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  1. Technology
April 21, 1992


By CBR Staff Writer

Go Corp formally launches its object-oriented PenPoint pen-centric operating system

Too late for yesterday’s issue, Foster City, California-based Go Corp duly announced availability of its PenPoint pen computing operating system in San Francisco on Thursday. Three new hardware providers, NEC Technologies Inc, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc and TelePad Corp stepped up to announce their support for PenPoint, joining 22 other hardware providers that have announced their support. Go now expects pen computers running PenPoint from IBM Corp, NCR Corp, GRiD Systems Corp and NEC Corp to be available within 90 days or sooner. Go also announced a Customs Solutions Programme joint marketing alliance with several of its software partners designed to increase the number of custom applications developed for PenPoint. Initial participants are PenMagic Software Inc, Pensoft Corp and Slate Corp, each of which has products that can be used for developing PenPoint applications. All are authorised to distribute the PenPoint Software Development Kit with their respective development tools, and Ingram/Micro Inc and Merisel Inc will also distribute the PenPoint kit. Development for PenPoint can be done using either a pen computer or traditional desktop micro. The company claims that because of PenPoint’s object-oriented architecture, applications have a more consistent user interface, making them easy to learn and use. The company reckons that rapid development of applications for PenPoint is made possible by object-oriented programming – it suggests that the modularity of the operating system allows for efficient code re-use and generally results in applications that are quite small in size and that the user benefits from a consistency of ease of use across all applications and the operating system itself.

Applications for doctors, geographers, emergency forces, crossword puzzlers

On the applications software front, there is a string of general and vertical market applications already. Ink Development Corp announced InkWare NoteTaker, the first notetaker for pen computers; and InkWare Photo, a digital photography application. Notable Technologies Inc announced PenLiner, an intelligent outlining notebook; and PenCross, an adaptation of the crossword puzzle. PenMagic announced Numero, a financial work processor designed to enable mobile pen computer users to complete a wide variety of financial tasks. PenStuff Inc announced FinancialStuff, its second pen-based financial application for PenPoint, described as an easy to use financial analysis package. American Data Voice Systems Inc announced Mortgage Master, a modular system designed to provide true mobility and ease of use for field personnel involved in the Loan Origination, Property Appraisal and Title Search aspects of the mortgage lending process. American TriTech announced PenChart for PenPoint, a family of application frameworks developed to address the needs of Emergency Medical Services, Law Enforcement, Fire and Health Care. Greycat Inc announced ScratchPad, designed specifically for doctors wanting to take notes electronically – presumably its speciality is recognising illegible handwriting. MapFrame Corp announced its Penovation Mapping Series, a family of mapping and geographic information system packages for computers running PenPoint. Penergy Inc announced PenTrial, an electronic notebook for the pharmaceutical industry designed to replace hundreds of paper forms normally used in the clinical trial of a new drug.

Toshiba, NEC and TelePad plan machines

Toshiba Corp says it will develop a pen computer using PenPoint, NEC Corp announced that application developers can develop PenPoint applications on its new UltraLite SL/20P notebook computer. TelePad announced it will come out with a PenPoint version of its TelePad SL pen computer late this summer.

Host of system software announcements include Objective-C compiler

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On the system software side, First Pen Systems Inc announced a pen based Screen Interactive Layout Product or PenSIL, designed for creating and editi

ng graphical interfaces for PenPoint applications. IQ Interface announced of xBase Engine 1.0, a library of functions to provide access to dBase format data, index and memo files. NovoTech announced Objective-C Compiler, an object-oriented programming language for PenPoint; and ICPak 101 Re-usable Component Library for PenPoint. Oracle Corp announced client support, saying that it will provide a developers toolkit enabling client-server application developers to build interfaces between PenPoint and Oracle and IBM databases. The toolkit will include support for Oracle’s programmatic interfaces and a version of SQL*Net and is planned for the fourth quarter. Pensoft Corp announced Perspective Custom Solutions Bundle, which it says supports the creation of custom productivity applications for Pensoft Perspective, an intelligent personal information manager for pen computers. RamBook Publishing Inc announced Architectural Reference ramBooks, which are cross-referenced, hypertext, on-line versions of the PenPoint API and Architectural Reference Programming Manuals. Slate Corp, Scottsdale, Arizona announced Slate PenApps 1.0 applications builder, Slate PenBook electronic book software package; Slate LapLink Pro for PenPoint file transfer utility; Slate At-Hand pencentric spreadsheet; Slate SafetyPen Utilities to provide back-up and password security; and the Slate Day-Timer Pen Scheduler software, a daily planner and notetaker based on the Day-Timer standard. Go will resell Slate’s PenApps as a part of the newly created PenPoint Custom Solutions Alliance and Slate says that more than 400 companies are developing with the PenApps Developer’s Release, which has been available since March 1991. PenApps 1.0, and all other Slate products, will be available by July. WatCom announced WatCom SQL for PenPoint, an SQL database engine for PenPoint. Sitka Corp is shipping its PenTOPS networking software, which will be bundled with every copy of PenPoint. CIC announced Handwriter, the first multi-lingual handwriting recognition system for PenPoint computers. Nestor Inc announced availability of its handwriting recognition NestorWriter software. OCR Systems Inc says its ReadRight Pen for PenPoint, a handprint recognition engine for pen computers is available. And ParaGraph International Inc demonstrated CalliGrapher, its cursive handwriting recognition product.

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