storytelling, and the particular US$29.95 each. Also available from the comsocial and linguistic habits of young women. pany's online store are dolls and accessories In the course of its research, the company based on characters from these games.—JE

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who play such games — Quake II or Tomb

included Director's tutorial. This two-disc package is packed with so many features that it is worth twice the retail price. It Twould be a great prelude fox those who eventually want to edit and create their own video productions — the hardware and software in this category is just reaching the consumer market and will be the next sfad" for blockbuster school projects.— JA-I

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found that, apparently, sguy" software has limited appeal to most women, not just because of the high levels of violence, but because most females find the search-hunt-fight-capture-win dynamic of male-oriented games boring and repetitive. In fact, many women in the study were not so much bothered by the shoot-'emup nature of many male-oriented games, they just find it uninteresting. Purple Moon discovered that even women

level or in a more advanced way by using the focus than men playing the same game.

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION

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36II EIRE CDRDN $708nterIIDIIIIS

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BISIIIICD-RDissIl $955„„,1„$8g.„„n tefar$11 tfIrIIIItCN

ompaq's Presario line targets students,

educators or anyone who is looking for a notebookfrom a brand name manufacturer, but isn't interested in spending the big dollars that b u ying brand names implies.

isregarlo 1230 From: CompaqCanada 45 Vogell Rd., Richmond Hill, ON L483P6 Tel: 800-263-5868, http: //www.compaq.ca Estimated street price: $2,200

a 3.2 GB hard drive, a built-in -I 24x CD-ROM drive, >

and a V.90-compli-

O ne o f t h e wa y s Compaq made the price of the Presario 1230 m o re attractive was to use a 233 MHz MediaGX processor from Cyrix, instead of a more expensive Intel CPU. But it's not just brand name issues that allow manufacturers to create cheaper systems using Cyrix MediaGX CPUs. MediaGX chips incorporate several functions (graphics, audio, memory

H P 8100i Internal IDE4xWrite/24xRead $489 Mitsumi 4Write/SRead IDE Kit w/ Software $439

Corner panaronicewrire/SReadice or SCsr

Plextor PlexWriter 4Write/12Read SCSI

$349 $559

• Pentium MB W/ 512K PipeLine

• AM O KS 2 S33Mbs

Sass

• 32 Mega Ram • Intd Peatium 233Mhs MMX 8049 Yamaha 2260 CDRWSCSI Internal Value Kit $559 • Fujitan 43 Gig EIDE Hard DriVe • Cgsmu 300 «/ prt g4QIX Sets Yamaha4260 CDRW SCSI Internal. Bare/Kit $489/669 • Panasonic 1.44M FloppyDrive Yamaha 4260 CDRW SCSI External Bare/Kit $589/779 Proview 14" 0.28 NI SVGA Monitor.c~ 333 u/ Pn '~QgJf /X I $229/1.89 • I Meg PCI Video TDK ates/ BASF cna Media HEWLETT • 16 Bit Sound + 100W Speakers .Aoc ts-e~m M M , .;t„.sss • Pnansonic 32X IDE CD ROM • dir ic ed ite HP DeskJet 695C/710C/722C$255/339/389 TVM ts" em rnLRMomtor+ aee • M id T C , / 230W HP Desk)et 895Cxi/1120Cxi $525/639 AGER Win'9$ KB + Com Mouse HP LaserJet 6L/6P/4000 $50 9 /945/1489 "Canon BIC-250/4400/5000 $ 159/235/425 ' «fP » s • ~BI'I~B6 i440BX ATX PII MB E son S lu8440/640/S50 $ 2 25/295/499 • 64 Mega 168Pin SDRAM

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• Qttatttutn KL 7.6GIg HD/k 1.44M MS NT4.0 Workstation $275/415 Novell 3.12/4.1-5 Users$995 • Pnnnsonlc E70 17" 0.27 Monitor End Connect/ 50ohmsTerm$1.50/3.00 Network Cable Per Ft $0.35 ' ATI 3D Xpert '98 SM AGP Video

Acer IOBT ISA/PCI/100PC529/29/59 ACER 9/16 IOBTHub $79/165 • Panasonic 32X IDE CD-ROM Surecom 5/9/16Port Hub $65/85/145 Intel EtherExpress100 $105 • Souad Bluster 128 PCI Sound rtificd etWare En ineer on Staff for Custom Network Installations. • 2110WSabwoofer Speaker System '~"P~'~n se + • Intel Petttlntn 233Mhz MMX CPU • Tekrnm i430TX 512K PipeLine MB • Aleut Ke-2-Secures Sl, t se • 32 Mega SDRAM • AIIS Ks 2-SS3MSs St,te e • Falitsn 4.3Gig VIDE HD • CctsteeSoeu/ PS i4401X St,220 • Panasonic 1.44M Floppy Drive • Ceteroa Sees tr/ PS i4401X St>75 • AOC or Sceptre 15" 028 Monitor • CetereuSSS «/ PII 1440tX St.295 • ATI 3D Xprcssion 4 Meg PCI Video • tetdt Peutium B-SS3Wh+ LX $1,429 • Pannsonic 32X IDE CD-ROM • tuttt Peanmn adgettuh+ SXSt.499 • Sound Bluster 16 Sound Card • rutdt Peuttutu ndeeMSs + SXSt,725 • IOOW AmpliTied Speakers • Grolier '98, Print Master, Typing • tutti Feuttuae S450Mas + INQ,020 e ACSR 84C tr' 0% Meuiter + Ssil • US dt World Atlas, Chess 5(100 • Paatmeaic 850 ta" 047 Nl + SSS • Microsoft Win'95 OSR2 OEM +Stee • ACER 74417" 027 Nl • Mid Tower Case w/ 230W PS • Opttttutm V75 tl" OM NI + SSSO • ACKR 104 Win '95 Keyboard • Paaateeic E70 ts* ea7 trtl + Slee • Logitech Mouse • ACER 56K V.90 Voice Fax Modem lnt,• Vieusemc PS700 te" 035 Nl+ 8425

control and the PCI interface), which reduce design and manufacturing costs. While in head-to-head tests Intel chips would perform better in some areas, notably number crunching, such tasks are not the predominant functions of multimedia, entry-level notebooks like the Presario 1230. The Presario 1230 comes with 32 MB of SyncDRAM, which is expandable to 96 MB. (In the last year and a half, SDRAM has replaced EDO ~ RAM in all but the cheapest systems.) As well, the 1230 has .

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ant 56Kbps modem. The notebcek's 12.1-inch HPA (high performance addressing) screen isn't the biggest or brightest available, but it is easy to read. It also helps keep the overall cost of the machine down, since a TIT screen or a larger screen would costa lot more. HPA is a very good implementation of passive display technology.

Continued on page1 ra

8 Intel 233MMX/ C300 $169/155 ASUS PSAB / P5ABA $149/159 ASUS P2L97/P28/P28S$16$/219/3991ntel Celeroa300a/333$195/219 DPI S7 AT/ Pine i430TX$145/99 I nt e l PII 333/350 $349/399 TekrAm 1430TX/LX/BX $109/139/169 Intel PII 400/450 $609/929

ABIT LX6/BH6 $1$9 / 169 AMD K6-2-266/300 $149/165 n Vi AMD K6-2-333/350 $179/239 $209/239/359/479/589 ACER 34e 14"/54e 15"/76el 78CI 79G 17" $259/429/$39/739 ADI 1$n 4P /17" SPC/56T/19 o 6P Cybervision 1$" C52/ ll" Clo /C72/19n C92 $259/395/439/799 $179/219/359 AOC or Imago 14" / 15" / 17" 028 n E70/SL70i/P70 $ 2 69/359/399/4$9/589 Panasonic Iso SSO/P50/ 17 Samsung 15" 5008/ 17n 7008/ 700P/ 19" 900P $319/489/649/789 Vieuesomc ll n G773/PS775/ 19" G790/ PS790 $565/749/799/839 ATI 3D2M/4M PCI I Xpetr98 8M Retail AGP $49/65 /109 ATI All-In-Wonder PRO 4M/SM PCI // AGP $209/235 /I 21$/239 ATI Xpert@Work4/SM /®Play4/SM PCIorAGP$115/139 / 119/139 $169I19$ Matmx G200 SMAGP OEM / Retail

Matrox Gloo 4M/SM AGP / Marvel G200 TV $89ll05/395 m

stress $2eeS9 S2,24S

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• AND K6-2-300Mha CPU • ASUS PSA-B or DFI Socket 7 AT MB • 64 Megs 168Pia SDRAM • Qttnnttttn KL 5.1 Gig HD dk 1.44 • AOC or Sceptre 15" 0.28Monitor Asstt Ke-2-sssMas • AT! Xpert XL 4Meg AGP Video • Pllsssarhs+Asus P2187 Ms St.» • Passe+ AsUS P28 tssesx slgstt • Panasottlc 32X IM CD-ROM • Souttd Bluster 128 PCI Sotted • I 00 + Asus Pss i440ax ss,ess • PB450+ Asus P28 tesettx82pes • 180W Deluxe Big Speakers +SteS • Panasemc870 17" 027• Cnmptntt'S '98 Kneyelopedin +8200 • Microsoft Win'98 CD OEM Acg a ssctl" eae

• Keytrottic 104 KB & Logitech Mouse • Mtd Toner Casew/230W PS AII Systems Comes wtth 1 Year • ACER 56K V.90 Voice PM In Parts 4, 2 Years Labour W

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$179/I 99/239/299 Fujitsu VIDE 3.2l 43/ 6.4/ 8.4 $199/249I295/449 Maxtor UIDE 3.8/ 6.8/ 8.4/ 13.6 $169/225/295/369 Quantum EL UIDEi 2.5/5.1/7.6/ 102 $265/309/359 Seagate Medalist Pro 4.5/ 6.5/ 9.1 $215/259/299/369 Western Digital UIDE4.3/6.4/8.4/10.26ig SCSI: Seagate Medalist 4.$ / Q VikingII 4.5UW$429/475 lomega Ziploo Int./100Phs Ext/DittoMaxl Int.$115/2$5/319. Pauasomc 1.44/ LS120/ StuuQ I Gig ht/Ext $25/125/279/279 $95/159 ASUS PCI SC200/ SC875 Wide SCSI Ctrl Adaptec 2910xit/ 2920xitl 2940UW /2940U2% $145/189/259/$29 Dr

ACER 40X/ Panasooic 32X/ Pioneer 36X IDE$89/69/89 Pauasomc or Tosbiha DVD-2 / DVD-4.8 Kit $179/3S9 $129/249 Pioneer 36X/ Plextor 32XSCSI SB16/ SBAwas4 Valse/ 128PCI/ SB Live! Vatue$35/$9/75/139 16 Bit Sound/ YamahaYSTM7/MIS/M20/MSW5$25/60NS/I l e/60 $209/279 Diamond Monster 11 8/12 Mega PCI OEM sneer

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$179/3&5/539/605

l~ adg ma ACER / US Rob.(OEM) 56K V.90 Voice

lat. K l kt $69/12$ $-

USR Spomter$6K V.90 FM / Voice (Retail)

$169/195 $195/255

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INTEL PENTIUM II 350 ...

.....51 71 5 865.17/mth

• ATI 4MB VIDEO C A R D e 6.4 GIG ULTRA DM A H A R D D I S K

INTEI. PENTIUIN II 400 ...

.....$1950 874.10/mth

INTEL PENTIUIN II 450 ...

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39 Glen Cameron Rd., Unit 86 Ph:(905) 709-3S90 Fx: (905) 709<281 48O4IATT'-

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Ph:(905) 40M735 Fx: (905) 404-6638

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WITHSVSTEM PuffCHASE

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COII'

Vancouver * Calgary * Toronto Franchises Available ( No Fees Rettuired )

III~

OPEN

Sales Office

Division of UPI Corp

Mon-Fri gam-7pm

1488 Kingston Rd. Scarborough, ON M1N 1R6 Phone 416 686-9788 Fax 416 686-9982

Sat toam4jpm SllA 11arn-5pm

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Upgrade Special I On-site Available Pent 133 Pent 166 Pent 200

$515.

Pll 333

$285. $525. $575.

Pll 350

$865.

$665.

Pll 400

$959.

$949.

$939.

$928.

Pll 450

$1215.

$1205.

$1185.

$1185.

Pll 300C Pll 300

$575.

Motherboards

Gigabyte 5SG-100 — $139. Gigsbyte GA666LX — $176. Gigabyte GA666BX — $215. Gigabyte GA666LX-0 — $373. Asus P2LS7- $174. Asus P2BS7 — $239. Lucky Ster Pll LX — $137. Lucky Star Pll BX — $178.

2.14159. 3.04'I 79. 4.04220 8.04279. 8.04359. 10.4489.

$505. $555.

$499.

Wanan ~

1 year parts and

3 years labour

"FREE" Epso 440 Cok r printer

il II

MS compatible mouse 'I

56K V.90 Modem

"FREE" Coior printer

Asus/Gigsbyte/Abil Ps SX Msinbosrd Intel Pentlum 5 400 CPU with L2 512K 128 MB SCRAM 10 GB FujlauHs/d Dave 1,44 Floppy Drive Mebox Rlglenlum G200 Video Card CD Reconler IDVD,with MPEG Card Creative Labs SB-t28 Sound Card 17 Sony INonltor

MS Wings 104 Natural Keybomd MS Intelllmouse

I

ARTEC 30 Bit Scanner 4800 dpi

URS Robogcs 56KV.ggModem

Mini Tower Case 250W Pentium Molhe*card

Designer Iytd Tower Case250W

Pentium II Motherboard Intel Pentlum II C 300 CPU 32 MB RAM 3.2 GB Hard D/Ive 1.44 Floppy 4 INB Video Card 24X CD ROM 16 bit Soundblaster compatible 14' SVGA Monitor Win 95 104 enhanced keyboard

P 233+ CPU 16 MB RAM 1.8 GB Hant Drive

1 44 Floppy

I MB Video Card 16X CD ROM 16 Bil Sound Card 14 SVGA Monitor 104 enhanced keyboard

upgmde to 24X CDROM

wtal purchase cf 56K Modem

i j '

MS clnpssble mouse

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32X CD ROM Soundblsster 16 17' MCT SVGA Monitor Win 95 104 enhanced keyboard

"FREE" Canon Inkjet Pdnter

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16 bit sound card — $18.99 56K V.90 Modem — $48.99

Tower Cases — $39.99

"FREE" Epson849Color Printer

lj I I Allpdces are 3% cash discountedand subject to change without notice. Add 3%

Logltek mouse

58K V.90 MModsm

"FREE" Cotorprt «r

II

Designer Mid Tower Casa 250W Intel LX Pensum 5Motherboard Intel Pensum II 333 CPU L2 512K 84 MB SDRAM 4.3 GB Fujilsu UDINA Hard Drive 1.44 Floppy 4MB 3D AGP Mdeo Card

for cmdll cards, PO snd tenne. As onlers mqidms a 20% deposit. Payments to bemade bycash,caraged cheques or Intemc. Purchased price IsEnsl on ordering and cannot bs rs-negoysted.

