"Head First Java" by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates combines "humor, puzzles, strong visuals, and a friendly conversational style" to enable newcomers to the Java programming language to acquire skills rapidly. "Going head first into anything involves a certain amount of daring," explains publisher O'Reilly, but the "fast, irreverent, fun, and engaging" book is a highly "effective" guide. The $40 book is written for readers with "some scripting or programming experience" who want to learn Java and who "prefer stimulating dinner party conversation to dry, technical lectures.
KB update: Apple's RAID Admin application included with Xserve RAID can be used with Java-enabled operating systems other than Mac OS; video clips with a 16:9 aspect ratio will not work any version of iMovie (Apple recommends Fina Cut Pro or Final Cut Express); the AppleCare Protection Plan CD does not start up all Macintosh computers; Apple notes that Mac OS X 10.2.4 and later include an updated "httpd.conf" file as part of a larger Rendezvous update, which may cause problems with the configuration of Personal Web Sharing.
The Omni Group has released versions 3.0.1 of the premiere Mac OS X diagramming applications OmniGraffle ($70) and OmniGraffle Professional ($120). The new releases contain numerous fixes for the most commonly reported problems as well as some performance enhancements. Improvements to printing shadows have been added, and overall application stability has increased. Version 3.01 also brings Improvements to Visio's XML format import and export to OmniGraffle Professional. [std, pro] DropJPEG 2.1 brings a new non-generic icon and French localization. The freeware utility for Mac OS X will convert most images including screenshots into JPEG via a simple drag-and-drop operation. [50KB] Intaglio 1.3, the Mac OS X drawing and illustration application from Purgatory Design, adds several features to aid the creation of technical illustrations. Changes include support for multiple on-screen rulers, automatic dimensioning, improved drawing unit display and editing, better grid creation and use, and other miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements. The $60 application runs on Mac OS X only. [1.4MB] CDFinder 4.1.2 is a fast and powerful disk cataloging tool that can catalog hard disks, iPods, CD-ROMs, DVDs, floppies, ZIPs and almost any other media. It has a flexible user interface and powerful search functions, supporting Audio-CDs, MP3 files, and iTune's new AAC files. It is a free update to the $25 shareware application. [1.2MB]
Tech news: Analysts are looking at Amazon.com as one of the likeliest candidates to take the next crack at the retail music-download business and Apple's iTunes Music Store; AOL Time Warner's settlement with Microsoft on Thursday offers AOL the use Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series software, including its DRM tools for securing music and video files from piracy; a subsidiary of electronics maker Sony is to sell downloadable movie files that self-destruct after a given time; and Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, the world's largest maker of notebook PC computers, will locate its U.S. manufacturing and distribution headquarters in Nashville, TN.
David Watanabe has released version 0.92 of Acquisition, a popular Mac file sharing program. Acquisition is a gnutella client supporting modern gnutella features such as Ultrapeers, swarm (multi-source) downloads, download resumption, and distributed network discovery. Acquisition is built using code from the LimeWire gnutella client, and consequently supports the same rich set of protocol features. The new release has important protocol changes including support for compressed message streams. It also features various aesthetic and stability fixes as well. The $15 shareware runs on Mac OS X.
Apple today kicked off a new promo for education customers. 'Buy a bundle, get a bundle back' offers up to $300 off the already-discounted education price when customer purchase any Mac laptop, any iPod, and any eligible Canon printer. The offer does not apply to the iBook CD-only configuration. The promotion runs from May 30, 2003 through September 27, 2003; the products must be purchased by from the Apple Education Store for Individuals or a participating Apple Authorized Campus Reseller and the Canon printer must be purchased by June 28, 2003. Users must purchase all qualifying Apple and Canon products at the same time on the same invoice to be eligible for the mail-in rebate.
Microsoft Watch has posted 'Panther vs. Longhorn: The Rematch,' which attempts to clear some of the confusion generated by the first article: " Specifically, some readers took issue with what they described as an apples-and-oranges comparison between the Panther version of Mac OS X (a k a Version 10.3 and due to reach developers in June and end users this fall) and the Longhorn upgrade to Windows (which won't ship until 2005). But that's precisely the point: If Apple sticks to a yearly cycle of product updates between now and 2005, it will be going on Mac OS X 10.5 by the time Longhorn delivers GUI enhancements and other features designed to take on Mac OS X 10.2. Even if Redmond comes through with all of the capabilities it's predicting, it will still be choking on dust kicked up by an additional couple of Mac OS X revs."
The $20 Mac OS X system utility, Xupport 1.3.2, improves the ability to clear LS caches, offers better swap file support, and has other changes. Xupport provides a simple GUIto configure many Mac OS X options. It includes several unix command to optimize and secure your Mac, and activates features that are disabled by default. [214KB] Dartware has updated its InterMapper 4.0.5 network monitoring and alerting program and its companion viewer and configuration tool, InterMapper Remote 4.0.5. InterMapper provides a graphical view of your network and notifies the network manager of problems using sounds, pages, e-mail, and text messages. Version 4.05 adds improved installers for many unix distributions, drill-down maps, an improved POP3 probe, and other changes. Pricing starts at $500. [Classic, OSX] John MacDonnell's DockFun 4.02 is an update to the popular dock utility that lets users run an unlimited number of different dock configurations. It adds support for "floating docks" as well as support for multiple docks, drag & drop support, and other new features. A demo of the $20 shareware is available for Mac OS X only. [815KB] Easy Software Products today released ESP Print Pro v4.4, a complete printing solution for Unix-based systems. The product is based on the Common UNIX Printing System technology and supports AIX, FreeBSD, HP-UX, IRIX, Linux, MacOS X 10.2, Solaris, Tru64 UNIX, and Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP. Version 4.4 adds support for MacOS X 10.2.x and client support for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. The new release also adds drivers for several new Epson and Lexmark printers and supports printing of binary PostScript files to most printers. ESP Print Pro is available in Standalone ($50), Multi-User ($245), and Enterprise ($7,500) versions. Capilano Computing has released DesignWorks 4.5, an update to its suite of electronic circuit schematic drawing tools. Version 4.5 of the multi-page, hierarchical schematic capture editor adds Mac OS X support as well as PDF export. It is a free upgrade to those who purchased the Designworks Professional ($400) after June 1, 2001. Others can upgrade for $200. It runs on both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. [1.2MB]
Avid today announced it is now shipping its Media Composer Adrenaline system, which combines next-generation Media Composer software with new Adrenaline hardware to offer real-time, multi-stream, uncompressed standard-definition video editing and 10-bit high-definition media expandability: "Media Composer Adrenaline is the industry's first system to support uncompressed SD video over a standard FireWire connection. The product offers a robust feature set, including 24p Film Composer offline editing functionality, 24-bit audio capabilities and a powerful real-time color correction tool that can automatically correct an entire sequence with a single click." Pricing starts at $25,000; it runs on Mac OS X or Windows XP.
KeynotePro.com has released SoHo, "a print inspired Keynote theme for general business applications. Designed to answer the needs of a more stylized business aesthetic, our SoHo theme bridges the worlds of print and presentation with vivid color, classic type and commanding layouts." Along with the standard general-purpose slides included in each Keynote theme, SoHo also includes 9 additional slide masters, a mix of both photo layouts and additional specialized text layouts. It is available for $20.
Sonnet Technologies today announced its Allegro FW800 PCI adapter card. It installs into any available 64-bit or 32-bit PCI slot, adding FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) connections for utilizing high-speed digital peripherals. Each card has three 9-pin external FireWire 800 ports and can connect up to 63 devices. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.3 for FireWire 800 operation (It will operate at FW400 speeds in early Mac OS X versions and under Mac OS 9). It is compatible with the Power Macintosh G3 All-in-one, Blue & White Power Macs, and all Power Mac G4s models except the the Power Mac G4 Cube. The $90 card is due in June 2003.
Now AAPL Stock: 107.46 ( -0.57 )
Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE