ISSUE 467: The high-tech office- Oct 6 1998


High tech firms offer a wide range of products as local industry continues to expand

According to the B.C. Technology Industry Association, B.C.'s high tech sector had total revenues of $7.6 billion last year. That makes the entire sector just a mote in the eye of, say, Microsoft. Still, the TIA reports that the technology sector grew an average of 22 per cent a year between 1995 and 1997.

It shows. It's been a bit over a year since I last cleaned up my files and reported on the local (mostly software) companies that have let me know what they're working on. Last time, I could fit all the companies in a single column. This time, it's going to take me two weeks to squeeze everybody in. So without further ado, here is a year, more or less, in the life of Silicon Valley Far North -- at least based on the press releases that I get!

Absolute Software has developed Computrace, a computer tracking system to locate and assist in the recovery of lost or stolen notebook computers (www.computrace.com).

ActiveState Tools produces professional development tools for the Perl programming language, which is popular on Web servers. Its new PerlEx improves performance of Perl scripts running on Windows NT servers as much as 3,000 per cent. The company has just released a Perl Resource Kit for Win32 developers (www.activestate.com).

Advanced Solutions produces the Advanced Tracker software family, a set of products to track inventory and employee attendance (www.advancedtracker.com).

Barracuda Security Devices offers an antitheft device that is installed as a card inside a desktop PC. It can page the computer owner over the network, pager or phone if the computer is moved and will mark internal components with indelible dye if the cover is removed (www.barracudasecurity.com).

BluVenom develops computer anti-theft devices: a floppy-drive or parallel port insert that emits a 120-decibel alarm if the computer is disturbed (www.bluvenom.com).

BrainTech has developed the Windows NT-based Odysee development system to design visual object pattern recognition systems (www.bnti.com).

Chancery Software offers Library Pro, software aimed primarily at school libraries, and has added Internet features, allowing home users to search the library collection using a Web browser (www.chancery.com).

CHIC Hospitality Consulting Services has added a discussion forum on customer service to its popular Web site (www.foodservice.com).

Constructive Media specializes in the use of streaming video, such as Microsoft NetShow, for Internet and intranet sites. Clients include Microsoft and BC Tel (www.constructive-media.com).

Credo Interactive has produced PowerMoves I, which they describe as "the ultimate 3D animation library," with more than 600 animation sequences (www.credo-interactive.com).

CSI Credit Systems International is building smart cards for clients such as Levi Strauss Co., and has recently embarked on a test of a cash card (www.csicredit.com). The company is on BIV's Top-Performing Public Stocks list.

Electric Mail Co. provides links between business networks and Internet mail. A new service is Electric InterConnect, an inexpensive way for businesses with multiple locations to provide a secure private mail network. The system can include automatic spam filtering to remove unwanted bulk mailings, as well as the E-mmunity protection from viruses (www.electric.net).

Fact Media develops content and design in many languages. Services include translation, software localization and multilingual Web site development (www.fact.com).

FamilyWare has created FamilyCentral, allowing users to easily create an icon-based, graphical, personalized homepage (www.familycentral.com).

FirstClass Systems offers more than 700 titles for computer-based training on computing topics (mostly mainframe, Unix, AS/400 and client-server-oriented). Its EdStart system allows courses to be distributed via individual CD-ROM or across the network. They can provide custom development of courses (www.firstclass.ca).

Information Systems Management (B.C.), owned by IBM and BC Tel, has partnered with SAP to provide SAP implementation services to telecom companies in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (451-2000).

Infowave Wireless Messaging has released a new version of its PowerPrint application, which allows Macintosh computers to connect to a huge number of PC printers (www.infowave.net).

Intrinsyc Software is building tools and components for creating Win32-based embedded systems. These enable programmers to use familiar Windows programming experience while working on software that can be used in a wide range of consumer and commercial products. Since 97 per cent of all microprocessors are found in embedded systems rather than traditional computers, this is a potentially gigantic market (www.intrinsyc.com).

Maximizer Technologies is the world's second largest developer of contact management software. This year, the company released updated versions of the flagship product, Maximizer 5.0, for individuals or small workgroups, and Maximizer Enterprise for larger organizations.

Next week: the rest of the alphabet. *


Search WWW Search www.zisman.ca

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