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Gene Construction Kit 2.1 beta due in April
Textco today announced that a beta release of Gene Construction Kit 2.1 for Mac OS X will be available in April. Version 2.1 will sport the new Aqua interface and OS X-compatibility. It will aso include a new "Deluxe Importer" Module, which will download and convert standard GenBank DNA sequence files (as well as standard EMBL DNA sequence files) into GCK2 graphical constructs and will provide users with a simple way to create, maintain, and exchange graphical representations of any of the sequences from the human genome project.
Apple to expand call operations in Austin, TX
Globest.com reports that Apple has signed an 18-month sublease for 39,000 sq foot in north Austin to expand its Austin-based call center operations, adding to its already-leased 250,000 sq foot-facility in the same area: "This is a temporary expansion of their operations, which could become permanent if demand remains high....Apple has a growing presence in Austin, but the approach they take to leasing space is conservative."
Zeus announces OS X support for Web server
Zeus Technology today announced Mac OS X compatibility for its Zeus Web Server, which it bills as the "world's most scalable, high performance Web server software." The software is priced at $1,700 and set to ship in the second quarter.
Listserv for Micronet discussion
Sollos Technology Solutions, a former reseller for Micronet equipment, has started a listserv devoted to Micronet discussion: "hopefully to benefit the company's return to life. (We noted Micronet's closure late last month and recent movement to resurrect the company under new management and support.)
NameCleaner 2.1.2: file name, type conversion
NameCleaner 2.1.2, now also available for OS X, is an $30 utility for the Macintosh OS to manipulate file names and types and is specially designed to "help move files to and from foreign file systems such as MS-DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95/98, Windows NT/2000, NetWare and Unix." It includes mappings for over 100 PC Extensions and 100 Macintosh file types as well as allowing system file mappings to be used and offers preview and logging functions.
Migrate mail from old Unix boxes to OS X
moz2X.pl is a script to convert Mozilla-style mailbox folders to OSX's Mail format: "It's especially useful for moving moving mail from another Unix machine to OSX. It's run from the command line, so it could be run on the old (Unix) machine or on OSX."
Wacom promises beta driver in June
Noting that it has been working on the development of a tablet driver for Mac OS X since last summer, Wacom says it has "hired additional staff and contractors to complete the OS X driver as soon as possible. However, due to circumstances beyond its control, the earliest that Wacom will be able to release an OS X beta driver for Wacom USB tablets is in June of 2001." The company says that Mac OS X driver will provide all tablet data (incl. pressure, tilt, etc.) to native OS X application only, and that applications under Classic will not be supported--except as mouse replacement.
UberTunz 0.5b: mp3 player, playlist editor
An update to the "no frills" mp3 player and playlist editor, UberTunz v0.5b, brings support for Mac OS X final (previous version would only run on the Public Beta version).
Pepsan & Associates release two free utils
Granet 1.0 is a simple, utility that graphs the throughput of each active network interface on your computer and AysMon 1.0, is a multi-purpose utility for monitoring system resources associated with network services, including connection throughput, disk space usage and key open network ports. Both utilities are free.
SmartMoney.com on OS X, Apple financials
SmartMoney.com's Monica Rivituso writes that despite Mac user enthusiasm and positive early reviews of Mac OS X, Apple still has much to prove to win back the trust of investors. "...Apple devotees may sing hymns of praise on Saturday as they line up to purchase their copy of the new operating system. But it's going to take some serious financial results before investors join the choir."
MacDesktops: 14 new images in the last week
Over the past week, MacDesktops has posted 16 new pictures, including: A Clockwork Orange (Movies), Britney Spears (Music), Cartman (Animation), Icicle Creek, Washington (Landscapes - Nature), Titanium (PowerBook G4), and Vanity (Games).
WebSiphon 2.02 updated, discount offered
Apple ships Final Cut Pro 2
Chris McGuinness reports that his copy of Apple's recently released Final Cut Pro 2 has shipped: "the item has shipped and I have Fed Ex tracking that is showing it as in transit at Fed Ex location Rancho Cordova."
FILTERiT 4.0: Illustrator plug-in
CValley is now shipping its $130 Adobe Illustrator plug-in, FILTERiT4, which bring features such as simple distortion, trace, 3D transform, and fractalize to Adobe's illustration and graphics layout program. The included 3D Transform filters allow objects to be transformed into spheres, spirals, donuts, or cylinders and lets you produce motion blur effects by using Illustrator 9.0's transparency capability. Version 4 now offers the ability to rotate objects before applying transformation as well as after. A demo is available online.
Sign up for Red Faction demo
Volition has made available a sign-up form for receiving the Playstation 2 demo of Red Faction, Volition's upcoming first-person shooter also coming to the Mac and PC. The demo, which is available to residents of the U.S. age 17 years or older, includes three levels, four of the game's weapons, the submersible vehicle and destructible environments and is an opportunity for those who own a Playstation 2 to get an early look at the game in action.
New iMacs w/DVD-ROM for education
Apple is offering education customers special new iMacs with built-in DVD-ROM drives (in lieu of the standard CD-RW). Noting that it is "responding to the special needs of educators," Apple is offering a limited build of two DVD-iMac configurations, including an Indigo 500MHz iMac (64MB/20GB) and a Graphite 600MHz iMac (128MB/40GB) for $1100 and $1350, respectively. The machines are the same (education) prices as equivalently configured CD-RW iMacs and are not available to individuals for purchase through the Apple Store Education.
Apple UK launches loan program for customers
Apple has launched Apple Financial Services (AFS), a service designed to help consumer customers buy or lease Apple products, according to Macworld UK: "In the UK, AFS will work with Sunderland-based credit-reference agency, The Associates, to offer low monthly repayments, flexible payment options, and no-penalty deals for early payment. When The Associates has approved a customer's credit, Apple will process the order."
OS X: shipments confirmed, math applications
osx.macnn.com reports on shipment confirmations of Mac OS X from the Apple Store, new math applications for OS X, beta serial drivers for OS X from Keyspan, and mainstream press coverage of the OS by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
More info on English-International iTunes 1.1
Finlay Dobbie followed-up on the availability of iTunes 1.1 for English-International users: "The Remove US iTunes utility only actually works for iTunes 1.0. Not only that, but I downloaded iTunes 1.1 International-English this morning... and it is exactly the same as the us one released 2 weeks ago! I'm not talking featurewise. Same size... Same CRC-64 checksum. Oddness..."
Apple Store ships OS X
Following shipment confirmations reported yesterday at osx.macnn.com and early retail availability at Staples across the US, both US and UK readers report receiving shipment confirmation of Mac OS X from Apple Store.
Details on PC GeForce2 MX in Mac
A reader at Accelerate Your Mac! has provided full details on how he successfully installed an Elsa GeForce2 MX for the PC in his Mac. "I've ran Oni at full 1600 resolution without any problems and plan to install Quake 3 and take some benchmarks next."
AVault: Finishing games
"Slogging Through to the End of Computer Games" at The Adrenaline Vault delves into the issue of why users often do not finish the games that they play. "What keeps us playing all the way through to the end? Motivating players to complete a game is like motivating young minds to learn, by getting them to desperately want to get to the bottom of intriguing intellectual puzzles about which they cannot stop thinking."
WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos in London
WarCraftIII.Net has posted its report on the London presentation of Blizzard Entertainment Producer Bill Roper on WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos. The report provides specific details on many gameplay elements questioned by fans including the fact that lumber is no longer a resource, yet trees and the ability to chop trees remains a part of the WarCraft experience.
New Diablo II: LoD media
DiabloII.net has posted Diablo II: Lord of Destruction mediawhich includes a Bink movie showing the Druid exploring and battling his way through Act Vfrom their recent visit with Blizzard Entertainment in London. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is expected to be released for the Mac this summer, only a few short weeks following the PC release.
Console: New Metal Gear Solid 2 details
Afternoon console news: Three names used in the upcoming sequel Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for the Playstation 2 have inadvertently been revealed by a toy figure manufacturer; Japanese chipmaker MegaChips has announced that Taiwan-based Macronix has agreed to build a new production line to supply chips for Nintendo's new Game Boy Advance and GameCube consoles; a slew of XBox advertisements are expected to appear in Japan publications this week leading up to Bill Gates' keynote speech at the Spring Tokyo Game Show later this month; and Logitech has announced that it plans to begin selling its GT Forcea steering wheel designed specifically for Gran Turismo 3 in North America.
Verbatim to continue selling ADR media
In reponse to the OnStream's closure announced here last week, Verbatim Corp. announced that its Verbatim-branded ADR tape cartridges for OnStream's tape back-up products will continue to be available from Verbatim and its resellers. Its 30GB and 50GB ADR cartridges are available through authorized resellers and from Verbatim's Web site for $40 and $50, respectively. New ADR media ship with a lifetime warranty.
Maxon announces R7 of Cinema 4D XL
Maxon made several announcements this week at CeBIT 2001, including Cinema 4D XL R7, its new Cinema 4D ART, PyroCluster plugin for CINEMA 4D XL, and other plugins for integration with other high-end 3D packages.
