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A package beyond imagination

NZ Herald, 15th October 1998

By Keith Newman

About 30 New Zealanders have begun lucrative small businesses based around a versatile PC package put together by North Shore company Beyond Imagination.

The package, known as Photocraft, features a high-end PC with peripherals and software applications enabling users to restore old photos, write musical scores, compile a family tree and offer language translation services.

But Beyond Imagination, a division of 60-year-old Hirstlens New Zealand, is looking to diversify further. Director Ian Handricks is full of ideas.

“PHOTO MAGIC: Ian Handricks (left) and sales manager John Tantrum weave a spell of restoration. "I wanted to use computers for more than playing games," says Mr Handricks.“

"At the moment I’m experimenting with landscape and interior design by computer. You can sketch an idea for a garden and it’ll grow before your eyes. For interior design we have tens of thousands of different textures, wallpapers, carpets and furniture covering. You draw a plan of a house sprout it up in 3D and take a tour through the home," he said.

He wants to see people create employment opportunities for themselves using computers.

"I wanted to try and use computers for more than playing games, writing letters, working with spreadsheets and Internet by providing the tools in a configuration that can generate income. "People starting a business need help and support."

Mr Handricks has been with Hirstlens for 25 years and now owns the company and its subsidiary Beyond Imagination, along with co-directors Ken Holmes and John Shennan. He first used his skills as a computer programmer to develop a photo re-touching product for the Photo Marketing Association in 1993.

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