4MB video card — $42.99 Floppy Drives — $25.59

104 keyboard — $15.59

16X CDROM —$39.59

1.44 disk box of 10 — $5.59

printer cables — $8.59

Extended

Warranty available

' I

Premium Designer ATXMid Tower 260W

$635.

I

FREE

14" SVGA — $169. t5 n SVGA — $209. 17n SVGA- $369. Hard

$225.

INScompsfible mouse

Monitors

Drives

$235.

Asus PS BX Mainboard Intel Pentlum 5 350 MHZ CPUL2'512K 64 MB PC-100 SDRAM 8.0 Fujitsu UDMAHard Drive 1.44 Floppy ATI Expo/t 98 XL Pro Turbo 8MB AGP DVD Drive Cresave Labs AWE64 17' Vlewsonic.27dp1280 x1024 Win95 104 Natural Keyboard Logitek mouse 58K V.90 Modem

Designer Mid Tower Case 250W Intel LX Pentium II Motherboard Intel Pentium II 300 CPU with 512K cache 32MB SDRAM 4.0 GB Fujitsu UDMA Hard Drive 1 44 Floppy 4 MB 3D AGP Video Card 32X CD ROM Creative Labs Soundblaster card 15n MCT SVGA Monitor Win 95 104 enhanced keyboard

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T ECH EN T E RP RI SE

DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER CREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

We Buy, Sell

e eonc9 ao u r e e

C

ana ian

4 New Computer Equipment

Smell Ones. Big Ones. Old Ones. New Ones.

u •

a ro So tware

• •

Incredible Prices

C

TCP'sannual survey finds increase in features and ease of use across category

You can't find anpvhere else!

TBI: (416) 609-9147 Fax:(41$) 609-0969'4™ d 4046 Sheppard AvenueEast, Scarboruugh, ON M1S 1S6 http:I/webhome,idirect.corn/-comp2ndEmail: comp2nd®idirect.corn

aurv aos

Get 1" hand servicefrom the notebookmanu ucturer. u

1 - 1001 Denison St., Markham f

e

Ontario L3R 2Z6. TEL (905) 947-9885 FAX (905) 947-9887. www.twinhead.ca.

y ue SL

WE REPAIRTHE FOLLOWING OUT OF WARRANTY NOTEBOOKS: From Twinhead .

All Models

F r om Sharp e

From HPe

From Impulsee

PC9000, PC9300 PC9020, PC9320

' Omnibook 4000

700 Series 500 Series

PC9030, PC9330 PC9050, PC9340

Omnibook 5500

Omnibook 5000

*

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C"

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5000 Series 6000 Series

S-:.

'All listed Trademarks are properties o f their respective owners.

By Nancy Hamm and loanHomal

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features continue to improve; user interfaces are more consistent with t h e M i crosoft anadian payroll software continues to Windows operating system interface and most become more feature-packed and easier of the products are more flexible than before. to use each year. We found all of the programs are also Year-

All programs surveyed this year support f Q 8 f Whtrseall.rtsuNleamultiple pay period types and all provinces Canada'slargestdisI/lay of Notebooks k accessories-a8 M ajor Brands Avai7abk i

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2000 compatible. More and more systems are including human resources information, userdefinable fields, or are offering add-on modules for human resources management.

and territories of Canada. Tutorials, telephone support and contact-sensitive help are also available for all of the programs. The software

Continued on page 722

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DECEMBER1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION

T E C H E NTERlsRISE

Canadian payroll software

for contact information, Web site addresses EasyPay . and prices for each of these products.) EasyPay offers a flexible selection of earnings, benefits and deductions for small- to medium-

Continued frow page l20

sized businesses, and non-profit payrolls.

This year, we have looked at two categories suitable for small businesses: stand-alone systems coming in at less than $1,000, and integrated accounting systems.In the first catego ry, we liked Paymate for its job costing, human resource information, ease of use and user friendliness. In the integrated category we liked the flexibility and costing features of Quickbooks Pro. All of the programs reviewed in this survey performed well and were installed and tested on a PC with a Pentium IOOMHzCPU, 32MB RAM, color monitor, and Windows 95. (See the table accompanying this survey

tures are very comprehensive and flexible, and the program interfaces with many general ledger products. The manual is well laid out and very easy to use. Online help is context sensitive.

Advanced features include quick-entry time cards and quick payroll runs to replace manual cheques, recurring time cards and online N.E.L.P. Payroll for WIndows Stand-alone Windows cheque reconciliation — all timesaving fea- This package was easy to install and set up. tures. An optional "customizer" module is Since we reviewed a beta version, some of the available for importing and exporting data features were not available for testing (the and writing macros. help function, for example) but we liked what he products in t h i s c ategory are Data can be selectively exported and job- we saw. Timeward entry is easy and cost splitdesigrred for small- to medium-sized cost information generated. It supports direct ting between jobs or departments is very businesses and not-for-profit organiza- deposits — a feature employees will like. We straightforward. Employee year-to-date infortions with up to 500 employees. All calcu- liked the employee-pay history feature that mation and history are accessible from both late some earnings and benefits and track allows you to display a paycheque record and the employee buttons.and the timecard butaccruals. access each detailed record. The reporting fea- ton. Planned reporting is very complete. We

Part 1:

systems under $1,000

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION

liked the export features that allow you to email, fax, or use reports in other programs.

www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

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and export capabilities.

Pay-Cele Integrated Office Payroll for Windows We found this application easy to install and extremely easy use, Online help is indexed and context sensitive. Features include unlimited earnings and deductions, departments, recurring time cards and a direct-deposit interface. Error correction is extremely easy and calculated deductions can be manually overwritten. Cheque information can be viewed on screen and edited. Personnel management features include vacation, review and promotion tracking. This program would be a good choice at a reasonable price for small- to medium-sized business that don't require job costing features. KIS Payroll for Windows Setup of this software was very easy and fast. Help is available through the the control menu, and through a feature called the "Advisor," which guides the user through the setup, the steps of a payroll run, and the procedures that should be completed before the next payroll run. Earnings and deductions features are called up with a simple mouse click on the selected options. You can scan through time cards to modify hours worked and scan additional earnings screens to enter vacation pay or other nonperiodic earnings. A payroll may be recalculated, amounts can b e o v erridden and cheques can be printed as often as necessary for the payroll to be correct. Reporting flexibility is good. It allows you to select reports and audit trails for viewing on the screen or printing with a click of the mouse. The program also has good import

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This package is full of features and easy to use and set up. Paylvfate is compatible with most popular accounting packages. Context sensitive help is at your fingertips. A feature called Tips andTechniques has been added to the help menu to guide you through setup and error recovery procedures. This product will batch time cards for quick set up and review of payroll entries. The pay is calculated from the default information and, as the hours are modified on the pay form, the paycheque is changed before your eyes. Reporting is very comprehensive with good pay-history retention. In the setup for job costing, payroll costs can be made to include benefit costs. Overhead costs can also be added. Many human resource manage-

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Pay-Calc is an inexpensive, easy-to-use program that has many of the features of more expensive programs. It guides you through the setup process and will not let you enter any time data until setup is complete and correct. Earnings, benefits and deductions are also easy to setup. A new feature this year allows you to print the calculation when entering data on an employee to see if the calculation option gives the desired result. There is an "unposting" feature available to correct errors found after posting of the cheques. Pay history retention is good and the reporting is flexible. The manual is online and help is context sensitive. The product can be downloaded from the Web site and used for one year free of charge.

m

TECH f NTERPRISE

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

TECH ENT ERPRI SE

www.tcp.ca

K-Niatle GIohal Trading I tai. 4500 Sheppard Avenue East, Unit 42; Scarborougb, Ontario M I S 3R6 Phone: (416) 29((-(904; (4(6) 29((-4632 Fux: (4l6) 297-9572 Ollico I lour: 9:3Aum -- 7:AApm (Mott. - Fri.); I A:AAum -- 4:AApm (Sot.)

=: We carry plentyof computercases andmonitors. Ajjcasescomewith a230W owersoppy( j CSAapp roved. )

BCNI Pentlum Intel Triton 430TX ch! pset Nlainboard:

- supports Intel/AMD-K5/AMD-K6/AMD-K6-2/Cyri)r 6X86MX/IDT-C6 processors. - supports 8MB to 256MB system memory. ; - an Ultra DMA 33 fUDMA) supports data transfer rates up to 33MB per second.

BCM Pentium II Intel 82440LX chipset Mainboard:

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- support Intel Pentium II 233 to 333MHz. - support 8MB to 3&2MB SDPAM. - accelerated Graphics Port (A GP) supports 66MHz or 133MHz with full side-band singals.

, BCM Pentium II Intel 440BX chipset Mainboard: - support Intel Pentium II 233 to 450MHz - support 8MB to 384MB SDRAM w/ECC supported. - supports hanhvare monitoring

We also sell, upgrade 8 service systems; and repair monitors. I L

ment fields have been added. PayMate Plus h as excellent reporting features and i s extremely flexible. It can be downloaded from the Web and used for free for 90 days.

Window to Payroll Window to Payroll allows definition of custom earning and deduction codes and interfaces with many general ledgers. We liked the user interface with its large buttons and flow chart approach to payroll processing. With its Workers' Compensation calculations and multiple union reporting, it is a good solution for job costing and union environments. The company also offers an Export to General

developer, Conamex International and the Toronto Dominion Bank (and is scheduled to be available to all Canadian banks by Dec. I). In order to customize paycheques or other reports, a separate report writer is required, either CA-RET, which shipped with earlier versions of Simply Accounting, or C rystal Reports S.O or greater, which must be purchased separately.

Dynacom Accounting

2QQQ Advanced Edition Here is a fully bilingual integrated accounting package including Canadian payroll, making it a good choice for business and Ledger package, a Direct Deposit Upgrade, a non-profit organizations needing project Union Upgrade, Time Clock Import, Remote and/or job costing in Quebec. The payroll is Data Input and Point to Point Data Entry as very flexible, allowing for unlimited earnwell as custom programming. ings, deductions and benefits and maintaining accruals. We found the user interface to be a bit awkward and not entirely intuitive with no pop-up descriptions for icons. It provides all the basic reports and forms for statutory deduction reporting, prints ROFs and Integrated Windows offers a report generator for custom reporting. It lacks only the specialized calculations and reports included in the more expensive stand-alone payrolls.

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ntegrated programs offer a c o mplete accounting solution. They usually inciude general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory control, job costing and payroll. We have reviewed and commented on only the payroll component for th i s report.

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Abit PS SHSIBX6 $179l189 Asus PII P2L-8 (AT) Panasomc 32lAcer40X IDE $69/79 $159 $219 Panasonid36Toshkm 32XSCSI $129l149 AcusP26PentiumII SX S ony Sxrzx Rcdr IDE $ 3 5 9 Iw(IIXA100penttumAU ChipATX $158 1/4MS 30PIH $5l16 Iwli BD100l 88100IDSS100 $215 l 418l599 N16MB EDO $22I59 Vamaim4250t R-Wcdrtnt $489 Intel Pen$um IISE440SX-2 $229 32MB EDO/SDRAM $85I 65 Yamaim4280x R-WcdrExt $819 HP 72009810(3 R4Vcdr Int $399r465 64MS l128MBSDRlWI $1 39l 269 6 • Cnmtiva EreorsDxr2lt)xr5 $31(9369 ' 9 • 9 SonFSXDVD $459 Darhkts'(DT1531)l(T(DT1726) $219r389 169it3D Sound Card $25 SASFIVsrMim CD'S $LTSIZ Assr 15'54EITSFJ76E $235I359/469 SoiV15 100ESI(T200ESl200GS $369e)9ak)9 SoundBhmter16ISA $ 3 9 SSAWE84 SN126PCI $65I79 OP56uest Q71M5 $369l549 Wewsonic1TP775/19 6790 $71 9 /r99 SB UvslSS Uveuskm $279I 149 Fmm $999 (w33.6FIM,24)L14'SVGA) I All prkxm era subpmt to change wilhoutno5oh Emssikro9er781@idirectcom b5p ll webhomsMirectcoml-ro9sr761

0 Intel Pevetlum'll l Celeroaa' Ismcessor 6 ASUS Nlaieaboard, intel 440LXIBX AGPse)t • 4.XRS Ultra EIOE Hard Drive 6 32IIB SORAII

• 3.5" CA4iwb Floppy Drive 6 MX CD-ROM DriVe 6 Seiaaad Blaster 18 4 Speakers is 64-Bit 2Ilb %dec Card

• ATX Mid Tower Case:--'.: • 164-Ke3r Ke 3I board 4-INoease

with Canadian payroll

... PN

Accpac Sl(nply Accounting This application, available in English and French, is very easy to set up and use. The fully integrated payroll module is complete

computer cheques as well as after-the-fact payroll. Payroll errors can be adjusted using the adjust-cheque command — the program prepares the adjusting entries for you, Simply Accounting retains two years of

detailed information. Although earningand

deduction types are limited, the program calculates Workers' Compensation amounts and prints T4, T4A and Releve I forms. Simple job costing is also available. Electronic funds transfer is now available from a third-party

Pentium' ll ~ I I h i ' . 1249 350Mhib 1389 400wjihdrm1829 45OINhi 0 1949

1'l)a Queen St, East Toronto, Ont IISC 182 Tel: (416P804I368 Fax:(446}38044II7

tracks payroll history by months and quarters rather than by payroll periods and does not track insurable hours or print a record of Some reports and forms are customizable. Both versions of M.Y.O.B. offer OfficeLink, which allows integration between accounting da ta a n d E x c el, W o rd o r WordPerfect. This is a good program for organizations requiring job or departmental costing and a very flexible payroll solution. Coutilrtrert onpage 128

emplyoment.

