by Rick Smith (November 12, 2000)
The latest in digital imaging products will be demonstrated at this event before the Comdex show floor opens.
Here a list of some of the event sponsors:
Adobe Photoshop 6
Adobe Photoshop Six. The latest version of a program that some people would fight a religious war over its virtues, while others scream that their favorite program has a better this or a better that. I admit that I am one of Photoshop’s afficionados. For two simple reasons. One - it works, and works well and two - multiple NAMED undo. Without these key features, other graphics software is just a bunch of features in a box. These two features, combined with the rest of Photoshop, helps you soar to new heights, limited only by your imagination. Now those screamers are quiet - 6.0 is here!
I’ve been using 5.5 for a little over a year and its web features really impress me, read my review. What new in 6.0 you ask? A bunch. Here’s a quick taste of some of the features that I feel are most compelling:
Tighter integration - Adobe is continuing to integrate ImageReady web features directly into Photoshop. In 5.5, only Image Ready performed “web slicing” - now this can be done directly in Photoshop, which saves time and resources. File saving is also more automated when moving between ImageReady and Photoshop.
Weighted optimization - Now you can achieve higher quality in critical areas of your web graphics because you can vary the compression settings in different areas of a single image.
Better layer management - Layers can be clustered into sets for better control. Layers can also be locked against accidental image changes or movement.
Better text capability - Now text alignment can be set at the paragraph level, with word wrap, directly on the image. And all without having to use a dialog box! You can even store written notes and even audio annotations, within a Photoshop file - much better than using abbreviations buried at the end of layer names.
Additional actions support - One of the best, and to some, “hidden” feature of Photoshop is actions. They were designed to help speed up repetitive tasks and they do a great job. Now, many people have figured out fantastic ways to use them for extremely creative tasks - I’ve seen one action create random puffy clouds on a blue sky background. Now, even tool options can be set through actions and actions can also be saved as droplets. These droplets can trigger batch operations, when folders of images are dragged on top of them.
Vector graphics - Adobe followed Jasc’s lead in vector integration and now adds its vector functionality. Vector clipping paths can be applied to each layer in a photograph and resolution-independent text can be added to photos. Crisp type quality can then be maintained in both PDF and Postscript output. Vector shapes can now be drawn, independent of output resolution.
OS Support shift - Support for Windows 2000 and ME has been added, 98 and NT 4.0 remains and Windows 95 is now dropped. (8.5, 8.6 and 9.0 for Macs).
That’s a quick summary. I’ll let you know how these key features work and elaborate about them in greater detail during our upcoming product review. Other new web features are:
Easier image maps - Use rectangle, ellipse and polygon tools to create map areas and define rollover states.
Rollover styles - Effects of rollovers and their states can be saved as ImageReady styles. These styles can help you replicate this faster to other portions of your graphics to produced dynamic effects more quickly.
Slice sets - Like layer sets, slices can also be clustered into sets, for easier output
Faster buttons - With the vector tools and layer styles, buttons and bars are quicker to create.
Applied Science Fiction
Digital Dry Film Process
With a name like Applied Science Fiction, you have to create cutting edge technologies and they do. They have created a technology that can produce digital images from exposed, UNDEVELOPED film - a truly 21st Century concept.
In a process that takes about seven minutes per roll, micro-amounts of a proprietary developing agent are applied to the exposed, undeveloped film as it is being fed through their image-capture machine. This environmentally friendly digital dry film process (DDFP) requires no water, generates no hazardous waste and makes complete silver recovery from the film possible. Next, a digital record of each image is captured. Color and exposure settings are established on a pixel-by-pixel basis for the entire image. Since the output data is pure digital they can be routed to multiple destinations, including the Web, printers, file servers, hard drives or anywhere digital data can be stored. All without any plumbing!
Applied Science Fiction’s “film in, bits out” technology takes advantage of the high quality film images, produced by traditional cameras, and allows them to function more like digital cameras. Produced images can be saved in any image file format, just like digital cameras. Now consumers can more easily “go digital” without having to buy new cameras.
Unfortunately, this DDFP develops the film directly to a digital format so no film negatives are generated and if needed would have to be created by outputting the digital record to a film recorder. Since most consumers probably prefer a CD of images to an envelope of negatives, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Applied Science Fiction’s DDFP technology processes both 35mm and Advanced Photo System (APS) film formats. It is expected to be available in photo kiosks and minilabs, worldwide, in the fourth quarter of 2001.
