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Forums roundup Apr 29
Topics on the MacNN forums (register here) today include: Disappointment with the new Power Mac G5 line, following a relatively small processor speed increase, ... General iPod discussion, troubleshooting, tips, and speculation, ... Several topics contain discussion of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which was officially released today, ... Speculation about iTunes 5, the next major revision of the music software, ... The latest Mac OS X interface customizations, ... Debate over Apple's original logo, ... Ongoing discussion of successor to Microsoft's Xbox gaming console.
Core Data in Tiger
Core Data is a new framework in Mac OS X Tiger that is designed as unified storage system to provide developers with a pre-built functionality for managing model objects, including persistent objects, according to eWEEK. "Using Core Data, developers can automatically give their applications automatic undo and redo, input validation and the ability to save data to SQL and XML for later retrieval, and even use SQLite as an embedded database engine. Previously, developers seeking to give their applications such functionalities would have to create the storage system, also called the data model, from scratch." Another article looks at Mac OS X Server Tiger, which "fully integrates" over 100 open-source projects as well as a secure instant messaging server, a mail gateway with spam and virus filtering, a Weblog server, and more.
In brief: One MacNN reader has posted photos of the grand opening of the Apple Store in Birmingham, UK, which opened on Friday--just in time for the release of Mac OS X Tiger.... Aspyr today said Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of World War II will be in stores nationwide by October 30th, ... Only one day remains in Aspyr's True Crime: Streets of LA "buy one get one free" promotion, ... Apple's Mac OS X "Tiger" operating system debuts this evening without support for Cisco Systems' VPN client, reports eWEEK, ... Splasm Software has released Dasher 1.0, a preference pane that automatically opens Mac OS X 10.4's Dashboard when the Mac has been idle for a certain amount of time, ... TidBITS Electronic Publishing today announced that four electronic books covering key aspects of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger will be available at 6:00 p.m., today, after the release of Tiger. [updated]
Laptop screen savers
MaxUpgrades today announced its iProtect Micro Screen Saver. Designed for PowerBooks and iBooks, the iProtect Micro Screen Savers provide protection against dust, scratches, grease and oil. It is made with ultrafine microfibers, which effectively protect and remove dust particles, grease and fingerprints as well as offer protection for laptop LCD Screen from keyboard and trackpad indentation caused by the keyboard keys. They have two different surfaces: soft vanquished surface (front surface) is designed for fine particle removal and dust cleaning. The rough and interlacing strands of the knitted surface (reverse side) is designed to clean fingerprints, grease and marks. Pricing ranges between $9 and $12, depending on model.
GUI scripting utilities
PreFab Software has released PreFab UI Actions 1.1 ($35), which brings many new features, an enhanced user interface, and now supports all of the new GUI Scripting and accessibility enhancements in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. UI Actions implements "universal attachability" for AppleScript, allowing users to attach an AppleScript script to a native Mac OS X application that will be triggered automatically every time the user performs the actions specified in the target application. PreFab UI Browser 1.4 ($55) also now supports Tiger, includes new UI elements, new attributes, and more. Dubbed the "ultimate assistant" for Apple's GUI Scripting and accessibility technologies, it helps you to explore, manipulate and monitor the user interface of most Mac OS X applications and can generate AppleScript statements to control even non-scriptable applications using GUI Scripting.
Phlink, DiskWarrior, ....
SOHO Labels & Envelopes 1.3 ($30) and SOHO Business Cards 1.3 ($30) offer an improved clip art browser, and brings Tiger compatibility. The application allows users to design and print professional labels, envelopes, and letterhead; it includes free Avery address & shipping labels, 13,000+ designer graphics, 50 Bitstreats fonts, and hundreds of ready-made designs.
