Copyright © 2015
In Brief: Adobe is performing a user survey for FrameMaker, which indicates that the company may be considering further development for Mac OS X (after saying that it had no future plans for the product in January 2004).... Lowry Digital Images has used 600 networked Power Mac G5 computers to help digital restore new DVD versions of George Lucas' Star Wars films, which arrive Sept. 21 in a four-disc $70 box set.... Eric Tremblay of MacDev.ca is offering an "Introduction to Mac OS X Programming: Cocoa Workshop" on Oct. 23-24 in Biloxi, Mississippi.... Creative, second to Apple in MP3 market share, is looking to grow its 16.4 percent marketshare by boosting product lines and creating higher-capacity MP3 players.
Aquatint 1.1 ($15) helps users create images that go with Apple's Aqua user interface appearance, allowing non-artists to quickly produce your own custom Aqua icons and images. It supports transparency, shadows, and more. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [272KB] Barres II.0.0 ($30) is a major update to the barcode creation application that can generated UPC (12 digits), EAN13 (13 digits), and SCC14 (14 digits) as well as the JAN13 and ISBN-EAN formats. It is now "Carbonized" for native Mac OS X support and adds support for epsf (encapsuled PostScript), barcode scaling, and more. [648KB] VueScan 8.0.14 ($60) helps users easily produce better looking digital images from color snapshots, negatives, slides and documents. The update adds support for Epson 2480/2580, for 43 additional models of HP OfficeJet/PSC multi-function devices, and for the Plustek OpticFilm 7200 and Microtek i900 scanners; it also improves automatic White Balance. [2.0MB] BackTrack 1.2 ($15) brings Mac users a new level of safety by logging all text (except passwords) that is typed onto all windows in all applications. It creates a new log file for each day, tracking the application name, the window name, the date & time, and what you typed. It adds password protection, log file encryption, HTML-based logs, custom log file names, and optional automatic log-file purging. [877KB] Open Tuning 1.1 ($10) is a MIDI utility for Mac OS X offering to create MIDI and MIDI-based polyphonic instrument players (guitarist, bassist, violinist, etc) and the ability to play and explore an unlimited number of virtual open tunings without the need to retune the instrument each time. [2.4MB] CopyPaste-X 2.0.3 updates the popular multiple clipboard utility for Mac OS X. It offers multiple clipboards, popular text manipulation commands, the ability to save and browse previous clipboard contents, spell checking, calculator, broad file format support, contextual menus, and much more. It adds a new German dictionary, extends the English dictionary, and fixes several bugs. [6.9MB]
Macweb.co today released iApp Server 1.0 Beta for FileMaker Pro 7. The new application server middleware tool installs as an Apache 1.3 module on Mac OS X, enabling custom web publishing with FileMaker Pro 7 client. It can be used to quickly and easily build dynamic, database-driven web sites with support for relational and portal fields; browsing, sorting, creating and editing database records; and running ScriptMaker scripts. iApp Server supports easy-to-use HTML template files as a native file format. Server-Side Rendering (SSR) is the dynamic, server-side rewrite of HTML form elements given backend database or variable data, while 'Saved Actions' make it very easy to build and maintain dynamic, database-driven web sites with FileMaker Pro 7. It will be available for $500, with a plug-in version for 4D WebSTAR V expected soon.
Lexmark today announced that nearly 40,000 of its printers are eligible for recall, after determining that they may pose an electrical shock hazard. Though Lexmark says it has not received any reports of incidents or injuries involving these printers, it says that through its internal reliability testing Lexmark, it has identified a potential safety issue in one printer after the equivalent of several years of normal usage. "In the unlikely event of a multiple component failure, the printer could present an electrical shock hazard if it is connected to an ungrounded power source." Lexmark is conducting a voluntary recall of the E230, E232, E232t, E330, E332, E332n, or E332tn models.
Apple's latest computer is as cool and sleek as its best-selling music player, according to TIME magazine: "The best way to describe Apple's iMac G5 is to say it looks like an iPod on growth hormones. It's what you'd get if you stretched the pocket-size music player until it was 17 in. wide and 2 in. deep, squished a supercomputer into the casing and mounted the whole thing on a metal stand. The resemblance is not coincidental. More people buy iPods than iMacs these days, and Apple admits that this third-generation iMac is its best shot at luring millions of iPod owners further into Mac world — and inching up its current 3% share of the Windows-dominated market."
In Brief: The UK magazine Stuff is giving away a £10 iTunes Music Store certificate along with a new subscription (website not updated, but offer included in October issue).... Extensis has announced its new professional services and training group - Extensis Integration and Consulting Services, which offers customizable services to integrate Extensis' management solutions.... MacBUS will host DV professional Lisa Rysinger, who will be presenting select topics from her new book Exploring Digital Video on Tuesday, September 28.... NewTek will work with H2MW to collaborate in the management, further development and support of LScript, LightWave 3D's powerful scripting language.
