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Xserve edges Dell server in Xinet benchmarks
Apple's dual 1GHz Xserve was a top performer among dual-CPU machines in recent Xinet benchmarks, edging Dell's dual 1.4GHz PowerEdge 1650 Server in tests. The Xserve, along with other competing servers from companies such as SGI and Sun, were tested in both "Output Generation" and "Photoshop Open" tests.
Yellow Dog Linux 2.3 has new KDE, CUPS
Terra Soft today began shipping Yellow Dog Linux 2.3, an update to the the company's Linux OS for Power Macs. Version 2.3 offers the new KDE 3 desktop which provides several feeatures enhancemens such as GUI 'translucency' and the new CUPS print system, a simple, web-based configuration tool for a wide-range of printers. YDL 2.3 also replaces the 'yup!' package management utility with 'apt-get' for automatically keeping the system current with new releases. Other updates include the 2.4.19 kernel, OpenOffice 1.0, Mozilla 0.9.9, AbiWord 1.02, and Netatalk 126.96.36.199. It is available with 60-days of support ($60) or in a CD-only version ($30).
Spiderweb: final Avernum fantasy installment
Spiderweb Software today released the third and final installment of the Avernum game trilogy, Avernum 3. Avernum 3 features an "enormous" story line that spans over 100 towns, villages and dungeons. Players take on the role of a scout, whose goal is to escape from a prison under the Earth's surface. The fantasy game works with Mac OS 9, and sells for $25 ($32 with a hint book). A Mac OS X version can be expected in later Summer 2002, according to the developer.
New O\'Reilly book hits store shelves
O'Reilly & Associates has released Learning Unix for Mac OS X: a "concise" and "easy-to-follow" introduction to Unix functions under Mac OS X. "Mac users tend to be passionate about their computers; having grown comfortable with the elegance of the Mac GUI, they are loath to change. With OS X they can continue to use their preferred platform, but also have the option of exploring the powerful capabilities of Unix." The book -- initially announced by O'Reilly in May -- sells for $20.
Nvidia down; Tablet PCs coming; PC sales slow
Evening Tech News: Shares of Nvidia fell to an 18-month low today (by nearly 16 percent) on concerns over sales growth prospects; Microsoft today announced that laptop/PDA hybrids powered by its Tablet PC software would appear November 7th; Distributor Ingram says U.S. demand for personal computers in recent months has shown neither seasonal jumps nor dips; this week Ingram said iMac sales had weakened.
CharisMac reduces AudioScribe price
CharisMac has lowered the price of AudioScribe through the end of July to stimulate sales of the popular Mac OS 9 audio recording utility. The now-ten-dollar application -- down from $20 -- assists users with the recording of audio from vinyl records or cassette tapes.
DropDMG, File Adopter; new utils for OS X
Michael Tsai has released updates to two Mac OS X shareware utilities. DropDMG v1.5 simplifies the creation of Apple DMG disk images by automating the 'imaging' and compression processes; DropDMG ($5) includes support for the zlib, ADC, and NDIF compressed formats, in addition to post-processing with GZip or MacBinary. File Adopter v1.0 utilizes Internet Config preference settings to add type and creator codes to files that lack them. [DropDMG, File Adopter]
Antares releases kantos 1.0 for VST/RTAS
Antares Audio Technologies last week introduced kantos 1.0 for the VST and RTAS audio editing software packages. kantos is a software-based synthesizer that eliminates the need for MIDI, keyboards and controllers, according to the developer. The powerful audio manipulation software, which sells for about $270, includes the ability to extract information from unpitched input; offers oscillators and filters; supports polyphonic input; and includes an 'Articulator,' 'Modulation Matrix' and delay/tempo control.
Business Card Reader eases card management
The IRIS Business Card Reader software, accompanied by appropriate hardware, can automatically catalogue business cards in both bitmap and text formats. The Mac OS X-compatible Business Card Reader suite can perform OCR (optical character recognition) functions to parse information from any business card, and store it in a database.
QC System v5 helps Quark publishers
Gluon has released QC System v5, a $200 suite of applications designed to ensure "quality control" of QuarkXPress documents. The suite, which includes QC, QC Collect and the QC Bureau Utility. Version 5 includes new proofreading checks in QC, compression and ftp to QC Collect and a newly added QC Bureau Utility. Upgrades are $100. QC Collect is available separately for $80; and The Quality Pack, which includes QC, QC Collect and DocuSlim is available for $350.
Canon posts ScanGear CS 6.5X Plug-in Module
Canon yesterday posted an OS X native CanoScan plugin for a few of its scanners: "This plug-in is compatible with the Apple Macintosh iMac, G3 & G4 systems using Mac OS 10.1.3 or greater, with built in USB ports. This plug-in is for Adobe Photoshop 7.0 for Mac OS X and the CanoScan N670U & N676U scanners."
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Miglia launches DV-INabler
European video solutions provider Miglia today launched DV-Inabler, a €109/$109 device that takes advantage of the DV-IN functionality in many European camcorders. By default, video cameras shipped to European countries have this functionality factory-disabled, thereby preventing users from exporting video footage from a computer to a camcorder. Canon, Sony, Panasonic and JVC Camcorders are among the brands that can be adjusted using the DV-Inabler.
Verbatim intros 48x certified CD-R media
Verbatim today announced DataLifePlus 48x-certified CD-R discs that can burn a full 700MB of data or 80 minutes of music in about 2 minutes. The discs use a reformulated version of the company's patented "Super Azo" recording dye technology to achieve error-free recording at the new faster write speed. The new media's CD-R silver reflective layer is safeguarded with a dual-protective layer that provides a longer archival life and protection from scratches that can damage the recording layer. Street prices for the new media are $1 for a single disc and $9 for a 10-pack.
