John Koliopoulos of Rizer & Associates went looking for a color printer. But he got a lot more, thanks to the Document HomeCentre, a new multifunction machine from Xerox. Koliopoulos took the extra step for one main reason: adaptability. The HomeCentre ($499) performs a number of duties, including copying, scanning and color printing, for Koliopoulos' San Mateo, California-based product research and development company.
"I ask a lot of my resources," says Koliopoulos, 46. "The HomeCentre gives me the functionality of all these other pieces of equipment plus the versatility to produce a document in whatever form necessary."
HomeCentre's feature list is undoubtedly long. First, it boasts an 800 x 800 dpi color scanner that's detachable so you can place it on oversized documents for easier scanning. The HomeCentre is also a 300 x 300 dpi color inkjet printer. It prints text at up to 4 pages per minute (ppm) and color documents at up to 1 ppm. Plus, the HomeCentre offers color copying through your PC.
The HomeCentre's diminutive size (11 7/8-by-17 3/8-by-9 ¼ inches) is also a main attraction; it saves Koliopoulos considerable space by combining many functions into one compact unit. "It's important for me to use my square footage wisely, and the HomeCentre gives me accessibility to many machines in one drawer," he says.
The HomeCentre, available through CompUSA and other select retailers, comes with software, including Pagis Pro 97 for managing and editing scanned photos and text, and TextBridge Pro OCR for turning scanned pages into text. For more information, visit http://www.xerox.com/products/dhc/
There just never seems to be a good place to store CD-ROM discs. If you're like me, you leave your discs in an unorganized heap among your books and files. Fortunately, Curtis Computer Products has a bright solution called the CD Pick.
The CD Pick ($16.95), available in charcoal gray, holds up to 10 discs and comes with a spring-loaded mechanism to retrieve them easily by gently pressing on them. It attaches underneath your bookshelves, freeing up valuable desktop space.
The CD Pick is offered through select retailers or directly from Curtis Computer Products at (319) 263-8144
All Together Now
It's a common scenario: You start with one phone line for voice, fax and Internet communications only to find this setup ineffective. So you purchase a second line for fax and Internet use and keep the original one for your phone. Because your voice and fax/modem lines are separate, however, this solution keeps you from using computer telephony tools to efficiently manage your telecommunications from your PC.
Total E-Call2 ($199.95) from American Network Systems (AmNet) is one hardware/software solution that ties up all the loose ends. The AmNet Telephone Interface Card fits into a standard ISA slot on a PC. This allows you to manage telephone tasks on your PC through the voice line while simultaneously keeping an open Internet or fax connection through the modem line, bringing advanced communications tools to the home office user.
Available through leading retail stores and distributors, Total E-Call2 includes software to create up to 20 voice mailboxes. Standard features let you forward messages to other phones--or even send them via e-mail as audio files, reducing your long-distance charges. Other useful features include an auto-connect to the Internet to send e-mail or download files at preset time periods, RSVP calling to play recorded messages to individuals and record voice responses, and call forwarding so you can receive messages wherever you are, by phone or via the Internet. For more information, visit http://www.americannetwork.com
What's In Storage
With a whopping 1GB of storage per cartridge, SyQuest's SparQ drive is a flexible storage solution. By saving important files and applications on a removable cartridge, you can use it as a second hard drive or easily back up data to it from a desktop computer. You can also create personal "hard drives" for family members on cartridges.
The SparQ drive's sleek design works well on a crowded desk or on the road. Hook it to your computer's parallel port, and it provides extra storage for high-end software, graphics and anything else you can't squeeze on your hard drive. What's more, its portability allows you to transport files and applications.
The SparQ drive ($199), available through select retailers and authorized SyQuest resellers, also comes with McAfee Network Web Scan for detecting viruses before downloading Internet files, and WebVCR off-line browsing software. Cartridges cost $39 each or $99 for a 3-pack. For more information, visit http://www.syquest.com
Because you never know when disaster will strike, it's important to protect your computer with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). If there's an interruption in power, a UPS takes over by providing battery backup power for a few minutes so you can save important files and properly power down the computer. It also protects your computer equipment from potential damage resulting from a power surge or spike.
One model that's ideal for home offices is the Pulsar Desktop 220+ from MGE UPS Systems Inc., sold through select retailers. The Pulsar Desktop 220+ ($129) offers up to 10 minutes of battery backup in the event of an interruption in power. Unlike most clunky UPS systems, the Pulsar Desktop 220+ has a lightweight design (weighing just 3 pounds), so it fits well in tight quarters. MGE UPS Systems also kept home offices in mind when designing an attractive shape you won't mind displaying in your home. For more information, visit http://www.mgeups.com