Software

Version 7.0 of Screen’s Trueflow SE software includes a new Equiosnet application designed to integrate CTP and “digital” (toner or inkjet) printing processes, based on Adobe PDF Print Engine 2.

The company plans to make the upgrade available in early 2010. With its Equiosnet system, Screen is introducing a new  approach to its job ticket and imposition engine functions. Initially, this effort focuses on a software module called Equios Pre4m to handle the JDF stripping parameters within Trueflow.

Screen, a division of Japan-based Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., claims that Equios Pre4m features a new design for better enabling MIS and post-press systems through JDF, as the workflow unites data and process management into a single system before any printing takes place.




Toronto-based Prinova Software Inc. has launched version 3.0 of its browser-based messagepoint software, which the company claims to contain 100 new features. messagepoint is designed for businesses to plan, create, target and deliver personalized content to applications like transactional documents.

Prinova explains that messagepoint is well suited for insurance, banking, financial services, telecom, service providers and similar companies that develop and deliver large volumes of personalized business documents.

messagepoint 3.0 includes a new user interface, while the software now has login-access restrictions and other CSR upgrades. Version 3.0 also contains a new Data Connector Bus, which Prinova describes as an interface to external Enterprise Marketing Management systems. The system also includes a new Multi-Channel Delivery Connector Bus and new reporting functions.




Google revealed new information about its upcoming operating system called Chrome OS, yesterday. The system will be based completely on cloud computing technology, meaning little, if any, content will be stored natively on computers.

The advantage of such an arrangement, of course, is that users will be able to access all of their data from any computer in the world. The Chrome OS is said to be "instant-on" system, with no need to load drivers and other resident software on computers. As a result, Google will be keeping access to Chrome OS to computers specifically approved to run it.

The project was announced in July, but today brought more details, such as the fact that the entire project will be made open-source and the release date is tentatively set for the end of 2010.

Of course, your data will be in the hands of Google and even with its famous "Don't be evil" motto means it raises privacy and security concerns. For the typical personal computer user, this is becoming less of an issue as Google's current applications such as Gmail have eased fears with sheer convenience.

According to Google, having data hosted on cloud servers mean computers will become more like televisions, with a healthy speed boost as well. Computing speed would no longer be dependent on your local hardware, lowering the entry costs to consumer-end computers.

No information has been provided on the pricing of such an OS or the associated hardware, except that Google "expects to have devices in the price ranges people are used to today." Technologically speaking, cloud computing is rapidly emerging from the realm of fiction, but the question that remains is whether or not users can wrap their heads around having personal data in the hands of a corporation.




At Graphics Canada next week, LithoTel Software Design plans to highlight its recently launched DynaLinx application, which is engineered for on-screen colour approvals between printing companies and their customers.

DynaLinx allows both parties to remotely view and compare a digital soft proof versus a soft press sheet on the same monitor. The system works in real time, a virtual press approval, as operators can make instant changes that the client automatically sees. This software fits LithoTel’s booth theme: “Reduced makeready times and materials.” (The company will be present on two booths during the show, 3212 and 3214.)

LithoTel also plans to preview the new Techkon SpectroDrive scanner, as well as existing products in Techkon’s line of handheld instruments.

With its primary development focusing on colour-management applications for the pressroom, LithoTel also recently released ColorLinx version 8.0, which works with ink-key presetting, closed-loop colour control on press, and – using DynaLinx – remote customer colour approvals. The Whitby, Ontario-based company also develops ColorLinx Preset software, which focuses on CTP imaging within a shop, as well as ColorPro 7.1 software and FlexPro.





Microsoft today released its latest Windows iteration, worldwide. The new version has been warmly received by testers and moves the company away from Vista, which is seen as disappointing in both performance and sales.

“With Windows 7, there’s never been a better time to be a PC,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “Together with our partners, we’re bringing more choice, flexibility and value to the market than ever before. With Windows 7, you’re sure to find a PC that fits your life.”

There is a choice of three versions for consumers: Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. Equipment builders can also opt to include Windows 7 Starter Edition for lower-powered computers such as netbooks or set-top boxes. In order to run certain programs built for Windows XP, the Professional or Ultimate version is required.

Most of the new features of Windows 7 centre around media capabilities such as handling video, photos and music. The operating system also makes it easier to network PCs together and brings better touch-screen integration for new laptops.

Upgrade pricing ranges from $129 for the Home Ultimate upgrade to $279 for Windows 7 Ultimate version.



 

Montreal-based Objectif Lune will be providing its PrintShop Mail software for use in Océ's colour and monochrome production cut-sheet solutions. This comes after Océ has certified the software for use in its machines, which includes the VarioPrint line and Océ's CS655 and CS665 systems.

