Advanced Implementations are things that we would like to do, but haven't gotten around to implementing quite yet. In some cases, this is because the state of the art has not matured to the point that a compelling implementation is available. In other instances it is because we are kinda busy, and are confronted with the Mae West problem of "so many gizmos, so little time." But in any event, this page is where we keep track of some of the things that we may get around to implementing, in the fullness of time.
This page is under continuous development, and your comments and suggestions to the CyberStrategy Project are most welcome. As we actually get this stuff figured out, we transition things to our Well Tempered Desktop and CyberTools pages, which is an inventory of [respectively] the desktop and online stuff that we more or less kinda sorta know how to do, and which we could help other folks implement, if we were so inclined.
We are exploring the options of setting up our own e-mail listserv to
better enable us to push our message through cyberspace. A listserv
will copy a message and send it to all of those subscribed to the list.
Current listservs number in the thousands. The are several ways of
doing this, but the problem is that they are not supported by our internet service provider, Clarknet [which sez that the things are just too much trouble to administer]:
- We are currently using GlobaLink's WebTranslator which does a half-decent job of translating from languages like Spanish to English. To get a sense of what this can do, take a look at:
- They also sell a bunch of other things including Globalink Power Translator 6.0 which has a list price of $149, as well as Power Translator Professional and Telegraph [they don't have pricing at their site, but it looks like these would run ~$400]. We are particularly interested in their Russian Translator 2.0 available for $399 - this was supposed to be released before the end of September 1996, but now they are saying more like February 1997.
- Smartlink Corporation specializes in this sorta thing. The machine-translation system STYLUS provides translation with a speed up to one standard page per sec. 85% of any translated text can be used without post-editing. All you need is to press a button, and in a few seconds you will obtain the translation. The system is flexible and convenient to work with, since it allows to utilize specialized dictionaries for translation of texts in a proper context.The complete set from them seems to consist of:
- $400 - STYLUS 2.52 for Windows, Russian to/from English
- $250 - Specialized Dictionary - Aerospace Russian to/from English
- $100 - Specialized Dictionary - US Edition Aerospace Russian to/from English
- $145 - ParaWin 95 Pack 1
- Another option is AccentDuo With Translation which retails for $199.00
- Intergraph Transcend which is profiled several different places sells for $495.00 in the Uni-directional version.
- The pricing for Word Translator for Windows also seems to be in this ballpark]
- There are a great steaming heap of other things as well.
With the success of Pointcast, and the recent announcement of a host of new imitators/competitors [ about 30 by the end of 1996] "Push" is the latest hot internet buzz phrase. Like email listservs, these implementations automatically deliver pre-selected information, though unlike email the target is either a special-purpose client or [coming soon] a web browser. Unlike email, the content can be executable and interactive, and it can be timed to expire, eliminating bulging email inboxes. Applications include notification of changes on a website, while othere push content or applications.
- Lyris is currently available for Windows NT, Windows 95 and OS/2.Lyris Silver costs $495 and supports 500 members maximum per list with no limitation on number of lists. Lyris Gold costs $1495 and supports 2000 members maximum per list, also with no limitation on number of lists. This looks like a pretty good bet IMHO
- L-Soft is a commercial outfit that will host and maintian listservs. Their EASE [Expert Administration and Supervision of E-mail lists] list hosting service makes it possible for both technical and non-technical users to create their own mailing lists on their centrally maintained servers. They offer a variety of prices and service options [all of which are a bit rich for my blood].
Majordomo is a program which automates the management of Internet mailing
lists. Commands are sent to Majordomo via
electronic mail to handle all aspects of list maintainance. Once a list
is set up, virtually all operations can be performed remotely,
requiring no intervention upon the postmaster of the list site.
- Majordomo information on the Web includes resources at The
University of Chicago and FAQ by David Barr,
the Systems Administrator for the Math Department at Pennsylvania State
There are a large number of usenet newsgroups in the comp.mail.* hierarchy for general discussions of
running mailing lists and providing help with specific packages.
ling List Management FAQ
also offers listserv capabilities
The Bad News
- At present some of the push implementations require proprietary client "reader" software, which in many cases is less sophisticated than existing web brower clients.
- There is no way of knowing right now which which push implementation[s] will become pervasive, and users aren't likely to use more than one or two of these gizmos.
- The notification gizmos can differentiate between cosmetic and subtantive changes on a web site.
- The news feed filters have only limited selectivity, and deliver "broadcast" general interest items rather than narrowcast special interest content.
Some Leading Push Implementations
- BackWeb personalized broadcast
software with a listing all of the different channels that are available. Flashes are BackWeb's unique on-screen interactive InfoPak technology. They can deliver rich content that contains text, audio, video, or any combination thereof Developer partners [outside firms] can be hired to create your content. This implementation is definitely oriented towards pushing multimedia, and sorta feels like a repurposed interactive TV gizmo. [Terry Smith 408-437-0200 - Solaris & NT $10,500 server = 25 kilo presentation units/month, 200k/month=$1,250/month ].
