(April 3, 2001)
Here are some hot products we found at McCormick Place during Comdex Spring 2001 in Chicago, Illinois.
the 3-D browser
If you like to surf the web several sites at a time, 2ce has the browser for you -- CubicEye. It transforms the traditional two-dimensional, single window view of web pages, into an exciting 3-D perspective.
The CubicEye visual interface resembles the inside walls of a box, with each panel being a CRT display. You see a different display in each direction. Since each display could consist of five more displays, it is possible to display hundreds of live web pages, at the same time, on a single monitor. CubicEye enables professionals such as stock traders, reporters or researchers to manage and manipulate multiple screens of data in real time in this unique format. CubicEye will be available in early May. The beta version is currently downloadable.
A developer's version of CubicEye, due out in June, will enable Web site managers to create their own 3D, visually interactive Web site. It will feature a full host of authoring and development tools. 2ce also plans to license its products to businesses in the enterprise portal space, by developing large-scale intranets, derived from this three-dimensional visual format.
Atek Super Mini Optical Mouse
If you use a laptop and can't get used to your laptop's pointing device, you probably end up carrying a conventional mouse. This make one more thing to carry and it ends up being about as bulky as your laptop's AC adapter. Atek now has a better solution - the Super Mini Optical Mouse.
Measuring only 2 and a half inches in length and only one inch in width, this tiny miniature mouse functions very well in the mobile environment as its larger siblings. It also looks very cool since the LED glows brighter when moved.
The Atek Super Mini Optical Mouse also:
- has a USB interface (a PS/2 version available soon)
- has two buttons
- runs with Windows 98, Me and 2000 - Mac compatibility coming soon
- retails for $49.95
- uses precise optical image technology - no "balls" to get dirty or wear out and no need to carry a mousepad.
- has a three foot durable cord, reinforced with a Kevlar (material used in bulletproof vests) string.
- is impact resistant since case is made from polycarbonate, not polystyrene, like some low end mice
Paperless office on the horizon
Computer systems have promised less paperwork for years now and the results have been less than spectacular. Now, there appears to be a standards-based solution arriving very soon -- LiquidForms, from Cardiff Software, a leader in XML-based e-business automation solutions. Adobe has recently announced an alliance with Cardiff and that LiquidForms supports Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) standard.
LiquidForms is an XML-based eForm Management System that runs on Windows PCs and Sun Solaris servers. When fully deployed, it helps enable the paperless workplace by allowing routing, approval, submission and signature approval. Workers browse the organization's centralized eForm repository and fill out the form, according to their workflow process. They can then route the data on their completed forms directly into their ERP, HR, database or other back office application, using only a standard browser and Adobe Acrobat 5.0. No specialized plug-ins or Java filler applets are required.
Cardiff LiquidForms also:
- is based upon Cardiff's work within W3C XForms Working Group (Cardiff is technical editor for the XForms Specification)
- coincides with our government's recent e-initiative of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
- requires no proprietary form design format
The LiquidForms eForm Management System is composed of three basic parts:
- LiquidForms Designer (to create and publish on-line forms)
- LiquidForms Web Server (to route, process and administer forms)
- LiquidForms Web Desktop (distributes automated forms to worker community)
This product is clearly destined for larger corporations and government agencies, but may have some application for smaller businesses. The trial edition of the Designer is downloadable from Cardiff and is also bundled with Adobe Acrobat 5.0.
In May 2001, LiquidForms Designer for Windows will ship, with a list price starting at $1,000 per seat with volume discounts. The other system components will also be available then and can be delivered in two distinct configurations. The Workgroup version that supports a 100 log-in maximum is $15,000, while the scalable Enterprise version starts at $30,000.
LiquidForm Designer screen
Jungsoft HDD Sheriff
Have you configured your system just right, and then, all of a sudden, your system crashes? Do you then find yourself scrambling around, trying rebuild and recover your files? All in an attempt just to get your system back to the way it was before?
If this has happened to you, Jungsoft HDD Sheriff has a combined hardware/software solution that helps give you peace of mind. After installation of a single PCI card and floppy software, all you have to do is simply restart your system if you have problems. The previous state of your system will be completely restored.
This computer protection and recovery solution is well suited for schools, libraries and computer labs, but provides the home user or small business owner with that same, easy protection as well. When you need to switch to a normal, unprotected mode, to install or update software, you can change to supervisor mode, without having to remove the PCI hardware.
Jungsoft HDD Sheriff also:
- provides protection from virus attacks and unwanted Internet downloads
- uses less than 5% of your hard drive space for its "protection" files
- can recover and restore your system, even if CMOS settings are altered
- can protect up to 4 different operating systems on a single system.
