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Tech news: Palm OS 5 ships today
Palm Computing subsidiary PalmSource announced earlier today that it has begun shipping the final version of Palm OS 5 to license holders and developers. The mobile software giant is pushing for a "Palm Powered" era with the introduction of the new OS. Version 5.0 includes a greatly-enhanced user interface, multimedia functionality and enhanced security. Palm OS currently powers Palm, Handspring and Sony handheld organizers and communicators.
WSJ on Real People campaign
The Wall Street Journal ran a story today detailing Apple's new 'Real People' marketing campaign, according to readers. The article can be found in the paper's "Marketplace" section, page B1.
Perfboard: system readout utility
Perfboard 2.0 provides an extensive readout of system performance data for Mac OS X. Areas monitored include CPU load metrics, memory statistics, network bandwidth, and disk I/O operations. Changes in the update are a new vertical window orientation and bug fixes.
FoldersSynchronizer 3.0: folder backup util.
FoldersSynchronizer v3.0 is a Mac OS X only application that synchronizes and backs-up files and folders. It features user defined back-up options, such as "BackUp" mode, which reverts to a previous saved of saved files. The price is $40.
Apple's Webmail enters Beta II
Apple Mac.com Web mail has reached Beta II, according to many MacNN readers. The second test version of Apple's Web-based email service offers several new features, including better navigation, better folder/message management and better ease of use.
Launchbar 3.2.1: system util for OS X updated
Objective Developments popular Launchbar 3.2.1 utility offers quick and convenient access to files, web-bookmarks, email-addresses and applications by entering short abbreviations via the keyboard. It adds support for Eudora, Mailsmith, Opera, SNAX and Watson; better handling of server aliases, an option to hide other applications automatically, improved display performance, and new "Setup wizard." A free, built in evaluation license is available as well as Home ($20) and Business ($40) licenses.
FileXaminer 1.1 edits file, folder attributes
FileXaminer 1.1 is an update to the file/folder info utility that "allows you to modify file and folder attributes that the Finder cannot (ex. Type/Creator Info, UNIX permissions, and much more... )."
Snard 1.2: launcher utility for OS X updated
Gideon Softworks has released Snard v1.2, a menu- and dock-based launcher utility that can open applications as the administrator, help organize your work cycle through the use of worksets, and offer access to all your system preferences. It fixes conflict between the dock version of Snard and Default Folder X from St. Clair Software. [menu, dock]
Apple reorganizes education sales, marketing
Apple last week reorganized its education sales and marketing groups, rehiring former executive John Couch as the VP of education (reporting directly to Executive VP of worldwide sales and operation, Timothy V. Cook). Cheryl Vedoe, former head of the education marketing team, is assuming the title of president of Apple's PowerSchool division, which provides Web-based student information systems for education customers.
Extensis provides Photoshop 7 plugin updates
Extensis today made available free updates to its popular Photoshop Plug-ins that add support for Photoshop 7 running on Mac OS 9. Registered users of Mask Pro (simplified masking tools), Intellihance Pro (image enhancement), PhotoTools (special effects) and PhotoFrame (border effects) can download free updates from the Extensis. The company said that Mac OS X versions of these Plug-ins will be released "at a later date."
MacPlay to bring Soldier of Fortune II to Mac
MacPlay announced today that it has reached an agreement with Activision to bring Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix to the Mac: "[it] drops players into the ranks of America’s shadow soldiers in a gritty and intense battle for survival.... In Soldier of Fortune II, players once again assume the role of John Mullins, a military consultant working for the top-secret agency known as The Shop." Built on the Quake III engine, it features a new random mission generator technology for both single and multiplayer as well as nine professionally designed maps, more than 100 unique model/skin combinations and four different game modes including and deathmatch, team deathmatch, elimination and infiltration. (Pricing and availability not available.)
PhotoPress 1.02 digital photo utility updated
Sharp has released PhotoPress 1.02 update, his digital photo printing utility that offers a "unique and powerful" cropping tool as well as management functions like renaming cryptic files, creating previews, and making Finder icons. A fully functional 30-day trial of the $30 utility is available online.
