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December, 1998 Archive

Headlines For Thursday, December 31st and January 1st

[1:06 PM]
Bungie Releases New Myth II Demo
Bungie has released a new version of the demo for its new game Myth II. Version 1.1 of the Myth II demo can now be downloaded from Bungie's web site. Bungie had pulled the original demo due to problems with the PC uninstaller that could crash a PC hard drive under certain circumstances. Read the Full Story for more information.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Column
The Name of the Game
"Commander Gary and Cadet Randy"
Narrator: As the New Year approaches, we find the Idiots in their secret underground cave, preparing for the challenges ahead. The Idiots are working furiously, to make sure that their columns for 1999 will be packed full of information and fun. Not that garbage they passed off last year, but top-notch pieces that will be the envy of columnists everywhere.

What mysteries lie ahead, dear readers? What amazing feats will our intrepid heroes perform this year for your reading entertainment? Will they be able to convince somebody that they actually do know what they are talking about?

Randy: Who the hell are you talking to?

Gary: Oh! Heh, heh, I didn't see you there, buddy… I was just, I was just… uh…nothing.

Read The Name of the Game

[12:06 PM]
Webby Awards To Start Voting At MacWorld Expo
The Webby Awards have announced that voting for The People's Choice Awards will begin at MacWorld Expo on January 6th. The Webby Awards are set up to honor those sites on the web that do an outstanding job and this year they have added a People's Voice Award category.

"This year as an attendee of MACWORLD Expo/San Francisco you can be one of the first to register and cast your ballot for the much anticipated Webby Awards' "People's Voice Awards." You can voice your opinion on the best of the best, and share it with the rest of the world. The top 110 sites of the year - the same sites that the judges of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences review - are awaiting your inspection and your vote. In addition to supporting democracy on the web, you will be entered in a special drawing only for MacWorld Attendees where you can win coveted tickets to attend The 1999 Webby Awards Post-Party Celebration - an event guaranteed to make your head spin."

As the nominees have yet to be announced, we are unsure if there are any Mac sites that are nominated. If so, all of our readers are encouraged to make their voice heard and vote for their favorite! To vote, go to the Webby Awards web site and click on a link for The People's Voice Award. At that page, you can register to vote once the voting begins on January 6th. The Webby Awards will also have a voting booth set up at MacWorld Expo

The Webby Awards

[11:22 AM]
SoftPress Systems Unveils Freeway 2.0 At MacWorld Expo
SoftPress Systems has announced they will be showing their new version of Freeway, 2.0, at MacWorld Expo. Freeway is a web design app that attempts to make knowledge of HTMl irrelevant. According to SoftPress:

"Freeway 2.0 is a major upgrade to the product which extends the popular DTP-style user interface to make Web design with fourth-generation technologies accessible to designers new to the Web medium. It incorporates over 100 new features and enhancements which include a simple but powerful Actions technology, HTML 4.0 layout, Cascading Style Sheets, frames, tables, FTP upload and the ability to import Web sites produced in other applications."

Freeway is priced at US$299 while SoftPress is offering a special price at MacWorld for US$199 (Booth #3550). Registered users of Freeway 1.0 can update for free online.

SoftPress Systems

[8:24 AM]
MacOPINION Announces One Year Anniversary
MacOPINION has announced that today is their 1st anniversary. The Mac Observer would like to congratulate Ben Garland and the entire team at MacOPINION for the great work they have done and the success they have achieved.

MacOPINION

Headlines For Wednesday, December 30th

Follow Up[2:24 PM]
Reader Reports Buying Myth II From Electronic Boutique
A Mac Observer reader reports being able to buy Myth II from an Electronics Boutique in Seattle Washington. Yesterday Bungie announced it had recalled Myth II due to a serious, but rare, problem with the PC uninstaller that comes with the game. The problem could end up with the crash of a hard drive when the PC user used the uninstaller to uninstall the game from anywhere but the default folder.

Find out more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: It is with some trepidation that we report this story. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

Follow Up:
[1:31 PM]
Abbott Systems Says Amnesty Program "Overwhelming"
Abbott Systems announced that their amnesty program has been overwhelming. Read the full story for more information.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[12:22 PM]
SPSS Ships Update To DeltaGraph
SPSS has announced it is shipping version 4.5 of DeltaGraph. Read about the details nad feature improvements in the Full Story

Read The Mac Observer Full Story

[11:31 AM]
Kensington Announces iMac Products
Kensington, the maker of the wildly successful Mouse-in-a-Box and Orbit Trackball for the Mac, has announced it is bringing USB products aimed at the iMac. The company will introduce the Mouse-in-a-Box USB and Orbit USB Trackball in the later part of the 1st quarter of 1999. Both products will share their non-USB namesake's features, including the programmability of the Orbit's extra buttons. Both products will also take on the iMac’s color and translucence.

Orbit USB trackball for Mac will be priced at US$49.99 and Mouse-in-a-Box USB Mac will be priced at US$29.99.

Kensington

Column
The Apple Trader
All Aboard! The Apple Stock Express Is Now Boarding!
One day into his vacation, The Apple Trader took a vacation break to work! Incensed by some bright-eyed analysts on Wall Street, The Apple Trader tells it like it is.

What a way to start the week and end the year. Apple flies off the handle and busts through the 40 dollar mark yet again. Last year at this time Apple was bottoming out at 13 bucks a share. We've come a long way since then. Ah, the air up at this altitude is good. I wish I could say that we're going to stay here but there is liable to be some short-term slippage.

One thing is for sure; there won’t be any tax loss selling this year like there was last year and the year before (and the year before that!).

Read The Apple Trader

Column
My First Mac Was A Typewriter
Adding Pictures To Your Documents
Today's column is on a basic option that is fun, but sometimes confusing. I want to talk about adding graphics to documents. There are lots of graphic packages available, but I want to address using what is already available on most of your machines. It is a good easy way to start and the skills will be transferable to other settings.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter

[5:27 PM] Late News From Yesterday afternoon
Bungie Recalls Myth II: Installer Error
Bungie has recalled Myth II: Soulblighter before it even hit the shelves due to an error found under certain circumstances on the PC installer. Find out more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

[1:44 PM] Late News From Yesterday afternoon
Steve Jobs To Deliver Keynote At Macworld Expo Tokyo
A reader from The Mac Tracing Treasure Club in Japan sent us a note that Steve Jobs would be delivering the Keynote address at Macworld Expo Tokyo 99. Both Apple and IDG released press releases in Japanese. Macworld Expo Tokyo 99 will be held from February 18th to February 20th. The Keynote speech is scheduled for 11:00 AM (Tokyo time) on February 18th.

The Mac Observer Spin: Mr. Jobs is known for his big announcements and killer presentations at his keynote speeches. He is also known for reserving those opportunities for new product announcements. With Mr. Jobs already scheduled to deliver the keynote address at Macworld in San Francisco this January, and having already stated that the P1 (the MacMate/WebMate) will not be shown at that event, expect for him to announce and show the P1 at Macworld Expo in Tokyo. The timing is right and the location is excellent for Apple's upcoming portable to be shown at that time.

Apple

 

Headlines For Tuesday, December 29th

[5:27 PM]
Bungie Recalls Myth II: Installer Error

Bungie has recalled Myth II: Soulblighter before it even hit the shelves due to an error found under certain circumstances on the PC installer. Find out more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

[1:44 PM]
Steve Jobs To Deliver Keynote At Macworld Expo Tokyo

A reader from The Mac Tracing Treasure Club in Japan sent us a note that Steve Jobs would be delivering the Keynote address at Macworld Expo Tokyo 99. Both Apple and IDG released press releases in Japanese. Macworld Expo Tokyo 99 will be held from February 18th to February 20th. The Keynote speech is scheduled for 11:00 AM (Tokyo time) on February 18th.

The Mac Observer Spin: Mr. Jobs is known for his big announcements and killer presentations at his keynote speeches. He is also known for reserving those opportunities for new product announcements. With Mr. Jobs already scheduled to deliver the keynote address at Macworld in San Francisco this January, and having already stated that the P1 (the MacMate/WebMate) will not be shown at that event, expect for him to announce and show the P1 at Macworld Expo in Tokyo. The timing is right and the location is excellent for Apple's upcoming portable to be shown at that time.

Apple

[12:22 PM]
Mac Desktop Ticker Released

Galleon Software has released MacTicker 1.0, a desktop ticker app that brings stock prices to your desktop. MacTicker can retrieve quotes from American, Canadian, and European markets. According to Galleon Software:

"MacTicker builds a scrolling display containing the current status of each of the stocks you've specified. You can also call up a variety of dynamic reports for individual stocks, from comprehensive reports of each stock's fundamentals to a tiny display that you can move into the corner of your screen and watch in the background."

MacTicker is priced at US$25.

Galleon Software

[11:12 AM]
SiteLink Releases CD Collection Of Desktop Images

SiteLink has released a collection of desktop images for your Mac called Desktop Vistas Volume II. The collection is focused around an outdoor theme and contains 30 different images that can be previewed from the company's web site. Each image is included in 5 different resolutions to match the viewer's monitor resolution. SiteLink is also including a set of Desktop Consoles which include imagery from the main collection with "special docking areas for your icons."

Desktop Vistas Volume II is priced at US$8.95 with a 10% discount available until December 31st of this year.

SiteLink

[10:54 AM]
Asante Names New Chairman

Asante, long time maker of Mac networking products, has named cofounder Wilson Wong as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, effective Jan. 1, 1999. According to Asante:

"Wong, 51, a founder of Asante, has served as a Director of the company since its inception. He was the architect of the company's business and product strategy when Asante was formed in 1988 and under his leadership the company quickly became a major provider of Ethernet networking solutions for the Apple Macintosh market."

Mr. Wong takes over for Jeff Lin who will continue to sit on Asante's board.

