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O'Reilly has released "Running Mac OS X Panther" ($40) by James Davidson, a book that "takes readers deep inside Mac OS X's core, revealing the inner workings of Panther for those who want to get the most out of their system." The book's 'easy-to-follow' format is organized into three primary parts: Getting Started, an introduction to the operating system; Administration Essentials, a guide to the tools needed to examine how a system is running; and Networking and Network Services.
NewTech Infosystems announced today Dragon Burn 3.1, the latest release of its CD/DVD mastering software for Mac OS X. In addition to fine-tuning the DVD Video burning capabilities, Dragon Burn Version 3.1 implements Panther compatibility and support for "virtually all" leading image and audio file formats. Dragon Burn for Mac OS X has a suggested retail price of $50.
Actual Technologies (booth 2250) this week at Macworld Expo launched the Actual ODBC Driver for SQL Server, a new ODBC driver that lets Mac OS X users access MS SQL Server databases from applications such as Excel. It supports all types of SQL Server authentication and requires nothing to be installed on the server itself. It features an assistant that helps users quickly connect to their databases. The driver is available for Mac OS X for $30.
xTime 1.5.1 is a $100 project management application for Mac OS X.that allows users to manage resources, time and the costs associated with any project. It is simple to use, and helps professionals organize tasks, track resources, meet deadlines, and achieve project goals. [Download - 1.5MB] iSynCal 2.5 ($17) can synchronize events and to-do items from iCal 1.5 calendars between two or more Mac computers using Apple File Sharing. Users will no longer need to publish the calendars to be synchronized on an external FTP site, WebDav server or, .Mac account. [Download - 355KB] Contour design has released driver update 2.0 for ShuttlePRO V.2, ShuttlePRO, and ShuttleXpress. ShuttlePRO is a multi-button jog & shuttle multimedia control surface; ShuttleXpress is also a multi-button control device, with more features than ShuttlePRO. [Download - 1.1MB] Export Artwork v3.5 is a shareware AppleScript application for iTunes to extract the Artwork from the selected track's ID3 tag and copy it to an image file in a chosen location. Drag and drop images, creation of a multi-page HTML log file, and a user guide, are the latest additions to the app. [Download - 423KB] Nikon Scan 4.0.1 is a maintenance update to the scanner software for the CoolScan LS-9000ED, LS-8000ED, LS-5000ED, LS-4000ED, LS50, and LS 40. Performance and stability enhancements are included. [Download - 1.6MB] iPodRip 3 ($9) allows users to copy the audio contents of an iPod to a Mac. Apple's standard iTunes software prevents this for copyright reasons. The latest version features an improved contextual help system, easier navigation, more information available in main display, and improved error recovery. [Download - 543KB] The Myster File Sharing Network is an open-source sharing utility that operates on its own protocol. The protocol and application were developed in response to demands for a peer-to-peer file sharing system which efficiently operates without the need for a central logistics server. [Download - 962KB] Unity 3.3.0 is an update to the guitar software suite for Mac OS 9/X. The Classic version includes minor improvements, while the Mac OS X version gains Panther, MESH, and Osmosis 3 support. [Download - OS X, Classic]
HP and Apple today announced a strategic alliance to deliver an HP-branded digital music player based on Apple's iPod. As part of the alliance, HP consumer PCs and notebooks will come preinstalled with Apple's iTunes jukebox software and an easy-reference desktop icon to point consumers directly to the iTunes Music Store. HP's digital music player is expected to become available this summer and be "competitively priced to other digital music players currently available."
WoodWing Software today released Smart Styles CS, an automated styling solution for Adobe InDesign CS. Smart Styles CS allows InDesign CS publishers to automate the formatting of identically formatted elements. Smart Styles combines table styles, object styles and complex text styling into easy to use Smart Styles. It adds support for running headers/footers, nested styles, independently applied properties, application of styles to a text selection or a text-frame, and other features. It is available for €150 with upgrades from v2 priced at €60.
Apago's PDF Enhancer 2.0 extends the product's core optimization and document size reduction capabilities, adding several new features to its solution for modifying, optimizing and repurposing PDF files. New features include file merge, stamping, imposition, color management and JBIG2 compression. PDF Enhancer produces multiple targeted documents (e.g., Web, Print, Screen) from a single PDF--while preserving bookmarks, annotations, hyperlinks, and form fields. The desktop version for Mac OS X 10.2 s $180, while Server edition pricing starts at $1000.
Trendwatch reports that 26% of U.S. broadcast stations and cable systems use Macs as their primary system for editing/production workstations, which it says is up 8% from a year ago: "[this] suggests more stations are using Mac workstations today for their production and editing needs. Macs are used in a larger number of mid size and bigger broadcast stations while PCs dominate in cable systems of all sizes." The same report shows that 39% of U.S. FX/dynamic media studios use Macs as their primary system for pipeline/production workstations--up 11% from a year ago which "suggests more studios are using Mac workstations today. Macs are used in a larger number of smaller studios while PCs dominate in larger studios and many studios use both platforms." [updated]
Verbatim announced it is on target to deliver the industry's first Double-Layer DVD+R (DVD+R DL) discs in Spring of 2004. The new 2.4x DataLifePlus media nearly doubles the storage capacity to 8.5GB on a single DVD side while maintaining compatibility with existing DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives. Verbatim's target launch date is spring 2004 to coincide with DVD+R DL hardware introductions by DVD+RW Alliance members. The discs will store up to 4 hours of DVD-quality video or up to 16 hours of VHS video quality. Kano Technologies also introduced Kano ArchivMedia DVD+R double-sided (DS) media using Verbatim's technology.
Echoing industry concerns over the price of the iPod mini, Business Week Online compares the smaller iPod to the ill-fated Power Mac Cube: "But even Jobs is subject to fits of delusion from time to time. Apple's ill-fated Cube desktop computer is the prime example. The cute blue PC in the shape of a small cube won design awards but failed to spark sales and has since been relegated to the role of novelty item on eBay.... [The 'miniPod'] Less music in a device marginally smaller at about the same price. Get it? I didn't, and few others will, either." The article notes that the iPod mini is almost 50% smaller in terms of total volume and weighs half as much.
Feral Interactive today announced it will publish Ubi Soft's ChessMaster 9000 for the Mac. Dubbed the "world's most popular" chess simulation", it offers players the choice of different boards and different opponents (computer or real life player) of different strength. Players can learn from more than 800 classic games, including the best of 2001 and 2002 Grand Master games as well as play against each other online. The Mac version of ChessMaster 9000 is being developed by Feral's porting partner Zonic and will be released for Mac OS 9 and X.
Concord Camera today began shipping Concord Eye-Q 4360z, its new 4 megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom (18x total). The camera can also capture AVI-based video at 30fps, sophisticated exposure/white balances controls, 16MB of internal memory, continuous shooting card, SD card support, and other advanced features. It is available now for $200 and includes a mini-USB cable, a TV cable, a wrist strap, a pouch, rechargeable batteries and charger.
Alsoft this week announced a Panther update to DiskWarrior 3.0, its Mac OS X tool for native directory repair. The update brings compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther and also allows users to startup the DiskWarrior on the newer G5 Macs. The company is selling updated DiskWarror 3.0 CDs on the Expo showfloor for $60 and expects to post an updater on the Web for registered users next week. Alsoft will also provide registered users with a "bootable" copy of DiskWarrior 3 CD (mainly for G5 owners) for a nominal shipping & handling fee ($20).
Aspyr today announced Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough expansion pack for the Mac: "In Medal of Honor Allied Assault Breakthrough you take the role of Sergeant John Baker, a tough-as-nails infantryman in the 34th 'Red Bull' Division. Baker’s ready attitude and extraordinary composure under fire got him 'volunteered' for many extraordinary missions." It is being developed internally at Aspyr, is currently at "first playable" status; MOHAAB is due in late March for $30 and available for pre-order now. It will run on Mac OS 9/X. Aspyr also announced it would publish SimCity 4 Rush Hour (conversion by i5works). Currently in early development, it is due later this year.
