Seybold New York Review--C'mon, Were You Surprised?
Be honest. Did you expect WAM!NET and 4-Sight to merge their telecommunication powers under the same banner at Seybold?
WAM!NET's bold and beautiful acquisition of the UK-domestic-turned-global ISDN provider was the big news at Seybold New York.
Wasn't it the most logical, likely, and yet somehow unlikely, pairing of corporate intentions, philosophies and technologies? Wasn't it just what the commercial printer has been virtually demanding of these two facilitators of digital file delivery? On perhaps a more important note, wasn't it simply surreal to see all those WAM!NET employees in their funky T-shirts standing peacefully, shoulder to shoulder, with the small army of 4-Sight workers in their Kiss Your Courier Goodbye
Talk about a double take!
Actually, there was other news at Seybold New York, which drew crowds to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center recently. Heidelberg and Vancouver-based thermal imaging innovator Creo are moving ever closer in their joint prepress manufacturing and marketing initiatives. Agfa showed enthusiasm for Polaroid's new PolaProof digital halftone proofing device. And, of course, Apple's Steve Jobs, wearing faded blue jeans and sporting his now unmistakable evangelical manner, stood before 1,000 attendees and preached of great things to come from Apple.
Apple Computer, in addition to maintaining the largest booth area (with 10,000 square feet of Seybold space), captured attention with its "Think Different" campaign, which brought the awe-inspiring images of several global, cultural and scientific leaders to the show.
Take a minute to tour Printing Impressions' review for some of the hottest happenings at Seybold New York.
—Marie Ranoia Alonso
Fit to Print
WAM!NET Buys 4-Sight.
WAM!NET announced that it will acquire the assets of 4-Sight Ltd. for approximately $40 million in cash and stock, and merge the operations, product lines and offices of both companies. Two major players in the graphic communications market, WAM!NET and 4-Sight jointly deliver digital connectivity to more than 30,000 sites worldwide.
The merger—due to enter phase one by June—will extend the reach of both companies and facilitate global expansion of their combined services. The 4-Sight-charged WAM!NET will be able to offer a full spectrum of connectivity solutions, ranging from simple dial-up at 50MB an hour of throughput to managed services at more than 2,000MB an hour, plus other products targeted at workflow applications and international connectivity.
"There are synergies in coupling 4-Sight's data transportation software with WAM!NET's managed network infrastructure," reports Ed Driscoll, CEO and co-founder of WAM!NET.
WAM!NET and 4-Sight will merge operations under the existing management structure with corporate headquarters in Minneapolis and an international office in Bournemouth, England.
Driscoll will continue in his current role at WAM!NET; David Townend, 4-Sight's managing director, will become managing director of WAM!NET UK Ltd.
Jobs Affirms Apple's Pledge to Publishing.
Mac superhero Steve Jobs delivered a keynote that was everything, virtually, a graphic designer wanted to hear. Apple Computer's co-founder and interim CEO proclaimed his company's commitment to the publishing marketplace, saying the Mac maker "deeply cares" about publishing and expects to expend resources in the publishing direction.
Jobs outlined the key features in several important Apple software products—ColorSync, WebObjects, AppleScript and QuickTime. Adobe's founder, John Warnock, made a brief cameo during the Apple great's talk.
On the product front, Apple announced its most powerful computer ever—a 300Mhz Power Macintosh G3 with a 1MB 1.2 memory cache. This new Power Mac can be combined with build-to-order options, such as Firewire, Ultra Wide SCSI RAID drives and DVD-ROM, to create a solution for multimedia authors, digital video editors and prepress professionals.
In the World of Workflow. . .
Workflow solutions caused a stir. It seems the field has more players, as more sophisticated solutions for digital image archiving, storage, and content manipulation and management come to market.
The Archetype Applications Division of Bitstream released MediaBank Enterprise Edition, a supercharged MediaBank, and InterSep OPI version 2.5. Canto released version 4.0 of its Cumulus image management software. And Imation Enterprises showed a brand asset management system featuring a centralized image database server and customized hardware and software configurations.
Polaroid's PolaProof Catches The Eye of Agfa's Galileo.
The prepress proof produced by Polaroid's digital halftone proofing solution, PolaProof, has caught the attention of prepress giant Agfa Div., Bayer Corp.
Agfa's Rick Littrell, senior product line manager for CTP output systems worldwide marketing, sat alongside Polaroid's Betty LaBaugh, marketing and communications manager, Richard Close, vice president and general manager, and other Polaroid executives at a press conference for the PolaProof and the company's two latest product launches:
Polaroid DryJet II, the next generation DryJet proofing system, and Pressto!, a suite of proofing software.
Agfa's digital platesetter, Galileo, works well in tandem with the Pola-Proof, Agfa's Littrell and Polaroid's Close stated during a press conference. The Galileo/PolaProof combo is currently employed at United Lithograph, in Somerville, MA. Littrell reports Agfa is looking forward to continued teamings of the Polaroid PolaProof and the Agfa Galileo.
Here's a Sampling of Products That Made Their Debut.
Creo Products announced SQUAREspot, the new trademark for its thermal imaging technology. Cymbolic Sciences showcased the LightJet 5030 medium-format printer. DuPont profiled Croma-Net color technology and the Digital WaterProof AX4.
Epson America announced the EPSON Stylus Pro 5000 digital color proofing solution. Extensis unveiled version 2.0 of Preflight Pro and Preflight Designer. Fuji announced the introduction of the
CelebraNT RIP, featuring Fujifilm's screening technology and incorporating an Adobe PostScript 3 interpreter, and also launched the Fujifilm C-550 flatbed scanner.
Harlequin announced ScriptWorks 5.0, a software RIP management system to implement PostScript Language Level 3 operators. Hermstedt launched Business Plus ISDN. Hewlett-Packard introduced the HP DesignJet 3000CP Series printers. Kodak Professional showcased the Kodak 8657 thermal printer. Scitex unveiled its Ripro Server 5000, FinalTouch software for automatic retouching of scanned images and a new symmetric multiple processor addition to its Brisque Impose DFEs.
One Vision, a German software provider, announced its arrival in the United States by showing products for checking, correcting and editing PDF, PostScript and EPS files on a Windows NT system. One Vision-DigiScript and One Vision-DigiServer adapt digital job files and unify their components to specific production requirements regardless of the software or platform used to create them. One Vision also formed an alliance with Océ, which will market One Vision's products through its dedicated digital printing and publishing marketing organization.
Silicon Graphics announced the immediate availability of technology to enable fast PostScript to PDF generation on the IRIX platform, including SGI's O2 and OCTANE workstations and Origin servers.
Splash launched the Splash DocuPress Series, which includes the Splash DocuPress Ultra v.2.3 and Splash DocuPress v.2.3, which support the Xerox midrange digital color printers. And UMAX Technologies announced the latest additions to its Astra scanner line, the Astra 1220 series of scanners.
Agfa Launches Product and Educational Initiatives.
Agfa formally launched Agfa Direct, a direct source for many Agfa software and desktop products, to the professional graphic design, desktop publishing, and home and office markets.
Agfa also introduced its Digital Roadmaps program, which includes a seminar series and booklets that focus on specific technologies, such as CTP, PDF workflow and digital printing. As part of Digital Roadmaps, MAN Roland has partnered with Agfa to offer seminars worldwide to assist commercial printers with high-tech innovations. Agfa also released its new
IntelliPrep off-line RIP station for the Chromapress digital color printing system, and announced completion of its acquisition of the DuPont Graphic Films and Offset Printing Plates business units. Also, the Antares family of CTP solutions, a line of three platesetters, was unveiled.