Ten new Tropico screenshots
EuroGamer: WarCraft III Preview
EuroGamer has published a preview of Blizzard Entertainment's WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos after seeing the game in action during a European press tour. The preview comes complete with three new screenshots and a concept image. "Probably the biggest change from the Warcraft formula is the increased focus on individual heroes rather than overwhelming forces - the game is supposed to reward small armies with good tactics rather than simply giving victory to whoever can mine resources the fastest and dump a huge number of grunts into their enemy's base."
DragThing 4.0: desktop launcher Carbonized
DragThing 4.0, a new Carbonized version of the popular desktop launcher utility, adds hierarchical contents menus for folders and disks, new dock appearance options, true 128x128 icons (even on Mac OS 9), multiple levels of undo for many actions, and several other new options.
Tech: 3Com kills Audrey, Napster slacking...
Morning tech news: 3Com has axed its Audrey Web appliance, citing weak sales (Apple has long maintained that it sees no market currently for Web appliances); record labels plan on telling the court that Napster is not fulfilling the terms of its agreement fast enough; Corel says it expects to report a first-quarter profit after the markets close today, a sign that the company is on its way to recovery; AOL Europe added 1.4 million subscribers in the last year, boosting its membership by 40%; and AMD will unveil a 1.33 GHz version of its Athlon chip tomorrow.
MathXpert brings Math tools to OS X
MathXpert today announced that MathXpert Plus Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus learning tools are now available on Mac OS X. MathXpert's tools for helping students learn Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Calculus problem techniques use an logic engine that selects the proper sequence of mathematical operations from a set of approximately 800 possible operations.
TEO/MacOS 1.5.0 released
TEO/MacOS 1.5.0 is a new version of Richard Bannister's carbonized Thomson TO8 emulator for the Mac that brings the emulator in sync with the latest version for x86. Bannister also notes that the next version of Generator will include an optional faster renderer that can more than double the framerate on older machines.
Earth 2140 for Mac on April 4
epic interactive has announced that Earth 2140, a classic real-time strategy game, is now in production for the Mac and will ship on April 4. EARTH 2140, which is set in a world devastated by eccological catastrophes and numerous wars, features the two remaining world powersUnited Civilised States (UCS) and Eurasian Dynasty (ED)fighting for the last remaining resources and world dominance. The international version of Earth 2140 contains English, French, Dutch and Italian versions of the game.
Console: Oni number one in Europe
Morning console news: Today at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Sensaura announced that it is the selected provider of positional 3D audio technology for Microsoft's Xbox game console; Oni for the Playstation 2 has made a splash in Europe, holding its number one position for two weeks in a row; 3DO has shipped Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 for the Playstation 2, with Sarge and the Bravo Company Commandos being called into action to foil General Plastro's diabolical scheme to destroy the Green Nation; Sony has announced that Extermination, its "dynamic action/adventure thriller", will be released exlusively on the Playstation 2 this summer; and Activision has acquired the rights to develop and publish games based on the upcoming Spider-Man movie in addition to broadening their existing license for publishing games based on the Spider-Man comic book series.
ScreenCatcher 2.3.2 adds support for Mulberry
St. Clair Software's Screen Catcher 2.3.2 adds support for Mulberry to its "email a screen snapshot" feature and also includes a fix for a conflict with Kensington MouseWorks to the $25 shareware screen capture utility. The company promises an OS-X compatible version soon.
Roxen Platform 2.1 for OS X due in a month
Roxen Platform 2.1 for Mac OS X, the production version of the Web Content Management system is expected to be avaialable approximately 30 days after OS X is released. The collaborative web site building environment that includes templates, workflow, access control, work areas and versioning and the ability to serve custom graphics and text content based on a visitor's access privileges and profile. It also offers full integration with Photoshop for editing and delivery of images. The company also announced a German-localized version of its product and promised to deliver a native Swedish version in the upcoming months.
Nullsoft posts alpha of WinAmp 0.71a for Mac
Confirming an AppleInsider report from January, NullSoft has posted an alpha version of Winamp 0.71a for Mac, a free application with support for mp3 audio playback and SHOUTcast Radio.
Reunion Planner 4.8.8 gets tabbed interface
Reunion Planner 4.8.8 for planning and coordinating family, college, high school or company reunions adds a new follow-up letter, tabbed interface, QuickHelp buttons, export options, and better tools to the $60 application.
Keyspan posts beta OS X drivers
Keyspan has posted beta Mac OS X drivers for its USB Twin Serial Adapter, USB PDA adapter, and USB High Speed Serial Adapter.
Apple updates Mac OS X page
Apple yesterday updated several of its Mac OS X pages, adding additional information and QuickTime movies.
NY Times takes a brief look at OS X
In continued media coverage of the launch, the NY Times has published a brief overview of OS X.
