This is the time of year when publishers start rolling out the year-end or year-in-review articles. That's because this time of year there is little, or no, new and fresh news to publish. We're no different in thinking that it's time for some retrospection, but we thought we'd give the Way Back Machine a real work out and go back a full decade to see how far we have (or have not) come since 1999.
So, here are a few highlights from the 1999 issues of various Seybold Report newsletters. To read the full text of the materials, which we recommend, please click here.
From the December 20, 1999 issue of the Seybold Report on Publishing Systems:
Internet No Threat to Retail Books
Sales in the retail book trade have increased by just 0.5% over the last eight months, but the Internet isn't a threat to the retail book trade, according to a German official. "A mass exodus to electronic buying is not materializing," Roland Ulmer, chairman of the Stock Exchange Association of the German Retail Book Industry, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.
Ulmer's figures indicated that 50% of Internet book orders go ultimately to conventional bookshops. More than 1,200 bookshops have their own electronic branches on the Internet.
From an October 1999 issue of the Seybold Report on Internet Publishing:
Microsoft's VP of Technology Development, Dick Brass, kicked off the week with the announcement that Microsoft is developing e-book reading software for Windows compliant with the Open e-book (OEB) 1.0 specification. Microsoft Reader will be available for Windows 95 and higher and will include ClearType, a technology for improving font resolution on LCD displays.
From the October 18, 1999 issue of the Report, here's a highlight from the Graph Expo coverage
Graph Expo Update: Heidelberg Debuts Scanner, Scitex Adds Proofer
Heidelberg and Scitex grabbed the spotlight at Graph Expo with the debuts of new products: Heidelberg's new-technology replacement for its Topaz professional scanner and Scitex's entry into desktop color proofing with a system built around a six-color, A3-format Canon BJC-8500. We'll have details in our next issue, but here is a brief recap.
- Heidelberg's Nexscan F4000. To replace the Topaz, Heidelberg has enhanced the basic Topaz technology (8,000-element Kodak CCD, A3+ format, floor-standing orientation and VariLens optical system) with an xy scanning capability and a concept called Direct Capture Technology (DTC). The xy technology enables scanning at full resolution (5,080 pixels per inch) anywhere within the bed. Heidelberg has chosen not to support the stitching together of strips of data, so large originals are scanned at lower resolutions. DCT avoids the used of mirrors and the breaking of the light path to optimize the optics and the quality of light. There are two models the Nexscan F4100 ($37,500) and the F4200 ($43,000, which adds a 12,000-element CCD ($52,990 with software for copydot scanning).
- Scitex goes downmarket in proofing. Laying a claim to its share of the high-quality, low-cost desktop proofing market, Scitex has put together a package comprising a Canon BJC-8500 printer and its own technology for color calibration, characterization and remote proofing. Called the iProof, it will be priced at less than $10,000 to compete with high-quality products already offered. The BJC-8500 is attractive: 1,200 x 600-dpi resolution and a 10-minute time for a two-page proof. Scitex is looking into broader distribution options.
And, from the coverage of the 1999 On Demand show:
On Demand Showcases Digital Processes
Variable data and digital printers shine
Although there were few surprises at this year's On Demand show in New York at the Javits Center, it was a good place to view state-of-the-art digital printing.
New releases at the show consisted mainly of technology updates. The exhibition did, however, mark either the U.S. debut or the first public showing for several products, including Barco's PrintStreamer 2, which appeared both on its own and as part of new front ends for both Xeikon and Xerox.
On Demand marked the first U.S. showing for Heidelberg's Quickmaster DI Plus, featuring speed improvements. Agfa introduced its IntelliCache protocol, and Varis showed its incorporation of Vision's Edge's Focus software as a GUI.