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FileMaker JDBC Update
FileMaker has released a new JDBC Update for Mac OS X for use with FileMaker Pro 7, Developer 7 and Server 7 Advanced. This update includes the much anticipated xDBC plug-in and JDBC Client Driver for Mac OS X, previously available only on Windows operating systems. The software gives Mac users the ability to use FileMaker products as a JDBC data source for sharing information with a wide range of Mac desktop, database or Web applications. FileMaker Server 7 Advanced customers can also share information with Windows based ODBC or JDBC applications due to the remote connectivity options provided by the xDBC plug-in.
Xsan shipping delays
Apple said today that it will miss the deadline for shipping its Xsan storage management software, according to CNET News.com. The $1,000 product, which serves as a file system for storage gear, was scheduled to launch by Monday, the last day of autumn, but has been held back. "Xsan will not ship this year; it will ship early next year," Apple said. The company would not say what caused the delay. The product is designed to further Apple's position in the clustering market. Xsan allows multiple computers to concurrently access terabytes worth of storage housed on Xserve RAID disks, Apple's rack-mounted storage system.
Christmas Coding Campaign
Runtime Revolution and Rivertext software have announced a new initiative to make selected source code of If Monks Had Macs available to Dreamcard and Revolution programmers. If Monks Had Macs has been available since 1988 and "has been described as one of the most innovative, fun, stimulating and rich multimedia experiences available for Macintosh and Windows today. If Monks had Macs is a hearty stew of interactive books, games, art, music and more. It houses 24 volumes of interactive media in 4 collections, which combine stunning graphics with rich content, making it much more than just a source of information." According to Runtime and Rivertext, "by sharing the inside secrets of If Monks Had Macs, Dreamcard and Revolution developers will be able to gain from sixteen years of product development experience." Additionally, anyone who purchases Dreamcard download edition for $100 before January 19th will receive If Monks Had Macs free.
Ambrosia WireTap Pro
Ambrosia Software has announced the release of WireTap Pro, a digital recording utillity that enables users to record any audio playing on a Mac. WireTap Pro can save digital recordings in mp3, AAC, QuickTime, and AIFF file formats. WireTap Pro can also save recordings directly into iTunes, or onto an iPod or other iTunes-compatible mp3 player. "WireTap Pro's simple but powerful interface allows you to record audio from any running applications, as well as from any microphone, line-in, headset, and even your radioSHARK." WireTap Pro costs $20, and a free trial version is available.
iBook repairs extended
Apple has again extended its iBook Logic Board Replacement program, which now runs until March 18, 2005. The program, first announced in January 2004, covers repair or replacement of the logic board in specific iBook models manufactured between May 2002 and April 2003 that are experiencing specific component failures affecting built-in and attached external displays. It was extended once in late April, and again in mid June.
AP Express, Extreme update
Apple has released AirPort Express 6.1.1 and AirPort Extreme 5.5.1 for download. The AirPort Express update improves hard reset behavior, offers better reliability of WDS networks when using WPA security, and resolves issue with inbound passive FTP, and with certain printers. The AirPort Extreme update also improves hard reset behavior, in addition to resolving a potential problem with PPPoE configurations, improving reliability of WDS networks, and more.
SafariSnapshotter 1.0 ($7) is a utility that enables users to save the state of Safari windows. It keeps track of the time and date the snapshot was taken and preserves the tab order and the number of windows opened in Safari. The "snapshot" is also transferable to other computers. [Download - 1.6MB]
SetiLogger X 1.0 (free/donationware) is an add-on for the popular seti@home BOINC application. SetiLogger X tracks your seti@home work units in a log format as well as in a sky map. It also lets the user know the progress of the current workunit, and can connect to personal stats on the seti@home Web site. [Download - 124KB]
SuperTIFF 1.0 (free) is an Adobe After Effects plug-in for professional computer artists. Using SuperTIFF together with eLin (a plug-in set from visual effects facility The Orphanage), users of Maya and other high-end 3D packages "can finally bring their HDR renders into After Effects without loss of dynamic range." [Download - 204KB]
Concierge 1.2.0 ($10) is an update to its drawer-based bookmark assistant for Safari. The new version includes Smart Folders, which automatically collect and display related links from your Safari bookmarks and history lists. [Download - 1.0MB]
DVDpedia 1.5.9 ($18) is a DVD cataloging application that lets users search three different Amazon sites and IMDB for information on movies. The newest update includes a cover image view, similar to the one in iPhoto, as well as direct export to the iPod and .Mac. [Download - 4.4MB]
Added: Bloxter 1.1.6 and Downfall 2.4.3 ($20/each) are updates to Norbyte's 3D falling-block games. Both updates implement improved physics and fix bugs, and the Bloxter update also improves menu navigation. [Download - Bloxter , Downfall]
Miglia offers HarmonyAudio
Miglia Technology today announced HarmonyAudio ($300), an external FireWire audio unit that allows users to record music instruments or take audio from any analog source straight into GarageBand, LogicAudio, LogicExpress or any other Core Audio application. HarmonyAudio is Oxford 970 powered, and requires no software driver installation and works straight out of the box with your guitar, bass, keyboard and microphone. It has two analogue line ins and eight analogue line outs, that enable you to "play your instrument straight through HarmonyAudio and out of your SRS 7.1 system."
Mag: eMac \'Worst Product\'
PC Magazine calls Apple's eMac computer the "Worst Product of the Year," in a highly critical year-end review of the "worst products" in ten categories. The magazine states: "for Apple, the entry-level eMac really does represent Think Different. That's because for a company that prides itself on quality, this computer is different. As in bad." The article complains about many aspects of the eMac: "On the plus side, it's stylish. On the downside, it's slow, underpowered, and pathetic. The 40GB hard drive will fill up quickly, the lack of a DVD burner makes offloading files impossible, and the Radeon 9200 graphics card won't even run this fall's hot Mac games. And at around $800, this eMac ain't cheap. If you're considering a home Apple, think different. Buy a Dell. Or be prepared to spend a lot more for an acceptable Apple computer."
iPod mini shortage
Canada's Globe and Mail reports a widespread iPod mini shortage in the country, due to high demand for the music player. "Getting your hands on one before Christmas is virtually impossible ... it is so popular that the diminutive, colourful digital-music player has joined Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo on the short list of gifts that have made marketing history by triggering a consumer frenzy and widespread shortages." On the last shopping weekend before Christmas Day, electronics retailers across Canada said they were sold out of iPod minis. "They're sold within an hour," said a clerk at a Vancouver electronics retailer. Even Apple does not have iPod minis on hand. "The best the computer company can promise is delivery by Dec. 31, and even that is unlikely."
CandyBar Plus bundle
Aspyr Media today shipped CandyBar Plus, a new utility pack for Mac OS X that allows users to customize the icons found in their system and application toolbars in addition to organizing and storing up to 1 million icons. CandyBar Plus includes CandyBar2, The Iconfactory's utility for changing Mac OS X icons, and Pixadex, a tool for storing and organizing icons. CandyBar Plus also comes with more than 1,000 icons. CandyBar 2 is a custom toolbar modification application designed for replacing standard icons. Pixadex, from Panic and The Iconfactory, lets users import, organize and search huge numbers of icons quickly and easily.
MacMice, a division of DVForge, announce today that its GarageKey USB-MIDI keyboard for Apple's GarageBand is now shipping. The GarageKey is a $120 MIDI keyboard designed specifically for Apple's GarageBand software. "The market seems focused on big, complicated music keyboards, when there are millions of newer Mac owners who have GarageBand installed as part of the iLife suite, and who would simply like a good-looking, small, simple keyboard," said Chuck Leonard, DVForge Executive Vice President. The GarageKey has a clear acrylic over white design that matches Apple's latest desktop gear, is small enough to fit on any desk, and includes a pair of small riser legs that permits sliding the Apple typing keyboard under the music keyboard, to further conserve desk space.
ice>Link for Mercedes
Dension Audio Systems on Friday introduced what it calls the "World's first" iPod integration system for Mercedes Benz ($400) cars with fiber optic audio interfaces. The ice>Link Plus for Mercedes kit enables owners of recent C-, E-, S-, CL-, CLK-, SL-, SLK-, ML- and G-series models to connect an iPod to the vehicle's audio system. The new ice>Link Plus platform, launched in November, has dual mode operation, utilizes the iPod as an auxiliary vehicle display surface and is 'future-proof' with upgradeable firmware and a modular design. ice>Link is available for many other brands also, including Audi, Acura, BMW, Jaguar, Porsche, Saab, and Volvo, as well as many other Ford, Volkswagen, and GM cars.
