THE 50 STATES<@VM>THE 50 STATES: Maine to Wyoming

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For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2225 or e-mail For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail


FRINGE BENEFIT. Alabama Industries for the Blind, which manufactures and distributes office and janitorial products, has logged an upsurge in calls to its toll-free sales number since it created a Web site for electronic commerce six months ago. AIB officials say sales through the Web site itself have been moderate, but that the project has paid off in generating marketing attention for the state-owned business.

Alabama Industries for the Blind has gained marketing exposure with its Web portal.

The Web site, at, runs under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 on a 200-MHz Dell Pentium with128M of RAM. The site was created with Microsoft FrontPage. The e-commerce functions of the Web site are carried out by Intershop Communications Inc.'s Enfinity 1.0 Developer Edition., via File Transfer Protocol.


ONLINE AND IN LINE. 'Check the wait before you go!' is the admonition from the Motor Vehicles Division about its new online DMV line cam.

DMV officials pointed an Axis 200-plus Web camera from Axis Communications Inc. of Boston at the customer line in the DMV's Dowling Road office in Anchorage.

The Web server-cum-digital camera runs Linux and sends images to the DMV Web site, at, via File Transfer Protocol.


SAGE SYSTEMS. The School Facilities Board is overseeing the purchase of 30,000 computers for Arizona schools under the Students First law passed this spring. The $50 million hardware and software buy aims to reduce the student-to-computer ratio to 8-to-1 by the end of the next school year. State officials estimate the cost of networking the schools at $100 million.

The board has posted its technical requirements for systems that individual schools will order at

For example, the board offers 100 percent reimbursement to schools ordering 600-MHz Pentium IIIs with 64M of RAM, 20X CD-ROM drives, 8M of video RAM, 10G hard drives and a software selection including Microsoft Office. The program also subsidizes optional configurations.


RAZORBACK GEOGRAPHY. The Department of Information Services expects next month to see results from a geographic information system project called Mapping Arkansas' Information Network.

The MAIN project used ArcView from the Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., Geomedia from Intergraph Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., and MapInfo GIS software from MapInfo Inc. of Troy, N.Y.


CHOWCHILLA REDEMPTION. Through a program called Joint Venture, inmates at the nation's largest women's prison are providing computer components to businesses. Women at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla assemble printed wiring boards with microprocessors and sell them at reduced rates to Server Technologies of Sunnyvale.

The company then installs the boards into rackmounted PCs used by Internet service providers.

Jack Cleveland, director of engineering for Server Technologies, said the five-year-old partnership has been good for the inmates and the company. The inmates produce good-quality boards at competitive prices, he said.


VACCINE MACHINE. Denver Health, a consortium of the Health Department, a public hospital and more than 25 community and school clinics, completed a redesign of its immunization registry with help from ManTech Advanced Systems International of Fairfax, Va.

MASI upgraded the registry's software code using Sybase PowerBuilder and Oracle Corp. database management tools.


ONWARD AND UPWARD. The Connecticut Legislature has mandated a reorganization of the Department of Information Technology under which the agency progressively will assume responsibility for all the electronic-commerce and management information system work of the state.

As a first step, about 60 managers from other Connecticut agencies will be reassigned to DOIT this summer.


OFFICER DATA. The Delaware Criminal Justice Information System (DELJIS) Office plans progressive upgrades to its Enhanced Police Complaint (EPC) system, which allows patrol officers to capture data at the scenes of crimes. This month it plans to issue an easier-to-use, more stable release known as Version 1.3. About 1,200 police officers use the system in notebook-equipped squad cars and on desktop PCs.

Starting this fall, DELJIS will start testing enhancements to EPC that will integrate it with the state's automated warrant system. Both systems use custom PC software written in Visual Basic running under Microsoft Windows 98 to create data files.

The files are transmitted via Bell Atlantic Corp. wireless cellular connections for the notebook PCs and the state's T1 network for the desktop PCs using the Broker function in EntireX communications software from Software AG of Reston, Va.


