Briefs

All that Jaz: Just when Syquest had launched a challenge to Iomega’s Jaz drive with an inexpensive SparQ drive and hard on the heels of the less than overwhelming Zip drive Mark 2, comes the Jaz 2 drive which now takes 2 gig data disks. Average transfer rate of 7.4Mb/second apparently means you can get full motion video at full screen, should you wish to do so. The original Jaz had a minimum advertised price of 290. Price of the 2 gig version is 450 for the internal model, 70 more for the external one and discs are 116 each in three-packs. OK, you’ve seen cheap IDE hard drives of the same capacity for around the same price as the disk, but wouldn’t you prefer to send your latest feature movie off to Hong Kong on a Jaz disk instead of a loose hard drive?

Need for speed: If you’re still using a sub-50Mhz chip, as millions are, you might wonder at the prospect of 1000 MHz – that’s one gigaHertz – chips in the near future. IBM and Motorola have shown a demo of one for the Mac, but offer no retail date. A few minutes later, out comes news of an Alpha chip of the same speed by DEC. It will become a member of the new 64bit Alpha 21264 family with its enhanced floating point and therefore enhanced graphics performance. DEC already sells a 533MHz chip. Before you start drooling remember that a 1000MHz chip doesn’t actually run a computer 20 times faster than a 50MHz one.

Nice mice? You hesitate to talk about mice because a lot of people are more comfortable with pens or pucks and because such things as desk/seat height differentials are often as important as the shape of your mouse in the battle against computer elbow and mouse wrist. However, Contour gets full marks for trying. Its mouse comes complete with thumb rest in five different sizes and, crucial for a large sector of the design market, is available in left-handed versions for the two middle sizes. The mouse won best product at last year’s Ergonomic Association’s annual bash so there must be something to it. Priced around the 63 mark, it’s suitable for all platforms. Dealer information from KKI Logic on 0181-997 7002.

Adobe library: Following a tendency in the image library stakes, Adobe has introduced its own royalty-free image library. There are 3000 or so images classified under 37 titles, 30 of them photography, three illustrations, four video. The still images come in high-res CMYK, high-res RGB, multimedia optimised RGB and low-res RGB. The only restrictions are that the images cannot be used on more than one computer at a time, they can’t be uploaded to the Web for the common herd to gawp at and they can’t be used for naughty purposes. Full-page and full-bleed printing is possible because the images are at 9 x 12in at 300dpi. There’s a conventional printed catalogue of the images, a searchable browser CD-ROM and further and better particulars are on 0181-606 4001.

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