2002 Update: After a delay, this technology is being tested in the marketplace during the summer of 2002.
ArcSoft PhotoStudio 2000
Need to do image enhancement and need to have the same program work on Macs as well as PCs? Can’t afford $609 for a copy of Photoshop 6? Or even $199 for the upgrade? Well, ArcSoft has the solution for you. For only $99, ArcSoft PhotoStudio 2000 is a full featured image software package with layers, macros, undo and special effects. (PC version is only $39.) PhotoStudio 2000 also:
permits up to 100 layers. Each one allows independent special effects or other alterations without affecting other layers.
includes a Macro feature so effects can be performed with a single click.
allows "batch" processing of images with a single click of a mouse.
provides features such as transparency backgrounds, editable text, red-eye removal and other retouching tools.
performs instant adjustment image parameters such as brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation.
includes special effects such as clone, smudge, emboss and ripple.
manages images easily. Image files can be stored and retrieved quickly and easily inside the album manager. These images can be posted or uploaded to the Web, without leaving the program or launching another application. Multimedia presentations can also be created.
Fujifilm's Jam Cam
Hi-res digicam plus MP3 player
Talk about media convergence - the FujiFilm 40i squeezes both a hi-res digital camera and an MP3 player into a palm-sized package.
If it weren't for this camera's solid features and outstanding resolution, the combination could have come across as a forced gimmick. But, the 40i works hard not to short-change either of its functions.
The camera offers hefty 2.4 megapixels of resolution (interpolated up to 4.3 megapixels!) and all the features you'd expect like manual/auto exposure modes, built-in flash, the ability to take short video clips (with audio), etc.
But, the MP3 features aren't just tacked on. The 40i includes headphones, a tethered remote for controlling MP3 playback and provides audio mixing settings to match your eardrums' tastes.
A compact implementation of a cool idea, the FujiFilm FinePix 40i is a digital camera that begs to be carried even when you aren't taking pictures.
- 2.4 Megapixels (4.3M output)
- 3x digital zoom (at lower res)
- 8MB SmartMedia(TM) card
- Stereo headphones
- Tethered remote for player/camera
- Built-in flash
- Optical and 1.8" LCD viewfinders
- Captures AVI video w/ sound
- Metallic silver or blue
- NTSC/PAL video out
- USB port for downloads
- Compact: 3.4"W x 2.8"H x 1.1"D
- Adobe ActiveShare(R) photo editing
- RealJukebox(R) digital audio
Intel Deep Forest
Concept desktop PC
What looks like a sixties lunchbox, but has phenomenal computing power? The answer is Intel’s concept prototype of a small, high performance computer system code-named “Deep Forest”. This design combines the power of the Intel Pentium 4 architecture in a space saving chassis. It features high performance graphics for Internet access and multimedia applications.
The most unusual feature of the Deep Forest is that chassis is sealed. Manufacturers can configure options using the low profile AGP4X slot and CNR card slot. End users can attach up to seven USB devices directly, without requiring a hub.
The Intel Deep Forest concept desktop PC also:
can be operated either horizontally in a desktop configuration or vertically as a micro tower. It’s the user’s choice.
has a built-in 10/100 Ethernet LAN connection
displays graphics with the low profile ATI Radeon AGP4X DVI compliant graphics adapter
manages its power consumption and can “Suspend to RAM”. It is ACPI 1.0b compliant.
was jointly developed with Hewlett-Packard
proves that high performance can be packaged in a small chassis
utilizes a front to back airflow, which helps cool the 1,500 MHz Pentium 4 processor. Fan speed is actively controlled.
features the Intel i850 chipset
is powered by an external 25V, 120W power supply
measures about 10"x 13"x 4"
Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7
The latest release of Paint Shop Pro from Jasc promises astounding new functionality.
Most significant is PSP7's support for vector shapes and layers. You can endlessly rearrange and transform these lines and geometric shapes without losing detail.
Likewise, the text tool has become more drawing-tool-like, allowing you to draw text on a path, shape the text's profile and fill text with gradients or patterns.
PSP7 boasts improved photo enhancement features like red-eye removal, scratch removal, and easier color correction using the new Adjustable Histogram tool.
With new Image Mapping, Image Slicing, and Image optimization features, Jasc has taken PSP7 in the same direction as ImageReady or Fireworks, turning it into a single-application web production tool.
Overall, PSP7's new feature show real attention to the needs of graphics designer. Even core features have gotten a facelift. The Zoom tool now offers a handy Overview window that lets you see the forest even while working on the trees. The new Style Palette expands the old color palette to include much needed direct controls for outline width/color and texture gradient/pattern, among other things.
Key New Features
- Vector shapes
- Multi-level named undo/redo
- Multiple image printing
- Overview window
- Text-on-a-path. text gradients
- Adjustment layers
- Image Mapper, Slicer
- Image Optimization, Live Preview
- Zoom Overview window
- Photo-fixing tools
- Adjustable histogram
Kodak Advantix Preview
bridges digital and film worlds
With one foot in the digital domain and the other in advanced film, the Kodak Advantix Preview camera provides an excellent blend of these two imaging technologies. One of the key advantages of “shooting” digital is the ability to immediately SEE the image you have taken and this latest Advantix camera provides this capability to film picture takers.
During the preview mode, you can decide how many reprints are desired, if any, and that information is stored magnetically on the film. During processing, the selected number of each print is automatically produced. Even if zero prints are selected, the image is still permanently stored on the film negative and can be easily reprinted.
Kodak has also eliminated another problem with film photography - changing the film speed partway through a roll of film. To solve this with film today, and without wasting film, you either have several cameras or interchangeable camera backs, each loaded with a different film, to be able to change film speed. Now, this Advantix camera lets you change film, in the MIDDLE of the roll, and reinsert it later, WITHOUT losing any images!
This camera provides a wonderful transition camera for anyone who wants to start getting “into” digital, but isn’t ready to take the full plunge. I feel this camera would be great on outdoor trips, since having a bag full of film is much simpler than dealing with image downloads in the field. When you get home, you can order Picture CDs from Kodak, so you can easily have digital images, prints and long lasting film negatives.
The Kodak Advantix Preview camera also:
is the world’s first camera to add preview to an Advanced Photo System (APS) camera
has a zoom lens and state-of-the art flash
features easy point and shoot capability
is reasonably priced at around $300.
If the two new consumer cameras Kodak is introducing this summer were roommates, the DC5000, would be the likeable, rugged outdoors type (below). Its opposite, the DC4800, would more be the the smart yet approachable type. Read about it here.
Do you ever feel guilty about taking a piece of expensive electronics out of its padded bag and into the elements? Afraid your boss and/or spouse will kill you if your technical marvel is wrecked by a raindrop or sandbagged by a sand grain?
Someone at Kodak must have felt your angst, because they just introduced the multi-megapixel camera for you.
The DC5000 is a rugged, weather-proof device that doesn't skimp on technical specs despite its thick hide. The camera includes solid features like 2X optical zoom, built-in flash with red eye reduction, removeable CompactFlash and both an LCD and optical viewfinder.
Best of all, the camera's many options and functions are accessable via oversized controls designed to be workable by large or gloved hands.
So, if you dispaired that digital cameras couldn't weather the dirt and drizzle of your typical photo opportunities, Kodak's DC5000 might be your rugged ray of hope.
- Weather-proof construction
- Oversized controls
- 2.0 megapixel (1760 x 1168)
- 2X optical zoom (30 - 60 mm)
- 3x digital zoom
- Flash: Strobe w/ red-eye reduction
- Media: CompactFlash
- Viewfinder: 1.8" LCD and optical
- PC interface: USB, serial
- Shutter speeds: 1/2s to 1/755s
- Effects: B/W, sepia, borders
- Video: NTSC/PAL
- Power: 4 AA batteries
- Dimensions: 140mm x 89mm x 83mm (WxDxH)
- Weight: 459g (1 lbs) w/out batteries
Kodak DC4800 Digital Camera
Handy Yet Powerful
If the two new consumer cameras Kodak is introducing this summer were roommates, the DC4800 below would be the smart yet approachable one. Its opposite, the DC5000, would be more the likeable, rugged outdoors type (read about it here).
If you want a smart digital camera that doesn't require much of you at first, but has hidden depths to explore, the DC4800 could be your favorite of the two.