Graphing Calculator OS X
Pacific Tech has released a beta version of Graphing Calculator 1.4 for Mac OS X. The application is a Mac OS X adaptation of the free Graphing Calculator that Apple bundled on all Classic Mac OS machines since the introduction of the Power Mac in 1994. Graphing Calculator is a tool for quickly visualizing math. Graphing Calculator is also offered as a commercial product, with more features and complex functions. It cost $60 for educational use and $100 for other uses.
Xupport, Game Agent...
URL Manager Pro 3.4 ($25) is an update to the professional bookmark manager for Safari, Explorer, OmniWeb , Mozilla, Netscape, iCab, Camino and Firefox. The latest version adds support for notes of up to 64KB, an 'Open in Tabs' option, iDisk integration, Bookmark files extensions, and support for the Shiira Web browser. [Download - 5.2MB]
Xupport 2.3 ($20) is a graphical user interface to configure many hidden Mac OS X and Unix options to maintain, optimize, backup, clean, hack, enhance and secure Mac OS X. The latest update adds a new settings tab to install additional shared directories, and other minor revisions. [Download - 1.6MB]
Aspyr Game Agent 1.0.1 (free) allows users to easily match their computer hardware with system requirements of various games. This version adds several updates, including detecting a broader range of video cards, fixing bugs on Macs with multiple video cards, and a new help system that answers many of users' most frequently asked questions about Game Agent. [Download - 685KB]
iDefrag 1.0 ($30) is a sophisticated disk defragmentation utility for Mac OS X with support for the most recent HFS+ features, including journaling, case sensitive filesystems and adaptive hot file clustering. iPartition 1.07 ($45) is the latest version of the Mac repartitioning utility, and now includes support for case sensitive filesystems as well as a free copy of iDefrag Lite. [Download - iPartition demo]
MacTheRipper 2.6 (free) is a DVD extractor allows users to copy their DVDs to their Mac's hard drive for private use, and defeats all known copy protections and region codings. Version 2.6 adds the ability to backup DVDs with the new ARccOS copy-protection, as well as the ability to copy DVDs with read errors caused by physical damage. [Download - 1.1MB]
iZoom 1.2 (free/donationware) is a utillity for resizing, cropping, and optimizing photos for viewing on iPod photo, weblogs, email, and mobile devices. Version 1.2 adds the ability to preview the exported file size to assist in choosing the correct export settings, and support for persistent export size presets via the iZoom Preference Pane. [Download - 233KB]
Sonic acquires Roxio SW
Sonic Solutions today announced the completion of its purchase of Roxio's consumer software division. Under the terms of the transaction, Sonic is acquiring substantially all the business and assets of the division, including all products, intellectual property, and trademarks, including the Roxio name. "More than 200 Roxio employees, based at several U.S. and international locations, will join Sonic. Roxio, Inc., which will retain the Napster division, has officially changed its name to Napster, Inc."
Seattle Times on iPod
"Some analysts suggest that Apple's core products -- its desktop and notebook computers -- could ride the coattails of the iPod's overwhelming success," writes Wendy Tanaka for the Seattle Times. However, she notes that some analysts see Apple's current stock as overvalued. "Likewise, several shoppers at the Apple store at a shopping mall in King of Prussia, Pa., doubted that the iPod's success would translate into broader Apple sales. They were there for the iPod, period, and had no intention of giving up their Microsoft Windows-based computers, which overshadow Apple's iMac and G5 computers in the marketplace."
TIME recognizes Jobs in 04
TIME magazine this weekend named Apple chief executive Steve Jobs one of its list of 'People Who Mattered' in 2004. A tribute blurb on the publication's website reads, "It was a year of challenge and triumph for the man behind the iPod, who learned he had a rare form of pancreatic cancer and had surgery to remove a tumor. Meanwhile, the two companies he heads, Pixar and Apple, saw their stocks soar, thanks to The Incredibles and iPod's little sis, the Mini. Appearing in public after his cancer ordeal, Jobs smiled and said, "I'm back." It was music to our earbuds."
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