Objectif Lune's PrintShop Mail software aids in the creation of highly personalized transpromo documents. PrintShop Mail software works in any business environment and comes as a desktop version for producing one-off communications for prospecting, or a web version for managing and producing ongoing and repetitive communications.

"Océ cut-sheet production brings users flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness for shorter run variable data printing applications. When print providers combine these capabilities with the ease of PrintShop Mail software from Objectif Lune, they gain a productive, integrated approach to variable data applications. We're pleased to partner with Objectif Lune to bring our customers a solution to help them capture new opportunities in variable data printing," said Eric de Goeijen, Vice President, Marketing, Océ North America Production Printing Systems division.

Objectif Lune was founded in 1993 and has since grown to have 11 sales offices around the world. In 2004, it acquired PrintShop Mail through the purchase of Netherlands-based Atlas Software B.V. 


Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems Ltd. demonstrated its recently released Kodak Prinergy Business Link, while at PRINT 09 in Chicago. The company, which has been in business for 25 years, states this new link fits into its “JDF-certified Print MIS” software.

More specifically, the Kodak Prinergy Business Link is a part of Avanti’s branded Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, which primarily holds various data-driven tools for what the company refers to as relationship, sales, and marketing-campaign management.

Also within its CRM module, Avanti highlighted its MIS integration with Microsoft Outlook, allowing for more transparent communications for a company's sales staff. The company claims to have over 400 software installations, primarily in North America.

Version 10.6 of Apple's Macintosh operating system, branded as Snow Leopard, hit the stores last Friday, marking a decade of the company building the system. Apple states the new OS has hundreds of refinements, new core technologies and out-of-the-box support for Microsoft Exchange.

“For just $29 [$35 in Canada], Leopard users get a smooth upgrade to the world’s most advanced operating system and the only system with built in Exchange support," said Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering.

To create Snow Leopard, Apple claims its engineers refined 90 percent of the more than 1,000 projects that make up Mac OS X. The company points to key features like a more responsive Finder; Mail that loads messages up to twice as fast; Time Machine with an up to 80 percent faster initial backup; a Dock with Exposé integration; and QuickTime X with a redesigned player that allows users to view, record, trim and share video.

Apple also points to a new 64-bit version of Safari 4 that it claims is up to 50 percent faster and resistant to crashes caused by plug-ins. As well, Snow Leopard is said to be half the size of the previous version and frees up to 7GB of drive space once installed.

Ricoh Americas Corporation today announced that the IKON DocSend Server and DocumentMall plug-in developed by EFI passed the rigorous Ricoh Developer Program (RiDP) compatibility testing. As an RiDP Premier Plus member, EFI had access to Ricoh’s Embedded Software Architecture (ESA) platform to develop these solutions. Nearly all of Ricoh's MFP and printer lines manufactured after the fall of 2004, according to the company, have the potential to run ESA.

Engineered for paper-intensive environments like financial services, insurance, healthcare, higher education and legal services, IKON DocSend Server converts paper documents into digital files – Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel or Adobe PDF formats. The software employs optical character recognition (OCR) capability.

In addition, IKON DocSend Server users have a DocumentMall plug-in option to store, manage and share files through the Internet. With this plug-in, user login credentials are matched against the DocumentMall server to protect sensitive documents. Additionally, lists of DocumentMall sites are available to users, as configured by the administrator.

Version 8.1 of the Harlequin PLUS Server RIP includes “substantial enhancements” to trapping and transparency functions, as well as spot-colour processing. According to Global Graphics, improvements to the software’s TrapPro tool result in an increased trapping performance of up to eight times the speed of previous Harlequin versions, due to more efficient use of memory.

While all Harlequin RIPs since Version 6.0 are engineered to recognize when PDF files contain live transparency, version 8.1 now includes further functions to deal with “complex live transparency jobs.” (The ability to properly flatten or render jobs containing transparent pieces of design was a major advantage of Adobe introducing its PDF Print Engine.) Spot-colour conversion in Harlequin ColorPro, according to Global Graphics, has also been fine-tuned to give increased accuracy. ColorPro supports RGB, CMYK, n-colour and grey ICC 4.0 profiles. 


Harlequin Version 8.0 was first introduced in 2008 at drupa and included for the first time multi-threaded rendering – well suited for variable data applications – to take advantage of Duo and Quad core processing technologies. Global Graphics OEM partners including Agfa, ECRM, Xitron, RTI, Polkadots, Screen, Fusion Systems, Compose and Presstek.

Kodak unveiled its new Prinergy PDF File Editor software, which is engineered for users to edit files through Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This in turn enables an operator to perform late-stage modification of production jobs, while also maintaining a history of any changes, preserving all file metadata, and exporting the elements back to the Prinergy system after the editing process.
 