First you'll notice the unintimidating form factor, a relatively compact camera that looks a little like those sturdy German SLRs of the 60's. Unlike those cameras, however, the DC4800 has (if you chose) all the automatic features you would expect from a modern camera.
Whether you chose more control or less, you get serious resolution (3.1 megapixels) and decent 3x zoom lens with a nice, wide-angle view when zoomed out all the way. Of course, you get both an LCD and optical viewfinder, video output, built-in flash, and your choice of picture resolutions.
Get past its friendly features, though, and what sets this new camera apart (besides its generous pixel count) are its serious photographic specs.
For instance, its light gathering ability approaches that of ISO 400 film. Another SLR-like feature is its wide shutter speed control, from 1/1000th of a second to a full 16 seconds. You can finally take that river-of-blurring-headlights-at-night cityscape you always wanted to capture.
Taking together, the DC4800's automatic conveniences and photographic range might make this a friendly digital camera whose deeper qualities you could grow to respect (and really use).
- 3.1 megapixel (2160 x 1440)
- 3X-optical zoom (28 - 84 mm)
- 2X digital zoom
- 1.8" LCD and optical viewfinder
- PC interface: USB
- Image formats: lossy JPEG or uncompressed TIFF
- Shutter speeds: 1/1000s to 16s
- Effects: saturated, neutral, black- and-white, or sepia
- ISO settings of 100, 200, and 400
- Flash: Strobe w/ red-eye reduction
- Time between shots: 2 secs per picture
- Video out: NTSC or PAL
- Burst frame rate: 2 to 5 fps
- Power: Lithium-ion battery (charges in camera)
- Dimensions: 120mm x 65mm x 69mm (WxDxH)
- Weight: 320g (11.45 oz) w/out batteries
Low cost Printer/Scanner/Copier
Lexmark has always strived to give incredible value for the money. The latest in their new line of printers, this multifunction device combines an ink-jet printer with a color scanner creating a product that can scan, print and copy. Earlier this year we reviewed a more expensive multifunction product, the Xerox XK35C along with the well balanced combination of the Umax 1220P and the Lexmark Z11.
The Z82 will find good “value” company with the Z52 released earlier this year, a 2400x1200 printer at less than $180. Intended for consumer and small business use, the Lexmark Z82 can not only print, but scan as well. It can also be used as a digital color copier without utilizing your PC! From the sample print I saw, the print quality of the Z82 is superb and looks much better than a typical drugstore “print”.
With the SmarThru 2 scanner software included, you can create your own message center that helps you to create, modify, send, receive and store e-mails and faxes. You scan a page, launch the fax manager which will then quickly send a fax through your connected PC to the remote fax machine. Even scanned attachments for E-mails can be easily created. Now you can easily send a paper document to friends of yours that have Emil, yet resist ever buying a fax machine. Now even signed documents can be sent via encrypted e-mails with the Lexmark Z82.
Photographs can be scanned using the integrated scanner, at up to 600 dots per inch (dpi) resolution, which can be enhanced to 4800 dpi resolution in 24 bit color. Images created can be stored on your connected PC or can be printed immediately using the integrated 1,200 dpi color printer and the built-in copy feature. Since the scanner is flat, thick objects such as books, multipage reports and older, worn and torn photographs that couldn’t be scanned with motorized sheet fed scanners, can now be easily digitized.
Print speed of up to 8 pages per minute (ppm) in black and 4 ppm in color.
Prints on a variety of media types, including heavy-stock stationery and transparencies.
Stand-alone, PC-free copier produces up to four copies per minute in black and up to 1.5 copies per minute in color. Up to 99 copies can be created from one original in a single session. The copied page can be enlarged or reduced in a range from 25 to 400 percent.
Accu-Feed paper handling system that virtually eliminates paper jams and mis-feeds. (I never had a single jam or double sheet feed with the Z52 earlier this year, even when I reloaded it, while the printer was still on, yet out of paper.)
Easy one-click printer driver installation
Convenient ink level indicators
USB AND parallel port connectivity
LexExpress warranty, featuring a next-business-day-exchange
Comes with supplies! When you buy it Lexmark includes a high resolution black cartridge, a high resolution color cartridge AND parallel cable. No more having run back to the store because you forgot an IEEE parallel port cable or cartridges or paying extra for them.
