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Apps: NetWare, Exhibit...
CDML to LDML Converter from Blue World (preview release) provides the means for FileMaker Web developers to migrate solutions built upon CDML to LDML (Lasso Dynamic Markup Language). The CDML to LDML Converter operates within Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Adobe GoLive CS on Mac OS X. [Download - e-mail Blue World beta team]
NetWare Client 1.2.1 for Mac OS X from Prosoft Engineering is a maintenance update to the $150 server software. The new version adds these new features: support for files larger than 4GB on servers that are running NetWare 6 SP3; NCP packet signing for enhanced security; directory mount-root support; Filesystem ACL support; and more. [Download - 2.1MB]
Exhibit 3.1 is a update to the $15 Web gallery creation tool for Mac OS X and Classic. The update includes bug fixes, and several enhanced features, including: faster image importing; better recognizes and removes non-image files; and bug fixes affecting multi-page HTML generation and saving. [Download - OS X, Classic]
Fink 0.7.0 and Fink 0.6.3 are updates to the developers' tool for Mac OS X 10.3, and OS X 10.2, respectively. Various improvements have been included in this release, including a package manager that is better able to handle 'exceptional situations,' and new binary versions of many previously unavailable packages. [Download - New Install, Update]
Frequency 2.0 is a major upgrade to the $20 program for easily updating weblogs. Frequency reduces the time it takes to update weblogs by eliminating the need to access a Web-based update system. The new version adds the much-requested ability to manage multiple weblogs simultaneously. [Download - 2.0MB]
spellXbuilder allows users to create custom spelling lists to test on at a desired pace. spellXbuilder uses the Mac's built-in voice capabilities to dictate the tests. [Download - 179KB]
EasyWMA allows users to convert WMA audio files to MP3 to enable Mac users to play songs in iTunes or any other non-WMA player. EasyWMA has a very simple user interface, full drag and drop support, and can do batch processing. [Download - 1.2MB]
Mellel 1.7.5 ($30) is a major update to the advanced multilingual word processor. The updated version offers extensive RTF import and export support, .doc import and export, bulleted and numbered lists, and GUI enhancements. [Download - 2.4MB]
Maine laptop program
Educators, businesses, students, and parents in Maine have formed a coalition to defend Maine's pioneering iBook laptop program as a necessity. "By any measure, the Maine laptop program is a success story," David Brenerman, board chairman of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and father of a seventh grader, told the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs. Supporters want the program extended from the 7th and 8th grades to all four high school grades. "I can't imagine going to school and not having a laptop," a seventh grader at Moore Middle School in Portland said.
Matrix Rebooted Icons
The Iconfactory today released its Matrix Rebooted Icons, an icon collection it says is to "celebrate the North American DVD release of Matrix Revolution. Matrix Rebooted is a grand tribute to the movie trilogy from the Wachowski brothers and contains over 90 individual icons that can be used as a complete system replacement set for Mac desktops. CandyBar users will be happy to learn that Matrix Rebooted comes complete as a CB iContainer that can replace all of your system icons in a single click and even contains alternate versions so CandyBar uses can mix and match to their heart's content." It has also posted two desktop pictures to "complete your Mac's Matrix makeover."
Secrets of the iPod
"Secrets of the iPod, Fourth Edition" is the latest edition of Peachpit's $20 guide to the iPod by Christopher Breen. It offers tips and tricks for Mac and Windows users on "how to get the most out of your iPod and iPod mini." In addition to the secton on the iPod^s all-touch interface and on-the-go play lists, readers will also find hints for accessorizing and protecting an iPod, tips on maximizing its storage capabilities, and troubleshooting advice for when it refuses to cooperate.
Beatles case remains in UK
Apple on Tuesday lost a bid to have its legal case brought by the Beatles' management company moved from Britain to the United States according Reuters: "The California computer maker has been embroiled in a trademark dispute since September with the similarly named London-based Apple Corps., the company formed in 1968 to manage the band's business interests and act as its music label. Apple Corps. took the computer maker to court, accusing Apple Computer of violating a 1991 agreement specifying that it could use the Apple trademark for computer products only. The Beatles management said Apple Computer broke the agreement when it used the logo and trademark to promote its iTunes online music store"
TRON 2.0 for Mac OS X
MacPlay and Buena Vista Interactive today announced plans to release TRON 2.0 for the Mac in May 2004. Developed by Monolith Productions, TRON 2.0 is described as an action-packed story-driven title inspired by TRON, the groundbreaking science-fiction motion picture. "TRON 2.0 takes place in present day, two decades after the events of the film. Gamers are digitized into cyberspace to battle corruption both inside and outside of the computer world, while exploring locations including the Internet Hub, Firewall, Corrupted Server and Light Cycle Game Grid. In addition to the single-player experience, TRON 2.0 offers team-based multiplayer levels that allow up to 16 players to compete simultaneously." It will be available for Mac OS X in May for $50.
Evening tech news: Dell will begin selling database software from Oracle that has been pre-loaded onto its computer servers, an offer aimed at small and medium-sized businesses; the World Wide Web is just about 15 years old, but already it is showing signs of wear as growing demand for Internet addresses and everyday functionality challenge the limits of the technology behind the Web; the proliferation of cell phones is having potentially dangerous consequences for U.S. firefighters and police officers, who in some places can't use their radios to call for help because of interference from cell signals.
