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Power Mac G4/PowerBook G4 forums
Our forums continue to attract much discussion regarding Macworld announcements, especially regarding the new Power Mac G4 and PowerBook G4. More popular/interesting threads include:
Power Mac G4: Radeon vs. GeForce 2 · 466 MHz vs. 533 MHz · Dual 533 MHz vs. Single 667 MHz · What is write combing? (new G4s have it) · New price points disappointing · Where is the Cube going?
PowerBook G4: 1152x768 screen resolution is too big · What about a sub-PowerBook? · Lack of expansion bay is disappointing · PowerBook G4 lacks ADC port · PBG4 disappointments/shouldhaves · PBG4 case design thoughts
Jasmine 0.88b expands import/export options
Jasmine 0.88 beta is the latest version of the multitrack sound editor for home studio toolbox users, internet radio production, and sound editing. It now imports MP3s and AIFF sound files, bringing compatibility with a range of audio/video applications.
Sorenson MPEG-4 Codec, Sorenson Video 3
Sorenson Media today announced the upcoming beta release of Sorenson MPEG-4 codec, which offers compliance with the ISO MPEG-4 specification, capable of decoding H.263 (short-header MPEG-4), automatic scene change detection, support for two-pass VBR compression, media key support through secure encryption (available only for QT), and encoders optimized for G4/Altivec. Additionally, Sorenson announced the upcoming release of Sorenson Video 3, which willin conjunction with Apple's upcoming release of QuickTime 5.
ProMax card to include support for 3D, DVI
Matrox Graphics has endorsed ProMax's DH-MAX, a dual display AGP graphics solution. The DH-MAX is a 32MB AGP-compatible graphics card based on the Matrox G400 chip--the same chip that powers the award-winning Matrox Millennium G400 graphics card--and is bundled with a Mac-based driver written by ProMax specifically for the DH-MAX. The ProMax DH-MAX driver currently supports DualHead display and will include support for 3D and DVI in future releases.
Games: Aliens vs. Predator update and more
games.macnn.com has published an update on Aliens vs. Predator: Gold Edition for the Mac, benchmarks of the 533 MHz Power Mac G4 with an Nvidia GeForce2 MX and an update to Custer's Corner Macworld Expo San Francisco 2001 Journal.
Custer\'s Corner Journal Update
Custer's Corner has been updated with a new addition to the Macworld Expo San Francisco 2001 Journal which includes photos from the show floor. In addition, visitors are treated to a sneak peek at the next desktop.
Pricing disparity between US and Europe
A MacNN reader wrote in about pricing disparity between the US and various European countries:
I've compared the prices of Apple computer here in Europe with the prices mainly in the States (I've compared prices without sales taxes so that's is comparable: it's what Apple charges for the product). I've made some very pretty charts that show that price gap and I've found for example that the new PowerBook G4 costs US$400 more here in Europe!!! (US$445 more in Italy!).
By the way, sale taxes are also higher in European countries than in the USA: 16% or more is "normal" in many European countries. I've also done a nice charts for the PowerMac G4, the iBook, the Cube and the iMac comparing prices in several countries to the prices in the USA.
The results are appalling. Europeans pay much more for their Mac than Americans. Lucky you!
Combat Mission 1.1 Released
Battlefront.com has released Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord 1.1, a new version of the turn-based war simulation for the Mac. Most significant in the update is the addition of TCP/IP LAN and Internet play and support for OpenGL.
SiteCam 6.0, SiteZAP 6.0 Carbon-compliant
As noted a few days ago, NuSpectra Multimedia (booth #4242) has released SiteCam 6.0 and SiteZAP 6.0, both fully Carbon-compliant for use with Mac OS X. SiteCam 6.0 is easier to set up; includes an enhanced FTP Engine; and provides automatic QuickTime generation on demand, on motion detection or via AppleScript. The updates are available now for $25 each. The upgrades are free to anyone who has ordered within the last three months. New copies of SiteCam and SiteZAP 6.0 are available immediately starting at $150 and $1,100 respectively.
