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November 14, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Even if you are not the kind who’s first thought on seeing a mouse is to call the town ratcatcher to dispatch the thing, you might have thought that a mouse was a pretty fixed device, with little potential for upgrading – but a San Diego, California company, Marq Technologies Inc has other ideas. It has conceived a supermouse, the MarqSystem, which starts life disguised as the demanding little rodent that always demands more desk space than you’ve got even after it has kicked obstacles like the coffee cup and ashtray onto the floor. At that stage, it calls itself the MarqMouse, but feed the creature with an optics cartridge – like loading a cassette tape, says the company – and low and behold, you have an image scanner or an optical character reader, or both. The thing offers up to 600 dots-per-inch resolution, ballistic control to optimise cursor control across the screen over a small desk area and make detail work with high resolution monitors easier than with other devices; four programmable mouse buttons and drop-down menus so that users can customise the Mouse for specific applications; 16 levels of gray scale at 300 dpi scanning resolution, so images can be captured at near-photographic quality; Paintbrush-style scanning, so users can capture images of different sizes with a small scanning window and uses minimum desk space; and a transparent scanning window that enables users to see the image as it is being scanned. Once it has been upgraded into a MarqReader, it includes recognition software claimed to provide high accuracy rates designed to solve traditionally common recognition problems such as proportional spacing, restricted typestyles, and multiple font types and sizes on one page; a transparent window that allows users to view data as it is being scanned, reducing the time it takes to proof and correct; and an Audio feedback dammit, the thing even squeaks – a sight-with-sound feature that gives users instant verification to enable 100% accuracy rates. With the audio feedback feature, the user hears numeric data through headphones or an earplug as the data is being scanned. The MarqSystem works with MS-DOS and OS/2 micros and needs 256Kb memory and MS-DOS 2.0 up. Available by the end of this year, MarqMouse includes the basic serial mouse and the control software at $200. The MarqScanner upgrade comes commandeers a full-size expansion slot in your micro, and includes the board, bus converter for the MarqMouse, an optics cartridge and software, and will be available in the first quarter of l989 for $800. The MarqReader upgrade, also due to be out in the first quarter l989, comes with optics cartridge, audio module, headphones, earplug and software, at $1,300.

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