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MacPuyo 1.5: shareware Tetris-like game
Liquid Metal Software has released MacPuyo 1.5, an update to its puzzle/arcade game similar to Tetris and other "falling-object" games. Version 1.5 adds new mp3 based sound track, the ability to add your own music, improved graphics, and MacOS 9.1 compatibility.
Forbes: Apple brand has cult following
Brijinder Singh Grewal writes "the current issue of Forbes has an iBook on the cover with Steve Jobs' face on the monitor. The article is about brands of products that have cult followings. It talks about the Miata, Harley Davidson, Apple, Krispy Kreme, and some others. It is an interesting article, talking about some advantages and disadvantages to having a cult following, and they give rundown of Apple's following, talking about Macworld."
Apple Europe General Manager leaves
MacGeneneration reports that Thomas Lot General Manager retail at Apple Europe resigned ast Friday. He will be working at Chateauoline, a dot-com that sells wine on Internet. Lot joined Apple in 1997 as Director of Apple France. Jean-René and will be replaced by Cazeneuve, who worked at at Cisco Systems. (We also recently noted Apple VP Clent Richardson's departure from Apple .)
Mac House Party petition
Fans of Aspyr Media's The Sims for the Mac are petitioning the company to bring the second expansion pack, The Sims: House Party, to the Mac. House Party, which was recently released for the PC, adds extra features and objects for throwing one of three styled parties for The Sims. The petition, which was started by Simsformac.com and LivingAroundtheSims.com, currently has nearly 250 signatures and is being monitored by Aspyr Media.
Mac Falcon 4.0 updates in limbo
A recent interview with Westlake Interactive President Mark Adams at Macinplay.de reveals that the company may not be able to release additional updates for the Mac version of Falcon 4.0, published by MacSoft, due to "legal issues with the publishers." The most recent update to the PC version of the game, which Westlake was hoping to incorporate into the Mac version, was lost when Hasbro Interactive shut down MicroProse. An official announcement on the status of Mac Falcon 4.0 updates is expected in the coming weeks.
Bushfire 1.0.3 fixes bugs
Strange Flavour has released Bushfire 1.0.3, a new version of its side-scrolling action game for Mac and Mac OS X. The game lets players control a fire-fighting helicopter that must extinguish forest fires, save civilians and arrest "nutters" with fireworks, flamethowers and other flammables. Version 1.0.3 fixes a few minor bugs, including one which prevented some mini-games from appearing. (Bushfire is among the games featured in our Slacker's Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 5.) [10.6 MB -- full version; 1.8 MB -- update]
Westlake officially supporting Mac OS X
MacGamer has received word from Mac game porting house Westlake Interactive that the company is "officially supporting OS X" in its development work. Games that have recently shipped or are close to shipping, including Escape from Monkey Island and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, will be updated for native OS X compatibility, while upcoming games, such as American McGee's Alice, will ship with native OS X versions included. Decisions on porting popular past titles, such as Unreal Tournament, The Sims, Deus Ex and Scrabble, will be handled on a "case-by-case basis," although the company recognizes the continued popularity of some of these games and will work with publishers to carbonize those games that make sense to do so.
Netscape Communicator 4.77 now available
After noting its pending release on Saturday, Netscape has posted Communicator 4.77. Release notes are not yet available.
Updated GeForce2 MX 1.0.1 Installer released
Apple has released an updated installer for the GeForce2 MX 1.0.1 driver and firmware update that was originally released last month, but was met with reports of problems by some users. This updated installer will work for those users with the 1017 version firmware, and will only install if an older version is detected.
18 Star Trek add-on screenshots
18 new screenshots from the add-on for Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force have been posted at Nextgame.it. The add-on has yet to be officially announced for the Mac, although Aspyr Media, the publisher of the original game for the Mac, is expected to bring the add-on to the Mac as well.
IMG: WarCraft III Preview
IMG has published a preview of Blizzard Entertainment's forthcoming role-playing strategy game for the Mac and PC, WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos. Based on seeing the game and talking with the development team during a recent visit, the preview also includes four new screenshots of the game in action. "There will be more focus on tactics in WCIII than in prior Blizzard games. When I brought up the often-mentioned comparisons to Myth, Rob [Pardo, Producer] said they were not accurate. To paraphrase, Myth is a strictly tactical game. WCIII is, first and foremost, an RTS title with additional emphasis on tactical combat than before."
A-Sharp announces design voting
A-Sharp has announced that fans of its adventure/role-playing game, King of Dragon Pass, have a chance to choose the design for the next set of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and mugs featuring the Mac/PC game. Anyone who votes is eligible to win a t-shirt or mug with the winning design. Voting ends on May 1, at which time the new artwork will replace the current set.
