NEWS IN BRIEF

Bar-code capabilities come to the NeXT from both sides of the Atlantic. BarCode, from d'Art Software of Germany, generates PostScript or TIFF files that can be inserted into any document or label. BarCode currently reads and writes EAN, UPC, Code 39, and 2-by-5 standards (with the ability to expand on request), and is compatible with two bar-code scanners from DataLogic. Hot Software of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is offering four products: Bar-A-Coda creates bar codes of any highlighted text via the Services menu; Wand-A-Bar translates data from any HP-compatible bar-code scanner into keyboard input and works with an external BarCodeBox, which provides a serial-port connection to the scanners; and BarCodeKit is an object library for adding bar-code capability to any application.

Pencom Software, already a NeXT-authorized systems integrator and developer, is doubling its staff of NeXT engineers to form a new training and consulting team. Pencom's training services will be offered in some cases along with NeXTedge. The company also plans to host NeXT training courses in various locations around the country. Pencom: 800/736-2664.

DisplayTalk from Adobe is due this month. The new PostScript debugger uses a graphical interface for point-by-point code tracing. A dictionary browser and status view let programmers inspect the value of variables at any step in the code. Interactive and preview windows are included for quick output checks, and a new macro feature allows easy insertion of commonly used code. A full on-line reference manual for PostScript Level 2, accessible from any edit window through the Services menu, is the icing on the cake. DisplayTalk is bundled with Display PostScript SDK for $500 from Adobe, 800/833-6687.

The Japanese version of NeXTSTEP 3.0 will ship in the fourth quarter as an upgrade for current Japanese-version owners for about $600, according to sources. For users who preorder 3.0 by October 31, the price is about $290. Users who have a yen to upgrade from their English version to NeXTSTEP Release 3J, however, must ante up about $2600 no matter when they buy it.

RollerMouse, a well-known trackball for PCs and Macs from CH Products, now works on the NeXT. The two-inch-wide black ball plugs into the mouse port on the keyboard and works immediately with the mouse settings in the Preferences panel. A bundled program provides tuning options. Buttons on each side of the $179 trackball have user-configurable click and click-lock features. CH Products: 619/598-2524.

FileStart, a new file and application organizer, is shipping for $49 from Aurora Software. FileStart lets you instantly access frequently used files, folders, and applications; group related files and folders into projects; and open multiple files with one double-click. Aurora Software: 608/231-3679.

ParcPlace Systems, which is commercializing object-oriented technology developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, will release a port of its Objectworks/Smalltalk application-development environment for NeXTSTEP computers this year.