Third Party Watch
Shawn M. Gordon
President of S.M. Gordon & Associates

Ok, so they took my first two columns and made one column out of it. It wasn’t my fault, it was because everyone else was late. Well let’s see, I am writing this towards the end of June in anticipation of the September issue, and by far the most interesting that has happened is the recent ‘Mergquasition’ between Unison and Tymlabs. From what I have been able to find out they are going to maintain the current Texas location of Tymlabs and most of the staff (good news). What I find ironic is that Unison now finds itself being in the position of owning two entirely different laser forms design packages. I will be interested to see how that ends up turning out.

On the ‘We Care about our customers’ front, it seems that OCS is sending out questionnaires to it’s customer and demo base trying to get a feel for how their customers like them, their support, and their products. It’s good to see a large company take the time and expense to do something like this every once in awhile.

It seems that Quest Software, makers of Netbase and NBSpool, can now transfer spoolfiles from anywhere to anywhere, according to them. From what I have heard just about every sort of network and hardware platform is supported (including some personal computers). I asked if they could implement a feature so I could download reports to my Nintendo, it should be out by early 93 (just kidding).

Hillary Software, distributors of SheetMate, have just added a couple of really nice new features. A new PC like window interface that from what I saw, makes the product much easier to use, I was very impressed. They have also added some sort of interface for Reveal from O’Pin systems. I am not sure exactly what this does at the moment, but Reveal is an online report viewing package, so I am assuming users would be able to peruse their reports and then format them into the appropriate PC file format via SheetMate, and then download it. For sites needing this kind of function I can see it being a powerful combination.

Well it seems that my company has released two new products. The first one is Backman and it is a generic background job manager. This is so you can take those four or five background jobs and stuff them under one job and free up job slots. The second product is EZQuick, and is a full screen, screen painter and Quick code generator for Classic Quick from Cognos. This gives users on the Classic HP the ability to do screen painting with Quick and not have to move up to a Spectrum to get some of the features found in Quick there.

Congratulations go out to Eugene Volokh of VESOFT Inc. for graduating from UCLA Law school with the highest GPA in two decades. I don’t know what Eugene plans to do with his law degree, I just know I would hate to go up against him in a courtroom. It’s a good thing he got that Native Mode version of MPEX done before he tries to get a seat on the Supreme Court.

In the ‘Where are they now?’ department, it seems that Steve Palmer, formerly of Hawaiian Software fame, is now writing software under Microsoft Windows that is designed to aid the HP person. It turns out that he is the brains behind SPG, and he has a couple of lovely new gems available. The first one that I know of is Date Objects, this is a collection of routines that you can call to do date conversion and manipulation for you, I have been waiting for something like this for YEARS. The second one is an MS Windows based application that had the working title of Building Blocks at the time I wrote this. This is a really really neat generic sort of concept that let’s you build libraries of Class’s and Instances (ala OOP) and then stuff them into your code. So you could make a Class of DBOPEN and then an Instance of DBOPEN that opens your Payroll data base. The more you think about it the more you realize you can do with this, kind of scary.

Along the same lines, it turns out that Bob Andrews former Sales Manager for the West Coast for DISC has not only changed titles to Marketing Manager, but relocated from Northern California to the corporate office in Colorado. I hope Bob doesn’t miss surfing to much.

I have a few hot rumors that I am working on at the moment, but I agreed to not say anything at least till next month. Eventually I will get the knack of writing cliff hanger columns, but for now I am still a novice at it. Hopefully over the next few months I can start getting some feedback from everyone and really start to beef this thing up. So until next time, keep your propeller caps spinning.