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Atex adds Mac Preference, launches ColorFlow.

Atex adds Mac Preference, launches ColorFlow

When Eastman Kodak announced in 1990 that IBM would become a marketing and technology partner, it seemed Atex Inc. might develop solely for IBM-based products, leaving behind DEC, Sun and Apple platforms. Any Macintoshes would be reserved for design and color products.

A year later, IBM and Apple formed their own highly publicized joint venture, sharing technology and cooperating on common product development goals. The world changed, and only days after IBM and Apple announced they had finalized their technology alliance, Atex demonstrated Preference for the Macintosh at the IFRA 91 newspaper technology exposition in Amsterdam.

Atex's PC Preference product, developed several years ago to meet demand for systems using industry-standard hardware, allows an IBM PS/2 or compatible machine to emulate an Atex terminal.

The Macintosh now has the same capabilities as Atex's Preference for Windows 3.0 and Preference for X Windows (for terminals hooked into Unix systems). Users can open windows into an Atex Applications Server network and operate in the full Atex environment. Multiple Atex editor sessions can be run in separate windows, allowing a user to view a queue directory in one window and a story or ad in another. Use of resizable and movable windows permits access to the Atex system and running of third-party applications.

Atex said Preference for the Macintosh would be of use to users of its Mac-based Renaissance publication design product and "can be incorporated into some components" of the recently introduced ColorFlow product line.

Though ColorFlow's "basic product is [Kodak] Prophecy," said an Atex spokesman, its added value lies in its integration with Atex systems and the addition of automatic trapping. "In fact, Atex was instrumental in the early development of Prophecy," he added.

IFRA marked the unveiling of the ColorFlow series of modular products for either standalone operation or as an integrated "total system solution" to function with Atex pagination products. ColorFlow products support such industry standards as the TIFF digital image format, Post-Script language, the Open Prepress Interface (OPI) and the Publishing Interchange Language (PIL).

In all, ColorFlow will comprise five product categories: color electronic prepress systems, integration products, input/output devices, communications and process management.

Offered as an "alternative to the traditional high-end systems," the ColorFlow Workstation 5000 is designed for fast, high-quality image processing and output through Post-Script recorders. Other ColorFlow products in the initial release are the ColorFlow Workstation 2000, a Macintosh-based color separation prepress system, ColorFlow SX Bridge, which interfaces Macintosh applications and Scitex systems, and ColorFlow Trapper, an automatic color trapping application.

The Workstation 5000's ease of use is based on adoption of the uvL colorspace and real-time WYSISYG operation. It recognizes color much as it is visually perceived by the operator, through hue, saturation and brightness characteristics. Included are ink table utilities for system-wide color calibration, automatic color trapping, tonal/contrast correction, sharpening/blurring, silhouetting, cloning, masking and image rotation.

The Unix-based Sun Sparcstation platform comes with a 1GB SCSI hard disc drive, black-and-white control monitor, high-resolution, color-calibrated image monitor and accelerator boards to optimise sharpening, manipulation of large files and background processing.

ColorFlow Workstation 2000 is aimed at desktop publishing, with various image editing and separation functions in a Macintosh application, including dot gain calibration, undercolor removal, gray component replacement, user-definable curve libraries, dot shape control and on-line densitometer.

The ColorFlow SX Bridge is a two-way link between ColorFlow products and Scitex color systems, allowing Mac-based programs to perform tasks previously assigned to high-end equipment. ColorFlow SXP Bridge, which incorporates a highspeed software RIP, converts PostScript files for use on Scitex systems.

The ColorFlow Trapper application, included with the Workstation 5000, is available separately. Operating in background without user intervention, it automatically handles trapping of PostScript files' color elements.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Duncan McIntosh Company, Inc.
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Title Annotation:Computers and Newspapers
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Date:Nov 2, 1991
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