Technical Support Coordinator, BAKA Computers
With the demise of Norton Essentials for PowerBook, CPU clearly owns the title for the most full-featured PowerBook utilities package. Not content with that knowledge, Connectix has significantly enhanced CPU’s already hefty feature set with the addition of On The Road, a separate but complementary package.
Released this past January by Palomar Software, On The Road is an innovative package that automatically determines a PowerBook’s location on wakeup or startup, and accordingly, automatically selects a printer at that location, mounts file server volumes, and enables or disables faxing. When a printer isn’t available, it defers new print jobs until one is available (and the jobs are then printed), and it similarly puts off faxes until you attach a phone line. For owners of the PowerBook 100, 140, 145, and 170, On The Road provides the features (and then some) of Apple’s AutoRemounter Control Panel, which works only on the newer PowerBooks.
As a result, you can print documents regardless of whether a printer is nearby, and send faxes with no phone line in sight. The actual printing and faxing happen later, again automatically; the software remembers a preferred printer for each location and selects it for you when you hook up, without the usual trip to the Chooser.
All this is nifty, but now that the program has been linked with CPU (and the product has been acquired by Connectix) it really shines.
CPU allows several different sets of configuration options. One good approach is to have one set for the office, another for home, and another for when you’re at neither location. On The Road now sports the ability to change sets for you, an operation which previously could only be performed manually. Duo owners who have significantly different environments when on the road and when docked will appreciate this feature.
A single program combining all the features of both On The Road and CPU would be wonderful, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see such an application in the future. For now, though, the combination works marvelously. Have one? Buy the other. Have neither? Buy both! Each costs $99, but owners of either may now purchase the other from Connectix for $29.95.
You can also buy On The Road online for $39. Add $4 for shipping in North America, $10 for international orders (for one or more), and if you’re in California, add 8.5 percent sales tax. To order, send your name, organization, street address, city, state, zip, and phone number; email address, credit card type (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express), number, and expiration date to Connectix at an electronic address below.
Joel West, president of Palomar, explained that the company decided to focus on printing technologies (the core of their business), and "When we evaluated all alternatives, we felt that On The Road and its customers would be best served by Connectix, the clear leader in PowerBook utilities."
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