GET OFF THE BUS. Politically motivated hackers disabled the Web site of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for two hours on May 29 by posting obscene messages protesting lawsuits against Internet music file swapping.

Transit officials said the site usually receives 95,000 hits daily, but traffic was unusually low during the attack because it occurred over the Memorial Day weekend. They have turned information about the hacker attack over to their police force and the FBI.


IT'S THE LAW. A new law has established technology reform and digital government as Florida's watchwords. ''

Senate Bill 1334 strengthens and codifies the state's electronic-signature statute, encourages network access and addresses privacy issues.

The law, passed by the Legislature May 5 and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush May 26, allows individuals and businesses to conduct nearly all financial transactions with the state via e-commerce.


PEACHY AGENCY. The Georgia Technology Authority was set to launch July 1 under the provisions of the recently passed House Bill 465.

Officials were planning the agency's budget and interviewing candidates for its board of directors last month.

The Legislature provided $5 million in seed money for GTA. Officials said the new authority would absorb the $708,000 budget of the Information Technology Policy Council and oversee the GeorgiaNet Authority, which has revenues of $24 million annually. The new agency also likely will get funds and personnel from other Georgia agencies, officials said.


ALOHA DATABASE. The Department of Education has received $1.5 million, from funds formerly restricted by Gov. Ben Cayetano, to build an Integrated Special Education Database.

The statewide system will reduce paperwork, standardize forms throughout the school system and automate data management.

Teachers, counselors and other professionals working with children who have special needs will use the system to help create tailored education plans and track students' progress through the school system.

Officials of the Education Department worked with contractors KPMG Peat Marwick of New York and Spectria Inc. of Long Beach, Calif., to design and build the system. It uses Lotus Domino 5.03 running on a cluster of three Enterprise 220R servers from Sun Microsystems Inc. under SunSoft Solaris. Each server has two 450-MHz processors and 500M of RAM.


NO DATA ENTRY. Many of Idaho's parks are in remote rural areas and do not have access to the state network.

The Parks and Recreation Department recently began using Web software to route the agency's purchasing card transactions from the point of sale to Idaho's Statewide Accounting and Reporting System, which runs on a IBM 9672 mainframe. The new interface lets users verify and approve all goods or services bought using a state-issued MasterCard from Wells Fargo and Co. of San Francisco.

The Web application uses a Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 database to house the sales data. It has a Microsoft ActiveX Document front end written in Visual Basic 6.0 with Microsoft's Active Data Objects programming interface for data access.


E-CITY LAUNCH. Evanston has forged
a strategic partnership with e-Tropolis Evanston Inc., a nonprofit organization, to spur the provision of Internet connectivity and services in the city. The nonprofit organization has opened the Inventure center in downtown Evanston where residents can receive Internet training.

Executive director Ron Kysiak says e-Tropolis plans to build a fiber-optic backbone for the city that would support electronic municipal transactions such as payments for parking tickets and various types of permits.

STICK TO YOUR NETTING. The Intelenet Commission plans to distribute $10,000 grants to schools to help them connect classrooms to the Internet. The Connect 2000 grants will total $3.25 million.

Grant applicants must match the state grants from the Build Indiana Fund with money received from the federal Universal Service Fund.


CAREFUL UPDATES. The Criminal Investigation Division worked with Iowaccess of Des Moines to set up the state's sex offender registry at the Web address,

Created in Dreamweaver Version 3 software from Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco, the site is updated daily, said Larry Mullen, special agent in charge of the Iowa Sex Offender Registry and the Missing Persons Information Clearinghouse. Mullen double-checks all changes each day before releasing the updates, he said.


TORNADO RELIEF. After tornadoes raced through Parsons on April 19, the state's Emergency Management Division lost no time setting up computers to track disaster relief benefits.

