LAB NOTES

LAB NOTES

WinMe, lose me. Once might be a coincidence, but getting a fatal exception error two or more times indicates a problem.

The GCN Lab recently tested Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, the successor to Windows 98, and found it worked fine [GCN, Aug. 14, Page 1].

After the review was in print, however, we upgraded two different makers' systems from Win98 Second Edition to WinMe and regretted the move. Both systems experienced fatal exceptions, popularly known as blue screens of death.

The good news: WinMe uninstalled perfectly, and Win98 came back without a hitch. Agency upgraders out there might want to wait a while before going to WinMe.

Call your calendar. SpeechWorks International Inc. of Boston, a source of computerized speech recognition software, and Palm Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., announced new speech recognition capabilities for Palm devices.

Palm's AnyDay Web-based calendar users will soon be able to retrieve their calendars and contact information from any phone by voice commands.

Palm has been working on voice access to the AnyDay.com Web site ever since its acquisition in July.'Besides calendar checking via telephone, Palm's new service lets you access an address book, reminder service and task manager.

Mighty mouse. Xsense Connectivity Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., last month joined the pioneers of mouse evolution with a 900-MHz, radio frequency wireless mouse, the AeroMouse.

The Universal Serial Bus mouse can connect without interference for distances up to 15 feet from a PC or Macintosh. Objects blocking the line of sight do not trip up the AeroMouse, unlike wireless mice that operate on infrared frequencies.

It requires three AAA batteries and goes into standby mode after five minutes of inactivity. For more information, visit www.macsense.com/Product/um160.html.

A more perfect scan. Epson America Inc. this month released a new line of Perfection scanners that eliminate some flaws in earlier scanning software and increase image quality.

The 640U, 1240U and 1640U scanners, starting at $149, $199 and $299, respectively, all have USB connectivity. Optical resolutions are 600 dots per inch for the 640U, 1,200 dpi for the 1240U and 1,600 dpi for the 1640U.

Epson said the scanning software interacts better with and is more accessible to Adobe PhotoDeluxe and Photoshop 5.5 than the previous line.

For more information, visit www.epson.com.

'Michael Cheek, mcheek@gcnlab.com,
and
Carlos A. Soto, csoto@gcnlab.com

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