Issue No. 03 - March (2005 vol. 38)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2005.101
Patchkeeper simplifies network security
Executive Software has released a new patch management module that lets system administrators automate the maintenance and deployment of Microsoft patches across an entire Windows network. Patchkeeper provides an easy-to-use, centralized solution that can be configured according to patch criticality and type, patch certification, operating system, application, and more. It offers automatic e-mail notifications to an unlimited number of recipients whenever missing patches are detected.
Patchkeeper can be used either as a stand-alone solution or as part of the company's Sitekeeper 3.5 systems management software suite; www.executive.com.
Improved MenuStrip for MAC OS X
MacPowerUser Software has upgraded MenuStrip, its menu-bar enhancement utility for Mac OS X. With the new MenuStrip 3.0.2 features, users can create custom menus and add shortcuts to applications or documents by simply dragging and dropping a folder or group of files. The menu clock also has more date and time display options, and MenuStrip supports several new plugins: Contacts Menu 1.0, which provides easy access to addresses, e-mail, and phone numbers; Safari Menu 1.0, which keeps track of the most frequent and recent Web sites visited with Safari; and TunesControl 1.0, which facilitates iTunes playback.
A trial version of MenuStrip 3.0.2 is available for free download, while a license for the full version costs $24.95; www.macpoweruser.com.
ASP-based learning management
GeoLearning Inc. has released GeoMaestro, a 100-percent Web-based e-learning management system that the company claims is easier, faster, and more cost-effective to deploy than traditional client-server LMS solutions. Because GeoMaestro is a hosted service, there is no hardware or software to install.
Organizations can simultaneously launch thousands of AICC, SCORM, and ADA Section 508-compliant titles as well as noncompliant courseware; integrate asynchronous online courses, live synchronous events, and instructor-led training; create tests and surveys; develop, assign, and track personalized learning plans; and measure learning results.
The system also features an easy-to-use 3D GUI available in multiple languages, reusable learning object technology, class and event scheduling with dynamic resource conflict prevention, and numerous collaborative communication tools.
Visit www.geolearning.com for more information.
Synchronous buck-boost regulator for handhelds
The LTC3442, a synchronous, fixed-frequency, buck-boost DC/DC converter from Linear Technology Corp., is designed to optimize battery runtime for single-cell Li-Ion, multicell alkaline, or NiMH battery-powered applications. The converter can deliver up to 1.2 A of continuous output current at efficiencies as high as 95 percent. Its small implementation footprint is ideal for space-constrained environments such as cell phones, PDAs, wireless and DSL modems, and digital cameras.
The LTC3442 is available in a 4 mm × 3 mm DFN package. Pricing starts at $3.95 each in 1,000-piece quantities; www.linear.com.
Mobile application builder adds desktop option
DDH Software has added a Windows desktop option to its HanDBase Online Runtime Builder for use in creating freestanding relational database runtime applications for Palm OS and Pocket PC devices. The desktop version offers full support for editing databases, filtering, searching, browsing, importing and exporting data to other file formats, and bidirectional data synchronization between handheld and desktop database management systems.
Users who have already purchased a license for either the Palm OS or Windows Mobile version of HanDBase Online Runtime Builder can create Windows desktop solutions for an additional $299. The licensing cost for unlimited, royalty-free distribution of applications to run on both desktop and handheld platforms is $999 when purchased at the same time; www.ddhsoftware.com.
Automated broadband services provisioning
Enhanced Telecommunications Inc.'s CableBridge is a stand-alone, Unix-based tool designed to integrate premium broadband services with existing cable, utility, and telephone billing systems. Key benefits include convergent service billing; automated provisioning of subscription video, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, and cable-modem services; support for digital and analog systems; and comprehensive subscriber and device management.
For more information, visit www.etisoftware.com.
IBM Offers Entry-Level OpenPower Server
IBM has released a POWER5 processor-based server tailored for the Linux environment and designed to deliver high-end performance at an entry-level price. The rack-mount eServer OpenPower 710 is available in single or 1.65-GHz-processor configurations and offers up to 32 Gbytes of RAM, more than 570 Gbytes of internal storage, three 64-bit PCI-X slots, dual Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps controllers, hot-plug power supplies and cooling, and extensive I/O options, as well as the OpenPower series' advanced virtualization features.
The IBM eServer OpenPower 710 starts at $3,449 for a one-way system and $3,995 for a two-way system; www.ibm.com.
Stylus Studio revamps XML IDE
Stylus Studio offers a number of new tools, features, and enhancements in the latest version of its XML intregrated development environment. Stylus Studio 6 XML Professional Edition, Release 2, includes full support for EDI-to-XML mapping with the new Convert-to-XML legacy data integration tool, an enhanced XSLT 2.0 editor and debugger, updated XQuery 1.0 support, a new XML Schema editor, improved XML-to-XML mapping tools, a new XML grid view, and complete integration with Mark Logic Content Interaction Server 2.2 and Sleepycat Berkeley DB XML 2.0.
Stylus Studio 6 XML Professional Edition, Release 2, is available for a free 30-day trial download, with prices starting at $495 for a single-user license and $240 for an upgrade license; www.stylusstudio.com.
VOIP software interface for MAC and lINUX
Zultys Technologies' desktop call-handling application, Media Exchange Interface for End Users, now runs on Mac OS X, Red Hat Linux, and SuSE Linux as well as Windows 2003 and XP. Used in conjunction with the company's SIP-based MX250 IP PBX, MXIE supports multiple languages and provides users, operators, and call center agents with real-time access to presence, IM, chat, voice mail, and faxes through a simple GUI.
A single license fee costs $45 to $65 depending on quantity; www.zultys.com.