PrintFab printer driver
ZEDOnet GmbH has released PrintFab (€70), a new printer driver suite that features RIP functionality, a CMYK proof mode for prepress, and new "dynamic" PrintFab color profiles, which offer full control over color mixture and ink consumption on any kind of paper, offering "more realistic, more colorful and brilliant photos than economy mode." ZEDOnet says that the intelligent ink saving system reduces ink consumption by 25-50% without a noticeable loss in print quality; it additionally offers a color profiling service for creating profiles specifically for specific printer, paper and ink combinatinos (€20 per color profile). PrintFab runs on Mac OS X 10.2; a 30-day demo is available.
Apple prices too high?
Dell CEO Michael Dell says that Apple has priced itself out of the mainstream market, according to an interview published by USAToday: "What about the resurgence of Apple (AAPL)? Steve Jobs says he sells the Mercedes of the computer business while you sell the Taurus. If you go look at where jet engines are designed, for example, you might be curious to note that more than half are designed on Dell computers. What Apple has done is build the Bang & Olufsen of the computer industry -- very nice products, but they've priced themselves out of the mainstream market."
Ilexsoft today released HighDesign 1.2, an update to the 2D CAD and illustration program with a streamlined interface and advanced tools. Version 1.2 includes a re-designed Text tool, a new Angular Dimension tool, support for the 'click-drag' drawing mode, support for Unicode text encoding, new symbol libraries, and an improved Sheets tool. It also introduces French and British English localizations of the interface and dozens of enhancements for improved performance and stability. Standard ($150) and Professional ($350) editions are available.
Memorex Ext. Dual-DVD
Memorex today announced the Memorex True 8X External Dual Format DVD Recorder. It offers a stylish silver and black design and "true 8X speed without overburning"--with support for both DVD+R and DVD-R discs. The True 8X External drive also writes to CD-R discs at 32X; rewrites DVD+RW discs at 4X, DVD-RW discs at 4X and CD-RW discs at 24X; and reads DVD-ROM at 12X and CD-ROM at 40X speeds. It offers both USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394a FireWire interfaces (along with cables for each) as well as a headphone jack and volume control on the front of the drive. It will ship later this month for $230, while the internal version is available now for $200.
New AAPL coverage, high
Schwab has begun coverage of Apple Computer with a "neutral" rating, according to CBSMarketWatch.com, while The Montley Fool says that Apple's stock price "has gotten ahead of itself. Despite a weak computer market, Apple shares have surged almost 30% in the past three months. At 37 times 2004 earnings and 30 times 2005, Apple looks pricey. Even if it pulls off a 20% earnings growth over the next three years, that still puts it trading at a generous PEG of 1.6. If iPod runs out of steam, Apple's earnings will most likely decline. Further, the stock trades at a 50% premium to Dell, which itself trades on a rich multiple." Meanwhile, PC Pro notes that Apple's stock reached another 52-week high yesterday, closing at $28.32.
j2 Global Communications today announced a new, enhanced version of its Messenger desktop-communications software application for Mac OS X. Subscribers of eFax, eFax Corporate and jConnect can receive and send faxes securely from their Mac desktop using Messenger's new Direct Send feature, which simplifies the desktop faxing process. Subscribers can also fax directly from the Apple Print Dialog window in most applications. It also offers a wide selection of cover sheet templates, an integrated address book for storing/organizing recipient information, and convenient access the 50 most recently used fax numbers. Both eFax Messenger and j2 Messenger are available.
Yarra Valley Software has released iMagine Video, an image processing tool for Mac OS X, which enables users to automate their workflow for importing movies and drawing movie frames, creating movies and adding movie frames using AppleScript. iMagine Video includes all the image file processing, and 2D drawing functionality of iMagine Photo, adding imaging and drawing functionality to AppleScript and providing numerous drawing commands, movie import functions, image export, movie creation, and image manipulation and processing commands. It is available for $54 (33% discount) through April 22.
IGG Software has released iWork 2.1, an update to its time-billing and project management application that integrates with iCal and Address Book. Version 2.1 offers an overview all client projects, built-in menu bar searching, customizable textual reports, improved invoicing, and more. IGG also updated iWork Server 1.1, its application that allows users to collaborate on projects or who need to work from multiple networked computers using Rendezvous. iWork 2.1 is available for $30 or as a $15 upgrade from v1.x. iWork Server with two iWork Clients is $75. [iWork, iWork Server]
Microsoft Office 2004
Microsoft today announced that in eight days, Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac will be released to manufacturers for production. The new productivity suite is available for pre-order today, from the Apple Store online, Amazon.com, MacConnection, MacMall and MacZone. It will ship by the third week of May, according to Microsoft. "Customer feedback on early versions of Office 2004 for Mac has been overwhelmingly positive; we are really excited to get it out the door and into the hands of our customers," said Roz Ho, general manager for the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft. The new version includes charting improvements in Excel 2004, smart buttons in Word and Excel 2004, new design templates, 'Save As Picture' in Office, and 'Soft Shadows' in Office.
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