Totem 1.0 is a new cross-platform application that utilizes a PC and web-cam or video camera deliver an efficient system for conducting interviews and creating multimedia biographies. The software enables many people to share the same computer and record video, audio and image files directly to it. It offers a password-protected account to multiple users, allowing the system to be easily administrated. "Organizing collected information is simple. Once recorded, video, audio, image and files can be edited and described with keywords making them easy to search and sort. When it comes time to share, entire collections or individual files can be distributed along with Totem’s free media player." The $60 application runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
Following reports of further delays in Apple's high-end 30-inch Cinema Display, The IT Inquirer says that the delays are due to NVidia's inability to produce the high-end graphics card needed to power the large-format display. "Since it's running at such a huge resolution, 2560x1600, the display requires a dedicated graphics card - the GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL card, with dual DVI outputs to connect to the same screen. Unfortunately, it seems, Nvidia just can't produce these. Our sources told us that whilst Apple is raring to go, Nvidia hasn't got the cards working yet. With 6800 Ultras in short supply on the PC, and the marketing machine telling everyone to buy 6800GTs..."
Aspyr Media today announced it will publish Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword for Macintosh. Due later this year, Ubisoft's title is under development at i5Works. Athena Sword "takes the elite, multinational squad of counter-terrorist operatives to the exotic Mediterranean. Continuing the story from Raven Shield, Tom Clancy's popular series brings Team Rainbow back into action in Athena Sword." Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Athena Sword is projected to ship in October. It is available for pre-order now. (System requirements are not noted).
HistoryHound 1.6 ($20) updates the system utility for indexing and searching web pages that you've bookmarked or visited recently. Version 1.6 adds support for Firefox, Camino and Mozilla as well as indexing speed improvements of up to 100%. It is localized for English, French, and Danish-speaking Mac OS X users. [1.9MB] fennel DVDManager v1.0 (donationware) helps "manage the workflow of DVDs (and not to build an extensive, highly-detailed database of your DVD library.) Simple, yet efficient, really lightweight, speedy, 'free', perfect Aqua Guidelines compliance for a clean+intuitive interface, massive adoption of Mac OS X technologies, localized in 9 languages, etc." [432KB] Echelon 1.0 ($20) is a video conversion application to create different types of mpg files ready for DVD/SVCD/VCD/DVD Studio Pro. It offer support for QuickTime, MPEG1, MPEG2, DivX, 3ivX as well as offers live previews while processing, queue list encoding (for batch file processing), and standard conversion from NTSC to PAL and PAL to NTSC. [1.6MB] EarthDesk 2.7 ($20) is a free update to the dynamic desktop map application. EarthDesk replaces your static desktop picture with an animated, realtime rendered image of the Earth. It supports eleven different map projections, political and satellite views, and renders accurate sun, moon and city lighting. Version 2.7 includes the option to place the South Pole at the top of the map. [4.1MB] IP in menubar v2.1 (free) is a utility to display the current IP in the menubar near the clock. It adds router support using a config file, a command to manually update the IP display, and more. It requires Mac OS X 10.2 and includes the full source-code. [840KB] MP3 ID3X 3.01 ($18) help users easily manipulate 'ID3 tag' information in MP3 music files. It supports most major tag formats, tagging by file or group of files and featuring useful batch functions. The update adds Unicode compatibility, user-configurable search strings, additional tag fields, and support for downloading lyrics from the Web. [1.9MB]
Imaginova will begin shipping Starry Night Pro 5.0, an upgrade to its versatile astronomy software, tomorrow. The new version integrates the SkyCalendar with observation planner and logs, features a PGC catalog with 980,000 galaxies, a new high-precision satellite tracking feature, over 100 new multimedia tours, and more. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3. The company is currently taking pre-orders for the $150 software, which includes free shipping.
Marathon Computer has announced a new 12U enclosed equipment rack designed for office workgroups or machine rooms. Marathon's new 12U rack enclosure "is deep enough for Apple's Xserve, with adjustable-depth support rails. The cabinet is short enough to fit under most countertops, yet still allows two G5 Power Macs to fit standing upright. The smoked glass front door allows quick and easy visual check of status lights, and locks down to control access to servers." The case features flow-through ventilation (top/bottom and front/back) using built-in fans and removable bottom panels for cable management. Side panels can be removed for easy installation as well as locked for extra security. It is available now for $700.
UK game publisher Phelios has released Bounce Around, a new puzzle game for Mac OS X 10.2 or later: "The Tennisball family has been kidnapped by the Insect Army. You got away. You, Yello Tennisball, have to find them! What will you do? Go inside each door, use your creative thinking to solve all puzzles and break through the necessary tiles to explore different rooms to look for your family! Earn magic stars to pass through the star passages and more..." The game is available for $20.
