Lab Notes

Lab Notes

Flat-panels get tough. The GCN Lab's recent review of the 17-inch SyncMaster 700TFT LCD [GCN, March 6, Page 29] drew a response from Jim Wilkinson, project manager for Science Applications International Corp.'s information systems integration unit in Sterling, Va.

Wilkinson said Samsung Electronics Co. of Ridgefield Park, N.J., is discontinuing the reviewed LCD monitor. The newer 770TFT, he said, is the basis for some of the rugged flat displays his unit produces by stripping off the plastic enclosure and base, toughening the video card and power supply, and remounting for shock and vibration resistance.

The SAIC group also ruggedizes LCDs from other makers, Wilkinson said. View the results on the Web at www.tacinfosys.com, which also devotes a page to ruggedized Sun Microsystems Sun Ray thin clients and other equipment for shipboard and military use.

Livelink 8.1 goes live. At the Association for information and image management International's April conference in New York, Open Text Corp. of Waterloo, Ontario, will tell how users at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Port Hueneme, Calif., have built Livelink extranets for intraservice and contractor collaboration.

Not only is the U.S. military getting into document sharing via Livelink, so is Britain's Scotland Yard. Open Text last month announced that the legendary crime sleuths of the Yard will have 24-hour Livelink intranet access, from any location, to 600,000 case files that now occupy nine miles' worth of shelves in London. Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Lestrade would be envious.

The AIIM 2000 conference also will see the introduction of a midrange M2 tape drive from Exabyte Corp. of Boulder, Colo., with one of the industry's first native Fibre Channel interfaces. It requires no SCSI bridge device for connection to storage area networks.

Pit stop. The trend toward free Web troubleshooting gained a diagnostic and tune-up site last month when www.pcpitstop.com went online. Occasional GCN reviewer Martin Heller is one of the developers of PCPitstop LLC's site, which automatically evaluates PCs running Microsoft Windows 9x, NT, 2000 or Millennium Edition and their connection rates.

The free diagnostic service requires Internet Explorer 4 or a later browser but does not work with Netscape Navigator. Also on the site are a computer glossary and aggregated statistics about 3,300 sampled systems' video resolution, drivers, CD-ROM and hard drives, and so on. The site's privacy policy states that no individual data is collected.

'Susan M. Menke

E-mail: smenke@gcn.com

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