- comes in two versions (PCI version for desktops and "one-time" parallel dongle for laptops)
Fast Handheld Cloning
Logicube Solitaire - Fast Hard Drive Replicator
This handheld unit from Logicube clones (copies) one hard drive to another in minutes. This can be very helpful if you sell computer systems, need to configure systems for a training room or in some way need to configure completely identical systems.
The Solitaire copies IDE hard disk drives at 850 megabytes per minute (5400 rpm drive) and can also format and “wipe” a drive clean to DOD (Department of Defense) specifications.
Priced around $850, this compact device is a bargain if you need to be cloning drives on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, you have only one or two drives to clone, PowerQuest’s Drive Copy or Drive Image might be a cheaper solution, but make SURE to check their licensing agreement for your intended application.
The Logicube Solitaire can also be used in the field by technical staff to quickly backup an entire hard drive BEFORE performing repairs or doing that “simple” installation that ends up losing ALL your data. The Solitaire provides the ideal safety net, allowing you to quickly (and accurately) restore ALL your data and programs if something goes wrong.
For really serious applications, Logicube offers a complete line of drive cloning devices that can clone anywhere from 2 to 15 drives at a time! Now that's cloning.
easy, convenient backup
Need a quick way to backup lots of data from your computer? Does it have a parallel, USB, PCMCIA, IDE or Firewire port? If it does, the ViPowER MobileRACK is what you need. ViPowER makes versions that help you to connect your hard drive to your computer via any of these five methods. This rack system is designed so that the interface portion can be easily removed and replaced with another interface module. This way you can backup data from one computer via USB, change to the a Firewire module and then transfer that same data to another computer via Firewire. If that isn't enough, a new model is coming out that can transform your IDE drive into an external Ultra SCSI or Wide SCSI drive.
Because of price of hard drives have dropped so dramatically, using a hard drive as backup device is becoming increasingly popular. While removeable hard drive caddies have been made for several years, they only address removal and replacement in desktop and tower systems. They also require that a hard drive "rack" to be installed inside the computer, which consumes a 5.25 inch drive bay as well. What makes ViPowER's MobileRACK product so unique is that it transforms a drive mounted in a caddy into an external drive that can interface to a computer, via parallel, USB, PCMCIA, or Firewire ports.
The ViPowER MobileRACK also:
- comes in a variety of cool translucent colors
- uses 3.5 inch drives, unlike most mobile solutions that use more expensive 2.5 inch drives
- can be used for other IDE devices such as Iomega ZIP, magneto-optical, LS-120 or tape drives.
Virtual Industrial Technology UniCon
As web surfers begin to use the Internet from their living rooms, new input device, other than conventional keyboards and mice are needed. Virtual Industrial Technology has created the UniCon that functions as a wireless mouse, trackball, keyboard and handheld remote control.
In the closed position, pictures above, it functions just like a TV remote control that you can hold in the palm of your hand. Place it on a mouse pad and it works like a conventional mouse.
When the UniCon is opened, it exposes a membrane keyboard that can be used for short entries. (I don't recommend it for word processing since the key spacing is quite small, but it works fine for entering information in an e-commerce order.) On the right side of the keyboard is the trackball. The people at Virtual Industrial Technology cleverly used the "other side" of the mouse as a trackball.
The Virtual Industrial Technology UniCon also:
- includes an 86 key membrane keyboard
- features a 2 button mouse
- supports Windows 95/98/2000
- uses a 3 volt battery for power
- uses infrared for communication (37.9 kHz signal) which is good for 150 feet
- is estimated to retail for under $50
- is 5.3 inches long, 2.6 inches wide and 1.39 inches high when closed
- is 9.82 inches long, 2.6 inches wide and .91 inches high when opened
Xgaming 3D Glasses
If you play games on your PC and want become more involved in the action, Xgaming's 3D glasses are for you. Now you can view your 3D game world, with greater realism, using a conventional monitor.
The Xgaming 3D glasses add more enjoyment to your experience since they provide 3D with true depth. These lightweight glasses are about the same experience as wearing sunglasses. I warn you however, that after wearing them, you will no longer be content to play a game without them, since conventional game play will appear very "flat".
The Xgaming 3D glasses also:
- work without any other special hardware
- are compatible with most video cards, but an Mb video card is preferred
- comes in two versions -- wired for $79 and wireless for $99
- can be used for 3D enhanced websites or CAD applications also
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.
© 2006 Reviews OnLine All rights reserved.