Lab Notes

Digital Dr. Doolittle... Did you know your
PC might be harboring wild animals, cartoons or wedding an-nouncements?


The designers of silicon chips have a tradition of etching tiny drawings of interesting
things into the blank spaces between circuits. In the software world, similar whimsies are
known as Easter eggs, and they usually reveal the programmers’ names.


You may have seen Easter eggs, but why haven’t you seen the hardware kind? The
circuitry of most chips is hidden behind a protective cover, and the drawings are measured
in microns, or millionths of a meter. A human hair is about 100 microns in diameter.


Want to check out these miniature silicon art galleries? Visit the Web site at
micro.magnet.fsu.edu/creatures for views of chips with everything from drawings of
hummingbirds and buffalo to renditions of popular cartoon characters and line renderings
of photos.


SmartCenter sneak preview... Lotus
Development Corp.’s new standalone version of SmartCenter, a simple Web-content
access point, is already familiar to users of the company’s SmartSuite office
software.


In a bar similar in size to the Microsoft Windows task bar, SmartCenter displays Web
pages, reminders and contacts. Preselected sites on the bar yield stock, weather and map
information. Almost any Web page can display within the drawerlike interface, and the full
Web page can pop up at a click.


SmartCenter has its own browser, or you can use your default browser. SmartCenter can
appear above the Windows task bar or at the top of the screen. The standalone version of
SmartCenter will work no matter what office suite you now have.


For more information or to download the product, point your browser to www.lotus.com.


Speaking of downloads … IBM Corp. has
released a free version of its Universal Management Agent 1.1, which provides a simple,
standards-based management interface for IBM systems. UMA 1.1 is available for download
from the company’s Web site at www.pc.ibm.com/us/desktop/uma/.


Users can monitor and remotely manage their networked IBM PCs and servers with the
software agent, which integrates with the company’s Tivoli management software. UMA
can monitor Simple


Network Management Protocol traps, Desktop Management Interface calls and Wired for
Management hardware. It sends alerts to the administrator via e-mail, audio signals or
pager.


IBM plans to extend UMA to monitor and manage non-IBM systems as well.





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