Working with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Kansas Emergency Operations Center staff took into the field 166-MHz Pentium notebook PCs that connected to FEMA's National Emergency Management Information System, which stores disaster relief data in an Oracle8 database.


CHUBBY CHECKER COMPUTER. The Cabinet for Families and Children is developing a system called The Workers Information System (TWIST) to maintain a database of child abuse case information and related vendor data.

Officials have designed TWIST to be on a central server in which all data and services will be maintained at the cabinet's Frankfort headquarters and linked to 130 field offices and 16 district offices statewide.

The cabinet has chosen Microsoft Windows NT and SunSoft Solaris operating systems for its planned server, which will run on top of a database from Sybase Inc.


LOUISIANA PURCHASE. The Office of State Purchasing's contract look-up site has been making employees' lives easier for three years, said Dale Beard, OSP's assistant director. 'It's made life more bearable,' he said.

Users can enter a search word, such as 'Pentium PC' at the site, at

The site serves up all the contracts the state has that contain Pentium PCs, listing contract number, vendor information, brand, model, unit price and payment terms. The site uses the Webinator search engine from Thunderstone Software-EPI Inc. of Lakewood, Ohio.MAINE

BEAN COUNTING. State and contractor computer specialists have almost completed work on a new Budget Financial Management System. Officials said the system uses database software from Oracle Corp. on the back end, as well as additional financial software from Legacy Solutions 2000 Inc. of Bismarck, N.D.

Starting this summer, about 150 officials from all state agencies will begin using the system for budget preparation, budget monitoring and performance budgeting.


SHARING DIGITAL BOUNTY. Montgomery County is launching a $6.5 million program to bring computers, training and Internet access to residents of two public housing projects in Gaithersburg.

Alaska's DMV line cam lets residents see how long the line is before they go down to the DMV office. The Web address is ADMIN/dmv/AFOwebCam.htm.

The county's Housing Opportunities Commission this summer plans to begin renovating the Stewarton Homes complex and the Shady Grove Apartments and start wiring the homes for Internet access.

More than half the 230 families in the two apartment complexes have annual household incomes less than $10,000.


AT YOUR SERVICE. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services has started upgrading its Common Client Index (CCI), the social service agency's database.

State officials and contractors are evaluating their needs for upgraded hardware and software for the improved CCI, which now uses an IBM RS/6000 server with dual 120-MHz processors, 1G of RAM and 60G of disk space running Oracle Corp.'s Oracle8 database under IBM Corp.'s Advanced Interactive Executive 4.3.2.


HANDS UP. Police agencies in four eastern Michigan counties will benefit from computer-aided dispatch systems, mobile data units and digitized mug shot and fingerprint processing under a $7 million system upgrade this summer. Oakland County is the flagship for the 30-year-old Courts-Law Enforcement Management Information System (CLEMIS), which now supports 75 police agencies and 25 fire departments, some in neighboring Livingston, Macomb and Wayne counties.

The CLEMIS upgrade will use a Microsoft SQL Server 7 database running on a Compaq Himalaya server with six 500- MHz processors and 6G of RAM under Windows NT. The system also uses a cluster of 13 6400 R Compaq servers with dual 450-MHz processors and 1G of RAM each, which are connected by fiber- optic links.


TEACHING TEACHERS. The Office of Technology has joined with MindSharp Learning Centers of Bloomington to offer free computer classes to public and private Minnesota elementary and secondary school teachers. Classes started last month and will continue through the summer.

Teachers can sign up for free classes on Microsoft Windows 2000, NT, Office and FrontPage, and the Internet.


DIGITAL SCHOOL DAZE. The Governor's Task Force for Classroom Technology is evaluating proposals for buying 6,000 Internet-ready computers for public elementary school classrooms. There are 30,033 such classrooms in the state, and 12,602 of them don't have Internet-ready computers.

The task force plans to speed the deployment of computers to all the classrooms over a two-year period.


