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SSF--The Internet Seybold

October 1999
When Seybold closed the doors to its 1999 San Francisco expo last month, three technology trends stood dominant: the Internet, PDF and the quest for the all-digital workflow.


BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


If one potent word could sum up the energy, enthusiasm and very direction of Seybold San Francisco, held for the final time this century at the Moscone Center last month, it could easily be: Internet.

The Internet, the World Wide Web. Seybold San Francisco was a virtual debutante's ball for the global gateway that is the Internet. New companies emerged as major players for the commercial printing market—all gearing to harness the Internet to facilitate everything from print bidding to electronic job ticketing to remote proofing and full production management.

Who were the players? In addition to digital file transfer staples such as WAM!NET and emerging managed networks, including Vio, a range of new Internet heavies including Collabria, Impresse and Noosh, used Seybold to boldly stake their claims in commercial printing.

To bring Seybold San Francisco home, Printing Impressions presents this look at Seybold's Internet domination, Steve Jobs' electric launch of Apple Computer's new G4 super computer, the emergence of new PDF workflows, as well as a variety of moves in wide-format printing, digital prepress, color management, digital asset management and more.

G4 Takes the Stage
Apple Computer's always dynamic Steve Jobs—quite possibly the longest entrenched interim CEO in the history of corporate America—impressed Mac-dependent crowds during his keynote speech, at which time he introduced the new G4 Power Macintosh. Better and faster than the much-touted G3, Apple's G4 (available in 400MHz, 450MHz and 500MHz versions) is so powerful, Jobs reports, that the U.S. military has taken notice—ordering Apple not to ship the super computer to certain foreign countries.

Yes, it can handle large image files in Photoshop. Jobs told the Seybold crowds that the G4's speed is based on a core architecture that incorporates a 128-bit Velocity Engine that processes four 32-bit floating point operations in one computing cycle. To prove his point, Jobs did a demo with the G4, in which a 500MHz G4 proved to be approximately three times faster than a comparably equipped 600MHz Pentium III at handling a variety of Photoshop operations.

How to improve the G4? Offer, as its companion, a 22˝ flat-panel color monitor dubbed the Apple Cinema Display, with a 1,600x1,024 pixel display. The monitor, which shared the stage with Jobs for the G4 launch, provides high contrast with zero flicker.

Internet Awareness
Unquestionably, the true star at Seybold San Francisco was the Internet. For starters, Noosh, a Web-based business-to-business communication service founded last year, announced it has formed a strategic working relationship with Adobe to improve the print-job process. Noosh has fully integrated Adobe's PDF technology for streamlining the prepress, printing and publishing process.

Noosh.com, an Internet-based communication service for the printing industry. was also launched at Seybold. Noosh.com provides a centralized, collaborative environment where corporate buyers, printers and creative agencies all work together to efficiently manage complex corporate printing. By utilizing Noosh Live Jobs technology, print buyers, printers and creative agencies have the opportunity to create and manage print jobs on the Noosh system.

Others on-line at Seybold San Francisco included Impresse and Collabria. Impresse.com is a new business-to-business e-commerce portal that is targeting the print purchasing and print production processes for commercial printers and corporate print buyers. Commercial printers can turn to the Impresse Internet print procurement service for managing projects through production, maintaining contract relationships with customers and scoring new print orders.

As for Collabria, PrintCommerce is an Internet service available on a subscription basis. PrintCommerce streamlines operational processes so that the true cost of print production can be reduced—this way print buyer benefits are delivered through real and sustainable printer and print reseller savings, rather than forcing them to shave more points off their margin.

And then there is PrintBid.com, a Web-based print buying service that enables visitors to its site to submit print jobs, allowing commercial printers to place subsequent bids for the work. At Seybold, PrintBid.com's subsidiary introduced PaperDeals.com—an Internet-based auction site for commercial printing paper stocks. PaperDeals.com follows the open model of PrintBid.com, only it deals with the buying and selling of paper stocks, as opposed to print jobs.

In other Internet moves, Digital Art Exchange (DAX) expanded its iSERIES product line with the addition of DAX T1i, a flat rate, budgetable Internet T-1 service, including equipment and hosted applications. DAX T1i provides a pathway for bandwidth-intensive applications, such as digital asset management and Web hosting.

New File-transfer Offering
Seybold San Francisco also marked the official U.S. introduction of WAM!NET's Internet Gateway (www.wamgate.com)—the latest file-transfer offering from the "Industry Smart" network service provider. The Website provides a buffer between the Internet and the WAM!NET network and maintains all Internet Gateway account data, plus manages each file's entry into the WAM!NET network. Files are uploaded to the Gateway and moves in a store-and-forward manner, through multiple firewalls into and from the WAM!NET network.

WAM!NET and Impresse used Seybold to announce a letter of intent to jointly market and sell Impresse's automated, end-to-end Internet print procurement service. The WAM!NET digital delivery network will provide the impresse.com service with an enhanced, secure and predictable way to send large files via its Internet Gateway, ISDN On!Ramp or Direct! services.

"The synergy between the WAM!NET digital network and our breakthrough e-commerce tools for print procurement and supply chain management will bring unparalleled opportunities to the graphic arts industry," reported Nimish Mehta, president and CEO of Impresse, at Seybold San Fran. "The Internet has opened the door to centralize and modernize the printing industry's complicated transactions."

One Extreme Workflow
Prinergy, a page-based workflow solution, was launched at Seybold by Creo and Heidelberg Prepress. Prinergy is the first workflow management system, to date, that utilizes not only Adobe PDF, but also Adobe Extreme, a prepress architecture based on Adobe PostScript 3 that uses Adobe PDF and the Adobe Portable Job Ticket Format to automate prepress processes.

Prinergy's goal is to provide a distributed digital workflow. As a client/server architecture, Prinergy sports a universal interface, allowing for cross-platform publishing. Prinergy implements the full Adobe Extreme system, which automates the prepress process, keeping machines running at full capacity to avoid errors and reduce lost production time.

Prinergy also allows prepress operators much more control over output options, resulting in increased flexibility for activities such as just-in-time imposition. An accessible, scalable, page-based workflow, Prinergy maximizes Adobe's PDF and gives a much-needed direction to Adobe's

Extreme architecture. Stay tuned for more innovations involving Adobe's PDF and Extreme architecture, the likes of Prinergy.


Printing Impressions' Seybold Hit List

Adobe Systems emphasized InDesign, its most recent page layout program based on an open, object-oriented architecture that is extensible. Adobe also announced the availability of Adobe PressReady software, which began shipping to customers last month. A professional printing and proofing tool for select desktop color ink-jets, PressReady is Adobe's first shrink-wrapped printing solution that enables users to create high-quality color prints from desktop ink-jets using Adobe PostScript 3, Adobe PDF and industry color standards. PressReady is a new host-based Adobe PostScript 3 RIP optimized for graphic arts ink-jets.

Agfa introduced the Phoenix family of internal-drum imagesetters available in two models: the Phoenix 2000, a 20x27˝ format imagesetter for four-up applications; and the Phoenix 2250, a 22.5x29.3˝ format that matches the standard format for most mid-sized, four-up sheetfed presses. Phoenix is a new broadsheet-format imagesetter designed for the format, resolution and punch configuration needs of newspaper publishers. The Phoenix family joins Agfa's clan of imagesetters, which includes the Avantra line. Agfa also announced the availability of its AgfaJet Sherpa digital proofers, which include the two-sided ink-jet imposition proofer, Sherpa 2; a higher resolution contract proofer, Sherpa 43; and a wide-format digital proofer, the Sherpa 62.

Applied Graphics Technologies (AGT), a provider of outsourced digital media asset management services, and Vio Worldwide Ltd., operator of the only global managed digital network dedicated to the graphic arts industry, announced they have formed a strategic alliance to create a global digital media asset management service. The alliance will result in a unique service called M-Cast, which will allow corporate brand owners and their in-house or independent graphic arts service providers to build, update and access a database of their digital media assets—still images, illustrations, logos, videos and sound files—efficiently and economically from anywhere in the world over Vio's secure, managed network. M-Cast combines AGT's Digital Link asset management technology with the secure file transfer of Vio's IP-based Digital Graphics Network.

Artesia Technologies announced the availability of its TEAMS 3.0 digital asset management solution. TEAMS 3.0 enhances Artesia's existing content management product by offering new personalization features, increased support for relationship management and expanded rich media publishing capabilities within an enterprise-class framework. It has been strengthened by the addition of load-balancing and fault-tolerant failover features that work to extend the power and functionality of the Oracle-based TEAMS software.