- Intermind - Hyperconnector - Program a "hyperconnector" to search the web for new listings that meet your search criteria. The Communicator client was released in October 1996 -- over 100 websites offer information this implementation are listed in a Yahoo-like directory. Implementation requires proprietary client. Java, Shockwave, RealAudio, ActiveMovies, etc. can be readily incorporated into the communications and no special programming is required. Does not require server, only enabling a MIME type on the existing server. Commercial pricing through the end of 1996 starts @ $995 for up to 50,000 site hits per month [free upgrades for one year] -- free for non-profits [order from 800-625-6459, and for help on pricing call Nathan Garland - 206-812-9136].
- Marimba Castanet Tuner allows users to subscribe to application channels and self-updating content. Channels can include dynamically updated software and real-time content feed. Castanet allows users a high degree of personalization over the information they receive, such as content filtered by users' topics of interest. The production version of Castanet 1.0 will be available by the end of 1996. The Tuner is free for non-commercial use. [415-328-5282 VP of Sales Steve Williams has pricing info]
- PointCast broadcast-style information delivery, channel metaphor, and customizable topics currently has roughly 2,000,000 desktops, which is at least an order of magnitude more desktops than all other competitors combined. OneCast transmits general news that is broadcast via the public PointCast Network over the Internet. PointCast Network over the Internet PointCast Pro-Server broadcasts customizable, premium news and other external information. CommunityCast Program [which is currently in development/definition] enables select partners to broadcast targeted, in-depth information that enables professionals in vertical industries such as health, government, real estate and others to view highly detailed industry news on their computer screen, alongside public world news and internal company broadcasts.PointCast I-Server software is available directly from PointCast for $995 per server CPU. The software runs on an Intel-based personal computer running Windows NT. These folks are looking for "partners" [as they say in the biz] who are prepared to burn up several hundred kilobucks building new channels. The breakeven point, where PointCast pays the channel partner rather than vice versa, is 200 kilousers. [POC Value Added Network Department - Peter Taffeen 408-253-0894]
- Netscape has announced a partnership with Marimba in the Constellation server, to allow users to merge and customize desktop and network information
- Microsoft has announced a partnership with Pointcast that will bundle with Internet Explorer 4.0.
We currently use dial-up SLIP accounts for internet connectivity at 28.8 kbps. Faster service is available through ISDN, which is a normal phone line used for digital data instead of an
analog signal. The wires carry two "B channels", each capable of 64kbps of data, along with a 16kbps "D channel" normally used only for signalling. We are continuing to monitor this field to identify an appropriate migration strategy.
Collaboration via WWW may prove to be our objective implementation, or it
may merely be a waypoint on our migration toward commercial a groupware
implementation. We are currently considering evaluation of one or more
groupware packages. The term "Groupware" covers a multitude of
capabilities. Generally speaking, groupware facilitates people working together or collaborating on files, documents, information, schedules, to enhance productivity and facilitate collaboration. through:
- MasterCard International and Visa International announced on 23 June 1995
that the two associations will integrate and jointly develop
financial-industry specifications for secure bankcard purchases on the
Internet. The security
specification supported by MasterCard and Visa will be open and available to
all entities. This standard will provide payment security for all bankcard
transactions. The specifications supported by the associations will use
encryption capabilities based on RSA Data Security to protect card
transactions. One of the best current implementations of an online
credit-card transaction is the Democratic National
Committee's Membership Page.
- The Electronic Privacy Information Center
is a public interest research center in Washington, DC. It was established
in 1994 by the Fund for Constitutional Government and Computer Professionals
for Social Responsibility to focus public attention on emerging privacy
issues relating to the National Information Infrastructure, such as the
Clipper Chip, the Digital Telephony proposal, medical record privacy, and
the sale of consumer data. EPIC will be accepting contributions via First
Virtual shortly, and contributors can send EPIC ecash from DigiCash.
- We are also exploring First
Virtual as a way to conduct on-line transactions.
- Checkfree - electronic
payment services for homes and businesses.
- CyberCash - developing the
tools and techniques to safely and effectively enable users of the
Internet to interact with and conduct business with their banks.
Working towards an electronic currency.
Agents, Inc. - developers of NetCash
- There are also several newsgroups that deal with this issue:
- Calendaring and scheduling
- Task and Workflow
- Forms creation, processing, and routing
- Database access
- Document management
- Remote support
We are looking at a number of applications that may satisfy these requirements, to the extent that they cannot be met through Web applications.
There are a number of other miscelaneous gizmos we are looking into.
A lot of these applications will require us to get a better handle on actual programming, as opposed to mere HTML coding.
- Netscape Communicator for Windows 95 and Windows NT provides an email, groupware, and browser suite that offers tools to communicate, share, and access information on an intranet or the Internet. The client Standard Edition includes Netscape Navigator, Netscape
Messenger, Netscape Collabra, Netscape Composer, and Netscape Conference. The Professional Edition includes all of the Standard Edition components, plus Netscape
Calendar, Netscape AutoAdmin, and Netscape IBM Host On-Demand. The trick, however, is that separate servers are required for each of these features, and the Netscape servers generally run over a thousand bucks a pop, so setting up a site that could support this functionality would run at least $10,000 or thereabouts. But if this stuff is anything remotely resembling what is advertised, it looks like it is gonna blow everyone else outta the water.
