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Productivity Tools

Productivity tools come and go, but the good ones keep getting better. In many cases, tools that were designed originally for the single-user desktop application have developed new versions or spin-offs for the enterprise. Many of the tools below have been covered in Syllabus in previous versions. Below is an update on the latest productivity toolmakers.

This bookmark management tool (pronounced like "a-squirrel" without the "s") features a variety of options for handling large collections of Web bookmarks. AcqURL uses a tabbed page metaphor to access groups of bookmarks, with each page holding up to 80 bookmarks and the number of pages virtually unlimited. Bookmarks can be added to AcqURL simply by clicking the mouse on any blank bookmark button. Local applications, such as a word processor, can also be loaded and launched from AcqURL. AcqURL also contains an integrated FTP client with drag-and-drop functionality for bookmarking FTP sites. Users can identify specific bookmarks by color coding them or assigning icons. AcqURL will automatically use the icon of a local file type when bookmarkng local files, and look for a Web page icon when bookmarking Web pages. Icons can also be assigned to AcqURL bookmarks and can use various graphic types such as: BMP, GIF, JPG, ICO, and ICL.

Contact: GT Technologies, Bend, OR; (541) 389-6628;

AutoDialogs is a Windows95/98/NT/2000 program that was developed to provide quick access to the folders used most often in standard Open/Save as/Browse for folder dialogs (including Office 95/97/2000 and Windows 2000 Professional dialog boxes), Windows Explorer and other programs. Using AutoDialogs, users can automatically insert pre-selected folders into their dialog boxes using a system tray menu (requiring only 2 clicks) or a pre-assigned hot key (one keystroke). The new version, free to current users, introduces better AutoDialogs menu organization, better Properties dialog, and a detailed Tutorial.

Contact: MetaProducts, Columbus, OH;

Iopus E-mail BEEE
Iopus E-mail BEEE is a utility that automates the vast majority of e-mail tasks. This "E-mail-Bee" lets users automatically e-mail designated files or folders at specified time intervals. Users simply to select the file to be sent, add e-mail information, and the time interval to send the file. Additionally users can specify the criteria that should be met (send it always, only if changed, or if it has grown by a specific amount of bytes). The program handles the connection to the Internet service provider and sends the file via e-mail. BEEE can automatically zip compress the files before sending, making the mailing of even large files a snap.

Contact: iOpus, Walldorf, Germany, (49) 6227-841-9604;

iMarkup Server
The iMarkup Server is an enterprise solution with integrated workflow, document management, document imaging, and knowledge management. The iMarkup Server transforms document-based information into knowledge assets by providing powerful storage, categorization, and search technologies. It provides users with an easy way to manage, distribute, locate, collaborate on, annotate documents, review documents and digital content. It supports users in all stages of the document lifecycle.

The iMarkup Server provides document management, workflow automation, document imaging or scanning, Web collaboration, and knowledge management needs. The iMarkup Server is an "out of the box" product that is easy to install and administer.

Contact: iMarkup, Vista, CA;(877) MARKUP-1;

MacDrive 5
MacDrive 5 enables computer users to navigate seamlessly between Mac and Windows platform documents without loss of productivity. With MacDrive 5 installed, users can use Windows Me, 98, 95, NT 4.0, 2000, or XP and seamlessly access Mac disks of all types, including floppy, Zip, Jaz, CD-ROM, CD-R, and hard drives. Users can open, save, delete, rename, and even format Mac disks on a Windows PC. MacDrive works on floppies, Zip, Jaz, ORB, SyQuest, hard drives, CD-ROMs, multisession CD-Rs, and others.

Contact: Mediafour Corp., West Des Moines, IA; (515) 225-7409;

QuickConference from CE Software provides instant communication to networked users of Microsoft’s Windows 95 or greater, Windows NT 4.0 or greater, and Apple’s Mac OS. Unlike other instant messaging products, everyone can use QuickConference, even those without a connection to the Internet. This easy to use conferencing product features secure messaging, URL and e-mail support, server linking, custom address books, and multi-user logins. This quick and secure tool is an appropriate solution for office environments.

Contact: CE Software, Des Moines, IA; (515) 221-1801;

StuffIt Deluxe
Aladdin Systems’ StuffIt software is a complete compression solution that enables users to share large files faster through the Internet. Files can be compressed by 98 percent of their original size, freeing up hard drive space and saving time sending and receiving files. The software works on Mac, Linux, and Windows platforms. Stuffit Deluxe allows users to compress and mail from Word, Excel, Outlook, or PowerPoint; exchange files with anyone, regardless of the platform; automate data backups; and find compressed files without having to expand the archive. New to version 8.0 are a drag-and-drop interface, wizards, and support for .rar and .tar files.

Contact: Aladdin Systems, Watsonville, CA; (831) 761-6200;

Timbuktu Pro
Timbuktu Pro for Windows is a remote control and file transfer software solution. Multiple Access Mode technology supports all Internet, local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), dial-up, and direct dial connections. Timbuktu Pro ensures that any mobile worker, telecommuter, or offsite collaborator can connect and communicate without fail across all Windows and Mac OS platforms. Timbuktu Pro Enterprise is a scaleable, multiplatform solution for user support, systems management, telecommuting, and collaboration across a LAN, WAN, the Internet, or dial-up connections. With Timbuktu Pro Enterprise, systems administrators and network management personnel can control remote machines on the enterprise network to perform complete evaluations, diagnosis, and troubleshooting.

Contact: Netopia, Emeryville, CA; (510) 420-7400;

Now Up-To-Date & Contact Software 4.0
The latest version of this software for personal organization allows users to organize their schedules and contacts, then keep it all "Up-to-Date" by issuing reminders, making it easy to change and add information. The software is synchronizable with a Palm compatible computer. Users can manage their own schedules and contacts, or easily share them with small groups or large organizations. Now Up-to-Date & Contact’s built-in server solution lets users schedule meetings inside a small office or run a worldwide enterprise over the Internet. New features include Grab-n-Go, with which users can collect information from virtually any document and with one click, create an appointment, to-do, or reminder.

Contact: Power On Software, New Albany, OH; (800) 344-9160;

Vista Plus Suite
Vista Plus software from Quest allows administrators to manage all of the information in an organization, save it in a central repository, and deliver it to users in a variety of formats. Vista provides access to files through portals and e-mail, and reduces cost of ownership through its powerful search tools and report index hyperlinking drill-down capabilities. It enables self-service access to reports and statements over intranets or extranets, and provides page-level security to protect sensitive report content. Using Vista Plus eliminates hard-copy report distribution and simplifies administration.

Contact: Quest Software, Irvine, CA; (949) 754-8000;

VMWare Workstation
VM Ware Workstation creates virtual computing worlds—multiple operating systems can be run on the same workstation. How d'es it work? The additional operating systems are running in secure virtual machines that co-exist on a single piece of hardware. The result is cost savings and the ability to use one computer to run both legacy systems and new operating systems.

Contact: VMWare, Palo Alto, CA; (877) 486-9273;

Annual Buyer's Guide

Networking and Telecommunications
Multimedia, Video, and Web Development Tools
Electronic Publishing
Curriculum Software
Course Management Systems
PCs, Workstations, and Notebooks
Tablet PCs and Other Portable Devices
Productivity Tools

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