Briefs

Adobe threesome: There’s a bunch of stuff from Adobe due out this month: Streamline v4, Dimensions v3 and what you’ve all (well, half of you) have been waiting for: Illustrator v7.0. The latter needs no introduction although the new goodies include the ability to dock palettes together, single-key shortcuts for each tool, context-sensitive menus and full RGB support. The upgrade is a mere 85 plus VAT and converts from FreeHand may be able to persuade Adobe to charge the same, although 300 plus VAT is the list price. The new version of Dimensions allows you to output to raster formats for an upgrade price of 65 (20 more for a new version). Streamline v4 has the same prices. This latter application allows you to convert images and all three conform to a standard Adobe interface design.

The price is right: Nikon has reduced its scanner prices by a reasonable amount: the LS20E CoolScan II, for example, is now 745 instead of 900 and the top-end LS 4500 is 7000 instead of 7600.

mPah mPah oop yer joomper: If Mekon feels left out of things it must be because it has this sad need to preface the names of all its products with a lower case m. Can we please have a moratorium on affected messing about with upper and lower case characters in the computer world name game – including, especially, the wanky inter-capital. Bile exhausted, here is version 2 of mTropolis, thought to be a serious rival to Director. Price for the full version is in the 900 region, 500 if you’re a Director or comparable user. Get a demo disk on 0181-288 9994 or e-mail www.mekon.co.uk.

Zap on your lap: Frustrated at not being able to use one of those great little Zip drives on your laptop? Now Absolute Battery is selling a 50 battery which slides on the back of your external Zip drive and gives you three hours-worth of use. Ring 01394 284 455 for details.

Quick smart: Quite a lot of you have, or are thinking of, setting up an ISDN line for fast transmission of stuff to your clients. You won’t need a modem, but you will need an ISDN card. Now you can out-Jones the opposition and have both with Hermstedt’s combined two-channel ISDN card and conventional fax card. According to the blurb, you can send data ‘to any organisation, with or without ISDN installations, at transfer rates of up to 128 kbit/s’. Interesting. Maybe the blurb writer knows something about viable telephone line speeds we don’t. Cost is a very hefty 995. Ask for further and better particulars on 0500 35 40 70 or e-mail to www.hermstedt.com.

Zoooooom: We’ve been keeping a Kodak DC20 digital camera in the top pocket of the office shirt and it’s really a bit of fun. You snap away in quite low light levels and get a picture even if the resolution isn’t great, heh, heh. Now comes the second generation, the Digital Science DC120 zoom. It has a 3x and macro zoom, built-in flash, 40mm lcd display, 2Mb of memory, 1280 x 960 resolution and that’s about it apart from the 900 price tag. Rather cheaper is the 160 DVC digital video camera which supports the new Universal Serial Bus (USB) and is probably a rival to that natty seeing-eye golfball-on-a-pyramid from Connectix.

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