VOICE LESSONS. The Economic Development Department's Division of Workforce Development awarded an 18-month grant valued at $145,000 to International Black Student Alliance (IBSA) of Topeka, Kan., to provide a voice mail system for job seekers in the state's Welfare-to-Work program.

IBSA president Lazone Grays discovered that 32 percent of long-term welfare recipients do not have home telephone service. Grays developed a voice mail box system that welfare recipients can check from any pay phone by using a toll-free number.

The voice mail software is from AVT Corp. of Kirkland, Wash., and runs under Microsoft Windows NT.


MOBILE LICENSING. The Motor Vehicle Division recently awarded a contract valued at $3.7 million to Polaroid Corp. for a digital driver's license system. The Cambridge, Mass., company will build a licensing system in 21 MVD offices and will also supply secure Pentium notebook PCs equipped with Polaroid digital capture software for 17 traveling driver's licensing teams.


PRAIRIE POLICE. The Crime Commission has bought 100 copies of the Sleuth records management system from Access Data Corp. of Angel Fire, N.M., for distribution to the state's law enforcement agencies. The database software, which runs under Microsoft Windows 98 or NT, automates several phases of law enforcement data collection and management.

Sleuth is written in Magic, a developer language similar to C++, from Access Data's corporate parent, Magic Software Enterprises Inc. of Irvine, Calif.


PASSPORT TO HEALTH. Gov. Kenny Guinn last month announced the kickoff of the Health Passport Project for low-income families.

State clinics will issue a smart card to each client. The cards resemble credit cards and chips that hold each client's health information and eligibility for welfare programs. Several grocery store chains will accept the cards for food stamp purchases.


COUNTING COUP. The Office of State Planning has posted a wide range of New Hampshire demographic and economic data on the state's Web site, to aid researchers and students.

The site, at, is maintained by the State Data Center, a cooperative program between the state and the U.S. Census Bureau. It receives about 700 hits per month.


CLEARING THE AIR. The Department of Environmental Protection has become the first state agency to process air general permits online. About 26,000 businesses in the state have the permits, which are required for boilers, woodworking shops, emergency generators and other such air emission sources. By this fall, NJDEP expects to process about 80 percent of its air general permit applications online.

The online application system uses Sybase Inc.'s PowerBuilder 6.0 and a database from Oracle Corp. NJDEP built it with the help of American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va.


NINE LIVES. Fifty managers at the General Services Department recently took an interactive situational leadership class over the Internet. The eight-hour module was designed by Ninth House of San Francisco.

Written in a combination of Microsoft Active Server Page, C++ and Flash from Macromedia Inc. of San Francisco, the modules run on a 500-MHz Dell PowerEdge 2400 server with a Pentium III processor and 64M of RAM and provide DVD-quality 256-Kbps streaming video.


MAIN CONCERNS. New York's Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water and Sewer Operations has completed a 10-year project to digitize information formerly contained on paper maps of the city's water system, which comprises more than 6,100 miles of water mains.

City officials worked with contractor Griener Woodward Clyde Inc. of Paramus, N.J., to build a database on a LAN in the department's Queens headquarters and on CD-ROMs for use by field maintenance workers and offices in other boroughs.


KEEP ON TRUCKIN'. The Department of Transportation Liability Insurance Unit soon will complete a pilot under which it is verifying trucking companies' liability insurance with electronic data interchange and Extensible Markup Language technology.

State officials use the Liability Tracking and Enforcement System (LITES) to eliminate duplicate data entry when processing trucking companies' insurance verification documents. LITES uses EDI technology provided by OAO Corp. of Greenbelt, Md., combined with Reachform software from JetForm Corp. of Ottawa, that uses XML technology to deliver forms to systems using various browsers.


ROUGH RIDER PORTAL. Visit to see North Dakota's new Web look, which is aimed a providing easier access to state-supplied information and services.

