"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: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives