Tangent’s Roll-along Notebook Lab
The Roll-along Notebook Lab from Tangent Computer includes everything you need to create a wireless, mobile computer lab in your school. The package includes a mobile cart, networking equipment, and room for up to 36 notebook computers.
The mobile cart acts as the networking station and internet access point for the system, using wireless network interface cards to connect the notebooks to your school’s network. The wireless modem connects at 11 Mbps at distances up to 300 feet. The cart also safely and securely stores and recharges the notebook computers overnight.
Tangent’s mobile computer labs come in two sizes. The Roll-along Notebook Lab 16, priced at $3,459, consists of a 16-unit locking/charger-ready laptop cart, a single WaveLan WavePoint II access point, 5-port 10/100 Ethernet hub, 10/100 printer server, and wireless PCMCIA cards for 16 laptops. The Roll-Along Notebook Lab 36, priced at $6,299, features a 36-unit locking/charger-ready laptop cart, two WaveLan WavePoint II access points, 5-port 10/100 Ethernet hub, 10/100 printer server, and wireless PCMCIA cards for 36 laptops.
Notebooks are extra, but Tangent also designs and manufacturers a full line of notebook PC solutions for use in its mobile lab, including the Shuttle 1000, Shuttle 6000, and Shuttle 7000 series. They are available with Pentium III or Celeron processors, up to 196 MB of RAM, up to 12 GB storage, and CD-ROM or DVD drives. Add one of Tangent’s digital video projectors and the Roll-along Notebook Lab becomes an audiovisual cart and projection system.
Power On Software’s Rewind
Ever accidentally corrupt, overwrite, or delete a file? Has a computer ever operated normally until one fateful moment? Rewind, by Power On Software, can reverse even the bleakest-looking situations and rescue users from potential computer-related tragedy, the company said.
Simply click on the rewind button, and the program returns you to the moment just before disaster struck, according to Power On Software. Rewind’s patent-pending technology reportedly remembers all the data that has been modified on a user’s disks, allowing you to return to previous versions of documents, applications, systems, or even entire disks. Just specify the date and time you want to return to, and it will take you backminutes, hours, days, or even years.
Rewind’s Emergency Startup Mode allows users to reboot from their hard disk even if they have deleted the entire system folder. “Rewind eliminates that ‘uh-oh’ moment that happens all too frequently,” said John Wallace, president of Power On Software. “We hope users never need to Rewind, but when something does go wrong, they will be very glad Rewind was there to protect them.”
Rewind, which is completely transparent, works unobtrusively in the background on Macs only, Power On Software said. It retails for $99.95, but the download version is available for $89.95 from the company’s web site.
Funds For Learning’s eRate Security Package
Applying for eRate funding might be easier next year thanks to the eRate Security Package (ESP), a package of information and consulting services designed to help guide applicants through the program’s many rules, deadlines, and requirements.
ESP was developed by Funds For Learning (FFL), a consulting firm specializing in the eRate program. ESP subscribers get eRate updates in print, fax, and electronic form, eMail responses to questions, and access to group conference calls at key stages throughout the eRate process. In addition, subscribers will receive a copy of eRate Advisor 2001, FFL’s software solution that guides schools and libraries through the application process, and FFL’s quarterly eRate Insider newsletter.
A one-year subscription to ESP, which lasts throughout the entire eRate cycle, costs $75 a month. For $150 a month, the premium package includes up to an hour per month of individual consulting. You’ll still be responsible for completing your own application forms, but ESP will address your eRate questions and concerns, FFL said.
Macromedia’s Director 8 K-12 Edition
Macromedia has created a special version of its popular Director 8 software for the K-12 classroom. Director 8 K-12 Edition gives students and teachers the ability to turn text, graphics, sound, animation, and video into compact, compelling multimedia content for the web, CD, or DVD.
The K-12 version provides schools with an affordable way to expose students to a leading professional multimedia authoring tool. According to Macromedia, more than 90 percent of all CDs are made with Director. This edition is a full-featured version of Director 8, with the following limitations: maximum of 500 frames per movie, 24 channels per score, 200 cast members, and 2 casts per movie. Also, the manual is in electronic, not paper, form.
Each registered user gets 12 hours of course curriculum, with hands-on, project-based lessons for teaching and learning the multimedia applications. Director 8 K-12 Edition costs $99 for one unit, but Macromedia offers a discount for purchases of more than 10 units.
A bushel of new products from Apple
At this year’s Macworld Expo in New York City, Apple Computer introduced four new iMac modelsiMac, iMac DV, iMac DV+, and iMac DV Special Editionand four new colors: Indigo, Ruby, Sage, and Snow. The latest iMacs come with the new Apple Pro Mouse and Apple Pro Keyboard. They also offer easy internet setup, fast PowerPC G3 processors (now up to 500 MHz), a RAGE 128 Pro graphics accelerator for sharp onscreen graphics, impressive audio quality, and no fan. Prices range from $799 to $1,499.
The Apple Pro Mouse, also available separately for $59, features a high-precision optical tracking mechanism that has no moving parts and requires no mouse pad. It has no button; instead, the entire body of the mouse pivots up and down so you can click where you want. Its sensitivity is also adjustable. The Apple Pro Keyboard, with 108 keys, features full-size keys, 15 fully programmable function keys, a full-size numeric keypad, keys for document navigation and editing, and even a CD/DVD eject key. Like the Apple Pro Mouse, the keyboard is also available separately for $59.