Console: Microsoft staying tight-lipped
Evening console news: Microsoft VP of Games Ed Fries says that the company is staying tight-lipped about some of its Japanese developer relationships for its XBox, such as Final Fantasy creator Squaresoft; Namco will be announcing two titles for Microsoft's XBox at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May; Advance GTA, a racing title for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, is being billed as a prime candidate for import into the U.S. with no Japanese language barriers to affect gameplay; and Nintendo's Game Boy Advance made its presence felt at the Tokyo Game Show, even in comparison to next-generation game consoles such as the Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft XBox.
Apple to be primary sponsor of UCON 2001
Developer: DMCA provides no protection
Discussing experiences with Ariston Technologies, which distributed for profit a shareware application without the author's knowledge, the shareware author concludes that "DMCA, like other copyright laws, provides no real protection for a small developer."
TWAINplugin 2.0: extends REALbasic images
The TWAINPlug plugin 2.0 extends the functions of REALbasic 2.x, adding the ability to import images from TWAIN compatible scanners and cameras directly into REALbasic applications. Version 2.0 adds a new method for scanning images without the need to present the device specific user interface.
MultiClip 1.0 extends clipboard in OS 9, OS X
MultiClip 1.0 adds 5 different clipboards the OS, offering the ability to edit stored text, export the clipboard, keep the clipboard alive through restarts, and other extended functions. [Carbon, Classic]
4D bundles GoLive 5 in limited time offer
4D is bundling Adobe GoLive 5.0 with range of its products, including 4D Developer Edition, 4D Server Standard, and 4D Server Developer Editions along with a new product called 4D Web Edition. 4D v6.7.1 includes a plug-in for GoLive 5.0 called 4D Extend Script, which facilitates the setting-up of HTML tags inside GoLive 5.0. 4D Web Edition, a new solution containing the development and design tools for the Web developer, ships with 4D Standard Edition, Adobe GoLive 5.0 software and a 4D Web Extension license for complete access to a 4D database through a Web browser (for development use only).
AVerVision 100: document camera
AVerMedia unveiled its AVerVision100, a high resolution document camera designed to display any 3D objects onto a TV, VGA screen or LCD/DLP projector.
OpenBase 6.5.5 adds PHP4 support
OpenBase has begun shipping OpenBase SQL 6.5.5, an update to its high-performance SQL database for Mac OS X and other platforms. Version 6.5.5 adds PHP4 compatibility and numerous enhancements to the package that also includes GUI tools for configuration and management and an EOF adaptor for WebObjects 4.5 as well as ODBC, JDBC, and 4th Dimension database support.
FanOS 1.0: accelerate the Mac OS
FanOS 1.0, compatible with OS X, claims to improve Mac OS's responsiveness, accelerate applications and disable some visual effects: "[it] will also accelerate your hard disk (the MacOS driver's performance is extremely poor, especially for IDE disks) and you will have access to some secret system functions to get the most out of your computer." [Carbon, Classic]
Platinum X: classic Mac feel to OS X
Platinum X brings the classic Mac OS look to the new operating system: "After countless hours looking at little resources, I have nearly completed Platinum for OS X. Given that i'm rushing this out the door (to be the first person to do such a thing), not everything is complete. There are still some things that I haven't found yet (like the lines when a window is in the background."
Symantec intros new bootable CDs w/0S 9.1
Symantec today announced new Mac OS 9.1 bootable CDs for both Norton AntiVirus 7.0 and Norton Utilities 6.0. The updated CDs bring compatibility with the new 2001 Macs (except the Titanium PowerBook), allowing customers to start up these machines. While the applications themselves are already compatible with Mac OS X (only when running under OS 9.1), Symantec says it also currently developing a complete line of Macintosh solutions designed to run native on the new platform, which are expected to be released this summer. The CDs are free to those who purchased the product within the last 60 days and $15 for other existing customers. The update can be obtained by completing the disk replacement form or by calling customer service at 1-800-441-7234.
Games: Escape from Monkey Island released
games.macnn.com has published the Slacker's Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 5, which includes shareware/freeware games for both classic Mac and Mac OS X, and information on today's official release of Escape from Monkey Island for the Mac, the fourth game in LucasArts' adventure series featuring "pirate wannabe" Guybrush Threepwood and his never-ending supply of puns, jokes and insults. [updated]
Slacker\'s Guide to Shareware Pt. 5
We have published the Slacker's Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 5, which covers four shareware/freeware games for the Mac including some that are carbonized for use on Mac OS X.