ConverTable Units 2.1 adds RPN calculator
Synergy Creations has released ConverTable Units 2.1, which adds a RPN calculator option and several smaller improvements to its $15 shareware unit conversion utility. ConverTable Units has the unique ability to "show the math" that it's doing to get the answer, which can be used for instructional purposes. [Classic, OSX]
WSJ: Transitioning to the Mac
Walter Mossberg's follow-up on PC switchers talks about transferring PC files and data to a Mac: "Transitioning to the Mac is easier than it seems, and doesn't take much technical skill. Everyone isn't a good candidate for the Mac, but for those who are, making the switch is entirely doable."
Ulead Photo Explorer 2.0 available for OS X
Ulead Photo Explorer 2.0 is a media management tool for acquiring, organizing, and sharing image, video and other media files. It also offers image management and enhancement tools specifically designed for digital camera owners, including the ability to adjust hue, saturation, brightness and contrast, and color balance. It also includes blur and sharpen tools, the ability to add captions or text to photos, HTML output options, custom onscreen slideshows with transitions (using images, video and audio), and printing features for creating contact sheets, cards and calendars. The $25 application is available for Classic and OS X.
Apple posts iMac Update 1.0
Apple's iMac Update 1.0 for Mac OS X 10.1.5 (5T91) includes enhancements to support the installation of third party applications and the Networking Update which improves network and Internet access after restarting your computer or when waking from sleep.
OpenSSH 3.4 fixes security hole
OpenSSH 3.4, an update to the free version of the SSH protocol suite of network connectivity tools, is now available via ftp and fixes the recent security hole--details of which are available the ISS Advisory or the OpenSSH advisory: "The 3.4 release contain many other fixes done over a week long audit started when this issue came to light. We believe that some of those fixes are likely to be important security fixes. Therefore, we urge an upgrade to 3.4." Apple has not provided a fix for the security issue yet, although users can install the new version to protect their systems.
Startup Doubler 2.7b improves startup times
Marc Moini's Startup Doubler 2.7b offers software-based startup acceleration that streamlines loading of Extensions, Control Panels, Startup Items and the Finder to improve startup times. Version 2.7b1 includes changes to prevent a rare startup freeze affecting some Virtual Memory configurations.
Doggiebox: versatile drum machine app
Doggiebox 1A1 is a preview release of the "versatile drum machine for Mac OS X that empowers you to create and manipulate percussion-based songs. With Doggiebox, you can create drum tracks in minutes, ranging from the realism of a human drummer on a full kit to imaginitively bizarre experimental pieces."
MindAvenue to add SWF support to AXEL
MindAvenue has added new import and export functions to AXEL, the company's 3D interactive web authoring tool. Due in the fall, AXEL will offer the ability to import and export SWF files from AXEL, enabling them to easily create interactive 3D content. indAvenue will showcase the new import/export capabilities during Flashforward (July 10-12, 2002). The company is currently recruiting for its beta program, which will start in August.
BIAS ships Deck 3.5 for OS X
BIAS has added OS X support to Deck 3.5, its multitrack digital audio workstation software. The "signficant" update, now available, also includes OMF file importing and 5.1-channel surround mixing. Deck 3.5 now supports importing OMF sessions from video editing and authoring applications such as Final Cut Pro, Avid, and others and also includes the ability to output surround sessions to popular DVD authoring applications that include AC3 or DTS encoding, such as DVD Studio Pro. Updates to the $400 application are $150 (free to all purchases after October 1st, 2001).
Shareware games updated: Burst, Minefields
Norbyte has updated its shareware ($10) puzzle game Manic Minefields 2.0, adding new themes, new interface, new rules, new graphics, new sound effects and more. It features 12 uniquely designed minefields, games with special rules (i.e. obstacles), marathon mode, 4 sizes, and a hint/help function. Burst 1.01 is also an update to the $10 shareware arcade/puzzle game.
Glucose updates WeatherPop apps
Glucose today updated WeatherPop 1.2 (freeware) and WeatherPop Advance 1.2 (commercial), adding new features and bug fixes as well as French- and Swedish-localizations. WeatherPop Advance, available as a 14-day demo, now also includes dewpoint data. It costs $8. [WP, WPA]
Avid ships Avid Xpress DV v3.5 for OS X
Avid is now shipping Avid Xpress DV v3.5 for Mac OS X, its professional DV studio for industry-standard Avid digital video editing. In addition to OS X-compatibility, it also adds an expert color correction toolset, featuring technology that automatically matches skin tones between scenes with a single click. The package offers more than 100 customizable real-time effects, titling, compositing and color correction with multiple, simultaneous streams as well as real-time color correction tool and customizable workspaces.
Wipeout 2097 icons, desktop pict available
The Iconfactory has released a "highly realistic Aqua-style icon interpretations of the five fictional team hovercraft" from Wipeout 2097 as well as a free custom Wipeout 2097 desktop picture at Pixelhaus.
Norbyte releases Manic Minefields 2.0
Norbyte's Manic Minefields v2.0 is a significant update to the developer's minesweeping game, which boasts a set of twelve "pumped-up" minefields. The $10 Manic Minefields features unique gameplay accompanied by "crisp" sound and graphics. Major changes in version 2.0 include new themes, interface, rules, graphics and sound effects.
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