Banta Integrated Media and Bitstream subsidiary PageFlex have teamed to integrate Banta's Bmedia content management software with the flexible variable composition capabilities of PageFlex, developed for the on-demand, variable printing market. The original PageFlex product, now called Mpower, works with Bmedia to deliver end-to-end publishing for the production of database-driven, customized documents.

Canon caused a stir with the BJ-F8500, positioned to be a challenger to Epson's Stylus Pro 5000 digital proofer. Both are six-color, A3 printers with similar pricepoints. Canon's ink-jet proofer is driven by a Best RIP. Also from Canon, a new series of large-format ink-jet printers appearing in 24˝ and 36˝ widths and driven by EFI RIP technology are on the horizon.

Canto Cumulus is moving upmarket to the enterprise level with the release of Cumulus 5.0, which features a new architecture that will enable Cumulus to interface with other databases.

Cascade Systems introduced the Cascade Merchant Publishing Solution, an integrated solution for maximizing print, Internet and other media. Along this theme, Cascade—with an emphasis on the catalog market—announced that it has partnered with Adobe to incorporate Adobe's InDesign page layout program.

Corel launched a brand-new addition to its line of graphics applications—CorelDRAW 9 Premium Color Edition. CorelDRAW 9 features Heidelberg ColorOpen ICC LE, an ICC color profiling solution for prepress. Heidelberg's ColorOpen ICC LE features a trio of modules that help generate accurate color profiles for input, display and output devices. Users can generate ICC-compliant monitor profiles in minutes with CorelDRAW's luminance sensor of ViewOpen ICC LE. Accurate color calibration helps users take advantage of soft proofing via their monitors.

Creo introduced the Renaissance II, a high-performance drum scanner capable of scanning up to 20 8.5x11˝ separations per hour, while running a variety of tasks simultaneously. A wide range of hardware and software features on Creo's new drum scanner offer flexibility, including support for spot colors, multiple versions and breakouts, variable output resolution and tonal calibration. Finished copydot files can be placed directly into imposition software. The open architecture of the Renaissance II promises seamless connectivity to a variety of digital workflows.

DALiM is back in the spotlight—announcing the release of TWiST 4.0 workflow software and LiTHO 4.0 page composition and retouching software. Both TWiST 4.0 and LiTHO 4.0 are available on the SGI and Sun platforms. TWiST streamlines prepress and publishing processes by creating workflows to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks, such as preflighting and trapping. TWiST 4.0 offers a number of new features, including a set of tools that can interface with a database to provide job ticket-driven production.

DuPont showed three new color proofing media for the Epson Stylus Pro 9000 wide-format printer. Building on the DuPont/Epson alliance—struck in March 1998—the three new consumables include a co-branded commercial gloss, a commercial matte and a publication roll media especially designed for the Stylus Pro 9000. The new roll proofing paper and DuPont color matches will reportedly enable customers to achieve the same proof quality and consistency as established by the Stylus Pro 5000.

EFI announced two new next-generation server platforms, the Fiery Z4 and Fiery X4. The new servers incorporate advances in color performance, networking capabilities and workflow productivity for the graphic arts market.

Enfocus unveiled PitStop Server, a PDF solution for Internet and paper PDF publishers requiring accurate and automated preflighting, correction and editing of multiple PDF jobs, without operator intervention. PitStop Server represents the full range of PitStop core technology modules, used in the Enfocus product PitStop 4.0.

GretagMacbeth showed WebSync, which is a method of synchronizing color monitor appearance with Websites across the Internet, and iCSync, a color management technology for the Internet. Based on WebSync, GretagMacbeth developed iCSync to meet the needs of design professionals looking for an accurate method for generating ICC monitor profiles. The company also demonstrated ProfileMaker Professional 3.0, a suite of four integrated color management applications (ProfileMaker, MeasureTool, ProfileEditor and ColorPicker) driven by an intuitive user interface.

Heidelberg Prepress announced a collaboration with WAM!NET in which WAM!NET will bundle Heidelberg's color management software with a new version of its remote color proofing services, WAM!PROOF. Heidelberg, in turn, will bundle and sell the WAM!NET network service into its direct image and platesetter equipment. WAM!NET also announced an agreement with Impresse to jointly market and sell Impresse's new automated, end-to-end Internet print procurement service.

Heidelberg Color Publishing Solutions showed its Linotype SAPHIR HiRes scanner, which features a vibration-free MovingPlate design. Its DoubleLens system lets users select the resolution that best suits their original's size. It has an optical resolution of 3,048x3,048 dpi in HiRes mode.

Hewlett-Packard announced the worldwide availability of its HP DesignJet 488CA series large-format printers for graphics customers. HP also introduced two new media, HP Design Heavyweight Paper and HP Design Glossy Paper, to support the new HP DesignJet ColorPro GA printer. Engineered as part of the HP DesignJet ColorPro GA system for high performance B+/A3 conceptual proofing, the media supports the system's ability to simulate offset printing with color accuracy. To optimize this simulation, the printer must first be calibrated using one of the two new medias. HP Design Heavyweight Paper (C6790A) consists of 100 sheets of 13x19˝ bright-white, matte-finish paper. HP Design Glossy Paper (C6791A) consists of 50 sheets of 13x19˝ photo-based paper, designed for graphic designers seeking up to full-bleed, photo-realistic proofs that mimic offset printing.

Iterated Systems, a developer of digital imaging systems, announced the MediaBin platform, a cross-media solution for image production, repurposing and distribution. MediaBin is a server-based image processing platform that automates and manages high-volume image production for print and e-commerce. The MediaBin platform was designed for brand-centered corporations, cross-media publishers, photo stock houses and any other organizations that depend on image assets. MediaBin provides: automated post-creative image processing, particularly in high volume and with tight deadlines; control of brand-centric images across media types, such as catalogs or e-commerce; and user collaboration in image production workgroups.

Kodak Professional featured its recently released DCS 330 professional digital camera, a three megapixel device that delivers high resolution for portrait-quality images. It is built around Kodak imaging technology and a Nikon Pronea 6i body, allowing it to accept most standard Nikon lenses. The DCS 330 has a 1.8˝ color LCD for image analysis, a microphone for voice recording and an integrated flash. The CCD is a new, indium tin oxide, 2,008x1,504-pixel unit with improved spectral response.

Markzware announced its new product MarkzNet, a Web-based solution that preflights, collects, compresses, captures job ticket information, and transmits native digital documents over an IP network like the Internet or intranet. MarkzNet can be used to send files from a creator to a service bureau or printer. Like FLIGHTCHECK, MarkzNet helps to eliminate output problems, but with additional features. When a set of files is ready to go, they are delivered to their destination by the Internet. They are accompanied by a TrueFile specification file with any required additional data, like operator instructions, customer information or data needed for efficient automatic routing.

MicroNet demonstrated FibreFlex, a fibre channel, SAN solution that enables users to share data at speeds greater than traditional networks. At the heart of the FibreFlex solution is MicroNet's Genesis RAID system, a high-capacity, high-performance fibre channel RAID system providing up to 1.4 terabytes of centralized storage.

Microsoft launched Publisher 2000, a business desktop publishing program designed to help businesses create professional-looking marketing materials. Publisher now provides more than 2,000 professional-design templates that can be customized to meet the needs of the user. The newest version of the popular business desktop publishing program for the Windows operating system provides a complete publishing solution with print-to-Web design expertise and full support for commercial printing.

Nikon showed its Nikon DI—a single-lens-reflex, 2.7 megapixel digital camera. The Nikon DI is targeting photo journalists and professional photographers. Nikon DI captures 2,012x1,324 active pixels, with a ready time that is less than one-half second and a 58 millisecond shutter lag.

OneVision announced that all eight of its prepress workflow management and optimization software products are now Mac OS X Server compliant. Mac OS X Server versions of OneVision's Asura, Solvero and various plug-ins will ship to customers by the end of this month. OneVision develops prepress workflow solutions for newspapers, financial printers, and all types of general commercial printers. Among its platform-independent products are: Asura, a fully automated correction and optimization tool that preflights digital files and makes on-the-fly corrections automatically; and Solvero, a set of professional tools for editing and optimizing PostScript, PDF and EPS files, providing output in PostScript, EPS or PDF, depending upon client workflow needs.

Pantone and DuPont announced the first Pantone-licensed digital color proofer that supports the PANTONE Hexachrome six-color printing process. DuPont Digital WaterProof supplies a missing link in the Hexachrome printing process by providing a digital proofing solution to enhance the Hexachrome workflow. DuPont's latest version of its four-color Digital WaterProof employs a newly developed color management system capable of providing accurate print prediction and the color versatility to proof the expanded gamut of Hexachrome, allowing users to match most PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM colors. The new capability, included in version 4.2 of DuPont Digital WaterProof software, allows proof makers to show their clients accurate spot colors and custom process colors on digital proofs without using overlays or substituting process colors.

Purup-Eskofot showed its latest scanner, the EskoScan Vincent. It's an A3 flatbed scanner that uses its XY technology to digitize any type of original material. It employs Purup-Eskofot's CopyDot technology. The EskoScan Vincent offers increased maximum density and dynamic CCD cooling, as well as faster scanning speed. It also boasts a new image editing program called PERfection.

Splash Technology demonstrated the Splash G Series color servers, designed for the Apple Power Macintosh G3 platform. They are designed for use with the new Xerox DocuColor 12, DocuColor 30 Pro and DocuColor 40 Pro digital color printers. With Splash's Proof-then-Print technology, the Splash G Series color servers can be configured to print simultaneously to a large-format printer, allowing a user to proof from a printer and then print to a large-format device.

T/R Systems announced the addition of the Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 1000 series wide-format printers to the growing family of supported print devices with the MicroPress. The connectivity of the HP DesignJet 1000 series printers continues T/R Systems' integration of wide-format printing devices, allowing up to 12 HP DesignJet printers to be clustered on a single MicroPress. T/R Systems, the inventors of the MicroPress, also unveiled its e-Power initiative, allowing Internet active applications to support the e-business paradigm for the print-on-demand market. Version 5.0 of the MicroPress, also announced at Seybold, will provide the foundation for increased Internet opportunities for T/R Systems' cluster printing movement.

Xeikon demonstrated a new DCP/50D VariScript solution press, which offers commercial printers the ability to take digital color files directly from network to printer, composing and RIPing variable pages, including every element of text, graphics and images, on-the-fly at full press speed. In addition to VariScript, the Xeikon booth featured the eXpert Plus Solution for the DCP/50D, which offers extended storage, virtually unlimited electronic collation, automated workflow and the ability to preview and manipulate ready-to-print files right up until press time.

Xerox showed ContentGuard, a publishing system that provides full control over the use of digital content. ContentGuard tracks usage and fee collection, specific rights and permissions for digital content and incorporates encryption and user authentication technologies, as well as e-commerce. ContentGuard is customizable and suited for a variety of applications, including on-line sale and distribution of specialty reports and articles.

Xinet released WebNative version 2.0 and FullPress version 10.0, adding increased functionality to its WebNative and FullPress prepress software solutions. WebNative 2.0 allows the service provider to wrap each customer's WebNative browser interface inside a unique frame. The customized frame creates a portal that helps build brand equity for the service provider. FullPress 10.0 includes the following features: Scaling up—when images are needed for large-format output, users can select this new tool in FullPress to smooth out the appearance of the enlarged image; strengthened integration with the Scitex Brisque; and support for Adobe's InDesign layout application and graphical job logs, allowing FullPress 10.0 to add thumbnail previews of images to job logs for easy searching. Xinet also showcased WebNative XT, the company's newest QuarkXPress extension that provides drag-and-drop functionality to WebNative working in conjunction with QuarkXPress.

X-Rite announced an enhanced version of its ColorShop software. ColorShop 2.6 includes numerous feature and functionality additions, including density and profile viewer toolkits. ColorShop 2.6, which supports the ICC profile format standard in support of Apple ColorSync and Windows ICM, includes the popular PANTONE color libraries and supports Drop-in Driver (DID) technology, which makes it easy for users to add new X-Rite instruments to their system. The full suite of ColorShop 2.6 tools includes X-Rite's Color Harmony, Color Tweener, Colorimeter Tool, Compare Tool and Match Tool. X-Rite also demonstrated the X-Rite CTP11 Acme Plate Dot Meter, which enables portable, fast, accurate measurement of lithographic printing plates, as well as the X-Rite Monitor Optimizer for USB-compliant monitor calibration.
 

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