The portal runs on a 550-MHz Compaq Pentium III server with a single processor and 256M of RAM. The server has 9G of internal storage and is linked to a 20G SHARC enterprise storage system from IBM Corp.

The portal runs Apache Hypertext Transfer Protocol Server from Apache Software Foundation of Forest Hill, Md., under Linux from Red Hat Inc. of Durham, N.C.


SIXTEEN TONS. The Ohio Data Network, which operates the state's central computer facility, has adopted IBM Corp.'s DB2 DataJoiner data mining software to help state employees query various databases.

The data access middleware, which ODN will provide free to state agencies, will allow state officials with PCs to merge data from the various databases on the state's IBM mainframe. The mainframe runs databases using IBM's DB2 and VSAM software under MVS.


CHOCTAW RIDGE. The 18-member Choctaw police department recently awarded a contract valued at $28,522 to TRW Inc. for its E-Justice system, said Lt. Jeff Newell.

The police will run the client-server system under Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 to automate and manage workflow, incidents and other criminal justice information. Officers will access E-Justice from desktop Pentium PCs running Windows 9x.


VIDEO LINKS. The Information Resources Management Department last month began deploying 281 videoconferencing sites in high schools statewide. IRMD's Data and Video Services section installed the first 15 sites last month.

The $8.6 million network will connect every Oregon high school to every other elementary and secondary school, as well as some community colleges and state agencies. The network uses the International Telecommunications Union H.323 standard for videoconferencing over the Internet.


DOT COMING. The Department of Transportation has adopted a plan for processing driver's license renewals and vehicle registrations online. PennDOT plans to begin with a pilot program for issuing duplicate driver's licenses and duplicate registrations early next year.

By July next year, PennDOT plans to offer regular driver's license renewals and vehicle registrations online. PennDOT recently adopted Panagon Web content management software from FileNET Corp. of Costa Mesa, Calif.


FREEWAY FLICKS. The Department of Transportation this summer plans to complete a project to install 29 video cameras overlooking parts of Interstates 95 and 195 and Route 10. Data from the cameras will be directed over T1 lines to the Transportation Management Center in Providence.

At the control center, technicians will use the data to decide whether to activate dynamic signs warning drivers of accidents, congestion and other traffic problems.


STANDING TALL. State, county and municipal officials working through the Standing Committee on Geographic Information of the Information Resource Council are adopting standards for data entered in state geographic information systems.

About 25 agencies already have adopted a standard for road centerline data. Over the next six months, the committee plans to promulgate standards for hydrographic data, parcel data and political boundary data.

Like most other state agencies, the budget board uses GIS software from the Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., including ArcInfo, ArcView, MapObjects and the Spatial Database Engine.

The board's GIS runs on a 450-MHz dual-processor Dell server with 256M of RAM and 16M of video RAM.


GRANT'S TOMB. The state library recently built a searchable online database for grant seekers. The site, at, contains a database of 252 organizations that offer grants.

Officials first built the database in Borland Corp.'s dBase III-plus in 1985, said Ann Eichinger, government publications librarian. Computer specialists at the library worked with Debbie Lancaster from the state's Information Technology Bureau to migrate the database from dBase to Microsoft Access.

Kevin Freestone, a deputy webmaster with the bureau, mounted the Access database on the Web with ColdFusion from Allaire Corp. of Cambridge, Mass.

About 4,600 grant seekers checked out the site in May, Eichinger said.


VOLUNTEER UPGRADE. The Tennessee Base Mapping Program, which is building a detailed geographic information system for use by state, local and federal agencies, expects to upgrade its system hardware as it gathers and processes more large data files. Program officials now are using ArcInfo 7x software from Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., but they expect to upgrade their system to ArcInfo 8x software soon.

The GIS program has gathered digital orthographic images from aerial photography of 15 of Tennessee's 95 counties. Mark Tuttle, director of GIS services for the state, said contractor Tennessee Geographic Information Inc. of Nashville is performing initial processing of the data files.