BitVice 1.2: stand-alone MPEG2 tool
Innobits' BitVice 1.2, now shipping, brings many improvements and fixes to the utility that can compress movies into MPEG2 elementary video streams. Version 1.2 offers Luma ramping for DV Cam recorded streams,improved scene change detection, better overall bitrate allocation, support for 720x486 D1 input, improved performance and support for DVNC (Innobits Digital Video Noise Canceling System). It is $300 with a 50% discount on single-user licenses for education customers. A demo limited to 500 frames is available online.
Falcon 4 Utility 2.5 released by Centromedia
Centromedia today released Falcon 4 Utility 2.5 for Microprose/MacSoft Falcon 4 game title. It is a free "application that is used to consolidate programs made by third parties and includes the latest patch 1.06d available that adds other features to Falcon 4. With F4U ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation) now works again! F4U also adds other files to make Falcon 4.06d more stable." It includes extended joystick support and more InputSprocket settings, joystick calibration, better memory handling, a software update engine, a better tutorial and support for multiple partitions and multiple F4U versions. [Classic, OSX]
Apple launches new Real People campaign
Apple today launched a new Real People advertising campaign featuring real people who have switched from PCs to the Macintosh. The campaign will debut today on television with eight different ads, each highlighting a different "switcher" telling their story. As part of the campaign, Apple has also set up a special web site for users interested in learning more about switching as well view the eight television ads.
Reader: ComputerTown closes (again)
David Knowles emailed us with a note about ComputerTown's closure, after the company was relaunched last year under new management.
MailBeacon manages email accounts remotely
Bains Software's Mail Beacon 1.5, now available for OS X, alerts users when new messages arrive and/or when messages are deleted in any number of email accounts. The $10 shareware supports both POP3 and IMAP protocols, offering the ability to read, delete, and filter mail without downloading messages as well as reply/forward/redirect messages. It offers the ability to mark messages for later viewing, adds SMTP authorization support, and other enhancements. [Classic, OSX]
Desktop photo management with SwapTop
SwapTop 1.7, an update to Zonic's $15 shareware desktop photo management utility, allows Mac users to set up a schedule to automatically select a random desktop picture, to download new pictures from the Webshots network each day, and to search online for new images. Version 1.7, adds support for higher quality images for "Webshots Unlimited" subscribers, allows image aspect ratios to be preserved, adds a Dock menu to set the desktop picture on OS X, and fixes a bug which could lose user login details.
Utility offers multiple dock configurations
DockFun! 3.0pr3 is a utility that offers "up to 10 different docks you can choose [from] with just a click. You can have a dock for internet applications, a dock for Utilities, etc. Further more every dock has it's own size position and properties."
Software replaces employee time clocks
Redcort has posted a second preview of its Virtual TimeClock Professional 4,0pr2, a software-based replacement for mechanical employee time clocks. It tracks worker start and stop times, total hours and overtime for any payroll period and offers flexible reporting, including dynamically generation and department-, job- or client- based categorization. TimeClock upgrade pricing with savings from $10-50 is in effect through the end of June, when the final version is expected to begin shipping. [Classic, OSX]
Equation graphing app adds Spanish interface
Pedagoguery Software has released GrafEq 2.11, an update to its equation graphing program that brings Spanish interface and a streamlined system for user preferences. The $60 ($36 for students) software generates graphs by "constructing rigorous mathematical proofs and is based on state-of-the-art research in reliable computing." It is also available with English, a Dutch, a French, and a Korean interfaces and only runs on Classic.
Apple prepping "Real People" ads
Apple is planning a series of TV and print ads featuring people who have switched from a PC to a Mac telling their story, in its largest marketing effort since its "Think Different" campaign, according to c|net: "The "Real People" ads, which will start appearing this week, are directed by documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, director of 'The Thin Blue Line.'"
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