The company has launched the next generation of its award-winning prepress workflow, :Apogee Suite 8.0, which features new tools, including cloud-based applications, which help print service providers produce better output, work more efficiently and extend their market reach.
The new tools are designed to help printers in offset and digital print or hybrid environments become more innovative and interact more efficiently internally and with their customers while optimising every step in the production process. :Apogee Suite 8.0 will be running live and available for demonstrations at the company’s stand at drupa (Hall 8A). It will be available in the third quarter of 2012.

Among the innovations in :Apogee Suite 8.0 is the new interactive :Apogee StoreFront, the new cloud-based, web-to-print solution. :Apogee StoreFront makes it easy to set up online stores for both printed and non-printed products. Seamless integration with :Apogee Prepress or any other workflow software ensure that orders are automatically downloaded and setup for production based on job specifications. Because it is cloud based and easy to use, printers can launch multiple, customised storefronts with no additional staff or costly infrastructure investment. :Apogee StoreFront gives printers the means to reach new markets and enrich customer experience, thus expanding business.

:Apogee Impose now supports web offset printing. Designed for the specific needs of web printing operations, this unique rule-based imposition software takes all specifications into account, including web folding and finishing requirements, to generate the optimal imposition scheme. A last minute change of press is no problem for :Apogee Impose. It also supports single, dual and multiple web deliveries. :Apogee Impose lowers setup cost while delivering the level of automation web printers demand.

A new Merge Jobs function lets :Apogee 8 determine which jobs can be combined in one production run. This cuts costs by optimising press runs. An innovative algorithm places different jobs on the sheet in the most optimal manner. As a result, there are fewer cuts which translates to less paper waste.

‘:Apogee 8 is loaded with innovations that cater to every type of operation—sheet and web offset as well as hybrid operations including wide format. New 64-bit support combined with virtualisation (VMWare) lets high-volume printers consolidate processing. Other tools reduce costs with efficient output management such as the job merge function. All of these improvements are the result of carefully listening to our customers all over the world and incorporating their feedback,’ said Andy Grant, Head of Software, Agfa Graphics, worldwide.

:Apogee Suite 8.0 gives prepress operators more process control. A toolbox of plugins allows them to easily manipulate PDF pages in the workflow. A varnish plugin, for example, lets them create a spot varnish on top of text or an image. The new CSR Dashboard gives customer service representatives or production managers detailed job status reports, allowing them to interact more efficiently and accurately internally and with customers. CSRs can record notes and add customer requests. All information stays with the job to ensure absolute job integrity.

:Apogee Preflight offers improved colour management. The new document-based capability verifies that profiles are attached to all objects and automatically updates incorrect profiles. :Apogee Preflight also makes the necessary adjustments should the output target change. A new customer profile wizard generates the optimal calibration profiles for any substrate. This is a critical capability in operations that have offset, digital and industrial inkjet printing. The end result is consistent color output over different media types regardless of the output device or if the operator is generating a proof.

ICC Profile Regularisation is an Agfa patented technology that avoids discontinuities in profiles due to folding. This is especially important for wide-format applications and results in better and more consistent colour output. :Apogee Suite 8.0 is also built to support digital printing, including variable data printing, giving users an edge when it comes to providing new services for their customers.

Article courtesy of Africa Print.


Pentel Bank Account Scam

It has recently come to our attention that the following letter has been circulated amongst Pentel customers. The letter claims a change of Pentels banking details.  Please inform everyone that there banking details have not changed.


please note that shop-sa has added the exclamation watermark onto the documents above. 

Rexel continues CANSA’s support

As one of CANSA’s longest standing cause-related partners, Rexel’s donations to CANSA’s Women’s Health campaign have reached over R500 000. With a selected range of office products available of which a percentage of the sales is donated to CANSA, home and office users have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those who have been touched by cancer. “We are so grateful for Rexel’s generous support of CANSA. It is only with the support of our partners and volunteers that we can continue the fight against cancer in South Africa and bring us closer to the challenge of a cancer-free society,” says Sue Janse van Rensburg, CANSA’s CEO.

Sapphireblue offers some handy, green-friendly tips for the office which are simple ways all staff member can contribute to helping save the planet.



Tip 1:

Provide trays to collect and reuse print and copy error sheets.

Tip 2:

Provide bins/recycling containers and zone them appropriately for collectionof old technology (e-waste), newspapers magazine and plastic bottels.

Tip 3:

Buy recycled paper whenever possible.

Tip 4:

Look for the recycled option in all products you buy.

Tip 5:

Use reusable and recyclable containers for shipping your products and reuse newspaper, shredded paper, bubble wrap and cardboard boxes for packaging.

Tip 6:

When planning events think of items that you can reuse or recycle at other events.




SMBs benefit from colour

SMB expert Melinda Emerson encourages colour printing, with five ways that colour can aid your business.

Small-to-medium business (SMB)  expert Melina Emerson has urged SMB owners via Xerox Newsroom to adopt colour, stating the use “could mean the difference between whether your marketing materials get read, or tossed into file zero – the trash”. To this end, Emerson presents five options in which colour can improve your small business.

Firstly, the SMB expert urges the creation of a specialist colour logo: “A logo must be simple and memorable […] versatile and appropriate […] You wouldn’t use an elegant font for a pizza joint.

“Always use at least two colours in a logo and hire a professional to assist you. Your company name in a stylised font is NOT a logo”.

The same principles apply when creating colour business cards, with Emerson again urging the use of at least two colours: “Even consider using a strong background colour to stand out. My business cards for my company Quintessence Multimedia are red, and people always comment on their uniqueness”.

Not necessarily a detail many will have considered, Emerson encourages the use of a smiling colour headshot: “You need a friendly, smiling headshot because, remember, you are selling yourself as much as your product or service”.

A commonly monochrome document for SMBs, one-sheet or two-sided flyers are encourages to be produced in full colour: “[Also,] considering glossy flyers, they always look more expensive and polished”.

Finally, Emerson states that direct mail should be produced in colour, querying: “Have you every received a black and white mailer from someone looking for business from you? What did you think about the business who sent it? Not much, right? Don’t make that mistake. Design a direct mail piece that represents you well”.

Emerson is steadfast with her conviction on the power of colour: “Putting it simply, colour gets noticed […] A recent Xerox Color survery reported that 76 percent of respondents said they could find information faster when printed in colour”. From the business owner’s perspective, “87 percent of respondents in a recent Xerox survey said professional graphics used in marketing materials […] was a key ingredient in the success of a product or service”.

Galaxy Note 10.1 coming in May

The 10.1-inch Galaxy Note has been officially unveiled by Samsung and will be available in SA from May. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is the tablet-sized version of the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note “phablet” that was punted as both a smartphone and a tablet in a single device.

A core selling point of the new tablet is the incorporation of the “S Pen” (a specially designed stylus), which Samsung says provides more “intuitive ways to maximise efficiency”. Together with the S Note application, the S Pen allows for writing, sketching and note-taking. The application allows users to combine notes with Web content and other media.

The Galaxy Note 10.1’s S Pen has enhanced pressure sensitivity and improved accuracy, providing what Samsung calls an “analogue pen writing experience on a digital device”. The tablet runs the latest iteration of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and HSPA+ connectivity.

Another key feature of the Galaxy Note 10.1 is its multi-screen functionality that allows for simultaneous viewing of Internet pages, videos and other applications, while also allowing for side-by-side writing and sketching.

Samsung is also punting the tablet as a learning device. “Students can watch a lecture live-streamed on video, while writing down comments on S Note; they can research a college essay on the Web while taking notes; or even read a full e-textbook while annotating it.”

The tablet comes pre-loaded with Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas. According to Samsung, these programs have been specially optimised for use with the S Pen to allow for PC-like editing and drawing.

Extending mobile

Samsung Electronics SA MD Deon Liebenberg says: “The Galaxy Note 10.1 takes productivity on a Note to a whole new level. With a larger, multifunctional screen and superior performance, it combines the intuitiveness of handwriting with all the versatility of digital content.

“With the Galaxy Note 10.1, we are demonstrating Samsung’s commitment to extend the mobile category and are working with key partners like Adobe to provide extraordinary experiences for users.”

Samsung says the local recommended retail price will be in the region of R8 699.

Article by Kathryn McConnachie, digital media editor at  ITWeb:


We touched it. We caressed every bezel. The new iPad is a model of inspired industrial design, and its specs best the previous-generation iPad 2 in all the important areas. But while our hands-on time with the new iPad was admittedly brief today, we nonetheless left Apple’s demo room with an overwhelming sense of, well, “sameyness.”

Very little during our hands-on demo provoked a moment of jaw-dropping awe. The best tablet of 2011 is now undoubtedly better — but for Apple, is this good enough? If anything, we’ve been spoiled by the performance and finesse of Apple’s existing products. We’ve become inured to the company’s unique charms.

