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Demo 96 focuses on Web tools

At Demo 96, an array of new gee-whiz Web products will get a trial run in the desert. Products from companies large and small will take a turn on the demo track.

INDIAN WELLS, California--At Demo 96 a group of seven new Web products will take their first tentative steps under the footlights. Companies ranging from well-known behemoths like Computer Associates International to startups such as Milktruck, LLC will parade new Web-centric tools and utilities at the three-day trade show. The show is sponsored by PC Letter, an industry newsletter produced by IDG Publishing.

Milktruck delivers offline browser
Milktruck, LLC, a Sunnyvale, California, startup today unveiled a new online software utility that delivers Web content on a daily basis using Netscape Navigator 2.0.

A free beta version of Milktruck is available now for Windows 95 and Windows NT PCs on the company's site. In early March, the company will release a full-featured version of the product priced at around $30, said You Mon Tsang, CEO of Milktruck.

Milktruck's goal is to enable fast and efficient Web content delivery both offline and online. To set up Milktruck, you install the client software and indicate which browser you're using. Then you specify which sites should be checked daily for new content. A doorstep icon lets you activate the delivery mechanism whether or not your PC is linked to the Web.

Caching content to a PC's hard drive in order to view downloaded content offline is more efficient than it might seem, said Tsang. "The more stuff you want, the more space you need, but most Web sites are pretty responsible and make an attempt to cut down on graphics. I track ten Web sites on my hard drive, and it only takes up about 4MB of RAM," he said.

Milktruck isn't really intended for novice users, however, despite its homey name. "You'd have to be familiar with basic Web concepts and the idea of links and know what an URL is. A new Web user would probably want to familiarize himself with different sites and then figure out which ones he wanted to track and then set up Milktruck," Tsang said.

The software uses a proxy server setup to work. Sites that support http commands will work with Milktruck to deliver only the content that has changed since the last download. Only about 10 percent of the current Web servers out there don't support http commands, said Tsang.

Milktruck plans to distribute its software technology in several ways. Tsang said the company is hoping to entice browser companies to bundle Milktruck with their software. The startup will also work with Web sites to incorporate the Milktruck technology. Under this scenario visitors to a site might see a "we deliver" form that would enable those with the Milktruck client software to receive specific content from that site.

CA's Jasmine builds commerce apps
Aiming to give business users a better set of Web tools for building electronic commerce applications, mainframe stalwart Computer Associates International today will take the wraps off Jasmine, which is slated for a third-quarter delivery.

The authoring environment works as an add-on to existing browsers. Jasmine is made up of three components: a multimedia execution module; a Web-enabled object-oriented database; and a multimedia authoring tool.

A software development kit is available now from the Hauppage, New York, company. The final version will be priced around $1,000 per copy.

AirMedia Live pushes wireless data
Also at the show, Ex Machina, a New York-based firm will demonstrate AirMedia Live, a wireless broadcast system that works with Net servers to deliver real-time data to users.

Set for delivery this quarter, the $149 package uses a wireless broadcast network coupled with a receiver that attaches to any PC. The PC uses multimedia viewers to sift info on the fly according to user preferences.

TexTure boasts Wysiwyg layouts
FutureTense will unveil TexTure, a Web publishing set that will let users easily create updated pages.

Compliant with Java, TexTure will give users the ability to easily provide custom information to their customers, company officials said. The software works on Windows, Unix, and Macintosh platforms. The software will ship in the second quarter of 1996 and will be priced from $495.

Haht tool links to corporate data
Haht Software will preview Hahtsite, an application development software package that can be used to develop, deploy, and maintain Web applications and Web sites.

Targeted at businesses, the toolset will let users create dynamic Web programs that present data on the fly. This ability to dynamically present data will allow companies to make the Web an extension of their own corporate networks, officials said.

In addition to enabling Wysiwyg layouts for Web pages, the package will also let companies link data to corporate databases. Haht did not provide a shipping date or pricing for the software.

Atlas promises central Web control
Atlas, a Windows-based toolset that promises centralized version control for Web managers and developers, will also be unveiled here today.

According to the Saskatchewan-based company, Atlas will ship during the second quarter. The package will be priced at $499 per node.

LapLink gains Net support
Also at the show, Traveling Software will show off a Windows 95 version of of its venerable PC to server remote links software.

Available today, the $149 package will feature updated support for remote links including connections to the Net or dial-up for multiple tasks. Those tasks include networking, remote control, email, and file transfers. The new version will allow users to complete multiple tasks with a single connection. Traveling software is based in Bothell, Washington.

Pilot moves data between Macs, PCs
Pilot, a pocket-sized organizer from U.S. Robotics, will also strut its stuff. The organizer is aimed at keeping data synchronized between it and desktop systems.

The organizer is the brainchild of the Palm Computing Division of U.S. Robotics. Company officials did not provide details on pricing or delivery dates.

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