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2003 to be "tough" for Apple
With the recent launch of the largely-unpopular .Mac service, the announcement of Mac OS X-only computers (despite a lack of some key software titles), and facing an ever-shrinking market share Apple should expect 2003 to be a "hell of a tough year," warns CNN/Money columnist Eric Hellweg. Microsoft also has harsh criticism for Apple, complaining that Apple spent "20 times" more money advertising the iPod than it did marketing OS X, thus resulting in poor sales of Microsoft Office 10.
Apple 'Dual Offer' ending soon
Apple's 'Dual Offer,' which has run since August 13, ends Monday, September 30. The promotion offers $200 rebates on 17- and 22-inch Apple Cinema Displays, or $500 off the purchase of an Apple Cinema HD display in unlimited quantity to purchasers of any new Power Mac G4.
Tech: Mot GPS chip, Dell printers, Phoenix
Evening tech news: Motorola is unveiling a GPS chip small enough and hence cheap enough for practical use in consumer-electronics devices such as cell phones and notebook computers; Dell has reached an agreement with Lexmark to create a line of Dell-branded inkjet and laser printers as well as a line of Dell-branded printer supplies, such as ink cartridges; Mozilla.org has posted the first PC builds of its next generation browser technology, Phoenix, a redesign of the Mozilla browser component, similar to Galeon, K-Meleon and Chimera, but written using the XUL user interface language and designed to be cross-platform.
Mailsmith 1.5.4 squashes "hang error"
Mailsmith 1.5.4 corrects a "hang error" that some Mac OS X 10.2 users experienced when trying to view messages in the "gb2312" character set. Version 1.5.4 yields no new features, and was simply issued to address this bug. The last revision -- version 1.5.3 -- added dozens of new features to the $100 email application.
Apple readying retail store in Pasadena, CA
Apple is preparing the launch of a retail outlet in Pasadena, California, according to a MacNN reader who sighted the unfinished store front on Colorado Boulevard, the main strip of Old Pasadena and confirmed by several job listings on Apple's employment Web site. Positions for a store manager, 'Mac Genius' and sales associate are currently listed.
PC Mag recommends iPhoto
"Your best bet is to get a Macintosh," says PC Magazine to prospective digital still camera buyers, in a recent special on the most popular devices. The report, which samples 23 cameras ranging from $300 to $1000, recommends the Mac for photo editing and management, citing the industry's "most intuitive image management software" -- iPhoto -- as a selling point of the platform. In addition to praising Apple's innovative design, Apple's iMac also recognized with an Editor's Choice award for the 'Consumer Desktop' category ("a funky-looking all-in-one with a sharp flat-panel display. The Voodoo deserves points for being the most talked-about PC we had in our labs").
Netatalk 1.5.5 fixes Photoshop, Quark errors
Netatalk 1.5.5 is a collection of server programs and utilities for handling various protocols used in Macintosh and UNIX systems. Version 1.5.5 fixes miscellaneous bugs, and resolves issues with Photoshop and QuarkXPress. The open-source suite includes afpd -- a file server that implements the Apple Filing Protocol, atalkd -- an implementation of the AppleTalk protocol, papd -- a print server that enables Macintosh computers to access printers on Unix networks, and other components.
