Just days before its expected release at Macworld Expo, Mac OS 9.1 has been certified Golden Master (GM) and is now available for download to registered developers through Apple\'s Developer Connection site. The software is expected to be made public on Tuesday.
After making the update available for a short while and then pulling it earlier this week, Adobe today posted an English version of its Adobe Illustrator 9.02 updater which fixes an Anchor Point tool issue on Power Mac G4s and problems with saving files when duplicate brushes were deleted prior to saving. The update also includes plug-ins to increase compatibility with importing and exporting Photoshop 6.0 files. (Illustrator 9.01 update required.)
MacGameFiles is offering two CD\'s full of the hottest game demos released during the holiday season. Volume 1 includes demos for titles such as Heavy Metal: FAKK2, Oni, Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear and Rune while Volume 2 includes demos for titles such as 4x4 Evolution, Cro-Mag Rally, Driver and Links LS 2000. Each CD is available separately for $10 or as a set for $16.
Apple\'s new corporate refocus on killer apps [free link added], which comes with the "concession from Apple\'s management that Apple can no longer fight the Wintel giant," is the latest effort by the computer company to reinvent itself, according to the Wall Street Journal. The article notes that Jobs, who has committed to rolling out several new software titles in conference calls, hinted that two such titles will be launched in the first half of 2001 and privately, Jobs has touted one of the applications as being "on par with iMovie," and the other as "the greatest thing that Apple has ever done." An AppleInsider article published one month ago quoted inside sources pointing to a new title that Apple was scrambling to finish for next week\'s Macworld Expo San Francisco, iMusic. "Apple hopes that iMusic will begin to do for homemade music CDs what iMovie has begun to do for home digital movies..."
Weapons Factory Software has released Weapons Factory Arena 2.5 Beta for Quake III: Arena (1.27 compatible). The new version of the mod allows players to walk slightly faster after being shot in the leg and fixes various bugs and HUD issues.
Games Domain has pubished a preview of Tropico, the banana republic building/strategy game coming to the Mac and PC in Q2 2001. At the heart of Tropico is a business game. You have to bring in the cash to keep yourself in power, the two most direct routes being through farming, mining and industry or through getting tourists to visit the island. At the same time you have to control your spending as you put up new buildings, pay your workers and use some of your dollars to exert your political will.
Ambrosia Software\'s Matt Burch updated the progress log for Escape Velocity: Nova, the third title in the popular space action/role-playing game series.
GameOver has published an interview with Volition\'s James Tsai, Assistant Producer on Mac/PC/Playstation 2 first-person shooter Red Faction. \"When we decided to make Red Faction, we wanted to make a game that was action-packed, featured modifiable geometry, was loaded with stunning visual effects, had vehicles, and featured a realistic world in which the player could lose themselves for hours,\" says Tsai. \"From the very beginning, weíve been working toward this goal and are very eager to get this title out to gamers when itís finished.\"
Iomega\'s new Peerless drive system, debuting this month at CES and MacWorld Expo, are new PDA-sized drives that utilize a $250 base station that is "slightly" larger than the disk itself (a slim, vertical enclosure about four inches across and five inches tall). The "disks" are available in 5GB ($130), 10GB ($160) and 20GB ($200) capacities and are fully sealed, offer transfer rates of up to 15 MB/sec with the FireWire interface, and include chip-based identifier technology data security. FireWire and USB 1.1 interface modules are expected to be available in mid-2001 in the US and in the third quarter in Europe and Asia/Pacific. USB 2.0 and SCSI versions due "as follow-on products."
Apple, as well as Compaq, is \"scrambling\" to include the ability to record DVDs in its next line of Power Macs expected next week at Macworld Expo, according to c|net. The article notes that the DVD-R drives, expected as a build-to-order option, would be a logical extension of the company\'s focus on video/content creation using iMovie 2, but omits mention of Apple\'s recent purchase of DVD-software developer Astarte. (Yesterday we noted that Compaq will be including Pioneer\'s DVD-R/CD combo drive in its high-end Presario PC.)
German graphics card maker VillageTronic will soon introduce the MPDD, a $100 video card designed for affordably adding a second display to your Mac. The card features 8 MB of RAM, Apple RGB and VGA connectors, lacks 3D acceleration, and supports refresh rates as high as 160 Hz. VillageTronic is working on securing a US distribution partner for the card, and plans on shipping it to the US and European markets in the near future.
OneApp Clean Text 1.2 brings user interface improvements to the $15 shareware utility that eliminates all text formatting, removes empty lines, multiple spaces, tab characters, and fixes paragraphs. English, Italian, and Spanish versions are available.
MYOB will be demonstrating a Mac OS X version of its small business accounting software, AccountEdge next week at MWSF. A free update to the Carbonized version of AccountEdge will be available to all registered users soon after the release of OS X and MYOB is promising a "seamless" QuickBooks Pro 4 conversion utility by the end of January 2001 as well as a $100 rebate off the full retail price to QuickBooks Pro 4 users. The company has also posted its January 2001 Payroll Update.
Following an earlier announcement of WebSTAR Server Suite 5 for Mac OS X, 4D, Inc. today announced that it will demonstrate 4D v6.7 on Mac OS X next week at Macworld Expo: "...our goal for current 4D users to be able to seamlessly port applications from earlier versions to Mac OS X without needing to write or changing a single line of code."
QBeo yesterday announced new OS X-compatible versions of PhotoGenetics 2.0 and VideoGenetics 1.0, both of which will be demonstrated at Macworld Expo next week. The AltiVec-enabled, QuickTime-accelerated applications utilize its ImageOp imaging technology to improve digital pictures or video by automatically altering characteristics such as hue, gradient, color balance, saturation and contrast.
QPS has extended its current rebate offers which include a $30 rebate offer on Que! external FireWire drives and a $20 rebate on Que! USB CD-RW drives. The mail-in rebates which now run through through March 31, 2001, apply to purchases made from participating retail stores, catalogs, e-tailers and other retailers of computer products.
id Software has updated its list of Frequently Asked Questions for Quake III: Team Arena. The update includes answers on topics such as occasional disconnects, disappearing demos and taking advantage of a machine with more than 64 MB RAM.
Computer Games Online has published a brief preview of Summoner, the 3D role-playing game already available for the Playstation 2 and coming to the Mac and PC in Q2 2001. Volition has made a considerable effort to take advantage of the PC in distinguishing this game from its PS2 version. Computer players will be able to go online and join up in parties (with players controlling the non-Joseph characters) to win the adventure. While the game won\'t have a level editor, the designers are confident that mod makers won\'t have trouble populating existing levels with player-designed monsters and equipment.
Custer\'s Corner 2.0 has been updated with a new desktop picture/wallpaper, Hazard Team, featuring characters from first-person shooter action game Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. The site also has perspectives and comments from designer/illustrator Brad Custer on his first trip next week to Macworld Expo San Francisco.
At Macworld Expo next week, Connectix will introduce DoubleTalk, an application that allows Mac users to access Windows networks and printers. Where DoubleTalk differs from competing products, Connectix claims, is with its tight Mac integration (networks are accessed via the Chooser) and ease of use that actually makes it easier to access Windows networks from a Mac than from a PC. Connectix also claims that printing via DoubleTalk will be up to 50% faster than printing to network printers through the Mac OS. A Mac OS X version is not yet planned. The $100 title will ship on Tuesday and will be available at the Expo for the showfloor price of $90.
Version 1.9 of the Video CD player and QuickTime movie editor, MacVCD, adds support for full screen mode including full screen VCD playback, the ability to toggle window sizes during editing, and the ability to hide and show the menu bar. The application also supports large screens and multiple video CDs.
Q3Center has released Eternal Arena 4.0 Beta, the latest release of the mod for Quake III: Arena. This new version requires either a retail or demo version of Quake III: Team Arena in order to take advantage of the new TA-based menu interface and other 1.27 enhancements. Other additions include several changes to the crosshair, scoreboard with rewards, weapon positioning, fast weapons switching, team colored trails and InstaGib Rails or InstaGib Rockets gametypes. This version offers no single-player support and can only be played via Multiplayer or Skirmish.
