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Slate leads Pen PC charge into mainstream. (Slate Corp.'s Day-Time Pen Scheduler; Pensoft Corp.'s Perspective introduced at Pen Computing 1992 trade s

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Slate Corp and Pensoft Corp introduce personal information management systems designed for the pen-based computing environment at the Pen Computing Trade Show in San Jose, CA. Slate's $195 Day-Timer Pen Scheduler is an electronic organization tool that supports both Go Corp's PenPoint operating system and Microsoft Corp's Windows for Pen Computing. Although it does not convert handwriting into text, it does allow users to tap linked information from a single entry, and is touted as a productivity booster. Pensoft Corp's $299 Perspective automatically links data between entries with a feature called the Associate. It also includes a planner, address book, to-do list and notebook. Slate also plans to bring out a word protection utility program for Pen-based systems. The $99 Safety Pen will be available in the 2nd qtr of 1992.

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 1992 ZDNet


By Erica Schroeder

Slate Corp. is out to prove that pen computing is a viable environment for mainstream corporate computing.

Having recently unveiled its pen spreadsheet, the Scottsdale, Ariz., company has picked this week's Pen Computing 1992 conference, in San Jose, Calif., to announce its personal information manager (PIM) for Go Corp.'s PenPoint and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows for Pen Computing.

Also counting on the pen industry to expand beyond the current forms-based data-collection market is PenSoft Corp., which will also announce its own PenPoint PIM, Perspective, at the show.

Due out next quarter, Slate's Day-Timer Pen Scheduler, which was developed jointly with Day-Timers Inc., is an electronic version of that company's personal organizer and features a phone book, memo pad, "to do" list and multiple-view calendar, according to sources briefed by Slate. The $195 product uses on-screen "ink" and does not convert handwriting to text, unlike most pen applications, sources said. Users can switch between day, week and month views with a single pen gesture. Users can also tap on a s ingle entry to view other linked information, said sources.

"It allows you to organize [items] by circling an item and moving it," said a source familiar with the product. "Most people write things down and shuffle them later, and you can't do that with paper unless you use scissors and tape. It's an area where people can justify the expense because of the increased productivity." By using pen gestures, users can also drag and drop entries to rearrange information in different sections of the Day-Timer Pen Scheduler. The product allows users to download data, such as contact lists, in ASCII format from a desktop PC, said sources.

"Pen Scheduler is the most ink-centered product we've seen so far," said Portia Isaacson, president of Dream It Inc., a Cambridge, Mass., market researcher. "It's like paper, but better."

PenSoft is aiming to distinguish its PIM by deploying its own object-oriented database technology, with handwriting recognition and automatic links between entries.

The $299 Perspective features the Associate, a tool that automatically creates links between entries. With the Associate, data is automatically linked by any word, such as a name or date, in any of the modules, which include a day planner, month planner, address book, to-do list and notebook.

Users can also create links between entries in Perspective and documents created in other PenPoint applications, according to Robert Roblin, vice president of marketing for PenSoft in San Mateo, Calif.

Perspective, unlike Slate's PIM, uses complete or partial handwriting recognition. For example, if a user wants to link a map to a calendar entry, he or she could choose to convert only the title of the map to text.

Perspective will be available in the second quarter directly from the company, officials said.

Analysts see these entries as the first wave of pen applications geared for the mass market. "They show that the pen is not a toy," said Isaacson. "They are going to cause another increase [of interest] in pen computing."

Also at Pen Computing 1992, Slate will introduce a data-security and password-protection utility for PenPoint called Safety Pen. The $99 product, due out in the second quarter, will provide users with a software lock for pen machines, said sources.

GeoWorks Inc., of Berkeley, Calif., is also expected to announce Pen/GEOS, a pen-enabled version of its GEOS windowing environment, which can run on 8088 and 8086 pen PCs and uses handwriting recognition.

Source Citation:Schroeder, Erica. "Slate leads Pen PC charge into mainstream. (Slate Corp.'s Day-Time Pen Scheduler; Pensoft Corp.'s Perspective introduced at Pen Computing 1992 trade show) (Product Announcement)." PC Week 9.n7 (Feb 17, 1992): 1(2). General OneFile. Gale. Alachua County Library District. 26 Oct. 2009

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