Monitors"

8 stemU

Memory to 64Mb Hard drive to 6.4Gb Acer 56C .28 15" $269 Hard Drive to 8.4Gb

rades"

77X 1531,28 15" $219 TTX1769 .28 17' $ 389

$65 $6D $5 10

Acer 76C .2T 17" $459 NEC A500 .28 15" $299

Video Card to ATI 4Mb AGP $30 Video Card to ATI 8Mb AGP $60

NEC A700,28 17" $559 Sony100ES.25 15" $389 Sar)y 200ES.25 1T" $649

Sound Card to SB ANE64 $30 MS IntelliPoint Mouse $30 CD-ROM to DVD-ROM $150

Giveaw s

is Ilicroloft Itleaalt)(arm $8 with Ilaissaal I CD

Connell Computers

This is a single-user fully integrated accounting package for small- and medium sized businesses available for both Macintosh and Windows environments. M.Y.O.B. Premiere Accounting is the multi-user version, available only in Windows format. Both products ship with an extensive help and reference library on CD-ROM and each provides Wizards for ease of setup. M.YO.B. allows a large number of very flexible earnings and deductions. As a result,

it requires a good understanding of the payand simple. The payroll handles manual and roll process when setting up. The program

• 56K-Iasteernll Faxmodemww ltII Voice 6 Vnro Years Parts & Labor Depot Warranty

M.Y.O.aa. Accounting Plus

Celeron' 300IIIIhi.: 1089 338INhz-„ 1149

Fujitsu 8.40b UDMA Hard Drive Canon BJC%300 Golor Printer

HP LaserJet 4P Printer (Used) rlllroricss rlonol urclrrrrcloser. PleaseoddPSTand GSI' rr)rcru opp(ice(rle.All prices amrrlreadycrrshrescrmnred. Pcosnsnrbraced onC.O.D. cash orcerrrfred cheque.$)stem pricesrrrs without monitors. eitrorrirorrrnd(Iparade pricesrrrs res)r(rcdblefor s)cram purr)arseonly. r(ll pricessabj<vr lo changewill)onr notice. Intel insidelogoraid pentiumors regicrerarrrrorrcmorkr ofIntel Corrrororion.Carrion)rrrnhrrrre arrirso/rwrrra rrreQSlid Version.

$262 $209 $499


THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION

Continued from page106 cialist, Storm Technology, Inc., has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Storm has been

pushing the technology-price envelope with such products as the first USB scanner,

www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

Quadlux Inc., officials said the oven is designed to cook food that has the taste and texture of a meal cooked in a conventional oven in about half of the time needed by traditional appliances. The product is not meant to compete head-to-head with M icrowave machines,

estimated reseller price of US$199. IBM security smart card for laptops IBM, http: //www.ibm.corn/pc/us/accessories RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (NB) — IBM has announced a PC Card-based smart card Xtrerne offers lnllne catalog security kit that can keep unauthorized users from accessing, information on notebook PC owners looking for an upgrade monitor or

keyboard for Christmas can check out Web

computers. The IBM Smart Card Security Kit, to ship

sites of many manufacturers and distributors,

announced in June, and an under-US$200 Quadlux said, as the oven wasdesigned to pre-

by press time, will include security software, a like the home page of the Xtreme Peripheral

flatbed scanner announced in September. Storm recently licensed some patented technology t o c o m peting scanner v endor V isioneer, the patents for which i t h a d acquired from Logitech. Company officials said the firm regretted having to file but had decided it was the firm's best chance to "achieve financial stability going forward." Storm, http: //www.stormtech.corn

smart card, and a smart card reader installed in a notebook PCMCIA Type II slot. "Protecting sensitive data with a mobile workforce is a great concern for many companies today," said Kevin R. Barry, general manager of IBM's PC options and peripherals. He described the system as "virtually tamper-proof." In practice, a user inserts a personalized smart card and then enters a four-digit personal identification number (PIN) to access

Processor-based oven unveiled FREMONT, Calif. (NB) — Just when you thought the microprocessor industry was no

pare previously uncooked meals, not reheat frozen dinners. The firm said that its FlashBake technology has been used in the commercial sector since 1993 but that the Wolf/FlashBake 120 will be the first countertop model that can plug into any standard 120-volt outlet. It will also be available in wall-mounted models, Quadlux said. The developer indicated that it is hoping the oven will appeal to professionals that prefer the taste of traditionally prepared meals but who do not have the time necessary to cook.

line of products. Xtreme distributes its products, including CRT and flat-panel displays, CD-ROM drives and keyboards, through distributors and resellers across the country. The

company offers a three-year warranty on monitors and a one-year warranty on peripherals. Xtreme,Tel:&&&-XTREME.O, http: //www.xtreme-1.corn

Slbellns comes to Windows the machine. To disable access, the user LOS ANGELES, Calif. (NB) — While the British removes the smart card, which puts a secure Acorn PC nevercaptured much of the U.S. Quadlux spokesmen said the oven is pre- screen saver onto the display and disables all market, many musicians kept one on hand for

use with a single program written for itSibelius musical notation software. Now Sibelius has been ported to Windows. and cookfrom above and below, depending A Mac version is planned for introduction on the food or cooking mode chosen. in early 1999 and a children's version should According to the firm, the oven can bake, appear in late 1999, according to Saverio broil, steam, grill, roast and saute. Cooking Mancina, who acts as marketing partner in with light also provides flexibility to brown, North America. caramelize and sear foods with no preheating Named for Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, required, Quadlux said. the software was written by twin brothers Ben The oven will be available through the FiashBake Web site. device uses Gemplus GemSafe technology and Jonathan Finn, who both compose music longer heating up, one Silicon Valley developT he suggested retail p r ice f o r t h e and RSA cryptographic technology. It includes and write software. They chose to write for the er has raised the temperature again with the Wolf/FlashBake 120 is US$1,500 to US$1,700, support for Security Dynamic's SoftID, digital Acorn because it was the fastest platform they Wolf/FlashBake 120 oven, which utilizes a Quadlux spokesmen said. signature capability, a security luggage tag, could find at the time. The two wanted to remove some of the "manual grind" from the microprocessor-controlled halogen light to FlashBake,Tel; &00-THE-OVEN and Norton's anti-virus protection program. http: //www.flashbake.corn The IBM Smart Card Security Kit has an process of composing music. cook food faster than in a conventional oven. The program quickly became a favorite among musical types both amateur and professional, According t o Ma n c ina, San Francisco Symphony director Michael Tilson Thomas has kept an Acorn machine on his desk ever since he found the program. The software bears a fairly hefty price for a desktop machine — US$499. Academic and theological users qualify for a discount to US$299. Asked if it might not make sense to drop the price to more consumer-friendly and INTEL PENTIUM II 3001VIHZ typical Windows levels, perhaps under 32M8 SDRAM US$200, Mancina pointed out that the pro4.3G8 FUJITSU HARD DRIVE programmed to apply energy at different times during the cooking cycle to penetrate

input devices until an authorized card is reinserted and validated by the PIN. Joe Preisser, IBM's product manager for the kit, acknowledged that the kit would, in effect, remove one PC Card slot from a laptop, since the smart card must be in place in the slot, to u s e t h e c o mputer t o o p erate. Newsbytes notes this makes the kit less useful for single-PC Card machines. IBM says the kit's smart card reader/writer

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gram's only competitor, a program named Finale, costs only $50 less. "Professionals are more than willing to put down that kind of money for this product, and in any case it's certainly less expensive

than having to buy a whole new Acorn computer just to use it." Sibelius also allows publishing directly onto the World Wide Web. To listen to a composition over the Web, the company offers a free, downloadable plug-in that allows scores to be viewed, transposed and played. Slbellus, http: //www.slbeilus.corn What's New is written and compiled by /eff' Evans, Megan /ohnston, Keith Schengr'li-Roberts and David Tanaka,

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gg

T ECH EN T E R P RI S E

Canadian payrollsoftware — standalone syst Nise' Product Name

Eacypay

Version From

H.E.LP. Payroll Icr Windows

KIS Payroll for Windows

Pay-Gale

Paymale

Window Io I I -~b"'

1.0

Integrated ONce Payroll For Windows 1998 MC-68

Beta

4.5

4

2.02

2.05.07

EasyPaySoftware Com 1733 HeritageWay Oakvige,ON L6M 3A2

MTW Solutions Online Inc. 201-3075 14thAve Markham,ON L3R OG9

Help Software KIS Informagon. Serv)cesLtd. S stems Inc 226 Fulford-GangesRd 101-2510Government St. Saltspring Island.BC Penticton, BC VSK 2K7 V2A 4W6

Maple SofhvareLtd.

AK Microsystems

905-825-8020 905-825-9660 www.easypay.ca

905-940-3395 905-940-0308

250-537-1100 250-537-1870 NA

250-490-8117 250490-8317

0 cretin s stem ProcessorminJrecommended MB of RAM min./recommended MBofharddisks ace

Windows 486/Pentium 4/8 10

Windows 3.1 ) 386

Windows 95/98 orNT 486/Pentium 16/32 NA

Windows 3.1 ) 386

Windows3.1> 486

Windows 95or NT 486 16

Windows 95or NT 486DX/Pentium 16/32 20

Program

$495

$150 (0-50employ.) $295 (51-400employ.) $395 multicom pn $100 r Free one- eartrial

$489

$495

$240 r

$300 r

N

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30/50 with addon 10/1 5 20/50

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Time Frame Software Inc 519-120GeorgeHenry Blvd 9b-245 W.BeaverCreekRd 201-1 7Colbome North York, ON RichmondHill, ON St. E., Box9 M2J 1G2 L4B 1L1 Origia, ON L3V 1T4 416-491-3922 905-771-1155 705-3294077 905-771-1344 705-329-2091 www.paycalc.ca www.akmicro.corn www.time frame.on.ca

N/Y See above

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N Y N

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N

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N N Y Y Y N

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THE COMPUTER PAPER MA

,-:acadian payroll s I

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N Y Y

by the program to the bank for entry into the bank's direct deposit system.

N

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earning anddeduction for each employee by pay period and totals to the year to date total. Year to dale reporLShows the year to date amount of all earnings, benefits and

deductions for eachemployee. Employee profile: Shows employeename, address, birth date, start date and other personnel information.

Ease ol setup:Whena payroll is easy to@ set up the usercanquickly conf)gore th8% pay frequencies and the earnings a 5+ deductions or theyarepre-configured Easeof ase: ln easy-to-use payroll grams theprocessof entering time@ TIeeRp and calculating the payroll is vepqijigjlpp and straightforward «nd look-up~:, j@~

available for theselection ofdata!p'4mtBf~ Personnel mailagement, Refers to availability of fie vacation and sick days, giiinlly / »'"

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION

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and offers unlimited earnings, benefits and deductions. Pop-up instructions guide you throughthe screens and fimctions, and can be turned off when they are no longer needed. Reporting is very complete and history retention is good. The product offers project tracking, time tracking and job costing, and timecards entries can be used for both invoicing and payroll. You can edit invoice and paycheque hours and the original records remain intact. You can elect to view earnings and deductions prior to generating a cheque or you can review a list of the names and amounts to be paid and generate a batch of cheques. Like most of the newer products, it has an integrated personnel management function. Intuit has included a forms layout designer and a multiple forms feature.

Continued fio/// page le

PeachtreeComplete Accounting

This is a fully integrated program for smalland medium-sized businesses. It comes with U.S. payroll, but Canadian payroll addition can be downloaded from the company Web site. Helpful hints come from the Smart Guide that pops up when you choose a function. Canadian tax deductions were awkward to set up. Not so for earnings and deductions, which also allowed some calculations. There are five custom fields of 40 characters for tracking personnel or other payroll information. Paycheques can be batched or prepared one at a time. It has a good job costing component. We did not like the fact that some field This program provides a lowest complete names are only appropriate for U.S. payroll accounting solution in one box, with a payroll purposes. This program does not process T4s system that is as good as many of the standor ROEs, and does not bank hours or allow for alone products. 0 accrual of vacation or sick time.

Prepare dbyJoanHomal andNancyHamm ofPC Profes sionalsandJoanV.Homal 8 Co.Inc.,compa-

QulcleBooirs Pro forIftflndows

This is a fully integrated accounting package nies providing computer consulting, accounting, auditfor small- to medium-sized businesses. The ing and tax services to small- and medium-sized busipayroll module is very easy to set up and use nesses inVancouver.

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e scarc or er soun SonLab PC audio kits offer range

of price, performance of sound was "beeps" and eboops," and the tinny little 1.5-inch speaker built into the 5 a long time PC owner, I' ve had occa- case was fine. By the mid 1980s, the 2.5-inch sion to have to replace my PC's speak- speakers inside my Commodore Amiga comers several times, due to the hazards puter monitor were about right to play back inherent in domestic computing (stamped- the 8-bit sound the Amiga was capable of ing pets snagging cables, treasured offspring creating. Today, however, it's almost impossible to cranking the volume dial up to 11, etc.). The find desktop speakers that do justice to the dilemma has always been, what quality of audio do I really need, and what price am I quality of sound that can be produced by the best 3D stereo sound cards from Creative willing to pay? Labs, Yamaha, or other quality sound card makers. On a positive note, at least we have SNJP-S Combo Pack a much wider range of PC speaker choices CS-SW3 180W Power SMbwupdpfer kit today, ranging from low-priced utility speakDistributed by: SonLab (available at Radio Shack and ers, to audiophile quality systems. We just have to choose wisely. other retailers) Recently, we looked at two packages from 110 Ferrier St., Markhain, ON L3R215, SonLab, a major supplier of speakers to the http//www,sonlab.corn Suggested retail price: $34.95 (SMP-5), $99,95 (CS- PC industry. One is a budget speaker set, the SMP-5 Combo Pack,and the other a premiSW3) um speaker set, the CS-SW3 18OW Power Subwoofer kit. To establish a rough baseline lt used to be simpler in the old days. for cori)parison, we used the set of JBL Pro When I started using my Compaq portable speakers that come wit h t h e C o mpaq PC in 1984, all it could produce in the way Presario MV 700 multimedia monitor as an example o f a •J mainstream con80

By Jeff Evans

A

sumer PC speaker set. The JBL speakers consist of two speaker units that p lug i n t o th e audio line-out on

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION

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Intel SYSTEM: ATX motherboard BX chipset 64MB SD RAM (100MHz), 6.8GB UDMA harddrive 1.44MB floppy, SMB ATI Xpert98 AGPvideo card 32X CD ROM drive, Yamgha 16bit soundcard 120W(PMPO) stereo speakers//smicmphonc ATX medium tower case w/235W power suppily 15" Daytek 1531D SVGA Nl 0.28dp tnonitor 104 win95 PS/2 keyboard, 2 button PS/2 mousedkpad Acer56K V.90 internalmodem w/fax//svoice stern ~

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Upg. to 1MB cachem/h:

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(a very nice feature), and the JBL Pro units have little lugs on their chassis that allow them to be hung on the sidesof the Compaq Presario MV 700 monitor, which helps reduce the clutter on the user's desktop. Sound quality on the jBL Pros is quite good considering their small size, offering very bright, clear sound output of mid to high

and computer telephony. The SMP-5 offers the quality typical of many speaker sets found on e ntry-level PCs — serviceable for basic gaming and multitnedia, but nowhere near the quality that would be demanded by a discriminating

music lover, for example. This set is a very affordable replacement for the standard lowcost speaker set f ound o n m a n y clone PCs, but is not to be considered an "upgrade." 'IVt,f The S o n Lab CS-SW3 is another matter e n t i rely. C onsisting o f a large, heavy subwoofer base unit and two nicely fini shed 7.6 crn (3 in.), 4-Watt speakers, the CS-SW3 offers a considerable upgrade in audio quality compared to the JBL

J%

(for above CPU config.) Pent. II 266 Celeron Pent. II 300 Celeron Pent. II 300A Celeron Pent. Il 333 Celeron Pent, II 333 Pent.II 350 Pent. II 400 Pent. Il 450 $299.00 $350.00 $465.00 $575.00 $795.00

VIDEO CARD Trident 4MB AGP $45.00

ATI 2MB Xpessioa (oem) $45.00 ATI 4MB Xpression (octa) $65.00

ATI 464B Xpett XL AGP $79.00 ATI 8bIB Xpett '98 AGP $95.00

$1$95.00 $I,350.00 $1,425.00 $1,475.00 $1,550.00 $1,595.00 $1,850.00 $2,175.00

~ uter Epson Stylus Colour 440 $219.00 Epsoa Stylus Colour 640 $295.00 EpsonStylus Photo 700 $365,00 Epsoa Sty)us Photo EX $665.00 HP 1100Laser $599.00 MULTIMEDIA 32X CD Rom Paaasonic $75.00 Soundblmter 16 (oem) $39.00 Soundblasler PCI 128 (box) $99.00 Soundblastet Live Value $139.00 Yanmba W5Subwoofer $55.00

'Tauntare notunluded price are cash ~ tut mo te ror creht card payruent, and maychangeunthout funhtt " I sonshbourand tyearpartsdepotuensutyousystem,ormanufacturer's unutunty apptiet "

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Pro speakers. The

frequencies, though noticeably a bit weak in kit comes with a power adapter, all necessary bassoutput. cables and a set of rubber feet to protect the in the SMP-5 Combo Pack's surface the subwoofer rests on. two small speakers produce somewhat fainter Audio quality remained good across the but still audible sound. If one attempts to spectrum from low to high frequencies, even turn up the volume more than halfway, there at high volume settings, and in particular is noticeable hissing and distortion. In addi- the unit handled heavy bass settings well. tion to the two small speakers, the SMP-5 For the PC gamer, DVD or computer audio Combo Pack cotnes with headphones for pri- enthusiast on a limited budget, the CS-SW3 vate listening, and a microphone with a flex- is a good choice, offering considerable audio ible neck and mounting base for voice input output quality for a very tnodest price. 3

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HARDWARE gg

THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

o itec en ances ui c By Sean Carruthers t has taken portable digital photography a while to really catch on with those of us who aren't professional photographers. But when it comes to tethered devices, it's been a different story.

t

USB port, which means installation of the camera is as simple as plugging its cord into the USB connector. The third big advantage in this new incarnation of the QuickCam is the included software. The QuickCam Pro images are automatically processed by the PictureSmart applica-

tion to eliminate barrel distortion, they are adjust for lighting conditions, and colors are made to appear more natural. The software also corrects a longstanding complaint u sers h ave h a d w i t h the QuickCam: how to get the captured pictures to a Web server. For users with a Web page

am incorporating camera captures taken at regular intervals, transferring those pictures on a regular basis meant doing it manually or purchasing a shareware utility that did the same thing automatically. This function is now built in with the new software. Conti nueri on page 1$$

QuichCam Pro

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Starting with slightly fuzzy black and white pictures, the QuickCam has evolved ovei the four years since its introduction, incorporating color and 'allowing larger and

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higher-quality pictures. In the process, the

vegmrd ~

QuickCam has sparked a revolution, Skeptics proclaimed that it was a bit Big Brother-ish having a digital eye always pointed in your direction, bu t s i n c e i t s in t r oduction, Connectix has sold o ver o n e m i l l i on

QuickCams. Apparently people liked to be watched! In August, the QuickCam line was purchasedby Logitech, a company already noted for excellence in devices that plug into the back of the computer. Shortly after the acquisition of the line, Logitech announced the release of the new QuickCam Pro, and a number of new features to go with it. First among the features is a swivel base with a grip clip, meaning the camera can be pointed in almost any direction, and attached to anything less than 2.5 cm (I in.) thick. Instead of placing the camera on the desktop or on top of a monitor, users can now clip it to a bookshelf or to the top of the TFT screen on a notebook computer.The camera can them be aimed in the proper direction using the swivel base. For those so inclined, the camera portion can also be detached from the swivel base and mounted on a tripod. The second new feature is the new versions. Previously, the QuickCam was available only as a parallel port device, which could cause problems when the device shared the port with a printer (attach, detach, reattach, detach, etc.), The QuickCam Pro is now also

available with universal serial bus (USB) connectivity, which eliminates sharing problems. Parallel versions of the camera require the user to attach a passthrough cable to the keyboard port to power the cam. The USB cam, on the other hand, gets its power directly from the

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TCP looks at drive copying utilities

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it's not uncommon for individuals or small businesses to pick up a big, new, drive. But when they get to the computer, they ask, "what's the best way to add it to my system?" Well, you could install it as an additional drive and leave the current hard drive in place but you probably want the newer, faster, bigger model as the main hard drive. One way to achieve this is to save all your data, install in the new drive, and reinstall all your programs. There is merit to this plan. Operating systems collect junk and develop problems over time. It's healthy to. start from scratch and clean everything out, However, if you have ever performed this operation you know it can be a time consuming and difficult exercise. But there is an alternative: a disk cloning

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another, and not just the data in a file or folder. Cloning is a simple solution, which will work if the two drives are identical. However, it is usually the case that the physical structures (the number of cylinders, tracks, and heads) of the drives are not identical. What makes cloning software of value is that it analyzes the target hard drive then adapts the data being transferred to fit the new hard drive.

Common features To copy the drive it must not be in use. Thus these programs all boot from a floppy so that the hard drive is not running — you cannot open a DOS box and clone a drive. Whenever you arecloning you need to know the jumper settings of your hard drives. Many drives indicate the master/slave/cable connect settings on their cover but some do not. You can usually get this information from the Web page of the drive's manufacturer, even for old dr'ives. This information can also be found in the drive's manual and on specialized Web p ages l i ke

Dish cloning http://www.ontrack.corn. Disk copying is a simple concept. Add a sec-

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ond drive, copy the data to the new drive, 'make the new drive the boot drive. You can even do this without cloning. Just add the drive and copy everything over to it, then remove the old drive and set up the new one as the C: drive. The problem is — when you copy files and folders to the new drive, all sorts of things can get messed up. Having done this a number of times over the years I can attest to the fact that it is often simpler to save the data and start over with the new drive. Disk cloning utilities copy the actual structure of the disk's surface from one drive to

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SOFTWARE

DVD, or CD-ROM drives — can use the ribbon, asked that I review version 2.5, which is soon but the total number of devices can only be to be released and should be improved. The two on each ribbon. As well, each device must Co/7/pitter Paperwill do so, but at this time it is either be master or slave. not a product we recommend purchasing. For example, on my test system I added a new Maxtor Fireball on the Secondary IDE DrlvteCopy Version 2.0 connection because the Primary IDE ribbon From: PowBr0uest Corp. couldn't reach it. The new drive had to be the PO Box 1911 Orem, UT84059-1911 slave because a Creative Labs' Encore DVD TBI: 800 379-2566, http: //www.powarquBst.corn drive needed to be the master. This left me Estimated street price: $44.95 with my original drive as the master on the Primary IDE connection. Later during these The easiestwayto copyone disk cloning evaluations, however, I made the Fireball the slave on the Primary IDE ribbon hard drive toanother. and still later I made it the master. When making these switches, you must remember to do the following: change the drive's jumpers when you change it from master to slave or vice versa; be sure the new C: drive is bootable if you don't want to start from scratch; and, you reassign the drives in your BIOS to make it all work. Fortunately, the products below make this procedure fairly simple, For this review I had intended to review DuoCor'5 XactCopy, which clones your hard drive to a second drive then hides it from the lilt • INti t l O LI i 101 t4I COtflNC • IIS • Elwl operating system. This means you always have a copy of everything mirrored on the second drive. The idea is interesting and DriveCopy, from Powerguest — the maker Of allows for fast, automatic backups, however Partition Magic — is a hard drive copying prothe product caused problems on my system. I gram that will work with Windows 3.11, 95, contacted the company and representatives

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Many owners of. small Bndmedium sizebusinessesbelieve the Year2000 problem only alfecis large companieswith complex networks and customized sogwarepackages. TheReality (whether you havethree Ks or 300, the millennium bug can potentially cripple your computer, operating system, software andnetworks, jeopardizing vital links with customers, businessIrdrmers Bndsuppliecs. Increasingly,businessand governm ent requiretheir suppliers provide proof of Y2Kcompgance asa condition for doing business.

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98, NT 3.51 and OS/2. The software comes on might violate copyright law and if any coma CD-ROM but runs from a floppy that you ponents were not identical there would be must create. When you boot to the floppy the conflicts. (PowerQuest makes a product, program loads a mouse driver so you can eas- Disklmage that allows for multiple drive ily navigate the graphical interface. Three copies. It can be purchased for personal or choices are offered on the screen: drive infor- business use.) A limitation of DriveCopy is that it will mation, drive copy, and partition copy. In my tests the program successfully allow a user to copy a hard drive using copied from my 2.1 GB drive to a 3.2GB drive. Netware, Linux, UNIX and other systems but However, it was necessary to exit the program, will not expand the partition to fit a larger reboot and scan the C: drive to get rid of a few drive and is not supported by PowerQuest lost clusters (the most common reason for lost technical support. Overall, this is a simple, clusters is turning off your computer without easy-to-use, and stable utility that I recomexisting Windows). I would have thought mend. DriveCopy could have automatically correct

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2 GB and fairly well for the parallel port version SparQ 1 GB (the program hung a few times but without doing any harm). The benefit here is that you could use the image file as a backup copy of the operating system. You can save an image across multiple cartridges, such as ZIP disks, making it possible to return the computer to perfect working condition even if your storage device is smaller than your drive. Obviously, you would lose any

data not backed up since the image file was made. It is even possible to save the image file

to CD-ROM if you have a CD-ROM burner. With new computers able to boot to CD-ROM, it is possible to insert a CD-ROM and return your machine to its original configuration. In fact, some Compaq laptops come with such a

4

this but perhaps there is insufficient space on DiskCloneExtra Strength the floppy disk for another applet. When DriveCopy copies a partition from one drive to another it checks to see if the target drive is larger. If it is, the program completes the copy, then expands the partition to fit. This saves you from having to buy a program like Partition Magic or Partition-It. Another great feature is that DriveCopy is quite safe. It is designed so that a hardware or power failure during an upgrade will not destroy any data. With this program it is also possible to copy selected partitions if the drive is partitioned. DriveCopy is not a program to copy a hard drive for installation in different computers. It could be done, if the other computers were exactly the same as the original, but this

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CD-ROM allowing users to always easily return the computer to the state it was upon arrival. DiskClone allows the user to install the new drive as a slave and then, after the disk copy, change it to the master; or, install the new drive as the master and then copy to it. Either way the product will get your drive copied in about 20 minutes for a 2 GB drive. QuarterDeck is offering an excellent utilitybut in a box that is far too big for the 3.5-inch floppy diskette it contains.

(although a UNIX copy will require that the new drive have the exact number of sectors DiskClone Extra Strength from QuarterDeck is and heads as the original). I tested the program's drive copy abilities an excellent utility. Aside from copying your old hard drive to your new one, the diminu- but I also made image files to both SparQ and tive program will also make an image of your Jaz drives. The procedure is a bit more difficult drive and save it to a Zip, Jaz or SyQuest stor- than it sounds because you must first get the age drive. Like DriveCopy above, DiskClone drivers for your storage device on the boot disk will also allow you to resize the new partitions or you will not be able to access the peripheral. to any size that can contain the data being Fortunately, QuarterDeck includes a utility that Norton Chest moved. DiskClone can co py W i n dows 3.x, asks if you have such a deviceduring installa- From: Symantec Corp. DOS, and OS/2, 16-bit FAT and FAT32, as well tion. If you do, it loads generic drivers on the 895 Don Mills Rd.• 500-2 Park Centre Continned on page 147 as, NTFS, HPFS, Novell and UNIX partitions floppy, which worked perfectly for the SCSI Jaz

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

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Tone of conference reflects vitality of Internet service provider industry By Douglas Alder

magazine and ISPCon. He is opinionated, easy to categorize the vendors, but ISPCon was future administration is done from a Web sometimes cantankerous, and controveisialmore of a challenge. Witli more than 200 browser on another computer. attended the r ecent I n ternet Service frequently taking contrary points of view on exhibitors spread over 55,000 square feet, the Cobalt (http://www.cobaltnet.corn) has done a Providers Conference (ISPCon) in San Jose, the direction of the ISP industry that, in hind- " show floor wasimpressive. The booths were: big nice job of hiding the complexities of Linux Calif., which has always been different from sight, are often right on the money, A former and well-marked, but exactly what was being and Apache behind,its administration tools. broader Internet shows that draw much of their engineer, he can swap acronyms with the best,-.- sold or promoted was often a mystery. The most From the demo I saw, it certainly looked like audience from Internet users. ISPCon is solely of them and his nitty-gritty information keeps mysterious displays were for services to ISPs. an effort-reducing combination. While users Hardware, and software were easy to iden- can buy cheaper computers as servers, the for the people who build the network for the the magazine on the required reading list for managers and techies alike. tify. Pricing was harder to extract, because it is ;. Cobalt offers a nice package using open source Internet — the Internet service providers (ISPs), business often based on some variable determined by ;..",,.software with a slick configuration utility. The From an informal survey at the opening the ~alesrep. session, about two thirds of the 5,000-plus , The hunted beauty of its package is that there is no addiattendees represented true ISPs. Around 5 per- :- Although ISP representatives came from all Some of. the products were quite esoteric. tional software to buy. cent indicated they had entered the ISP indus- .--over the world, only about 15 percent were One example was a company called. iAtlas, Another hot box that should appeal to from outsidh the U.S. try in the last year. (http;//www.iatlas.corn), which sells what it calls ISPs was from Transcend (hitp://www.transcendForced to deal with dicey software, flaky "traditional business data" combined with modems,corn), The Box offers voice, data and The host routers, constantly changing modem stan- information gleaned from InterNIC and other Internet in and up to 24 ports in a small red Every trade show is made of three groups of dards, and technology that is really too new to Internet sources and compiles them. This is box for about $200 per port. This type of prodparticipants: the host, the hunted, and the work very well, ISPs manage to keep most of then sold to ISPs and other industries. uct is also available from 3COM and other hunters. Often the host of a trade show or the connections open. vehdors, but usually starts at a higher range, conference is some grey corporate entity. The big dream of many ISPs is the legendary Hot boxes with a minimum of 96 or more ports. ISPCon is quite different and is sponsored buy out, and many came to hear about cashing One booth had ISPs lusting after its slickly by Boardwatch magazine (htip://www.board- out. The most popular sessions at the confer-- designed, translucent, rack-mounted Internet Integrated massaging watch.corn). It was recently purchased by ence were about evaluating ISP businesses or servers. The Cobalt RaQ microserver, runs One conference buzzword was integrated mesMeckler Media (http: //www,mecklermedia.corn), .- Bnding capital to buy out other ISPs. A number Linux and Apache Web servers and sells for saging, which allows faxes, voice mail, and publisher of internet World. Boardwatchwas . of people I spoke with mentioned their growing under. US$1,000 with a 2 GB hard drive and 16 text messages to be channeled to a users' launched in 1987 to cover what.was then the fear of the aggressive competition coming from MB of RAM. email account. From there, it can be read with computer bulletin board industry. As the cable and telephone companies. Some said they This was particularly attractive for small any Web browser or pushed out to pagers or industry rebuilt itself into the ISP business, feared that the years of rapid growth might be businesses or startup ISPs that want to put up cell phones that support text displays. the magazine grew to become the bible of that coming to a close for smaller companies . a self-contained Internet presence complete Farther up the food chain, some vendors industry in North America. with Web site, email and ftp. These units don' t offered text to speech, so a user could call in Editor, and the conference's master of cer- The hunters require a monitor. Users configure an IP from any telephone and have their mail read emonies, Jack Rickard, personifies both the At many computer trade shows, it is relatively address on the side of the box and then all Continued on page 138