Graphic Simulations Corporation is now testing the multiplayer patch for Baldur\'s Gate with a small group of private testers, according to Mac Baldur. The test is being done after the contracted programmer on the patch, Duane Johnson, and GraphSim have conflicting experiences on whether the patch contains major problems or not. If the test turns up little or no problems, then it will be released publicly to fans and owners of the game who have been anxiously awaiting its release for months.
An update to the official Rune web site includes comments from Human Head Studio Business Director Tim Gerritsen which addresses support for Rune and continues on to announce that a patch for the game will be released in the next month as well as flat polygon mesh layouts so that people can create their own skins and incorporate them into the game. In addition, Gerritsen provides the first official word of an Add-on Pack for Rune that is expected to be released in Spring 2001: ...we have finally gotten approval from Gathering of Developers on a Rune Add-On pack. I can\'t release a lot of details at the moment, but the Add-On pack will be multiplayer focused only, and will include some new modes and maps for the Rune community that we have created ourselves, as well as a couple of new multiplayer characters (including, finally, a really good female character or two). The pack will be out in spring of 2001, and we hope to release details soon. It will be a commercial add-on, but at a reasonable price available in all outlets. We also have some REALLY big news for Rune that we hope to announce very soon, so watch the board for a big annoucement concerning Rune in the next month or two. We can\'t say anything now, but we are really chomping at the bit to do so and give you lots of details when we finally are allowed to make the announcement.
Human Head Studios has released a new map for Rune created by Dave Halsted, DM-DeepUnder. The map can be played either with traditional weapon-spawns or in its unique intended mode where players must kill enemy creatures to obtain bigger weapons and earn bonus powerups. At the start of play, players can\'t hurt each other and any player can choose which mode the map will play in by hitting one of two marked pumps located in the center of the map.
games.macnn.com has news on Tony Hawk\'s Pro Skater 2 for the Mac, the multiplayer patch for Baldur\'s Gate and on the upcoming add-on for third-person action game Rune. Meanwhile, Custer\'s Corner 2.0 has been updated with a new desktop picture, Hazard Team, featuring action game Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. [updated]
Release 2 of iView Media Pro 1.0, a Carbonized and improved version of iView\'s popular multimedia organizer which will be officially introduced next week at MWSF, is now available online for purchase or as a fully functional demo. iView Multimedia users will receive a discount when upgrading (not yet available).
Classic CTF 1.10 is a new release of the mod for Quake III: Arena that aims to bring back some of the gameplay and feel from Capture the Flag play of Quake 1 and 2. This new release fixes dozens of bugs and makes additional gameplay tweaks and enhancements.
As reported in the February 2001 edition of MacAddict, Activision is reportedly close to finding a developer to port Tony Hawk\'s Pro Skater 2 to the Mac. The skateboarding game has appeared on nearly every gaming platform except the Mac including Playstation, DreamCast, Gameboy Color and PC. Hawk, a long-time Mac user himself with a home video setup that includes a PowerBook G3, Power Mac G4 Cube and 400 MHz Power Mac G4, reportedly played a part in pushing Activision to pursue a Mac port of the popular title. Tony Hawk is featured in the magazine in an article sharing his tips for creating action-sport videos.
Apple yesterday posted version 1.2 of the Apple Public Source License, which makes "several changes to better serve and protect the community that has evolved around Darwin and other Apple Open Source projects." Users are no longer required to distribute changes made for personal use and are no longer required notify Apple when modifications are deployed. Apple has also rewritten many of the license terms have been rewritten to also protect Contributors. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Open Source Initiative\'s license-discuss list
Willow Design\'s new $100 Cube Carry Case has foam walls reinforced by corrugated plastic as well as internal, adjustable compartments for the Cube, power supply, speakers, keyboard, mouse and accessories.
osx.macnn.com has information on the upcoming WebSTAR V and EtherPeek 4.1 for OS X and a build of XFree86 4.02 for Mac OS X as well as changes to Apple\'s opensource license, APSL 1.2, which were made in response to criticism from the opensource community. [updated]
Today\'s active threads in our OS X forums include readers trying to get DSL to work with OS X, readers trying to get sendmail to work on OS X PB, and a discussion about XFree86 on Darwin and Mac OS X.
The free implementation of X Windows XFree86 4.0.2 now runs on Mac OS X: "I have incorporated his code into XFree86 4.0.2 and cleaned it up a bit. It is still in rough form, but it works and is reasonably fast. This code will eventually find its way into the XFree86 CVS repository..."
Charismac will demonstrate Discribe v4.0, the latest version of its popular CD mastering software that will include the ability to drag and drop MP3 files for creating audio compilation CDs and will include its direct-to-disk recording utility AudioScribe v2.0 that allows you to record vinyl, tape or voice to hard disk, and eventually to CD with Discribe.
DealNN includes bargains on a 512MB memory module for G4s and iMacs ($275), a free Palm m100, Power Macs for under $70, and many others.
WildPackets, Inc.will unveil a new Mac OS X-compatible version of its powerful network analyzer EtherPeek. Version 4.1 brings support for Apple\'s Aqua interface and adds several major enhancements new threshold alarms, enhanced subnet/range filtering, enriched HTML and XML output, and log file filtering as well as new Napster and Internet Attack plug-ins. The update is free to current maintenance subscription owners ($300/year).
UMAX Technologies will demonstrate several of its products at Macworld (booth #2125), including its Astra 6450, a consumer-oriented FireWire-connected scanner; the Astra 3450, a scanner with a built-in transparency cover; the AstraNET e5470, a high-resolution, direct-to-Internet scanner; and the PowerLook 1100, a FireWire scanner.
GeeThree\'s new free bonus transition include a dozen new transitions, which must be used with the company\'s $30 Slick Transitions & Effects package for iMovie 2. (40 transitions and 15+ effects).
Norbert Doerner\'s CDFinder 3.0.1 is a maintenance update to the $20 shareware disk catalog tool utility for the Mac, fixing compatibility issues with FaxSTF 6 and bringing speed improvements.
MacSpeech is now shipping the CD version of iListen 1.0.1, its speech recognition software that offers TalkAnywhere dictation technology and command and control for hundreds of applications. The CD is available for an introductory price of $110 (plus shipping and handling) and is available with a 40% discount when purchasing 5 or more copies or with $30 cross-grade rebate for owners of IBM\'s ViaVoice.
T.J. Pile noticed that Germany-based Ahead Software plans on delivering its Nero CD-burning software for the Mac later this month.
Adobe is offering a free seminar, called Total Inspiration, showcasing print and Web technologies. Featured software includes the latest Photoshop Illustrator, InDesign, GoLive and LiveMotion. The times are from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and locations include New York City, Columbus, and Phoenix on Feb. 1; Boston, Minneapolis and Orlando on Feb. 6; and Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia on Feb. 8. Seating is limited, and reservations are required.
Stone Table Software is offering a software promotion during the month of January. Anyone who purchases Z-Write, a $20 nonlinear writing tool, will receive a free license to the company\'s TimeSaver software, for tracking time spent on projects.
SCA Mercanica has posted Quick Pallet Maker 1.5, an application for improving the loading of shipping pallets. A Mac OS X beta version is available, along with demos of the Mac PowerPC and Windows versions. This version adds interleaved layers, preferences window and the ability to edit report text. It works with metric and English units. One to four licences are $180 each.
Red Light Runner, a proprietor of Apple- and Mac-branded merchandise, will be making its first Macworld appearance next week (booth #2433). On hand will be also be the company\'s iMacAquarium and Classic MacAquarium, which are available for purchase for $300 and $150, respectively. Do-it-yourself kits are also available for those who already own an iMac or Classic Mac shell for $120 and $80.
