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 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.
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.
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.
Apple and HP \"made the grade\" in a tech support test conducted by ON magazine in its May issue.
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.
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]
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.\"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
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.\"
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.
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 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 has officially responded to reports of RAM recognition problems that were caused by the last set of firmware updates (many vendors have offered memory replacement for problematic memory). \"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 has lowered the price of its external FireWire DVD-RAM drive to $550 and its external FireWire CD-RW (12x/10x/32x) to $280.
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.
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.\"
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.
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]
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.)
Both Online Game Review and GameSpyDaily have posted new screenshots from Bioware\'s upcoming 3D role-playing game for the Mac, PC, Linux and possibly BeOS, Neverwinter Nights.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Joe Schiwall has released VideoPoker, a new, $10 Cocoa poker game for Mac OS X.
SuperLock Lite 4.0.2 fixes all known bugs with the $25 shareware security utility for preventing unauthorized use of your Mac.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.\"
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.
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.
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.\"
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.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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