Gideon updates: Snard 1.6.1, xBack 2.1.1
Gideon Softworks today released updates to two of its key shareware offerings. Snard 1.6.1 adds a new 'hot key' popup menu option, better configuration windows and Mac OS X 10.2 support to the multi-purpose launcher application. xBack 2.1.1 is an update to Gideon's $12 desktop screen saver utility that includes bug fixes, a new icon and a "Start at login" menu item. [Download - Snard menu version, Snard Dock version, xBack]
Several REALbasic apps, tools posted
REALbasic developers have released a handful of helpful utilities this week, recent highlights include: GraphicsX (Graphics Extension) 1.1, a free add-on that compliments to the RealBASIC graphics class; SortLibrary 1.91 -- an updated (bug fix) version of the open-source REALbasic library, which provides robust implementations of several standard sorting algorithms; My Money Minder v1.1 is an application that helps users keep track of expenses, income, and bank account balances; REAL Plug Juggler CM plug-in 1.1 -- an updated version of the Finder add-on that allows developers to examine REALbasic plug-ins via contextual menus. [Download - GraphicsX OS X, GraphicsX Classic, SortLib, MMM OS X, MMM Classic, Juggler]
SiK introduces new products for iPod owners
SiK is now shipping three specialized FireWire accessories for use with the Apple iPod. FireJuice ($27) provides full iPod functionality for Mac, Windows, or Linux users with un-powered FireWire ports; HotWire ($16) is a power-only FireWire-compatible cable, which makes it possible to charge the iPod from a computer's port without forcing it to reboot into Disk Mode; Auto Adapter | iPod (AAi) ($21) is a stylish and compact iPod DC adapter for use in any vehicle with a 12V accessory outlet/cigarette lighter.
GeCAD delivers OS X port of RAV
GeCAD Software today launched RAV AntiVirus for Mac OS X, while reaffirming its commitment to the Macintosh platform. RAV eliminates unwanted email messages, such as SPAM and viruses, at the mail server level. This allows ISPs, businesses and educational institutions to reduce the amount of junk mail that reaches customers, employees or users. Thirty-day trials for various Mac OS X mail server packages are available -- specifically, CommuniGate Pro, DMail, Postfix and Courier.
TechTool Pro 3.08 adds support for new Macs
MicroMat has posted TechTool Pro 3.08, an update to its Mac OS 8/9 disk utility that offers data recovery, drive repair, software conflict reporting, virus protection/repair, drive optimization, directory backup, trash recovery, and system integrity checks. Version 3.08 adds more conflicts to the Conflict Database file and more support for Mac OS 9.2.2 System File testing on the new Summer 2002 machines as well as other bug fixes and cosmetic bugs. The latest TechTool Pro 3.08 CD (emergency startup) is also available for order online for $25.
SuperCard 4.0b14 authoring tool for Mac OS X
Solutions Etcetera has released a a public beta of SuperCard 4.0b14, its HyperCard-like authoring tool. Version 4.0 offers support for text fields and scripts that are larger than 32KB, provides support both Classic and OS X interface items for creating a single project/standalone application that is completely compatible running in both environments with either the Aqua or Platinum themes.
Preferences Overload 5.1 manages prefs
Angelo Scicolone's Preferences Overload 5.1 updates his tool for managing preference files under Mac OS 9 and OS X. The $15 shareware provides accurate scanning based on parent application, modification date and an internal preferences database; provides a rating of each file; and also searches for damaged preference files.
VPN Tracker offers secure networking
Equinux today released VPN Tracker 1.0, an application that creates secure networks using industry standard IPsec protocols without additional hardware. The Professional edition can also secure AirPort networks and connect two networks through a secure Internet tunnel. It also ships with preconfigured settings for third-party VPN devices. The personal edition is $80, while the Professional edition is $200. Introductory offers of $50 and $150, respectively, are available on the products through the end of October.
KB: OS X 10.2 installs; G4 restore discs....
Apple Knowledge Base roundup: Mac OS X 10.2 introduces "Archive and Install" proceure that removes existing system files to a folder named Previous System and then installs a new copy of Mac OS X; The restore discs included with the Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) computer are "significantly different," offering a customizable restore procedure, but no bootability; installing Mac OS X 10.2 Server over a previous Mac OS X 10 (Client) installation requires a special procedure; and the Terminal application in Mac OS X 10.2 defaults to industry-standard settings for tcsh, rather than to the highly customized default set used in version 10.1.5 or earlier (to which users can revert manually).
Reader: Retrospect picky about drive firmware
MacNN Reader Chris Schmid cautions that Retrospect's backup/restore feature may not work properly on multiple DVD mechanisms with different versions of firmware: "I made a backup using Retrospect Express 5 onto DVD's on my 15" iMac. Then I tried to restore some files of this backup to a new 17" iMac. Surprisingly, Retrospect did not recognize the DVD it asked for ("no Media"). Retrospect support personnel told me that since I'm using two different firmware versions of the Pioneer SuperDrives, a restore may not be possible."
Together ControlCenter supports OS X
Together ControlCenter 6.01 is a development environment that integrates the modeling, implementation, testing and deployment of complex enterprise applications. Version 6.01 of the IDE, which is optimized for Java, brings support for OS X. It also offers simultaneous round trip engineering, UML diagrams, JUnit testing, visual J2EE deployment profiling, distributed, refactoring, EJB support, Web services development, and built-in support for major application servers.
Email Magician: Eudora helper utility
Email Magician 1.9.9b, YAV Interactive's $35 Eudroa utility, includes a Spam Filter Maker now checks for nearly 1500 spam conditions and also automatically creates filters, mailboxes, and address book entries for Eudora. It also automates tasks related to optimizing your Eudora folder, archives email messages (including exporting to FileMaker and stripping html from messages), and provides an "intelligent" Urgent Filter note-pad. Upgrades will be free to v2.0, which is due to be released in next few weeks.
OWC adds models, lowers prices on drives
OWC today announced an expanded lineup of portable Mercury On-The-Go 2.5-inch FireWire drives, including new 20GB and 40GB models running at 5400 rpm, and a 60GB model running at 4200 rpm and also lowered prices the drives by as much as 30 percent. Each drive features a shock isolation system to keep vital data safe during transportation and comes with a leather carrying case, FireWire cable, standard power transformer (not required for all computers), and a copy of Intech's HD SpeedTools software utility.
AppleScript addition adds email functions
24U Email OSAX 2.1 (for Mac OS 9 and OS X) extends AppleScript by offering the ability to send electronic mails automatically and directly, without an additional application, via scripts (i.e., CGI, Folder Action, database). Version 2.1 adds smtp authentication, better performance, improved mail server compatibility, and more flexible terminology. A demo of the $13 shareware is available.
Diet & Fitness 3.01 tracks food, excercise
FireLogic today released a Diet & Fitness version of its HealthEngage software system for Mac OS X, adding to its existing product line for Diabetes, Asthma, and HIV/AIDS. Diet & Fitness 3.01 lets users plan meals from over 6,700 foods in the USDA database as well as choose daily activities and exercises, with pre-calculated calorie burn rates, from over 650 activities from the Sports Medicine Association of America. Users can also set reminders about upcoming tests, supplies reorder or a doctor appointment by setting up an alert. A Palm version is bundled with the application ($60) for $70.
Extension Overload 5.9.9 adds 100 definitions
Extension Overload 5.9.9 is a management application for Mac OS 9 system components, such as extensions, control panels, control strip modules and contextual menus. The $30 application also offers detail information on nearly 6000 different components.
Tinderbox 1.2 offers digital asset management
Eastgate Systems has released Tinderbox 1.2, a new version of its personal content management assistant for Macintosh computers. Tinderbox helps people make notes, analyze them, and share them in weblogs and news sites. The update offers the ability to associate local disk files with any note for flexible asset management, spell checking and text smoothing (under Mac OS X), and other enhancements. The $145 application integrates seamlessly with WebDAV, allowing .Mac subscribers to update web sites in a single step. It runs on both Mac OS 9 and OS X.
HP intros scanners, 8x zoom digital camera
HP also announced two new scanners, an 8x optical zoom digital camera and a compact photo printer, which are expected to begin shipping in October.