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L

out to thein, or punch a few buttons and have faxes redirected to a local fax machine. . One of the most comprehensive, and correspondingly expensive, solutions was from

MediaGate (http: //www.mediagate.corn). From the demos I saw, I predict this offering may be slow in coming as it requires a substantial investment in equipment that will probably depreciate quickly. Partial solutions were cheaper, but it seemed like customeis might require a fair bit of tech support. Also worth a look was Nascent Technology's

Mailspinner (http: //www.mailspinner.corn}, ECentric (http J/www.e-centric.corn), OfficeDomain's MessageASAP (http://www.officedomain.corn), and N-Plex WebExpress(htlpJ/www.isocor.corn). Software An Australian company, Ixla (hllpJ/www.ixla. corn), showed an interesting software package

spectrum; what is referred to as a brochure site. ly waiting for it to become available in their Vancouver-based Multiactive Technologies area..The catch in many areas is that tele(http: //www.multiactive.corn) offers a program phone companies have to improve their lines called ecBuilder. Sitematic C orporation to meet the high standard required to run (http: //www.sitematic.corn) offers a similar product. DSL. The process is taking a while, because it often involves the telcos making changes at Sort out trademarks their switching stations. Thompson R Thompson, which claims to be Many ISPs fear the advent of DSL because the leader in international trademark and they are being crowded out of offering it to users copyright services, has created a Web site to by a technical requirement. DSL only can travel help sort out trademark problems associated 6 km or less from the central telephone office. with domain names. It offers a free service for Users won't see DSL modems in local comcompanies and individuals who want to puter stores soon. Because they are an end-toestablish a Web presence. It ties the InterNIC end solution, DSL 'modems are most likely to domain name registration database to a data- be supplied by the ISP or telephone company base of international trademarks. Users can providing the DSL service. Phone companies get a free sample of the information by log- are somewhat ambivalent about rolling out ging on to http J/www.namestake.corn. DSL because the required investment in improvements cuts into lucrative contracts The sessions with business customers. This year, ISPCon had 226 sessions that In Canada, DSL will be offered in two main addressed concerns in a few distinct categories: flavors, one priced under $100 for consumers, technical and standards-based challenges; mar- and one for business users starting at around keting topics, such as how to increase profits $400, according to Perm Gill, vice-president of from the same customer base; increasing com- Cyberus Online (http: //www,cyberus.corn}. DSL can pany growth; how to sell an ISP; and the ongo- reach download speeds of up to 7 Mbps. The ing threat from cable and telephone compa- consumer offering will be limited to 2 Mbps. nies — this year in the form of digital subscriber Business offerings will be staged at 2, 4 and 7 lines (DSL) and Internet provided by cable. Mbps, ranging up to around $800 a month.

called WebEasy. The package wis like a lowend version of Fusion NetObjects. For around US$50, customers get a wizard-driven program that quickly puts out attractive Web sites. WebTrends (http: //www.webtrends.corn) seems to make one of the more popular Web site log analyzing programs, Most Web servers have a log program that tells administrators a variety of information about who visits their Web sites, where they come from, and what pages they view. WebTrends reads-the log and for- DS1. The buzz on Llnux mats the information into a -set of standard DSL is the next generation of technology offer- Linux is the rising star in operating systems. It reports, complete with graphs and charts. ing higher-speed connections to the Internet. lays claim to being the only operating system Originally designed for video on demand, that is actually gaining market share against E-commerce simplified DSL is based on silicon technology, digital sig- the Microsoft behemoth. Another theme of the show was e-commerce. A nal processing algorithms, and existing copWritten originally by L inus Torvalds, number of software vendors have created pack- per wire telephone lines. It is similar to, but Linux is a free UMX-based operating system ages that simplify this process. Most products much faster than, ISDN or 56Kbps modems. that runs on many platforms. It has been focused on the low end of the e-commerce The speed of DSL has many users anxious- developed with assistance from users all over

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ages the free Linux operating system with its own software and sell it for $50. The investment was more strategic than financial; by having market leaders Netscape and Intel express their support, Linux gains an air of legitimacy.

"Since July, the five leading providers of database software: Oracle, Informix, Computer A ssociates, Sybase, and I B M h a v e a l l announced plans to support Red Hat Linux OS," said Robert F. Young, president of Red Hat. Many ISPs use Linux because it's free. Arshad Merali of Aracnet, a Toronto-based ISP, said his company used both Linux and Windows NT, and that the combination of Linux and Apache Web servers is hard to beat because the software is free.

Conclusion It was a great conference about an extremely dynamic iridustry. Four years ago the ISP business did not exist. Four years from now, it could be gone, with most of the companies absorbed into a few large ones, or it could be even bigger than it is today. 0 Douglas Alder (dougaOsmartt.corn) is the founding editor and publisher ofThe Computer Paper.Since leaving the publication in the fail of 1997, he hasbeentraveling with his family and pursuing his interest in computers.

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the world. Torvalds and the developers insist that the operating system and software can be used or improved upon by anyone as long as the source code is kept open and free. Torvalds, who spoke at an ISPCon luncheon, guessed that between 10 and 15 million copies of Linux are now in use worldwide. The big news on the Linux front is that Intel and Netscape have invested in Red Hat

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

ONLINE

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If last year could be considered the year audio first broke onto the Web with RealAudio, then this is the year of the MP3

Il

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By Kelth Schenglli-Roberts

available as either shareware or trialware.

P3 audio files are typically one tenth the size of the audio files you'd find on a regular CD, while p roviding ne a r -C D qua l i t y sou n d . Compressing such good sound into such a small space is perfect for downloading over the Net. This audio format may well become the audio format of choice someday — if the music industry allows it.

some require you to create a separate WAV file from a CD before compression, while others do it directly. Some use slightly more efficient algorithms to create the MP3 file, while others allow you to set parameters, like the sample rate, to produce a better sound.

For only

These programs vary in sophistication-

What ls an MP3? MP3 is the popular name for a layer-3 MPEG file. It uses a very efficient algorithm to compress an audio file td about 10 percent of its normal size. A typical full-stereo song on a given music CD requires roughly 10 MB of space per minute of music, meaning a typical four to five minute pop song is about 40 to 50 MB. The very size of these files is a major disincentive for anybody who wants to copy a music track and send it to a friend — even with a56Kbps modem and a good connection, it will take a long time to transmit. But what if you could send the same file to your friend in one tenth of the time? For things like mono recordings or spoken-word recordings (which, typically do not have to be heard at the same fidelity as a

These programs are known as "rippers" because they are capable of "ripping off" the sound from a CD music), the compression can go even further, fitting an hour-long show onto a space that could fit onto a few floppy diskettes. Given their small size, decent sound quality and the relative cheapness of CD recorders, it is quite possible to get well over 100 MP3 format pop songs — or about 10 album's worth of material — onto a single CD-R disc. This is the sort of thing that makes many record companies cringe.

Making your own It is relatively easy to make your own MP3

files from your CD collection. Simply download the appropriate software from the Net, put your CD in your CD-ROM drive, and by the time you go and get a cup of coffee,

These programs are known as "rippers" because they are capable of "ripping off" the sound from a CD. Because of the wide availability of rippers, MP3 has spawned a large following on the Net, as audio pirates make requests for songs and exchange them on Usenet newsgroups, private ftp sites and Web sites. Several album's worth of material are posted across various newsgroups every single day. Even a casual glance will reveal a wide selection of material to choose from; everything from old radio shows to '50s rockabilly tunes to the very latest releases. In fact one intrepid Beastie Boys fan managed to post a copy of the group's latest album a full week before it appeared in the record stores.

MP3s for sale (?)

you' ll have an MP3 file to listen to when you get back. Programs that do t his include WinDAC, audiograbber, CD. Copy, CDDA MusicMatch and MP3 Producer, most are

++

This is not the sort of thing that endears the format to the recording industry. In fact the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has taken steps to limit the spread of MP3 files. It is currently asking many of its recording artists to lend their name to sign

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

TUc O W S

own oa some in oor entertainment By Scott Swedorski

B

elieve it or not, mid-winter is the peak Internet browsing season. ISPs and Web sites consistently report much higher traffic during th e colder, wetter months. Why? Well it's obvious that indoor play time is preferred to outdoor playtime when you have to wear four layers of clothes just to go outside! So with that in mind, we found some fun, entertaining and useful distractions to help you get through the next few months. Corkboard

Wy Mg~y gvf gg Version: 1.00.089 Revision date: June 17, 1998 Filename: corkb100.exe Byte size: 2,208,231 Licence type: Freeware Home page: http: //www.pcdynamics.corn/Qorkboard/ Also available: Windows NTversion An excellent alternative to a screensaver, Corkboard is a screen saver, desktop memo board and entertainment program that turns the desktop into a realistic corkboard. You can post objects, sticky notes, calendars, to-do lists, thumb tacks, and various decorations, all of which can'be customized. Corkboard has some limited network capabilities, allowing you to pull "pranks" on other Corkboard users on your network.

e

Make your PC look like a Mac? Declare your Filename: k95 154.exe love of Star Wars for all your co-workers to Byte size: 2,582,252 'see? Install Desktop Themes from Microsoft Licence type: Shareware Plus! Add-on for Windows, and you can utilize Cost: $20 the hundreds of different free and low-cost Evaluation period: 15 min./session till registered themes av a i lable at Fr ee T hemes Home page: http: //www,kali.net (http: //www.ireethemes.corn) or. create your own. Also available: Windows NTand Mac versions Kali is a state-of-the-art TSR (terminate and InfoScout INovie Browser stay resident) program that allows Internet users to play IPX (Internet packet exchange) ' ' I'I' I I I n etwork compatible games across t h e I I I ~tjt g- f 'py I i I I Internet. With Kali, users with Windows 95, I ' I NT, DOS, Mac and OS/2 can participate in the ' I Version: 2.0 II I I I I I I same multiplayer game; The current version Revision date: Aug. 21, 1998 has compression support, the ability to disable Filename: infoscout.exe the windows keys on your keyboard, free softByte size: 2,978,907 ware updates, and more than 200,000 players, Licence type: Shareware n • I I'I 600 servers, and 100 games, in 65 countries. Cost: $19.95 I I I ' I II • Evaluation period: 30 Days I I I I •I PC Leagues Administrator Home page:.http: //www.wplus,corn Also available: Windows NTversion A movie review browser for Windows, specifically designed to keep you current with the latest Desktop Themes movie releases. InfoScout Movie Browser auto- Version: 1.1.0 matically ships the latest movie review database Revision date: July 14, 1998 pcadmin.exe by movie title, critical rating, actor, director, or Filename: Byte size: 4,886,528 film critic. All matches are saved on your hard Version: 1.80 drive so you can browse at your leisure. Licence type: Freeware Revision date: July 5, 1998 Home page: http://www.pcleagues.corn/ Filename: desktopt-tucows.zip Also available: Windows NTversion InCog Neeto Byte size: 119,541 PC Leagues Administrator is an excellent Licence type: Shareware sports league administration program that Cost: $15 allows you to create an online resource that Home page: http: //www.lss.corn.au shows players, coaches, referees, league sponVersion: 4.0 Also available: Windows NTversion sors and much more. This revolutionary softRevision date: Sept. 1, 1998 Do you want to customize your desktop? ware also provides you with an easy-to-use Filename: incoplyr.zip environment as well as point and click access Byte size: 1,113,942 to organize leagues, assign players to teams, Licence type: Freeware create your season's schedule in addition to Home page: http: //bigmeg.net/incognto/ many other options. Also available: Windows NTversion InCogNeeto allows you to create a 10-quesRealms of Despair tion multiple choice quiz complete with a photo of yourself, and a Web site address that

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Home page: http: //www.game.org Also available; Windows 3x Version This is the Windows client for one of the hottest MUDs (multi-user dungeons or role-playing games) on the Net, Realms of Despair. Designed Continued on page 141

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

for the beginner, it is simple to use, has full ANSI color support, clickable directional arrow pad, handy macro buttons and back scroll.

$tarry Night Lssic

Version: 2.19 Revision date: Aug. 15, 1998 Filename: lotterywin.zip Byte size: 1,604,041 Licence type: Shareware Cost: $14.95 Home page: http: //www.winsite.corn/info/pc/win95/ games/uls9x219.zip/ Also available: Windows NTversion

Cost: $20 I(ome page: http: //www.ambrosiasw.corn/Ambrosia Products/Avara.html Avara's real-time graphic action will start

tery numbers for many different types of games. With this, you can even track your

Mac Picks

limited to sliding around in predetermined mazes like in many older 3D games. Avara's maneuverability is unique, allowing its warriors to freely climb, jump, and run on any of the structures in the battlefield. Avara allows you to meet and play against people from all around the world, right over the Internet.

Avara

Nolo

Version: 1.0.0 Revision date: Sept, 17, 1996

Version: 0.99.7 Revision date: Feb. 11, 1998 Filename: tucows bolo.hqx Byte size: 1,121,400 Licence type: Shareware

Also available: 68 KBversion

interface). Batch mode, individual file restoration, SCSI tape support and small footprint features make the program rich yet streamlined. The manual is also excellent. Norton Ghost also comes with a SID (Serial Identification) changer appliration called Ghost-Walker, that allows you t o c l o ne Windows NT. This does not mean you don' t have to pay for the copies. The program makes deploying a large number of NT installations

easier but you must still pay Microsoft. At this time Norton Ghost is a product for IT professionals but in the near future youmay see it as a standalone consumer product.

Cost: $25 Home page: http: //deckard.mc.duke.edu/bolo/ One of the first non-text-based, lnternetplayable games is still one of the best. This

your heart pounding as you see your oppo- is a strategy tank game that can be played nent gracefully bound across the terrain and over and over again. It's easy to learn but quickly swoop in behind you. Using both can take forever to master. The version the mouse and keyboard, you have complete posted here has been updated by a volun360-degree control to counter maneuver and teer team of Bolo enthusiasts and also Universal Lottery can be set up to choose lot- quickly target your enemy. Players aren' t includes the latest game finder and help

Version: 2.1.2 Revision date: Sept. 4, 1998 Filename: strryntb.zip Byte size: 4,708,875 Licence type: Shareware

wins and losses.

Cost: $34 Home page: http://www.siennasoft.corn Also available: Windows NTversion Starry Night allows you to view any planet

from anywhere in the world or the solar system! This excellent celestial viewing program lets you view where planets are in the sky during the current night or day as well as allowing you to view their locations in the past, present or future. Starry Nights is an excellent application for amateur astronomers.

files. Netrls

Version: n/a Revision date: June 1, 1997

Filename: netris.hqx Byte size: 300,791

Licence type: Freeware Home page: http: //www.nuviewstudios.corn/gmg/netris/

Universal Lottery

Filename:avara.hqx Byte size: 3,215.543 Licence type: Shareware

Don't copy its clone it

is priced accordingly. I am merltioning it in this review because the product is quite interesting and a consumer-level version is being prepared. Like most other disk rloning programs, Norton Ghost will copy FAT and NTFS partitions but it will also copy an image to a removNorton Ghost is a disk cloning program origi- a ble storage device (CD-ROM, Zip, o r nally from New Zealand. Symantec bought the SuperDisk drive) or even a network server. It product and is currently integrating it into its can even copy a drive from one machine to line of utilities. The program is primarily a another via network or LPT ports. Ghost can business application as you can see from the copy also OS/2 partitions and retain long filepricing, Norton Ghost is priced on a per-use names in Windows 95 or NT. basis. A company decides on the number of This boot disk DOS program has a typiraliy computers they want to clone and the licence Spartan yet utilitarian GUI (graphical user Continuedf' Fontpage 134 Toronto, ON M3C 1W3, Tel:888-GHOST-98, http: //www.ghost.corn, http: //www.symantec.corn Estimated street price: US$16.95 each (25-99 seats)

Netris is a Tetris clone that can be played over the Internet. You can connect through TCP/IP directly to your playing partners anywhere in the world. 0

Conclusion If you buy a new drive and want to transfer your rurrent setup to it, listen to the voice of experience and get a disk cloning program like one of the ones reviewed here. Q

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an Internet Anti-Piracy Statement, which in effect covers the illegal distribution of MP3 files. Artists who have already gone on the record include Sara McLachlan, Mick Jagger, and Barry White. In addition, the RIAA actively seeks out pirate MP3 Web sites with the intention of shutting them down and protecting the copyrights of the artists they represent, However, while most record companies have problems with the way the MP3 format is being used to distribute copyrighted material over the Net, many individual artists and small record labels have embraced it. Many

new, up-and-comingbands have found the format to be ideal to distribute free samples

of their songs widely, cheaply and easily.

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One of the main boosters of the MP3 file format is MP3.corn, which has links to over 80 labels distributing a multitude of artists who are freely distributing samples of their music overthe Web. MP3.corn even has Top 40 MP3 files from artists who have agreed to release their music in this format in various categories including Alternative, Ciassical, Comedy, Folk, Heavy Metal and many more. Even a few established artists have taken an interest in the new music format, with the Beastie Boys and Primus offering whole songs to fans through their Web sites. Frank Black (formerly of the seminal post-punk band The Pixies) is represented by the Goodnoise record label, where people can either purchase a CD online, or download MP3 versions of the songs from his latest album at a discount.

RIPBs flying down to Riof MP3s have definitely taken off amongst a certain crowd, but one thing that defines this group is that they all have computers. MP3s havenot made any impact on the consumer electronic market — yet, Given the RIAA's position on MP3s in general, it is unlikely that you will see a collection of MP3

songs offered by a major record label at your local record store anytime soon. Without this support, and despite the offering of compilation MP3 CDs by largely unsigned artists, it is unlikely that you will

the Rio, the first completely solid-state MP3 player to be sold in North America. Carrying a price tag of about US$200, this Walkmanlike device allows users to listen to MP3s on the go — and because all of the MP3s are stored directly in memory, the only moving part is the "Play" button. The lack of moving

parts means the music cannot skip. The t in y

d e v ice, w h ic h m e asures

8.9x6.3x1.6 cm (3.5x2.5x0.625 in.), ran play up to 12 hours of audio files from a single AA alkaline battery. R ecently though, the RIAA and t h e Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies

had successfully placed a restraining order preventing Diamond Multimedia from selling or distributing the Rio. In a preliminary ruling, the court said the Rio violates the U.S. Audio Home Recording Act, enacted as a result of the risks posed by unauthorized digital copying of music. Hilary Rosen, president of RIAA, said the Rio was "destined to undermine the creation of a legitimate digital distribution marketplace, and as such we remain committed to working together with companies that make

portable digital recording devices for music, so that everyone benefits.m Just before press time, a U.S. court lifted

the RIAA's restraining order. Judge Audrey B. Collins ruled that the Rio MP3 player was not a recording device, as alleged by the RIAA, and therefore did not fall under the restrictions of the Aurfio Home Recording Act.

Pending any appeals or new legal motions, this allows Diamond Multimedia to sell the Rio freely in the U.S., its main target market. On the heels of the court ruling, Samsung announced the imminent launch of its own portable MP3 player, called the Yepp. While this technology is generating a lot of work for lawyers, there is still work being done on the format itself. There are already

successor formats — MP4 and a competing AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) format — are just becoming available now. Both promise better fidelity in an even smaller file size. However, the eventual success of MP3 (or any successor) will ultimately depend on its acceptance by the general consumer market. 0

Some RIP3 inforgnatlon sites MP38ench - The Definitive MP3 Benchmark:

find any regular CD players capable of play-

http: I/www.mp3bench.corn/

ing MP3s encoded onto a disc. Of course, all of this could change if there is enough demand for such devices. An early forerunner o f s u c h a dev i c e i s Di a m ond Multimedia's portable Rio MP3 player. Diamond Multimedia has plans to release

MPS.corn - The MP3 Resource on the internet: http:i/www.mp3.corn/ The Official FAGfor alt.binaries. sounds.mp3: http: //wow.top.netltaenusl Goodnoise - http: I/www.goodno(se.corn (record label that sells MP3s)

We' ll help you avoid any buying or upgrading accidents. The all -new Canadian Computer Handbook isnow available at a bookstore near you. At just $16.95, it's one of the best high-tech investments you can make! The Handbook's ISBN is 1-894108-044


THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

esi n n By Peter Miiburn ompetition is good. And never has this been made more evident than in the graphics rivalry between Adobe, Corel and Macromedia.

at i o n o r r i n t , e

I

Pros: Fast performance,Websupport, transparency and lens effects, support for Coiorsync and AppieScript, cross-platform file compatibility. Cons: User interface conventions are sometimes odd, paiettes take a lot of screen real estate on smaller monitors

primary component of the suite, and is the

most significant upgrade

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NEWI PowerMac G3/333MHRMlaitower NEWIillac G3 —LOW EST PRI(EI • fast G3. 233NhzPoweyK tocess ot • 4Gig hmd drive,fast24xED-ROM 03/233 •32MBRAM,upgyadableIo120MS • Indudes built.in ShgbpsModem! • 2MB video RAIN,expandablefo 4MS ft e nSIS/wonir • 2OSB Ports,Infrared, andmuchmorel • Induhn IS'muhi malia moniferw/ Spea kers

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engaged in a perpetual struggle of upgrade one-upmanship between their flagship illustration packages, FreeHand and Illustrator. To add more fuel to the fire CorelDraw has also recently entered the Mac marketplace. Today, all three packages have Macintosh and Windows cross-platform compatible versions that keep raising the bar on features and functionality. This tripartite battle can only bode well for graphics professionals.

achievable in pixel-based image editors such as Photoshop. But as any graphic artist can tell you, it is laborious and time-consuming to make opacity changes to these types of images. More often than not it involves having to recreate the piece from scratch. Thanks

Macromedia suite fuels healthy competition in graphics market

Design In Motion Suite From: Macromedia Inc. http: //www.macromedia.corn RecommendedMacsystem requirements: Power Mac, System7.1,60 MB hard disk space,64 MB RAM, CDROM drive, PostScript printer. Recommended PC system requirements: Pentium, Windows95/NT,60 MB hard disk space,64 MB RAM, CD-ROM drive, PostScript printer Retail price: $630 (FreeHand). $230 (FreeHand upgrade), $770 (Design in Motion Suite), $470 (Design in Motion Suite upgrade)

Since1988,Macromedia and Adobe have

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that Macromedia has

made to the product since its first release tjntciue features Macromedia's Design In Motion Suite is actually three separate software components in one package. The products are designed to work in tandem and integrate the disparate mediums of print and Web publishing. FreeHand 8 is the primary component of the suite, and is the most significant upgrade that Macromedia has made to the product since its first release. With input from graphic design professionals the company has put its emphasis on adding Web functionality, making workflow more natural and efficient, and implementing some advanced features that aren't available in its competitor's products.

Foremost among FreeHand's new and unique features is support for lens fill effects such as true vector-based transparency. Transparency effects were previously only

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

Ni A C A R E N A 4

to some marvelous software engineering feats at Macromedia creating, editing and printing true postscript transparency effects is now an effortl esstask.

In another attempt to recreate pixel-based effects in vector-based

drawing FreeHand has j. 'C

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ity to overlay any vector shape on top of other objects and create a magnification effect from Zx up to 20x. This feature alone is extremely useful to graphic artists that specialize in car-

tography or creating infographics for print, video or the Web. In another attempt to recreate pixel-based effects in vector-based drawing, FreeHand has introduced a feature called a Graphic Hose, which bears a striking similarity in implementation to the Image Hose in MetaCreation's pixelbased software package called Painter. Any object that is part of your documents, or stored in a FreeHand library, can be digitally "sprayed" onto your page using palette variables such as ordering, spacing, scale and rotation. The variables can also be interactively changed using keyboard controls while the hose action is tak-

ing place. For example, you can narrow and

widen the spacing of the sprayed objects using the left and right arrow keys. Graphic Hose is one of many effects grouped under Xtra tools — the FreeHand equivalent of A d obe I l lustrator's filters. Macromedia's package provides other unusual effects such as a mirror for creating symmetrical effects and a 3D effect Xtra that makes 2D

objects appear rotated. Enhanced productivity But FreeHand 8 isn't limited to esoteric effects in this upgrade. Macromedia has made a huge effort to streamline the professional graphic artist's workf low by concentrating on features that speed workf low and enhance the creative

process. For starters, Maeromedia claims to have improved performance by an average of 25 percent over the previous version. As a comparison test with Adobe Illustrator 7.01, I opened a file containing over 5,000 objects with complex blends. I used a 300 MHz G3 Power Mac and assigned a 64 MB partition to each package. FreeHand opened the file in only 8 seconds, which was more than twice as fast as Illustrator. However, previewing the same file from a keyline view took 13 seconds in Illustrator, which was almost twice as fast as FreeHand. To save the same file to disk took only 23 seconds in FreeHand, which was over a whopping four times faster than Illustrator. I also noticed that this test file was almost half the size in FreeHand (12 MB) than it was in Illustrator (20 MB). Improving user visual feedback also enhances learning and productivity. To this end FreeHand has introduced the concept of "smart cursors" into version 8. This is a con-

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

cept that has been in CAD packages for years and is long overdue for illustration software. Let's say you draw a path using the free form tool and later want to reshape it. Placing the cursor directly on the path in FreeHand puts a squiggle shape beside the cursor to indicate that the path can be pulled out. If the cursor is placed just outside the path a small circle appears beside the cursor to indicate that the path can be pushed inward to reshape it, As with the Graphic Hose, you can use interactive keyboard modifiers to change the radius of the path portion you are reshaping. Interactive transformations are another feature that save you the hassle of having to open dialog boxes when you don't require numeric precision. Double-clicking on any FreeHand object reveals a special set of handles on it. Placing the cursor on or near any of these handles will change its shape to reveal an appropriate transformation mechanism such as a move, scale or rotate operation. Simply holding the mouse button down while dragging it in the desired direction will start the transformation process. Those graphic artists who like to personalize their work environment will appreciate FreeHand's comprehensive ability to customize the user interface. Similar to packages such as Microsoft Office and ClarisWorks (now known as AppleWorks), FreeHand contains toolbar sets that can be edited, changed between horizontal and vertical orientations„or switched on and off. Toolbars can also be transformed from static screen positioning to a floating palette. Also, every FreeHand command can now be assigned its own keyboard shortcut. In addition to the Macintosh/Windows cross-platform compatibility, Macromedia offers superb integration with other graphics packages. The Export command offers almost two dozen unique formats that not only let you exchange files with illustrator, CorelDraw and Photoshop; but also let you save to many other formats, including JPEG, GIF, Flash and PNG Web standards. Recent version 8.1 upgrade enhancements included improved Photoshop 5 compatibility and enhanced Flash support.