Yazsoft has released Speed Download 2.2, which it says has been completely re-optimized and tweaked for Mac OS X 10.3.2. This version also adds the ability to update and monitor all your favorite Macintosh applications quickly and effortlessly, as well as act as the centralized download hub on any Mac OS X system. It also includes performance improvements, a new software tracking window, auto-queue for multiple sequential downloads, and other featuers. It is a free update to the $20 application.
XtremeMac this week launched TheRecipeManager, a new application for Mac OS X that lets you add and organize all your recipes. It features the ability "to find just the right recipe quickly, the freedom to prepare foods as healthy as you like, the expertise to cook like a pro, and even the excitement to experiment a little. The interface for TheRecipeManager emulates the look and feel of Apple’s own iApps. In fact, you can even drag and drop photos of your favorite meal right from iPhoto." The $40 software is available for Mac OS X 10.2.4 or later.
Belkin today announced two new 802.11g-based wireless networking adapters. The 802.11g Wireless Print Server lets you share USB printers with networked computers. The Belkin 802.11g Wireless Print Server ($130) can add two USB printers to either a wireless or wired network and includes a memory buffer for better performance on print jobs with large graphics. Belkin's 802.11g Wireless Ethernet Bridge ($130) brings Wi-Fi functions by simply attaching it to any Ethernet-enabled device. It works most gaming devices as well as supports 64- and 128-bit encryption. Both devices will begin shipping in North America on February 6, 2004.
NewTek this week previewed Lightwave 3D , the upcoming version of its industry-standard 3D application. Version 8, due later this quarter, features significantly improved workflow in Layout and Modeler, faster rendering, improved bone dymanics (with new editing tools), improved IK, and other enhancements. Upgrades are $500. NewTek also extended its LightWave 3D [7.5] for Print special for owners of qualifying Mac print and design applications. The $800 offer is available through the end of the quarter; upgrades from v7.5 will be $500 and full versions are $1600. Newtek also announced it is migrating to Apple's Xcode development environment for both Mac OS X and G5 optimization.
Archos today introduced its GMINI 220, which it says is the "industry's smallest 20GB portable MP3 player." It weighs six ounces and is small and light enough to fit in a shirt pocket. The GMINI 220 features a 2.5" grayscale LCD with a blue backlight, an icon-based interface, and the ability to edit song info and manage playlists on the device. It ships standard with three modules: Audio Recorder/Voice Recorder with a built-in microphone; Photo Wallet offering a CompactFlash memory slot; and FM Tuner and Remote Control (with recording functions). The GMINI 120 (10GB version) was introduced in November 2003 for $250, while the GMINI 220 is available this month for $350.
Nikon today announced its Coolpix 2200 (2.0MP) and Coolpix 3200 (3.2MP) compact digital cameras. Each camera employs a new LED light that minimizes red-eye in-camera and helps Auto Focus during low light situations. The cameras also feature a 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens, 14.5MB of internal memory, SD card support, 15 scene modes, a new panora assist mode, macro shooting functions (as close as 1.6 in), an automatic Best Shot selector function, three movie modes (with sound on the Coolpix 3200) up to 640x480 at 15fps, and more.
Canopus today announced its ADVC55, a compact and easy-to-use external analog-to-DV converter. It easily connects VHS, Hi8 and other analog video equipment to DV cameras, decks and editing systems. The ADVC55 does not require software drivers and provides automatic input signal detection and convenient front and rear connectors, making it a convenient solution for capturing analog video using FireWire-equipped notebook and desktop editing systems. The bus-powered device features Canopus's DV hardware codec technology and supports NTSC, PAL, SECAM, S-Video and composite video formats. It will ship in mid-January for $230.
ATI Technologies (Expo booth 1017) today introduced the Radeon 9800 PRO Mac Special Edition. Designed exclusively for use with the high end Power Mac G5, the Radeon 9800 PRO Mac Special Edition offers 256MB of ultra fast DDR memory, with 680MHZ data rate and a core engine speed of 380 MHZ. The new GPU (graphics processing unit) is supported by drivers included within Mac OS X and offers a direct connection to Apple-branded displays through dual output ADC and DVI connectors. It will be available at the end of the month for $470.
Lexar Media today announced it has doubled the capacity of its JumpDrive 2.0 Pro USB flash drive to 2GB. The drive supports 40X speed rating (6MB/sec) and USB 2.0 connectivity; it will ship next month for $1000. Lexar also debuted several other USB 2.0-based, portable flash memory devices: JumpDrive Secure with automatic data encryption, JumpDrive Sport with increased ruggedness, a fashionably styled JumpDrive Elite, and JumpGear-MP3, a unique digital audio player that utilizes Lexar Media's JumpDrive Sport USB flash drive as its storage medium.
Cornice's new miniature 2.0GB hard drive is used in mobile digital audio and video consumer products from Digitalway, iRiver, Rio, and Thomson: "The Cornice SE delivers the speed and capacity of small disk drives, the low battery usage of solid-state storage media, and durability that withstands a one-meter drop onto bare concrete." Meanwhile, GS Magicstor today introduced its new series of 1" Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) available in capacities from 2.2GB to 4.8GB with multi industry-standard interfaces, such as CFII, USB and IDE/ATA. Magicstor says it is also developing a 0.8" HDD for the cell phone and audio/visual products industry. Update: CNET News.com reports that Apple's iPod mini uses Hitachi's mini drive, while its larger sibling uses Toshiba's mechanism.
Roku has introduced its Roku SoundBridge network music players, which allows consumers to listen to digital music that's stored on their computers, in any room of their homes. The set-top device integrates into any home computer network--either through an optional Wi-Fi adapter or built-in Ethernet-- so that customers can listen to music, from their computers, on dedicated speakers or though any stereo system. It can access playlists from both Mac- and Windows-based computers, and supports streaming music in MP3, WMA, AAC, AIFF and WAV formats.
OTC Wireless today announced the WiJET.Video, a high-speed, 802.11g wireless projector and display adapter: "By connecting the WiJET.Video to a video projector, LCD, plasma screen or other display unit, users can now wirelessly transmit full motion video." WiJET.Video can connect to a standard VGA port as well as to component video, S-video, and composite video ports; it supports stereo audio, MPEG 1 and MPEG 2 video streams, and simultaneous display of video and a slide presentation. It is due later this quarter. The company is currently shipping limited 802.11b-based versions of the same device.
Keyspan today launched its USB Device Server, which shares virtually USB device with networked computers: "Much like a USB print server, the USB Server enables attached USB devices to be used and shared by client PCs on a LAN. In addition to printers, the USB Server supports other USB devices such as hard drives, scanners, and more." The USB Device Server provides 4 ports for connecting to USB 1.1 devices and an Ethernet port for connecting to a network; it supports static IP, DHCP, and Apple's Rendezvous address assignment. Clients must be running Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher. It will ship in "late in the first quarter" for $130.
Old Jewel Software has announced My Favorite Things 1.5, the first major update to the self-configuring launch utility. Old Jewel Software announced today the first major update of My Favorite Things, its self-configuring launch utility, bringing it to version 1.5. Version 1.5 adds several new features, including submenus for folders within the Launch Menu, a highly-requested feature. Minor updates and maintenance are also included. My Favorite Things is $18 shareware.
Seventh grade students in North Haverhill (NH) will soon receive Apple iBook computers as a part of a $1.3 million program. Some 600 seventh-graders and their teachers will receive laptops from the privately financed program. In Haverhill, the laptops will be used partly to connect seventh-graders with their peers across the country, to enable students to do online research and to enhance communication between home and school in a rural district that includes students from several towns.
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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