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FireWire Depot today added additional styles of 3.5" FireWire800 and FireWire800/USB2 combo enclosures, 2.5" enclosures, and PCI cards to its FireWire800 lineup. "Next month we are expecting a wide range of updated stand-alone FireWire800/1394b bridgeboards and hubs," the company says. The FireWire 800 PCI card utilizes the new TI silicon. The first PCI card will have three external 9-pin FireWire 800 ports with support for up to 63 FireWire devices and the ability to transfer data across 100 meters of optical cable. The IceCube 800 FireWire800/USB2 combo 3.5" enclosure is now available; all FireWire Depot 3.5" enclosures are compatible with ATA6 large capacity drives.
Melonsoft today released PianistEnvy, a "playfully-named" digital piano application for Mac OS 9/X. It allows anyone with a Mac and QuickTime to "instantly unleash" 120 instruments built-into QuickTime software. Each note can be extensively manipulated through the Octave, Pressure and Duration controls. PianistEnvy can be registered for the low price of $5. [Download - Classic, OS X] Serial Storage 2.7 is an update to the application for organizing your serial numbers, passwords, credit cards, -- or any other information you'd like to store -- into different folders. Serial Storage offers a robust search feature, and uses "military-strength" 448-bit encryption. Version 2.7 features new security enhancements and a "better user experience." New security features include logging access into the application, clearing the clipboard on quit, and quitting when inactive. [Download - 2.7MB] FTP Thingy 1.1.0 is a FTP client that delivers only basic FTP abilities with "none of the complexity" found in other applications. It enables you to view files on a ftp host in a file browser, download and upload files, and add/delete directories. A version history is not available. [Download - 1.4MB] Mac Messenger 2.5 adds bug fixes, a better interface, more options, sound sets, and new Finder icons to the MSN Chat Client that gives the user "unprecedented options and capabilities for their chatting delights." [Download - Classic, OS X]
Long-time Windows user Steven Garrity has spent a week with Mac OS X to compare the user experiences of each operating system. Mr. Garrity maintains the opinion that OS X is "over-designed" but admits that the Mac OS X interface feels far more "solid" that Windows XP. "The general window management proved awkward and frustrating for an experienced Windows user," Garrity says, despite praising many aspects of the UI.
LaCie announced it will begin shipping in early May a FireWire 800 PCI card, allowing users to add three external FireWire 800 ports to any PCI-based desktop Mac: "With this PCI Card, you can bus power your peripherals on each of the 3 ports with up to 18W per port with an optional internal power cable. LaCie’s FireWire 800 PCI Card only requires one available PCI slot and works in a 64 bit or 32 bit slot." The press release says the card will be available for $90 by end of the month through select channels.
eWeek reports on "Panther", the next major version of Mac OS X expected to ship this September: "[Sources] said User at the Center features will make it simpler for individual users to personalize their computing experience and to move seamlessly among Macs and other devices. And as a marketing strategy, Panther's User at the Center capabilities are intended to challenge user-centric capabilities of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP as well as its forthcoming 'Longhorn' client."
