Article February 28, 2001
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All in one

All in one

Version 6 of the Paragon Program Management System has been released by ViaNovus, Oakland, Calif. According to the company, it is the only owner-focused program management tool that integrates all facets of program management into a single unified system, providing construction owners and their representatives immediate access to all information they need to manage program costs and minimize risk.

Version 6 enhances the functionality of the Paragon application with the addition of new product features designed to provide users with flexibility in organizing and accessing data related to all construction programs and affiliated projects.

Notable new architectural features include the availability to two backend database options?Oracle, which combines all Paragon schemes into a single Oracle 8.x database, and Visual FoxPro, which contains three linked database schemes. It also delivers a program setup diagram to facilitate the program, project and contract setup process, and enables users to view and mark CAD drawings online.

Wireless field computing

Itronix Corp., Spokane, Wash., introduced several new and/or enhanced wireless handheld computing products designed to make field computing faster and more efficient for mobile professionals who are in high demand or extreme user environments.

The three products cover a broad range of applications in industrial, sales, safety and technical fields and include the following:

  • Fex21, the company?s most recent handheld personal computer, has been upgraded with a new Toshiba 129 MHz processor, external graphics controller, SDRAM memory, Intel Strata-Flash, a longer-lasting lithium ion unit and full wireless support;

  • Husky FS4 handheld computer, a new handheld "hourglass" mobile unit, debuts in the U.S. with Intel StrongARM 192 MHz processor, Microsoft Windows CE and rugged-ized engineering; and

  • T5200 has an improved Toshiba 92 MHz Intel MIPS R3912 RISC microprocessor.

Products now online

The only fully integrated e-commerce site dedicated to diamond cutting equipment ( recently signed on Blazer Diamond Products, N. Huntingdon, Pa. Per the agreement, the website now offers the entire Blazer product catalog online, in addition to presenting extensive equipment information and company specials.

The website also reached an agreement with ICS Blount Inc., Portland, Ore., in which the full ICS product line is offered on the website.

A host of upgrades

A number of Dexter + Chaney?s software products have recently been upgraded.

Forefront Version 10 offers hundreds of enhancements, including a Forefront Mobile Computing application that allows contractors to see data on a handheld computer using the Palm OS platform.

The company?s New Accounts Payable Invoice Approval Process replaces an inefficient, manual workflow task by allowing the user to electronically route invoices. Once an invoice is entered into Forefront, it can be routed to a sequence of reviewers. Each reviewer is notified automatically by e-mail when they have invoices to approve and they can add remarks and make changes to the coding entirely on the screen.

Also, their Project Management software provides a complete solution for generating and tracking all documents required to run a construction project. Because it is integrated with Forefront?s 25 other modules there?s no duplication of data when setting up or entering information on jobs, phases of work, contracts, subcontractors, vendors or employees.

Finally, Forefront Document Imaging addresses a problem for contractors?the paperwork nightmare of locating, using and subsequently refiling documents. With this software, whenever a user looks to find a transaction, they?ll also find the original document.

Traffic sim software

The U.S. Department of Energy?s Los Alamos National Laboratory has teamed with PricewaterhouseCoopers to take TRANSIMS, a traffic simulation software package developed at the lab, and create products that can be deployed to metropolitan planning agencies nationwide.

Funded by the U.S. DOT over the last six years at a cost of $25 million, the TRANSIMS simulation package represents a major advance in transportation-flow forecasting procedures. TRANSIMS provides planners with a synthetic population?s daily activity patterns, simulates the movements of individual vehicles on a regional transportation network and estimates the air pollution emissions generated by vehicle movements.

The travel information is derived from actual census and survey data for specific tracts in target cities, providing a more accurate sense of the movements and daily routines of real people as they negotiate a full day with various transportation options available to them.

The software shows how key technologies developed for national security purposes can be applied to solve major problems faced by everyone who has to commute to work.

Mobile notebook PC

Itronix Corp., Spokane, Wash., recently introduced their GoBook, a notebook PC for field-based mobile work forces. Designed for rugged indoor and outdoor use, it combines cutting-edge PC technology with broad new wireless capabilities, placing them in one affordable computing solution that helps mobile workers become more productive.

According to the manufacturer, the fully featured GoBook is built to withstand the rigors and changing needs of remote field use. It sustains extremes for water, shock, drop and temperature better than competing books. To make the unit even more practical, the company incorporated its new Common Radio Module Architecture field-upgradeable wireless capability that allows users to upgrade radio modems or change networks in the field, thereby avoiding costly and time-consuming depot returns.

CD-ROM training

Miller Electronic Training Systems, Appleton, Wis., has added a new interactive CD-ROM to its series of training modules for welders: "Introduction to Welding."

The new CD provides an overview of the basic Stick, TIG, MIG and plasma-cutting processes. It explains how each process works, discussing its advantages, applications, components and operator controls. Live-arc video and graphics illustrate concepts, while a glossary defines terms from arc blow to weld pool.

Like past company CDs, "Introduction" provides the same advice found in Miller?s training workshops, teaching in-depth process theory, applications and electrical history.

Navigating the CD is point-and-click and students can learn at their own pace by stopping and continuing the lesson at their leisure.

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