Barbarian potion bug acknowledged
Blizzard Entertainment has acknowledged a Diablo II Battle.net bug which renders potion-wielding Barbarians unplayable. "We are aware of the issue in which barbarians that are wielding potions are not able to create or join games without crashing during game loading process. We are currently working on a fix."
D2 Expansion Set Interview
DiabloHappy.com has published an interview with Blizzard Entertainment's Bill Roper, Senior Producer on the Diablo II Expansion Set. The interview covers a lot of information on the Diablo II add-on includes the new Druid and Assassin classes:
My favorite Druid spell is Dire Wolf. Running around as a half-man / half-wolf creature and attacking the denizens of Diablo and Baal with razor sharp claws is very fun. When you add in a pack of summoned wolves following you around, it is an amazingly fun experience.
In regards to the Assassin, we have recently added the concept of linked martial arts skills that makes playing her incredibly different than any other character class. The basic concept is that you have one set of skills that can be used to set-up or charge-up the character's martial arts abilities. Then a second set of finishing moves can be used to release that charge.
GameSpy: NWN Interview
GameSpy continues its "Art of Gaming" interview series with a Q&A with Bioware's Marc Holmes, an artist working on Neverwinter Nights. "[Neverwinter Nights] is a huge open-ended crazy-ass visionary thing that will change the way we use the Net forever," says Holmes.
UT Jailbreak 102 Released
UT Jailbreak 102 is the latest release of the "break out of prison" mod for Unreal Tournament. This new version fixes the server travel bug that made the previous version useless for online games. A small patch for those who have the previous version installed is also available.
AvP for Mac set to release
Contrary to other published reports, Aliens vs. Predator: Gold Edition for the Mac is not being held by Fox Interactive due to legal troubles with Microsoft. MacPlay's Bill Heineman, Lead Programmer on the project, told games.macnn.com today that the title has been complete for three weeks and has passed intensive Quality Assurance testing at Fox. The game should be released in the next few weeks.
MWSF Keynote was largest streaming event ever
Apple's Keynote Webcast this week at the Expo was the largest number of concurrent viewers for a scheduled, live Webcast. "According to Akamai, the company that serves the live streams for Apple's QuickTime TV, at its peak the keynote had 35,407 simultaneous viewers accessing 5.3 gigabits per second of video at broadband rates [300kpbs] This tops Apple's previous personal best of 21,000 simultaneous viewers at last summer's Macworld Expo in New York City." A replay of the keynote is available via QuickTime.
Real-time character animation coming to OS X
Kaydara Inc. today announced that FiLMBOX, its real-time character animation system will be available for Mac OS X. FiLMBOX for Mac OS X will provide both a hub for 3D data and a strong set of real-time 3D authoring tools, allowing Mac users to previsualize, storyboard and develop character animation. FiLMBOX for Mac OS X will be released in mid-2001; pricing and availability details have not been set.
Macworld Expo Photo Galleries
We've posted another three photo galleries from the show floor at Macworld Expo, bringing the total to five. (I, II, III, IV, V) Our sister site MacGeneration also has photos from the Apple Developer Party on Tuesday night.
Expo coverage summary
Other Expo coverage includes:
iCab pre2.4: updated alternative browser
German, English, and Japanese versions of iCab 2.4 are now available online, bringing more display options for the Mac OS version (iCab sets) and indented entries for contextual menu items. [Classic PPC, OS X]
NSTUM is first Gigabit Ethernet SAN
3ware announced today that the company's NSUTM (Network Storage Unit) is the first Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) storage area network (SAN) solution that allows Mac users to equip their network with storage that runs across existing TCP/IP Ethernet lines. The NSU provides up to 48 hours of DV streaming video capability and can be attached to individual Macintosh (Mac) machines, or existing networks, providing up to 600 GB of storage. 3ware's NSU products start at $17,000 and will be available later this quarter.