Corel has introduced a new Corel Painter IX plugin that supports Spotlight. "With the new Painter IX Spotlight plugin, Corel Painter IX customers using Mac OS X Tiger can quickly search their Painter files (.RIFF) and find exactly what they're looking for within seconds. All text within a .RIFF file, as well as layer names, file information, and image width and height data are automatically indexed, giving users the power to search for files as fast as they can type." [1.0MB] Ovolab Phlink 2.1 ($150) updates the telephony software for the Mac. Version 2.1 of Ovolab Phlink features full support for Mac OS X Tiger with Dashboard widgets, Spotlight searches and Automator actions. Additionally, the free update sports a new smart list editor that is "similar in concept to smart folders in Tiger's new Finder." [5.2MB] iPod.iTunes 2.8 (30€) synchronizes tracks, playlist, song rating, dates and play counts from any iPod seamlessly into the iTunes music library. It checks which iPod tracks or playlists are not in the iTunes music library and only adds those seamlessly into the iTunes library. iPod.iTunes can also transfer song rating, date played and play count. Version 2.8 now supports Tiger. [245KB] DiskWarrior 3.0.3 ($100) will bring Tiger-compatibility to the popular disk repair utility. Due next week, the free update will support Tiger's new Access Control Lists (ACL) and extended file attributes as well as improved journaling support and enhanced RAID support, including the new concatenated RAID volumes. It will be available for purchase next week; upgrades from v1 or v2 are $40. VelaClock 1.0 ($10) is a world clock widget that provides local times, daylight hours and moon phase information for cities throughout the world. It displays an image of the moon (from the selected city) as well as the name of the current moon phase (and local times for the next and previous phase events). It leverages the public domain time zone database called "tz database" for both local and relative times. [1.0MB]
AssistiveWare today released SwitchXS 2.0, LayoutKitchen 1.0 and KeyStrokes 3.5.1. SwitchXS is a switch access solution that provides virtually complete access to Mac OS X and all standard Mac applications for people who cannot use a mouse or keyboard. It offers full mouse and keyboard emulation via a "scanning mode." Version 2.0 offers improved inverse/step scanning modes, AppleScript triggers, Tiger support, and more pre-built scan panels. LayoutKitchen provides an advanced layout editor to make custom scan panels for SwitchXS. The company's KeyStrokes is an on-screen keyboard that provides virtually complete access to Mac OS X and all standard Mac applications for people who cannot use a keyboard as well as delivers advanced PolyPredix multilingual word prediction that can be used with the on-screen keyboard, with the hardware keyboard and with SwitchXS 2.0.
Remote Desktop 2.2
Apple has released Remote Desktop 2.2, an update to its remote control and remote administration software for Mac OS X. Apple also released Remote Desktop Admin 2.2, the software component for administrators. Apple also released Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0 Release 1, which provides support for J2SE 5.0 on Mac OS X 10.4. This release does not replace the existing installation of J2SE 1.4.2. Following the release of QuickTime 7 for Mac OS X 10.3 ("Panther"), Apple has posted QuickTime 6.5.2 reinstaller, which will remove QuickTime 7 from a Mac OS X 10.3.9 system and restore QuickTime 6.5.2.
The Cobb County school board approved a final contract with Apple yesterday evening for what could become one of the nation's largest efforts to provide laptop computers to students, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "You've got to look at what works for kids," said board member Johnny Johnson, before joining a 5-2 vote in favor of the contract. "Give them a tool they know how to use much better than we do." The Cobb school district's more than 7,100 teachers may get their state-of-the-art Apple iBooks as soon as July. In the next few weeks, four high schools will be designated as pilot sites, where students will get iBooks sometime next school year. The first phase of the program also calls for upgrading middle school computer labs starting next fall. The Cobb program eventually could distribute 63,000 Apple iBook computers grades six through twelve.
Apple Family Packs
In Brief: Apple has launched a new Mac OS X software downloads site with featured applications, including the latest third-party Tiger software... The Apple Store is now offering .Mac memberships and iWork licenses in "Family Packs," ... iPods are cited for a rise in New York City's subway crime activity, ... iPod demand is outstripping supply in New Zealand, ... Aspyr Media today released four new maps for Battlefield 1942.
Synk Mortal Coil
Synk Audio today introduced Mortal Coil, a customizable stock music content package for Musicbed DV, its Mac OS X application for interactively customizing production music from the Synk Music Library. "Encoded for interactivity from over 1.4 GB of CD quality audio, Mortal Coil extends the thematic reach of the Synk Music Library's catalog of cinematic music beds with thousands of new customizable stock music variations." Mortal Coil is composed by Mike Dicillo, a new talent in the cinematic production music arena with work featured in leading production music libraries. Mortal Coil pricing ranges from $100 to $200. Synk Audio Studios is also offering a unique "Build Your Own Bundle" option through its online store.
Board picks Dell
In a major victory for Dell, Henrico County's School Board voted last night to distribute the PC maker's computers to every high school student and teacher next year, rather than renew its deal with Apple. Four years ago, Apple and Henrico struck a deal to give every middle and high school student a laptop. Apple, which submitted a bid to continue its high school contract with Henrico, still supplies the county's middle school students and teachers with laptops until next June. The board's vote gave Superintendent Fred Morton IV authority to move forward with a deal for 15,800 Dell laptops at a cost of $17.9 million over the next four years. Several selection committee members refused to answer questions about the decision until a news conference scheduled for later today at school district offices.
iPod component maker PortalPlayer yesterday reported earnings of $0.33 per share on $44.5 million, compared to Street estimates of $0.20 on $38.3 million. PortalPlayer supplies the MP3 decoder and controller chip for Apple's hard drive-based iPods. For the June quarter, the company guided $0.21 to $0.27 on $41.6 million to $47.6 million. Street estimates are $0.17 on $37.3 million. In the March quarter, more than 85 percent of PortalPlayer revenue was from sales to Apple. Investor research firm Piper Jaffary is currently modeling for hard drive iPod units of 3.3m in Q2, down from 3.5m in Q1.
Tiger shipments delayed
Many purchasers of Mac OS X 10.4 report that the expected arrival date for their shipments has been moved to May 2nd. The problem seems to be affecting customers who selected a shipping method other than a "next-day" service. Apple has assured some customers that their packages will arrive today, contrary to FedEx tracking information. Meanwhile, Apple has apologized to other customers and offered a $15 credit.
.Mac for Tiger
Apple has launched a revised version of the .Mac website to coincide with the release of Mac OS X Tiger. Now, users can sync passwords from Keychain and Mac OS X Mail accounts and settings Mac-to-Mac. Users can already sync contact information, calendars, and Safari bookmarks Mac-to-Mac and to .Mac for access from any Internet-connected computer. Users can now share Address Books over .Mac with family members and friends. .Mac members also get Tiger Dashboard widgets--mini-applications that make it easy to find and track online information and perform simple tasks. Tiger's Mail application also allows access to .Mac Mail aliases.
Apple has released QuickTime 7 for Mac OS X 10.3.9 "Panther." Highlights of the release include H.264 support, live player resizing, improved playback controls zero-configuration streaming, surround sound with up to 24 channels of audio, and more. The update is available via Software Update, or from Apple's website. Mac OS X 10.4 comes with QuickTime 7 pre-installed; a windows version is expected in the near future.
Intel on Apple lawsuit
Intel, Genentech and the Business Software Alliance filed court briefs in support of Apple this week. Apple wants to subpoena e-mail records from Mac site PowerPage, which the company says leaked confidential product information. The briefs, filed this week in a California appeals court, support a tentative ruling by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg. "Strong trade secret laws are vital to the health of California's high-technology business and to the economy of the nation as a whole," Intel and BSA stated in their joint brief. "There is no public interest in having such trade secrets stolen and plastered on the Internet for competitors and others to see." Recently, many news organizations have voiced their support for the Mac rumor sites named in the lawsuit.
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