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Printronix Inc. Consolidates F

Go2 Systems Knows Where You Are; Veritas Gets Closer to Oracle

Printronix Inc., an Irvine company that makes network-connected printers for industrial applications, is finally pulling its operations under one roof with a new 186,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing center.

Company officials say the facility will draw in operations the company has been running in five separate facilities scattered around Orange County, allowing more predictable real estate costs and better teamwork. The new plant is expected to double shipping and receiving capacity.

In addition, the facility layout is designed to make future expansion easier.

Printronix bought 12 acres for the expansion last year to move out of the 171,000-square-foot headquarters building it occupied before. The company employs 520 worldwide.

“This is another step in our efforts to achieve higher productivity and faster time-to-market for new products,” said George Harwood, the company’s chief financial officer.

Some of the building’s most advanced features aren’t immediately obvious, including high-speed network wiring capable of data transfers of up to a gigabyte per second to each desktop, and videoconferencing equipment to link the company’s Netherlands, Singapore and new Memphis facilities.

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It might have been good enough for Magellan, Sir Francis Drake or Lewis and Clark, but an Irvine technology company has a suggestion or two to improve the centuries-old navigational system of latitude and longitude.

Go2 Systems Inc. is pushing its World Geographic Reference System for what it calls “real world” navigational techniques for handheld computers and other portable devices.

Go2 developed the patented system in conjunction with the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, a research consortium of University of California, Santa Barbara, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Maine.

Unlike latitude and longitude, which is indifferent to population centers or geographic landmarks, the new reference system incorporates conventional naming systems and natural features to create a more user-friendly navigational technique that’s easier to communicate through smaller computers and limited data connection speeds.

Company officials say the technique will make it easier for people to find their way around town and give more precise locations, even in remote areas.

Combined with Go2’s database of addresses, the method promises a host of new Internet-based locator services such as simple-to-use restaurant finders or emergency locators. (The database is similar to the Internet’s domain name server, which gives seemingly random IP numbers a more easily recognized moniker, such as “www.ocbj.com” instead of a string of digits.)

Go2, which plans a Nov. 15 launch, is already using the system at its own web site, www.go2online.com.

Procom Technology Inc. has another feather in its cap with an “editor’s choice” award from Networking Computing magazine.

The trade publication lauded Procom’s DataFORCE 110 standalone CD servers for their compatibility with the NetWare and Windows NT networking platforms, performance and ease of use.

“One product stood head and shoulders above the rest in our tests,” wrote Mike Avery, the magazine’s editor.

For more: www.procom.com.

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Online directory publisher SBN.com is offering free web design software and hosting services for businesses that advertise on its Internet Yellow Pages. The freebies , which according to SBN would normally cost $300 , are good for a year.

For more: www.sbn.com.

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Veritas Software Corp., an Anaheim company that makes backup applications for corporate networks, is more closely aligning itself with database giant Oracle Corp. to target the booming e-commerce market.

Under a new agreement, the two companies will jointly market systems uniquely designed for dot-com companies, including disaster recovery systems and launch a new interface and file system designed for Veritas by Oracle designed to make accessing archived database files easier.

For more: www.veritas.com.

All those companies frantically upgrading their computers to handle the Y2K calendar rollover could soon be hearing from the lawyers of Irvine engineer Bruce Dickens.

Dickens, who was issued a patent last year for his “windowing” method of on-the-fly Y2K conversions, has announced his intent to collect licensing and royalty fees from the hundreds of companies estimated to be using the technique already.

The 49-year-old former McDonnell Douglas employee said he contacted several companies earlier this year about licensing the method, but some of them declined. His lawyers at the Laguna Beach law firm Levin & Hawes plan to contact those companies again with “exceptionally modest” licensing offers.

After Jan. 1, those fees will increase a hundred-fold, Dickens said.

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