Radeon PCI Now Available
Several readers report being able to buy an ATI Radeon PCI from the ClubMac desk in the ATI booth at Macworld Expo San Francisco for $149 after rebate. However, early reports suggest that Quake III: Arena and Quake III-engine games have significant problems with the card.
ICUII-compatible video conferencing software
Following up on our note earlier in the week about Cyberation's discontinued Mac ICUII development, Simon Hocart notes the existence of an ICUII-compatible solution: "ICUII-compatible videoconferencing software for Mac and PC is developed by NanoCom Corp, as Ispq VideoChat. Beta testing of version 4 is currently underway. Check out www.ispq.com. [trial of v2.1 is available as well]"
GeForce2 MX FPS Numbers
id Software's Graeme Devine is quoted in a Quake3World Forum thread with a note that additional optimizations beyond Velocity Engine (Altivec) support have been added to the Mac version of Quake III: Arena 1.27h. In addition, Graeme notes that his 533 MHz Power Mac G4 with a GeForce2 MX is running the game at +40 frames per second with the "picmip 1" setting and all graphic details enabled. The 1.27h point release for the Mac is expected for release as early as today.
Roundup: SoundBlaster Live! delayed and more
Yesterday The Learning Company's entertainment division announced that it had renamed itself to Game Studios, Creative Labs told attendees at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2001 that the SoundBlaster Live! for the Mac has been delayed to a March release and id Software's Graeme Devine revealed that Velocity Engine (Altivec) support are among the additions included in Quake III: Arena 1.27h for the Mac. games.macnn.com's Custer's Corner was updated with a journal detailing the daily adventures of Macworld Expo San Francisco 2001. The journal will be updated throughout the week.
WWB: Mary DeMarle Transcript
World Without Borders has published the transcript from a chat conducted earlier this week with Presto Studios' Mary DeMarle, designer and writer on Myst III: Exile. DeMarle notes that the game is expected to ship on April 9th and will require a 233 MHz G3 or better with at least 64 MB RAM.
Tranquility 3.3 Released
Bill Romanowski has released Tranquility 3.3, a Mac conversion of the SGI cult classic game of the same name played in the early 90's. "It's difficult to describe...a relaxing 3D game of visual and audio stimulation," notes the author.
Myth III dev team adds Goodman
Mumbo Jumbo Studios has hired Craig Goodman (aka Santa's Head), creator of the popular World War II mods for Myth II: Soulblighter, to work on Myth III: The Wolf Age. Goodman comments on his move to California and the team's goals and plans for the title. The company also hired two additional creators of popular mods for Myth II.
Mac OS 9.1 troubleshooting forum, threads
Our Mac OS reader forum is tracking problems, experiences, and other comments on Mac OS 9.1. Readers are already noting compatibility issues with Mac OS 9.1, including Mouseware, DAVE, QuickTime 5PR2, FireWire DV extensions, ATM 4.6.1 and printing issues, and Language Kits. Meanwhile Dennis Callahan notes a few issues on his Power Mac G4/500:
I have found that a photoshop plug-in, projpeg 5.0 causes havic on startup with photoshop 6.0 running 9.1. removed from the plug-ins folder, all is fine.Also, an application from Ambrosia, Screen Snapz 2.0 will not run under 9.1, causing the Finder to freeze consistently on startup. Again, removed, all is very stable.
Webcrossing for OS X
Web Crossing announced it would ship Web Crossing on Mac OS X, its communications solution for online communities that offers threaded or linear discussions, integrated newsgroups and mailing lists, full email services, secure communications, personal calendar, real-time chat and live event functionality.
