Welcome to Reviews OnLine: Showstoppers
by Rick Smith (November 13, 2000)


I have attended all the Showstoppers events since 1995. Here are this year's sponsors:

Acer America
AIM Technologies
Broadband Investment Group
Buffalo Technology
Caesius Software
Electronics For Imaging
Equis International
MicroVision Development
Mobility Electronics
Network Appliance
One Voice Technologies
Opera Software
Quantum Corporation
TravRoute Software
V Communications
Wireless Mountain
Zone Labs

Belkin's Optical Mouse
Banish the Ball Gunk
Belkin's new Optical Mouse keeps down the price while losing the bump and grind associated with dust-prone mechanical mice.


- $39.99
- 3 programmable buttons
- scroll-wheel (w/ auto-scrolling and zoom control)
- right or left-handed configuration
- plug-and-play USB 


Buffalo's AirStation Series
Secure Wi-Fi Access Points
The newest member of AirStation's 11Mbps Wireless LAN series is its WLAR-L11 access point with integrated router.

Like its sibling products, the new AirStation gives your WiFi (IEEE 802.11b) equipped notebook (Mac or PC) wireless access to a LAN or shared access to the Internet.

Buffalo Technologies also offers PMCIA, PCI, or ISA adapters for WiFi-enable your laptop or desktop PCs.

And, since you need to safeguard all this flying data, Buffalo's products incorporate 11-channel spread spectrum architecture with 40-bit packet encryption for increased security.


- 2.4 GHz, IEEE802.11b standard (Wi-Fi Certified)
- 11 Mbps data rate
- Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) radio transmission
- seamless automatic roaming
- 11-channel architecture
- 40-bit wireless packet encryption
- PC and Mac
- browser-based setup and configure


  WLA-L11 - access point
  WLAR-L11 - access point w/ router
  WLAR-L11-M - access point w/ 56K modem  


Caesius WebQL
The Internet is resource that contains a vast amount of information. While finding a single piece of information can be easy, tracking on-line information for competitive analyses or market research over time is considerably more difficult. Caesius Software has created WebQL, a query language that accesses one or more web sites and extracts relevant and detailed information from them.

Using the WebQL software tool, small to mid-sized businesses can explore new markets on-line by generating marketing contact lists and tracking on-line competitors. Construction of these searches can be by either IT personnel or an individual. A large development staff is no longer needed for marketing or product planning projects, but projects can still be completed on a timely basis.

To use WebQL most effectively, it helps if you have a good understanding of HTML and the regular expression (regex) syntax. If you don’t happen to possess this knowledge, Caesius has provided the WebQL Query Wizard, which guides you step by step through the process of building a query. While useful queries can be as short as three lines of code, an on-line script repository is available on-line a source for more queries. If you still have trouble, Caesius can create the script for you, on an hourly pay basis.

Caesius WebQL also:

  • displays query results in real-time which helps to insure that the query is functioning properly.

  • makes building a manual query easier by display functions and their parameters on screen, so you don’t have to memorize the WebQL syntax

  • uses and embedded Web browser that displays responses to your query.

  • logs all status and error messages

  • can be used for unlimited queries (one at a time). If multiple queries need to be run simultaneously, several WebQL engines can be licensed and run.

  • uses MySQL software during run-time for storage. This lets you resume a long query where you left off if the power or the network connection is disrupted. 


    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" 


    LapLink PCsync
    PCsync is one of LapLink's newest solutions for moving files efficiently between PCs via serial cables. But in this age of high capacity removable media and Internet file servers, why would you want to do that? The answer is quite simple - to save time.

    OK. You want to move 5 megabytes of files from your Windows 95 PC to a friend’s Windows 98 laptop. Pretty simple - well, it should be. You are simply moving data from point A to point B, but you don’t happen to have a network between your two machines. While you could use your trusty Iomega Zip drive, you then need to install the Iomega drivers on your friend's machine and uninstall them when you are done. You will also end up doubling your copying time, because you have to copy the data to the media, switch the drive and media over and then copy it to the second computer.

    What happens if your friend is now 1,500 miles away instead of in front of you? The rules change. Now you have to use a different tool - maybe a Web storage service or an accessible FTP server. While you may know exactly how to use these tools, your friend will now ALSO need to be proficient with them as well. Ever try teaching someone to use FTP over the phone? Assuming you are still talking (it can cause heated “discussions”) and your friend can actually can access the data, you still have doubled the transfer time and that’s not counting the training time. There is still an intermediary device involved.

    Wait a minute - we have altered our transfer method based on the distance between the two parties. Both of you now have to be proficient in the tool, install software driver or nothing happens. We end up doubling the transfer time. There HAS to be a better way.

    That’s why PCsync is useful. You can transfer files the same way, whether the two computers are next to each other or on the other side of the world. If you get the software installed on the remote end, you can “push” the data to your friend's computer - your friend doesn’t have to know how to operate the software.

    PCsync can even do more than just copy files from point A to point B. You can synchronize folders and even create your own mini-home network with complete security. This $79.95 package includes not only the software application and drivers, but a serial cable and a USB Network cable. The cables are used to connect the two computers.

    If you need to transfer data files between a Windows 95 machine (without USB) and a Windows 98 machine, and you find the serial connection is just too slow, go parallel with LapLink Gold. LapLink Gold is LapLink’s premier remote access software that also includes remote control capabilities along with three cables. You can also run applications remotely, schedule synchronizations, collaborate via text/voice chat and even print documents directly to remote printers. Wow - now you can “e-print” a file to someone - instead of faxing!

    LapLink’s PCsync also:

  • utilizes SpeedSync technology. This patented method compares stored files in multiple locations, calculates the byte-level changes and then transfers only the new data. This significantly speeds up the transfer process and saves time.

  • keeps files in several locations matched and up-to-date

  • helps you easily share files and folders with colleagues or friends

  • requires only 8 MB of RAM and 10 MB of hard drive space and serial or USB port. For parallel connections, use LapLink Gold.

  • supports Windows ME, 2000, 98, 95 and Windows NT 4.0.

  • can connect using secure SSL technology when sharing or transferring folders on the net  


    Lexmark Z82
    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.
    Feature list:
  • 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. 


    Want to see all this page in a more compact form? View the linked version of this article. It's a smaller download than this page, and each product's information is only a link away.

    Copyright © 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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