One MacNN reader noticed that Apple has removed any reference to Mac OS 9.1 in its Tech Info Library, after we noted its appearance yesterday. The operating system update is expected to be announced at Macworld Expo this Tuedsay.
Creative Labs has officially announced SoundBlaster Live! for Mac, as reader Jon Schalliol noticed. The card will be demonstrated and begin shipping at Macworld Expo next week (booth #2339). Details on the card, as well as pricing information, are not yet available. At last year\'s Macworld San Francisco, the company promised Mac users that it would deliver the first sound card for Macs targeted at the masses.
Hot topics in our Mac Games Forum include mini-reviews of the latest game demos, troubleshooting Unreal Tournament on an iMac with a Voodoo2 and OpenGL vs. RAVE.
Yesterday Alliance 2.1 was released, fixing a bug in the mod for Quake III: Arena; id Software\'s Graeme Devine indicated that the company is now handling OS X development for its titles directly; and the Gathering of Goodness Calendar revealed a new game in development at new development studio Mumbo Jumbo, Myth III: The Wolf Age. We published Kitty\'s Adventures in The Sims Volume 2, our weekly feature which chronicles the lives of The Sims through the eyes of reporter Kitty Chattin while also offering new downloads for owners of the popular game.
Brother today introduced the HL-1650, which it bills as the world\'s first sub-$600, 16 ppm laser printer with built-in duplex printing capabilities, which allows for automatic printing to both sides of a page. The $600 black and white printer features a 1200x600 dpi resolution, 8 MB of RAM, and both parallel and USB connectivity. The $750 HL-1650N includes the optional 10/100 TX ethernet interface and 16 MB of RAM. The printer also features optional support for IrDA printing, as well as PostScript 3 support.
Sony has denied that it has any plans to pursue a takeover of Apple after rumor of a possible deal emerged early Friday morning. \"There is no such fact,\" said Sony CEO Nobuyuki Idei, \"a similar rumour comes up every two or three years.\"
Morning tech news: Sony, Compaq, Phillips and Intel are the latest companies to invest in Cambridge Silicon Radio, a start-up manufacturer that produces chips for Bluetooth wireless devices; Linux 2.4 brings support for USB devices and better multiprocessing capabilities; and Microsoft will unveil the first demonstration of its new Xbox video-game console\'s technology on Saturday at a Las Vegas electronics conference.
Sonnet Technologies will be selling its Sonnet Tempo Ultra ATA66 RAID and Crescendo/PCI G3 upgrade cards at Fry\'ss Electronics beginning this week, according to a company press release. (Last month the company announced that MicroCenter would also be carrying its products as well as a US distribution agreement with national distributor Tech Data.)
4D will showcase at Macworld Expo WebSTAR Server Suite V for Mac OS X, which it says is "currently 50% faster than the built-in web server; however there are still a couple of major optimizations that we have not been done yet which will widen the gap considerably." A developer release is due at th show or soon after, according to the FAQ sheet outlining the future plans for the WebSTAR on Mac OS X.
Orange Micro today announced its OrangeUSB 2.0 Hi-Speed CardBus PC Card, which provides 4 USB 2.0 ports for Cardbus-compliant notebooks, offering data transfer rates of up to 480 Mbits/sec as well as compatibility with all USB 1.1 peripherals. The PC card is expected to ship in March for under $100.
Several readers have reported availability of QuickTime 5.0b2 components through the QuickTime Updater application (but not the Apple Software Control Panel), noting that the new components are dated December 19, 2000 and replaced the older versions installed with QT Public Preview 2 (5.0a13c9), which was released in early December. [We were unable to confirm this.]
Yesterday we noted details on Mac OS 9.1, the first details on Myth III, Needham & Co\'s buy recommedation on Apple, and Apple\'s participation in FETC. Other updates included the release of AOL IM 4.2.122, Trade Assist 2.1, beta of Media100 100i v7.0.2, and AIMM 1.0, a streamlined version of the AOL IM client.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe