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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."
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL