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Character Builder

Now you can create complex typefaces with thousands of characters, including Japanese-language kanji fonts. Pyrus North America's (410/987-5616, ) $799 Composer is similar to Macromedia's Fontographer but adds the ability to create double-byte fonts with up to 16,384 characters.

Cyber Storage

The Internet can do more than keep up with the latest political scandals. You can also use it to back up your data. Dantz Development's (925/253-3000, ) Retrospect 4.1 copies files to certified Internet backup sites, as well as to disk, cartridge, and tape. The full package costs $249; an upgrade from version 4.0 costs $29.95.

Bad Files Gone Good

MarkzTools III, an upgrade to Markzware Software's (949/756-5100, ) $199 QuarkXPress add-on package, features seven QuarkXTensions, including a Conversion Module that lets users of older QuarkXPress versions open files created with newer ones; a Salvage Module that recovers damaged files; a Scavenge Text Module that extracts stories from document files; and a Gray Preview Module that grays out picture previews to save file space.

For Your iMac

Don't like the round mouse that ships with the iMac? Macally's (626/338-8787, ) $49 iMouse has a traditional shape but retains the iMac's translucent Bondi blue color scheme.

iMac owners in need of a printer may find relief with Infowave's (604/473-3600, ) PowerPrint USB. The $99 adapter lets users connect to PC printers with parallel ports.

Faster Connections

Are you looking for fast Ethernet connections but don't have PCI slots to spare? The $75 Fast EtherTX 10/100 Comm Slot II from Farallon Communications (510/814-5000, ) plugs into the Communications Slot II in the Power Mac 4400, 6400, 6500, and 7200; the Twentieth-Anniversary Mac; and the Performa 6400, 6410, and 6420. Also from Farallon, the $359 Fast Starlet 10/100 Dual-Speed Hub/8 connects up to eight Ethernet-equipped Macs or peripherals.

If 100-Mbps transfers don't cut it, Publishing Solutions' (330/253-2077, ) G-NIC II Gigabit Ethernet card offers a 1-Gbps transfer speed for $1,195.

Allegro in the Office

Microsoft (425/882-8080, ) has posted a free update to Microsoft Office 98 that fixes minor incompatibilities with Mac OS 8.5, including slow menu drop-down, menu color problems, difficulty rendering the euro symbol, and layout and pagination problems when opening some files. You can download it from BY MICHAEL GOWAN

January 1999 page: 38

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