Product Spotlight

eSchool News Online
June 1st, 1999

Helius Satellite Router

Helius Inc. of Orem, Utah, has developed the Helius Satellite Router, what it calls the first solution for K-12 schools in need of high-speed internet access and support from multiple locations.

The satellite router is a server network “appliance” that works with any existing local area network, including Windows NT, Novell NetWare, Macintosh, Linux, and Sun Solaris. The system has the capacity to connect up to 250 users to the internet at the same time. The router and companion software are contained all in one box and are designed for plug-and-play remote set-up.

Software includes Helius’ Virtual Technician software, which provides for remote set-up and support, and Helius Optimized software, which increases data throughput by 200-400 percent. Helius said there are no concerns about privacy or unauthorized access because the router is separate from existing network servers.

For connection to the internet, the router requires a mini satellite dish, satellite service, and an internet connection for outbound data requests.

Helius Satellite Router systems start at $2,499 for up to 30 concurrent users. Virtual Technician support is free for 90 days. Extended support agreements, which include automatic software upgrades, are available for $299 per year.

(888) 764-9020

ImaginOn WebZinger

California-based ImaginOn Inc. has introduced an innovative new custom web browser and search engine called WebZinger. Unlike conventional browsers and search engines, WebZinger is completely automated and hands-free, the company said.

WebZinger is accessed on the desktop. The user types in search words and the system does it all from there, visiting and evaluating web sites, downloading data, generating a slide show, and producing a written report of all qualified sites. Other software applications can be running while WebZinger conducts its automated search.

ImaginOn said the product delivers faster searches by starting with addresses from four search engines and can evaluate three web sites at a time. The product also features a built-in real-time filter option that could come in handy for schools.

The product runs with Windows 98, Intel Pentium II, or Apple Mac G3 computer systems.

WebZinger retails for $29.95.

(650) 596-9300

Winnebago WebManager

Winnebago Software, headquartered in Onalaska, Wis., has unveiled WebManager, an internet management solution that allows librarians and teachers to control student access to the web, from unlimited access to focused study.

WebManager is fully customizable to support decision making on the local level and can be geared to help a school enforce acceptable use policies. The flexible system allows computers to be grouped and scheduled for specific access events, including focused study. Students and faculty can be grouped according to any criteria, with access customized specifically for each group.

Another feature allows for individual login if desired, so that the program is customized for each individual user. WebManager comes with Dynamic Document Review (DDR), which analyzes web text on the fly, in context, and in multiple languages. DDR reviews word relationships, not just keywords, for a more intelligent site analysis.

Other features of WebManager include remote administration from any client computer and an unlimited number of locally defined content lists. WebManager is priced at $495 for 15 simultaneous user licenses, or $1,695 for 50 simultaneous users.

(800) 533-5430


Savant Interactive, of Chicago, has released a PC version of its popular webSavant package, a CD-ROM-based web design tutorial. The set of four CD-ROMs uses QuickTime tutorial movies that teach everything from internet basics to the most sophisticated elements of web design, guiding the user through the steps it takes to build a web site from the ground up.

webSavant starts with an introduction to the internet, then moves into HTML, page design, and image creation. Tutorials also cover more advanced design elements, such as integration graphics, audio, video, and JavaScript.

Suitable for all skill levels, the webSavant package offers 11 hours of narrated web design instruction. Included with webSavant are many of the software and shareware tools used in web site development. The CD-ROM package, initially offered only for Macintosh, is now available for both Macs and PCs. The webSavant set of 4 CD-ROMs sells for $199.

(773) 975-2051

Mac OS X Server

Apple Computer has announced the release of a new server operating system called Mac OS X (“Ten”) Server. According to Apple, its new server operating system combines the power of UNIX with the ease of use of the Macintosh platform.

Built-in features include an Apache web server, WebObjects network application services, and Apple file services. Mac OS X Server also comes with NetBoot, a new feature which allows a network of Macs to be booted and configured from a single server. With NetBoot, all Macs on a network share the same base system and applications stored on the server. This feature enables full control of user access, allowing users to securely access their own applications, documents, and personal desktop preferences from any Mac on the network.

Mac OS X Server supports all Power Macintosh G3 or Macintosh Server G3 systems. The server operating system requires 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive. It retails for $499 and also is available pre-configured on a Macintosh G3 server for $4999.

(800) 538-9696

Product Spotlight

From eSchool News Staff and wire service reports
June 1st, 1999

Zenith Presentation Series

Zenith Electronics Corp., headquartered in Glenview, Ill., has developed a series of color TV monitor/receivers that let you display images from your computer with a single cable connection.

The 47 Series PCZTV monitors, available in 25-, 27-, 32-, and 36-inch versions, can display computer-generated images from any personal computer running on DOS, Windows, or Macintosh platforms. Zenith’s PCZTV technology supports a variety of computer resolution formats and includes automatic sizing for full-screen image display, multiple level zoom, horizontal and vertical image control, and image freezing capabilities.

The PCZTV’s SuperPort feature lets you install two media source cards, and its CamPort feature permits front-panel audio/video hookups for camcorders, VCRs, digital video disc (DVD) drives, and other video equipment.

(800) 884-1742


National Computer Services Inc. (NCS), of Minneapolis, has unveiled a new home-to-school, internet-based software program called ParentCONNECTxp. The program provides parents with access to their children’s grades, assignments, mastery, attendance, discipline, and other information over the internet.

ParentCONNECT is intended as a supplement to the company’s “xp series” suite of software for managing student information, grades, curriculum, and instruction. Parents with internet access can obtain a password and view up-to-date student information in a secure, user-friendly environment. The program also provides teachers and parents with an easy way to communicate via eMail, and parents can receive automatic eMail alerts if their children are tardy or missing an assignment.

(800) 736-4357

FVC.COM V-Gate 4000

FVC.COM, of Santa Clara, Calif., has introduced a videoconferencing solution that the company says is the first of its kind to support the traditional ISDN and ATM network standards, as well as the emerging IP standard. Called V-Gate 4000, the product provides a seamless, flexible gateway to and from any existing videoconferencing network.

Designed to give schools an entry point that can be scaled according to their needs, V-Gate 4000 can support up to 12 translations at a time (a translation is when traffic from one type of network, like ISDN, passes through the gateway and is converted to another standard, like ATM). Features include least-cost routing, which ensures that outgoing calls are routed through the most local gateway over an ISDN network, and call rollover, which automatically rolls a call over to another gateway if the capacity of the first one is full.

An entry-level system, which supports up to four 128K calls at a time, costs $12,000.

(800) 351-8539

Xerox Document Centre 265

Xerox Corp., headquartered in Stamford, Conn., has developed the Document Centre 265 Digital Copier, a system designed specifically for the networked office environment.

The Document Centre 265 offers a comprehensive range of modular and upgradeable printing, copying, faxing, and scanning solutions. The system prints up to 65 pages per minute. Features include scan-once, print-many capability; digital image quality; touch-screen control panel; automatic booklet creation; and advanced, “Sixth Sense” service technology for fewer service calls and less downtime.

With the networked system, tasks can be performed on the Document Centre 265 from users’ desktop computers. Pricing starts at $41,750.

(800) 334-6200

MacDrive 98

Media4 Productions Inc., of West Des Moines, Iowa, has released its latest version of MacDrive 98, a software system that allows users to share files easily between Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

With version 3.0 installed on any Windows-based machine, users can access Macintosh-format disks of any kind—including floppies, Zip disks, Jaz disks, or CD-ROMs—directly from their desktop, from Microsoft Explorer, or from other software applications, according to Media4. Because MacDrive makes Mac disks work transparently, the software lets you copy, open, save, delete, or rename files on Mac disks at any time. MacDrive also works in reverse, enabling users to transfer Windows files to a Macintosh disk.

Media4 Productions is offering an academic discount on MacDrive 98, with single copies selling for $34.97 and steeper discounts available for lab packages.

(800) 528-7440

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