SAN FRANCISCO (04/19/2000) - The resurgence of the Mac as a desktop appliance makes it an attractive alternative to dumb terminals for "big iron" enterprises running IBM Corp. mainframe and AS/400 systems. When combined with Mac OS X's Netboot, for example, an iMac is a compact, elegant, easily managed mainframe terminal. Cel Corp.'s Celview is the premier terminal-emulation tool for users who need access to these systems, providing SNA (Systems Network Architecture) gateway, file-transfer, keyboard-mapping, and macro-programming capabilities.
The 2.0 incarnation adds to this list Netboot and OS 9 multiuser support, TCP/IP printing, PCI Token Ring compatibility, and a host of other refinements.
You install Celview from CD, either directly to a local hard drive, to an OS X Netboot disk, or to any remote user's networked start-up disk. Celview consists of two programs-one for display emulation and file transfer and one for printer emulation. Three control panels let you configure AppleTalk, SNA, and TCP/IP connections. AppleTalk and SNA connections require an existing AppleTalk or SNA gateway; the TCP/IP tool can connect directly to any mainframe or AS/400 host via a TCP/IP LAN or the Internet.
Before initiating a connection to a host system, you define the connection type and destination host using one of these control panels, saving the connection type as a session document. You can then access any preconfigured session by double-clicking on a session document. This approach lets you easily distribute specific session configurations to end users, either via standard file sharing or as part of a Netboot setup.
Celview now includes a printable PDF help document in addition to comprehensive online help text. A handy on-screen tool bar provides shortcut access to many functions, though the tool bar still has no text labels or pop-up hints.
Keyboard mapping lets you drag and drop a terminal-emulation function to any Mac keyboard combination, and Celview displays hot-spot buttons for point-and-click access to function keys.
Celview's TCP/IP print function now lets you receive and print output from any remote host supporting the LPR (Line Printer Remote) protocol. You can queue printouts for later output, preview printing on-screen, or save printouts to disk. The only flaw in Celview's printing feature is its limited information about the status of incoming printouts.
Macworld's Buying Advice Whether you need to support legacy-system access for one user or a hundred, Celview 2.0 makes your job easy. And this release's support for OS 9 and Netboot gives the Mac an edge over Windows boxes for low-cost deployment to multiple users.rating: 4.0 mice Pro: Keyboard mapping and palettes; TCP/IP printing; FTP file transfer. Con: No tool-bar labels; limited TCP/IP printing information. Comp:
Cel Corporation (780/438-2323, www.celcorp.com). List: $299.