Microsoft Tablet PC
While only a prototype, this Tablet PC is an example of a full fledged PC, running "Whistler", Microsoft's next generation OS similar to Windows 98 or 2000 today. It has a 10 gigabyte drive, a 500+ MHz Transmeta processor, 128 Mb of RAM, USB ports, wireless networking and is capable of running full-sized Microsoft Office applications. It consists of a thin flat panel display with the entire computer sandwiched underneath. It not only reads native file formats, it can edit them as well, since it has just as much computing power as a standard tower, but in a much lighter weight package. It is NOT simply an Internet Appliance, but can function as your ONLY computer capable of performing work instead of being a satellite data terminal like most PDAs.
Bill Gates spoke about this at his Keynote Address at Comdex Fall 2000.
Minds@Work - Digital Wallet
Do you always feel one CompactFlash card short of digital camera bliss or MP3 player nirvana?
If you always wished you could carry "just one more" 16MB card, the folks at Minds@Work are here to offer you a 12 ounce, 6 gigabyte solution: the Digital Wallet.
This book-sized, battery-powered unit houses its own Motorola microprocessor and a 2.5" Toshiba hard drive which can serve as a portable, digital reservoir for something like 100 hours of digital music or 6,000 high-resolution photographs.
When your multi-megapixel camera is about to max out your 64MB CompactFlash card, imagine being able to drain all those pretty pixels into the Digital Wallet via USB cable. In a blink, you can be back shooting with a fresh "roll" of digital film.
Likewise, when used to feed your MP3 player, the Digital Wallet can extend your playlist beyond the span of a cross-campus jog to handle even a cross-country drive, without repeats.
Until solid-state media sizes get vastly larger or prices drop tremendously, Mind@Work's Digital Wallet provides a roomy, economical alternative to buying more memory cards or lugging a laptop.
- $499 (6GB version)
- 6GB storage capacity
- 2.5" Toshiba hard drive
- Motorola ColdFire microprocessor
- Connects via USB port or PCMCIA slot
- NiMH battery (200 minutes up-time)
- Weighs less than 12 ounces
- Supports: Compact FLASH, IBM Micro Drive
- Adapters for:
Sony Memory Stick
- USB port
- AC Adapter - Carry Dock - USB Cable
- Colors: Grey/black or translucent blue
Mobile Digital Photo Printer
Ok, you’ve taken some digital pictures and someone wants a print of one of your pictures. Now what? Ok, you can exchange cards or E-mail addresses and you can send them the picture, if you remember, but then they have to print the picture. There are also a number of Photo websites that will gladly print your pictures as well, but you need to upload the pictures to them. Why can’t this be simple, just like using an old Polaroid Land camera or an SX-70?
Well, Olympus has a solution - the Camedia P-200 Mobile Digital Photo Printer. This portable, battery operated printer can print a 3x4 print in only 90 seconds. In addition to printing a single picture, it can print 2, 4, 9, or 16 images per print and can even produce a 40 image index print. Not enough? Well, there’s a three-step sharpness control, the ability to crop images along with the ability to add the time and date to prints. At a party and lots of people want copies? The copy function lets you produce up to 25 prints at one time.
Weighing only 30 ounces, The Olympus P-200 can be easily carried in a camera gadget bag and the batteries last for 50 prints between recharges. $599 - available now.
The Camedia P-200 Mobile Digital Photo Printer also:
uses Dye Sublimation technology to produce continuous tone images at 320 dots per inch resolution in over two million colors (128 gradation levels per color)
employs a 4-pass printing technology, one each color (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow), plus a UV overcoat layer to seal and protect the image.
can be used for test prints at on-location shoots, real estate, travel, insurance, law enforcement and accident scenes.
is compatible with both SmartMedia and Type I or II CompactFlash cards - just put the media in the proper slot and go
is compatible with Digital Print Order Form (DPOF) technology for image scheduling and number setting, as well as DCF, JPEG and TIFF file formats.
has a 25-sheet paper cassette with a matching 25-print ribbon capacity and is $24.95 per cassette (25 sheets with ribbon).
In case you want a digital camera with a Polaroid film output, look at the Olympus C-211 digital camera.