- Novell's Groupwise provides messaging, including support for multiple message types (mail messages, schedule requests, task assignments, scheduled calendar notes, phone messages, and custom messages)
and workflow routing for collaborative work. "Groupwise is fundamentally different from Notes in that it is an application itself, ready to use out of the box, while Notes is primarily an application-development tool, which customers use to create customwork-group programs. Groupwise claims 3.3 million users to Notes' 1.5 million. The most prominent Notes feature missing from Groupwise is replication, which automatically synchronizes the changes that various users make to a document, although Novell plans to add replication and development tools to an extended version of Groupwise by late 1996. The client portion sells for $695 for five users, but drops to $95 a user for 500 users, and still lower in larger installations. The server software sells for $495 to $2,495, depending on what kind of system it is running on." THE NEW YORK TIMES, THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 1995, "Novell's Quiet but-Effective Rival to-Lotus Notes" By LAWRENCE M. FISHER
- Collabra Share for GroupWise gives
GroupWise users the ability to create forums
(message-based electronic discussions), similar to CompuServe forums and usenet newegroups from which members of a workgroup can integrate, organize, and share information. Collabra Share for GroupWise does not replace GroupWise E-mail, but enhances it by providing group discussions and collaborative tools that are more usable to GroupWise users. The next
version of GroupWise (due out end of the year) will be integrated with a simplified version of Collabra Share. That will give GroupWise document sharing abilities in addition to its messaging and scheduling functions.
- IBM/Lotus Notes seems to require a bit more administration than we could usefully amortize over our community, in that it just provides a development environment in which user specific applications can be created. Lotus Notes is a client/server group communication system. The Notes server
is licensed on a per-user basis. Lotus offers graphical Notes clients for a
variety of GUI platforms. Upon its release in 1988, Notes took the lead in the groupware
market because it was, for all intents and purposes, the only product in that
category. Notes is exceedingly expensive. Even right out of the box, Notes is many times more expensive than a traditional e-mail program. For the software alone, organizations must
budget several hundred dollars per user in licensing fees. Companies must
then factor in the cost of a consultant... unless someone in the organization
can devote several months to learning Notes. Respected publications like
MacWEEK(1) urge managers to budget 400-500 hours of a consultantUs time for
configuration of a typical 100-user Notes installation. As functional as the Notes interface is, managers find new users require more hand-holding than usual when learning the program. Some Notes features are intuitive, while others are esoteric. Training often requires breaking
learned e-mail habits and introducing a new paradigm of sharing. Given the
expense of such training, this a large consideration for companies. Add the costs of
training, and MacWEEK suggests a 100-user Notes system could eventually cost
half a million dollars. Most companies find this cost prohibitively
- Commence provides calendar functions for individuals and groups. A form could be created to support your task requirements. Anyone could enter new tasks or update the status of others. A report format could be used for a discussion forum in two ways. One could have links to sub-topics, or all topics could be on the main form. Document sharing could be a function of your network setup, or you could have document pointers within Commence that link to tasks,
forum topics, or calendar events. Documents are maintained outside
of Commence unlike Notes. Documents could be in any format Write,
Word Perfect, Word for Windows, Excel, and etc. A single user Commence client costs $395.00. A ten user LAN pack costs $1,995.00 or $199.50 per seat.
- LinkWorks is described as "an extensible object oriented workgroup framework built on open, distributed client/server services
supporting integration of custom and third party personal, business and groupware applications into a secure and robust heterogeneous, multivendor environment.
The Gartner Group recently described LinkWorks V3.0 as a "technological tour de force...at least 2 years ahead of the competition.. the industry's pre-eminent, general-purpose, multiplatform, standards-based, client-server, object-based workgroup system." (Gartner Group OIS Research Note, March 15, 1995, C-DEC-1379)."
- SoftArcUs FirstClass group communication software offers person-to-person e-mail, group communication through shared, replicable group discussion databases, access to newswire and other information sources (including the Internet), and a basic environment for workflow processing. Unlike Notes, FirstClass offers two
levels of user licensing (regular licenses and less-expensive remote user
licenses). Also unlike Notes, the FirstClass client software for all
platforms and languages is freely distributable, and optional VT100 access is
available. BYTE Magazine called FirstClass a serious contender for Lotus Notes market.
- TeamWARE by ICL is a set of apps that provide
MAIL, FORUM, CALENDAR, LIBRARY, and WORKFLOW. The server flavors are
NetWare, NT, OS/2 and some UNIX versions. The client flavors are Windows,
Mac, DOS, and simple terminal. There is also a Mobile Assistant
version that works while you're out of the office. TeamWARE is offering a 90-day full-blown installation for FREE. You get a single CD with everything on it (all servers, all clients, some docs). It works without limits for 90 days then shuts down.
Maintained by John Pike
Updated Wednesday, January 22, 1997