FileMaker Pro is playing with the big boys of information management now that FileMaker (800/325-2747,
https://www.filemaker.com ) has announced enhanced support for the ODBC database standard. FileMaker 4.1 gave you the ability to read ODBC databases. Now, with the company’s new ODBC Driver, you can use FileMaker as an ODBC data source, permitting ODBC client programs, including Microsoft Word and Excel, to interact with FileMaker databases. You can download a free preview of the driver from the FileMaker Web site.
Keep your software current without the hassle of surfing to dozens of Web sites. Insider Software’s (800/700-6340,
https://www.insidersoftware.com ) UpdateAgent 3.0 scans your Mac for installed software and then searches the Web for any free updates. The new version provides an improved interface and greater control over file downloads. You can download updates through Insider’s Web site for $50 per year, or purchase a CD version for $90 per quarter or $250 per year. A onetime update of your Mac’s software costs $12.95.
New Dimension to 3-D
Now you can spruce up your 3-D models without rendering them. Maxon Computer’s (877/226-4628,
https://www.maxon.net ) 3D Painter, like Metacreations Painter3D, lets you paint directly on the surface of 3-D objects using a brush or pencil tool. Painting effects include glows, transparency and surface relief. The program is expected to ship this fall; price had not been set at press time.
Scans for Everyone
Canon Computer Systems (800/652-2666,
https://www.ccsi.canon.com ) has unveiled two new flatbed color scanners. The $499 CanoScan FB 1200S, scheduled to ship in June, offers 1,200-dpi resolution and connects via a SCSI port. For simpler needs, the $129 CanoScan FB620U features 600-dpi resolution and a USB connection. It should be available by the time you read this.
No need to be jealous of PC users’ abundance of printer choices. Infowave Software’s (800/663-6222,
https://www.infowave.com ) $249 PowerPrint for Networks lets Macintoshes print to any of 1,600 PC printers over an Ethernet connection. The bundle includes printer drivers, a 10/100BaseT multiprotocol print server, and a printer cable.
Don’t throw away those serial-port peripherals just yet. The $39.95 Stealth Serial Port from GeeThree.com (
https://www.geethree.com ) converts the blue Power Mac G3’s internal modem slot into a standard mini-DIN8 serial port for printers, digital cameras, and other serial devices. Installing the port precludes use of the modem.
Fly on the Wall
Here’s a multimedia projector that definitely fits in the overhead compartment. The $6,999 Dragonfly LP330, from InFocus (800/294-6400,
https://www.infocus.com ), weighs just under five pounds and measures 9.0 by 10.5 by 2.5 inches. Scheduled to ship in June, the lightweight projector produces 650 ANSI lumens at 1,024-by-768-pixel resolution.