At first glance, the new iPad exudes familiarity — and not just because most of its features were telegraphed via leaks and rumors during the last four months. The new slate’s physical design is nearly identical to that of the iPad 2, and nothing about its Appley comportment screams, “I’m an entirely new tablet!” The home button remains intact, and all but one physical dimension remains the same.

It’s only when you hold the new iPad in your hands — and then turn on its screen — that you begin to notice two key differences.

The first is extremely subtle: The new tablet is thicker. Now, it’s true, you have to be an iPad 2 user to notice the difference, but this latest model really does look a bit pudgier in the flesh. From generation to generation, the tablet’s waist line has grown from 8.8mm to 9.44mm. Who knew such a small size differential could even be noticeable?

We didn’t find the new dimension to be a problem, mind you. During our 15-minute hands-on demo, the extra thickness had no bearing on useability — nor did the new tablet’s extra weight (the baseline Wi-Fi model has grown from 1.33 lbs to 1.44 lbs). But if you’re obsessed with industrial design aesthetics (or simply want to argue), you can take Apple to task for sliding just a wee bit backwards in the race to manufacture the slimmest, lightest mobile gear around.

The second key difference between the iPad 2 and “the new iPad” (come on, Apple, choose a name already) comes to light as soon as you turn on the screen. Packed with a 2048 x 1536 resolution, and pixel density of 264 pixels per inch, the new tablet’s so-called “Retina Display” is a sight to see.

It doesn’t boast the 326ppi spec of the iPhone 4 and 4S, but during our brief demo we couldn’t discern any difference in display quality between Apple’s best smartphones and newest tablet. This alone would seem to support the company’s overall promise that in a Retina Display, individual pixels melt into nothingness, leaving nothing but brilliant, near continuous-tone images in their wake.

To be sure, the new iPad’s display is drop-dead gorgeous, as well as notably bright. We scrutinized a bunch of high-resolution images pulled from Apple’s new iPhoto app, and found display quality on the new iPad to be sublime. Just one problem, though: All its brilliance notwithstanding, the iPad Retina Display didn’t show us anything that iPhone 4 and 4S users haven’t seen before.

Yes, the pixel density is world-class, but the Retina Display is no longer breath-taking the way it was when it was first introduced in June 2010. It’s a welcome addition to the iPad line, yes, but it no longer reeks of breakthrough technology.

It was much harder to evaluate other new features during our brief hands-on demo. The new iPad supports 4G data speeds, but demo units were locked down to Wi-Fi during Apple’s event, so we can’t comment on the 4G experience. And while we were able to snap images with the new iSight camera, we couldn’t evaluate resulting image quality against competing sensors (including the iPad 2’s).

As for the new A5x processor — which boasts dual-core CPU functionality, but a with quad-core graphics engine — we found performance in Safari web browsing and Infinity Blade Dungeons to be blissfully zippy. But, again, without some semblance of comparative testing, it’s difficult to comment on what performance bumps, if any, the new processor provides.

Only a full review will tell the complete story, so please stay tuned for our final, hands-on critique. For now, just enjoy our pretty iPad pictures.

Article courtesy of Jon Phillips at Gadget Lab:

Canon announced on 29 March that the ground-breaking EOS C300, the first model from the new Cinema EOS System, has met the standards the BBC requires from cameras tested to the EBU recommendation EBU R118. The approval allows both internal and external BBC production teams to use the EOS C300 for the production of a variety of programmes to be broadcast on the BBC’s range of HD channels.

The EOS C300 is the third professional camcorder from Canon to be approved by the BBC since the start of 2011, joining the XF305 and XF300 Full HD camcorders, which were approved for use in January last year.

“The EOS C300 has received a fantastic response since it launched in November last year, and we’re delighted it’s been approved for use by the BBC,” said Kieran Magee, Director of Professional Marketing at Canon Europe Ltd. “By utilising the expertise in our video, broadcast, DSLR and lens groups, we’ve created a unique product that offers exceptional creative scope for videographers of all kinds. Its quality and versatility make it ideal for a number of different shooting purposes, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the BBC puts it to use.”

A landmark model for Canon, the EOS C300 merges Canon’s heritage in sensor and lens design to create a compact, versatile camera that offers exceptional image quality alongside the flexibility to shoot in a wide range of different situations.

The EOS C300 offers a first-class specification including a newly-designed Super 35mm-equivalent CMOS sensor with approximately 8.29 million effective pixels. MPEG-2 Full HD (MPEG2 422@HL compliant) compression and 50 Mbps recording rate allows videographers to record directly to two CF memory cards, while 4:2:2 colour sampling provides enhanced gradation and finer detail, as well as reducing jagged edges at chroma edges.  