SRTransport 5: data interface tool updated
Schema Research has announced SRTransport 5 is a an update to data interface application for configuring and executing data transports that brings support for OS X and new connections to data stores. SRTransport, which can build transports that move and restructure data, now offers drag-n-drop of preconfigured components and improved control of automated and unattended data processing in addition to support for XML, JDBC, ODBC, EOF, Flat-File, Sybase and Oracle data stores. A demo is available.
SNX introduces Bar Code Pro 4.0
SNX is shipping Bar Code Pro 4.0, its $280 barcode graphics generator, which offers users the ability to add web addresses to their bar code graphics, text attached to their bar code symbols and use Veribar for built-in readability verification. It also brings compatibility with Mac OS 8.5 through Mac OS 9.1 and the latest versions of Photoshop, InDesign, Freehand, Illustrator, Postscript, Quark and PageMaker. A $350 Veribar version provides recognition verification via small pattern to the top of the bar code graphic. Demos are available online and upgrades are $100 and $125, respectively, for Standard and Veribar versions.
OS X may \"shock\" long-time Mac users
Clif Joseph of The Independent writes "Switching over to OS X may still be a bit of a shock for long-time Mac users, but the new operating system is full of so many clever little touches that exploring it can be pretty good fun. The real question is not whether Mac users will want to make the switch, but when."
Nomad ships new MP3 digital audio players
Creative Technology has introduced its C-series of NOMAD digital audio players: The NOMAD Jukebox C, offers 6 GB of storage capacity for $270 and the NOMAD II C digital audio player, bundled with 32 MB of onboard memory and a Smart Media memory expansion slot, is $130. Creative also introduced the NOMADJukebox C accessory kit, which for $50, includes a Jukebox pouch, carrying case, four AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, car-cassette adapter and stereo backphones as well as the The NOMAD II C-series accessory kit, which includes a carrying pouch, wired remote control, car-cassette adapter, and stereo backphones and costs $30.
ArsTechnica reviews OS X
ArsTechnica has an excellent, comprehensive review of OS X, noting the overall sluggishness felt by many, the new IMAP options available at Mac.com, and how to enable the root user, which can be done from the NetInfo application (under 'Domain--Security' menu).
Next-gen Web dev platform coming to Mac
Curl Corporation has announced that its Curl Surge 1.0 software environment will soon be coming to the Macintosh platform. The tool is a set of web development tools that include a proprietary language, a runtime System, GUI Toolkit, and over 4,000 APIs. read more...
Escape from Monkey Island Released
Aspyr Media today officially announced the release of Escape from Monkey Island for the Mac, the fourth game in the adventure series created by LucasArts Entertainment. The game, which stars the witty Guybrush Threepwood, features "sociopathic parrots, freakishly deformed buccaneers and an insult flinging villain with a sinister agenda." Escape from Monkey Island for the Mac is available now for a suggested $45.
GS: Updated WarCraft III preview
GameSpot has published an updated preview of Blizzard Entertainment's WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos with new information on the company's progress, newly added features and tweaked playable races. "Among the other terrain features that [Producer Rob] Pardo showed us was the dual-depth water. There is now shallow water, which units can wade across (with attendant ripples and splashes), in addition to the standard deep water, which is impassable. The shallow, passable water is welcome news, since Pardo also revealed that there will be no water units in Warcraft III." WarCraftIII.Net has posted the two new screenshots released with the preview with descriptive captions explaining all of the elements shown.
Tropico Previews and Screenshots
In Tropico news, both The Adrenaline Vault and Beta Bites have published their previews of PopTop Software's upcoming building-oriented strategy/simulation game for the Mac and PC. Also, Online Game Review has posted 14 new screenshots of Tropico including some of the game's cinematic sequences. (Don't miss our own in-depth preview of Tropico.)
Weekly update on Halo
Bungie Community Guy Matt Soell has posted his weekly update on Halo, which this week covers more improvements to the AI, grenades and the "umbra effect". "Bernie created what Jaime calls the 'umbra' effect: if there are trees between you and the sun, you'll see sun beams shining realistically through the leaves and branches. VERY impressive."
Console: Dead or Alive 3 for XBox
Morning console news: A new trailer has been released for Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within, the movie set to release on July 13 based on the popular role-playing game series from Squaresoft; Dead or Alive 3, which will release exclusively on the XBox, will feature new characters and will be rendered entirely in real-time; Silent Hill 2 for the Playstation 2 will attempt to provide an atmosphere of suspense and horror with only a flashlight to illuminate pitch black surroundings and eery sound effects; and Infogrames has announced that Metallica will provide the lead track on its offroad racing game for the Playstation 2, Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open.
Theme Creator 2: freeware FM Pro utility
The Cinco Group has announced that its utility for FileMaker Pro, Theme Creator 2, is now freeware. Theme Creator can be used to generate and share layout themes. Developer licenses are $155, offering access to all the internal functions including layouts, field definitions, and all scripting functions.
Adobe shippping Photoshop Elements
Adobe is now shipping Photoshop Elements, a prosumer/consumer version version of its digital imaging editing application designed for amateur photographers, hobbyists, and business users. The $100 application includes "Recipes," a Quick Start Screen, context-sensitive hints, visual filters and effects palettes, online help and tutorials. It is available for $70 for users of Photoshop LE and PhotoDeluxe or as competitive upgrade for select applications. A 30-day free trial is available on the Web.
Roundup: WWII Online Interview
Late last week, we published our latest Covert Gaming Corner featuring a three-page interview with Cornered Rat Software's Russell "Hoss" Mirabelli, Chris "Mo" Sherland and Rodney "Hatch" Hodge on the company's upcoming massively multiplayer game for the Mac and PC, World War II Online; Volition Lead Programmer Mark Allender provided an update on the status of Summoner for the Mac; and a new screenshot from Diablo II: Lord of Destruction showed the Druid shapeshifted into bear form.
Tech: Zshades, wireless speeds, Office XP
Morning tech news: Zshades has debuted a line of $20 color, snap-on faceplates for Palm III handhelds that are translucent blue, red, teal, and purple; Swisscom Mobile claims that its new High Speed Circuit Switched Data technology will quadruple the current 57.6 kpbs data rate of wireless devices; and Microsoft says it will offer 30-day trial versions of Microsoft Office XP on CD ($10), when the product is released in late May as a $240 upgrade for existing Standard users and $480 for a new Standard license.
Oculus 3.0: shareware Webcam utility
CE Software developing QuicKeys X
CE Software says that its automation utility QuicKeys X for OS X is currently in development and that a beta version will be released in May: "QuicKeys X is a completely new product specifically designed for Mac OS X."
Sony ships portable CD-RW/CD player
Sony has begun shipping its new battery-powered, portable Digital Relay CD-RW drive (model CRX10U/A2), which can also function as a stand-alone audio CD player.
Earthlink introduces Home Networking
EarthLink Home Networking offers co-branded versions of 2Wire's HomePortal 100 and HomePortal 1000 residential gateways, and full home network support, including the ability to add future services. The new service is available to all-new and existing EarthLink DSL subscribers for an additional $10/month (with a one-time cost of $150 for the wired and $300 for the 802.11 wireless gateway).
New utility for enabling serial Laserprinters
The $20 shareware LW_Serial_Bridge replaces an older AppleScript-based package, offering users with any PostScript printer that has a serial port (including the LaserWriter Select 310) to print under Mac OS 8.6-9.1.
Iomega ships FireWire Predator CD-RW
Iomega is now shipping its $320 FireWire-based Predator CD-RW drive with FireWire connectivity. The external 8x4x32x mechansim supports other interfaces by using detachable and four hot-swappable adapters (USB 1.1, FireWire, and PC Card and USB 2.0 when available). It will be available worldwide in the second quarter. FireWire interface adapters will be sold separately beginning later this month for $80.
Macromedia Freehand 10 brings OS X support
Macromedia today announced FreeHand 10, an update to its illustration and design tool that offers new creative tools, productivity enhancements, better integration with Flash 5, the new Macromedia User Interface, and the ability to multi-publish to both print and the Web.
Fast Mail CM plug-in: send mail via Finder
Max Ribuoli's Software has released version 2.0 of its Fast Mail CM plug-in, which allows users to control-click on an item in the Finder and have it sent to another individual without requiring an e-mail client. The new release fixes bugs and offers a rewrite of the network architecture.
Apple in Brand Marketing Hall of Fame
Brand Marketing magazine has awarded Apple a "Brand Marketing Hall of Fame Award" in the Innovation category to recognize "excellence and consistent performance" of consumer brands. Other winners of the award were GE, Ben and Jerry's, and Coca-Cola. " Just like the first time around, Apple is relying on product innovation, loyalty-inspiring performance and cutting-edge marketing to remind America why it became a force in the first place," said magazine officials.
Apple rises in Fortune 500 listing
Apple has risen on the time-honored Fortune 500 list, jumping almost 50 spots from 285 to 236. Meanwhile, Dell Corp. rose to 48 from 56 and Compaq Computer Corp. fell from 20 to 27. Microsoft and AOL/Time-Warner also moved up on the list, which was topped by oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp.
WSJ:: Apple stock a \'bargain\'
The Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" column is calling Apple's stock a bargain, with shares trading at 30 times next year's projected earnings. Meanwhile, TheStreet.com says that reduced inventories will help Apple and other PC manufacturers sustain higher profits.
QuickTime to lead Digital Content revolution
Apple's QuickTime will lead the burgeoning digital content distribution (DCD) market with the highest revenue growth, according to IT analysis firm, which predicts the market will grow from $1.33 billion in 2000 to $5.95 billion in 2005 (a compound annual growth rate of 34.9 percent).
Tech: Intuit VP resigns, Maxtor & Quantum...
Early morning tech news: After lackluster sales of the QuickBooks financial accounting application and a shortfall in revenue of up to $40 million, Dan Nye, VP of Intuit's small-business division, has resigned for "personal reasons;" Maxtor and Quantam announced that stockholders of both companies have approved Maxtor's proposed business combination with Quantum HDD; and Microsoft will be one of most prominent presenters and Bill Gates will be delivering a keynote on "natural computing" at The Computer-Human Interaction show focused on portable/wireless design, wearable computing, and privacy/security.
Tri-BACKUP 2.27: backup util updated
Tri-BACKUP 2.27 is a maintenance release to the $50 backup utility with support for multiple automatic backups (with or without compression) and synchronization. It offers improved shut down features, and optimizes speed for copy and compression when in background. A 30-day trial is available online.
Web Confidential 3.0b1: password manager for
Alco Blom has posted a preview of Web Confidential 3.0b1, an OS X-compatible version of its password manager, offering support for Explorer, iCab and OmniWeb.
DCRP posts Cannon PowerShot S300 review
The DCRP has posted a review of the Canon PowerShot S300 Digital ELPH, noting "very good photo quality" but that it was "pricey for a 2 Megapixel camera."
Professor develops note-taking utility
Rob Frohne has written Save My Whiteboard 1.0, a freeware application that "transforms photos of the whiteboard taken with a digital camera into notes that are suitable for printing or posting on the web."
ConverTable Units 1.72: new constants, memory
Synergy Creations has posted ConverTable Units 1.72, a new version of its $15 shareware utility that adds a "last conversion" memory, and more physical constants: "[it] has the unique ability to show the math that it's doing to get an answer, which makes it a great teaching tool as well as a useful utility."
Qilan 2.0b1: Web-based data server
CommonGround Softworks has introduced Qilan 2.0b1, an upgrade to its $1000 web-based data server and access environment. Version 2.0 adds support for to MS SQL Server access in addition to existing support for FrontBase, OpenBase and Helix. It also supports sessions, 128-bit data block encyrption, pattern matching, JDBC database connectivity, and other enhancements. The upgrade will be $600 for existing customers and will include all database aaaptors.
Mail for OS X FAQ started online
Mail for Mac OS X FAQ! is described as "the Question and Answer place for the latest Mail application which shipped with Mac OS X."
OS X driver for DrayTek\'s USB ISDN adaptor
Matthew White notes that DrayTek has quietly posted OS-X drivers for its IDSN adaptor: "I have just installed OS X and I thought that I'd look to see If there were any drivers for my Draytek 128 USB ISDN adaptor, and low and behold sitting on its FTP server is a folder tucked away with a driver." However, Swen Ehnle reports the drivers are only for the public beta: "Tech support will have drivers compatible with the FINAL release of OS X ready by mid April. The drivers posted on March 6th by Draytek work ONLY in the PB (pretty good btw :)." [updated]
MS Office 2001 Service Release
Microsoft has posted Office 2001 Service Release 1, "a collection of product updates for all of the applications found in Office 2001. It provides Office 2001 customers with the latest fixes for issues in existing product features, while offering continued compatibility and support for users of Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X (classic environment)." A complete list of issues addressed by the release is available online. A Japanese version is also available.
ClipDoubler X: multiple cliboards
Lazy Mountain Software has released ClipDoubler X, an OS-X compatiblle version of its $10 sharewaare Macintosh clipboard enhancement.
Roundup: PowerBook sales, VP departs Apple...
Over the weekend we noted Apple's laptop sales growth, Apple VP Clent Richardson's departure, a new PowerBook auto adapter, and the pending release of Netscape 4.7.7. Other updates include AppleWorks 6.1.2, GraphicConverter 4.06, Metal 1.7a BASIC metacompiler, and XLR8's cache utility for OS X (at osx.macnn.com).
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