By Ralph Thomas

Nothing seems to be advancing more than digital technology these days in both software and hardware. It's getting hard to keep up. I used to say that if you looked away for a week or two, you'll miss something. Now I'm using the slightly inflated remark, " if you blink, you might miss something. " Therefore I'm starting this ongoing column so you can quickly stay on the cutting edge of digital technology yourself. In order for a review, it has to be fairly new and fairly innovative. I'm not going to be reporting every new computer that comes out on the market--for the most part--they are all just about alike. I'm not going to be reporting every new piece of software or gadget that comes out on the market--it's going to have to be something unique, new and mind-blowing. Moreover, I will not report what I term varborware. Vaporware is both hardware and software products that sound good but don't actually exist yet, a very frustrating and confusing trend that seems to be quite prevalent in the market place. There either has to be a prototype that I can touch and feel that will be on the market very soon or I have to have an actual product. Here is what I have found in the last month that I thought would be of most interest to you.

Clio is the most amazing notebook computer to be manufactured with really high tech cutting edge technology to date! It features a flip-down screen that folds down over your keyboard and features three modes. In notebook mode, the screen is up above your keyboard and performs like a normal notebook computer. In tablet mode, the screen folds down over your keyboard and acts as a writing tablet. In presentation mode, the notebook folds over acting like a digital easel so you can give presentations on your screen. For more information on the most revolutionary notebook computer on the market today, just click here: More Clio Info


Digital Persona brings a fresh perspective and breakthrough technology to the emerging field of biometrics, the science of identification based on precise measurement of a unique biological feature. Diigital Persona is a fingerprint recognition system you hook up to your computer and forget about passwords. Your fingerprint replaces your password. Great for computer security. For more information on Digital Persona Fingerprint Security just click here: Digital Persona

Forget those old serial ports to plug things into your computer. The future is USB which stands for Universal Serial Bus. The advtanges of USB are many. First, you can plug many more devises into your computer. Secondly, you can hot-swipe them. By hot-swiping, I mean you can unplug a devise and plug in another or just ad another and it will come up on your computer desktop. Thirdly, in the past you usually had to assign a drive number to some types of equipment you plugged into your computer. Not so with USB. Fourthly, USB is much faster than other types of plugs. The future is USB--make sure you have a USB port on your computer.

Pictured above is Artison Technology's new USB AUCD1010. It uses USB technology to plug a TV or video camera into your computer with standard RCA jacks. Note also the picture below of the new Zip Drives from Iomega. They also have new models with USB technology simply becuase it's much easier to use.

To Understand More About USB, read these important articles from Ariston:

USB Overview
Why USB is a "Must-Have" Feature

When Did USB Arrive?
A USB overview
30 USB Technical Questions
USB Gains Momentum


Floppy desks are apparently becoming a thing of the past very quickly. With more computer power, computer users need bigger removable storage ability. Although there are new super disks and super disk drives in floppy form that can store 120 MB of data, the old 1.4 MB of data isn't enough space any more for the average computer user. It seems that the super floppy isn't catching on like some thought it would. Zip drives store up to 250 MB of data on a small removable disk and Jazz disks store in the gigabyte range. The makers of the Zip and Jazz drives is Iomega. Most of the new computers coming out these days have built in Zip drives. Some of the new computers don't even have a floppy drive any more so it's time to switch over to a new removable medium. For more information on Zip And Jazz drives and disks, click here:
Iomega Zip And Jazz Drives And Disks


Apple's new iMac, which stands for Internet Mac, is the most popular computer ever made! Powered by the Mac 8.5 operating system, it's the easiest computer to use on the market today and it's downright cool with tons and tons of cutting-edge computer power and features. The original iMac, which shipped in August of last year; was ice and bondi blue which is clear (you can see through the outer case). iMac uses the new USB ports which makes things much faster and easier. (see blurb above in USB) It's starting a new revolution in computing. Best of all, you can get one with a starting price of only $899.00. This year, Apple released the second generation of iMacs which are a little faster that come in five different colors. The iMac has become the fastest selling computer ever! It's so successful that a huge assortment of third-party accessory manufacturers have popped up with extremely attractive accessories to match the color and design of the iMac. Not only that, a huge assortment of iMac user web sites has hit the internet.

iMacs specs are 233/266 MHz, 32 MB of SDRAM (expandable to 256MB), 15-inch built-in display monitor, Internal 56 Kbps V.90 modem, 24x CD-Rom, 512K backside level 2 cache, 6.0 GB hard drive and lots of great software.