ArKaos VJ and VMP for Mac OS X
Belgian company ArKaos is demonstrating its digital video authoring tools, ArKaos VJ and VMP for Mac OS X, and the latest upgrade of its Visualizer v1.4 plug-in for Winamp, Soundjam, Windows Media Player 7 and Real Juke Box 2. VJ and VMP are Mac and PC-based editing suites that allow the user to create professional-level visuals for use in music videos for download with MP3s, live dance clubs and major events, and corporate presentations. Free, limited versions of both applications are available. The full, non-bannered version of VJ is offered for $290, while the full, non-bannered version of VMP is $30.
Apple offers $10 coupons to iTools users
In celebration of iTools' first birthday, Apple has sent iTools users a $10 coupon off purchases of $49 or more at the Apple Store. The coupon expires on February 1.
IPNetSentry part of Theft Protection Plan
PromiseMark, an Internet and data-related service plan company, uses Sustainable Softworks' recently released IPNetSentry, a security application which protects Macintosh computers from outside Internet intruders, as a component of the PromiseGuard Hacker and Identity Theft Protection Plan. The Plan is particularly important for Macintosh users who have cable modem, DSL, or another high-speed Internet service.
TechWeb: \'iMac users left out in cold\'
TechWeb News has an article that says iMac users were left "out in the cold" by Tuesday's product announcements. "No announcements were made for iMac users, and officials with the Cupertino, Calif., company on Wednesday refused to comment on any plans for the low-end computer credited with increasing Apple's marketshare among consumers ..."
FETC: Mississippi ClassWorks learning system
Curriculum Advantage has released ClassWorks Gold Mississippi Edition, an open learning system that delivers teachers' favorite software within a K-to-8 curriculum and the third in a series of state editions. The Mississippi Edition, available for Power Macintosh and Windows, features 18 sequences of curriculum in math and language arts. [site not updated for Mississippi edition]
\'iMovie 2: The Missing Manual\'
Pogue/O'Reilly's Publishing has recently released "iMovie 2: The Missing Manual," a $20 guide book to help consumers understand Apple's desktop movie application. The book is written by David Pogue.
Oil well planning software for Mac
Raleigh Ledet writes "I am seriously considering developing an oil well planning package for Mac OS X. However, I need to find enough people who seriously want to buy such a product before I embark on this project. Anyone seriously interested in this product should e-mail me at the address found on the site."
Apple-Nvidia relationship analysis
c|net's Apple-Nvidia alliance a further blow to ATI talks about the possible impact of the inclusion of Nvidia's graphics cards in higher-end Power Mac G4s, which secures Mac users (and Apple) a second supplier of graphics cards.
Aladdin Transporter 1.0 automates tasks
As noted in our Photo Essay yesterday, Aladdin this week introduced Transporter 1.0, a $150 utility for automating common tasks using "drop boxes" to create resuable actions. The utility includes predesigned Wizards for common file- and Web-related tasks. A $20 discount is available in a "limited time offer."
Macromedia Univ intros new online courses
Macromedia University has introduced new online courses for Macintosh. Mac courses are now available for Director 8, Levels 1 and 2; Dreamweaver 3, Levels 1 and 2; FreeHand 9, Levels 1 and 2; Flash 5, Levels 1 and 2; and Fireworks 3, Levels 1 and 2. Additional online courses will be introduced during the first quarter. Currently, there is a free, 30-day introductory online course for Flash 5 available.
Photo-Objects 50,000 introduced
Hemera Technologies has introduced Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Premium Image Collection for the Macintosh. The images are royalty-free and have already been masked, thus eliminating the need to create transparencies. PhotoFont Maker, included with the collection, is an application for creating photographic-quality textured fonts. The Collection is $80 and available now.
Memory EDGE now available for new Macs
Peripheral has introduced Memory EDGE memory upgrades for the new PowerMac G4s and the PowerBook G4 (Titanium). The PowerBook G4 400MHz and 500MHz can support up to 1GB of RAM using Peripheral's 512MB modules and PowerMac G4s can support up to 1.5GB of memory. Prices start at $40 for the 32-MB for PowerMac G4 and go up to $800 for the 512-MB for the PowerBook G4. [site not updated]
AppleScripts better integrate Word, Entourage
Paul Berkowitz has released Office for Office v1.1, an update to his free suite of 10 AppleScripts for Office 2001:mac which "allow you to make better use of Entourage and Word working together in ways not possible without scripts," including the ability to open and print individually-addressed letters, envelopes, mailing labels and form letters in Word directly from contacts selected in the Entourage Address Book and several new mail merge sorts.
Epson demos wireless printing at MWSF
Epson (booth #1007) is demonstrating wireless Ethernet printing at the Macworld Expo using its new Epson wireless print server, which enables Epson's networkable ink jet printers to wirelessly connect to local area networks using the IEEE-802.11b protocol. The demo uses a PowerBook equipped with an Apple AirPort card to print directly to the new Epson Stylus Color 880i printer. The Epson 802.11b wireless print server is an option that attaches to the parallel port of its networkable ink jet printers and is expected to ship in the second quarter of this year. (Epson also recently introduced two new printers and a new scanner.)
New version of Adobe SVG Viewer 2.0b3 plugin
Adobe has posted a new beta release of the Adobe SVG Viewer 2.0b3, a browser plugin that allows your Web browser to render SVG, the company's open-standard vector graphics language.
FireWire DDS-3 tape solutions from LaCie
LaCie yesterday announced FireWire-based DDS-3 tape solution for the Mac, which provides a compressed capacity of 24GB, stores data at 70MB/mn and automatically carries out read-after-write verification for complete data integrity. The $800 DDS-3 drive uses 125m DDS-3 media, includes with a 2-year warranty and ships with a cleaning cartridge, a 24GB cartridge, cables and Retrospect backup software from Dantz. Additional DDS-3 24GB cartridges are available for $20. (See our Tuesday news item for more LaCie news.)
Borders/Frames for Frame plugins available
Sapphire Framed 1.01 is an update to the company's collection of royalty-free shapes that can be used to create borders in a variety of application plugins, including Auto/FX, Photo/Graphic Edges, Extensis PhotoFrame, and Corel Photo-Paint 9 Frames tool. The new release includes a new set of 150 frames.
New beta of Mac Napster available online
There is a new beta of the Mac Napster client available: Napster 1.0b1.1. Napster for the Mac offers a Hot List for users to communicate with online friends. Existing Macster users who upgrade to Napster for the Mac can quickly get started by registering with their Macster username and password.
Macworld Expo: Day 3 events
Today's special presentation will be given by Rob Burgess, CEO of Macromedia. He will speak from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Conferences and workshops are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., and the exhibit hall is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (All times are Pacific.)
DealNN: new PB G4, ATI card, Mercata sale
Today's bargains at DealNN include a preorder offer for the new PowerBook G4 Titanium; Mercata's going-out-of business sale; PowerMac G3/500 PCI upgrade and FireWire for $400; and ATI All-In-Wonder Rage 128 graphics card for $80.
Roundup: Mac OS X Server, Photo Essay, MS
Yesterday we posted our first Photo Essay from the Expo, details on Microsoft's Office for OS X and Outlook 2001 beta announcements, the pending release of a new version of Mac OS X Server, new Motorola G4 chips, delays in SoundBlaster for the Mac, XLR8's new multiprocessor G4 upgrades, and several Apple software updates. Other updates included Proteron's N2MP3 Pro 1.0, AppleShare 6.3.3, and Intego's NetBarrier 2.0.
(Readers can also test our new headlines display, which we are testing this week as an alternative display option and have listed to the left under 'Services'. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Tech news: Yahoo! results, NASDAQ system
Morning tech news: Yahoo! has reported that fourth-quarter earnings rose 44 percent, meeting Wall Street expectations; federal regulators have approved a new electronic system for collecting and displaying stock orders proposed by the Nasdaq Stock Market; and President Clinton proposed further easing of encryption exports and expanding of the regions where U.S. companies can ship powerful computers without restrictions.
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