ISSUE 469: The high-tech office- Oct 20 1998


PeakSoft's upgraded
Web accelerator makes it
a must-have for surfers

Over the past two columns, I have mentioned some of the businesses that make up Vancouver's high tech industry. This week, I'd like to focus on two companies, with newly updated products that may be of value to many of our readers.

PeakSoft moved its head office from North Vancouver to nearby Bel-
lingham. But most of its employees are still working this side of the border, so I'm prepared to still think of them as a local company at heart. Besides, its core product, PeakJet, is too valuable to ignore no matter which side of the 49th parallel it comes from.

Newly upgraded and renamed, PeakJet 2000 is a Web accelerator -- a small piece of software that adds itself to your browser and replaces the browser's cache with a version that has smarts.

PeakJet 2000 can be set to pay more attention to pages you return to and auto-refresh your most frequently visited pages, for even quicker access. This version runs about 30 per cent faster than the previous PeakJet 1.5 and offers a number of additional features. A right-screen vertical window offers a list of all visited sites, making it easy to trace your steps backward. A "Top 20" list of frequently visited sites is easily available. All the links on a page can be stored so that you can visit them later -- even after logging off the Net.

Like a number of other products, PeakJet can automatically upgrade itself when a new version becomes available.

PeakJet 2000 works with both Netscape Navigator/Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, and can speed up Internet browsing whether users are connecting by modem, cable modem or fast network connection. (Yes, modem users are not the only Net surfers who spend time waiting.) The product was designed to work with Win-
dows 95/98/NT systems, but was written in Java and may be usable on other Java-capable systems as well. US$29.95 will get you the product on CD or allow you to download the 6.5-meg version right away from There's also a free 30-day trial version if you want to check it out first.

But I don't want Mac users to feel left out.

Infowave Imaging (formerly known as Infowave Wireless Messaging) has stayed on this side of the border, located on the Lougheed Highway, deep in the heart of Burnaby. The company has recently upgraded its Macintosh PowerPrint utility to version 4.5.

This valuable product allows Macintosh owners to step out of their printer ghetto and connect to more than 1,500 models of PC printers.

The new version provides im-
proved support for colour inkjets, in-
cluding popular models from Hew-
such as the HP Deskjet 890c, along with the incorporation of Apple Color Science technology and support for ColorSync. The re- sult is better colour output on more affordable printers.

The company has also announced a version specifically aimed at Apple's new, popular, low-cost iMac
computer. This computer does away with traditional Mac printer ports, looking towards a future when printers and other peripherals will use Universal Serial Bus (USB) technology. Currently, however, iMac owners have few options for USB printing.

PowerPrint USB is expected to ship December 1, further expanding the possibility of printing from an iMac (or other, future USB Macs) to any of those 1,500 PC printer models. It will ship with a USB-to-parallel-port cable. Both the serial version (for traditional Macs) and the USB version (for iMacs) are priced at US$99 or US$69 for owners of earlier versions ( *


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