Asante

[10:20 AM]
Macworld Magazine To Bring Live Net Coverage From MacWorld Expo

Macworld Magazine has announced it will be covering MacWorld Expo live on the web with its 3rd production of "MacWorld Live!" The show will be hosted by Rik Myslewski. Macworld will be teaming with ZDTV to bring streaming content to the production. According to Macworld:

"The alliance with ZDTV and its video and audio-streaming capabilities enables Macworld Live! to bring live Expo news coverage, expert analysis, and opinions first-hand to another 60,000 virtual attendees. Reported by the editors of Macworld and Macweek.com on Macworld Online, the magazine's web site, Macworld Live! programming features keynote analysis, "Best of Show" announcements, interviews with the winners of the 1998 Editors' Choice Awards, and interviews with senior executives from Apple, Microsoft, and other key developers on the Macintosh platform."

Microsoft has signed on as the main sponsor of the event. More information can be found directly at the Macworld web site.

Macworld

Column
The Apple Trader
Off For Vacation

The Apple Trader is taking the week off for a much needed vacation. Visit the Apple Trader archives for past columns and come back next week for his in-your-face analysis of the Mac financial world!

The Apple Trader Archives

 

Headlines For Monday, December 28th

Top Story
[7:54 AM]
Webintosh Changes Name To The Mac Observer/Joins MacAddict Network

Webintosh and the MacAddict Network have released a joint press release announcing that Webintosh has changed their name to The Mac Observer and joined the Mac Addict Network at the same time. We are also introducing our new mascot, over to the right, who is hiding behind that sign.

Read Our Full Press Release

[11:50 AM]
Steve Jobs Earns Spot In EBN's Top 25

CMP's Electronic Buyers News has issued its annual list of the Hot 25 list of executives who made their mark on the electronics industry this year. This year's list includes Steve Jobs among its ranks

Read The Full Mac Observer Story

[10:47 AM]
The Learning Company Releases New Kid's Title

The Learning Company has released another children's title for the Mac. The new game is called D.W. the Picky Eater and features a new character who is the kid sister of Arthur, a very popular character. According to The Learning Company:

"Designed for children ages three to seven, D.W. the Picky Eater is an interactive learning adventure which combines a richly illustrated and delightfully animated interactive storybook with five learning activities. Children step into the hilarious world of D.W., a place where pickles, pineapples, parsnips, and any food with eyes are the enemy.

In fact, everywhere she goes, to a restaurant or her best friend's house someone wants her to eat something disgusting. It seems D.W. may have to just stay home forever. Until that one special night when she discovers a delicious surprise!"

The game is designed to help children learn reading and other early learning skills. D.W. the Picky Eater is priced at US$29.95 and is available immediately.

The Learning Company

[9:37 AM]
New Italian Mac Online Magazine Launched

A company called MacPremium Media has announced the launch on a new online Mac magazine. The new magazine is called "ITALIA Mac" and is entirely in Italian. According to MacPremium Media:

"It contains daily Mac news from Italy, commentary, reviews of software and hardware products, features and troubleshooting on Apple Macintosh, Power Macintosh and iMac computers."

ITALIA Mac

Column
Monday's Mac Gadget
Anarchie For The WWW

In the Dark Ages of the Internet, before all of this World Wide Web madness, existed a tool called Archie. An Archie client/server combo was the hottest thing on the budding Internet in those days, making it very easy to find files around the world. An Archie server would index the directories of anonymous FTP servers, and an Archie client could search this index and report which servers had a file matching a certain pattern. An FTP download would usually follow a successful search. All of this was accomplished with a <gasp> command-line interface.

Read Monday's Mac Gadget

Column
The Name of the Game
An Idiot's Christmas

We posted this story on Christmas day and are reposting it for all those readers who may have been more involved with other things. :-)

Randy: Hey, Gary. What did you get for Christmas?
Gary:
Nothing but ashes and coal.
Randy:
Figures. I got all kinds of neat Mac gaming stuff.
Gary:
I don't care.
Randy:
Oh, but I think you do. Look! It's a copy of one of MacSoft's many hot titles this year, Unreal.
Gary:
I said I don't…Okay, well, actually I do care about that.

Read The Name Of The Game

[8:25 AM]
The OmniGroup Releases Charon

The programmers at The OmniGroup had a very busy holiday and have released a preliminary version of Charon 0.2. Charon is a Quake II server locator for people wanting to find Quake II games on the Internet. The OmniGroup has also set up a new e-mail address for Charon issues.

The OmniGroup

Headlines For Friday, December 25th

The Name Of The Game

by The Idiots

An Idiot's Christmas
Randy: Hey, Gary. What did you get for Christmas?
Gary:
Nothing but ashes and coal.
Randy:
Figures. I got all kinds of neat Mac gaming stuff.
Gary:
I don't care.
Randy:
Oh, but I think you do. Look! It's a copy of one of MacSoft's many hot title this year, Unreal.
Gary:
I said I don't…Okay, well, actually I do care about that.

Read The Name Of The Game


IQTVRA Releases QTVR Art Project Called Sacred Worlds
[4:19 PM] The International QuickTime VR Association, or IQTVRA, has releases an art project they are calling Sacred Worlds. Sacred Worlds is a QTVR project made by over 40 contributors from 13 countries with over 70 QTVR movies. According to IQTVRA:

"Utilizing the latest VR tools, these Sacred Worlds include sounds and sights like no others on the web."

At press time, the site was unavailable, though this showcase for Apple's under appreciated QTVR technology promises to be a treat.

Sacred Worlds


Synectics Business Solutions Releases Update For BackJack
[3:54 PM] Synectics Business Solutions has released an update for BackJack Internet Backup. BackJack is a complete system for backing up files over the internet. According to Synectics:

  • 128-bit CAST encryption algorithm ensures security while files travel over the Internet to our backup sites and during the entire storage period.
  • All files and data are compressed to save transfer time and storage costs. Generally speaking, most files compress by 60%, or to 40% of their original size (for example, 100mb compresses to 40mb).
  • The software gives clients the capability to back up folders, select individual files for back up, create a folder containing aliases of files to be backed up and provides filters to make it easier to pinpoint and select files they want to back up.

New features planned for the update include new filters, as well as the ability to add files and resolve aliases features. Pricing information is available from Synectics. Synectics will be at MacWorld Expo at Booth #3550 in the Net Innovators Pavilion.

Synectics Business Solutions


Simulations Plus Releases New Chemistry Software
[3:08 PM] Simulations Plus has released Basic Titration for Chemistry, the sixth title in their educational series, FutureLab. Basic Titration for Chemistry is designed to let students test tritation. Tritation is the process of adding a measured volume of a known solution to an unknown to determine the concentration of the unknown. Exciting stuff to chemistry students, but much less messy and expensive when handled in computer simulation.

Specific pricing is not available for Basic Tritation for Chemistry, but other FutureLab products are priced at US$99 per individual title.

Simulations Plus


Apple Posts Localized Versions Of OS 8.5.1
[2:37 PM] Apple has posted localized versions of OS 8.5.1. The updates are free to download from Apple's Software Updates section of their web site.

Apple Software Updates


Follow Up
The OmniGroup Adds New Web Page For Quake II For Rhapsody DR2
[1:58 PM] The OmniGroup has added a new web page for their release of Quake II for Rhapsody DR2. The new page has more comprehensive information for those interested in playing Quake on Rhapsody.

OmniGroup Quake II


Headlines For Wednesday, December 23rd

My First Mac Was A Typewriter

by Nancy Gravley

The Further Adventures Of Stuffit And An Introduction To GraphicConverter
Last's week's column brought lots of good suggestions and advice from readers. The one I found most useful came from Roger Harris who works for Southwestern Bell Internet Services. Roger called to my attention that sometimes there are things that don't unstuff when downloaded, even when you have stuffit installed. Instead you get a dialog box that says “this file requires Bin Hex III; What do you want to do with it?”... Panic Time!!! In the past when this has happened to me I have given up and trashed whatever I was trying to download. There is a simple solution (I love simple solutions).

Read My Firs Mac Was A Typewriter


Top Story
30% Rise In Vendors Showing New Products At MacWorld Expo '99
[3:01 PM] MacWorld Expo released a press release that revealed 65% of attending MacWorld vendors are showing brand new products for the Mac. FInd out more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Last year's numbers were based on respondents of a poll that totaled less than half of all attending vendors. This year's number included responses from some 83% of attending vendors.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Abbott Systems Offer Amnesty
[3:56 PM] Abbott Systems has announced the interesting move of granting amnesty for users of CanOpener. CanOpener is a Mac only utility the company bills as a universal file opener. According to Ken Abbott, president of Abbot Systems:

"After shipping for almost 10 years we know there are many CanOpener users out there who just forgot to register. This is our way of saying thanks for supporting us, and we want to give you all the benefits of registration.

Users of CanOpener can register by simply e-mailing their name and address to Abbott, no proof of ownership is required."

Users who take this opportunity will be eligible to buy the latest upgrade at the upgrade price.

The Mac Observer Spin: Don't be fooled by the very nice way that Abbott Systems put this. They know that there are thousands of people who are using pirated versions of their software and they are giving those people the opportunity to become registered owners. Even if you do not plan to purchase the upgrade, unregistered users should really take the opportunity to go legit. In fact, support Mac shareware, and the people that make it, by registering as much of your shareware as you can. Mac users are blessed with an incredibly talented group shareware developers who really make owning a Mac all that much more enjoyable.

Abbott Systems


BBEdit Updated To Version 5.01
[3:45 PM] The good folks at Bare Bones Software have released another update to their popular editor BBEdit, bringing the app to version 5.01. According to Bare Bones Software:

"BBEdit 5.0.1 adds a 'Gentle Compact' mode to the Format command, a new Document Type selection tool, offers access from the Markup menu to all available Include statements and placeholders, adds or enhances scriptability for many of the HTML Tools, and much more."

The updater is priced at US$39 for owners of version 2.5 and up. The updater is free to registered owners of version 4.5 and up. For new owners, BBEdit is priced at US$119 with other offers available from the company.

Bare Bones Software


MetaCreations Released Kai's Photo Soap 2
[3:11 PM] MetaCreations has released the latest version of Kai's Photo Soap, 2.0. Soap 2.0 offers several improvements than previous offerings. According to MetaCreations:

"Kai's Photo Soap 2 takes the concept of photo editing beyond the desktop and straight to the Internet. Soap 2 converts digital images to instantly viewable HTML formats, so users can save files directly to a Web site for immediate, universal viewing. An integrated MetaStream format lets Soap users break new ground by authoring 3-D picture "cubes" for the Web.

In addition, Soap 2's PhotoMailer lets anyone e-mail interactive photo slide shows. Enthusiasts will also enjoy SoapTalk in Soap 2, a chat room where anyone can trade tips and tricks for the "cleanest" chat on the Web!"

The addition of a chat room makes Soap one of the very first applications outside of the gaming world to include an on-line community element directly into application. As Soap is very attractive to many home users and digital photography enthusiasts, Soap 2.0 is sure to be a hit!

Soap 2.0 is priced at US$49 with a mail-in US$15 rebate for upgrades. The new version requires System 8 or higher and 32 MB RAM. The product will be available in stores on January 1st, 1999.

MetaCreations


OmniGroup Posts Quake II For Rhapsody DR2
[12:46 PM] The OmniGroup has posted a port of Quake 2 for Rhapsody DR2. Right now, this is the closest thing to a Mac version of Quake 2 there is. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


 

Headlines For Tuesday, December 22nd

The Apple Trader

by Wes George

Insanely Great Computers, Marketing By Morons
It's so hard to think straight this time of year what with Christmas, New year's, and capital gains taxes all dancing like sugar plum fairies to the background music of bombs falling on Baghdad. As if that weren't enough to rattle the markets, Congress found religion and impeached the President. The whole world seems to be going to hell in a handbag.

With this backdrop in mind, I have listed in no particular order some of the elements that loom large when trying to determine whether to buy or sell Apple this Christmas Season.

Read The Apple Trader


Top Story
Myth II: Soulblighter Demo Posted
[9:19 AM] Bungie has posted a demo for Myth II: Soulblighter. What is arguably the most anticipated game ever for the Macintosh can now be play tested in both the single player and on-line flavor. Download links and more info in the Full Story.

Read The Mac Observer Full Story


Main Event Ships PhotoScripter
[3:41 PM] Main Even has announced the shipping release of PhotoScripter. Primarily aimed at graphics professionals and design houses, PhotoScripter allows Photoshop users to script almost every possible aspect of the graphics app. According to Main Event:

"Main Event's PhotoScripter plug-in implements the Apple Event Object Model and provides a large semantic vocabulary that is used by script writers. Using PhotoScripter, graphics professionals, power users, solutions providers and in-house developers can now easily incorporate automated Photoshop processing into several phases of their production processes."

PhotoScripter is priced at US$299 for a single user license. Production machine licenses are available for US$999 with a special offer of US$899 until January 3rd of 1999. Other volume licensing is available from Main Event.

Main Event


Kiplinger Tax Cut For Mac Ships
[3:10 PM] Block Financial Corporation has shipped Kiplinger TaxCut Deluxe Multimedia this week. TaxCut Deluxe offers free electronic filing for the first filing as well as a host of other tax preparation help. In an effort to show the company's commitment to the Mac, Gene Goldenberg, vice president of Block Financial, said:

"The Mac customer continues to be important to us. The iMac has breathed new life into the Mac platform, and we're excited to be offering all the features of our Deluxe Multimedia product to Mac customers."

The product should be available in stores for a price that Block Financial Corporation says should be between US$30 and US$40. No reason for the price range is given.

Kiplinger TaxCut


VicomSoft To Give Away An iMac
[12:34 PM] VicomSoft, the maker of cross-platform internet based software, has announced a contest whereby the person or organization who submits the best feedback regarding VicomSoft software will receive an iMac or Dell PC. The competition is open to anyone. VicomSoft is also offering an incentive to anyone who may be interested in donating their prize to a school or charity of their choice. If the winner does so, VicomSoft will give a free copy of their Internet Gateway to the school or charity. Internet Gateway is a multipurpose product that offers routing, firewall, access control, and several other LAN management tools.

VicomSoft Contest


CompUSA To Advertise Microsoft Mouse/Keyboard/iMac Compatibility
[11:16 AM] A Mac Observer source at CompUSA has informed us that CompUSA will be advertising compatibility between Microsoft USB mouse and/or keyboard and the iMac in next Sunday's circular. Read more in the Full Story

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Conflict Catcher Updated To Version 8.04
[10:23 AM] The great people at Casady & Greene have updated Conflict Catcher to make it compatible with OS 8.5.1. The new version, dubbed Conflict Catcher 8.04, eliminates an unnecessary warning message when performing a clean install system merge in OS 8.5.1 as well as a problem where users could lose your Mac OS All and Base sets. Conflict Catcher 8.0.4 also has an expanded Reference Library of 4,100 + descriptions up from 3,900 in the previous version.

The updater is free to registered owners of Conflict Catcher 8x.

Casady & Greene


ATI Announces New Mac Graphics/TV Card
[10:09 AM] ATI has announced the Xclaim VR 128, a 16MB graphic card that accelerates QuickTime, QuickDraw 3D, 2D, TV-quality QuickTime and MPEG playback, as well as video-out functionality. The card allows the playback of QuickTime movies at 640X480 at 30 frames per second. The board also allows video captures at a rate of 60 fields per second or 30 frames per second. The Xclaim VR 128 also includes Xclaim TV which gives a Mac the ability to output to a TV screen.

The Xclaim VR 128 will be priced at US$229 with availability expected during the first quarter of 1999.

ATI


Headlines For Monday, December 21st

Monday's Mac Gadget

by John Braun

Sigerson, A Sherlock Power Booster
John Braun joins The Mac Observer to help out with Monday's Mac Gadget. He takes us on a tour of Sigerson, a very handy addition to Sherlock that makes using it a little bit easier. Welcome to The Mac Observer John!

Read Monday's Mac Gadget


Top Story
PC Data Names iMac Number 1 Seller For November
[2:08 PM] PC Data has named the iMac as the number 1 seller for the month of November. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Top Story
Class Action Law Suit On The Way?
[3:47 AM] We have just received word from an Apple dealer who is promising a class-action lawsuit against Best Buy for predatory pricing policies. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Follow-Up
More Reports Place iMac Prices All Over The Board
[3:34 PM] Readers have reported in from around the country including those who purchased an iMac from CompUSA for US$999 and others who found them at Best Buy for US$1279. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Observer Story


Enterprise Measurement Tool Brought To Mac
[2:45 PM] Distributive Data Systems announced a new version of their MetricCenter product that brings use to Mac clients. The new product is called MetricCenter Browser and it brings a browser interface that will work on Macs as well as Unix and Windows based clients. According to Distributive Data Systems:

"The MetricCenter(R) Browser provides web access to all the charting and reporting capabilities of MetricCenter(R), including frequency graphs, histograms, grids, scatter plots, multi-plots, dashboards, tabular reports, user-defined reports, and others. MetricCenter(R) Browser presents the most appropriate metric data to managers at each level of a multi-level management framework, using a role-based security model to control access to sensitive information."

MetricCenter Browser is an add-on to MetricCenter which is itself an add-on to Microsoft's IIS server which only runs on Windows NT. Pricing involves both the server add-on and a concurrent-user license.

Distributive Data Systems


MathSoft Releases Mac Math Software
[12:25 PM] MathSoft has released a Mac version of StudyWorks 2.0. StudyWorks 2.0 is a comprehensive suite of software that helps students with several areas of math. According to MathSoft:

"StudyWorks for Schools 2.0 covers a full math curriculum, including algebra I, algebra II, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, calculus and statistics. It now provides an expanded range of learning tools to meet the specific needs and learning styles of each individual student. New content includes more than 800 additional practice problems, a comprehensive math and statistics glossary and more pre-calculus and trigonometry content."

StudyWorks 2.0 is priced at US$99.95 for a single user license with site and lab lincenses available.

MathSoft


New Mac Only ISP Announced
[4:26 AM] A new Mac only ISP has been announced in California. MacSurf is an ISP that offers local access numbers throughout California, but is not offering service outside of California. MacSurf will be appearing at MacWorld in booth 3350. The company is currently offering free access until February 1st for users who sign up before MacWorld.

MacSurf



Headlines For Friday, December 18th

The Name Of The Game

by The Idiots

The Idiots have arrived at their new day, Friday. Enjoy!

Now A Word About The Good Book
Randy: Your soul is an appalling dung heap made up of the most unimaginable rubbish tied in mangled knots!
Gary: Why do you say, Mr. Grinch?
Randy: Because you bought a PowerBook. And you didn't buy one for me. What kind of friend are you?
Gary: The kind of friend who doesn't have a million dollars. I'm a mere thousandaire. But you are right. I finally conquered my guilt and went and bought a PowerBook G3 Series (also known as Wall Street). And it does kick serious butt.

Read The Name Of The Game


Top Story
Best Buy Lowers Price: Apple Asks Them To Raise It
[2:13 PM] Best Buy has lowered the price of iMacs to US$999 and then raised it back up to US$1099. We had the opportunity to speak to someone in the corporate headquarters to find out more.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Reader Reports Ongoing iMac Driver Problems At CompUSA
[3:04 PM] An anonymous Mac Observer reader who is a tech support employee at CompUSA reports ongoing problems with the shipping drivers for iMacs at CompUSA. Read more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Follow Up
We Have A Tracking Number To Prove It!
[2:52 PM] We have another report from someone who says they have a tracking number to prove that their copy of Myth II is in fact on the way. Apparently they had tracked their package as far as Kentucky. Myth fans can prepare to waste the next year of their lives starting today it seems!

Little Birdie Says: Myth II Shipping
[11:27 AM] We have received word from several sources who report that their credit cards have been charged for Myth II by Bungie. Other sources have said that the first pre-orders should in fact be received today by their purchasers. Mythology and The Townhall are also following this story closely.

