Berlitz Take Notice! If you're guessing that la facture means "the facts," then the Quicktionary is for you. Pass the Quicktionary's tip over the printed word to discover that la facture, in fact, means "the invoice." This neat little device from Seiko Instruments USA Inc. is a portable hand-held optical scanner containing more than 400,000 words and idioms in French, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, German, Italian, Korean, or Dutch (one language per scanner).
The device reads plain, italic, or bold fonts and type sizes between eight and 14 points. It shows word-by-word translation on a screen that displays up to three lines of text, with 20 characters per line. It will translate words of up to 32 characters in length, and will store/retrieve the last 75 words translated.
The product comes with an "OptiCard," which allows the user to scan in individual letters when a word is inconvenient to scan. Each letter on the "OptiCard" has a bar code for simple entry and translation. The device also scans inverted text, divided and/or hyphenated words with ease.
The unit's menu includes an option that allows displayed text to be flipped upside down, allowing easy operation by both right- and lefthanded users.
The Quicktionary retails for about $250. For more information about the scanner, call (800) 344-5555 or visit www.theriver.com/cpd/quicktionary. To find a dealer, dial (800) 873-4508.
Business Cards Speak Volumes Who says a CD-ROM has to be round? Or that a business card has to be made of paper? Langhorne, Pa.-based Digital Card, Inc. has created a hybrid product with its CD-ROM business card. At just three and three-eighths inches by two and three-sixteenths inches, the Digital Card is slightly larger than an average business card and can store 16 MB of data that will play on any standard CD-ROM drive. Plus, one side of of the card can be imprinted with up to five colors.
Content could include a multimedia kickoff for your reseller incentive; a product guide to hand out at the developer conference; or video clips to augment your message on the www.digital-card.com.floor. A 500-card order runs about $3.50 per card, with significant discounts for larger quantities. For an added fee, Digital Card can create the CD-ROM content. To learn more, contact the company at (212) 769-9152, or Info@Digital- Card.com, or visit
FLAT AND BRIGHT The idea of flat-screen TV has probably been around since "The Jetsons," but execution has been slow coming.
The new Fujitsu General Plasmavision 42 finally delivers what you want in a small-group presentation screen: It's bright enough to be shown with all the room lights on, and large enough (42-inch diagonal measure) that attendees don't have to strain to read. Dual input terminals mean you can show video or computer graphics without having to use a scan converter--and it's compatible for DVD or HDTV. This six-inch-deep monitor goes for a mere $11,000. For more information, call (888) 888-3424 or visit www.plasmavision.com.
Leave Me a Message . . . I'll pick it up immediately because I'm using Pocketalk, a hand-held cross between a pager and an answering machine. It works just like an answering machine, except you don't have to call in to get your messages. You can set it the same way you set a pager: beep, vibrate, or auto-answer. It will fast- forward and rewind just like an answering machine. Pocketalk operates on a special wireless network based on Motorola's InFLEXion technology, which allows high-speed transmission of voice messages. The network operator is CONXUS Communications, Inc., based in Greenville, S.C. At press time, Pocketalk service had been rolled out in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and the New York metropolitan area. Because the service is offered by local paging companies, prices may vary. When it was introduced in New York, the device was available for $49 plus a $10 activation fee and a $20 monthly charge. Coming next: Pocketext, which will be a cross between a pager and e-mail, in that it will receive long text messages wirelessly. To learn more, go to www.pocketalk.com. To order, call (888) 226-6987.
* SOMEWHAT USEFUL
* VERY USEFUL
Pre- and post-meeting, surveys are critical, but when you need feedback from 2,000 users, it's not a simple task. SurveyTracker Plus software from National Computer Systems can help with the process--from creating custom surveys, to entering results, to preparing reports.
When designing a survey, users choose among survey templates and response scales, and have control over graphics, layout, and colors. The designs are intended for scanning, but other data collection options include e-mail and the Internet. The software also has checklists for tracking details and schedules, and monitoring budgets. It retails for $3,495, and prefers 32 MB of RAM and 20 MB of hard disk space. For more information, call (800) 447-3269, or visit www.ncs.com.