Olympus Camedia E-10
raises the megapixel bar
Recently, at Photokina in Germany, Kodak displayed their 16 megapixel camera back for 2 1/4” photography. While that’s in the stratosphere for the most of us, what’s the most resolution you get NOW for a more reasonable price? 4 megapixels with the Olympus Camedia E-10. While its $1999 price tag isn’t going to put this digicam on everyone’s holiday shopping list, Olympus has created the world’s first 4 megapixel filmless digital SLR. Capable of producing images of 12 megabytes, this camera provides digital capabilities to the professional digital photographer and serious amateur.
This camera has a staggering array of features, the most important is that this Olympus digicam can uses both COMPACT FLASH media and SmartMedia. No longer will Olympus digicam users have to be content with only 64 megabytes of removable memory, but they can still use it if they like this thinner media. I use the Olympus 3000 3.3 megapixel camera and having the ability to use Compact Flash memory would be the most important change I would definitely make, to an otherwise near-perfect camera.
Another departure for Olympus is the use of the one-touch buttons and dials instead of layers of LCD menu commands. The Camedia E-10 has dedicated buttons to control the shooting modes, flash, white balance and media card settings. Aperture and shutter controls are also set using dials, so experienced users can set them without looking - something you can’t do with a menu choice. There are still some camera control menus, set-up choices and print menus that are displayed on the LCD screen. I know this will be great for photography professionals, although most computer professionals probably don’t mind the menu choices.
This high-resolution (114,000 pixel) TFT LCD screen, is adjustable from -20 degrees (down) to a 90 degree position (up, like a waist level viewfinder). Now you can position the camera and preview the image from a more comfortable angle and get a 100% accurate area-view of subject. No more crawling on the ground to get those dramatic shots.
To give the feel of a true SLR, Olympus has included a manual focusing ring on the lens barrel, a manual zoom ring and a traditional-style focusing screen. For those that prefer computerized picture taking, the Camedia E-10 also offers dual AutoFocus using the patented IR-active focus system for initial focus and a TTL passive focus for a finer, more accurate focus.
The E-10 camera body is all aluminum for durability and reduced weight, including the “Mirror Box” around the imaging CCD, which acts as a heat sink to dissipate heat and improve photographic quality. This all-in-one design keeps the 2/3" RGB Interlaced CCD (2240 x 1680 pixels) clean and safe from harmful environmental conditions such as dust and humidity.
The Olympus Camedia E-10 also
uses four AA batteries for power
has a 32 MB SD-RAM Buffer built in, so it can capture up to 4 pictures as fast as 3 per second in burst mode
can shoot a picture every 1.2 seconds without stopping.
has an ISO range of 80, 160 or 320. I really wish this maximum could be higher. Indoors and with sports fast action, a faster ISO is always helpful.
is infrared remote and remote cable capable
can store images in a variety of formats, qualities and resolutions. Formats include uncompressed TIFF, JPEG and a 48-bit Olympus RAW mode
has a shutter speed range from 8 seconds to 1/640 second
can display a Histogram in Playback mode on LCD. Wow, this is a feature in a $10,000+ Kodak camera and it can be handy in the field.
uses a 4X 9 mm to 36 mm zoom lens (in 35 mm terms, this is equivalent to a 35 mm to 140 mm zoom)
has a built-in Flash with several modes Low-light automatic, back-light automatic, red-eye reducing or Fill-in.
features NTSC video out for viewing photos on a television or capturing on a VCR.
weighs 37 ounces/1048 grams (without batteries). This is not a lightweight pocket cam, but the stunning resolution is worth the weight.
Sony PictureBook Climbs Aboard The Transmeta CPU Express
High Performance and Long Run Times Promised
In a significant move, Sony Corporation has announced its category creating, high performance, ultralight 2.2 pound VAIO C1 PictureBook notebook computer will be powered by the Transmeta 600 MHz Crusoe processor. This processor is built for low power consumption using 18 micron CMOS technology.
This is the first consumer product to use the long awaited Crusoe processor. This latest version of the Sony Picturebook, with state of the art Transmeta technology, should open up a wide range of new applications and opportunities in various industries. The use of this processor may signal Sony's intention of releasing of more revolutionary mobile products in the near future.
