Magazine article American Libraries

Technically Speaking

Magazine article American Libraries

Technically Speaking

Article excerpt

Citrix Fruits

Spokane (Wash.) Public Library has become one of the first public libraries in the country to offer a graphical dial-in interface. Users with a PC, a modem, a valid library card, and a PIN number can download WinFrame client software, developed by Citrix Systems, Inc., to access electronic resources made available by the library, including not only the catalog and other text-only databases, but also image-based resources such as encyclopedias and World Wide Web pages.

To help patrons use the new software, the library has developed installation guides for the three different types of operating system environments for which WinFrame client software is available - MS-DOS, Windows and Windows for Workgroups, and Windows 95 and NT. The guides are available in hard copy or online. To ensure maximum availability, all dial-in sessions are initially being limited to one hour, but the library may eventually change this time limit, depending on user demand. For more information, contact Dolly Richendrfer at 509-626-5312; fax her at 5365, or e-mail drichendrfer@spokpl.lib.wa.us.

Spokane Public is not the only library-related use of Citrix's WinFrame family of client/server products: Logicraft has just introduced a new extension of its LanCD product, which incorporates WinFrame client/server software. Called CDcentral, it enables a library to consolidate all its CD-ROM resources onto networked servers and provide access to them through a single client. This even includes CD-ROM products that were designed for stand-alone use and require local-application software to operate. To users at their workstations, it seems as if the CD-ROM application is really on the local PC.

This bit of magic is accomplished by having all the client-application software programs execute from the WinFrame server. WinFrame passes its screen images to the WinFrame client residing at the local PC, which in turn displays on the user's screen exactly what would be seen if the client were running locally. The user's keyboard input is then passed back to the WinFrame Server, which - in the case of CD-ROM software - then passes it on to the CD-ROM server to retrieve the asked-for data from the CD-ROM itself.

Like Spokane PL's setup, Logicraft provides support for WinFrame clients running MS-DOS and Windows 3.1, as well as Windows 95. For more information call 800-880-5644 or visit http://www.logicraft.com.

WinFrame is based on a proprietary presentation protocol developed by Citrix (with lots of financial backing from Microsoft), which provides user-friendly remote control of resources mounted on a networked server. The protocol was recently licensed to Microsoft, which will incorporate the WinFrame client into an upcoming release of Windows 95. The WinFrame server is an authorized extension of Microsoft's NT server platform. We think this is a technology to watch; imagine being able, with a network connection (which these days is rarely more than a local phone call away), to run a program residing half a world away as if it were executing from your own PC. For more information call 954-755-0559 or visit http://www.citrix.com.

Nourishing Serials

How to provide libraries and their users with current journals in an online environment has been one of the most active areas of experimentation in the information marketplace. In 1991 Elsevier and nine large universities got together to start TULIP (The University Licensing Program), a joint experiment to test networked delivery of journals to the user's desktop. Then came the Red Sage Electronic Journal Project, a collaborative effort involving the University of California/San Francisco, AT&T Bell Labs, and a number of scientific, medical, and technical publishers. Like TULIP, the goal of Red Sage is to bring journals to the user's desktop. In addition to searching, it features a user-configurable alert service.

In the meantime, OCLC was first to market, with its GUIDON product, which continues to offer an increasing number of journals online. …

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