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  1. Technology
September 17, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Andest Communications Ltd, the Milton Keynes firm established in May 1989 to exploit the UK market for portable modems, has issued a programmer’s tool kit for the WorldPort 2496 facsimile/data modem. The WorldPort fax/data modems have been distributed exclusively in the UK for a year by Andest following an agreement with US company Touchbase Inc (CI No 1,278), which developed the devices. The modems make it possible for anyone send or receive a facsimile message at 9,600bps on any IBM-compatible machine. Now, Andest managing director Tony Sellers wants to encourage programmers to write for specific applications on Unix, the Apple Macintosh, NetWare environments and Microsoft Windows 3.0. The tool kit includes documents describing the application program interface designed for WordPort 2496 and firmware that incorporates the T30 protocol needed to transmit facsimile messages into the modem itself. Several software houses have already taken on the tool kit to develop and enhance specialist applications for WorldPort 2496. One is Reigate, Surrey-based Specialist Data Solutions, which sells the WorldPort 2496-based Octoplus package designed to help opticians place prescription orders with optical manufacturers more efficiently; orders are entered into a computer and sent via WorldPort to the suppliers’ facsimile machine or for up-loading on their computer system. Specialist Data is using the tool kit to re-design Octoplus so that messages can be sent without having to use the command line facsimile software. Another company, 7E Communications, is working on an X Window-based application for WorldPort that will include an X400 message facility. The toolkit, with interface specification documents, T30 firmware, technical support and access to the Touchbase systems developer’s bulletin board, costs $100; application forms are available from Andest.

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