Flash technology include Disney's Daily Blast, a site for Fox TV's The Sinipsons, and, of course, Macromedia. FreeHand 8 contains a "release to layers" plug-in that simulates the effect of "onionskinning" so you can easily create animations. The Flash player included with the suite a)lows you to play back and export these animations. The bottom line The Design In Motion suite tools work in concert to aid the professional print designer in re-

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Web graphics today what PostScript did for print publishing starting in the 1980s. It

released the plug-ins into the public domain. You candownload them at the company Web site for free. Some more notable sites that use

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P remiu m % e b R Ex t r a n e t D e s j g n

Most graphic designers used to working with the print medium are now also designing for the Web, FreeHand 8 was designed from the ground up to address this workflow issue. Macromedia offers the designer a complete package of integrated tools known as the Design In Motion Suite. The suite includes FreeHand 8, Insta.HTML and Flash. Insta.HTML is provided as a utility to facilitate the conversion of FreeHand files into WYSIWYG HTML code. The latest version supports Dynamic HTML (dHTML) with absolute positioning and Cascading Style Sheets. As any digital graphic artist knows it can be a real pain to make scaling changes to pixel-based JPEG and GIF images on a Web page. As a result, Macromedia decided to implement a PostScript-to-HTML parser standard calledFlash. In essence, Flash does for

nology a Web standard, Macromedia has

complementary weapon in their graphic software arsenal. Be prepared, however, to invest in the latest and greatest hardware if you want to heavily utilize the new exotic features FreeHand offers. In the meantime it's good to see vigorous competition continuing to drive innovation in this software category. 0

I

Web tools

enables the designer to use compact, scalable, resolution-independent and anti-aliased vector graphics on a Web page. Of course, the only catch to all of this is that you have to use a Flash plug-in with your Web browser. In an effort to make this tech-

purposing content for the Web. Macromedia has taken the lead in this arena, and Adobeas evidenced by its recent release of Illustrator 8 — is trying to stay hot on its heels. This suite contains enough compelling features to make designers consider it as their premier illustration package. This is especially true if they spend a lot of time doing cartography, infographics and Web design — applications that are ideally suited to the new lens and transparency features. Die-hard Illustrator fans may also be lured into considering it a

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DECEMBER 'l99B THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

O N LINE

e at es' e By Keith Schenglll-Roberts eatle-mania has been around for a very long time, and well before the advent of the Web there were plenty of fanzines, tributes and even stores devoted solely to celebrating this famous hand from Liverpool. This has trans-

lated into a plethora of sites on the Web. The following is only a small selection of the many Web sites devoted to these lads from

s i t es

finding the better Beatle-oriented Web sites out there. AII of the sites listed in this

article (and many, many more) can be found there,

Merseyside:

http J/beatles.miningco.corn

1. Mining Co. Guide to Beatles fans: Robert Fontenot's site is a great shortcut to

This URL is for the U.S. mirror site for Gernhardt's site — a true labor of love that is arguably the most comprehensive source on Fab Four bootlegged recordings to be found anywhere. httpi/rgo.simplenet.corn/beatles/

2. Harald bernhardt's Beatles Pages: 3. The Beatlemania Shoppe: If you are looking for official Beatles' stuff, you' re most likely to find it at the Web site for this store located in Toronto. http: //www.beatlemaniashoppe.corn 4. Beatles Chords/Tabs:If you are learning how to play your favorite Beatles song, chances are you will find the chords/tabs for it listed on this page. httpy/www.mindspring.corn/-stewaris/chord.htm

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"Baggism," which forces the user to be an active participant rather than be a passive observer. All the latest news, complete more about "the smart one." http: //www.bagism.corn/

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86N tIYHN9 H9N8N9NE


THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

BOOKS

ui e or new The Plccgged in Parent is a brief guide that helps give parents an action plan to make the hough computers and the Internet are most of their home PC. A few years ago author great tools for education, they can also Steve Bennett co-wrote the bestseller 365 TVbe great time-wasters. There are educa- Free Activities You Can Do with Your Child. You tional programs and there are mindless blast- might think computers would be anathema to 'em-up games. Similarly, there are Web sites someone who frowns on television, but here that are truly useful and those that offer little Bennett argues that with parental guidance, substance. That is not to say all software pro- PCs can become effective learning tools. Bennett points out, however, that a comgrams or Web sites need to be useful to justify their existence, but some of your computer puter is not necessarily better than a television time should be spent taking advantage of the simply because it is more interactive. For chiltruly extraordinary resources that lie at your dren to get the most out of the family computfingertips. er, parents must be willing to do some research and guide the child in computer usage. The book begins with an anecdote about The Plugged in Parent: the author asking parents assembled at a con-

W HAT Y O U S H O U L D K NOW A a O U T K K D S A ND C O M P U T E R S

w i r e a m ii es thought it would be a form of entertainment O t her ideas for connecting activities presented and an alternative to TV. include: making digital road trips with your

By Keith Schengili-Roberts

What You Should Know About Kids and Computers

I

Bennett provides some good general point- kids by constructing a Web page based on a ers on what to look for in a new computer and family expedition, guiding your child in .the how to choose software. He advises that par- creation of simple games, or creating and sharents and children should not get too involved i n g art they made with friends.All activities with computers and cyberspace experiences. require active parent involvement. Buying a fish-tank and filling it with real fish, Pare n ts with some computing experience he says, provides important lessons that a vir- w i l l find some of the topics redundant. For a tual fish-tank program can never do. family in which both parents and children are Easily the best section of the book is the n e w to computers, The Pfcrgged in Parentwill section called "Connecting With Your Kids at ge t t hem started in th e r ight d irection. the Keyboard." lt outlines activities such as O verall, the advice is sound and the activities having a child find and report at least one a r e good, but this book falls short when it interesting fact found while surfing the Web. c omes to any real depth. 0 8i

NCj.'K)ICkS.,(S a fi'Ve-day<meek ne'iy'81etfer-:,fOrkjdS:aged-S(X and up;,WorItten by:Spike&e,' ference what they expect from a computer for „",rNB — their children. Many parents hoped for an ~WrrOirdet~g, it:-ref/<eWs.fun,alp)'S Web~;::tel(P„' etg...jrfC(SSendr-:.(rfii ' j , :: QP)(eOi-g orik;-.,~ 4';a educational advantage, others saw it as a way acvf tfieir':.-' 8)tesTTtI;:Sbsc to teach children crucial job skills, still others .;-:Email; joins(dd-'kicks

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e r out ines i it a r o e r ri

By Neith Scheng ill-Roberts ith the online world becoming more and more a part of daily life, and many forms of media becoming digital in one way or another, content is becoming increasingly important. Known in legal terms as "intellectual property," this content is increasingly becoming hot property, and is driving many major corporate acquisitions. But what is intellectual property? How ran you protect the intellectual property rights you have? Can you profit from it?

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Digital Property is filled with many memorable anecdotes that illuminate the subject matter. Questions about digital property rights probably arose after publication of author Lesley Ellen Harris's first book, Ca»adia» Copyright Law, which was a rather dry read. While it does deal with how large corpora-

tions can benefit from intellectual property, it also focuses on how those who create content can benefit from and protect their own digital property. It outlines the rights of content creators, how these vary in different countries, where to sell work, the types of contracts to expect, and how to retain control over work.

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Whether or not you run a business, or are a researcher, writer, educator, publisher or new media entrepreneur, this is the book for you. As the long-promised goal of convergence seems to finally be within sight, intellectual property will truly become the "currency" of the next century. CI

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Different positions: using Cascading Style Sheet positioning Part 1 By Keith Schengili-Roberts

Web page with simple scripting elements, you can get them to move and disappear as well.

ne of the longest standing concerns about Web page design has to do with where something is positioned on a W eb page. How many timeshave you been in a situation where you have wanted to add some image or text to a specific point on a Web page, and found this seemingly simple task trying your patience? Over time Web designers have tried such tricks as transparent images and indented unordered list tags in order to get something exactly where they wanted it to be. A solution to this problem may finally be at hand with Cascading Style Sheet positioning (CSS-P). CSS-P was initially devised as an extension to the existing Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) specification devised by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and has more recently been adopted within the successor CSS2specification. All of the acronyms aside, CSS-P may be the solution Web page designers have long been waiting for. What's more, because you can place something exactly where it should appear on a

="fred.gif" STYLE="position:absolute; <IMG SRC left:250; top:100">

look whereyou are positioned You can position elements in CSS using the position element. The position element has three modifiers: absolute, relative, and static. All of these modifiers can use the standard measurement values associated with typical CSS elements: centimeters (cm), inches (in),

This means that the top-left corner of the image fred.gif is positioned 250 pixels to the right and 100 pixels down from the top of the browser window. With the relative modifier you can specify millimeters (mm), picas (pc), pixels (px), and where you want an onscreen element in relapoints (pt). Because of the specific nature of tion to a previously specified absolute referthe positioning element with reference to a ence. If I want to place some text adjacent to computer screen, the default measurement the previously specified image, I could use the value is pixels. following code: The absolute modifier is the easiest to understand and is typically used the most. <8 STYLE ="position:relative; left:110; top:20">Check When you use position absolute, your ele- out the imageaboveand to the left!</8> ment is positioned absolutely with reference to the top-left corner of the computer screen. This sentence is positioned 110 pixels to the In other words, the top-left of your browser left and 20 pixels down from the lower-right window represents the coordinates 0,0, and comer of the image. The image (or any other you position your element with reference to onscreen element for that matter) is though of that value, If you want to position an image to as beingin a box. The sentence box isposiappear 25 pixels over and 100 down, you tioned away from the bottom-right corner of the previously positioned item. In essence, the relatively placed sentence considers the bottomright of the image as its 0,0 co-ordinate, and positions itself relative to those co-ordinates. These two examples might imply that you always have to position items to the left and down from any previous element on the Web page. While you can't use right or bottom to position an element, you can use negative values. If you want to position a caption underneath the image, you could use this code instead of the previous example:

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tioned image file) off of the browser screen. The static modifier is the default value for the position element, and it essentially goes back to the no)mal flow of where things would normally appear on a page. There are only rare occasions when it is used as it cannot be modified, and the following two lines of code work in an identical manner: <I STYLE="position:static">Back to the normal flow! </I> <l>Back to the normal flow! </I>

If you insert this line of code and view it in Netscape Navigator 4.x, it will appear to the immediate left of the image, and not as you might think, to the left of the previous sentence that was relatively positioned underneath the image. The nice thing about the position attribute is that it has been adopted for use since the 4.0 versions of b ot h I n t ernet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. The only real drawback is that not everyone is using the most recent versions of these browsers. Since positioning can be a crucial structural part of a Web page, at the moment it is recommended that you go easy on using the position element. The fact that you can make things disappear by using negative positioning means that it should be possible to make things suddenly appear by changing the value of the positioning element to correspond to an onscreen position. The only problem with this is that Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer use different JavaScript handles; this means that you have to program a JavaScript program <B STYLE="position:relative; left:-110; top:20">Check knowing that users will be using a specific out the imageabove!</B> browser. In most cases, this is not an option, so what do you do? It is possible to use negative values with Simple. Detect which browser is being used, the absolute modifier, to position elements so then point to the proper code sequence suitthey only partially appear or are completely able to that browser to animate a previously off of the screen (until you call for them, hidden element. But that's for next time.... 0 which comes later). It is worth noting that the relative modifi- Keith Schengili-Roberts welcomes your comments, er is not supported in Internet Explorer 4.0 or suggestions, or HTML tips. Email Keith at: the 5.0 Preview. Instead, it treats relative as if robert skŠwave.home.corn.Look forhisnew book on it were absolute. If you try the last example HTML,TheAdvanced HTML Companion2nd Edition, line of code in Internet Explorer, you can co-authored with Kim Silk-Copeiand, now in bookexpect to see most of the text (or all of it stores. Previous articles in this series are atThe depending on the size of the absolutely posi- ComputerPaper Website at: http: //www.tcp.ca/.

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future. AutoCorrect is a real time saver if you often misspell a word or your fingers consistently hit the same wrong keys. If you make a mistake and enter a word as an AutoCorrect entry and later decide you want to change it, select Tools, AutoCorrect, then the AutoCorrect tab. On the left of the two-column list are the "misspellings" and on the right the replacement words. Locate and highlight the entry you want to remove and press the Delete button. You can also reverse an AutoText entry when Word makes the correction by pressing Alt + Backspace immediately after the change has been made. This reverses the individual entry, which is useful when you only want to disabie an AutoText entry occasionally. Smarter AutoCorrect You can also use AutoCorrect to expand your shorthand. For example, if you often type the words Microsoft Office 97, you could make an AutoCorrect entry so that whenever you type "mo," for example, the letters are replaced automatically by the words "Microsoft Office 97." To do this, select Tools, Autocorrect, then the AutoCorrect tab. In the Replace box type

"mo" and in the With box type "Microsoft Office 97," select the Add button and select

Close, Test this entry by typing "mo" and pressing the Space Bar, comma, period or Enter key. There are numerous uses for this function

of AutoCorrect — your company name, your name, your boss's name, or other phrases or text that you type often. There is one proviso, however — make sure the shorthand text you' re "correcting" is not a word in its own right. For


THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

TRAINING

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example, never use "me" as shorthand for Microsoft Excel.

Quick lines Word's AutoCorrect function can also do something that has previously been difficult to do in this program: create a line across the full width of a page. Before you try this, check that your Word 97 settings are correct by selecting Tools, AutoCorrect, the AutoFormat As You Type tab, make sure the Borders check box is selected, then click OK. Now, if you type any of these keystrokes at the beginning of a new line, Word will create a line the full width of the page.

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And if you don't want the line you have made, press Alt + Backspace!

Smart quotesand numbers AutoFormat also turns straight quote marks (n) into smart or curly quotes marks ("). These curly quotes should be used in most writing as they give your work a more professional look. To turn this feature on or off select T ools, AutoCorrect, t h e n c h o ose t h e AutoFormat As You Type tab and select or deselect the "Straight quotes with smart quotes" check box. Most of the time you' ll want smart quotes turned on, but sometimes (for example if you' re preparing text for a desktop publishing program) you' ll want to turn smart quotes off. Like any AutoCorrect function you can easily reverse a single change by pressing Alt + Backspace. AutoCorrect will also automatically num-

ber paragraphs for you. Type a number, press Tab and type your text and Word converts the text into a numbered list. You can add other symbols to your numbers by typing a period, a hyphen, a closing parenthesis or a greater than symbol (>) after your number, then press the Spacebar or Tab key and type in the text. To stop the numbering simply press Enter twice. There is a similar option to automatically create bullets for each paragraph. To try this type an asterisk, one or two hyphens, a

greater than symbol (>) or an arrow (made up of an equal sign or a hyphen followed by a greater than symbol: => or ->), follow this with a space or a tab and your text. Word creates an automatic buiieted list and, in most cases, replaces the characters with proper arrows or bullets characters. Like the automatic numbered list, press Enter twice to end the bulleted list. If you want to type a number or a bullet character but you don't want to create a list, wait until Word makes the change then press Alt+ Backspace to undo it. You can turn these

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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

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and type "(tm)" for the trademark symbol (Tu). YOu Can See a liSt Of the replaCement

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options if you select Help, Contents and

You can use this process to add symbols from the Wingdings font or any other symbol select Display. From the Topics Found dialog set. To see what is available, select Insert, select "Create arrows, faces, and other sym- Symbol, select the Symbol tab and browse the dialog until you find Index, and look up "symbols, creating" and

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example type "(c)" for a copyright symbol (©) Add button and select OK. Now, every time

t he symbol y o u

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THE COMPUTERPAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca DECEMBER 1998

AutoText name and press F3. the abbreviation to use and click OK. The text To remove an AutoText entry, select Tools, won't appear in the preview box until it is AutoCorrect, select the AutoText tab, select inserted into the QuickWords list. Images are the entry to remove from the scrollable list more difficult to add because you must select degree symbol (') is "degree," plus F3, etc. To and select Delete and then OK. the image's code rather than the image itself, Deciding be t ween Aut o Text o r To add an image as a QuickWord, insert the create the degree AutoText entry, place the degree symbol in your document by holding AutoCorrect is at times a matter of personal image into a document, select View, Reveal and locate and select the code for the down the Alt key as you type 0176 on the preference. If you use a sensible way of nam- Codes, numeric keypad. Select the symbol and select ing your entries, you can use AutoCorrect for image (using Shift and the arrow keys). Select Insert, AutoText and select New. In the Create most simple replacements. The naming con- Tools, QuickWords, type the abbreviation and AutoText dialog, type the word "degree" and vention WordPerfect uses, in which a name is click OK. Choose your abbreviations carefulclick OK. When testing it, you' ll notice the prefixed with a bark slash (i,e. Scent for the ly — following WordPerfect's example and prenation for a degree symbol ('), consider using AutoText, which can be more intuitive. You may find it easier to remember that to get a cent symbol you type "cent," plus F3, or a

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ing and deselecting the smart quotes option. The equivalent to Word's AutoText option is Word Pro's Glossary. To add text or an image to'a glossary, first add it to a document, select

it and select Edit, then Glossary, If you haven' t used the glossary option before you will be prompted to create one, so select Yes. Type a name for your glossary entry and select Create. To use a glossary entry, type the glos-

sary entry name and select Ctrl + K to replace it with the glossary entry.

