Briefs

Snap snip: Nikon has two new flatbed scanners out; the ScanTouch 110 and 210, the former a 300x600dpi number and the latter 600x1200dpi. Prices are 500 and 900 respectively with trannie adapters either side of 400. Printed details are available from Nikon’s hotline on 0800 230 220 and the distributor is DirekTek on 0181-845 5969.

Topsy turvy: Personally, we use a Quora tablet and pressure-sensitive pen. But rival Wacom is now plugging away with its new UltraPen eraser which can be used by such apps as Live Picture and Photoshop. Alarmingly, for the drive for ergonomic simplicity, this now apparently has a pair of side switches which can be assigned to either mouse buttons or modifier keyboard keys. Interestingly, the drawing tip has a hard feel and the eraser tip is soft – but what happens when you go into paintbrush mode?

SyQuest v Iomega: The battle continues: Local prices for the Iomega Zip drive are dropping nicely. We’ve been using one in the office and there’s very little to say about its performance except that we’ve been using it as a big floppy and have made a whole block of floppy drive drawers redundant. Otherwise we haven’t noticed it. Which is the most complimentary thing anyone could say about a peripheral. It’s great – and may well take over from the floppy. PC users, who can build drives into their modular cases, are chafing for the integratable version promised real soon now. Meantime, we’ve sticky-padded the neat, desirable dark blue designer object to the side of our box. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. And it’s not surprising that SyQuest has dropped the price of its EZ135 drive to 90. In the unlikely event of you not knowing it, this drive takes 135Mb cartridges. The price drop goes with SyQuest’s introduction of the backwards-compatible EZFlyer230 for those big graphics or very small video files. Ring SyQuest on 0800 526 5999.

Selective download: As noticed last month, Strata has an Internet file downloader which doesn’t require you to download the whole Web title. Streaming, it’s called. Mirage is the name of this plug-in for Netscape and it can be downloaded from Strata’s site and the Netscape home site. The disadvantage is that it will only deal with files produced under Strata’s new Director-like app for the PC called MediaForge. You might point out that other similar apps from Adobe and Macromedia are also proprietary-file-dependent. Download from Strata at http://www.strata3d.com.

Adobe’s mill grinds small: Everybody is wheeling out Web page authoring apps. You can even pick quite good ones off magazine cover CDs. Claris has recently bought one in to be issued under its own label and, among many others, there’s Adobe’s 99 PageMill version 2 to be released in the US in July – and not before time, say users of version 1. Meantime the company has dramatically reduced the price of its drag-and-drop Web site management app SiteMill from 400 to 130. No refunds if you bought it at the former price, but you can claim a free copy of PageMill when it comes out here. Hold on, that only adds up to 200.

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