Kodak’s new PDF File Editor is available as an application option for the company’s Prinergy Connect, Prinergy Powerpack and Prinergy Digital Workflow 5.0.3.1 and 5.1.1.0.


The European arm of Fujifilm made the new XMF Remote application commercially available, while North America will see the Web portal and soft-proofing module come online in mid-September at PRINT 09 in Chicago. XMF Remote, as a piece of the XMF workflow, allows printing clients to preflight and submit jobs online and, once in production, to review, annotate and approve jobs and receive real-time notification of the job status.

Significant features, according to the company, include the ability to customize the portal with client branding, while users can upload their production jobs as single or multiple files. Preflighting commences when the files are received, and the client can view both a detailed preflight report and a production-ready version of the actual job. Any errors listed in the preflight report can then be corrected by the originator and new versions uploaded.

Annotation tools are provided in the web portal window. Multiple reviewers can comment on jobs and see comments by others, with the option to automate the notification of approval status and set reminders by email. Once a job is approved, XMF Remote can be configured to directly notify prepress operators or to automatically add the job to the appropriate queue for hardcopy proofing or final output.


California-based Electronics for Imaging obtained what it calls a “sweeping victory” in a long patent dispute with Leggett & Platt Inc., over UV-curing technologies within EFI’s VUTEk division, which builds large-format, inkjet machines.

A federal judge in St. Louis, Missouri held on July 14 that all of the claims in Leggett & Platt's (L&P) U.S. Patent No. 7,290,874 were invalid in relation to EFI’s own patent and printer design technology. Since the legal dispute began in May 2005, EFI has maintained that it was the first to invent and patent the technologies in question. The court agreed, concluding that EFI's UV curing methods were invented and patented (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,457,823 and 6,616,355) before any of L&P's patents. As a result, the court invalidated L&P's patent.

The court's decision is the third in a series of victories surrounding EFI's UV curing technology. The court previously invalidated L&P's U.S. Patent No. 6,755,518, and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed that decision.

A division of Bitstream Inc., Pageflex releases a $695 plug-in, called Studio ID, for Adobe InDesign CS4 working in both Macintosh and Windows platforms. With drivers for PostScript, PDF, and PPML output, Studio ID enables users to design, setup, and run variable-data projects directly in InDesign CS4 – meaning there is no need to convert files into a Pageflex format.

Studio ID includes a point-and-click business rule editor for creating if-then-else rules, and support for Adobe ExtendScript when a project requires more complex rules. “Along with basic variable data features for changing text and images, we’ve incorporated some of the more advanced functionality… [including] our extensive scripting API called Pageflex Actions, which can be used to dynamically manipulate every aspect of an InDesign document on-the-fly,” explained Jeff Perk, Director of Product Management at Bitstream.

With Studio ID, users can prepare variable-data templates and projects for use in Pageflex Storefront, a Web-to-print application. These templates then can be packaged and uploaded to Pageflex Storefront, while files remain in the native InDesign format throughout the Pageflex Storefront workflow. Pageflex Storefront 7.0 now includes integration with Adobe InDesign CS4 Server so that native InDesign documents can be selected, customized, and ordered through a Web browser.

Driven by new Harlequin RIP technology, ECRM’s RIPMate 8.1 includes enhancements for rendering and trapping complex transparencies, as well as new features for processing PDFs in production workflows. The software specifically now includes support for PDF version 1.7 and PDF/X-4, while also supporting JPEG2000, optional content, cross-reference streams, compressed object streams and 16-bit images. Users process their PDFs directly on the RIP through hot folders or the print file menu, while they can can also pull files directly from the latest version of Acrobat or drop PDFs into design applications and RIP.
 
In addition, RIPMate is now able to capture rasterized files, which helps when working with redundant images, particularly when processing PDF files with pages that share a non-variant background and have text varying from page to page. RIPMate is able to scan the PDF for repeating-image pages, and then RIPs the invariant background once, while retaining it for use on the subsequent pages.
 
The new PDF Raster option offers users the ability to create a PDF of the actual rasterized file. Using the in-RIP trapping option, TrapMate, the PDF raster output plug-in can be used to image a composite (halftone) PDF with traps. Users can also turn on the highlight traps feature to output a composite PDF with the traps highlighted in either red or green. This feature, according to ECRM, gives users the ability to output a composite screened CMYK PDF file directly from their RIP or workflow.

A new multi-threading feature allows RIPMate to leverage hyper-threading and multi-core CPU architectures, as well as multiple processors. Multi-threading is now available as a standard RIP feature in most applications. The new Migrate Feature makes allows users to migrate page setups, and input channels and calibrations into the latest version of their RIP.
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