Intaglio, the new Mac OS X drawing application from Purgatory Design, has been updated to version 1.1. The primary improvement is the ability to convert vector-based QuickDraw PICT files, such as those created by MacDraw, MacDraft, and ClarisDraw to native Intaglio (i.e., Quartz based) graphics for editing. The $60 application offers 2D drawing tools. [1.3MB] Imprint 1.1 from Ampersandbox prints labels and envelopes from the Mac OS X Address Book. The new version can print US POSTNET barcodes and partial sheets of labels. It also adds support for Dymo label printers. Imprint is $25 and requires Mac OS X 10.2. [763KB] MacCandy today released MacMaid 1.1, adding features such as a new rule-based cleaning system, multiple cleaning folders, cleaning schedules and many bug fixes to the $7 shareware designed to organize and clean your desktop. MacMaid also includes a built-in timer that will automatically clean your desktop with a time you specify and also keeps a log of what has been moved, deleted or launched." [1.2MB] Yenco.com's iEvents 2 contains over 50 enhancements including an improved startup process, automatic software update, quick access to recent documents, additional graphic export formats, and a new integrated feedback system The $20 shareware creates custom calendar websites that can then be easily uploaded to any interent server or iDisk. [1.0MB] Wildbits has released Ask the DJ 1.0, a "revolutionary DJ/mix engine. Unlike any other software, it analyses beats to perform truly seamless transitions between tracks. Thanks to its ultra-fast search engine, new tracks are added to the play-list in a flash. And thanks to its mix engine, the beat never stops." It is $30 shareware. [992KB] Keynote Theme Park has added "Granite" and "HighSpeed" themes to its collection. Along with the previously released "Desert" theme, the new themes feature photo cutouts that run off opposite sides of two master slides, allowing users to wrap a photo around the corner when using a slow cube transition. Introductory pricing of $25 per set of three themes is available through the end of May. SFX Machine RT is a real-time version of the company's SFX Machine audio effects plug-in. The new plug-in is available in Audio Unit and VST formats for Mac OS X, and VST format for Mac OS 8 and 9. It includes hundreds of presets and offers automated parameter control via a simple "MIDI Learn" interface. A $25 discount is available to registered owners of SFX Machine. New license are $150. [2.8MB] Omicron Software Systems has released an updated version of ToDo X 1.3, a simple, dedicated to-do list application. Version 1.3 incorporates changes to facilitate localization and includes a comprehensive French translation. The $15 shareware supports multiple to-do lists and allows a to-do item to appear in more than one list. Each item can have unlimited attached notes, and items can be copied, linked or moved among lists via drag-and-drop. [224KB] Bible Reader Free is a free Bible viewing application for Mac OS X, giving access to multiple books/chapters at the same time. Features include the ability to search for words across all or select parts of the Bible. Two translations are currently provided (King James and Basic Bible English). [3.1MB]
Several readers note that AppleWorks 6.2.7 is available via the online Apple Store: "I was just at Apple's website and on their store web-page under 'Apple software' Apple Works is listed as 6.2.7 instead of the current 6.2.4, and it also has a new box (all white with just a pencil standing up). When you go to the non store part of Apple's website and select "software" (beside "hot news" and "hardware" ) where it lists all of Apple's software titles and details, Apple Works is still listed as 6.2.4, but has the picture of the new box. I would have to say that an update to Apple Works will be announced very soon. It is unclear though whether or not it will be a free update or not."
WiebeTech today introduced new higher capacity models of its UltraGB, its transportable bus-powered drive and has also reduced prices on its lower 80GB and 120GB models. "UltraGB now supports drive capacities to 250GB in both FireWire and USB1.1/2.0 modes...And unlike all other portable FireWire drives, this product offers sustained transfer rates of greater than 30MB per second (in FireWire mode) combined with capacities greater than 80GB. The fanless design makes it extraordinarily quiet." The drives use an improved, ATA-6 compatible USB bridge combined with an ATA-6 compatible OXFW911 FireWire bridge. Pricing starts at $200 (case-only). The 180GB version is now available for $480, while the 250GB version is due by the end of the month for $700 (including Mac Drive 5, avertical stand for desktop use, FireWire cable, USB cable and AC adapter).
Slim Devices today announced its SLIMP3 Server Software v4, the latest version of the powerful software which manages the SLIMP3 Network Music Player. The new update includes a new user interface, an innovative plug-in architecture, and an easier installation process as well as over 100 new improvements, including a built-in alarm clock. SLIMP3 ($230) is designed to stream MP3s and internet radio stations to your stereo over your network without loss of sound quality.
