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FastScripts 2.1 ($15) is an update to the utility for executing scripts on your Mac. Major new features include: application-specific keyboard shortcuts, improved script error dialogs, redesigned preferences dialog, and AppleScript language updates. [Download - 386KB]
FlexoStep ($300) is step and repeat software for use in Adobe's Illustrator and Macromedia's Freehand. Users create custom die configurations and completely automate the task of stepping, repeating, distorting, and adding printer's marks and job info. [Download - options]
Advanced Web Ranking 3.5 ($150) is a tool that helps check a Web site's position on all major search engines. This version features the ability to display all the active scheduled tasks, suggest keywords using the Google Suggest service and the ability to zoom in and out in the Rank Evolution charts. [Download - 7.5MB]
Creative Manager Pro 7.4.5 ($175/month) is the latest version of the Web-based integrated project management software and job tracking solution for advertising agencies. The update adds features for calculating project milestone dates using the projects end date and upgraded support for the security enhancements in Apple's new Mac OS X v10.3.7 and iCal 1.5.5, among other upgrades. [Download - form]
Adium X 0.73 is an update to the alternative instant messaging client for AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and more. The update fixes several crashes, resolves a couple long standing problems with away messages on various protocols, and significantly improves MSN connectivity. [Download - 4.7MB]
Briefly: Mac gifts
In Brief: Two Mac-using parents get creative with their children's Christmas gifts.... Another family celebrates christmas with a creative Mac-inspired Quilt.... A MacNN reader reports that the Citibank iPod promotion is only available to new customers and current or former customers are not eligible.
skEdit 3.5 adds SFTP
Sean Kelly has released skEdit 3.5, an update to the web-development text editor for Mac OS 10.2 or later. Version 3.5 adds integrated SFTP support, offering standard SFTP operations (e.g., uploading, downloading, and managing files) as well as editing of files on a remote server--directly and securely through the familiar skEdit interface. Other new features include line numbers that work with line wrapping, a "show invisibles" feature, performance and stability improvements, faster syntax highlighting, improved localizations, and more. It costs $20; a 25-day demo is available online.
Graphic Calculator story
Ron Avitzur has published the story behind Graphic Calculator, the popular Mac OS X application bundled on classic Mac computers. Avitzur apparently developed most of the application for free after his contract expired at Apple in the early/mid 90s. The bundled application was created by two non-paid ex-Apple contracts sneaking onto campus and receiving support from dozens of other Apple employees--both officially and non-officially: "I view the events as an experiment in subverting power structures. I had none of the traditional power over others that is inherent to the structure of corporations and bureaucracies. I had neither budget nor headcount. I answered to no one, and no one had to do anything I asked. Dozens of people collaborated spontaneously, motivated by loyalty, friendship, or the love of craftsmanship. We were hackers, creating something for the sheer joy of making it work."
More kudos for Jobs
Steve Jobs has been named The Sunday Times Business Person of 2004: "IT is not often that a company boss gets to bathe in the success of a product that is a smash hit with consumers. It is rarer still for that product to be genuinely important, transforming not just the company that designed it but the face of an industry. It is even more remarkable for one chief executive to enjoy this level of success, not at one company, but at two quite different businesses in the same year. And to accomplish all this while undergoing treatment for cancer -- well, that's just incredible." Others considered include the Google co-founders, Roger de Haan (sold Saga travel and insurance group), Lakshmi Mittal (steel magnate), and Sir Terry Leahy (CEO of Tesco).
iPod-compatible car DVD
Japanese company Clarion will begin selling a car audio and video system in Japan next year, which will be compatible with Apple's iPod portable music player, according to The Mercury News: "Clarion said earlier it will also release an iPod-compatible car DVD player in the United States in January. Users can connect an iPod to the system and select songs and artists by touching the seven-inch monitor. Clarion will introduce the iPod-compatible car equipment in Europe by the middle of 2005 and also plans to manufacture the parts for automakers on an original-equipment-manufacturer basis. Apple Computer declined to comment on the deal because it does not have a business alliance with Clarion for the product."
Maya NURBS Modeling DVD
Dover Studios has released Maya NURBS Modeling DVD, the first title in its MacVFX Training Series. The Maya NURBS Modeling DVD provides an introduction to NURBS Modeling in Maya on Mac OS X, offering step-by-step lessons for on Maya's powerful modeling tools as wella s numerous tips for efficient modeling. Lessons include: how to keep objects organized using the layer editor and how to create accurate scale models using reference images. Each of the modeling techniques are then utilized in the final exercise, creating a traditional kerosene lantern using NURBS curves and surfaces. It is available for $50 along with free shipping through the end of 2004.
Apple reseller lawsuit
New counsel and new plaintiffs have been added in the reseller lawsuit against Apple that claims the company driving them out of business by opening its own chain of retail stores, according to Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. The report sasy that new attorneys with a background in franchisee litigation have been hired and that a fifth plaintiff has also joined the case on the invitation of the original plaintiffs. "The dealers, called Apple resellers, accuse Apple Computer of breach of contract, unfair competition, intentional interference with economic advantage and other offenses. The new lead counsel is David Franklin, of San Diego, who litigated a similar suit in the early 1980s against the company that issued FotoMat franchises. Another San Diego attorney and one from Tennessee also have joined the case. They replace Marcus Merchasin, of San Francisco, who filed the original lawsuit in 2003."
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