Canon, Kodak, Minolta, Olympus intro cameras
Canon today introduced a digital SLR camera with an 11.1 megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor, while Kodak introduced a new 4.0 megapixel EasyShare camera, Minolta updated its compact Dimage X series with a 3.3 MP offering, and Olympus introduced two new 5.0 megapixel digital cameras. [updated]
Freeway 3.5.5 has Photoshop 7 support
Softpress today released Freeway 3.5.5 for both Mac OS 8/9 and OS X. The free update to the WYSIWIG Web authoring tool adds improved performance, drag & drop support for iTunes and iPhoto and better import support for Photoshop 7 files (including transparency), styled text and RTF. It also includes better handling of TrueType and Type-1 fonts, the ability to use and manipulate compressed Flash? (MX) files, smaller Freeway document file sizes, extended Illustrator import, faster FTP upload, and interface enhancements under Mac OS X. Freeway 3.5.5 is £165 (excluding VAT) and is available for £100 as a competitive upgrade.
Granite 1.1: shareware font viewer
Waterfall Software's Granite 1.1 brings a window splitter, an improved Slate window, more preferences, and a few interface modifications as well as several bug fixes to its $10 font viewing utility. The OS X application also supports drag & drop of fonts to AppleWorks and Microsoft Word X.
FutureBasic R7 offers Mac IDE for BASIC
STAZ Software has updated its Macintosh BASIC environment, FutureBasic Release 7. The new version ships with a printed book called "Switching to FutureBASIC" that guides users through FutureBASIC's specific syntax, Appearance Manager compliance, Carbon programming, and Mac OS X coding. Release 7 also offers access to UNIX and to AppleScript routines, Jaguar-compatibility, restored serial communication under OS X (as well as previous system releases), multi-processor optimizations, and other enhancements. It is sold by subscription: $160 for the first year and $100 per year for renewals. Updates are available for a $40 discount through the end of October.
VueScan 7.5.50 fixes scanner issues
Hamrick Software's VueScan 7.5.50 is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans with improved color fidelity and color balance and also has advanced features for restoring faded colors and batch scanning. Version 7.5.50 fixes problems with UMAX Astra, AGFA StudioScan II, and Canon FB620 and FB1200S scanners. A demo of the $40 application is available online.
MacBrainiac Challenge scheduled for MWSF
IDG today announced the MacBrainiac Challenge, a new game show-style contest scheduled to take place at the upcoming Macworld Expo SF, which takes place January 6-10, 2003 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco. The MacBrainiac Challenge, hosted by David Pogue, takes place on Thursday, January 9 from 12:30 - 1:15 p.m. Two volunteers will be chosen from the audience to join the show, which pits two teams of industry personalities against eachother.
Reader: Handspring posts HotSync for Visors
Scott Schaber writes: "It has been a constant annoyance that I have not been able to sync my Visor Deluxe with my computer using OS X ever since Palm came out with Palm Desktop 4.0 in March. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Handspring has finally come out with a version that they say is compatible." The page notes, however, it is not recommended for use with the Treo 90, 180, 180g and 270 and the company has posted a list of known issues.
Java app helps combine text files
TDF Czar 2,1, a Java-based application for working with tab-delimited files, allows users to merge two or more input files, combining commonly named columns and preserving uniquely named columns from each source and also allows users to intelligently combine records with duplicate key fields, while preserving valid data according to rules set by the user. It can also merge tab-delimited data into specially formatted HTML templates, generating custom Web pages fully populated with the user's data. A limited demo of the $20 application is available online.
DSVariables: free FileMaker Pro plugin
BadLogic Studio has released DSVariables 2.01, a FileMaker Pro plugin that allows databases to "dynamically use live variables in their scripts in order to pass parameters between them. This will eliminate the need for global fields and will work between scripts in different databases." It is free and works with both Classic and OS X.
First public preview of Bugdom 2 at CapMac
The October general meeting of the Austin (Texas) Capitol Macintosh Users' Group (CapMac) will feature "the first ever public preview of Bugdom 2." The meeting will be held on October 10th at the University of Texas Pharmacy Building at 7:30 pm (local time).
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