XLR8 ships dual-processor G4 upgrade
XLR8 has begun shipping the MACh Velocity 66 G4 MPe multi-processor upgrade card for ZIF-based G3 systems. Processors connected to the MPe do not have to be of identical speed, allowing G4 owners to purchase a single-processor MPe and simply add their current G4 chip to the card to gain dual-processor capabilities. Pricing for the MPe follows: $650 for 400 MHz, $700 for 450 MHz, $850 for 500 MHz, $1050 for 400x2 MHz, $1150 for 450x2 MHz, and $1450 for 500x2 MHz.
Games: Installing PC GeForce2 MX in a Mac
games.macnn.com has information on new in-game footage of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction as well as instructions on installing a GeForce2 MX for the PC inside your Mac.
WSJ reviews Mac OS X: "hold off upgrading"
The Wall Street Journal has published a review of Mac OS X, which recommends that "average" users hold off upgrading until summer or fall. The generally positive review cites Mac OS X' biggest problem as its performance on slower machines, which was called "sluggish" on a 300 MHz iBook. Another WSJ article discusses the pending launch of the operating system.
Deneba Canvas 8 due in June, ready for OS X
Deneba is set to ship Canvas 8 in June, according to Macworld UK. The software, which will ship fully Carbonized for OS X, features expanded file format support, peer-to-peer file sharing, and integrated scripts and sequences for automating tasks.
Brother announces 25 PPM laser printer
Brother today introduced the HL-2460 black-and-white laser printer, which boasts print speeds of up to 25 pages per minute, 16 MB of memory expandable up to 272 MB, a 600 paper sheet capacity, PostScript 3 compatibility, and USB connectivity. For best performance with Macs, Brother recommends purchasing the optional 10/100 ethernet card, or the HL-2460N, which come standard with built-in networking. The HL-2460 and HL-2460N carry price tags of $900 and $1,000, respectively, and will ship in May.
NetGear ships Cable/DSL router with filtering
NetGear has begun shipping the RP114, a $180 Cable/DSL router that features a 4-port switch and content filtering capabilities. The RP114 can be configured to restrict surfing to certain times of the day, block specified Web sites, and log all Web surfing activity.
Roundup: Apple OS X apps, early OS X orders..
Yesterday we noted Apple's promise for Mac OS X versions of iTunes, iMovie 2, and AppleWorks 6.1 (preview) as well as the low-key introduction of OS X, which promised updates for missing features in the OS and early sales of OS X at Staples. We also noted Creative's shipment of SoundBlaster Live!, the English-International version of iTunes 1.1, a USB MPEG-2 hardware encoder, G4 PowerBook accessories from MadsonLine, new HP printers, and dozens of OS X-related announcements. Other updates included StickyBrain 1.2, MYOB's Conversion Assistant, Apple's new Geforce2 MX drivers, Adobe's Netscape 6 fix for GoLive, and Griffin's free G-Sound 1.1 application.
Free upgrade for early ADB ZephIR users
StudioZee is offering a free hardware upgrade for early ADB adopters of its ZephIR, a USB/ADB hardware device which allows full remote control of infrared based audio-video equipment directly from the Mac desktop. The update provides less interference from stray light during recording, support for more frequencies, and automatic frequency detection.
PGP flaw could expose electronic signatures
Two Czech cryptologists report on a PGP security flaw (link has been removed) that makes it vulnerable to hackers gaining access to the electronic signatures of other people. "Preliminary analysis of their findings indicates this is something users should not be concerned about. We will be giving further guidance after technical details are available," William Price, Director of Engineering for PGP Security, told MacNN. [updated]
Farallon updates SkyLINE 2.4 driver for OS9.1
Farallon's SkyLINE Wireless Driver Installer 2.4 for its PC Card and PCI card, "improves stability, resolves issues with Mac OS 9.1, and adds support for the included firmware updater, allowing you to upgrade your card to 8.3 firmware."
Microsoft UAM 5.07 fixes password bugs
Microsoft's UAM 5.07 for Mac OS, an update to the User Authentication Module that provides a more secure connection between Macs and a Windows 2000 network, fixes a bug that prevented Mac users from changing passwords over 7 characters long. It also addresses other user name and password field bugs and KeyChain Manager problems.
Kiosk Communicator 2.5: kiosk development
First Wave today announced Kiosk Communicator 2.5, the latest version of the company's proprietary kiosk development software. Due in April, version 2.5 includes credit card encryption, remote monitoring, and serialization options to dispense uniquely-numbered gift certificates or coupons as well as enhanced database functionality and better data exchange for data export to virtually any database or spreadsheet.
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