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Readers report QT 5.01b18 seeded
Several readers are reporting that Apple has again quietly updated QuickTime 5 to v5.01b18, although we were unable to obtain the update under Mac OS X [It is likely a seed to developers only.] QuickTime 5.0 ships with OS X; however, QuickTime 5 Preview 3 is the latest release for pre-OS X systems. (Betas of v5.01 have been privately seeded to developers over the past few weeks.)
Ptah 1.1.1: shareware image/movie viewer
Ptah 1.1.1 is a maintenance release to the $15 shareware text/image and cataloging program that can open and view PICT, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and BMP image files as well as play QuickTime, MPEG, AVI, and MP3 files.
Computerware closes its doors
MacNN has learned that Computerware, the largest Mac reseller in the SF-bay area, has closed its doors. All stores have closed, with the exception of the Sunnyvale location which sources indicate will serve as a liquidation outlet until the end of the month, at which time all remaining personnel will be laid off.
ON rates HP and Apple tops in tech support
Apple and HP "made the grade" in a tech support test conducted by ON magazine in its May issue.
Diablo II: LoD screenshot features Mind Blast
Blizzard Entertainment has released a new screenshot from its upcoming expansion set, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, which shows the Assassin using her Mind Blast skill on a group of enemies. Fan site DiabloII.Net has learned from sources inside Blizzard that following the release of its backlogged 640 x 480 screenshots, the rest will showcase the newly added 800 x 600 resolution.
New Tropico previews, screenshots
Both GameSpot UK and Outer-Edge have posted previews of PopTop Software's upcoming building-oriented strategy/simulation game for the Mac and PC, Tropico. Both previews include new screenshots of the game in action, which will ship later this month for the PC and in May for the Mac.
Bushfire 1.04 fixes bug
Strange Flavour has released Bushfire 1.04, another new version of its $3 Mac/Mac OS X side-scrolling action game. This new version makes a second attempt to completely fix the missing mini-game bug. The game's creators are planning additional improvements and additions to the game, which has garnered tremendous interest from users after being featured in our Slacker's Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 5. [1.8 MB -- update; 10.6 MB -- full version]
Diablo II: LoD Beta closed to Mac users
The beta test for Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, which will begin taking applications tomorrow at noon PDT, will not be open to Mac users, according to an updated FAQ at the Battle.net web site. Approximately 2,500 users will be selected to stress test the servers with the expansion set. "The focus of our Beta is on servers rather than specific client systems."
Mac Soldier of Fortune 2?
IMG has quoted Raven Software's Kenn Hoestra as saying that the company's upcoming sequel, Solider of Fortune 2, has a better chance of making it to the Mac than its predecessor due to its use of the Quake III: Arena engine. The original Solider of Fortune, which was previously being developed for the Mac by Hyperion Software, will not make its way to the Mac due to a lack of programming resources at the company. Raven Software's last title, Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force for the Mac and PC, also used the Quake III engine.
No Doom 3 at E3
Well Rounded Entertainment reports that id Software will not be showcasing Doom 3 at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in May. Instead, the company will focus on Return to Castle Wolfenstein, a first-person shooter which uses the Quake III: Arena, and Commander Keen for the Game Boy Color, a recreation of id Software's original hit action game.
Console: Circus Maximum for PS2, XBox
Evening console news: Kodiak Interactive credits the popularity of Gladiator for one of the inspirations for announcing Circus Maximus, a new action-racing game for the Playstation 2 and XBox; analysts at Forbes and Business Week are calling the console war a two-way battle, saying that Nintendo's GameCube has no chance of competing with Sony's Playstation 2 or Microsoft's XBox; Nintendo of Japan has announced a new color, milky pink, for its Game Boy Advance handheld in Japan; and Lionhead Studios' Black & White, which lets players act as a deity supervising a civilization, will be makings its way to the Sega Dreamcast in Q4 2001.