To remove a glossary entry you must edit the word "degree" isn't replaceduntil you press cent symbol c) makes sense as it allows you to fixing each abbreviation with the back slash glossary file by selecting File, Open, locate the "IotuAwordproh" directory, select glossary.gls use descriptive names that are easier to character is a good approach to take. the F3 key. If you forget an AutoText entry, select Insert, AutoText and browse the list to see what entries are available. You can use AutoText for short or long pieces of text, symbols or field codes. You can also add images, such as your company logo or an image of your signature, to your document using AutoText. To set up an AutoText entry for your signature, first insert your signature into an open document and select it. Select Insert, AutoText, New and type a Name for your entry, and select OK. To add your signature to your document type the

To control options such as bulleted lists

remember.

WordPerfect 8 WordPerfect's options fo r a u tomatically inserting text and images and fixing typos can b e accessed by s e lecting Tools, t h en QuickCorrect. The dialog box rontains tabs for QuickCorrect and QuickWords, which t ogether a r e eq u i valent to Wor d ' s AutoCorrect. To add text to QuickWords, type the text and select it, select Tools, QuickWords, type

Lolltech enhances QeeichCam Continued frowpage 13l

motion and still images at up to 640x480 resolution, and 30-bit color depth. The standard lens can be manually focused to capture Rounding out the software is a bundle of images at a range of six inches, and telephoprograms f o r net w o rking (M i c rosoft to and wide-angle lenses are available as an NetMeeting for PCs, or Boxtop iVisit and option. White Pine's CUSeeMe for Macintosh), Web

select the Format-As-You-Go tab — selecting the SmartQuote tab instead takes you to the smart quotes options.

or edited, then save and close the file. 0

Ictus Word Pro 97 Word Pro's SmartCorrect option is the equivalent of Word's AutoCorrect. To add or remove SmartCorrect entries select Edit, SmartCorrect and select either Add Entry or Delete Entry. This dialog includes the check box for select-

some simplemacros.

support, but until its release, NT users will have to be content with the parallel version. Users of Windows 95 who have a version that doesn't support USB (but who have the ports on the back of the computer) should consider

upgrading to a newer version of Windows 95.

Users planning to use the camera as a Web cern should check with their ISP first, for two Use of the USB version rerluires a USB-com- reasons: patible operating system. In other words, 1. A Webcam can generate a lot of traffic. machines with Windows NT or an older verTake a 20KB file and update it every 60 secsion of Windows 95 will not support the USB onds, and you' re generating 1 MB of traffic every hour just getting the images to QuickCam Pro, Windows NT 5 will have USB

pubgshing (Ixla WebEasy Lite), editing (Adobe Buying and easing tips PhotoDeluxe), cataloguing (Digital Arts and

Science's ImageAXS), and video email (RealNetworks' RealPlayer). Also included is a special QuickCam Desktop Theme. The QuickCam Pro can capture both

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THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATERTORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

DECEMBER 1998

G I L Ink-Jet Refill........„......................141 NOTES OOKS Bestw are.............„.....,...,..........,.......,.........131 Good AsNewComputers ....,.....„.....,.90 Eurocom........................ HI Y ComputerCorp....,....,.......,....„..137 Notebook City„.......... SOOKS Help Software.................,.....„.................101 Addison-WesleyPublishers„,.............148 Hits 163 ONLINE .....,...........,........„ CanadianComputer Handbook..138, 142 Houston,..............,....,................,.................81 3Com CanadianComputer Handbook..147,150 Hybrid „,...,............,......................................27 9Net Avenue........,...,.. AEI Internet...,.....,..„.... Chapters...,...,...,......... IBC ComputerDistribution........,.........68 Chaptersglobe.corn.... IC Technology...,.............................,........123 Comnet Communications.....„,...„....„146 ..........139 Cybernet.„...„.„..„.... CompubooksCanada ICCTComputers.......„.„...........,...„..„,...122 ...........46 Computer &BookCentre....„.............148 Infonec ComputerSystems...,..„.„...,..42 Elosoft......,.„.....„„.„, ...........87 McClelland 8Stewart .......„..........,..„....12 IPC ........,.................,.....,................,54,55,133 Globenet...,...,....„,.... ...,.....„,33 Micro ComputerHardware Dir............!48 IPC SmallBusiness.....„,....,..........,...,.....167 GVCCanada.„....„... ,....,.„.,66 149 iStar ....,...,..„,...........,....,....„................,...„...65 Infinity Online........ Microsoft Press Interlog Internet...............,...16,19, 52, 98 U of T bookstore.....,... Jasc..„.....,...........,......,...,...,...,...,....,............50 Internet Direct,......„.„....................„.........15 CD-ROM Just Checking..................,............,............47 Internet Direct SmartLan........,......,....„83 Computer Ultra............,...„,........,...........123 K-Matic GlobalTrading..........,.............124 Internet Gateway...,....„,.........,...............135 Danforth VideoProductions..............161 Lexmark,......,....................,.....,..............23,41 Misa ComputerSolutions Inc...,.......120 ...,......„......,......31 Double Click ................,....,...„„.............160 Logic Computer House MTW SolutionsOnline...,......,...............61 MultimediaRelication Canada.........160 Marketron...........,.............,.....„.................137 Myna Communications.....,............,......,74 PinnacleComputers ........160 MDG ......,......,...,...............,...,.24,26,62,63 ...........96 NetAxis ....................,.„...,.„„...,...,............,144 ,.......161 Medex...,........„,................ PunchMedia.............. 25 Micro Video............,....... ,.........161 Netcom Canada...„..................„..„„„.11, CLOTHING ....,...,..99 Networx..„................„„..„.........................142 Micro-Star ......,...,.........,. .....,...112 Inte rnetSurfwear..... Online.„„,....,............„,............145 Microtek...........,.............,. ......,...129 Passport DIGITA LPHOTOGRAPHY MIT ComputerSupplies...,..................64 PathwayCommunications....................45 Plane teerInternet....„„„„.....,.......,..........73 Fuji Photo Film....,......., Mitsubishi .............,.....,..............„..„.....,.....43 Price Inquire ........„......,.....„.„..„...,.......128 Henry's .....,...,.....,.....„..., ...,.........132 Monitor Depot...............,....,..................,.95 QualikomCanada........,.................,....„.140 ..............35 MPT Computers„.......... Kodak.......,.„........,........... RelayMail ...,..„....„...,.„....,..„.....,....,........,.141 Multimedia Effects..... EVEN TS ShawC BHome,........,......„....„.....,.......,......136 NEC Packard Bel l .....,..„ ComputerFest98........ ....,..„...102 Tamco Technologies.......................,.....139 ...,.120 Notebook Broker .....„... GAMES Nutech Digital........,..„... .....129 The Connection ......................................48 Gamerama...................... .„...,.....„86 OTA ComputerCentre ......58 TrainSoft .................,.......,.........„,.„,...„,.„142 HARDW AREtt SOFTWARE OZ TechComputers 105 Vasnet Communications.................,...144 166 VastcomNetworking.........,.......„.....„...96 123Computer .„...,...,....,.....,.....,...,...130 PC MagicComputer Inc B+...................,.......„..„,......................139 3P Computer 8Network CanadaLt.140 PC Outlet...,.......,......„....... .161 WE+ ...,.....94 PC Village,..............,........... .115 WorldWide OnlineCorp.........„.......,.,137 AardvarkInteractive.... ...,.....92 PC World...,...,..............,...., .125 Yes ICCommunications.......,....,...,...32,91 Aaronic Technology .... .......107 Perfec .133 P AYRO LL ABCComputer................ tSystem Inc...,..... .......108 Prima Computer Inc....... .114 F yp y---------- ---------- ----»9 ACCMaxsystem .......,.... 150 Paymate/AKMicrosystems.................130 ACMComputer SystemLtd..........,.....116 Pulstek 138 R Addtronic..............,....,........,...........„...,...,.40PV Computers,.... 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DECEMBER 1998 THE COMPUTER PAPER GREATER TORONTO EDITION www.tcp.ca

e as, es corn u er f you' ve already browsed through the Holiday Gift Guide in this issue, you may have concluded that we at The Computer Paper are hopeless technological optimists, blissfully unaware of any aspect of computing that is less than delightful. In fact, we do believe personal computing and that shiny new World Wide Web are,on balance, much more of a good thing than a bad thing. That' s why we like to work here.

t

THE .: LAST BYTE

250 million parts of our vaunted global technological infrastructure are likely to fail all at once, in the middle of winter. The Canadian share of that crash could be two to four million failing devices. If the breakdowns are limited to Tamagotchi cyberpets and StairMasters exercise equipment, we' ll get by without too much pain. If the dead systems include nuclear power plants, natural gas networks, office buildings and communications satellites, we could be in for a disaster of very large proportions.

It's too late? The date recommended by many experts for having Y2K readiness programs in place is Jan. 1, 1999. That allows for a year of tweaking and JEFF EVANS perfecting to make systems that are Y2K ready in theory, ready in reality. The information technology (IT) departHowever, we are also aware of the limits of technology, and the dangers of regarding a ments of the Canadian federal government, tool for learning — as computers can be — as a the big substitute for wisdom. This may be the last national winter for some time in which we can all relax and enjoy the lavish gifts high technology has :-

.

haven't even begun to plan how do deal with it. We' re already out of time, like the blood fiasco, times 1,000 To find an analogy to what's about to happen, we have to look to other times in history when institutions were overwhelmed by something completely unexpected, and outside of their previous experience. In recent Canadian history, the Red Cross tainted blood scandal is an instructive example. The Canadian Red Cross, a benevolent but stodgy and slow moving institution, was blindsided by the sudden appearance of deadiy, initially u ndetectable viruses in t h e blood donor population. It's much the same with YZK. Power utilities, for exam-

ple, are generally moving quickly to fi x

t h eir computerized

Next year's holiday season will have a giant, increas-

ingly scary shadow hang-

include some suppliers of Y2K-unready technology, he has little interest, or time, to devote to owning everyone else's Millennium

problems.

- =-illI-

It's my party and I' ll cry lf I wartt to

ing over it. At the risk of being a Grinch, I want to

share some bad news with you, to think about b efore the start of t h e

'

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So here's the deal. In the tainted blood scandal, there was one other big group that declined to get involved in a timely way. That group was

us. John and Jane Q. Public. It was left to the victims of the tainted blood, their poor families, and their hungry lawyers, to try to get the Red Cross and various governments to make amends after it was too late. This time, with the Y2K problem, we' ve all

-

new year. Pride Uoeth before... the INlllennlum BuoV The personal computer industry has

consumed in the year had plenty of warning. If I am being unduly 2000. However, if you ask your alarmist about this, I' ll abjectly apologize for provincial governmen, or power playing Chicken Little, in the February 2000

never been as vibrant, vigorous or seductive

as it is now. Those of use who"ve been around PCs for a while are stunned by the incredible power of the under-$1,500 home PC system. The offerings of the PC industry this holiday season are unprecedented in their richness, relative ease of use and low cost, Yet, looming over this marvelous picture is a future with a real, yet unknown danger. Since my last piece on the Year 2000 (YZK) problem — the so-called Millennium bug — I' ve become a good deal more convinced that it could put a big chill on next year's holiday season. It seems in the last couple of months that the more digging I do, the scarier the pic-

ture that emerges. While the mainstream computer business has potentially big problems related to the

amazed at the number of people from all walks of life who look briefly concerned, and then say something to the effect of, "Well, Bill Gates is working on something to fix the Year 2000 bug, isn't he?" So, when the chairman of Microsoft was in Toronto for some meetings in October, I asked him if he was involved, or interested in getting involved, in any joint government/industry alliance to tackle the Y2K problem in embedded systems. Gates looked at me for a moment and then, a bit wearily, stated his position. He and Microsoft are very concerned about the Y2K problem as it directly affects the Microsoft products used by Microsoft customers. Microsoft is working very hard to identify and deal with Y2K problems in time to beat the upcoming deadline. Gates is not about to march into other companies and tell them how to deal with their YZK issues. In short, given the fact that Gates is being vigorously prosecuted by the

billing systems, so customers U.S. Justice Department and many state govcan still be charged for power ernment, and harassed by competitors who

brought to so many of us. This may be the last, best holiday season of this millennium.

ri s m a s>

banksand most ma jorcorporationsaregener- utility for a list of embedded devices in the ally well along in their Y2K preparations for PC and mainframe computing systems. The provincial and municipal governments,mos t medium-sized businesses and some small

power grid, the number that are not YZK ready, and when they will be replaced, here are the answers you' ll get: • Everything is under control. businessesare gearing up their efforts and may • We' ll get back to you. be mostly ready in time. • We don't know. However, in wide-ranging conversations • Wh at YZK problem? since July, none of the "experts" I' ve talked to In general, in fundamental power,gas and in these organizations want anything to do telecom networks„Y2K preparations are either with the embedded systems problem. I'm sure in their early stages, or have not even been there are some people out there who are work- started. ing on it, but the embedded systems problem is at least IO times as big as the "standard" It ain't me, babe Y2K problem with desktop PCs and main- When I start whining about Y2K to coworkers, frame systems, and most o rganizations relatives and passersby in the street, I was

edition of this column — if there is a column published in January 2000, that is. In the meantime, I pian to erijoy this holi-

day season with my family, and look forward to playing with all the computer toys I' ve had to review for this issue. I expect that in 1999 I'm going to be as big a nuisance as I can on the YZK topic, until I see some reason not to be. I urge you all to do the same: phone, fax, email and harangue your local member of parliament, your provincial premier and the prime minister until you start getting some answers that make sense, As Tiny Tim said in the Dickens classic A Chnstmas Carol, "God bless us, each and every one." We' ll need all the help we can get. 0

Y2K bug, it seems they are manageable. The much bigger problem is all of the other parts

of our modem world that use inicroprocessor technology in embedded forms. Embedded systems are typically circuit boards or even individual chips, and there are billions of them buried in such things as coffee makers, cruise missiles and medical machinery all over the world.

According to recent articles quoting expert opinions in respected publications such asThe

Economist,as many as five percent of the four to five billion embedded microprocessor devices may fail at midnight on New Year' s

Eve 1999. If those estimates are even approximately correct, then between 120 million and

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