State officials will need their new hardware to perform quality assurance and quality control of the digital data files.


LONE STAR ONLINE. The Texas eGovernment Task Force selected KPMG Consulting of McLean, Va., to develop a statewide digital government Web site and electronic payment system. The contract with KPMG is self-funded, said Jennifer Walden, a systems analyst with the Texas Information Resources Department, meaning that transaction fees and subscription services will cover the costs.

The site, which will be linked to the state Web site, at, will launch some services this summer, including real estate license renewal, some online taxes and drilling permits.


IN FOCUS. Visit to view the improvements in eUtah, the state's redesigned electronic-government site. Working with the National Information Consortium Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., Utah officials conducted focus groups to see what changes citizens wanted, said Rick Brown, general manager of eUtah.

Before the redesign, eUtah received 1.3 million visits monthly. Since the redesign, the number of visits has almost tripled, to 3.6 million visits in May, Brown said.

From a single Web page, citizens can access job information, tax forms, traffic information and vanity license plate applications.


GREEN MOUNTAIN ACCOUNTING. The Department of Finance and Management is overhauling the state's financial management system with help from Andersen Consulting of Chicago.

The result will be a fully integrated statewide financial management system supporting several state agencies and their departments and divisions, as well as numerous independent agencies, boards, commissions, councils, offices and committees.


WIRED OLD DOMINION. Virginia says it will have the most advanced state telecommunications network in the nation when it implements COVANET, which is being formed by the merger of five state networks.

Fifty managers in New Mexico's General Services Department took an eight-hour Internet course in situational leadership that includes interactive video about real-life management scenarios.

The new network will use an OC-12 backbone for 622-Mbps data transfer. It will replace network backbones operating at 45 Mbps. The network will use fast frame relay technology for service up to the T3 standard and provide digital subscriber line service at 7 Mbps for speedy Internet access throughout the state.

Secretary of Technology Donald W. Upson said the state's COVANET contract with WorldCom Inc. would reduce long distance voice costs and data transmission costs by about $40 million over its four-year lifetime, while providing service to rural Virginia, as well as urban areas.


CALL OF THE WILD. The Fish and Wildlife Department signed a contract with WorldCom Inc. under which the company will build an online hunting and fishing license system for the state.

The Washington Interactive Licensing Database will be financed with transaction fees, a payment system that was approved by the state's legislature last year.

Under the terms of the contract, WorldCom will provide all hardware and software in return for a 9.5 percent transaction fee on the price of each license. On a $20 fishing license, for example, a resident would pay an extra $1.90 transaction fee to WorldCom.

The site will be linked to Washington's Web site, at, and will accept credit cards over Secure Sockets Layer protocol.


ALMOST HEAVEN WAN. The Judicial Technology Commission is building an integrated voice and video fiber-optic network called Courtroom of the Future.

The system initially will link 55 county courthouses and eight regional jails, allowing magistrates, judges and defendants to participate in remote arraignments via videoconference.

Courtroom of the Future will be integrated with the state's West Virginia 2001 fiber-optic network operated by Bell Atlantic Corp. It will use a Nortel Networks Passport 5430 switch to provide access and routing capabilities and integrate voice and video traffic.


TEACHER'S PET. Wisconsin TEACH distributed $1.7 million in grants to 108 Wisconsin public school districts to help them maintain and upgrade their educational technology.

The grants help schools pay for the annual costs of telecommunications for Internet access and distance learning.

The maximum grant award for data lines is $6,480 and $21,444 for video links. Wisconsin TEACH is a five-year, $500 million program to provide educational technology to schools.


WHAT TOOLS THESE PORTALS BE. Gov. Jim Geringer last month announced plans to build an interactive government system with Andersen Consulting of Chicago. The first phase of the project is slated for completion by fall.

The e-government portal will let Wyoming citizens pay taxes and renew driver's licenses online.

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