The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 9, 1993 · Page 36
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The Age from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia · Page 36

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 9, 1993
Page 36
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TMI AQI TUESDAY 9 FEBRUARY 1993 Computer Age 5 The 5th Wave Bj RichTennant !l $ H 88 ffe (For further thouchts on thai subject, Pm Jri to down-load Leviticus av&go the menu to Job, emptor 2,verse 6, file J ; it reads.. " How to stop that synching feeling By DAVID FRITH IN THIS brave new world of Information technology, tbe English language la under fearful Mraln. We just teem to be morphlng from one massively parallel paradigm shift to another, so to speak. But even paradigm shifts are becoming old hat, swept away In the datastream of semiotics. The latest word on the lips of programmers, software marketing men and other techno-thugs is "synchron-Icity". If you're into telecommuting and who isn't, these mission-critical days? yub gotta have synchronlcity. Mr Gordon Eubanks Junior, the American entrepreneurial spirit behind Symantec Software, recently brought synchronlcity into my life. It has, I admit, brought a certain peace-of mind and sense of order. Let me explain. The relentless progress of the notebook computer and the cellular telephone is making telecommuters of us all. The things are getting smaller and lighter and so, I think, am I, flitting endlessly between office and home, Macintosh Duo PowerBook in hand or at least in briefcase. You see us telecommuters everywhere: notebook PC-armed mobile executives, frequent fliers, sales people, journalists, academics, individuals toting a bit of work home overnight. The walls of the traditional office are evaporating. Telecommuters operate in trains, planes, home offices, garden terraces, hotel rooms even, as mentioned In these pages last week, hospital wards. The trouble Is that before long you find you have created two or three versions of the same files: one on the computer at work, another on your notebook, perhaps a third on a home-based PC. Typically a telecommuter copies documents from the office machine, modifies them at home, then hopefully replaces the original with the THE MAC CHRONICLES changed version. Before long you're confused as to which is the latest. The problem becomes critical when you have the contemporary notion of workgroups, all members of which have access to the same documents. Tbe problem: how to ensure the latest versions of the documents are in use on each machine. The answer Is a new class of software that makes sure the files are "synchronised". Welcome to the brave new world of synchronlcity, as the Yanks are calling it. The Macintosh Is in the thick of the synchronlcity revolution, due to the outstanding success of Apple's PowerBook and Duo range. Special programs designed to ensure files on different Macs are in synch Include No Hands Software's Magnet; Update! from the Qdea company; PowerMerge from Leader Technologies; Inline Sync; and Sbutt-lePllot, from Xanatech. But the best value, at least for PowerBook users. Is a new utility package from Gordon Eubanks' Symantec outfit: The Norton Essentials for PowerBook. This bundles up a collection of very useful mini programs, some of which promise to increase a Power-Book's battery life by up to four hours, and to get you past airport security guards quickly. More on them in a minute. Perhaps the most useful of all is Synclt!, a file synchronisation utility. "Whether travelling for days or weeks at a time, synchronising files between PowerBook and the desktop Mac Is fast and easy. Synclt! guarantees the users will always be working with the most up-to-date files," prom ises a press release. Synclt! works by comparing any two folders you nominate, one on your PowerBook, one on another volume. It "synchronises" both folders so that they end up containing identical files. If the folder on the desktop Mac contains a file that isn't on the PowerBook, Synclt! will copy it across. If the same files are In both folders, it will copy the later versions. It's important to make sure both the PowerBook and desktop machines have identical time and date settings. Otherwise there is going to be confusion about which is really the newer version. You need to have the two machines linked while the synchronisation process is going on. At headquarters, where the two machines are in the same office, you do this with an AppleTalk connection. AppleTalk is the networking software built Into every Mac. Under Apple's System 7 operating software, all you need do to use It Is connect the machines with an AppleTalk cable. WHEN the machines are physically separated, you can dial up using AppleTalk Remote Access or Farallon's Timbuktu Remote. Once the link is made, everything works as if the two Macs were in the same room. Synchronisation can take anything from a few seconds to many minutes, depending on the size and number of files involved. It's simple and semiautomatic. You don't have to synch everything. Synclt! allows you to list exceptions to the files you want copied. For Instance, if you don't want any Microsoft Excel spreadsheet files touched, you can click on Excel's name in a list of potential exceptions. You can also identify exceptions by time ("Don't synchronise files created before 1 January"), or prevent it from touching any applications, which rarely need synchronis ing. The Norton Essentials for Power-Book would be worth the $199 asking price for Synclt! alone. But It has nine other utilities, several of which are also worth their weight in silicon. Several are concerned with saving battery power. Backlight Dimmer automatically controls the screen's backlight, the biggest potential drain on battery energy. It dims the light after a specified length of time, or during the start-up procedure when it is not really needed. Another, Battery Saver, tailors power settings to suit Individual applications. Applications such as MacWrite II store most of their information in random access memory; others such as FileMaker Pro keep it on hard disk and need to access the disk frequ.ntly. Thus for an application such as MacWrite, Battery Saver can spin down the hard disk after, say, 30 seconds of idle time, saving a lot of battery drain. For FileMaker Pro, it will keep the disk spinning longer. Airport Shutdown is an unusual Norton Essentials feature. Many notebook PC users don't like the notion of their machines going through an airport X-ray machine and ask the security guards to band-inspect It instead. In the US in particular, the guards may ask you to turn the machine on to prove it really is a computer and not a bomb. Typically, as soon as they see the "Welcome to Macintosh" sign appear on the start-up screen, they say you're free to go. That leaves you standing waiting for your Mac to complete the start-up procedure, which can take a minute or three, before you can shut it down again. Norton's Airport Shutdown turns tbe Mac off Instantly, so you're free to run for your flight or the outgoing duty-free. Two other nice features: Caps Lock Control and Instant Access for AppleTalk. It's all too easy on the Power-Book's cramped keyboard to accidentally engage the caps-lock key. If like me you're not a touch typist you can find you have typed an entire sentence in capital letters before you notice it, which is Infuriating. The Caps Lock Control lets you change the normal single press of the caps-lock key to a double press, which is unlikely to happen accidentally. Truly clumsy typists can set the lock to toggle on or off only when the Option key is also depressed. Instant Access for AppleTalk automatically engages AppleTalk when you plug Into a network and turns it off when you disconnect. This can free up 200 kilobytes of random access memory, which is handy if you have a two-megabyte Power-Book 100. The Norton Essentials for Power-Book is a worthwhile collection of utilities, the best yet to appear for the PowerBook. Ail are handy, some truly essential, and well worth the asking price. The collection, incidentally, did not begin life with Symantec Corporation, or even with Peter Norton, the utilities programmer whose name now appears on It. They were originally inspired by Apple evangelist and author Guy Kawasaki and published by After Hours Software, a company in which he has an interest, under the title Guy's Utilities for Macintosh Power-Book, or GUMP. After Hours sold it to Gordon Eubanks for a considerable sum last year. After reportedly considering a suggestion that it be renamed Gordon's Utilities for Macintosh, Eubanks finally decided to give it the Norton moniker, bringing it into line with other Symantec utility programs for the PC and Mac. It still appears with an endorsement from Guy Kawasaki on the coven "My PowerBook never leaves home without the Essentials." Mine neither, Guy, mine neither. Symantec Australia can be contacted on (03) 823 6203. Microsoft gives compelling preview of the perfect office From COMPUTER AGE 1 ' Chi? perfect electronic office, it is 'likely to be Microsoft. :j 7 Erofessor Rick Rashid, who joined tbe company as director of research i-lfttfe more than a year ago, is a modern hero of computing. At Carnegie l Mellon University he masterminded ithe principle of the microkernel, Swbfch lies at the heart of the most "powerful graphical user Interfaces - sue as NextStep, Windows NT and the new Macintosh-IBM Talligent venture. When Bill Gates told University of Washington students last week that we would all be carrying a computerised wallet in future, he wasn't talking of an idle dream. Professor Rashid says the power of today's PCs will be dwarfed within a few years by that of our television sets, and he is working on user-friendly interfaces that can make those wallet computers a reality. Mr Gates suggests they will eventually obviate the need to carry cash, passport or photographs, will include global positioning systems that help you navigate around your city or the world, and will make clipboards, cellular telephones and pens obsolete. They will be linked, of course, with the office environment that Microsoft demonstrated, using the systems designed by Professor Rashid's researchers, and the other leaders in computer science like Dave Cutler (Windows NT) and Roger Heinen (formerly of Apple Computer Inc.) that Microsoft has hired. Microsoft is clearly going to be adapting that technology to its users, rather than, as with most vendors in the past, attempting to change the users. The most eloquent Indicator of that was Mr Ballmer's. After the presentation at Darling Harbor he allowed himself to be buttonholed by a dozen young enthusiasts, and he answered their questions frankly and In detail. Local executives attempted three times to pull blm away for the scheduled press conference, but Mr Ballmer stayed on, giving bis views on such things as the US Federal Trade Practices Commission investigation into complaints of Microsoft's monopolising tbe industry a matter, said Mr Ballmer, of educating tbe FTC about the peculiarities of the software industry and of DOS (see Steve Goschner's Cutting Code column) and obviously enjoying the exchange. Later, at lunch, when I suggested that his word processing packages would benefit from buying the technology that existed In an old version of XYWrlte III Plus the ability to recognise the user's abbreviations and automatically expand them, an invaluable aid for the struggling typist and the expert touch typist alike he took notes and promised to pursue the issue, as much, I suspect, out of sheer enthusiasm. - 1 m HOST SUNESSHL product imm n mam nsin m umiv re Introducing WordPerfect 5.2 (or Windows. A better, easier, more powerful version of the original. - is- r-: - -' - No software product not even Windows itself - has ever had a faster start than WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows. Now, one year and 1.9 million copies later, there's a new release. WordPerfect 5.2 is more powerful, with advanced features (zoom edit and drag-and-drop text and graphics for example) and advanced capabilities (it's mail-enabled, allows easy creation of envelopes and bulleted lists, and supports DDE and OLE). For further information please call 1 1 2)2)8) jg ' Ease of use is enhanced with the superior spell """ checker, Grammalik 5, the industry's best selling grammar tool, Adobe Type Manager and 12 new fonts. It includes innovations you'll find nowhere eke: QukkFinder, a versatile indexing and text retrieval system, and QukkMenu, a one click shortcut to customised Button Bars. We haven't changed what's made WordPerfect the sales leader. Release S.2 is still compatible with WordPerfect S.l for DOS and Windows, and is still backed by the best customer support in the business. WfordFbrfect PACIFIC Wcmftifaa Hoe, 15 torn Raid. La Cow, NSW 20M. Ft (05) 415 BE hi (0!) 4U7M 1r IK: m: LOCAL AREA NETWORKS Set up, maintain and add software to your networks Novell, LileNet, Ethernet and Token Ring covered 3 Days cost only $540 Limited places Call now to reserve a place Contact: Sue or Maree Telephone: 8954642 Fax: 899 5234 Additional places available in the Associate Diploma of Applied Sciences (Computing & Applied Physics) for VCE Graduates who have studied Physics and Change & Approximation For further Information contact: Brenda Springle on 895 1293 BOX HILL COLLEGE of Technical and Further Education o legatee PROJECT LEADER Megatec is one of Australia's leading software companies, providing software services and products to many of the country's major corporations. We are seeking a Project Leader with at least 5 years experience to join our Melbourne based Project Development Division. You will be responsible for the management of Development projects for our clients. Our emphasis on providing business benefits to our clients demands broad business application experience. Experience with CASE, modelling and project management tools is also required. If you have worked with a methodology and have exposure to AS 3563 this will be an advantage. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential. Phase phone: Rex Dyer AM Recruitment (03) 6931302, to discuss your suitability for this key role. Qua Win seven Mercedes THEJbtaSLAGE THE CRIME STOPPERS TELEPHONE 8655000 OR 008 333 000 ANYTIME Analyst Programmer Our client is a successful software development and service company based in the Eastern Suburbs. They are seeking an enthusiastic and outgoing person who enjoys working on the technical aspects of commercial applications. As the successful candidate you will be proficient in C. SQL, UNIX and ORACLE and have worked in the Information Technology industry for approximately two years. Experience with structured programming is essential as are good interpersonal skills. Definite career development opportunities exist. If you possess the necessary qualities and experience and would like further information, please telephone to make an appointment for a confidential discussion. o 0 RUSSELL MACDONALD AND ASSOCIATES PTY. LTD. Level 3. 443 Little Collins Street. Melbourne. 3000. Tel: 602 2200. Fax: 602 2323. SoftGen TECHNICAL SUPPORT POSITION SoftGen ft the major Autfraliaa dtonbutor of the Iwt of breed" integrated open interns software technology prorJurU Informix 4JL 4 RDBMS, FourGen CASE A Amuntng Mid Uatiptel Office Automation. SoftGen are the only authorised and accredited national traninff and support oftfeuusataon for ail three product and currvnUy have trategit rvUUonslufM for thetr supply with over 100 software companies throughout Australia. The MelDoume branch is looking for a technically oriented person to work in the customera sarvins group providing a diverse range of services ertcornpasung training, hotline support, pri sales sssistanee and consultancy primarily in (but not kmited to) the area of the ftufGeaybrforinii based applications. Experience in demorwUatmff and invnnentinf computerised accounting systems wfl bt required. In addition, we would seek an applicant with some experience in moat of the following areas; Informix, UraptoL, CASE tehiwtogM, Unix, networking. Motif, TCPIP, sad traawag. Remuneration wiH be based upon experience and product ajiowtedge. Pleaae forward (or fax OS SM OMA) rcswies to Jo Barber, Sowtheni Begloa Manager, SortGea Pacific PL, Level S. Iff Toorak load. 8oUi Tarn SMI. fi INFORMIX' FOU1GEN, UMPLEX Iff.. CENTRE FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TRAINING Novell CNE, CNA Confused About Novell Training? Come to our FREE information night Date: 18 February 1993 Time: 7.30pm Venue: S23 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn 3122 , ror turcner oeuuii Phone 819 SIM mi UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY COMPUTER SALES GOVT - CORPORATE SECTOR A well-established computer company is presently looking for a Government-Corporate Sales Manager for the Victoria and Tasmania regions. The person must have experience with computer sales in the above areas. Do not consider this position unless you are self-motivated, and have excellent presentation and communication skills. Applications stating qualifications should be addressed, in writing, to: Mr. Denis Gallagher, Profound Computer Corp., 45-47 Tope Street, STH MELBOURNE, VIC, 3205 THE AGE Programmer Negotiable $ A (mall specialist designer and supplier of computer systems located In the Hawthorn area Is set to enter another growth phase and build upon their achievements to date. They are looking for a young, self-motivated, enthusiastic programmer with at least two years of work experience who Is able to help develop systems and handle client problems. Emphasis will be put on problem solving and people communications kill. You must have Unix and C experience. Other areas of expti tenet that would be well regarded ere UNIX Communications, Networking, Windows and COBOL on SUN workstations. Phone lan Morley on 432 2259 for preliminary discussion. j 1 Analyst Programmer DEC VMS and PATHWORKS environment Salary to $50K plus benefits Incl. loan This leading investment management group b ennendy Implementing major new systems and technology. Working as aa integral member of a learn, this key role demands strong technical eipertist, applications derelopniart skills sad tbe capability lo provide sound advice up to management level. Yon have a minimum of 3 years VAX VMS systems and programming experience. PC and LAN related experience would be highly regarded. Aa Importantly, yon must have the personal motivation and discipline to complement the standards set by a very professional team. AppNcatkas qawtaag reference a 3713 alMarfdDstMwnreVdbyTaaaxlay U Febraary 193 ta NIC EDDY, KPMG Peat Manrick MaMgeaacat Ceasnltaats, CPO Box 12iu, Melbearae 3M1 r by taearsalla (03) 2SS (445 Eaqohiee are wetcease est (13) 18S (80ft. Pleaae note: applications will be forwarded to the client Strict, pmfeaaloaal confidentiality will be obaerved. Peat Marwick

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