Some New Programs

by Alan Zisman (c) 1995. First published in Our Computer Player, September 1995

Here are a number of new programs...

EMBLA-- The PC Mail Manager

This is a Windows 3.x mail program, for Unix or Internet mail. It supports IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol), which allows users to work with mail while it's still on the server, without downloading it to their computer first. It comes from Sweden, and some of the menus and dialogues have an unusual feel in English.


ICL, Incorporated
11490 Commerce Park Drive
Reston, VA 22091 USA
703-648-3300/ 603-648-3326 fax


This $249.95 (US) software will be of more interest as more and more people start to produce their own CD-ROMs... it's a compression program, allowing users to squeeze more than the current 640 megs or so of data onto a single CD disk. Like Stacker or DoubleSpace on your hard drive, the end-user then loads a driver, and can access the CD as if it was a higher-capacity disk. The amount of compression varies with the sorts of files being compressed-- graphics, for example, can often be highle compressed.



2111 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 220
Carslbad, CA 92009 USA
619-930-0440/ 619-930-0446 fax


Two programs from the same company. While they can be purchased and used on their own, they are designed to work together.

DiskNet is an antivirus program, designed for network use, covering all computers connected to a network. It automatically scans any floppy inserted into any computer on the network, certifying it as virus free, or cleaning off any viruses present, and notifying the network administrator. A certified virus-free floppy can be used freely on the network, but as soon as it used elsewhere, it will need to be re-checked. It also tried to protect the boot sectors and files on all the hard drives on the network. A five-user license costs $499, and is compatible with NetWare, LAN Manager, and Banyan networks. It runs under Windows and OS/2.

PCwatchman-ACS Plus is a wokstation access control program. If an unauthorized user tries to boot up a network workstation, it shields the hard drives, keeping programs and data hidden and secure. It also keeps a log of all programs executed, and will alert the network administrator of unauthorized access attempts. ACS sells for $179.


2100 196th Street SW, Suite 124
Lynnwood, WA 98036 USA

1-800-673-3539 / 206-776-2891 fax


With the popularity of Microsoft Office, a number of companies have released software that either adds itself to the toolbars of Office products, or mimics the interface of that product line.

Janna Contact describes itself as a a contact and document manager for MS Office users. You can work from a home base of a contact list, with easily customizable information for each contact. You can connect documents to individual contacts, or groups of contacts... letting you easily work with all your files, correspondance, reports, and so forth, that are connected with that contact. The Document Manager feature allows you to work with documents using long file descriptions, rather than DOS filenames, and lets you drag and drop files, to fax them to a group of contacts. E-mail and scheduling features are also included.


Janna Systems, Inc.
3080 Yonge Street, Suite 6060
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3N1
416-7711/ 1-800-268-6107/ 416-3220 fax


Math Drill is a local product, attempting to cover 70 different math topics, with an age range of pre-school to teenage years. It was developed using FoxPro for Windows, and unfortunately, may be trying to cover too much scope with the limited features of a database platform... it suffers in comparison with programs with more limited aims, but more exciting and professional output. Families with more than one child are forced to install the program multiple times for all their children to have access. Strangely, the developers consider this odd (and disk-space wasting) behaviour a feature!

The developers have good intentions, and are local, but we just can't recommend this one.


Norgunt Systems, Inc.
130-13500 Maycrest Way
Richmond, BC V6V 2J7
604-278-6708/ 1-800-338-2505/ 278-6708 fax

Digital Video Producer

Digital video production on personal computers is still a pretty tentative field-- hardware and software standards are still evolving, and the resulting output is rarely as impressive as users would hope.

In order to kick-start the field, at least on Windows PCs, Microsoft released a basic software toolkit... the Video for Windows package is bundled with many basic video-capture boards. On the high end, Adobe Premier provides many more features, and is available in both Mac (QuickTime) and Windows versions.

Asymetrix Digital Video Producer is aiming for the middle-ground. It lacks all of Premier's features (and is only available for Windows), but is much more sophisticated than the bare-bones Microsoft software. Still, it is quite easy to use.

It makes it easy to capture a video, and to edit it into a final product. It permits special effects for transitions and overlays, and includes a number of filters. It supports a number of compression techniques and output formats. It's manual is short and understandable, and gives good background for newcomers to movie-making.


110-110th Ave, NE, Suite 700
Bellevue, WA. 98004-5840 USA


Now up to version 6.0, Time Line is a professional-level project management program, from Symantec, for Windows. It's not an easy program to get up and running with, but it more than makes up for this with a hige array of features. It lets users take charge of multiple projects, and can organize a group of projects into a multi-level  outline-view.

Users can view resources, calendars, selection criteria, or create their own customized criteria for viewing projects. It organizes its data into an SQL-database, which can be used to generate reports.

There are some good tutorial to help get you started, and good use of interface elements, such as tool bars, and drag and drop.

Not cheap, at $695 (US list), but if you're trying to stay on top of multiple large, complex projects, this could be money well-spent.


Symantec Corp.
10201 Torre Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014-2132
408-253-9600/ 1-800-441-7234/ 408-253-3968 fax

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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan