Products and services




The Goods

A Remote Control for Your Computer

CPAs using presentation software to make multimedia presentations no longer have to stand near their computers to administer the show. A handheld device, the IR50 F/X Remote Control, lets the presenter wander as far as 45 feet from the computer and off to a 180-degree operating angle. Not only can the remote advance presentation frames but it also allows for special effects such as onscreen zooming, spotlighting, circling and underscoring. The IR50 F/X costs $150.

More information: Mind Path Technologies, 12700 Park Central Drive, Suite 400, Dallas, Texas 75251; 972-233-9296; http://www.mindpath.com/ .


Orbit Mousepad: A Unique Holiday Gift

For the CPA who has everything: leather designer mousepads with suede-backed nonslip surfaces. Handcrafted in Sweden, these mousepads come in several varieties—oval, circular, square or apple-shaped—and a variety of colors. The manufacturer will customize a mousepad in any style and shape; for example, with your company logo or monogrammed to add a personal touch to your computer environment. The Orbit Mousepad retails for $35.99.

More information: Casa Nostra Design, ApropGruppen AB (Ltd), P.O. Box 38145, S-100 64 Stockholm, Sweden; +46-8-658-51-00; http://www.pi.se/apropa .


One-Step Cloning of CD-ROMs

As CD-ROMs are becoming increasingly common desktop components, CPAs who create presentations on CD-ROM can now make duplicate CDs themselves. This standalone CD2CD copier, which offers one-button duplication of CDs in varying formats, is designed for easy use without extensive training. All you have to do is push a button and the copier can identify the original format—CD-ROM, audio or video—and duplicate a 74-minute CD in 18 minutes. The CD2CD copier retails for $3,195.

More information: MediaFORM, 400 Eagleview Boulevard, Suite 104, Exton, Pennsylvania 19341; 610-458-9200 or 800-220-1215; http://www.mediaform.com .


Converting Numbers to Graphics

Although Microsofts Excel comes with handy ways to automatically convert numbers into effective presentation graphics, including line graphs and two- and three-dimensional bar and pie charts, now theres a product that improves mightily on Excels presentation tools.

ActiveOffice not only provides dozens of chart variations for Excel but, when possible, it automatically adds the appropriate legends for the numbers. And as if that isnt enough, ActiveOffice can illustrate text material in Word and extend the graphic possibilities of PowerPoint. In short, it enhances the presentation abilities for three Microsoft Office Suite applications.

Here is one of the things ActiveOffice can do for text in an Excel file:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and ActiveOffice proves just that with text in a Word document:

ActiveOffice requires Windows 95 or NT and either Office 95 or 97. To run at a reasonable speed, it needs a Pentium with 16 megabytes of random access memory. Street price of the product is about $50.

More information: Software Publishing Corp., 111 North Market Street, P.O. Box 11044, San Jose, California 95113; 800-557-3743; http://www.spco.com .

— Vincent Nolan



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