Manage library serials with this Sagebrush software

Serials Manager, by Sagebrush Corp., is a stand-alone program that streamlines the management of magazines, journals, and other periodicals in all types of libraries. The software is designed to reduce the problems that librarians experience with subscriptions, vendors, receiving, routing, and even claims.

“Managing serials in a library is usually a formidable task,” said Jay Stead, president and chief executive officer of Sagebrush Corp. But using Serials Manager improves efficiency and reduces costs, he said. Librarians can enter and modify information about each subscription, including the title, publisher, publication pattern, quantity, cost, ISSN, start date, and duration. When new serials arrive, librarians can quickly add them into the system. Serials Manager even predicts when new issues will arrive.

Library patrons are able to search for serials simultaneously with the library’s other materials, because Serials Manager integrates with existing library automation systems through the MARC 21 standard. It also helps make vendor-related activities, such as ordering, billing, and claiming, convenient and accurate. The program comes with three customizable claim letters to use in communicating with vendors when subscription hassles arise. In fact, it creates claim notices automatically when subscriptions are late or missing.

Serials Manager, which is both Mac and PC compatible, is priced at $695 and includes one year of customer support.

(800) 533-5430

Gateway improves its presentation system

When Gateway pulled its original Destination presentation system from its product line, the company says, it heard an earful from its education customers. Based on this feedback, Gateway recently released an improved version of Destination, which increases the system’s function and value, according to the company.

The Destination II, a complete presentation solution for classrooms and computer labs, provides outstanding computing power. The system comes equipped with an E-1400 series computer, which customers can outfit to include any five of the following: DVD-ROM, CD-rewriter, floppy drive, SuperDisk LS-120 drive, Zip drive, or extra hard disk drive. The PC also connects to various presentation devices, such as VCRs, digital cameras, and scanners.

The Destination II also features a 32-inch television/monitor with a built-in TV tuner, stereo speakers, and a wireless keyboard and mouse. Gateway provides service and support for the Destination II’s three key components: desktop PC, monitor, and wireless keyboard and mouse. Instead of contacting multiple manufacturers, customers have to make only one call for support. The Destination II comes with Gateway’s three-year on-site warranty. Prices for this presentation system start at $2,400.


Hewlett-Packard calculator features electronic lessons

The HP 39G graphing calculator from Hewlett-Packard Co. features an increase in memory and functionality over its predecessors. It also features electronic lessons, called E-lessons, which are based on typical textbook topics that students can do at their own pace. Teachers and students can even design their own E-lessons and send them to other students’ calculators via an infrared port. They can also transmit data, equations, and notes through the infrared port.

“We enlisted a team of educators to help design the HP 39G graphing calculator,” said Jeff Blough, business manager for Hewlett-Packard’s North American calculator operation. “The outcome created an especially intuitive calculator that helps educators to teach mathematics and students to learn new concepts, one step at a time.”

Users access the calculator’s functions, which total more than 600, through easy-to-read menus. The calculator also connects directly to a personal computer and supports an overhead display unit. Hewlett-Packard provides a curriculum to support math, science, and engineering teachers who use this calculator in the classroom.

Available in dark metallic blue with a matching protective translucent blue slide-on cover, the HP 39G’s estimated retail price is $89.

(800) 750-8130

Mark tests electronically with examSYSTEM II

The examSYSTEM II, developed by National Computer Systems Inc., promises faster, more reliable test scoring and reporting of results. The software connects a Windows-based PC to an optical mark reading scanner to create an easy-to-use scoring system.

The system can be used to mark tests in nearly any educational setting, including teacher-made tests in the classroom or benchmark tests at the district level. The examSYSTEM II software accommodates tests with up to 360 questions and up to 10 responses per question. It also supports a variety of question formats, including multiple choice, true/false, matching, and complex objective-based test construction. It prints the test scores directly onto answer sheets as they are scanned and is capable of exporting the scores into various gradebook programs.

The software comes with six easy-to-understand reports: Individual Test Results, Individual Item Responses, Item Analysis, Relative Frequency Distribution, Absolute Frequency Distribution, and Test Score Distribution. Each report generates important statistics, including mean and medium scores, T-scores, Z-scores, Stanines, upper and lower quartile, Kuder-Richardson 20 and 21 calculations, item difficulty factor, highest score, and lowest score. The examSYSTEM II software also includes an interactive CD-ROM training program and one year of telephone support. It is licensed for a single use in education for $1,095.

(800) 447-3269

AbleSoft software harnesses

the power of the web

Harness the power of the web with Teacher’s Internet Tools by AbleSoft A new software package from AbleSoft Inc., called Teacher’s Internet Tools, features programs that enable teachers to make the best possible use of the web. The package includes rSchool Detective, a program that combats Internet plagiarism; CoffeeCup HTML Express, a web page creation program that doesn’t require knowledge of HTML; and Internet Image Library, a wide selection of graphics designed to enhance school and classroom web pages. The package costs $29.95.

(800) 467-3569

Go wireless with Lucent’s ORiNOCO system

New Jersey-based Lucent Technologies has retooled its wireless WaveLAN system and added new products designed to provide secure, high-speed internet access in enterprise and campus environments.

The ORiNOCO PC Radio Card, formerly known as the WaveLAN PC Card, fits into laptops, desktop computers, and a wide range of mobile computing devices. The card transmits data through the ORiNOCO WavePOINT II access point, typically mounted in every classroom, connecting the computers to the server. The ORiNOCO system, which is Wi-Fi compliant, provides 11 megabits per second speed over the unlicensed 2.4-GHz spectrum, with ranges of up to 1,200 feet. Also, the ORiNOCO PC Card is compatible with other Wi-Fi-compliant systems, including the popular Apple AirPort system.

“This is not a slow trickle of data, but full wideband Ethernet-level data networking delivered without wires,” said Cees Links, general manager at Lucent Technologies. “No longer will networked computer users struggle to connect cables; no longer will internet surfers be limited to using their portable computers within a few feet of a wall jack. Lucent’s ORiNOCO gives freedom to computer users.”

The ORiNOCO system also features improved security features and new network-management software. Version 6.0, which is free to download from the ORiNOCO web site, integrates existing ORiNOCO management tools with an HP OpenView-based enterprise network-management system and RADIUS-based media access control authentication. The software makes it easy to monitor system performance and to add and change users throughout the entire network from a single computer.

The ORiNOCO PC Radio Card costs $179 and the WavePOINT II access point costs $995.

(800) WaveLAN