Bungie - Mythology - The Town Hall


Internet Poker From PlayStar
[12:35 PM] PlayStar has released an internet-based poker game for the Mac and PC called Antigua Stud Poker. Antigua Stud Poker allows players to play across the internet for both fun and real gambling (where it is allowed).

Playstar - Antigua Site


Apple Australia Reaching Out To Touch Callers
[11:39 AM] We received word from a reader about an interesting marketing effort from Apple Australia. Find out more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


MindVision Giving Away Volkswagen Beetle
[3:26 AM] MindVision, the maker of the extraordinarily popular installer product called VISE has announced they will be giving away a Volkswagen Beetle, which they are calling the iBeetle, in celebration of their entry into the consumer software market. The company was one of the original developers of SpeedDoubler with Connectix and plans on entering the consumer market with their own line of branded products for the first time. There is no word yet on what their entry will be. The company plans on announcing this at MacWorld Expo. The company will also make the rules for their contest available at that time.

MindVision Consumer Software


RecoSoft Releases English WebShocker
[3:19 AM] RecoSoft has released the English version of their animation suite WebShocker. WebShocker is a full featured graphics app that allows the creation or import of images that can be combined to make an animation. The animations can be output as GIF animations, Java animations, or QuickTime movies. The product accepts PICT, JPEG, GIF, Photoshop and QuickTime files for import. WebShocker was released in Japan in August of this year.

WebShocker is priced at US$39.95 with a downloadable demo available at the company's web site.

RecoSoft - WebShocker


Online Mac Shareware Guide Relaunched
[3:12 AM] MacPool has been relaunched in conjunction with two other German Mac Magazines. MACup and MacMAGAZIN have cooperated to help bring this online shareware guide back to operational condition. The site is easy to use and ofers a wide assortment of Mac shareware titles. It is served in both a German and English version.

MacPool English - MacPool German


Global Village Releases 2.200 V.90 ROM Update
[3:05 AM] Global Village has released the latest update to their 56k modems. The 2.200 version of the v.90 protocol brings improved performance and greater compatibility with other modems and ISPs. The updater is not proved for a certain Apple bundled modem. According to Global Village:

"Note: This updater will not work on the internal comm slot K56flex modems bundled with Apple computers. Apple provides technical support and possible updates for your modem."

The download is free from Global Village.

Global Village Support


Headlines For Thursday, December 17th

Ambrosia Releases Slithereens
[8:21 AM] Ambrosia Software, the publisher of Mars Rising, has released Slithereens. Slithereens sets you up as Luther, who is a slithery snake. According to Ambrosia:

"Set in the backyard of the evil Dr. Funkengruven, Slithereens is an adventure that will satisfy your appetite for action. You are Luther, a peaceful snake who was surgically sassified and imbued with a hunger for snakemeat. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of other snakes like you, each wanting the same thing: to munch on you!"

Slithereens is priced at US$20.

Ambrosia Software - Slithereens


Correction: On-Line Joke Book 4 Released
[8:13 AM] We incorrectly linked to the On-line Joke Book 4 on Monday, December 14th. This story includes the correct link.

The Macintosh Discovery Club has released the latest version of Edward Goss's On-line Joke Book. The Macintosh Discovery Club calls it a "compilation of clean jokes and stories." Don't tell your PC friends though, it can only be read on a Mac. Download it from the Macintosh Discovery Club's web site; you will enjoy it.

On-line Joke Book 4


Headlines For Wednesday, December 16th

My First Mac Was A Typewriter

by Nancy Gravley

Making Stuffit A Little Less Stuffy
O.K. So you have all your shopping done, your decorations are up, your house is clean, all the planning and meals are ready and you have time to learn more about your Mac. No? Well in that case you may want to save this column until sanity returns to your house.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter


Top Stories
Apple To Ship Power Macs With Linux
[1:31 PM] Computer Retail Weekly is reporting that Apple is likely to offer Linux on a limited number of shipping Power Macs once the new Yosemite based Power Macs are made available early next year. The Mac Observer talked to Stu Green, a pioneer in the Unix world and founder of the Austin Linux Group, to get his input on this event. Find out more in the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Top Stories
PC Industry Strong: Apple Cited As Number One Reason!
[10:51 AM] The PC-CITE Report, made by Deloitte Consulting, concludes that the PC Industry is strong and cites Apple Computer's recovery as the number one factor. Read the Full Story for more details.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Iomega Ships Zip 250
[12:08 PM] Iomega has shipped its 250 MB capacity zip drives called the Zip 250. The new SCSI versions of the Zip 250 are up to 1.5 times faster than the original Zip drives according to Iomega. The new drives will both read and write to Zip 100 disks, but the 250 MB disks can not be used on an original Zip 100 drive.

The Zip 250 is priced at US$199 and can be found in retail outlets.

Iomega


New Video And Film Effects Editing System Released
[10:24 AM] Integrated Computing Engines, ICE, has released ICEblast which allows users to apply "stunning special effects treatments to individual film or video clips as well as title treatments or logos." The new system is designed to be used with Avid Media Composer and Avid Xpress, Media 100, and Adobe After Effects.

The package is priced at $5,995, including ICE's BlueICE hardware card, ICEfx for After Effects software, ICEblast software and an ICE'd Boris AE license. Upgrade options are available to owners of BlueICE hardware and ICEfx for Avid or After Effects.

ICE


Vote For Your Favorite Game!
[10:10 AM] Our good friends at the Mac Gaming Ledge are running their first Reader's Choice Awards. That means that YOU have the opportunity to help decide who wins and who doesn't. For a full list of categories, read the Full Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Headlines For Tuesday, December 15th
The Name Of The Game

by The Idiots

The Name of the Game Is moving To Fridays!
The Name of the Game will now be seen every Friday as it is such hard work being Idiots! They will be seen this Friday in their typically hilarious fashion.

The Name of the Game


Imagina Reorganizes, Sheds Two Products
[4:33 PM] Imagina has announced a reorganization that includes the potential sale of two of its products and a renewed focus on "research and development of Internet productivity tools." The company plans to sell Newstand, its Mac based newsgroup server, and NotifyMAIL, their cross-platform e-mail notification client. Interested parties are invited to contact Brian Caldwell.

The company will be coming out soon with Holmes, a utility that expands the capabilities of Sherlock's Internet search features. Sherlock is the search utility built into MacOS 8.5 that can search a hard drive, a network, or the Internet.

Imagina


Office Productivity Suite Coming To LinuxPPC And An iMac Near You
[3:40 PM] Applix, the makers of Applixware office suite for Windows, NT, Unix, and Linux announced earlier this month that it would be bringing Applixware to LinuxPPC. We spoke to Martin Richmond-Coggan, Director of Product Management/TM1 at Applix, who told us they would hopefully be demonstrating Applixware for LinuxPPC at Macworld. Mr. Richmond-Coggan also told us that he hoped to be able to demonstrate it on an iMac which is sure to make Mac using Linux fans quite delighted. More information on Applix and Applixware can be found at the company's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Productivity solutions are the single most important aspect of having a successful computing platform. Applix offers one of the best solutions on the market and one of the only solutions available for Linux. With the addition of a LinuxPPC port, LinuxPPC becomes an even more viable solution for those wishing to use it. Many Mac users like Linux as a server platform and prefer to run it on Macs which is possible through MKLinux and LinuxPPC. Linux running on iMacs is a very popular and desirable concept. The iMac has plenty of power, is very inexpensive, and makes a great server/workstation solution as the 15" monitor is more of a benefit than a detriment in that role. We wish the good people at Applix the best of luck!

Applix


Photoshop Instructional Video Released
[3:40 PM] IDIG has released the 2nd part of a 2 part video instruction set for Photoshop. The new title called "Welcome to Photoshop 5.0 [Part Two]" is part of the "Photoshop Inside & Out" Video Learning Series. According to IDIG, Part Two covers advanced Photoshop features:

"This video continues an exploration of the newest version of Photoshop, with detailed explanations and advanced applications of the software's new features. The video utilizes advanced video production technology and computer visualizations and animations in ways that few, if any, instructional videos have ever attempted."

The video is priced at US$59.95 and can be purchased directly from IDIG.

IDIG


On-Line Joke Book 4 Released
[3:14 PM] The Macintosh Discovery Club has released the latest version of Edward Goss's On-line Joke Book. The Macintosh Discovery Club calls it a "compilation of clean jokes and stories." Don't tell your PC friends though, it can only be read on a Mac. Download it from the Macintosh Discovery Club's web site; you will enjoy it.

On-line Joke Book 4


Adobe Ships Premier RT 5.1
[1:29 PM] Adobe announced it is shipping Premier RT 5.1. Premier RT 5.1 will only be available as a software/hardware bundle from two leading video board manufacturers: Pinnacle Systems and Matrox Video Products Group. According to Adobe:

"Adobe Premiere RT software's real-time capabilities, enabled by an expansion of the Media Abstraction Layer in Premiere 5.1, allow video editors to add transitions, apply filters and create 2D and 3D video motion without having to render the effects. Hardware developers who take advantage of this new API can offer their Adobe Premiere RT customers significantly improved performance for faster processing time and enhanced creative freedom.

Both products support two channels of D1 broadcast-quality video, and include titling, transitions, chroma, luma and linear keying, plus over 400 special effects. ReelTime NITRO enhances ReelTime to include over 300 sophisticated 3D special effects, adds a key-frameable 3D effects creation tool, and includes TitleDeko? for dynamic professional character generation."

More information about Premier RT 5.1 can be found at the Adobe web site.

Adobe


HTML Optimizer Tool Turns 2
[11:28 AM] Voget Selbach has announced the release of VSE HTML Turbo 2.0. VSE HTML Turbo 2.0 is an application that can optimize HTML code by stripping out unnecessary tags, add height and width information to image tags, and other tricks of the HTML trade. Version 2.0 brings over 40 new optimizations and speed improvements that the company claims optimize web pages up to 25 percent more efficiently.

VSE HTML Turbo 2.0 can be purchased for US$49.95 directly from Voget Selbach. A demo is available from the company's web site.