Mac OS X migration poll results; OS X games
Last week's poll asked, "When will you switch to Mac OS X as the main platform for your primary Mac?" Surprisingly, the majority of respondents, 47.05 percent, have already made the switch to the new platform. 17.5 percent plan to switch this fall after most applications run on Mac OS X, and 8.16 percent plan to switch when the new OS becomes pre-loaded on new Macs. 6.07 percent are not ready to give up OS 8.x/9.x and 4.67 percent will switch when the new OS has some cool games. After discovering that the majority of respondents are aleady running Mac OS X, this week's poll asks, "Among the games listed below, which would you most like to see carbonized for use on Mac OS X?" Please vote in the left sidebar.
iOrganize 3.3.1: Carbonized organization tool
Bruno Blondeau's multipurpose organization tool, iOrganize 3.3.1, an update to his $15 shareware, has several bug fixes and enhancements, and is "the first fully-working version for MacOS X." [Classic, Carbon]
Rosetta 1.1.1: Carbon decoding util updated
Brian Clark's Rosetta 1.1.1 is an update to the $15 shareware program that provides complete support for decoding BinHex, MacBinary, MIME Base64, uuencode files; the release has several bug fixes as well as interface improvements.
osx: SoundJam for X axed, Formac's plans...
osx.macnn.com has details on the discontinuation of SoundJam for OS X, Formac's OS X plans, using Quicken 2001 R2 as a Carbon application, and several other software updates and news items.
Virex 7.0b offers OS X Command line scanner
McAfee's anti-virus beta program has posted McAfee Virex v7.0b, which offers an OS X command line scanner:
"This Beta has been designed to run only on the Released version of OSX. We do not recommend running this product on previous releases of OSX, including the Public Beta of OSX, as this product uses new functionality which was not available in earlier versions. The first Beta only contains the Command line scanner, a subsequent Beta will introduce a more familiar Virex Application. If you have any queries about this Beta please email AVBeta@Nai.com or post on the Beta web forums."
Hard Disk SpeedTools 3.2 has FireWire support
Intech's drive management software, Hard Disk SpeedTools 3.2, is a free update that adds support for FireWire removable media drives, including Iomega's Jazz and Zip, many Magneto Optical models as well as Imation's SuperDisk (FireWire SyQuest and ORB devices are currently not supported). Version 3.2 also corrects a sleep issue with some SCSI/ATA devices under OS 9.1 and adds the ability to remove systems extensions. A 30-day trial is available as well. [form]
FinalWord 2.0: another text editor
PineHill Products has released FinalWord 2.0, a $15 text editor for the Mac OS and OS X, offering "Crash Protection," spellchecker, more preferences, and email options. [Carbon--750KB, Classic--550KB]
Casady & Greene responds to Sound Jam issues
Casady & Greene has responded to reports of slowdowns and an incompatibility between the release version of OS X and Sound Jam MP:
[Casady & Greene] "It has come to our attention that Sound Jam MP from Casady & Greene does not work with the released version of Mac OS X. It appears to impede the speed of the new Mac OS X. We ask that you please remove any download or mention of Sound Jam OS X from your web site, as to spare our customers any undue distress."
[forwarded from C&G] "Sound Jam MP development for OS X has stopped. Sound Jam running on OS X causes major problems and crippled the system's resources. OS X development will not continue."
Apple responds to firmware update problems
"The Apple 4.1.7 and 4.1.8 firmware updates incorporate a number of fixes that dramatically improve system stability and performance. The update also includes a new check that validates whether the installed memory in the machine is compatible. This check was added to help alleviate random crashes and stability issues. The new memory test disables memory DIMMs that are found to be out of specification and DIMMs that cannot be determined to be compatible. As a result, some third party memory that was recognized by previous versions of firmware may no longer be recognized after the updates."
Formac lowers pricing on FireWire peripherals
AShare Helper 2.0 for AppleShare IP servers
AShare Helper 2.0 is an application designed to help AppleShare IP Server Administrators with the upkeep of their Servers, performing system crash detection (and subsequent repair with Disk Warrior), periodic restarts of AppleShare IP Web & File Server, server response issues, automatic email notification, application management, flushes the memory cache, event logging, and backups of the local Users & Groups Datafile and AppleShare PDS files.
Pepper 3.6.1 fixes bugs under OS X
The $45 shareware text editor for programmers, Pepper 3.6.1, fixes some of the problems reported on OS X and adds a commandline launcher. It runs on both OS X and OS 9.
Pop-up windows for OS X
PopUpX 0.1 a is a simple application that adds Pop Up windows to Mac OS X developed to rectify the author's perceived shortcoming of OS X: "Like many people, I was extremely upset about the fact that Apple, in it's infinite wisdom... decided that we should not longer have the benefit of time-honored aspects of the Mac user experience."
Formac working on OS X drivers
David Craig notes that "Formac is currently working on an OS X version of the ProTV software. Composite and S-video functions should work normally when using other software such as iMovie. When OS 10 drivers are available they will be posted to the Formac web site for downloading," according to a note on its Website.
Package Tracker 3.0: Carbonized, new features
Intelli Innovations's $35 multi-carrier, package management solution, Package Tracker 3.0, is now Carbonized and offers a redesigned QuickTrack window, additional fields to the Tracking Lists, integrated City/State/Zip Code lookup, and a domestic rate calculator for basic U.S. Postal Service information. [Carbon--1.9MB, Classic--1.2MB]
AI: Apple retail stores, Mac OS 9.2
AppleInsider recently published reports on Apple's retail store strategy, including details on a store opening in Minneapolis, as well as information on Mac OS 9.2.
Real, Microsoft gain ground; QuickTime slips
As Real and Microsoft continue to add millions of users to their media players, Apple's QuickTime is losing ground, according to a new report from Jupiter Media Matrix. In January 2001, QuickTime captured 7.3 million users, or 8.9% of Internet users, down from 7.9 million in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, 25.9 million people used RealPlayer (up from 17.5 million in the previous year) and 21.5 million used Windows Media Player (up from 16.4 million).
Shapes II 1.0.1 fixes bug
Carrot Software has released Shapes II 1.0.1, a new version of its next-generation Tetris game for the Mac and Mac OS X. This version fixes a serious bug when playing in full screen mode under Classic (OS 8/9). (Shapes II was among the games showcased in our Slacker's Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 5.)
Custer's Corner update delayed
This week's new desktop at Custer's Corner, which was set to be the user-voted Quake III: Team Arena desktop, has been postponed due to technical difficulties in the working space of games.macnn.com graphics guru, Brad Custer. We appreciate those who wrote in to ask if Brad was ill or just holding out, and we're glad to report that it's neither.
New Neverwinter Nights screenshots
Games: Mac OS X Games Poll
games.macnn.com has published the results of last week's poll on users' plans for migrating to Mac OS X, and has debuted a new poll on the game that users would most like to see ported to Mac OS X.
Console: 4x4 Evo for PS2
Morning console news: Take Two Interactive today announced that it is now shipping offroad racing game 4x4 Evo for the Playstation 2; THQ has announced that it plans to bring Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire to the Game Boy Color in Summer 2001 and to the Game Boy Advance in Winter 2001; and Paula Wynn, a teacher from Norfolk, Va., and her 11-year-old son Brendan will be on hand at a Washington, D.C. ceremony to accept the Grand Prize in the 'Pokemon 3 The Movie' contest of a custom-made, bright yellow Pikachu VW Beetlecomplete with built-in television and Nintendo 64and a five-day trip to Japan.
Enjoy MP3s across your home with SoundLink
U.S. Robotics has begun shipping SoundLink, a new, $100 wireless device that allows users to listen to MP3s and other music stored on their Mac through a stereo or other home entertainment device. The wireless signal can transmit to a receiving unit up to 1,000 feet away.
CrushFTP 2.1.4 adds OS X support
CrushFTP 2.1.4 adds Mac OS X support to the $20 Java FTP server. Additionally, menu support has been added for most functions and a memory bug has been resolved.
MacTelligence brings poker to OS X
Joe Schiwall has released VideoPoker, a new, $10 Cocoa poker game for Mac OS X.
Roundup: Apple at UCON 2001, Freehand 10
Yesterday we noted Apple's sponsorship of Macromedia's UCON 2001, Macromedia's Freehand 10, the upcoming release of Curl Surge 1.0 for the Mac, the C-series of NOMAD digital audio players, shipment of Adobe Photoshop Elements, Apple's rise in the Fortune 500 list, Apple's 'cult' following, and another departure from Apple Europe. Important updates included Microsoft's Office 2001 Service Release 1, Apple's GeForce 1.01 driver, and Netscape 4.7.7.
Roundup: Slacker's Guide 5
Yesterday we published the Slacker's Guide to Shareware Gaming Part 5, which covers four Mac/Mac OS X shareware/freeware games that we wholeheartedly recommend; Aspyr Media announced the official release of Escape from Monkey Island for the Mac, which will ship with SoundBlaster support and will soon gain OS X compatibility; The Sims fans are petitioning Aspyr Media to bring the second expansion pack, House Party, to the Mac; Westlake Interactive announced its official support for Mac OS X in its current and upcoming games; and the weekly Halo update from Matt Soell included mention of the 'umbra' effect, whereby sunlight shines accurately through the swaying leaves of trees.
On-Core updates docklings
On-Core has updated its AudioCD Player and Volume Docklings to version 1.1.0. The new versions add additional functionality and other minor improvements.
RedLightRunner adds more Apple collectibles
RedLightRunner has added more than 50 new Apple collectibles, including Flower Power, Blue Dalmation, and G4 Cube posters; the original 1984 Mac poster; a rare Picasso etched glass display light; and more.
SuperLock Lite 4.0.2 fixes all known bugs
SuperLock Lite 4.0.2 fixes all known bugs with the $25 shareware security utility for preventing unauthorized use of your Mac.
Using Quicken 2001 R2 under OS X
Sergio Riccetti Schubert sent in a note about getting Quicken 2001 R2 to run under Mac OS X as a Carbon application. (Note: this is a unsupported hack.)
"I inadvertantly ran the R1 version of Quicken 2001 under X on a PBG3 250Wallstreet and imagine my surprise when it launched as a Carbon App! I updated Quicken to R2 and suddenly it was a Classic application... Comparing the resources in ResEdit – the only one missing from the R2 version was “plist” I looked inside and it had a Unixy looking filepath in the right column, so on a hunch I pasted it into the R2 from R1 and saved. Low and behold R2 now launches as a Carbon App again."
Tech: Microsoft anti-piracy, PSInet troubled
Morning tech news: Microsoft is heading the push for a new worldwide anti-software-piracy effort; Real Networks has partnered with three major record labels (including AOL/Time Warner) to create an on-line music subscription service; Be, which was created by former Apple employees and originally launched its alternative BeOS operating system on PowerPCs, has cut 25 percent of its staff as the company faces a dwindling cash supply; and Internet service provider PSInet says it may be forced to file for bankruptcy in the near future.
Macs aid in space shuttle launch recording
Apple has posted a feature on audio engineers and Mac enthusiasts Bob Katz and Andy DeGananahl, who became the first to record the launch of a space shuttle in surround sound when they accomplished the feat on March 8. The pair used Macs to import, separate, post-produce, and analyze the recording.
PC market may be headed for a resurgence
A Business Week article discusses the possible resurgence in the PC industry that may take place this year, as well as other reasons to purchase tech stocks. "At the same time, consumer demand for PCs could be headed for a rebound. During the Internet boom in 1999, a lot of people bought PCs, which will hit their third birthday in 2002. Just as people generally trade in their cars after four years, they tend to upgrade their PCs after two and a half years."
Inspired Logic releases CD Caterpillar 11.0
Inspired Logic has released C.D. Caterpillar Version 11.0, a Mac-only application designed to help beginning readers strengthen their reading skills. Version 11.0 includes the entire text of At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald as well as The Yellow Dwarf, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Bronze Ring and other short stories. The application caters to any beginning reading level and tracks problem words to reinforce them later in highly focused games. The Home version is $16, while the Classroom version is $80. A membership plan offers a fifty percent discount.
FTP Client 3.1.4 adds droplets, other fixes
Vicomsoft FTP Client 3.1.4 brings better integration with BBEdit and the ability to create FTP droplets, which can acts as remote dropboxes and also upload certain folders when doubleclicked as well as a plethora of other changes. Vicomsoft also says that a native version of its client for OS X will be available in the summer.
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