In addition to the iMacs, Apple has unveiled the PowerMac G4 Cube, a supercomputer engineered into an eight-inch cube suspended in a crystal-clear enclosure. The G4 Cube also has no fan, meaning it’s quieter than its predecessors. It offers a DVD-ROM drive with DVD-Video playback, 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet, USB, 400-Mbps FireWire, a built-in 56K V.90 modem, ATI RAGE 128 Pro graphics accelerator, AirPort support, a set of Apple-designed Harman Kardon stereo speakers, 64 MB of SDRAM (expandable to 1.5 GB), a 20 GB hard disk drive, and a 450 MHz PowerPC G4 processor with built-in Velocity Engine. The Velocity Engine delivers up to 3.5 billion calculations per second, Apple said, putting it squarely in the realm of the supercomputer.
InternetBasics: Fundamentals for Teachers, from Minneapolis-based wwwrrr Inc., is the first in a series of online professional development lessons designed to train teachers how to use the internet.
“For teachers to truly embrace the powerful benefits of the internet, they must understand how simple it is to use,” said Paul Gullickson, president and CEO of www-rrr. “We have designed an online program that immerses teachers in the use of the web and walks them through a simple, step-by-step process.”
InternetBasics covers the structure of the internet; how to find information and other educational resources; how to print and copy text and graphics, according to copyright laws; and how to use eMail for communicating and classroom projects. The program, which incorporates hands-on activities with a web browser, consists of four modules totaling about three hours of instruction time. Featuring streaming audio and video tutorials, the courses let teachers choose which lessons they want, what order to take them in, and how long they will spend doing them.
School districts can purchase an InternetBasics building site license for $300 a year for unlimited users or an individual user license for $29 a year.
A USB version of Acer’s WarpLink
WarpLink, a wireless local area networking kit by California-based Acer NeWeb Corp., is now available in USB format. The new USB version makes the solution easier to use, according to company officials.
“The WarpLink USB brings networking to the average end-user,” said Sonny Hsieh, general manager of Acer NeWeb’s North American division. “Many consumers who were not comfortable with opening their desktop PC and inserting an ISA card will have no problem with plugging in the WarpLink USB card to the back of their PC.”
The WarpLink Communicator Card lets you print, share files with other PCs, and connect to the network wirelessly. With a range of up to 500 feet, this system transfers data at speeds of 1 Mbps using 2.4 GHz frequency hopping spread spectrum combined with Acer NeWeb’s own antenna technology.
WarpLink USB cards cost less than $99 each and include a two-user version of SyGate, an internet sharing software program that lets multiple computers access the internet using one modem, one phone line, and one internet account. Acer also has ISA and PCMCIA cards available.
IBM’s HotMedia 3.0
You’ll be able to add the latest in web technology to your school or district’s web site with IBM’s HotMedia 3.0, a web authoring tool that lets you create interactive, visually stimulating effects for your web page.
HotMedia incorporates streaming video and audio, 3D imaging, synchronized audio, panoramas, multi-track animations, zooms, rotations, and more. This Java-based program only requires a single file output and it doesn’t need a special server or plug-ins, IBM said.
The HotMedia player is broken into tiny applets, each about 10 kilobytes, which are delivered to the user on an as-needed basis. Even users with only a 28.8 Kbps connection can get the full benefit of streaming video and audio, according to IBM. Several well-known education web sites, including spaceKids.com, TryScience.org, and Henson.com, use HotMedia to build their entertaining, colorful web pages, the company said.
HotMedia 3.0 is available for both PC and Mac users. You can download the software for free at IBM’s web site.
eChalk Version 2.1
eChalk’s secure, advertising-free, customizable suite of web-based tools for K-12 schools just got better with the release of Version 2.1. Based on input from teachers and administrators, the new rendition features enhancements to schools’ home pages, eMail, teacher web pages, online address books, data sharing, and alumni services, the company said.
In Version 2.1, users will find an entirely overhauled help system, real-time reporting of eMail misuse, a new address book feature, and features that allow alumni to stay involved with their schools. The management, as well as the look and feel, of the teacher web page has improved. eChalk has added automated communication features to the schools’ home pages to keep them current and relevant. New search and share features also make the sites more usable, eChalk said.
Because eChalk is an application service provider, subscribers automatically get the newest version without having to pay extra or upgrade on their own. “Version 2.1 is just the beginning” said Torrance Robinson, co-founder and president of eChalk. “We have a large number of enhancements that we are already working on, and a long-term strategy for bringing custom-tailored functionality into the eChalk system.”
eChalk claims to be eligibile for federal eRate funding, so schools can use the eRate to subsidize the cost of the system. eChalk charges a $2,000 one-time set-up fee and an annual subscription fee based on the number of users. A district version of the system is free if every school in the district uses eChalk.
Pioneer’s DVD video player
The DVD-V7400 Industrial DVD video player provides clear, crisp images and features that are perfect for the classroom. Developed by Pioneer New Media Technologies, a leader in industrial DVD video technology, this machine engages students through its unique ability to present information in a multimedia format.
The DVD-V7400 is able to read bar codes and search for a particular point on a DVD-video disc. With an optional bar code reader, teachers and students can scan pre-printed bar codes that accompany a variety of educational DVDs and jump to the specific information on the disc.
“With the DVD bar code feature, the possibilities are endlessfrom integrating information on the discs into creative projects, to personalizing the information for students by pre-selecting important facts,” said Linda Toleno, vice president of sales and marketing for Pioneer’s industrial video division.
The player also features a video blackboard component that lets teachers and students use a mouse or keyboard, which connects in front of the player using an RS-232C interface, to draw, place graphics, or type text onto the video without permanently altering the images and information on the disc. In addition, the DVD-V7400 is durable, versatile, easy to set up, and compact, Pioneer said.
The suggested retail price of the player is $995, but Pioneer also has education specials. For $995, educators can purchase the player and two educational DVDs with teacher’s guides; for $100 more, teachers can get two additional DVDs with teacher’s guides.