Vodafone UK has begun offering Mac OS X drivers for its 3G Mobile Connect Card, moble PowerBook users with a PC card slot can connect to the Internet at near broadband speeds--up to 384kbps--. The Register reports that the "Vodafone 3G Mobile Connect CardVodafone's 3G card is made by Belgian data card specialist Option, which has had Mac OS X drivers in the pipeline for some time, along with Linux code. Since Option currently offers its 3G cards only through network operators, such as Vodafone, it only makes said drivers available through those partners - and even then, they have to ask for them." The report says that Orange and T-Mobile both offer similar cards, but neither ship with Mac OS X drivers.
Sony unveiled Monday the HDR-FX1 Handycam camcorder, the world's first HDV 1080i camcorder. The HDR-FX1 features Sony's newest three-chip, one-megapixel Super HAD CCDs that include an on-chip micro-lens on top of the CCD sensor that increases the light focusing rate for focusing on the fly. The camcorder utilizes MPEG-2 compression, records to standard DV tapes, features a 12x optical zoom, and 3.5-inch SwivelScreen LCD. The camcorder will ship in November for about $3,700. Sony also plans to introduce new HD DVC videotapes, optimized for 1080i recording, which will sell for $18 per cassette. [Site not updated; AP story]
Konica Minolta today debuted its magicolor 5430 color laser printer. Built on the latest in single-pass color laser technology, the magicolor 5430 DL offers 21 ppm print speeds in both black-&-white and full color for under $1000 (estimated street price). It offers three resolution settings up to 2400 x 600 dpi, includes 64MB of RAM (upt to 576MB), includes a 250-sheet cassette with support for 8.5" x 11" media, and accepts up to two additional 500-sheet input cassettes (upp to legal size). The magicolor 5430 DL is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X 10.2 or later, offers automatic ICC color profile support, and is equipped with both a 10/100BaseTX Ethernet and hi-speed USB 2.0. An optional automatic duplexer ($400) is also available.
Agfa Monotype today announced that it has added more than 250 products to Fonts.com. Collections from Tolstrup Pryds (roughly drawn handwriting), Typeco (stenciled design), Jonathan Macagba, Elemeno (handwritten script styles), Selis (fonts for health, risk and safety), Wiescher Design (calligraphic design) and Altered Ego (display typefaces and ornament fonts) can be viewed and purchased online starting at $22.
WinSwitch 2.0 is a major upgrade to the replacement for Apple's Fast User Switching menu; it adds the ability to auto-launch applications, scripts or documents when switching to or from other user accounts, and two new options for menu bar display (first name or initials) and other enhancements. [337KB] GB Steptime 1.0 ($15) is a Step Time Sequencer designed for users of GarageBand who wish to create MIDI note information for inclusion within a GarageBand project. The application requires no special knowledge of musical notation, offering an efficient drag & drop support for MIDI information between GB Steptime and GarageBand. [156KB] DoThisNow 1.4 ($20) is a free update to the action/script scheduling software, adding a new system-wide menu for running any configured action as well as two new actions. DoThisNow allows you to run a wide variety of customizable actions through a custom keystroke, menu item, or designated schedule. [3.1MB] iGet 1.1 ($25) updates the file transfer software with an enhanced connection dialog and other improvementts. iGet integrates with Keychain, uses Rendezvous, and securely transfers files using SSH. With the "zero-setup" feature, the user can connect to any Mac OS X 10.3 machine (with or without software installed on the remote machine). [2.9KB] CPLAT II ($50) is a complete redesign and modernization of the original CPLAT cross-platform framework. The modern C++ framework using policies and STL for development of C++ application that will run under Mac OS and/or Windows. It uses the native OS controls on the underlying platform. The package includes complete source code, projects and documentation for all demos, tools and framework. [5.2MB] DomainTracker 2.0 ($20) is new application for organizing domains. It offers integrated research tools, and whois-powered autofill, like live search, groups, smart groups, and iCal integration and integration with Dictionary.com thesaurus to generate website possible alternatives. It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [187KB]
Miglia Technology today announced DualDisk, a new high-capacity, high-performance series of FireWire 800 storage solutions. Using a specially designed Miglia Catalyst architecture, DualDisk features hardware-level support for RAID 0 (striping) and data transfer speeds of up to 88MB/sec. It integrates two hard drives in an ultra-slim aluminium enclosure and offers an advanced DCS cooling and more. It is available in sizes from 320GB (€334) to 500GB (€526) and ships with an auto-switching power supply and FireWire 800 cable. It requires Mac OS X 10.2.5 for FireWire 800 support, but also runs in FireWire 400 mode when used with older operating systems.
OpenOSX today released OpenOSX Office 1.5 for Mac OS X, an easy-to-use solution for configuring, installing and utilizing the proven open-source "GNOME Office" productivity software. The update delivers enhanced integration with Mac OS X, completely new and updated software, improved installation along with additional features and enhancements. The software installs all relevant libraries and offers preferred web browser support, Print Center support, linkable files and for the first time, an all new "OpenOSX Office" cocoa application that enables system-wide recognition of supported file types including Microsoft Word and Excel documents. It is available now for $40 (CD) or $30 (electronic delivery). Upgrades start at $15.
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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