Voget Selbach Entertainment


SynXpert Updated To 1.0.1
[10:13 AM] The Mirus Group has updated SynXpert to version 1.0.1. The new version provides support for OS 8.5. SynXpert is a process mapping tool that is designed to provide workflow analysis and process improvement. According to the Mirus Group:

"[SynXpert] offers integrated process mapping and documentation capabilities; a unique method for representing process information for greater consistency, simplicity, and clarity; multiple perspectives on a process, and more. SynXpert provides all the tools required for every phase of workflow analysis and process improvement projects."

The update is available for free to registered users. SynXpert is available for US$349 from MacMall.

Mirus Group - MacMall

Headlines For Monday, December 14th
The Apple Trader

by Wes George

Tough Love For Apple Computer
When you point your browser to macobserver.com, you can safely assume that you have arrived in the midst of the Mac faithful. Yet as long time supporters and end users of the Mac platform we must not turn a blind eye to the errors of Apple’s sometimes wayward management team. The New Apple has arrived, we’re all thinking different and the winds of change are blowing in our faces. We mustn’t allow the recent success of the iMac and a few points of regained market share to let Apple’s management team get sloppy.

Read The Apple Trader


Digital Video Projector For USB Macs Announced
[11:03 AM] In Focus has released a USB equipped digital video projector that will work with a USB equipped Mac. Called the LP750, the new projector is small, weighing in at less than ten pounds, and quiet, putting out less than 32 decibels. The LP750 has a contrast ratio of 300:1 and can project diagonal images from 30" to 300" in a fully lit conference room. The LP750 also supports full-motion worldwide video standards, including NTSC, PAL and SECAM.

Although the company does not mention Mac support in its press release, a company spokesman told The Mac Observer that the projector will work with a USB equipped Mac through its CableWizard 3 connector which ships with the LP750. The product also ships with the In Focus remote, and a soft carrying case, as well as Windows based software called In Focus Presents.

The product will ship in January of 1999 for US$9,999.

The Mac Observer Spin: In Focus's focus is obviously not the Mac market, but the fact the company knew its product works on USB equipped Macs is a sign of the ongoing success of both Apple and the iMac. As with any company presented with a successful roll out in the Mac market, Mac market penetration could result in a larger Mac focus in the future.

In Focus


Extensis Announces Illustration Plug-in For Photoshop
[11:03 AM] Extensis, the maker of several Quark Xtensions and other graphic tools, has announced PhotoGraphics 1.0. PhotoGraphics 1.0 is a Photoshop plug in that gives Photoshop users the ability to develop re-editable vector-based graphics as well as text on a path images. This will allow Photoshop users to do much of what popular Illustration apps such as Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand. According to Extensis:

"[PhotoGraphics 1.0 will give users] complete independent control over placement and formatting of each block on the path, users can, for example, create two different blocks of text, each with their own placement and format, to reside on two separate sides of a circle. Users have control over character level formatting and can specify baseline shift, kerning, tracking, leading, color and more for characters on an individual basis.

In addition, PhotoGraphics 1.0 provides a plethora of text formatting options not available in Adobe Photoshop such as multiple independent text blocks, character style sheets, super and subscript, all caps, small caps, full justification, and horizontal and vertical scaling. "

PhotoGraphics 1.0 will be available for US$149.95 on January 25th of 1999.

Extensis


Truevision Releases Cross Platform Video Input Board
[11:03 AM] Truevision has released the TARGA 2000(R) SDX Studio video input board for broadcast and post-production applications. According to Truevision:

"TARGA 2000 SDX Studio includes dual Motion-JPEG codecs for real-time full resolution special effects processing. In non-linear editing applications such as Discreet Logic edit, TARGA 2000 SDX Studio can play two video streams simultaneously, execute any of a rich selection of real-time effects between them, overlay two independent, dynamic (can move, scale and change the transparency while they're up) uncompressed graphics over this, and simultaneously perform other real-time conversions such as flip the video right/left or play it backwards- all without rendering!"

The TARGA 2000 SDX Studio also works with a companion PCI card called the 3D DVE from Abekas that allows the creation of real-time 3D special effects like axis position, rotate with skew and perspective, page turns, blurs, and mosaics.

The TARGA 2000 SDX retails for US$9995 with upgrade pricing for owners of the TARGA 2000 RTX to be announced soon.

Truevision


Omni Development Releases Source Code
[11:03 AM] Omni Development has taken the somewhat unusual move of releasing some of their source code. The Mac Observer had the opportunity to speak with Andrew Abernathy, a software engineer at Omni Development. Read the Full Story for more information on this development.

The Mac Observer Spin: Omni's move to release some of their development code will be seen as a boon for other developers wishing to do MacOS X Server development. The tools and other code that the company has released will be very useful to the entire MacOS X Server community.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Ungarble It! Updated To Version 1.1
[10:51 AM] West Code Software has updated their text cleaning software Ungarble It! to version 1.1. The new version includes better support for Microsoft Office 98. Ungarble It! can be used to clean up text like that found in e-mail. Ungarble It! can take out page breaks, ">" symbols from e-mail replies and several other user configurable settings.

The new version is free to registered owners and US$19.98 to new purchasers.

West Code Software


Mac SyQuest Users Get Online Support.....Kind Of
[10:26 AM] A new web site offering unofficial support for SyQuest owners has opened. The site is called SyQuest Support and is not affiliated with SyQuest in any way according to the site itself. A data recovery engineer has put the site together and the site's sponsor is a data recovery company. SyQuest Support is not offering drivers, but does offer e-mail tech support, online tips, an online instruction/FAQ set, as well as a bulletin board forum for people to try and find the answers they may need. The site links to two different sites which are offering driver downloads for both Windows and Mac users, but SyQuest Support itself is currently only offering Mac support.

SyQuest Support


Headlines For Friday, December 11th

Voodoo 3 For The Mac May Be Released With PC Version
[10:02 AM] We had the opportunity to talk to the Marketing and Sales Manager for Micro Conversions, Bob Archer. He told us quite a few things including the bombshell that Voodoo 3 may arrive for the Mac at the same time as the PC version.

The Mac Observer Spin: It is companies like Micro Conversions and Bungie that are really pulling the Mac forward as a gaming platform right now. There are issues that go along with being a manufacturer of Mac stuff, and these issues are important.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Reuters Describes P1 As Imac Portable
[1:05 PM] Reuters has run a story on Apple's portable plans. The article does not refer to the product as the P1, which is the code name for the product, but they do call it an iMac laptop. The article goes on to state that the device will have a 300 MHz G3 chip in it and will include USB ports as well as a built-in Ethernet port. Reuters also goes on to say that the laptop should be priced from US$1000 to US$1300 and would compete with laptops in the US$1500 range.

The Mac Observer Spin: Main stream coverage of what was once Mac site-only material is always good to see. In this case we actually learn something new and that is that the laptop is likely to ship with a 300 MHz G3 processor in it.

Reuters Article


M-Pen Demos Zeke For Mac
[12:06 PM] M-Pen has announced a demo of Zeke, their multimedia story building tool for children ages 8 and higher. Zeke allows kids to explore and build "multi-outcome" multimedia stories. The game includes a helper for children named Zeke, a platypus. Zeke's role is to help guide the children (users) with advice, anecdotes, and other help. M-Pen's demo includes one sample story and two games.

The demo can be downloaded fromthe company's web site. The full version is slated to be released later this month.

M-Pen


Casady & Greene Update Grammarian To 1.1.1
[11:20 AM] Casady & Greene have announced an update to Grammarian, bringing the utility to 1.1.1. According to Casady & Green:

"This update makes Grammarian compatible with Mac OS 8.5. Grammarian 1.1.1 has expanded its British Words vocabulary as well as its Proper Noun Capitals vocabulary. The new pronoun dictionary composed of countries, states, cities, rivers, seas, bays mountain ranges, etc. is another new feature in Grammarian. Grammarian 1.1.1 also improved its compatibility with Nisus Writer and with CompuServe version 2.4.4."

The updater is free to registered owners of Grammarian and can be downloaded from the company's web site.

Casady & Greene - Updater


Myth 2 Has Gone GM!
[10:17 AM] The Mac Observer has a new source that says that Myth 2 has gone GM (Golden Master), meaning that it should be hitting store shelves within the next 10 days or so. We are trying to confirm this story now.,

Follow Up:
[10:42 AM] The Myth site Mythology has more on the matter including the press release from Bungie. The game will be in stores by December 31st of this year (as opposed to the 10 days from now mentioned above). Going to Bungie's Myth 2 web page will bring you more information including some great images of Bungie's team at work. Hopefully there will be a way to have the game in stores earlier than New Year's Eve. Congratulations Bungie!

We were linking incorrectly to the Mythology site which is actually linked here.

Bungie - Bungie's Myth 2 Site - Mythology

Headlines For Thursday, December 10th

Top Story:
Apple Offers Free E-cards With Images From Think Different Campaign
[9: 20 AM] Apple has introduced their own free e-card system. Apple's e-cards use imagery from their award-winning Think Different campaign. The "Think Different" phrase is not used as the cards currently have a Christmas/Holiday theme to them. These cards are sure to be a huge hit. Find out more in the Full Story.

The Mac Observer Spin: We are waiting for confirmation from Apple now on whether they plan to make their own lists of e-mail addresses collected through this program available to outside entities.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Follow-Up
Apple Will Not Sell E-mail Lists From E-cards
[10: 48 AM] Apple confirmed that it will not be selling or otherwise make available to outside entities the e-mail addresses of senders and receivers of its new e-cards. In a telephone call, Rhona Hamilton of Apple Computer told The Mac Observer that Apple will not be selling or distributing these lists. This is in direct contrast to most e-card web sites that exist for the sole purpose of collecting e-mail addresses. Go send an e-card to someone in your life today. The Mac Observer staff in particular welcome your e-cards. :-)

Apple - Apple's Holiday E-cards


Iomega Fined US$900,000 by FTC
[1:12 PM] The FTC has leveled the largest fine ever leveled in a non-fraudulent case involving The Mail Order Rule against Iomega. The fine totaled US$900,000. Find out more in the Full Mac Observer Story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Limit Point Software Updates Boolean Search To Version 2.0
[12: 38 PM] Limit Point Software has performed a ground-up rewrite for Boolean Search, calling the new version 2.0. Boolean Search is designed to act as a search engine for web sites and offers many advanced features. According to the company:

"Boolean Search 2.0 supports true multihoming for unlimited domains, Acrobat PDF, search highlighting, customized results and a bundle of unique context summaries and matching methods. The Site Index and Query Monitor, which tracks and displays user query details, help administrators intelligently construct Thesaurus and Stopwords dictionaries, or modify site content to promote targeted search results."

Boolean Search 2.0 is priced at US$247 and PDF Decoder is priced separately at US$77. Both may be purchased from the company's web site.

Limit Point Software


Metrowerks Announces Stand Alone Java Tools
[12: 09 PM] Metrowerks has announced it will ship CodeWarrior Professional for Java and CodeWarrior Academic for Java in January of 1999. These tools will be aimed at developers who wish to develop in Java only on both the Mac and Windows platforms. According to Jean Belanger, chairman and chief executive officer of Metrowerks:

"We had separate, standalone Java products for Macintosh and Windows in the past. Now that we have integrated our Macintosh and Windows tools, shipped our Solaris-hosted Java tools, and are about to unveil our RAD support for GUI development, we feel the time is right to reintroduce a standalone Java product."

CodeWarrior is the leading development environment for the Mac and Playstation platforms and has gained popularity on the Windows side as well. CodeWarrior Academic for Java is being included in Apple's new Student Developer Program. CodeWarrior Professional for Java will be priced at US$199 and CodeWarrior Academic for Java will be priced at US$79. Both products will be available in January of 1999.

Metrowerks


Totally Hips Announces Licensing Deal To 300,000 In Iowa School System
[10: 09 AM] Totally Hip Software, the maker of the popular Web Painter 3.0, has announced a licensing deal with ten Iowa Area Education Agencies. The deal allows the use of Web Painter 3.0 in both Mac and PC flavors in the schools and homes of both educators and students. Congratulations to Totally Hip!

Totally Hip Software

Headlines For Wednesday, December 9th

The Name Of The Game

by The Idiots

Predictions For The Mac Gaming World
Randy: Do it. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm.
Gary: What are you doing?
Randy:
Ummmmmmmmmmm. Just do it! Ummmmmmmmmmmmm.
Gary:
Alright. Ummmmmmm. What the hell are we doing?
Randy:
Channeling our next predictions for the Macintosh gaming world.
Gary:
Are you suffering from head trauma?
Randy: No. Thank you, I'm trying to divine what will be the next big thing for gamers out there.

Read The Name Of The Game


My First Mac Was A Typewriter

by Nancy Gravley

What to Give, What to Give?
Recently I have received several e-mail messages from adult sons or daughters who are trying to help their parents gain experience and expertise on the computer. These adult progeny are struggling to remember what it was like to first become computer literate. It would be so much easier for everyone if you could just zap the knowledge from your head to theirs. So far science has not discovered a way to do this so we have to do it the old fashioned way - trial, error, and practice.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter


Top Story:
Apple Reaches Out To Student Developers
[1: 52 PM] Apple has introduced a program aimed at student developers. The program is called The Apple Developer Connection (ADC) Student Program and is designed to put the tools that students need to develop great Mac apps in their hands. read the full story for all the benefits of membership that students can get.

The Mac Observer Spin: This represents an incredible example of Apple Thinking Different. While Apple has long been a part of higher education, that involvement was almost always limited to the institutions, and not the students. This is a very important move for Apple to make.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Steve Jobs's Keynotes CAUSE '98
[3: 37 PM] MacTimes has delivered an excellent summary of Mr. Jobs's Keynote presentation at CAUSE '98. CAUSE '98 is an "EDUCAUSE Conference on Information Technology in Higher Education." Mr. Jobs touched upon connectivity and the new portability as well his thoughts regarding other educational issues. The full article is worth the read.

MacTimes


Micro Conversions Lowers Price On Voodoo 2 Card
[11:35 AM] Micro Conversions has announced a price reduction on their 12 MB Game Wizard video card. The Game Wizard is currently the only Voodoo 2 card for the Mac (Village Tronic has a Voodoo 2 card coming out soon) and comes with 12 MB of SGRAM. The card had been priced at US$349 but Micro Conversions has lowered the price to US$199 effective immediately. This brings the card to a price that is much closer to its PC counterpart which ranges in price from US$149 to US$249 around the country.

The Mac Observer Spin: Micro Conversions had been subject to criticism for pricing its Voodoo 2 offerings too expensively, but at the same time, the company deserves much praise for bringing the card to the Mac so fast. Mac gamers had access to it relatively soon after it was introduced for the PC. This price drop could not come at a better time for the company as the holiday buying season is in full swing. It also helps position the company against the onslaught of competition from Village Tronic which has priced their upcoming offerings more aggressively than Micro Conversions. If you enjoy 3D gaming, a Voodoo or Voodoo 2 card is a must.

Micro Conversions

Headlines For Tuesday, December 8th

The Name Of The Game

by The Idiots

Due to technical difficulties, The Name of the game will be posted tomorrow. Our apologies to our readers!


Mac Happiness Brings.... Uhhh... Mac Happiness
[12: 56 PM] A new site has been launched that brings a holiday gift guide for that Mac lover on your holiday list. Mac Happiness is a web site with several very cool Mac things to sell. Items include T-shirts, mouse pads, and sweat shirts with several great slogans and phrases. A couple of choice ones include:

  • Be'cha My Dad's Mac Can Beat Up Your Dad's PC
  • Wintel Sucks
  • Friends Don't Let Friends Drive PCs
  • Happiness is a G3
  • Moof!
  • Assorted iMac concepts
  • and a Windows definition that is too long to print here but has to be read!

Mouse pads are priced at US$12.95, T-Shirts are US$18.95, and Sweatshirts are $24.95. Check them out.

Mac Happiness


Men & Mice Update Security Tool
[12: 27 PM] Men & Mice updated their security products, DNS Expert and DNS Expert Lite, to version 1.3. DNS Expert is designed to quickly check domain name viability and perform various security checks. New to version 1.3 is ability to test a servers' vulnerability to DNS spoofing attacks and whether mail servers can be used to relay spam mail. A user can check any domain from a Mac, regardless of the host platform. DNS Expert Lite is limited to checking one domain at a time. More information can be found at the company's web site.

DNS Expert is priced at US$295 while DNS Expert Lite is priced at US$99. Demo versions are available from the company's web site.

Men & Mice


Upgrading to OS 8.5.1 on a PPC Upgraded 68k
[11: 47 AM] Bob Rohan wrote us to tell how he upgraded to OS 8.5.1 on a Performa 465 that had been upgraded to a PowerPC 601 running at 100 MHz. His letter gives some detail on how he accomplished this.

Read The Full E-Mail


Java Based Collaborative Project Software
[10: 53 AM] Inovie has released TeamCenter 2.0, its Java based collaborative project management software. TeamCenter 2.0 uses a client/server model with the server based on an SQL format. All users have real-time access to information on the server. TeamCenter 2.0 also provides users with an e-mail notification system for notifying team member when aspects of a project that relate to them are complete. Inovie markets itself as a 100% Pure Java company.

The server is priced at US$695 with client licenses set at US$95 per seat.

Inovie


Mita Releases 1200 DPi Color Laser Printer
[10: 25 AM] Mita has released a color laser printer capable of printing color at 1200 DPi. The Ci1000 is designed for work groups and can connect to a Mac via a 10/100 BaseT ethernet connection. The printer comes with 16 MB of RAM with a maximum capacity y of 192 MB of RAM. A 2.1 EIDE hard drive can also be installed. The Ci1000 will print up to 14 Pages-Per-Minute and color printing at up to 3.5 PPM.

Pricing for the Ci1000 is set at US$4395. Mita's web site has information on dealers.

Mita


DroidWorks Released
[10: 07 AM] Lucas Learning has released DroidWorks. DroidWorks is a game for kids 10 and up that allows the player to design their own droids in an interactive factory. Once the droids have been designed, they are given assignments to fulfill. The challenge comes from understanding what qualities to give the droids in order to make where they can fulfill their mission.

"Players can build their droids from 87 different robotic parts and then send the droids to complete 29 missions in a texture-rich environment. A holographic design grid allows for 360-degree 3D viewing, while players are able to construct, customize, and test their droids. Millions of droid combinations are possible. The product also features animated cut scenes and movie clips from Star Wars to enhance game play."

The game is priced at US$39.95 and is available immediately.

Lucas Learning

Headlines For Monday, December 7th

The Apple Trader

by Wes George

Uncertain Mac Market
It's that time of year again folks, mere weeks away from the end of the first quarter. Christmas is looming large and yet another MacWorld is highlighted on next month's calendar. Naturally, mums the word from Apple on all things future. AAPL is drifting sideways with a slightly downward angle. Nothing to worry about, the technical analysts call it forming a base. The stock is bidding its time while waiting for the big news out of Cupertino on what's up for 1999.

Read The Apple Trader


Top Story
Apple Officially Releases MacOS 8.5.1
[10: 40 AM] Apple has released for immediate download an update for Mac OS 8.5. The update includes the many bug fixes. More details in the full story.

The Mac Observer Spin: Apple should be very proud of MacOS 8.5, yet the company sounds almost as if it is apologizing in its press release.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


CTM Updates PowerMailer
[2: 29 PM] CTM has updated their mail client, PowerMailer, to version 2.3. PowerMailer is one of the few alternatives to Outlook Express, and boasts that it uses the same technology for searching its e-mail database as Sherlock. In addition, the new version increases support for switching from Claris E-Malier as well as increased support for interacting with Outlook Express, Eudora Pro, and Netscape Communicator's mail client.

PowerMailer is priced at US$49 with site-license discounts available.

Electrifier - Electrifier Examples


Electrifier Brings Multimedia Content To Browsers
[1: 23 PM] Electrifier, formerly Lari Software, has released Electrifier Pro, their content creation tool for CD-ROM and the web. The application creates multimedia content including:

"Bitmap and vector animation, digitized audio, synthesized music (MIDI), video, 3D, VR panoramas, No-Bandwidth(TM) media like fire, clouds and ripples, and over 150 special effects such as emboss, blur, and fade."

The content can then be embedded as a QuickTime 2.0 plug-in object on any web page. Because vector images can be created, file sizes can be very small and QuickTime 3.0 offers streaming options through the QuickTime Plug-in 2.0. Some excellent examples of work created with Electrifier can be seen at the company's web site.

Electrifier Pro is priced at US$595 and a demo is available from the web site. The product is available immediately

Electrifier - Electrifier Examples


3D Foliage Tools Released By DigiArts

[12: 54 PM] DigiArts has released a new set of Foliage tools called Jungle Bundle. Jungle Bundle is a set of Painter and Painter 3D foliage texture mapping tools that allow the user to create foliage related imagery. According to DigiArts:

"The new image hose nozzles and texture brushes are designed to address the specific needs of 3D artists who commonly require precisely masked images of trees and foliage for use as 2D texture maps. The CD contains over 300 new foliage-mapping nozzles. Nearly 600 "shadowless" nozzles derived from the original Garden Hose 1.5 & 2.2 are included as well."

The package is priced at US$149.95 but DigiArts is offering a special through December 31st of this year for US$69.95. See the company's web site for details.

DigiArts


Radius Releases 4 New Monitors
[12: 19 PM] Radius has released 4 new monitors that are aimed at the publishing and graphics market. The new monitors are:

"the 15-inch Radius S-1 color monitor for business, the 17-inch Radius M-1 color monitor for professionals, and the 19-inch Radius L-1 professional color and graphics monitor. All three monitors are based on the latest Sony Trinitron(R) technology. The new 21-inch Radius PrecisionView XL-1 professional productivity color monitor is based on an advanced Mitsubishi DIAMONDTRON(TM) tube."

True to Radius's past as a Mac oriented vendor, the company has shipped the new monitors as "optimized for the Mac" with Windows versions not expected until early 1999. The monitors are priced starting at US$219 for the S-1, US$499 or the M-1, US$699 for the L-1, and US$1249 for the XL-1. All models are available immediately except the L-1 which should ship later this month.

Radius


Need USB? New Section Of WebShopper Dedicated To USB
[11: 58 AM] WebShopper, an online shopping web site has introduced new section dedicated to USB devices called USB Central. While the site is for both PC and Mac USB peripherals, the home page features an iMac. In addition there are other Mac related stories that are prominently displayed making it obvious that the folks at WebShopper are taking Apple and the iMac seriously. The link to USB Central can be hit off the WebShopper home page.

WebShopper


Bungie Releases New Myth II: Soulblighter Movie
[10: 51 AM] Bungie has released a new movie offering fans of their hit game Myth a better taste of the upcoming Myth II. The movie features game play scenes that show off some of the new features that will be included such as mortar dwarfs. The new movie can be downloaded directly from Bungie's web site, though their server seems very overloaded as of this printing.

Bungie - Myth II Movie


Apple's Wireless In Silicon Valley And Austin, Tx.
[10: 16 AM] Computer Retail Week is running a story about Apple's upcoming consumer portable, the P1. The article mainly discusses information long known from Mac web sites on the web, but it also mentions a partnership with a "communications company" that is most likely Lucent Technologies. That partnership involves bringing wireless connectivity to the P1 with initial wireless connectivity available only in Austin, Tx. and the Silicon Valley.

Read The Computer Retail Week Article

Headlines For Friday, December 4th

An Awful Thing Came To Pass....Almost
From The Editor's Corner
by Bryan Chaffin

There was a disturbing thing that almost happened this week. It involves the way the web works today and would have effected the way the web works tomorrow.

Read The Editor's Corner


Casady & Greene Show True Holiday Spirit With Donation Offer
[1: 23 PM] Casady and Greene are showing the true spirit of the holidays by offering to donate US$2.00 from every purchase made through their web site to Habitat For Humanity. This is an excellent opportunity to donate money to an excellent charity while simultaneously getting some of the finest software on the planet. Here is the press release from Casady & Greene:

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


New Business Reporting Software For Mac
[11: 30 AM] Sterling Software has released a new business reporting package that includes support for the Mac. VISION:Clearaccess actually runs on either mainframe or Windows NT systems, but it allows users on PCs and Macs to create reports in a very efficient fashion. Scheduling, sharing and other features can all be automated making it easier for managers and the network to do their jobs.

More information about VISION:Clearaccess can be found at the company's web site.

Sterling Software


New USB Floppy For iMac
[11: 18 AM] iDrives has introduced a new floppy drive for the iMac or any USB equipped Mac. The iFloppy reads both Mac and PC disks and matches the iMac's color scheme. A 3 meter translucent green USB cable ships with the iFloppy as well.

Pricing is set to be US$99.95 with limited availability starting late this month. The company is accepting pre-orders on their web site.

iDrives


WebbToys Introduces A Big Hairy Installer
[10: 50 AM] WebbToys has introduced a new installer application they are calling Big Hairy Installer. Big Hairy Installer is a SuperCard based product that allows for the user to set up many different custom installer settings. The product is designed to be used from a CD and is capable of moving large amounts of data.

Big Hairy Installer is priced at US$25 for a one-time fee.

WebbToys


Matsushita Licenses FireWire From Apple
[9: 15 AM] Apple announced today that Matsushita has licensed Apple's FireWire technology for use in their semiconductors, consumer products and other applications. FireWire allows for high speed digital data transfers such as those required by hard drives and digital video signals.

The Mac Observer Spin: This is big news for Apple on a number of different fronts. Read more in the full story.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Blood Pong Released Upon The World
[9: 05 AM] MonkeyByte has released a game that promises to be way too much fun. The game is called Blood Pong, and in the words of MonkeyByte:

"This is the future of Pong sport. Now on the Macintosh! Blood Pong is the ultimate concept of ball chasing fun. Not only can you smack the ball around, you can destroy the other player using special moves. There are other pong games, but only one adds Kombat action that allows you to rip your opponent in half!"

Blood Pong is priced at US$19.95 and has a downloadable demo at the company's web site.

Blood Pong

Headlines For Thursday, December 3rd

Gates On The Video Stand
[1: 16 PM] Rajiv Chandrasekaran of Newsbytes has delivered a compelling look at the testimony of Bill Gates and the interplay between the DOJ, Microsoft, and Judge Penfield Jackson. The story covers many different aspects of the ongoing antitrust trial against Microsoft by the DOJ. This is an excellent read for anyone interested in this landmark trial.

The Mac Observer Spin: Recently videotaped testimony from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has indicated that he was almost completely unaware of Sun's Java lawsuit against Microsoft. In addition, Microsoft's Chairman has indicated an almost complete lack of knowledge to emails sent to him as well as company policy regarding both Sun and Java. In a nutshell: I don't buy it.

Newsbyte Article


Mac Freeware Site Opened
[12: 15 PM] A new site has been launched that provides visitors with Freeware applications galore. The interface of the site is quite unique as it mimics (as best as HTML can) the look and feel of a Mac desktop. Titles are broken down by categories including System, Media, Games, Internet, Edu/Bus, and Utilities.

Macs.Bon.Net


CompUSA Opens Syracuse Store
[11: 58 AM] CompUSA will be opening its first outlet and Apple Store-Within-A-Store in Syracuse this Friday. The new store is a 29,700 square-foot facility located at 320 Hiawatha Blvd in Syracuse, New York. The Grand Opening is scheduled on Friday, December 4th at 8:00 AM, EST.

CompUSA


Spinfree Discontinues Outbox, Migration Path Offered
[11: 48 AM] Spinfree has announced that they are discontinuing Outbox, their Filemaker based e-mail merge tool for the Mac. At the same time they are offering a migration path to eMerge from Galleon Software.

"In a special arrangement made with Galleon Software of Toronto, Outbox customers who wish to move to a similar application are being offered significant discounts on the latest version of eMerge, free conversion of their mailing lists, and first crack at eMerge FM, Galleon Software's upcoming SMTP e-mail engine for FileMaker databases."

Spinfree will continue to develop Audiofile and Videofile for the Mac.

Spinfree - Galleon Software


Computer Associates Launches Japanese Effort
[11: 16 AM] Computer Associates has launched what it describes as a massive attack on the Japanese market that includes some Mac support. Computer Associates is a business software company that focuses on large-scale networking and enterprise level deployment. Their new Japanese effort includes the Unicenter TNG Asset Management Option (3.0E) + Agents which allows for management of large networks including Macintosh computers.

Computer Associates


Okidata Releases New Color Printer
[10: 59 AM] Okidata has released the OKIPAGE 8c color presentation printer, a networkable, digital LED printer. The OKIPAGE 8c utilizes a MIPS 4700/100 RISC microprocessor which enables the OKIPAGE 8c to print up to 8 ppm in full color.

Use with a Mac does require the OkiLAN 510e Ethernet Internal Printer Server. Pricing for the OKIPAGE 8c is set at US$3,495 with immediate availability.

Okidata


Apple Adds Another Regional Retail Outlet
[10: 18 AM] Apple has added another regional retail outlet. RCS Computer Experience, a very large retailer in New York with over US$100 million in sales, has rejoined the Apple family of distributors and is celebrating a new store opening in New York's Rockefeller Center. Unlike Apple's other recent convert Bestbuy, RCS is offering the full line of Mac products including:

"the iMac, a full line of G3 desktops, PowerBooks, the new Mac OS 8.5, 200+ plus new Macintosh software products from leading vendors, and numerous USB peripheral devices."

This product line will be featured in an "Apple Showcase." Also of importance are the attending dignitaries. New York Senator-elect Charles Schumer and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani will both be attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony this evening at 7:30 PM EST.

The Mac Observer Spin: Don't confuse the "Apple Showcase" with the Apple Store Within A Store that is found at CompUSA's around the country, But is another sign of the return of Apple's health that regional VARs such as RCS want to be back in the Apple fold.

RCS Computer Experience


Headlines For Wednesday, December 2nd
My First Mac Was A Typewriter

by Nancy Gravley

Odds, Ends, And Accouterments
Mac users are so cool. Last weeks column offered a comparison between using a local internet provider or using AOL to access the internet. I mentioned that chat rooms, Buddy Lists, and Instant Messaging were only available on AOL to AOL users. A number of readers let me know that there are other venues for accessing these features.

Read My First Mac Was A Typewriter


Top Story:
Time Is Not On Your Side: Hardware Problem Hits IR Port?
[12: 53 AM] Geoffrey M. Fink and Mike Kruze write us to tell a remarkably strange problem that they have found on PowerMac 6500s and other Macs with built-in IR ports. According to Mr. Fink and Mr. Kruze:

"We've seen some bizarre bugs, both in hardware and software, but this one has to be among the strangest ever.

For nearly a year and a half now, we've been studying a phenomenon known as "Time," a problem that occurred periodically in a lab of 25 Power Mac 6500's at our locale."

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


New Mac Tax Software Announced
[3: 30 PM] H&R Block has released the Kiplinger's TaxCut Deluxe Multimedia for the Macintosh. The new tax application provides everything needed to prepare and file your IRS tax returns. The product includes one free filing, with additional filings costing extra.

The product is priced at US$39.95 with immediate availability,

The Mac Observer Spin: The company included state income tax filing data for the Windows version, but did not do so with the Mac version. With Intuit having been very flaky in the last couple of years, it is outstanding to see H&R Block interested in the Mac market.

H&R Block


Yoot Tower Shipping!
[2: 52 PM] Yoot Tower, the Mac first game from Yoot Saito, is now shipping. Mr. Saito was the developer of SimTower for Maxis games and the developer for the original Yoot Tower for Sega's console line of products. Yoot Tower for the Mac sports and advanced AI that brings a new level of sophistication for sim games.

"A focal point of the game is to keep the people happy. "Yoot Tower" takes this to an all new level with an improved character AI that is so advanced, the people now feel stress, leave hotels with bad service and boycott stores with high prices.

With the most advanced level of options seen in the series, gamers must not only choose the kinds of restaurants, retail stores and movie theaters to include, but also the menus, prices and types of movies shown."

The game is currently available for US$39.95 online and in retail outlets . Buyers purchasing directly from the Yoot Tower web site get a US$10 savings and a free T-shirt.

The Mac Observer Spin: Mr. Yoot is a strong Mac advocate who reportedly agreed to do the port for the Mac and PC only if the Mac version was allowed to ship first. This is a very strong demand that bespeaks well of Mr. Saito that Sega was willing to make that concession. There is little doubt that Apple's improving condition factored into Sega's decision, but it is just incredibly awesome to see a major game released as a Mac first game! Show your support for Yoot Tower by purchasing a copy ASAP. Congratulations to Mr. Saito and to the Mac community!

Yoot Tower


Office Docs On Palm Pilot?
[2: 23 PM] DataViz, the makers of MacLink and MacLink Plus have introduced a new product called Documents To Go. Documents To Go is an application for Palm Pilot that allows the viewing of documents from Microsoft Office, Lotus SmartSuite and Corel WordPerfect Suite. According to DataViz:

"Just drag word processing files and spreadsheets into the Documents To Go window on your desktop PC or Mac. They will automatically be converted and optimized for remote viewing. There is no need to specially format the documents on the desktop. Pressing the HotSync button brings the documents down to the Palm organizer."

Documents To Go does not have the ability to edit or modify these documents, it just gives the ability to view the documents on Palm Pilot.

The Mac Observer Spin: Since Apple's decision to cease bundling MacLink with shipping Macs, DataViz has sought to broaden its product line. Fortunately the company has continued its excellent Mac work by including a Mac version of Documents To Go.

DataViz


MetaCreations Ships KPT 5
[1: 56 PM] MetaCreations is now shipping Kai's Power Tools 5. The new version includes new filters and other improvements that are sure to make this latest release a success.

Pricing is set at US$199 with registered users being offered an upgrade price os US$99. The product is now available in retail outlets.

MetaCreations


IXMICRO Reorganizes: New Aim Is OEM
[1: 10 PM] IXMICRO has initiated a reorganization that focuses the company on OEM sales. At the same time, the management team is reaffirming their commitment to the Mac community. In a press release announcing the changes, IXMICRO inlcluded these three statements.

The Mac Observer Spin: IXMICRO has been a stalwart supporter of the Mac offering high-end graphic solutions for years. Their 128-bit Twin Turbo 2D accelration card was the industry leader for years, especially with the former clone manufacturers.

Read The Full Mac Observer Story


Ambrosia Software Offers Great Deal
[2: 12 AM] Our friends at Ambrosia Software have offered a great special just in time for the holidays. For a limited time, you can buy both Mars Rising and EV Override. Mars Rising is an excellent 2D scroller that was a smash hit this year. The follow up, Deimos Rising, is expected in the near future. EV Override is the follow up to the very popular Escape Velocity. At US$30, this CD makes a great present or stocking stuffer. The CD comes with unregistered versions of other Ambrosia releases. The CD can be purchased from MacMall or direct from Ambrosia.

Ambrosia Software


Internet Mac Radio Show
[2: 02 AM] Bob Laughton and Jim Heid, the hosts of Point and Click Radio are having an internet simulcast for their Mac radio show.

"Point your Web Browser of choice to http://www.kzyx.org/pc and follow the simulcast link to KZYX Live on the Web. Although KZYX is not up on the Web full-time yet, you should be able to link up anytime Wednesday in anticipation of the Point & Click Radio evening Webcast."

The show will be "aired" tonight (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM PST and is being cosponsored by three California MUGs.

Point & Click

Headlines For Tuesday, December 1st
The Name Of The Game

by The Idiots

This Column Is Rated X
Gary: Once upon a time...
Randy: What the hell are you talking about?
Gary: Wait, wait a minute. Give me a second.
Once upon a time, two Idiots left their home on the Upper East Side and ventured to a great big Macintosh superstore in midtown Manhattan to spend their hard-earned allowances on some new games.

Read The Name Of The Game


MacHack Wants You!
[11: 53 AM] The Producers of MacHack have put out a call for speakers at sessions and panels to talk about technical subjects related to Mac OS programming. In the words of Mike Bentley, Sessions Chair for MacHack:

"Present your work at the conference! Experience the adulation and camaraderie of your peers, get critical feedback, learn new stuff, and, most importantly, talk to the other developers. Become part of a critical mass of engineering talent and know-how. Publishers and manufacturers are invited, no, more like encouraged, to send technical representatives. MacHack is an excellent opportunity for you to introduce and encourage use of your development technologies. While MacHack is the perfect venue to get the word out about new and exciting products for developers, frank marketing is strongly discouraged. Show us what it is and does, if it's cool that's enough to sell it."

MacHack is a conference for Mac developers and programmers held every year in Dearborn Michigan. The next MacHack will be held June 23-26 of 1999.

MacHack


GoMac Acquired By Power On
[11: 30 AM] Proteron and Power On have announced that Power On has acquired GoMac from Proteron. Power On is the current owner of the venerable utility suite Now Utilities while GoMac is a very popular shareware utility that mimics the task bar found on Windows 95/98/NT. GoMac also includes features not found in the original. Power-Up will take control of all feature-set decisions and will also handle tech support for the product. Ongoing development will actually stay at Proteron.

GoMac will be renamed ACTION GoMac as a part of the ACTION product line. In addition, the product will become commercial software available through, Macwarehouse, Multiple Zones International (MacZone and PC Zone), and BuyDirect.com at a surprisingly high price of US$49.95. Congratulations to both Proteron and Power On!

Power On Software - Proteron - MacMall - MacZone - BuyDirect.com -


Hammer Storage Solutions Releases Removable Arrays
[10: 08 AM] Hammer Storage Solutions has introduced the SledgeHammer Pro2 LVD Ultra2 Array. The SledgeHammer Pro series consists of both LVD and Fibre channel based products including the stackable SLPRO2-LVD and the 12 bay SLPRO12-LVD available in JBOD or RAID configurations. According to Hammer Storage Solutions:

"The SLPRO2-LVD is approximately 6" wide x 5" tall and holds up to two, removable 18 GB, 10,000+ rpm drives. It can also be stacked up to three units high providing up to 108GB and a LVD throughput of up to 80 MB/sec per channel on a desktop. The SLPRO2-LVD ships with the legendary JackHammer PCI to LVD host adapter and performance-driven RAIDWare array management software."

Pricing starts with a 9GB, SLPRO2-LVD system at US$3,564. The entire line is available now.

Hammer Storage Solutions


Wave Research Adds Support For Open Transport
[9: 49 AM] Wave research has added support for Open Transport to FileWave in version 3.2. The new version allows users to use FileWave to implement OS 8.5 templates using Open Transport to upgrade Mac networks from a centralized place.

At the same time, the company has announced plans to incorporate support for Open Transport using IP in a version slated to be released in the 1st quarter of 1999. FileWave Enterprise Edition, which includes software distribution and asset management, starts at $2,530 for 20 users. FileWave with the software distribution component alone is offered at $1,863 for 20 users.

Wave Research


Dantz Updates Retrospect
[9: 24 AM] The good people at Dantz have released an upgrade to Retrospect to version 4.1. Version 4.1 adds Internet backup, file encryption, additional device support, MacOS 8.5 support, and a bootable disaster recovery CD to Retrospect Express. The new version also includes support for many removable drives including Zip, Jaz, SyQuest, MO, CD-R/RW, and DVD-RAM. The upgrade is free to registered owners of Retrospect 4.0 and a downloadable demo is available at Dantz's web site. The product began shipping today to OEM manufacturers and the company says that the retail channel will begin receiving copies on December 8th.

Dantz



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