As part of the wider EOS System, the EOS C300 is immediately compatible with Canon’s collection of over 60 EF lenses – providing videographers with an unrivalled range of creative options. Canon has also used its unrivalled heritage in lens design to create a new line of EF Cinema Lenses that are specifically designed for video use, each of which delivers outstanding 4K optical performance and compatibility with the Super 35mm-equivalent format.

More information about the EOS C300 can be found here:

Johannesburg, March 22, 2012 – HP recently unveiled a new design, multicore updates and increased expandability on its powerful, line of HP Z Workstations.

Engineered for the most demanding and compute-intensive visualisation needs, the HP Z820 is ideal for customers using oil and gas, computer-aided design (CAD), and engineering, medical or media and entertainment applications. The HP Z820 provides up to 16 processing cores, up to 512 GB of ECC memory, up to 14 terabytes (TB) of high-speed storage and up to dual NVIDIA Quadro 6000 graphics.

For quiet environments and minimal space consumption, the HP Z620 is a great choice for customers in financial services, video, animation, architecture and midrange CAD. Updated to support both single- and dual-socket processors, the powerful and versatile HP Z620 provides up to 16 processing cores, up to 96 GB of ECC memory, up to 11 TB of high-speed storage, and up to NVIDIA Quadro 6000 or dual NVIDIA Quadro 5000 graphics.

Engineered to meet mainstream computing and graphic needs for customers in product design, architecture, video  and image editing, the HP Z420 includes up to eight processing cores using the latest Intel Xeon processor E5-1600 and E5-2600 product families, providing up to 64 GB of ECC memory, up to 11 TB of high-speed storage, and up to NVIDIA Quadro 5000 or dual NVIDIA Quadro 2000 graphics.

The new workstations feature the latest eight-core Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family, offer up to 512 gigabytes (GB) of DDR3 memory, (1)and support multithreaded workstation applications that professionals rely on.

The latest additions to the industry-leading line of HP Z Workstations also feature third-generation PCI Express technology, providing customers increased performance and seamless integration of new graphics cards.

“As the workstation industry leader, HP continues to invest in technology that allows our customers to push the limits of innovation,” Kobi Elbaz, director, Commercial Solutions, HP Personal Systems Group EMEA. “Our investments in R&D and technology have led to workstations that meet and exceed the needs of the world’s most demanding customers.”

More cores for “megatasking”

The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family allows for up to 16 physical cores in a single system and let 32 threads run at one time when using two processors, each with eight cores and Intel Hyper-Threading(2) Technology enabled. The new processors include Intel® vPro™ Technology,(3) integrated memory controllers and Intel Turbo Boost Technology. (4)

“HP Workstations based on our new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family are helping workstation users fast track the way they create, test  and modify their innovative ideas” said Boyd Davis, vice president, Architecture Group, Intel.  “Our new Intel Xeon E5 processors combine an increase in computational capacity and proficiency with an optimized I/O infrastructure. These advanced capabilities enable professionals to quickly and efficiently interact with their models while concurrently executing simulations, renderings, ray tracing and modelling their ideas on their HP Workstations.”

The new HP Z Workstations include 90-percent-efficient power supplies – reducing both overall energy usage and the amount of waste heat released.

All HP Z Workstations offer BFR/PVC free configurations(5)and more than 90 percent recyclable by weight.

HP workstations are used by some of the world’s most demanding customers in industries such as graphic arts, broadcast, CAD, engineering, medical imaging, finance, and oil and gas exploration. Companies use HP workstations to design everything from running shoes to race cars, animated characters to deep-sea submersibles, and to manage everything from billions of dollars of tradable securities to mission-critical IT environments. 

More information about HP Workstations is available at 

Currently seeking “agents and distributors” to assist in expansion.

Remanufacturing franchise Cartridge World has announced an expansion into Africa, and is looking for agents, distributors and developers for assistance, How We Made It In Africa has discussed in a promotional feature.

The expansion has been prompted by a growth in the region’s PC market, which Cartridge World predicts will lead to an increase in printed documents and thusly in ink and toner cartridges.

Several advantages Cartridge World claim for franchisees include a “lower risk of failure/ high potential for growth”, “strong brand recognition and admin support” and “you are in business for yourself – but not by yourself”.

“Suitable individuals/companies” may also have the opportunity to be”develop retail stores and a distribution network as a ‘developer’ for a country or territory”.

GjK Retail and Technology recently released a summery of the South African IT Industry, citing an expansion in printer sales over the last 12 months, and Canon has recently re-entered the Kenyan market with a “Festival of Impressions”.





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