Ambrosia has updated its screen/video capture utility for Mac OS X, Snapz Pro X 1.07. The free update adds the ability to capture video with less impact ("lag") on the operating system, adds a Korean localization, fixes issues when taking screenshots/movies in X11 applications, and a workaround for capturing images in full screen games that capture the display. Upgrades are $20, while a new license is $40 (with movie capture support). [4.1MB] X Overload is a $20 shareware that allows you to manage items in Classic system folder and library folders in Mac OS X. It allows you to manage Apple Menu Items, Contextual Menu Items, Control Panels, Control Strips Modules, Extensions, Fonts, Startup Items, Internet Plug-ins located inside Classic system folder as well as manage Contextual Menu Items, Fonts, Preference files, Preference Panes, Services, Screen Savers located in the library folders in Mac OS X. [1.8MB] Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes has updated Make Mine MPEG-4 v4.1, a $7 shareware application that automates the process of importing and encoding iTunes CD tracks as MPEG-4 files using QuickTime 6 Pro. The latest version of Make Mine MPEG-4 fixes a problem that occurred when importing files whose filenames contain international characters. [306KB] Karl Goiser has released his freeware iCalViewer 1.01, which "displays the events from Apple's calendar application, iCal, in a window. Each event is displayed in a similar way to iCal and marches towards a finish line which is the time now. ...iCalViewer also comes as a handy screen saver, iCalSaver." [267KB] BurnoutMenu 1.1.1 is a minor update to its unobtrusive menubar to-do list bringing live iCal synchronisation and minor bug fixes. The application features iCal integration with live synchronization, export to various formats (HTML, RTF, OPML and text), and printing functions. A 28-day trial version of $6 shareware is available online. [759KB] CrystalFire Wormhole is a drag-and-drop file transfer program for moving files between two Macs or between Mac and Windows computers: "On small LANS, no configuration at all is necessary; just launch the program on two computers (even one Mac, one Windows!) and they'll automatically find and connect to each other. For larger LANs and the Internet, a single connection step is required." It is being offered at $10 per computer, as part of an introductory offer. [1.1MB]
French vendor Macway has announced its new lineup of FireWire 800 hard drives, which it says offers transfer rates up to 61MB/s--up to 54% better performance when compared to previous FireWire 400 hard drives. "Macway is so confident in the exceptional performances of its new ICE FW800 lineup that it has published the first detailed Mac Benchmarks of FireWire 800 products on Apple's latest G4." It has also published the first ever RAID 0 benchmarks of FireWire 800 hard drives. The drives two 9-pin FireWire 800 ports, a single USB 2.0/1.1 port, and a standard 6-pin FireWire port for connectivity to legacy FireWire systems. It is available in 120GB, 160GB, 200GB, and 250GB versions.
WiebeTech today announced it has added USB 1.1/2.0 port to its DesktopGB+ FireWire enclosure as well as full ATA-6 compatibility through the USB port: "We‚ve been shipping ATA-6 FireWire drives for the last six months, but now the USB side will offer the same capabilities." Each of the company's drives include a copy of Mac Drive 5 software. Pricing on the case-only version is $140, while prices for the drive configurations have been reduced by $30 and now start at $210 for the 80GB model. DesktopGB+ includes a drive enclosure, a vertical stand for desktop use, FireWire cable, USB cable and AC adapter. All drives including the 250GB model us a 7200RPM mechanism.
Apple has issued a special invitation to select media outlets for an event in San Francisco on Monday, April 28, 2003. The invitation says the company's "announcements that will be music to your ears," according to published reports. Media outlets and readers speculate that the event may bring the long-awaited iPod update introduction or the announcement of the rumored online music service (or both).
Directors NoteBook software today announced the release of Directors NoteBook Pro and Directors NoteBook SA, a stand-alone version of its FileMaker Pro-based digital project notebook application. It "has almost all of the great features as the Pro version, but does not have the customization and multi-user network collaboration capabilities.... With Directors NoteBook SA’s many reports, print outs (nearly 20), and export functions, customization may not be an issue for many users, and the all inclusive price makes it affordable for almost everyone, even film students." Directors NoteBook Pro is a redesigned replacement of the original softrware, adding a new "Brushed Metal" interface, the ability to record voice memos and associate them with individual shots, and a new "Teleciné Screen" feature. Pricing stards at $170.
IncaGold and Hyperion Entertainment have entered into a license agreement which will bring IncaGold's current and future entertainment software titles to the Mac as well as Amiga and Linux platforms. Hyperion says it is first converting "Midnight Racing," which offers players the excitement of realistic night driving using a its 3D engine. "We are understandably very pleased with this agreement as signing with IncaGold will allow us to bring IncaGold's outstanding and ever-growing portfolio of games to our target audiences", said Ben Hermans, managing partner of Hyperion Entertainment.
Apple has posted its AirPort Extreme Firmware Update 5.0.4: "This update is recommended for all customers with French AirPort Extreme Base Stations or if your AirPort Extreme Base Station stops responding after being on a busy Ethernet Network. This firmware update fixes an issue where an AirPort Extreme network appears to be unavailable as displayed by the AirPort Menu Extra or the Internet Connection application. This behavior may result from excessive 2.4 GHz radio interference which causes the wireless network to disappear. The update allows the base station to more gracefully recover when exposed to sources of interference."
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Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
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