Director of Technical Services, Baka Industries Inc.
CE Software added more communications capability to Newton MessagePads with its recent introduction of EnRoute, a $129 QuickMail client developed by Netstrategy Software. EnRoute connects to QuickMail servers via modem, and permits both batch transfer of waiting messages and online one-at-a-time message reading and sending. According to a CE representative, the software evolved from the "QuickAccess" prototype shown at Macworld Expo last year (see TidBITS-188).
EnRoute is integrated with the Newton Names and Note Pad applications. Users may store QuickMail user addresses (including addresses that must be reached through gateways) in the MessagePad Names file’s email address field, and can mail a message written on a Note Pad note rather than in a special EnRoute window. FirstClass Retriever, the Newton client for SoftArc’s FirstClass software developed by Black Labs (see TidBITS-234), can do neither in its current incarnation.
Although EnRoute seems to fit in well with the Newton environment, it comes up wanting in the QuickMail environment. The software works only via a modem connection, so users cannot check their QuickMail mailboxes while in the office using a LocalTalk network. (The same is true of the current version of FirstClass Retriever.)
CE president and CEO Ford Goodman commented that "EnRoute is another way that we’re ensuring that users have universal access to their QuickMail mailboxes." CE’s pride in its multi-platform support would be better warranted if its mail access were universal. Currently, Windows users are segregated from Macintosh users in "file-based" mailcenters accessible using common DOS and Windows communications methods such as Novell’s Netware software. CE has no support for AppleTalk or other direct network communications between its Macintosh-based servers and Windows clients. As a result, Mac users can’t check their mail using computers running Windows, and Windows users can’t check their mail using Macs.
With the addition of EnRoute, Netstrategy Software now has developed three products that CE publishes. The first two products are the ARA-Link QM and QM-Postman, which provide automatic network access and mail list management, respectively.