The Crusoe TM5600 processor is capable of running at speeds up to 800 MHz in the near future, while reducing power consumption over previous Transmeta and other competitive processors. This should significantly increase the battery life of the Sony C1 from the current 1 to 6 hour range to a 2 to 10+ hour range, depending on battery pack configuration and computing tasks. By using less power, users gain in several ways. Devices can be made smaller and thereby increasing their mobility since battery packs could be made smaller and large heat sinks and cooling fans can be eliminated. The devices will also run at a cooler operating temperature, since the processor won't generate as much heat.
With a base price of $2300, the new VAIO PictureBook C1VN ultra notebook features the Crusoe 600 MHz processor, with a Level 2 cache of 512KB, 128 megabytes of SDRAM and a 12 GB hard drive. During our testing of Intel powered PictureBooks, we have found the unit to be fast and extremely stable. We also find that the Picturebook series is extremely well designed, highly adaptable, easy to use and perform at high levels in both normal and demanding real world conditions. The new Crusoe processor offers the promise of extended power and cool temperatures to an already cool design. I wonder if a new operating system option is in the Picturebook's future as well.
The popular progressive scan camera is still built-in and with Transmeta's latest processor technology, I feel these units should fly off the shelves even faster.
Virtual Ink's Killer App: The Whiteboard
New add-ons: mimio boardCast and directPrint
Virtual Ink's mimio boosts meeting productivity with new products and software features for its whiteboard peripheral.
The folks behind mimio, the nifty $500 gadget that turns any whiteboard into a electronic drawing surface and teleconference device, have expanded its uses dramatically with new software and instant print capability. All these features build on Virtual Ink's philosophy of working with your existing software and hardware to leverage the value of collaboration.
Imagine being able to broadcast presentations and brainstorming sessions to dispersed clients and work groups. mimio™ boardCast™ is Virtual Ink's new $249 software add-on that allows whiteboard sessions and presentations with voiceover to be streamed, live over the Web via RealNetworks® RealSystem™ G2 to anyone equipped with RealPlayer® 7. No more talking heads obscuring blurry diagrams in video. You'll now see (and hear) the clear, unobstructed thought process in action.
Another way Virtual Ink is making their whiteboard peripheral even more useful is by adding a PC-less print feature. Connected between any mimeo-equipped whiteboard and a standard, PCL3-capable printer, the new $199 directPrint device can deliver instant color hard copy of your whiteboard sessions.
In addition, Virtual Ink has improved mimio's mouse emulation so that you can operate just about any Windows application on a virtual, whiteboard-sized screen. Similarly, they've also implemented the standard WinTab interface that turns mimio into a wall-sized graphics tablet, something very useful for large, engineering or creative design group meetings.
Both these features work best when you use a digital projector to overlay a virtual desktop onto the mimio-eqiupped whiteboard. You then use mimio to point-and-click or draw as you would with a mouse or graphics tablet, only at a larger-than-life scale. Now that's full-body computing.
Even without a digital projector, though, mimio remains a terrific tool for recording and broadcasting those whiteboard brainstorms that seem to come only when you are thinking on your feet with your colleagues egging you on. The innovative new video streaming and printing features, however, just keep adding to the mimeo's value.
- 2.5 lb. 24" capture bar
- four marker jackets (infrared and ultrasonic transmitters)
- 4" and 1" diameter eraser pads
- calculator decal (for mimio controlled voice calculator)
- works with whiteboards from 2' x 3' to 4' x 8'
- markers can be used to click, drag, and double-click
- serial interface
- export whiteboards as WMF, BMP, JPEG, or HTML
- stroke recording allows rewind, fast-forward and playback
- compact vector-based whiteboard graphics can be scaled large or small
- one touch e-mail, fax, print and HTML output
Xerox WorkCentre XK50cx
Print,Fax,Scan,Copy in Color
Need to instantly equip a SOHO office without shopping for potentially incompatible equipment? The Xerox WorkCentre XK50cx is a new all-in-one office appliance that promises to handle all your printing, scanning, copying, and faxing in color or black and white.
What's more, it can give your PC a break by handling copying/faxing by itself, when required.
- 10 ppm black, 5 ppm color
- 8x5" x 14"
- 30 sheet document feeder
- Photo quality printing
- 2400 x 1200 dpi
- Color Flatbed printer / fax / copier / scanner
- USB or parellel port
- Standalone copying/faxing
- Fax speed: @ 33.6 Kbps
- Copy speed: up to 10 copies per minute
- 600 x 600 dpi scanner
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