We at NAIS just got an iMac and I'm so impressed with it's easy to use features, power and looks, my brother and sister and I went together to get one for our mother who didn't even know what a mouse was. Now she's searching on the Internet. Since iMac has everything built in, all you need to do to get on the Internet is plug the computer into the power plug, plug the telephone line into the modular telephone jack and ah......as Apple says in it's commercials....the third step is.......ah there isn't a third step!

None of the new Apple computers have floppy disk drives built into them any more. I was a little leery of this type of setup. I mean, after all; I have been using floppy disks since I got my first computer. So when I purchased the iMac along with our new G3, I also purchased an optional USB super floppy drive and a USB zip drive. What I'm finding is the floppy isn't getting much use at all, the zip drive is. Of course we use the Sony Mavica Digital Camera which writes the image to a 1.4 MB floppy, so I actually needed the super floppy drive to input photos taken into the iMac. Other than that, the floppy isn't getting much use. To be honest with you, I'm stating to think that it might be Sony who needs to update their revolutionary floppy disk digital camera to take zip disks instead of floppy.

To learn more about the iMac just click here: iMacThe Computer Of The Century

The new Apple line of the iMac computer has been so successful, it's newest line of higher end computers are designed in the ice and bondi blue flavor and are built for speed! The clock speed on the top of the line model is 400 Mhz. However, because of the way the computer is configured using new technology, the computer runs like it has an amazing speed of about twice that which would be 800 Mhz making the new Apples the fastest computers on the market. Not only that, Apple spokes persons have recently been quoted in computer news places around the internet that by year's end--they expect to be breaking the 1,000 Mhz barrier. For more information on Apple's G3 computers just click here: The New Apple G3 Computers

For more informtion on the new Apple Computers and iMacs, stop in at:
CNET Apple Reviews

Of course, another great Mac Resource is:
NAIS PI MacUser Resource Center

You might already have guessed it--I buy a huge amount of both software and hardware. I thought I would share with you my favorite place to buy. Warehouse.com has a specialized catalog for PC that runs on Windows 98 and a specialized catalog that runs Mac OS. You will find both hardware and software as well as one of the widest assortments of both. More than that, they always seems to have the lowest prices. You can order from their web site or request their catalogs. For info go to: Micro Warehouse And Mac Warehouse

Instant Video Surveillance Through A Telephone Line
You Call The PhoneCam Or Have The PhoneCam Call You

Noting has been more popular these days than video cameras but nothing works like this! Amagine being able to set up a remote video camera anywhere in the world and access it through your computer anytime you want! PhoneCam does just that and comes with the video camera and modem you plug into any phone jack and software you load on your computer to use PhoneCam. For more information just go to: PhoneCam

Plam Pilot computers have some new palm computers out that have just been announced. These little digital wonders are really something with tons of software you can obtain for them. Standard features include address book, calander, calculator, Memo Pad, To Do List, Drawing Board, and connection with your main computer for File Sync. Pocket in size, this is something you can take with you anywhere you go and then file sync with your main computer.Palms work with pen based technology and have little pop-up keyboards you can utilize. They are very easy to use. Optional software and acccessories include games, modem connections with email access, and dozens of other cool stuff. For more Information, go to the: Palm Web Site


Well, don't throw away your keyboard just yet. But you might want to look into all the new voice recognization software that's coming on the market these days. Instead of typing letters and reports, you just talk them, the software does the rest.To find out more, just check out these software programs:

Voice Express Web Site
Free Speech 98
Naturally Speaking


PSE deception detection used to be expensive and difficult to use. Not any more thanks to a new software program called Truster. Truster turns your computer into a PSE lie detection machine at a small fraction of what this technology used to cost to use and it's very simple to operate. For more information go to: Truster PSE Lie Detection


I don't understand why Microsoft can not come up with these type things but it might be they are just too busy in federal court defending themselves for bullying other smaller companies around--I don't really know. One thing is for sure. Gizmos98 for Windows makes Windows better. According to the company that developed this software, they asked themselves a question: What Would Make Windows Better-- and then developed a software program to do just that. The end result is a new little launch pad that shows up on your desk top that gives you easy access to: a great CD player, Several Clocks, Several Cool And Easy To Use Calculators, a Full Featured Calender And Day Timer, Great Games, a little program that lets you create movie presentions that you can send to anyone or use for visual presentations. But it does not stop there! Gizmos98 has some of the best screen savers and 3-D effects you'll find, some very good Themes you can use on your desktop and some high quality Security programs. The Vault let's you lock things in your own digital vault. The Shredder let's you digitally shred digital documents. Yes, Gizmos98 makes Windows better and I highly recommend it. For more information go to: Gizmos98